Gift of singleness: do you claim it for yourself? Could it be possible that God may never want you to marry? I remember feeling this way as a young adult in my early 20's. At that age I thought old age was creeping up on me way too fast and that I would never marry! I ended up feeling sorry for myself, but God had other plans for me.
While still a young girl, I was told by my parents and grandparents that I needed to prepare myself for marriage because, who knows, I might just meet that special someone at school, which of course I indeed did while attending a Christian college in Tennessee, in the US. During that time, in the early '80's, all the young women attending there seemingly were out to get their "MRS. degree, just as I was. This was the mantra at the time.
A few of the other girls at my college claimed to have this "gift of singleness", which I thought was just hilarious and utterly ridiculous in the sense that through their drab appearances and "plain Jane" personalities, the impression I got from them was complete martyrdom. I felt they were playing "hard to get" and seemed to receive more attention from the fellows than the other, more attractive girls did.
However, as I tracked down some of these friends and acquaintances from college, I later learned that a few of them never did marry and never had any particular interest in marrying either. I was floored by their honesty and admission to me that they were assured of God's purpose in their lives to live a single life, all for His glory and not for themselves. In this they were quite happy and content to live their lives solely for Jesus, without having to share their time and attention on someone else.
As I look back on this experience, it is clear to me that one must truly have this free offering from the Lord, if you will, for remaining single and to choose from the heart not to marry, not just out of sacrifice, but out of one's immense love for God and keeping one's complete focus on Him.
Your family and friends may expect you to tie the knot with someone on day. Maybe that is their idea of what your life should look like, but then again, God could have others plans and ideas for you.
Perhaps you have fantasized about meeting a nice girl (if you're a guy), who sings beautifully, who would help you in your ministry, or who may give you obedient children, etc. Or, (if you're a girl), you may have dreamed of a lavish wedding, along with a honeymoon in Hawaii, looking forward to living in a beautiful home with fantastic kids, living happily, ever after!
You may say, "Well I don't get it. How can this be considered a gift? What benefits could there possibly be in my life if I remain single and never marry? Look at all the things I could be missing out on!" Let's look at a few of them:
Some benefits of having the gift of singleness are:
Paul gave the Corinthians instructions on being married verses being single. He knew through his own life as a single man and an apostle of Christ what the spiritual benefits were apart from those of being married. Although we believe he did indeed have this gift of singleness, he was not immune to its challenges along the way. He saw the problems that existed within the church regarding these issues. Here are a few passages of scripture that talk about this in greater detail:
When God designed and fashioned you in your mother's womb, He knew whether or not He would bestow you with this truly unique gift of singleness. Very few people actually have the aptitude for remaining single all their lives.
When He prepares you for a task, He creates the pathway, giving you those desires, skills, talents, and natural abilities to carry out His purpose in your life. Therefore, if indeed this is your portion in life, you will feel this gift to be right for you.
The Holy Spirit will confirm this within your spirit as God works in you while you continue to go forth in your Christian walk with Him, giving Him all the glory for all that He can accomplish through you, His willing vessel-- the gift He has given you.
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