It's a Wonderful Life

If you stop and think about the singles in the Bible, you won’t find that many of them. Ruth was single until she met Boaz. Esther was single until someone discovered her hidden potential and turned her into a beauty queen (I guess you can thank God for every Disney movie ever made since Esther). Abigail became single for about a day after Naboth died until David heard about it and asked for her hand in marriage. Then there was my favorite single virgin in the Bible, the daughter of Jephthah in Judges 11 who was banished to a life of permanent virginity because of her father’s rash vow.

The New Testament list is even shorter. Perhaps it’s because after Christ’s death and resurrection, the context of relationship changed. No longer is your blood family your primary family. When you became born again and began walking in Jesus Christ, the context for your relationships shifted from the family you were born into to your church family, the bride of Christ.

The apostle Paul, arguably the greatest Christian of all time, understood relationships even better than Dr. Phil does. Paul himself remained single and spent much of his time writing about relationships and how to grow, despite the difficult ones. If you’re familiar with the Bible, then you know that 1 Corinthians 7 is the singles, sex, and marriage chapter.

Interestingly, in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul doesn’t refer to singleness as the resigned lot of those who aren’t wily enough to find a partner. He doesn’t describe singleness as a curse or a punishment or even a temporary state of waiting until the right man comes along. Quite the contrary. Paul is convinced throughout 1 Corinthians 7 of the blessing of the single life. Throughout the chapter, he uses three key ideas to describe the blessings of singleness, proving that singleness is indeed a place you can thrive in. Let me show you what Paul thought.

It's a Good Life

The single life is a good life. When God created the world in Genesis 1, He looked at each day He created and said that it was good. It was well done. It was perfect. The word good is a good word. I’m not much of a cook, but I appreciate good food. When I taste something good, not only am I pleased with it in the moment, but I look forward to tasting it again—the sooner the better! When I see a good movie, chances are I’ll want to rent it or buy it for myself.

Good is good.

So when Paul describes the single life in 1 Corinthians 7:8, it’s fitting that he uses the word good. Here’s what he says: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.”

The single life is a good life. No more wondering if God has given you second best. No more asking why everyone has been more blessed by God while you keep on waiting. No more misinterpreting God’s Word and His ways.

You have been given a good life. Is it permanent? Is it irrevocable? Are you doomed to a life of eternal virginity and aloneness? As you flip the pages of this book, I hope to an- swer every one of your questions. For now, settle it in your mind that God is big enough and wise enough to give you the best life possible—the life that thrives.

So stop wasting it. Stop wishing it away. Stop complaining about it and praying that it would change soon, and start believing the truth of God’s Word.

You have been given a good life, and it’s yours by design. Do you believe it?

It's a Purpose-Driven Life

Not only is the single life a good life, but according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, it is a life of purpose. Do you ever wonder what God wants you to do with your single life? Do you ever wonder what your purpose is as a single Christian without a husband to care for or kids to nurture?

Stop wondering and listen to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:32: “I  want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.”

I hope you pick up on what Paul is saying. Your purpose in life is to please the Lord. Your life will thrive when you become obsessed with pleasing the Lord. Later on in the book, we’ll further explore the meaning of this freedom that Paul alludes to and how every single Christian can take full advantage of it. We’ll also talk about undivided devotion to God and how to get it.

But for now, suffice it to say that your purpose as a single Christian is to please the Lord. You cannot please the Lord when you’re nursing a grudge about your singleness. You cannot please the Lord when you’re questioning His judgment and criticizing His will. You cannot please the Lord when you place your desires higher than His purposes for your life.

Your purpose in life has not been botched by your singleness. You are not a mutant in God’s design for marriage.

God created you for the sole purpose of knowing Him and making Him known. Your singleness is God’s perfect place for you to thrive. You don’t have to wait for your knight in shining armor to start living. You can know the Lord fully and serve Him wholly right here, right now.

What you’ve forgotten is that you do have a knight, but He didn’t come on a horse. He was born in a stable. He developed calluses on His hands, and died on a cross to call you His own. You were created to know Him and make Him known.

Are you living out God’s purpose for your life?

Excerpted from Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended (C) 2013 by Lina Abujamra, Moody Publishers.

Lina Abujamra is a pediatric ER doctor, author, and speak who helps people live with power by connecting biblical answers to everyday life. She uses the same skills serving patients in the emergency room as she does helping women build their faith and manage critical decisions. As a single woman in her 40's, Lina thrives in life and invites others to experience the freedom and joy of following God's unique plan. She serves as the women's ministry director as Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, IL. In addition, Lina shares stories of her faith at her popular blog, Living With Power.

Publication date: June 20, 2013