Content in Singleness

Being single in today’s world can be difficult, especially when we are surrounded by the social pressure to date and get married. But while we may feel a sense of loneliness because we are not in a relationship, we must not let this be our utmost focus. There is so much more to life than trying to find a future spouse. We have been given the comfort of knowing that God holds each of us in his hand and has every one of our lives planned out. Our calling is to live out each day in thankfulness to God for choosing us to be one of His elect people. We must also remember that we are not alone in this world, because we have the blessing of the communion of saints, and are able to turn to friends and family when we are feeling discouraged with uncertainty. Proverbs 12:25 says, “ Heaviness of the heart maketh it stoop: But a good word maketh it glad.”  

But while we do this we must not forget to turn to God as well. He is the greatest friend we will ever have, and He knows us better than anyone and what a gift it is to be able to go to Him in prayer. It is the best time to ask God to show us His will for us. We must believe that He will lead us to what we need. If we continually meditate in God’s word, the way will become clearer and clearer as we read what He is telling us. We are often misled by what we think we want and therefore are led to things we think we need. We must not let the longing slay the appetite for living. God’s plan is our plan.  

As we look around we see that we live in an age of entitlement. All around the wicked are giving in to their each and every desire as they live in a false sense of happiness and satisfaction in their earthly lusts. They reject any form of chastity in their relationships and Satan is glorified in it all, and this path ends in damnation. It is easy to get lured into that entitlement way of thinking. With this in mind and the temptation all around, face the future, and be content in your singleness. Whether or not God has a relationship planned for you or me, we can be assured that all things will work for our good. Our purpose is to serve him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and what an amazing calling that is.

Lisa Oomkes

Are you Content?

At this time in my life, and I’m sure in yours as well, being content is something we wrestle with.  Right now, in the middle of making decisions about jobs, relationships and school, discontentment and worry can come so quickly. Becoming an adult isn’t easy and amidst all of the busyness that comes along with it, it’s easy to forget where true priorities should lie.

The Word of God commands us to be content.  What is contentment?  Are you content?  The dictionary’s definition says that contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction.  If we look at it from the world’s perspective, contentment would be: getting everything that we want.  Every person has a different idea of what they would desire, but normally it would be a nice house, perfect family, and an easy life. For a young person it probably means being in the “cool crowd” of friends, wearing the nicest clothes or having the best car or truck.  The world’s view of contentment is so warped and it’s easy for us as Christians to get caught up in the whirlwind of it, especially when we are surrounded by it.  With social media everybody’s lives can look better than mine just with a few pictures and posts.  It becomes so easy for me to become envious and covetous of others lives.

As a Christian the definition of contentment means something different.  The knowledge that we are to be content and satisfied in what we have been given at a certain point in our lives comes from a realization that it is a gift of grace, given by God to all of His children.  It is an understanding and awareness of what God has done for us, and how we are to show our thankfulness for that.  In 1 Timothy 6: 6-8 we read: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

We can learn to be content by trusting in our heavenly and wise Father. Knowing that “all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).  Contentment is not a natural trait, one I would be born with, it’s a state of learning and obeying. Learning through trying times and knowledge of God and His love for His people. God knows what we need, and it may not always be what we want.  Psalm 37:3-5 says: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.”

Contentment also comes with realizing our need for a Savior and how great our sins and miseries are.  In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul is writing to the church a second time after he had first written a letter rebuking them for their sins.   Paul sends Titus with his second letter to Corinth to see how they are doing and Titus comes back with a positive report saying that the people had turned from their sins. In this second letter, which Paul had sent with Titus, he speaks to the people about the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. In vs. 9 and 10 he says: “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”  Paul says here that worldly sorrow brings forth death. When we are discontent and begin chasing after the things of this world (riches, fame, sex, comfort), then those things begin to lead us away from Christ and towards spiritual death.  Godly sorrow is a true sorrow of heart in which we want to get rid of our sins because we are truly sorry for sinning against God.  When we repent of these sins we are lead closer to God, farther from sin, and nearer to contentment.

Our work here on earth is to praise God and exalt his Holy Name. We need to treasure those things, which are heavenly. Are we willing to give up everything we have here for those things? “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4).  When we think of how great our reward will be in the end, the lesser things of life, such as clothes and appearance, don’t seem as important! “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him” (Js. 1:12). We will receive the reward of being in heaven with Christ.

Contentment brings peace to a believer. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). So when you are stressed about not being in the latest trends, getting the right job, about finding a godly spouse, or other life decisions, remember that God knows what is best for you. If you are bringing honor and glory to God’s name in whatever you are doing in life and placing your trust in Him, God will supply what you need.  And with God bringing it to you it will be what is best for you.

Lisa Heystek

 

Gender Options in the Bathroom

A couple years ago I wrote a piece called “Facebook Gender Options.” The topic of that piece was the move by Facebook that gave more gender options to its users beyond male and female. Facebook provided fifty six gender options to be exact. Facebook intended this move to be inclusive of every variant gender identity or “questioning” person under the sun. A person who is “questioning” is confused as to whether they are gay or transgender and  as to who they are and where they should be headed. Gender differences have expanded in these two short years since that piece was written. Now in many places a man who identifies as a woman or vice-versa has the right to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. In other words, if a man feels like he is a woman he has a right to use the bathroom or locker room consistent with what he feels he is on the inside, even if it doesn’t match up with what his body actually is. This has become the law in a number of cities and states. Those who speak out against it are branded as intolerant and will even be kicked out of public facilities. This has actually happened to woman in Ohio who complained about a man behaving himself inappropriately in the women’s restroom of a Planet Fitness gym.

Not only do such policies go against common sense, they also violate God-ordained notions of gender. “Male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27b). This passage means that a person’s biological sex is permanent. Many things about a person change in their lifetimes including height, weight, voice and hair color. Personalities develop over time as well. That being said, one’s gender remains consistent throughout all of these changes. Transgender advocates, on the other hand, teach that people are gender-fluid, that is, that a person can be male one day and female the next. Think of a jar of Play-Doh or the sand you find at the beach. These things can be changed to whatever you want them to be. You can use that lump of Play-Doh to form a dog one day and a castle the next.  The same thing is true of the sand at the beach. That’s the kind of thinking that supporters of transgenderism engage in.

Play-doh and sand are malleable, gender is not. There is no record of any human being actually switching sexes. It doesn’t happen and  it cannot happen. God is the only one who can mold things the way that He wants them. He takes the people that live in this world and He forms them as He seems fit. “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”(Romans 9:21) Here God is referring to election and reprobation whereby He saves some and not others. The same thing is true in this world. He makes one male and another female and each individual fulfills the unique role that He as ordained for them.

Our calling as young people and young adults is to live as Christians in this world. Part of living as a Christian is living contentedly in the body God has given us, the body appropriate to the gender He has given us. We are not surgically to mutilate our bodies as many people do today. We are not to celebrate those who have had this done to themselves or are contemplating having it done. In both cases we are to exhort them to repent and to pray for their repentance.  God has made us different. Men and women are different physically, mentally and psychologically. We are to recognize, celebrate, and enjoy these differences without trying to pervert them into something that God never meant them to be.  When we do this properly God is glorified. He will judge those who defy His creation ordinances  and reward those who by His grace and Holy spirit seek to honor and obey Him in this and in all things. May God receive all the honor and glory due unto His name!

Kevin Rau