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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Miranda Writes: Singly Focused




by Omar Miranda



Here’s another question I came across on the discussion board at insightmagazine.org:
“I’m not your typical teenager. I don’t spend all my time fawning over boys. I’m not a textomaniac, and honestly, I can’t stand typical teenage drama. I really want to use my talents for the Lord, and I have big hopes and plans for the future. Getting married isn’t one of them. If God ever sent just the right person my way, then I’d be OK with it. But really, I don’t have any great expectations. What really bothers me, though, is that people assume I must want to get married. And when they realize that I don’t, they automatically assume, “Oh, someday you’ll want to!” This irks me. Personally, I find that serving the Lord would be much easier to do being single. I want to know why on earth people automatically assume that everyone has to get married to be happy?—Fed Up.”


Fed Up, I’m so glad you weighed in! I like what you’re saying and absolutely agree: people shouldn’t give you a hard time about not wanting to get married. I wonder why you feel so strongly about it, though? If your decision is to stay single while others are getting married, just make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Sometimes I’ve met people who say they want to remain single because of the “sour grapes” phenomenon.  You’ve heard the story of the fox who tries real hard to get a clump of grapes and, after wearing himself down and being unsuccessful, angrily says: “I didn’t want those stupid sour grapes anyway!” What I’m saying is that some people choose to be single simply because they’ve tried the whole dating thing, had some bad luck, and have written it off, when, in actuality, they want very much to get married. Then there are those who don’t want to get married because they grew up in a family in which the marriage was not so great; or their parents got separated or divorced, and so they swore that this would never happen to them.  Hence, they decide not to get married.

Both attitudes are unhealthy because the individual ends up taking the place of God in their lives and basically tries to tell God what they will and won’t do. And as the Bible clearly tells us, there is only room for one God in our life—and it’s not ourselves!
Now, there are the people who truly have a heart that is focused on God and fulfilling His will, whatever that might be or wherever that might take them. To this I say “Awesome!” You know the Bible has a lot to say about being single and being singly focused. In 1 Corinthians 7, specifically verses 1, 2, 7-9, 26-29, and 32-38, Paul makes six important points (space restrictions don’t allow me to list all these verses, so I want you to read them for yourself):

1. He wishes every Christian could be single like him, but he doesn’t say that every Christian needs to be single.

2. If you’re single, don’t look to get married. Look to do God’s will to the fullest possible extent.

3. If people can’t control their sex drives and feel as though they’re going to have sex outside of marriage, then they should get married. Paul would rather you get married and have sex with your spouse, than for you to be immoral (although getting married just to have sex is not the ideal reason to get married).

4. Getting married takes a person’s full focus away from God, because they’re partially focused on pleasing their spouse.

5. Marriage is difficult, and we’re living in the last days before Jesus comes back, which will be difficult.  Paul hints that if a person is married, it could likely make dealing with the last days more difficult than for someone single.

6. In Paul’s opinion (and he’s very careful to let the reader know that this is simply his opinion), staying single is better than getting married.

Wow, that’s a lot to take in, but Paul was pretty clear about both his opinion and God’s expectations about singleness, marriage, sex, purity, and ultimately doing God’s will. As someone who’s been married for almost 15 years, I can truly say that marriage has definitely been the hardest—but most fun and rewarding—thing I’ve ever done. I can attest that what Paul says is very true. As a married man, I have had to make choices that put my wife and kids first, at least in terms of the kinds of ministry that I’m able to do.

For instance: In 2001 I was an elder in my local church, and my wife was several months pregnant and would be giving birth to our first child in November. But guess what happened on September 11 of that same year? That’s right, 9/11. And guess where I was going to be headed as a missionary to preach a revival series: India. Now, I have the name Omar, and to go along with that, I have some Middle Eastern features. My wife begged me not to go. Apparently God thought it was a bad idea as well, because my passport was denied. (I still think the government profiled me. Look at my photo and tell me what you think.) So I stayed home with my wife.

The point is this: If you want to open yourself to do God’s will, as fully and focused and freely as you can, without any distractions, remain single. If you’re not sure whether you want to remain single, then I challenge you to let God know what you’re thinking and feeling. Make it your focus to get to know God so well that the only way someone can get to your heart is to go through God first.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.
 





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