By: Rachel Kosakowski
I have no idea what season of life you may find yourself discovering. The beauty of this question is that it doesn’t matter. Whether you are married or single, I want you to take a moment and contemplate what it means to celebrate singleness. Ok, where am I going with this line of thought? Let me begin by sharing a conversation which took place between a group of women at my church.
My friends, both married and single, were discussing a recent Valentine’s Day event the church had put on for the single gals of my church. Since I had not attended the event, I was listening intently to what had taken place. Some of the single ladies were discussing the amazing food and atmosphere, and how they left the evening feeling loved and appreciated. One of the married woman expressed how glad she was that the event was special and asked what had made the night so unique. I remember my single comrades saying how it felt so refreshing to be celebrated for being single. One of the married ladies was a little puzzled and said, “Is that not something that happens often? Don’t you feel special and appreciated from your friends and family?”
I remember leaving the conversation with many phrases echoing in my head and feeling the disconnect between my married friends and myself. When was the last time I had felt celebrated as a single woman? There are birthdays of course, but everyone gets those and they are not unique to any specifies social group. My single friends and I often hang out and love what life has to offer, but we are all single together. When was the last time I was celebrated by a person who was not single? When was the last time I had heard of a church appreciating and intentionally honoring single people?
In case there is confusion, let me give a few examples of what I mean by “feeling celebrated.”
If I am feeling celebrated as a single person, I am experiencing acceptance, appreciation and encouragement, not being treated as a project or constantly being offered suggestions on how to cope with my current season of life. I am seen as a whole person, and people are excited for what I have to offer.
I want to challenge everyone with a few thoughts…..
1. As a single individual, are you thriving or stalling?
No one has any idea what the next year will bring, but you can decide to grab hold of today and experience joy. Is being single always easy?…absolutely not! Every season of life brings its own joys along with its own limitations. What are you waiting for? Start living your life now instead of holding out for another opportunity to experience every aspect of life.
2. Look for ways to fully embrace singleness!
What makes your season of singleness unique? What resources or freedoms do you have right now that you may not have if you were in a relationship or married? Discover who you are as a person and embrace your passions and gifts. You are a whole person…. capable and strong.
3. Do you value singleness or treat it like a participation ribbon?
Have you been celebrating singleness in yourself and others? There is a difference between being single versus celebrating singleness. If we go through life seeing marriage as the ultimate prize, then aren’t we demeaning or at least belittling singleness?
If we treat marriage as first place, then we attach a stigma to other seasons of life, seeing the other seasons as a consolation prize but not the best outcome.
As I reflect on my journey so far, I can’t think of many times I was truly celebrated for my singleness and what my singleness had to offer in life or in my church community. Often, we are grouped in with married couples without children, put in a single group until we find someone to marry, or grouped with other women ministries in church. Don’t miss hear me, these ministries are all amazing and can be very beneficial for the spiritual growth of all involved. However, many times it seems that single people are treated as if they are in a waiting room or as an in-between phase.
But what if singleness is not a phase? What if a single person is waiting for a time which will never come? Are they expected to remain stagnant? Even if they will end up being married or in a relationship, why not utilize all their gifts and passions right now? What if they don’t marry in their 20s? At what age is it acceptable to give them more responsibility, since marriage may not be in their immediate future?
It is time we stop treating singleness as temporary or as a hurdle to overcome.
Seeing yourself as God sees you, means you see your soul and heart. God does not look at someone’s relationship status or gender, he sees a beautiful soul, created in His image. He wants you to help further His kingdom on earth and He wants you, exactly where you are in life, to be active.
So, I ask again… when was the last time you celebrated singleness? Or if this isn’t your life stage, how can you celebrate the singles around you?
Rachel is the owner of disorientedforward.com, a blog created to provide honesty, discovery, and community for young adults. She loves to write, travel, and spend time outside soaking in nature. Originally from South Dakota, she attended school in Iowa and has now made Iowa her home. Rachel works as a Registered Nurse, while persuing her passion for writing and ministry.
See Rachel’s previous post: An Honest Letter to My Married Friends