Dear single ladies and friends without physical offspring,
I see you.
I see you living your best life in the season you’re in. I also see some of you heading to another wedding, throwing another baby shower, faithfully celebrating your friends’ milestones and sometimes shoving aside your own grief—perhaps your story doesn’t look quite how you imagined.
I’m sorry for the way I’ve idolized marriage and family and marginalized you.
I’m sorry for the years where I asked single acquaintances if they were seeing anyone, dating friends if things were “serious,” married friends when kids were coming. I thought I was making conversation, but I was adding to a problem.
It was none of my business. And those are all great things, but I treated them as ultimate. The Best Thing.
I grew up around a subculture of purity rallies and courtship as an ideal. True Love Waits! I understand the idea and I don’t disagree—I’m reaping the benefits in a marriage where we both “waited”—but there’s the implication that if you’re not married, you’re just waiting. Like marriage is when actual life and adulthood starts. And it was really real when you started having kids.
This is absurd.
Marriage is an excellent gift. Kids are amazing.
But they’re not the only gifts. My circles talk a lot about how marriage and parenthood are sanctifying, and they certainly are. But I can’t say they’re somehow more sanctifying than singleness or marriage pre-kid or infertility. I’m pretty sure the Lord uses whatever season we’re in to make us more like Christ.
YES, the enemy assaults the image of Christ and the Church that’s found in marriage, and it’s worth putting energy into strengthening my own marriage and those around me. But he’s also pretty intent on defacing the image of God in individuals, and I haven’t always done especially well standing for you.
You are valuable. Not for your potential to be married or become a mother, but for who you are right now, in this season. We need you. You have gifts to offer that I can’t give. It’s on us as the Church and individual families to bring you in and welcome you in ways we haven’t always.
I’m sorry for the ways I haven’t seen you.
I’m trying now.