In the past few months my face book page has been flooded with tons of posts on marriage; posts about unrealistic expectations, and seeking out spouses rather than trusting in God, etc. While I have been encouraged by these writings, I want to just spend some time talking about enjoying our single-hood and using this time to live up to the full potential that God has called us to live. I write this post not only to encourage you singles out there, but to encourage myself. I am the first to admit that I am way too hard on myself (and on God) about my single state, but I am daily seeking to change my perspective and to focus on Him rather than myself.
Recently, I had an uncle of mine come into town. Now, I love my uncle dearly, but I know that anytime he’s around, a lecture on marriage is bound to ensue! I try my best to dodge these conversations, but this almost never works out and I end up in a 3 hour conversation with him about marriage. As much as I tease him about it, the conversations are always helpful and very insightful into God’s word. With all that in mind, it got me thinking that I needed to really start shifting my focus to God rather than myself. My prayer has shifted from, “God what is your will in my life” to “How can I join You in what You’re doing.” God is doing some amazing things in this world, and I can either spend most of my life worrying about myself, or join Him in His mission for us to minister to the world. Now as a single woman, I find it easy to get distracted with the idea of marriage and with finding “Mr. Right.” While it’s okay to want to be married, the problem was that it became a distraction in my life. It distracted me from focusing on God and the work that He is doing in this world. Paul tells us in Scripture that time is short, and the world we are living in is passing away (I Corinthians 7: 29-31). Paul is saying that our perspective should be on things above, not on the things of this earth. We need to redirect our focus on His glory and His eternal purposes.
Paul continues to say, “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord” (I Corinthians 7: 32). Paul is clearly articulating in this passage that as singles, our concerns need to be of the Lord and nothing else! My primary purpose in this world is to serve God and bring glory to His name. For those of us who are single: marriage is not ours at this point in our life, and therefore, it should NOT be distracting us from our main purpose! Paul wants us to have “secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” This means that Jesus Christ is to be the heart of all say, do, and think. He should be our main focus! Single friends, we have the greatest opportunity to tune into God and focus completely on Him at this point in our lives. God has intended good for us, and I think for many of us it is hard to experience this because we are so caught up in idea of marriage or in worldly things. We have been called to this specific phase of single-hood in our lives (1 Corinthians 7:24), and it is our role to accept it and to focus our attention on Him. Use this time God has given you, to draw closer to Him, and to become the person He has willed for you.
I recognize that this time of single hood can be difficult and discouraging at times, but when your mind is set on Him, you begin to realize that there is no greater joy than having an invested relationship with the Creator of this Universe. The attacks of Satan are great in this period of our life, and as long as you allow him, he will continue to fill your mind with lies that you will remain unhappy or incomplete without a spouse. Satan will cunningly convince you, that matters have to be taken into your own hands, rather than waiting on God and His perfect timing. As Christians, we must realize that our value is in Jesus Christ, and if you buy into the lies of Satan, you may find yourself reducing your value for the sake of “happiness.” Marriage is a lifelong commitment and to enter into it with just anyone, could lead to a life time of heart ache and sorrow. As single Christians we need to stop buying into Satan’s lies, and stop worrying about what others think about our single-hood. There is only One Person who your eyes need to be set on, and that is on Jesus Christ. Trust that God has a plan for you and that He’s got your back!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is ultimately conveying that if God has called you to be single, then enjoy it and live for Him! This is the time that we can have “undistracted devotion”- time that we will never get back. We don’t have the same responsibilities and worries that our married friends have, and we must take advantage of this. I definitely don’t want to look back on my single life and regret the time I wasted worrying about things I ultimately had no control over. It’s time we change our perspective to things above rather than the things of this world. When our lives shift from focusing on ourselves to focusing on Christ, we begin to tune everything else out, and can finally listen to His calling and guidance in our lives. Tune into His word and spend time at His feet, getting to know Him on a personal level, and you will be amazed at how He can use your single stage in life for His glory!
Paul ends 1 Corinthians 7 by saying, “But she is happier if she remains as she is…” If God is calling you to be single, then be the happiest single possible. Same goes for those of you who are married. Enjoy this state in your life and live for Him! True joy comes from the Lord. Surrender you life to Him and watch Him use you for His Kingdom!