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As Is

"A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God." - 1 Corinthians 7:39-40

I really can't help but think that Paul was grinning from ear to ear in a cheeky manner when he wrote these words, and that is because even though he was single, he KNEW as an outsider what a hard thing it is to be married. It is beautiful and wonderful, and can be very fulfilling, but it is HARD WORK! That is why, for this entire chapter of the bible really, Paul stressed the importance of contentedness and paying attention to where the Holy Spirit has you NOW as you are in your life. Are you single? GREAT! You can focus on God and working out His will in this world. Are you married? GREAT! You and your spouse can work together for God's kingdom. Are you a parent? GREAT! You can live out the Word of God and impress it on your children so, by the grace of God, a new generation of believers can RISE UP.

However, the very WORST thing you can do is to be coveting a new stage of life. There's nothing wrong with wanting, yearning, and even pursuing a status change (single -> married, or married -> parent), but there is a problem when you are placing the value of a different status above your own before you you arrive. Just because you are single, that doesn't mean you are better than a parent who may not have as much free time to volunteer for God's work as you do. And married people/parents, you are not better than single people and it is totally fine to hang out with them! You have all kinds of things in common and can forge amazing friendships. It's a lie from the devil that brothers and sisters in different life stages should not associate, or that we should only have community in affiliate groups.

All that being said, let's challenge ourselves - are we content with our status in life NOW (or do we find ourselves complaining about spouse, children, loneliness)? Are we surrounded by a diverse set of believers so that we can spiritually feed, spread wisdom, and encourage each other? Dear ones, let's all agree to look at our lives AS IS, and how we are incorporating the joyful, content, diverse Holy Spirit of God right now.



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