July 21, 2017
Maximizing the Single Life
By Skip Heitzig
I remember going over to a house back when I was single where a bunch of guys lived, and for dinner, they pulled out Captain Crunch with strawberry milk. Now that's bachelor living! I thank the Lord I don't have to relive some of my days as a single person, but I also thank Him that I had a very fulfilling single life overall.
Singleness is not often dealt with from the pulpit, but I think it's an important topic. Single people in today's society—including those in the church—face a barrage of messages and attitudes about their supposed worth, and that can be a very dangerous thing.
Jesus spoke of singleness as a gift (see Matthew 19:10-12). Now, you might be praying, "Oh Lord, please don't give me that gift." And that's alright, because lifelong singleness is not for everybody—only those who can accept it. The problem is that many people—even Christians—foster this idea that if you're not married by a certain age, there's something wrong with you. Let me tell you right now: there's nothing wrong with being single, and you are not a failure if you're not married.
But there are three things I want to encourage you with when it comes to maximizing single living. These three things come from the life of Daniel, who was single his entire life. Here's the first principle: Daniel refused to be pushed into the mold the world had for him; instead, he defined his life by obedience to God. Take some time to read Daniel 1:5-8, 5:13-17, and 6:6-10. These are just a few examples of Daniel refusing to be molded into the form of success the world had for him. He was, first and foremost, unswervingly loyal to the Lord his God.
Second, Daniel developed a strong network of friends. In Daniel 2, he met with a group of godly friends before making a major decision, so that "they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret" (v. 18). One of the secrets to successful single living is having a network of friends around you who can encourage you, lift you up, and be there for you. God doesn't call you to be a lone ranger. When you and the single folks around you deal with problems together, it helps prepare you for the deeper, more complicated commitment of marriage later on.
The third thing Daniel did was use his gifts and talents to the fullest capacity. In Daniel 2:24, we see how Daniel approached the man "whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: 'Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.'" Daniel had the gift of interpreting dreams and decided to use this talent right where he was, even in the courts of a pagan king.
Just because you're single doesn't mean you can't serve God. God can use you right where you are. So don't listen to the stereotypes of what it means to be single—break free from those molds by living your life to the fullest. And if you're in a holding pattern—that is, you want to be married and you're waiting to be married—keep holding on, and seek first the kingdom of God (see Matthew 6:33). I'll tell you, it's so much better and wiser to wait on the Lord. Your Father truly knows best.
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