Christian Men Are Single Too
Valentine’s Day (cheekily called Singleness awareness day in some circles) can be a difficult time for many singles out there. At Proverbs31, we recognize that in as much as people are struggling with singleness, it truly is a gift. It may be a gift for merely a season, or a gift for a lifetime. Either way, it is an experience the Lord continuously uses to draw His children closer to Him – if they let Him.
As part of the singleness awareness day we’ve done a few interviews with men and women at various stages in their lives to find out how they are experiencing singleness; we hope their lives encourage you.
Singleness in your 30s
Brother K, 30 something year old male from Botswana
- Do you enjoy being single?
Yes I do! It provides me with freedom to read Christian literature, and mature in Christ without having the responsibility of a family. And it gives me an opportunity to love Christ with an undivided heart.
- At what age would you like (would have liked) to be married?
I have grown up with a single-hood mentality and I have never regretted this path which my friends and I call “the path of thorns and thistles”. I have never viewed it as something that I should jump from to something much better and glorious. However, I would like to get married a few years from now.
- What are your greatest challenges faced as a result of being single…and Christian?
I have been seen as a “special need category person” based on my status. That is to say, because I’m single, I need extra attention, on the grounds that I might fall into sin. I think this is based on a false hypothesis, which argues that most of the people who fall into sin are singles in church, even though research shows that most of the people who fall into scandalous sin in ministry are married people.
The second challenge is that most people believe that singles are lonely. Since people have this kind of thought, they tend to think that I need a kind of “puppy love”.
The third challenge is the view that I’m not sanctified since I’m not married. This view is based on a false assumption which states that marriage is the best instrument of sanctification. I, however, argue that this view is based on a false premise; God uses different means to sanctify His people.
- Has the fact that you are still single affected how your view your ‘beauty’ and worth?
Not at all, but singleness has helped me not to view myself through the lens of other people’s perspective. It has aided me to see myself as a unique creature created in God’s image. And that my worth does not rest on the affirmation of a companion but on Christ’s finished work on the cross of Calvary. This has grounded me and helped me avert an identity crisis, which I assume that people who are married can struggle with, because their worth sometimes rests on the affirmation of a spouse.
- How does singleness look different in your 30s than it did your 20s?
I would say that while singleness is the same whether one is in their 20s or 30s, the dynamics which come with each age group are different. Singleness in your 20s is not a big deal because you assume that you still have time. Singleness in in your 30s, however, has some social pressures which push you to look for a spouse. This is based on the fact that you think time is running out! Sadly, this thinking can also lead you to make some wrong choices.
- If you were to never marry, how would that change how you live now?
I think it would not change the way I live now. But, I would intensify my service for God more, read more and write more.
- There’s almost a ‘shame’ stigma attached to being single – have you experienced this and how have you overcome it?
One of the “shame stigmas” which I experience as a single man is that whenever I talk to a member of the opposite gender, there is an assumption that I’m pursuing them. I’m seen as being on a “ladies hunting trip”. It is difficult to deal with this issue since it is imposed by people on me.
Secondly, when I meet believers, their first concern is not for my spiritual well-being, but for my single status. Therefore, there is a social stigma, which is associated with singleness not only in the society, but also in the church. I have tried to inform my friends that my greatest need in my life is not my marriage status, but a spiritual rightness with Christ. Ask me about my walk with Christ and how I flesh out that relationship in the everyday nuances of my life.
- If you could advise your younger self with regards to relationships – what would you say?
The first thing I would talk to young Brother K about is the importance of guarding his heart. This is to say that he should not give the wrong impression to members of the opposite gender if he has no desire to marry them. If you don’t have a picture of her being your wife, it is not right for you to keep on interacting with her.
As an ode to Valentine’s Day, we’d like to encourage you to make the most of your singleness. Know that you are not alone, and that in every season of singleness, God provides enough grace to see you through. We serve a God who delights to give good gifts to His children. A Father who will not give you a stone when you ask for bread, but a Father who always gives what is best for His children (Matt 7: 9 -11). You desire to get married? Good. But don’t miss out on the beauty of this season while pining for a future spouse. Thank the Lord this good gift and enjoy it!