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Grieving our Losses 12- Grieving Singleness

Grieving Our Losses
Day 12- Grieving Singleness
Aiselyn Mason

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:5, ESV)

We all want to be loved in one way or another—by our families, our friends, and especially by a significant other. We often desire this so fiercely that we tend to look for our worth in the people that surround us. We seek their approval in all our actions, and we change ourselves to align with their desired qualifications. However, it is not the opinion of others that matters or even our own opinions. Our worth, all that we are, is found in the redeeming love of Christ. His death gives us life. His sacrifice gives us worth. Taking His gift of salvation causes our lives to change drastically in the best possible way.
I’m not sure how it is for men, but speaking for women, we spend much of our time daydreaming about having a significant other and becoming a wife and mom. I don’t see this as a problem because, from what I’ve read in the Bible, women were created to be a companion to (a) man. We were created from man, and for man. We were not created to be abused, used, mishandled, or dominated, but to be loved, cherished, and led by a man—more specifically, a husband. I just recently finished the book “Let Me Be a Woman” by Elizabeth Elliot, and it was truly insightful and, in a way, life changing. I highly recommend this book to everyone, men and women alike. At its heart, Elizabeth is describing that singleness, being in a relationship, and marriage are all gifts. God has such a wonderful, unique purpose for each of us, and we should accept where we are in life and trust Him.

This is easier said than done, I am aware. When I look at my life as a single young adult, I can look at it two ways. I can look at the relationships I’ve had and the opportunity for marriage that did not come to fruition and be horribly bitter, or I can take those experiences for what they were: God working in my life and in my partner at the time. A close friend once reminded me that we never know how God is working in other people’s lives in a situation. I look at my loss and see only that—the loss of a future, of a partner, of a family, of a life like most others in my circle—but that is apparently not what God has for me right now. We are looking at grieving in different circumstances in this study, and I think that although I’m young I have a fairly good claim on grieving singleness.

God created mankind as a pair, a set of two who work in unison to bring out the best in each other and to portray Jesus and His Bride, the Church. Yet one of His most prominent servants, Paul, was single. Let us not forget that the only perfect man to ever live, Jesus Christ, lived His life in perfect singleness. I find much peace in that knowledge. Jesus knows our every emotion, every feeling, every thought, and when I cry out to Him in hurt and distress, He understands that as well.
It is especially hard to be single in a Christian setting, in my opinion. When teaching, preaching, and praying, people focus on the majority, on those who are dating, engaged, young in marriage and starting families. I was truly bitter for a time while listening in prayer meetings as person after person prayed for couples, but thanks be to God that I was reminded, in conversation with another single woman, of the beauty of knowing Christ, of the joy found in the One who not only understands all of me, but understands this aspect of life with a depth others may not. Never once do we hear of Jesus longing for a partner to work with; He was intimately content with His Father, His disciples, and those who surrounded Him in love.

Yes, God created mankind as a matched set; however, that does not mean He created man for the sole purpose of having a spouse. God created man to be a relational being. The first relationship we read of in Scripture is that of friendship and fellowship between Adam and God. They walked together in the garden, spending time together in fellowship. God created an equal for Adam in Eve, but that first relationship tells us much. We are created to be in fellowship with others, especially once we find ourselves in Christ. The immense and sacred joy of being a part of a local group of believers is a fellowship likened to that of Adam and God in the garden.

The term “found family” has been coined and used quite often in recent years in our media. Jesus, in a sense, had the first found family. His brothers and sisters did not believe in Him at the time, but He found joy in His spiritual brothers and sisters. Luke 8:19-21 says, “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.’ But he answered them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.’” Romans 8 points us to the new family we have in Christ after salvation; in fact, being coheirs with Christ and the adoption as sons of God are some of Paul’s favorite topics. Galatians 4, Romans 8, and Ephesians 5 all deal with this. I point out this truth because I believe that, like Christ, Paul found relational love and joy in the believers. He was surrounded by so much prayer, love, fellowship, and family that a life of singleness was not a burden but a tool he could use to better serve God. We are told time and again in the New Testament that we are heirs with Christ, sons of God, and fully known and loved in this familial way.

1 Corinthians 7:8 is the verse most point to when discussing Paul’s singleness: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Paul was unmarried, and his feeling was that those who are unmarried should remain that way. While he does not elaborate on the reasoning behind this feeling, his reasons for marrying are quite valid as well. Ultimately, whether single, married, widowed, or whatever else the circumstance may be, I believe that the examples of both Paul and Christ show us that our call is to be useful to God in whatever state we are. I may grieve the loss of companionship and relationship in not having a romantic partner, but God is the truest love I will ever know, and no one could ever measure up. Whatever season you find yourself in, I implore you to strive after God’s own heart and to serve Him to the greatest capacity you can.

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