I’ve got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle,
As I go riding merrily along.
And they sing “oh ain’t you glad you’re single”,
And that song ain’t so very far from wrong.
It’s an old Western song with a catchy tune and I was singing along with my younger siblings when the meaning of the words struck me.
Ain’t you glad you’re single?
Well no … as a matter of fact, I ain’t! I’d rather be married, thank you very much!
What a stupid song! was the thought that went through my mind!
Getting married and having a family of my own has been my greatest desire for as long I can remember. I always wanted to get married young … you know, like at 16 or 17. And as the years go by and my age nears that quarter of a century, I have to fight impatience and discontent. I have to keep reminding myself that the Heavenly Father’s timing is perfect and I don’t want to step outside of it one little bit.
But glad to be single??? No way!
Then several thoughts came to mind, thoughts that inspired this post. I thought of the many Scriptures that command us to be glad and rejoice. I thought of Pollyanna and her “glad game” … finding something to be glad about in every circumstance. And I thought of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:34 – “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.“
To be honest, caring for how I may please my husband sounds pretty good to me right now! I do believe there is a part of my carnal self that thinks that would be more enjoyable than caring for how to please my Savior. Perhaps some others can relate!
But I think that’s where many of us miss a lot during this time of life … we’re too busy wishing for what we don’t have, that our focus isn’t on being holy in body and spirit and pleasing our Lord.
So with those thoughts in mind, I wondered to myself … can I really say that I’m glad I’m single? I’m not quite sure yet but I will admit there are many aspects of singlehood that I can be glad about. Here are a few:
- Living at home – This is huge! I love my family and our home. I love the feeling that comes to me when I pull into the driveway after being out and about … that deep sigh of relief … I’m home! Although I do consider myself an introvert, I cannot even imagine living by myself – that would be so lonely!
- Caring for the things of the Lord – Like Paul said, the unmarried years are a period of life in which we have more time to focus on the spiritual things. That may mean that we can spend a large portion of the day studying the Bible, because we don’t have the responsibilities of a house and family to care for. Or we can fast and pray for an extended of period of time, without worrying about keeping our families fed, or being so drained that we can’t properly care for them. This can also take on physical aspect, as we are free to volunteer our time and talents to reach out to others, in ways we may not be able to once we’re married.
- Traveling as a family – Several weeks ago we all traveled together to visit some friends who live several hours away, and we had such a wonderful day. We sang songs together on the drive … we took some time to walk around and play at the Ocoee river … we stopped for ice cream at a quaint shop in Chattanooga … we went into Publix for a few groceries and were stopped by an older gentleman who wanted to know about the way we practice our faith … in short, we talked and simply enjoyed our time together.
- Running a successful home business – Our puppy business, Happy Hill Pups, keeps me on my toes 24/6 (I don’t say 24/7 because I do take a break on Sabbath!) Granted, some times are slower and some are busier but overall, I (and my family members) invest a lot of time in keeping this family business going. I am thankful for the opportunities, the things I’ve learned through it, the income that I’ve earned … but I know it wouldn’t be practical to continue my role in this business once I’m married. Of course, I hope to still have my several dogs and raise puppies with them but it cannot be the focus of my day-in day-out life.
- Sleeping through the night – Ok, you might laugh at this one but I’m serious! When I think of marriage, I think of motherhood as being synonymous with that. I know that for some people this isn’t the case and my heart goes out to them. It is my prayer though that I will be blessed with many children. And mothers don’t get to sleep through the night much of the time … at least, that’s what I’ve heard! So for right now, I can be glad to take advantage of sleep!
- Shining Stars – I started the magazine eight years ago to encourage unmarried young ladies. I have been so blessed and encouraged and strengthened over the years and have met so many wonderful young ladies. But, similar to the business, the magazine ministry demands a lot of my time. Being single right now, I can invest that time into it. Once I’m married, I will need to invest that time into my home and family.
- Singing in the kitchen – One night several weeks ago, the kitchen needed to be cleaned up and no one felt much like doing it! Lydia and I ended up volunteering, a little grudgingly and without the most pleasant attitudes at first. Things threatened to be kind of unpleasant for a little bit but after we had apologized and made things right with each other, she suggested that we sing while we worked. We sang song after song and had such an enjoyable time doing it! Once I’m married, I have a feeling my opportunities for washing dishes and singing with Lydia are going to be few and far between.
- Writing letters to my husband without knowing who he is – Do any of you unmarried young ladies write letters to your husband? I started doing this several years ago, and unfortunately I don’t do it as often as I would like, but one of the things I love about it is being able to write without knowing who he is! If I knew who he was and what his personality was like, I would tend to taylor my writing to fit what he might expect. This way, I can express myself honestly, without any hesitations or questions in my mind about his reaction.
- Traveling to Israel with Abba and Tommy. When you’re reading this, I will be spending four weeks in Israel with my father and brother. While I am sorry that the whole family cannot go along on this trip, I am very thankful for this experience. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to travel Israel with my husband, but I am very excited about going with my father and brother … something that wouldn’t have happened if I was already married.
Disclaimer: I wouldn’t want anyone to misunderstand what I have said and take it to mean that being single is better than being married, or that one should wait to get married until one has experienced a long time period as a single. I believe that being a wife and mother is the absolute best and highest calling a woman can have and it makes me so sad that women refuse to fulfill this role. However I do see the flip side and recognize that many young ladies cultivate such a longing to get married that it causes damage in their spiritual lives, and that is the group to whom I am writing this post. As in all things, balance is the key!
What do you think …
If you’re unmarried, what are some reasons that you can be glad about that relationship status?
If you are married, what are some of the positive aspects of singlehood that you enjoyed, or could look back and appreciate later on?