I like poetry. Especially when it’s spoken, not read. By someone who looks like they stepped off ‘Project Runway’.
I love the rhythm of this performance and how it leaves room for the poet to interact with her listeners and take them on a journey with her. It’s very clever and she’s über-talented.
I love how in poetry, you can deal in superlatives and it’s OK. Comparing your future husband to (the good aspects of) David, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, etc paints a beautiful picture here, not a CV.
This poet’s passion is clear. She’s tasted life in rebellion against God and she’s determined to choose the better way. Far from giving up on love, she’s purposed to value it, remaining hopeful.
That sounds like a good example of living for Jesus in singleness but the authors of Singled Out (previous reviewed here) ask whether it is the right message to send at a secondary level. In essence, this is a woman expressing her heart; but it’s another thing when it’s posted by a pastor as teaching worth single people watching. At that point, it’s no longer her declaration but indicative of the church’s teaching to single people.
Almost 7 mins of this video deals with ‘waiting for [Mr Right]’, with only about 40 secs on the end talking about continuing to live for God even if marriage never eventuates. So when you pass along this video, that’s the predominant message it sends – wait. Anything else is a postscript. The authors of Singled Out argue that most teaching to single people centers on this theme: wait for your husband/wife (and especially for sex).
They believe the first problem is that this promises something that may never eventuate. The language of ‘waiting’ assumes a consummation. If you’re not married, you’re either ‘waiting’, or ‘called to singleness’ – but how can you tell the difference? When do you switch? Would the latter mean giving up hope of marrying one day? Secondly, they argue that the language of ‘waiting’ presents singles as stunted in their maturity because they have failed to proceed to the next life stage, ‘waiting’ before they can move on. This is particularly damaging because it devalues the contributions of single people or sees them as somehow incomplete.
I got married when I was 23. I have very little personal experience of being ‘a single’ and no desire to diminish any pain or longing that singles might feel. Several people are on my daily prayer list to find spouses. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to see singles equipped to flourish. One aspect of that is not winding up in damaging or ungodly relationships. It’s also treating singles with dignity. That has to mean not assuming that their singleness, however unwanted, is necessarily an impairment. There may be an absurdity to singleness but that doesn’t negate healthy, life-giving relationships or fruitful ministry. We must move beyond simply telling them to ‘wait’. Singles are worth more than that.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.