GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 23

T he B ig P icture : P reparing  H ealthy , G odly  A dults
3. Prosper in Singleness
While marriage is a fundamental human institution through which husbands and wives may reflect aspects of God’s image, chaste singleness is
also a blessed reflection of God’s image. Christ taught that our perfected
and everlasting life with him in heaven will be one where people possessing
perfect resurrection bodies “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but
are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). We are made in God’s image
and will reflect his glory for eternity as embodied single persons, male and
female; human marriage is a sign and reality intended for this world only,
because in heaven, our union with God will be complete.
Scripture clearly c­ ommends—­and the chaste single life of our Lord Jesus
beautifully ­depicts—­the companionship that can be experienced in serving
the Kingdom of God as a single person in the company of fellow believers,
the goodness and worth of individual unmarried human beings, and the virtuousness of sexual chastity in singleness (see 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 32-35).
Chastity in singleness manifests fidelity to our loving God in this life while we
await full communion with him. The New Testament teaches further that we
are one body, which implies that single and married people ought to share life
together for mutual encouragement (see Romans 12:4-5; Hebrews 10:24-25).
Jesus refers to singleness as a praiseworthy calling “for the sake of the
kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:10-12). The apostle Paul says that “it
is good . . . to remain single” (1 Corinthians 7:8), echoing Jesus’ call to
singleness in order to be singularly devoted to work for Christ’s Kingdom.
Paul goes on to say, “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has
assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Corinthians 7:17).
This suggests that, for some, the call to singleness is from God and not
necessarily of a person’s choosing.
Single people can have rich and fertile relationships. As a single man,
Jesus raised spiritual children. Scripture pictures the church as the betrothed
of Christ waiting faithfully for the consummation of her marriage (see
Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 19:6-8; 21:1-2). Chaste single believers thus
serve the church as visible reminders that the Kingdom of God points away
from any worldly idealization or idolatry of marriage and family and toward
our everlasting calling to union with God through his Son. We should celebrate the important contributions of singles to the Kingdom of God and
our understanding of the gospel, while also seeking to integrate single and
married members of our community for mutual encouragement.


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