Wednesday, November 20, 2013
What To Do When You Are Single
If you’re single, Satan is after you.I am always interested in these posts because I was single for so long and now love my marriage so much. But I find myself growing weary of the entire discussion - not because, "Well, I am married now so my thing is done." To the contrary - because so many of these writing make so much out of so little.
Okay, he’s after all of us, but there are some unique dangers in singleness — especially in unwanted singleness. He loves to deceive and discourage single people in the church and derail our devotion and ministry. But God intends to use you, your faith, your time, and your singleness in radical ways right now, as you are.
You might come away from a reading of 1 Corinthians 7 with two categories in mind: those who will live, serve, and die single and those who must marry. Paul sings singleness’s praises, listing the spiritual benefits of being spouse-free. The single life can be (relatively) free from relational anxieties (7:32), worldly distractions (7:33), and wide open for worship, devotion, and ministry (7:35). So, Paul concludes, skip the ceremony, literally, and enjoy “your undivided devotion to the Lord.”
Most say, “More power to you, Paul… but I’m getting married.” Maybe temptation overwhelms you, and you need a God-honoring way to satisfy that longing (7:2). Maybe it’s abundantly clear that you need a helper to carry out God’s call on your life (or it’s abundantly clear to others that you do). Maybe you want to have kids and realized that you need help with that. Maybe you just have a deep, undeniable desire for a loving, committed companion. In each case, it is good for you to get married.
While it may seem like two categories at first, we soon discover in application that there are three: the single, the married, and the not-yet married. After all, as any single person knows, a desire for marriage does not a marriage make. My hope in reflecting on Paul’s words is to restore hope and ambition in the hearts of the not-yet married and set them solidly on mission in their singleness.
The bottom line is this - if you are single and you want to be married, then get about it. This can be hard work, it may, even probably,mean changing yourself, radically. See, it's not just about how hard it is to meet someone or the fact that at your age all the good ones are taken. There is something about you that helps them keep their distance. I know there was about me.
Part and parcel of that change is to learn to be content with your circumstances. KNOW, I mean really know, that you are where God wants you. He is in control and He will work it all out for you. You need to learn to rest in His arms. Stop worrying about your station in life and start worrying about your Lord and Savior.
All the rest of this stuff just sometimes strikes me as making mountain out of molehills.