Singleness and Identity

Date: March 9, 2014
Study: In His Image: Biblical Manhood, Womanhood, and Relationships
Teacher: Kameron Slater

Knowing your identity is essential to a healthy life. Our identity is made up of several different facets: age, gender, marital status, career, major in college, interests, etc. Up until the 1950s/60s, only 5% of the US population (on average) was single. In 2008, the number has increased to 40% is still on the rise. There are three temptations when it comes to singleness:

  1. Church culture- Sometimes in Christianity, marriage is trumpeted as a major accomplishment or the norm that everyone should strive for.
  2. Parental pressure- Once a young adult reaches a certain age, parents may begin to inadvertently pressure their children towards marriage with talk of grandchildren, etc.
  3. Personal struggle- For singles, it can often feel like a part of their identity is incomplete until they are married.

Single adults must realize that their identity is much more than a certain marital status and there is nothing subpar or incomplete about being single. In fact, as Christians, there is really one primary thing we find our identity in: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Definition of Single: Those men and women in the church community who have the opportunity and freedom to use their gifts in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 32-35)

Perspectives on Christian Singleness:   

  • As a College Student or Employee:
    • Work hard so you can share with others (Ephesians 4:28)
    • Take advantage of the freedom in a wise way (Proverbs 24:27)
    • Don’t set a ridiculous, unsustainable pace for your life (Luke 14:28-33)
    • Build your life around the church: get plugged in, encourage others, and seek out accountability (1 Corinthians 12)
  • As a Son or Daughter:
  • As a Sexual Being:
    • “Some people tink of world religions as Christianity’s main competitors. Yet I think it can be fairly siad that the main competitor that Christianity faces today in the West is not Islam or Judaism. It is not atheism or Hinduism. It is eroticism–the increasingly uninhibited search for fulling our sexual passions in whatever form we please.” –Mark Dever
    • Be honest and open about struggles instead of ashamed and secretive
    • Be really careful about that temptations that come with a sexually pure life
    • One of the greatest dangers of singleness is isolation
    • If you’ve struggled with sexual sin in the past–realize the blood of Christ covers your sin if you’ve repented of it (1 John 1:9; Revelation 1:5)
    • If you’re currently struggling with sexual sin, combat it by confronting it and confessing it in community.
  • As a Christian:
    • God’s perspective on our identity should be primary
    • Identity confusion occurs when we let the things of this world define us more than God’s Word.
    • You fundamental identity as a single adult is that of a Christian (Ephesians 2:1-6, 4:22-24; Galatians 3:26-28)
    • Take ownership of your faith: make the transition from a “borrowed faith” (from parents, youth pastor, etc) to “my faith”.

Resources and Further Reading
-Singleness and Courtship: Lesson 1 & 3. Capitol Hill Core Seminars.
-Singleness and Handling a Trivial Pursuit: http://www.raanetwork.org/trivial-pursuit/
-Nine Lies in the Not-Yet-Married Life: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/nine-lies-in-the-not-yet-married-life
-A Single Hope: http://benjaminwilliamson.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/a-single-hope/

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