I Love My Freedom, But Now What?

Love my freedom

In the survey I conducted before relaunching Purposeful Singleness, the vast majority of you indicated the aspect you like most about being single is your freedom. I would concur with that.

The independence, the ability to be flexible and spontaneous, to not have to fit into a spouse’s agenda, are certainly wonderful perks to being single. Of course it’s not just a spouse who can restrict those things — some of you have the responsibility of children or elderly parents, for instance, which create similar limitations. But in this one aspect of our lives, at least, we have a freedom that married people don’t.

So what do we do with this freedom? Is it truly a good thing? Singles are often painted with the broad-brush description of “selfish” by those who are a bit jealous of our freedom. In reality, being selfish with our blessings is a tendency every human wrestles with, not just singles. It is true, though, that for singles it is largely our freedom we need to be on guard against using only for our own interests.

Freedom to serve

I appreciate that the vast majority of you indicated you enjoy your freedom because of the ability it gives you to focus on God and to serve others. Whether that means relocating to care for a family member, spending your Saturdays to serve in a local homeless shelter, or dropping everything to spend time with a friend in a crisis, you recognize the fulfillment that comes from using your freedom in totally unselfish ways.

One of our single role models from the Bible, the Apostle Paul, wrote this to the Galatian Christians: “For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

 The freedom Paul was referring to here, of course, was the freedom from the Old Testament Levitical Law. It seems the Galatians had forgotten Jesus had fulfilled the Law and all its requirements and they no longer needed to submit to such practices as circumcision. Apparently someone had convinced them otherwise. You can just hear Paul’s frustration as he writes to them! He wrote, “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

God-given freedom

 In similar ways, we singles need to be on guard against feeling guilty for the freedoms God has given us. The perks of our circumstances are gifts and blessings from God, “who richly provides us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17 HCSB). Savoring the freedom to spend your day off in your PJs, to watch your favorite team play its latest game, or to go out for coffee with a friend on the spur of the moment — is no more selfish than those who enjoy a date night with their spouse or a family night at the park. They all serve similar purposes of providing needed rest, rejuvenation, and connection with others.

So enjoy your freedom. Be grateful for it. Savor it and bask in it. It is God’s gift to you! Use it to cultivate a close companionship with Him, meaningful relationships with others, and to serve those you couldn’t otherwise. But also use it as you would any gift — for your enjoyment. Note this does not mean to use it to indulge in sin, as Paul warned, but in wholesome, beneficial enjoyment.

Above all — as in every aspect of life — continually seek God for how He wants you to utilize your freedom in any given moment.

Freedom to cultivate relationship with God

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Comments

  1. Traci says

    This article is a good one Fern; I often allowed people to make me feel guilty because I was single with no children and had more time to do things. Often the statements go something like this, “You only have to worry about yourself, and I have a family to worry about”, this statement made me feel guilty and extend myself on many occasions, even overextending myself. On the other hand, I have learned to do more in the Kingdom, for example, this Thanksgiving I will volunteer to share the Love of God with families, I am very excited about that. I am learning to use my time wisely.

  2. Karen says

    Learning to live with unfulfilled expectations, ours and those of others, is one of the greatest lessons of life.

  3. Michelle says

    This is such an excellent post, Fern! Thank-you for sharing it with us. I’ve rarely felt guilty for all the freedom that I’ve always had as a single woman, but every once in a while I do. Still, I’m thankful for it & have been told by many a married person that they wish that they had it as well. I’m trying to figure out how best to serve God with my singleness, & this article has helped me to get some ideas. Thanks again, & blessings to you. 🙂

  4. Angele says

    Great post! I really value my freedom and the headspace just to connect with God whenever. It’s also awesome to be able to say yes to friends without the need to check-in with someone else first!

  5. Cynthia says

    Thank you for the confirmation. My church just completed a Family LIfe Conference.
    The topic of discussion for the Singles was “Singleness, A Gift from God”. Must admit this was the first i’ve heard that being single was a gift from God. Especially when society often from birth pushes singles, especially women, towards their greatest accomplishment in life “to get married”. Because of the topic from the conference i was searching for other topics for our Singles Ministry to discuss and came across this article. This is a much need reminder that Singleness is a Gift; it’s all about how you view it; that as a Single it’s okay enjoy the idle/free time, that you don’t always have to be doing, working, serving others. Again, thank you.

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