5 Steps to Being Single for God: Singleness in the Church
Even though the single life can be lonely, Netflix can seem like an obvious choice for Fridays and ‘Netflix and Chill’ can seem tempting; being single can be the most beneficial thing for your church and your family. We tend to treat finding someone like we have “arrived” or like we attained some sort of prize, and trust me, I was recently at an engagement party and I. DID. PARTY! But singleness is no sob story. It is a time of mastery. We forget that our savior himself lived an entirely single life. Some fools may try and convince us he got married but don’t drink the cool-aid, the reason Jesus came to earth was to die for our sins, resurrect and marry his church. If you don’t understand this concept just Youtube “IHOPKC” and listen to a bunch of their music, you will get it eventually. My point is this…Being single is a time of mastering your own character and here are ___ ways to be single and effective for God.
Let Go of the One (Or the Many)
It seems that there are two dating mentalities plaguing the young single Christian today. Scarcity and abundance. Scarcity is holding off on everyone you meet hoping you’ll find that eventual person who will line up with every checklist you have set before God. Dismissing every other person and refusing to build relationship with them because there might be someone better. And then theres Abundance: a need to taste and see (and were not talking about whether or not the Lord is good). This is dangerous because it develops a consumer mentality that dating is self centered and marriage is for your benefit alone. This also causes a lot of damage to other people.
So let go of the idea that you should be searching for “the one” and enjoy this moment right now where there is nothing but you and God. Nothing but seeking Him in all His infinite wisdom. There is an underrated, not talked about benefit to the single life in church. And if I can go out on a limb: the single twenty somethings pretty much run the Kingdom! Without single people the church doesn’t move. We set up, tear down, run sound, do the book tables, focus on the service flow, help with the youth group, and so much more. Why limit yourself to thinking this is about being single? This is about loving God!
Stop Listening to Haters
People may ask you, “Are you dating anyone?” “Omgosh, are you still not married?” “When’s the big day for you?” “So do you even want to get married?” As if you are somehow incomplete without marriage. People are not badly intentioned, I suppose they do it out of a want to see you happy with a spouse. But a persons idea of happiness is different from what God’s idea of fullness is for you. Love them anyway. They may not understand that fullness of life comes from Jesus the bread of life, the living water himself, not from another person who “completes you” a-la Nicholas Sparks deep kissing in the rain. Although marriage is a parable of Jesus and his church, the apostle Paul said:
“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. -1Corinthians 7:8
Crazy right?! I’m not telling anyone to just never get married. And in my opinion neither is Paul. I am just saying that it is a decision you get to make! And it is one that you do not do just to bow to societal pressure. Do it when you are ready! The church can sometimes look at singleness as a problem but it is a blessing from God, it is a time of separation unto Him, and it is a time of preparation for Him to launch you out to do whatever he has called you to. It’s a time to spend every possible moment cultivating great relationships with your direct family members and being the great brother, sister, son, daughter etc. you were created to be. This will always be what God wants.
Run to God
I love quoting silly internet memes and Facebook quotes cuz they be on point,yo. And no one knows who actually wrote them!
“Run as fast as you can towards God, look next to you and if someone can keep up introduce yourself.”
The reason I like this is that it implies a sense of serendipity. The whole “the one” concept is still at play however you are not stepping out of line with God’s will. Also, it is implying that if you live out the calling God places before you, the right person will be in your way. This is prime advice! So let’s focus on singleness for a second.
Since you’re single and Mad Men is over, lace up your Yeezy Boosts and put on your joggers get on track and start sprinting! There’s no looking back! We should have a mentality of pursuing our spiritual walk with a full throttle, passionate love for Jesus without any regard for dating or funny business. Preparing our hearts, our lives, our finances and minds all for the betterment of our testimony and love for God this will naturally make us better Christians and without agenda our biggest changes will be seen in the most unexpected places. Focus on that prayer life, get to know the most intimate parts of the Father, the secrets in scripture, understand who He is and things will unravel.
Waste Your Time With Jesus
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have tons of free time, given. But it’s more free time than if you’re married. And it is less responsibility. So I urge you to pursue the ministry God intended for your life. Do not confuse this with pursuing a title. I can’t stress this enough. I have seen mighty people fall pursuing a title. Search deep inside yourself to find your passion, take that passion and use it for God. He is the one who placed it there. Waste it on Jesus. Use all of your free time on him. I guarantee when you look back at the end of your life what you won’t say is “Man, I wish I wouldn’t have pursued God as much!”
What to do with Jesus Cheat Sheet
- Be Mentored
- Take Risks
Don’t “Guard Your Heart”
We briefly touched on this, but the guard your heart verse is always taken out of context. It was written from a father (Solomon) to his son, in order for him to guard his heart from principalities of this world, not people. Do not shut people out in the midst of trying to stay consecrated to God in your singleness. Be childlike in your faith and wise beyond your years in your knowledge, understand people only act out of learned behavior and keep keep your heart soft while ready to forgive. Like C.S Lewis said:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”