Some people excel at being SINGLE and some don’t. So what is the difference? The first thing is to understand and accept that it is OK to be single. Second, we must be aware of the advantages of being single and how one should live in light of these advantages. I want to get into some of the practicalities of what a single person should be doing. Now I realize that there are some who choose the single life and others who have it thrust upon them but they are not looking to remain that way.
Let’s discuss both of these. First, what do you do when you are single because you want it that way.
Single by Choice
Seeing some of the advantages of singleness, the reduced responsibilities of being married, there are some who will choose to be single. Maybe you are thinking right now, That is a choice I want to make with seemingly no responsibility. However, let me warn you that singleness is not a license to be selfish.
No matter where you are in life, single by choice or not, married with kids, etc, none of us are called to be self focused. We are all called to be godly, to be holy.
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Being single doesn’t mean you have NO responsibilities. Everyone has responsibilities toward God. You just don’t have some of the relational responsibilities that a married person would have. But you still have responsibilities to be holy in what ever situation you find yourself in.
The Responsibilities of Being Single
So what are the responsibilities that a single person would have? Well, one of the responsibilities is to refrain from sexual intimacy. Maybe you are thinking “Hey, wait a minute, I have needs and desires that God has put inside of me.”
God knows that and the outlet that he has given for those very real and normal needs and desires is marriage between a man and a woman. But to choose to remain single means to choose to forgo and subdue those urges. Paul says if you can’t control those passions, if those passions are consuming too much of your mind and energies to control, then it would be better to marry.
9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
So if you choose to remain single, you choose to sacrifice sexual intimacy. Besides the responsibility of refraining from Sexual intimacy, there are other responsibilities that come along with choosing to be single while being a Christian.
And it is because of the reduced responsibilities toward others in terms of our time and finances that we have a greater responsibility to God with those things. So one should use ones increased time availability to grow.
Grow in the Lord
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now this verse isn’t just for single people, but for everyone. But singles can use the increased time they have available to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. You will have more time than a married person to be studying the word on your own, to be involved in a small group Bible study, and to be devoting yourself to prayer and meditation.
Through the increased time you have available, you can grow stronger in the Lord. And the reason that you want to grow in the grace and wisdom and knowledge of the Lord is so you can better serve.
Serve the Lord
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms
By serving others we serve the Lord. This is why God has given us all that we have. He gives us gifts to serve others. He gives us time to serve. We need to be wise stewards of our gifts and our time. Those who have less time responsibilities in some areas should serve more in others. Not having a wife and kids means you can decide to do things based on what happens to be going on in your life alone, not on yours, your spouses and your kids.
Now if you are single by choice and a Christian, this should be your primary focus for you life. Paul says that there are some who should consider not marrying and he gives those reasons for it and concludes with these words:
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
If you are a Christian and choosing to remain single, you are choosing to live Singly focused upon the Lord. Serve Him by serving others. But what if you are single and are not really choosing that for yourself? What do you do when you are single because of something other than your own choosing?
Single by Circumstance
Maybe you want to get married and you just have not yet met that right person. It may be that you are just not ready for the responsibilities of marriage yet. What do you do then?
Well, first remember that God is sovereign, meaning that He is in control of things. It is not some mistake that you are where you are. That being said, I want to give you some advice that will help you live well in the meantime and be able to be used greatly by the Lord.
Pray for Purity
First of all, pray for purity. Like I said at the beginning of this post, God has reserved sexual intimacy for marriage between a man and a woman. Physical intimacy outside of our marriage is either adultery for someone who is already married or fornication for someone who is not married. And they are both sin. It is within the bonds of marriage that sexual intimacy is to be experienced.
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
So while you desire and are looking forward to marriage, you need to be praying for your purity. And what you are praying for is really the strength to remain pure. We live in a difficult culture. Television shows, Billboards, Movies, and Commercials all seem to include sexual overtones that get our minds focused on sex.
Watch and Pray
That is why we need strength and help from the Lord to be pure and holy. Because Jesus recognized his disciples weaknesses, he told them in the final hours of his life, while he was praying to…
41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
We need to be praying because our flesh is weak especially in areas that we are constantly bombarded with temptations. But if God commands it, He will enable you to do it.
“Single through no fault or choice of my own, I am unable to express my sexuality in the beauty and intimacy of Christian marriage, as God intended…To seek to do this outside of marriage is, by the clear teaching of Scripture, to sin against God and my own nature. I have no alternative but to live a life of voluntary celibacy…chaste not only in body, but in mind and spirit…I want to go on record as having proved that for those who are committed to do God’s will, His commands are His enablings.”
Margaret Clarkson in Homemade, Dec. 1989
So be praying for purity. Another piece of advice for you when you are single by circumstance is to wait for the wedding.
Wait for the Wedding
That is everyone’s favorite word. Wait. Nobody likes to wait. But when you rush things that have life long effects, that is when problems arise that you would not have to deal with otherwise. Don’t be so eager to be married that you throw out some of the guidelines God has given us concerning marriage.
Don’t Marry a Non Christian.
For instance, if you are a Christian, God says don’t marry a non-Christian.
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Do not be bound together with unbelievers;
Single people, this is not something God has said to us to limit our joy, but to increase our enjoyment of life. When, as a Christian, you marry someone who is not a Christian, it typically ends up that the Christian is drawn away from the Lord and drawn away from walking with Him. You won’t lose your salvation, but you will end up losing your joy in the Lord. You won’t be able to have that abundant life that Christ came to give.
What about Dating?
So what does this mean for your dating relationships? Well, it means that you should not date anyone who is a non-Christian. Why is that? Because you shouldn’t date anyone that you know up front you couldn’t marry.
Emotions are not something to be played with. You may enter into a relationship with someone who is not a Christian with no intention of getting serious, but then your emotions get involved and it starts to get more complicated.
The best thing to do is not even enter into a relationship with someone who is a non-Christian. And furthermore, you are going to want to think twice about entering into a relationship with someone who says they are a Christian but does not live as one. Jesus said you will know His disciples by their fruit. It is not that someone will be perfect, but they will be striving.
Be looking for that a spouse that is committed to striving to follow the Lord and pursuing that in their life. That is where you will be finding a mate that will be bringing joy and not hardship into your future.
Finally, for the Christian who is single by circumstance, you too need to serve God.
Serve the Savior
Just as the Single who chooses to remain that way, God has gifted you and given you time right now. You do not need to be spending all of your time finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. As you are praying and waiting, you need to be serving. God is faithful to provide for us. Let God work and trust Him in His work in your life. It is hard sometimes, but realize that God’s timing is not always our timing.
God does not just want us sitting home praying and waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to call. He wants us to wait on Him actively, by serving Him and His church. Get involved in serving. Singles, there are many things you can do. Take on mentoring some of the younger kids. Look for how you might be able to impact someone’s life.
God has given you gifts to be honed and used. Use them by serving Him and His church.
Now go… and be godly!
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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