Ms. Dora is a Certified Christian Counselor. Her views on singleness, premarital and marital issues are influenced by her Christian beliefs.
“Single is. . .a choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out.” —Mandy Hale in The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
The Apostle Paul, credited with the authorship of thirteen New Testament books and recognized as an authority on Christian, living also speaks positively of singleness. “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do” (1 Corinthians 7:8). Good, translated from kalos in the Greek language, also means pleasing, suitable, commendable, honorable and honest. This view presents singleness as respectable and enjoyable.
Following are five other adjectives extracted from the writings of Paul, who lived a purposeful, fulfilling life while remaining unmarried. The applications though slanted towards singleness, are based on his general counsels to the churches. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version, unless stated otherwise.
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise … Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." —Ephesians 5: 15, 17
- Happy singles are careful to discover God’s will (specifically His purpose for their lives), the spiritual gifts and talents He has given them to ensure their success, the most appropriate method of pursuing their purpose while enjoying their singleness.
- They are careful to choose the life that is right for them. Paul advised that if singleness becomes burdensome, “it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). Those who have the ability and desire to live single refuse to be forced into marriage.
- Wise singles respect marriage. They search among available singles for potential mates. No tampering with another woman’s husband or another man’s wife.
- Happy singles are careful to remain truly single. “Not even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:4) is acceptable in the life of a Christian.
Show me Christian singles who carefully practice self-respect and respect for others, who value their singleness, who are careful to pursue their purpose with passion. I’ll show you some happy, healthy-minded people.
"Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold." –2 Corinthians 3: 12 NLT
The old way, Paul explained, was managing behavior by obedience to a list of dos and don’ts. The new way allows God’s Holy Spirit to establish godly principles in the mind and empower the individual from within. Plus, there is the exemplary life of Jesus who also gives strength (Philippians 4:13) to those who are determined to walk in integrity. This supernatural support system causes happy single individuals to be confident.
- Confident of the ability to walk successfully with or without human attachment.
- Confident that they can wear singleness with honor whether it is temporary or permanent.
- Confident of the power of God’s Spirit, to produce joy, along with other positive virtues which nurture happiness from within (Galatians 5:22,23).
- Confident that their personal influence will be positive, will spread happiness and increase their sense of worth as well as the sense of worth in those whom they affect.
"If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully." —Romans 12:8 CEV
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Single people have more time to be helpful, and more opportunities to be kind. It is a joy to make positive contributions to the lives of others, since service increases the happiness of both the sever and those who are served. Giving, serving, blessing always provide reasons to smile. Besides, time spent in caring for others lessen the chances of being bored or feeling alone. It increases opportunities to interact and laugh with others.
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it,” counsels Chuck Palahniuk. The single person has the least problem making changes. Being the sole decision maker, there is no chance of human conflict, no waiting till another person is convinced. Just the thought of being totally in control, with only God to consult, makes one cheerful.
Being cheerful is also being good to one's self. According to Carrie Murphy on Healthline (8/22/2018), joy has a positive effect on the brain, the circulatory system, and the automatic nervous system. "It promotes a healthier lifestyle,boosts the immune system, fights stress and pain, and supports longevity." Taking responsibility for their health, and recognizing the health benefits of cheerfulness, wise singles become intentional about maintaining their joy.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” —Philippians 4:12
Instead of complaining about what they do not have, happy singles celebrate what they do have. “I am single and that is all I am sure I have, today. With that I want to live it to the fullest!" –Noel Cameron Gardener
The more they embrace singleness, the more they recognize treasures of wisdom during their sessions of praise and gratitude. Upon reflection, they come to realize that:
- Singleness is better than having a contrary mate.
- Singles have more peace and quiet, more time to feel, to manage their attitudes and emotions.
- Singles have the freedom to skip the non-essentials when they want to reach for the extraordinary. They have the freedom to celebrate when they think they deserve it. They have the freedom to make themselves comfortable.
- "Sometimes those who fly solo have the strongest wings." – Nitya Prakash
"Be devoted to one another in love… Live in harmony with one another." –Romans 10:12, 16
Happy singles recognize their need to love and be loved, to enjoy social connections, and to fellowship with people of faith. They know that being independent does not negate their need for occasional assistance and advice, does not cancel the benefits of affirmation, approval and applause from an intimate friendship circle.
They maintain these kinds of connections not only to boost their happiness, but also to share and grow their love, their relationship skills, and caring attitudes. Bella DePaulo Ph.D. in Psychology Today (10/11/2014) reports on findings from a British survey which showed that singles have traditionally fostered connections more than their marriage counterparts:
- Singles more often engage in long-term care. A national sampling of 9,000 British adults found that singles more than married people had cared for someone who was sick, disabled or elderly for at least, a three-month period.
- Singles are more likely to maintain contact with, to visit, to support their parents and siblings.
- Single people are more likely to socialize with their neighbors.
- More singles engage in civic groups, public events and informal social activities.
- When men marry, they become less generous to their relatives and friends. They are more generous when they are single.
Perhaps the demands of spouses and children lessen the ability of married people to stay as connected and generous as they previously were. No judgments or condemnation here. Only the glaring truth that singles are better able to maintain long-term connections with friends and relatives, and consequently have more reasons to be happy.
Singleness is not a problem to be solved, it is a gift to be cherished. Paul counsels in 1 Corinthians 7:32, not to be anxious about it but to continue living the life God planned for you. When His plan includes marriage, happy singles become happy spouses.
© 2021 Dora Weithers