17 October 2010

St Neots (Open Door) - Singleness

This morning I joined Donna at Open Door in the Priory Centre in St Neots. The music and singing were good, and then Ian Hoile gave a helpful address on the topic of 'singleness' as part of the series they've been running, 'Sex and the City'.

The Priory CentreIan pointed out that there are rising numbers of single people in the UK and gave some statistics to support that claim. People may be single for a variety of reasons, perhaps they simply haven't found a partner yet, a spouse has died, or they've been divorced etc.

Ian referred particularly to 1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-40. He said that the main theme is learning to serve and honour the Lord. Singleness and marriage are both gifts ('gift' has the sense of 'gracing'). Sometimes it may be best to remain single and in this context Paul refers to the 'present crisis'.

There was a famine and considerable social upheaval at the time he was writing. Under such circumstances it may well be easier for those who are single. Being single also brings opportunities as there's no requirement to consider other family members.

Verse 39 provides some advice for finding a spouse.

However there are also challenges to being single. These have to do with putting life on hold, we are not called to do that. Our lives are for honouring and pleasing the Lord. Single people sometimes run the risk of becoming over committed and burning out, leading over full lives.

Loneliness and isolation can become serious issues. It's important for single people to have good circles of friends, talk about the issues in their lives, and have mentors. Families in the church should remember single people and invite them for meals and for other family events.

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