Christlife Posture: Trusting God's Wisdom

Topic: How Should I Think About Being Single?

 

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's

Still Image/Painting/Drawing/Photograph

  •  Automat (Edward Hopper) What do you imagine this women's situation is? Do you feel sad, anxious, or frustrated for her? Why? What does your response to this painting tell you about your own perspective on singleness?

Video Clip

  • Testimony: Love the Single Chapter of Your Life (Desiring God/ Ben Stuart) What opportunities has the Lord brought to you as a single person? What stands out to you from this person's experience?

Song

  • Dear No One (Tori Kelly-cover by Leroy Sanchez) Do you relate to the tension expressed in this song? What things do you enjoy about being single? What things do you long for that make you wish you were not single? Do you have the hope that is expressed at the end of this song?

Article 

  • Single Men, It's Time to Step Up (Tim Grissom) If you are a single man, what did you think of this article's perspective? What do you think of the role of "initiator"? Is it appropriate or outdated? Have you taken steps to prepare in any of the four areas the article suggests? 

  • Singleness Is Not a Problem to Be Solved (Stacy Reaoch) Which of the practical points in this article were helpful to you? What feelings does it bring up in you to read the story of someone whose "season of waiting" is over and is looking back? 
    Singleness and Scripture: What the Bible really says about those who aren't married (Lisa Harper) What insensitive comments have you received about being single? What scripture passages have you or others misunderstood regarding singleness? What was new to you?

  • BLOG: Singleness: My Only Companion (Ekemini Uwan) What can you relate to in the author's story? How have you dealt with the issues of shame or rejection in this area of your life? What did you learn from her journey or perspective?

  • INTERVIEWS: Misunderstood Single Men (Christianity Today) In reading about the experience of these six men, what did you relate to? What did you learn? Do you feel misunderstood or have you misunderstood single men in your congregation? 

Online Teaching

Reflection Options  

Journal  (reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Grieving and Celebrating.  Take some time to write about what you wish for in regard to relationships. What emotions do you experience about being single? Now take some time to write out what you enjoy about being single and celebrate with the Lord for the blessings he has given you in this season of life. 

  • Find two people you know who are single and seem to be doing well.  Also, find two people who married after the age of 30.  Ask each person (from both groups): 1)What do see as the benefits of singleness? 2) What are/were the hardest things for you in your season of singleness? 3) How is/did God meet you in the midst of being single?  Journal about what you found encouraging from those conversations. 

Quote Interaction (Interact by agreeing, disagreeing or otherwise engaging with the quote/quotes)

  • If you are single today, the portion assigned to you for today is singleness. It is God's gift. Singleness should not be viewed as a problem, nor marriage as a right. God, in his love, grants either as a gift.  (Elisabeth Elliot)

  • Your story has far more to do with finding God’s unique calling and purpose for you life than it does with finding the love of your life....When we see marriage as our sole purpose, we find ourselves with nowhere to go when we finally arrive. (Debra Fileta)

  • All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle, yet one candle can illuminate all the darkness.  (Jewish Hanukah Prayer)

  • My whole being cries out continually for something I may not have. My whole life must be lived in the context of this never-ceasing tension. My professional life, my social life, my personal life, my Christian life – all are subject to its constant and powerful pull. As a Christian I have no choice but to obey God, cost what it may. I must trust him to make it possible for me to honor him in my singleness. (Margaret Clarkson)

  • I would just encourage Christian single people to ask, 'For this chapter in my life, while I am single, what is it about my singleness that could make me especially fruitful for Christ?' And then I would encourage them to give themselves to that.  (John Piper)

  • Single people cannot live their lives well as singles without a balanced, informed view of marriage. If they do not have that, they will either over-desire or under-desire marriage, and either of those ways of thinking will distort their lives.  (Tim Keller)

  • Pain is a holy angel who shows us treasures that would otherwise remain forever hidden; through him men and women have become greater than through all the joys of the world. It must be so and I tell myself this in my present situation over and over again. The pain of suffering and of longing, which can often be felt even physically, must be there, and we cannot and need not talk it away. But it needs to be overcome every time, and thus there is an even holier angel than the one of pain; that is, the one of joy in God. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

  • Sex is powerfully pleasurable, but it cannot satisfy your heart. The touch of another person will stimulate your body and your heart, but it will never leave you fulfilled. It's a created thing that will give you a short-term buzz of euphoria. It will offer you temporary pleasure, provide a momentary sense of well-being, briefly make you feel that you're something, and it may even make your problems seem not so bad for a bit...The problem is that the created thing that you're looking to wasn't designed to satisfy your heart. It cannot give you inner peace. It cannot quiet your cravings. In a word, it cannot be your savior. And if you look outside of the Savior for something to be your savior, that thing will end up not being your savior but your master. (Paul David Tripp)

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read the section, "Instability" (pp. 31-33).  How have these three kinds of instability ​impacted you as a single person?  Do you ever wonder if there is a "time limit" on your physical attractiveness to the opposite gender?

  • Read "Is This A Universal Landscape?" (pp. 36-39).  Which of the common challenges do you feel pressured by in making decisions about pursuing marriage: making the right choices, constructing an ideal life, exploring options or creating a stable life structure? What assumption do you have about those challenges in regard to being single or married?

  • MENTOR: Read "Explore vocational and relational identity questions" (p. 122). Explore the statement in this section, "The ability to love and be loved is achievable no matter what one's marital status."  How would you validate that statement from your own experience? Ask the young adult if they believe that statement is true or not. What are their reasons for thinking that way? How does their relationship with God or with their church community factor into their answer?

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  From these verses, what can you learn about singleness or about what God says to the single person?   Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Genesis 2:18 

  • Psalm 37:3-7

  • Song of Solomon 3:5 

  • Isaiah 30:18

  • Isaiah 41:10

  • Isaiah 54:1-5

  • Matthew 19: 1-12 (especially 11, 12)

  • Matthew 22:29,30

  • 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 25-28, 32-35

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 

  • 1 Timothy 6:6-8

  • Hebrews 13:1-6, 15-16