Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

In the News: Are You “Single”?

Image Friday was Valentine’s Day. Some like it, and some don’t. Some view it as an opportunity to express their love for their spouses or “significant others”, and some think it to be a “made up” holiday designed by card companies, florists and confectioners as an excuse to rake in some extra money. To each his own.

What I noticed this Valentine’s Day, (and have noticed off an on for several years now), is the common use of the term “single” with regard to relationships. With the advent of MySpace, Facebook, and the changing attitudes of our society, the definition of “single” as it refers to relationships, has itself undergone a fundamental and rather unfortunate change.

For as long as I have been alive, (and I suspect for a long time before), a single person was considered to be a person who is not married. There are still vestiges of this, mostly in the complaints of old fogies like me, and in census forms and paperwork. (You know, where you check the box—Single, or Married).
However, most people, and especially most younger people consider a single person to be someone who is not in a relationship. Am I single? No, I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Am I single? No, I am in a relationship. Am I single? No, I have been living with someone for some time now.

Personally, I wish the only negative answer given to the question would be, “No, I am married.” Not just to be “technically” accurate, but because the other answers are an indication of societal change that is unhealthy, and certainly destructive to spirituality.

In Genesis 2:24, Moses related the nature of the marriage relationship by saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” By this he affirmed that two singles become one couple when they marry!

By God’s definition, homosexuals are single. So are heterosexuals who are not yet married. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and are in a “steady” relationship, you are single! If you have taken the step to become engaged, until you say “I do”, you are still single! Why is this important, you ask? Well, primarily because of what the Hebrew writer wrote in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

You see, our society long ago rejected the idea that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Now, instead of faithful “until death”, all that is expected is faithfulness while still in a relationship! Those who keep themselves pure until they are married are considered peculiar, and those who preach chastity until marriage are considered intolerant! With changes in morals comes changes in the definition and usage of words to reflect them.

While this is unfortunate, it is even more disheartening to hear Christians using the terms in the new ways. Personally, I refuse to use the term “gay” to refer to the homosexual; and “significant other” to refer to an individual with whom you are having extramarital relations. I also refuse to conform the word “single” to current usage. Anyone not married, in my book, is single!

Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine. But, remember that worldliness can influence and impact the Christian in subtle, but destructive ways. Something to think about!