Answering the "Do You Have a Family?" Question
- Thursday, April 26, 2012
I mean, what’s the point, right?
To me, it’s like asking, “Laura, why are you tall?” Answer: “Well, because that is God’s design for me!” And you know what? Right about now that sounds like a good answer for the “Why are you single?” question as well. Guess I’ve found my answer!
But back to you . . .
Like you, I have been asked the “do you have a family?” question before. It’s not really bothered me, though, and I have always answered with “yes” and then proceeded to talk about my mom, my sister and her husband and children and then sometimes I also reference my extended family in the Northeast. I also usually add that I have two cats and some houseplants, and that seems to always garner some chuckles (which could greatly help, especially if this was a question that made me tense).
I would advise seeing your situation from the perspective of those asking you the “Do you have a family?” question. If you inquired of each person who asked you that, I’m sure the majority would say that they’re just making small talk with you. They are just being polite and are just wanting to know how you are spending whatever holiday or time period it might be at that moment and with whom.
They are not asking you “Why don’t you have a family?” or “What is wrong with you?” And perhaps you’re feeling a little like they are (that’s my hunch).
But here’s the neat part: YOU get to determine how “family” is defined. Aren’t your siblings and nieces and nephews your “family”? They are! And I’m sure your “chosen family members,” as you say, probably include many close friends who know you very well and have gone through some meaningful life experiences with you. You hold them dear, and even though you don’t share blood, you certainly share life together.
Also, and most importantly, remember this: if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are a member of his body and have countless “brothers” and “sisters” in him who have been adopted with you into the family of God (Ephesians 2:19). That means your family is HUGE!
So next time someone asks you “Do you have a family?” I hope you will answer with a hearty “yes,” know that you really do and feel extra good about it!
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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