Friday, July 3, 2015

Encouraging Quotes about Singleness - Part 6

Feeling down about singleness?  Let these inspiring and encouraging quotes give you a new godly perspective!


"On the idolatry of marriage, three thoughts:
(1) Recognize the lies that turns a good thing into an idol. There are lot of lies that you can believe that take a good gift like marriage and turn it into an enormous idol—“I am incomplete if I am not married” “I am of second importance if I remain single.” “I’ll never be happy if I don’t get married.” “When I get married, I will no longer struggle with lust--I'll be satisfied.” “When I have a spouse, I will be more fruitful in ministry.” “People don't want to be around me unless I'm married--it's a vetting process for people who are "normal." Etc., etc. Do any of these lies sound familiar to you? And if so, what are you doing about them? If you haven’t thought much about your idols, a simple way to start thinking through them is to write them out on paper. You might be surprised at how much more real they become when you find words to describe your idolatry.
(2) Distinguish between a good and godly desire and a self-centered demand. Marriage is a good thing. Solomon writes: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD” (Prov 18:22). If you hope to be married and to one day have a spouse, that is a good and godly desire. But any good and godly thing we desire turns into a demand if we find ourselves unable to live without it and therefore, insisting that God must give it to us. Do you feel entitled to marriage? And if so, on what basis? God never guarantees marriage for anyone. No, those of us who get married must daily give thanks because we didn’t deserve to have a spouse. A spouse is a gift from God (James 1:17).
(3) Don’t revolve your life around what is uncertain and not guaranteed, but what is certain and sure. If it is true that there is no guarantee that you will get married, and if you idolize marriage (you’ve turned the good desire into a demand), you are foolishly revolving your life around something that is uncertain. Why do that? Why build your life around something that is so tenuous? Imagine yourself standing in front of a ravine and two bridges are ahead of you. One bridge is strong, sturdy, and much more certain—it’s labeled: faithfulness in singleness right now. The other bridge is old, rickety, and the planks are not very certain—it’s labeled: an uncertain future of marriage. Which one would you walk across? You’d walk across the sturdy bridge, right? Here’s my point: You can choose to build your life around an uncertain future of marriage. Or, you can be faithful with whatever the Lord has asked of you right now in your singleness. It’s good to desire marriage, and even pray for a spouse, and even to pursue a spouse, but don’t build your entire life around something that is uncertain. Don’t let your entire life become captive to this one hope. Leave your future and your hope about marriage in the Lord’s hands (Matt 6:25-34)."
- from Capitol Hill Baptist Church website

“So I say it again to all singles in Christ: God promises you blessings in the age to come that are better than the blessings of marriage and children. And with this promise there comes a unique calling and a unique responsibility. It is not a calling to extend irresponsible adolescence into your thirties. It is a calling to do what only single men and women in Christ can do in this world, namely, to display by the Christ-exalting devotion of your singleness the truths about Christ and his kingdom that shine more clearly through singleness than through marriage.”
- John Piper

“Marriage should not be viewed merely as a means of escape. Loneliness and sexual temptation are not eradicated once you’ve found a life partner. Marriage is the right course of action for one reason only: fulfilling the will of God.”
- John MacArthur, from his book “Divine Design”

“We can gain contentment when we trust in God’s strength and grace to sustain us through any circumstance. Whether you’re single or married, whether you’re liked, loved, or lonely, the key to contentment is trust. Believe it or not, if we are discontented with singleness, we’ll more than likely face discontentment when we’re married. When we define our happiness by some point in the future, it will never arrive.”
- Joshua Harris

“(Marriage) is a great thing. God created it, instituted it, to long for it...there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s just whenever you put anything above the Mission of what we’re on the earth to do – to make the name of Christ known, to make disciples – it’s when you put it above that.
Of course, God gave us the desire, He created that, He put that in us, that’s a wonderful thing. But we can get so consumed with it that we live a worthless life. Whether you’re single and you think about it so much….that you’re worthless to the Kingdom or you’re married and you’re so enjoying each other so much that you forget about the Mission and the Kingdom.”
- Francis Chan, during an interview on the Boundless Show

“If you ask the single person why she’s so moody and discontent, she won’t say it’s because of the jealousy that resides in her heart. She’ll point to all the ways that life has been hard.
It feels good to think that your biggest problems in life exist outside you and not inside you, but the problem is that it simply is not true…..your and my biggest problem in life exists inside us and not outside us. It’s the evil inside me that connects me to the evil outside me. So I must confess that I am my greatest problem. And if I confess this, I am saying that I don’t so much need to be rescued from….situations. I am in desperate need of the grace that is alone able to rescue me from me.”

- Paul David Tripp
Hard words to read but very deep and illuminating. If you are angry, miserable, and discontent over your singleness, is it really singleness that is the problem or your own internal sin? Something to think about…..

“A spouse and a minivan full of kids on the way to Disney World is a sweet gift and a terrible god. If everything in Christian community revolves around being married with children, we should not be surprised when singleness sounds like a death sentence.”
- Kevin DeYoung

“Just after my thirtieth birthday, when I was still single, the Navigators asked me to take a three-year assignment overseas. One of the issues I had to work through was the fact that, as far as marriage prospects were concerned, I would be ‘out of circulation’ for those three years and would have to ‘start from scratch’ once I returned. As events turned out, the day I arrived back in the States I had my first date with the young lady who would become my wife. We were married seven months later. There was no way I could have predicted how God would so arrange providential circumstances to bring that about.
……God is not limited to our ability to see how He can answer our prayers or work on our behalf. Therefore we fear God by depending on Him even when we can’t see how He might bring something to pass.”
- Jerry Bridges

“Getting doctrine right is the key to getting everything else right. If you want to live rightly in the single years—and I know you do!—then you must think rightly about God. And in order to think rightly about God you must study His Word.
Can I encourage you—no, can I strongly urge you—to seize your single years and become the best theologian you can to the glory of God?”
- Carolyn Mahaney

"Jeremiah is an example of what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 7. The Lord wanted Jeremiah’s undivided attention. He wanted his prophet to be concerned about nothing else except pleasing God, and especially so because he lived in a time of spiritual crisis. We need more of that kind of godly singleness in the church. The Bible teaches that singleness is an opportunity to be more devoted to Christ and less devoted to the world. Too many Christian singles have just the opposite attitude. Too many are overmuch concerned about the affairs of this world, and not concerned enough about the affairs of Christ.

If you are single, do not be single for the lack of something better to do. Be single to the glory of God, undivided in your devotion to him. You have the freedom and the time, often the money, to take bold adventures in the name of Jesus Christ. You can do things that would be unwise or impossible for married Christians to do. And if the days are evil, then godly singles should be the strength of the church. Singleness is not a curse; it is a blessing both to the single individual and to the church. A Christian is not single by default as if he or she is waiting for something or someone better to come along. A Christian is called to be single to the glory of God as long as he or she is single-either until marriage or death, whichever comes first. Singleness is not an accident. It is not a misfortune. It is a divine calling."
-Dr. Philip Graham Ryken

“Get a big view of God. If I could leave you with any singles-impacting counsel, it would be get a massive view of God. Get overwhelmed with God! When that starts to happen in your life, a hundred problems start to solve themselves that my little “how-to”s could never solve. It trickles down in ways that nobody can quite explain.”
- John Piper, at a Q&A about singleness

"To know God, to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is sovereign and that my life is in his care: this is the unshakable foundation on which I stay my soul. Such knowledge has deep significance for the single Christian."
- Margaret Clarkson

"The greatest, wisest, most fully human person who has ever lived never married - Jesus Christ. His greatest apostle never married and was thankful for his singleness. Jesus himself said that in the age to come we do not marry. And he added that the age to come had already broken into this world.....
Marriage and singleness will be transcended, and Christ himself will make those categories obsolete in the joy of his presence. A life of joyful singleness witnesses to this."

- John Piper
I love this quote by Piper because it reminds me that although I desire to be married and, likely always will in this life, I can rest assured my singleness is not a "waste" of my life. That despite it's difficulties and challenges, it is recognized and honored by Christ himself.

"It's not like others are cutting in line ahead of me or like God is a matchmaker who’s having a hard time finding a good match for me. I am single for a purpose. Romans 8:28 talks about how God makes everything work together for my good. In Romans 8:29, God puts His cards on the table and reveals that His purpose for that is to make me look more like Jesus. And singleness is one of the tools He's intentionally chosen to do that in my life."
- Quote from article on website for NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC

" doesn't start when you get married. It starts the second you give your life to Jesus and fold your story into the larger story of the Kingdom of God. We all know Jesus was single, as was Paul, the leading theologian in the New Testament. That's saying something."
- from New Life Church Gahanna, OH article

“I’m wondering what you are doing today with the stewardship of singleness or the stewardship of your marriage. Are you investing that stewardship well so that your life proclaims the ‘excellencies’ of the one who has given you that trust?”
- Pastor Dan Porch, Jubilee Community Church
I love this quote because it reminds me that singleness is not just some tragic circumstance or bad luck…..God knows that I am single, and knew beforehand that I would be. My singleness is a stewardship that God has entrusted to me. Something to be planned and managed for His glory.

“So here it is, singles – if you want to move from hating your singleness to embracing it for the glory of God, you need to have faith. You need to trust God at his Word. You need to have faith of Psalm 84:10: ‘A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.’ You need to have faith to say with David in Psalm 63:3, ‘Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.’ You need to have faith to say with Paul in Philippians 3:8, ‘I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.’ Some of you might be thinking, ‘Easier said than done,’ or ‘Easy for you to say; you're married’ – and your lack of faith will lead to a hatred of your singleness. But some of you will walk away transformed by God’s Word because you believe – you believe God is offering you more. You believe that God is good, and he has you where you are because he loves you.”
- Pastor Kim Kira, Lighthouse Community Church

“For readers who are single today, please believe me when I say that a bad marriage can be one of the most miserable experiences on earth! It often leads to rejection, hurt feelings, wounded children and sleepless nights. Certainly, a solitary journey as a single person can be a meaningful and fulfilling life. At least, it does not involve ‘a house divided against itself’ (Mark 3:25)”.
- James Dobson

“Occasionally, I meet single adults who blame their lack of spiritual vitality on their singleness. ‘When I get married things will be different,’ they say. But every married person knows that when two people are united in matrimony, their circumstances become more complex – not less. As the apostle Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, ‘One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.’ Marriage was not designed to be a spiritual problem solver, and singleness does not prevent godly wholeness. God can and does work through whatever phase of life a person is in.”
- Charles Stanley, from his book “The Spirit-Filled Life”

"If you are single,......exploit your singleness to the full devotion of God, the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael did and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married."
- Ligon Duncan

“Paul (in 1 Corinthians 7) was emphasizing the freedom of singlehood. This is an area that I think a lot of singles fail to take advantage of or even enjoy to the full extent, because they are wishing that they were married. Yet, if you are single, you are free.
Paul wants you to know as a single that you have a unique opportunity to maximize a heavenly perspective on earth. When you allow heaven to dictate your actions and thoughts as a single, you can become one of the most productive and significant kingdom women God has available.

The moment you become distracted by the idea of singlehood being nonfulfilling – on desiring or chasing after a mate rather than waiting on God’s plan for your life (whether or not that includes a mate) – your have let your singlehood get in the way of God’s purpose.
As a single, you have a purpose, and God has equipped you with the power to live out your calling as a single.”
- Tony Evans

“Abstinence is not only good, if God calls us to celibacy; it is also possible. Many deny it, however. ‘You know the imperious strength of our sex drive,’ they say. ‘To ask us to control ourselves is just not on’. It is ‘so near to an impossibility,’ writes Norman Pittenger, ‘that it’s hardly worth talking about’. Really?......what shall we say to the millions of heterosexual people who are single? To be sure, all unmarried people experience the pain of struggle and loneliness. But how can we call ourselves Christians and declare that chastity is impossible? It is made harder by the sexual obsession of contemporary society. And we make it harder for ourselves if we listen to the world’s plausible arguments, or lapse into self-pity, or feed our imagination with pornographic material and so inhabit a fantasy world in which Christ is not Lord, or ignore his command about plucking out our eyes and cutting off our hands and feet, that is, being ruthless with the avenues of temptation. But, whatever our ‘thorn in the flesh’ may be, Christ comes to us as he came to Paul and says: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9).”
- John Stott

“Consider where God has placed you, who God has put around you, and how God desires to use you for his glory where you live and work. If you are single, how can you make the most of your singleness for ministry? Make the most of the opportunities for ministry that God has built into your life.”
- David Platt

“In the will of God, marriage is an incredible gift, to be received with joy and thanksgiving, and to be used for the glory of God. Likewise, in the will of God, singleness is an incredible gift, to be received with gratitude, and to be used for the glory of God.”
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“…while one must refrain from allegorizing the text (of the Song of Solomon) in its entirety in order to promote spiritual meaning, it is valid to see how Christ is being presented. Ephesians 5, while defining the marriage relationship between man and woman, also declares that the marriage covenant is a proper way to understand the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. In 1859 the great Presbyterian preacher James Henley Thornwell had the opportunity to announce the wedding of his daughter, Nancy. In the weeks leading up to this event, the hundreds traveling would end up at a funeral, not a wedding as she took ill from cholera typhoid and began a rapid demise. Thornwell, overcome, came to his daughter’s bedside in her waning moments and said, ‘Oh my dear daughter, such tragedy!’ She replied, ‘Father, do not weep. I know my Savior.’ He said, ‘But this was to be your wedding, your whole life now before you.’ She, the youth, yet with greater maturity said, ‘Father, but I now go to a greater Groom that I am prepared to meet.’ Nancy Witherspoon Thornwell was laid to rest in a wedding gown, and the tombstone reads: ‘As a bride prepared for her Groom.’”
- Harry Reeder, senior minister of Briarwood Presbyterian Church

“Single adults sometimes wonder, ‘Why does Paul leave me out of Ephesians? He only focuses on marrieds.’ But unmarried people are not left out by this single adult, Paul, who was sent on a mission by another single adult, Jesus. If you are single, you are directly addressed by Ephesians 1:1-5:20 and 6:10-24: the one flesh relationship between Jesus and his body. And much of 5:21-6:9 may apply. You are Wife. Though you do not have a calling as husband or wife, the background truths and specific exhortations will enrich your common call. You are Child. If you have living parents, you are addressed by 6:1-3; if you are a single parent, then 6:4 has your name on it. You are Slave. If you are an employee, you are addressed by 6:5-8 regarding your supervisor; if you are the boss, or have other leadership responsibilities, then 6:9 applies.”
- David Powlison