Are you called to be single? If someone had asked me that during my single years, I probably would have responded with, “I sure hope not!” I was one of those little girls who played house. I grew up dreaming of the day I would find my knight in shining armor and we would raise a family together. It would be perfect.
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Sixth grade was the year everything changed. Many of my classmates started to pair off. It was innocent – notes in class, sitting together at lunch, the occasional after school phone call – it was often referred to as “going out.” With this change came a whole new level of drama. We weren’t simply classmates and friends anymore. Things grew complicated, and people got hurt.
Fortunately, I was able to avoid most of the drama. My parents were smart enough to say no to the whole dating in junior high thing (and I was smart enough to listen!) But many of my classmates weren’t as fortunate.
As I grew up and entered my young adult years, I couldn’t wait to meet “the one.” I spent most of my time worrying that I would never meet him, get married, or have a family. Most of my friends felt the same way. We were all anxious to “get our lives started.” We weren’t content with being single. We were always looking forward.
Now that I’m married, I see things a little differently. That single time of my life had a purpose. I just couldn’t see it. Even if God ultimately calls you to be married, every person spends time being single.
Everyone is called to be single, even if it’s just for a season.
Paul has a lot to say about the single life. In 1 Corinthians, he actually promotes being single:
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. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 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. 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. – 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NLT)
When we are single, we have an amazing opportunity to devote all of our attention to God. Looking back, I know I could have given more of my focus to serving Jesus. Instead, I chose to worry about my future.
Now we need to be careful not to misunderstand what the Bible is saying about being single. Marriage is a blessing from God. Just as He has a purpose for single life, He has a purpose for marriage as well.
If God has called you to be single during this time of your life – use the time wisely. Devote yourself to Him, and choose not to worry about tomorrow.
Whether you are called to be single or called to be married, God has a purpose for every season of your life.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.