Kaycee Lynn Pancake
I attended a sermon this morning about Adam and Eve. It was a great sermon that covered a lot of ground, from the physical location of Eden to God’s design for marriage. The pastor covered sexuality and gender identity in a graceful and loving but truthful and God-honoring way, which takes a lot of integrity and courage in our current culture.
Close to the end though, I realized something, and I jotted it down and tipped my notebook toward my husband.
“He needs to say something to singles.”
My husband had volunteered during first service, and so this was his second time hearing the material. He leaned down and whispered, “He isn’t going to.”
Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great sermon. I also know that sometimes there just isn’t enough time to speak to every single demographic in every single sermon. And this post isn't just to sit here and be critical or anything. I just have to tell you that my heart broke a bit.
Had I listened to this sermon five years ago, I would have heard about how men and women were created to compliment and complete each other as I sat there aching and alone and wondered how I was supposed to live a complete and abundant life if God designed me as a woman for marriage to a man but I couldn’t get a single date. I would’ve gone quietly home in unseen tears wondering what was wrong with me, what was the point of my femininity, why wasn’t I “woman enough” to be a man’s helper, ezer kenegdo?
The Church has come a long way in what and how they teach on marriage and intimacy—I hear more and more pastors and teachers discuss sex as a beautiful thing that God designed instead of a taboo issue that is best handled in discouraging euphemisms. But one thing we haven’t started working on nearly enough is acknowledging our singles.
I noticed this first-hand as a single myself. I covered online dating, an eating disorder, pining away at college trying to get my MRS, and ultimately landing on militant independence along with every territory in between in the six years between my ex boyfriend and my now husband. The relationships I had in campus ministry were absolutely invaluable during that chapter, but the Church didn’t seem to know how to talk to me. Women’s ministry was for wives and mothers, not me. Christian radio stations harped on being “family friendly,” but I was in the car alone every time I heard it. And I sat through God knows how many sermons on marriage but not a single one on being… well, single.
For a little bit, I started to wonder if maybe I was “doomed” to be single to maybe be an advocate for other singles, to teach the Church what we as singles really needed. But when I got married, I kind of released that idea. Why? Because I knew that what singles DON’T need from the Church is a bunch of married people saying “Aww, I know it’s hard, hang in there, you’ll find someone someday!” Singles don’t need married people trying to preach to them “from the other side” as if everyone somehow magically arrives in a romantic relationship so long as they keep it in their pants until their wedding day. I didn’t want to be a condescending voice announcing, “I have arrived! Now let me pass my knowledge to you, young one.” Heck, I know a lot of single people older than me anyway.
But man, as I sat there wondering how many singles were going to leave that sanctuary alone this morning with tears that nobody would even see, my heart still hurt.
If you are single, you are enough. If you are single, you still carry meaning. If you are single, God still has a complete and abundant plan for your life. It doesn’t matter if you are going to be single for the rest of your life or if you’re going to meet a future spouse tomorrow: God adores you, is proud of you, and has things for you to do that ONLY YOU can do. Draw as close to Him as you possibly can, chase that plan of His as hard as you can, and lean on friends and family as much as you need to. You don’t need to be married before you can be complete. God has a finished roadmap for you, He just likes to stick to showing us one step at a time. That’s why this terrifying and courageous adventure for us is called faith. But you don’t have to arrive at the rendezvous with your mate before you can be everything God made you to be.
God made you to be you right now, and He thinks you are awesome. He loves the many and special ways that you reflect His image, He loves to see you find unique and creative ways to serve Him, and He loves to be in relationship with you. I don’t want to get redundant here, but can I say it one more time?
God made you to be you right now, and He thinks you are awesome.