Single in the city is going to be a regular column on Fridays at IndiAanya and I have the privilege, of sorts, to write for it.
I know the word ‘single’ feels like a death sentence at times, but I’m on a mission to redeem the term and the immediate feelings of distress it can bring up. The feelings of loneliness, incompleteness, of being passed over and undesirable-- just to name a few. Its predecessor ‘spinster’ is even worse and has thankfully died down except for an option to be ticked in some archaic forms.
Our culture sometimes idolises marriage for all the wrong reasons and many value a woman only when she is attached to a man and has produced a male heir.
However, the gospel places us into a new community and provides a new identity in Christ for the single, married, widow, fatherless and orphan. This new identity supersedes our earthly identities and infuses hope in the present reality while always pointing to the world to come.
The present may be riddled with questions about the future – will I ever find someone who will love me? Will I have a family of my own? Will I end up alone? Will I be ‘blessed’ (I say blessed while thinking cursed) with the gift of singleness? These are all questions I've asked myself; maybe you've asked them too.
But hope allows us to live each day with the understanding that we are never really alone, we don’t have to be lonely, we are complete in our new identity, we haven’t been passed over, we are worth more than we can imagine and we are truly human with the hope of glory.
I must prepare you right at the outset that many of C. S. Lewis’ writings will be featured in this column. He has this uncanny ability to give expression to our deepest fears but also point to our greatest hope. He says,
“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
Hope in the world to come allows us to live with great meaning and significance in this present world--whether married or single. It can lift us out of what may seem to be great inadequacies and allow us to live as fully adequate, significant, complete persons regardless of our relationship status. So as an encouragement for your weekend I'll leave you with this thought from the Apostle Paul until we return next week:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
If you're single, are there any questions or issues you'd like for us to address in the future? Leave a comment below and we'll see what we can do!
Photo used with permission from Rachel Gokavi