When we think of single people, we often think of young adults in their twenties, not yet married. However, singleness is not just the domain of the young. I can’t tell you how many prayer requests we get from people of all ages, looking to find a spouse. Some are young. Some are older and have never been married. Some have sadly lost a spouse and are seeking for companionship.
“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” I Corinthians 7:8-9
It can be a very good thing to be single. In fact, it’s a common thing to say, “singleness is a gift.” Has anyone ever told you that? Have you ever told someone else that? I know I have. I even said it while I was single. Of course, back then I didn’t really understand it. When you’re single and lonely, and everyone else seems to be in a relationship, hearing that singleness is a gift is the last thing you want to hear. Well, I’m here today to explain to you why singleness is, in fact, a gift.
Recently, my wife and two kids went to Southern California to visit her parents. I had the house to myself from Thursday to Sunday. I could do whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, I had no idea what, in fact, I wanted to do. When you are married with kids, so much of your energy goes towards just making day-to-day life work with the fewest owies and booboos possible.
The first night they were gone, it took me an hour and a half to finally figure out what I wanted to do for dinner! I was so used to making food for other people, that when I finally had the option to do exactly what I wanted, I couldn’t make a decision.
That was the first day. A day or so later I got into the single-life-rhythm. And you know what? I was completely lazy, and I still accomplished more than I normally do when the family is home. Things that would normally take an hour or two were finished in 20 minutes. I did financial paperwork, went grocery shopping, read my Bible, explored the town, and still had hours and hours of extra time to fill.
Now, you may think that being a parent will take up your time, but marriage will be easy. It’s not just the kids. Marriage takes up your time, too. When you’re single, you can leave at a moment’s notice to go for a hike, see a movie, or help a friend. When you’re single, you can buy anything you want or need as long as your finances allow. When you’re married, you should always consider your spouse’s time, needs, and wants. Everything takes longer when you are married. Even grocery shopping requires you to consider and remember the needs of your spouse.
When I was single, I’d wake up three hours before I had to be at work. I’d read my Bible, go for a hike, and write for a full hour each morning. Now, I’m proud of myself if I find thirty minutes for a workout. Don’t think I’m saying marriage and kids are bad. They’re not. But they do limit your productivity. Paul actually wrote about this very issue in I Corinthians 7:32-35:
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
As married men, we have responsibilities to our families. We have to take care of them, love them, and serve them sacrificially. If we are single, we have none of those responsibilities. We can spend that energy serving others, doing good works, and caring “for the things that belong to the Lord.”
When you look at it that way, singleness can absolutely be considered a gift. So, Brother, should you seek out the gift of singleness? Should you seek out marriage? First Corinthians 7:20 says, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” It continues in verse 27 “Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.”
Basically, we are supposed to be thankful for whatever relationship status we find ourselves in. If God brings you a spouse and kids, be thankful for the gifts of God! If you’re single and have the freedom to serve God in any way imaginable, be thankful for the gifts of God!
Sometimes we are so focused on what we don’t have that we aren’t paying attention to the gifts God has already blessed us with. So, it really comes down to this, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Easier said than done. Thank God for His grace!
Family Radio Staff