Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Seven Secrets for Singles

Leslie Basham: You may not bow down to an image of wood or stone, but are you guilty of idolatry? Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy DeMoss: Anything I demand that God give me becomes an idol in my life. So, I choose to receive my singleness and to thank God for it and not to demand, in an idolatrous way, that He give me the gift of marriage even while I still may have those unfulfilled longings.

Leslie Basham: It's Monday, June 2; and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Marriage is a good thing. It is a God-initiated and God-honoring relationship. And it is normal and right that we desire to be married? Unless marriage isn't what God has for us. Today, Nancy begins a new series entitled, "Seven Secrets For Singles." She'll be discussing some of the things that God has taught her about embracing the single life as a gift from God. Here is Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss: Children have a way of giving you a perspective that is kind of a different way of looking at life. Here are some questions that children are asked about dating and marriage and relationships. And here's how they answered:

Question: How do you decide who to marry?

Answer: No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides all way before and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. That was Kirsten, age 10.

Question: What is the right age to get married?

Answer: 23 is the best age because you know the person forever by then. That was Camille, age 10.

Question: What do most people do on a date?

Answer: Martin, age 10 says: On the first date they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.

Question: What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?

Answer: Craig, age 9 says: I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.

Question: When is it okay to kiss someone?

Answer: Pam, age 7 says: When they are rich.

Now Curt, age 7, had a different answer to that question: When is it O.K. to kiss someone?

Answer: The law says you have to be eighteen so I wouldn't want to mess with that.

Question: Is it better to be single or married?

Answer: Anita, age 9 said: It's better for girls to be single, but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.

And Kirsten, age 10 said: Single is better for the simple reason that I wouldn't want to change no diapers. Of course, if I did get married, I'd just phone my Mother and have her come over for some coffee and diaper changing.

Well, there are two things those answers illustrate.

One, is that well-meaning people don't always give good counsel. And sometimes they're not mature enough to know what is good counsel.

And then something else that I think it illustrates and that is that life is choices. Are you supposed to stay single? Are you supposed to get married? We want to talk in this series this week and into next week about some of the choices involved in singleness.

And actually, I want to share with you, after 43 years thus far of being single, some of the choices that have been very helpful to me in making the most of these years of singleness. Some choices that I made as a young woman, some choices I've made over the years and continue to make to this day that have resulted in great freedom and blessing for me as a single woman.

Now, I want to be quick to say that I haven't made all right choices. But choices, good or bad, are like seeds. The problem is that what you sow is what you reap. We sow those seeds, we sow those choices and when they come out they are multiplied--not just the little seed that we sowed but multiplied results from those choices.

Now as a woman, you may or may not have a choice about your marital status. Some of you are single because you have felt that that was what God wanted for you and you've made the decision to be single. Some of you are single, many perhaps, because you haven't had a choice. And you would like to be married, but that's not been a choice.

I would say that regardless of whether or not you have the choice to be single, that you can choose what you do with your singleness. And that's really what we want to talk about in these sessions, making choices about what we do with our singleness.

And I want to share with you several choices that I have made over the years--not perfectly, not flawlessly but choices that, as I look back over these years and twenty-some years as a single adult, choices that have really stood me in good stead and that are reaping great blessings and freedom in my life today.

The first choice is that I choose to receive my singleness as a gift from God. That's a choice I make to receive my singleness as a gift from God, to thank Him for that gift and not to demand that He give me the gift of marriage.

I love that response that the Virgin Mary had in Luke, chapter 1 when the angel came to her and said to this young teenage girl who was engaged to be married, "You're going to have a baby and Joseph is not the father. God is the Father."

And you can just imagine how Mary's world just went into a whirlwind at that point. But I love her response in Luke chapter 1, verse 38. She said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said."

You know, that is a great answer for every circumstance that God brings into our lives. "I am the Lord's servant. May it be unto me as you have said."

"Lord, I receive Your decision for my life. I receive this gift for my life. I'm not going to resent it. I'm not going to demand that You give me a different gift."

Now singleness as a gift may or may not be for a lifetime. I don't know if I will be single for all of my life. God hasn't revealed that to me. He probably hasn't revealed it you. But the neat thing is that I don't have to know. What I do need to know is that He's made me single today and my focus is on pleasing Him today.

Now, that doesn't mean that if I choose to receive my singleness as a gift from God, that I won't have unfulfilled longings. And can I say that it's okay to have unfulfilled longings? Can I also say that everyone has them? Every person has deep, inner longings that cannot be filled here on this earth--that cannot be filled by any created thing.

There are times, when as singles, those unfulfilled longings particularly surface. I can remember not too long ago going to the wedding of the 20-year-old son of some of my peers. And I went to this wedding. It was a sweet, young couple and a really precious wedding. I sat there in that service so thrilled for them. But it was just one of those moments when it hits you, I'm probably never going to be married.

And there was a moment of sadness for me. I was thrilled for them. But there were tears. It was a moment of experiencing unfulfilled longings. But in the midst of that, I can still thank God and surrender to Him afresh realizing that this unfulfilled longing is material for sacrifice. It gives me something to offer God that costs me something.

And with that moment of teariness, that moment of longing, comes an opportunity for a fresh surrender, a fresh chance to say, "God, I trust You."

So first, I choose to receive my singleness as a gift from God, to thank Him for it and not to demand that He give me the gift of marriage--remembering that marriage is not a requirement for my present happiness or fulfillment.

And if I make marriage the ultimate goal in my life, do you know what marriage will then become? An idol. An idol. Anything I demand that God give me becomes an idol in my life. So, I choose to receive my singleness, to thank God for it and not to demand, in an idolatrous way, that He give me the gift of marriage even while I may still have those unfulfilled longings.

And then, number two. I choose to pursue intimacy with God and to allow Him to fulfill my deepest needs.

I choose to pursue intimacy with God. God made us for intimacy and the tendency of singles is to feel that if we don't have a mate then we can't experience intimacy. But the fact is that God made us to have the most intimate possible relationship in our spirit with Him.

So this says that I'm making a choice not just to drift in my spiritual life but to make a conscious, deliberate, intentional effort to be spiritually growing and not pining away as one woman wrote and said to me. "We, as singles, should not pine away but take every opportunity to get to know our Lord. Pining just wastes our time and makes us miserable."

She said, "My desire and my goal is to focus on Him and His Word." And she said, "I am renewing my commitment to Scripture memory and meditation."

One of the choices I have made over the years is to make a conscious, deliberate effort to get to know God, to pursue intimacy with Him and to allow Him to meet the deepest needs of my heart.

I do that by taking advantage of the means of grace that God has provided for all His children-- the Word of God--reading it, studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it, teaching it, sharing it with others.

But not just the Word of God, the Spirit of God--letting Him fill me.

Prayer--taking my requests before God.

Praise and worship and fasting are means of grace in my life.

Fellowship within the Body of Christ.

I take advantage of all these means that God has provided--the Lord's Supper and communion is a means of grace that God has provided to help us grow in our faith. And as I pursue intimacy with God, I want to focus on God's ability to meet the deepest needs of my heart.

Don't you love that passage in Psalms, chapter 62, verse 5 where the psalmist says to his soul (he talks to his own soul) and he says, "My soul, wait thou only upon God. Wait upon God for my expectation is from Him."

That suggests to me that the psalmist is saying, "The end of my search, the end of my pursuit is God Himself."

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She's been addressing single women today, but we all need to take that message to heart. Ultimately, God is all we need. She'll be right back to pray.

Nancy has written a booklet called Singled Out for Him that will give you understanding as you grapple with issues as a single person. We hope you'll get a copy and make it part of your daily quiet time. It'll help you pray through the issue of contentment that you heard about today. You can get a copy for a suggested donation of $5. For more information, just call us at 1-800-569-5959. Or visit www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

Every single person faces a unique set of circumstances and has unique challenges. If you'd like for someone to be praying for you or you'd like to share your experiences, why don't you write us?

Women pursuing men. Is it acceptable? Always wrong? Or sometimes right and sometimes wrong? We'll talk about it on tomorrow's program. Now, here is Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss: Thank You, Father, for the time we've had in Your presence this evening. And thank You for Your Word that challenges us about the choices we make.

And, Lord, afresh in this moment we want to just commit ourselves to those choices and to purpose in our hearts that we will accept Your gifts, whatever they may be. And we purpose in our hearts to be seeking You and cultivating an intimate love relationship with You.

Help us, Lord, to make those choices, not just in this place when we're all together and it's easy to do it but tomorrow morning when we wake up and it's hard. When our emotions come rolling in over us and tell us, This is hard and marriage would be easier.

Oh, Lord, in those moments help us to go back to these conscious, deliberate choices. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Leslie Basham: Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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