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Purposely Single

Sunrise in southern Utah
Sunrise in southern Utah
Brian Weimer

The majority of people would probably agree that being married, or dating, is preferable over the single life. Many are convinced that they can never be truly happy unless they meet that special someone. Growing up, we are inundated with messages of romance and one day meeting ‘that perfect someone’. Girls, more than guys, dream from a very young age of the day when their handsome prince will sweep them off their feet. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with desiring to meet the right one, having unrealistic expectations are damaging. How are single people supposed to deal with the constant bombardment of others regarding finding a mate?

Instead of being in purposeful relationships, many young people date for the wrong reasons. Often it’s because they hate being single, are under peer pressure, or it’s based solely on physical attraction and sex. It’s been said that girls give into sex to get love, and guys give into love to get sex. While there is a degree of truth to this, sex does play an undeniable part when it comes to relationships. Young people are loosing their virginity much earlier than their parents, no doubt due to peer pressure, pop culture, and other societal influences. By the time a young person enters junior high, then high school, the challenge to remain sexually pure is in full swing.

Although once considered an outdated concept, the value of celibacy is being embraced once again. Even to those who might not be inclined to live the celibate lifestyle, seasons of celibacy can be very beneficial, whether someone is twenty or fifty. Many people go from relationship to relationship without being single for long, not taking the needed time in between to learn who they are as individuals. One of the most unhealthy aspects of this lifestyle dating is the lack of closure from one relationship before beginning another. Too much physical intimacy too fast is also damaging to new relationships.

The Bible, while placing a high value on marriage and Godly relationships, also has quite a bit to say on the subject of being single. In 1 Corinthians 7:7, The Apostle Paul wrote that he wished all men were single as he was and that ‘it is good for a man not to touch a woman’ (1 Cor. 7:1). Even in Biblical times, just like today, sexual temptation was an issue. The very concept of dating is a relatively new one, and didn’t exist in Biblical times. For those striving to maintain sexual purity, modern dating can be a minefield that often opens the door to temptation, especially with two people spending a lot of time alone together.

The greatest challenge that singles face is feeling alone, and even awkward attending new places and events. Single people often feel like the odd man out. It often seems as if churches cater to families and couples more than singles, although the single person represents a significant part of the population. Hopefully this will change. What’s more important than waiting to meet out soul mate, or finding another person to complete us, is embracing the life that we have today. Enjoying the time we have while we’re single to discover who we are. The fact is, not everyone is supposed to be married. Perhaps the reason that many are single is not due to mistakes they’ve made, or doing something wrong, but because they’ve made the right decisions.