This post is for the singles out there! Here are some valuable advice from Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ. Here Paul explicitly specifies that this command is not from the Lord, but it is his personal opinion. I believe that the Lord allowed him to write his personal opinion in the Bible for a specific purpose. Let’s see what he has to comment on single-hood.
Let us derive some good things from his advice, and I hope the singles can use these to maximize (or make the best use of) their single-hood days, before they commit in a relationship.
According to Paul, Single-hood is the best!
I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. [I Cor 7: 6, 7]
Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. [I Cor 7: 25, 26]
Not sure whether Paul was married once and became single later, or never married. Bible is not clear on that. But one thing is sure- He was single when he was writing this. Paul used to travel a lot, establish churches in different countries and so on. He used to work part time and earn his living. Paul is the one who wrote more on married life and single-hood. Let’s discuss on what he has commented about single-hood.
By the way, I am not ‘for’ or ‘against’ Paul’s advice here, to remain single. But my objective is to derive some important things from his advice, to consider when you are single, so that you can maximize your single-hood before you get married.
Here are four ways how single-hood years can be made the best use of! (according to Paul)
1. Singles have ‘less troubles’ in this life
But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. [I Cor 7:28]
I think it’s true. Married people have lot of additional responsibilities like taking care of wife/husband and children, providing food for them and lot more. But the singles can concentrate more for self, devoting their time in preparing themselves for their future (developing career, reading, writing, studying, earning, taking care of parents and preparing for marriage etc)
I think the years before marriage are the best days to work on one’s career and personality. They have more time for education and things like that. So make the best use of this period!
2. Singles can dedicate more time for the ‘affairs of the Lord’
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. [I Cor 7: 32, 33]
A married person is much concerned about affairs of this world like pleasing his wife, taking care of wife and children etc. But a person who is single has nothing to worry about these, so that they can dedicate more time in the affairs of the Lord, like pleasing/serving God, helping others, being actively involved in church/social activities etc.
Even though these things can be done even after marriage, but the time available would be limited, as they have to dedicate time for family! Hence, it is wise to devote and maximize the available time during the single-hood years for the work/affairs of the Lord.
I have heard the personal testimony of many people (including my parents), that they were able to do more things for the Lord, when they were single.
Therefore, in the few years before you get married, maximize your time for the Lord, and do as much as you can for the Lord. You can study the books of the Bible, learn a musical instrument, write articles/blogs, attend/conduct seminars, get involved in mission works, visit mission fields and so on. These things are possible even after marriage, but there will be time constraints.
3. Singles can give ‘undivided devotion’ for the Lord
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. [I Cor 7: 34, 35]
Once married, you are bound to your spouse.
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. [I Cor 7: 39]
Singles, in one way, are free! They have more personal free time to completely devote themselves in building their relationship with the Lord like praying, fasting, reading Bible etc. This is a period of less distraction, so that you can use this time to build yourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally.
4. Singles can devote ‘their bodies and spirit’ to the Lord
Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. [I Cor 7: 34]
Being single is the best time to fully devote one’s body and mind for the Lord completely. But for the married, they have their marital duties to be fulfilled to each other, as Paul explains in the same chapter.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. [I Cor 7: 3-5]
Paul suggests that a husband and wife should be together always except by mutual consent and for a time, to devote to prayer and fasting. If they live separately, they are giving a chance for the devil to tempt to sin.
But for the singles, they have nothing to worry about any of these, but can devote their bodies and spirit to the Lord only.
Now what do you say about these advises? What are your views on this? Do you think that these 4 can be done even after marriage, in its fullest potential? Please share your views below. Would like to hear from you.