Last Saturday, I taught at an all-day seminar on the topic singleness at Church of the Good Shepherd in Bloomington, Indiana. John Aoun accompanied me for support and encouragement. I was reminded anew of the high place the New Testament assigns to singleness and thought I would remind you as well.
Singleness, like marriage, is a good gift of God, deserving of honor (1 Cor. 7:7, 32-35). Far from being a "second-class" way to live, singleness is a "beautiful" way to live (1 Cor. 7:35), providing opportunities to focus one's energies on undistracted devotion to the Lord. The single is free from the troubles (1 Cor. 7:28) and concerns (1 Cor. 7:32-34) that accompany the married state. This freedom is not meant to be wasted, but used in whole-hearted service to God and others out of devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. In so doing, singles have the opportunity to prove that "spiritual" love is sufficient, satisfying, and eternal. In short, the single life is the good life. It is a gift from God intended to be used for His glory. Are you doing this?
Secondly, singleness is purposeful. It is not an absence or lacking of something, but, rather, it is a positive opportunity to plunder. It is not meant to be a waiting period to bide one's time until the "right one" comes along. Many singles are waiting until they finally find a marriage partner to really begin to "live". Their entire single existence is a "search" for the right one, not a "search" for God (Heb. 11:6). But the purpose of singleness is not solely to search for a partner, but to live a life of undistracted devotion to God. Is this your purpose?
Finally, the purpose of singleness motivates in the present -- not in some unknown future. The past is gone and the future as we know it does exist. We could mull over the past, growing bitter over lost opportunities. We could fantasize about the future, creating scenarios that will most likely never exist. Or we could settle it in our minds that we are going to take advantage of our present circumstances and opportunities and begin to live fully now. In all reality, "now" is the only time we have to love, "now" is the only time we have to glorify God, "now" is the only time we have to truly live. Are you motivated to plunder the possibilities of a purposeful singleness?
Life is full of transitions. Even when we finally receive what we've desired, we realize that there is still more we desire. We must learn to enjoy the transitions, making the most of them, lest life pass us by and we never begin to truly live. In reality, all of life is one big transition to glory -- for we are aliens and strangers on this earth. Our home is in heaven, and everything we encounter is just another step along the way.
Dear single friend, even if you view your singleness as a transitional state (as most singles do), enjoy the transitions and plunder the opportunities of your honorable state. Live your single life with purpose. It is a positive state full of possibilities, not a negative state characterized by absence or lack.
May God grant you the grace to live a content and peaceful life to His glory in the unique circumstances he has assigned to you. He is with you. He will not forsake you. You are never alone and you are always loved.
© Richard J. Vincent, July 21, 2002