Finding Contentment Being SingleBy Chad Wagner on Sunday, January 27, 2013.
Finding Contentment Being Single I. Marriage: God's design for most people. 1. When God created Adam, God Himself said that it was not good that man should be alone and he made him a companion (Gen 2:18). A. From the beginning of time, it was God's design that men and women would marry and be fruitful and multiply (Gen 2:24 c/w Gen 1:28). B. Jesus affirmed this principle (Mar 10:6-8). C. The institution of marriage was a picture of the mystery of Christ and the church (Eph 5:31-32). D. Marriage, along with everything else God made in the creation, was a very good thing (Gen 1:31). 2. Finding a wife is a good thing and a gift from God (Pro 18:22; Pro 12:4; Pro 19:14). 3. Finding a husband is a good thing (Eph 5:23, 28-29). 4. It is God's will that young women marry and have children (1Ti 5:14). II. Singleness: God's design for some people. 1. Although God designed marriage for most people, God has also given the gift of celibacy to some like He did for Paul (1Co 7:7-8). 2. Some men are made eunuchs for the kingdom of God's sake (Mat 19:11-12). 3. This gift enables someone to focus their time serving God and the church, rather than focusing most of their time serving their husband, wife, or kids (1Co 7:32-34). A. This gift is not given to them to make them miserable, but rather as a blessing to them for the glory of God, that they may attend upon Him without distraction (1Co 7:35). B. This gift would especially be beneficial for a minister (2Ti 2:4). C. It appears that Anna had this gift (Luk 2:36-37). D. If you are unmarried, then be like Paul and Anna until God gives you spouse. III. Singleness is preferable to a bad marriage. 1. It is better to be single than to marry the wrong person -- far better. A. It's better to live in the woods alone than to live with an angry woman who loves to argue (Pro 21:19). B. It's better to live in the corner of the attic or your studio apartment than it is to live in a mansion with a loud quarrelsome woman (Pro 21:9). C. It's better to be a single woman than to be married to a fool whom nobody can even speak to like Nabal (1Sa 25:17-25). 2. While not a sin, a Christian better seriously contemplate before marrying someone who does not share their faith. A. Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amo 3:3). B. Consider the principle of not being unequally yoked to unbelievers (2Co 6:14). i. This is a warning to the church to not be joined with unbelievers and idolatry. ii. If the church should not be yoked with unbelievers, then a Christian should seriously consider the danger of being married to one. iii. Don't marry an ass (Deu 22:10). C. This principle was practiced in the OT (Deu 7:2-4; Ezr 9:2-3; Neh 13:23-26). D. Jesus said a house divided will not stand (Mar 3:25). i. It could be the case that weak believers marrying unbelievers may not be a divided house -- the weak believer will simply compromise. ii. A "church admission certificate" type of faith where only the form of godliness (2Ti 3:5) has been attained doesn't guarantee an undivided house either. IV. How to find contentment being single. 1. Whether married or single, contentment is something that we are commanded to have (Heb 13:5). A. Content - adj. I. 1. Having one's desires bounded by what one has (though that may be less than one could have wished); not disturbed by the desire of anything more, or of anything different; ‘satisfied so as not to repine; easy though not highly pleased’ B. God expects us to be content with very little (1Ti 6:6-8). C. Notice that a wife, husband, or children is not a minimum requirement for contentment. D. Contentment is something that is learned; it doesn't come naturally (Phi 4:11-12). E. Where you lack the strength to be content, Christ will help (Phi 4:13). 2. You must find completeness in Christ. A. The true completeness of a Christian is found only in Christ (Col 2:10). i. Complete - adj. 1. a. Having all its parts or members; comprising the full number or amount; embracing all the requisite items, details, topics, etc.; entire, full. ii. A Christian needs no more than Christ to be complete. iii. If you don't feel complete having Christ, then getting married will not help. iv. "Success in marriage is much more than a matter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being the right person" - Leland Foster, Growing Together in the Family v. The famous line in Jerry Maguire, "You complete me" is simply not true. B. It is the knowledge of the Son of God through the word of God, not marriage, that make us complete (Eph 4:11-13; 2Ti 3:16-17). i. Perfect - adj. 1. Thoroughly made, formed, done, performed, carried out, accomplished. Obs. a. Of a legal act: Duly completed. ii. Believing the gospel should fill us with all joy and peace (Rom 15:13). iii. We should not look to marriage to fill a void that only the knowledge of Jesus Christ can. 3. If you feel that you have to be married to be happy and content, you are wrong. A. If you feel that way then you will not be happy in heaven because there is no marriage there (Mat 22:30). B. A good man is satisfied of himself (Pro 14:14). C. Satisfied - ppl. 1. Contented, pleased, gratified. 4. You must devote yourself to the Lord and serve Him and His people. A. Whether married or single, the first and greatest commandment for us all is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Mat 22:37-38). i. How much more should this be the case when God has blessed you with singleness and not a divided interest? (1Co 7:32-34). ii. Give up your life to serve God (at least while you're single) and He will honour you (Joh 12:24-26). iii. Present your body as a living sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1). iv. Read your Bible and pray; get to know your God. v. Take advantage of the time! B. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mat 22:39). i. How much more should this be the case when God has blessed you with singleness and not a divided interest? (1Co 7:32-34). ii. We serve God by serving His people (Mat 25:34-40). iii. Be like the house of Stephanas who addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints (1Co 16:15). iv. Be like Phebe who was a servant of the church in Cenchrea (Rom 16:1). v. Take advantage of the time! V. Practical tips on finding contentment being single. 1. Expect little in life. If your chief goal is to get married, you will not be content to be single. 2. Mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of being single your whole life. 3. Learn to enjoy peace and quiet. 4. Take advantage of your free time and read some good books. 5. Use your single years as a time to save money. 6. Use the time to cultivate good close friendships with your brethren, even the married ones. VI. Don't miss out on the benefits of being single while you are. 1. You will miss out on many of the blessings and benefits of being single if you live at home with your parents and siblings. 2. Consider the benefits of being single that are negated or at least restricted by living with other people: A. Freedom to do as you please (within the bounds of God's law) without consideration of anyone else's wishes or expectations. B. Absolute silence when you are at home. C. Time to yourself. D. Making your own financial decisions and learning to be totally self-sufficient. 3. If you desire to be married, spend your single years preparing yourself for marriage and making yourself attractive to a potential mate (not only physically attractive). A. If you are a man: i. Work to develop your character so that you will be fit to be a leader who will command your house like Abraham (Gen 18:19), love your bride like Christ (Eph 5:25), and teach your children (Eph 6:4). ii. Work towards financial independence, proficiency in your career, and having a home that is secure and comfortable (Pro 24:27). iii. No good woman will be attracted to a man who has no spine, shows her no love and affection, and is not a provider. iv. Stay out of debt so that you can hit the ground running if marriage and children come. v. In the mean time, get Siri. B. If you are a woman: i. Work to develop your character so that you will be fit to be a submissive wife like Sarah (1Pe 3:6; Eph 5:22-24) and a loving wife and mother and good homemaker (Tit 2:4-5). ii. Put on less make-up and more meekness, sweetness, and submissiveness (1Pe 3:3-5). iii. No good man will be attracted to a strong willed, haughty, bitter, feminist woman that he will have to fight every step of the way. iv. Stay out of debt so your future husband doesn't have to spend what he worked hard for to dig you out or maintain your expensive lifestyle.