Dumb questions to singles deserve wise answers

Single people get dumb questions all the time. It's astonishing the things that come out of people's mouths.

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from single women is how married people think they have the right to stick their noses into our business and tell us how to run our lives. What's up with that?

You'll find many pages on the Web giving you "smart," snappy answers to these dumb questions. But I think we should be better than that. I think questions like these deserve wise, thoughtful answers.

Dumb questions can hurt

This problem is not new. It's been going on for hundreds of years, which raises another question. Why? Why do people think they have the right--or even the obligation--to butt into our personal lives and ask us things that are none of their business?

Dumb questions call for wise answers.

Surprisingly, many of these comments occur at church. You would think Christian people would know better and would be kinder. Sometimes we can chalk it up to plain thoughtlessness. People speak without thinking of the consequences.

Other times they think they're "helping." They actually believe they have such a wonderful life that they feel entitled to give unsolicited advice. And, because marriage is supposed to be the ideal state in our society, they assume single people can't possibly be happy.

We can't?

Yes, the single life has its ups and downs, and many of us would rather be married, but isn't it our right to decide whether, when, and to whom?

Dumb questions require self-control

Please ignore those other web sites that give you sarcastic replies to dumb questions. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be grouchy or bitter.

When we snap back at dumb questions, we just reinforce the myth that single people are not married because we're too set in our ways to live with. A nasty comeback only fans the gossip fires hotter. Remember Proverbs 15:1:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

If we want to follow our faith, we have to bear with rude people, even when they ask dumb questions. We may be aching to punch their headlights out, but that hardly helps our witness. We can be better. We can rise above it.

People watch singles. If you're a Christian single, they watch you even closer. You can't let them get under your skin, even when you're having a bad day. Remember this truth:

Jack's truths for thriving

Being kind in the first place will spare you
from having to apologize later.

Do what Jesus would do. Don't get angry. Don't shout. Don't lose your temper. Don't turn and walk away. Choose kindness.

Wise answers for dumb questions

Take a deep breath. Calm down. Count to ten. Your goal is not to exact revenge on somebody who asks you something rude but to be polite and let them know you are doing just fine (thank you very much!) and won't be intimidated.

Here are some dumb questions and, I hope, some wise answers. Smile sweetly as you reply. It tones down the snottiness:

    Them: "When are you going to settle down and get married?"

    You: "You don't have to be married to settle down. I'm a responsible adult with a good job, high morals, and goals in life. There's no set age when a person has to get married. I'm enjoying the life I have right now."

    Them: "But don't you want to have children?"

    You: "That might be nice someday. But that's a decision I would have to make with my spouse, if and when I get married."

    Them: "Aren't you afraid of ending up an old maid (or bachelor)?"

    You: "I'm more afraid of marrying the wrong person."

    Them: "Don't you think you're too picky?"

    You: "No, I'm particular. There's a difference. I set high standards for the person I want to marry. I'm mature enough to know a wedding ring isn't going to change someone's bad habits. That just doesn't happen."

    Them: "You shouldn't be so anxious. Don't you know single women are the bride of Jesus?"

    You: "Not according to my Bible. It says the church is the bride of Christ. When I was saved I became an adopted child of God, which makes Jesus my brother, not my husband."

Too snarky? I hope not. Anyway, these are just suggestions. Dumb questions can only get to us if we let them. Let's not let them.

How to put the pressure on them!

If you're game, here's a way to take the pressure off you and put it on the people who insist on grilling you.

Tell them you'd like their help in finding a spouse. Tell them you'll go out on a blind date with someone they suggest, BUT ONLY if that person meets ALL your requirements.

Then tell them your requirements.

Make it clear you won't compromise on any of these points. Tell them to ask their friends, but again, remind them that your aim is not just to be married but to marry the person who is right for you.

Then see what happens!

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