Living Alone

I live alone. Or, almost alone. My ‘house’ is a granny flat at the back of a house. It just so happens that there is another granny flat in the same yard that a friend lives in. Sometimes we joke that we should make our own sitcom, like Friends, but not quite as funny. But I digress.  Living alone isn’t so bad, but today a conversation with another friend got me thinking a little about the whole idea of living alone as a woman.

Sociological research tells us that women are more likely than men to move out of home before getting married. The reasoning given is that women have a more global view of the world – that is, we want to see more, do more, be more – and part of that view is that we want to get out of home. Case in point: one of my goals since I was about 12 was to “get the hell out of Dapto”. Dapto being the town I grew up in.  Guys, however, are more likely to have a more localised view of things. They’re content to stay at home and dwell in that stage that Mark Driscoll so often yells about called adolescence, because they don’t feel such a desire to see more, do more and be more that women do.

If we drift from sociology over to theology for a moment, we see that God has given each gender unique qualities to them. There’s a book called Captivating that honestly, I haven’t read for a while, but there was something in it about women craving adventure and being made to have adventure alongside our man. Okay. I might be exagerrating a bit, but I’ll re-read the book sometime and let you know. Theologically, there are definitely distinct roles for men and women when it comes to life.

My friend today says that he thinks that the biblical idea is that women stay living at home until marriage, and I can’t see grounds to disagree with him – in fact, all I can find is reason to agree with him. Theologically, it seems that independence isn’t quite something that is upheld as shown to be an ideal for women.

But, let’s pause and think about the sociology and the theology and how the two go together. You see, sociology looks at the mind of society as a collective and if that research I saw was correct, then maybe we’ve deviated from the theological ideal? I think we have. I also don’t think it’s sinful for a woman to live alone. Far from it.

Don’t run home, and don’t rush to get married, but maybe you can help me think through this a bit more – considering today’s culture, including the way family works these days in all it’s complicated dysfunctions, what do you think the ideal is? What do you think is most beneficial for Christian women?

My initial thought is ‘community’ but it hasn’t come further than that.

Your turn.


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