Six Steps to Deeper Commitment
Experiencing the joy of trusting God and serving others
February 1, 2005 - Over the years, one of my sisters and I have received suggestions from well-meaning friends about how to "find a mate." We have come to believe that if we want to be married badly enough, we can find someone who will marry us. But it is dangerous to insist that God give us our own will.
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
True joy is not the result of having everything we want but of gratefully receiving exactly what God has given us. If we are not content with what we have, we will never be content with what we think we want.
Certainly there are times when I whimper and long for something God has not provided. But over and over again, He brings me back to that wonderful place of trust and surrender where I say, "Lord, if it pleases You, it pleases me."
Do we truly believe that God is sovereign, that He is good, that He loves us, that He is committed to our lives and that He can be trusted to fulfill His best purpose for us? Then let us trust Him with holy, humble hearts, and love and serve others in pure, selfless ways.
Toward this end, I've considered several specific areas to focus on as a Christian single. Here are six of them.
I AM COMMITTED TO ...
1. Serving Christ With all My Time, Abilities and Energy
The season of singleness is not a time in limbo, waiting for the right partner to come along so we can get on with our lives. Those years on our own provide a unique opportunity to be devoted to Christ and His Kingdom in a way that married men and women simply do not have the freedom to pursue.
Rather than devoting their lives to furthering the Kingdom of Christ, Christian singles can easily get caught in the trap of self-seeking and self-fulfillment. But, contrary to what the world tells us, the greatest happiness is not to be found in getting our own needs met but in giving to meet the needs of others. Tireless, reckless abandon to the will and work of God ought to characterize the Christian who is single.
2. Relinquishing all My Expectations of Material, Physical and Emotional Security
All of us long for security and a certain level of creature comforts. Sometimes God is pleased to provide far more than we actually need. But sometimes He allows us to do without—to experience unfulfilled longings—so that we might come to recognize our need for Him.
As a single woman, I never want to become so settled and secure in a home, a job, a social group, or a geographic location that I am not willing to move or change the instant God wants to give me a different assignment. Count it a privilege to relinquish temporal security in order to follow Jesus and to be eternally secure in Him.
3. Being Morally Pure
I have made only a few vows—sacred, binding commitments to God—in my life. There is no vow I take more seriously than the vow to be morally pure.
Many years ago, I was sobered by the passage in Proverbs 7:26 that says, speaking of the woman with an immoral heart, "Many strong men have been slain by her" (KJV). Think of it! Many strong men are destroyed by women who are not morally pure. What incredible influence and responsibility we have as Christian women.
In a world that no longer considers the marriage covenant sacred, and where adultery and divorce are epidemic, as singles we have an obligation to do everything we can to strengthen others' marriages and to avoid anything that might weaken them.
I make a constant, conscious effort to invest in the wives and in the marriages of the men with whom I serve. Furthermore, I have been led to establish boundaries in my working and social relationships with married men that may seem extreme to some. Wise men and women will avoid any setting, contact or behavior that could potentially make themselves or others vulnerable to the slightest moral compromise.
4. Relating to Families
Whenever possible, I make time in my schedule to go to the ball games, piano recitals and other special events of my friends' children. I look for opportunities to jot a note of encouragement on birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions. When I need to run an errand, I often will call a couple to see if I can pick up something at the store for them, or to see if one of their children would like to come along for the ride. I make an extra effort to keep up with the needs, burdens, concerns and joys of the families that God has brought into my life.
As a result of years of conscious effort and investment, I have been blessed with "adopted" children, brothers, sisters and parents in various places where I have lived and served. What a joy it has been to encourage and nurture many of my friends' children in their faith, and then to watch them grow into mature men and women of God with families of their own.
5. Giving Extravagantly Rather Than Living Extravagantly
Many of us as singles have fewer financial obligations and, therefore, more discretionary income than those who have dependent children. This fact ought to be reflected in our giving. It's simple: Those of us who have been blessed with more resources (money, time, possessions) ought to be more generous in giving to meet the needs of others and in investing in the work of God's Kingdom. I don't want to possess anything that I'm not willing to give away in obedience to Christ.
6. Pursuing an Intimate Relationship With God Above all Else
Marriage cannot be my pursuit; I must pursue God. If God has chosen me for a life of singleness, then I will delight in His goodness and in His ability to meet all my needs, and I will seek to cultivate a relationship with Him that will cause others to thirst for Him.
I will not spend my life pining away for something He has not chosen for me. I choose instead to be His glad servant and to let Him take and use my life in whatever way will please Him most. For whatever period of time I am single, by God's grace, I want to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to glorify Him in our world. I want to live each day in His presence, living for His pleasure and looking for His soon return to take me to my eternal Home.