Contently single, Jacq So believes that singleness has given her many opportunities for self-discovery and to serve. Photo courtesy of Jacq So.
“When you get married and you have to take care of your husband …”
Her parents never really pressured Jacq So to marry. But her father would begin many of his sentences to her this way.
“It was drilled into me from childhood the importance of finding a good husband when I grew up.”
Added Jacq: “My mum would often lecture me on how important it was that I get married so that I would have someone to take care of me when I was old.”
The 33-year-old, who works in Manila, Philippines, is a legal news editor there. Coming from a traditional Chinese family, marriage was a given.
“It was drilled into me from childhood the importance of finding a good husband when I grew up. So, I shouldn’t get fat or no boy would ever marry me.
“While relationships were a no-no while I was a student, there were constant questions from non-immediate family and church people about who I was interested in or whether I had anything going on with anyone.”
When university came and went, and Jacq still did not have a serious boyfriend, she was asked what she was “looking” for and if she could be introduced to anyone.
“The Lord changed my perspective on romance and marriage nine years ago.”
“Of course, like many girls, I grew up on books and romcoms and dramas that made romance the ultimate goal. So, it convinced me that getting married was the pinnacle of my journey as a woman.
“There were also guys in my life with ‘ideal’ traits who I used to be able to see myself committing to. So, there was definitely a season where I did want to meet ‘the one’ and get married. “
Though she cannot say for sure that she will be single for a season or a lifetime, Jacq is certain she is contently single.
“The Lord changed my perspective on romance and marriage nine years ago. They say ‘never say never’. But I do think that, at least for the near future, I’m called to singleness.”
She shares with Salt&Light some of the gifts singlehood have afforded her.
1. Singlehood gives you time to know yourself
“Being single has afforded me the opportunity to really discover who I am and to be secure in my identity.
“The more I learned to fill my time with activities and ministries, I just started thinking about marriage less.”
“I’ve been able to ‘own’ my personality and interests and experiences, and to see them as opportunities for me to minister to more people.”
Being secure in who she is has given Jacq a confidence to live life and has “helped me to see and embrace this calling to singleness”.
“The more I learned to fill my time with activities and ministries that I could maximise only as a single, I just started thinking about marriage less and less.
“I feel like there’s still so much for me to do as a single person, especially after the pandemic put a lot of plans on hold. So, I’m definitely still savouring the status.”
2. Singlehood allows you freedom to serve
Being single has given Jacq the opportunity to “command my time in a way that married people or people in relationships don’t”. Because of this, she sees singlehood as freedom instead of a time of “waiting for my ‘real life’ to begin”.
“The Lord opened my eyes to the need for people who could give their undivided time.”
She recounted an occasion a few years ago when she was asked to be a worship leader for the adults’ fellowship in her church in Manila, St Stephen’s Parish.
There was a need because a number of those serving had dropped out because they no longer had the time. They had gotten married and had children.
“The Lord opened my eyes to the need for people who could give their undivided time and attention to this ministry, and showed me how valuable it was to the church that I have the time to commit to such an important work.”
3. Singlehood lets you minister to other singles
Being single has also allowed Jacq to minister to single friends with whom she is trying to share the Gospel.
“I’m able to maintain a variety of friendships across the globe without worrying about what a romantic partner or spouse might think of them.
“For instance, one of my ‘mission fields’ is someone based in the US. So, there are times when we talk late at night to accommodate the time difference. Imagine having to explain to a significant other why I’m talking to another guy at 3am!
“But because I’m a single, it’s ultimately not as big of a deal.”
4. Singlehood teaches you to steward your time
Singles definitely have more time and freedom to do things on their own. But Jacq has learnt that this also means that she has more to steward.
“It’s a time for us to use our talents.”
“We may have greater ownership of our time, but our time ultimately still belongs to the Lord. Being single is not an excuse to live selfishly.”
Mindful of this, Jacq uses her time to “grow closer to Jesus”. She reads the Bible – “I find Psalms very comforting” – and prays regular, and cultivates the gifts God has given her to bless others.
“It’s a time for us to use our talents to help a struggling ministry, to start a ministry where we are, to mentor and nurture new Christians in their walk with the Lord, and reach out to people whom we know need Christ.”
5. Singlehood offers opportunities to build a community
“For the times that I’m lonely, my go-to therapy is to chat up my best friend. And I have a circle of close friends or sisters-in-Christ whom I talk to about random things.
“I am comforted by their presence and love.”
6. Singlehood tests your resolve for God’s best
Over the years, “someone who loves the Lord” has become a deal breaker for what Jacq looks out for in a partner.
“It used to be a requirement I had only because it was expected of me as a Christian. As my relationship with Jesus deepened and He became my priority, I know it’d never work out with someone who didn’t put God first in his life.
“I shouldn’t be expected to settle.”
Salt&Light Family Night: How do I balance singleness and the desire for a soulmate?
More people are single in Singapore.
In the last 10 years, the number of singles grew across every age group, with the younger ones – those aged between 25 and 34 – seeing the sharpest rise.
Are people choosing to stay single or is it harder for singles to find a partner now? How can Christians view singleness? Is there a place for a desire for a soulmate?
Join our panellists as they share their experiences and insights.
Date: May 31, 2022
Time: 8.30pm – 10pm
Register at: https://bit.ly/familynightmay2022. Pre-registration is required.
About the hosts:
Carol Loi is a digital literacy educator, and leadership and family coach. A John Maxwell Certified Trainer for leadership and communication skills, she is also the founder of Village Consultancy, an organisation dedicated to equipping families, educators and children to be leaders and influencers both online and offline.
Alex Tee is a former banker turned home-schooling father and impact investor. He has been married to Channy for over 12 years and they have three children aged ten, nine and seven. The deepest desire of their hearts is to prayerfully raise children to be part of a family who seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Besides the passion to raise strong children, he also loves connecting the rich and the poor through impact investing.
About the organiser:
Salt&Light is an independent, non-profit Christian news and devotional website with a passion for kingdom unity, and a vision of inspiring faith to arise in the marketplace.
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