Are you happily single?
Within the Christian sphere there has been a great emphasis on courtship. Such stress on this topic is very commendable and timely especially in this age of promiscuity and licentiousness. However what is lacking in the discourse of courtship is the emphasis on being happily single. Although it is to an extent discussed it is often over shadowed by the emphasis on the apparent to be wed. In this article I will be briefly outlying the need of being content alone rather than feeling that one needs to be ‘booed’ up before contentment can be achieved.
The same way in which God has ordained some to be married, is they same way God has ordained others to be single. “Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place (Jeremiah 16:2 KJV)”. The prophet Jeremiah was instructed by God to remain single. This was most likely due to what was going to happen to the children of Israel at this time and the task given to Jemeriah. Their refusal to turn back to God and obey his commandments meant they were to be taken into captivity. It was the prophet’s duty to warn Israel of their fate if they refused to hearken upon the Lord, “12 Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you” (Jeremiah 26:12-13 King James Version). It could be suggested that in like manner God has called some to do a special work that would require singleness.
The latter is quite hard too digest by many. This may be due to (as mentioned above) a stress on a need to be wed across different outlets. “keep thy heart [mind] with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 KJV). A Christian who believes and is waiting for the second advent of Christ, would ensure that which they expose themselves to can be honoured by God. Exposure to particular media platforms could be what is evoking the level of discontent in ones singleness. The Word tells us to guide our heart [mind], an exposure to that which causes uneasy and results in a defect in character should not be entertained. “ Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). If an individual is aware that they have an issue with being single, then it is rather unwise for them to join the #relationshipGoals hashtag or put themselves in situations that will heighten such a feeling. This could revive this level of discontent and could lead them to disregard the tenth commandment. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” (Exodus 20:17 KJV). Seventh Day Adventists should hold the Ten Commandments as the pillar of their faith, what a shame it would be if one were to lose their salvation due to covetousness because of displeasure in their marital status.
The word content denotes the following, happiness, gratification and being comfortable. “ Those professed Christians who are constantly complaining, and who seem to think cheerfulness and happiness a sin, have not genuine religion” –EGW, 1905 (MH 251. 1). Being unhappy in a state of singleness is not an example of a ‘genuine religion’. Regardless of ones martial state we must have a cheerful disposition and offer thanks to the Lord, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV). Often we want an experience with God, we want to better our characters and have one that reflects Christ Jesus in all areas. Yet when the Lord gives us a trial where our character can be tested so we can reflect his character, there is either a level of murmuring kindled with dissatisfaction. The Lord has not instructed us to be selective with our thanks but says “in everything give thanks”, including being single.
The concept of being single within some Christian demographics is often seen as something that should be a taboo or is regarded as abominable. The former and the latter are often a consequence of the mingling of Christianity and culture. If we are to look at the Jewish leaders of old, we can see that the combination of faith and the tradition of men resulted in their probation to close. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9 KJV) They put culture before Christ and as a result many were ‘’lost’’. If we are to apply this to the conversation of feeling discontent and being single, to some extent it could be implied being succumbed by culture has made some disregard the importance of Christ in martial area of their lives. They may prefer to be wedded because this what is culturally expected, rather than consulting with God some consult with mere mortals on an issue that will impact their lives now and one to come. “Those who are contemplating marriage should consider what will be the character and influence of the home they are founding. As they become parents, a sacred trust is committed to them. Upon them depends in a great measure the well-being of their children in this world, and their happiness in the world to come. To a great extent they determine both the physical and the moral stamp that the little ones receive. And upon the character of the home depends the condition of society; the weight of each family's influence will tell in the upward or the downward scale” EGW 1952 (AH 44.2)
Thus far the following has been outlined; some have been called by God to remain single, there is a danger in exposing oneself to that which evokes a level of discontentment in being single (social media platforms) and finally a level of displeasure in ones relationship status could potentially result in them elevating culture over Christ. The closing parts of this article will now establish methods of finding contentment in being single.
Prayer is one of our lifelines that God has given us to remain connected with heaven. Pray to be happily single and that if it is God’s will for you too become married then He should prepare you. The Lord God wants to hear from us and cares about every aspect of our lives. “There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:3. EGW (SC 100.5)
Study the word of God, “It is by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subject upon which it is allowed to dwell”(EGW 1911 pp 555). If we make the bible our chief study they we will become more inclined to think of the character of Christ and how to adopt such personality as opposed to dwelling on relationship statuses.
Get a hobby. Rather than dwelling on ‘being alone’ look for new skills to obtain or enhance the ones you have. Why not take up cooking, reading, hiking, sewing; writing… the list is endless of what can do as a single!
In closing do not feel that there is a stigma in being single there is a beauty in singleness that can be used for the service of God. If one is not pleased in such a state and is seeking marriage they must first ensure that the find satisfaction in being alone and not delude themselves to thing this contentment can be found in finding a spouse. True contentment can only be found in Christ….
White E.G ‘ Adventist Home’ 1952 pp 44. Stanborough Press United Kingdom
White. EG.1905 ‘ The Ministry of Healing’. Pp 237. London Stanborough Press Kingdom
White. E.G 1930 ‘Messages to Young People’. Pp 242 Stanborough Press United Kingdom
White. E.G 1930 ‘Messages to Young People’. Pp 242 Stanborough Press United Kingdom
White E.G 1858 ‘ The Great Controversy’ Pp 489-90 Stanborough Press United Kingdom
White E.G ‘Steps to Christ’ Stanborough Press United Kingdom
(Please note that the book pages may vary based on the publisher)
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