Available in free printable download format. Click on the following flashing bar >>>
Singleness and God's Deliverance: My personal experience, by Betty Vivian
Singleness was a great Goliath that roared at me during the first eleven years of my Christian life. For some people it is not a problem but for a considerable number it is a severe one. Many married couples carry colossal burdens which are frequently obvious. The trials of singleness are often not appreciated or understood as they are so inward. In writing of my spiritual pathway as a single woman, now 66, I realise married people may read this as well as those who are single. If I tread on any toes in the first part of what I say, please bear with me and read to the end. My story has a wonderful conclusion due entirely to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. I give Him all the glory….
Other aspects of Singleness
There is a stigma about being “an old maid” or “on the shelf”. I think “spinster” is one of the ugliest words in the English language. It also seems unfair that single women are publicly labelled “Miss” all their lives, while single men are not similarly treated. “Ms” does try to rectify this, but I dislike it and would never use it. Particularly in today’s moral climate, the attitude is, that if you haven’t had sex you’ve “never lived”. To carry all these labels is very humiliating.
The media was also very difficult. It only needed one picture to stir up sinful desires. This is now a far greater problem for young people than it used to be….
Celibacy was so difficult that the only way I could cope with it was through prayer and fasting. I learnt that if I thought in psychological terms and said, “poor me, I am repressed and that is bad for me,” the battle was lost. If I called sinful desires “sin” and asked God’s forgiveness and help, the victory was won.
For many single people, sex can become an over-important issue because of the fact that they do have to live a celibate life 365 days a year, year in year out. Where food is concerned people who have regular meals and a full pantry usually do not think excessively about eating. Starving people do. My feeling in the church was that married Christians seemed to think single people had no sexual feelings, whereas celibacy can make them a great problem for many, especially younger people. I would think this matter is much harder for men than for women. I also recognise that it is not a problem for some individuals.
It was very hard to be preached at by a happily married man... Before married people condemn my reaction too swiftly they might stop to consider how they would feel on a human level if a single man were to preach to them some Bible truths they found hard to accept about their marriage relationship and sex lives. The vast majority of single Christians are preached at almost entirely by married men….
God has been the most wonderful husband to me since 1968. As He promised in 1956 He has “added all these things” in a far, far better way than I ever dreamed of. He also did “deliver me” – hence the title of my booklet.
I have no wish whatsoever to be married. I love living on my own and can’t wait to get home after a meeting. In the house I am never bored or nervous at night. Since the age of 32 I have not known five minutes of feeling lonely. God is my Friend and my Companion. He has been marvellously faithful to me. While I value good friends at church I have no special friend. I go everywhere on my own, but always feel complete and never alone. All my problems, needs and decisions I talk over with the Lord. Nothing that married people do or say, where marriage is concerned, upsets me. I am free and comfortable with them, and enjoy hearing about their children. I long for them to be blessed as I have been.
Being called- “Miss” does not trouble me one iota!
The more I grow to know God, the more sinful I see myself to be. Certainly I need the ministry, fellowship and correction of God’ people. Also I highly value the practical help, good advice, wisdom and needful home truths of my sister and her husband. There are dangers in living alone as well as blessings.
I have found that the more I consider God’s wishes and feelings, the more He considers mine. My happiness lies not in my circumstances, but in my being in the centre of God’s will.
Concern for Single Christians
For the past 33 years, I have been inwardly happy, contented and at rest, but have never forgotten how I used to feel during the first 11 years of my Christian life. Nothing since then has been as bad as the old inner trials.
I have a deep concern for single Christians. This of course includes people who are bereaved and divorced. Today’s moral climate is far worse than when I was young, but what God has done for me He can do for anyone. There is no sin or mountain of sins too bad to be forgiven. No wounds are too deep for the love of God to heal completely.
Book © (Copyright): Betty Vivian
Hard copy booklets available. Write to Miller Avenue Baptist Church, 285 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA