You’re Not a Loser for Starting the New Year Single

I can’t even right now.

Every once in a while I’ll get triggered by an obnoxious Internet meme, and ’tis the season for this one…

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Or this one, along similar lines…

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I saw others, but you get the idea.

I don’t know how serious people are being here, but let’s assume worst case and break down the items contained herein (I won’t use the three-letter F word, you heard it enough in junior high):

things

I could see how the first three are negatives in your eyes. 1) is definitely a problem. Knock it off. 2) and 3) are worthy of pursuing a change – I wouldn’t say they’re evil, exactly (James 1:9), but we want to meet our bills and take care of our bodies. May 2017 be the Waterloo of these obstacles in our lives. (Though even if not, our worth in Christ remains untarnished…far, far from Loserville.)

But…single? How does that fit into a set of negatives?

There is nothing wrong with singleness. There is nothing unhealthy, inferior, or inadequate about being single. It’s a station in life. You’re probably at that station because you take relationships seriously and are holding out for someone you can actually go the distance with. I mean, who wants to be jerking in and out of relationships like a 15-year-old learning a stick shift? No, thank you.

Now, that waiting may still not be the station you want, and boy can I understand you there. I eagerly await married life as much as the next guy, and I’ve struggled to appreciate this station. But next to the other “low” qualities we’re trying to shed, singleness sticks out like a sore thumb. You are not a loser for being single. Ever.

I know, I know – “it was just a meme, Brandon. I posted it for a joke.” Perhaps I overreact.

But are you sure?

The holidays have a way of making us feel left out for not having someone to kiss under the mistletoe or the New Year’s bell. The world is hung up on romance. Practically every music genre is soaked in its joys (country music is by far the worst offender – I’ve stopped listening to it for the sake of my contentment). And of course we all went through high school, where having a date was a status symbol. Even I, a homeschooler, still had to deal with all this in youth group and, later, the military. (Nothing will tear your heart out like the stories of heartbreak and betrayal amongst our troops. War doesn’t strengthen romance; it destroys it.)

It’s all left many, many singles tussling with shame.

I’m going out on a limb: I think a lot of singles really do feel like losers, even if they don’t put that particular word to it. And it’s an outrage. Highway robbery. Blatant theft of joy, Satan mugging us at gunpoint, and we’re letting him get away with it.

It’s not like most of those high school or Air Force romances have happy endings. But far more importantly, 1 Corinthians 7 and Matthew 19 (yeah, I know, you’ve heard it before) place singleness equal to marriage in the eyes of God. That old church attitude of singles being treated like unfinished business…well, it’s much more old covenant than new. My brain still does a double-take at this, much as it might upon seeing an alligator in a tutu, but it’s not like I have the option of ignoring God’s words. This is how it is. My view must change. Sure, there’s still the small “loneliness” matter to get around. God graciously hears our sighs. But the fact remains: as creatures of God, you have enormous worth whether single or married.

Of course, with the world not even trying to disguise its golden calf of romance, it can be hard to give these truths equal weight. Like trying to run with a gorilla on your back. A gorilla who just swallowed a dumbbell. Made of neutronium.

So I will use this small meme as an excuse for big, disproportionate jolt of affirmation. You’re welcome.

Look at it this way. God did not fight for millennia to preserve Christ’s bloodline, send that same Christ through the crown of thorns and the Cross, and raise him to life again so that you could share in his resurrection, so that you would feel like burnt lasagna crust for being single. He did not create your inmost being, knit you together in your mother’s womb, weave you together in the depths of the earth (Psalm 139) – not to mention her mother and her mother before – only to have your value darkened by singleness. Your ransom has come at a staggering price, and God paid it without hesitation.

This is not a guilt trip. Creators delight in their work. You, Christian, are the product of an attentive artist, the child of a concerned father, and the heir of a stunning spiritual inheritance. You are prized; you are protected; you are permanently recorded in the Book of Life. Oh, if only my words could do justice to God’s delight in you. You are not ignored; you are chosen. You are not common; you are royalty. You are not darkness; you are light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Someone make a meme out of that.

“But,” you might sigh, “I sure don’t feel like royalty. And what’s the point if nobody is around to see it?”

I know how you feel. Believe me. It might take time, and repetition, to shift our worldview into alignment with God’s. But that is exactly what Scripture calls us to do. It isn’t being fake; it isn’t being religious. It’s the truth. And if the result is a lifted chin and a confident eye, who’s complaining?

This is how I want you to start 2017. Enough with the dankness and faint self-annoyance. You are his prized child, his chosen people, jealously guarded. Make that your reality.

27 thoughts on “You’re Not a Loser for Starting the New Year Single

  1. Brand…great writing…i remember people who say they are in relationship end up not marrying to have family and children…shocking isn’t it…if thirst for GOD and godliness is keeping us for singleness than it’s good..because singles are craving for real serious GODly partners…buy broke, drunk, overweight and other unnecessary things are keeping us single means it’s a problem like you have written,,frankly there is no doubt about that and there is no spirituality in such way of remaining single…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I sat with 3 single girls over the christmas break at different times- all a little frustrated that fb had another celebratory post of an engagement of a friend. it’s not that they were jealous or coveting it was the subtle message that they’re ‘still waiting to be complete’ that singleness means you’re life hasn’t arrived in full. And i wish I had your words then about

    You, Christian, are the product of an attentive artist, the child of a concerned father, and the heir of a stunning spiritual inheritance. You are prized; you are protected; you are permanently recorded in the Book of Life. Oh, if only my words could do justice to God’s delight in you.

    we all need to know that’s what completes and satisfies our longings. The passionate providentical care of our God.

    Happy new year

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not in line with singleness, but I have a story to share about a friend. She could not have children. She and and her husband waited and prayed for YEARS to adopt. Then it happened. They adopted a beautiful baby boy, “Jason.” One day they asked God, they said, “we aren’t complaining, but why so long God?” And God said, “well if it had been sooner, you wouldn’t have Jason. You would have had a baby. But not Jason whom you adore and can’t imagine life without.” Isn’t that amazing? We want something so bad sometimes we forget God knows exactly what He’s doing. Very nice post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you Brandon. Sometimes i feel like im worthless since i am single. Like i need someone else to make me feel complete, even though God is the one that really makes us complete.
    Ive gone through an ugly first break up and it still lingers in my mind. What did i do wrong, and why did he stop liking me. But God alows who he wants to be in our lives. Sometimes being single means we got to learn to love our selves before we can love others and alow them to love us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is all very truthful, Caitlynn, though it can be tough to hold on to through the disappointment. Do not forget that God offers healing as well. Regardless of the “why” behind the events of our lives, he always offers healing. Be well.

      Like

  5. Thank you. Just thank you… 13 years a sole parent and yes, waiting for the right man after many mistakes and only 6 years as a christian. Your words struck my heart. Gold!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Brandon. God’s people should see both marriage and singleness are God-ordained callings–high callings which are to be embraced and fulfilled in whole-hearted pursuit of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Single or in a relationship, that does not matter. What matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ. There are many people, married or dating, who are “in a relationship” but they are not in a relationship with God. God uses singleness for His purpose. Nuns and priest have known this for centuries. Paul told people that it was better to stay single but if you were going to sin because of your singleness then get married. In short, singleness or dating or married are all ways to express your relationship or lack thereof with God. So if you are single, dedicate that to God. If you are in a relationship, dedicate that to God. Thank God for your life with Him.

    Liked by 1 person

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