Why Singleness Is a Lot Like Green Beans

Remember when you were a kid and your parents would get frustrated with you because you wouldn’t eat your vegetables? Your mom would try to convince you that they were good for you (as if that were a compelling reason for a 9-year old to eat something like green beans). Finally, in a fit of exasperation your dad would boom, “You will EAT them and you will LIKE them or you won’t be allowed to (fill in the blank)!”

I think that’s when I first got really good at passive aggressiveness. Okay, I would eat them, but he could NOT make me like them!

Yes, I know, some kids were crazy about green beans, but I wasn’t one of them. It took a while for me to find something about them that could get me past their taste and texture to actually choose them as part of my diet. Certainly, my taste buds had to mature; but more important, I had to mature enough to see the big picture: that my health was key to my happiness.

My mother was right; those green beans were loaded with nutrients that made them good for me and that was reason enough for me to eat them and eventually come to like them. Now they bring back memories of Thanksgiving casseroles and the particular warmth and aroma of my Grandmother’s kitchen (especially if you throw in some cream of mushroom soup and a can of those fried onions).

Singleness can hit us the same way. Maybe deep down we know being single could be the best thing for us right now. We may have some work to do on ourselves before we have any business being in another relationship. We may even know that singleness could actually be a wise choice for our long-term happiness.

Fine. But darn if we’re going to like it!

We stamp our foot (figuratively, of course) and refuse to consider that God may have something important to teach us during this season and that it could actually turn out to be a time of unparalleled spiritual growth and emotional healing. We don’t want to approach singleness with a sense of expectation and humility; we just want to be in a relationship!

Turns out, green beans won’t kill you. They might even make you healthier, if you make them a regular part of your diet. (And go easy on the cream of mushroom soup and fried onions!)

I’m pretty sure singleness won’t kill you either. You could even find something about this season to like, as you look at the big picture and choose to trust that God will use your present to form your future.

Now. About Brussels sprouts . . .

About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

2 thoughts on “Why Singleness Is a Lot Like Green Beans”

  1. Perhaps too many people rush for that special someone as a life-preserver in the ocean of the trouble in their lives. Agreed. Best to get yourself taken care of first. The problem with me and some of my friends is: we get used to being single. And yet people need people. Such a complicated world.

    1. Great observation, David. Rushing for someone else as a life preserver can take both down, as we know. I’m intrigued by your statement that “getting used to being single” is a problem for you and your friends. Why is that? Do you start to feel like you couldn’t adjust to another person (the “set in your ways” stereotype)? Do you just really enjoy the solitude? I’m curious. Thanks for commenting.

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