Summary: Since singleness is a gift from God, it is good and should be used for His glory.
Single and Satisfied
1 Corinthians 7:6-9, 25-35
Rev. Brian Bill
May 30-31, 2020
Back before COVID, I heard about a pastor who was visiting a fourth-grade Sunday School class to talk about marriage. In his introduction, he asked the class, “What does God say about marriage?” Immediately one boy shot up his hand and replied, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”
It’s certainly true that some people get married not knowing what they’re getting into. To those who are single, please forgive us for we know not what we do when we put pressure on you to get married, or make disparaging comments, or tease you, or just leave you out of things. Forgive us as a church for the times we’ve made you feel second class or unimportant. That’s wrong. And we must stop. We must do a better job helping you live out your singleness with single-minded devotion to the glory of God.
Recently I read an article called, “Singles Nation: Why so Many Americans are Unmarried.” Here are some up-to-date stats on singleness in the United States:
• Singles now outnumber married adults. In 1950, married couples were 78% of all households, in 2011, married couples represented only 48% of all households.
• Almost half of new births are to unmarried mothers.
• Only 30% of Millennials say having a successful marriage is “one of the most important things in life.” This is down from 47% of Gen Xer’s who said the same thing in 1997.
• In 2020, four in ten Americans believe marriage is becoming obsolete.
• In the QCA, the highest number of unmarried adults live in Rock Island Township at 51%, while the lowest number of unmarried adults at 19% live in Eldridge.
In his sermon called, “Solid Singles,” Rick McGinnis began by saying he had a certain amount of dread when he was preparing, not because the Bible doesn’t have anything to say on this topic, but because he wondered if any single person would want to listen to a married guy speak on singleness. Also, he didn’t think married people would want to hear about singleness, unless of course they were planning to join their ranks!
Then, he realized the tension he was feeling is the same tension that exists in general between married couples and single people. Those who are married often don’t know how to relate to singles and some singles feel they can’t connect with couples. One unmarried person put it this way: “Being single would be easier if others would accept it as a valid lifestyle.”
My guess is you haven’t heard many sermons on singleness. On Tuesday we posted this question on the Edgewood Facebook page: “How many sermons have you heard on the topic of singleness?” Here are some of the responses…
• Maybe two, but they were never beneficial.
• Maybe one, if that?
• I think just one…but no one seems to care or help those of us who are Christian and single.
• I think it’s way too easy to be overlooked as a single…culture treats you like you’re in a ‘holding zone’ until you get married and have kids.
• I can’t remember one.
One researcher polled evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 35 and found 70% had never heard a sermon on singleness. To my embarrassment and shame, this is only the second time I’ve dedicated an entire sermon to what the Bible says about singleness.
Here’s our main idea today: Since singleness is a gift from God, it is good and should be used for His glory.
Have you ever watched the show, “MythBusters”? Before we go further, let’s bust some marriage myths.
• Myth #1: Singleness = Your Identity. While it’s OK to use the term single to distinguish someone as unmarried, a person is more than their marital status. You are made in the image of God and therefore have great worth, value and dignity…whether you’re married or not. If you’re saved, you’re a child of the Father, your sins are forgiven, your purpose is to live for the glory of God in a forever family filled with brothers and sisters in Christ.
In a 2013 survey by Christian Single, at least 40% of singles between the ages of 30-60 felt there is a “presumption that there must be something wrong with them because they are single.” The survey also showed that “in particular, the disappointment of being single caused them to doubt God has a plan for their lives.” Let me remind you the word “single” also means, “unique” and “exclusively attentive.”
• Myth #2: Marriage is the only God-ordained lifestyle. Some think God’s preference is always for people to get married. Keep in mind singles in Scripture include Jesus, John the Baptist, the widow Anna, Daniel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Naomi, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Miriam, Dorcas, Lydia and the four unmarried daughters of Philip (Acts 21:9). The Apostle Paul was either single or widowed.