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Jennifer Holberg teaches English at Calvin College. Used by permission. It was written by Jennifer Holberg, an assistant professor of English at Calvin and co-editor and co-founder of the award-winning Pedagogy. I have decided that asking God for a husband is like the Israelites asking for a king: they only wanted one because everyone else had one and once they got one, it was all downhill from there.
This chapter clearly valorizes the single life, praising in particular the ability of single people to focus on the work of the church and encouraging them to remain unmarried. It is notable that in this text and related ones throughout scripture, Christianity assumes a respect for the single life, and in Pauline terms, one could argue almost a downright bias towards it. A case in point: this past spring I thought about ing a Bible study group run by a well-known national organization. Okay, read: single men.
Unlucky Jim—I almost took his out of pity. Tossed out of his Bible study at 36 and when he probably needed it most. Certainly, it is often implied, that like an adolescent, the single person has unlimited supplies of free time and an endlessly flexible schedule.
Last summer, for example, when Christianity Today ran a special issue on the single Christian, most of the articles were written by singles in their 20s. Their early 20s. Moreover, if one is unmarried and childless, life must be one long vacation, full of fun and self-indulgence.
Of course, if we pretend singleness is only a function of youth, then it makes sense to assume, as the Bible study group did, that after 35 there is no real need for a special group for singles. I mean really, this seems to suggest, if it has taken you until now to find someone, you must be beyond hope.
And, in some ways, I agree that segregation by marital status can be tedious. After all, most of my closest friends are married women with children, and naturally, I prefer hanging out with them. And, I do believe that single people should be fully involved in the life of the church—in every ministry opportunity and at every social event. It seems to me that a better option would be to offer a range of studies, based on age and marital status, that would provide an opportunity, if one desired, to meet with like-minded people.
Everything in its season. Neither of these assumptions, I think, arises from malice or bad intentions. The wonder of marriage is that two completed people, mysteriously, can become one. This implies, of course, that as Christians, we move towards wholeness as we acquire more and more the heart of Christ—not the junky jewelry version of a broken-hearted man.
To acquire the heart of Christ means I must strive to be content with the life he has given me. But to believe that my own disappointments are greater because I am single than those disappointments that occur within the lives of my married brothers and sisters would be a grave error. By cultivating a spirit of thankfulness, we continually remind ourselves of our dependence on God and help counteract our desire to have a king like everybody else.
Instead, we can focus on the real work of all of our lives: to love our friends and family extravagantly, to serve our God faithfully, and to live out our salvation joyfully. Calvin University provost's book wins Aldersgate Prize. First-year undergraduate and graduate enrollment rising at Calvin University.
Calvin University announces January Series lineup. Calvin engineering program climbing U. News rankings. Calvin alum goes to great lengths to support cause. December 16, Jennifer Holberg.Man seeking swf
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