In my experience some of the most transforming dialogues regarding singleness do not focus on sexual sin and getting single people married to avoid it. They focus on who we are becoming. While I understand the various audiences, intentions, values and missions across the Christian church, the predominant numbers of these dialogues are being led by married people. Marriage nor a seasoned married life is the most effective prerequisite for singleness discussions. Last week on my Soul Health Sunday videos I began to engage singles in this topic. It is absolutely an important one, and one God has used my life experiences, and equipping to prepare me for. While this article alone is not intended to address the vastness of singles conversation, it is my hope that it will begin to engage progressively in a healing and restorative anchor for those that connect with it personally, and as education for those leading in the space.
Conversations focused on character are some of the most meaningful we can have when talking to single or married people. For over twenty-five years, I’ve ministered to both. It has truly been a diverse pool - persons never having been married, persons married for decades and unhappy, persons married and afraid to divorce, persons happily married and filled with wisdom, persons once married and now divorced, etc. In addition, I’ve ministered and served to support issues across the board: lack of clarity, disappointment, loneliness, isolation, betrayal, discouragement, opposing values, abandonment, abuse and more. Emotional and relational challenges invariably rise to the top, yet the prevailing discussions within the context of Spiritual leadership focus primarily on sex/sexual sin. Within the scope of relationships, I’ve seen singles get married to avoid sexual sin and ruin their lives, and I’ve seen married people get divorced having lacked discernment/clarity on the character of the person with whom they married. Singleness is not a disease that must be cured with marriage, and marriage is not the cure for loneliness, unhappiness, discontent, or rescue. There is no perfect state with benefits and disadvantages to both. This is not an endorsement of either but I pray a repositioning of the conversation. God’s primary goal in each of our lives is for us to become the person He desires us to be – to develop and mature in the image of His Son Jesus Christ. This Becoming Whole process is an inner work of character. Our experiences, when in Christ are all connected to this goal no matter what they may be. Let’s be clear here sin is sin – and while there are strong reasons why sexual sin can debilitate our spiritual senses (which I will discuss later), so can other sins derail and debilitate us. No one is immune from sin or mistakes. If you’re single and a Christian seeking God’s will let’s focus on the journey within, learning to engage with the Lord for healing, clarity and understanding. This is the pathway best preparing you to attract and identify His best for YOU. Character – who am I becoming? This is the transforming conversation waiting to be had.