I have lived in the south for almost ten years now. The ten years have taken their toll. For instance, I am so incredibly frozen right now. I shiver embarrassingly easily. For every fifteen minutes I spend outside, it takes me eight hours to warm up. My hands have not been warm since the Christmas heat-wave of 2015. I can tangibly feel the north mocking me. (I can mock them too though because after ten years I can finally hear the northern accent and it’s fuuuuunnyyyyy.)
Are you not blindingly fascinated by my opinions concerning weather? Fine, I’ll move on.
Knoxville, Tennessee is (from my limited experience) the BIBLIEST of the Bible-belt. Lucky for me, I love the Bible! Unlucky for me, there’s more to the infamous Belt than that.
For one, I have many more conversations about marriage than I ever have had in the past. Who knew that’s a side effect of moving to the south? I think I have this conversation because people think I should be married, or at the very least actively pursuing marriage. Maybe they are surprised by my unmarried status because I am so incredibly smart and funny and gorgeous and wonderful. Probably.
I do not love having this particular conversation because it is a very important conversation. It deserves to be serious and focused and well thought-out. I, of course, can have serious and focused thoughts, but they rarely, rarely happen in the form of a conversation. Conversations with me generally involve a lot of rambling, laughing at my own jokes, and inevitably talking about my latest Netflix obsession. I won’t know how we ended up there; it will simply be unavoidable. I will probably also continue to get louder and louder for no apparent reason besides the love of hearing my own voice escalate in all its nasally glory, which, of course, is the reason.
This is why I write: so that you read these words and imagine my voice in your head as soothing and sweet and sticking to one appropriate volume. Also, when reading my words, you can’t hear me chuckling at my own wit, which makes me come off as more humble and put-together than I actually am. Writing is real gold, folks.
But I digress. (Writing does not help with the focusing situation.) Marriage is important and girls’ hearts are important and that is why I have decided to write it down for the ages.
Darling, I needneedneed you to know: You can be a single girl and still be a Christian girl.
It is important to me that you know that. It may seem obvious but I know it does not always feel obvious. The vast majority of great Christian leaders are married. My relationship status is often one of the first things new people ask me. I read a list of someone’s “Top Ten Favorite Christian Blogs” today and all of the descriptions (yes, all of the descriptions) started with “she is a wife…” It is beautiful and wonderful and amazing if you are a wife. My mom is a wife and I really, really like my mom. Seriously. I am friends with, like, a lot of wives. I love wives. Wives are so great. BUT. You, dearest, do not have to be a wife.
I have theories about three types of single girls. I am not going to tell you about them. I started to, but my theories felt rude and I do not want to be rude. I want to be uplifting and encouraging and, yes, sarcastic, but all for the greater sisterhood. Girl Power.
Instead, I will speak up for one particular group of single girls – the group where I find myself:
First, a PSA.
Dear Bible Belt, south, Christian culture, general humanity,
There are single girls in the world, a great deal of them in fact, who are truly happy being single now and still want to get married then. Yes, yes. I’m sorry if I made you spill your drink from shock.
There are young women out there, all around you, who are confident and content in their singlehood AND still would like to get married someday. Please proceed accordingly.
I just wanted to speak up for you girls. You’re not weird for thinking this way. You are not soft or pathetic for wanting to get married someday. You are not freakish or behind-schedule for wanting to be single right now.
Jesus still loves you. God will still use you. You are still beautiful and valuable and you can probably still cook really well. (I can’t. Come cook for me while you are still single please and thank you. My address is… just kidding. I’m not going to put my address on the internet. I’m a single girl. I don’t do things that encourage murder.)
Personally? I think it’s good to hold out for a good one. I want to marry someone because God has bigger plans for us together than apart. I want to marry someone because we can do more for the Kingdom together than apart. I want to marry someone because he’s a dang hottie and more fun than watching Parks and Rec, which is, like, really fun. I do not want to marry someone because I was finally run-down enough by the well-meaning pushers and question-askers and “top ten favorite blog” posters to settle for a nice man who I don’t hate. I do not want to marry someone because I feel like I can’t be a whole Christian woman/role model without a husband. I do not want to marry someone because I feel desperate or lonely or worthless. In fact, I only want to marry someone if I feel confident and whole and valuable because Jesus makes me whole and calls me valuable.
If I’m better off on my own, then I truly hope I stay that way. (Kinda.) If that is the case, I WILL have to cut down on my chick-flick watching in a few years. Those get me every time. The airport run? SO GOOD. Bring back the airport run, chick-flick creators!
Anyway, sweet girl who’s in the same boat as me, don’t let the well-meaning church ladies or the adorable 30 minute comedies get to you. I get you. God gets you. And I’ll get you coffee too if you ask nicely.