May 17, 2021
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.
Continuing our current series on relationships, this week we’re discussing life in Christ as a single, unmarried adult. I was greatly blessed to marry my college sweetheart, so I never spent much time as a single adult. Still, I am familiar with that powerful desire to be closely, relationally connected to another person. When that connection is absent in our lives there can be a deep emptiness we perceive in our souls, an emptiness we (erroneously) believe will be completely fulfilled once we find that one special close friend, or for singles once we are married.
I learned about that emptiness not from a romantic pursuit, but rather from my roommate during my freshman year in college. Mark and I were very similar when we arrived on campus: both from out of state, very responsible, achiever types, obeyed the rules, generally nice guys. We knew no one else, so we bonded instantly. We did virtually everything together – meals, homework, fun events. I did not realize it at the time, but my college experience was subtly becoming tied up and identified with my roommate.
And then came the day Mark told me he was transferring to another school.
When I think back to this moment, I shake my head at myself and chuckle – it’s hard for me to believe I had put so much dependence into that relationship I was floored, blindsided. I wept. I told Mark I didn’t know what I would do without him. But his decision was made and a few weeks later he was gone. And I’ve never seen him since.
But thankfully the end of the story is a happy one. In a very real sense I was “pushed out of the nest” of my comfort zone. Once Mark was gone I was forced to make new friends. I met people I might not have, and explored new avenues. I accepted an invitation to a Christian fellowship group I’m convinced I wouldn’t have accepted if Mark were still around. And I not only met my wife at that group but I also met the best “friend” I would ever know: Jesus Christ.
In our text Paul says it is “good” for singles to be unmarried, and one reason is that the single life simply keeps relationship options more open. Spouses and children are fantastic blessings, but they do require the dependent relationship investment we are created for. God knew what he was doing when He moved Mark out of my life. He knows what He’s doing in yours, too.