I don’t know about you, but when you’re single… there are days when all those precious ‘couple’ pictures just get under your skin. I’m just being honest and so is Caitlin Muir in her article in Relevant Magazine:
The Strangest Gift
If singleness is a gift, why does it often feel like a curse?
“Will your husband be joining you?”
The look of surprise was always the same. I had already seen it half a dozen times on my trip—always followed by a quick apology, and something along the lines of: “It’s just so rare for a young woman to be traveling in Puerto Rico alone.”
That had been the concern of my family, friends and co-workers as I set off on a solo trip that was half business and half pleasure into the heart of Puerto Rico. I call it the Taken effect.
“You’ll have to come back on your honeymoon. The island is best with a lover,” was the most common response.
Sweet. Let me put “Get a lover” right on the top of my to-do list.
The sun was dipping low behind the green mountains as I lay in my hammock a few minutes later. It seemed like a thousand sights and sounds were exploding all around me. The sky was a love sonnet from God, etched for the entire world to see … and I was alone.
“God. This sucks,” I prayed, “I know I should be grateful for this adventure, but seriously, can’t I have someone to share it with?”
You know the feeling—that moment when everything is perfect, yet something—someone—is missing. Ninety percent of the time, I’m happy being single and glad for the crazy adventures I’m able to have. But part of me always wishes for an adventure buddy—to have someone else with whom to share the moments and memories.
Growing up in the Church, I’ve heard many people call singleness a gift. These people take words penned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 and try to lay them across the shoulders of depressed singles as encouragement.
Being given the gift of singleness is as appealing and fun as receiving socks for Christmas. It’s one of those “gifts” that make you paste a shadow of a smile on your face while inwardly, you want to punch the giver in the face. Most of us want to give it back.
But then there are the people who cling to the gift, saying that marriage gets in the way of ministry. Suddenly, the “gift of singleness” has become an excuse for people in the ministry to hide behind the fear of commitment, let themselves go or be lazy in their relationships with others.
Both extremes miss the whole picture. Maybe it’s time to take another look at that gift.