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Singleness, And Satisfaction

March 2008

     Each generation has had single people as a part of their society. However, it is possible that singlehood has never before reached the proportions in which we are seeing it today. There are various reasons for this increase. Broken marriages through divorce or separation, and the increasing acceptance of alternative lifestyles have wreaked much havoc on the social structure of society, and resulted in many more people living a single life.
     However, a single life need not be a lonely life. Loneliness indicates the absence of meaningful relationships in ones life, including a spiritual relationship with God. Further, the antidote for loneliness is true and satisfying friendships. For a person not to be lonely there needs to be the fulfilling experience of regular, meaningful interaction with other people.
     Traditional home and family life have long been a foundation for meaningful, fulfilling relationships. These have provided for healthy interpersonal relationships, and a place where social needs are met. As Christians, we also greatly value God's provision of the church. Within this fellowship, a wider social interaction takes place, and friendships outside of family lines can develop and flourish.
     However, for the single person, life does not hold the same possibilities regarding family fellowship, and family relationships. The author of "So, You're Single," in writing of her experience says, "One of the hardest things about being single is that, lacking children, we have no stake in the future. One by one the roots of home, family and friends are torn up by the passing years. Our married friends are deeply involved in their grandchildren now, alert, keen, and watching the unfolding of new life with incredible absorption. For them the gaping holes caused by life's uprooting are filling in. For singles, this is not so; there is no natural healing for their inner devastation." 
     However, after contemplating the Christian's repose in Christ, she also writes, "The knowledge that God's Spirit . . . is working through me to reproduce or nourish His life in someone else is the one joy and strength I know that can reach into the void of human need and breathe the balm of fulfilment in place of barrenness. . ." 1 The truth of the God's Word in Psalms 92:14, "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age" is a promise for singles as well as for those who are married.
     As Christians, we believe that God does not withhold His hand of blessing from His children. Christian singles will find this true as well. Even though they may not have children of their own, many singles have found fulfilment in meaningful relationships with other families. Perhaps through school teaching, or other ways, the families and children of their friends have found a place in their hearts.
     True satisfaction and fulfilment in life need not be a mirage. If you are single, look first to God, then seek the friendship of others. You will not be disappointed.

- Mervin Brubacher
   Barwick, ON

1. So, You're Single, by Margaret Clarkson, Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton Ill.
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:9