“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” 1 Corinthians 7:7 (ESV)
Several years ago, I met a young mother battered and worn from her choices in relationships. She quickly moved from one to another looking for that special someone. Typically, they would all start great, but eventually fall apart. It seemed like a never ending cycle and she didn’t know what to do. Let me introduce you to another person from years gone by. All he could do was complain about the incompetence of his wife. She could never do anything right and he often found himself reliving the good old days: no commitments, no worries, no wife. He spent so much time dreaming of single life that he was now looking for a way out of his marriage. Both of these people were miserable in their situation and they were looking for a change of circumstance to bring fulfillment.
The word that Paul uses for gift in the verse above is the same one that is used to describe spiritual gifts in latter chapters. Meaning, whether a person is single or married, it is a gift to be used for the glory of God. Yet just like the two people mentioned above, we often toss this gift aside and force ourselves into the other position, or at least let the ideas consume our thoughts. This is dangerous for both those who are single and married.
If you are married, it is a gift from God. No matter how you came about it, you are now married. So, God desires for you to use your marriage for his glory. There are many people that have lost their spouse to death, live regretfully divorced, or squandered the very gift that you have. Instead of looking for a way out of the situation, look to God for redemption. Your spouse is a gift.
If you are single, it is a gift from God. Use this time to relentlessly pursue the only person that can know you fully and will still choose to love you fully, God. When you accept this kind of love, it will give you a heavenly model for the earthly spouse God desires for you. I dare say that when you are completely satisfied in God, he will send you someone that is better than you ever imagined. Don’t waste your time chasing the opposite sex. Chase after God and let him bring you someone that is chasing after him with just as much passion.
Whether married or single, your position at this moment is a gift from God. So, cherish it and use it for his glory.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 5/5/16.