He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. -- Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)
The above link is to the previous devotional that started examining a recent article on Charisma News that presented a distorted view of the gift of singleness. In that devotional we went through an article outlining the "seven signs that you may be called to singleness" and it became a train wreck of personal experiences trumping scripture. While we established some important truths, it ran too long so today we will finish up with this article and hopefully provide some straightforward talk for my single Christian brethren. Although I am currently engaged to my beautiful fiance'e, I had previously spent my entire life single. The author of the article is David Kyle Foster and he closed with some general comments on four areas.
"How to Distinguish a Temporary Call to Singleness from a Permanent One. As previously mentioned, everyone has a call to singleness for some period of their life. Even a supernatural diminishment of sexual drive may only be a temporary grace. One way of seeking God's will in the matter is to set out a fleece (read about Gideon's fleece in Judg. 6:37-40). But do not count on that alone. We are all capable of "imagining" a result that really isn't there. Neither is God obliged to submit to such a fleece. Look for a multiplicity of signs, such as those mentioned in this article, or others. Look for unexpected signs--things you never would have thought up or arranged on your own. Don't even think about it until you have sought and received extensive healing from any area of brokenness in your life that might impinge on having a healthy marriage. Consider how God has led you thus far in your life's work. Is it one that a marriage could withstand? Has He called you into a ministry, for example, that requires 60-80 hour work weeks, as He did me? Have you thereby been invited to be a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God? Although not conclusive by itself, that is one element that might speak to a divine call to singleness." -- David Kyle Foster
This is where it gets even more dangerous. Beloved, there is no such thing as a temporary call to singleness. How do we know? Because there is no temporary elimination of lust! Think of what Foster is proposing here. That if you have a "diminished" sex drive, it is safe to try singleness? No it is not. Then he proceeds to ask you to look for coincidences in your life and attribute them to God! Having to work 60 hours a week does not mean you are a eunuch! People who truly have the gift of singleness do not have a diminished sex drive. They have no desire whatsoever.
"On Loneliness. Loneliness
should be a rarity for the believer, although it is epidemic among both singles
and married people today. Its antidote is a deep, abiding, intimate
relationship with God--especially God the Father. You may recall that Jesus was
continually pointing His disciples to a pursuit of the Father (John 15 and
following). The problem is, most of us do not pursue such a relationship with
the Father. We mistakenly think He is mad at us, doesn't love us or may ask
something of us that we don't want to do. So we stay at arm's length. The
result, chronic feelings of loneliness, whether married or not." -- David Kyle
Jesus did not call one disciple -- He called 12. The bible says to not forsake fellowshipping with believers. The super-spiritual solution of just getting closer to Jesus is once again pious-sounding without being pious at all. I agree that we should all enjoy a close relationship with God. While that may take the edge off, it will not however solve our human issue of loneliness. Being alone is a human condition. What is telling however is his belief that loneliness is a condition that should be rare for a believer. Says who? Not the bible. This once again comes from conflating the spiritual with the natural. Spiritual loneliness should be rare because we have the indwelt Holy Spirit but relational loneliness is of this world and it hurts. My single brethren know what I speak of. We start to wonder if there is anyone for us at all! We wonder if God is somehow punishing us or has forgotten us. Let's address these two misconceptions right now.