Saturday, June 7, 2014

Encouraging Quotes about Singleness - Part 3

Feeling a little down about your single status today?  Let these inspiring quotes from various evangelical leaders and thinkers lift your spirits and give you a godly perspective.





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"Which are you? Are you the single woman who is just barely getting by who will become an insignificant spinster one day? Or are you the kind that’s more dangerous, leading the lost further into their lostness? Or is your singleness fueled by the power of the Spirit so that you are one who uses it for good, leaving a legacy of lives changed?"

- Dannah Gresh

Photo: "Which are you? Are you the single woman who is just barely getting by who will become an insignificant spinster one day? Or are you the kind that’s more dangerous, leading the lost further into their lostness? Or is your singleness fueled by the power of the Spirit so that you are one who uses it for good, leaving a legacy of lives changed?"

- Dannah Gresh



“There are some in the difficult position that one might call ‘single not by choice.’ This phrase refers to those who deeply desire marriage, take seriously Paul’s counsel that it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor. 7:8-9), and yet have no marital prospects on the horizon. Here, contentment in one’s circumstances (2 Cor. 12:8-9; Phil. 4:12-13) and trust in God’s sovereignty are crucial. God’s grace is sufficient for the challenge of living a single life. Despite what American culture seems to assume, the Bible indicates that sexual expression is not the highest good of life nor a necessity for full joy and humanity. Jesus is sufficient proof against that.”

- John S. Hammett, “A Theology for the Church”

Photo: “There are some in the difficult position that one might call ‘single not by choice.’  This phrase refers to those who deeply desire marriage, take seriously Paul’s counsel that it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor. 7:8-9), and yet have no marital prospects on the horizon.  Here, contentment in one’s circumstances (2 Cor. 12:8-9; Phil. 4:12-13) and trust in God’s sovereignty are crucial.  God’s grace is sufficient for the challenge of living a single life.  Despite what American culture seems to assume, the Bible indicates that sexual expression is not the highest good of life nor a necessity for full joy and humanity.  Jesus is sufficient proof against that.”

- John S. Hammett, “A Theology for the Church”



"Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul’s enjoyment of that peace which passeth all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God doeth all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good. This experience has to be "learned" by "proving what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2). Contentment is possible only as we cultivate and maintain that attitude of accepting everything which enters our lives as coming from the Hand of Him who is too wise to err, and too loving to cause one of His children a needless tear."

- A.W. Pink

Photo: "Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul’s enjoyment of that peace which passeth all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God doeth all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good. This experience has to be "learned" by "proving what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2). Contentment is possible only as we cultivate and maintain that attitude of accepting everything which enters our lives as coming from the Hand of Him who is too wise to err, and too loving to cause one of His children a needless tear."

- A.W. Pink



"See your singleness as a way to bring God glory (1 Corinthians 7:25-35). I feel bad for singles when clods like us ask the infamous and very insensitive question, 'Why aren’t you married?' I like the perspective of one single who reframes this question by asking: 'What is God doing in and through my singleness?'"

- Brian J. Bill 
Sr. Pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church

Photo: "See your singleness as a way to bring God glory (1 Corinthians 7:25-35).  I feel bad for singles when clods like us ask the infamous and very insensitive question, 'Why aren’t you married?'  I like the perspective of one single who reframes this question by asking: 'What is God doing in and through my singleness?'"

- Brian J. Bill 
Sr. Pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church




“People say, ‘I don’t guess I’ll ever be happy because I’m not married.’ If your joy, peace, and happiness depended upon being married then somebody else is determining whether you will be happy or not. God satisfies the desires, the hungers, the thirsts, the yearnings of our heart wherever He places us in life. Millions and millions of young people who have not married think, ‘If I don’t have marriage, if I don’t have sex then there is something missing in life. God knows how to satisfy every desire of your heart….because He changes your thinking.

Many people think if they don’t get married the world’s coming to an end. Let me tell you something: You marry the wrong person, the world WILL come to an end.”

- Charles Stanley

Photo: “People say, ‘I don’t guess I’ll ever be happy because I’m not married.’  If your joy, peace, and happiness depended upon being married then somebody else is determining whether you will be happy or not.   God satisfies the desires, the hungers, the thirsts, the yearnings of our heart wherever He places us in life.  Millions and millions of young people who have not married think, ‘If I don’t have marriage, if I don’t have sex then there is something missing in life.  God knows how to satisfy every desire of your heart….because He changes your thinking.

Many people think if they don’t get married the world’s coming to an end.  Let me tell you something:  You marry the wrong person, the world WILL come to an end.”

- Charles Stanley




"In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul acknowledges that there are certain advantages to being single in the ministry. I was single when I was senior pastor of a church on the west coast of Canada, and there were all kinds of advantages to that. There were some disadvantages too. But there were some wonderful advantages in terms of the hours I put in, evening visitation, calls when I could get people at home. So there are advantages to being single in the ministry, and singleness should not be despised."

- D.A. Carson

Photo: "In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul acknowledges that there are certain advantages to being single in the ministry. I was single when I was senior pastor of a church on the west coast of Canada, and there were all kinds of advantages to that. There were some disadvantages too. But there were some wonderful advantages in terms of the hours I put in, evening visitation, calls when I could get people at home. So there are advantages to being single in the ministry, and singleness should not be despised."

- D.A. Carson




"The fact that the Bible says singleness is good for widows–people once married but single again because of death–shows the extraordinarily high value placed on singleness. We presume that the blessings of marriage are so great that a person wouldn’t want go back to singleness in widowhood. But that’s not Paul’s perspective here."

- Thabiti Anyabwile

Photo: "The fact that the Bible says singleness is good for widows–people once married but single again because of death–shows the extraordinarily high value placed on singleness.  We presume that the blessings of marriage are so great that a person wouldn’t want go back to singleness in widowhood.  But that’s not Paul’s perspective here."

- Thabiti Anyabwile



“We must realize that marriage is not the only way in which the unity and diversity in the Trinity can be reflected in our lives. It is also reflected in the union of believers in the fellowship of the church – and in genuine church fellowship, single persons (like Paul and Jesus) as well as those who are married can have interpersonal relationships that reflect the nature of the Trinity.”

- Wayne Grudem

Photo: “We must realize that marriage is not the only way in which the unity and diversity in the Trinity can be reflected in our lives.  It is also reflected in the union of believers in the fellowship of the church – and in genuine church fellowship, single persons (like Paul and Jesus) as well as those who are married can have interpersonal relationships that reflect the nature of the Trinity.”

- Wayne Grudem



“ ‘I’m all in’ is a contemporary picture of being a ‘living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.’ It’s the moment a Christian transfers control from him or herself to Jesus Christ. This transfer of trust called ‘surrender’ or Lordship ignites a life of faith. It turns your life completely around as you ask, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do in my singleness to fulfill Your will and purposes in and through me?’ A new adventure is launched as you seek to hear God’s voice, wrestle with idols, experience His presence, and begin to witness vivid answers to prayer.”

- Chip Ingram

Photo: “ ‘I’m all in’ is a contemporary picture of being a ‘living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.’  It’s the moment a Christian transfers control from him or herself to Jesus Christ.  This transfer of trust called ‘surrender’ or Lordship ignites a life of faith.  It turns your life completely around as you ask, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do in my singleness to fulfill Your will and purposes in and through me?’  A new adventure is launched as you seek to hear God’s voice, wrestle with idols, experience His presence, and begin to witness vivid answers to prayer.”

- Chip Ingram



“’There’s only one thing worse than being single. That is being married to Mr. Wrong ‘til death do you part.’ That statement is true. Yet in that statement there may be a false impression. You see, I used the word ‘worse’ alongside the word single. And sadly enough, too often in our society, the picture we have of the single saint is one who looks out the window of life with a long face. He’s so sad because he’s single, he’s so shamed-faced he doesn’t have a mate, and he’s so stagnant because he doesn’t know what to do. Unlike we married people who are all happy; who are all whole; who are all growing in God.”

[Audience erupts in laughter] 

“You respond with laughter. Why? We know this: It’s not a matter of the stage, or the status, or state of your life. It’s what you do with it. I know married people who are happy. I know married people who are sad. I know single people who are happy. I know single people who are sad. I know people with no kids who are sad because they wish they had kids. And I know people with kids…..”

[More laughter]

“What did we learn from that important truth? We learned that too many of us are looking at someone else’s life wishing we were…..wishing we were….”

- Bob Coy (I know he has recently stepped down from his pastor position in shame but this is still a great quote)

Photo: “’There’s only one thing worse than being single.  That is being married to Mr. Wrong ‘til death do you part.’  That statement is true.  Yet in that statement there may be a false impression.  You see, I used the word ‘worst’ alongside the word single.  And sadly enough, too often in our society, the picture we have of the single saint is one who looks out the window of life with a long face.  He’s so sad because he’s single, he’s so shamed-faced he doesn’t have a mate, and he’s so stagnant because he doesn’t know what to do.  Unlike we married people who are all happy; who are all whole; who are all growing in God.”

[Audience erupts in laughter] 

“You respond with laughter.  Why?  We know this:  It’s not a matter of the stage, or the status, or state of your life.  It’s what you do with it.  I know married people who are happy.  I know married people who are sad.  I know single people who are happy.  I know single people who are sad.  I know people with no kids who are sad because they wish they had kids.  And I know people with kids…..”

[More laughter]

“What did we learn from that important truth?  We learned that too many of us are looking at someone else’s life wishing we were…..wishing we were….”
 
- Bob Coy



"Singles can play a vital and fruitful role in our churches, especially when everyone remembers that our primary identity is Christian, not whatever marital status we currently possess. We are all called to grow up in Christ, who is the head of the church (Ephesians 4:15). Being single does not exempt us from this sanctification process. It is just a different path toward that goal. (Yes, I understand that marriage puts a bright spotlight on selfishness and that many married people will testify to how their weddings put them on the fast-track of sanctification. But there’s a different form of long-simmer sanctification for single adults who have to continue to choose daily to be involved, confess sin, serve others, and not withdraw in the face of years of loneliness and lack of intimacy.) The Bible is clear that singleness is not a second-rate status in the church (1 Corinthians 7:8), and it provides several compelling portraits of singles (Paul, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Lydia, and possibly John the Baptist and even Timothy.)"

- Carolyn McCulley

Photo: "Singles can play a vital and fruitful role in our churches, especially when everyone remembers that our primary identity is Christian, not whatever marital status we currently possess. We are all called to grow up in Christ, who is the head of the church (Ephesians 4:15). Being single does not exempt us from this sanctification process. It is just a different path toward that goal. (Yes, I understand that marriage puts a bright spotlight on selfishness and that many married people will testify to how their weddings put them on the fast-track of sanctification. But there’s a different form of long-simmer sanctification for single adults who have to continue to choose daily to be involved, confess sin, serve others, and not withdraw in the face of years of loneliness and lack of intimacy.) The Bible is clear that singleness is not a second-rate status in the church (1 Corinthians 7:8), and it provides several compelling portraits of singles (Paul, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Lydia, and possibly John the Baptist and even Timothy.)"

- Carolyn McCulley



“Men, women, your hormones do not control you. Your personal choice for purity submitted to the grace of God is what controls you. You can let your hormones control you; you can say, ‘I’ve got these urges, I’ve got these desires’ – and yet, nowhere in Scripture does it say those are more powerful than surrendering yourself by the grace of God, to the commands of God, to live in accordance to obedience to Him. Your sexual desires – which are God-given – is not an excuse for your sin. For those of you who are single, though those desires are there, though those desires in and of themselves are not bad, those desires are meant to be surrendered to God, to live by God’s grace, until that day if the Lord would allow you to get married. Purity is a conscious choice. And even the blessing of marriage is not a right, but a gift.”

- Tough but truthful words by my own pastor, Justin McKitterick, standing here with Rick Holland

Photo: “Men, women, your hormones do not control you.  Your personal choice for purity submitted to the grace of God is what controls you.  You can let your hormones control you; you can say, ‘I’ve got these urges, I’ve got these desires’ – and yet, nowhere in Scripture does it say those are more powerful than surrendering yourself by the grace of God, to the commands of God, to live in accordance to obedience to Him.  Your sexual desires – which are God-given – is not an excuse for your sin.  For those of you who are single, though those desires are there, though those desires in and of themselves are not bad, those desires are meant to be surrendered to God, to live by God’s grace, until that day if the Lord would allow you to get married.  Purity is a conscious choice.  And even the blessing of marriage is not a right, but a gift.”

 - Tough but truthful words by my own pastor, Justin McKitterick, standing here with Rick Holland



“Single woman, you have only one person to please: the Lord should be the object of your pursuit for beauty (1 Cor. 7:34). All your thoughts, motives, and actions related to beauty should be for the eyes of One and One only.”

- Carolyn Mahaney, wife of C.J. Mahaney, here with their 3 daughters

What a wonderful perspective for us single women! It reminded me of 1 Peter 3:4 which says “….let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious.” Isn’t it an awesome thought that we can cultivate qualities that God sees as precious?

Photo: “Single woman, you have only one person to please:  the Lord should be the object of your pursuit for beauty (1 Cor. 7:34).  All your thoughts, motives, and actions related to beauty should be for the eyes of One and One only.”

- Carolyn Mahaney, wife of C.J. Mahaney, here with their 3 daughters

What a wonderful perspective for us single women!  It reminded me of 1 Peter 3:4 which says “….let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious.”  Isn’t it an awesome thought that we can cultivate qualities that God sees as precious?



“The Girl-Gone-Wise doesn’t lie in wait for a man, because she doesn’t need a man to fulfill her life’s purpose. Although marriage is a good and legitimate goal, her life is about so much more. She has a profound sense of mission. More than anything, she wants to know Christ and make Him known. She wants to display His greatness by doing the good works that He prepared in advance for her to do. ‘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). The Girl-Gone-Wise understands that regardless of whether she is single or married, her overriding purpose is to display Christ and to be busy with the kingdom work that He has for her in that season of her life.”

- Mary Kassian, author of “Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild”

Photo: “The Girl-Gone-Wise doesn’t lie in wait for a man, because she doesn’t need a man to fulfill her life’s purpose.  Although marriage is a good and legitimate goal, her life is about so much more.  She has a profound sense of mission.  More than anything, she wants to know Christ and make Him known.  She wants to display His greatness by doing the good works that He prepared in advance for her to do.  ‘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).  The Girl-Gone-Wise understands that regardless of whether she is single or married, her overriding purpose is to display Christ and to be busy with the kingdom work that He has for her in that season of her life.”

- Mary Kassian, author of “Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild”



"Everything is necessary that God sends our way. Nothing can be necessary that He withholds."

- John Newton

Photo: "Everything is necessary that God sends our way.  Nothing can be necessary that He withholds."

- John Newton



"Welcome to 'Joni and Friends' and thanks for spending these few minutes with me as I tell you about my friend who is single. Her name is Betsy and you’ve never met a more contented Christian than this woman, which is extraordinary when you learn how much Betsy loves children. She’s in her 60’s now, but I remember when she was in her late 30’s, maybe early 40’s. Betsy really struggled.

There were no prospects of any man on the horizon. No one was calling her up for a date on Friday night, or knocking on her door, but I was amazed at the way she handled that challenging time of being single. She went ahead and got her Master’s Degree (even at her late age); she got her degree in childhood counseling. Bless Betsy’s heart, she may have been single, but she was not going to let that discourage her. She has made the best of her single years by counseling troubled teens and children—hundreds of them—and many of them have come to Christ. It’s like Isaiah 54 says:

'More are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.' (Isaiash 54:1)

Well my friend Betsy is such an amazing example of that."

- Joni Eareckson Tad
a

Photo: "Welcome to 'Joni and Friends' and thanks for spending these few minutes with me as I tell you about my friend who is single. Her name is Betsy and you’ve never met a more contented Christian than this woman, which is extraordinary when you learn how much Betsy loves children. She’s in her 60’s now, but I remember when she was in her late 30’s, maybe early 40’s. Betsy really struggled. 

There were no prospects of any man on the horizon. No one was calling her up for a date on Friday night, or knocking on her door, but I was amazed at the way she handled that challenging time of being single. She went ahead and got her Master’s Degree (even at her late age); she got her degree in childhood counseling. Bless Betsy’s heart, she may have been single, but she was not going to let that discourage her. She has made the best of her single years by counseling troubled teens and children—hundreds of them—and many of them have come to Christ. It’s like Isaiah 54 says:

'More are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.' (Isaiash 54:1)

Well my friend Betsy is such an amazing example of that."

- Joni Eareckson Tada



“In spite of how blessed marriage can be, God wants you to know life can be just as rich whether you’re married or not.

God did declare at creation that ‘it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’ (Genesis 2:18). It is true that all people need companionship, but you can be single and not be alone. You can have friends, and God will bring people into your life to fulfill your need for companionship. Singleness before Him is a good, honorable, and excellent state.”

- John MacArthur

Photo: “In spite of how blessed marriage can be, God wants you to know life can be just as rich whether you’re married or not.

God did declare at creation that ‘it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’ (Genesis 2:18).  It is true that all people need companionship, but you can be single and not be alone.  You can have friends, and God will bring people into your life to fulfill your need for companionship.  Singleness before Him is a good, honorable, and excellent state.”

- John MacArthur



"We make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we hunger. To assume so would be to be guilty of blasphemy. Only God satisfies the hungry heart. Marriage is but one of the channels He uses to enable us to taste how deeply satisfying His thirst-quenching grace can be."

- Sinclair Ferguson

Photo: "We [should not] make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we hunger. To assume so would be to be guilty of blasphemy. Only God satisfies the hungry heart. Marriage is but one of the channels He uses to enable us to taste how deeply satisfying His thirst-quenching grace can be."

- Sinclair Ferguson



“The cure for impatience with the fulfillment of God’s timetable is to believe His promises, obey His will, and leave the results to Him.” 

- Jerry Bridges, from his book "The Fruitful Life"

Recently, I have been feeling a lot of frustration over singleness....particularly on Sunday mornings when it's time to go to church. Not sure why it hits me at that time but it makes me not want to attend. But I have to keep coming back to this truth - God saved me, He purchased me with Christ's blood, I am His, and He has the right to do with my life what He wills. My response must be to believe Him, obey Him, and trust Him. There is no other way.

Photo: “The cure for impatience with the fulfillment of God’s timetable is to believe His promises, obey His will, and leave the results to Him.” 

- Jerry Bridges, from his book "The Fruitful Life"

Recently, I have been feeling a lot of frustration over singleness....particularly on Sunday mornings when it's time to go to church.  Not sure why it hits me at that time but it makes me not want to attend.  But I have to keep coming back to this truth - God saved me, He purchased me with Christ's blood, I am His, and He has the right to do with my life what He wills.  My response must be to believe Him, obey Him, and trust Him.  There is no other way.



"While Scripture commends marriage as ordained of God and good, it also commends singleness as a life of extraordinary purpose and contribution, never speaking of any fundamental loss but only extolling the potential gain of the single life devoted to God. Since human marriage is the shadow of the reality of the union of Christ and the church, no believing single will miss out on the reality of marriage even if God calls him or her to live without the shadow."

-Bruce Ware

Photo: "While Scripture commends marriage as ordained of God and good, it also commends singleness as a life of extraordinary purpose and contribution, never speaking of any fundamental loss but only extolling the potential gain of the single life devoted to God. Since human marriage is the shadow of the reality of the union of Christ and the church, no believing single will miss out on the reality of marriage even if God calls him or her to live without the shadow."

-Bruce Ware



"A single woman's ultimate hope cannot be for marriage, but for the presence of Christ. God's seeming silence is not an indication of rejection, but a preparation of revelation, as single women commit to living their lives for the supremacy of Christ."

- Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition

Photo: "A single woman's ultimate hope cannot be for marriage, but for the presence of Christ.  God's seeming silence is not an indication of rejection, but a preparation of revelation, as single women commit to living their lives for the supremacy of Christ."

- Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition



"To God, I am not 'still single', I'm single. Think about it....."

- me

Photo: To God, I am not "still single", I'm single.  Think about it.....



"Deciding about marriage obviously is more difficult for the person who has strong sexual desires but who has no immediate prospect for a husband or wife. It is never God’s will for Christians to marry unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14), but neither is it right just to marry the first believer who will say yes. Though we may want very much to be married, we should be careful. Strong feelings of any sort tend to dull judgment and make one vulnerable and careless.

There are several things that Christians in this dilemma ought to do. First, they should not simply seek to be married, but should seek a person they can love, trust, and respect, letting marriage come as a response to that commitment of love. People who simply want to get married for the sake of getting married run a great risk of marrying the wrong person. Second, it is fine to be on the lookout for the “right person,” but the best way to find the right person is to be the right person. If believers are right with God and it is His will for them to be married He will send the right person—and never too late.

Third, until the right person is found, our energy should be redirected in ways that will be the most helpful in keeping our minds off the temptation. Two of the best ways are spiritual service and physical activity. We should avoid listening to, looking at, or being around anything that strengthens the temptation. We should program our minds to focus only on that which is good and helpful. We should take special care to follow Paul’s instruction in Philippians: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (4:8).

Fourth, we should realize that, until God gives us the right person, He will provide strength to resist temptation. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Finally, we should give thanks to the Lord for our situation and be content in it. Salvation brings the dawning of a new day, in which marriage “in the Lord” (v. 39) is an option."

- John MacArthur

Photo: "Deciding about marriage obviously is more difficult for the person who has strong sexual desires but who has no immediate prospect for a husband or wife. It is never God’s will for Christians to marry unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14), but neither is it right just to marry the first believer who will say yes. Though we may want very much to be married, we should be careful. Strong feelings of any sort tend to dull judgment and make one vulnerable and careless.

There are several things that Christians in this dilemma ought to do. First, they should not simply seek to be married, but should seek a person they can love, trust, and respect, letting marriage come as a response to that commitment of love. People who simply want to get married for the sake of getting married run a great risk of marrying the wrong person. Second, it is fine to be on the lookout for the “right person,” but the best way to find the right person is to be the right person. If believers are right with God and it is His will for them to be married He will send the right person—and never too late.

Third, until the right person is found, our energy should be redirected in ways that will be the most helpful in keeping our minds off the temptation. Two of the best ways are spiritual service and physical activity. We should avoid listening to, looking at, or being around anything that strengthens the temptation. We should program our minds to focus only on that which is good and helpful. We should take special care to follow Paul’s instruction in Philippians: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (4:8).

Fourth, we should realize that, until God gives us the right person, He will provide strength to resist temptation. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Finally, we should give thanks to the Lord for our situation and be content in it. Salvation brings the dawning of a new day, in which marriage “in the Lord” (v. 39) is an option."

- John MacArthur



“I went up to a place called Geneva College and I preached in a couple of churches and did a conference there about 14 years ago. The pastor took me out with one of the elderly women of the church and we went to one of the restaurants that she owned. She was delightful in her conversation, unbelievably witty. It was a very awkward time because she was a wit and I was only halfway there in the conversation. I just so enjoyed my time with her. Afterwards I said to her, ‘It’s pretty clear you are not hurting and you are a delightful lady in many ways. And yet you have been single your whole life. Have you ever thought about marriage or have you ever wanted to be married?’

She very kindly looked at me and said, ‘You’re not the first young man to ask me that question. I don’t think I was gifted to be single but God’s grace sustained me. There were many times that I wanted to be married and there was more than one occasion where I could have been married. But they were not God’s man for my life. And I realized to serve Jesus Christ it was better to be single and want to be married than to be married and want to be single.’

My, what maturity! She refused to have marriage something at all costs. She said, ‘If God does not provide the man, then God will provide the grace.’”

- Harry Reeder, Sr. Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church

Photo: “I went up to a place called Geneva College and I preached in a couple of churches and did a conference there about 14 years ago.  The pastor took me out with one of the elderly women of the church and we went to one of the restaurants that she owned.  She was delightful in her conversation, unbelievably witty.  It was a very awkward time because she was a wit and I was only halfway there in the conversation.  I just so enjoyed my time with her.  Afterwards I said to her, ‘It’s pretty clear you are not hurting and you are a delightful lady in many ways.  And yet you have been single your whole life.  Have you ever thought about marriage or have you ever wanted to be married?’

She very kindly looked at me and said, ‘You’re not the first young man to ask me that question.  I don’t think I was gifted to be single but God’s grace sustained me.  There were many times that I wanted to be married and there was more than one occasion where I could have been married.  But they were not God’s man for my life.  And I realized to serve Jesus Christ it was better to be single and want to be married than to be married and want to be single.’

My, what maturity!  She refused to have marriage something at all costs.  She said, ‘If God does not provide the man, then God will provide the grace.’”

- Harry Reeder, Sr. Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church



“You will never be a happy married person, a content married person, if you are a discontent single person. Here’s the big lie you tell yourself: 'I’m so discontent! I wanna get married! I wanna get married! I wanna get married!' You get married, and then you’re not content. And by the way, if you’re saying, 'I wanna get married, I wanna get married, I wanna get married…..' who wants to marry you? The answer: Nobody. Because you want the state of marriage rather than the person – this real, live person that you love and care for and serve and give your life to. You don’t want to 'get married' you want to marry someone. Be content. If you’re not happy with God when you’re single, you’ll never be happy with God when you’re married.”

- Rick Holland

Photo: “You will never be a happy married person, a content married person, if you are a discontent single person.   Here’s the big lie you tell yourself:  “I’m so discontent!  I wanna get married!  I wanna get married!  I wanna get married!”  You get married, and then you’re not content.  And by the way, if you’re saying, “I wanna get married, I wanna get married, I wanna get married…..” who wants to marry you?  The answer:  Nobody.  Because you want the state of marriage rather than the person – this real, live person that you love and care for and serve and give your life to.  You don’t want to “get married” you want to marry someone.  Be content.  If you’re not happy with God when you’re single, you’ll never be happy with God when you’re married.”   

- Rick Holland



“There is no 'gift of singleness' if by gift we mean a supernatural outpouring accompanied by some kind of revelation that it is God’s hidden will that you remain single all your days. I would suggest that there are two proper ways to speak of this gift. First, if you are single, you have the gift of singleness. I currently am in year 29 of having this gift. I had it for 26 years until my wedding, and received it back at my wife’s passing. The 'gift' of which Paul speaks is the freedom that comes to us when we are not burdened with pleasing our spouse. Since Denise’s passing I have walked in heartache and lonesomeness for Denise. But I have not ever had to worry about meeting her needs, nor her desires.

During one of her last days my beloved tried to take one last opportunity to tend to and care for our home. She actually said to me, knowing she was likely soon to depart for a better country, 'When I am gone remember that you will need to replace the carpet upstairs. You will have to refinish the flooring on the back patio…' Before she could continue her list I smiled at her, took her hand and told her, 'I’m sorry dear, but those are precisely the things I won’t have to do. I’m content with how those things are.'

Second, I believe we can speak of the gift of singleness if by that we simply mean a lack of a current pressing need to marry. I too have this kind of the gift at present. I am sympathetic to men who are eager to marry, or in certain circumstances, to remarry. But I do not at present share that urgency. Indeed I honestly can’t imagine remarrying. I am savvy enough, however, to know that this could change in a moment. God’s Word gives me liberty. If the desire comes to marry I would be without sin to do so. I would not be turning up my nose as some kind of pseudo-charismatic 'gift' God had given me. I’d be giving thanks for the wife He would be giving me.

How can you know if you have the gift? If you are not married, and are at peace about it, you have the gift, even if you hope one day to marry. God does not allow us to peek into our own future. And Paul in this chapter, if he is encouraging anything, is encouraging us to embrace our liberty. Insofar as you are not breaking God’s law you may do as you wish. If you marry, give thanks for the gift of marriedness. If you are single, give thanks for the gift of singleness. Indeed in all things give thanks."

- R.C. Sproul Jr.

Photo: “There is no “gift of singleness” if by gift we mean a supernatural outpouring accompanied by some kind of revelation that it is God’s hidden will that you remain single all your days. I would suggest that there are two proper ways to speak of this gift. First, if you are single, you have the gift of singleness. I currently am in year 29 of having this gift. I had it for 26 years until my wedding, and received it back at my wife’s passing. The “gift” of which Paul speaks is the freedom that comes to us when we are not burdened with pleasing our spouse. Since Denise’s passing I have walked in heartache and lonesomeness for Denise. But I have not ever had to worry about meeting her needs, nor her desires.

During one of her last days my beloved tried to take one last opportunity to tend to and care for our home. She actually said to me, knowing she was likely soon to depart for a better country, “When I am gone remember that you will need to replace the carpet upstairs. You will have to refinish the flooring on the back patio…” Before she could continue her list I smiled at her, took her hand and told her, “I’m sorry dear, but those are precisely the things I won’t have to do. I’m content with how those things are.”

Second, I believe we can speak of the gift of singleness if by that we simply mean a lack of a current pressing need to marry. I too have this kind of the gift at present. I am sympathetic to men who are eager to marry, or in certain circumstances, to remarry. But I do not at present share that urgency. Indeed I honestly can’t imagine remarrying. I am savvy enough, however, to know that this could change in a moment. God’s Word gives me liberty. If the desire comes to marry I would be without sin to do so. I would not be turning up my nose as some kind of pseudo-charismatic “gift” God had given me. I’d be giving thanks for the wife He would be giving me.

How can you know if you have the gift? If you are not married, and are at peace about it, you have the gift, even if you hope one day to marry. God does not allow us to peek into our own future. And Paul in this chapter, if he is encouraging anything, is encouraging us to embrace our liberty. Insofar as you are not breaking God’s law you may do as you wish. If you marry, give thanks for the gift of marriedness. If you are single, give thanks for the gift of singleness. Indeed in all things give thanks."

- R.C. Sproul Jr.



“Most idols in themselves are good things, good gifts from God – our spouse, our children, our hopes and dreams, our work, our success, our skill, our looks, our reputation. The trouble comes when we transform these into ultimate things.We end up depending on these things and these people to provide us with the meaning and purpose and freedom and security and significance that only Jesus can provide.”

- Tullian Tchividjian, from his book “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”

Photo: “Most idols in themselves are good things, good gifts from God – our spouse, our children, our hopes and dreams, our work, our success, our skill, our looks, our reputation.  The trouble comes when we transform these into ultimate things.  We end up depending on these things and these people to provide us with the meaning and purpose and freedom and security and significance that only Jesus can provide.”

- Tullian Tchividjian, from his book “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”



“Singles….must see the penultimate status of marriage. If single Christians don’t develop a deeply fulfilling love relationship with Jesus, they will put too much pressure on their dream of marriage, and that will create pathology in their lives.

However, if singles learn to rest in and rejoice in their marriage to Christ, that means they will be able to handle single life without a devastating sense of being unfulfilled and unformed. And they might as well tackle this spiritual project right away. Why? Because the same idolatry of marriage that is distorting their singles lives will eventually distort their married lives if they find a partner. So there’s no reason to wait. Demote marriage and family in your heart, put God first, and begin to enjoy the goodness of single life.”

- Timothy Keller, from his book “The Meaning of Marriage”

Photo: “Singles….must see the penultimate status of marriage.  If single Christians don’t develop a deeply fulfilling love relationship with Jesus, they will put too much pressure on their dream of marriage, and that will create pathology in their lives.

However, if singles learn to rest in and rejoice in their marriage to Christ, that means they will be able to handle single life without a devastating sense of being unfulfilled and unformed.  And they might as well tackle this spiritual project right away.  Why?  Because the same idolatry of marriage that is distorting their singles lives will eventually distort their married lives if they find a partner.  So there’s no reason to wait.  Demote marriage and family in your heart, put God first, and begin to enjoy the goodness of single life.”

- Timothy Keller, from his book “The Meaning of Marriage”


“Do we serve God only when He gives us blessings? Is God good only when life goes our way? How we respond to trials will answer those questions.

God does not have to give us marriage partners, healthy families, fine homes, and happy times. He has the right to give us children and take them; to keep us from sickness and to let us suffer.

Job reminds us that it is possible to worship God in the midst of unanswered questions. He did not have any warning for this trial; he received no revelation regarding its purposes. After hearing all the bad news, he received no memo providing a rationale for what happened. Nor did he receive assurance that all this would end with greater blessing.

As Job’s heart pounded with grief, he fell on his face and worshiped. He did not curse God, nor did he demand an explanation. He accepted God’s right to give and to take.

We all will have to wait until we get to heaven to find out the whys and the wherefores. And in the meantime, we can be grateful for those who have not abandoned their faith in spite of great suffering even as God’s purposes remain hidden.

God is with us in our successes and losses. We must trust Him at all times, no matter what happens.”

- Erwin Lutzer, from his book “Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know”

I find what Lutzer says here to be so true when it comes to unwanted singleness. Trying to figure out why I’m not married ……”Is God angry with me? Is He testing me? Did He forget me? Why is that woman married and not me? Is she more pleasing to God?”…….the endless questions and assumptions can drive you crazy. It’s far better to accept what God gives you each day and focus on using your unique situation to glorify God. Better questions: “How can I display God’s goodness through my singleness? What are the spiritual advantages of singleness? What can I teach people about Christ through my singleness?”

Photo: “Do we serve God only when He gives us blessings?  Is God good only when life goes our way?  How we respond to trials will answer those questions.

God does not have to give us marriage partners, healthy families, fine homes, and happy times.  He has the right to give us children and take them; to keep us from sickness and to let us suffer.

Job reminds us that it is possible to worship God in the midst of unanswered questions.  He did not have any warning for this trial; he received no revelation regarding its purposes.  After hearing all the bad news, he received no memo providing a rationale for what happened.  Nor did he receive assurance that all this would end with greater blessing. 

As Job’s heart pounded with grief, he fell on his face and worshiped.  He did not curse God, nor did he demand an explanation.  He accepted God’s right to give and to take.

We all will have to wait until we get to heaven to find out the whys and the wherefores.  And in the meantime, we can be grateful for those who have not abandoned their faith in spite of great suffering even as God’s purposes remain hidden.

God is with us in our successes and losses.  We must trust Him at all times, no matter what happens.”

- Erwin Lutzer, from his book “Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know”

I find what Lutzer says here to be so true when it comes to unwanted singleness.  Trying to figure out why I’m not married ……”Is God angry with me?  Is He testing me?  Did He forget me?  Why is that woman married and not me?  Is she more pleasing to God?”…….the endless questions and assumptions can drive you crazy.  It’s far better to accept what God gives you each day and focus on using your unique situation to glorify God.  Better questions:  “How can I display God’s goodness through my singleness?  What are the spiritual advantages of singleness?  What can I teach people about Christ through my singleness?”



"Every woman has a 'house', an immediate sphere of influence. If you are married, if you have children, your family is your closest and most important circle of influence. Single women also have a 'house'; it encompasses those lives they touch within their extended family, their church, their workplace, and their community. A wise woman is actively involved in building her house on a daily basis, but the foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands."

- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, referring to Proverbs 14:1 in her book "Becoming God's True Woman"

Photo: "Every woman has a 'house', an immediate sphere of influence.  If you are married, if you have children, your family is your closest and most important circle of influence.  Single women also have a 'house'; it encompasses those lives they touch within their extended family, their church, their workplace, and their community.  A wise woman is actively involved in building her house on a daily basis, but the foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands."

- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, referring to Proverbs 14:1 in her book "Becoming God's True Woman"



“We know from 1 Corinthians 7 that Paul had a very high view of singleness. He didn't consider singles less complete in Christ. In fact, if because you are single and somehow incomplete in your relationship with God the Father because of that, then Jesus Christ was incomplete as well – He never married.

Paul will stress in other passages the special opportunities for Christian service by remaining single.

In other words, take full advantage of whatever state you find yourself – single or married – whatever it is – go for it – maximize it for the glory of God!”

- Stephen Davey, Wisdom for the Heart

Photo: “We know from 1 Corinthians 7 that Paul had a very high view of singleness.  He didn't consider singles less complete in Christ.  In fact, if because you are single and somehow incomplete in your relationship with God the Father because of that, then Jesus Christ was incomplete as well – He never married.

Paul will stress in other passages the special opportunities for Christian service by remaining single.

In other words, take full advantage of whatever state you find yourself – single or married – whatever it is – go for it – maximize it for the glory of God!”

- Stephen Davey, Wisdom for the Heart



“I frequently encounter single adults who fret about whether or not they will ever wed……Only God knows what will happen in the future or what turns our paths will take.

This is why I base my life on the compass of Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’ You and I may not know what our futures hold, but our loving heavenly Father does. And there is no one who can lead us more tenderly, wisely, and effectively into tomorrow.”

- Charles Stanley, from his book “Emotions: Confront the Lies. Conquer with Truth”

Photo: “I frequently encounter single adults who fret about whether or not they will ever wed……Only God knows what will happen in the future or what turns our paths will take.

This is why I base my life on the compass of Proverbs 3:5-6:  ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’  You and I may not know what our futures hold, but our loving heavenly Father does.  And there is no one who can lead us more tenderly, wisely, and effectively into tomorrow.”

- Charles Stanley, from his book “Emotions:  Confront the Lies. Conquer with Truth”



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.



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