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Life Stations 1 - Christian Singleness

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Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:25-35
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 1 Cor. 7:32 (NIV)

I.   Singles are Whole people

     A.  It is Good to be single

           1.  We sometimes look at single people and say “Poor thing.”

                 a.  We feel pity and sorrow for those who never married.

                 b.  We view singleness as a poverty, a deprivation, something to lament.

           2.  Singles are sometimes treated as 2nd class citizens in the Church.

                 a.  Sometimes singles are overlooked for church offices or responsibilities.

                 b.  Those who have never been married are sometimes viewed as immature.

                 c.  Widowed and divorced people are sometimes viewed merely as needy.

           3.  Paul says singleness is good (7:1)

                 a.  Singleness is a good thing.

                 b.  Why not celebrate it singleness!

     B.  Singleness can be a Calling

           1.  Singleness may be a temporary situation.

                 a.  It’s good to single before you marry (!).

                 b.  Some are single between marriages.

           2.  Singleness may be a life calling.

                 a.  You are called to be single until you are called to be married.

                 b.  Some are called to remain single.

                 c.  This is a special gift that we ought to celebrate and support!

           3.  Singleness may be a calling after a marriage has ended.

                 a.  Some of you are called to remain single. (Some aren’t.)

                 b.  That’s between you and God, BTW.

     C.  Singleness is not Incompleteness

           1.  Moms and Dads sometimes talk to their single adult children as if they are unwhole

                 a.  “So, uh, any prospects?”

                 b.  What is said or implied can be unsupportive or even hurtful.

           2.  Our coupled society and churches sometimes do the same thing.

                 a.  Folks around us talk as if marriage is normal and singleness abnormal.

                 b.  While marriage offers growth that can’t be found elsewhere so does singleness

           3.  Single people are whole people.

                 a.  It isn’t good to be lonely but it’s good to be single. (The Bible says so!)

                 b.  Paul doesn’t hold up singleness as something self-sacrificial.

II.  Singles have Unique responsibilities

     A.  Single minded Service

           1.  Singles have unique freedom to serve.

                 a.  Singles don’t need to check with their spouse about ministry opportunities

                 b.  They are freer to take advantage of spontaneous ministry opportunities.

           2.  Singles have unique opportunities to serve.

                 a.  Serving evenings and weekends don’t cut into family time.

                 b.  Singles are more able to identify with other singles.

     B.  Healthy relationships

           1.  Singles have unique relational needs.

                 a.  Singleness gets lonely sometimes.

                 b.  It’s very important to have friends.

           2.  Relational desperation leads to unhealthy relationships.

                 a.  Singles who believe marriage will erase loneliness are in for a surprise.

                 b.  Singles who marry too quickly, or who “settle” may be more lonely.

           3.  Single sexuality requires special care.

                 a.  Let’s just say it: our sexuality wants to be fulfilled.

                 b.  Singles need a special self-discipline.

                 c.  But marriage doesn’t solve everything either!

III. Not a restriction but a Freedom

     A.  Freedom from marital Troubles

           1.  No, marriage isn’t simply a huge bother.

                 a.  It’s not all trouble and problems.

                 b.  But married people have to work out problems singles don’t.

                 c.  Budget, menu, spare time, friends, children, schedules, chores, etc.

           2.  While singles have troubles too, they don’t have the troubles of marriage too.

                 a.  While there is freedom and joy within marriage, there is freedom outside too.

                 b.  Each has it’s unique freedoms and it’s unique troubles.

                 c.  Singles: celebrate the freedoms you have!

     B.  Freedom from marital Commitments

           1.  Married people make vows that require obligations.

                 a.  Loving, honor and cherishing in sickness and in health takes energy.

                 b.  The commitments of marriage are big.

           2.  Those free from marital vows, are free to make some choices married people can’t

                 a.  Single people are not concerned with how something may affect their spouse

                 b.  Paul holds up singleness as a path to freer service for God

     C.  Freedom for undivided Devotion

           1.  Singles are free to focus on pleasing God.

                 a.  Not that marriage isn’t pleasing to God!

                 b.  Singleness has a simplicity in relationship to God that marriage doesn’t.

           2.  Paul holds up singleness as a way to a an ever deepening spirituality.

                 a.  Singleness has a high value for spiritual growth.

                 b.  Paul suggests that the effort married people put int marriage singles can put into their relationship with God.

           3.  Celebrate the wonderful gift of singleness!

The Bottom Line:

God calls singles to Celebrate their singleness, and to Freely serve Him in undivided Devotion.

Hymn: R/G #393 Take My Life and Let it Be (vv 1,4)

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