Sun, 2018-03-04 12:21
4. Building Strong Families & Forging Great Relationships
Subtitle: Singlehood, the Power of One
We are currently moving through a series of messages focused on “family” and on “relationships”.
Last Sunday we spoke about character, communication and charisma.
Today we are speaking about life as a single, unmarried person.
What if a single person were to ask: Am I a family?
The answer would be: No, by yourself you are not a family.
But remember, you were born into a family.
You are part of a family.
1 Corinthians 7:1–2 (AMP) Now as to the matters of which you wrote me. It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried. 2 But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband.
In Genesis 2:18 God said: “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Now we read in 1 Corinthians 7:1 where it says that “… it is good for a man … to remain unmarried”.
The question arises: Which is better – get married or remain unmarried?
The answer is: It depends on.
Genesis 2:18 is written as the general rule which is marriage for most people.
1 Corinthians 7:1 is written as the exception to the rule, namely singlehood.
Everybody should realise that not everybody will, or should be expected to get married.
1 Corinthians 7:2 (AMP) But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband.
KJV … Nevertheless, to avoid immorality …
It’s interesting how the Bible speaks about the subject of singlehood and sexuality in one single verse. What the Bible is saying here is:
Whilst it it good for someone to remain unmarried, be sure to conquer and control your sex drive, because if you can’t, you should get married.
So in very simple terms, if someone has difficulty living without having sex then it is best for them to marry rather than to struggle with sexual temptation or to live in sexual immorality.
However, if having sex is not important at all for someone, they should feel no pressure at all to get married, but instead enjoy their singleness.
Who is included in the term “single”?
- Pre-married people those who intend to get married one day
- Un-married people those who do not intend to ever get married
- Post-married people a. those who were married but got divorced
- those who are widowed due to the death of
Jesus spoke about three groups of unmarried people who won’t get married.
Matthew 19:11–12 (ISV) But He said to them, “Not everyone can accept this saying, except those to whom celibacy has been granted.12 For some men are celibate from birth, while others are celibate because they have been made that way by others.Still others are celibate because they have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Three groups of people who have no interest in marriage, and will therefore not get married:
- Those born that way
(asexual people - no interest or desire for sex)
- Those made that way by others
(in ancient cultures some men were made eunuchs through medical procedures)
- Those who choose to remain unmarried to be able to serve God more fully
1 Corinthians 7:32–34 (Msg) I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. 33 Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, 34 leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God.
Unmarried people have more available time & energy to serve God than married people.
1 Corinthians 7:36–38 (Msg) If a man has a woman friend to whom he is loyal but never intended to marry, having decided to serve God as a “single,” and then changes his mind, deciding he should marry her, he should go ahead and marry. It’s no sin; it’s not even a “step down” from celibacy, as some say. 37 On the other hand, if a man is comfortable in his decision for a single life in service to God and it’s entirely his own conviction and not imposed on him by others, he ought to stick with it. 38 Marriage is spiritually and morally right and not inferior to singleness in any way, although as I indicated earlier, because of the times we live in, I do have pastoral reasons for encouraging singleness.
At the time when apostle Paul wrote His 1st letter to the Corinthian believers he encouraged them to remain single because of the distressing times they lived in.
He indicated that he also was single and not married.
1 Corinthians 7:7–9 (Msg) Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others. 8 I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me. 9 But if they can’t manage their desires and emotions, they should by all means go ahead and get married. The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.
God is the Husband of the widow
Psalm 68:5 (NKJV) A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.
Isaiah 54:4–5 (NKJV) Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
Advice for single people:
- Be happy
- Draw close to God
- Serve God with all of your might
- Support and assist families in their needs, especially young families
Advice for single people wishing to get married:
- All of the above
- In your wish (faith) list of your future spouse don’t look for someone perfect
- In your quest to find a spouse, relax (God brought Eve to Adam)
A word of encouragement to married people:
- Include single people in your family activities