Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Singleness (For Our Married Readers)

My previous post on singleness did not apply to many of you, so I thought I would add to the topic in a way that would.

As the Church body, we have a unique opportunity to form deep and meaningful relationships. I think we (myself included) limit ourselves far too much in this. While I certainly enjoy having single friends, who share a similar schedule as me, and with whom I can best relate and understand their present situation, I have found that some of the individuals most instrumental in encouraging me in my faith are not those at the same stage of life as I am.

I encourage you to seek out relationships with individuals different than you. (And please understand that this is something I am currently working on as well.)

So for those who are married, a few tips in relating to the single individuals in your life:

1. Please do not hesitate to invest in our lives simply because we are single. Mentorships are an important part of the Christian community as a whole. Consequently, while I completely agree that young wives need mentors to guide and encourage them in their relationship with their spouse, single women need guidance and encouragement as well. Please do not exclude us. Or, as it may be necessary in some situations, please find other ways of including us. Though my church has one of the largest young adults groups in the area, I am realizing how separated we are from the other ministries. I would love for women of our church to offer to mentor some of the girls in our group. And I'm sure those at your church would say the same.

2. Please abstain from questions and comments including, but not limited to, the following:
"When will you get married?"
"I need to find you a man!"
"Why don't you have a boyfriend?"
While we certainly appreciate your concern and understand that you are just trying to be sympathetic, there really is no good response to these inquiries. It is really quite awkward from our side. So instead, please ask us about other aspects of our lives. Because there really is more to us than our singleness.

3. Similar to #2, please do not make it your mission in life to find a spouse for all your single friends. Again, while we appreciate your concern, please remember that just because I am single and under the age of 30, this does not mean that I will automatically be perfect with every guy you know who is also single and under the age of 30.

4. Please allow us to be a part of your lives. This especially applies to those singles who do not live near their families. I was having lunch on Monday with a friend from college, who I hadn't talked to since then. She almost seemed embarrassed as she asked, "Do you still babysit?" When I told her that I occasionally do, and very much enjoy doing so, she responded with a relieved tone in her voice, "Oh, good. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!" Though we both work full-time jobs, we (and I think I speak for most singles when I say this) enjoy helping you out. Don't feel bad when you ask us for favors. We have the time, and want to use it beneficially. Just as we want you to invest in us, we, too, want to do the same for you. We want to encourage you in your walk with Christ. Please provide us with the opportunity to do so.

And to the single readers, what else would you include?

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