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Pure, Singleness


(see also FOCUS)

Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.

Josh Billings.

When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song, tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, "Shall I be a teacher or a singer?" "Luciano," my father replied, "if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair." I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it's laying bricks, writing a book--whatever we choose--we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that's the key. Choose one chair.




Elisabeth Elliot tells of Gladys Akword, a London parlour maid, who went to China as a missionary. Spent 7 years there, single, happy. Then an English couple came to work nearby. She saw what she'd been missing out on. So she prayed that God would choose a man in England, call him, send him out to China and have him propose. "I believe God answers prayer. He called him, but he never came."

Urbana 1976.

At a party: "I like being single. I'm always there when I need me."

Art Leo, quoted by Ron Hudspeth in Atlanta Journal.

There is only one thing harder than living alone, and that is to live with another person.

Ingrid Trobisch.

Single through no fault or choice of my own, I am unable to express my sexuality in the beauty and intimacy of Christian marriage, as God intended...To seek to do this outside of marriage is, by the clear teaching of Scripture, to sin against God and my own nature. I have no alternative but to live a life of voluntary celibacy...chaste not only in body, but in mind and spirit...I want to go on record as having proved that for those who are committed to do God's will, His commands are His enablings.

Margaret Clarkson in Homemade, December 1989.

Statistics and Research

Demographers predict that 10% of young men and women today will never marry, and that half of those who do will divorce. Some 37% of adults over 18 are single, and roughly one-fourth of all households consist of just one person. Moreover, one child in four is born out of wedlock, and one-fourth of all children now live with a single parent. Are these changes in American living patterns affecting the nation's health? Health experts have long observed that married people are healthier than unmarried people, and that death rates (from all causes) are consistently higher among single and socially isolated people. More recent studies have suggested that mortality rates are about 100% to 300% higher for socially isolated men, and 50% to 150% higher for socially isolated women, than for their socially integrated counterparts.

Resource, March/April, 1990.