Thoughts on “the gift of singleness”

Christians who recognize the Biblical ideal of marriage are tempted to dismiss the gift of singleness, and that is understandable. But we need to be careful to not err by going too far, especially since Scripture is clear that the gift of celibacy does exist. The Apostle Paul was one who had this gift.

For the purposes of this discussion, the gift of celibacy and the gift of singleness are the same thing.

Now, there is absolutely zero question that “the gift of singleness” is assumed to exist far, far more often than it actually does exist. Too many single Christians are tempted to give up and make their suffering into some sort of “principle” or “spiritual gift” when in reality it is an idol.

How many singles today actually have the gift of singleness? Maybe one percent – and even that may be overestimating. It is very, very rare.

It is our habit to sacrifice the normal on the altar of the abnormal. Because a statistically insignificant number of people actually do have the gift of celibacy, we want to assume that anyone who is single – involuntarily or not – has or may have the gift of celibacy. That is simply not the case. It is not how we are wired. In the Garden of Eden, God created Eve because He said “it is not good for man to be alone.”

We are seeing singleness raised to the level of idolatry, with absurdities such as people marrying themselves. This should not be taken seriously and argued against in a serious way. It should be mocked and ridiculed, like Elijah mocked and ridiculed the prophets of Baal.

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