‘I know this couple who I think may have a problem… should I say something?’
There I was chatting to a friend, then she asked me this. I’ve always welcomed questions about dating, singleness and faith. It’s what I’m passionate about after all.
Yet the problem the couple had isn’t the focus of this blog. Neither is whether I answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I’m not trying to become ‘Agony Aunt André’ or ‘Doctor Love’ (despite wanting to study medicine at one point).
This blog post addresses a deeper issue, namely the two ‘beliefs’ my friend held. They made her feel disqualified from saying something and I think they trouble many people in church.
I’m Single, So What Do I Know
As we chatted, the first belief surfaced: ‘I could say something, but I’m single, so what do I know’.
My heart sank.
This belief always upsets me. But is it a surprise she has it? In church singletons frequently hear ‘Have you found anyone yet?’ or ‘God is preparing someone for you’. As if we’re outside God’s will until our next date.
There sat my friend, full of love and genuine concern, believing her relationship status made her irrelevant.
However, Paul was never a Gentile but managed to reach many Gentiles with compassion and understanding. Jackie Pullinger was never a drug addict, but has saved thousands from drug addiction. Jesus was never a sinner, but made them feel welcome and transformed their lives.
So I challenged my friend’s belief because our relationship status doesn’t automatically disqualify (or qualify) us from being a supportive friend with good relationship advice. Singleness shouldn’t stop us feeling relevant.
Relationship Manual Myth
As our conversation progressed, another belief arose: ‘They will probably fix it on their own’.
Why assume that?
No-one is born knowing how to build and maintain a loving relationship. No-one has a relationship manual which fixes every difficulty. I have unfortunately seen many couples feel trapped because they believe they should ‘instinctively know’ how to fix their problems.
Sometimes we need some help.
Something Worth Saying
I said to my friend that our relationship status isn't inherently linked to good or bad advice (or self-worth). No-one has a manual, we all have problems and need help occasionally. By helping my friend take hold of theses new beliefs, she realised she may indeed have something worth saying.