Week 2 – Jeff Maness – October 20, 2019
Singleness is not a season to endure, it’s a status to celebrate. Yes, being single is incredibly difficult and often times very impractical, but Scripture teaches us that both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. They are to be celebrated. So what’s to celebrate about being single?
#Single: Celebrating Singleness
Big Idea: Singleness is not a season to endure, it’s a status to celebrate.
Big Question: What’s to celebrate about singleness?
Main Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:1-40
1 Corinthians 7:7-8 7 But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another. 8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.
1. It is a gift from God
When Paul speaks of singleness as a gift, he isn’t speaking of a particular ability some people have to be contentedly single. Rather, he’s speaking of the state of being single. As long as you have it, it’s a gift from God, just as marriage will be God’s gift if and when you receive it. — Vaughan Roberts
1 Corinthians 7:17, 25-28 17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you (married or single), and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. 25 Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are. 27 If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. 28 But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.
Having now spent more than forty-one years single, I have learned that it is indeed a gift. Not one I would choose. Not one many women would choose. But we do not choose our gifts, remember? We are given them by a divine Giver who knows the end from the beginning, and wants above all else to give us the gift of Himself— Elisabeth Elliot
2. It is a gift for God
1 Corinthians 7:29-35 29 But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. 32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.
To understand single life in terms of waiting for a soulmate is to treat one’s imagined future spouse as both a fetish and an idol. It is sub-Christian. Inside this framework, marriage can only ever be an arrangement that caters to the individual needs of the consumer. Its culmination is not self-giving love but rather self-serving love. —Kutter Callaway (Breaking the Marriage Idol)
3. It is a gift by God
Matthew 19:10-11 10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” 11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps.” Marriage shows us the shape of the Gospel in that it models the covenant promises that God has made to us in Christ. Singleness shows us the sufficiency of the Gospel because it shows us the reality of what marriage points to—which is our own relationship with Jesus. — Sam Alberry