Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

A Word to those who are Single V: Struggling Singles

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What is a struggling single? This is a single person that desires to marry but hasn’t found any prospects. Know and understand that the desire to marry is good because marriage is good (cf. ). Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of the world and is a Divinely established institution.

Why is it then that some who desire to marry remain single? There are a number of possible reasons. Sometimes those who desire to marry but can’t find anyone may have unrealistic expectations. Sadly, a single believer may have a certain expectation in their mind that isn’t grounded in Scripture but is simply worldly. These expectations tend to be focused on outward appearance and ignore the importance of godly Christian character.

Another reason why some might still be single is due to immaturity. I am amazed at how many people who are single desire to marry but still behave like juveniles. Living a life of parties, video games, and an all-consuming social life is not living a single life to the glory of God. If these things mark your single life, you need to grow up.

But what about the single person that is honouring the Lord, has realistic expectations and is living with maturity? The struggling single believer needs to know that this is due to God’s plan. For a reason unknown to you and me, God has provided you with a providential opportunity in being single. When it comes to God’s providence I am referring to the work of God, in which He sustains (), directs () and governs () all things. “God’s providence” says Thomas Watson, “reaches to all places, persons, and occurrences.”[1] What is the purpose of God’s providence? It is His glory () and our good ().

If you are single and struggling, know that God has not forgotten nor neglected you. In His wisdom (), He would have you be single at this time for His glory and your good. Allow the providence of God to be an encouragement to you. Because of the providence of God, struggling single you ought not to fear () or worry (), your Heavenly Father knows what you need () and He cares for you ().

To finish off this post, here are three practical points to keep in mind if your are a struggling single:

Look to Jesus Christ
Whatever state we are in, we must set before us our Lord and Saviour. He is our Master and we are His slaves. As a struggling single, remember that we have a compassionate High Priest. The writer to the Hebrews said, “ For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (). He is aware of your situation and cares for you. We are to look to Him and treasure Him in all situations. Mark Dever noted, “Ultimately, our object of satisfaction – whether single or married – should not be our spouse; it should be Christ”.[2]

Give yourself to Faithful Service
While you wait upon the Lord, certainly pray for your future spouse, but make use of this providential opportunity. Christian single, you have an opportunity to be faithful in the Lord’s service with great freedom (See The Advantages of being Single). With great dedication, discipline and delight immerse yourself in the Lord’s service. Honour the Lord with faithfulness with the stewardship of time He has sovereignly granted you. If you are to marry, this can be a time in which you grow in your character and even learn from mature Christian couples concerning roles in marriage and parenthood. Christian single, don’t waste your singleness!

Don’t Marry an Unbeliever!
A temptation many Christian singles face is the issue of dating or marrying an unbeliever. With great wisdom Steve Cole writes,

“Burn it into your thinking: It is never God’s will for a Christian to become unequally yoked with a non-Christian in marriage (7:39; ). For some reason, it is usually Christian women who get tangled up with nice (they’re always nice!) unbelieving men, rather than the other way around. I don’t care how nice he is to you, if he is not committed to Jesus Christ and if he is not denying self daily to follow Christ, then he’s living for self. You’re going to be miserable married to such a person. Your children will suffer. Your devotion to Christ will be hindered. Don’t do it!”[3]

If you are a Christian, understand that dating or marrying an unbeliever is not an option.

Let us be prayerful for and encouraging towards of dear struggling brothers and sisters that are single.

 


[1] Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, Banner of Truth, 1978, p. 120

[2] Mark Dever, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Crossway Books, 2005, p. 135

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

Resources for Spiritual Growth – Part 1

spiritual-growth2 Back in , Moses gave the Israelites the mandates for their inheritance of the land of Canaan. There were specific things that they were to do. They were to eliminate their enemies () because they opposed the holiness of God. Though these enemies were in the land, they were to remove them. In addition to removing the people, they were to also eliminate all the remnants of ungodliness (). The reason why the Lord commanded this elimination is because His people are holy, chosen, and loved. He said,

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt().

On the basis of their condition before the Lord, they were to remove anything that is not characteristic of this condition. We can use that episode in the history of Israel as a real illustration for what we need to be doing in our spiritual conduct. We are not called to remove any people groups from their nation but we are called – on the basis of our new life – to put to death anything in our lives that is not characteristic of God’s people. We are to remove the spiritual Hittites, Girgashites, Ammorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites in our life. Sin is a wicked thing. In-fact, sin should be considered the believer’s worst enemy. For this reason, our attitude towards sin should be very serious. By God’s Continue reading

7:1 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

7:1 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.

But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

How to Strengthen your Faith

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At times the Christian does get discouraged and become despondent. They have not lost their faith, as this was a divinely given gift. However, their faith can be weakened and therefore in need of strengthening. The child of God at times will have “little faith” () and ought to desire to have a growing faith (cf. ).

Though a believer can have weak faith, it is important to remember that there is a huge difference between weak faith and having no faith at all. Spurgeon notes that “between the very lowest degree of faith and a state of unbelief there is a great gulf. An immeasurable abyss yawns between the man who has even the smallest faith in Christ and the man who has none.” Weak faith is still saving faith, but as a believer we ought to desire to see it increase.

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31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.