Tuesday, January 24, 2006

second point of clarification

Well, as I said, I'm using the website to clarify some issues I raised but didn't settle well. One of those issues was singleness and the gift of singleness. How do you know if you are called to be single?

Well, to begin with, are you single? If so, then for now, you are called to be single. Actually, you are called to live faithfully as a single person. How do you know if this is a lifelong calling? Frankly, you don't.

Often we want to know what the future holds - whether we will remain single, who we will marry, where we will settle, etc. God has not promised to tell us the future and and does not make a habit out of it. Things will unfold according to his will, but there are aspects of his will that he has revealed in his word (referred to as his prescribed will), and aspects that we do not know until we look back at them in hindsight (referred to often as his secret or sovereign will, see Deut 29:29).

To push further into this and offer some practical thought, let me say that if you desire to be married and are finding the single a life a struggle, singleness probably isn't for you. To be content in a state of chastity requires a gift from God. If you dont' have that gift, it would probably mean that you should stay open to marraige. Notice I said stay open to it. Getting married isn't the goal of your life when you are single - serving and glorifying God is! Don't make changing you status the goal, make spreading the kingdom and living for God the goal. I think that is one of the main points of 1 Corinthians 7.

Also, realize that we may need to grow into the gift of singleness. I mean that it might not be easy at first; in fact, as you release your dreams of the wife/husband and kids and all that entails, it may be a struggle at first. That's natural. Someone gifted at teaching still finds the first time they teach difficult. They grow into the gift.

Notice also that it was not a matter of right vs. wrong if you decide to marry or stay single. It is an issue of Christian liberty and making wise choices. If you desire to get married, go ahead says Paul. If you burn with passion, it's probably wise - go ahead and get married. If no opportunities for marriage avail themselves, then live single, live faithfully, and serve the Lord with all your might, not being burdened by the anxieties family life brings with it.

There are benefits and drawbacks to singleness and to marriage. God has given us the freedom to choose which state we will live in, but also calls us to choose wisely.

2 comments:

Jessica R said...

Thanks Dan! This post was an encouragement perfect for today.

Anonymous said...

Dan, what was your point in "looking for a wife, not a date or a kissing buddy," if it was not the goal of being married? Yet shortly afterwards you say that getting married should NOT be a single person's goal - only serving and glorifying God. Seems to be a contradiction.

You also mention "growing into the gift of singleness," and releasing your dreams of a spouse and children. When did you release YOUR dreams of a woman like Lynn, or the children you might have with her someday? Please don't tell me that it was only when you became utterly content with your single state that God allowed Lynn to walk into your life.

Basically, what concerns me is that you feel singles have a need to reliquish their very natural desires for sex and companionship and children. A desire for these things is not anathema to serving and glorifying God as a single.