SINGLES: Always remember that there is so much more to who you are than a relationship.

When you focus so much on the relationship area, it’s easy to start thinking that you need to have a relationship to be considered a whole person.

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PRODUCTIVE SINGLENESS: This season of a person’s life is important because it teaches us a lot of things and helps us grow and mature into better persons. It doesn’t have to be a time of passive and futile waiting; it can be an exciting adventure of active preparation! 1. Singleness can strengthen our inward character qualities. a. Godly Contentment  A relationship is not meant to make us into a whole person – only Jesus Christ can make us a whole person. True contentment can only be found in an intimate love relationship with the Lord, not in anything else, including a romantic love story.

b. Gaining the strength to stand alone  Elisabeth Elliot said “Loneliness is a required course for leadership.” A true leader cannot be dependent on companionship for his or her security, but must learn to trust God alone. Singleness can give us this kind of backbone – courage, confidence, and leadership skills that any effective Christian must learn.

c. Discovering his gentle arms of love – singleness is an opportunity to allow Christ’s
gentle arms to encircle our hearts and discover how very much He loves us. 2. Singleness allows time to focus on practical preparation. a. It is a time for us to discover and develop our talents and life skills. i. God has created each of us with unique gifts, talents and heart desires. He has a master plan for each of us. ii. When a relationship comes in our lives, we who are individuals often get swallowed up, and our identity becomes wrapped in that other person. iii. Singleness is a time to seek Him with an undivided, undistracted heart. iv. Being single is an opportunity to discover who God has made us to be and what He has called us to in this life. b. Back to the basics i. Being married in the real world takes teamwork. If we have the mindset that we are going to rely on our spouse to do all the practical work of living a responsible adult life, we are in for trouble. In truth, most of us will be married in our lifetime. It only makes sense that we should plan and prepare accordingly.

HOW DO WE PREPARE OURSELVES? 1. 2. We should surrender everything that we have to God. Let Him take charge and have His way in every aspect in your life (which in this case includes our love life!) see Luke 9:23 Don’t try to just fit God in your life, instead, build your life around Him. Above everything else, we should always prioritize Him. Matt 6:33 Learn to love your spouse even before you meet! a. Learn to love from the Great Lover Himself. How? By leaning and learning from Him, you will become a radiant example of Him for the entire world to see. b. True love is based on a choice. It is a commitment that says “I will seek your highest good above my own. I will lay my life down for you.” Develop inward excellence a. Purity goes beyond skin-deep i. Our purity is a treasure. It is so much more than our physical virginity…it starts with who we are inside. ii. Temporary flings/relationship equals permanent damage! 1. Have you ever thought of your heart as a treasure every bit as valuable as your physical purity? 2. Have you ever felt the pain that comes from casually giving away your heart? From pouring all yourself into someone only to have that precious treasure thrown to the ground and trampled? 3. Giving away our purity starts when we give away our heats and emotions to people who are never meant to receive that gift. 4. As Christians, our standards should be notches higher than the worldly standard when it comes to our future partners. We should avoid jumping from one relationship to another. 5. Our attitude should be: “I’m already taken. Until God brings my future husband along and I know it’s him, I’m not available.” The secret to a heavenly romance is to begin practicing purity for your future spouse and cherishing him/her with your thoughts, actions, and words long before you even meet him/her. Even if we never get married, nothing we do in guarding or hearts, filtering our thoughts and cherishing our future spouse by the way we live will be wasted. It is not merely for our future marriage here on earth that we do these things; it is also an investment in our glorious future marriage to Jesus in heaven. Mattering far beyond what our future spouse thinks or feels, is what our tender Savior and gentle Lord Jesus thinks and feels.

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CONCLUSION: Our standards should be radically higher than the rest of the world! We should apply the very nature and character of Jesus Christ in our attitude toward the opposite sex. Our love-hungry generation is desperately searching for the “beautiful side of love”. But it is found on neither having nor abstaining from sex. The sweeter song is Jesus. With Him at the center of your life, you not only gain blissful hope for the here and now, but unquenchable excitement for the eternity before you!