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The Beauty of Singleness

11.14.19 | Joy | by Paige Benton

    Whatever your relationship status may be, do not believe the lie that it is your truest identity marker, it's not.

     There is a false version of the Gospel that sometimes gets repeated by the church. It portrays marriage as the secret to happiness, rather than the Messiah. This is a dangerous misconception that Jackie Hill Perry calls the "Heterosexual Gospel." It tells us our identity comes from the ring on our finger not the redeemer on the throne.

    This does not come from the Bible though.

    Perry explains

    "my life as it is now may have its share of blessings, but it has been far from blissful. And even though God may have called me in particular to marriage, that doesn’t mean he’s called everyone to it in general. My marriage... is not the ultimate glory. Christ is. That is what makes “the heterosexual gospel” so problematic. It tends to put more emphasis on marriage as the goal of the Christian life than on knowing Jesus"

    Perry is right. The goal of the Christian life is knowing Jesus who himself lived a fully human life glorifying God and loving others. And he did it all as a single man. Others like the Apostle Paul, Cori Ten Boom and Henri Nouwen have also lived fruitful and full lives as single people, loving God and loving their neighbors. Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, the truth about you stands unwavering. You are made in the image of God and dearly loved.

    While the Bible teaches that marriage is good, it also teaches that singleness is better. "He who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better." (1 Corinthians 7:38)   When you consider the importance of family back in the 1st Century Middle Eastern context in which Paul was writing, you will quickly realize what a radical statement he was making. As a single man himself, Paul saw how his relationship status allowed him to live in wholehearted devotion and intimacy with Lord in a way that others often missed.

    Whatever your relationship status may be, do not believe the lie that it is your truest identity marker, it's not.

    Jesus wants us to appreciate the diversity of gifts offered by singles and marrieds and to realize that each one reflects the image of God in unique ways.  He wants us to look to his love to define us before we look to anything, or anyone, else.

    For more thoughts on the Beauty of Singleness consider this article by Paige Benton