A false alarm caused me to start preparing a presentation for a singles’ seminar this past month. As is usually the case when I prepare any presentation, it seemed the preparations benefited me more than they could have anyone else! The seminar didn’t end up happening, but I made so many discoveries that I have decided to continue my research…
For starters – I discovered, I’d say, three, classes of singles out there:
The first is the one we like to assume every single belongs to; I call it the “Not-Yet-Married” singles. Up to the age of about 35, for girls and probably close to 40 for guys, those in this group are still optimistic about the probability of marriage for them. There are so many dynamics to be considered within this group, but in general, presentations made to this class focus on preparation for marriage – “how to become the woman that the man you want would want to marry” type presentations…
The next is one I call the “Once-Married” singles. This class could be split into two:
1. The divorced
2. The widowed
Of course these two subgroups have similarities and differences which I have no capacity to comment on at the moment. Elisabeth Elliot in her book, “The Path of Loneliness” speaks from the widow’s perspective – very insightful and many points marrieds and singles alike can relate to!
The final class, and the one of greatest interest to me, is the “Never-Married” singles. These are way past traditionally marriageable age. Everyone around them has given up on the notion of them ever getting hitched. And, more importantly, they are coming to terms with that as a very real possibility for them as well.
Within the “Never-Married” singles (NM singles): Revised
Category 1 is those who are inclined to being single – they have no desire to marry, whatsoever (I think there are very few of these in the world);
Category 2 is those who have chosen to be single in order to accomplish goals they deem greater and;
Category 3 is those who are stuck with that life in spite of themselves – they want to be married but it just never works out.
Most singles fall into categories 2 and 3. Many Christian singles, I’d say off the bat, fall into Category 2 – that is, they choose rather to remain single than to compromise their relationship with God. This is the group I am most interested in.
So, it’s intimidating to even begin writing on this subject for several reasons:
1. I’m not sure I qualify for the NM single status quite yet (although, by Zimbabwean standards, I’m pretty close…)
2. Regardless, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to qualify -_-
3. And what if I get disqualified from NM status altogether before I’ve reached any worthwhile conclusions – wouldn’t that be embarrassing!
And yet, the things I have been learning in my research compel me to share. Blogging about it will help me organize my thoughts on the matter. And maybe it will help somebody else who is a category 2 NM single.
Oh, and finally, I will, of course, be writing from a woman’s perspective because I am a woman. In fact, I haven’t seen a lot of literature on singleness from a male perspective! Probably because most category 2 NM singles in the church are women…
Ps: Thanks for the suggestion Jo! Here’s a flow-chart to summarize:
Classification of singles