Today’s post is written by a friend who shares the same mission field of Portugal. Her name is Amrei. She is from Germany and is involved in may aspects of ministry but principally with Member Care. I asked her to answer one simple question. As you can see, she gave a simple and a not-so-simple answer. I pray that this post will bless you as much as it did me.
Why do you serve God as a single person?
What a question! My simplest answer would be: “I serve God as a single person because I am single!”, but that does not really help, right? Well, I guess I need to divide the question into three:
Why do you serve God?
To answer this question, I need to go back to my childhood. My mother says that, as a teenager I used to say I wanted to be a missionary. That is true, because when I was 11 or 12 years old, I discovered that Jesus was interested in me personally. I knew I was a sinner and there was nothing I could do to pay for my sins. Then I understood that He had given his life to save me. So I gladly invited him to come into my life, to forgive me and be the Savior and Lord of my life. Even though I do not remember the day I made that decision, I realized back then the importance of the gospel message and I wanted others to discover this truth as well. So, around that time I found the purpose for my life, which I later stated as the following:
“I want to go to heaven and take as many with me as I can!”
This is why I serve God. I count it a privilege to be able to do that as a full time worker. For many years I have seen myself as God’s servant, so there was kind of an obligation to go out, evangelize and disciple others. I became burnt out and completely unable to do any of these things. That was when I discovered God’s unconditional love for me. Today I say that I serve God because He loves me so much that He saved me. Serving God today might not look much different than before, but my motivation has changed completely. Now it is my response to Christ’s love for me.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The second reason I serve Him is that I love people. I hate to see others run away from Jesus, who loves them so much that He gave everything to save them. I want them to experience His love, God’s justice and forgiveness, as I have experienced it and continue to experience it day after day. I know God loves people much more than I do, but my love for God urges me to love others.
Why are you single?
I am very thankful that I can honestly say that I am a happy single. Not that I never struggle with singleness, but altogether I am happy as a single and I consider this another privilege. I meet many singles who constantly struggle with this issue. Recently a married Christian counselor told me: “You are happy because you chose to be single.” I do not agree with her because I never made that choice. Actually, I always imagined myself getting married and serving God as a mother in an intercultural context. But I love God more than anything else and I know that He loves me enough to give me what is the best.
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
My way was going to Bible school, meeting my husband there, going to candidate school together and then leaving for the mission field on our honeymoon. What a dream!!!
Today I smile as I think about that, but it is true, I really thought that way. It almost became true when I was nearly engaged not long after finishing Bible school. When the relationship ended, this dream was shattered. However, I was not ready to wait to serve God until He sent somebody else along.
I have always been convinced of the fact that I am single today because singleness is the best for me. I would not be happier if I was married now. God could still change this, but it is not the purpose of my life to get married. My purpose is to love and serve God. This leads me to ask back:
Why not, serve God as a single person?
I see many “benefits” in serving God as a single. In Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians we read:
Ephesians 3:17-19 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
In my life,I have seen this prayer answered because I serve God as a single person. There is no husband, child or other relative around to which I can turn to fulfill my need for love. This makes me turn to Christ, poor out my heart before Him and experience His fullness. The more I turn to Him, the more I get to know Him and His love. As a single, I can focus on my relationship with God. As I said above: this love is my motivation for serving Him. Some of my emotional needs are not met in my life, but they remind me thatI am not made for this life, but for eternity.
In serving God I have also found a new family, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don´t need to constantly make a choice between spending time with them or with my family.
Cultural adaptation and language learning was also much easier for me as a single. I could live with nationals and did not go home from language school to a place where I could speak my language and live according to my habits.
I can spontaneously adjust my life to whatever opportunities I have to be with and serve nationals, without having to consider the implications for the rest of my family.
I can dedicate my spare time to my friends, hobbies and to communicating with family in my homeland.
There are lots of ministry opportunities I can attend to because I am free to be away from home for longer periods of time.
So, can you tell me any reason, why I should not serve God as a single person?