1. Your singleness reflects the Gospel.
We often hear this about marriage, the relationship of a man and woman reflects the love, servant leadership and joyful submission of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5). We, as singles, cannot reflect the Gospel in that way and I know the good and right longing for that. But here’s something else for us to consider.
We reflect the sufficiency of the Gospel in ways that a married person cannot. We occupy a unique role in showing off the worth of Jesus. A single Christian that is not waiting for life to start at marriage, but is rejoicing that life has started when they met Jesus, speaks volumes about the purpose of life on earth. A satisfied, intentional single silently says that Jesus has fulfilled my biggest hopes and best dreams. How else will people know that there is a sweeter, more life-giving identity than anything this world offers? It’s Child of God. He gives us purpose. He fills the holes. He is life.
In a culture obsessed with finding purpose (marriage, then kids, then toys, then retirement), our single lives can be living, breathing maps to a Sufficient God.
2. Singleness is purposeful.
Does singleness seem like a holding pattern? Like the in-between?
When we are unsure what our single years are for, it is no wonder that we want them to be over as quickly as possible. Like playing volleyball without the ball. What is the point of this game?! I am so done! I get that. Been there, bought the t-shirt.
But a few words from Paul have been so helpful for me. He praises the benefits of the single life and then he gives us the key. I told you all this … “so that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, just passed us the ball and said, “Get in the game.” The point of your single life is undivided devotion to the Lord. Single friend, look at me. This is why we get to bearhug singleness and use it to the max, instead of managing it until it’s over. This is our purpose right now. And it is the highest calling. And we get to do it with our whole lives. God promises it will be difficult and there will be sweat and tears, but it will be satisfying and ultimately victorious.
3. A model marriage is the prize for purity.
We’ve all heard it. Sometimes subtly. Sometimes outrightly. Don’t mess around and your husband will thank you. Remain pure for your wife. Keep your heart for your spouse.
And certainly there is truth to that and purity is a beautiful gift. But we’ve missed the point when we set up a good marriage as a prize for your disciplined life before marriage.
Let us make no mistake, Jesus is the prize for a life of obedience. He doesn’t owe us anything. We owe Him everything. In His love and care, he gives us lots of good gifts. But let’s never bow down to a gift that we believe we have earned with our good behavior while the True King stands by. He is jealous that our obedience be from a heart of worship for Him, not worship of marriage.
And let’s not believe that He owes us something if we’ve been pure, or is punishing us if we haven’t been pure. Refer to the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. We are not on the reward system anymore, friends. We don’t believe that He loves us because we’re good, we believe He’s making us good because He loves us (borrowed from C.S. Lewis).
Our fight for purity is worship to a Jesus who is worthy. And he does not despise your offering. Married or not, it is never wasted.