This evening I came home to a post in the Facebook group of my church’s adult singles ministry asking members to list the things they like about being single.
With the exception of a solitary post about the freedom to come and go without answering to someone else, there hasn’t been a whole lot of response.
But, the request did get me thinking. While I might not have a spouse to answer to, I don’t feel the freedom thing is really a benefit for me. I have five children still at home and a meager bank account, so I still find myself a bit restricted on doing anything and everything I might like to do.
In the interest of full disclosure, I would have to admit that I would love to be in a godly marriage, but, at the same time, I am uniquely satisfied in being single at the moment. Maybe I feel this way because being single does not define who I am, it’s merely a box I check on forms and the sometimes awkward answer to questions people pose when I am with my children and there’s no dad around.
I am defined by a much grander purpose and position: I am a follower of Christ, and, in that place, I can find happiness even if I haven’t yet found the right husband.
A Singular Devotion to Christ
Without a husband, I have the ability to maintain a singular devotion to Christ. In I Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul repeatedly speaks of this freedom as a primary benefit of being single. Married individuals have an obligation to each other. While this relationship should always be secondary to a relationship with God, a marital relationship is, by its very nature, a distraction.
While I do not want to diminish what God does in the lives of married individuals, in my case, I believe God has used this time in my life to grow me in ways that I might not have experienced if I had not been single.
We learn from a variety of circumstances, and being single is certainly no different. One of the most wonderful things I have learned in my years of being single is the truth in Philippians 4:11: Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. (NKJV)
As I write this, I have a daughter attending college in England with a terrible case of homesickness. A car sitting in a parking lot with a flat tire, and I’m still unsure as to how I will get the tire replaced and get the car home. My children’s online academy has decided to take its website down for the next three and a half days, and this is prime time for us to get their schoolwork done. I need to have nearly $1,000 worth of dental work done next week. And, I’m battling a nasty case of the flu.
I say all this as testimony to the fact that I do not live some perfect life where God makes all things run smoothly. But, I do know what He has promised. My future is not dependent on my circumstances, and neither is my contentment. I can be content because I know God is still God, and I am not. And, in the overall scheme of things, none of these issues change the fact that the God of the Universe loves me and has secured my soul for all eternity with the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
Living God’s Plan
God says in Jeremiah 9:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV ).
That’s His promise. I have a hope and I have a future. He does not assure me that there is a spouse in that future, but that’s okay too. I did the marriage thing my way, and it didn’t turn out all that well (although I do have some pretty wonderful children). I prefer God’s plans, whether they include a spouse or not.
So, I guess that’s what I like about being single: God is not limited by my marital status, and so neither am I.