Divine Design Q&A Discussion 6

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Hello, I’m Alan Benson, and let me welcome you today to our follow-up question-and-answer time on our chapel series on Divine Design. Our last two messages have focused on the topic of singleness, and it’s a joy today to talk about some of the discussion that I’ve had in the question-and-answer times and to interact with some of the specific questions about singleness. We’ve seen three main characteristics that I believe we should focus on if we find ourselves to be single, whether that’s initially single, whether that’s lifetime single or whether that is single again–single in a time period after a spouse has passed or towards the end of life.

And really there are three things that I think the Lord would have us to focus on, and one of them I’ve labeled the issue of maturity, and in that, contemplating our growth in Christ. And one of the things we should focus on is how am I growing in my own walk with the Lord, am I internalizing truth, and is that impacting me in how I live and how I build community, how I interact and treat others.  Sometimes the idea of singleness, whether it is our social approach or whether it’s what society has imposed upon us, almost forces us into what I would call “silos.” It almost causes us, because we’re single, to have an inordinate individuality, that impacts, I think, the way that God would have us to steward the Gospel. So, I think it’s important to think about my own spiritual growth, my spiritual maturity, what I am learning, and what I am doing with truth.

The second issue is really the issue of identity.  I think even culturally this has been the biggest challenge.  Most of the questions that I have received have been around this idea of “OK, so who am I?” and “How do I live?” and “What can I do?” and “What can’t I do?” and “Where do I fit?” And I guess the passion of my heart in dealing with this topic from the Scriptures is to clearly communicate that our value is found in Christ, that our identity is who we are in Him, not found in any human relationship, whether that be a spouse or any other.  In fact, being a spouse can only be properly fulfilled if I have my identity settled in Christ.  And then, the giftedness and abilities that God has given to me as an individual and as Adam served God before Eve, naming the animals, tending to the garden, as Adam had a relationship with God Himself walking in the garden in the cool of the day, every individual has the opportunity to have that relationship with God, and some then have a pathway that looks like marriage where that relationship is lived out, and some have a pathway of singleness where that relationship is lived out.  And so, settling the issue of identity and who I am in Christ and the gifts He’s given me, and then living for Him, I think, is a massive consideration in singleness.

And the last thing we touched on was purity.  And I touched on that because purity is an issue for everybody, and in particular, we think about it for singles because we think within marriage there’s a built-in accountability that may not be there for someone that is single. And while that is true, all of us must build in the proper accountability in our lives.  We must live with that understanding, that ultimately our accountability, and our effectiveness with our walk with God, is found in our relationship with Him, and then making choices to help us walk in purity.

If I could close with this thought, some of the questions led me to this idea of the possibility that culturally, because I don’t get married, that somehow I’m a second-class citizen or I have a second-class status in the church. I just want to say that looking at the Scriptures on the issue of singleness, nothing could be further from the truth, that the Scriptures elevate us to be made in the image of God, and in His image, living for Him, and that the pathway of living may be marriage or it may not be, but it is just the pathway, that really our value, our worth, our status before God is found in the fact that we’re created in His image, and through redemption, we’re made His own and can live for Him and give Him glory, individually, whether that’s in marriage or not.

I’m so glad that you joined us today. I hope that these thoughts were encouraging and helpful to you, and I hope that as you watch these videos, they will help further the truth that have been in our chapel series and will help you to live it. Thanks for joining us.