Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Do I Do With These Sexual Desires? – Part 2

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I posted the original “What Do I Do With These Sexual Desires?”  Honestly, I was really hoping I’d be married by now and receiving the answer to that question.  But, alas, I am not, and on the anniversary of that post I’m still struggling with…..you guessed it….sexual desires. 

This is Issue Number One for me because if there is a gift of singleness, a supernatural Holy Spirit enabling that allows a person to be completely normal and yet not the least bit concerned about never enjoying sexual fulfillment with a spouse, then I can say, without a doubt, I do not have it.  More to the point, I absolutely do not want it.  I would just as soon pray to receive festering boils on the top of my head.  Now, please don’t misunderstand.  I have a great admiration for those who have reportedly used this gift in the fullest expression of unfettered devotion to the Lord; godly saints like the Apostle Paul, Ana in the Gospel of Luke, the prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Amy Carmichael, Lottie Moon, Helen Roseveare, and Mary Slessor to name a few.  But as much as I revere these singles, I can’t relate to their ability to be sexless and satisfied.






As I write this post, I’m over 40, never-married, sexless, and unsatisfied…..and, honestly, it’s driving me crazy.  I no longer derive much encouragement from the typical pastor’s advice to “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…..”  Equally unhelpful is the suggestion that if I just abstain from sexual relations now, marital sex will be mind-blowingly wonderful when I finally wed at 82.  And besides, at my age, I am no longer abstaining, really.  An idealistic twenty-two-year-old with an engagement ring on her finger is abstaining.  I am just flat-out, depressingly, unwillingly, and perpetually celibate.  Perhaps the most irritating advice you get as a single is that if you don’t have the gift of singleness, according to 1 Corinthians 7:9 you should get married “for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”  But, as Boromir of The Lord of the Rings would say, “One does not simply get married”.  With no boyfriend, no ex-boyfriend, and no prospective boyfriend anywhere in sight I am about as far from marriage as I can be.  If marriage was Tampa, Florida I’d be on the outskirts of Langdon, North Dakota in a Vespa right now.

This unenviable predicament is made all the more challenging by the sex sermon.  I don’t need to tell you veteran singles how difficult it is to listen to the sex sermon.  I’d rather sit through five back-to-back speeches on tithing.  Several weeks ago, our pastor preached one such sermon on Proverbs 5:15-23.  He kicked off the message by declaring God created sex in marriage for two reasons:  “procreation and recreation.”  In vain I hoped that he would expand on the procreation purposes of sex, but, of course, he did not.  Nobody ever talks about the boring procreation part, and besides, that’s not what that passage is about.  No, pastor spent the rest of the evening rhapsodizing enthusiastically about the recreational purposes of sex – the thrilling, fulfilling, exciting, exhilarating, intoxicating, invigorating, energizing, revitalizing, pulsating, paralyzing, titillating, tantalizing, stimulating, satisfying purposes of sex.  And as I was sitting there listening to the sermon, wanting desperately for someone to stick a pitchfork prong in my ear, I couldn’t help but to think there had to be a way to preach a biblical sermon on money without bragging about how much you had in the bank.



Me.....after pastor's sex sermon



As a longtime, never-desired-to-be single, I am faced with following unavoidable truths:

1.      God created sex for marriage only.
2.      I have a God-given desire for sex.
3.      I am not married.
4.      As a Christian, I must honor God and submit to His commands.

As I look at this list, I find myself caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  It was easier when I was younger, when I knew marriage had to be just around the corner, when it was just a matter of holding on until…..but as I slowly come to realize there likely won’t be an “until”, I start asking questions I never dreamed I’d ask this side of conversion:  

“Is this the jumping-off point for me?  Will I finish the race like the Apostle Paul said he did in 2 Timothy 4:7?  Or will the cost of discipleship that Jesus spoke of in Luke 14 prove to be too high of a price for me?”

If you, too, fear that lifelong chastity for Christ is too high of a price and you’re at the teetering point, ready to chuck this Christianity thing right out the window, let’s walk through this process together.  You are not alone, single sister, in your struggles.  I believe there is hope for us.  Certainly there will be no change in numbers 1 and 4 from the above list, and I see no change in number 3 in my life in the foreseeable future but there is wiggle room, according to the Scriptures, in number two.  It involves taking Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:9 and reversing it:  “If they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry” so if I cannot marry, I must exercise self-control.  There is no way around it.  I must have complete control of my sexual desires.  It is the only way I will survive and thrive as a single Christian.

But how exactly is this done?  How do I gain sufficient control over my sexual desires so that I don’t burn with envy towards those around me who are married, so I don’t look to a future of indefinite singleness with sadness and despair, so I don’t want to commit hari-kari after my pastor’s sex sermons, so that I can fully embrace and enjoy my unique testimony as an unmarried follower of Christ?   The following are three critical things I have found I must do as a single Christian to be satisfied with the life God has given me.

I Must Renew My Mind

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”.  This is especially true when it comes to how I think about sex because I have found the world has influenced my thinking on sex more than I realized.

This is a hard truth for me to accept, but true nonetheless – the problem I have with unfulfilled sexual desires is not my lack of a spouse and I mustn’t become angry with God for not providing a husband.   As Job so rightly said, our God gives and He takes away (Job 1:21).  He has every right to bless and to withhold blessings at His discretion.  The real problem is the corruption of my thoughts regarding sexual desire by the ungodly world in which I live.  All the television shows, radio tunes, movies, Cosmo articles, and romance novels I thought were harmless have gradually and imperceptibly poisoned my mind, making it harder to live a single, celibate life for ChristI must then “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), confront wrong thinking with God’s true Word.

Our society worships sex and considers it a requirement for personal happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment.  To this end, it has plucked sex out of its rightful place in marriage and redefined it as the absolute right of every human being in whatever context they choose to enjoy it.  To our culture it is such a human necessity to express sexual desire that it insists on sex being as unrestrained as possible, even to the point of aborting precious babies that are a consequenceWhen I’m angry with God for not providing a spouse or when I’m envious of others around me who are married, that’s an indication I have adopted the world’s belief that sexual expression is a right owed to me.  That was never God’s intention for sexual desire though.  He did not create sex for the individual, for personal expression or enjoyment.  He created it for His glory, for mutual enjoyment between a husband and wife, and to express the mystery of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:3-4; Ephesians 5:31-32).   It was His kind and generous gift created to make marriage a one-flesh relationship, demonstrating the love that Christ has for the church, making marriage unique among all human relationships.

In a section called “The Theology of Sex” in the book Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Michael Lawrence explained it this way: 

“…the intimacy and pleasure of sex is not the reward we receive for getting married.  That would be like saying baptism is the reward we receive for becoming a Christian.  No, sex is the sign of the marriage covenant itself.  And to engage in sex is to call God as witness to hold us accountable for our covenantal commitment.  So regardless of whether it makes sense to our culture or to our bodies to reserve sex for marriage….as Christians we must realize that having sex outside of marriage makes a mockery of the covenant God instituted and to which he is witness.”

Having a correct, godly mindset on sex keeps me from feeling that God is denying me something that I need in life.  I may very much want to have sex….it is perfectly natural to have sexual desires….but as a single woman I do not need to have sex because sex is needed only for marriage.



Sex is God's beautiful gift for marriage only.....to glorify Him and express the mystery of marriage.



I Must Stop Sinning Sexually

Sexual sin, which includes not only sex outside of marriage but also sexual fantasies, lust, masturbation, and viewing pornography, is a difficult sin to overcome.  First because it is pleasurable but secondly because we often feel as singles we are entitled to these “indiscretions”.  We like to believe that God looks the other way when we sin sexually because we feel sorry for ourselves.  And we can be very reluctant to turn away from these sins because we think, “Lust is all I have.  Those married ladies have their husbands to enjoy but all I have is my fantasy man.  If I give him up I won’t have anything.  No pleasure.  No joy in life.”

But the exact opposite is actually true.  Sexual sin does not make it easier to live the single life, but much harder.  True lasting joy comes from Christ and engaging in sexual sin makes it impossible for us to enjoy a close relationship with Christ and be truly happy as singles.  How right the Apostle Paul was when he said in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”  We sin against ourselves when we sin sexually which complicates the process of disentangling ourselves from the sin.  No matter how much we want to get away from it, sexual immorality sticks to us like glue.

If you want to enjoy your single life in Christ, if you truly want to glorify Him and be a light to others around you, and if you want to overcome feelings of sadness and depression over not having sex, rid yourself of sexual sin.   Cease and desist any sexual activity outside of marriage.  If you are currently in a sexual relationship, end it.  If night has become a time of lustful fantasies and masturbation, listen to the Bible or Christian music on a portable media player until you drift off to sleep.  If you are viewing online pornography put a porn filter program on your computer.  Ask a trusted Christian sister to pray with you and hold you accountable.  Taking these steps is just the beginning of the process, however.  We cannot rid ourselves of sin without the help of the Holy Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification:  that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”  We are not like the world that has no control over its passions and lusts.  We have the Holy Spirit within us who gives us the ability to have self control over our bodies, desires, and impulses (Galatians 5:16-24; Romans 6:12-14).


Flee sexual sin.  It does not help but hinder your single Christian walk.


Repent of your sexual sins to God – not in nebulous, vague language (“Lord, forgive me for sinning against you”) – be specific.   Admit in detail to Him what your sins are.  He already knows what they are so don’t attempt to hide from Him and don’t hide from yourself.  God promises that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  I believe God will honor our desire to honor the marriage bed and keep it undefiled (Hebrews 13:4).  God is no prude when it comes to sex – He created it and delights and rejoices in it in marriage.  As God’s child, I must join Him in honoring sex in marriage.

I Must Fill Up on Christ

When you redirect your thinking on sex and steer clear of sexual immorality, don’t just leave yourself empty.  Fill yourself with the knowledge of Christ.  Feast on His Word, sing praises to Him, dwell on the truths of Scripture, memorize verses, and busy yourself with godly work like discipleship, Bible study, benevolence, and evangelism.  Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.  Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  It is God who fills us up, who gives us fulfillment and satisfaction in life, not sex.  I know this truth in my head but often don’t believe it in my heart.  As a result, I don’t throw myself into God’s Word but instead hold on to the idol of sex and its empty promise to give me fulfillment in life.

Why is it that I find this so hard to believe?  Why do I not take God at His Word and trust Him with my life?  Because I haven’t yet experience that joy.   At the beginning of this post, I mentioned a list of godly saints, satisfied singles who had given up marriage and the joys of sex in order to know God more intimately.  I casually said they had used the gift of singleness to do this but if you look more closely at the lives of these saints, you’ll find there’s really no evidence they had a “gift of celibacy”.  It is believed that the Apostle Paul was probably married at some point because he was a Pharisee (a group that saw marriage as the righteous state of every adult man) and he was a member of the Sanhedrin (which required marriage).  He was likely a widower.  Ana had once been married but was a widow for over 80 years and Jeremiah was commanded by God not to marry because of the distressing times in which he prophesied.  At a point in her ministry, Helen Roseveare pursued marriage aggressively believing she needed a husband to serve God more fully, but eventually gave up when she saw God has closed the door to matrimony.  Lottie Moon and Mary Slessor were both engaged to be married and both eventually broke off their engagements – Lottie Moon because she had concerns about her prospective husband’s religious beliefs and Mary Slessor, with great sadness, because her fiancĂ© could not join her on the mission field.  None of these singles appears to have been immune from the desire to wed.  But the Lord captured their special attention.  He overwhelmed their desires.  I think if I immerse myself in Him as they did, He will have the same effect on me – gift or no gift.

At a singles conference, C.J. Mahaney said, “…it’s critical that you do the hard work necessary to study the Scriptures and develop a theology of singleness.  It isn’t sufficient to attend a conference; it isn’t sufficient to be a part of a local church where there is sound doctrine being communicated. You must search the Scriptures for yourself so the Spirit of God can speak to you and you can develop a theology of singleness. Because until you understand singleness from a biblical perspective, you won’t view your present state accurately, you will not take advantage of it, and, most seriously, you will not be pleasing God.”



C.J. Mahaney


C.J. nailed it here; what he says is so true.  Christianity requires work.  Not work in earning your salvation – we cannot earn that.  Christ earned it for us on the cross by taking the punishment for our sins.  But the Bible says we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).  This is the work of sanctification and it is required by all Christians.  It is also the reason why when you go to your pastor and ask him how to cope with unfulfilled sexual desires, he probably won’t have a satisfying answer for you.  Everything he says to you will sound like empty platitudes.  Why is this?  It’s not because your pastor doesn’t care or isn’t knowledgeable, but this particular assignment, the one of being celibate for the glory of God despite wanting marriage, is the work God has given to you, not your pastor.  God expects you to do the hard work required, searching the Scriptures to figure out how to respond rightly to this situation.  Once you do the work to develop a proper theology of unwanted singleness and celibacy, you may even be able to school your own pastor on what God has to teach us through singleness.

I’m right there with you, walking this same difficult road.  And I am certain Christ will not disappoint us.



Copyright © 2014


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Count Your Single Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.


I find I’m most content with my singleness when I focus more on all the blessings God has given me than on the blessings He has given others.





Now if you think this is going to be a post designed to make you feel guilty for being dissatisfied with singleness – an “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” kind of story – or yet another sermon about how we singles should be grateful for all the extra time we have to do things the married people can’t, think again.  I’m weary of those, too.   No, I have been greatly encouraged by seeing my singleness from a different viewpoint.  You see, I’ve grown accustomed to viewing my single status as a mistake, a dreadful, unwanted tragedy in my life.  “If I had only gone to that college instead of this one, moved to that city, taken that job, gone to this church instead of that one, taken a left instead of taking a right at that street…..surely I’d be married by now”, my mind often tells me.  But the One True God of infinite knowledge, strength, and power is in no way limited by my choices.  Even if I did go to the wrong college, moved to the wrong city, or took the wrong job, it would still be child’s play for the Creator and Sustainer of the universe to arrange a marriage for me if He wanted.  So my single life is not a mistake. 

Consider this for a moment:  What if your singleness is not a mistake?  What if your life has gone exactly as the Lord would have it?  It says in Proverbs 20:24, “a man's steps are from the Lord” and, for the believer, this is confirmed in the New Testament:  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).   If that is the case, then He has prepared you and provided exactly what you need to glorify Him as a single Christian.  In viewing my marital status not as a colossal misfortune but as the life God always wanted me to live, I have become aware of an embarrassing abundance of blessings He has given me that I originally overlooked.  It has afforded me a completely new and enjoyable view of my singleness and I hope it gives you the same positive perspective.





Blessed for Singleness

The year 2013 was by far the toughest year of my life.  It started with the death of my father, who went to be with the Lord on December 28th of the previous year after a six-month illness.  I recall feeling guilty ringing in a new year that my dad would never see.  My elderly parents both lived with me due to their own financial difficulties so the pain of losing Dad was especially acute since I saw him every day.  Over the next few months, as my mother and I tried to cope with Dad’s death, Mom became ill and was eventually diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma in June 2013.  In mid July, right before a second round of chemo treatments, Mom had cardiac arrest, suffered extensive and irreversible brain damage, and passed away July 29, 2013.  My mother had been caring for my adult brother Marvin, who has severe developmental disabilities, at home so when she died the responsibility to care for him passed to me.

I have never wanted to be single and I particularly feared being single and childless when my parents passed away.  How horrible would it feel to no longer be a member of a family?  Who would I be if I was no longer a daughter and yet, not a wife or mother, either?  But when I faced the day I had long feared as a single, it was not an occasion for wondering where God was but a time of being overwhelmed with the Lord’s kindness, provision, and compassion for me. 

My church family surrounded me and cared for me in such a way that I never felt alone during this most trying time.  I can remember numerous days in the hospital with Dad and days in Hospice with Mom that I couldn’t have gotten through without their love and support.  I am particularly reminded of my pastor and a very dear sister in Christ sitting with me in the hospital as the doctors told me there was nothing more they could do for Mom.  Many of the women of the church provided meals and in the months after Mom’s death, so many deacons and men of the church helped with yard work, home repairs, and maintenance, it was like having 10 husbands.  As if that wasn’t enough, God provided the perfect adult daycare for my brother that he now attends while I’m at work.  I thought daycare would be a tough transition for him, being at home with Mom all these years, but he has absolutely blossomed in the environment.  He’s happy, learning new skills, making friends, and speaking more clearly than before.  God even gave me favor on my job – a manager who was very understanding and flexible when I needed time off work to tend to increasing family demands.




When I'm so focused on how God is blessing others I can't see how richly He has blessed me.



Since that difficult year, I have taken a step back and come to realize that God has kindly and graciously prepared me for life on my own with Marvin even before my parents’ deaths.  He has given me a stable career in which I have earned enough money to pay both mine and my parents’ bills and for a mortgage on a home that comfortably housed me, my parents, and my disabled brother.  God has supplied an abundance of close friends and caring colleagues who have been like family to me.  Through His church I have faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who comfort me, weep with me, look after me, pray with me, even teach and admonish me when I need it.  He has given me good health and the privilege of caring for my parents in their golden years.  It is as if God anticipated all my needs before I realized what they were – providing help from so many different sources.  Even though I never expected nor desired to be single at this age, God has provided all that I need to be successfully single and has cared for me like a doting Father.  Though I have not received marriage, and may never receive it, I cannot say that the Lord has forgotten me.  I see His loving, guiding hand in so many areas of my life.

Sometimes I can be so focused on marriage and my desire for it that I can’t see how richly God has blessed my singleness.  Are you guilty of that as well?  Take the time to look at your life with a fresh perspective, considering that God has known all along you would be single and has provided all you need to glorify Him and to thrive in the single state.  Seeing how God has specifically blessed us to be single helps us to avoid coveting what the married Christians around us have and gives us the ability to “rejoice always”, as we are commanded.  It makes singleness in Christ a state for which you can truly praise the Lord.


Copyright © 2014




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Encouraging Quotes About Singleness - Part 2

My post titled "Encouraging Posts About Singleness", a compilation of thoughts about the single status from evangelical heavyweights, has been so popular I have decided to do it again.  Here's an entirely new batch of quotes.  I hope they are encouraging and edifying to you!  Blessings, singles!


*****************************************************


“Resolve to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and he will add to you everything you need sexually. It may be a spouse. It may be the grace and freedom to be single and pure and content. That is up to God. Ours is to seek the kingdom. Or to put it another way, our all-consuming passion must be to glorify God in our bodies by keeping ourselves free from every enslavement but one: the joyful, fulfilling slavery to God.”

- John Piper







“If you are single, your singleness is not just where you happen to be right now. It’s where God has you right now, and there’s a world of difference between those two outlooks.”

- Tony Evans


Photo: “If you are single, your singleness is not just where you happen to be right now.  It’s where God has you right now, and there’s a world of difference between those two outlooks.”

- Tony Evans




“In spite of rumors to the contrary, I have never taken a solemn vow or heroic decision to remain single! On the contrary, during my twenties and thirties, like most people, I was expecting to marry one day. In fact, during this period I twice began to develop a relationship with a lady who I thought might be God’s choice of life partner for me. But when the time came to make a decision, I can best explain it by saying that I lacked an assurance from God that he meant me to go forward. So I drew back. And when that had happened twice, I naturally began to believe that God meant me to remain single. Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, I think I know why. I could never have traveled or written as extensively as I have done if I had had the responsibilities of a wife and family.”

- John Stott


Photo: “In spite of rumors to the contrary, I have never taken a solemn vow or heroic decision to remain single!  On the contrary, during my twenties and thirties, like most people, I was expecting to marry one day.  In fact, during this period I twice began to develop a relationship with a lady who I thought might be God’s choice of life partner for me.  But when the time came to make a decision, I can best explain it by saying that I lacked an assurance from God that he meant me to go forward.  So I drew back.  And when that had happened twice, I naturally began to believe that God meant me to remain single.  Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, I think I know why.  I could never have traveled or written as extensively as I have done if I had had the responsibilities of a wife and family.”

- John Stott




"....for those who are not married. You too are being prepared to be the bride of Christ through the relationships and situations you experience with family, neighbors, coworkers, and church family. Though you may not have an earthly spouse, your life now is just as thorough a preparation for your marriage then as is true for your married counterparts. You too need a biblical identity, perspective and calling, and God is committed to helping you get them”

- Paul David Tripp


Photo: "....for those who are not married. You too are being prepared to be the bride of Christ through the relationships and situations you experience with family, neighbors, coworkers, and church family. Though you may not have an earthly spouse, your life now is just as thorough a preparation for your marriage then as is true for your married counterparts. You too need a biblical identity, perspective and calling, and God is committed to helping you get them”

- Paul David Tripp




“Paul’s assessment in 1 Corinthians 7 is that singleness is a good condition blessed by God, and in many circumstances, it is actually better than marriage. As a result of this revolutionary attitude, the early church did not pressure people to marry (as we see in Paul’s letter) and institutionally supported poor widows so they did not have to remarry.

Single adult Christians were bearing testimony that God, not family, was their hope. God would guarantee their future, first by giving them their truest family – the church – so they never lacked for brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, in Christ. But ultimately, Christians’ inheritance is nothing less than the fullness of the kingdom of God in the new heavens and new earth.”

- Tim Keller


Photo: “Paul’s assessment in 1 Corinthians 7 is that singleness is a good condition blessed by God, and in many circumstances, it is actually better than marriage.  As a result of this revolutionary attitude, the early church did not pressure people to marry (as we see in Paul’s letter) and institutionally supported poor widows so they did not have to remarry.

Single adult Christians were bearing testimony that God, not family, was their hope.  God would guarantee their future, first by giving them their truest family – the church – so they never lacked for brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, in Christ.  But ultimately, Christians’ inheritance is nothing less than the fullness of the kingdom of God in the new heavens and new earth.”

- Tim Keller




“Church becomes the place not only where individuals get together to share their experiences and express their piety, but where they become part of a cast in a plot of salvation history. It is no longer just ‘me and my personal relationship with Jesus,’ but a communion of saints to which we belong.

Single people have an important place in the body for sharing their gifts within the covenant family.”

- Michael Horton


Photo: “Church becomes the place not only where individuals get together to share their experiences and express their piety, but where they become part of a cast in a plot of salvation history.  It is no longer just ‘me and my personal relationship with Jesus,’ but a communion of saints to which we belong.

Single people have an important place in the body for sharing their gifts within the covenant family.”

- Michael Horton




“Recognize that, for now, God has chosen for you to live without sex. And, He has promised not to allow any temptation in your life that is too strong for you to handle (1 Cor. 10:13). Knowing that will help you say with Paul, ‘I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am’ (Phil 4:11).”

- John MacArthur


Photo: “Recognize that, for now, God has chosen for you to live without sex.  And, He has promised not to allow any temptation in your life that is too strong for you to handle (1 Cor. 10:13).  Knowing that will help you say with Paul, ‘I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am’ (Phil 4:11).”

- John MacArthur




“If you’re single, I believe that God wants you to see that your story has begun. Life doesn’t start when you find a spouse. Marriage is wonderful, but it’s simply a new chapter in life. It’s just a new way to do what we’re all created to do – to live for and glorify our Creator.”

- Joshua Harris


Photo: “If you’re single, I believe that God wants you to see that your story has begun.  Life doesn’t start when you find a spouse.  Marriage is wonderful, but it’s simply a new chapter in life.  It’s just a new way to do what we’re all created to do – to live for and glorify our Creator.”

- Joshua Harris




"Biblical counseling guru, David Powelson said that most of the zillions of counseling appointments he handles could be divided into two major categories:

1) Single people/dating couples who wish to be married, but can’t be.

2) Married people who wish to be single but can’t be.

There is a lie that many people believe: that to be happy their circumstances need to change. If they are sad and single, they believe they will be happy when the nuptials are said. But you are the same person you were walking up they aisle as you are walking down it. If you are a discontent person, then you will soon transfer your discontent to your spouse. Discontent with a spouse quickly degenerates into malcontent. Then bitterness."

- Clint Archer, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church


Photo: "Biblical counseling guru, David Powelson said that most of the zillions of counseling appointments he handles could be divided into two major categories:

1) Single people/dating couples who wish to be married, but can’t be.

2) Married people who wish to be single but can’t be.

There is a lie that many people believe: that to be happy their circumstances need to change. If they are sad and single, they believe they will be happy when the nuptials are said. But you are the same person you were walking up they aisle as you are walking down it. If you are a discontent person, then you will soon transfer your discontent to your spouse. Discontent with a spouse quickly degenerates into malcontent. Then bitterness."

- Clint Archer, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church




“I want to say, singles, don’t waste your singleness! There are so many opportunities that your singleness provides that marriage will diminish. God may have you single for a season or for your whole life. You don’t know. Don’t live your life in a state of suspense thinking, 'Maybe this will be the year'. Assume it won’t be and enjoy this year to the fullest.

The church desperately needs the balance of Scripture. When we diminish each gift, we wish we had the other gift. So the singles whine, ‘If only I was married!’ Some married folks whine, ‘If only I wasn’t married!’ Both are expecting something that God never intended singleness or marriage to create in us – contentment. Marital status cannot provide it. It won’t. Paul said, ‘I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Philippians 3:8) When I make anything else ultimate to me, I suffer the pain of it. Idols make unhappy people.”

- Steve DeWitt, pastor of Bethel Church. Once known as “the bachelor pastor”. Married for the first time at age 44.


Photo: “I want to say, singles, don’t waste your singleness! There are so many opportunities that your singleness provides that marriage will diminish. God may have you single for a season or for your whole life. You don’t know. Don’t live your life in a state of suspense thinking, 'Maybe this will be the year'. Assume it won’t be and enjoy this year to the fullest.

The church desperately needs the balance of Scripture. When we diminish each gift, we wish we had the other gift. So the singles whine, ‘If only I was married!’ Some married folks whine, ‘If only I wasn’t married!’ Both are expecting something that God never intended singleness or marriage to create in us – contentment. Marital status cannot provide it. It won’t. Paul said, ‘I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Philippians 3:8) When I make anything else ultimate to me, I suffer the pain of it. Idols make unhappy people.”

 - Steve DeWitt, pastor of Bethel Church.  Once known as “the bachelor pastor”.  Married for the first time at age 44.




“I know many who seem to be enduring their singleness rather than enjoying it. Those desiring marriage can face great pressure, temptation, and dissatisfaction. I don’t want to make light of that. But amidst the struggle of singleness, some may come to reject the goodness afforded them. They run the risk of effectively saying, ‘God, you messed up with my life.’”

- Thabiti Anyabwile


Photo: “I know many who seem to be enduring their singleness rather than enjoying it.  Those desiring marriage can face great pressure, temptation, and dissatisfaction.  I don’t want to make light of that.  But amidst the struggle of singleness, some may come to reject the goodness afforded them.  They run the risk of effectively saying, ‘God, you messed up with my life.’”

- Thabiti Anyabwile




“The question is how to deal with the longing….the very intense longing, even painful longing, of being single and wishing someday God would bring someone to marry. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom.” That was discipleship 101 in Acts 14:22. For some that’s pain in marriage and for some that’s pain out of marriage, but nobody escapes pain. So having a solid theology of loss, theology of disappointment, theology of suffering, theology of affliction is absolutely crucial. And part of that theology is,

1. God is absolutely sovereign
2. God is absolutely good
3. I’m His child through faith alone in Jesus
4. No good thing does He withhold from His children who walk uprightly

Which means that He will give you what you need to lead the life fully pleasing to Him and fully and deeply and eternally satisfying to yourself. If you sink into bitterness and anger at God, your life will be ruined, with or without a spouse.”

- John Piper







“The disappointments of singleness are a unique blessing. In other words, not to be able to have sexual relations is a huge challenge spiritually, for men and women. Not to be able to be hugged at night, to go home to an empty apartment, to have a holiday sneak up on you and nobody thinks to invite you over – that’s painful. And I’m saying that unique challenge is a unique blessing if you will let it be. Just like every other pain in life is a unique blessing if you let it be. God doesn’t want you to waste any of your pain. Married pain….and there will be; single pain….and there will be.”

- John Piper


Photo: “The disappointments of singleness are a unique blessing.  In other words, not to be able to have sexual relations is a huge challenge spiritually, for men and women.  Not to be able to be hugged at night, to go home to an empty apartment, to have a holiday sneak up on you and nobody thinks to invite you over – that’s painful.  And I’m saying that unique challenge is a unique blessing if you will let it be.  Just like every other pain in life is a unique blessing if you let it be.  God doesn’t want you to waste any of your pain.  Married pain….and there will be; single pain….and there will be.”

- John Piper




“Romans 8:22-23….. ‘For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.’ So as you groan in the various trials and sufferings of life, particularly loneliness in singleness, let that longing for freedom from loneliness and that unfulfilled desire for marriage be a reminder to you of the truth that all is not right with the world right now. That this is not the way that it’s supposed to be and not the way that it’s going to be someday. And to remember that there is groaning in this life. We have to accept seasons of loneliness as part of living in a fallen world.

When we groan in loneliness let us remember what we’re actually groaning is birth pains. Something is coming and it is an eternal joy beyond your wildest comprehension……..Are we groaning for those spiritual realities or are we just groaning for earthly realities? Just the temporal, just the here-and-now?

This world is not our home which is why we're never going to experience a perfect relationship and perfect place on this fallen world. The problem is not that we're single, just that full redemption has not yet come."

- Karrie Hahn, Women Discipling Women 2010 conference


Photo: “Romans 8:22-23….. ‘For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.’ So as you groan in the various trials and sufferings of life, particularly loneliness in singleness, let that longing for freedom from loneliness and that unfulfilled desire for marriage be a reminder to you of the truth that all is not right with the world right now.  That this is not the way that it’s supposed to be and not the way that it’s going to be someday.  And to remember that there is groaning in this life.  We have to accept seasons of loneliness as part of living in a fallen world.

When we groan in loneliness let us remember what we’re actually groaning is birth pains.  Something is coming and it is an eternal joy beyond your wildest comprehension……..Are we groaning for those spiritual realities or are we just groaning for earthly realities?  Just the temporal, just the here-and-now?

This world is not our home which is why we're never going to experience a perfect relationship and perfect place on this fallen world.  The problem is not that we're single, just that full redemption has not yet come."

- Karrie Hahn, Women Discipling Women 2010 conference




Are you anxious for marriage? Sometimes I find myself succumbing to the sin of anxiousness. Consider this quote:

"I am no longer anxious about anything for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient."

- Hudson Taylor

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7


Photo: Are you anxious for marriage?  Sometimes I find myself succumbing to the sin of anxiousness.  Consider this quote:

"I am no longer anxious about anything for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient."

- Hudson Taylor 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7




“It saddens me to see single people who live life as though waiting for something or someone to happen to them. They act as though they are in limbo, waiting to become capable of life when that magic day at the altar finally arrives.

Of course, singles who live in this constant state of disappointment often become such poor specimens of humanity that no one wants to marry them. More often they do get married only to discover that they haven’t received the key to life: the initiative and character they should have developed before marriage is exactly what they need in marriage. And they are still lonely and frustrated....

Our culture, especially our Christian culture, has stressed repeatedly that a good marriage takes work. It holds up for admiration those who have formed “a good marriage.” But I’ve seldom heard anyone emphasize the fact that a good single life also takes work. Singleness, as I see it, is not so much a state we’ve arrived at as an open door, a set of opportunities for us to follow up.”

- H. Norman Wright


Photo: “It saddens me to see single people who live life as though waiting for something or someone to happen to them. They act as though they are in limbo, waiting to become capable of life when that magic day at the altar finally arrives.

Of course, singles who live in this constant state of disappointment often become such poor specimens of humanity that no one wants to marry them. More often they do get married only to discover that they haven’t received the key to life: the initiative and character they should have developed before marriage is exactly what they need in marriage. And they are still lonely and frustrated....

Our culture, especially our Christian culture, has stressed repeatedly that a good marriage takes work. It holds up for admiration those who have formed “a good marriage.” But I’ve seldom heard anyone emphasize the fact that a good single life also takes work.  Singleness, as I see it, is not so much a state we’ve arrived at as an open door, a set of opportunities for us to follow up.”

- H. Norman Wright




“Trusting God’s goodness can be difficult. Surely if He knew me, we say, He would know I don’t want to stay single the rest of my life. If He were as loving and concerned as He says He is, He would guide us to the person we want to be with. . .

The issue of singleness and marriage is big enough to make or break our faith. We find it difficult to accept that we’re precious to God when He doesn’t give us what we think we need. We find that our will collides with God’s. But God has planned our lives carefully and intimately. Are we willing to surrender our will to His? Even though we wrestle, it’s possible to come to appreciate God’s will and presence in our lives, and to find that Abba knows best.”

- Skip McDonald


Photo: “Trusting God’s goodness can be difficult. Surely if He knew me, we say, He would know I don’t want to stay single the rest of my life.  If He were as loving and concerned as He says He is, He would guide us to the person we want to be with. . .

The issue of singleness and marriage is big enough to make or break our faith.  We find it difficult to accept that we’re precious to God when He doesn’t give us what we think we need.  We find that our will collides with God’s.  But God has planned our lives carefully and intimately.  Are we willing to surrender our will to His?  Even though we wrestle, it’s possible to come to appreciate God’s will and presence in our lives, and to find that Abba knows best.”

- Skip McDonald




“Rather than being preoccupied with solving the dilemma of our singleness, God’s Word says that we should be consumed with loving, knowing, serving, and worshiping Jesus Christ. It may sound impossible to become excited and fulfilled in your singleness, but I guarantee that if you submit your mind, will, emotions, and desires to Christ, He will supernaturally enable you with the joy and peace you need in order to walk this narrow road.

I am not talking about an arrogant feministic “I don’t need a man in my life” kind of attitude. And I am not talking about losing all desire for marriage and family. I’m simply talking about a joyful yielding to Jesus Christ, trusting in His perfect timing, and building your life and focus around Him rather than the pursuit of marriage.”

- Leslie Ludy


Photo: “Rather than being preoccupied with solving the dilemma of our singleness, God’s Word says that we should be consumed with loving, knowing, serving, and worshiping Jesus Christ. It may sound impossible to become excited and fulfilled in your singleness, but I guarantee that if you submit your mind, will, emotions, and desires to Christ, He will supernaturally enable you with the joy and peace you need in order to walk this narrow road.

I am not talking about an arrogant feministic “I don’t need a man in my life” kind of attitude. And I am not talking about losing all desire for marriage and family. I’m simply talking about a joyful yielding to Jesus Christ, trusting in His perfect timing, and building your life and focus around Him rather than the pursuit of marriage.”

- Leslie Ludy




Question posed to Erwin Lutzer on his website


Q: The part of the Bible I hate the most is when Paul says it’s better to marry than burn with passion.

I hope God gives us single people extra forgiveness when we fail in this area, especially when we have waited to get married for many years. I still have never heard a good sermon on conquering sexual sin.

Asked by: Paul, Wisconsin

A: Well Paul, I’m a little troubled by your question, actually, when you say that the part of the Bible that you hate the most has to do with sexual sin.

I hope that there’s no part of the Bible that you hate, because it’s all inspired by God—even the difficult parts. And it was not just written for God’s glory but for our benefit.

Also, you say you hope that God is lenient with single people regarding the business of sexual purity. This almost gives the impression that you think that maybe God should be as lenient and as sympathetic to your sin as you, yourself, might be. Well the answer is, He’s not, and He’s the God with whom we have to deal.

Now, thankfully, He’s a God of forgiveness—all of us have struggled with lust and all of us have failed many times. Thank God for His gracious forgiveness. But let’s not use His forgiveness as a license to sin, or let down our standards because He is gracious.

May I suggest to you, Paul, that you spend some time in God’s presence and deal with the issues that we’re talking about? I think you should make friends with singles who are going through the same kinds of struggles, and pray together and work together. The fact is that once you have crossed the line into immorality, the temptation to repeat your behavior is powerful and often seems unrelenting. Like one young woman told me, “I’m defiled now, so what difference do multiple relationships make?”

Then, and I know this is difficult, but Jesus taught we should separate ourselves from anything that causes us to stumble into sexual sin (Matthew 5:27-30). Whether it is pornography, sensual amusements, or the kind of people who lead us into sin, we must avoid these temptations. That’s a longer story than I can give in this brief answer but remember, we must through the Spirit slay this dragon of sexual sin that keeps our consciences sullied.

But realized that God doesn’t lower His standards simply because our sexual drives are powerful and unrelenting. At the end of the day, either we slay lust, or lust will slay us. That’s the stark reality, and there’s hope within the church with other believers. And there is hope as we practice the disciplines of the Christian life, because God will forgive us, but He’s not “extra lenient.” Keep that in mind, and I hope that you’ll live a pure life for the honor and the glory of God. Don’t give up the battle.


Photo: Question posed to Erwin Lutzer on his website


Q: The part of the Bible I hate the most is when Paul says it’s better to marry than burn with passion.

I hope God gives us single people extra forgiveness when we fail in this area, especially when we have waited to get married for many years. I still have never heard a good sermon on conquering sexual sin.

Asked by: Paul, Wisconsin

A: Well Paul, I’m a little troubled by your question, actually, when you say that the part of the Bible that you hate the most has to do with sexual sin.

I hope that there’s no part of the Bible that you hate, because it’s all inspired by God—even the difficult parts. And it was not just written for God’s glory but for our benefit.

Also, you say you hope that God is lenient with single people regarding the business of sexual purity. This almost gives the impression that you think that maybe God should be as lenient and as sympathetic to your sin as you, yourself, might be. Well the answer is, He’s not, and He’s the God with whom we have to deal.

Now, thankfully, He’s a God of forgiveness—all of us have struggled with lust and all of us have failed many times. Thank God for His gracious forgiveness. But let’s not use His forgiveness as a license to sin, or let down our standards because He is gracious.

May I suggest to you, Paul, that you spend some time in God’s presence and deal with the issues that we’re talking about? I think you should make friends with singles who are going through the same kinds of struggles, and pray together and work together. The fact is that once you have crossed the line into immorality, the temptation to repeat your behavior is powerful and often seems unrelenting. Like one young woman told me, “I’m defiled now, so what difference do multiple relationships make?”

Then, and I know this is difficult, but Jesus taught we should separate ourselves from anything that causes us to stumble into sexual sin (Matthew 5:27-30). Whether it is pornography, sensual amusements, or the kind of people who lead us into sin, we must avoid these temptations. That’s a longer story than I can give in this brief answer but remember, we must through the Spirit slay this dragon of sexual sin that keeps our consciences sullied.

But realized that God doesn’t lower His standards simply because our sexual drives are powerful and unrelenting. At the end of the day, either we slay lust, or lust will slay us. That’s the stark reality, and there’s hope within the church with other believers. And there is hope as we practice the disciplines of the Christian life, because God will forgive us, but He’s not “extra lenient.” Keep that in mind, and I hope that you’ll live a pure life for the honor and the glory of God. Don’t give up the battle.




“It is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is our glory to trust Him, no matter what."

- Joni Eareckson Tada


Photo: “It is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life.  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter.  It is our glory to trust Him, no matter what."

- Joni Eareckson Tada




“By His words and by His own unmarried life, Jesus showed that marriage was not an end in itself, nor was it essential to the 
wholeness or a person. As God's servant, a person might not be called to have a mate and children. 

Marriage will not answer all our problems. . . . We should not make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we all hunger . . . only God satisfies the hungry heart.”

-J.I. Packer


Photo: “By His words and by His own unmarried life, Jesus showed that marriage was not an end in itself, nor was it essential to the 
wholeness or a person. As God's servant, a person might not be called to have a mate and children. 

Marriage will not answer all our problems. . . . We should not make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we all hunger . . . only God satisfies the hungry heart.”

-J.I. Packer




“We do not merely add Jesus Christ to our lives and continue in the same direction. Following Christ means we stop, turn around, and pursue Him.” 
― Steven J. Lawson

Great quote by Lawson and such a good reminder of what we as Christians…..single Christians included….should be pursuing. We must not fall into the trap of pursuing marriage at all costs with the plan of pursuing Christ after we have accomplished that goal...putting Christ on the back burner. We are to pursue Christ first and foremost. If our God believes that marriage is needed on our pursuit, I believe He will provide. This is commanded in Scripture:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33

I do not believe this is a promise that God will give us all we want but that He will give us what we need as we seek to please Him. This passage is telling us what our priorities should be. I find that when my priorities are out of order, I am much more anxious about marriage.


Photo: “We do not merely add Jesus Christ to our lives and continue in the same direction. Following Christ means we stop, turn around, and pursue Him.” 
― Steven J. Lawson

Great quote by Lawson and such a good reminder of what we as Christians…..single Christians included….should be pursuing.  We must not fall into the trap of pursuing marriage at all costs with the plan of pursuing Christ after we have accomplished that goal...putting Christ on the back burner.  We are to pursue Christ first and foremost.  If our God believes that marriage is needed on our pursuit, I believe He will provide.  This is commanded in Scripture:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33

I do not believe this is a promise that God will give us all we want but that He will give us what we need as we seek to please Him.  This passage is telling us what our priorities should be.  I find that when my priorities are out of order, I am much more anxious about marriage.




"If you’re single, use this time now to make the biggest impact you can for God’s Kingdom. Enjoy how God uses you as a single adult to show His love to others because you are in a unique place to minister to others where married adults could not!"

- Jack Graham


Photo: "If you’re single, use this time now to make the biggest impact you can for God’s Kingdom. Enjoy how God uses you as a single adult to show His love to others because you are in a unique place to minister to others where married adults could not!"

- Jack Graham




“Listen: I’m right there with you. I’ve known singleness, hurtful relationships and the frustration of just wanting and waiting to be cherished……you’ll be okay. As a believer, you are a gem of incomparable price. Live patiently before the Lord, submitting to the Spirit’s sanctifying work in your life, and let the right godly man give the right, godly chase. If he can’t, he’s probably not worth your time.

And your time here pales in comparison to the grand weight of the time eternal you’ll be spending with the grandest Pursuer there is, whether the earthly version comes or not.”

-Jasmine Baucham, daughter of Voddie Baucham


Photo: “Listen: I’m right there with you. I’ve known singleness, hurtful relationships and the frustration of just wanting and waiting to be cherished……you’ll be okay. As a believer, you are a gem of incomparable price. Live patiently before the Lord, submitting to the Spirit’s sanctifying work in your life, and let the right godly man give the right, godly chase. If he can’t, he’s probably not worth your time.

And your time here pales in comparison to the grand weight of the time eternal you’ll be spending with the grandest Pursuer there is, whether the earthly version comes or not.”

-Jasmine Baucham, daughter of Voddie Baucham




"God wants you to look to him, not to another person, to have your needs met. His presence within you can help you handle loneliness and depression, your need for intimacy and your search for fulfillment.

Remember that being single is not God’s second best. Although marriage can be wonderful, it is not for everyone! Some people find contentment in being married; others find contentment in singleness. God has a plan for your life. Your main concern should not be in whether you will be single or married, but in fulfilling God’s purpose."

- Adrian Rogers


Photo: "God wants you to look to him, not to another person, to have your needs met. His presence within you can help you handle loneliness and depression, your need for intimacy and your search for fulfillment.

Remember that being single is not God’s second best. Although marriage can be wonderful, it is not for everyone! Some people find contentment in being married; others find contentment in singleness. God has a plan for your life. Your main concern should not be in whether you will be single or married, but in fulfilling God’s purpose."

- Adrian Rogers




“I couldn’t give you a count of the number of single women I have in our congregation that are serving in very significant ways in the community. Our desire is for them to live all of life to the glory of God whether God calls them to be a wife or a mother or not.”

- Ligon Duncan


Photo: “I couldn’t give you a count of the number of single women I have in our congregation that are serving in very significant ways in the community.  Our desire is for them to live all of life to the glory of God whether God calls them to be a wife or a mother or not.”

- Ligon Duncan




“Jenny believed that the only way for her to be happy was to have a godly husband. She was married to a Christian man who attended church with her, but she wanted a husband who would pray regularly with her and who would have devotions with the family. I agreed with her that it would have been a blessing for him to be a more godly leader. I tried to encourage him to find other men who might help him grow.

As I got to know Jenny, I saw that her desire for a godly husband functioned like a god in her life. The thought ‘I must have a godly husband or I’ll die!’ ruled her. Sometimes she thought that if she was extra nice and made him the dinner that he liked, he would be obligated to do what she wanted. On other days she would give up in frustration and anger, withholding herself from him and pouting. Like Rachel, she was convinced that she could not find happiness unless her expectations were met. A day come when she told me that she was going to leave him. She left him and the church, and the last that I heard she was no longer following Christ. Like Rachel, her desire ended up destroying her.”

- Elyse Fitzpatrick
Excerpt from her book, “Idols of the Heart”

This quote from Elyse Fitzpatrick is quite chilling (building an argument from Rachel’s demand to Jacob in Genesis 30:1, “Give me children, or I shall die!”). On the surface, Jenny’s desire for a godly husband seemed good but soon her true motives were revealed: she did not care about her husband’s spiritual life, she wanted him to appear more godly to make her the envy of other women. Why else would she eventually leave the church?

We must be careful in our desires for marriage. Though the desire is good, Satan would love to use it to discourage and damage us.


Photo: “Jenny believed that the only way for her to be happy was to have a godly husband.  She was married to a Christian man who attended church with her, but she wanted a husband who would pray regularly with her and who would have devotions with the family.  I agreed with her that it would have been a blessing for him to be a more godly leader.  I tried to encourage him to find other men who might help him grow.

As I got to know Jenny, I saw that her desire for a godly husband functioned like a god in her life.  The thought ‘I must have a godly husband or I’ll die!’ ruled her.  Sometimes she thought that if she was extra nice and made him the dinner that he liked, he would be obligated to do what she wanted.  On other days she would give up in frustration and anger, withholding herself from him and pouting.  Like Rachel, she was convinced that she could not find happiness unless her expectations were met.  A day come when she told me that she was going to leave him.  She left him and the church, and the last that I heard she was no longer following Christ.  Like Rachel, her desire ended up destroying her.”

- Elyse Fitzpatrick
  Excerpt from her book, “Idols of the Heart”

This quote from Elyse Fitzpatrick is quite chilling (building an argument from Rachel’s demand to Jacob in Genesis 30:1, “Give me children, or I shall die!”).  On the surface, Jenny’s desire for a godly husband seemed good but soon her true motives were revealed:  she did not care about her husband’s spiritual life, she wanted him to appear more godly to make her the envy of other women.  Why else would she eventually leave the church?

We must be careful in our desires for marriage.  Though the desire is good, Satan would love to use it to discourage and damage us.




"I’m not saying that every single needs to pack up and move overseas. I think that’d be great, but doesn’t necessarily have to happen. But how is your life here in this moment going to trust in the sovereignty of God, His plans, His grace, His mercy in your life, and ask God, 'How can my singleness, right now, as long as I’ve got the gift of singleness, God, how can it count for Your glory?' And this is a question worth asking. It’s a question that Gospel gives us the privilege of asking."

- David Platt


Photo: "I’m not saying that every single needs to pack up and move overseas. I think that’d be great, but doesn’t necessarily have to happen. But how is your life here in this moment going to trust in the sovereignty of God, His plans, His grace, His mercy in your life, and ask God, 'How can my singleness, right now, as long as I’ve got the gift of singleness, God, how can it count for Your glory?' And this is a question worth asking. It’s a question that Gospel gives us the privilege of asking."

- David Platt




“….possibly you are single, and your friend excitedly introduces you to his or her ‘intended’. You find yourself thinking, ‘Oh God, this person seems tailor-made for ME, not for my friend! Why didn’t I get there first? Was this the one You meant for me?’

As a single person, have you run hither and yon, trying so hard to be at the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time so that you might cross paths with the mate of your dreams? Have you traveled from church to church, surveying the prospects, then absolutely panicked for fear you’re somehow going to miss God’s best?

Thoughts like these can unleash sheer mental torture. Live with these thoughts long enough, and your mind may become paralyzed, spinning you into depression and despair. Yet what you may not realize is that this is a missile from the enemy’s arsenal – a destructive tactic as old as the Garden of Eden. He will try to make you question God’s goodness. Question God’s timing. Question God’s care and concern for you. Question God’s control of life’s tiny, yet momentous details.

Run to the sovereignty of God, beloved! Rest in His loving control of every particular of your life.”

- Kay Arthur


Photo: “….possibly you are single, and your friend excitedly introduces you to his or her ‘intended’.  You find yourself thinking, ‘Oh God, this person seems tailor-made for ME, not for my friend!  Why didn’t I get there first?  Was this the one You meant for me?’

As a single person, have you run hither and yon, trying so hard to be at the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time so that you might cross paths with the mate of your dreams?  Have you traveled from church to church, surveying the prospects, then absolutely panicked for fear you’re somehow going to miss God’s best?

Thoughts like these can unleash sheer mental torture.  Live with these thoughts long enough, and your mind may become paralyzed, spinning you into depression and despair.  Yet what you may not realize is that this is a missile from the enemy’s arsenal – a destructive tactic as old as the Garden of Eden.  He will try to make you question God’s goodness.  Question God’s timing.  Question God’s care and concern for you.  Question God’s control of life’s tiny, yet momentous details.

Run to the sovereignty of God, beloved!  Rest in His loving control of every particular of your life.”

- Kay Arthur




“Trust whatever He has for you. It will be better than anything you can plan for yourself.” 

–Francis Chan


Photo: “Trust whatever He has for you. It will be better than anything you can plan for yourself.” 

–Francis Chan




"People who are single often get off course because their focus becomes getting married rather than serving Christ. They spend their time comparing their lives to others. They watch as their friends fall in love and get married. Before they know it, they are wondering if they have missed God’s plan for their lives.

If we will seek the Lord above the things of this world, He will provide just what we need for every area of our lives (Matthew 6:33). God gives good things to His children, but His first desire is for us to know His love."

- Michael Youssef


Photo: "People who are single often get off course because their focus becomes getting married rather than serving Christ. They spend their time comparing their lives to others. They watch as their friends fall in love and get married. Before they know it, they are wondering if they have missed God’s plan for their lives. 

If we will seek the Lord above the things of this world, He will provide just what we need for every area of our lives (Matthew 6:33). God gives good things to His children, but His first desire is for us to know His love."

- Michael Youssef




“A slip of paper handed to me at a seminar had this question written on it: ‘What do you do when you feel you’ve come to a point that your singlehood appears to be an inadequate status for deep personal growth? How long do you hang on?’

Good thing I wasn’t on the platform when that question came. I might have chuckled. I toyed with the idea of giving a facetious answer: ‘Three more days, then go out and either ask somebody to marry you or hang yourself.’

But of course that was not what I said. The crux of the matter is that phrase ‘an inadequate status for deep personal growth.’ Is that what singleness is? Does that mean that marriage and only marriage is an adequate status for deep personal growth? How ever did Jesus manage, then, as a single man?

I’m afraid the snake has been talking to that person. He’s been sneaking up and whispering, ‘God is stingy. He dangles that beautiful fruit called marriage before your eyes and won’t let you have it. He refuses you the only thing you need for deep personal growth, the only thing in all the world that would solve all your problems and make you really happy.’”

- Elisabeth Elliot, “Passion and Purity”

That Elisabeth does have a way of putting things, doesn’t she? And she is so right here. I can personally testify that God has used my singleness to expose copious amounts of sin in my heart I didn’t even know was there, making me repent and cleanse myself from it…..and, in turn, become more and more like Christ. Marriage is definitely a sanctification vehicle, but so is singleness in the Lord. God can use anything to conform us to His Son.


Photo: “A slip of paper handed to me at a seminar had this question written on it: ‘What do you do when you feel you’ve come to a point that your singlehood appears to be an inadequate status for deep personal growth? How long do you hang on?’

Good thing I wasn’t on the platform when that question came.  I might have chuckled.  I toyed with the idea of giving a facetious answer:  ‘Three more days, then go out and either ask somebody to marry you or hang yourself.’

But of course that was not what I said.  The crux of the matter is that phrase ‘an inadequate status for deep personal growth.’  Is that what singleness is?  Does that mean that marriage and only marriage is an adequate status for deep personal growth?  How ever did Jesus manage, then, as a single man?

I’m afraid the snake has been talking to that person.  He’s been sneaking up and whispering, ‘God is stingy.  He dangles that beautiful fruit called marriage before your eyes and won’t let you have it.  He refuses you the only thing you need for deep personal growth, the only thing in all the world that would solve all your problems and make you really happy.’”

- Elisabeth Elliot, “Passion and Purity”

That Elisabeth does have a way of putting things, doesn’t she?  And she is so right here.  I can personally testify that God has used my singleness to expose copious amounts of sin in my heart I didn’t even know was there, making me repent and cleanse myself from it…..and, in turn, become more and more like Christ.  Marriage is definitely a sanctification vehicle, but so is singleness in the Lord.  God can use anything to conform us to His Son.





"If someone asks, wouldn’t it be better to have both? The blessings of marriage and the blessings of heaven? There are two answers to that question. One is that you will find out someday, and better to learn it now, that the blessings of being with Christ in heaven, are so far superior to the blessings of being married and raising children and that asking this question will be like asking: Wouldn’t it be better to have the ocean and the thimble full? And the second answer is that marriage and singleness both present us with unique trials and unique opportunities for our sanctification. There will be unique rewards for each, and which is greater will not depend on whether you were married or single, but on how you responded to each."

- John Piper


Photo: "If someone asks, wouldn’t it be better to have both? The blessings of marriage and the blessings of heaven? There are two answers to that question. One is that you will find out someday, and better to learn it now, that the blessings of being with Christ in heaven, are so far superior to the blessings of being married and raising children and that asking this question will be like asking: Wouldn’t it be better to have the ocean and the thimble full? And the second answer is that marriage and singleness both present us with unique trials and unique opportunities for our sanctification. There will be unique rewards for each, and which is greater will not depend on whether you were married or single, but on how you responded to each."

- John Piper




“Your challenge is to accept what is real and acknowledge again that God oversees and has overseen every detail of your life (2 Timothy 1:9) – your singleness, your marriage, your family, your relationship, your job, your every situation and your every circumstance. This knowledge will help you to act on what is true and real today (Philippians 4:8)…rather than resent reality and idly wait for fantasies to magically materialize.”

“This same principle holds for singles…..God doesn’t ask single adults to look down through the corridors of time future and imagine that they will be single forever. He calls a single person to address what is real, and what is real is singleness today.

While waiting on God’s will regarding marriage, Jim Elliot wrote to his future wife, Elisabeth Howard, ‘Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.’ Commenting on this wisdom decades later, Mrs. Elisabeth Elliot wrote, ‘We accept and thank God for what is given not allowing the not-given to spoil it.’ God is adequate.”

- Elizabeth George

Oh how Elizabeth's words here convict and sting because I often find myself pining so much over marriage, craning my neck around God's shoulder to see if He has a spouse in my future, that I ignore all the wonderful, overflowing, and undeserved blessings He has given me today in my singleness....and I relinquish the responsibility I have to live a life pleasing and glorifying to God in my singleness.


Photo: “Your challenge is to accept what is real and acknowledge again that God oversees and has overseen every detail of your life (2 Timothy 1:9) – your singleness, your marriage, your family, your relationship, your job, your every situation and your every circumstance.  This knowledge will help you to act on what is true and real today (Philippians 4:8)…rather than resent reality and idly wait for fantasies to magically materialize.”

“This same principle holds for singles…..God doesn’t ask single adults to look down through the corridors of time future and imagine that they will be single forever.   He calls a single person to address what is real, and what is real is singleness today.

While waiting on God’s will regarding marriage, Jim Elliot wrote to his future wife, Elisabeth Howard, ‘Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.’  Commenting on this wisdom decades later, Mrs. Elisabeth Elliot wrote, ‘We accept and thank God for what is given not allowing the not-given to spoil it.’  God is adequate.”

- Elizabeth George 

Oh how Elizabeth's words here convict and sting because I often find myself pining so much over marriage, craning my neck around God's shoulder to see if He has a spouse in my future, that I ignore all the wonderful, overflowing, and undeserved blessings He has given me today in my singleness....and I relinquish the responsibility I have to live a life pleasing and glorifying to God in my singleness.

As you may have noticed, this blog is not maintained by a single woman who has all the answers, who always does the right things, who has it all together.  I struggle, just like you, daily, sometimes hourly, to find contentment, purpose, and meaning in singleness.  As I find quotes that comfort, teach, or admonish me, I like to share them here.  I hope they are edifying to you as well.