Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Calling All Theoblogians #10

Here is an appropriate theological question with Valentine’s Day over for another year.

What is the ‘gift of singleness'?  Whereabouts in the Bible is it referred to?  I have heard two possible explanations:

One is that the gift is a special ability to feel content with being single.

The other is that the gift is the gift of single people to the church. That is, if you’re single, then the gift of singleness is not for your benefit, but for the benefit of the church in that single people have the ability to serve in ways married people often can’t i.e. having more free time.

An argument I’ve heard against the first interpretation is that if the gift is a special ability to feel comfortable with being single then why didn’t God give this gift to all single people? Some people are very unhappy with their singleness, and wonder why God is leaving them in these circumstances without the ‘gift of singleness’ to endure it.

Others don’t like the single people being the gift to the church option. They argue it sounds like single people are to be the slaves of married people as if all singles are useful for is babysitting. I must admit when I was single (and even now), I don’t like the idea.

Which one is it?


bettyl said...

My Bible doesn't say anything about 'the gift of being single'. It just says that we should learn to be content where we are until God moves us to another place.

Sarah said...

Hi bettyl, yeah I couldn't find anything specific about it either but I've heard lots of people refer to it. Maybe they're meaning 1 Corinthians 7:7 where Paul says "I wish that all of you were as I am" and that has been interpreted as Paul having some sort of gift of being comfortable with his singleness.