A few weeks ago, a cheerful third grade girl plopped down by me on the pew before church started. I smiled. During the summer, this girl would often ask her parents if she could sit by me during church, and I’d missed visiting with her every Sunday.

We chit chatted for a while, and I asked her how school was going and how her Thanksgiving break was. Then the topic of Christmas came up and she said she was really excited for Christmas. I asked her what was on her wish list. She rattled off some popular toys and dolls, and in there, somewhere, she listed that she wanted a boyfriend.

I sat there, at a loss for words. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone little say they want a boyfriend, but every single time I find myself wondering how to proceed in the conversation.

How do I gently help her discover that having a boyfriend isn’t the ultimate goal in life?

In this particular instance, my little friend had to leave to go sit with her family before I could say anything else.

But it left me wondering What would I’ve told her? along with the realization that I probably want a boyfriend for Christmas as much as, if not more than, she does.

Hmm.
Okay, Kara. Time to reevaluate your mindset on singleness.

*Reads 1 Corinthians 7*

Throughout this chapter of the Bible, there is a resounding theme that

singleness is a blessing. 

Those four words have incredible power to take a negative perspective and flip it around like a pancake on the stove.

Singleness. Is. A. Blessing. 

It’s a lot to take in. Especially when the world around us SCREAMS the opposite. You know, the classic story.

Guy and girl meet. Sparks fly. Some sort of complication starts that keeps them a part. They must overcome these barriers. If it’s a Hallmark Christmas movie, Santa might show up and offer wise advice. Finally, when all hope seems lost, the couple falls in love and live happily ever after. It’s as simple as a math equation.

Except it’s really not that simple.

Singleness is a blessing.

Do you believe it?
I’m not sure if I do. It’s easy to say we believe something, when really our hearts aren’t sure we really do.

We’ve talked about singleness before here on Coffee With Kara. We’ve discussed why it’s hard to be contently single, and shared what Paul in Philippians teaches about contentment. But we haven’t explored the thought that singleness really could be a blessing.

Why do we consider singleness to be a less worthy part of life than the other stages, when instead we should consider it to be a blessing?

 

You know, I’ve got 19 years of experience when it comes to being single. I would like to think that I would have this single-thing down to a T.

But I don’t. I’m just like you- longing to learn how to thrive in this season when I constantly feel like I’m failing.

So, as a fellow single-sister, I’d like to share a few things that I’m learning about how singleness is a blessing.

{Note: The following points are taken from 1 Corinthians 7, which addresses both singleness and marriage. Right now we’re mainly going to focus on what Paul says about singleness, however, I do encourage you to read the whole chapter, in its entirety, for yourself :) }

1. Both singleness and relationships are a gift from God.

I wish all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one from another.” -1 Corinthians 7:7

Single, dating, engaged, married. ALL phases are gifts. ALL come from God.

Not only that, but whichever gift we have right now, it was hand picked for us. It’s ours to own. So why, when we perceive that our gift is of lesser value, why do we despise the gift God has given us?

When I was a preschooler, my mommy taught me that when someone gives you a gift, you receive it and smile and say “Thank you very much,” even if you don’t particularly like the gift. Because it’s rude to do otherwise.

God has given me the gift of singleness. I should follow my mommy’s teaching and receive it, smile, and say “Thank you very much.”

2. It is good to be single.

To the unmarried and widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.” -1 Corinthians 7:8

It is good to remain single.

I don’t know about you, but I think I need to hear that one more time: It is good to remain single. 

Good.
Not bad.
Not undesirable.
Good.

That sentence is not said nearly enough times for it to fully sink into my head. I probably need to write it on a note card and stick it on my bulletin board so I can see it every day.

It is good to remain single… as I am.

Paul was single too. He can relate to us. He’s on our level. He understands.

Another cool thought: Paul was writing to the Corinthians. In Corinth, Greece, where the was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite- the goddess of love (source).

Their culture worshiped love and sex… and quite frankly, so does ours. It was probably just as radical for Paul to tell them that it is good to remain single as it is to tell us. 

So when Paul wrote that it is good to remain single, he wrote it knowing that the people who took his advice to heart would stand out from their culture.

Same goes for us. If we adapt this single=blessing mindset, we’re gonna stand out from our culture.

See also: “Better Remain Single” by sheissetapart.com

It is good to remain single. Good. Not bad. Not undesirable. Good.

3. Live the life to which you were called.

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” – 1 Corinthians 7:17

God gives us each a unique story to tell- not only in regards to our testimony, but also when it comes to our love story.
That’s one good thing I’ve learned from Hallmark movies- even though each love story may seem similar, each one is unique in some way.

So whether we find ourselves single or married, God has assigned our relationship status to us… not Facebook.

4. Life goes by quickly. Remain as is.

I think that in view of the current distress it is good for a person to remain as he is… For the present world is passing away.” -1 Corinthians 26, 31

Again, it is good to remain as is. (See point #2 above.) Life is too short to waste it worrying about relationship statuses.

4b. If you marry, you have not sinned.

But if you do marry, you have not sinned.” -1 Corinthians 7:28

I’m throwing this sub-point in here because, well, Paul did it first, and I think this is an important note: Paul knew that people have a tendency to be extremists.

“It’s good to remain single, so it must be wrong to get married.”
FALSE.

It is good to be single AND it is good to be married. This is where we remember that both are gifts.

5. Be free from anxieties.

I want you to be free from anxieties… the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. The married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.” -1 Corinthians 7:32,34

An unmarried woman should be the most concerned about pleasing God. God should be our #1 priority.

And I don’t think Paul is saying that once you get married you can’t still have God as your first priority… I think he’s saying that once you’re married God isn’t your only priority.

But anywho.

While we are single, we can serve God in ways we won’t be able to when we’re married. Likewise, when we are married, we can serve God in ways we can’t while we are single.
{Remember, both stages are gifts.}

But this thought gives me pause:
Once I’m married I’m going to be way busier than I am now. So why am I not valuing this time alone that I have now? 

Why do I spend my time wondering and fretting about when/if my crush and I are going to start dating instead of dwelling in the unconditional love of Jesus???

…because I’m flawed. And I have an enemy who desperately wants me to be distracted. But thankfully I have a God who forgives and loves me and who teaches me to love Him back.

6. Undivided devotion, no matter what.

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint on you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion on the Lord.” –1 Corinthians 7:35

Undivided devotion to the Lord.

Single? Have undivided devotion to the Lord.
Dating? Have undivided devotion to the Lord.
Engaged? Have undivided devotion to the Lord.
Married? Have undivided devotion to the Lord.

It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Single? Have undivided devotion to the Lord. Dating? Have undivided devotion to the Lord. Engaged? Have undivided devotion to the Lord. Married? Have undivided devotion to the Lord.

Singleness is a blessing.

Sure, it may be a blessing in disguise, but I hope that now, after reflecting on 1 Corinthians 7, we both have a deeper understanding of this blessing.

A quick recap of what 1 Corinthians 7 teaches us:

  1. Both singleness and relationships are a gift from God.
  2. It is good to be single.
  3. Live the life to which you were called.
  4. Life goes by quickly. Remain as is.
  5. Be free from anxieties.
  6. Undivided devotion, no matter what.

We are blessed to be single. And I pray that we never mistake this blessing for a curse. May we glorify God in all that we do, no matter our stage of life!

{You might also like: 5 Ways to Embrace the Single Season by Abigail}

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12 thoughts on “Why do we Forget that Singleness is a Blessing?

  1. Gabby

    Would you consider the world is so marriage-centered because it’s going to be more difficult trying to please God while you’re fully devoted to another human being?

    It’s good to be single..*muttering till it’s rooted*

    Thanks so much for the reminder.

  2. Maria

    This is very wise and helpful. Whatever we fret over with desire is something to hand over and ask the Holy Spirit to come fill the space. It’s just a waste of time and energy to do anything else!

  3. Mallory

    Amen! Great post!
    We need more post like this. Society puts so much pressure and popularity on dating and marriage. We need to be focusing women and young ladies on God rather than finding a man to love God with.

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