The New Singleness

kaje_yomama Compfight CC
kaje_yomama Compfight CC

[Editor’s note: Maggie Gallagher’s The New Singleness is from 2011 but still pertinent. Her article is referring to Katie Bolick’s Atlantic Cover story, Nov. 2011 – All the Single Ladies. (Which actually has some good historic references. She plainly admits she isn’t interested in keeping with them.) Maggie does well outlining what the millennial generation is facing; something we must understand. The new norms, temptations, propaganda, the emptiness desperately need to be addressed. We see in our crowd young men and women marrying and starting families right away. We see happy christian marriages, faithful spouses, capable and educated young people who lead rather than follow. We have a story to tell. There is hope even for this new singleness.] Sex has been divorced from meaning. Men are not being raised to be good family men, and women are not being raised to appreciate good family men. And men are failing to become the kind of men women want. Porn is available for all as a substitute for life. So Kate, facing a future without children or marriage, wants to celebrate singleness and to kill her youthful idealization. “Everywhere I turn, I see couples upending existing norms and power structures,” she says, citing a friend who fell in love with her dog walker, a man 12 years younger, with whom she stayed for three years “and are best friends today.” Well, everywhere I turn in Kate’s essay I see women doing the best they can to celebrate the best they feel they can get, and it’s unbearably sad. The truth is celebrating singleness—i.e., celebrating “not doing something”—makes no sense. Loving is better than not loving. Choosing to love and commit to a husband or a child is a much higher ideal than choosing not to; that’s why it needs to be celebrated and idealized. Of course, not everyone marries or becomes a mother, and of course every human life has other possibilities for meaning, and other forms of love to give. But all of these other loves—the aunt, the grandparent, the best friend—came into being because somewhere some woman gave herself to the independence-shattering act of making a family. The decline of manhood and norms around sex, marriage, and family produces for young women what may in fact have to be endured—but celebrated? Not after reading Kate’s essay. Read the rest here

Recommended Resources It’s (Not That) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way Family Reformation Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva: Courtship, Engagement and Marriage Marrying Well

One thought on “The New Singleness

  1. It’s all very well to read of secular perspectives on the single life; it might be of more help in the context of LAF to hear more stories from Christian singles, especially those who’ve been in it for a while, as something which would both reply to the world’s outlook and also provide a road map for younger Christians who are, for whatever reason, single.

    That said, what would also be useful to know is how the Christian singles’ population has changed over time. Are there more of us, and more who will never marry? As a group, is our outlook on things that different on, say, forty years ago? I don’t know; I don’t have the perspective to answer that question 🙂


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