Christmas time is here!
Meaning our timelines will be filled with, if not already, gingerbread houses, eggnog, Ugly Christmas sweaters, office party candids, and the occasional proposal. The 25th will be saturated with family time, Christmas clapbacks, laughter, confections, and presents! & O how we love the presents! Of course, we can buy our own by now, but hey it feels much better to receive it from someone else. That “Ah-ha, you get me” moment melts the hearts of most, especially if the gift is coming from someone you love. Well, this Christmas season I would like to shed to light one of the gifts that the Lord has blessed you with in this season–your relationship status.
Let’s open our Bibles to 1 Corinthians 7:7. The Apostle Paul begins saying, “But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another. To my surprise Paul refers to relationship statuses as a gift as well. Here’s why.
Single Bell Rock
Now, I know you’re probably wondering how on earth is my relationship status a gift, especially if you are single. Well, Bro-Sis, It is trust me it is. You are a well thought out work of art. Plus, Genesis 2:18 states that the Lord did not find it fit for man to be alone, so perk up precious your significant other is coming. Before we get too sappy, this passage is not about the joys of waiting on your future spouse, preparation for such, or how happy you will be when you’ve found him or her. This passage is about the gift of Singledom that God has personally granted you. Before you think about tossing or regifting, here are a few things to ponder.
According to Paul, the benefits of being single from a biblical standpoint lies in verse 32-34 says,
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”
Paul has a point here. As a single person, you have an ample amount of time to focus on God. Singles do not have the extra task of learning and pleasing another human, which can be pretty time consuming. Instead, singles should focus that time and energy on God. God must be the center of our lives and the main priority above everything else. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Being single affords you the time to court God and build a strong foundation that you will need for the rest of your life. A solid relationship with him will allow you to properly prioritize and nurture the relationships around you. It also allows you to build the skill set and zeal to honor the Lord in body and in spirit, as suggested in verse 34. According to Lifehack.com, Singledom also gives you the freedom to nurture quality friendships. You can spend and insurmountable amount of time with your friends. I would definitely enjoy the late night fun and excursions during this season.
Being Single also affords you the time and freedom to get to know yourself and establish your independence. Singledom permits you to create your own schedule, test every dream, and nurture every talent that God has placed inside of you. According to Huffpost.com, Singleness alots you a little more flexibility to be as selective with their space, time, energy, and money as they want. You have control over your finances, spending habits, time, and more freedom to do what you want. You can spend $300 dollars on a guitar, $600 on a cruise, $500 on a pair of shoes, or even start a business without a second thought. Singles have the independence to focus on your own desires without the guilt of neglecting anyone else’s. Single have a bit of an advantage when it comes to walking in their purpose because their attention is less divided.
Carol of the Bells
Ding-Dong. Ding-Dong. Wedding bells are a symbol new beginnings and pureness of joy. The Apostle Paul also expounds on why holy matrimony is also a gift given by God. Before anyone considers jumping the broom or waving their flag here are a few things to consider.
1. A Living Example
Marriage is a living example of the Gospel in the flesh. In Ephesians 5: 31-33 Paul says, “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” In verse 21 he says, “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” Married couples carry the honor of displaying the beauty and perfection of the Gospel in everyday life. They are to be an example by submitting to each other, forgiving often, loving deeply, and showcasing the light of Christ to all. Married couples prove the validity of the Gospel as they remain resilient through the good the bad and the ugly.
In Ephesians 5:25, Paul commissions Husbands to be confidants by saying, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.”
Husbands are commissioned yet again to care for their wives in a way that reflects that of Christ and the Church. To love her, lead her, wash her with the word, to sacrifice, provide, and care for her. According to MensJournal.com, married couples lead less stressful lives because they receive emotional support from each other, which surprisingly has more of an effect on men than women. Having a confidant also contributes to a greater form of psychological stability and consistency. You have someone to talk to about hard decisions, emotionally de-stress, share your bills with, empathize with, and down right have your back. Thisisinsider.com even suggests that married couples age more gracefully and live longer.
The Wrap up
Paul ends 1 Corinthians 7 with a call to freedom. In verse 23, he says, “ God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.[g] 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters,[h] should remain as you were when God first called you.” He further expounds saying, “Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.” It is important as children of God that we remain free and not bound by the impositions or way of the world. Don’t allow yourself to be a slave to the world’s time system or ideals of success. The Lord views both singledom and matrimony as gifts–just as he has blessed us with the gift of life and salvation. In Ephesians verses 37-38 Paul writes, “But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.” So, don’t waste current season, ignore it waiting on the next gift, covet what others have, or short change yourself because you haven’t received everything on your list yet. Instead, enjoy your current season and take advantage of the gifts that you have been blessed with because with new gifts comes their own set of responsibilities. God has given each and everyone of us a gift that we shouldn’t take lightly. So whether you are rocking to Single Bell Rock, caroling to Carol of the Bells, or choosing a life of solitude–your relationship status is a gift.
Have a fun and safe time this Holiday season!
Don’t forget your gift wrap.
You filthy animals.