I’m alone and and approaching 30. I’m a single 28-year-old who doesn’t date and attends church in the midst of younger married couples. And ever since my mid 20s, I’ve gotten hit by questions such as, “Well … when are you getting yourself a boyfriend?”
I do dives to avoid these types of questions like Neo dodging bullets inside a you-are-single-and-must-be-miserable Matrix of Christian making. And it’s getting to me.
I can tell you when and how it got to me. When and how I became fully aware of the Matrix. At one point in my life, I had realized something was awry in everyone’s obsession over whether or not I was in a relationship… yet this didn’t prepare me for that particular Sunday, two years ago (I was 26, about to turn 27). The Sunday when Emy got up and proudly announced to the congregation that a single-ladies meeting would be held.
Oh great, I thought to myself, it can’t do any harm.
“For ages 25 and up,” Emy finished her sentence beaming proudly.
“What?” I longed for a bigger hand to scratch my head.
Twenty-five and up. So at 26 I very well could be regarded as going towards Old Maid. But wait a minute… was that right, or did it not rub “singlehood” in your face? Actually what of my first thought? Was it even fair to picture women in their late 30s as old maids…? Hmm…
I made up my mind, then and there, that I would not go. The whole idea bothered me. But one of the girls behind the event was a friend. And she made me do it.
Boy, did I regret it. I won’t go into details regarding the rather cheesy games that we were forced to play, or the look of despair in some of those eyes, worsened by the nature of the meeting… After all, we were failures of a sort. Unmarried women.
Was this really necessary? And how did this single woman meeting come about in the first place? On the assumption that at a certain age you should settle down and if you don’t on another assumption that you must be miserable and in need of a meeting? And what are the consequences of this pressure?
Dating anything that moves to find out if he is in fact, wedding material? Or even worse, as time goes by and the possibility of meeting someone becomes farther away in the horizon, are we not tempted to wed the first one who shows interest?
Believer or not. Who cares? We’re not getting any younger. And we have now become part of the unspoken assumption of the Christian realm that we as women, must find a husband at all costs. Before we’re 30 because it’s not right to be alone past a certain age. And if we are still alone it is because (tacitly) there must be something wrong with us. We drive men away.
So we wed … then it turns out that our husband wasn’t the best choice because we refused to wait for God’s perfect will. We thought He had abandoned us. And we suffer.
Does God not say that He knows just how many hairs we all have on our heads? Does He not give good gifts to His children? Ephesians says that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, the Psalms say that He knows the desires of our hearts. So why does the Christian realm put pressure on us to wed soon, thus making us miserable? And are we miserable because we are alone or because of this pressure?
Instead of turning red and smiling, why not say, “I’m waiting for that special man that God has in store.” Because the fact is, God holds it all in the palm of His hand. I, for one, don’t believe in dating five or six people until you find that one person. Maybe it’s just me. And I refuse to settle for second best, to wed out of loneliness or to casually date because at least I can say I have a boyfriend or that someone is, in fact, interested in me … which seems to make me more valuable in the eyes of the rest.
The Bible says three things I cherish:
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Gen. 2:18)
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14)
It’s okay to want to get married. It’s okay to want someone. It is in fact, human nature. It’s okay to pray to God regarding a spouse and it most certainly is okay to wait for God’s perfect timing. What is not okay is to despair to feel self-pity to be made heavy by the load of doubt and to go off on a dating rampage.
I’ve made it a point to say I wait for God’s perfect will and not suffer anymore. I’ve made it my business to have faith and trust in the One who makes all things possible.
Including a Christian husband.
And I’ve stopped going to single ladies’ meetings.