Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermons series "This Is Us" with a message about Singleness. We began by looking at I Corinthians 7.
As part of the introduction, he pointed out that Paul rejected the ideas from the time coming from gnosticism, that physical pleasure is evil. Self-sacrifice is never an end in itself.
We looked at Four Important Things about Being Single:
1) Singleness is hard.
Sometimes sexual temptation is hard to bear. (I Cor. 7:9)
Study after study has shown that sexual exploration outside marriage doesn't help you build a healthy marriage.
Marriage is a great gift (Gen. 2:18) and readily offers the kind of community we need.
So if you're single, deliberately build connections and community.
2) Singleness is a gift.
I Cor. 7:7 -- Paul means both a good thing in our lives and a work God is doing in us.
Sometimes it's because God has something better for us.
We tend to think it's because something is wrong with us or we're unattractive. That's simply not true.
We need to trust God.
Maybe the work we need to do is not finding a partner, but exercising our trust muscles.
Put that energy into trusting God.
3) We each have an assignment -- for some of us, that includes being single.
Don't rail against your assignment. It doesn't do any good.
God is good and has our best in mind. It does take faith to believe that, and some times it's more difficult than other times.
You can complain to God, but you don't want to stay there.
The longer you complain, the worse you'll feel.
Remember that God is good.
Remember that the single you is the married you. Work on the single you.
4) Singleness offers us more spiritual freedom.
I Cor. 7:25-35 -- There are advantages to singleness, and the chief one is you can be totally devoted to the Lord.
1) We need to think differently about singleness.
Honor singleness and single people the same way we honor marriage.
Honor God's assignment for each of us.
2) Those who are single have to start taking advantage of their singleness.
3) Our lives are about leaning into God and seeking His kingdom.