Titus Magua asks why an honouring of singleness is often seen as a relic of a bygone age and traces it back to three deeper issues.
Many would agree with me that there is a problem with many young people today. The passion for God and zeal for Christian service that were a characteristic of Christian youths a few years ago are now almost imperceptible in many churches around. Singlehood – the state of a person not being involved in a romantic relationship or being unmarried – is almost a relic in a culture that glorifies casual dating. This, almost surprisingly is the trend not only in the culture at large but among professing Christian youths. One would not fail to notice the close resemblance of dating practices between the church and the world.
Wrong views of family and gender
Little effort has been put to understanding the different roles of men and women in the church and at home according to the Word of God. The effect has been a generation of Christian youths that don’t put any value in manhood and womanhood and consequently don’t think there is any particular significance in division of roles both at church and at home. All this has to do with the values and beliefs people hold with regard to family. The problem is a serious one and being a young person, I have observed these things firsthand. Wrong beliefs on family lead to wrong choices in terms of how we spend our few years of singlehood. Worldviews are shaped way before people consider marriage, and until faithful Bible teaching brings forth a biblical worldview on family in our youths today, many singles will waste their singlehood years.
Wrong views of life
“What is your life? for you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Life is short. James describes it as mist and in Psalm 90:3-6, it’s described as a dream, a flood or grass, something so temporal, it’s here in one moment and gone in another. The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, a doctrine not known let alone understood by many singles today. Not many Christian single youths grasp today the brevity and meaning of life. Many of my fellow professing youths have been swallowed up in the philosophy held by the world; of happiness in worldly things and amassing wealth as the chief goals of life and thus what follows is inevitably a wasted singlehood. God made us for his glory. Everything he does in our lives is for his glory. All he gives, he gives for the sake of his glory and for our joy. Singlehood is a gift. a gift to be treasured, as with all other gifts, and it’s a sad thing to see in so many Christian circles singlehood despised and viewed as something not precious.
I believe this is because so many of our youths seek worldly pleasure rather than pleasure and joy in God and have wrongly thought they’re a law unto themselves with regard to courtship and family. The short years spent in singlehood should, for the Christian, be spent in service to the lord with “undivided devotion” (1 Corinthians 7:35) before the responsibilities of family life set in. By this I mean total commitment to the local church and submission to spiritual authority and as the Lord gives grace, direct involvement in Christian ministry or community involvement. It is my prayer and hope that God will raise up from us young people a remnant who will rejoice in the gift of singlehood and see it as an opportunity to serve God with undivided devotion with less distractions.
Lack of mentors
Older people in the faith also have a very big role to play in the lives of single youths. Most of them have walked with the Lord for a longer period of time and therefore see things from a clearer perspective than most of us youths. They should provide godly counsel and guidance. We ought to learn from them. The model presented to us by Paul in Titus 2 of the older teaching the younger should be a visible pattern amongst believers. Sadly, not many single youths seek out older men and women, this, partly due to ignorance of the role of older believers in their lives and partly due to lack of any such models to serve as examples. But are such models and relationships abstract ideals? I believe not, God gives grace. And it is god who will enables us to build stronger relationships with older married or single Christians who will help us young people not to waste our singlehood years by spending them on trivial pursuits rather than undivided devotion to the Lord.
Read the rest of this article in Conversation Vol. 2 Issue 1