Two confessions (and one favour)
Confession #1: I'm a bit of a chronic over-sharer
From the deep and meaningful, to the more trivial, to the subjectively hilarious meme - I 'share' a lot. Very often on Facebook (right FB friends?). But surely being a over-sharer isn't always a bad thing. In fact, the whole reason I've found myself doing a PhD is because I'm an 'over-sharer'.
You see, it all comes down to this. For many years now I've been seeking to develop a robustly theological, authentically biblical understanding of singleness. I'm single myself, and so that makes sense, right? However, I've also spent a number of years ministering to single people, many of whom struggle with their situation; amongst married people who want to understand and love their single friends better, but sometimes just don't know how; and with ministry leaders who long to show deep care for the single men and women in their care, but aren't always sure of the best way to go about it.
And so, this chronic over-sharer decided that maybe she could spend some time doing some serious theological thinking in order to further equip herself and that she could also share with others in order to be of some assistance to them. Of course, I don't have all the answers. In fact I have many, many more questions than answers. But I'm keen to learn, to consider, and to dialogue with more learned heads than my own, as I consider how Scripture reveals that Jesus has imbued earthly singleness with genuine purpose and gifted single Christians with an authentic place of belonging within his Church.
And so... a PhD. And now a blog. A place for me to share some of the things I've been reading and reflecting upon. A place to dialogue with others as they encourage me and challenge me and correct me. A place for me to ask some important (and sometimes) provocative questions about the (very often, marriage-centric) air we breath as evangelical Christians.
But... Confession #2. I'm a bit scared
I'm not talking about the whole 3 years, full-time, independent research that needs to turn into a 100,000 word thesis (though that absolutely terrifies me, of course). Rather, I’m scared that in becoming a public advocate for thinking hard about Christian singleness, I might be perceived as someone who is embittered towards marriage. I'm concerned about what others will assume regarding my intentions and my motivations (even though I know I shouldn't 'fear man'). I'm anxious that when I ask some of the provocative questions, friends might silently roll their eyes and think 'Here she goes again'.
So, now that I've given you two confessions, I'm going to ask for just one favour as you read and engage with this blog.
Please be generous and open-minded. Please remember that my questions really are just that. Please remember that I think marriage, parenthood and family are incredibly precious and extraordinary gifts that God has given all of us - not just those who are themselves married. Please be kind in your assumptions and ask me questions rather than leaping to conclusions.
Because ultimately there is one confession that you and I - siblings in Christ - share together. One shared confession that matters above all others:
"... if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9