Gift Exchange

10.23.09 | Debbie Fero | Comments[3]

As part of the staff here at Family Life, one of the ministries that I have the privilege of overseeing is the SALSA Sinlges Ministry. Which is really neat because it was at my first SALSA Conference that I came to know Jesus personally. Now, almost ten years later, I am blessed in my singleness. That wasn't the case when I first became single after 21 years of marriage. Being single again was hard. It hurled me into a state of discontentment. I was angry, broken, lonely and hurt.

Last week Focus on the Family had two guest speakers on their show, Candice Watters and Carolyn McCaulley. The topic was "Singleness: Living with Hope Deferred." You can listen to the podcast by going to Focus on the Family's Website. Both speakers were great but Carolyn's message is what I want to talk about in this blog.

She talks about the gift of singleness. This is the same gift that Paul talks about in 1 Cor. 7. I was so intrigued by her message that I picked up her book, "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?"

Here are some insights from the second chapter of her book:

"If we're single, we have the gracious gift of singleness. How we may feel about it - 'Do I like being single? Do I desire marriage?' - is not part of the equation. The emphasis here is on a gracious God who gives good gifts and ultimately on His purpose for giving them."

"Ultimately we are single because that's God's will for us right now. That's it. It's not because we are too old, too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too quiet, too loud, too smart, too simple, too demanding or too anything else. Though perhaps these things seem like valid reasons, they don't trump God's will."

"The good news is that the singleness is not about you. You have a 'gracious endowment' that is for the good of those around you! (So the next time someone asks you why you're still single, you can reply with a straight face, "It's for your good!')."

How many of us singles are looking for the gift receipt so that we can return this gift for another? I sure was!

So let me ask you singles out there......

Do you see your singleness as a gift? And if so, how did you get there?

Are you still thinking that your singleness is because you're too old, fat, short, whatever? Or are you trusting in God's trump card?

And finally, is your singleness still all about YOU or are you using your gift to bless the body of Christ. If you are, share with us how you're doing that.

I'd love to hear from you!

 

 

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 10.23.09 Joan Boje commented

Debbie,

I did not at first think of my singleness as a gift when I became a Christian 10 years ago myself. I fought it like an enemy and always felt that something was missing if my life, my kids lives and was just missing out on what I thought was the total package. I was not until about 3 1/2 years ago that I really began to hear God's voice speaking into my heart and whispering His love songs to me and letting me know that this was His will for me to be a single mom and that He would take over my worries and give me a great peace about my "gift" of singleness. I began to pray specifically for what His purpose was for me as a single gal and I just waited and rested that He would give me what was best when the time was right. It was about 10 months into this prayer request that I got a call on my heart to share with other single mom's my story and my desire to let them know that being single and especially a mom does not mean you are not lovable or able to provide it "all" to your family. We don't have to give the everything or buy into the myth of 'if I am not married my family won't be ok.' I truly started to believe that God was my husband and my rock. He has blessed me with the truth of who He is as my comforter, provider, father, husband, and daddy to my kids. The gift of singleness is only one we can accept when we accept the giver as our Savious and truly trust in His promises.

on 10.26.09 Brian G. commented

Hello Deb and everyone else,

The scriptures speak frequently of the battle between the flesh and the spirit. Unfortunately we humans all too easily see what's on the outside and not what is on the inside. Even when you invite Christ into your life, it still takes time and effort to see things the way God sees things.

In that regard, it is very easy to blame one's single status upon visuals. Years ago a woman said of me, "What a hot looking car. Too bad the guy driving it isn't as good looking." That was my Thunderbird, and unknown to her, I was standing right behind her and overheard her say that. Did that hurt? Sure did. But in retrospect, that's not the kind of person I'd want to spend my life with.

I rather like it when I see a couple that on first glance isn't one of the couples you'd say are a “good looking” couple. But then you watch them for a few minutes, and you realize they actually have something... they have love. It really embraces the old adage, you can't judge a book by the cover.

It brings me back to the battle between the flesh and the spirit. In Isaiah, we’re told in so many words, Jesus was not a visually attractive man. Amen! That God could show His glory, strength, compassion and mercy through a man that in our flesh we wouldn’t instinctively be drawn to! Since the scriptures are for our example, there’s a fine case in point to learn to see as God sees.

I don’t know if this blog will let these links work automatically. You might have to cut and paste them into your address bar. I stumbled into these and I was moved to tears and blown away. Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs, and yet God seems to be using him in an awesome way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl58qufXfYk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBSKjOfFHwI&feature=related

The second link above is one part in four of a sermon. You can watch all four once you have the first one. I love what he said about “what if God had answered his prayers.” It is food for thought for ALL of US, regardless of our walk in life. Obviously God made us all with the desire to be with someone. In reality it’s the oneness we are really seeking with Him!

Still the scriptures tell us we will suffer in this life. And that suffering isn’t constrained or limited to one’s marital status in life. There was a broadcast last week on FLN with Doctor Dobson. The guest was a married woman who had a husband addicted to porn, had an affair and then a pregnancy with that other woman. I was shaking my head as I heard the pain in that woman’s voice. Obviously that wasn’t the path she had hoped her marriage would take.

But the scriptures also tell us to be thankful in all things. It’s not easy, but this is the path I’m walking on. My flesh is complaining that I wish I’d had someone to snuggle up to last night. My spirit is telling me to thank Almighty God for the comfortable bed I lay on and have to myself with a super warm blanket that always feels good to be beneath.

Maybe it’s not ironic that “attitude” rhymes with “gratitude.” And the old saying "it's always greener on the other side of the fence" says to me it matters little which side of the fence you stand on: the other side will appear to be greener. But going back to where I started, chances are if you are looking over the fence, you are using your eyes. I try to remind myself to look over the fence with my heart and then my side of the fence starts looking a little more green than I thought.

on 10.26.09 Debbie Fero commented

Brian,
It's neat that you talk about Nick Vujicic. I just saw a video of him this week. What an amazing story and testimony!

If you are always looking at the green grass on the other side of the fence, it's hard to notice the grass under your feet.

Thanks for your comments!

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