Thursday, November 9, 2023
Recently, we have focused our relationship verses on sexual purity and marriage. Over the next two days, we will focus on people God has gifted to be single and fulfilled. As I have sought to serve God's people over the last four decades, no topic has generated more heat, criticism, and confusion than this one. Married folks tend to want to ignore this topic while not realizing that much of what is taught and experienced in churches is focused on married people. We can forget that many of God's most significant leaders were single, chaste, and great leaders for God — Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the apostle Paul, for example.  Some who are married and in our churches don't think about the many among us who are unmarried, widowed, abandoned with a child, and divorced. These single people are seeking to be faithful to Jesus and live holy lives in a sexually supercharged culture. 
Some godly singles among us have heard the call of God to remain single and chaste, using their singleness to bless others and build up the family of God.  Some Christian singles are realizing that they may never marry and they are disappointed, angry, depressed, or resentful. Others long to be married, but that opportunity has not presented itself to them, yet they believe it will. Some are wrestling with same-gender attraction and trying to discern what God is calling them to do, realizing they may only find sexual purity by remaining single.  Some who are unmarried bought into the "try it before you buy it" practice that is now the norm among unmarried young adults of Western culture, leaving them broken, devastated, exploited, and abandoned. Each of these situations, and others I have not mentioned, are confusing, challenging, and largely unaddressed in our churches and among many Christians.
On the other hand, marriage — especially faithful, lifetime marriage —is challenging, requiring hard work and commitment. Jesus acknowledges that holy marriage can be hard — "Not everyone can accept this statement." Marriage to the wrong person must not be something a Christian single "settles for" to make life work.  Married people need their lives joined with someone in marriage who shares their core faith values and faith in Jesus, committed to working with them and beside them in partnership to honor the Lord.  Each of us who marries must be as sure as possible that our marriage partner will love us as we commit to love them. So, dear Christian brother or sister, hear the call of Jesus to use your current situation as an opportunity to glorify Him in holiness and honor  as you seek the Lord's guidance on whether to use your singleness as a focused lifestyle on glorifying God and serving Him without distraction. 
Father, we pray for all those who are among us who are single. Open our eyes to include them more intentionally in our fellowship. Guard their purity and commitment to holiness. Open their eyes to see their opportunities to serve You without distraction. Please help them discern whether or not they should commit to living as a single adult in service to You as Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the apostle Paul. Whether married or single, dear Lord, we each want to honor and love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and body. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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