Have you ever been the one person in a group who didn’t have what everyone else had? Maybe everyone has an iPhone but you make every group message green. You are the one who is an Android in an iPhone world. You are the one who doesn’t have that which almost everyone else has.
I have an iPhone, so it’s not the text messages I disrupt. But I’m that person in other settings. I am often the one who does not have a husband or children.
It is easy to feel lonely, frustrated, or self-deprecate in these situations. How can we live as those who are lacking?
I think this is the wrong question.
This question develops from a misunderstanding of singleness that is widespread in the church. Many churches talk about single people as if they are not whole or incomplete. This is our fundamental problem. We believe singleness is the absence of something. We believe single people have a less than ideal life.
Single people, we are asking the wrong question about our place in the church. We cannot accept the premise of this question.
This is why people ask me, “Allyson, are you antagonistic toward dating? Why don’t you create room in your life for people you might want to date? You should go put yourself around other single guys.”
I know that the motivation for these questions is pure. These friends truly want the best for me, and they usually give great advice and encouragement.
Yet some of them, though they cannot see it in an explicit way, view my singleness as the lack of a husband. You may be thinking, “But that’s true! You lack a husband.”
I disagree. I don’t think I lack a husband. I don’t think I lack anything. I believe that God’s divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness because God called me by his own glory and goodness. In knowing Him, I have everything… Everything I need for life and godliness. Everything. (2 Peter 1:3-4).
If you are not married, then friend, you are whole. We must proclaim this to ourselves, and, Church, you must proclaim this to us as well. Our cry that we lack nothing in Christ should be louder than our shouts about purity, biblical manhood and womanhood, ethical dating, and the beauty of marriage. Single people lack nothing because we belong to Christ. We must fight to believe that singleness is not a lesser way of living. Marriage is not sufficient for life and godliness. Jesus is.
So then, we must reframe, “How can we live as those who are lacking?”
Here is a better question: “How can we be the ones who are satisfied with Jesus?”
Let us shatter the lies that single people are lacking something better and put forth the truth that:
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4