Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Choice

Now as a concession, not a command, I [Paul] say this.  I wish that all were as myself am.  But each has [her] own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.  To the unmarried and widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am...Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to [her], and to which God has called [her].  This is my rule in all the churches...And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit...and [she] who marries does well, and [she] who refrains from marriage will do even better.
1 Corinthians 7: 6-8, 17, 34, 38.
Dearest Sisters,

Do you sometimes feel like the world and the church is saying it's wrong that we are single?  What a burden to bear.  Please banish this burden from your pretty, brilliant heads and hearts!  

Normally I do my best to keep quiet on the "single" issue because I believe that living in God's Will is more important than if one is single or not.  But a recent church news item has bugged me and I feel the need to encourage fellow Sisters who may be struggling under the pressure of those who believe our singleness is wrong.  

The news I read was in an insert that touted that it was sharing "significant news for Christians; news that's encouraging - some disturbing."  In a short article titled "Marriage Nearly Minority in US", it was revealed that the marriage rate has decreased to 51% and that this decrease is dangerous.  Really!?!  A 49% and rising single population is dangerous?  Could someone please point out where it says in the Bible "Thou shalt be married"?  Sisters, we are not dangerous!  We are not doing anything wrong by being single.  We are single because we choose to be in God's Will.  At this moment, He wants us to be single.  When He chooses, He will show those who are to be married that they should be married and provide for that relationship to happen.  

Yes, Scripture does say that we should be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28).  I'm not going to disagree with God's Word.  What about the barren?  Are they in the wrong because God has not allowed them to have children?   Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.  Am I spreading God's Word?  Am I discipling new believers? Am I strengthening my fellow believers in their walk?  If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, I believe you are being fruitful and multiplying the family of God.

Singleness is a gift!  Marriage is a gift!  We are not all meant to receive the same gifts.  Think about it.  I love fiber arts.  I have a friend who loves rock climbing and mountain bike riding.  Giving my friend a gift of roving to spin into yarn is not a good gift for her.  Giving me a gift of rock climbing shoes would not be a good gift for me.  But each has [her] own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 1 Corinthians 7:7b.  God has gifted each of us differently.  Sisters, God gave us the gift of singleness and it should not be considered a bad gift.  If God chooses to gift a person with the gift of marriage, then they hand back the gift of singleness and thank God for their new gift.

I've done the dating thing.  The first guy was nice but he wasn't the guy God wanted for me.  The second guy I was sure was the one God had picked out for me (maybe he still is but maybe we both have some growing to do before God's Will has us together or maybe he isn't) but right now God wants me to be single.  I am not a man-hater; I just choose not to search for a relationship that could lead to marriage because God's Will doesn't want me to do that right now.  If God wants me to be married, He will provide the right guy and will let us both know that this is His Will for us.  Choosing to be in God's Will is better than anything else.

For those who are married and reading this post, please reflect on things you have said around your single friends.  Saying things like "the right man will come your way, or you'll be a great wife, or you're the marrying kind" really don't recognize the gift of singleness that your single friends have.   Be honest with yourself; there are times when you've wished you had the singleness gift and not the married gift.

Sister, please choose to follow God's Will for your life.  Not the world's will and not the will of fellow believers.  Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to [her], and to which God has called [her]. I Corinthians 7:17.

Sister Jane
Romans 14:8
ps. If you would like to discuss with Sister Jane regarding her posts but are uncomfortable posting your comments or questions here, please contact her at stnnmconventATgmailDOTcom. Thank you!

What do you mean screens aren't meant for climbing?
Creature Update: Frank has decided that the screen is meant to be crawled upon.  I had to inform him that he was incorrect.
Naughty Frank!

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