As part of our date nights, Cheryl and I have been (slowly) working our way through John Piper’s “This Momentary Marriage” (thanks Rainbow for getting it for us!). It’s a great book and we’ve learnt so much from reading and trying to apply the truths in our lives.
Cheryl’s been sick recently so last night I had the joy of reading our latest chapter out to her, titled “Single in Christ: A Name Better than Sons and Daughters”. As I was reading it out to her, we had to keep stopping just to digest the awesome points that were being made about the Bible’s teaching on singleness – and how it applied to us!
Singles, as “eunuchs for the kingdom” (Matthew 19:12) have a crucial Christ-exalting calling.Â Here’s an excerpt (emphases and bible references mine):
So I say again to all singles in Christ, God promises you blessings in the age to came that are better than the blessings of marriage and children. And with this promise, there comes a unique calling and a unique responsibility. It is not a calling to extend irresponsible adolescence into your thirties. It is a calling to do what only single men and women in Christ can do in this world, namely, to display by the Christ-exalting devotion of your singleness the truths about Christ and his kingdom that shine more clearly through singless than through marriage. As long as you are single, this is your calling: to so live for Christ as to make it clearer to the world and to the church
- that the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ (John 3:3, Gal 3:26, 1 Pet 1:3-4);
- that relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families (Matt 12:48-49, Lk 11:27-28, Mk 10:29-30);
- that marriage is temporary (Matt 22:30) and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along: Christ and the church (Eph 5:31-32) — the way a picture is no longer needed when you see face-to-face;
- and that faithfulness to Christ defines the value of life; all other relationships get their final significance from this. No family relationship is ultimate; relationship to Christ is.
(Note: Piper bases much of this chapter from Barry Danylak’s “A Biblical Theology of Singleness”)
I hope these points are an encouragement to our unmarried brothers and sisters in Christ – you can help us to see these truths clearer!