Is Singleness A “Workaround”?
We hear the term “workaround” used a lot these days, especially in the information technology world, where the term usually refers to solving some kind of hardware or programming problem. Once the problem is fixed, the workaround is abandoned. Wikipedia defines a workaround as “a temporary fix that implies that a genuine solution to the problem is needed.”
I think a lot of people view singleness that way: a temporary fix, a stopgap measure to use until the “problem” is fixed. Many, including singles themselves, consider singleness a life stage to get through, with marriage as the ultimate “solution”.
Have you ever thought of singleness as a workaround?
If you’re married, you may consider your single friends incomplete or unfinished (maybe even broken). You may have “fixed them up” with other singles in an effort to help them find a date and a mate. (And they may have appreciated it!)
If you’re single, you may have put your life on hold until marriage, even without realizing it, and have begun to wonder if you’re ever going to get to live that life you envisioned. If you’ve been married before, you may be hoping for another chance and you, too, have put yourself in a holding pattern “until”…
Many who are single have found themselves there as the result of a death, a divorce, or a painful breakup that they never anticipated. Whatever the circumstances, singleness need not be a fragile kind of “cobbled together” existence to be merely endured.
Looking at singleness through a New Testament lens gives a whole different perspective to the concept of singleness. Jesus himself chose to be single and used it as a particular opportunity for dedicated service to God in this life. His was a life rich in relationships, meaning, and deep intimacy with God. He challenged others to remain single if they could (Matthew 19:12), and set a perfect example of effective ministry and genuine love for others. He enjoyed a mutual companionship with His Father through prayer and meditation that was fully satisfying.
What if singleness is not just a stage to endure but a status of great significance to embrace with joy? What if singles really can enjoy a deeply satisfying intimacy with Christ and a thrilling experience of the true community He experienced?
Singles can be transformed in their Christian faith now – whether or not they eventually marry – and they are uniquely positioned to play a critical role in God’s overall plan to redeem humanity. That’s no workaround.
What is your perspective on singleness? Is it a limitation or a desirable status with potential for meaningful service?
How can we as Christ followers think “outside the box” about singleness?
What are some stereotypes that stand in the way and how can we rethink them?