Let’s be honest, you saw my title, and you either thought “Blessing– singleness is the best!” or “Curse– someone please date me.” If you’re the latter, maybe I’ll be able to change your mind.
Chances are, you want to get married some day– maybe not some day in the near future, but definitely some day. How do you find someone to marry? You date. Unfortunately, in order to date, you have to go through a period of singleness.
Most of us look at singleness as just a small phase we have to go through in order to find a relationship. For some people, that definition is pretty accurate, but what if you never get married? What if singleness is your life? Would you be okay with that? My goal is to make you say yes.
I Corinthians 7: 7-8 says
I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and nothing in that way. I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am.
Now, you might read that and say, “Look Paul, there is no way that staying single is good for me. If I have to third wheel with my best friend one more time, I’m going to throw up.” To that, I want you to know that I completely understand, but maybe you should hear Paul out. I mean, we don’t always want what’s best for us. We might not want to do our homework or eat our vegetables, but it’s what’s best for us. To that same effect, we may not want to be single, but it’s good for us.
“Okay, sure. That’s great and all, but I know why eating my vegetables and doing my homework is good for me. How is there any way that being single is good for me?” Paul explains in I Corinthians 7: 32-35 why singleness is such a gift:
I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the things of the world–how he may please his wife–and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world–how she may please her husband. Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.
You know what Paul’s talking about, right? It’s kind of like when you’re at this group event that’s kind of a date but technically not a date with the guy/girl you like, and instead of focusing on whatever is happening around you, you’re focused on if you should make a move and hold his or her hand or if your hair is in the right place. Maybe you’re at a movie, and you’re focused more on if he thinks this scene is funny (because you think this scene is funny, and you two need to be compatible) than you’re focused on the movie. Dating is distracting, and when you really stop to think about from what dating is distracting you, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it?
Paul says at the end of verse 35 that singleness helps us to be devoted to God instead of being distracted by everything else. When you’re single, you have more freedom and time than someone in a relationship has. That may seem crazy, but think about it. We’ve all had a friend who couldn’t go shopping with us because she had to go to her boyfriend’s basketball game. Or a friend who wasn’t sure if he could go to Mexican with the rest of us because he needed to make sure that his girlfriend wasn’t expecting him. Relationships are binding. A single person? They don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule. They have more freedom. They also have more time. They don’t have to worry about setting aside a date night.
If you’re single, what are you doing with all of your extra time? You could be binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. You could be reading a book that’s being turned into a movie soon. Those are all great options that I like to take part in myself, but what if we actually did what Paul says our singleness is laid out for us to do? What if we took that hour that we would normally use watching Grey’s and used it to read some of our Bible?
You see, if you’re frustrated in your singleness, you’re missing the point of your singleness. Back to the question I asked earlier: would you be okay if you were single your whole life? Maybe you’re still not sure, but think of it this way, if you focus all of the time that you don’t have to spend worrying about your physical relationship with someone else on your spiritual relationship with God, your singleness will start looking less like a curse and a lot more like a blessing.
All my love,