Serving Him Single

We've been talking about God's design for our femininity all month on the blog. Much of that conversation has revolved around marriage, motherhood, and the home. That makes sense. Those are certainly key elements in passages like Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5, and Genesis 2:23-24. But what does God's plan for women look like when there isn't a husband to help, a home to use for serving others, and children to raise? Does God's plan for your life start the moment you walk down the aisle and say "I do" or hear the words "it's a boy/girl?" If women were created to be helpers and nurturers of life, how's a gal supposed to live out God's standard before she has a family of her own? And what if God never gives her those things? How should she serve Him then?

As I was considering my posts for this month, I thought of you. I know that for the most part, this group of readers doesn't need to be convinced that marriage and motherhood are a good thing. Quite the opposite. You need to see the value in serving Christ while single. I realize that this topic doesn't always have the same appeal as talking about marriage and motherhood. Those things can seem straight out of a Hallmark card if we let them. But being single doesn't have to be any less wonderful or purposeful. Many of you are single now, right? Shouldn't you be embracing your calling as women in this season instead of pining for ways to serve God in the next? Nancy wrote a great little booklet on this very topic. It's titled Singled Out For Him: Embracing the gift, the blessings, and the challenges of singleness. It includes ten commitments to help readers embrace the unique set of opportunities and responsibilities that Christians face while single. It's great stuff. And I wish I could share every word of it with you. But we'll just be hitting the highlights in this post and in tomorrow's blog. Here we go.

1. I am committed to receiving singleness as a gift from God.

Contentment is a choice. True joy is not the result of having everything I want but of gratefully receiving exactly what God has given me. " ... each one has his own gift from God, one in this matter and another in that" (1 Corinthians 7:7). The Scripture teaches that both marriage and singleness, like children, are gifts from God. To some, He gives the gift of marriage; to others, He gives the gift of singleness. Either way, we are to receive our marital status as a gift. This gift does not come from some distant relative who has no idea what we really need; it comes from a gracious God who loves us and gives the very best gifts to any of His children who leave the choice with Him.

2. I am committed to serving Christ with all my time, abilities and energy. 

"But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit.... And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction" (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). The season of singleness is not a time in limbo, waiting for the right partner to come along so we can get on with our lives. Those years of singleness provide an incredible and unique opportunity to be devoted to Christ and His kingdom in a way that married men and women simply do not have the freedom to pursue.

3. I am committed to relinquishing all my expectations of material, physical, and emotional security.

"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna ... to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3). All of us long for security and a certain level of creature comforts. Sometimes God is pleased to provide far more than we actually need. But sometimes He allows us to "do without"-to experience unfulfilled longings-so that we might come to recognize our need for Him.... The sin is not in having the longings but in demanding that our longings be met here and now. Not until we are united with the Lord Jesus in heaven will all our longings be fulfilled and all the empty spaces of our hearts be filled.

4. I am committed to developing personal discipline.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). Not only is physical discipline important, but spiritual discipline is vital. Godliness, spiritual maturity, and intimacy with God do not just "happen." They are the fruit of conscious, disciplined choices and habits. Paul told Timothy to "exercise yourself toward godliness" (1 Timothy 4:7). Spiritual disciplines such as worship, praise, Bible study, prayer, Scripture memorization, and fasting can help develop a vital, rich relationship with God, resulting in godly character and a fruitful life.

5. I am committed to being morally pure.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Lack of moral discipline is one of the greatest disqualifiers of those who run the Christian race. On the other hand, a commitment to moral purity is essential to experiencing the fullness of blessing that God intends for us. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the will of God for every believer is that we be morally pure, that we abstain from every form of immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

I told you this was good stuff. I can't imagine the impact each of us would experience if we chose to make just these first five commitments. Buts there's more. Check back tomorrow for five more commitments Nancy encourages singles to make. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you. What commitments have you made to God during a season of singleness? What areas of your heart, life, and future do you still need to turn over to Him?

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.