Making Singleness a Real Option

I just realized that at our church, we have been focusing a lot of love-relationships, assuming that everyone will get married one day.  But if we’re want to be true to want the Apostle Paul says, that singleness is a better first option, then we should certainly be the sort of community where people can find singleness as a real option.

Of course, there are some churches that fill themselves with ugly or otherwise uncohabitable people, and that’s certainly one way to do it.  But I then it isn’t really about choice.

I think that the best way to support Christian celibacy is by promoting its goal.  If we can be a church that is busy giving our lives away for the sake of the Gospel, then we not only don’t have time to think about getting married, but we will become so fulfilled as it is–or at least our yearnings would be intensified for something else.

Just some raw thoughts.  Okay, back to my studies.

5 thoughts on “”

  1. Well, first off I have to admit. I had to read your post through a couple of times before I was comfortable responding. My initial reaction is to be skeptical and hyper-critical of married people discussing single-ness. So I got over that… this is actually an issue I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying on…and here are my thoughts… more musings than collected thoughts, really. I’m 25 and have been single virutally my whole life. I didn’t date in high school, and I had a couple pretty insignificant relationships in college. I don’t think I fall into the category of “ugly or otherwise uncohabitable” (at least I hope not). After one of those feeble relationships in college I decided that I didn’t want the dating experience and all the emotional garbage that went with it. I’ve since learned (and continue to learn) how to value the men in my life as brothers and not as potential husbands, and my respect and value of them has grown infinitely. I can say honestly that I am happily single now… but some how I can’t reconcile the idea in my head of being single forever. I’ve prayed that if that is what is meant to be that God would make it clear… but my desire to be a wife and mother has multiplied exponentially. Again, I’m content in my life now, but that passion is real. I am in youth ministry now, and I plan to continue in it for as long as God has a place for me… but the long-term vision I have for my work in ministry (a vision I feel God has given me) involves ministering alongside my husband.
    I want to want to be single… but I don’t. Can a church minister to that kind of limbo state? It’s terribly frustrating… but I trust God with my whole life… and especially this piece of it.
    I don’t know what all that means… like I said… just musings on a similar topic… I guess! Blessings!

  2. joyfullynoisy…I’m sorry if my blog was insensitive…maybe it was!  But I think that your situation represents very much the Christian experience.  There is a sense that we should live in the new creation in all its fullness and therefore live as people singely devoted to Jesus.  But there is also that original creation longing, to have a companion.  There is a tension.  And in many ways, I feel that if we cannot, as a church, minister to people who are in your situation, then we have not yet fully experienced the tension of true hope and faith.
    What I meant in my blog is that I realize that, as a married person, I like to talk about marriage a lot.  But I realize that my talking about marriage can perhaps be less than beneficial to those who are searching out singleness as a real option.  And in many ways, if I continue in the way that most churches go, praising marriage as the ultimate relationship, I can very much give the impression that unless you are married, you are less than fully human.  But if St. Paul is right, that is total bunk.  Hence, we should be the sort of church that can support people who have dedicated their singleness to God.

  3. In high school I used to pray for my friend to recieve the gift of singleness. 10 years later he is single with no prospects. There is power in prayer 🙂

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