Oh geeze. Another married Christian condescendingly patting single Christians on the head, reassuring them they are dandy as-is, and to remember they have the fictional Gift of Singleness
It’s just amazing that Christian publications keep getting MARRIED people to write these editorials about SINGLEHOOD, where they condescendingly lecture us adult singles not to feel like crap because we are single.
Well, gee, thank you, married guy! 🙄 Like I really need to be validated by married people. 🙄
I mean, you look at this headline (“Loveology: Biblical Understanding of Singleness”) and naturally assume it might be written by an adult SINGLE, but the first sentence says,
- I asked my wife to marry me on Christmas Eve.
🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄
Is it really THAT HARD for The Christian Post to find an unmarried adult who is over 30 or 40 years of age to write content for other singles? Why do they always go to married people?
The author also compares occasional problems he faces in his teaching career to the plight of a person over age 35 who desires marriage but who finds herself still alone.
Only a married person can seriously think the two are the same. It’s like equating a paper cut to cancer and saying “There, there, I know how scared you must be to have cancer, but, see, my paper cut is also painful at times.”
(Link): Loveology: Biblical Understanding of Singleness, The Christian Post
- BY JOHN MARK COMER, CP GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
- December 21, 2013|8:41 am
I asked my wife to marry me on Christmas Eve. It’s such a good memory. The kind that makes you smile when it comes to mind. For some reason, Christmas has always been a romantic time for me. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because love is a gift.
Maybe that’s why when a couple is in love, they are filed with a childlike joy. Remember when you were a kid? That feeling of trying to fall asleep the night before Christmas? It was torture, but the pain was so good! Love is like that. It’s like Christmas time. And the wedding day is like Christmas morning.
Marriage is hard work, long hours, and it’s anything but heaven on earth…but…it’s a gift. That said, contrary to what you might think, the same is true of singleness.
There’s a whole chapter in the New Testament written to people who aren’t married. It’s in 1 Corinthians, one of several letters Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. About halfway through, Paul starts fielding questions from the Corinthians.
And guess what the questions were about? Loveology, the theology of love. There were questions about sex, marriage, divorce, and, of course, singleness.
After all, the church was made up of followers of Jesus, and Jesus was single. This is interesting. As followers of Jesus, our agenda is to become more and more like Jesus. In light of that, should we get married at all?
Paul’s answer is surprising. He writes, “I wish that all of you were as I am (Hint – Paul was single). But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”
To Paul, marriage is a gift, and singleness is a gift.
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You may want the gift, but not have the gift.
You may have the gift, but not want the gift.
You may have the gift for a time, but not forever.
Or you may be widowed or divorced and get the gift later in life.
The word gift is charisma in Greek, where we get the English word “charismatic.” It’s a drive, a passion to do something. And this language of charisma is used all over Paul’s writings. It’s a calling and ability to participate in God’s kingdom in a special and unique way.
The “gift of singleness” doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to get married. We think Paul was a widower. Maybe he missed married life. Maybe not. Either way, just because you have a “calling and ability from God” to live single, doesn’t mean you don’t desire marriage one day in the future.
And it doesn’t mean that singleness is easy for you. It may be challenging. I have the “gift” of teaching. I believe it’s what God put me on the planet to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To be honest, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But there’s something deep in me that says, “I was made to do this.”
Here’s what you need to understand: singleness is a good thing. Honestly. It’s not plan B.
In the church, sometimes we make people who aren’t married feel like the JV team. Like they never really “made it.” If you’re in your 20s and single, the odds are people ask you all the time, are you dating anybody? Do you like anybody? Know anybody? And people are well meaning, but the subliminal message is, “When are you going to get married and actually start life like the rest of us?”
But life doesn’t start when you get married. It starts the second you fold your story into the larger story of the Kingdom of God, and follow Jesus forward. And Jesus was single! So was Paul, the leading theologian in the New Testament. That’s saying something.
So this Christmas morning, when you wake up and mosey on out to your Christmas tree – weather you’re married or single – remember that life is a gift. All of it.
John Mark Comer is Lead Pastor of Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland, Ore., and author of “Loveology: God. Love. Marriage. Sex. And the Never-Ending Story of Male and Female,” releasing Feb. 4, 2014.
Comments on the page, left below the author’s editorial:
by music note
- part 2. The Bible actually, if you look at it close, does NOT contain the phrase or teaching “Gift of Singleness,” nor does the Bible say God calls anyone to singleness or marriage. Both stations in life are depicted in the Bible as being left up to personal choice, not divine fore-ordination.
Yes, churches either ignore singles or treat adult singles like trash, but that does not mean Christians need to defend singleness in this manner by going on about a GOS (gift of singleness), and how great GOS is.
One negative outcome of the GOS teaching is that Christians use it as a ‘battering ram’ against singles over 35, like me, who still desire marriage; we older singles are told not to pursue marriage, to be content with our GOS, etc.
Older singles are actually DISCOURAGED from seeking marriage, told they are “idolizing” marriage, or “seeking to replace Jesus with a spouse,” simply for joining dating sites and so forth.
The GOS (sometimes also referred to as “Gift of Celibacy”) view is used to shame singles into staying single. GOS is simply not biblical. Stop telling singles who pine for marriage that they have a “gift.” Being single when you want marriage is a curse, not a “gift.” Just tell other married Christians to stop treating the unmarried with suspicion or disrespect for being single, rather than rely on maudlin, syrupy, non biblical “GOS” commentary.
GOS is an unhelpful cliche’ by the way. It would be like me telling a Christian married woman whose husband is having affairs on her and beating her up and giving her broken ribs to just “cheer up, because you have the gift of marriage!!”
by music note
- part 1. You guys can’t find a never married adult over age 35, such as me, to write things like this? I appreciate what this author is trying to do, but it’s jarring to click on a link that talks about singlehood only to see an intro that says, “I have been married to my wife ever since I proposed on Christmas Eve 20 years ago.” It’s actually rather insulting for a married author to reassure me I’m not trash just because I’m over 40 and never been married (yes, I want to be married). It reads as rather condescending.
Also, to compare teaching to the pains and sometimes struggles of protracted unwanted singlehood into your 40s to teaching, as the author does, is showing a certain amount of lack of understanding of just how painful it can be to be single at age 40 something, to live life alone.
(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage