On my most recent mission trip, I was sitting around talking with a group of Christians of varying ages. We began discussing the various ministries throughout the Church of Christ and someone brought up their plans to visit a singles ministry at a congregation in Houston upon returning home. I was familiar with this congregation’s ministry (as well as many others) and when she asked would I like to go to their next event, I confessed that I no longer attended their functions. “Why?” she asked. “Don’t you want to meet single Christian men?” No. In fact that is my problem with most singles ministries I have ever been invited to. The focus is on 100 single Christian women hoping to get drafted by one of the 25 eligible Christian men instead of teaching singles to do the work that they are called to do as Christians. Singles ministries have become nothing more than code for speed dating on the church’s dime and time. Pass.
Don’t get me wrong, as a single Christian woman I love spending time with other spiritually minded people, having fun, learning, and growing. The problem is…most other Christian singles aren’t spiritual minded AT ALL; all they want to do is have fun; they rarely gather to study the Bible; and I don’t find myself motivated or inspired after being in their presence. And though I’d truly love to meet and marry a God-fearing man that is not the focus of my life as a single Christian nor will I meet him when all 25 of the men in the singles ministry are happy sampling all that good ol’ milk you Christian ladies are giving away for free in hopes that you’ll be the cow that gets chose. PASS.
For some reason, the church has set up a system in which the primary goal of the Christian woman’s walk is to marry. In fact, if you took away the dating aspect of being a member of the church, there’d be no other reason for many of you singles to come. The church treats singleness as some sort of disease that must be cured by wearing low-cut Sunday morning best to service, game nights, dinners, and trips to the bowling alley when the Bible clearly expresses that the single life is both a practical option for women and one that offers us the opportunity to live and serve the Lord in an abundance of ways as we are not preoccupied by the same concerns of those who are married with children. In 1 Corinthians 7:7 the Apostle Paul said, I wish that all were as I myself am [single]. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. As you all know, Apostle Paul is one of the pillars of the church. Not only was he single, his hope was that others would remain single. Did Apostle Paul spend all his free time as a single person planning potlucks, going to paint night, and playing board games? No!!! Paul brought the gospel to the Greeks, established churches, went on mission trips, and served wherever he went.
Anna, a widow (Widows are single in case you didn’t know), didn’t dedicate her life to chasing down a good Christian man after her husband died. And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years…She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day (Luke 2:36-38). Here we have a SEASONED single woman who dedicated her life to ceaseless worship. What about Ruth? She lost everything and yet made a fervent commitment to follow and serve the God of Naomi. Eventually, the man God meant for her SAW HER and wanted to know more about her as SHE WORKED in the field. Notice that Ruth was putting in work when her Boaz came along not waiting around on a Boaz so she wouldn’t have to work. Miriam is another single woman of the Bible who did amazing things. Before she went all “fifty shades of Cray” due to jealousy, Miriam was the prophetess and first poet of the Bible. This means that not only was she out proclaiming a word from God, she was also creative! This writer and songstress helped lead the joyous praises of the multitude as they set out for the Promised Land after God parted the Red Sea. There are many other examples of SINGLE people in the Bible who used their space as an opportunity to do wonderful works that brought glory to God, so why do we see our singleness as nothing more than the chance to chase the ring?
As of today, I’m calling all my single ladies to look at singleness with new eyes. God didn’t knit you and your boo in your mama’s womb. He knew the plans He had FOR YOU well before you were born, hit puberty, and started chasing the opposite sex. Therefore, whether you meet your Prince Charming or God sees fit that you remain single, you still have a purpose that He intends to see you carry out. Having fun with other singles is not a sin, but there is far more to the Christian walk than Monopoly. In fact, potlucks take a back seat to studying the Word, visiting the sick, helping the orphans, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, praying for others, and being an encouragement. Furthermore, our ultimate duty is to lead others to Christ not just by quoting scriptures but serving as Christ did. You have the TIME, SPACE, FREEDOM, and OPPORTUNITY that married people don’t. If anything, GOD EXPECTS EVEN MORE from you! But YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR VIEWS OF THE SINGLE LIFE! Just because you are not a pair doesn’t mean you are a spare. You are integral to the work of the kingdom…so get busy!—Sean Johnson