Almost seven years ago I had the privilege of singing in a choir in an old cathedral in Naples, Italy. I remember how my eyes closed basking in the beauty of a full and authentic sound. I remembered the pure thrill of losing myself in the massive throng of several other unique voices contributing to the choir’s unity of purpose to evoke awe and wonder in the audience. The harmonic singing allowed distinctive voices to create a beautiful melody that was greater than the individuals involved. Each person had something to contribute and worked together by listening to each other to achieve musical excellence. The body of Christ works the same way. People from different backgrounds, cultures, and even marital statuses are called to God’s family to display the glory of our God and His beauty to a world engulfed in darkness.
As a single serving in a church that is very family oriented, it has been a struggle to discover my role in the local church, to develop relationships that spurs others on to good works, and also to seek accountability in my own walk. I didn’t think that I had much to offer to seasoned wives and mothers who have had a larger share of sanctification experiences through both their children and spouses than I have had in my lifetime. I was often too intimidated to ask them to share their wisdom with me as well. What could I possibly have to offer? How can I fit in? Why would they be bothered by me? These were questions that continuously plagued my mind, questions that often paralyzed me into not serving at all, and began to fan the flames of bitterness that took root in my heart. Again, God is faithful to complete the work he begins in His selfish saints, and I am no exception. His example of righteous humility showed me that to discover my role in the body of Christ meant to give myself to love and to “count others as more significant than myself”. (Philippians 2:3)
In essence the key to serving the local church faithfully, was to completely lose my “rights” to significance, value, and recognition from others and to once again enjoy the thrill of losing myself to the greatest cause of all time. The greatest joy can be found in loving Christ and living a life poured out for the benefit of His bride. As we toil and seek to grow in intentional, sacrificial love for each other, we are captivating the lost and broken to the beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ. My sisters, to experience the community promised to us through the Scriptures, we must recognize that Christ has not only saved us to God, but also to each other. Our connection to each other runs deeper than family ties, but is engraved in eternity for, “Out of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge, the Righteous One, My servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). Christ bore our sins. He satisfied the Father’s wrath on behalf of His church and made her righteous. Christ indeed loves His church, and has given His life for her, to sanctify her and make her pure and blameless. Jesus said in John 13:35, “by this all people will know that you are my disciples; if you have love for one another.” The Church is what displays the Gospel’s power to the world.
So to singles who feel discouraged, discontent, and left out, I lovingly challenge you to look beyond your circumstances to see the greater purpose for which you were created. Your life is not meant to be spent waiting and pining after a husband when you have already been consecrated forever to the King of Kings. Seek intentional relationships with other women and watch how God uses it for His glory and your good. Know that as you walk in obedience, that you are contributing to a purpose greater than yourself. Come and join the massive symphony of worship, praise, and adoration of Christ our King and stand in awe of His bride. She is indeed beautiful.
“Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth giving life to all that God has made. Show your power once again on earth. Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways. Let the fragrance of our prayers arise. Lead us on the road of sacrifice. That in unity the face of Christ, will be clear for all the world to see.” (Keith and Kristyn Getty)
Joy Dudley is a member of Lakeshore City Church and loves Jesus Christ with a passion to point other to the heart of the gospel