We all sat stationary in the circle, sizing up our opponents before the signal to start sounded. The girl to the right of me was tall and slender, her red hair cut in a trendy way and her gladiator sandals revealing perfectly manicured toenails. The blond immediately opposite me was as cute as a pixy. I was convinced her ethereal look housed the most manipulative competitor of all. The tall, dark haired man to my left also scouted, and settled on the blond. The seconds ticked by, laced with energy as we drew our mental battle lines. The food and supplies laid out before us tempted us to venture directly into the fray. My initial instinct was to run and get as far away from the pandemonium as I could. I was considering an escape route as the signal sounded.
“Alright guys, let’s pull out our Bibles and take a look at the book of James.”
Why is it that a “Singles Group” can look more like the opening moments of the 74th Hunger Games than a time of Christian Fellowship? Simply put, because many singles view it in the same light. We are on a playing field that will only be thinned out as the game progresses and if we don’t act soon, we’ll be destroyed in the process of the winner being revealed. It’s easy to fall in with the “There can be only one,” mentality that was made famous by the McCloud clan and made its most recent resurgence in the popular young adult series.
The funny thing is, for those who are familiar with either parallel, that conclusion was birthed out of misunderstanding and power hungry enemies pitting would be alliances against one another.
As I’ve embarked on this new journey of discovering a full life in the Single scene, I’ve been surprised at the twisted paradigm that has been presented to and embraced by many young single Christians.
We view the girl sitting next to us as potential competition rather than a sister in arms. We size up the guy next to us, wondering if he may be the one, all the while feeling the growing apprehension as he strikes up conversation with another competitor. As time passes and the field of play is thinned, desperation sets in, discouragement takes root and we’re tempted to climb a tree and wait for the end to come.
We didn’t really have a shot at winning anyway, right? So, might as well be “content” with our loneliness. We let fear begin to weigh in before faith as circumstances push us into contact with other players. We question motives, compare abilities and appeal and find ourselves more isolated with every cannon, I mean wedding bell, that declare someone else is out.
Divided and distrusting, chances are, we will never survive, and on the rare chance that we do, we’ll be so haunted by the process of elimination that we’ll find it hard to function in community.
It’s got to stop. So many battle lines have been drawn in the church, from denomination to dateability. When will we realize we’ve bought into a lie, meant to keep us weak, segregated and manageable?
Ladies, the other single girls near you aren’t the enemy/competition. If we are focused on seeking God and His Fullness, we’re not going to be Husband Juked if we build strong female relationships. Not to mention it’s not fair to try and hang our hopes on a guy…really, how can he be expect to carry that load?
So consider this the Mocking Jay pin. Let’s rally to hope and realize that we are strong together, focused on what unites us and not who will be left standing when the last cannon sounds.
This post may have been about ‘singleness’, but maybe I need to broaden the field. How can we as Believers get past the competition mindset and build strong relationships across the board?
Note: Guys, I’m not purposely leaving you out. I don’t really know how singleness effects guys (probably because I see fewer single guys in the church than girls, and I tend to avoid relationship talks with them). Feel free to weigh-in in the comments.
Single Bucket List Item of the Week: Make an effort to build relationship with someone I am tempted to view as competition.
Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to be a parody of an actual meeting…it is a parody, not a reflection on any particular group/entity. 🙂