When we launched the Modern Family series this past Sunday we knew it would stir up a lot of emotions. Family is not an emotionally neutral word. Neither is Father or Mother. The family health survey created tension in many homes – good tension.
This series has also stirred up emotions in another group of people: Singles. Is there anything less exciting and more frustrating than a 6 week series on the family when you single? You might feel this way:
“Great, 6 weeks where I’m totally ignored on Sunday!”
“Just what I wanted, another reminder that I’m single every Sunday morning.”
“I wish these married people would quit whining about the challenges. I’d love to have those challenges because it would mean there was someone in my life to love.”
If you’re reading this and you’re single and feel left out – I hear you. It is OK to deeply want to be married and have a family. While you wish that reality was true today, I want to share why I think this series important for you before that reality comes to pass.
1.) Over the last several years I’ve counseled with many couples and families. Let me share with you one of the most common phrases I hear in these counseling sessions: “I wish I would have known that before I was married!”
The next few weeks give you an incredible opportunity to learn and build spiritual skill sets into your life before you enter into marriage or parenting. What if you could master budgeting and debt before you say I do? What if you learned how to fight fair and manage conflict before you are in an argument with your future spouse? What if you were exposed to the most common pitfalls of marriage before you were actually married? Let me encourage you to take an encyclopedia of notes over the next few weeks and keep them. Then later down the road when you meet a special someone you can pull these notes out and talk through them with your future someone. Just maybe you won’t have to say to your counselor, “I wish I’d known that before!”
2.) Striving toward the ideal is worth it, even when it seems impossible.
The longer you’re single, the more likely you are to give into the impulse to lower your standards and values to fill a deep desire in your heart. Our goal in this series is to show what could be. When you’re tempted to lay aside your purity, or settle for less than God’s best just to be in a relationship you but yourself on dangerous ground. A single friend of mine found this incredible quote from Matt Chandler, a pastor in the Dallas area:
“Can I say something to young ladies here? Your husband, whoever he is, single ladies, will have an unbelievable amount of influence over your sons & daughters in regards to spiritual things. If you want your children to love Jesus deeply, hold out for a man that is godly. And let me tell you this: I am well aware that godly men are rare. Lots of neat Christian boys, not a lot of godly men. We’re working our tails off for you, to try to develop some into that. But don’t settle. Because, look at me, it’s better that you be lonely now than you be married & lonely later. Are you tracking with me? It is better that you be lonely now than for you to get married to a man that will teach your kids everything but the way of Jesus.” – Matt Chandler
3.) Don’t be a consumer Christian.
One of the greatest downfalls of 21st century Christianity is it’s adaptation of American consumerism. If you leave a service like Sunday jilted and feeling, “What about me?” you’ve fallen into the trap. If you’re an older single, maybe widowed or divorced and never see yourself marrying again or, if you’re a young single allow me challenge you. When families fail to strive towards the ideals Jesus laid out in the New Testament, who always gets hurt? Women and Children. They always are the ones to suffer. They are the first ushered into poverty. So, if you’re single today – serve your married brothers and sister in Christ by praying for them and serving them well as fellow Christian. If you love them, you want what’s best for them. Volunteer to baby sit so they can have a date night. Encourage them. Learn from them.