In my last article "Relationships in Scripture" we looked at various relationships in scripture and focused on their strengths and weaknesses. Now we are going to look at how to determine what God’s will is for you concerning being single or married.
WE ALL START AS SINGLES
As we learned at the beginning, Adam was first a single person before God brought Eve to him. What we have to embrace in our mind is that we all start our young adult lives as a single person. This is God’s plan for everyone in the early days of their lives. This is not hard to figure out.
However, the problem a lot of single people run into is being content as a single person first (which we will discuss later in another study). The second problem is deciding on whether to get married or not. Often times, being single can lead a person to discontentment and eventually rushing to get married. So, the key is being content and waiting on God to reveal His plan for you.
THE OVERALL PLAN FOR MANKIND
In the beginning God joined Adam and Eve together because it was in His plans to begin mankind. He also said that what He (God) has joined together let no one put asunder. So, as you read through the scriptures, you will see a lot of marriages and a handful of single people. For the majority of the human race, God has put it in the hearts of men and women to get married and raise a family. That is the normal course of life and nothing wrong with it.
THE VARIOUS CALLS OF GOD
Most people have a desire to be married, however, not everyone gets married or even desires to be married. There are various reasons as to why; God chooses some to stay single, while others choose to be single for God. And of course, there are some who just don’t want to be married because they don’t want to go through the work of a relationship. There are also some who physically cannot be married as is the case of eunuchs in the scripture below.
Jesus, kind of puts this into perspective when He says…
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Mat 19:10-12)
Then Paul speaks of it this way…
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1Co 7:7)
When you take what Jesus said above and what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corth 7 about being married or single, you will see that it is a “gift of God” … in other words, God empowers you to live in the calling He places on your life; whether married or single.
ABIDING AS YOU ARE CALLED
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corth 7 discusses this very subject in depth about marriage or being single. I won’t rehash the entire chapter here, but suffice to say that Paul stresses that living a single life is FAR BETTER than being married when living for God. His main point is that when a person is single they will stay closer to God and not be distracted.
However, he says that God is not commanding people to be single, but something a person should consider strongly; and that if a person does want to marry then they have not sinned. But, he warned them that they will have struggles in the flesh because of what is involved in maintaining a marriage.
One of the other important points Paul makes is that a person should abide in the state that they are in when they come into the church. So, if a person comes into the church a single person, then they should abide in that state contently for as long as they can (even forever), or they can decide to get married or until God moves them to get married.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT GOD’S WILL IS
First and foremost, if a person is currently single, that is God’s current will for them for that time. The best thing a person can do is be content being single. Embrace the alone time with God, without distractions. Paul even stated in 1 Corth 7; that if a person is not married… do not seek a wife (or husband).
Now, it is possible to be content being single, but still have a desire to be married (that's okay). Most of the time, this is God’s plan for you in the future. Just become the best Christian you can as a single person and let God bring a spouse into your life.
Above, Jesus mentioned the lives of eunuchs in the scripture above. A eunuch is someone who is made single by castration, or they choose to be castrated, or they choose to be a spiritual eunuch for the Kingdom of God's sake. Those who are forced to be single at birth or by castration of men do not have much of a choice, and must accept that as the will of God in their lives.
Others, who choose to be eunuchs, whether by castration or spiritually, do so by choice. God either lays it on their heart to be single or through their own choice God empowers them to be single. Either way, God’s will is laid on their hearts to live a single life.
As we have read, we all start out as a single person and the best thing a single person can do is be content, seek God and let God work out the future of being married. A discontent single person will struggle with loneliness and frustrations because their happiness it tied to being married. That isn’t the proper way to look at being single.
Once a person becomes content being single, then they can decide if they want to stay single forever or get married. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be married… as long as it is God who opens the doors for you to be married. Your contented desire to be married, along with God’s will, will activate God to join you with someone else for His purpose when it's time.
On the flip side, if a person desires to become a “spiritual eunuch” and doesn’t want to get married for the rest of their days, God can empower him to do so. There are many who have done this; even preachers who choose this way of life often carry a special anointing with them.
Every person can tell what God’s will is by what desires are placed within the heart. A pure desire or need to be single or married is noted by God. However, we must weigh our hearts to be sure that what we desire is not out of discontent or lust(s). God is not obligated to answer any prayers that are prayed just to fulfil a lust (James 4:1-3). A person’s desire must be rooted in a willingness to do God’s will.
It is through your desires (placed there by God); circumstanes, or by His spoken word to you that will let you know what His will is. Just be patient and wait for it to come. You will know because all the pieces will fall into place and God will bless that word or desire in His time!