Being single comes with some serious advantages if you wish to make devotion to God your main pursuit in life. The apostle Paul stunned his readers in 1 Corinthians 7 because it was believed that everyone should get married. Paul’s opinion was much different: “Those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” (v. 28) He added that single adults are “free from concern,” (v. 31) “undivided in devotion,” (v. 35) and “happier.” (v. 40) If this is true, why is it that perspective is so unpopular?
Are You Content Being Single?
The truth is that we all tend to look inwards when it comes to deciding what we want. We see our own perceived needs much clearer than we see God’s desires for our lives. Focused single living (the kind Paul is writing about) only comes to those who devote themselves fully to knowing and serving God.
Paul wasn’t saying you are a better person if you can embrace being single instead of choosing married life. Even in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul acknowledges that personal needs often overpower devotion to God. Wives are concerned with pleasing their husbands. Husbands are consumed with pleasing their wives. Their passions may be too strong for them to be content being single. Paul does not condemn those who seek to get these needs met, but he does say it is better for those who can sincerely and enthusiastically make devotion to God their place of contentment and identity.
What A Devoted Single Life Looks Like
Some of you will find this to be an attractive, permanent state for your life. I asked Steve recently, “How do you stay content as a single adult?” His response was, “I am not content, I am thrilled to be single. I can make decisions quickly and I can go anywhere God is leading me without having to consult another. I have been on numerous mission trips and have seen some fascinating parts of the world. I can’t even imagine not being able to live like this.”
Brianna’s response was a little different. She told me, “I told God I am good with this arrangement for now. I have a weekly date with Jesus, serve in my church visiting shut-ins and am involved with an active, county-wide single’s ministry. It is great – for now. I have also told Him that I am good with being in a relationship whenever He thinks it is a good idea. I am content but I hope being single is temporary.”
How does an individual become content enough with devotion to God to make his or her own needs a secondary pursuit? Here are some of the must-haves to make it work:
- Agree intellectually with Paul’s thoughts in 1 Corinthians 7. Read the chapter and make a list of the benefits of being single in your own words.
- Use the time you would otherwise spend in dating to study God’s word and worship your Savior. In addition, choose one or two fun things you like to do and invite Jesus to join you on them this week.
- Actively serve in a ministry you believe is important. Don’t serve out of duty or because you are available. Invest your heart in a pursuit that helps others get closer to Jesus.
- Thank God daily that you are single – just as Jesus was single.
Looking inward and focusing on your own perceived needs won’t free you from concern or increase your happiness, but turning your eyes to Jesus can. Maybe it’s time to let God’s plan for your life take over; you may like the devoted single life more than you thought possible.
You may also be interested in 4 Faith-Driven Ways For Dealing With Loneliness When You’re Single