Single and Satisfied.
It is important to know that it is okay to be single until, and if, God sends you someone who is spiritual, loyal, and someone you can spend the rest of your life with. Being single is smarter than being in a wrong relationship.
Many people naively think that marriage will solve all their problems. But there are some problems marriage won’t solve, like loneliness, sexual temptation, satisfaction of one’s deepest emotional needs, or elimination of life’s difficulties. Marriage alone does not hold two people together, but commitment does – commitment to Christ and to each other despite conflicts and problems. As wonderful as it is, marriage does not automatically solve every problem.
Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 is: To stay unmarried is desirable, but it isn’t demanded.
Paul gives four reasons to remain single:
1 – Singles will encounter less distress from a hostile world.
“Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is (single).” 1 Cor. 7:26
Because believers face the world’s hostility toward Christ, Paul’s advice is to stay single. Suffering alone is difficult. But watching a spouse or child suffer with you can be unbearable. Persecution is difficult enough for a single person, but the problem and pain are multiplied for one who is married.
2 – Singles will experience fewer difficulties on a personal level.
“…But those who marry will face many troubles in this life…” 1 Cor. 7:28
Though marriage has many rewards, the process is costly. Marriage increases responsibilities, demands adjustment to finances, leisure time, and goals, and upends our selfishness.
Singles deal with selfishness, but without the friction of a lifetime mate. It is hard enough for a sinner to live with himself, let alone with another sinner.
Marriage may cause some problems while it solves others. It is not intended by God to resolve all personal, emotional, or spiritual difficulties. It definitely intensifies some of them.
“Trouble” in 1 Corinthians 7:28 literally means “pressed together under pressure.” Marriage presses two people together in the closest possible ways.
Marriage never should be used as a way of escape, even from loneliness. Many people carry their loneliness right into marriage, and end up making another person lonely.
And although it is God’s means for normal sexual fulfillment, marriage does not end temptation to lust and immorality.
3 – Singles can expect fewer distractions from time spent on spiritual matters.
“…this world in its present form is passing away… an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife.” 1 Cor. 7:31-33
Paul urged the believers not to regard marriage, home or financial security as the ultimate goals of life. Christians should invest more time in eternal matters because time is brief and the world is sinful. Believers must live detached from this world. Those who have been blessed with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them. Material blessings can be used to further God’s kingdom.
Those with family priorities have many distractions from spiritual priorities. Marriage should not reduce a Christian’s obligation and devotion to the Lord and His work.
Paul’s first two phrases in v. 31 provide a perspective on the third – “the fashion (Greek schema) of this world passeth away.” It seems foolish to invest time and energy on something that is passing away. The best comment on this is from 1 John 2:15-17…
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
4 – Singles can enjoy greater concentration in their relationship with God.
“An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Cor. 7:34-35
Paul underlines one advantage of being single – the potential of a greater focus on Christ and His work. Those married have a responsibility to enrich their marriage and meet their spouse’s needs. The unmarried are able to give undivided attention to the Lord.
If you are unmarried, use your special opportunity to serve Christ wholeheartedly. Marriage does not prevent great devotion to the Lord and singleness does not guarantee it. But singleness has fewer hindrances and more advantages.
Recommendations for Singles:
- Rejoice. Thank God for your singles and enjoy it as His best for you at this time in your life.
- Reverse. Instead of using your energy to find a mate or advance your career, give yourself totally to God and His will.
- Relax. Quit longing for something you don’t have. Be content where God has you right now.
I share al these ideas because it seems that many singles feel pressure to get married. I want you to know it is okay to remain single. In fact, it may be advantageous to be single as you serve God.