By Bethany Beal, Crosswalk.com
I was one of those “undistracted singles” that was totally distracted by marriage. I spent half of my life totally focused on serving the Lord and the other half totally focused on finding my man.
That was Bethany Baird in her late teens and early twenties.
Somewhere in-between wanting to make the most of my single years and desiring to live an “undistracted” life for Christ, I got distracted. Really distracted. I so wanted to serve Christ, but I also really wanted to get married.
It wasn’t until my mid-to-late twenties that I finally understood and began to truly live out God’s call for my life.
You know that passage in 1 Corinthians 7 that talks about being married versus unmarried?
Well, the apostle Paul (the author of the book), is unpacking the idea that the unmarried men and women have a unique availability to serve the Lord totally undistracted. Here’s what he said.
“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
Do you see what Paul is pointing out in this passage?
He’s saying that singles have the incredible opportunity to have an undivided devotion to the Lord. Nothing is (or should be) distracting the unmarried from pouring out their lives for Jesus. I get that he was talking to a specific people in his day and age, but I think we can benefit from what he’s saying.
Singleness provides the unique opportunity to focus completely on the Lord.
I wish that I had understood this more clearly in my early twenties. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I finally surrendered my “ideal plan for my life” to God and truly began living for Him.
When I hit my mid-twenties, trusting God to work out my future (whether that meant marriage or not) became my new way of living. I daily surrendered my life to Him and asked Him to use me in whatever way He saw fit. I began pouring out my time, energy and focus on serving Christ.
Surrendering my future plans to God was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done.
If you’re single, I want to challenge you to take a few minutes to think about your life. Are you spending this unique season of your life totally focused on the Lord? If not, why not?
What’s keeping you from using this incredible season of youthfulness and freedom from serving God more fully?
Although I’m married now, I was single for thirty years. I know what it’s like to want to get married. I get the fears. I get the worries. I get the anxiety. I get the being a bridesmaid over and over and over again. I get all of that.
I can tell you wholeheartedly that the BEST years of my single life were the years I lived all out for Christ. The less I focused on finding my man, and the more I focused on living for Jesus, the more content and joy-filled I was.
I want the same for you.
Don’t waste your single years pining after the future.
Choose to live in a way that reflects the verse above, “that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
In my book, Love Defined, I have two chapters for single women. I wrote those chapters while I was totally and completely single. They come from a heart and life that gets what you’re going through. In chapter eight I say,
“As I write this chapter, I am still single. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have a valentine. I don’t have a man to whisper sweet nothings into my ear. It’s me and only me. Even with my complete and total singleness, I can honestly say that I’m not just surviving this season, but I am genuinely thriving. And it’s amazing.”
That can be you. You can be a woman who says, “even though I’m totally single, I’m thriving.”
You can be a woman who thrives on living all out for Christ.
That’s where true freedom and purpose is found.
I encourage you to read chapter eight, “When Your Heart’s Desire Is Unfulfilled” and chapter nine, “Five Strategies for Thriving as a Single Girl” of Love Defined. In it you will find the tools needed to become a totally undistracted single woman for Christ!
In closing, I want to clarify one thing.
Marriage is a good thing that God created. I love that so many single women desire marriage. My issue isn’t that so many single women desire this wonderful covenant of marriage, my problem is that we allow this desire to overtake our lives and waste these precious single years pining after the future.
Let’s choose to live more intentionally.
What’s keeping you from living a totally undistracted life for Christ? How can you change this?
Bethany Beal is head-over-heels in love with her best friend and husband, David, and is the cofounder of GirlDefined Ministries. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through blogging, speaking, and mentoring young women. To her family and close friends, she is simply a tall blonde girl who is obsessed with smoothie bowls and can’t get enough of her little fluffy dog.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Vangelis Evangeliou