Seek Holiness Before Seeking a Spouse

Single Life column by Catholic singer-songwriter Jackie Francois: From our July 29 issue

(photo: Jackie Francois Facebook)

I really enjoy being single — until someone tells me they want me to date their kin in order for me to bring them back to the Church.

Sometimes I want to respond with, “Hey lady, I don’t flirt to convert!”

It seems, though, that God has granted me the gift of slow wit in the most inopportune times.

When people find out I’m single, they either 1) try to set me up (either with another supposedly pitiful single person or with a convent), 2) tell me how lucky I am to be avoiding marriage or 3) assume I have an incurable disease.

I don’t mind the setter-uppers; they mean well and often want me to enjoy the same bliss they have experienced in their vocation. The jaded marriage-avoiders are another bunch, though. Many times they pressure me to live the pleasures of intimacy without the levels of commitment. They especially flip out when I tell them that I’m a 28-year-old virgin striving to live a life of chastity, because, as they tell me, I “have missed out on life.” The “incurable diseasers” who condescendingly ask, “Why aren’t you married, yet?!” figure that if I’m still single in my late 20s, there must be something wrong with me.

Regardless of these assumptions and reactions, I have never felt more joy or peace in my life than I feel now in the midst of my young-adult single life.

Truthfully, it has taken me years of faith, humility and dating to get to a place where I know that God alone satisfies the yearnings of my heart to love and be loved. God alone is the one for whom my heart longs.

Even though I would like to get married someday, God is the one who I want more than anything. If God called me to give up a husband or family for the sake of the Kingdom, I would.

When there are days that I begin to idolize marriage as the ultimate fulfillment of this life, I remind myself of my God-directed priorities.

If I died tomorrow, would I be happy? Of course! I would be so excited to be with the One whom my heart loves (especially after an excruciatingly purifying time in purgatory, I’m sure).

Obviously, I am not perfect and am still learning how to navigate my way through single life, figuring out how to date properly, wanting the best for others (even if it means being rejected), and practicing what I preach — all the while trying to draw closer to the heart of God in the busyness of everyday life.

My hope for single people who are discerning is that they seek holiness before seeking a spouse, knowing that Jesus the Bridegroom gives a peace and joy that no person on this earth could ever give.

I hope that they practice enjoying the present, since every state of life brings with it trials and sacrifices that train us in virtue and prepare us for heaven.

Lastly, I hope they become witnesses to a twisted culture that scoffs at virtues like purity, chastity, modesty and self-control (see Philippians 2:13-14). Our world surely needs that bold witness.

Jackie Francois is a Catholic singer and songwriter.
Find her music online at