Recently, I was struck by the popular marriage passage written by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. We will be looking specifically at verses thirty-two through thirty-five. I would encourage you to read the entire chapter to understand the heart from which Paul speaks these words.
“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
“Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit”
Have you ever looked at this season of singleness as a time to be devoted to the Lord? Earlier in the chapter, we hear Paul’s heart: “I wish that all of you were as I am.” This is in no way a boastful remark. Instead, Paul is sharing his desire for everyone to have the opportunity to live in full devotion to God without distraction.
To those in a relationship Paul blesses you, but to those still single he gives a special charge. To the single ladies out there, I am excited to explore this with you and to those married or in a relationship I hope that you can encourage other women in your life with this charge.
Let’s start out by getting one thing straight. As single ladies, we are not waiting to fulfill our purpose. We are called to be obedient in our purpose now, as we are to be in the future as our roles change. Our purpose will forever be to glorify God, our role may change but it is just a new opportunity to glorify God.
As we look at this idea in regards to the art of active patience, which we explored previously, I want to encourage you all to continue to find the joy in today.
Guidance from the Scripture:
- Devote yourself to God: This is the key to Paul’s message to the unmarried. Utilize this time! Draw close to God and live in full devotion. Trust in God’s provision. By investing in your relationship with God now, you are investing in the rest of your life, your marriage, and your family. (1 Corinthians 7)
- Enjoy fellowship with other girls: Throughout the pages of Scripture we find God stress the importance of community within His body. Titus chapter 2 instructs us in our relationships with both older and younger women. So grab a cup of coffee, be a listening ear and a voice of wisdom to the younger generation. Walk through this season of life with your friends, encourage one another, and push each other towards Christ. Be sure to continue to learn from the wisdom of older generations, find a mentor, and build relationships. Throughout the month of February, we explored the importance of mentorship. I would encourage each one of you to make sure you are both investing in others but also taking the time to be poured into. You can only give what you have in your heart.
- Work on your heart: I have found that a season of waiting is the perfect opportunity to grow. The art of active patience focuses on the present and what God wants you to learn today while you anticipate the future. Dive into the Scriptures, grounding yourself in His Word. Don’t become a “little women” susceptible to false teaching. (2 Timothy 3:6-7)
From the mind of Brianna:
- Enjoy doing what you love: Explore the areas which God has gifted you. Pick up a new hobby or take the time to do what is life-giving. In women’s ministries, we often times hear the word “refresh.” Find what is life-giving, within the bounds of God’s Word, and take the time to enjoy it. We can often get bogged down with life and need to be “refreshed.” God has designed the world for us to enjoy so let us do just that. Being in a relationship should not be our only source of joy. Believe it or not, you can be a perfectly happy single lady. Give it a try. Devote some time to doing what you love and see what happens.
- Cook your favorite foods: This may seem silly or insignificant, but I have found it is one of the simple joys of living independently. Looking into the future, when will be the next season of your life where you can make your favorite foods every day of the week?
- Watch your favorite shows obnoxiously on repeat: Another simple joy. No explanation needed, just a tub of ice cream, a couch, and Netflix. 🙂
- Pick a place and just go: Depending on your job, the season of singleness is often a time of freedom. I have found some of my best adventures have been spontaneous and often times alone. If you are more extroverted, grab some friends! Be spontaneous!
Use this time to learn, grow, and push yourself to be the women you want to be. We will not magically one day become a patient, loving, and devoted wife and mother if we are not working on our hearts now. Dig into the Word and draw close to Him.
I am a visionary, a planner, and tend to stress out when I cannot control the future. Here are a couple of verses which have encouraged me to trust God in this season. He is in control and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.”
This verse still places a sense of awe within my heart. There are many accounts of the Lord changing the hearts of men throughout the Scriptures and today is no different. He will provide and direct the right man within His perfect timing. Take comfort in that truth and find joy in the fact that God will direct his heart.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
Don’t be defined as a “little woman”, but instead stand firm in your identity in Christ. Trust that God is moving and respond in faithfulness with devotion today.