Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Praise of Singleness

RMS circle of prayer
When I became a Jesus-follower God told me to lay off trying to hustle women and take a full year off dating. I did. It was a wonderful year for me. I began to find out about what Colossians 1:18 calls "the supremacy of Christ." Christ was now my "head," and I was part of his "body," the body of Christ, his "Church." (Col. 1:18 again)

I felt free from cultural pressure to date. My life-goal was no longer to find some "soul mate," because my soul was now mated to Christ. The life-goal was to find Christ and be found in him. I was beginning to understand this. And, I was allowing to God to change me in ways that would be good for any future relationship I might be in.

If you are not dating, or not married, give thanks to God. You have a Pauline opportunity (1 Corinthians 7:8) to draw so very close to the only One who purely loves your soul and who, BTW, created you. Take advantage of this and rejoice!

If you feel pressure to date and mate ask yourself, where does this come from? I have seen Christian parents who lay pressure on their children to date and get married. Too many times the child ends up marrying anybody just to please, at least unconsciously, their mother and father. This pressure, indeed any such pressure, is not from God. It creates the idolatrous idea that marriage is life's greatest thing. Like any false god, this will let you down.

I've seen a lot of "Christian" marriages that are toxic, not because of "irreconcilable differences" or "incompatibility," but because of spiritual and emotional immaturity. These marriages are particularly hellish because both partners are Christians. If you are not in a marriage like this give thanks, for you have been spared from a very dark existence. And be thankful if you are not in a world where adult babies are making babies.

Simply because a husband and wife are Christians does not guarantee their marriage will be wonderful. There is a ton of ongoing marital work to be done, and this never ends. Few people count the cost of marriage and end up paying in ways they never imagined.

There's nothing wrong in desiring and praying for a life partner. There is something wrong with the idea that life will never be flourishing without one. Imagine how Christ feels about that!

What if you are in a marriage that is screwed up? See my post - How to Save Your Failing Marriage.