Ironically we are kicking off our look at moving to mature, Hebrews 5 style solid food Christian relationships by looking at singleness, the lack of such relationships.
If you are a guy and are reluctantly single the good news is that, according to Mark Driscoll, there are ‘between eleven and thirteen million more women in church than men’ (Religion Saves, Mark Driscoll, pg 185) – so reasonably good odds that at least one of them will be right for you! (If only I could find one of those women myself…) But for now let’s look at singleness.
“So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.” – Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:8
And the first thing to note is, contrary to what TV shows, magazine and pop songs say, there is nothing wrong with being single. Paul recommends it. When we believe (as the Bible tells us) that God has a plan for our life and is sovereign over all that happens, it means that if you are single right now, that is God’s plan for this time of your life, and it is happening for a reason.
One important thing to remember is that as Christians, the point for our romantic relationships should be to find someone to marry. And if you aren’t ready to think about marriage yet then dating is a waste of time and so you shouldn’t be worried about being single.
For some of us God’s plan may involve being single for a long period of time, and that can be hard to accept, but you have to remember that with His plans, everything happens for a reason, and works together for our good (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). Relationships take up a lot of your time, thoughts and can be expensive too. And they mess with your emotions like crazy. It could be that God wants you single now to save you emotional pain before you are mature enough to deal with it. It could be that He has plans for you to fulfil that require a lot of time, and you being in a serious relationship would distract from it.
“An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-34
[For most of the time I’ve been writing All4God I’ve been single, and have come to realise that maybe it has been my freedom from relationship distractions that have allowed so much to happen with the site to glorify God. I do however feel that God has shown me over the summer that that season of my life is over if anyone reading this is interested…]
It could even be that God wants to use this period of singleness to prepare you for the next relationship, so that spiritually and emotionally you are strong enough to have a God honouring relationship that sets a real shining, city on a hill example to those around you. Whatever the reason, there is a reason, sometimes it just takes a while to realise!
And because there is nothing wrong with being single that means we shouldn’t be desperate to cease being single. We shouldn’t throw ourselves at the first guy/girl to show any interest. Before ending a period of singleness we should consider if God has finished with that period of our lives yet. Are we spiritually and emotionally in a place to be a good partner? Will this guy/girl help us grow closer to God, or will they distract us? Are they someone who shares our faith and values? Are they a person God would intend for us to date?
To borrow some wisdom from a wise chef I know called Bill, don’t settle for chicken when you can have steak. The chicken may be on a plate right now, but maybe God has a juicy steak in the oven for you if you can remain single a short time longer.