New-ish Christian Cliche’ About Singlehood: “Don’t Waste Your Singleness” -or- “Make the Most of Your Singleness”
I really hate cliche’s, at least when they are aimed at someone who is upset or hurting about something.
Say, for instance, you are tired of being single, and you tell your married friend, “I sure wish I could meet Mr. Right!,” and she responds by saying one or more of the following:
-“Be content in your singleness!”
-“Don’t look for The One, BE THE ONE!”
-“When you are mature / godly/ spiritual/ content/ (whatever) enough – that is when God will send you your spouse!”
-(to female singles): “Lose weight and you’ll get a man in no time!”
-(to female singles): “Grow your hair long and you’ll get a man, men loooove long hair”
-(to female singles): “Don’t be so independent/ smart/ opinionated/ rich/ capable, it will scare men away; they need to feel needed!”
– “Get out there and LOOK! A spouse won’t drop in your lap / appear on your front door step by magic”
– “Serve in the church, that’s how I met my spouse”
– “When you’re not looking that is when it will happen”
– “Singleness is a gift! / Celibacy is a gift”
– “Jesus is sufficient to meet all your needs, the Lord is your husband!”
– “Join eHarmony (dating site)! It worked for my cousin!”
There are probably several more cliches I’ve forgotten, but you get the idea.
A new cliche’ that has been showing up more and more often the last year or two on Christian blogs and sites, especially in articles for Christian singles, are these:
“Don’t Waste Your Singleness” and the variation,
“Make Your Singleness Count”
I can only assume these got started because at some point, famous (now retired?) preacher John Piper (who makes my skin crawl, and he has sexist, warped views about women, and stupid, dangerous opinions about how domestic abuse victims should deal with abuse), wrote a book with a title like, “Make Your Life Count” or “Don’t Waste Your Life.”
Ah yes, I see from an online book seller, the book by Piper is called “Don’t Waste Your Life” and was published in 2004.
Then of course, we have all these preachers such as Platt and Idleman, who, the last couple of years, lecture Christians that if they don’t sell all their worldly possessions to go work in soup kitchens full time or live in a hut in Africa, they are not serious followers of Jesus and are not radical enough.(See (Link): this post)
So, I’m not exactly sure of the origins of “make the most of your singlness” or “don’t waste your singleness,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if Piper, Platt, etc. weren’t the inspiration.
Anyhoo. What does it mean, anyway? “Don’t waste your singleness?” Should I be in contemplative prayer round the clock every day? Handing out rice to African orphans?
Basically, the only thing you can say to singles in this area will be based on a work-based mind set: you must be performing like a circus seal for the Son of God!
No thanks, Christ said He came to give His followers rest, not more works to perform.
Singles don’t need more cliches and platitudes.
You married Christians, or (Link): you peppy and perpetually happy with your single status types, stop coming up with pithy, and what- sounds- to- you- like- clever one-liners. The cliches don’t cheer up singles, and they don’t make me feel any better. They’re cheap and annoying.
Related Posts, This Blog:
(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift
(Link): Oh geeze. Another married Christian condescendingly patting single Christians on the head, reassuring them they are dandy as-is, and to remember they have the fictional Gift of Singleness
(Link):Fifteen Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do To Your Single Friends
(Link):Annoyances of Being a Christian Single
(Link):The Problem with Platitudes – for Christian single over 35 years old never married
(Link):Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please.
(Link):Responding to the Cliche’ “Jesus Is All You Need” – Re Christian Singles
(Link):The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line
(Link):Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear
(Link):Same Old Tired Advice to Christian Singles
(Link):Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5
(Link):Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time