A recently divorced man stated, ” I am having a difficult time living in a single world. Everywhere I go I see couples.” Granted in this time and age, many “couples” are not legally married but the people involved still have someone to love and share their lives with. Not a spouse but a significant other, a partner, a companion. And regardless of faith or emotion, a person will still feel lonely. And, even now in 2015, most church activities are geared towards married couples. Holidays come and family is emphasized. TV laughs at marriage. The alternative lifestyles, living together without planning for marriage and one time hookups are what the world is living. It seems even harder for the committed Christian single to remain content and alone, especially after a divorce of death of a spouse. Honestly, when I first entered into singles ministry (unpaid volunteer of course) I was shocked that most of the singles in our churches had a sex life! Really! Some seemed surprised that I was actually celibate. One man was living with a woman and their child and looking for a Christian woman on the sly. I kid you not. And, from experience, I can attest to the challenges of being single and alone. One Christian sister told me that her preacher insinuated how peaceful she seemed when they bumped into each other at a restaurant. He was with his wife and kids and said that he “envied” her quiet time with a book and dinner. She “envied” that he had a family and she was sick and tired of time with a book.
So, what is the answer? Marriage isn’t the complete answer. Many married individuals are frustrated and unhappy. Marriage brings a different set of challenges. Add children and a lot of stress is present. Celibacy is a challenge. In Judges, we find a whole group of people that God had requested to keep a celibate life. The purpose of this celibacy was that they might devote their lives solely to the service of God and his people. Some today may practice a similar lifestyle for similar reasons. The married person always has the added responsibility of family.
God wants you to do his will. In Genesis 24, we find Rebekah awaiting the arrival of Isaac. She was willing to meet him and thankfully he was worth having! We see David awaiting the will of the Father but also impatient and choosing for himself. Mikal and Bathsheeba brought much grief but a good woman, Abigail brought peace. Remember, God knows all about you and cares about what you do. He understands your feelings. Hebrews 4:15, 16 says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way….” We have a god who cares about us in every detail and who wants to be involved in your every moment. He cares when you sit alone with a book waiting for your dinner or when you are stressed by the family. He cares when you lie awake at night alone. He knows how it feels to be rejected. He cares so much that the scriptures tell of his relentless desire to reconcile with us. He cares so much that he allowed Jesus to go to the cross for our sins.
Yes, there is a life apart from marriage.