This Book about Courtship Raised my Estimation of Singleness

I had decided that – after reviewing Boy Meets Girl – I wanted to explore one aspect of it a bit deeper in a separate blog post. It’s now been over two weeks since I finished reading it, but I feel like it’s been so much longer. Admittedly, I feel quite removed from the contemplations it prompted. Life moves on and new contemplations take the place of old ones. The lesson: write these thoughts out right away, next time!

In any case, this is a good chance to go back and revisit the things I was thinking about at the time.


NOTE: for readers who are particularly sensitive to sexual matters… I attempt to talk about these things in a graceful way, but please be forewarned that this post mentions sex.


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Are you familiar with 1 Corinthians 7? I would summarize that it’s a confusing chapter about marriage and singleness in which Paul writes to the Corinthian Church with some personal opinion and some non-debatable commands from the Lord.

It says such things as:

But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in life, and I want to spare you this.

-1 Corinthians 7:28

And:

So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.

-1 Corinthians 7:38

As always, I recommend you read the whole chapter for much-needed context. Read it online here if you’d like.

Whenever I read this chapter in the past, I would get that Paul was putting forward a case for singleness. I could probably repeat some of his arguments myself. But I wasn’t convinced.

Isn’t it interesting how God used a book about courtship to get me to understand – to elevate singleness in my eyes? (And it wasn’t by means of putting down courtship or marriage.)

In chapter 9, author Joshua Harris talked about “small” romantic expressions – the types of things Christians debate over. For example, some say it’s no big deal to kiss before marriage or to snuggle in certain ways. Others beg to differ.

I think Mr. Harris put it well: “The longer your ‘no big deal’ list is before marriage, the shorter your ‘very special’ list will be after marriage.” Earlier in the chapter, under a heading entitled, “Why Your Sex Drive Is a Blessing,” he said:

And not only did God make sex good, but He also increased our enjoyment by reserving it for marriage. If we didn’t have to wait for it, there’d be no anticipation, no buildup, no excitement.

-Joshua Harris, Boy Meets Girl

I would add, that it would be commonplace, which is what it has become for some people who have chosen not to abide by God’s law.

This is where my thoughts took over

For some people, the fulfillment of the God-given desire for sexual intimacy comes when – having kept themselves pure their whole previous life – they get married. 

For others, the fulfillment comes when – after having kept themselves pure their whole life – they meet Jesus face-to-face in His glorified body.

I don’t mean to suggest that such meeting will be sexual in any way at all. No! What I mean is that all the desires of the faithful single will be stilled when they see the glorious, resurrected Christ and everything is put into perspective. No longer will there remain any outstanding desire for sexual intimacy in the single, nor will they complain that they missed out. There will be utter satisfaction.

Marriage, beautiful though it is, cannot compare with meeting Jesus face to face.

And that’s how God used a book about courtship to raise my estimation of singleness. (Hop over here to read my review of Boy Meets Girl, by Joshua Harris)

Talk with me

  • Marriage or singleness?
  • Has God granted you to think of singleness as a gift?
  • What do you think of 1 Corinthians 7? Are there other passages that have confused you?
  • Also, I’m curious: do you follow my logic or does it not make sense? Sometimes I wonder…
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32 thoughts on “This Book about Courtship Raised my Estimation of Singleness

  1. I can understand what you’re saying. With singleness I believe we can be content in the Lord. Honestly I still imagine myself getting married one day if that’s God’s will. And I pray for my future husband. The thing is if someone’s desperate to find a spouse then they might lower their standards (godly standards). I think we must find contentment in singleness first though.
    God created marriage to be special, between a man and woman. And God has a plan for each of our lives. Some of us will marry, some may not. But that’s okay, we just need to try to follow His will for our lives.

    What about you? Singleness or marriage?

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    1. I definitely agree that singles can be content in the Lord! I’m not sure if they necessarily must be content in all regards if God intends for them to get married. On the one hand, it sounds like a good argument that even those who will get married should learn first to find contentment in singleness. But on the other hand, in the chapter I referenced, 1 Corinthians 7 (specifically verses 8-9), Paul seems to say that singles who are content in their singleness should remain single and that it is those singles who “burn with passion,” who should marry. He doesn’t seem to say that burning with passion is bad, but that it shows who should marry and who shouldn’t (or is at least a significant factor to consider). I don’t know if that makes sense. I have never read any literature putting forward a case for this kind of thinking… it’s just what I get when I read the verses as they are. I’m no authority figure and I could well be wrong!

      But yes, I definitely agree that God created marriage to be special between a man and a woman. And that He has a plan for each of our lives – like you said, some will marry and some may not and it’s okay!

      Me… I go back and forth. Some days I want to get married and raise a family. I think raising children in the Lord is such a beautiful way to make disciples. I want to be a homemaker and housewife and stay-at-home mom. I want to have someone to be together with for as long as we both live (I’ve had a lot of goodbyes in life as you may have guessed from our other conversation). I want to model the intimate and affectionate relationship between Christ and His Church.

      Other days, I want to be a missionary in a hard place, or serve in a certain way, and it’s not that I can’t do that while I’m married, but to me, chances seem slim that any man would have the exact same vision as me. And it is he who would be the God-appointed leaders and I would have to follow… and what if we both say we feel strongly about the way God is leading us… but it’s in different directions. If I would be single, I would be free to follow the way I feel God leading by His grace and to the best of my ability.

      So yeah… I go back and forth. And God knows the plans He has for me and I trust that He’ll make them clear in His wise timing. Any thoughts? Can remember any moment where you *ever* wanted to remain single?

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      1. To be honest the whole chapter that Paul talks about marriage and singleness is confusing.

        Have I ever had a moment when I wanted to remain single? Probably… there isn’t a time that comes to mind though. It wasn’t like one day I said “one day I’m going to get married”. So I don’t know.

        With you saying how you aren’t sure about getting married because you both might be lead in different directions…. before you got married I would recommend talking to that person about where they feel lead. I’ve seen it play out between spouses is that they have similar callings to their lives… which that isn’t every time, I’ve just seen it before. If you were dating someone and God was leading you in separate directions then maybe it isn’t meant to be.
        Regardlessly we just need to follow God’s will.

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      2. Yes, I think there’s so much mystery surrounding that chapter. A full-on study of it could prove to be very interesting and eye-opening.

        For sure! I think it would be unwise not to discuss with a potential husband what our expectations are for the future, and what we believe God’s calling on our lives is – especially if we are firmly convinced. But even then, people change. God doesn’t change, but people grow and mature, or perhaps become disillusioned. Do you think that’s what Paul was referring to in that 1 Corinthians 7 chapter when he says, “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.” Or do you think there’s something else he’s referring to?

        You said, “Regardless we just need to follow God’s will.” Indeed, we do!

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      3. I’m not sure… we can’t fully comprehend the Scriptures. I have no idea actually. In the garden in the beginning then God told Eve her desire would be for her husband but he would rule over her…. the husband is the head of the household so maybe it has something to do with that? I don’t know. And if I got married my husband would have to understand first that God is first in my life, then him and people.
        What do you think?
        Also, marriage would be something you would have to think and pray about a lot… some people you aren’t meant to be with. But maybe God already has someone in store for you.

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      4. It may be true that we can’t fully comprehend the Scriptures… but at the same time, we know they’re sufficient. (Such a glorious mystery!) Let’s continue growing closer to the author and leaning harder on the Teacher.

        Oh, I think I see the connection you’re making between what God said in the Garden and what Paul said about the married woman being concerned with the affairs of this world and pleasing her husband. So Paul was saying that part of the Curse is that married women have this desire to please their husbands which compete’s with their desire to please God (whereas a perfect world, the desire might be there… but it wouldn’t compete).

        Very true, Sarah. 🙂

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  2. -Marriage or singleness?:
    Well, I still prefer the idea of singleness. *hides* What? I really want to be a mother (and be married *coughs* that, too … although being a mother always occurs to me first …). Like, it’s always been my #1 goal … but I definitely see that being single has big advantages! I really hope God chooses to bless me with marriage, though. I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but I want to be the kind of person who leans entirely on God … but still is able to maintain a healthy relationship with her husband that isn’t distracting from #1 – Jesus!

    Has God granted you to think of singleness as a gift?:
    Probably not. *sighs* But maybe someday! I want to trust Him, but I’m just like, “But why would I want to live if I can’t have a family? Won’t I be living with my parents or alone or with some random people I don’t care about as much as I could care about my own family?” 😛 (Just kidding, partially. But I guess I just want the worldly things more than I want the heavenly things, like any old human …) (Okay, now I feel like this is gonna be a big pitfall someday.) (Probably is a pitfall now, although it won’t come up in my life right now; it’s still there.)

    -What do you think of 1 Corinthians 7? Are there other passages that have confused you?:
    Honestly, when I read it the first time (I was about ten), I was like, “I think I really dislike Paul … woman-hater ….” (Not that I’m a feminist; I was just annoyed with “Paul” for suggesting that singleness was a good plan; I thought, “Well, Paul must have had his heart broken …” Didn’t occur to me at that point in my life that all the Bible is really written by God!)

    Honestly, I don’t completely understand it even today. I feel that married couples can be focused on God just as well as if they were single IF they choose to be so/let God fully into their lives and be the guide of their marriage and everything relating to each other as they would have been if they were single. But maybe that’s just me being unwise. This whole chapter confused me in that way. I mean, I’ve seen married couples who are an amazing team and do wonderful things for God (my pastor and his wife come to mind; they’re pretty awesome … and my parents are pretty cool, too, although I may be a bit prejudiced, haha). And then the verse where it says, “man was not meant to be alone.” I suppose God’s Holy Spirit would negate the “being alone”, if you will, if you really trusted in Him … and I suppose needing earthly companionship is, well, earthly … honestly, I have no idea what to say on this subject. If you can make any sense of my ramblings, then you deserve an award. 😉

    Also, I’m curious: do you follow my logic or does it not make sense?:
    Sure, I do! I get what you’re saying. 🙂

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    1. …wait… I’m confused… you prefer the idea of singleness, but you really hope that God will choose to bless you with marriage? I follow your other paragraph (so I deserve an award? 😛 ), but I don’t get that first bit.

      I do get, however, that you desire to be a mother more than to be married. Have you ever read Kisses from Katie? She adopted children before she ever got married and was thus a single mother that way… not that I recommend it. It would need very careful, prayerful consideration! Her story just came to mind as I read your comment. It’s an inspiring story, which I recommend reading if you haven’t.

      You know, I don’t necessarily think it’s bad to “burn with passion,” as Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 7. I just finished trying to explain my thoughts in a reply to Sarah’s comment, but it seems in verses 8-9 like Paul doesn’t condemn burning with passion, but rather sees it as something that shows who should marry and who shouldn’t… with no discredit intended to either side. I elaborated a bit more in my conversation with Sarah, if it’s any interest to you.

      As you mention your pastor and his wife, and your parents, examples come to my mind, too, of couples in my life who just leave a beautiful example. It’s hard to put a finger on what makes it so precious to see… I think it’s because it reflects something divine – the relationship between Christ and His Church. Not that I always think of Christ and His Church whenever I see a couple who reflects it well, but maybe there’s something subconscious going on?

      Anyways, I’d better wrap it up. I like that you don’t shy away from long conversations about these things. But there comes a point where I might bore even you. X)

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      1. Um … actually, I just read over my comment and realized the word “singleness” in the first paragraph was meant to be “marriage.” *facepalm* I’m so sorry, Jordy … I should proofread my comments! XD

        No, I haven’t read Kisses from Katie. I honestly really disagree with the idea of a single young women adopting a lot of children? I know I may be wrong, but I don’t think it was a good idea … so I’ve kind of been avoiding reading that book. It just seems ill-advised overall.

        That’s not a way I’ve looked at it before … although I have always known that some people just aren’t meant for marriage. (A friend of mine suggested that “asexual” people might be people who are misconstruing God wanting them to remain single; “asexual” I guess just means not wanting to have, well, intimate relations with someone, which isn’t wrong – just that God doesn’t desire for them to remain single. If so, such a pity that it has to be associated with LGBT+ and all that! But that’s just a thought. What do you think?)

        I think that perhaps some people were made to perform better with the help of their husband or wife and others were made to perform alone. And some people who want desperately to be married may have to listen up to God and stay single … or vice-versa! It’s really not a matter of right and wrong so much as God’s plan for you, I suppose?

        Nah, your conversations don’t bore me. The longer the better! 🙂

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      2. Oh, no worries, Kellyn, but that does make a lot more sense, now. X)

        Oh, so you’ve heard of Kisses from Katie? I read about three years ago, but now that you’re saying it seems ill-advised, I’m wanting to go back and re-read it for what I may have missed back then. On what other levels do you think it could be ill-advised? I get what you mean about young single women adopting lots of children. I think as a rule of thumb, God designed the family unit to have both a mother and a father. But I think there could be exceptions, and that’s how I had thought of Katie’s situation when I read it.

        You know, I’m not very aware of the in’s and out’s of LGBT+, but based on the basic Google definition of asexual, your friend’s suggestion seems to have a lot of merit to it. I guess that’s what happens when people who don’t know God try to make sense of God’s world in their own unenlightened frames of mind.

        And if God doesn’t make His will explicitly clear (apart from our desires – one way or another)? Do you think in that case we just… have the freedom to choose?

        Hehe, glad I don’t bore you! 😀

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      3. Yes, I’ve heard of it. A lot of my friends love it. Well, I can’t really speak definitively as I don’t know the situation. For instance, I don’t know what Katie’s world was like financially. Was she not working? Who was supporting her and those orphans? If she had to do any kind of working, she couldn’t probably be a mother to them. Mostly, though, it had to do with children needing a mother, a father, and all the structure involved. It’s just the way God made the world. And … I don’t know what Katie’s maturity level was or anything like that, but she seemed like such a young lady! I mean, I know maturity isn’t definitively based on age … but … still. I guess it would depend on Katie’s motivations and what she felt God telling her to do. It just seems like a bad idea to me. I’m afraid I have no other reasons not knowing the situation well enough.

        I don’t know a lot about it other than the basics, but yeah, it could definitely be people not understanding who they are and that God made them that way and they don’t need to be “different” because they’re just humans that God has a purpose for … okay, that was rambly and incoherent …

        No, I don’t think we really have the freedom to choose. I mean, we do, but to obey God, I think we need to search for what He truly wants for us. I think He does have a purpose for everyone – whether married or single. And if He isn’t making it clear (e.g. you’re not listening, haha), then don’t worry, and I think it will come clear. I really don’t believe God leaves people hangin’, if you will. 😉

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      4. I get it! I think those are all good reasons to question the arrangement (at least without knowing more details, and I don’t think it’s necessary to immediately chase an answer for every hint of a question or dilemma that we face in life… I don’t even think it’s possible; there are just too many! There are more important areas of interest to focus on in our relationship with God!)

        Hehe… no I totally get what you’re saying.

        What about… do you think God uses our (pure) desires as a means to make His will clear to us? This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently – not only as it relates to marriage, but as it relates to our whole path in life… what jobs we pursue (or don’t pursue) where we live, how we spend our time, etc. I go back and forth a lot, much to my shame.

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      5. Yes, I don’t think it’s really important for me to go into every little detail before I even know how it happened, etc., and even so, I don’t think that I have the time or if it’s a useful way to spend my time!

        It’s interesting that you’d ask that, because I was just reading a book about some missionaries (I honestly can’t spell their last names … Harmon and Lula I can remember, though, haha …) who went to Swaziland (Africa) in 1909 (I believe). To me, it reads like semi-fictional, semi-biographical, though I don’t know the author’s intent. Anyway, basically, Harmon and Lula are in a group of missionaries going over to Swaziland, and they start to fall in love – but they immediately think, “The devil is tempting me with these emotions,” etc. Then one of the other missionaries sat down with Lula and said, “How do you know you’re not meant to marry? If you want it that bad and nothing stands in the way, why wouldn’t God bless you?” Lula basically said, “Well, I’m going to be a missionary, and God said we should remain as we are called – single, married, slave, free, etc. Also, I’m afraid that Harmon would take Jesus’ place in my life.” And the missionary said, “If he were to march in here and ask to whisk you back to Ohio with him, what would you say?” She said, “No, of course! I’m going to Swaziland no matter what.” (I’m paraphrasing all of this, just so you know! Not the actual words.) Basically, the other missionary went on to suggest that perhaps marriage was what God had in mind for her as Harmon would definitely be more than a help than a hinder, and it wasn’t like she was putting him or her need to be with him about God.

        I’m not sure how the author will spin it, but it seems to me that Lula and Harmon refusing to admit that God has put them together was what was hindering them. While they thought it would be wrong to marry, it was really wrong for them to stay single … and their doubts were really the problem, not their affection for each other in this particular situation. (Although I suppose even if they weren’t meant to marry each other, their affection wouldn’t have been wrong so much as acting upon it by marriage … but on the other hand, does God let us love people – truly love them in a truthful, actually loving way – that He means for us to ignore? Especially if we’re following His will. I don’t know. What do you think?)

        Later (I haven’t gotten that far, but I know the story) they decide to get married and go to Swaziland and end up being kind of trail-breaking missionaries together. I haven’t gotten very far yet, though … just started it last night. 🙂

        (Okay, that had nothing to do with your question … did it? It had more to do with just this conversation in general. I just felt like I should share it with you because I just read it, and it reminded me of this conversation!)

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      6. How’s the book going? 🙂

        Interesting, isn’t it, how it can be so easy to hear or read someone else’s stories and “know” what they should do or where they need to change their thinking… but when it happens to me I get so anxious and confused and I complicate things… AND I find it hard to accept what people are saying who are viewing my situation from the outside and have a clearer perspective than I do? In any case, one of my friends said it well (I think it may have even been in response to this post), that we should consider whether we can exalt God’s name better by staying single, or if, together, the two of us can exalt God better as a couple. I’m paraphrasing. That’s not how she worded it, but that’s what I got from the thought she expressed and it stuck with me. 🙂

        With regards to your question… No, I don’t think God would place someone in our lives who we actually, genuinely and deeply love – and whom He intends for us to ignore. But maybe there are other ways of loving that person besides marriage? It’s hard to say… I don’t know if this shows but I feel very awkward around young men (around young women, too… I just feel awkward in general). However, I can think of at least one young man who is not part of my biological family, and whom I think I have a non-awkward, healthy relationship with as brothers and sisters in Christ.

        …I don’t know if that answers your question…

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      7. I finished it. It was pretty good, if it did do a lot of time-skipping. I suppose that was the only way to cover a lot of time.

        Yes, I think there’s a lot of truth to that. It depends on who God made you to be and do. It really just comes down to trusting in Him and waiting and trusting in Him … and obeying Him as best you can in the state you’re in, of course.

        In that book, as it went on, I honestly almost started to think that their marriage was a mistake in some ways. They had … I think ten children? Though only six lived to adulthood; the rest died young or shortly after birth. And I felt that, at first at least, they were just overwhelmed and not able to serve God because they had to think about several children even as they were trekking into unknown land and trying to build a house and trying to teach people and … it was just crazy at first.

        Eventually they did get a lot of help and basically built a small village of converts and had a lot of help … but at first, it seemed so hopeless! Yes, they were able to accomplish great things with each other … but I almost wonder if they would have done better separately, or as a group of other believers, or something like that, even if it turned out all right in the end. I don’t think I’ll ever know if they really followed God’s will for them or not … only that it did turn out all right even if they suffered a lot in the beginning. But would they have suffered the same amount if they hadn’t been married with children? I don’t know. I think this is honestly beyond me …

        Yes, I feel the same way. I don’t really believe God makes you ACTUALLY love someone (more than a passing fancy, though at the time it may seem real just because) and then doesn’t allow you to be with them. But yes, it is possible to have a normal, healthy relationship with a man you’re not married or related to … I know several young men who I feel that way about. We’re just friends, I’m perfectly fine with that, and I’m gonna hope they are too, because that WOULD be awkward. 😛

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      8. Yeah, based on your summary of the story, I don’t know either. Sometimes it’s really inspiring to read how people go through times of suffering like that couple did and see the big picture through to the end. I don’t think that their suffering necessarily means they chose wrong.

        I also think that it’s helpful for us to consider these situations *to the extent* that doing so helps us strengthen our own convictions and love for God. Otherwise, may we have a heart that is able to say, like David, “My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.”

        As for our question about marriage and singleness, I think that in the meantime – even amidst the trusting in Him and waiting and trusting in Him that you mentioned – there’s a lot for us to busy ourselves with. What about the character building? Investing in the lives of peers and younger women? What about learning life skills like cooking and cleaning and budgeting and time management? What about practically living out God’s love and what about reaching out to the lost and making disciples? There’s just so much that we CAN do as singles… even young singles. In my life, I’ve been coming to appreciate the value of hospitality and housekeeping (on a practical level) as a Christian. What does it look like for you? (I don’t discount writing, but I do already have an idea that it’s part of the equation. 🙂 )

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      9. No, of course not, just because it didn’t all go perfectly doesn’t mean they chose wrong … I was just wondering if they could have done better by themselves without babies and pregnancies and deaths and difficult births and all that.

        Yes, I think just being a good Christian and living your life and not worrying about it too much (God’s got it all under control, after all) is very important. Marriage vs. singleness obviously doesn’t make a big difference in my life right now as I’m not old enough to get married, so there’s really no choice there! 😛

        Well, I admit I really hate cooking and cleaning … baking, however, I can get along with. And I don’t mind budgeting; mostly because I don’t spend money often so it’s easy. 😉 (Okay, yes, I’ll answer seriously!)

        Writing honestly doesn’t take the biggest chunk of my time right now, and neither does blogging (which is weird because it used to). Mostly, I focus on school, school-related things, and work; seems to take up most of my days. Home economics and budgeting (stewardship, banking, economics, basically anything related to money) are actually classes for me this year! And then of course I have chores and helping out around the house and outside, too.

        I admit I’m not involved in a lot of ministry. Sure, help at AWANAs (it’s a weekly meeting where we basically teach children Bible’s verses and stories and play games … I’m not sure how widely known it is), but that’s about it. I don’t know a lot of non-Christians, and I struggle a lot with meeting new people.

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      10. Yes, that’s true. Perhaps they could have done a better job as singles. I suppose we can only speculate…

        Yes, God does have it all under control. And I think there’s a beauty to simply living life as His child. ❤

        Have you ever tried budging for your family (for meals for example)? I'm not trying to convince you that you should; our conversation just reminded me that this is something my sister did once. Mum allowed a certain amount of money for meals per month, and her job was to plan the meals accordingly and budget for the different ingredients/meals. I thought that was an excellent way for her to learn and practically apply life skills. And I can testify that she's now very capable. 🙂

        Good on you for focusing on your studies. X) I won't argue that you need to write more. Haha!

        And yes, I have heard of AWANA, though I've never participated. Honestly, I'm not involved in a lot of ministry right now either – if you count ministry to be gestures of pure volunteer associated with a particular group or project. But I think ministry is meant to be so much more; that it's meant to be integral to our everyday lives and actions and interactions with everyone we come across. In that sense, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. It varies day to day depending on how much I live by God's grace and strength.

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      11. My mom is always telling me that I should try doing meals for a month or something like that, but she’s never got around to it. I was supposed to do a lot of stuff this year we have gotten to, I’m afraid. Hopefully soon, though. My family has been having a stressful year with my dad being sick and my mom being stressed, but hopefully we’ll get on top of some things again.

        Yes, I agree with that. I never really leave the house, though. xD I mean, I guess I go to work, but then I don’t talk to anyone but my boss. I suppose there’s always my family. 😛

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      12. Ah, yes… the grinding machine of life that seems to keep us from ever doing what we’ve intended to do for so long! I get that. :/ I’m sorry to hear that your dad has been sick. If it’s not too sensitive a topic, may I ask if he’s getting better?

        Your boss could be your “mission field” then, haha, or your family. (Not mission field as in people to tell about Jesus, but just people to love and treat with the same mindset as Christ. And though I write it with a “haha,” I do mean it. I think there are sure ways to “minister to” your family. I hope that as you do, you yourself will be encouraged and strengthened by the grace of God. Thinking of you tonight, Kell. ❤

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      13. No, it’s not too sensitive a topic. No, not really, though he seems to be up and about a lot more. He’s lost almost all of his strength and he’s in a lot of pain. It’s some form of arthritis, but … with different kinds of things. We’re really not sure. We think it comes from working so hard all his life.

        Yes, definitely my family and anyone else I come into contact with. My work is actually a fairly Christian environment, which is cool. 🙂

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      14. Again, I’m sorry your dad is sick. I’m pausing now to pray that hope and an eternal perspective will be an anchor to your and your family’s souls to carry you through the roughest days.

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      15. I know, I know… I’m jumping into your conversation. I was reading the other comments and wanted to share my opinion about something .:. (Sorry if I’m intruding).

        I’ve read the book Kisses from Katie and really enjoyed it. I was curious though about being a single mother with adopting children… because I know it’s important to have a father as the head of the household , etc.. I asked my dad about it (I trust him as a godly influence and his guidance) and I got the impression that it’s depends. For Katie, she was adopting those children… they needed a mother, a home. They had nothing. She loved them and became their mother. I see nothing wrong with that. As Jordy said it requires a lot of prayer. But so does all your other things you decide. Singleness, marriage, children, no children … we need God’s wisdom with it all.

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      16. Oh, and regarding your message Sarah, sorry I didn’t see it before when I was responding to Kellyn! think it’s great for us to discuss these things… as iron sharpens iron we can learn from each other.

        I did mention what I thought about Katie’s adoptions in my response to Kellyn, but since you bring it up, I’ll go into my thoughts in a bit more detail. I agree with you that it’s important to have a father as the head of the household. I think that’s a dependable rule of thumb. For the children she adopted, I think their “family” situation improved as they moved from their previous arrangements to becoming Katie’s children. Though they still had no father, they at least had a mother. I think that if the decision was not godly or healthy for anyone, it was not healthy for Katie. She had a lot to bear and I think that God generally intends for women not to bear so great a burden without a man

        In the end, I think I just don’t know. I can’t form a solid verdict just from reading the book. Even if I knew Katie in person, there are just parts of our hearts that only God knows. But since, based on the book, I assume Katie is a sister in Christ, I give her the benefit of the doubt. 🙂

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      17. I can see what you mean Jordy… we can’t know the heart. But there are times when you have to be a single parent such as if your husband passed away. The children she took in had no one. I agree that it’s God’s general intention to have the husband and father as the head of the household. It’s hard to be able to tell in situations like this… but if she didn’t adopt them who knows what could have happened to them. But that’s also a huge decision to make which you would need to rely on God.

        James 1:5-7 says, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

        Sometimes we don’t know the answer… and sometimes that’s okay. Let’s just try to lean on the Lord and His wisdom.

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      18. Some great reflections, Sarah, and a good conclusion. 🙂 Sometimes we don’t know the answer and sometimes that’s okay. His grace sustains us. (Oh, and yes. Certainly single mothers cannot be condemned for being single mothers when their husbands have passed away. On the contrary, we should come alongside them, grieve with them and seek to help them in practical ways.)

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  3. Yes! I definitely followed this post, and I really liked what you said, because those passages in Corinthians have been a bit of a mystery to me. I sort of put it down to Paul’s personal opinion on the matter, but I feel it’s dangerous to start discrediting parts of the Bible because it’s the author’s opinion. It’s still all inspired by God! So yes, thanks for this perspective. It was a ‘wow’ moment for me. 🙂

    As far as marriage or singleness, I think that’s something best left up to God – only He knows. (I realize you’re not saying anything different here!) Personally, I also think it’s best not to fantasize about either, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. I feel like a lot of young girls waste precious time dreaming about having a boyfriend/planning a wedding/getting married, and developing expectations that aren’t necessarily fulfilled creating disappointment.

    I heard an analogy which I keep in mind and hope will guide me should I be faced with the decision to marry or not: our life’s purpose is to bring glory to God. So if being single means I will bring Him most glory; that’s my calling. If being married means together we can bring Him more glory than being apart, then that’s my calling. In the end, it all comes down to God.

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking about posting something related to singleness, so maybe if that happens it will explain what I mean a bit more! Thanks again for this post – and I have to add, I have been blessed by your other recent posts too, even though I haven’t gotten to comment. 😦

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    1. Oh, I’m glad that you followed! Do you know the feeling of wondering if you’re getting across what you mean in your head?

      Calling 1 Corinthians 7 a bit of a mystery – that’s an even better way to put it than to call it confusing. God’s not a God of confusion, but He certainly does confound and is far beyond our understanding. But Paul even says with his own words that some portions of the chapter are him speaking, “not the Lord” (to quote the NIV). What are we to make of that? The closest I can come to an answer is that he wrote as one “who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy” – verse 25. I’m sorry, I feel like I’m on the verge of writing a whole new post here in this comment… Hehe, I think I should stop. Have you had any further thoughts on how we should receive opinions that are included in the inspired Word of God? (Like the opinions of Jobs friends who sometimes seem to say wise things…)

      That’s a really great analogy, Jess! It’s really helpful, too, in that the answer may change with the season, so it allows us to focus on what will bring God the most glory *now*. It reminds me of one Lady I know of (not personally) who thought she would stay single forever, probably because for decades she could glorify God most through her ministry as a single. Then, she got married later in life and at her wedding were banners that read “To God be the Glory.”

      You’re sweet to mention my other recent posts. 🙂 No pressure to comment… I’ve come to see you as a friend apart from your comments anyway. Though I do appreciate the time and effort you take when you do. They’re not unnoticed!

      I look forward to your posts! If you write about singleness and marriage in the near future, I will be eager to read your thoughts… but I’m usually eager no matter what you post about.

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      1. Yes, I know that feeling. It’s always encouraging to know things are making sense to others. 🙂

        To be honest, I don’t know what to do with passages like that because Paul is quite specific that it’s his own thoughts, but then it’s still in the Bible and all scripture is profitable to us (2 Timothy 3:16). I’d be very interested if you do develop your thoughts into a post sometime!

        Thanks for your kind encouragement. 🙂

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  4. First, I want to mirror what Jessica said. Even though I don’t comment on every post, they still encourage me, and I appreciate the time and thought you put into each topic. But it’s always nice to catch up with you on here… 🙂

    I enjoyed reading the other in-depth comments. After seeing what everyone else wrote, I really don’t have much to add. And I think we’ve talked together about this topic already…but I’ll still share my side. 😉

    No, I don’t feel called to singleness. Being a wife and mother has been my dream longer than I have even been writing. But that doesn’t mean God won’t call me to be a single woman – and if He does, I know He’ll also give the strength to live it out. (Praise God!) But I hope that won’t be His plan, to tell the truth. 🙂

    In the spring, I first came upon the idea of singleness and thought about it in a possible light. (Through the book “Before You Meet Prince Charming”, I think.) And I realized something…all my childhood years of dreaming of a future spouse who would be everything I lacked was actually me looking for Jesus. I thought of a husband being the one who knew me best – but Jesus knows my fears and loves me anyway. A husband would be strong when I was weak – but Jesus is our tower of protection. So instead of dreaming of a human who can bring me satisfaction, I want more of Him. It’s a lifelong journey though, and I’m still traveling.

    Jesus is our heavenly Groom, and He’s enough. But would I like to raise my own family one day? It’s a dream I still cling to, although I know His plans are perfect. ❤

    So anyway…thank you for raising these questions. I'm afraid I didn't actually answer the things you asked…but I'd love to hear your side. 😉 It's a hard question for me at times: Is Jesus enough?

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    1. I agree that it’s nice to catch up via blog comments sometimes… even though our friendship isn’t dependant on it. X) Thanks for dropping a few (hundred) words! I appreciate that you (and many of my other readers and friends) write well-thought-out responses!

      Yes, Jesus is every bit the fulfillment of what we could ever hope for in a husband, and fuller yet! (Don’t get me wrong, I still think marriage is a beautiful thing, but there is Someone more beautiful yet) You just drive that truth home when you refer to Jesus as our heavenly Groom. It reminds me of that post you wrote way back near the beginning of this year about Knowing the Groom. I guess, if you’re still using that analogy, those meditations have stuck with you. 😉

      Do you journal at all? It could be really neat to see God’s work in your life in this specific area by looking back on various entries that show your thoughts about marriage, singleness, and satisfaction in Christ.

      I think that when we discussed this privately, I went back and forth between marriage and singleness. I’m afraid it’s not much of a solid answer, but I still tend to go back and forth. Do I have to choose?? Both marriage and singleness seem like beautiful gifts for different reasons… argh! But thankfully (and to kind of answer my own question) I don’t think we have to choose. Well, not until a God-loving man proposes, anyway.

      A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself saying this honestly and in all good conscience, but I think I’m just content.

      Again, thanks for dropping by with some words! 🙂

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