This week, Faye is sharing with us again her thoughts on singleness. To read the first part of the blog, if you have already, click here.
An unwanted gift
I remember a few Christmases ago opening a gift to discover someone had bought me a pot dog! And singleness, like the pot dog, can be an unwanted gift at least some of the time. You don’t know why you’ve been given it, what to do with it and even question if it’s been given to you by mistake. Being single certainly doesn’t always feels like a gift, it can be a struggle just like other gifts. Having a gift of evangelism doesn’t mean you’ll always have the right words; having the gift of teaching doesn’t mean you’ll always communicate well. The encouragement is that Jesus says: “How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” We have such a hope in our good God and His promise that He is our good gift and our sufficiency.
We are made in the image of God – the image of God! And because of the ultimate male, Jesus, and His redeeming love and blessing, we no longer need to be married and have children to be whole, indeed when we rise with Him we will neither marry nor be given in marriage. We read in the Old Testament that not to be married or have children was seen as a curse because of the fall (Adam’s sin) but we go on to read in Isaiah 54 that the coming, death and resurrection of Jesus restored this order and that He will be our spouse. Jesus along with the apostle Paul and many, many others lived out this wholeness. We are in Christ, and He is lacking nothing. It’s so easy to take our marital status and make it who we are, but it’s so important that our identity is first and foremost in Christ. Singleness is our freedom bought at a price, no longer a curse.
Singleness as some of us have shared is hard and can be heart breaking and lonely at times, but you’re not alone in it. You can and do have times like this in marriage and of course Jesus knew exactly what it was like to be lonely and tempted but He overcame and promises good to us. God has got to be our first love and who we go to every day for every need. Admittedly, in times of loneliness the last thing we want to do sometimes is read the Bible (Job or something!) We know that the flesh is weak, and it’s tempting to look to other things for our fulfilment. Romance and sex isn’t necessary for our fulfilment – love is, and God is love; be with Him and His community. We are joined not separate; and although perhaps different, a married person’s identity is in Christ and so is a single person’s. A married person can and will experience loneliness as do single people: we are all one in Christ Jesus. The same, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. We are not more or lesser because of our marital status.
Just as God demonstrates His passion for marriage in the Trinity, so Jesus demonstrates the wholeness of God in a single man or woman.