Taboo Topics: Singleness [Intro]

Taboo Topics: Singleness [Intro]

SINGLENESS is a topic that usually does not get addressed well, if at all.

There was a time when particularly within the catholic church the focus was on singleness as the way to have reached it – nuns and monks and the gift of celibacy were the way to go and being single meant you were seen as more spiritual and closer to God and there were bible passages that could be used to ‘back this up’.

Then the protestant church swung the pendulum completely the other way and being married and then being married with children [must be biological children!] was the way to have arrived and so this unspoken goal of life seemed to be what was put on the pedestal and held higher than anything else.

i believe, as with most things, that both extremes are problematic and now that i have had five years of marriage [and having had a good run of 35 years of largely singleness] i believe that i can speak with some measure of authority to both of them.

Neither being single nor being married is ‘the better way’ – Paul, in his letter to the church in Phillipi [and us by extension] says this, specifically speaking into the aspect of financial well-being, but i believe it carries over into every area of life: ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ [Philippians 4.12-13]

Contentment is the key – be where you are and enjoy where you are at – if you are single then embrace your singleness and make the most of it in every way possible – and if/when you get married then live that to the full. Don’t sit in the place of one desperately wishing that you were in the other. BUT, that doesn’t mean that if you are single and do want to be married that you should not keep on gently presenting that desire before God:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ [Philippians 4.4-7]

As much as God already knows your heart and your desires, it is by presenting them to Him that you invite relationship, that you invite Him in to minister to aspects of loneliness or rejection or bruised dreams or hopes that may be in you.

i LOVED my singleness and when i look back i don’t desire that i had gotten married ten years earlier and missed out on all the opportunities and possibilities of adventure that happened because it was just me. and so i really learnt [for the most part, i had my bad days… weeks… months…] to just really make the most of the situation i found myself in… but at the same time i really believed that i had too much love for one person and so i wanted to be married [especially around singles table time at weddings] and i took that to God regularly and sometimes with gentle request and other times more with ‘C’mon God, don’t you like me or what?’ less graceful questioning, but for the most part, the overall was a sense of let me be content where i am while i am here and keep my prayers, requests and longings before God.

i got to a place where i had largely resigned myself to the fact that i was going to be single for life [and somewhat largely, with much intermittent sighing, okay with that] and then the beautiful Val came along and the rest is history… or presentcy or something.

one of the hardest things in my life, especially since i got married, is seeing a bunch of really incredible friends of mine who are around my age [which is approaching old] and who are desiring to be married, but yet are still single, because i get it. to a large extent i really do. [which is possibly why a huge part of my 51 minute wedding speech was focusing on single people] it doesn’t feel right or fair and you get to a point when it doesn’t feel hopeful any more. people who view marriage as the end point make you feel stupid and sad and unfulfilled and your friends who are dating and getting married and having kids [again, if this is what you wanted] make it really hard to be around them sometimes [often through no fault of their own]. and the thing is a bunch of them are incredible amazing people who, it feels like to me, deserve to find their life partner a lot more than other people [if there is such a thing]. so i will keep praying, and hoping, and trying to be as encouraging as i can to them and challenging them to live singleness well while it is a reality. but don’t stop laying that desire before God if you are wanting something more.

And to anyone who EVER says to a single woman, “let Jesus be your boyfriend”, you honestly deserve a punch on the nose.

There are some brave people who are going to be sharing their stories in this regard and i honour you for doing so:

Meet my good friend Sammi Taylor – ‘The emotions and stages and experience changes daily and is sometimes hard to pin down and describe.’

Meet my friend and  former housemate Sueihn Lee – ‘I’ve been boy crazy since the age of five.’

Meet Kate Hurley aka ‘The Sexy Celibate’ – ‘I just needed to let go, insinuating it was my own fault i was single.’

Meet my friend Kate Sherry – content with being single right now

Meet my friend Simangele – not feeling like an add-on in the church

Meet my friend Cilnette Pienaar – ‘The whispered hope that a shared adventure could actually be in the will of God for my life.’

Meet Dani Scoville [and a look at Deconstructing Boundaries]

Meet my friend Beverley Rufener – ‘I wish I could say that being single was easy but at times it is outright overwhelming.’

Meet my friend Alexa O S Russell – ‘Is there space for Bridget Jones at church?’

Meet my Island style friend Deborah Dowlath – ‘I realise that being single in my 30s is a whole different dynamic from being single in my 20s.’

Meet 26 year old Angela Saint-Truth – ‘I didn’t want the sacrifice that love demands or the growth it requires… I just wanted the emotions that relationships produce…’

Meet Amanda Kuehn – ‘His banner over me is single.’

Meet Lynley Pillay – ‘I was engaged once. So technically I’m disengaged now.’

Meet Phil Barlow – ‘I’m single and I love it! Sometimes… sometimes not so much.’

Meet my friend and possibly brother-in-law Dale Nunes [his brother married my sister]

some other blog posts i was directed to that contain some great stuff on the topic are:

‘Singleness is not a Prelude’ [on a blog called ‘broken cameras and gustav klimt’ guest posted by Jennie Pollock]

‘I don’t wait anymore’ [on a blog called Grace for the Road]

What my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know


About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


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  4. […] are single [but also those of you who are married – it is excellent for you to hear this stuff!] these stories by some good friends of mine on their journey as single people [desiring not to be] has been such powerful reading and very popular – read and share away […]

  5. […] of the stories that have been shared have been for other people – i think particularly of Singleness, Losing a Child, Infertility, Parents of young children [when it hasn't been particularly easy] and […]

  6. darrelhoff November 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    your speech was 51 minutes! gosh!! 😉

  7. Top posts of 2013 | Irresistibly Fish December 30, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

    […] – interestingly enough, many of the next popular posts of the year were Taboo Topic related. The intro to the Singleness stories continues to be really popular and is the 3rd most read post on my blog ever which tells you […]

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  9. […] for this series, she ended up with a much longer post which i asked if i could share as part of the Taboo Topics series on Singleness that has been so encouraging to so many people and she agreed. but i still wanted to keep the end […]

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  14. […] Topics section where we look at topics rarely spoken about such as losing a baby or infertility, singleness or being a parent of young children when it’s really really hard, abortion and adoption, […]

  15. Laura July 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I found this blog post through a Relevant Magazine article on singleness. As a woman who is 28 years single, I really appreciate your candid words here. I look forward to reading your friends’ stories too. Blessings!

    • brettfish July 29, 2014 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Laura – the stories i have shared on Singleness have been very popular and what i like about them is they are so different – no mold or way it is meant to be done – some friends who are totally great with being single, some who totally wish they weren’t… hope it is encouraging.

      love brett fish

  16. […] [like losing a baby, infertility, being a parent of a child when it's not been that easy and even singleness for some people] but also areas such as Adoption and Race which are not bad things in themselves, […]

  17. Omar December 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Hello Sir,

    Anyone ever mention how this font + color is a bit challenging on a mobile device?



    • Omar December 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      GReat! Article, a much needed perspective.

      – Omar

      • brettfish December 15, 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

        They have yes, hopefully work on that in the new year. Thank you.

  18. Top Posts of 2015 | Irresistibly Fish December 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

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