The Framework
Author: Kylie Welch

Chapter 4
Framework Issue 1 - Singleness

What has worked so far and why?

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl (it’s me by the way).  She had just turned thirteen and was starting to get attention from boys.  All of a sudden people were starting to tell her she was pretty.  Pretty?  She would think to herself.  Me?  No way!  But no matter how much she told herself that people didn’t find her pretty, they would tell her otherwise.  The girl started being asked out by boys, really cute boys, and she enjoyed a fun time having relationships.  All of these relationships came with the normal relationship issues, but none of them unhealthy.  One day, she starting seeing a man who quickly had a hold on her, which resulted in a volatile ten year relationship.  The beautiful thing that came out of that relationship was a lovely and loved daughter, but the girl, who had now become a woman, knew that the relationship wasn’t meant to be.  So, as the girl grew into a woman, had a child and became single, she found herself in a whole new world of being a single mother.  She hated that label.  “Oh, so you are a single mother” and would cringe when people called her that.  She had so much love and support around her to help her bring up her daughter that she couldn’t honestly say that she was single handedely bringing up her precious daughter.  The woman had no idea that she would be relatively single for the next five years.  Previously, the longest she had ever been single was three months.  All of a sudden being pretty was not a reason for her to find a partner.  She no longer wanted to have short meaningless relationships.  She knew herself so well that she decided to only have a real, long lasting relationship but couldn’t find anyone suitable.  Because of her faith, she had a strong belief that God already had her husband set aside but she had no idea it would take so long for him to come.  She didn’t understand the concept of how to wait until he came so she kept pursuing the cute muscly men she was used to but they were only after short meaningless sexual encounters.  She had too much self-respect to even consider falling into that pattern.  Her ex was now settled into family life, with a new partner and child and the women was asking God some serious questions.  Who?  What?  When?  Where?  What to do in between?  Let’s have a look at what not to do before we look at the bible.       

 

What not to do

 

1.     Crushes

Over the past five years I have had a few crushes.  I have had hardly any emotional dramas over the past five years except the emotional pain from having massive crushes on guys.  I had a four year ‘mega crush’ on a guy but had to decide to let that go.  Those four years were no fun although I did learn a lot, but that’s another book altogether. 

 

2.     Liking someone who doesn’t like you (as much, at all)

This is just awkward.  I learnt after my four year crush to not chase boys.  It doesn’t work.  If he likes you, he will move heaven and earth, (even the moon), to spend time with you.  Don’t go down this track, it’s no fun.

 

3.     Don’t go back

I was talking with a dear friend recently about coming back to a place she used to visit with me and she promptly said that she doesn’t believe in going back.  Meaning going back to an old job, back to a church she was once a member of etc.  This really sunk in and I created a new rule.  Don’t go back.  Don’t obsess over old relationships.  Don’t get stuck in unforgiveness or hurt for too long and don’t dwell on what has already happened.  As a Christian, we have the most amazing counsellor.  He can take away pain and hurt like no one else.  Instead of holding on to any kind of emotional hurt or pain caused by past relationship, go to Him for healing and after that, don’t look back.  Don’t dwell or worry about relationships of the past.  Dwelling and worrying about them won’t change what happened. 

 

4.     It’s not about me

Often, when a guy doesn’t like us, we wonder what is wrong with us but rest assured it is usually more about them and what they are going through.  Don’t personalise it too much.  It’s not about you, it’s them.

 

 

 

 

The Biblical Approach

 

1.     Do not be anxious

 

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 talks about God wanting us to be free from anxieties.  It goes on to say that the unmarried men are to be mindful of the things of the Lord and how to please the Lord.  It then instructs the unmarried or engaged women to be mindful about the things of the Lord and to be holy in body in spirit.  I have just scraped by in this instruction, by the grace of God, I have managed to stay holy in body in spirit in many ways.  Looking at this scripture I am pleased.  I, even if it is by default, have been mindful about the things of the Lord in my singleness and did decide to be holy in body in spirit so I have been unknowingly following the word of God all these years.  I thought it was just a decision of mine and the Lord’s part, but look, it’s actually a written instruction.  Very cool.

 

2.     Remain single

 

I would be lying if I was to say that I like this instruction.  I hope with all my heart that I don’t stay single but it’s in the word.  1 Corinthians 7:8 says to the unmarried and the widows, it is good to remain single.  I have always thought that if it was God’s will for me to remain faithful to him and stay unmarried, He wouldn’t have placed this strong desire for marriage into my heart but I also think He has set aside a certain amount of time for me to be totally devoted to Him. During this time I have grown as a Christian and maybe would not have done this if I was focussed on a male. 

 

3.     Each man should have his own wife and each women her own husband

 

1 Corinthians 7:1-40 talks about the fact that it is not good for a man to have sexual relations with a woman but if he has to, that each man should have a wife of his own and vice versa.  When I think of how casual life is these days, it seems so old fashioned to not have sex with a guy on the first few dates.  I know that this is not what God wants for us, but the reality of the matter (and God deals in reality) is that if you don’t have the moral compass of the word of God, sex will be involved in every relationship, hook up, one night stand and affair.  God doesn’t give us these guidelines because He is mean.  He just knows that the more of ourselves we give away, the less of ourselves we will have left to give our life partner.  Think of all the ‘baggage’ we carry.  We don’t just leave it at the door when we meet our life partner.  Unless we have fully dealt with it (and even then, there may be scars) we will bring it into our marriage, or worse, leave half of our hearts with another man/woman.  This is why God wants us to keep pure until marriage – it is a tough ask in these modern times – but God will give you the strength to do it if you take it seriously.

 

4.     Do not be unequally yoked

 

It’s funny, but whenever I meet a guy who is not a Christian I try to justify the fact that, even though he doesn’t love the Lord (as I do), we would be fine, our morals wouldn’t clash, our faiths wouldn’t clash, our ways wouldn’t clash but in all honestly they inevitably would, they do and they have.  I’ve heard a few success stories about couples who are unequally yoked but from what I see, the Christian in that relationship doesn’t burn as bright as they potentially could.  Because they don’t have that backbone of their partner loving the Lord as they do, I can discern the difference.  I see the wisdom of going out with a Christian (I have not yet met a Christian that I am attracted to), but I still try to pretend that it is not a pre-requisite.  It is.

 

5.     Married to the Lord

 

I am married to the Lord, until such time as He chooses to betroth (cool word eh) me to my husband.   In the most beautiful way, Hosea 2:19-20 tells me that “He betroths me to Him in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  He will betroth me to Him in faithfulness”.  And I shall know the Lord.  I have no words.  This is beautiful.  I am speechless.

 

6.     We are not married in heaven

 

Just in case you are wondering, our marriages are only temporal.  Look at what  Mark 12:25 says, “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” 

 

 

7.     Sexual soul ties

 

This is a subject that I like to teach people about.  There is a scripture in the bible that reads as follows, 1 Corinthians 6:16 “or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, the two will become one flesh”.  No matter who it is you have had sex with outside of marriage you are creating an ungodly sexual soul tie.  What is a soul tie you may ask?  A soul tie is a linkage in the soul realm between two people. 

It links their souls together which can bring about both positive (godly soul tie) and negative (ungodly soul tie) results.  This is why God has provided marriage.  He wants for us to have one healthy godly soul tie with one person for all of our adult lives.  He doesn’t want for us to have 20 or more (zig zagging across the local town) ungodly soul ties floating around in the soul realm.  You may want to now know what the soul realm is.  To break it down quickly, we each have a soul, spirit and body.  The soul is the emotions and other changeable things where we feel and react, the spirit is what is plugged into the life source of everything and should be the strongest, most unchangeable part of who we are.  The body is our body.  The soul is unseen but very tangible.  Consider how you feel when you wake up happy and then you have an argument with someone.  The difference in emotion is tangible, it can be felt emotionally.  This is the soul realm.  If you consider how easily anger can be transferred, imagine that times 20, or however many soul ties have been created in a person’s life.  These emotions, addictions or habits can be transferred unless the ungodly soul tie is broken by prayer and repentance.  Deep stuff eh!

 

8.      Eunuchs for the sake of Heaven

 

Matthew 19:12 talks about eunuchs.  A eunuch is a person born male who does not reproduce and may bear non-masculine or even effeminate characteristics, many of whom were castrated (in older times of course).  Matthew 19:12 says “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”  There were eunuch priests known from ancient Mediterranean society so I wonder if that is the relevance of the latter part of this scripture.  I wonder if it symbolises those who are set apart for God, never to marry or have sex?

 

9.      Leave his mother and father and hold fast to his wife

Matthew 19:4-6 reads that He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

I am not sure if this is figurative but in my case it seems to be.  I moved back into my childhood home just over 2 years ago.  Hence, I am boarding with my mother and father.  Although I love the situation, as it works well for my single mother situation, it doesn’t always sound cool when you tell your friends you still live in the same place that you grew up in.  Now I can be confident in knowing that it is God’s plan for me to live there.  Yes, that comment is a bit tongue in cheek and I am just trying to make myself feel better but it is interesting to see this scripture here.  

 

10.  What God joins together

 

The second part of the verse mentioned that it is God who joins man and women together.  This is a key verse for my belief that God has pre-destined who I will marry.  He must have pre-destined yours then.

 

11.  Whatever we ask we receive from Him

 

I like this point.  It is reassuring.  Having prayed for God to bring me my husband for many years, it is reassuring that He will.  Even if it is taking a very long time. 

 

Biblical Case Studies

 

Since the bible has given us such good advice so far on issues, there must be some pretty good case studies imbedded within its many pages on dating right?  Does the bible say anything about dating?  Sadly, the answer is no, but there are many relationships in the bible, and they had to start somewhere right?  Let’s have a look at how God brings two people together.

 

The bible talks about 3 kinds of relationships between man and woman.

·         Friendship

·         Brother and sister in Christ

·         Marriage

 

Each of these relationships have two different qualities.  Commitment and Love.  The loves differ in the dynamics of each one but commitment remains one of the leading qualities.  Unfortunately (for some) there doesn’t seem to be any indication in the bible of romantic intimacy that isn’t going to lead anywhere (not marrying).

 

Notice that the bible doesn’t talk about crushes, as such.  But the women in the bible as you will soon see, had a ‘knowing’ from God.

 

1.     “And Isaac loved her…”

 

In short summary Isaac was an eligible bachelor.  His dad Abraham sent a servant to a certain city specifically to find Isaac’s wife.  Abraham had heard from God (very important point here).  In Genesis 24:7-8 Abraham told his servant, “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your descendants I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there."   The important thing here is that God foretold Abraham about this.    Rebekah and Isaac fell in love instantly and were married very quickly.

 

2.    New beginnings – Ruth and Boaz

 

The book of Ruth is encouraging in that it gave Ruth a new beginning.  She had lost her husband and other family members and knew that her life would never be the same.  She showed faithfulness by following her beloved Mother in law Noami because she loved her deeply and selflessly.   It is through this loving decision that Ruth was to meet a man who loved her and treated her wonderfully.  One thing that really stands out in the book of Ruth is that she was led very clearly from God and she followed His leading step by step.    Boaz had received a full report of all that Ruth had done for her mother in law and he was impressed by her integrity (Ruth 2:11).  Boaz was much older than Ruth (Ruth 3:10) and he was defiantly a man of God.  It impressed Boaz that Ruth didn’t chase after one of the younger men which she could have so easily have done.    Ruth also introduced herself in a way which captured his attention.  He saw her in his grain field and he was kind enough to offer her a job.   She found favour with him very quickly because her reputation of kindness and faithfulness had gone before her.   The eventually end up getting married.  It is a lovely story of faithfulness, integrity and patience.

 

3.    Finding favour with the King – Esther

 

Esther was much loved by her family.  They treasured her.  They knew her worth and how much potential she had.  They knew she had a bright future, and that she could be the one to give hope to her people.  What a mantle!  Esther had a very wise father.  He gave her important instruction which changed a nation.  Esther left a lot of intrigue with the King.  He knew he enjoyed spending time with her, before he even got to see her face.  He took the time to get to know her as a person before taking things further.  This is a great principal.  He loved her.
 

 

The Framework

 

After looking at all of the above scriptures, the framework for change would therefore be.

 

1.      Do not be anxious about anything except the Lords work and His plans for you while you are single

2.      Remain single until the time is right – don’t go about trying to find someone just because

3.      Each man should have his own wife and each woman should have her own husband – don’t share!

4.      Don’t be unequally yoked.  Stay within your Christian faith

5.      While you are single, consider that you are married to the Lord.  By reading the scripture pertaining to this, He is a great husband!

6.      Marriage is only temporal, not eternal

7.      Don’t have sex outside of marriage

8.      Some people are not ever going to marry but are set apart for God.  Pray about whether this is you

9.      Remain close to family if you can until you marry.  This could be your church family too

10.  It is God who joins people in marriage

11.  We will receive what we ask.  Be reassured

 

This time there are 11 very descriptive, very relevant key biblical principles when it comes to marriage or singleness.  The bible couldn’t be more clear about God’s intentions.  He doesn’t want us to be with more than one special person so that we can be all there for that person and it is God who choses our partners.

 

Key Point 2 – Singleness.

God doesn’t want us to be with more than one special person so that we can be all there for that person.  It is God who choses our partners.

 

Prayer

 

Heavenly Father,

 

You know our ways.  You can see our confusion and impatience when we have to wait for things.  You see our tantrums and emotional breakdowns, our weaknesses, doubts, insecurities, loneliness and fears of being alone.  These are all very real issues but we know you understand, love us and have compassion towards us.  I ask you Father, to look upon me with favour and open up a season of grace and breakthrough when it comes to finding my husband.  As I seek to know your ways and look into your word for guidance, I can see that it is you Father who arranges healthy, long lasting marriages.  I ask you to arrange my marriage for me.  At the right time, the right place and with the right person.  Forgive me for the times I have gone astray and walked down paths that are not pleasing to you.  If you have to guide me to another place to meet him, I ask that, like you did with Abraham, you send an angel before me and guide me to him or him to me.  Forgive all of my negative thoughts and actions and bless me with the ability to understand yours when it comes to this issue.  Grant me patience if my season of singleness hasn’t come to an end.  Bless me Father, with the perfect husband when the time is right who I can spend a full and happy life with.  Talk clearly to me in this issue, please do not remain silent.  I want to walk with you in this area so that it will be a testament to your guidance in my life – a story we can tell our grandchildren.

 

In the name of Jesus Christ,

 

Amen

 

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