Pentecostal Singles: is being single acceptable in our churches today?
Every day, I get some very interesting emails from people from all the world. Most of them are just questions about scripture or Pentecostal history. I might even get a question about a ministry and what they are teaching. Sadly, I also get some hate mail like every blogger does. It seems one of the common criticism I get is about be single and pushing 40.
Normally, I take the name calling emails and just trash them and these type of letters are normally in that same bin. However, this one crossed me as it had a honest question that deserved an honest answer. It was not just hate mail but criticism from a pure heart. Therefore, I will respond to it in a like spirit.
I do not know you but you seem to be pretty old to be single. Is there something wrong with you that you can’t have a wife? I just don’t understand why you don’t have a family. It is normal to have a family in Pentecostal churches.
This is a sad thing that people really believe that everyone is called to have a wife or a husband. There is nothing even remotely biblical about teaching there is “the one” for every person. These idea that everyone is called to find a spouse is completely against the clear teaching of the New Testament.
Being single is a preferred status in the scriptures.
What does scripture tell about being single?
In the letter to the Church at Corinth, he wrote at length about issues related to marriage and sexual relations. It was a major problem in the first century and it is still a major problem today.
I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. (1 Corinthians 7:6-8)
Paul is very clearly telling us that being single is not a sentence of punishment or judgement. It is better to be single than it is to be married. He did not say that marriage was a inferior state or that you should be looked down upon for it. However, it is clear that the Apostle saw being single a much better place to be spiritually.
It is also important to realize that marriage is completely a earthly reality. The scriptures clearly lay out to us that when we rise at the Blessed Hope, there will be no marriage and being given in marriage according to Mark 12:25.
Being single does not mean they are not in relationship. It means they are devoted to the superior relational reality of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. They have committed their life to prayer, fasting, and evangelism instead of having children, careers, and mortgages.
Some people do need to be married
I know of a guy that moved across the world just so he could more easily fornicate. His passion in life was to be the best womanizer possible. He would go out of his way to practice his hobby as well. He was so in love with doing it that he even would tell other people that they should come and fornicate as well.
The reality is this man is not a believer and he will end up burning in hell but if a believer consider having the same “need” to fornicate; they should very seriously consider getting married. The scriptures are quite clear on this issue.
But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:9)
The story of this man is sad but it is not uncommon. I could tell you of dozens of men who go to great lengths to fornicate. It was moving across the world to find desperate women that need money in exchange for sexuality in his case. However, there are inner personal issues that create this need in most cases.
The first question that someone needs to ask themselves is “Am I called by the Spirit to be married?” If you do not have a clear call from the Holy Ghost to be married, you need to focus on being at the alter until you are altered; not getting a ring on some conquest’s finger.
What about Re-marriage?
There is a lot of people who want to have attempt two, three or even four at being married so they can have sex with women. This goes against our very values as Pentecostals. Marriage is between a man and a woman for life. It is not one man and three women throughout his life.
Marriage is something that people should take very serious and should only be considered under strict counseling from pastoral leadership. When there is broken covenants in the past of either party; it makes a successful marriage next to impossible.
There is a man that I have dealt with online that abandoned his wife in Texas and went to the Middle East to work. His love for money over rode his life for his family. He claimed that his wife left him (even though he was the one that went abroad without his family). Today, he is “re-married” to a woman half his age that was just desperate for a better life.
Building any relationship when you have issues in your past that are not resolved is not smart nor is it God’s will. Just like the man I just mentioned, most people blame the other party for the breakdown of the marriage. I have rarely heard anyone take responsibility for the demise of the covenant.
Anyone that is thinking of a second marriage needs to have a real heart to heart time with the Holy Spirit and search their hearts for motives. What would make a second marriage different than the first one that ended in the broken state of divorce?
Pentecostal Singles should be happy
I am mostly content being single and focusing on other things besides the issues of marriage. I do not judge someone who has been called by God to marriage. Many of my friends growing up in revival has went on to be married and have kids. I just have not had that leading from the Lord to follow them.
When I was in bible college, people use to joke about it being a bridal college because it seems that people were more focused on finding “the one” than they was being filled with the only One that really matters.
I have a lot of respect for people I knew back then that have went on to be married, have families and served the Lord in ministry as a result. I am not making light of God’s calling to to a martial covenant.
Personally, I do not feel the leading of the Spirit to be married at this point in my life. Could that change? It could but it is unlikely. This is partly due to my geographic location. I simply am not attracted to the women physically in the country I live in.
On a personal level, I do not see me starting a family. I am beyond the age that someone should consider starting a family. In just a few years, I will be forty. Having a first child at that age is not wisdom. Families are best started in their early twenties, not early forties. If I would have a child next year, I would be 53 when he is 15. Most men do not have the energy to father a son in their mid life season.
Lastly, the purpose of marriage is to be holy but to be happy. If you want to get married to be happy; you are clearly doing it for all the wrong reasons.