Dear single Christian brother/sister
It’s been nearly two years since I left the single game to be married to the most wonderful wife there could be (I’m biased, I know). I remember with disparagement the days of my singlehood and am so very glad that they are over; yet I relive some of those chilling moments when friends ask me for advice; okay okay, I am making it out to be worse that it was- but like every season God brings us into, there are unique challenges and blessings, so don’t despise the season of singleness, but let God use it to mould your character… before I get preachy, please keep reading.
Probably one of the single greatest threat facing a single Christian is the temptation to date an unbeliever; now I know you already know that God forbids that, the Scripture is rather clear on the issue (2 Cor 6:14; 1 Cor 9:5; Deut 7:3-4). But perhaps the most graphic example of God attitude toward this is found in Numbers 25:1-9, in this story an Israelite brought in a Midianite woman, and in a very nonchalant way went into his tent with her for what he thought could be a romantic evening, when Phinehas the grandson of the priest grabbed a spear, went into the tent and drove the spear through both the man and the woman (obviously they were close together in the tent) and then God stopped the plague against Israel and was pleased with this action (see v11).
Why am I repeating something you know, well because I know something of the exceeding deceitfulness of sin; the first kinds of thoughts are, “What if I never find someone, will I be alone forever?” “All my friend’s have someone, I feel like I am missing out.” Pour into this mix some emotions of loneliness and boredom, and the thoughts continue, “Well it’s not like the Bible explicitly forbids dating unbelievers” This is where we start believing lies… and it gets sinister, “Christian boy/girls are all weird/snobby/ difficult/ [add in own negative term]” “Maybe it would be better for me just to find someone who I can start my romantic voyage with from the world?”
So if you notice the general progression (although this is just speculation based on many counselling sessions) one moves from despair and distrust, to bending God’s Word, to viewing negatively other believers to planning to sin. James 1v14 tells us this kind of thing will happen. Sin comes and offers you something, it puts forward its hand and says, “look this will be better for you, it’s desirable to make you happy, it’s not the most unreasonable thing”- if during this time you find yourself not in God’s Word much, not being ministered to by God’s people, than the ease with which to fall for this temptation is great, all the while God is saying, “Wait my child, I work all things for the good of those who love me and are called according to My purpose. There is greater joy and fulfilment in obeying My commands which are for your good, not your harm”.
Look at the heartache cause to Israel when they married unbelievers (Judges 3:6; 1 Kings 11:1-8). I have seen time and time again Christian men and women in desperation reach out in this way only to be burnt in the long run. One household with two different allegiances, one to God and one to Satan can only bring turmoil.
So the point of this letter is to encourage you not to lose heart, God’s plan whatever it is for you is better than the fleeting pleasures of sin for a season. Don’t entertain the lies of sin.
Your fellow Pilgrim