Because of the Coronavirus, many of us have been forced to experience a season of social isolation to help stop the spread of this pandemic.
But if you are a Christian single person, perhaps God also wants to use this season of isolation for a more individualized purpose in your life. Whether you desire to glorify God more in your season of singleness or you feel led to prepare for the godly marriage God has for you one day, sanctifying your singleness is a powerful step to take.
To sanctify means to purify, to remove that which is unclean, and to set apart oneself for God. If you want to honor the Lord in your singleness or in a relationship one day, you must seek sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So here are 3 signs God wants to use this season of social isolation to help you sanctify your season of singleness.
1. If You Felt Confused About What God Wanted You to Do in Your Season of Singleness Before this Pandemic Occurred, God Could Be Calling You to Use this Season of Social Isolation to Seek Clarity on What God Wants You to Be Doing Once This Pandemic Is Over
As Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” When we apply this to a season of Christian singleness, we need to realize there are different seasons even within a season of singleness.
In other words, for some of you God is telling you to just be still because you need a time to realign your heart with the Holy Spirit. For others of you, God is telling you to go through a season of repentance because you just go out of a sinful relationship or you recently realized you have made marriage an idol. And for others of you God is telling you to enter into a more proactive season of dating where you are actively seeking out a relationship with a godly man or woman.
None of these seasons are right for everyone at all times. There is a season for everything. But you will end up confused and stressed if you don’t know exactly what type of season God wants you in right now. Some people jump from a season of just focusing on God to then actively trying to date someone and then back to just focusing on God because they are unsure of what God is actually saying.
To really know what God is saying, you have to slow down long enough to hear what God is truly saying to you. If you are being forced to experience social isolation because of COVID-19, perhaps God is also telling you to not waste this season but rather to use it to sanctify your season of singleness. As Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV) explains:
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
None of us wanted this pandemic to occur, but as Christians we are called to “make the most of every opportunity.” If you don’t know what God’s specific will is for you in your season of singleness, God may be calling you to use this time of social isolation to ask him.
2. If You Know Your Heart Has Become Too Dependent on the Hope for Marriage, This Could Mean God Wants You to Use Your Social Isolation to Sanctify Your Singleness
Both the desire to be single and the desire to be married are godly desires for Christians when our motives are pure. Many people, however, feel that a desire to be single is better because it means your heart just wants to be happy in God and nothing else. This is unbiblical because God calls all people, married and unmarried, to find their ultimate joy in God alone. This is why in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Paul said:
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”
What does Paul mean by this, “let those who have wives live as though they had none”? Is Paul telling husbands to abandon their wives and ignore their families? In 1 Corinthians 7:2 Paul said, “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” In Ephesians 5:25 Paul said, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.” Would Christ abandon his church?
Of course not! Paul is obviously not telling married people to abandon each other. He is not saying singleness is better than marriage for everyone (though it is for some). What he is saying is that whatever you are doing in life, put God first. Whether mourning, rejoicing, buying, or selling – put Christ first! That’s the point Paul is making through 1 Corinthians 7.
As COVID-19 reminds us, “the appointed time has grown very short” and “the present form of this world is passing away.” So if you are single right now but in your heart your desire for marriage has become your main hope for joy, God wants to change that. You don’t need to forsake your desire for marriage. God made marriage and it is good. You just need to sanctify your singleness so God can take back the rightful place in your heart that he alone deserves.
3. If You Sense God Preparing You to Actively Pursue a Season of Dating Sooner Rather than Later, He Could Want You to Use This Time of Social Isolation to Prepare for that Upcoming Season
Sometimes God calls Christians who desire to be married one day to step out of their comfort zones and try something new, like online dating or actively pursuing someone they’ve had feelings for but have never tried to date. If you sense God leading you into a season like this, a great way to prepare is to first sanctify your singleness with the Lord.
This means you dedicate your singleness to God. It means that you commit your singleness to God for however long or short it lasts. As Psalm 37:4-6 states:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
I believe the primary way God fulfills this Scripture is by showing us that he himself is actually the main desire of our hearts. When we delight in him, our desires will be satisfied because our deepest desire is for God. But in a secondary sense I also believe that when you commit your way to the Lord, that’s when God will act and help you receive the other biblical blessings you desire in life as well.