I have been thinking about 1 Corinthians 7, lately. In this particular portion of Scripture, we are reminded that it is better to be single. When we are single, we are in the absolute best position to serve God in His Church.
“I want all of you to be free from worry. An unmarried man worries about how to please the Lord. But a married man has more worries. He must worry about the things of this world, because he wants to please his wife. So he is pulled in two directions. Unmarried women and women who have never been married worry only about pleasing the Lord, and they keep their bodies and minds pure. But a married woman worries about the things of this world, because she wants to please her husband. What I am saying is for your own good—it isn’t to limit your freedom. I want to help you to live right and to love the Lord above all else (vv. 32-35).”
I don’t write this to condemn single Christ-followers, but to encourage them. To encourage you. On the basis of the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know there are many single Christ-followers. I just wonder where they are. Not in a “on-the-lookout-for-a-Christian-man” kind of way. But, I want to see the single folks serving alongside me, in every ministry in our global Church. I want to see us, as God’s dearly beloved, utilizing every single gift we are given. Let’s not misuse any of our God-given gifts!
I want to know…
- Where are they serving?
- How are they allowing God to use their season of singleness to impact the Kingdom of God?
- What kind of example are they setting?
Singleness and the Ministry Given
We Notice Them
As singles, we become abundantly aware of every married couple in our home church. We notice when new people visit our church. We notice who the single people of the Church are. So, the singles are out there – despite how rare their appearances seem to be.
Yet, many are single…
They just aren’t seen serving in His Church.
Singles: Godly Examples on Ministering
I am speaking of His Church on a global level. It is not solely my Church that I speak of, but His Church. I am one who craves mentorship. I am greatly impacted by others’ lives, as I observe their words and actions. I treasure seeing others’ faith at work through their serving within the Church. To see others who take God at His Word when He teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, live in harmony with one another, and associate with the lowly (Rom. 12:15-16).
So, this is a question that can obviously plague my spirit.
Where are all the single Christ – followers who can be leading, serving, and impacting others for the Kingdom of God?
Where are they?
I just want to know where they are.
I just want to find them and witness their God-centered passion.
Surely, they are out there. Right?
I mean, they have to be out there somewhere.
But, what are they doing if they aren’t ministering within the Church? And yes, I wonder if they allow their singleness to hold them back in their serving.
Or, perhaps, are they busy following other things?
- Catching up on TV shows?
- Busy buffing up at the gym?
The Gift of Singleness
I wish we recognized the tremendous strength that our singleness could hold. It has taken me nearly 29 years, to reach this blessed point of being content in singleness and having a passion to utilize this season to actively pour myself into ministry as God allows. I don’t want to miss a beat, due to discontentment. I don’t want my Christian brothers and sisters, to neglect their God-given gifts either.
Single or married, we need to concern ourselves with pleasing God and using our gifts in His Church.
Contentment in Singleness
I am growing in this area of being content in singleness. A key aspect of this, for me, is to serve God in the local Church. While I serve, through various functions (this blog, my writing, other social media, etc), serving in the local Church body is a key aspect of growing in godly contentment.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (1 Tim. 6:6-7).”
Serving within the Church has replaced the discontentment. I am choosing to see the gift of singleness and the contentment that God can bring with (and through) it. Instead of being centered on singleness and dreaming up possibilities, I am basking in the opportunity to serve. Using my spiritual gifts, to serve where I can love and grow alongside others. This is where I am finding my joy, sweet fellowship, deeper communion with Jesus Christ, and yes godly contentment – even.
In the Bible, there are countless singles who left their footprint on others’ lives. It is because of their singleness that they could more wholeheartedly follow Jesus Christ – our loving Savior.
This is not to say that married individuals did not (or cannot) wholeheartedly follow Christ. But as we know, single individuals have more to offer. This is due because our lives typically include much less responsibility. A married individual worries about how to please their spouse/family, whereas we can focus on solely pleasing the Lord. All He asks for is our hearts, and singles have plenty to give.
Singleness: An Opportunity to Minister
You know when you read Christian books or articles on singleness, there is something they tend to mention.
Those who are unattached, are in the absolute best place to minister to others.
I am holding onto this truth. Scripture even backs it up. It’s biblical, as we see in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
When we are single, we can throw ourselves into whatever area God is calling us. We do not have concern ourselves with wondering if our husbands feel as though we are neglecting our marriage, kids, spending too many hours in Church, etc. Because, we can wholly devote ourselves to Christ, His Bride – the Church, and just focus on how can we minister to others and be ministered to.
As I look to this kind of lifestyle of treating singleness as a ministry opportunity, I want my eyes to be opened to other men and women of God who are of a like-mindset, and learning how to focus on pleasing the Lord. I want to find these individuals who can serve as encouragement and examples of how to lead in the midst of singleness.
If you are single, how are you using your singleness to serve?
If you are married, what examples of single Christians have you observed in your own life?