That was the Big Idea this week at Fusion: God prefers if you stay single. We started our dating and relationship series at Fusion called “Matchmaker” and this shocking statement is what started it all out.
1 Cor. 7 records Paul dealing with an issue with some Christians who were struggling with the role of marriage and sexuality for Christian believers. Paul, who was single, told the Corinthians that it was better if they stayed the way that he was. In a time of tribulation of Christians, Paul just stated that it makes it a lot easier if you just don’t get invovled in romance and have a family because the time is short and the day is dangerous when it comes to living for Jesus. So, he stated that if you have the gift of celibacy, just don’t get married. Anyone looking for that gift this Christmas?
He stated that if you get married, you haven’t sinned. And if you stay single, you aren’t more spiritual than married people. He just wants one specific thing for married and single people alike: undistracted devotion to the Lord (1 Co. 7:35). If by staying single, you would always be desiring a marital relationship distracting from your devotion to the Lord, than get married. Married or not, the fact of our happiness is not the reason for marriage. It’s all about Jesus.
So, God does prefer if you stay single minded. He wants your attention on him. And before jumping too deep in biblical principles on relationships, we wanted to remind that he comes first. When people are questioned about what is the first relationship that God set up recorded in the Bible, they often say, “Adam and Eve.” But that is incorrect! Before Eve came frolicking through the garden, Adam had a relationship with God first. And God demands that he always maintains his rightful place.
Most people know Lottie Moon for her missionary efforts in China.
But did you know that she was engaged to a man with whom she was very much in love? But when he began to become liberal in his beliefs about God, she broke off the engagement.
This was true in the case of Lottie Moon who endured depressing bouts of loneliness in China and yet turned down a marriage proposal from Crawford Toy, a Confederate army chaplain, who had courted her before she left for China while she was living at her family plantation in Virginia. Missionary life appealed to him, and marriage appealed to her, but his Christian ideals did not match hers. He was a Darwinian evolutionist, and evolution was a view Moon considered untenable and important enough to prohibit their future life together. Toy later became a professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at Harvard University. Years later when she was questioned as to whether she had ever been in love, Moon responded: “Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result.”
God would prefer if you stay single. Single minded on him.
Make sure that the person that you are dating/courting/pursuing/stalking on Facebook helps your relationship with God and does not hinder it. That’s the most important thing about it.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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