You probably think you already know, dont you? Sometimes I think I
already know too. The reality is, no one knows EVERYTHING the Bible says
about the single life, for Gods Word is living, active, and sharper than
any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Plus, Gods Spirit works through the
Word, and He helps us see certain things at certain times. Make no
mistake, Gods inspired Word is changeless; WE are the ones who change. We
are the ones who are to be made in his image. In the next several articles,
we will get down to what the Bible really tells us about the single life.
Lets start at the beginning. In fact, lets start with the books name
that means beginning; Genesis. In Chapter 2, God creates humans in His
Image. Male and Female He created them. Both genders reflect the image of
God, no matter how low or tattered an individual life becomes. Sin and
evil, and hard living can obscure the God-given image. At the same time,
within each human person is the spark of the Divine Image. Even after the
Fall, the Bible insists that we still carry the image of God (Genesis 9:6;
James 3:9) and as Christians, we have been re-created in the image of God
(cf. Colossians 3:10).
We come from the ground and we come from the breath of God, according to
Genesis 2:7. As a result, we feel a part of this earth. God created it and
we have a sense of belonging here. We also have a longing for God, for the
eternal, for the breath of God that helped fill and form us. The Old
Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the word for living soul is
pronounced nephesh. We owe our very life, being, and existence to Gods
active creation. All this is true whether we are married or single.
So we have Adam, the original single guy in the original, coolest, greatest
bachelor pad in existence. God created the garden and gave man free rein,
with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (More on
that problem later.)
God created man with the ability to name things. This is one of the
earliest things we know about ourselves. We talk, we speak, we symbolize;
in other words, we use words. We name ourselves, our environment, and
anything else we care to name. Naming, thinking, communicating; its what
we DO. Man names the animals in Genesis chapter 2.
At this point, two important statements are made in Genesis chapter 2:
- In verse 18, God himself states It is not good for man to be alone.
- In verse 20, it was said there was no helper suitable for Adam
Lets consider both these statements:
- The word alone literally means separate or apart. The idea is to be
cut off from others. Now certainly we all need some solitude. And being
alone from time to time is a part of the single life. There are times we
even enjoy being alone with ourselves. But being alone with ourselves
is not what the Bible means when it says that it is not good to be alone.
When being alone, being separate or apart, becomes our whole mode of
existence we run into trouble. We need interaction with others to be the
people God intended us to be. As Christians, we need to be around others
to influence them for Christ and be led closer to Christ. We need to be
around other Christians to be encouraged, strengthened, and edified in our
walk with God, and to encourage them.
- There was no helper suitable for Adam. This tells us God loves His
Creation, and wants the best for us. As a single guy, Adam needed someone
to connect with spiritually, emotionally, and physically. This would
happen within the marriage union in which God would soon place them. When
woman was created, Adam had that sense of recognition that this is bone of
my bones, and flesh of my flesh. God created Eve and she became his wife.
This begins the leaving and cleaving process (verse 24) that God created
marriage to be.
Youre probably thinking, This sounds more like a message on marriage,
whats the big lesson for me, a single person in here?
Let me share three lessons:
- You are Gods Creation and you reflect His Image, no matter if you are
single or married, male or female. There is a reflection of the Divine
Image in you. No matter how discouraged or disappointed you may be, no
matter how you succeed or fail, you are made to reflect the glory of God!
Dont view yourself as less. Dont settle for someone who will treat you
as less than God made you to be!
- Isolation and loneliness as a lifestyle are not good for you. You need
to connect with people and learn to balance solitude with fellowship and
sharing - remember, its okay to be alone with yourself you just dont
want to be cut off from relationships with other godly people. Find a
group of people who will move you closer to Christ with whom you can be
yourself and share your life. It wont be a perfect group, but thats part
of being connected to others - loving them through their faults as you are
loved through yours. Dont settle on someone to marry to keep from being
lonely. Loneliness is a condition of the heart, and the spirit. Do not let
Satan discourage you from finding a church family that cares about singles.
Its worth it.
- Find helpers who are suitable to you. Helpers are those folks we
connect with. Helpers are those folks who will help you more fully and
completely live your life. Ask Gods divine help in finding these folks.
It seems difficult sometimes. But we need helpers that connect with us
spiritually and emotionally and can help lift us up when we are down,
hurting, and feeling rejected. These helpers help prepare us to be ready
for a lifetime helper if that is Gods will for us. And if Gods will is to
use us as a single, remember that the Apostle Paul, a great single leader
in Christianity, always had helpers with him doing the Lords work.
More next time!