Contend Earnestly: The Role and Man and Woman in Singleness

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Role and Man and Woman in Singleness

This topic bothers me a little bit. The reason is that most people, when thinking of single people will tell them to be “content” or to "fight through the trial of being single." There are really two extreme thoughts of singleness. The Evangelical Christian community, in most circles, sees singleness as a curse where Catholicism sees it as the greatest and highest form of piety. Both are wrong.

I have noticed people who don't even know the person who is single to say some crazy stuff, like
"You will find your spouse one day" or the funniest one is "I'll be praying for you that you will find your spouse." I have seen this happen with people who aren't asking for prayer to find a spouse, who take seriously their singleness and actually feel called to be single. The sad part is that most of us do not see singleness as a way of life, but we see it as a means to death.

Let’s first take a look at singleness and the reason some are called by God to be single.

Look to 1 Corinthians 7.

The things to notice that Paul is trying to get across is that there are people who are called to be single, Paul was one of them. But the true calling if you are single is to devote your time where?
To the Lord.

Paul makes the statement that if you are married, you have some devotion that you must give to not only your spouse, but then if you have children them as well.

Who is the single person devoted to? The Lord

Who is the married person with children devoted to? Both the Lord, the spouse and the children. Then comes when your children get married, grandkids and the like. The list of devotion gets very long, where as with the single person they are one minded towards God for devotion.

I have seen some great men and women of God who serve in the church when they are single and show this devotion but I have also seen those who are single and use it for the selfish desires of their heart instead of what God is calling them to: devotion to Him alone.

This is a high calling. You will notice that Paul says that the prerequisite of a single person is to have self control. They are to be devoted to God and they are to make sure that they call on the Lord daily to help them with the battle of sexual lust and desire. This is why most people aren't called to be single, they want to have a spouse and Paul says, "if you desire sex, get married" (my translation). This term self control is one that is used for athletes getting ready for the games would abstain from certain foods, wine and sexual indulgence so that all their devotion is in the training for the games that they desire to win.

In the same way, the single person is to have self control and keep it in the forefront of their mind of what is tempting and what will make them fall and stay away from those desires. Just as an athlete getting ready for the Olympics don't go into the bakery for merely the scent, neither should the single person surround themselves that will cause them to fall. When done correctly, the single person can be used greatly by the Lord.

I have seen great missionaries who were single all the way to great administrators of the church. Paul's point in singleness is that you literally only have one worry and one devotion and that is to God. A life wasted would be a single person using it for the sake of a career where they never talk about God, show people Christ or minister to the church. Everything we went through with the role of the husband and role of the wife is completely negated for the most part for the single person. They are free to serve only God and look to him and his work alone. What an amazing calling. I pray that we start seeing it more like a calling instead of a curse.


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