The literature on singleness says…

The recent proliferation of blog posts should signal to you that while ESL is keeping me busy and interested, it is not mentally and emotionally draining while it is intellectually stimulating. (The formula for the mood to write blog posts: busyness of other obligations, engaged with other intellectual topics, residual mental and emotional energy.)

Instead of writing my thoughts in this post, I will instead recommend something for you to listen to. Admittedly, I’ve read enough about singleness, relationships and marriage to consider writing a thesis (though perhaps not a very good one as I lack key experience), and I’ve discussed the topic with enough women that many of the things I’ve read and agreed with are confirmed. So below you can listen to an opinion I nod to without having to read my unsophisticated thoughts.

One important point made is that for some reason glorifying God through career or formal ministry is seen as so so so much more important than glorifying God through marriage and family – disproportionately so. Feel free to post thoughts and opinions below if so desired.

Getting Ready to Get Ready for Marriage – Albert Mohler addresses the need for intentionality in the relationships young people pursue.

[While we’re recommending stuff, Why Conservative Churches Are Growing is also a good read, though on a completely different topic.]

One thought on “The literature on singleness says…

  1. I think that the resource is pretty good and accurate, however it would have been nice if it had a more scriptural and biblically founded focus on some of the issues, rather than some of the higher level thinking which was used. I suspect this was due to time constraints, though I would have enjoyed hearing more specifically about what a healthy desire for marriage looks like biblically, and how that compares to undervaluing or idolizing it. This seems to be a part of a larger issue really, as we tend to take anything which seems spiritual, and hyper-spiritualize it. Anything we’re left with, we undervalue and eliminate. This is seen blatantly with the hyper-spiritualization of missions work, and the undervalutization of professions. This mindset also seems to apply to relationships, as well as our understanding of sin, struggles, and suffering.

    I think the biggest point and problem that they hit on, or at least one which resonated well with me was the lack of intentionality and planning in both secular and Christian culture. Even in a business setting (admittedly a small business setting however), there can be a turning away from intentional, well-planned action and direction toward a more off-the-cuff and wing-it mentality (disclaimer: I’m worse at this than most). This point is tangental, however seems to be the same in relationships. More often than not we choose to allow things to fall where they will rather than choosing to shape things by being intentional in our actions and words. I suppose the warning which ought to go with this is to ensure that your actions are honest, that you are not misleading in your words, and that your intentions are to plan your steps while trusting in God to establish them (Prov 16:9).

    The other point I rather appreciated, is that we are often provided with very little instruction and guidance when it comes to relationships growing up (or at least that’s what I’ve experienced). It is something which we are left to figure out and discover, which is like asking a person to assemble a small nuclear power plant. They may get it right eventually, however if they don’t understand the dangers there might be a lot of destruction and pain. Similarly, if all they fail to have a vision for what that reactor is meant to do, and instead see the danger it poses, they will be stand paralyzed in fear instead of inspired by how wonderfully it is designed.

    This is also true with regard to the other life skills which we are using and practicing on a regular basis. Our relational, emotional, social and marital maturity ought to be something which we strive to develop and grow, and something which we are intentional about in developing in our communities (the people around us, and the generation after us). This again, is something which ought to be done intentionally. Our culture, in the spirit of freedom, values the process of self-maturation and discovery in youth. Perhaps I’m a little off base, however I think that the idea that maturity should be left to develop on it’s own is unwise, as with anything that grows it needs to be intentionally fertilized, pruned, and deloused. More importantly, this development and maturity needs to be well laid on a foundation of the Gospel.

    A great book on the biblical foundations and image of marriage is Piper’s Momentary Marriage. I thought it was a fantastic read, being both written well and having a lot of good content. It starts off with the premise that marriage is meant to glorify God, and is an image/shadow of Christ’s relationship with the church. Using that premise, he hashes out the implications and outworkings of what that looks like for some major passages in scripture, as well as some commonly addressed issues.

    Well that went a good deal longer than I anticipated. I may be off base on a few things. Thanks for posting this Sharon =)

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