June 26, 2016
As an introduction to this study and before we look specifically at Christian singleness let’s look at a couple of principles which apply to Christians generally either married or single.
Summarise the essence of what they are teaching 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 10:31, Romans 14:17-19, 1 Corinthians 7:35.
What does Paul say has great value? 1 Timothy 6:6.
Read Philippians 4:11-12. What was the secret Paul had learned? With this in mind what is the significance of what he says in the next verse? Philippians 4:13.
Have you learned this secret? Are there areas you struggle with to some degree?
Share your answer with your group and give examples.
Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. What was the reason Paul was ‘given a thorn in the flesh…’
When he begged God to take it away what was the answer God gave him?
Discuss Paul’s resulting attitude toward the ‘thorn in his flesh’. Remember Philippians 4:13.
What are some ‘thorns in the flesh’ people can have today?
When we have problems (or even when we don’t) what does God want us to learn to do as a general life principle? How significant is this to help us grow?
Singleness can come in many packages and stages in life:
And no matter if singleness comes by choice or circumstance, there are some common frustrations that need to be worked through.
Some common feelings can be loneliness, discontentment and even bitterness at the situation – asking God why?
If you are single which of the four states mentioned above are you in?
Do you experience any of these frustrations? Share your answers with your group.
What does Paul call both marriage and singleness? 1 Corinthians 7:7. If you are single and strongly desire to get married is this how you view the state you are in?
Read and discuss Elizabeth Elliot’s experience and her response:
Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was one of the five missionaries speared to death by the Huaorani Indians in Ecuador in 1956. Their daughter was ten months old when Jim was killed. Elisabeth stayed on, working at first with the Quichua, but then, astonishingly, for two more years with the very tribe that had speared her husband. Her one minded dedication and love for God and His people kept her there. In a message that Elisabeth Elliot gave in Kansas City, She said these words:
Submit radically to God, and do what is right no matter what. Put your love life on the altar and keep it there until God takes it off. Suffering is normal. Have you no scars, no wounds, with Jesus on the Calvary road?
Not only did she lose her first husband to a violent death three years after they were married, she also lost her second husband Addison Leitch four years after her remarriage.
I don’t think you should say, ‘Pursue joy with all your might.’ I think you should say, ‘Pursue obedience with all your might.
Finally, before her death, she wrote,
We are women, and my plea is, let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.
Read through and discuss as a group the following God says about you: Remember Jesus was single and He understands how you feel. See Hebrews 2:18, 4:14-18.
What are some ways our church can help singles who are struggling with their singleness?
Many people naively think marriage will solve all their problems. Here are some problems marriage won’t solve: (1) loneliness, (2) sexual temptation, (3) one’s deepest emotional needs, (4) life’s difficulties. Marriage alone does not hold two people together but commitment does-commitment to Christ and to each other despite conflicts and problems. As wonderful as it is marriage does not automatically solve every problem. Whether married or single, we must be content with our situation and focus on Christ, not on loved ones, to help address our problems.*
* taken from ‘Life application Study Bible’