On Mondays, we fast and pray that godly men would walk upright and into relationship, that godly women would be softened, and that marriages would be given to those who desire them.
There is no escaping it! Red, pink, hearts, roses, and cupids, the signs of February and its unofficial holiday, Valentine’s Day, have bombarded us over the last several weeks. There was a trellis archway filled with red roses over the “10 items or less” checkout line at the grocery store on Friday, which not only limited the items you could purchase but also the height of the individual that could enter the line without needing to physically contort to stoop under it (nothing like knocking people on the head with the need to make a purchase).
I know Valentine’s Day conjures up many thoughts and feelings. Perhaps you’ve turned to Galentine’s Day to celebrate friendships or use it as an excuse to load up on cinnamon candy hearts. This Valentine’s season I’ve been challenged to think about how I’m living a life of love, like in the full sense of the word. If God is love and we are to be like Him, shouldn’t we embody love as Christians? And the resounding answer is… Yes!
Have you ever heard comments implicating singles as being selfish? There are elements of singleness that naturally lend to a self-centered focus (like being the sole provider and the only one doing house work), but selfishness implies putting the needs of self before the needs of others. If general consensus puts singleness and selfishness in close proximity, what does that mean for the self-sacrificing love God calls us to live out?
While trying to process singleness, selfishness, and love, I came across this article quoted on Facebook:
“Marriage is a covenant–a promise–to God that you vow to love another like Christ first loved us. In the most intimate, challenging, all-inclusive way. A vow to become one flesh with another person. To serve them and selflessly love them as Christ served and selflessly loved us to the cross. To carry their burdens. To take the lashes of their shortcomings. To bear the taunting of their sins and struggles. To put them before yourself to the point of brokenness, so that we can ultimately rise, just as our King did, in love. With a greater understanding of the magnitude of the Gospel. With a greater appreciation for the power of what Jesus did on our behalf.
Marriage is a taste. A tiny, intimate taste, of God’s love for us. It is a promise that is not taken lightly because, ultimately, it is a promise to accept another and love another like God loves us, daily. It is nothing we can even come close to doing on our own.
And THAT is the joy of saying “yes” to the proposal. Not that we have found the “perfect person”, but that we are a step closer to drawing back a layer and getting to see God’s perfect love played out in a beautiful way in our lives.”
So what does that mean for those of us hanging out in singledom? Will we ever have the opportunity to see God’s love played out in our lives and in our interactions with others? Is our only hope to live like Mother Teresa to demonstrate that we are self-sacrificing and becoming more Christ-like?
The Bible tells us that it is better to remain single (1 Corinthians 7:8), so surely it’s not because God wants to have a bunch of selfish single people representing Him. So how do we live out our singleness “to see God’s perfect love played out in a beautiful way in our lives” by laying down self and becoming more like Christ?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. I believe this plays out differently for each person and we need to seek God daily as we choose to lay down our selfish desires and serve others. As we grow in our relationship with God we have the opportunity to change the perception of singles (being selfish is just one of them) to a beautiful picture of God’s love.
2 Peter 1: 3 – 8
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May His Love Abound,