Sunday, July 12, 2015

Singleness Thought of the Week: When Sinning Singles Prosper

“Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” – Psalm 73:1-3

A friend of yours has just announced she and her boyfriend are engaged.  Yes, yet another friend…..

She’s now doing everything you’ve dreamed of doing since you were four-years-old and putting pillow cases over your head, pretending they were bridal veils (Admit it. You did it, too).  She’s shopping for wedding dresses, talking to caterers, attending a variety of showers held in her honor, and posting irritating Facebook countdowns to the big day.  And here’s the kicker:  She’s been living with her boyfriend for months, cooking his meals, ironing his clothes, and having more sex than a married woman.  She’s been doing all the things that God reserves for marriage, living in total rebellion to Him, and still she gets to plan her wedding.

Meanwhile, you’re reading Passion and Purity for the 67th time, avoiding all movies not rated G, confessing every lustful thought to an accountability partner, trying hard to display the sexual virtue befitting a single Christian woman. 

And it hasn’t gotten you diddly squat.

No wedding, no marriage, no sex, no nothing.  What good is all this purity and virtue if it’s not getting you what you really want – marriage?  And why is God blessing those around you who persist in doing all the wrong things?  And, let’s face it, does anyone really care how sexually pure you are once you turn 39?

White.  How ironic.

When I’ve struggled with these thoughts, I’ve tried meditating on the following verses:

“But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.” – Psalm 73:16-17

I’ll be blunt.  No matter how successful and enjoyable a sinner’s life is here on Earth, it will never make up for the horrific eternal fate that awaits them if they die without Christ.  Trust me, sinners in hell now are not reminiscing about all the great sex they had or how beautiful their wedding was.  They are in torment.  We Christians – yes, even we sexually-frustrated, single Christians – are shining lights in this dark world (Matthew 5:14), reflecting the brightness of Christ, the only Savior of the lost.  Our purity isn’t simply a voucher entitling us to a godly marriage.  It points to the spiritual reality that the symbol of earthly marriage represents:  Christ redeeming a sinful people for Himself, the church (Ephesians 5:27-33).  It points to the message of the gospel.

Think about it.  You may be the only witness to Christ that the lost friends around you will ever see.  Don’t waste opportunities being envious of the blessings they have.  They probably notice your unflinching sexual purity in the face of years (even decades) of singleness and find it peculiar.  This could be a platform you use to share the “hope that lies within you” (1 Peter 3:15).  That hope is something sinners in hell would give all their prosperous days on Earth to have now, and something we should never take for granted.

“Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:25-26

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