“If you’re discontent in your singleness, you’ll be discontent in your marriage.”

Some pushback from your friendly local single person who is ancient of days. Might there be a grain of truth in that sentence that applies to some people? Perhaps. But... (1/9)
•Is a blanket statement like this categorically true? No. How can you know that a person who struggles with discontentment in singleness–because they deeply desire the companionship and intimacy of a partnered relationship–will not go on to flourish in marriage... (2/9)
...and experience an abundance of gratitude for their spouse? Anecdotally, I’ve seen this happen bunches. (3/9)
•Is a blanket statement like this helpful or kind? No. If you would never say the words, “If you’re discontent in your infertility, you’ll be discontent if you have a child,” then please don’t say this phrase about singleness either. (4/9)
Don’t shame someone for struggling with God-honoring desires that haven’t been met. (5/9)
It is good and right that we cultivate gratitude in whatever stage of life we’re in and thank God for His blessings, knowing that no human relationship can fulfill our every desire. (6/9)
But these words, while intending to remind us that marriage is not ultimate and will not solve all our problems, minimize the very real struggles of single people who long for marriage and are existing in a state that is antithetical to the deepest desires of their hearts. (7/9)
Hope deferred makes a heart sick, and some hopes have been deferred for literal decades with no certainty of ever coming to fruition. This is a pain, a loneliness, and a struggle with identity that you cannot know unless you’ve walked that path. (8/9)
More compassion, less judgment, and fewer pithy statements are in order. Many single people are facing heavy burdens, stigma, and shame. Please don’t add to the weight we’re already carrying alone. (9/9)

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More from @LShalott

14 Sep
If you’ve experienced stigma and/or shame about your singleness, please feel free to answer these great questions from Rachel as to the reasons why and as to ways to help prevent/alleviate stigma and shame.
My answer: I think I experience shame both from within myself (What is so wrong with me that I can’t seem to have a lasting relationship? Am I broken?) and from outside sources who have pressured me and asked insensitive questions.
Then there’s the Church at large that somehow simultaneously shames singles for their desires/longing/discontent while making an idol out of marriage. And having no idea what to do with us and failing to present a robust theology of/vision for thriving in singleness.
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