If I get told one more time that I’m in a season of waiting, I’m going to explode.

It’s the common rhetoric of the times. Listen to any sermon on dating and relationships, and you’ll hear it slip across the pastor’s lips with more subtle tact than the Artful Dodger. He’s calling it a “season” to appease us single folk, but we can see through him. What he’s really uttering to us (even if he has the best intentions) is the following:

“You should do a lot to better yourself, so you can finally get married and fulfill God’s calling for your life (insert “It’s not good for man to be alone” and “be fruitful and multiply”).

Then, he or she (bless you, pastors, podcasters, bloggers) will talk about how we’re wired to want to be with someone, and I thank my lucky stars that I now have no control over my fate. Natural selection, everybody. It’s survival of the fittest, and the strongest surely get hitched.

They pander to us. “God hasn’t forgotten you,” they say, and “you’re seen and valued,” but all those phrases mean the same thing really — you’re missing something, and that something is marriage. Hold out, buttercup, because if you hang tight long enough, you’ll get him. You are in a season of waiting, after all.

I’ve had enough. I’m 32 and single in suburbia. Let me tell you — there’s not a lot of prospects (but how dare I say that — think positively I hear them reprimand). But, the truth of the matter is, there are significantly fewer single men than when I was 22, and that’s not even a pessimistic statement. Just a fact. And most of the ones that ARE single still live in their mother’s basement. Also, just a fact.

My life just looks different, and instead of sulking and giving my cuddly friends at church death stares, I began to search for single people in the 30s and 40s who I’d actually want to be like.

I needed people to model my life after.

Looking for powerful, confident, kingdom-chasing, still going to concerts at Red Rocks, but also don’t post desperate selfies on every square of Instagram is a treasure hunt in and of itself. Move over, Doctor Jones, because I too am looking for antiquities. They’re rare. Quite rare, but I’ve found them.

And thus far, not one of them has told me I’m in a season of waiting.

Not one of them has told me I’m probably too old to have children.

Or, I’m too picky.

That I’m so great, God is probably taking a long time to get my husband ready for me.

Not one has stopped inviting me to parties because I don’t have a plus one.

Or, told me that I need a man and husband to lead me spiritually.

Not one has condescendingly mentioned that “I’ll understand once I’m married.”

No, they say different things. Author Carrie Lloyd writes that “connection for me now is fulfilled in measures that my culture has forgotten.” Love and affection can come from different roads—“a smile from a friend on a rough day; a sweet note left for me from my intern in the book I was reading; turning up to a meeting and finding someone has left my favorite kombucha in my seat…”

They don’t spend too long on the topic of relationships, because they’re busy doing other things — like fighting injustice, supporting that non-profit, and building community in an ultra-busy society.

They say it’s good to want something and to hope for marriage, but they’re also saying don’t wait for it, because gosh darn, we’ve got things to do. Go ahead and move things around in your life so you can open up new relational possibilities, but don’t you dare hold up and do nothing.

And, the curtest among them say things like this:

“Completion in life doesn’t occur in marriage. Our completion is in Christ.”

There are many verses about marriage, yes. But, there are also ones like this:

“But I wish everyone were single, just as I am.” (1 Corinthians 7:7)

“…there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:38)

Also, please note some single Bible characters — Paul, for one, and Jesus Christ.

So, how about that? Looks like I don’t have to be married to fulfill the call of God on my life, to be refined in my character, or build the kingdom. It seems as if staring at the clock isn’t part of the Great Commission.

Now, in conclusion, I’m not writing this to uncork a slew of controversy. I didn’t pen these words to punish that family member for telling me I may be too old to have children or to tell my married friends to please start inviting me to dinner parties again (I didn’t want to come anyway. I mean, yes, I am free every Friday night for the next six months).

I wrote this for the single people. For us.

Sometimes, we naturally bend to the weight of culture, simply because they’re the majority. It’s a heavy load to bear, and there’s nothing more paralyzing than feeling controlled by your relationship status. I have walked many years, believing that my husband would unlock a door for me, and all I had to do was wait.

But, I’m not doing that anymore. I’m going to fight it, and you can too.

Powerful single women and men of Christendom, I wrote this for you. 

~

Sources: Loyd, Carrie. Prude: Misconceptions of a Neo-Virgin. Rad Arrow Media, Redding, CA. 2016. Print. 

“Completed in Christ.” Christine Caine. Propel Women. Web.

Marissa Schulze
Marissa Schulze

Marissa Schulze is a writer, youth director, and social media marketing aficionado. You can find more of her work and writing at @haymakermarketing.

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