Summary: How to deal with singleness.
Sunday after Sunday in many churches, especially during series on the home, singles walk away wondering, “Is there anything for me?” Since most adults in the church are married, it is easy for singles to be left out and feel left out.
This is unfortunate because singles make up a large section of society. In fact some 37% of adults over 18 are single – they have either never married or are single-again because of a divorce or death. In fact, all of us spend a significant part of our life single – typically the first 25 years or so before we marry and some of us will spend the last 10-15 years single after our spouse dies. Because singleness is such a large part of life, God does have something to say about it. In fact, He says that whether the season of singleness lasts for a few years or for your entire life, you need to make the most of it.
Who knows? You may end up like Jake and Jessie. Jake was 92, and Jessie was 89 when they found each other and decided to get married. They were so excited.
One day they were strolling along discussing their wedding plans, and on the way, they passed a drug store. Jake said, “Let’s go in here,” and Jessie followed. He walked to the rear of the store and asked, “Are you the owner?”
He said, “Yes, I am.”
Jake said, “Well, we’re about to get married. You sell heart medication?”
The pharmacist said, “Of course we do.”
“How about medicine for circulation?”
“Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis?”
“How about Viagra?”
“Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?”
“Yes, a large variety.”
“What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson’s disease – any of that?”
“You sell wheel chairs, walkers, and those scooter chairs?”
“Yes, all speeds and sizes,” said the druggist.
“That does it. We’d like to register for our wedding gifts here.”
Singles, if you want to get married, there’s still hope!
Singles, whether young or old, are often known for taking advantage of their singleness. They go on adventurous trips, do what they want when they want, eat what they want when they want, and generally live a care free life. And you know what God says about that? Live on! But as you do, He wants you to take advantage of two tremendous opportunities that will make your life truly care free.
Our text for today is 1 Corinthians 7:32-35. In much of his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is responding to a letter the Corinthians had previously sent to him. In chapter 7, Paul is responding to some concerns the Corinthians had regarding marriage and related matters, such as singleness. There is a lot going on in this chapter, but I want us to focus on vv. 32-35 this morning. These verses have a powerful word to singles.
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. 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. 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 (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
“I want you to be free from concern.” Singles, God says that He wants you to live a care free life! “Whoo hoo! Party on!” Right? Well, not exactly. God wants you to have a care free life but He knows that it comes by taking advantage of two opportunities that are especially available to you. What are these opportunities?
Opportunity #1: Get to know God like no one else.
Paul says singles can get to know God like no one else because they do not have some of the responsibilities that married people have. Married men are concerned about the affairs of the world. A married man is concerned about how he can please his wife, how he can better provide for his family. Likewise, married women are concerned about the affairs of the world. A married woman is concerned about how she can please her husband, how she can better care for her children. These concerns are good, but they vie for the attention of the married person. A married person has a hard time being totally focused on the Lord because his or her interests are divided (v. 34).