The Calling to be Single

I want to write a bit about the calling to be single.  I am so thankful that 1 Corinthians 7 talks about being single as well as those who are married, or widowed.  Verse 17 says, “Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.”

Verses 32-35 say:  IAn unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 3and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

I love the admonition:  For unmarried men — Be concerned about the Lord’s affairs.  For unmarried women – Be concerned about the Lord’s affairs.  Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.  I personally love that last phrase.  And then for both groups, “that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”  That is a beautiful calling if you ask me.

One last subject I want to address, something I had to deal with when leaving the Work, and then even more so when I eventually left the meetings altogether, is what I did with the new found freedom I had.  As I was slowly discovering the Gospel of Grace, I became more and more aware that God was not judging me on my outward appearance but rather on my heart and its motives and desires.  So, little by little I stepped into some of those new areas of freedom as far as my appearance went and it was so much fun and so liberating!  I felt feminine and pretty as never before.  I knew the group disapproved but, contrary to what they assumed, it was not an act of rebellion but an act of freedom.

In other areas of freedom, yes, I tried some previously “sinful” things but gradually, I came to the same conclusion that Paul did when he wrote, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24 in my NIV Bible, the heading over these verses is “The Believer’s Freedom”.  Paul goes on to write “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  That is grace; not manmade rules or living by the expectations of others but making all choices in light of whether or not it will be for the glory of God.  That whole section in that chapter (verses 23-33) is so clear about this matter. “Why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience?”  

Have I made some foolish choices and decisions since leaving the Work and leaving the fellowship? Of course. But leaving both of these were not among them.  I am still a work in progress. Just this morning I was giving thanks to God for His forgiveness and mercy shown to me over and over again when I have been rebellious, foolish, stubborn, unkind, unloving, impatient, judgmental, critical and even cynical at times.  For my lack of faith and trust in Him at times.  But He has stood by me no matter what and been  a very real Presence in my life and has assured me over and over again that I am not alone.

Praise be to Him forever and forever. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “The Calling to be Single

  1. This post deals with some issues that I have wondered alot about from time to time since leaving the meeting system. Not so much the first part about marriage but the part about the great emphasis that is placed on our outward appearance by the workers and the “orthodox” friends.

    I would like to see more about it here. I just finished reading John’s gospel. He recorded alot that Jesus said about the world hating Him. Under this heading He stated that He did things differently from the world, His ways were not the same as the ways of the world, He is light and the world is dark, the world didn’t understand or like Him etc. He also said, in the night He was arrested, that the world would also hate His disciples.

    Now, this scripture is used by, or at least was used by, workers as proof to us that we need to be different from the world. They said that if we looked different and refused to engage in things that the world did, such as celebrating Christmas (although Thanksgiving seemed to be OK??), then the people around us would, in effect, “shun” us and that would be the way in which they would “hate” us. This approach seems to say that we need to garner the world’s hatred because it hated Jesus.

    Satan has used all this against me in my conscience since leaving the system to make me feel condemned and I started really pondering it recently. The answer that came to me is that the way in which we are so very different from the world is not in outward appearance but rather in some way more important ways. We love the Light. We love true justice and true mercy and true forgiveness. The world seems to have a “you pat my back and I will pat yours’ philosophy that I have come to realize God hates. He loves true justice. And just plain Truth.

    I just want to know the thoughts and feelings of others on this subject. I am sure I have just scratched the surface. I feel it is very important to our throwing off the old brain washing and being thoroughly cleansed of it and walking in newness of life with Him.

    Thanks!

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  2. I love reading what you share. I agree, we all are special and useful just the way God made us. I love the focus you brought out about each one living devoted to the Lord’s affairs, regardless of what place we fill. I think it does a great disservice to elevate any place but Christ. I recently read that the way to figure out our gift or calling us how we would respond to a child running to bring a glass of water to someone but tripping and falling before delivering the water. Would we help clean up the mess, fix the object that was tripped on, warn to not run or be careful, comfort the child, go get another glass of water? A helpful thing included was not to get upset with another for not having the same gift as we do.

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