3/12/2012

Struggling with Struggling

Follow-up post here.

Subtitled: Young Christian Women and the "Struggle With Singleness." Written in all seriousness with my tongue firmly in my cheek.

Now here is something that always worries me when I try to talk about it...because I talk about it so badly. I don't want to point fingers, or make things overly emotional, or cause any undue distress. In the past I've been terribly misunderstood about this, and my reaction was to be blunt in an attempt to make my perspective as plain as possible. Over and over again this has only turned out, of course, to be unkind of me. Sometimes taking a hammer to drive home your point is simply not a good idea (especially with women!).

This topic keeps popping up, sometimes within the same week -- it's time to write the post and just ask in all gentleness and kindness: am I missing something here?

Here is the issue: I am finding more and more that the Christian girl from about, oh, nineteen or so starts to panic about finding a husband. This is especially true if her age mates have husbands. This girl -- and in my experience she isn't always nineteen, but sometimes twenty-three, or twenty-four, or twenty-five -- starts to go to singles events, owns some literature on the subject, and soon has a group of other single friends to buoy each other up as they "struggle" through their time of "being single" (Not my words).


Now, this is where I have a problem: how is singleness for young women a struggle? Note, I'm not talking about the prolonged singleness of an older woman (I don't know, I suppose one can start to wonder when one's thirtieth birthday is around the corner but even then -- okay, I won't talk about that right now).

This is where I get splinters for going against the grain. Ouch. Where girls will cluster around each other and say sweet things, give comforting hugs, and all in all try to be encouraging to their fellow single girl -- I, well, in comparison my comforting hugs and encouraging words appear less enthusiastic. Certainly, I pray only the best for her, but I don't think we should give her sympathy. She's nineteen! Or, okay, maybe she's twenty-three! What on earth is she talking about?

Look at it this way: let's say a married woman is struggling with being a wife (and the fault does not lie with her husband. This is her struggle). Do her friends say things like, "that's okay, it will all get better soon..." and then leave it at that? Of course not. Something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Somehow, the root of the problem is sin and it needs to be confessed -- not pitied or encouraged.

So that's what bugs me. Giving comfort and encouragement to married and single women is great -- but for some reason we recognize that there's something not quite right in the married situation and yet we wallow in the "struggle with singleness."

I'm unsure what the general problem is with young girls and their "struggle" with singleness. The reason has varied each time I've inquired. One time it was "all my friends are married," another time it was "I simply long to be married. I'm tired of waiting." Shouldn't we raise our eyebrows at this...you're unhappy because you're the last single girl of your social group? You're unhappy because you're not married right now? You're tired of waiting (you're nineteen! ((twenty! twenty-one! twenty-two! twenty-three! twenty-four!))?
The Single Girl Quilt Pattern
Yeah....waaahaaay too much
time on your hands....


So, I'm struggling with this idea of "struggling." I truly believe it's a ruse, a blind -- a distraction from whatever it is that's going on. Here's a good question for this kind of girl: are you married right now? Obviously not. Okay, then, so what is it that God has given you to do right now? Do it. Do it to the point that you don't have time to browse the singles shelf at Barnes & Noble. Do it to the point that you fall asleep from exhaustion. Do it to the point that you bless everyone, not just your age mates. Befriend those older singles, they will bless you. Stay friends with your married friends, they will bless you too. There's so much work to be done! Go forth -- God will bless you richly.

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