Okay, put down your Grande, no-foam, coconut milk Cappuccino and listen to me for a minute. Yes I’m talking to you, millennials and recent college grads who feel you’ve missed the marriage boat and are now spending your Thursdays scrolling through social media.
Let me tell you about my morning commute.
I spend every morning driving to work, balancing a mug of coffee on my knee, and listening to podcasts. I recently heard a powerful podcast on being single as a Christian.
One morning as the first rays of summer sun were blinding me on the way to work, I thought that maybe I should share what I’m learning.
Singleness seems like a time of waiting. Waiting to move out. Waiting to buy furniture. Waiting to meet the right person. Let me guess, you’re probably hoping that maybe this summer you’ll meet that person you’ve been waiting for. Here’s my response.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being single in the last few months it’s this:
The season of singleness is intended for undivided devotion to God.
As I pressed a steaming cup of coffee to my lips and listened to this recorded talk, I began to see that my desire to be married could hinder my ability to live life. Furthermore, I saw that waiting for life to begin could prevent me from fully devoting my life to God.
What? I thought waiting was playing it safe. You know, so I don’t make any wrong decisions before meeting the right guy.
Let me be honest, going to all those post-college weddings makes me want to be married too. But I need to stop putting the status of marriage on a pedestal, and realize marriage too is sometimes a barrier to living a life devoted to God.
Singleness is a time for single-minded devotion to God. Whereas in marriage, a wife or husband has to devote their attention to their spouse, their kids and their growing household, the single person has more time than he/she knows what to do with.
So, single post-college Millennials, where are you spending your free time?
This is a difficult question even for me. I, who have abundance of free time usually spend it watching TV and Netflix? I am vicariously living someone else’s life when my own is waiting to begin. It’s not that entertainment is a waste of time. In fact we all know it’s nice to watch a few episodes of Parks and Rec and just wind down.
But I’ve been recently convicted about the way I spend the free time I’ve been granted. I often feel like my friends and I, in high school and college, would zone out through TV and video games. For some reason, watching the conflict and resolution of someone else’s life was easier than dealing with my own.
I use to consider singleness as a plague that I didn’t want to catch. What kind of gift prohibits you from community?
But getting involved with my church, I saw that being single really is a gift. It doesn’t mean I spend life alone, rather I spend it in community with other believers and we are able to identify issues and talk about solutions.
When it comes to the four stages of romantic relationships (Singleness, dating, engaged, married), singleness is the first. So if you’re single, don’t constantly worry about who you will marry.
Being single for you could be a season of life. How will you answer the questions of what you did with your single years? Did you zone out and watch Netflix, or did you engage with the world because you had the time and ability to?
I’m challenging you and myself to not be afraid of having a single status. Understand that singleness is a gift, and learn to unpack that gift with gratitude. Use your time for undivided devotion to God, and encourage others to do the same.