Start Up

The Bible describes singleness and marriage as gifts, which they are, but sometimes, they are gifts we would rather take back. Whichever status is ours, each one has ups and downs, good and bad, benefits and struggles. The trick is to be faithful wherever God has us. Let’s continue the conversation about how to see our status as a gift and an assignment.

  • Is there a gift you remember receiving at a holiday or for your birthday that you wish you could give back—or that you actually did take back, re-gift, or stuff in a closet somewhere?
  • All of us are either single or have been single. What are some well-intended, but ultimately, unhelpful things married people said to you as a single person?

 

Discuss Together

Read 1 Corinthians 7:6-7.

  • Why do you think Paul (a single person) says he wished everyone would be
    as he was?
  • In Paul’s world, singleness carried a stigma. It still does today—many singles feel pressure from others to get married or feel like people wonder if something is wrong with them. Has singleness ever been a source of shame or anxiety for
    you? How would Paul respond to those who think singleness carries a stigma?
  • Have you ever thought of singleness as a gift? Why or why not?

Now, read 1 Corinthians 7:26-35.

  • What stands out to you from this passage? What kind of perspective is Paul arguing for everyone to have as they think about their lives?
  • In verse 34, Paul says married people have divided interests. What does he mean by that? How do marriage and family change the way a person approaches ministry, work, passions, and interests?

Jeff said, “What Paul is saying here is to not fixate on trying to change your status (single or married) as much as being faithful in the status you are in. At least for the time being, it is your assignment and your calling, so be faithful now.”

  • In all kinds of life situations, we can easily miss the opportunities in front of us because we are waiting for our circumstances to change. Have you been focusing more on changing your situation instead of being faithful now?
  • If you are single, are you taking full advantage of the gift this situation brings? What would it look like for you to not live a life on hold?
  • If you are single, what struggles are you facing right now? Are you feeling misunderstood, lonely, or frustrated in trying to be faithful, pure, and focused?
  • If you are married, are you living as if you are single? Are you accepting the limitations and honoring the commitment to your family? Does anything need
    to change?

Live Big

Church should be a place where marrieds and singles encourage, support, and love one another as family. This is especially a challenge for singles, where many don’t feel celebrated or included.

  • What would it look like for your group to provide a family environment for each other, especially if extended family is far away or gone? How can you re-think the way you do holidays, birthdays, and celebrations?
  • What would it look like for your group to love on singles or those without families in our community?
  • Pray that God would help you be faithful where you are now and help you live with an eternal perspective.