In the beginning of May, our church will be hosting a youth conference. Our theme is on Christian Dating. (I understand the debate between dating and courtship. However, in Portuguese there is really only one word and it translates into dating but can mean courting as well.) We asked the special speakers to speak about the problems facing Christian teens today in this important area. Why am I talking about dating on a singles blog? Because this is also part of the challenge that faces us as Christian singles in ministry.
I cannot count the number of times that I have been asked why I am not married. Or the number of times I have been told, ‘I know a nice man you need to meet.’ Only to hear the answer, ‘No’ when I ask if this man is involved in world missions. Should I stop following God’s will for my life just to get married? NO! Being single in a couples oriented society is not easy. (I am not talking about society at large but the society of the church.)
For most Christians, God has been preparing for the other. However, it is not always in the will of God for some Christians to marry. Some He has given a different task. ‘Go through life single and serving Me with all that you have. I am enough for you.’
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I know Paul is specifically talking about his thorn in the flesh, but being single is not the easiest task in the world. (Just like being married requires work.) If God has asked you to be single for Him, He will equip you with the grace to get through it. Just like He did with Paul. All we need to do is ask.
The temptations to stray abound for singles as well as for married couples. Just like a husband and wife need to keep themselves for each other, a single person must keep themselves as well. Why? Because our relationship with Christ demands that we keep ourselves unspotted from the world. We have the same restrictions placed on us that are placed on married couples. Paul said it best when he said:
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
Many people in this world may mock you for your choice to remain single and serve God. I am sorry to say, even some Christians will mock you. However, I do know that God will bless you if you choose to follow Him and do His will. He asks us for everything of ourselves, but when we give everything, He gives back everything of Himself. That is a lot of blessing for one lifetime.
Will staying single and serving God be easy? Of course not. Being married isn’t a bed of roses either. If you were to ask couples who have been together for several years, I bet the one thing they will say kept them together was hard work. But being married and out of the will of God is a worse road to follow. On the flip side, if God does have that special one for you and you walk away from that to be single, you are just as much out of the will of God as a single who should stay single and doesn’t.
What is your take on singleness? Please leave a comment and let me know.
I just read an article in “Christianity Today” about a site the promotes matchmaking for single missionaries to prevent them from leaving ministry in order to get married. It seems to be a good idea, but it still does not resolve the issue of obeying God even if you don´t desire to stay single. What do you think about such initiatives?