February 10 I Monday
“...and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” —Matthew 19:12
During my late teens, I met a man who had been a great influence to me. I remember one occasion of us talking about his life, this was when he was in his mid-sixties. He said, “When I was eighteen, during my quiet time with God, I was reading Matthew 19. When Jesus said, ‘some have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven,’ I knew God was speaking to me and saying that is what He wants for me.” Then I asked him, “Has that been easy for you?” And he replied, “In one sense, yes. From the age of eighteen, I never tried to develop a relationship with a girl that might lead to romance and marriage. Because I accepted it, it had been straightforward.” But he adds, “In another sense, no. It has also been difficult, especially as I have got into my older years, I sometimes long for that friendship. I long for that union with somebody else that I have not had throughout my life.” I have always had respect for this man but my respect for him that day went up leaps and bounds because his decision was costly to him but it was for the sake of the kingdom.
While marriage is a good thing, blessed by God, not everybody is going to marry. There are some who have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. They sense God has called them into some sphere in life where they can best fulfill that function by renouncing marriage and living as a single person.
We ought to thank God for those who have accepted that from God. Especially missionaries—many of the mission fields of the world would collapse if single missionaries were withdrawn from the field. There are many single people who have gone in obedience to God to serve Him in ways that would not have been appropriate with a family.
We should see that singleness is also a blessing. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of celibacy as a gift. Most of us would probably disagree that celibacy is a gift when we see it as sort of a fate that we want to avoid if possible. But what Paul means is, if God calls us to a single life, or we find ourselves in a single life, He will give us the gift of celibacy; it is a gift with the ability for one to live a fulfilled life as a single person.
Whether we are single or married, our focus and our aim should one and the same––that we live a life that honours and glorifies God in all that we do.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, whether I am single or married, I desire to live a life that honours and glorifies You in all that I do. Thank You for being all that I need.