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.