Friday, May 12, 2006

Why Some are 'Doomed' for Singleness

Like weeds, mindless chatters often clog up rooms for stimulating conversations to blossom. I am grateful that despite the frequent congestion, an inspiring chatter with a like-minded female friend did bloom; surprisingly, on the most assuming and also unassuming topic- marriage.

It is assuming, at least in the broadest sense, simply because a woman’s desire to be married is almost undeniable- only that its presence would be felt more strongly at times, if not all the time. Of course, running in this course of Life is in every way, a noble pursuit.

It is also unassuming, because as more and more women have the liberty to make deliberate choices on what to do with their lives, Christian women included; there is lesser and lesser thought on spending the rest of the evenings holding a rolling pin on one hand and a kneading bowl in another, for a man called ‘husband’. (And I confess to being very stereotypical here)

While women must consider such liberty to be silver linings, (after all, if Aristotle has his way today, women who are once deemed as second-class citizens, along with slaves; will have no taste of Choice at all) putting off the idea of marriage, or at least delaying it, or in the very least; not preoccupy all thoughts in it; is still a very unconventional stand.

For Christian women who have been ingrained with the imagery of a perfectly shaped, cookie-cutter wife since young, it is even easier to hand-pick ourselves certain qualities that are deemed to be more convenient to play the role of a doting mother and wife.

Hence, Christian women learn to only dance and sing hymns and knit, and be quiet in church (not that these skills are lesser- they actually possess very high aesthetic value) while planning meticulously when they ought to be married, and avoid all so-called masculine duties and anything outdoorsy such as going to Bible College, engage in theological discussions or even become a missionary; for fear that their prospects of getting married will diminish all too quickly and suddenly; despite secretly holding aspirations to live out these callings.

For a start, if Proverbs 31 were to be justified; it certainly does not speak of a woman having interests in nothing but her prospective husband. Instead, she is spoken of as productive- seeking wool and flax, bringing food from afar, makes linen and sells them and buys a field to plant a vineyard. In the modern setting, such a woman would most probably be carving a career as the CEO of a listed company.

But beyond all these, this woman is trustworthy, works diligently, reaches her hands to the poor, speaks with wisdom and clothes herself not in silk and pearls, but in strength and dignity. She is to be called blessed, and a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Now, I wonder if the qualities of the God-fearing woman in Proverbs 31 only apply to married women or serve as clues for men in search for perfect wives. Perhaps, the clue that adds to suspicion is found in verse 30 of Proverbs 31. After all, a woman can knead and knit and sow and plow just as well as the woman next door, and the next and so forth. But, what this woman does to surpass all others, is the fact that she does them all, out of the fear of the Lord. Other motives are charm and vanity.

I am certainly not discouraging women from getting married or even contemplating marriage prayerfully. I am however, posing this challenge to women- particularly single ones who are aware of their callings to serve in a rather different setting from the dancers and knitters; to reconsider the Kingdom of God that we want to be so diligently seeking after. Perhaps, we forget too easily that the ordination of marriage is also to glorify God, just as receiving the gift of live-long singleness is. And if anyone has never thought of being married or committing to life-long singleness for ministry’s sake, let her add this thought to her thinking-list.

The question of where or when or whether marriage will fit in at a certain point of our lives does not concern us if we are truly seeking the Kingdom that we claim we are. Marriage will, if ever the Lord wills; fit in most comfortably when we are in the service most true to Him.

Otherwise, it is mere vanity, to which we will never be most joyful for we have yet to taste the glory of the Lord.

5 Comments:

Blogger BK said...

Very important post, especially with regards to the gender imbalance that plagues the church at the moment. I'm sure it must be tough on the sisters, and hopefully we brothers can help encourage them where we can. :)

7:06 AM  
Blogger fooji said...

let's find a win- win situation.
marriage n mission can go hand in hand.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Sze Zeng said...

hey, very good articulation of thoughts. Am blessed by it.
=)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Aronil said...

Hello my dear yen nie,

I haven't left u a comment for so long, how are you? How's the path of 'carving a career' for you in ipoh?

As always, i just love the way you write and express your thoughts.

In regards to gender imbalance, I believe it has all been boiled down to the days of how society then had constructed what gender is. Right from the days of the old, to the vatican, to the now modern. Gender is but a construction, and it does not matter what or how a woman was meant to be (i.e. cooking cleaning and what not vs the independent CEO). But I think more importantly what God has wanted her to be.

And as for one being single... some are meant to be and possibly some are not...although I like to be a romantic and believe that everyone has a special someone they can call their own.... Either way I don't an think individuals shall be doomed with what is laid out in front of them.

By the way, I wanted to ask. The whole idea of Soul-mate theory does not work together with Christian faith, does it?

11:32 PM  
Blogger tehtarik said...

Dear Aronil,

Of course, I do not mean being single as being 'doomed'. Hehe. That's is probably the first prejudice against singleness that we have to overcome.

Good question! But we'll probably have to define what 'soul-mate' means. Also, let's see how the merry-go-round works-

Suppose Man A meets woman A (who is supposed to be the one and only for him )and falls in love with her but along the way, Woman A died.Off he goes and suddenly finds woman B very attractive and vice versa. Now, strictly speaking, woman B was supposed to be with Man B but ends up with Man A. And suppose Man B ends up with Woman C when Woman C is suppose to end up with Man C and so on and so forth.
And so, everyone ends up with the
'wrong' person ever since. Or, is it a wrong match at all in the first place? Hehe.

I leave this to the mysterious ways of God and His sovereignty. :D

7:09 PM  

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