Dear Dr. Buckingham,
My boyfriend and I constantly argue and fight about what it means to be good in singleness. He believes that being good in singleness is about how he conducts himself in church and in the community. I disagree. We have sex on a regular basis, and he does not view this as being problematic. In his mind, he believes he is good in his singleness.
Because we are bombarded with sex in so many different ways daily, my boyfriend like others have become desensitized and believe it’s just the way things are today. Although I am guilty of engaging in premarital sex, I was raised to know and do better. Before I discuss this with my boyfriend again, I wanted to know if you could share your thoughts about this topic from a Christian perspective. Please help!
What Does it Mean to Be Good in Singleness?
Good in Singleness
Dear Good in Singleness,
I recently participated on a single’s panel at a local church and was somewhat surprised by the number of singles who commented about being “good” in their singleness. I heard them rant and rave about being a “good catch,” and some became defensive when people questioned why they were still single. They spoke in very “assertive manners” toward married people and reminded them they are not defective.
As I listened, I observed tension growing in the sanctuary. The more I listened, the more I begin to believe a lot of single Christians do not know what it means to be “good” in singleness.
Like many single Christians, I thought being “good” in singleness was rooted in my church attendance and belief and faith in God. As long as I attended church on regular basis, served in my community, performed kind deeds for others, studied the Word and praised God, I was convinced I was good in my singleness.
While in church, I often reminded married people I did not have to be married to be good. Although I truly believed this, it was a lie. I was not good in my singleness because of my inability to accept it. Accepting singleness because you have to is different than accepting singleness because you want to. Singleness is a calling, not an identity. A large percentage of males and females embrace singleness because they do not see marriage as a viable option. Please stop the foolishness. If you truly want to be married, go for it and quit hiding behind singleness out of discouragement and hopelessness.
I knew that singleness was not my calling because just as quick as I moved to open a Bible at church, I moved just as quickly to open a woman’s legs at home. Good in singleness in my opinion is associated with purity or practicing celibacy if you have already had sex. When you live a life of celibacy, you reframe from sexual activity of any kind and totally commit your life to God.
If you are not good at keeping your privates in your pants, you are not “good” in your singleness. Yes, God created us as sexual beings, and sexual intercourse was designed by God to be a wonderful experience that promotes love, communication and intimacy. However, Genesis chapter two, verse 24 tells us God designed sex for marriage:
“A man will be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
I was not good about keeping my penis in my pants, plus I did not want to burn in hell, so I got married. Now, understand that I did not just get married because I could not control my flesh. My ultimate reason for getting married was because I wanted to make my soul as good as possible by honoring my commitment as a faithful servant of Christ.
Good in singleness means you understand that God is enough. God is sufficient. God can meet all your needs better than anyone else. Good in singleness also means you understand God is worth all the sacrifice and suffering that is sometimes associated with practicing celibacy and totally committing to him. Singleness it is a high calling, and it is not for everyone. Singleness is not about the single person but about the relationship that person has with God. If you are totally committed to God with your mind, body and soul, then you are good in your singleness. However, if you are still having premarital sex, please contact me for coaching, so I can help you be good in your singleness.
Fellas, check back next week to see my response to how Christian men can practice celibacy.
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Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.