I'm not entirely sure when the questions stopped, but at some point they did. For years I would come home from college or from living far away and would encounter well-meaning family and friends who would ask the inevitable, “So, are you seeing anyone?” When I would shake my head, a follow-up would soon come: “Well, you've got plenty of time. Don't worry about it.”
But then I realized people stopped asking the question.
If I had things my way, I would be married by now. I would have a whole passel of children, probably a dog or two, and my life would be utter chaos. Glorious, beautiful, sacrificial chaos. Much to my dismay, the Lord didn't ordain my twenties to be full of those things. To the church I can seem selfish and foolish as I shirk the responsibilities of a family to travel and explore my own interests. To secular society I can seem pretty crazy—instead of embracing my freedom I can only long for the family I don’t have.
Singled Out in Church
Now, keep in mind I'm only 28. According to an article in the Huffington Post, I’m just slightly older than the average age most women marry for the first time. But somehow in the church I'm viewed as two cats short of spinsterhood, at least this is the impression I get every time I sneak into the end of a pew.
I know the stigma that singles have in the church because I used to encourage it. When I was a young 20something, I vividly remember labeling a group as “single for a reason, not single for a season.” But now, as a single adult who is neither desperate nor broken beyond repair, it frustrates me to think I might be written off into either of those categories. Sometimes there’s just not a reason.1