Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Blessing of Being Single

Sophie and Shirley, two elderly widows in a Florida adult community, are curious about the latest arrival in their building -- a quiet, nice looking gentleman who keeps to himself.

Shirley says," Sophie, you know I'm shy. Why don't you go over to him at the pool and find out a little about him. He looks so lonely."

Sophie agrees, and later that day at the pool, she walks up to him and says, "Excuse me, mister. I hope I'm not prying, but my friend and I were wondering why you looked so lonely."

"Of course I'm lonely, he says, "I've spent the past 20 years in prison."

"You're kidding! What for?"

"For killing my third wife. I strangled her."

"What happened to your second wife?"

"I shot her."

"And, if I may ask, your first wife?"

"We had a fight and she fell off a building."

"Oh my," says Sophie. Then turning to her friend on the other side of the pool, she yells, "Yoo hoo, Shirley. He's single!"

It worries me when I see single people overly anxious to find a mate. Perhaps, though, we have contributed to the situation by treating singleness like it's some sort of disease. Singles often comment that they feel out of place at church (activities tend to be family-oriented) and feel they are sometimes regarded as less important than married people. While marriage is a God-ordained institution, I think we do a disservice by suggesting that singles are somehow "incomplete" until they find that "certain someone."

The truth is, while Paul held marriage in high regard (Eph. 5), he preferred being single and recommended it to Christians at Corinth in the difficult situation they were facing (I Cor. 7). Single Christians have the opportunity to serve God in ways that married Christians would have difficulty doing. Of course, the opposite is also true.

So what is the lesson to be learned? Whatever situation you find yourself in, seek to serve God with all your heart. If you are single, use your singleness to serve God as best as you can. And if you're married, use your married status to do the same.

"But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk.....keeping the commandments of God is what matters." (I Cor. 7:17,19b)


  1. I found this one very appropriate as I am divorced. I am older and find myself to be a kind of third wheel in certain situations.

    I have learned to avoid a lot of social situations because of my status and to substitute others. Of course it can work the other way around and usually does -- any attempt on my part to engage the opposite sex in any kind of a meaningful dialogue has implications far beyond just idle talk.

    Too bad, because we all need to communicate and the need does not seemingly diminish with age. My outlet for this has been the Internet and chat, but it still lacks something in substance.

  2. I found myself single at the age of 51 when my husband died of cancer after 31 years of marriage. It has been almost six years now and I am having difficulty adjusting to being alone. I can identify somewhat with the women in the article, although I don't feel quite that despartate! I have met some men through dating services, including a Christian one, and the internet, but it is so hard to connect with anyone. I do stay busy with outreach programs which helps, and I lean on God and my faith for strength. I feel somewhat like a third wheel in social situations, but more than that I envy those who still have what I lost. I know God has a plan for me and a purpose. So I pray and try to be patient. I hope He is pleased. I am trying to lead a Christian life.