Single for a season


When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

(1 Corinthians 13:11-12, all Bible quotations from New American Standard Bible, 1995).  

The mistake singles make and the reason they pout and stunt their progress is the  insistance that they ought to have someone to complete them.  Why are we defining ultimate happiness by romance?  Life could might as well be all good solo.  A mate ought to compliment life, not define the parameters of existence.  If we can’t come to terms with our value as single people, I doubt that a mate will contribute to wholeness in ways that are meaningful.  We risk bringing loads of baggage, immaturity, and irresponsibility to romance and marriage, setting ourselves up for divorce court.  The people who are best at living life are those who know who they are and what they want without reference to another human being.

The time to be a boy or a girl is only for a season. If you haven’t done so, grow up. No person can vicariously do that for you.  If you should ever sit at the love-and-romance table, come as a complete person, secure, and confident that you are able to deliver from the human capital you have invested. Don’t throw your single life to the dogs, or shall I say, since one can live so vile a life, speaking of dogs would be disrespectful.  I can’t begin to enumerate the ways the single life can morph into imbecility.  Given human nature, I presume a skeleton or two hangs on your closet. Humanity is riddled with misfortune and mischief, in addition to being made a bloody mayhem by the powers that be. We are alienated from God, having gone our own proud ways,  akin to the rooster that thinks the Sun rises to hear him sing.  Come to terms with your own reality whatever that might be at this juncture and asses the areas that need development.  Life wants to be life and it yearns to grow, but we need to have our roots in the ground.

Discern God’s will and make it your own. There is no magic or mystery to accomplishing this.  Don’t do your own thing and expect God to endorse it.   He doesn’t have to throw in the ring to whatever whim and fancy of your choosing.  He doesn’t have to answer our deepest longings, let alone our delusions.   If God answered every prayer, every desire, every inquiry; responding at the will and convenience of humanity, in the fashion of Aladyn in the lamp, then who would be God?  With all due respect to the prosperity Gospel peddlers and gurus, God is God and he is entitled to decline.  Someone said that the difference between God and us is that God doesn’t think he is us.  Let God be God.  He knows what is best in the West , everywhere , and for you, but he won’t hand it in in a silver plate.  Fight for it.  Find it.  The secularists, humanists, as well as the anti-God-anti-Christ advocates of irreligion are keen in marginalizing the commands of God, suggesting  that all of life is reducible to finding yourself, looking inside yourself, discovering yourself, enlarging yourself……..self , self , self.  People have been looking inside forever. Has this introspection solved selfishness, hatred, greed, lust, oppression, violence?  The problem is not looking inside of yourself ( some measure of self awareness is healthy and expected ) but looking inside and thinking that whatever is located in the deep recess of the heart counts as diamonds and therefore God is irrelevant. So retreating to a hedonistic den of sin is completely appropriate. Not true.  The world as we know it is merely a manifestation of human consciousness, its misery an outward reflection of what lies within:

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.  Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NASB)

That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.Mark 7:20-23 (NASB)

To make your life count, look outward, beyond the skin, look to God and his Word and totally and finally to Jesus Christ.  The horoscope is no reliable guide, sorry.

Do you want to be faithful to God and flourish as a single man, or woman of God?  Surrender the idea that your happiness rests with another warm, sexy body.  Delight in your own existence, sexyness, identity, and singleness.  Learn about yourself and about the world in the context of the Gospel because the Gospel alone represents the paradigm for the new humanity–the new world— that God is creating.  The goal is Christ-likeness, mirroring who he is in and out.  If you are single, can others see Christ’s reflection in you, or do they merely see a desperate and disillusioned piece of humanity bent on grabbing self and lust?   To be a mature man or woman in Christ means staying resolute, praying up, planning ahead, and ensuring that God is at the top of the totem pole of existence, not merely a Sunday morning icon.  Maybe God called you to be single.  Adjust accordingly.  If not, prepare nevertheless.  Save up.  Avoid needless debt.  Walk away from a consumerist lifestyle.  Don’t give up your dignity by sleeping around.  Reckless sex is in top demand and meted out to the highest bidders and hustlers, but you must resist its allure because it is the right thing to do. Plus it will save you from an STD or two.  Shield God’s creation including your body and mind.  It belongs to him who breathed life into us and as such it must be guarded from corrupting social configurations.

You can’t re- create yourself, really.  You are who you are now and for the ages: a true original.  But today’s society pressures us to conform.  To be other than what we truly are.  Make no mistake, God refuses to churn out mass copies.  Your uniqueness stems from the fact that God called you in Christ to be his own and to be a particular person on the world stage here and now.  If you are stubborn  about being other than what the blueprint says, you my friend, will decay into the vast emptiness of futility, your life will be of little or no consequence, and therefore you as a human being, will generally suck, if you allow me to use a little bit of non standard English.  Make it your life purpose to divert attention away from the vortex of vanity and to be highly consequential by daring to tackle the hard choices, including the choice to accept singleness as a necessary and worthwhile period.  Else you might wake up one day regretting that you never had a single life.