“I wish that all people were as I am. But each person has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” ~1 Corinthians 7:7

A lot of people think Paul is talking about someone having no interest in marriage or having no desire for a sexual relationship with a spouse. So people who have this gift of singleness from God have no struggle, there’s no desire to get married. That’s why when we read the above verse we make a joke about it; a very loud and demonstrative joke: “Well, I sure don’t have THAT gift!!!”

Remember, every time Paul uses the word “gift” he’s talking about something from God that’s intended to build up others. If you’re single, your gift of singleness is not for you. It’s not to make you good so that everything’s great in your life. Your gift of singleness is so others around you can be good. So you can serve and minister in ways that married people can’t.

Maybe Paul wanted to be married. Have you ever wondered about that? Maybe Paul tried to get married. Maybe he had three accounts on Christian Mingle dot com and he hung out every day at Hobby Lobby. I don’t know. But he was single. And in his singleness, Paul lived a life of ministry and service to God and others. He took advantage of his single life, the time he had and the flexibility and freedom, to serve and minister in ways that changed the world.

When Paul calls singleness a “gift,” he’s not saying it’s super easy or that it’s really miserable. Yes, there are struggles. But God’s Spirit works through those struggles to help you grow in Christ and bear fruit in the lives of others. So, being single is not just a gift for a select few. And it’s not necessarily a gift for life. But it is a gift and it’s intended for the sake of others.