After teaching on singleness this past Sunday, I would be remiss if I did not share some practical advice about how singles and married people can lay hold of biblical singleness
As a young adult pastor, there is a lot I wanted to share. And as I was discussing this topic with our CVC staff and our CVCYouth interns, and everyone had something to say about this topic.
Usually we encourage you with one or two challenges, but instead I’m going to give you like 20, some from me and others from our staff.
I’m throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping some of it sticks. Here we go.
Advice for Singles
- Do not date a non-Christian. Don’t go on a date with a non-Christian. Don’t match.com message with a non-Christian.
Don’t go on a date with a non-Christian. Don’t match.com message with a non-Christian. Scripture tells us that we are only to marry Christians, so don’t play with fire
- Take advantage of the time you have for long times of reading your Bible and prayer before family and kids.
Once you have kids and a family (if that is where God is leading you), long periods of Bible study and prayer will be more difficult to come by. As a college student I loved to spend an hour or so in study and pray in the mornings.
- Go on Missions trips! Do it!
Don’t go to Europe or Cabo, go to Pearl Island and Ghana. Or, if you are a young adult, you can go on our 707 Urban Mission Weekend over Memorial Day weekend 2016. Sure, travel. But do it for the kingdom.
- Take responsibility for your own life. This includes paying all your own bills.
Growing in Christlikeness means growing in responsibility. If you are not paying your bills, you are not taking on the responsibility you need to.
- Online dating: thumbs up, just don’t view people like a dishes on a menu
Online dating is a good way to meet others, but fight against the mindset that you are looking for the best dish on the menu.
- No sleepovers at a house of opposite gender. Don’t do it. In the words of the great war hero General Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”
- If you know that you are not called to celibacy, look for a spouse.
Don’t wait for one, look for one. Ladies, Ruth didn’t just sit at home. Include community of faith in dating. She took her mother-in-law’s advice and got her hair done, put on some nice clothes, and got a godly husband. I’m just sayin…
Include community of faith in dating.
Don’t go it alone. Lifegroups are great for this. Include the person you are dating into your faith community.
- Do something now for the Kingdom that you can never do when you are married.
Teach in Thailand for the summer. Work on a fishing boat. Hike the Appalachian trail.
- Don’t look for the hot one, but the holy one. Beauty fades, holiness grows.
- Live with a roommate or two. It keeps you flexible. You need to be flexible with your life patterns and habits.
- How you relate to friends and roommates carries over into marriage.
If you are mean or selfish toward your roommates, you will be toward your spouse.
- Men who want to get married: Volunteer in Children’s ministry
I thought the Children’s Ministry just a bunch of female volunteers. Yes, young, single, attractive, Christian women who are good with children.
- It will never be easier to develop a regular pattern of giving to the church, the poor, and to missions than right now. You might think you are broke, but if you don’t develop these patterns now, it will be even harder to do so in the future.
- A cute girl or a cute guy gets less cute if they have a lot of debt.
- Be wise with your money. Jesus talks a lot about money.
Advice for Married People
- Never assume a lifelong single is weird, deviant, can’t get a spouse, or gay. If you think that about a lifelong single person that you know, you would think that same thing about Jesus.
- Have a marriage that is open to people who are not married.
Having singles over for dinner provides encouragement: for some, encouragement to get married. For others, encouragement to stay single.
- Having singles over for dinner provides encouragement: for some, encouragement to get married, to others, encouragement to stay single.
- Since single people are whole people, they do not need to be fixed, just included. Include them in your plans for holidays and meals.
- Don’t assume single people don’t want to spend time with you and your family. They certainly do. Single people are usually not busy, so invite them along your normal, daily rhyme.
- You hold the key to the culture of the Church.
Would you commit to fostering an environment where singles are included, valued, and employed in the work of the Kingdom?