Being single is not the same as being alone.
Being alone carries negative connotations.
- “I don’t feel like doing that if I have to do it alone.”
- “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
- “I don’t want to be alone.”
- “I don’t like to be alone.”
- “Woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
- “How can one be warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:11)
Being single may or may not mean that you are alone.
But the glorious truth is that none of us has to ever be really alone. The Lord declares, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Is the feeling of aloneness bringing you acute distress and sorrow? Does the enemy have access to leverage your aloneness to breed discontent and restlessness with your singleness?
Consider the following lines of reasoning to bar the enemy’s access to this territory. Allow him not to make your singleness into a hard and bitter cup by equating it with aloneness.
- A single person can be surrounded with many, many people, to the point that at times it can be impossible to get any time alone at all.
- Alone time can be the sweetest, most productive, most focused time of all. Shall we not view it as a gift, the same way a busy mother with many young children would consider it a luxury and a privilege?
- Men and women of God throughout history (married or single) have been called upon to suffer solitary confinement for their faith, and they have found the ability to rejoice and be glad even in this. Has grace diminished? Shall we not much more be able to bear the moments we are given to be alone, interspersed as they are with companionship and interaction?
- Jesus was the only one who ever experienced what it truly means to be alone when he cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But because He did that for us, now we can say with Him, “For I am not alone”…”the Father hath jot left me alone”…”I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 8:16, 29; 16:32)
The consecrated single life does not have to countenance the least temptation to self pity due to aloneness. Even if we were physically and literally alone 100% of the time, we would still have Jesus. Is He not more than all the world?
What joy that no one can take Him away from us!
The glory of the risen Lamb of God
Has seized my heart with full and pure delight.
His majesty and strength and glory bright
Within my life be wholly shed abroad.
None can compare to Him, this mighty king.
Creation pales and worldly pleasures fade.
The Maker so surpasses what He made;
He strikes the chord that makes my spirit sing.
My love springs forth, this reservoir unleashed
To drench the worthy One who loved me first;
I pour my fragrant spikenard on his feet.
My soul, press on to heights of love unreached:
He satisfies my longing, quenches thirst;
Pure ecstasy—In Christ I am complete.
Reader survey on 1 Cor. 7:32-34
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
Does your heart yearn to live solely, wholeheartedly, and purely for the Lord? Would it thrill you to the depths of your being to dedicate your entire life to the pursuit of whatever He wants you to do?
Yes or no?
This is not about spouting a “right” answer, it is about evaluating what is your honest, deep-down, gut instinct. How you answer this question will give you an indicator of where your heart is, like a barometer—it doesn’t make you better or worse to answer one way or the other, it just shows you where you are. And knowing where you are will give you some insight into what you have to do to get where you want to be.
If you can’t give a wholehearted “yes” but can’t bear to say “no,” what are some factors that make this more complex for you than a bare “yes-no” question?
Single readers, weigh in on this:
What do you wish the church knew about your unique needs as a single? As an adult single, do you ever feel like a misfit in a congregation that is primarily composed of married people?
I’m writing about the interaction between the church and the Christian single, and I’m putting together a list of “Things the Single Person Wishes the Church Knew.”
- Your number one role is not to get me married. It is to point me to Jesus.
- My church family may be all the family I have. Please treat me like a loving family.
Have you had any experiences that reflected that the church just didn’t understand you and your needs as a single? Any comments on how the church could serve its single members better?
This is not to vent or to be bitter, but just to promote understanding and help the church to “know its audience” when it comes to singles. Let’s say there is a wonderful, welcoming church out there that is just dying to minister to singles in an appropriate, effective, healing way. What would you say to them?
Leave a comment!
I got stuck after that last post.
Suddenly I discovered how hard it is to proclaim truth. And I had to get on my face before the Lord repeatedly and ask for His heart, His words, His message, and beg Him to remove anything of self, vainglory, and pride. I realized that unless the words I speak are birthed out of His very heart and delivered by the Holy Spirit to pierce ears and enter hearts, then I will just be speaking into the air.
He is doing a deep work in me, calling me to write, yet showing me my utter inadequacy to do so without Him. I am entirely dependent on Him to do the work.
I have gone back and revised the second half of my last post (Putting Jesus First), in order to complete it and say what it was supposed to say. I had to remove my little rant about how no one was listening and replace it with the truths that I believe I was supposed to communicate.
For the future, I commit to bathing my postings in prayer and guarding what I say, listening to the Lord and being sensitive to His direction. I am trusting Him to deliver the words to the readers so that they don’t fall on deaf ears.
(Also, I’m back from Haiti and now have consistent electricity and internet access, so it will be easier for me to post on a regular basis.)
Thank you for reading!