Looking up from licking the wounds from the end of a long-term relationship I saw something I had never seen before. It was almost like God had opened my eyes to see it. Most of us are too caught up in our own worlds to see it, maybe noticing it only if it literally bumps us off kilter.
Yet as I read my Bible it is something that God keeps pointing His people to. Something He wants us to notice. Something He observes. He reacts to. He understands.
That something is the number of single people in our world. Mostly when we hear the word ‘single’ we think of some in their late teens, early twenties without a boyfriend or girlfriend. Someone who we assume will eventually get married, have kids, etc, etc, become like us.
Somehow as people get older their singleness somehow gets over looked, ignored, forgotten. Particularly by people in couples.
Yet there are so many different, unique types of single people. Here’s a few:
- Young, single, late teens, early twenties – yes, you see them.
- Twenty somethings divorcees – often assumed to have never married, yet they know what it’s like to have the joys and pains of coupledom.
- Single mums or dads from teens to fifties – sometimes the presence of kids fog out the singleness of their parents.
- Never married men and women in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond – maybe we don’t see these because we assume they have followed the same path as us, maybe it’s because they have grown confident or quiet in this role.
- “Normal aged” divorcees.
- Widows and widowers – of any age but particularly over sixty. Kids and grandkids crowding out the aloneness of their singledom.
You really don’t have to look very far to see single people hidden among your friends and family. Singleness has many joys, but it can be very lonely too. This is where friends and family can be so very important to them. Without friends or family there is no birthday celebration. Without invitations to dinner they eat alone. Without someone outside their home coming in with open arms there is no one to hug and hold them as they cry. Without friends there is no one to celebrate life’s joys with.
Jesus understands the live of a single. His Word tells us to look after singles – “widows and orphans”. He promises to put single people into families. He needs our help, our willness to reach out of our coupledoms, our families and invite them in.
Take a moment to look around you and count the number of singles in your circle. I’m sure, that like me, you’ll be surprised at what you see.
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