In this last term of my first year in seminary, I had a class called “Christian Marriage”.
The class was dominated by couples attending the class together. While I found the class interesting, I think what I appreciated most is my teacher’s effort to make the conversation relevant to the singles such as myself, although I think more can be done about this.
(Because until IGSL* comes up with a class called “Christian Singleness / Celibacy,” profs will be left with the awkward responsibility to try to make the class relevant to single students. But that’s another blog post for another time.)
Going back: so while the couples did their married couple-centric assignments, we were tasked to come up with a Single’s Manifesto, which I actually really enjoyed writing!
ATTITUDE TO MYSELF
As a single person, I embrace my identity, and it is this: that I am someone of infinite worth, a precious child of the Ruler of the Heavens, formed intricately from the womb, whose paths have been determined before the hinges of the world were in place, and who God Himself went down to the depths for and who He loved to the skies.
I will, only by the everlasting grace of God, live in this Truth moment by moment.
I recognize and celebrate how God designed me as a unique Person: as someone with specific legitimate needs which ultimately will only be met by God, but which God allows to be met through other legitimate ways. I will not apologize for my needs, but be open to the ways in which God will choose to meet these needs.
I will strive to take responsibility for my own words, actions and choices. I will remind myself that in almost everything, I have a choice to make. However, I will understand the consequences of my choices and take myself to task regarding these. I will seek ways to grow in making wiser choices progressively.
I will seek opportunities to develop my talents and skills, knowing that this is the best way to honor God and steward these things. By committing to hone these talents, I am celebrating God’s unique design of me. Moreover, I commit to dedicate these talents for the sole purpose of glorifying God.
I will be patient and gracious to myself, knowing that God Himself is patient and gracious with me, and that this is one way of loving myself. I will be kind to myself, because I understand that a lack of grace for myself is an indication of pride.
I will look at the present with joy, knowing that the only Person ever whose love for me is the purest, strongest, holiest is with me, has always been with me and will always be with me.
And I will look to the future with a calm, joyous assurance that this same Person has a plan and path laid out for me from the beginning of beginnings.
Whether this plan includes another human being I shall join with in marriage or not will not shake my faith, will not steal my joy, nor will it make me paralyzed with fear, because God Almighty is with me.
*IGSL = International Graduate School of Leadership. My current school.