Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Three Things We Singles Need to Remember (Plus One)

Two posts ago I wrote about some statements that I've had others make in regards to singleness and how those particular statements might be taken no matter how benign the intentions are.  Most of the time these things make me laugh because of how often we all (myself included) tend to believe that we've figured life out and that a one sentence platitude will solve everyone else's problems.  Less of the time (mostly due to pride) these statements can be rather convicting.  So here are three things I think we as singles need to remember in light of the statements we often hear:

  1. Statement: I found my husband when I was finally content with being alone.  What we need to ask ourselves: Are we being content in all circumstances?  In our jobs, in our singleness, in our schools and churches, in our families?  No circumstance in life will ever completely satisfy us.  We will always want something more because this life was never meant to satisfy.  God alone can fill the void; not marriage, not success, and not what we would view as the "ideal life".  (Philippians 4:12-13) 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.   
  2. Statement: Your standards are too high.  What we need to ask ourselves: Do we have a right view of what marriage is?  I think a lot of us (maybe it's just me) have a romanticized view of marriage in general and this messes up our attitudes towards others.  The idea of soul mates pervades our society and often leads us to impossible standards for those we might consider marrying.  I think what we need to remember is that, while attraction and compatibility are important for a life time together, love is and must be a choice.  It's too long so I won't write it out here, but a good verse to mediate and pray over to fight this attitude is the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians.  
  3. Statement: Nothing sanctifies you like marriage.  What we need to remember: Nothing sanctifies us like a day to day relationship with God.  His plan is perfect for us.  He will absolutely chose the best means by which to make us more like Him.  He works all things for the good of those who love Him and who He has called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
  4. Tag on Statement:  How can you be tired?  You don't have any kids!  What we need to consider:  I added this one on Facebook right after I'd finished my post and it was the one that really convicted me this week.  What I've been questioning is whether or not I am using my time wisely as a single adult.  Do I spent my time in selfish pursuits or do I seek to use the time God has blessed me with to serve His kingdom?  It's a little scary when I consider how many hours I day I might waste on vain and meaningless things, on "chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:14).  The fact is, I need to be seeking the kingdom, being a tool God uses to help build that which moth and rust cannot destroy, but is that what I'm doing?  (Matthew 6:33)
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
No matter what circumstance I am in life I need to remember that God is both good and sovereign, and that the world in which I live is only temporary.  He is redeeming it, making it new, setting things right, and I can either waste my time grumbling about my circumstances or praising Him for His blessings while seeking to serve Him out of gratitude.  I pray for the latter and hope that as I grow that God will change my attitudes to better reflect His own.

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