D R . E L R O I


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Staying Single – A Choice or A Calling?

“People are always in a rush for everything that’s why perhaps we are called the human race. But when you finally realized that you are in the right place and at the right time, things get to slow down and you start living your life while enjoying each moment.” – From the movie, The Switch

The movie where the lines above I quoted from is not about singleness. In fact, it is about settling down with your best friend after an interestingly chaotic journey. However, the great lesson I got from the story is the reality of these lines as a single person.

Some, if not most people think that if a person is single, either they are not happy or incomplete. Women suffer this kind of stigma the most. For this reason, some women make desperate moves if not pathetic, just to avoid these labels. Well, I knew a few who actually did. Nonetheless, they are happy now and enjoying their married life. However, deep down inside, it is truly more than this stigma, but the curse of being “single and lonely.” For men, if you were still single in your late thirties or forties, people would assume that you are gay in the closet. That is usually the untenable judgment. Oh, and there is another thing that single people have to deal with. There is the endless question from one person to another of “why, how, and the epic, when.” Not to mention the idea or dream of having a family or children. All these realities in our culture and some I have not mentioned affect the single men and women differently. It could be positively or negatively but mostly the latter.

Whether we like it or not, our society largely conforms to the concept of getting married and creating your own family as the ultimate goal in life that would surely make one happy and satisfied in life. I guess not anymore. Failed marriages, suffering children out of divorced parents, and broken families somehow contradict that idea. And unfortunately, they are all over the place. Thus, we need to recalibrate this kind of perception about singleness. Not every man or woman, whether they have chosen to stay single or viewed it as a calling, are not happy or living a miserable life. There are a quite number of men and women out there who are single and yet able to live a life with enough amounts of joy and contentment. “Is that even possible?” if you may ask. The truth is, yes it is indeed possible.

When a person finally realized that he or she is in the right place and at the right time, he or she starts living a life while enjoying each moment. When I say “each moment”, it means finding joy not only in good times but also in tough times as well. How? “Pursuing Christ and the path He has placed before us today will not leave us wanting” (Johnson, 2016), but only wishing or requesting. And whether these wishes or prayer requests are granted or not, we remain hopeful and yet contented at the same time!

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6: 33, ESV).” At first, I thought these words of God were easy. However, when I finally realized and truly understood what it means, through nurturing my relationship with Him, that inner peace, joy, and contentment in life no matter what, is something I have never imagined I could possibly have! For a number of years now, I actually did. The Lord may or may not bless us with the things we’ve been asking for. But even if He does not, “what he has chosen to give us is His best for us, at least for today. If we are in Christ, nothing can compare to what He has already given and the grace He pours over us daily” (Johnson, 2016).

Staying single may or may not be a calling or even a choice for me and for every single men and women out there. Only God and His time will tell.  And “when we embrace this reality, choosing to trust He will give us everything He has ordained, we can receive the fullness of joy as we count all the ways He has given us His best today.” (Johnson, 2016)