Christians Gathered and Sharing Theirs Lives Together

A daily devotion for April 21st

Undivided Attention

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs — how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world — how he can please his wife — and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world — how she can please her husband.

1Corinthians 7:32-34

Paul does not mean that it is wrong for married people to want to please each other. He is simply indicating that they will find much more of their life taken up with their need for fulfilling each other before the Lord. It is a perfectly proper relationship, God-approved and blessed, but their time to give themselves to work is limited by the pressures and problems of married life.

Who of us that is married will deny this? But there is a special privilege single persons have in which they can find an even higher fulfillment in their work before the Lord. They can be wholly for him in whatever they do, as no married person can. They can give to their work before God an intensity of concentration that no married person can give.

What the world owes to the dedication of single men and women before God is impossible for us to assess. There is Paul himself. His own marvelous ministry would never have been possible had he been married. I think of Henrietta Mears, that remarkable woman in Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Through the years she picked out young men whom she felt the Spirit of God was calling to the ministry and worked with them, taught them, and encouraged them, and sent out scores of young men trained for an effective, powerful ministry. There is David Brainerd, that hot-hearted young missionary in the early days of our country, praying in the woods of New England, dedicating himself to reaching the Indians of America and becoming the instrument of God by which a tremendous revival broke out among the Indian tribes. Robert Murray McCheyne in Scotland; Florence Nightingale's great work of healing the sick — these men and women have given themselves with an intensity of concentration impossible to those who are married.

These all confirm the fact that single life need not be lonely, boring, or unrewarding, if it is committed fully and unreservedly to Jesus Christ. It can be a daily adventure of dedication and achievement that surpasses anything possible to those who are married. Thank God for those among us whom God has called to this ministry!

Father, my relationship to you is the supreme thing of my life; everything else must find its focus in that, must center in that. Whether married or single, then, help me to ever keep in mind this one supreme thing. Amen.

Life Application

Do I appreciate the accomplishments of those able to be single minded in their devotion to the Lord? Have I told them that?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Life Without Marriage

Listen to Ray