Single On Saturday

Waiting For Boaz

It’s Saturday, and I’m single.

Ok, last week a friend of mine questioned me on this, knowing I’m still legally married. It got me thinking about what being single means TO ME, because we all have different definitions.

For some people it is a legal status. Married, or single. Even if you’re in a long-term, exclusive, committed relationship, you’re still legally single. Even if you have been separated for years and don’t even speak to each other, you’re still married.

For some people, it is a dating status. Either you’re either in a long-term, exclusive, committed relationship, or you’re “on the market” (even if you’re casually dating).

For some people, being single is a “sentence” of loneliness handed down by fate, circumstances, God, or that last jerk you were dating, or a license to be a “playa.”

For me, being single on Saturday means I’m in a long-term, exclusive, committed relationship with myself. Being single means being committed to NOT be involved in a romantic relationship. At least for the time being, until otherwise directed by God.

What a different take, willingly choosing and committing to being single. Our whole culture is geared toward getting out of the “single” status, no matter how we define it. Successful and “single” are rarely thought of together, except perhaps when we cast judgment on the man or woman who sacrificed the joys of marriage and family for career and success. You don’t see many single people being elected to public office. Sometimes our judgment comes out as pity – “What a shame So-And-So never found someone; she must be so lonely.” Or worse, “He must be afraid of commitment.” If I had a dime for every time I heard that one. Since when has having standards been synonymous  with  being afraid to commit? I’d  be afraid to commit to some of the flakes out there too, for good reason! With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, perhaps it behooves some people to be a bit more afraid of commitment, yours truly included.

Being single on Saturday means waiting for Boaz.

If you don’t know what that means, read the Book of Ruth. It’s in the Bible, in the Old Testament. It’s about this foreign woman named Ruth whose Hebrew husband dies, so she goes with her Jewish mother-in-law back to Hebrew land instead of staying with her people and finding a new husband from one of her own kind. She takes a leap of faith and abandons the safety and security of her native home and family,  journeying with an old, destitute woman to a strange land where they have to beg for food. Widows were the lowest of the low, having absolutely no power at all in society due to their lack of husbands. Luckily for Ruth, the Hebrew culture permits the poor to glean in the fields after the harvest, so she goes to glean and, still a beautiful young woman, she catches the eye of none other than the field’s owner, Boaz. He is a good and kind man and also a relative of her dead husband, so by Jewish law, he is obligated to marry her to produce heirs for his dead cousin . Boaz marries Ruth, who becomes one of the ancestors of King David and Joseph the Carpenter, the earthly foster father of Jesus – all because she delayed gratification. Ruth chose to be single, on Saturday and every other day, until God gave her to a hand-picked spouse at just the right time.

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5 thoughts on “Waiting For Boaz”

  1. I like the way you think, Christy. Unfortunately after my divorce I did not wait for Boaz. Luckily he found me. In my mind I am still single but in a long term, committed, long distance relationship. Loving life!

  2. You know Liz, most folks tell me that “he’ll show up with you stop looking.” Or, when I least expect it. Most people assume that will be a long time from now, but God’s timing can surprise us by being sooner than we expected too. As for me, this is the first time in my life that I have “stopped looking” and just focused on me. Which is why for the first time in my life I consider myself “single.” I’ve been technically single before, but I was always looking.

  3. Why not be “legally” divorced before waiting on a Boaz? I’m sure he’ll appreciate your clean break from the current ties to your husband. Why is waiting on Boaz on a Saturday or any other day, even on the radar? Get divorced first. Just my opinion.

  4. Ty, I really appreciate your comment, and prior to actually experiencing the journey of discerning divorce myself, I’d have said the exact same thing. What I’ve since discovered is that there are MANY ways other people define “single,” which was kind of the whole point of my post. If I wanted to be really rigid in my thinking, getting a “legal” divorce wouldn’t be enough, because my Catholic faith doesn’t recognize “legal” divorce as an end to marriage. I’d have to wait for an annulment before waiting for Boaz. I personally believe there is a HUGE difference between “single” and “available.”

    I define “singleness” for myself as “being committed to NOT be involved in a romantic relationship.” That commitment applies regardless of my legal status. That’s the whole point of being separated, whether it’s a separation intended to lead toward divorce, or a separation intended to give one or both partners a chance to become more healthy as individuals who are fully capable of giving themselves to each other in the Sacrament of Marriage. Boaz could very well be the man to whom I am currently legally joined (although that would surprise the heck out of both of us!).

    Additionally, the laws regarding divorce vary from state to state, making it more or less difficult to get the “legal” status. Financial considerations can also come into play. There are many people who choose to stay legally married to their partner because they can’t afford lawyers, or need the health insurance. They live in separate households, live completely separate lives, may not even be in the same town, state or country. Is it right for them to consider themselves “married” if they are not actually living in marriage? That would be reducing marriage to a piece of paper, or to the actions of the people on the single day they made a promise (maybe a bad promise, maybe not with their full will). Marriage is not a document, and it’s not a wedding day. Those are just the trappings. Marriage isn’t even the vows spoken. It is the vows lived. Just my opinion.

  5. I appreciate the decision to be “single”. It is certainly not a curse. There are many married couples who now view the “single” status as a treasure. Marriage is wonderful and difficult at the same time. It’s good to devote a level of commitment to ourselves first, and learn who we are..before becoming one with another.

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