By Alyssa Roat, Crosswalk.com
The other day, I was scrolling through social media when I came across two such drastically different posts, I had to laugh.
The first was a post from one of my friends from high school, a picture of her newborn second child. The second was my own post—an announcement of the upcoming release of my book for teens.
I felt a little silly. She’s married with kids, a proper woman. Meanwhile, I’m over here single with a humor book. I was ashamed for a moment.
Then I stopped to think for a minute. Did I really care what I should be?
I love being single.
Especially as a Christian woman, it often feels like marriage and children are the goal. There’s a sense that if you’re single, something must be wrong with you.
This doesn’t even take into account the larger cultural pressure of what I call “Hallmark philosophy,” based on the plot of so many romance movies on the Hallmark Channel. This is the idea that you can have “everything”—fulfilling job, great friends and family, meaningful life—but without that special someone, you’re destined to be unhappy.
I want to speak up for singles who love where we are in life. People are single for a multitude of reasons, so I can only speak for myself, but I consider it a major blessing that I’m not married, and here are 8 reasons why.
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1. I Haven’t Found the Right Person
I’m not a huge proponent of the idea of “soul mates” or “true loves,” but I do know that if God wants me to marry, He’ll let me know. Since He hasn’t, I’m much happier to remain single than to pursue a relationship He hasn’t called me to.
If I do marry, it will be because of love for that person, not because of a desire for marriage itself as the goal.
Marriage is a serious decision. From the beginning, in Genesis 2:24, the Bible explains, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Mark 10:8 says, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Such a drastic union cannot be undertaken lightly.
So I'm content to be single for as long as God wants me to be, because I know that he'll make it clear when he wants that to change. I'd rather be following God's plan for my life than literally any other scenario.
2. I Get to Be Independent
I’ve never truly been my own person before. My parents were in charge throughout childhood; my Christian college had strict rules and treated us more like children than adults. I love, for the first time, being able to do whatever I please, with only God and my conscience as my guide.
Whatever your views are on the role of women in a marriage, the reality is that a spouse of any gender is tied to the other. You are accountable to one another for your actions, and you must make decisions together. I love being able to act on the spur of the moment without worrying how it will affect a spouse. I love getting to learn who I am without the context of someone else.
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3. I Can Travel
For my job (at least, during non-COVID years), I travel all over the country to teach at conferences. I also love going to visit friends or family. With no one depending on me or waiting for me at home, I can grab my suitcase and hit the road.
I don’t need to make sure my schedule works with someone else, figure out the logistics of them coming with me, or feel guilty for leaving them behind. There's so much freedom I have to see the whole world and have adventures with God. What a gift.
4. I Can Focus on My Family and Friends
This leads right into another point. On holidays, I don’t need to worry if we’re going to see his family or mine. I get to focus all my energy on my family, and not feel tugged elsewhere. All the time, concern, and love that might go to a spouse is directed toward my immediate family.
I can spend as much time with my friends as I want. If I want to stay out late, make an impromptu visit, or if I need to halt everything to care for a friend in need, I can.
Without the time and emotional demands of being a spouse, I can focus on being the best friend, daughter, sister, etc. that I can be. It's not that you can't be amazing in these roles when you are married--but it's certainly more difficult to balance it all.
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5. I Can Be Financially Independent
It may seem worldly, but I love being completely in charge of my finances. I don’t have to worry if my spouse has spent too much or clear my purchases with someone else. If I have the money in the bank and decide to use it on yet another stack of books, there is nothing to stop me.
I also like the freedom of being randomly generous. When presented with a need, I can buy that meal, donate that money, in the moment. If I want to make sacrifices because I gave away my money, I can do so without worrying how that will affect someone else.
Also, it's just a fact that money is an incredibly common reason why couples fight. It's just nice to not have to worry about that extra stress.
6. I’m Free to Follow God’s Call at the Spur of the Moment
People who are married of course follow God’s call. However, there are certain restraints that must be considered when making big decisions like switching jobs, moving, etc. It’s a joint decision, and dreams may be delayed or prohibited because one spouse isn’t in a position for that spontaneity.
Since I’m only responsible for myself, I’m free to take that job offer, make that decision, take that chance. Without someone else to worry about, I can take more risks.
Of course, God wants to put people together who have similar values and dreams. But that doesn't mean couples don't have to sacrifice personal dreams or callings, even temporarily, for their marriage. I don't have to worry about that.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Deagreez
7. I Can Live with Friends
Speaking of moving, being single is a fantastic time to experience the joys of living with friends. It’s so much fun to decorate an apartment together, experience a new city, host gatherings. I’ve been blessed with amazing roommates.
Once you’ve lived with a friend, there’s a special bond that doesn’t fade easily.
Platonic love is often overlooked in our culture, but I’ve discovered living with other women has brought about amazing opportunities to experience the brotherly love talked about in the Bible.
The Bible places a huge emphasis on friends. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
8. I Can Focus on My Career
Before immediately jumping to 1 Timothy 6:10 and the love of money being the root of all kinds of evil, let me assure you I’m not talking about money here. (If I was looking to live the high life, I made a very poor career choice). However, I have felt God’s call to my career more than I’ve felt called to anything else in my life.
God led me every step of the way into the publishing industry. The books we read influence our minds and hearts, and God called me to this ministry.
Publishing is extremely competitive, and it consumes most of my time, working multiple jobs. I absolutely love it, but my schedule would be unfair to a spouse, let alone kids. As a single, I’m free to spend all of my time on my calling of writing, editing, and working with books.
No one's career should become their whole life, but I love being able to give it the attention that I want to.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Autri Taheri