Is being single a failure?

Is being single a failure?


This chat was circulated in one of my favourite group chat focused on raising kingdom women that are passionate about God. A lot of us cheered at the response not because it is what we can say but because we low-key enjoyed seeing that reply. Someone referred to it as schadenfreude, which means “pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.” Thankfully one of us pointed it out that although the response is satisfyingly savage, it is not our default place of response as people in Christ and our speech is to be seasoned with salt and give grace to the hearers.

It got me thinking about why such a statement brings about pain to single women or perhaps why is such a statement intended to bring pain? That statement amongst other things married women in the Nigerian society do to “pepper” single girls really points to one thing, "being single is a bad thing".

I know in our society; we often celebrate marriage as an achievement. Don’t get me wrong, it is an achievement for you if you have set it as a lifetime goal. However, because it is an achievement for you does not mean it is an achievement for everyone else. Some people don’t want to get married at all while others don’t mind waiting till they are in their mid-30’s. There is nothing wrong with both choices! Christ has not laid down marriage as one of the most important things to achieve on earth even though it is a beautiful institution ordained by God.

Let me analyse this thing, for anyone to use singleness as armour to attack single women and for single women to accept it as an armour points directly to one thing – US VIEWING SINGLENESS AS A LIMITATION! As believers, we have to understand that there is a season for everything. No season should be deemed better than others because they are all equally purposeful.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ASV)For everything there is a season, and a time for every [a]purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

The single phase is just as important as the married phase. If I decide to be biased, I can say it is even more important. This is a time of self-discovery; to understand who you truly are in Christ. It is a period of introspection and determining to want your vision is. It is also a good time to explore your God-given gifts and perhaps to start working them out in ministry. Singleness is not a curse and it only happens once. As soon as you exchange vows and sign your certificate you can never be single again. It’s gone forever! This new phase is a period where there will always be an accessory to you. There’s a husband and eventually, you’d have children. In fact, in our African culture, your sense of person starts eroding. Suddenly, no one calls you by your name anymore. All the names they call you is to tie you to your husband (Mrs. ABS) or your children (Mummy XYZ).  So yeah, in this current phase you’d never have you as you ever again, in this time, at this place. Ever again! The thought of this should make you sober.

Stop treating singleness as a limitation because every season has its reason. Instead of being overly focused on what it could be or trying to gaze into the next phase, take time to intensely squeeze and savour every experience, every joy, every present. The future will always be there but the present will change before you know it.

A happily married woman once said this:

The truth is if some married people can really open up and share stuff, the single ones will be glad for where they are right now... Singleness is the time to discover yourself and achieve 80% of what you plan...because marriage is like an acquisition, you will need to align your vision with your husband’s own or sometimes drop your vision entirely and start chasing another person's vision!

With that statement, if you don’t know who you are and you rush into marriage. If may take years of frustration before you can get to that place of discovery. Alternatively, you may marry someone that your visions don’t align. The truth is marriage is for 2 complete human beings. I know its cute to say stuff that “my other half” or “you complete me” to your spouse. However, a man and woman need to be completely whole before they can enter a union for the purpose God intended it.

I know the natural man is conditioned to be discontent with what we have, where we are and many more. Even the media continues to feed this discontentment with images of what our life should be in different phases of our life. On top of that, the expectations of well-meaning people like friends and families also feed our discontentment. This is where we start to internalise stuff like “I can’t believe I am 30 and I don’t have a car. I have failed as a man” or “I can’t believe that Nneka got married before me, I thought pretty girls get married before others” or “All my friends have a master’s degree and I don’t”.  But see what the bible says about being content:

Philippians 4:11 (AMP) Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.

See that place that says, “self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am no disturbed or uneasy”. There is nothing to explain further which is why I used the Amplified version so we can break it down into simpler bits. This shows that we have to train ourselves to enjoy every stage of our lives for what it is. Enjoy the fullness of God’s love and perfect grace. Silence the noise so you don’t cave in to the pressure of discontentment!

Hebrews 12:2-3 (TPT) We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his,[g] he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation,[h] and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God! 3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, [i] so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. 4 After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood[j] in your opposition to sin.

You have to understand who your source is. Jesus is the essence of our lives and in him we depend. We don’t have to rely on our achievements or resources or as it relates to this post, our season. We depend solely on God. We are so complete in Christ that external factors should not move or shake us.
  • Single brothers and sisters, silence the noise and stay focused on Jesus.
  • Married brothers and sisters, marriage is beautiful we know but don’t try to rub our noses in it. Na single we dey we no kill person.
  • Daddy’s and mummy’s, your pressure for marriage can’t bring forth good results. It only brings about rushed decisions in picking a life partner that your child may suffer forever. All your children need is prayers, the world is a pressure pot on its own already.
     I hope you picked one or two things from this post. Here are some daily affirmations for the single ones amongst us, say it loud so your ear can hear and imprint it into your heart:

I am complete in Christ
Nothing broken
Nothing missing
Nothing lost

When it’s time to get married, I’ll marry a whole person because I am whole! I don’t need someone to complete me cause I am complete in Christ.
My 1 + their 1 = 1 Godly Union

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”  ― Lao Tzu


With love,
Bibi

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