The Crossing Blog

Thoughts from the Crossing Team

The Truth About Being Single

In Christian circles, singleness is a huge topic. It's usually approached with the cliche that people who are single should just wait patiently, for God will give them their one soon enough. Prayers are prayed, asking God to reveal who He has for the pray-er. Christian circles assume that every person has one other person set aside for them, the person they are destined by God to spend the rest of their lives with in marriage. But what if there's a better way? What if there is a good way - the way that is always talked about - and a better way - the way that is hardly ever talked about?

The Truth About Being Single

God's Truth About Singleness

There is a passage in the New Testament that directly addresses the topic of singleness. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Church, takes this topic head on. This is what he says:
1 Corinthians 7

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. (ESV, Emphasis Mine)

Paul is actually saying that the better way to go about life is to stay unmarried. He is not saying this as a rule or as a command, but as an overall observation about life and ministry. To be married is a great gift, but to be single, it seems, is an even better one. It's weird for me to say this because I am married and wouldn't trade my marriage for anything. But there is something to say about being wholly focused on what God desires to do through you.

The better way in singleness is that because you are single, your attention is undivided. You are able to completely focus on the work of the Kingdom of God.

The Deciding Factor

Paul, speaking to people who are engaged and unmarried, says that the deciding factor in all of this is not whether or not God has the one for you, but whether or not you can control your sexual urges. If your passions are strong, as Paul says, you should go ahead with marriage.

If only things were that simple, right? You may be reading this, frustrated at the fact that you don't have that choice right now. You don't have a fiancee so you are stuck in singleness. But may I encourage you? I know, I know, I'm married and know nothing about your situation. I get it. I really do. But may I just say something to you? Take it or leave it, that's okay.

Maybe being single is the better way.

Maybe this is your time to do the most you can for the Kingdom of God.

The truth about singleness from God's truth, His word, is that singleness can be a gift that allows you to be solely focused on pleasing the Lord.

It's not the easier way, but maybe it's the better way.

Originally posted at BrandonKelley.org.

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