Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Singleness

I am single. If you're reading this and you know me, this probably won't come as a big surprise, as I have been that way ever since I entered the world 22 years and 19 days ago. I sometimes wonder if I shall remain this way until Jesus comes back or I die, whichever happens first. For the most part, I am content to be single. However, upon turning 22, thoughts of "I'll never get married!!!" have started to flood my brain. I normally dismiss them with a wave of the proverbial hand, but I have to admit, I do wonder, "what if the next 22 years are like the last?"

I recently finished a book called "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred" by Carolyn McCulley. The author is a recently turned 40 single woman, and although I felt young reading a lot of it (I haven't yet graduated college, etc.), the first few chapters of this book are gems.

In the chapter called "Esteeming the Gift," Carolyn talks about the gift of singleness. It is a gift that everyone is given for at least a short time. In 1 Cor. 7:7, Paul talks about singleness being a gift. Apparently, that is the same Greek word [charisma] used in 1 Cor. 12 when talking about spiritual gifts. She maintains that singleness is given to us for the common good, and as I read, I began to see just how true that is. (And if you want to be un-single just for your own benefit, please, go read Phil. 2.)

Please don't think I'm saying marriage is bad or that married people are selfish...I would love to get married, but since I can't control the fact that I am not, why complain? Marriage is gift and so is singleness.

I don't know how long I will be single. Maybe by the time I am 23, I'll have a boyfriend. Maybe I won't. All I know is that for now, I am in a season of being single, and that means I have the opportunity to invest in my local church and those around me in a way I might not be able to in the future. This season is a time to focus on becoming a godly man or woman, whether or not we get married.

Carolyn also uses a quote from Elizabeth Elliot to distinguish the difference between singleness and celibacy. I am too lazy to type it out right now, but if you want to read it, either get the book from the library or ask me kindly and I will do it for you. :)

So, my challenge to all you singles (which I am guessing is the majority of the three people who probably read this) is to embrace the gift God has given you. He want to give us good gifts, right? (James 1:17) For now, He's given us singleness; maybe in the future, He will give us marriage. Either way, find your ultimate fulfillment in Christ, serve your local church and those around you, and be content in your season.