Summary: Message about God’s calling for some people to stay single.
January 13, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: When I entered college, one of the things that I figured would happen was that I would be married before I graduated.
And so, of course, I was on the hunt. There’s really no other way to put it. I dated girls I thought would make a good wife, and I had ideas of what that good wife was.
That idea matured over time, and something else that matured over time was my idea of myself as a good husband.
I was waaaaay over-estimating my own worth as a husband! I thought that I was just too cool to let get away, especially for all the Christian girls.
I was suave and debonair, and I could quote a ton of verses, I was leading people to Christ, leading Bible studies, was on the student leadership of a campus ministry. What was there not to like?
Just the fact that I was thinking too much of myself and not enough about God, that’s all.
God had to do some work in me before I was really ready to get married. And I’m so glad He did, because when I finally was ready, Debra came my way.
But there were times in my life when I wondered if I were going to be single all my life, or if God was calling me to be single, because even though I dated in college, I didn’t really find anyone I thought I could spend my life with, especially if God were to call me to ministry, which I knew was a possibility.
We: We live in a society that pressures people into all sorts of relationships. You need a boyfriend or girlfriend in order to be fulfilled, and ideally, you should be married, right?
Wasn’t that the plan for everybody – to get married and have children?
Well, plenty of people are feeling that pressure right now. Probably people you know.
And either because of the pressure they’re getting, or because of their own desires to settle down and get married, they wonder if maybe they’ve missed the boat regarding God’s plan for them.
Maybe you’re the one applying the pressure because you see someone you care for getting along in years and is lonely for marital companionship.
God: Well let me tell you, I believe Jesus has something for those who are wondering if being single is worth the hassles.
Our passage is in Matthew 19, if you’d like to turn there (p. 696). We looked at the first 9 verses of this chapter last week as we talked about Jesus’ view that marriage is a bond formed by God, designed by Him, and rooted in creation itself. And therefore, a marriage isn’t supposed to be viewed as disposable.
Easy divorce was a problem in Jesus’ time, just like it is today. Another indication that the Bible is relevant today just as it was in Jesus’ day.
Let’s begin reading. The basis of the message is found in verses 10-12, but I want to start back in verse 8, to get some context.
8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." 10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." 11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
The disciples, in verse 10, are possibly a bit cynical here.
They realize that Jesus isn’t giving anyone a free pass to an easy divorce, meaning that some people will need to gut it out in a marriage that isn’t all they’d hoped for.
And so they say, maybe with a bit of a sneer, “Well, maybe it’s just better to not get married at all, huh, Jesus?”
But Jesus doesn’t react to their cynicism and says, “That’s right, guys. For some, it is better to remain single.”
But before we get too far into the idea of being single, I want to visit with you just a bit about verse 12 –
For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."