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I spend my days doing stuff for Soul Survivor NZ and my church "Blueprint" in Wellington NZ. I am perplexed, amazed, in awe of, and spend a lot of time thinking about this revolutionary called Jesus and what it means to follow Him.

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Being Single and Content

As usual a whole bunch of us descended on Fidels to chat the night away after church last night. I had a great conversation with a couple of my friends about the whole "being single" buzz, which is a fairly common conversation when your church is packed full of 20 somethings and when you are a single 26 year old yourself. It was a great chat though, wonderfully honest. We talked about the myth that we will be "complete" when we find that special someone, the frustration from the girls that most lads need to pick up their game and be a lot more proactive in pursuing the ladies, and the whole grass is greener on the other side hoax. We started chatting about all the things that we can do as single people, which reminded me of this great article from relevant that is well worth a read. Both marriage and singleness are a gift from God, and I wonder whether we need to really enjoy the blessings that come from whatever phase of life we are in, and make the most of it instead of sulking away and being miserable. While acknowledging that there are certainly times of acute loneliness I certainly see this phase of life at the moment as a bit of a gift, and I enjoy the freedom in being able to travel with my work in Soul Survivor and Youth Alpha, and to be able to spend lots of time serving my church and hanging with the many wonderful people there.
This whole topic is a real can of worms - and one of the worms that needs to be addressed is when people are hindered from having relationship with others because of their own brokenness.
For a rather amusing read on this whole buzz, read Galloways latest post.

Check out this video from blueprints own Kathryn Baker. I have had a sneaky listen to her album planned for release next year, and it is sounding sweet.

“Being Single and Content”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for this post Sam - your blog always shifts the focus back on our Maker, and its a challenging and humbling read. Thanks for the link to Relevant, just caught up on some choice articles.

  2. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    good to see someone's in the zone... prob a hell of a lot easier when u can go to fidels and actually talk about it with a bunch of single women...

  3. Blogger Edmond Says:

    Dude, I love that Relevant article.
    And now I have an idea on what to post in my blog, hopefully within the next few days.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Actually, do you not think you are being a little selfish here?
    God has made women so that the peak of their fertility is aged 23.
    You are now 26. When do you plan to get serious about the next season in your life? Or do you intend to string this one out as long as possible? ;-) Where does that leave your sisters in Christ? Their bodies are not designed to become barren while they wait for the boys to grow up. (A process that seems to take a lot longer now than it did a generation ago.)
    You also said singleness and marriage are both gifts. I have heard the expression "singleness is a gift" before, but I can't see it backed up in the Bible. The root of it seems to be 1 Corintians 7:7, but as far as I can see that seems to be referring to a high degree of self-control over one's sex drive. It does not say "singleness" is a gift and that one should live with as few responsibilites as possible, for as long as possible.

  5. Anonymous Simona Says:

    Comment number four can only be joke right? Someone from your discussion at fidels? If it's not let me know 'anonymous', I'm up for some sparring.

    I just wanted to say this was a really cool post. It echoes a lot of what my girlfriends and I have been talking about. I think that one of the biggest ministries that is needed in our society is to help women realise that they have their own purpose and to live that (I guess that the same is true for men too). Our lives are supposed to be more than waiting and then chaining ourselves to the family home regardless of whether or not that is our desire. There is nothing wrong with the domestic path but we have choices. Sorry that was a bit of a tangent. Anyway, yes I agree singless is a gift. We have the gift of some other kind of freedom for now; the freedom to pursue other things fully. Perhaps I will marry but not just anyone. I don't have to have a bad marriage because that's not my only option. I am complete. Completion is not what I will ask of anyone. I believe that men and women were really made to complement one another not to complete them.

  6. Blogger Sam Says:

    Anonymous; I am absolutely gutted at what you have said in that comment, its hard to articulatute how deeply that hurts. Every presumption you have made about me in your comment is wrong. At the end of the day Im not prepared to reply to it.

    Its a reminder that I am probably overdue to write some sort of guidelines for posting on this blog even though the numbers are pretty small. One of these will definitely be that if you cant stick you name next to your comment, you cant post it.

    *sigh*

    So hows Graham Henry getting the coaching job? Huh? Didn't see that coming..

    *cough*

  7. Blogger Naomi Says:

    I loved the relevant article, it made me remember all the hilarious things I have done that I could only gotten away with because I'm single. Sometimes the novelty wear off though I have to say.. I moved out of home when I was 16 and quickly launched into doing whatever I want whenever I want, and after nearly 10 years of doing that it's not quite as enjoyable as it once was. One of the highlights has to be staying in my pjs for a couple of days, then having a pizza delivered and eating it in bed, then going back to sleep.
    The only gripe I have with the article is that I feel it's saying 'enjoy your singleness but also keep waiting to meet the man/woman of your dreams, because it's gonna happen', "keep your eyes shining cos who knows whos watching" etc.
    I don't know if it's my cynicism or brokenness but a part of me feels that I need to lay some of that stuff down in order to be content in my singleness. What if this isn't just a season? What if no one is watching and theres noone around the corner? Can I learn to accept the fact that there is a good chance that I will never meet someone who I can coerce into spending their lives with me? Can I accept the fact that I may never have children? And can I be happy, satisfied and ok with God if all the things I wish for never eventuate.
    For myself I feel that if I can be more than satisfied with only God's love, without conditions or demands, then maybe I can be ok with being single for the rest of my life.

    Thoughts?

  8. Blogger Sharyn Says:

    Naomi: I have to say I totally agreed with your take on the article. I thought it was great, right up until it started to talk about 'waiting'. I think it's a terrible state to be in as a single person if you see yourself in a waiting room for some other, better life. I do not believe that marriage is the default setting and I think probably more people are designed to be single than actually end up being single. I'm 27 now and single, and I revel in it. Not so much for the stuff in the article, but more because I see my life with heaps of hope and freedom in the future. I am studying to work in the area of development (as in third world development) and I can see that God can use me as a single person, being free to travel and put my heart and treasure into being really great at my job. I am a poet and I want to work to get published. I want to get my PhD. I want to travel the world. Maybe I'll even adopt some kids down the line. I don't believe that being single means you have to miss out - I have so many dreams. I believe I could be a mother. I do not lack intimacy because I have a bunch of friends and one really special one in particular who is my soulmate. Not in a romantic sense but in a really deep love sense. My friendship with her and my relationship with God keep me from real deep loneliness. I feel so BLESSED!

    I'm not waiting to get married, I know perfectly well it might not happen. I surrender that to God. Sometimes it does make me sad, specially at particular times of the month! My desire to be with a really good man hasn't really gone away at all or even lessened. I guess it's just been surrendered. That's the keys for me: be excited about your own dreams and surrender rather than try to get rid of your desires. Your desire for a man is good and natural, so surrender it as a gift to God rather than try to force it away or ignore it.

    TOO LONG SHARYN! Sorry, this is my hobby horse! Believe in the dreams God has for you babe, believe that if singleness is his gift to you then it's the best gift he has for you. "All he ever gives is good".

  9. Blogger Naomi Says:

    Sharyn that was so on the money I actually had a wee cry! Thanks heaps, that was so encouraging for me!

  10. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    Here's my latest contribution to the discussion:

    http://matthew5-9.blogspot.com/2007/12/wife-hunting.html

  11. Blogger Will Says:

    Nice post Sam, gotta love those talks at Fidels =)

    The comment about blueprint men 'lifting their game' grates with me a little. If there's one thing I've learned from watching romantic relationships form around me over the years, it's that every couple has their own unique story. People meet and form relationships in a vast variety of contexts. Sometimes it's love at first sight, sometimes the couple are just friends for years. There is no one formula, but I can say that the strongest relationships I've seen are ones where couples come together naturally in their own time.

    I'm not sure where this idea of 'the pursuit' comes from, but I do know that it is not the be-all and end-all of relationships. For some couples, their story will have a 'pursuit' chapter to it. Some will not.

    If women in the BP community (or any other community for that matter) aren't being 'pursued', it is not necessarily a reflection of the lack of balls of the men in that community. It is perfectly normal and healthy for men to desire to be friends - and friends only - with beautiful and wonderful godly women like the ones at BP. They should not take the perceived lack of interest from the BP men as a blow to the self-esteem on their part, or the lack of courage on the men's part.

    I for one am glad that the men and women at BP don't rush into relationships every time they get a crush (which, if we're all honest, happens often to us all.. we're all so good looking!). My prayer is not that the guys at BP 'lift their game' and start chasing the women for the sake of a feel-good buzz, but that romantic relationships in our community will develop naturally, in their own time, out of the various contexts that they are meant to. In the meantime the rest of us singles can enjoy strong, healthy and fufilling friendships with our brothers and sisters and use our singlehood as an opportunity to grow closer to God and find our security in Him.

    =)

  12. Anonymous Rae Says:

    INTERESTING ...

    I went for a walk with a friend along Oriental, and for some reason this post came up in a conversation ... I hadn't read it until now ... here's my 5 cents worth ... Ok lie, about a dollar ...

    Why do we as Christians make things grey? when God clearly puts them Black and White? ... why are we never content with the blessings of what God's given us? secretly wishing that we had some (or more than) what others have got? Does it not say that being jealous of others is cancerous to our body?

    Why is it that when we have the amazing love of God our Father knocking at our hearts, wanting to fill that lonely void that's there, we are constantly looking at other things to fill those desires and needs?
    Why when God says wait, not yet, or no, we presume that he's got it all wrong and we definitely have to fix the problem for him?

    As a single Christian chick that's in the Blueprint Community (and one of the older ones at that, lol), I find it encouraging and awesome to see my mates who are male in a World where everything is crying out to 'put out' holding on so strongly in their Faith. Thumbs up to you guys, I'm proud of you all!

    Why do we spend so much of our time wondering about ourselves and trying to fulfil our needs, rather than worrying purely and wholey about the concerns of our God? and grey the area of God over with "Oh it's ok if I'm lusting or trying to pursue that person, God doesn't want me to be lonely".

    In a way, that's right ... God doesn't want you to be ...
    HE, IS PURSUING YOU
    God is pursuing all of us with all he has, he is the one that wants to fill the void that is in us ... how can we not see that? how can we not get the revelation of being content in our God, that when we seek first the Kingdom of God, he will give us our hearts desire.
    Not seek first the Kingdom, so we can get what we think we ought to have, but wholey seek God with the heart that he alone knows what is best for us.

    His ways are not always ours.
    His ways are always best.

    When he says Trust him with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding, that means in EVERYTHING, relationships included.

    What's more important ... us as single people filling the void of wanting to be loved by another human, or thinking how we can please the Lord and what work he wants us to do? and purely seeking to love him back for the immeasurable love he bestows upon us?

    If you read past 1 Corinthians 7.7 you will find for the whole chapter, that it is truly a blessing, for single and married people.

    In verse 32 he says, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him.

    I was going out with a well known Pastor's Son in Fiji for awhile, and we talked about marraige ... and I'm not saying that this happens for everyone, but I know now looking back, that the relationship that I chose to enter into, was not a God 'thing' ... it was a Rae doesn't wanna be by herself, surely this is God ... you know what, it wasn't. It has been a pretty big boulder in my walk with God, that happening a couple of years ago, God is healing and restoring now (along with many other things) When I met Tony, I was at an International Bible School where only 6 people from New Zealand were accepted, I was one of them, God did an amazing work there, but if I hadn't gone out with Tony, falling to the desires of my own needs, I'm pretty sure he would have done alot more ...

    God hasn't put things in his Word just to confuse us, he's put them there cause he knows best.

    When he says in Song of Songs, repeatedly, Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right ... he has a reason for it.

    He is saving us from a path of pain and hurt.

    HE KNOWS BEST

    Be content and Happy in wherever you are with our God, there is always someone out there that has it much worse off ...

    At the end of the day, like
    Sharyn said, surrendering is the key ... wholley, not just what we think he can handle.

    If any of you want anymore stories on bad relationships that are not from God, and the Grace and Mercy he has shown me through those stages, we should sooo do coffee ...

    Be happy with what you have, otherwise we're just dissing what God's given us