Jayden Thompson answers: Is Singleness A Gift?
If she does not reflect at least some of these qualifications, do not give her the time of day. You cannot turn a whore into a housewife.
The following is a guest post from Jayden Thompson, one of our essay contest winners. (Writing Prompt: “Is singleness a gift?”) The views expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the views of Dominion Dating.
All truth is given by revelation, either general or special, and it must be received by reason. Reason is the God-given means for discovering the truth that God discloses, whether in his world or his Word. While God wants to reach the heart with truth, he does not bypass the mind. —Jonathan Edwards
In the search for truth, we must look to the One who creates it. Edwards eloquently reminds us of this reality. All truth is backed by reason and reason can only be called upon when reflecting on the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). From Genesis to Revelation, our Lord lays out His truth for us to learn and ponder.
The question of “Is singleness a gift?” is answered in Scripture, yet it has been widely dismissed by the people and pulpits in regard to its true Biblical context. This article intends to use the self-testifying nature of Scripture to reflect on the practical application of singleness and marriage—and how both are to be used for His glory. Ultimately, the goal of this writing is to clarify the Bible’s position on singleness and offer advice to men who are currently single.
How did Paul handle singleness/marriage?
Paul practically and systematically explains this issue fully in 1st Corinthians 7; however, the focus of this post is verses 1-9. Here, the inspired apostle gives Believers a “playbook” for who should and should not commit to singleness.
1st Corinthians 7 opens with Paul answering questions prompted by the Corinthian Church. Paul states in v.2 “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Paul says here that, within the marriage covenant, couples can have intercourse without defiling themselves. It is even celebrated in other places in Scripture (Genesis 2, Song of Solomon, Hebrews 13, etc.) and serves as a representation of the joining of Christ with his bride, the Church. This quickly settles the question of if sex is allowed within the Church.
In fact, Paul takes this a step further and exhorts married members within the Church to not deprive each other of intimacy. Why? “…so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Cor. 7:5b). Most Christians lack the self-control to be free from sexual sin. Paul is not ignorant of this fact; therefore, he permits sexual intercourse within the confines of the marriage covenant as a way to alleviate the urge to sin in that way.
Paul transitions from speaking on sexual relations within marriage to the qualification for singleness. He states:
6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.
The apostle makes clear in these verses that singleness is a gift and one that he himself possesses. Later in the chapter, in verses 25–35, he displays how married life causes many anxieties and will encounter Earthy troubles that do not accompany those truly gifted with singleness. This is true; however, we must be mindful of context and consider his usage of “…as I am.” Are you as Paul is: completely capable of celibacy?
Verse 9 elaborates:
9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
This is Paul’s test on whether you are fit to be single: Does your craving for sexual intimacy cause you to sin? If so, you are not meant for singleness.
Let me repeat. Do you burn with passion? I believe most reading this article do. That means you are not fit for a life of singleness.
How then should we live? —Advice for single men
Scripture is very frank on the importance of exerting Christ-centered dominion on the Earth. The first chapters of Genesis give us this model. So, if you are like me, you are single and do not possess the gift of singleness. What’s next? How do we accomplish this goal?
The next step is to find and marry a God-fearing woman. I suggest reading Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and Ephesians 5. Use the qualifications given in these chapters to filter any woman that you may consider dating/courting. If she does not reflect at least some of these qualifications, do not give her the time of day. You cannot turn a whore into a housewife. Only God has that power. In addition, do not date if you aren’t ready to potentially marry. If this is you, pray for maturity and ask God to grow you into the type of man who can lead his family one day.
Here are some personal pointers on how to spot a Christian woman:
First, look for modestly dressed women in class, coffee shops, small groups, or wherever you frequent. This is the most easily identifiable indicator of whether a woman lives in submission to Christ. In today’s culture, it is extremely easy to spot those with God-glorifying attire. Ask yourself, “What is her outfitting trying to accomplish?” Once you have identified someone, within the framework of casual conversation, ask her if she attends a local church. If she does, that’s a good start but does not indicate her level of spiritual maturity. To get a reading on this, ask her which book of the Bible is her favorite (if she says Romans, propose immediately!). This will force her to show whether she is simply a cultural Christian or if she actually studies the Word. An alternate question would be to ask who her favorite preachers/authors/theologians are. This will reveal her theology and ability to discern between true and false doctrine. This is not an airtight way to meet Sarah or Rachel, but filtering through unqualified women is a way to protect yourself and your future family.
Most importantly, pray for the Lord to bless you with wisdom, humility, and maturity. Apart from the wisdom given by Christ, we are destined to make decisions that are foolish and sinful. When looking for a wife, we are looking for someone to help spread the Gospel to our children for a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9). Proverbs 18:22 tells us “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” Therefore, if we are not given the gift of singleness, then we should look to be given the gift of marriage, a co-equal blessing from the Lord.
After examining 1st Corinthians 7:1–9, we see that singleness is a gift granted to certain individuals, but by no means does this indicate that it is a common gift. The Bible speaks much more about marriage and dominion than singleness, indicating that it will be much more prominent among the Church. In either case, the Lord uses both singleness and marriage to glorify Himself.
To determine if you are meant for singleness, ask yourself, “Do I lust?” or “Do I want to get married?” If so, you are not meant for singleness and should seek marriage in its proper form. If you answer “no” to those questions, you may be meant for singleness. Both circumstances should be led by prayer, seeking wise counsel, and practicing obedience to whatever the Lord decides as the direction for your life.
1st Corinthians 7:20: “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.” Were you called to be single or were you called to be married?
If you are a man seeking marriage, be careful who you consider dating. Ask God to bring a faithful woman into your life. Pray for your future wife and family now. Stay away from the adulteress and flee from sexual immorality. Paul Washer recommends young men read Proverbs over and over again. We should all heed his advice.
All Bible verses come from the ESV Translation
You young men that are strong, overcome the wicked one and fight for the Lord while you can. You will never regret doing all that lies in for you for our blessed Lord and Master. —C.H. Spurgeon
If you enjoyed this article, follow me on Gab @AJ_Woodlee or shoot me an email at email@example.com. Also, check out my new website, 1613.blog. It is just getting started but there will be content for both men and women. Hopefully you will be edified by the content there.
Thanks for reading.