One of my close friends called me out a few years ago. “You’ve never talked to me about me being single.” This wasn’t a biting remark. She was just letting me know something I was blindly unaware of as a married friend 13 years her junior. “It would be like me being your close friend for two years but never asking you about the state of your marriage,” she said. “You need to talk with me about the fact that I’m single.”
I am so grateful to her for pointing out what was to her a glaringly obvious identity marker. See, I had assumed that her singleness was one of the great taboo topics that she would never want to discuss. When in fact, she longed to experience intimacy in relationship and have “her person” who was an automatic emergency contact, vacation buddy, and confidante. And she wanted to share her dreams for that with me.
And I just wonder, with all this talk about marriage at Chapel Hill, maybe there are some of you who wouldn’t mind a close friend poking into your taboo issue. We are being bold as a congregation in talking about marriages. And I’m glad! The state of marriages in our country and the Church merit honest conversation about what God has intended for marriage. And I hope that it has fueled real conversation in your home, LifeGroups, and friendships about how your marriage is really going. And if you’re not married, or if you have a close friend who isn’t married, may I make a suggestion? Would you boldly lean in and care for one another? If a friend of yours has recently been widowed, will you please check in on him or her? Will you consider asking a single friend of yours what the state of their heart is in desiring to be “the other” for another? If you are the unmarried friend, would you be courageous to point out to a friend the topics you need to talk about? We need intimacy in our marriages, and we need it in our friendships, too. Larry and I look forward to sharing more about our heart for intimate friendships this Sunday.
“Let us consider how we might spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching..” – Hebrews 10:24-25