Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Encouraging Quotes about Singleness - Part 4

Are you feeling sad about your singleness today?  Pining over dreams about marriage?  Read these inspiring quotes about singleness from a Christian perspective.  Also, if you'd like to read more quotes, check out "Encouraging Quotes about Singleness" Parts 1, 2, and 3.  You'll find a link to these posts on the right side of the page.


“Scripture recognizes that it is God’s will for some women to remain single (1 Cor. 7:8-9). In the wisdom of His providence, He has also ordained that some married women will remain perpetually childless (see Psalm 127:3). A woman is by no means required to be a wife or a mother before she can be useful in the Lord’s service. Miriam (Moses’ sister) and Deborah (who served as a judge and deliverer in Israel) are biblical examples of women whom God used mightily apart from marriage or motherhood. (Deborah was married, but she gained renown in a role that had nothing to do with being a wife or mother).

By the time of Jesus’ birth, Anna was already advanced in years. Her husband died seven years after their marriage, and she had remained single ever since. At eighty-four years of age, she had been a widow for more than six decades in a society in which widowhood virtually guaranteed a life of extreme poverty.

No one can say for certain, but it is likely Anna chose to remain unmarried. If she was married at the customary age of thirteen, she would have been twenty when her husband died and very eligible for remarriage. Instead, it appears she turned her tragedy into an opportunity to serve the Lord full-time in the temple, teaching and encouraging other women and interceding on behalf of her people.”

- John MacArthur, from his book “Twelve Extraordinary Women”

“Some will remain wonderfully content as a single adult all their lives, while others pray, ache, and long for a marriage partner. My exhortation is strong: Don’t allow that desire to hurry you into making a commitment you could live to regret. Take the time prayerfully and wisely to choose a mate. I wish I could invite all the impatient singles to come sit in on a heated marriage counseling session. You would quickly change your tune! There are a lot of people who are married to partners they would love for YOU to have. Matter of fact, their partners would say they are readily available! And believe me, you don’t want them either. There’s something a lot worse than not having a marriage partner, and that’s having the wrong one. So, please, be patient.”

- Chuck Swindoll

"To be single is not to forego the traditional 'womanly' pursuits. Whether you live alone or with a husband and children, a house or apartment is still a home that requires 'homemaking.' And marital status has nothing to do with the desire for warm, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing surroundings. God gave each of us a desire for beauty; it is part of our desire for him, who is loveliness incarnate. Why should a single woman reject that part of her image as a creature of God? . . . I am a better and more imaginative cook now than I was five years ago. I am free to experiment on myself and my friends. I have the time and the money to entertain people around the dinner table, something I might not want or be able to do if I cooked for a family three times a day every day."

- Cheryl Forbes

"We are to be a good steward of our season in life. The single person should offer his or her singleness to the Lord as an offering to be used for His glory."

- Susan Hunt

“It seems to me as I look back over a good many years of counseling….half the people I have talked to have been singles who were miserable and wanted to be married. The other half were married people who were miserable and wanted to be single. The grass always seems to be greener on the other side of the altar.”

- D. James Kennedy

I love this quote by the late pastor. It doesn’t discount the goodness of marriage or the fact that there are many happy and successful marriages but it drives home the point that simply being married does not guarantee happiness. I’m finding this to be true – those who look to Christ as the Source of their joy, meaning, and purpose will always be happy no matter what their marital status is.

“I have talked with many single young women – some of them godly, committed believers – who have shared with me their struggle with loneliness. I remind them that marriage is not necessarily a cure for loneliness – I have met plenty of married women who struggle with a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. The fact is, there is no man on the face of the earth who can satisfy the deepest longings of a woman’s heart – God has made us in such a way that we can never be truly satisfied with anything or anyone less than Himself (Psalm 16:11; 34:8-10).

Whether married or single, we must recognize that it is not wrong to have unfulfilled longings – they do not make us any less spiritual. We must learn to accept these longings, surrender them to God, and look to Him to meet the deepest needs of our hearts.”

- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, from her book “Lies Women Believe”

“In Matthew 19:10-12, Jesus made it clear that not everybody is supposed to be married, although most people expect to be married and probably want to be married. Singleness is not a curse. 

Paul states that singleness is a gift from God just as much as is marriage (1 Cor. 7:7). I once heard the gifted Christian educator Henrietta Mears say that the only reason she wasn’t married was because the apostle Paul was dead!”

- Warren Wiersbe

“Not everyone can be trusted with suffering. Not everyone can endure a fiery ordeal. So the Master scrutinizes the jewels and carefully selects those which can bear the refining, the branches which can stand the knife. It is given for some to preach, for others to work, for others to give, and for still others to suffer.

Where do you fit on that scale? Perhaps you’re not paralyzed. God knows that you are not the one to handle – even with all of His resources of grace – that kind of suffering.

But He has selected you to handle that particular, unique, individual set of circumstances in your own life. Your singleness. Your marriage. Your sterility. Your prison term. Your finances. Your job. Your unemployment. Your background.

Whatever you would call ‘suffering’ in your own life, God has allowed it. Even purposed it.

Don’t you dare think you can’t handle it! First Corinthians 10:13 promises that you can not only handle it, but glorify God in it.”

- Joni Eareckson Tada

“Singleness is not a disease in need of a cure. God can lead you into a time (or lifetime) of fruitful ministry as a single person. And if you at times feel frustration over an earnest longing to be married, remember this time of being single is part of God’s good plan too. The church, for her part, needs to do a better job reaching out to singles, not treating them like misfits or as simply married people waiting to happen.”

- Kevin DeYoung

“According to Genesis 2, God created Adam first and put him in the garden alone. Then the Lord said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’. This is not necessarily an indictment of Adam’s fellowship with God or proof that care for the garden was too hard for one person. Rather, the point is that God made man to be a sharer. God created us not to be cul-de-sacs of His bounty, but conduits. No man is complete unless he is conducting grace (like electricity) between God and another person. (No person who is single should conclude that this can happen only in marriage.)”

- John Piper, from his book “Desiring God”

I love Piper! He never forgets about the singles. And he's so right here. Marriage is only one relationship in which we can be a "conduit of grace". The church is the arena in which we can live out this purpose, even as singles. It's one of the reasons why God created the church.

“We must also recognize that our significance and fulfillment in life is not to be determined by whether or not we have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. You will know of sad stories involving friends who rushed into relationships driven by fear of what others would say about them if they were not ‘dating’ or ‘involved’. Settle the matter right now. There is no good thing which the Lord will withhold from those whose walk is blameless. There is no need for panic. It is He who makes everything beautiful in His time. To be unattached to someone of the opposite sex may be God’s best for you now and perhaps always.”

- Alistair Begg

“A female member of my congregation sat before me, single, frustrated, lonely, and teary-eyed. She saw in her future nothing more than protracted emptiness. It was not long before I realized that her idea of a happy future centered on marriage.

After listening to her reasons for feeling that she should marry soon, I asked, ‘Exactly what type of man are you looking for?’

Without hesitation she exclaimed, ‘A total man.’

‘Just what is a total man?’ I asked. ‘How would you describe the man you are seeking for a life mate?’

Thirty minutes later she had completed her description – of a breed of a man that does not exist except in some women’s imaginations.”

- Charles Stanley, from his book “Man of God”

“It is not too strong to say that we have made an idol of marriage. Singles are often asked, ‘Well, why aren’t you married?’ with the clear implication that there just might be something wrong with them and their singleness. We must stand against this insistence that marriage, with its sexual pleasures along with parental responsibilities, is best for everyone. We must realize that God Himself might have a calling for those who are single, either by necessity or by choice. We must celebrate singleness.”

- Erwin Lutzer

“Certainly there are many exemplars who didn’t get married and the reason was that they wanted to devote themselves to Christ and the kingdom and not be encumbered. The Apostle Paul who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament Epistles is a classic case in point. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself was not married…………The standard, if you will, in general would be marriage. We were made for that union. But I don’t think all Christians must be married. Certainly Christians can find companionship in a sanctified sense, in deep friendships with both males and females, outside of marriage.”

- Hank Hanegraaff, radio’s “Bible Answer Man”

I find this quote encouraging because even though I didn’t choose singleness it’s comforting to know that God does not see it as valueless, pointless, or lonely. It may not have been my objective but in Christ it has purpose and promise.

“Some of the greatest people who ever served God were single. Rejoice in all the gifts God has given you, including your singleness.

Seeking marriage is not wrong, but don’t let that search dominate your life. We must not make finding a marriage partner the supreme goal of our lives by putting all our energies into searching for a mate. Learn contentment, for it is great gain.”

- David Jeremiah, from his book “Sanctuary: Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God”

This is a quote from a Catholic singles website. I'm not espousing Catholic doctrine, but I cannot deny the truthfulness of this statement.

"...brothers and sisters, the answer to the loneliness, depression, and discouragement of the single life is not in finding a spouse - it is in finding Christ. If you have yet to receive His love and free gift of eternal life, you must choose to do so. Having believed that, we can then draw on the spring of living water that Jeremiah described to satisfy our deepest needs. We can ask God for the strength to endure times of difficulty in loneliness or temptation for meager relationships. Sadly, many Christians have dug the cistern of marriage instead-longing for a spouse to satisfy the needs that only God Himself can provide. Whether married or single, we dig our own cisterns when we rely on anyone other than God to satisfy our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I'm sure many of us can relate to times when we engaged ourselves in bad relationships because of haste or loneliness.

Sooner or later, our own cisterns will break. The single person who has been waiting for a GG (aka God's gift, life partner) to take away their feelings of sorrow and emptiness may never find one. The married person who has been longing for their spouse to satisfy their deepest needs and desires will inevitably discover that their spouse cannot do so. The path of disillusionment, discouragement, temptation, and sin is laid out for all those who seek to dig their own cistern. Though my parents may have been right in expressing this perception of my need for a wife, God has revealed a greater need for our lives. The greatest need of a single person is not marriage. Our greatest need, whether married or single, is to know God and to grow in his grace(2 Peter 3:17)."

"If you go into marriage expecting your spouse to meet all your needs, you are destined for disappointment. Only Jesus can do that. Patiently and fervently pray before considering marriage, because it's better to wish you were married than to wish you weren't."

- Adrian Rogers

"Matthew 19:11–12 discusses those who are not able to marry or have children for one reason or another. Sadly, many would consider this to be a disadvantage, but the Bible paints a different picture, noting that “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given”. Since “all things work together for good to those who love God,” they are called to a high (His) purpose (Romans 8:28). And it has been given to those individuals the strength and privilege to be thus used by God (1 Corinthians 10:13). Not that it is always an easy path: Paul’s path was beset with illness, discomfort (to say the least), disaster, contention, imprisonment, and finally death. Yet the Lord always sustained him, and Paul, in fact, felt honored to be persecuted for the sake of Christ (Colossians 1:24). Now, that’s God-given strength!

So, with God there are two good paths. If you are gifted with singleness, you can serve Him wholeheartedly while not having to worry about neglecting a family. Or you can get married and raise children in the Lord if He provides children to you. If He does not give you children then you are freer than those with children to serve. If your spouse is a believer, you may have a unique opportunity to serve synergistically as a team. God both sets the path and then allows provision to the individual for that path. Who can say that His plan, whether or not it includes a spouse or children, is not perfect?"

- Frost Smith from Answers in Genesis

“This longing of sexual fulfillment is a God-planted desire in us. And with fleeting time it becomes a fleeting hope. The unrequited God-given longing for this kind of relationship is, I believe, and I say this carefully, one of the most difficult crosses to bear. This is not the Calvary you want. You find yourself asking God if there is any way to be spared from the ache of this longing and to receive the companionship you see so many others enjoying.

Of course, marriage goes beyond the consummate relationship of the physical side; it means caring, cherishing, and loving. This should be what you are ultimately craving. To that person I say, as painful and perhaps flippant as it may sound, just as others who face other unmet desires, you have to learn to receive the strength from the Lord to crucify that desire and make Jesus Christ the focus of your desire to be cared for, cherished, and loved – because only he can ultimately meet this desire, even if you are married.”

- Ravi Zacharias, from his book “Has Christianity Failed You?”

“Both being married and not being married are good conditions to be in. We should be neither overly elated by getting married nor overly disappointed by not being so – because Christ is the only spouse that can truly fulfill us and God’s family the only family that will truly embrace and satisfy us.”

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

"I remember my single days well. Looking back on them they were good times. Being married has been great also, but I do feel that we need to learn to appreciate whatever stage of life we are in, and to realise that for some people marriage is not the state they will be most complete in. We can be single and complete, or rather some of us can."

- Adrian Warnock

“There are young people and not so young people in this church who are desperate to find a partner. Maybe…maybe you are so desperate that you are ready to compromise for it. I want those of you who are married in this church to pray for our single folk. It's not easy to be single when God hasn't given you the gift of singleness…when God hasn't given you that peace that passes all understanding about that condition. We've got some wonderful folk in this church who have been given that very peace, and their ministry to us is extraordinary. They can do things that married people could never do. They can give of their time and energy that married people could never do. Thank God for them. But we've got others who long every day for a partner, and the partner never comes.

I'm saying to you, single folk,……Trust Him with this issue. ‘I've been trusting him,’ you’re saying. I hear you. Don't stop trusting him. Keep on trusting Him. Keep on taking this issue to the Lord. ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’”

- Derek Thomas

WARNING: This is a tough post. It won’t leave you with warm and fuzzy feelings in your single state but it was something I needed to hear and possibly you need to hear it, too. It’s from Dannah Gresh, a Christian author and speaker. She pulls no punches here and it’s hard to read, but I can’t deny the truthfulness of it. In the end, God’s truth helps you get through the really hard areas of life (like unwanted, prolonged singleness), when sweet-sounding platitudes do not. Blessings, single sisters! You are loved by God!

“From the time you were little, you have been told what you can expect, what you deserve, what God owes you. These promises are more American than Biblical. As westerners, we have been conditioned with a microwave mentality that tells us every hunger will be immediately fed, all discomfort will be lavishly eliminated and that we are the center of our own universe. The message is that you are not supposed to ever be uncomfortable, or have a longing that is not met. Christians spiritualize this western thinking with “name it and claim it” pieces of Scripture like:

“God works all things for the good…”
“If you ask anything in my name, you will receive it.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But we don’t hang plaques or laminate index cards with this promise from Jesus:
“In this world you will have tribulation.”

We have to embrace the whole context of what the Bible says, including the many passages that remind us that hardship, sickness, rejection and even persecution are part of the Christian life.

Otherwise, we end up embracing false promises.

It’s about time someone told you the truth – a truth that you intuitively know, but perhaps have been hesitant to accept: Life is hard; not every longing you have on earth will be fulfilled.

I’ll bet you’ve never heard a sermon on what God does not promise. This is unfortunate, because it is quite dangerous to place your trust in things you falsely assume God has promised. Basing your belief system on false promises places you at risk of doubting God’s character.

Have you ever put money into a vending machine and been denied your snack or soda? In that moment of frustration did you shake the machine to get your dangling chips to drop, or stick your hand up the opening to try to pry out the candy bar?

Often, we can treat God this way. It’s easy to fall into this trap because he has set forth principles of wisdom and morality that are supposed to make life go better. And a lot of times they do. The woman who works diligently on her marriage often falls more deeply in love with her man. The young woman who devotes herself to God and holiness often is rewarded with a godly husband.

But not always.

What if God says no? What if He doesn’t bring the husband, or the miracle, or the money or the healing? Will you still love and worship Him or will you feverishly demand what you expected? Do you serve God because of the gifts He gives or do you love Him simply because He loves you? The blogger who slipped off her purity ring rightly came to the conclusion that “a lot of [single] girls were sold on a deal, not a Savior.”

When you incorrectly believe that God has promised you something and you don’t receive it, it’s natural to conclude that he’s failed you. This makes you doubt His goodness, His faithfulness and His plan for you in all things. Jesus said that He came that we might have life and to have it abundantly. His promises are great, and He is trustworthy in fulfilling each one. However, His ways are not our ways, and He has not promised some of the things you may have assumed He has.

God never promised to bring Prince Charming.

Don’t confuse God with Walt Disney. Not every good, little girl will have a dashing man waiting to rescue her to ride off into the sunset. Are there some beautiful, God-ordained marriages? Absolutely! But remember that those represent the gracious hand of God. Marriage is to be honored by all as a gift – not an entitlement. I know this may sound like lame comfort if you are waiting, longing and praying that God will bring a man. But accepting that this desire may not be met will free you from the bondage of holding God to promises that He has never made. Yes, God created you with deep longings to be loved by a man. It is a wonderful thing to pray for and even hope for – but not something to place your hope upon. Your longing to be rescued by the white knight actually transcends the desire for a husband. It is meant to reflect your heart’s deep yearning to be saved by the ultimate Bridegroom.

Have you ever realized that God’s Word promises that Jesus will come on a white horse to rescue His bride (Revelation 19:7-11), He is preparing a mansion for her (John 14:3) and will one day wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4)? These words were written thousands of years before fairy tales. The Cinderella story is just a shadow of a much, greater spiritual longing. When marriage is healthy and men are truly honorable and chivalrous, this is a celebration of the ultimate Prince.

God never promised that you wouldn’t be lonely.

There are a lot of lonely people in the Bible. Joseph was lonely in prison, David was lonely much of his life, Esther was all by herself in a king’s haram, and even the apostle Paul felt alone at the end of his life. The lonely character that haunts me the most is one that you may not have ever heard of. Her name is Tamar and she was David’s daughter. This royal princess seemed to have everything until her half-brother, Amnon, raped her. Amnon violated Tamar because he was “desperately in love with her.” He HAD to have her. He obsessed about her night and day until he literally felt sick. Once he had sex with Tamar, his love immediately turned to hatred. The Bible says that Amnon “hated her more intensely than he had loved her.”

Tamar begged Amnon to marry her and take away her disgrace, but he kicked her out and completely rejected her. Her tragic story continued as her brother Absalom avenged Tamar by killing Amnon. Tamar was a victim – a victim of sexual abuse, incest and rejection. In Biblical times, she was disgraced and would never marry, even though she had done nothing wrong. Her fate? “She lived a desolate woman in Absalom’s house.” (2 Samuel 13:20).

There are many women like Tamar in the world. Maybe you are one of them. While God never promises that we wouldn’t be lonely, He did promise that you never have to be alone. When you long to have what God has not given, He reminds you, “Be content with what you have. I will never leave you and never forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:4-5). Run to him, not Don’t run to the false promise of erotica or shallow sexual relationships. The Lord sees your loneliness and promises to meet you with His own presence.

God’s Word continually tells us that earth is not heaven and that it will take faith and perseverance to live this life well. The whole earth is “groaning” with you, longing for things to be made right. So, what do you do with the disappointment? The loneliness? The mundane of your marriage or sex life? Your personal groaning?

If you are alone or discouraged or desperately longing for intimacy, you will seek comfort somewhere. You will place your faith and hope in something or someone. You have a choice: to follow the pattern the world prescribes or to follow the will of God. You will find your hope and comfort either in the world’s answers or in God. Here’s what the Bible says about your choice:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (I John 2:17).”

- Dannah Gresh

"...as it's stated in Scripture, it's not God's purpose and plan necessarily that every single person get married. There is absolutely a meaningful life of singleness and purposeness that can happen in people's lives. I think the key is for us all, whether single, dating, engaged or married, that we keep our focus and our attention on the person of Jesus. We keep letting Jesus do in our lives and in our hearts the things that only He can do. Then, in our singleness or marriedness or whatever state we're in, that we're content, we're being made new day by day, and then God can use us in the world in the lives of those around us."

- Louie Giglio

“The search for Mr. Right or Miss Right is not a search for someone like you; it is a search for someone who wants to be like Christ.”

- Stephen Davey

“…the experience of singleness should not be reduced to a time of preparation for marriage. It should rather be seen as a platform of great opportunity for the advancement of the kingdom of God. If singleness is a stage of life, it ought to be viewed as preparatory for whatever comes next in the sovereign will of God – whether marriage or continued singleness. And far from waiting for marriage to get on with life, single Christians should maximize the potential of their state for growing in their devotion to God and serving him for so long as they are single. “

- J. Robin Maxson, retired senior pastor, from his book “I Do or Do I?”

"With all the confusion about what marriage is for, it's possible that unanswered prayers for spouses have more to do with unrealistic expectations than God's power to supply mates. ... Asking God to help you find a mate is asking Him to take you from a place of single focus to one that will require selflessness. Far from being the answer to all your dreams and fantasies, marriage will be a crucible for making you more like Christ"

- Candice Watters, from her book "Get Married"

"God allows singleness because this life is not about you but about His Kingdom and His purposes being accomplished." 

- Jeff Cherry, College pastor in Tacoma, WA

“In front of a very large group, I asked all the married women to stand up. Then I said, ‘I want you to sit down if you disagree with me that a man’s godliness should be one of the top two things a single woman should consider when choosing a mate.’

Not one wife – not one – sat down. Every married woman was telling every single woman: find a man with solid character who is growing in the Lord and pursuing godliness. That’s what those women value most as wives. Yet many single women merely pay lip service to character: ‘Well, yeah, character and godliness are important, but I think my boyfriend loves God….in his own way.’

Too many single women overlook some serious character flaws or maybe even an absence of faith. Because their feelings are so strong, they just can’t believe this isn’t a match made in heaven. Rather than honestly explore whether this man is worthy of their trust and worthy to become their kids’ father, they spend their energy trying to explain away his apparent flaws and to make his spiritual maturity seem acceptable to friends and family members.”

- Gary Thomas, from his book “The Sacred Search”

“There are lessons in life – the unwasted life…….there are lessons in lifelong singleness that will probably be learned no other way.”

- John Piper, from his book “Don’t Waste Your Life”