Love to Give Away

Many of you might have heard me speak on the subject of singleness. i try always to make some mention of it if a song set or speaking engagement permits. The song “Love to Give Away” is one that i wrote to underscore some of the points i make when i share thoughts about being single.

i am 44 and have never married.

In my 23 years of being a Christian, i have heard sermons enough on fatherhood and husbanding to write books on those topics. i am still waiting to hear my first sermon on singleness. i don’t for a minute think that pastors and teachers arrogantly or maliciously sidestep the subject. i just think it’s one that is easy to miss, especially when one’s world is taken up with family, as is the case with most pastors. i try, with that in mind, to remind my friends, married and unmarried, that singleness is meant by God to be a blessing and that it is something that should be daily enjoyed, purposefully lived, and thankfully celebrated. It has its challenges, sure, as marriage does, but, like marriage, it is meant for good ends.

One with Christ, i have heard it said, is a whole number.

In marriage, the spouses are obligated, rightly so, to give their love, their time, their attention to a small circle of people (though they might together offer themselves in unique ways to many). i call it ‘giving love by the barrel.’ In singleness, a person, living out their faith in Christ, is able to give love ‘by the jiggerful’ to many since their lives tend to be less anchored to a few. That might seem a shallow way to live life but i’ve no doubt that, for many, a ‘jigger’ seems huge and might just be enough to get them over one more day. Either way, our mandate is the same. Make Christ’s love known to others.

To my single friends, might i offer these words: even through the loneliness that might creep into your heart from time to time, consider your place in life a good one. “Make the most of every opportunity.” You’re not weird or unlovable; God hasn’t made you single because He’s mad at you; your life isn’t on hold and you’re not in prison until someone else liberates you. Look for ways to give yourself, your time, your money, your words, your smiles, your days away. Simple as they might seem, i think Jesus’ words for life are especially true for us: “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

To my married friends. i always make it a point to speak of singleness when i’m doing family or married people gatherings. i do it for your childrens’ sakes. How many folks do you and i know who have grown up with the pressure to be married by some arbitrary point in life? Kids will feel about singleness probably much as you teach them to feel. If, as a parent, you think it’s wrong or freakish to have an unmarried son or daughter in their 30’s, you will probably never have one, even if it were best for them to be single at that point. You would give your kids a great gift if you help them, from the earliest day possible, to have a healthy and grateful view of singleness and marriage.

Having said all this, let me be real clear, lest i be misunderstood, that i cherish marriage and mean in no way to disparage it. i am well aware that it is the norm to marry, and that is good. But, as one well-trained in the other option, can i assure you that it too is well-intended. i am open to marriage myself (though some doubt it), but, whether it happens or not, am committed to ‘give my love away.’

Lyrics

i may never have a little boy to wrestle on the floor

Or walk the aisle to give away a daughter i adore

i might never cry the tears that fathers cry on special days

i’m a man who’s never married, i have love to give away.

i might never know the promise or the kisses of a bride

But i will not mourn the absence of the bed i’ve been denied

Is it destiny or choice, i’m not quite sure that i can say

i’m a man who’s never married, i have love to give away.

But there are worlds of joy inside this world of tables just for one

Friends and family help me on this journey that i run

i have found that if my eyes and heart are open everyday

i will never be without a place to give my love away

My family name might perish when they put me in the grave

But i’ve learned it’s not the family name that matters anyway

There’s a stronger Name that covers me on every single day

i’m a man who’s never married,  i will give that Name away

So don’t worry that i’m lonely, please believe me i am not

i’m thankful for the meaning of the moments that i’ve got

And i will not spend my life afraid of things that people say

i’m a man who’s never married, i will give my love away

Till i’m seated at the table, i will watch and i will pray

i’m a man who’s never married, i will give my love away.

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