A note from Pastor Trey: I invited Dewey to write a blog post for us about singleness. Dewey is a young man pursuing future ministry. He has a unique history and has interacted with these ideas in his own spiritual life. I hope you benefit from hearing his story and what he has learned.
Just a few summers ago I started to take interest in a nice girl, whom I will call Taylor. At this point of my life Taylor seemed to be everything I could have ever dreamed of; she wasn’t afraid to get dirty, to be silly with me, or even to talk with me about personal thoughts and feelings. I felt that since we had a good foundation of friendship, we were ready to take things to the next level. After some time, on a beautiful summer day, I started a conversation with her about the possibility of a relationship; a conversation that ended with the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship becoming reality. Now that I had that person to fix all of my insecurities, I felt like I was on top of the world, that nothing could ever go wrong. Needless to say, after nearly two years in the relationship we started to encounter some major problems. Taylor didn’t seem to “fix” my weaknesses at all. In fact, she seemed to criticize them and frustrate every attempt to deal with them. Our “ideal” relationship had become a massive enigma riddled with guilt, shame, harsh words, worse insecurities, and deadly unconfessed sins. It was at this point that I started to think that I had done something wrong in our relationship, that maybe, just maybe, if I could do something to repair it, all of the problems would be resolved.
At the end of those long two years of dating, I was convicted of all the sins I had committed and for being blind to them. I knew that something needed to change internally and externally. I went before God and begged Him to forgive me for the things I had done inside the relationship, and for the sins I committed outside. My heart was so heavy with guilt that I considered suicide many times, and all of the insecurities I had sought to cure were really magnified tenfold. But God, in His great love, showed me grace. God freed me from the sins that had enslaved my soul, and from the idol I had made Taylor to be. I knew then that I had to make a decision about our relationship, it could not continue any farther. The break-up was an exhausting, shameful, and painful process, but when it was all said and done I had freedom and a restored fellowship with God that still covers my insecurities to this day. There are still times that I catch myself looking for idols, but when I go to God and confess my sins to Him, He frees me from them as well.
Have you ever found yourself wondering what your future would hold? Whether you will remain single the rest of your life or find the guy/girl of your dreams? Do you believe that a significant other will be the answer to your problems? Do you feel “singled out?” So often we get caught up in our own desires that we forget what is really best for us. Relationships and romance are not bad by themselves, but when you have an insatiable, all-consuming desire for a relationship you will never find satisfaction.
In our American “I-do-what-I-want” culture being single is considered a curse. Is it really a bad thing to be single? No.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 says,
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 better to remain free of worldly anxieties that are present in any human relationships. In verse 28 Paul also says:
“…Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles…”
Yes, marriage is a gift from God. Being single is also a gift from God. With any gift we are given we should seek to honor God with it by enjoying it in the right way.
Enjoying Gifts Correctly
Often times, I have found myself making gifts more important than the Giver; it is a terrible habit to let form. Now and then we sink into sin because we forget that God’s grace is sufficient for us; it is only His grace that completes us.
The times when we start to fear that we will lose God’s blessings are the times when we forget that He already provides what we need, and even far more, daily. We are like toddlers that hold on to our old filthy diapers because we think that we will not receive a newer, cleaner one. We are anxious that God will not provide even if we tell ourselves all is well on the outside. Matthew 6:25-34 says,
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all .But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Questions to Consider
- Are you seeking your own desires?
- Are you looking for satisfaction in earthly things? In earthly relationships?
- The hard truth is that you will never find it in those places. You will find satisfaction neither in your filthy diaper, nor in looking for a new one, nor by ignoring it. Satisfaction is found in God’s perfect grace alone, in which we are in desperate need.