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Think of a couple people or families for whom you could lay down your single life.

No one is expecting you to care and provide for others right now — no one, that is, except for God. Regardless of your paycheck, you have been given much.

You’re all dressed up, having “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3), with literally everywhere to go.

So, Paul concludes, skip the ceremony, literally, and enjoy “your undivided devotion to the Lord.” Most say, “More power to you, Paul . Maybe it’s abundantly clear that you need a helper to carry out God’s call on your life (or it’s abundantly clear to others that you do).

Maybe you want to have kids and realized that you need help with that.

My hope in reflecting on Paul’s words is to restore hope and ambition in the hearts of the not-yet-married and set them solidly on mission in their singleness.

Perhaps the greatest temptation in singleness is to assume marriage will meet our unmet needs, solve our weaknesses, organize our lives, and unleash our gifts.

It has the potential to be a unique period of undivided devotion to Christ and undistracted ministry to others.

With the Spirit in you and the calendar clear, God has given you the means to make a lasting difference for his kingdom.

Paul sings singleness’s praises, listing the spiritual benefits of being spouse-free.

The single life can be (relatively) free from relational anxieties (1 Corinthians ) and worldly distractions (1 Corinthians ), and wide open for worship, devotion, and ministry (1 Corinthians ). but I’m getting married.” Maybe temptation overwhelms you, and you need a God-honoring way to satisfy that longing (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Look for ways Satan might be undermining your mission with short and simple pleasures.

You may not need to eliminate it, but limit it and look for ways to welcome others into your life through it.

So, be mindful of the needs of others, especially those in the church, and consider contributing. Spend it wisely and liberally on the needs of others. Sure, save modestly for days when you’ll need more, but while you wait, look for ways to provide for others.

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