Hello there and thank you for continuing along with me in this series on the reasons for prolonged singleness. We are now on Part 8 and have one more blog post in the series to cover after this one. While this topic has taken some time (there was also a break in there) I do think it was good to cover individually the various reasons for prolonged singleness. Of course, the reasons offered in this run are not exhaustive. There can always be others. However, in my experience these tend to be the most common.
In this blog post we are going to look at the role sin plays in keeping people single. Because we live in a fallen world, sin is all around us and always impacts our lives and relationships. From the beginning, when our first parents initially encountered the ancient serpent in the garden and succumbed to his wiles, humans had to deal with the reality of sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains it this way:
“…Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God’s plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.” (CCC §387)
It is important to look at woundedness, psychological problems, and dating issues. However, an examination of the reasons for prolonged singleness would not be complete without a cursory review of sin because sin is either a reason on its own or is at the root of these causes since we live in a fallen world.
God’s Plan for Man and Woman
We know that, from the beginning, “it is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) God created marriage as a very good solution to this aloneness problem. (Genesis 2:18-25; CCC §1604, 1605). After the Fall, however, original sin touched everything in creation, especially the marital relationship.
Again, the CCC shares with us:
“According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man or woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations; their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust; and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.” (CCC §1607)
Alas, sin has taxed the male-female relationship throughout the ages; Both for those espoused and the those looking to be. In accordance with the CCC, it was the “original communion” between man and woman that was ruptured. The very intimacy that God intended to be a gift to them, was now disordered. (CCC §1607).
Two Sins are Accepted as Norms
Today, many delay marriage or do not marry at all for sexual or financial reasons. Specifically, people are focused on an education and then becoming established. Also, with the advent of birth control, folks do not see a need to delay sexual intimacy until marriage. One can enjoy the “goods” of marriage without commitment and responsibility.
Now, I am not against getting an education. I, myself, went to college and law school. What if education, settling down, and marriage were not mutually exclusive? What if God intended us to build something together with our spouse rather than alone? What if God intended us to become established together rather than by ourselves? What if this was how we “subdued the earth,” by not being alone and married, which was all part of God’s original plan?
In addition, growing older while living with a very real sex drive is truly a predicament. How does one handle this while remaining faithful to God and his precepts? To say it is difficult is putting it mildly. This is why God gave us a sex drive, so the desire would “drive us” to marriage. Not to illicit relationships and/or using birth control in an attempt to “control” the consequences. As the scriptures remind us, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:9; RSV)
These two mindsets are descended directly from the Fall. If you see that you may be subscribing to them, do not despair. I had subscribed to the education and work mentality. Looking back, I believe this contributed to my prolonged singleness as well.
The good news is that this is an opportunity to realize God’s truth and change directions. When God shows us something that is a contributory factor to our prolonged singleness (or anything else that we have been struggling with for that matter), it is to free us and bring us hope. This way, we can begin to walk in the newness of life that he alone has for us and wants for us! “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NABRE)
Next month we will complete this series on the reasons for prolonged singleness. This last blog post will be addressing how marriage gives glory to God and is for the good of the individuals. Because of these reasons, Satan and the world do not want people to marry. This is a spiritual reason which contributes to prolonged singleness.
A friendly reminder that right there are three events available for you to learn more about Prolonged Singleness and the Desire to Marry, along with ways to garner some hope:
- Saturday, April 22, 2023, @ 6:45 PM; Goretti NJ Group, Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, 971 Suburban Road, Union, NJ 07083 – I will be giving a talk on Prolonged Singleness and the Desire to Marry. If you live in or near New Jersey, please come out. You can register at the link below:
- April 24-28, 2023, a virtual Masterclass called, “Ready for Love: An online retreat for single Catholic women over 35 who are ready to connect deeper with their Faith, the Saints, and find a Godly relationship.” This virtual retreat is for Catholic single ladies ages 35 and over. I will be presenting a talk on “Prolonged Singleness and the Desire to Marry.”
The Host is Anne-Marie Klobe, and she has brought together over 20 top experts/influencers for this complimentary training series with discussions on wounds, healing, culture, faith, health, and forgiveness along with SO many more topics! Click on the link below to register for this event:
- I am partnering with Celeste Sibolboro of Love Is On Its Way for a “Hope for Marriage Challenge” live on Instagram (IG). Celeste is a Catholic Dating Coach who also married at the age of 42. She and I both recognize that finding and maintaining hope is the first step in getting out of prolonged singleness. As such, we want to share tools that we both used in our prolonged singleness. The first session was Tuesday, March 28th. You can watch the replay on IG. The remaining two sessions are the following Tuesdays in April at 4PM PT/7PM ET: 18th & 25th. You can also sign up for additional worksheets, etc., from the challenge at https://sendfox.com/lp/1dryjd See you there!
Julieanne M. Bartlett All Rights Reserved Copyright 2023