What makes singleness a gift?
Guest Blog: By Vanessa Aziz
“I'm going to be single forever!”
“Will I ever get married?”
“I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life”
“Why do they have someone and I don't?”
“Am I worth the commitment?”
At one point in our lives, each one of us have either believed these phrases to be true, or these thoughts have crossed our mind. Maybe currently you believe those phrases to be true. Maybe you have grown up to believe that singleness is bad, and in result singleness has always been a negative thought in your mind anytime the topic has been mentioned.
For the next few minutes, as you continue to read, I want you to completely disregard any negative thought you might have towards singleness and let me present it to you in a way you may have never thought of before, and that is that your singleness is… A GIFT. Yes you read that right. Singleness is a gift. Let me explain.
In 1 Corinthians 7:7 Paul says, “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each one has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”
Paul describes his singleness as a gift from God, for some that is permanent and for others that is only for a time. He goes on to say down in verse 32
“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.”
Go back and reread that really quickly. If you remember anything from this blog post this is what I want you to understand, that what makes our singleness a gift is having an undistracted devotion to God.
In Ben Stuart's book “Single, Dating, Engaged, Married” he says, “God has ordained a season of singleness for every human being on the planet. Singleness does not exist simply as an extended adolescence, a pursuit of career ambition, or a preparatory phase for marriage. Rather, God has ordained the unique freedoms of single life not for distractions or ambitions, but for devotions to Him.”
Being single is not just a time where we are “without” something, if anything it is the time of our lives where we can still have everything.
What do I mean by that? If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you already have everything you could possibly need. Many of us believe that if we finally get married, have kids, get the job, or etc. that we will have all we need, when in reality none of those things are promised to us forever. The one thing that is always certain, and can never be taken away from you is your relationship with God. The pursuit of marriage or the race to finding your spouse is another way to open a door for another unneeded distraction in your life.
Now, I am not trying to convince you to stay single, nor am I trying to disregard your desire for marriage. The desire to be united with someone was put there by God, but ultimately can only be truly fulfilled in a relationship with Him. Understanding this idea first will help you in your season of singleness.
What I want to do now is remind you of the beautiful gifts that come along with a season of singleness. This season of your life can be wasted if you are not viewing it as a gift. So how can we best utilize this season of our life?
1. Prioritize your relationship with God.
If there is anything that is most important to invest your time in above anything else, it's your relationship with God. You might think this is kind of outrageous to say, you may even start making a list in your head right now of things that you believe are more important, but in reality it is not. In John 4, we see this to be true when Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus in this story offers to the woman who was living an adulterous life, living water, a water that never runs out.
This was a game changer for the woman at the well. When she realized who was in front of her, her priorities changed. We see this in verse 28 which says:
“Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (NIV)
This is huge. Jesus can offer us so much more than what the world can offer us, and as long as we keep pursuing other things, or believe that being in a relationship with someone will bring us true happiness, we will always find ourselves dry. When we prioritize our time with God, our priorities change. The things that we used to desire for ourselves that were not from God go away, and all we want is Jesus Himself, and once we experience Jesus in full, we can't help but make him known.
2. Prioritize yourself.
Your season of singleness is the one time in your life when you can focus on yourself and no one else, meaning that this is the time where you as an individual can learn to be the best version of yourself that you can be. This is where your character is being developed, and begin to learn what you are truly passionate about. This season of life is for you and you only. Doing this will also help you learn to enjoy your own company. Learn to be okay with just having you.
Growing up, my mom used to say, “your single life is not going to last forever, you will spend most of your life with your significant other, so enjoy this season while it lasts.” This stuck with me. I had never put that into perspective before. With the pressures our world puts on us we want to rush out of this season because everyone around us is telling us that it's better to not be alone. Don't rush it, but instead enjoy it because you will never have it back.
Ben Stuart puts it like this, “It is freedom with a purpose.”
Make yourself a priority, invest in the things the Lord loves, and in the things you love. Enjoy the process of becoming the best version of yourself that God intended for you to be.
3. Prioritize others.
Two important investments you can make during your season of singleness, is developing deep friendships, and investing in the next generation.
In 2 Timothy 4:11 we see how Paul from prison had one friend by his side, he says “Only Luke is with me…” Even in Paul’s difficult circumstance he had a faithful friend by his side.
Who is that friend for you in your life right now? Do you have that one person you know you can call at any moment and they will be there for you? That friend that will walk through the fire with you? If not this is the time to begin praying and seeking out those kinds of friendships.
Find the friend that will always be there to pick you up when you fall, and the friend who will sit there with you if you're too weak to stand. Ben Stuart explains it this way,
“In your season of singleness, and even in your married life, you can stand strong in the stresses and strains in life if you prioritize developing relationships with those who love God, love you, and aren't afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot.”
You become who you spend your time with. Are the people you’re surrounding yourself with pointing you to Christ, or pointing you to the world? Are they praying for you? Or are they spending more time arguing with you? Is this person adding more value to your life? Or adding unneeded drama to your life? These are important things to consider in our season of singleness.
Now let’s look at 2 Timothy 4. At the end of Paul's life, he was around the young people he had spent mentoring and investing in. One example is Timothy, 1 & 2 Timothy were the last few letters that Paul wrote to him. Timothy, during this time, was most likely in his twenties. Paul’s investment in Timothy led him to lead one of the most influential churches in the world.
Even Jesus had his ones that he discipled… aka his twelve disciples.
Investing in the next generation doesn't mean it has to be your vocation. It simply means that as followers of Christ, no matter what your vocation is, prayerfully seek out those who need to hear the truth of Jesus, pray that God would open your eyes to that young man or woman who is in need of a mentor. Do life with them, and equip them in order that they may be sent out into the world to spread the Gospel.
Now, I want to ask you the same question I began with, but make it more personal, “do you view your season of singleness as a gift?” If not take these things I shared with you into consideration. Every season of life that God has instilled for us has a purpose, nothing he created is without purpose. When you start trusting the Lord with your single life and begin committing your life to Him, you will begin to find the purpose for what it is there for.