Becoming a disciple: Acknowledging the gift of singleness

Scripture – 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.

Observation

Being married is incredible and I know I would not want to go through life unmarried. But I understand Paul when he says it is better to stay unmarried, as he says in verse 28, “However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.” A person gives up many opportunities and freedoms to be wholly devoted to the Lord when their focuses are divided with taking care of a spouse and raising disciples in the home. I look at friends who are single and who have been able to give their lives totally to Jesus on the mission field, because they only need to worry about themselves. That is why Paul says that singleness is a gift, if you are able to keep it (but not to worry of you can’t – he will still use you).

Application

So often in church the parlance is that everyone will get married, and that if you should spend all your time trying to find the right person. Singleness is a gift and should be regarded as highly as being married, if not more so (as per Paul).

I need to make sure my conversations with single people, who have the gift or the potential to be hugely impactful in the kingdom, are focused on helping them see the possibilities that God may have for them as a single person rather than making them feel bad about “all the amazing things they are missing by not being married”.

More and more, with single people, divorced people, and widowed people in our church, we need to have  a positive attitude with how we communicate the amazing opportunities and potential kingdom exploits God may have for them in their station.

Prayer

Father, help me be acutely aware of how you are speaking to each person I interact with. Thank you for the practical steps outlined in your word. Thank you for every married person and every unmarried person. May you get every bit of glory you deserve. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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