Rather than leaving the game of love up to chance and serendipty, many people of faith feel it is important to pause for a moment and consider what God may want for their lives. Christians (including myself) do this for several reasons. First, there is a Biblical precedence for it. In Romans 8, the author of that particular section of the Bible, Paul, talks about how God’s Spirit communicates with those who believe, and that this spirit is their comforter, counselor, and guide. Second, life can be complicated, and if there is a Higher Being that not only loves us, but is also infinitely smarter—well, why not ask him if we should marry? Can A Non-Believer Date A Practicing Christian?
As someone who has recently been doing some questioning and pondering about love and relationships, I would like to share the stories of two women who have helped me gain insights about my own life through the ways they are living theirs.
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God Wants Me To Be Single
The first is a 21-year-old named Bianca. She lives in Manhattan and has recently graduated from NYU. This fall, she starts her first full-time job as a Math teacher, and she thinks God might want her to be single.
It’s a tough decision, and one that doesn’t necessarily come with a clear-cut biblical answer. On the one hand, the Bible fully supports the idea of marriage, and provides a template for it in Genesis 2:24, where it states, "A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Celibacy, Sex And My Christian Punk Youth
On the other hand, the Bible also supports those who want to remain single. In I Corinthians 7:32, Paul talks about his singleness, and discusses the benefits of that lifestyle. He writes, "An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided."
Bianca agrees with this passage, and is drawn to the simplicity of being single and able to devote her life entirely to serving God. She also likes the counter-cultural statement that type of lifestyle would represent. "We live in a culture that’s consumed with fairytale romance and thoughtless, self-centered sex," she says. Remaining single is a way of declaring that she doesn’t need either of those things because God’s love is tangible and powerful and even more fulfilling. Community Blog: Figuring Out Faith On A First Date
At this point in our conversation, I’m feeling motivated and almost ready to consider a life of singleness myself, but then I remember one thing: What about sex?
"If I don’t marry, then I do plan on remaining abstinent," Bianca admits.
"Won’t that be, umm, difficult?" I ask.
She laughs. "From my own experience, and from the experiences of people who are close to me, it seems that sex is one of those self-perpetuating desires. The more you have of it, the more you want it, and vice versa." Over the past few years that she hasn’t been sexually involved, she has watched her desire for it recede more and more. "For me, sex isn’t that tempting out of the context of being seriously in love," she says.
In spite of all this, Bianca is still in the process of searching and praying about her decision to be single, and feels that attitude and intent are of primary importance. "It’s one thing to be committed to singleness until something better comes along, and it’s another to be committed to lifelong singleness because you feel it is what God is calling you to. To me, that is a serious commitment and I would never want to make it flippantly."
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