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.
Genesis 3:16b “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
A few weeks ago we looked at the first part of this verse where God tells Eve that she is going to bring forth children in sorrow and learned our responsibility as young women in the covenant to bring forth and raise the children God gives us. God’s word does not stop there though. He also gives Eve a duty toward her husband, a duty to respect and honor him as her head. Ephesians 5:22 puts the idea this way, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Sarah called Abraham her “lord,” the leader of her life, the one she respected and honored as a picture of Christ in her life. And this too is the way we need to view our husbands. They are the head of their wives, even as Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23). So therefore, it is the duty of the wife to let her husband know that she respects his decisions for the family.
Does this mean that women are just a tool in the hands of their husbands? That a husband can “boss her around” so to speak or expect her to do whatever he tells her to? This is not the kind of relationship Christ has with His Bride, and this is not the kind of relationship husbands and wives should have either. Christ as the head, serves His bride, loves her, and in dying for her and saving her He showed how deep His love for her is! He is not a tyrant ruling over His church without meeting her needs. But, we shouldn’t focus on the way a husband treats his wife, because the focus of the passage is on the wife serving her husband and desiring to serve and respect him.
This can be applied to women who are not married as well, especially because Christ is our real Husband. We can learn especially in our single lives, when the cares of a household, children, and a husband are not taking up our time and energy, really to put Christ first in our lives, to love to learn more and more who our God, our Husband, is. 1 Cor. 7: 34 speaks of the unmarried woman caring for the things of the Lord, while a married woman is busy with pleasing her husband. The need for young women in the church is often looked past or not thought of, but young women can be such a help to the other members of the church. Single life is a great time to babysit, to visit the elderly, or to make cookies for a mom who just had a baby. I’ll admit that when I was single and even now that I’m dating, I often think of these things and then think I’m too busy or have other more important things to do. My excuse is that when I’m married and have my own house, then I’ll have time for those things. But really, I know that won’t be true either. So let’s get into the habit of doing these things now! Serving the other members of the church is a great way for us to learn to put others first in our lives. Then if the Lord wills that we marry someday, we will have a beginning in understanding what we will need to do as wives and mothers in a life of service to our husbands and families.
Dear Single Young Person,
Now that you know how important you are to the church of Christ, you may wonder how you can serve the church. Here are some ideas…but first, some disclaimers:
- Not all of these ideas will be appropriate for all ages. The target audience of this blog is the broad age range of 15-25. Some ideas will work for 25-year-olds, but not 15-year-olds, and vice versa.
- Not all of these ideas will be appropriate for all stages of life. Not every idea will fit into your school and/or work schedule.
- Not all of these ideas are appropriate for all incomes. Some are free, some require a little cash.
- By posting this list of ideas, I’m certainly not trying to preach at you for “not doing enough.” These ideas are meant to encourage you to get involved and to give you some specific ideas if you aren’t sure where to start.
- I hope that you will find at least one idea on this list that will be a good fit for you and your situation. However, this list is not all-inclusive. I’m sure there are other ways you can get involved that I’m missing.
So now that I listed enough disclaimers so that I (hopefully) won’t get in trouble, here are some ways that you as a single young person can get involved in the church community:
- Tutor a fellow student in a subject that he/she struggles with, but that comes easily to you.
- Chaperone a convention.
- Pick a frazzled-looking young mother in your church and offer to babysit while she gets groceries every week. Or even once a month.
- Bring a meal or some baked goods to a family who just had a new baby, or to someone who recently had surgery. Even a $5 Hot-n-Ready pizza will be appreciated! Or “just” make supper for your own family.
- Mow the lawn for a widow or physically frail homeowner. Or gather up a group of friends and do spring or fall clean-up.
- Call any one of the Christian schools and ask if they need volunteers for anything. There is a wide variety of things you can do to help at school such as playing piano, re-shelving library books, listening to first graders read, collating newsletters, and more.
- Write an article for Beacon Lights. It doesn’t have to be lengthy and you don’t have to use big words.
- Join a committee at church. Depending on the church and the committee, there might be a nomination and voting process, but some committees welcome volunteers. Offer your help to the Nursery, Building, Evangelism, Activities, Catering, Helping Hands, or Technology Committee.
- Teach Sunday School.
- Pick a special cause or two to financially support. For example: one of our schools (particularly a smaller, struggling one), Georgetown’s India program, Hope’s Myanmaar program, the Singaporean-based translating group, AIM, or any one of the groups/causes for which your church takes up collections.
- Start a book club. Choose a religious book to discuss or discuss a secular book from a religious perspective.
- Help with Young Peoples’ fundraisers. Even if you are “too old” for Young Peoples, they would probably still welcome your assistance!
- Visit an elderly saint at home or in the nursing home.
- Show up to help at a school or church work bee.
- Offer to stop at the store for your mom on your way home from school.
- Offer free babysitting to a busy young family so that the parents can enjoy a date night. If you can afford it, anonymously send them a gift card to a local restaurant.
- Help the school janitor while you’re waiting for your sports practice to start. He/she would probably appreciate getting finished a little early!
- Shovel the driveway of the family whose dad/husband is out of town or sick.
- Help your younger sibling study for a test or exam.
- Offer free housecleaning services to a new mom or to someone recovering from surgery.
- Give an elderly person a ride to church or to the grocery store.
- Set up or fix a computer for someone who is less tech-savvy than you.
- Send a grocery store gift card to a needy family.
- Help your grandma with her Christmas shopping.
- PRAY. We all have the gift of prayer. And don’t “just” pray, but tell people that you are praying for them, and specifically what you are praying for. God can and does use this as a source of encouragement to those who need it.
It can be intimidating to reach out to others, but the benefits to both the giver and the recipient are enormous. We have all been blessed with different gifts, and we are all called to use those gifts for the benefit of the church. How can you use your gifts for the good of the kingdom? What are your ideas?
Your married friend
Lisa De Boer