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A Serious Conversation for Christian Singles

There comes a time in life when we need to remove the sugar coating and taste the real bitterness of the pill on our tongues.

Many of us have learned that we can fool others and even ourselves by wording things in just the right way or repeating a contrived philosophy until we've heard it so many times that we accept it as "gospel" truth. One of those sugary pills concerns the modern view of marriage versus what the Bible teaches.

Today's view of marriage says that it is something that should be delayed and put off until certain things occur in life such as a college degree, great job, a certain age, certain experiences, etc. The message most young singles take from that is that those other things are more important than a marriage commitment and that such a commitment could not survive less-than-ideal conditions.

And we're seeing the results of that materialistic philosophy. I'm sorry to say that it has become an unusual occurrence for two virgins to marry each other now days. As the average age for marriage continues to creep higher and higher, the virginity rate among singles falls lower and lower.

Why is that the case? I'll tell you just as I told my sister-in-law: "You can't fight God." What I mean by that is that God gave human beings a powerful sexual drive. Unlike animals, humans not only were designed to have sex for procreation, but also to enjoy as intimacy, affection and openness with each other. All of that was God's idea, not Hollywood's. And the drive is so strong that the longer it is put off or delayed, the more difficult it is to control because that God-given need for intimacy, expression and vulnerability grows inside of us. Marriage is supposed to be an environment and an understanding with another person that allows for sexual needs to be fulfilled. That's why we see so much sexual confusion in single land.

But what about the "gift" of singleness. Doesn't the Bible tell us that being single is a gift?

No, it does not. I'm sorry to say that because many of you have heard that said so many times that you accept it as "gospel" truth, but the Bible never calls singleness a gift. Instead, if you read 1 Corinthians 7 which is the passage people use so often to claim singlehood is a gift, you'll see that the actual gift part is to be able to tolerate being single, not being single itself. The gift part is said to be had by those who don't need sexual fulfillment.

I don't believe I even know a single person with that gift. The least I can say is that it is a very rare gift for a human being to have simply because God did not make us to be loners. He made us to desire union with the opposite sex from the very beginning. We're even told in 1 Timothy 4:3 that one of the signs of the end times is that people would "forbid marriage." Sounds a bit scary if you ask me, considering how many are abandoning the idea of marriage for lives of casual sex and single-parent households.

So maybe we should ask ourselves one single question. Do we agree with what the Holy Spirit said through Paul? That it is better to marry than to "burn with passion"?

I realize that many who might be reading this article want to get married, but have yet to find a partner. Many are in that situation because they were encouraged to postpone marriage by their parents or even church leaders. Now they find themselves in a wasteland, where suddenly their career consumes so much of them that they don't know how they'll meet single Christians who might be husband or wife material.

I'm convinced that if we taught teenagers and early twenty-somethings that they should determine their own sex drive and decide if they are "gifted" to tolerate a life without marriage, we'd see the virginity rate among unmarrieds skyrocket and once again men and women would give each other their virginity instead of adding another partner to the list and causing feelings of regret and pain. After all, It's not something that has to be considered very long. It's a simple question, in fact. "Do you want to live a life of celibacy or not?"

If you answer "no" then you are you just like Adam and Eve and do not have the gift of being permanently single. And once teenagers or twenty-somethings decide that they are not cut out for sex-free lives, they should discuss with their parents or mentors what age they would like to start seeking a spouse. That way, they have a time frame so that they don't feel that it is an indefinite wait. With a time frame in mind, they will likely be more successful at saving themselves for then.

Does this sound very old-fashioned to you? Well, I suppose Paul's idea of "marrying rather than burning with passion" might be considered old-fashioned to some. But it sounds very logical to me and seems to take sexual purity much more seriously than the "wait and see" method.

And if we are able to again create a culture that takes saving themselves for marriage seriously, then they will purposefully seek each other. They will ask perhaps even before the first date if the other person plans on getting married in the next few years.

So rather than sugar-coating single life as a "gift" that should be enjoyed, perhaps we should start determining if we even have the "gift" to tolerate that life. If we don't, let's take the sugar off the pill and get serious about finding a compatible partner with whom we can share our mind, body and soul in service to God.

Remember that you aren't looking for a so-called "soul mate" or a carbon copy of yourself. You are looking for someone who loves God, loves you and has similar life goals. God is a wise creator and has made us to be compatible with more than one person. So don't go looking for a Hollywood fantasy.

If you want to find a spouse, start by asking God. Then go to your minister or pastor and ask him if your church would consider joining with other churches to do as many in the Jewish faith do—have social events so that singles can mingle and get to know each other.

The Church used to do the same thing but, sadly, has stopped. I hope to see a revival of this. Also, find Christian singles in your area by using web sites designed to bring Christian singles together. The bottom line is, if you wait for it to come to you, you'll likely not find it. Remember, the Bible also says, "seek and you shall find" (Matthew 7:7).

It's time we started taking these things seriously.



by Lee Wilson (Follow Lee on Facebook)
© 2008 Lee Wilson. All rights reserved. May not be used without permission. Permission granted to use approximately one paragraph on a blog, forum or website and then a link to this page for full content.

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Rating: 4.50/5.00 [6]

Author Comments
Harlequin



Joined: 19 May 2005
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 7
Comments: 3
 Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:53 am  Post subject: A Good Article...

Good points, Lee. The truth of God's design for marriage and commitment has largely been lost.

You wrote:
And once teenagers or twenty-somethings decide that they are not cut out for sex-free lives, they should discuss with their parents or mentors what age they would like to start seeking a spouse.

Unfortunately, too many young people have none to talk to about such things.
I think the root is from two main sources ~ rebellion and rejection. Rebellion has been around since the beginning and will be with us until the end. But the greatest number of young people I know are not rebellious ~ they are rejected. I give one example ~ A woman I know from school is married and has three daughters around 8-9 years old. She once proudly told me that as soon as her daughters reached 10 years old, she was putting them on birth-control. She said she didn't want any "unwanted events" happening, and she wasn't taking any chances. With that statement, she has basically told her daughters (1) she doesn't (and won't) trust them to make the right choices and (2) she doesn't think they're worth teaching or saving. In addition to teaching them to avoid responsibility, these girls don't have a chance to mean anything to even thier mother. Why should they respect themselves? Why should a decent man respect them? Why should God respect them?
This situation vexes be greatly, but it has taught me a number of things, not only about my own commitments to a future wife but also to potential children.

The modern world has a serious problem with sexuality. But sadly, even though it's a problem that's resolvable, no one is resolving it. We need to love our spouses and children and teach them the truth of waiting for, committing to, and loving thier spouses from the earliest possible age despite whatever popular belief might contradict God's design.
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
Dienomore



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:51 am  Post subject:

"If you want to find a spouse, start by asking God. Then go to your minister or pastor and ask him if your church would consider joining with other churches to do as many in the Jewish faith do—have social events so that singles can mingle and get to know each other. "

I think there will be fewer single mature christians if churches do what you suggest here.

Thanks Lee!-great post. By the way I am a new member and glad to be here. Hi everyone Very Happy

D
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
yanakis



Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:33 am  Post subject:

"Remember that you aren't looking for a so-called "soul mate" or a carbon copy of yourself. You are looking for someone who loves God, loves you and has similar life goals. God is a wise creator and has made us to be compatible with more than one person. So don't go looking for a Hollywood fantasy. "

OUTSTANDING!!!
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
GamingChristian



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 3
 Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:06 pm  Post subject:

Yup, this is something I've noticed to.. with delaying marriage until finishing college/university, getting a BS or Ph.D.

I've been told to delay marriage and focus on finishing my education first. In a way, I think my parents are right. I don't think any woman now (Christian or non-Christian) would want to marry a guy that hasn't finish his education and has a stable/great career. The way I see it, if you feel weak and are tempted to have sex during the time of focusing on school.. then it would be best to pray to God and ask for him to strengthen you right?

I think that the reasons teenagers give up on waiting to get married is because of the sexual intimacy shown on the media (Desperate Housewives, Soap Operas, OC, etc). They are not well informed of the consequences of sex. Most of the info they get on sex is through the media and their friends (who ignorant of the consequences most likely). The middle school I went to took a half a day during one year to showed a sex education video (but it was more of a.. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ONE HAS SEX). That video informed me of the symptoms, negative effects, whether the STDS were treatable or not. That video scared the heck out me. The video was gruesome. So if you (the parent) wants to teach your kids on why they should wait until they get married to have sex is to educate them (ask a doctor or research yourself, show them pictures of what happens).

"And if we are able to again create a culture that takes saving themselves for marriage seriously, then they will purposefully seek each other. They will ask perhaps even before the first date if the other person plans on getting married in the next few years."

Wouldn't asking the person on the first date if they were planning on getting married in the next few years scare them off? Imo, I would wait until the 3rd date or so.

I think I rambled abit... but that's just my thoughts after reading the article.
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
micheliz9



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 2
 Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:50 pm  Post subject:

I agree that waiting until all your ducks are in a row to get married is a bit futile. There will always be something more to do. However, I think there's something to be said for waiting a little longer to get married. Maybe more of a point of maturity. Divorce is rampant in our country, whether Christian or not. And perhaps young Christians are getting married so that they can have sex, before they are mature enough to handle marriage or know whether they are truly compatible with their spouse. Being able to have sex is not reason enough to get married. Maybe there's not necessarily one person we are compatible with, but I would venture to say there are few people we are compatible enough with to actually marry. We need to be able to know enough about who we are and who it is that we're dating to make a decision like that. If there is a couple that finds each other when they are young and decides that marriage is right for them, then by all means get married. Praise God and let him be the center of your marriage. We don't get married on a time line. Perhaps some people can decide when they are going to find the right one, but my experience is that it's in God's timing. I think we're selling ourselves short. Maybe we don't think that we can hold onto our virginity for long. I'm not saying that it's easy... but it's possible. We are, after all Christians. We do have the Creator of the universe on our side. Perhaps parents don't believe in their children, that they are strong enough to save sex for marriage and, perhaps we ourselves have bought into that idea as well... the same idea that the world is telling us. Parents should bring up their children in the ways of truth and have great expectations. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6. And praying for your children should accompany this; praying for your child as well as their future spouse. Likewise, we should be praying for ourselves, our relationships, and our future spouse. We will only be successful with our virginity, our dating, our marriage, or anything else if the Lord is first in our life.
Rating: 4.00/5.00 [1]
yadah



Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 14
Comments: 4
 Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:10 am  Post subject: Great article!

I've been feeling this way for years - that the church is trying to use God's standards for sex and the world's standards for marriage - and since God's standard involves no sex until marriage and the world's standard involves delaying marriage, we can't have it both ways. Those two attitudes are inherently antithetical.

In my experience, I was told to wait until I was married to have sex, but when I expressed a desire to get married, I was told to wait for that too. I wasn't done with school or I wasn't established in my career or I wasn't a mature enough Christian or I was just so young and had so much time or I needed to learn to trust God more. I can tell you, most people will wait for sex until marriage - if marriage is a realistic goal. If kids are told to wait for something that seems unrealistic or too far away, they won't.

Before anyone gets on a high horse and accuses me of lacking self-control, I'm a 35 year old virgin who feels like I have been snowed. Even when I wised up and realized that the my generation was being told schizophrenic mixed messages about marriage, I couldn't do anything because all the guys in my age group who I would possibly marry had been given the same message. And, while "waiting" they ended up having sex anyway, so somehow the "wait for sex" got lost but the "wait for marriage" stayed intact.

Then there are the standards for marriage. They keep getting higher every year. Married couples look at singles and expect all of this maturity, but they forget that, when they started out, they were "dumb" too. If they had to meet the marriage standards they give to singles, they would never have married.

And the waiting too long plus the sex in the meantime keeps standards artificially high. People can be choosy about who they marry if they are having sex in the meantime. If we really told kids they couldn't have sex until marriage, but they could get married around age 20 or so, not only would they be more likely to wait, they probably wouldn't have unrealistic expectations of a spouse when they finally got around to picking one.
Rating: 5.00/5.00 [1]
vivkir



Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:24 am  Post subject: Thanks

Thank you so much for writing this article. It is so true. Singles actually are encouraged to suppress their desire to get married or act as if the burning does not exist. I am sorry to say this but it sometimes seems like they want people to stay single as to keep them working around the church more and not obtaining their own desires. I do know that the single care for the things of the Lord, but to everything there is a season. I pray that my season for singleness is coming to an end soon. I desire to be married and to have kids. I believe God is pleased with that and not with me constantly fighting sexual temptation or lonliness. I will still continue my service in the church.
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
knwest7



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:42 am  Post subject: A Different View

Lee I just want to state that I am in a Pauline Epistles class, and I appreciate your heart on this matter. When Paul says it is 'better to marry then burn with passion' he was saying that because in Paul's day the desire for sex was viewed differently then today. The desire to Paul was a heating of the body that was bad for the first century people thought that one could literally burn from the inside out because of this passion, so Paul thought that marriage would diminish that desire. In Paul's hierarchy of having sex or the lack there of, he valued celibacy above marriage. As 21st century people we forget that the culture in Biblical days were totally different and we should learn that culture to see the context and content in its purist form.

A little culture info:
In the first century it was believed that both men and women had sperm, and sperm was seen as the source of power and strength. Athletes would hang cold metal around the testicles at night so that they would not lose any sperm at night. It was also believed that the heat created by passion and desire in males during sex could even burn up the woman. The woman in those days were looked at as a vessel and nothing more. They way that first century people looked at marriage is completely different than we do today.

So when trying to make scripture conform to our views today is really hard because we do not get the fullness of what Paul was saying. Plus when Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians, he believed that Christ was coming back then.

Also back then when people did get married it was when the people were about 17-18 because women back then went through puberty a lot later than girls do today.
Rating: 0.00/5.00 [0]
leaps&bounds



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:13 pm  Post subject: soul mate?

Thank you, Lee, for addressing Satan's lie about a "soul mate".
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EradifyerAO@gmail.com



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Dating Articles for Christians. Dating Advice.: 0
Comments: 1
 Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:33 pm  Post subject:

I have this phrase that keeps coming back to me: "You will always miss 100% of the the Opportunities you never take."
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