Years ago, I was in a church which put terrific pressure on young people to marry as soon as possible and treated long-term singles as 'failures'.  I was finding it really difficult to deal with, as I felt this was really unbiblical, but at the same time, I felt like a rebel for standing up for spinsterhood!  An elderly spinster who had been my grandmother's best friend asked me if I was 'dating'.  When I said no, she looked me straight in the eye and said 'Never marry until you meet someone worth giving up your singleness for'.  I found this so inspiring and encouraging.  Single people have great freedom to serve the Lord; we should cherish it and value it, not apologise for it!

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  • Love what your spinster friend said, Philippa!  Like Tim, I've received loads of advice for many years, most of which was well-intentioned if ultimately not very helpful.  Personally, I think the assumption that people make, i.e., "everyone (or most) will marry" is probably the single biggest stumbling block that leads folks to want to give advice to the unmarried.  Anyway, back to the question you asked; I once had a conversation with a colleague and asked her if she was looking forward to finding someone and getting married.  Her response was perhaps the most helpful one I'd heard:  "There's more to life than that!"  It made me think and realize that despite the fact that I was still unmarried, I'd fallen into the same stronghold of thinking that single people need a significant other in order to be complete.  Won't make that mistake again! 

    • Good one Belinda, I find most people cannot believe that I wouldn't want to be married.  The think I must be in denial!  I always tell people I'm far too busy getting on with God wants me to do.

    • I love your friend's response!  People usually ask me if I have 'found a husband' yet - I usually reply 'You must be mistaking me for someone else - I haven't lost one' which completely throws them!!!

  • I've found most people's advice unhelpful and unsympathetic.  The best advice I got was from Barry Danylak's book 'Redeeming Singleness' in which he expounds a thorough biblical theology of singleness.  It was so affirming!

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