When You’re Single: Flee Adultery
It might seem pointless to try to advocate for celibacy among single people in the 21st century, that it’s a battle long lost. Do it anyway. It’s never too late to relearn God’s ways. If even one heart is changed, if even one life is blessed, it’s worth it.
Even while tolerating and encouraging sexual behavior outside of marriage, all societies know that there are social and personal costs to it. Inconvenient pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are just two. God knows of those costs and more, for it was he who designed marriage as the exclusive place for human sexuality.
He guided St. Paul to write, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
Whose word and ways can you trust more than God’s? He who sent his own Son as a sacrificial lamb to take away the sin of the world isn’t going to promote behaviors that will hurt us. The things he forbids really are destructive and painful. His will is good; his commandments protect precious things. Like marriage. Like your body.
When You’re Single: Cherish Your Independence
Marriage is a serious partnership. Once you are married, everything you do has to be in step with your partner. It’s no longer my money. It’s our money. It’s no longer my vacation. It’s our vacation. Our time off. Our apartment. Our car. Our TV. Our kitchen.
Before you commit to marriage, ask yourself, “Am I ready to give up my freedom?”
St. Paul, a lifelong bachelor, found that his choice of lifestyle had a lot going for it. “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32).
Did you notice the second advantage to singleness that Paul mentions? As a single person, you can volunteer much more time to serving the Lord than a spouse or parent can. You can make more unilateral decisions, travel more, and take more risks. Some of the greatest missionaries and most dedicated educators in Christian history chose the single life so that they could serve the Lord more effectively.
They had great lives too.
When You’re Single: Love Your Singleness
Do you think it’s strange to begin a devotional series on marriage by celebrating singleness? Here’s the point: You will probably not be able to build a happy marriage until you have learned to like and accept yourself as a single person.
St. Paul wrote, “it is good for a man not to marry” (1 Corinthians 7:1). “I wish that all men were as I am [i.e., single]” (1 Corinthians 7:7). Huh?? What on earth could he mean?
For one, God created you as a single person. He adopted you as a single person, drew you into his family, and developed a relationship with you all by yourself.
For another, it is a dangerous fantasy to think that if you are miserable as a single person, marriage in and of itself will make you happy. Misery is portable. If you are insecure and needy as a single person, you could become a permanent energy drain on your poor spouse.
But joy is portable too. So is contentment. Enjoy who you are–a masterpiece of God’s design, dearly loved, redeemed by Christ, and immortal. It’s much more fun to be married to someone who’s secure and at peace.
This series was provided by Time of Grace. For more information, please visit www.timeofgrace.org.