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A Better Marriage – Singleness in Christ

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A Better Marriage

Singleness in Christ
Introduction
Perhaps the gift analogy? The gift you didn’t want...
In this sermon, I want to God to help us do a few things. I want God to help us:
1. What singleness is, and what God calls us to while we are single.
What singleness is, and what God calls us to while we are single.
Redefine singleness in the church.
Clarify how we as the church can and must love our single brothers and sisters.
Boast in His promise for single people in Christ.

Those who are single in Christ have a glorious purpose and a glorious promise.

In this sermon, I want God to help us do a few things. I want God to help us:
Define singleness according to His Word.
Redefine singleness in the church.
Clarify how we as the church can and must love our single brothers and sisters.
Boast in His promise for single people in Christ.
1. Singleness according to the Word of God.
God’s word is very clear that there’s really only two stages of life a person can be in – unmarried or married.
In God’s eyes, anyone who is not in a covenant marriage between one man and one woman–the loving boundaries He’s given us to walk in–is unmarried - or single.
And if you are single, then over and over again through the Scriptures, God calls us to celibacy. To abstain from sex. Here’s just one part of Scripture that sheds light on that:
Check out
1 Corinthians 7:1–4 ESV
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
The Corinthians were misusing God’s word to say that everyone should abstain from sex. Paul corrects them, though, and says that, no, it’s not sex that is bad, it’s sex engaged in outside the parameters God has given.
Sex is a good gift from God, but it must be engaged in ONLY in the boundaries God has given. We see the boundaries here being marriage between man and woman.
In verse 2, Paul says a ‘help’ to the temptation to sexual immorality is to marry, because within marriage God has given us the good gift of sex.
I just want to say all of that, first and foremost, to clarify God’s call for us unmarried folks–it doesn’t matter how committed you and your partner are, it doesn’t matter how much you love one another, if you are not in the boundaries God has set up for sex (covenant marriage between man and woman), He calls us to abstain and live a life a purity.
And if you feel like, well dang Jake, you’re not really calling me to live a life of purity and abstain from sex, are you? I am. But more-so, I’d say I’m not calling you to, God is calling you to. God will not call you to anything that He won’t empower you by His grace to do. And if it is of any consolation, God is also calling me to this at this time in my life, so you’re not alone in the fight.
says “do you not know that your body is a tem
1 Corinthians 6:18–20 ESV
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
And, as we will see, those who are single in Christ have a glorious purpose and a glorious promise.
You are not your own. You were purchased with an infinite price. The blood of Jesus Christ, to free you from all sin. Therefore glorify God in your body.
This is for our good. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
And if you feel like, well dang Jake, are you really calling me to abstain from sex and be pure in my thoughts as a single person?!
Singleness according to the Word of God.
And, as we will see, those who are single in Christ have a glorious purpose and a glorious promise.
2. Singleness in the church
Sadly, the church has done a disservice to our single brothers and sisters in Christ.
In an effort to highlight the beauty of marriage, and the picture it is of Christ and His love for the church, we’ve elevated it at the cost of diminishing singleness.
Even worse, we’ve unknowingly brought in language of saying that our spouses “complete us” and that “we didn’t know what living was until ______ came into our life.” Family, that’s not biblical language. We look more like the culture than the Bible.
And it’s harmful language. Not just for you, because you’re putting that person in a place only God can fill in your life. But it’s also harmful because it’s subtly feeding people the lie that only when we are married can we be whole and complete. It can leave us feeling incomplete.
But the truth is, if you’re incomplete as a person when you’re single, you’ll be incomplete as a person when you’re married. True completeness comes only in receiving the grace of God and being made new in relationship with Him, forever.
Yes, marriage is a good thing. But, like we said in the first week of our series, Idolatry is when we make good things, ultimate things. When we make good things, ‘god things.’
Earthly marriage is not the goal. God is the goal. Eternal life with God is the goal.
And at improper elevation of marriage, we’ve diminished the beauty of singleness.
One Pastor says that this improper view of marriage means that “our default posture is viewing singleness as something to get past.” As if it’s a season that we’re just suffering through until God brings us into marriage.
That is not how the Bible talks about singleness.
Let’s read
1 Corinthians 7:6–9 ESV
Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
This is the apostle Paul speaking to the church in Corinth. Notice what he says.
He says, “I wish that all were as I myself am (v. 7)…and then he clarifies that in v. 8 – “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.” Paul says that it is good – this word has the sense of being beautiful, pleasing to God – for unmarried people to remain single. And that if it were up to him, he’d say they should remain that way.
And in between those two statements, the apostle Paul says something very interesting. He says
each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
Paul is saying that both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. Singleness is a gift from God.
You know, it’s easy for us to think how marriage is a great gift of God, but singleness as a gift–it almost can be received as a ‘roll your eyes’ kind of truth. It can feel like this:
Have you ever seen A Christmas Story? Do you remember the part where Ralphie gets a gift from his aunt Clara? You remember what it was? It was a really hideous pink bunny costume. And he has to come walking down the stairs in shame wearing the costume and show his whole family. It’s so bad his dad eventually pities him and bails him out to go change.
Honestly, sometimes we treat singleness like this. We treat it like it’s God giving us some horrendous ‘gift’ that we don’t want. I thought about titling the sermon “The good gift you didn’t want.” It can breed shame in us. Make us feel unworthy. And unfortunately, the church makes us feel this way at times. We want the Red Rider bb gun, to use the analogy, and instead He’s given us a bunny costumes.
A Christmas Story – the bunny suit vs. the b.b. gun
Singleness
I don’t think it’s not a wrong to desire a spouse. I think longings for committed intimacy with someone is something God has given us. But ultimately, those longings are meant to be fulfilled in Him. Earthly marriage is not ultimate – God alone is ultimate.
And in the meantime, He promises that His gifts are not useless pink bunny costumes. God’s gifts, no matter how challenging, are always purposeful, and always for our good.
I think that we oftentimes struggle in despair, and struggle to see singleness as a gift, because we lose sight of this. We lose sight of singlenesses’ purpose.
The word for ‘gift’ in this passage is the Greek word charisma. It’s the same word that is used of the spiritual gifts. It is “that which is freely or graciously given by God”.
And the purpose of these freely or graciously given gifts by God is found in .
1 Peter 4:10 ESV
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
As each has received a gift (charisma), use it to serve one another, as a steward of God’s varied grace.
The gift of marriage and the gift of singleness are given for the building up of the church. That the church as a whole would be encouraged in godliness, that the church as a whole would loved one another well, ultimately so that, as says, in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus.
That is the goal of singleness. That is the goal of life. That is why we exist as a church. To show off the glory of Christ. We want people to know our great God who loves us and gives us life eternal.
Paul gives us clarity at the end of as to specifically why singleness is a gift and a positive thing in the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 7:32–35 ESV
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:32
Those who are unmarried are anxious about the things of the Lord. They can be undivided in their devotion to the Lord’s mission in a way that married people cannot. You don’t have another person who is bound to you in one flesh the way married folks do, so you have a sort of freedom to go about the mission of God without the concern of pleasing your spouse.
“The single life with its greater simplicity in obligations allows a potentially greater commitment of time, resources, and self to the Lord than would be possible for a married person dutifully carrying out the marital and familial obligations attached to that state.”
So here’s the challenge to all of us : if we find ourselves single in this moment of life, what are we going to do with it?
So here’s the challenge to all of us : if we find ourselves single in this moment of life, what are we going to do with it?
You cannot choose your gifts, but you can choose how you are going to use your gifts.
The thing about gifts of grace is that, God gives certain to gifts to certain people, whether or not they think
Are we seeking to maximize the gifts God has given us, for His glory?
We may not think that’s the gift we should have, but God calls you to trust Him and walk in whatever He has you in right now to His glory.
Paul himself was single. You can see the ridiculousness we’ve bought into if you realize for a second that the apostle Paul (and Jesus for that matter) wouldn’t be allowed to serve as pastors in some churches because they weren’t married!
But Paul maximized God’s gift for His life by devoting himself to preaching, teaching, writing encouragement to churches, fellowship, organizing the church, contending for the truth, starting more churches, pouring His life out for God’s glory.
Being single in Christ does not make you a second-rate citizen. You are fully known, loved, and purposed not because of anyone who may say ‘I do’ someday, but because of Him who said ‘I did’.
You see, when I was standing before God in all my sin and shame, and Satan came before God to accuse me and send me to hell, asking, who will pay for Jake’s sin – Jesus said, I did.
And in the future, when I sin, and Satan tries to accuse God of my unworthiness in His kingdom, and asks God, who will cover this sin of Jake’s – Jesus said, I did.
We must not live for the ‘I do’. We must live for the ‘I did’.
We, too, can use our singleness for the glory of God. An amazing thing about the kingdom of God is that it grows not by physical birth, but through salvation and faith in Christ.
, Jesus says,
John 3:3 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
To be born again, spiritually born through repentance and faith, is what makes one a child of God.
And while we as single people may not be able to bear physical children, we are at no disadvantage (and perhaps at an ADVANTAGE) for bearing eternal sons and daughters in the kingdom of God.
We can walk alongside people, water and plant gospel seeds, and see God birth new hearts to eternal life.
Imagine a world where single men become spiritual fathers to countless people, and single women become spiritual mothers to those around. That the kingdom of heaven is forever added to and God’s praise multiplied because we walked all out in our gifting of singleness.
Singleness is a gift just as marriage is a gift. Both unique in their use to God. Both honoring to Him. And the gain of one can only be at the sad loss of the other.
1 Peter 4:11 ESV
whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We must not waste our singleness by seeing it solely as a trial to get endure until we are married and can truly have joy. We must maximize it for God’s glory. His glorious purpose.
Singleness is a gift just as marriage is a gift. Both unique in their use to God. Both honoring to Him. And the gain of one can only be at the sad loss of the other.
The church of God needs both Jesus-loving single people and Jesus-loving married people to accomplish God’s mission.
P.S. side-note, this is why one of the boundaries that God gives us in who we marry is that they be a follower of Christ. Because the whole point of our lives is to do everything to the glory of God. The most intimate part of you–your relationship with God and your whole reason for existing–should be shared with your spouse.
If you were already married before you came to Christ, and that person isn’t a Christian, I’m not saying this toward you. Remain and rejoice that God has amazing plans to use you in your marriage, to point your spouse to Jesus’ grace, and God’s word gives great hope for that.
3. How the church family must love single brothers and sisters in Christ.
The church, as a whole, has the responsibility to live as the family of God. says
Singleness is a gift just as marriage is a gift. Both unique in their use to God. Both honoring to Him. And the gain of one can only be at the sad loss of the other.
John 1:12–13 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
All who have received Christ are part of His eternal family.
And the eternal family of God is a far more abiding union. Jesus makes this painfully clear in
Matthew 12:46–50 ESV
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus is not saying that you shouldn’t care about your nuclear family–God has placed you there to care for, love, serve, and show Christ to them.
But what He is saying is that He is building a true family, the family of faith, and that unity is eternal. That unity never goes away.
We must prioritize caring about the family of God. What does that mean?
In Christ, we cannot look at one another and say ‘not my problem’.
I must confess, this convicted me, because I’m guilty of not caring for the family of God in that way at times.
But if we truly are the family of God, that means that in the same way you hurt when your biological family member is hurting, we should hurt for one another.
says, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This love, agape, means
Agape = the quality of warm regard for and interest in another, esteem, affection, regard, love
the quality of warm regard for and interest in another, esteem, affection, regard, love
The world will look at us and KNOW that we are followers of Jesus by the way we have warm regard and affection for one another. Imagine what kind of witness it is to the world around us, who is so divided over so many different things, to see the family of God sacrificially laying themselves down for people who are naturally different from one another, yet have a love for Jesus in common, therefore we cannot bear to see one another hurting.
You know, it makes me think of our prayer of generosity that we say before the offering, when we pray I am determined to increase in generosity until it can be said that there is no needy person among us.
Do we view this that way? That part of the call of being family in Christ is seeking to love and know one another until there is no lonely person among us? Not that we become someone’s ultimate satisfaction, but that we have companionship among one another in such a way that points each other to God and His grace?
Think about that in terms of relationa
I believe that deep Christian friendships are very much left out of the equation when it comes to relationships in the church. Yet intentionally pursuing friendships are a prime way that we love and support one another. Specifically, friendships between married people and single people.
What we tend to do is corral off in our corners – the single people over here and married people over here. But God does not want that.
Wesley Hill says this in regard to singleness and sexual abstinence –
Whatever else sexual abstinence (in singleness) might mean in your life, it cannot simply be equivalent to isolation and loneliness. God is beckoning you into community.
I believe that deep Christian friendships are very much left out of the equation when it comes to relationships in the church. Yet intentionally pursuing friendships are a prime way that we love and support one another. Specifically, friendships between married people and single people.
See, the deepest longing of the heart is not sex. It’s intimacy. To be fully known and fully loved simultaneously.
Ultimately, we know that God alone is the One who does this perfectly for us.
But it is our call as the church to embody this love towards one another. So single and married people, if you do not have solid Christian friendships, you are selling one another short. You are robbing yourself of intimacy in Christ with one another as you encourage one another in holiness.
C.S. Lewis said it this way–
Eros (sexual, romantic love) will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.
If we put as much time and energy into promoting good friendships as we do promoting good marriages, I think life would be more joy-filled for single people and married people alike.
When’s the last time you invited someone over for dinner that was a part of the church? When’s the last time you went out for coffee with someone from church? It might be odd at first, but I think, in love, we gotta go for these things. We gotta invest in each other. I think God can use it as grace and love towards one another’s souls, and picture His care towards us.
We need deep, abiding spiritual friendships as an alternative to the false choice between either marriage or abiding lonesomeness.
With that said, I wanted to touch on a few well-intentioned, yet unhelpful things we say in the church in regards to single people:
In the church, we often ask people about their prospective mates more than we ask them about their godliness.
We are subtly telling people that the most important thing in their life right now is getting into a relationship or marriage. If godliness is the goal of the Christian life, we should be talking about that first and foremost.
In the church, we often talk about singleness as a ‘season’ that God will one day bring us out of.
This just simply isn’t true–God promises none of us an earthly spouse. But God does promise to be enough for us. He promises to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. He promises to work all things together for our good. And I’m not saying that God won’t provide a spouse, I’m just saying that He might not, and He’d still be good, and we need to communicate to single brothers and sisters like that is an option, and spur them on to trust and rest in Jesus. We must push brothers and sisters in Christ towards contentment. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (). Contentment and godliness.
Because if we as the body of Christ spur our Christian brothers and sisters on to contentment and holiness in their singleness, they will be prepared for the future, whether they stay single or get married.
When we talk about contentment, we can unintentionally make people feel that the reason they’re not getting married is because they’re not content in their singleness.
This can heap shame upon someone, because it can make them feel that their singleness is a sign they’re not honoring God, or is punishing them for not being content, or what have you.
This thinking is antithetical to the gospel of God’s grace. It is a works-based ideology that leads people to wrongful feelings of condemnation and shame. Both singleness and marriage, according to Paul, are ‘gifts’–and gifts are freely bestowed upon individuals by God, according to His good wisdom and plan. Instead, we should encourage people to trust and hope in God’s plan and goodness, and trust it above their own plans, because He is good and faithful to be with us forever.
I think we say these things from a loving heart, and a desire to see our friends happy and whole. But let us not make the mistake of trying to have them find their wholeness in someone other than God.
One last thing, before we look to God’s amazing promises for single people in Christ. It’s imperative that married folks serve alongside single folks in the church. I think oftentimes, when you’re married, or have a family, you have so many God-given responsibilities that it can feel like you don’t have time to serve in the church. Oftentimes, that leaves single folks (and perhaps the pastor’s family) carrying a huge load in the church. I’m not saying that everyone has to clock the same amount of hours in service to the church, but I am say that everyone is called to some hours of service in the church. No one is exempt from service.
And married folks, when you step in and serve alongside single folks, it communicates a message to them that you’re with them, and you’re on their side, and single people aren’t simply a utility to do what everyone else doesn’t have time to do. Rather, we’re in this work together for the sake of the kingdom. Even if that means volunteering once a month–that would be a huge encouragement–fill out that connection card :) You can do it. And let us as single people know how we could serve you.
4. God’s promise for single people in Christ.
I wanted to look at this passage
Would you open to with me?
Isaiah 56:1–7 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Isaiah 56:4–7 ESV
For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Isaiah 56:3–7 ESV
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Isaiah 56:3–5 ESV
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 556:4-7
So there were eunuchs who were unable to have a family and thus had no hope of an earthly legacy. They are lamenting, saying, “Behold, I am a dry tree”.
In that culture, a family legacy and name was everything. It was what gave someone worth and value and honor–to have one’s name carried on. So where is the hope of God for those whom that was not in the cards?
God makes this ridiculous promise to them. To those that follow God and walk in ways that please Him, He says I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name BETTER THAN SONS AND DAUGHTERS; I WILL GIVE THEM AN EVERLASTING NAME THAT SHALL NOT BE CUT OFF.
A name better than sons and daughters. A monument. An everlasting, eternal name.
I think, to us, God would be saying to unmarried folks, I will give you an name better than marriage.
The gospel of God’s grace tells us that no sacrifice in obedience to Jesus is forgotten by God.
He gives us a name and a home better than any temporal thing they’ve hoped for.
God is worth the perceived sacrifice of faithful obedience to Him in singleness. He is worth the abstinence, He is worth it when marriage prospects seem slim. He is worth it when we feel like we might never find the one.
Every sacrifice you make this side of heaven in obedience to Christ will be rewarded in eternity.
Just like Pastor Rich said last week, with the widow who gave all she had in offering to Jesus, and HE SAW HER – I want you to know, those of us who are single, that God sees us. He sees your faithful obedience. He hears your cries of pain and sorrows. He is not far from you.
The truth of the gospel is that whenever God calls us to say ‘no’ to something, it’s always a call to say ‘yes’ to something better–more true, more lasting, more life-giving…even if, in the moment, it might not feel that way.
says “For this is the will of God, your sanctification...”
The will of God is to get you to be more like Him. He promises that that is the best thing for you. Whatever stage of life He has you in, He has you there to give you more of Himself.
Whenever God calls us to say “NO” to something, it’s always a call to say “YES” to something better–more true, more lasting, more life-giving.
(“This is the will of God, YOUR SANCTIFICATION”)
Singleness is hard. It can be lonely. Expectations for friendship can go unmet. But faithfulness and trust in it is worth it.
Singleness is hard. But faithfulness and trust in it is worth it, if that is the space God has you in in this moment.
Well-intentioned, yet unhelpful things to say to a single person.
Mark 10:29–30 ESV
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
-
Mark 10:29 ESV
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
It will be worth it. Your sacrifice will be worth it. And like we said last week with generosity, how you cannot out-give God – this week we say, you cannot out-sacrifice God. He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not with Him graciously give us all things?
Every sacrifice you make this side of heaven in obedience to Christ will be rewarded in eternity. God sees you (connect from last week’s generosity).
Here’s my concluding thought – 
Singleness is not forever.
says,
Revelation 19:7 ESV
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
Earthly marriage is temporary. It is a picture of a greater marriage to come. The point of earthly marriage is to point a picture of this greater marriage.
It’s like a picture of someone you love. You have it, and when they’re not around, you can look to it and remember them, and long for them. That’s kind of how marriage functions. It’s a picture to remind you (and others) of the gospel. Of Jesus Christ’s great love. And the reality is, when He comes back, your earthly marriage will be no more. You don’t need the photo when the real person is there. When the real marriage has come.
A marriage between us and our Savior. God has promised that there will be an eternal marriage between us and Jesus Christ, our groom. That the enduring, lasting marriage is one that is promised for all who trust and rest in Jesus Christ. That both those who are earthly married and those who are single are eternally married to their groom, Jesus.
He has given you a name greater than sons and daughters, and an all-satisfying eternity with Him. He is trustworthy.

Those who are single in Christ have a glorious purpose and a glorious promise.

Possible Close
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Being single in Christ does not make you a second-rate citizen. You are fully known, loved, and purposed not because of anyone who may say ‘I do’ someday, but because of Him who said ‘I did’.
You see, when I was living in the world without direction, nor plans, nor reason for living, and wondered Who will give me purpose and hope – Jesus said, I did.
And when I was standing before God in all my sin and shame, and Satan came before God to accuse me and send me to hell, asking, who will pay for Jake’s sin – Jesus said, I did.
And when I’m feeling alone, and empty, and of no worth to others around me, and cry out, who has made me whole – Jesus says, I did.
And in the future, when I sin, and Satan tries to accuse God of my unworthiness in His kingdom, and asks God, who will cover this sin of Jake’s – Jesus will say, I did.
He did when they convicted Him as a criminal, totally innocent of sin, yet condemned as One fully guilty. He did when they shoved the crown of thorns into his head, symbolizing the curse of humanity being put on Him. He did when they hung him high, and stretched him wide on the tree at Calvary. He did when His own Father – the God of the Universe – turned His back on Him when all of our sins were placed upon His shoulders. He did when He gave His life and died for us. And then, He did when He rose from the grave, claiming victory over the power of sin and death. He did when He ascended into heaven, and sent His Spirit into the hearts of all who receive Him – His promise of eternal life. That is when He did.
Every longing will be eternally fulfilled in a relationship with Christ. No human relationship will ever do that for you. No human relationship will save you. But Jesus is sitting with outstretched arms, beckoning you to repent–to turn from your sin, your shame, and receive Him–His forgiveness, His purpose, His future for you of eternal relationship with Him. Come to Him.
We must not live for the ‘I do.’ We must live for Jesus’ ‘I did.’
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