Myth #3 Singleness is not desirable for ministry.
Truth: Singleness has advantages over marriage in ministry.
I (Paul) wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 1 Corinthians 7:7
“Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I (Paul) and Barnabas who must work for a living? 1 Corinthians 9:5-6
Paul viewed his singleness as advantageous. A husband or wife is a good gift from the Lord but singleness is an equally good gift to certain ones of his children. God is not any less good to a single than he is to a married couple blessed with many children.
A single friend of mine said to me, “I just want people to stop feeling sorry for me because I am single! It is condescending for others to think that I am disadvantaged as a single.”
It is also an affront to the heavenly Father to feel sorry for a single to whom the Lord has given the good gift of singleness.
Should a person feel bad for desiring to get married? Certainly not, but neither should married couples assume that singleness is a bad thing for someone else.
Myth #4 Singles are incomplete and discontent people.
Truth: Singles (never married, widowed, divorced) are whole individuals because of the risen Messiah living within them.
“. . . but that you (unmarried) may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:34-35
“I have been crucified with the Messiah and I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me. The life I now lives in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Over the past three months I have been interviewing singles that are in fulltime ministry and over 35 years old. One woman said in the interview, “Lewie, as a single I am not a 65% person or a 80% person but because of Jesus within me I am a 100% complete individual.” It is Jesus who makes a person complete and content not marriage.
Because a discontented single is more visible and memorable than those who are content there is a tendency to think of singles as overall discontent. Paul serves as an example of contentment even though single.
The early church did not view Paul or Barnabas as inadequate because of their singleness; rather as singles they served as leaders and role models for believers to follow.
“Join together in following my (Paul) example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” Philippians 3:17.