Doing Family As A Single Adult

Do You Struggle With Being Single In Your Family?

Tim Lundy
May 20, 2019    44m
Despite society expectations of marriage, Scripture affirms and values singleness. In fact, single adults have very unique opportunities as followers of Christ. However, they also face unique challenges. But Jesus, as a single adult, is your example and your advocate. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy (00:00):
As we continue on in this series on No Perfect Family, this weekend, we want to look at a segment of our church family, one that we don't often talk about in church, especially in a family series. Lot of times you do a family series, we talk about marriage, we talk about parenting, even talking about grandparenting. But this weekend, I want us to focus on single adults, a very important part of our church family, growing part of our population. Latest numbers, there's about 109 million single adults in the United States over the age of 18. That's 45% of the adult population. And that number keeps growing and has grown within the church as well. And as I say that, you know, anytime you address single adults, it's such a broad category. There's some here and some hearing this, you're single by choice. You want to be single. You like where you are.

Tim Lundy (01:00):
And then there's some that are single by circumstance. You haven't married someone yet. You haven't found someone. You find yourself divorced or a widow or widower and in circumstances that even now you look at it and you go, I'm single, but I wouldn't choose this per se. And in it, there's difficulties and struggles that you face. And I've got to just at the outset tell you, there's parts of it that I certainly can speak to, but there's parts of it that I've not experienced. You know, I've been married for over 28 years and I've not walked the journey that many of you have. But the thing that I love about Scripture is it speaks to all people and we need to speak to it. It was interesting after I spoke last night how many different single adults came down and they go, you know, I think I've heard one sermon in church ever addressed to us.

Tim Lundy (01:54):
And you look at it, how much Scripture talks about it. Now, as I dive into it, if you're here and your married and there's part of you that goes, oh, good. I get to click off now. This isn't for me. How many sermons on marriage have they had to hear? Okay? And there's aspects of it that I want you to specifically hear because we will never be the family of God God's called us to be if we don't learn how to love all the people of this church and learn what Scripture says to every person in this church. So what does the Bible say about singleness? What does it say about relationship? You know, we've been looking at those primary stories from Genesis. Genesis 2:18, God looked at Adam. Adam was alone and He said, it's not good that man should be alone.

Tim Lundy (02:49):
I'll make him a helper fit for him. That's primary verse that looked and says humanity was never meant to do life alone. No person was never meant to be alone. Why? Because we were created in the image of God, and God is a relational God. He's an eternal relationship. Father, Son and Spirit have existed for eternity, have loved for eternity. So if you're created in His image, you were made for relationship. Now for Adam, the answer was Eve. And sometimes as a church, we look at it and go, yes. In relationship, that's the answer for every person. They just need to get married. You've got that one person out there for you. But the reality is, though, if you read through the Bible, that's not the one prescription for all. It's never good that any person is alone and does life alone. But the answer to that is not always marriage.

Tim Lundy (03:49):
In fact, if you look through the Bible, there's an emphasis, in fact, first point, you see, Scripture affirms and values singleness, actually affirms and values it. One of the people that valued it the most was the apostle Paul about his own life. Look what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7. He said, I wish that all were as I myself am in. And he's speaking there about his singleness. I wish everybody was like me. But each has his own gift from God. One of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. Now, notice what we saw in Genesis it's not good that a person's alone. But Paul says it can be good to be single. In fact, he puts his vote in and he goes, hey, if I was the one voting for everybody, I'd say you ought to be just like me.

Tim Lundy (04:50):
Notice in it, and part of this language is so different than how we present it often. We kind of present it as, oh, I'm so sorry you're single. It's a language of concession with it. Paul goes, oh, actually, I think it's an advantage. I embrace the advantage. Now, he says, everybody's not like me though. He recognizes that from the outset. He has no problem with someone being in a relationship. I just love how he's embraced who he is. He's embraced what he's doing in that. And I think that's important for us. You know, the Roman Catholic Church has lifted this up to a point that the priest and the nuns, I mean the highest life in their estimation is that celibate life committed to serving God in it. The Protestant Church, Orthodox Church does not embrace that. But we almost go to the other end where we say the highest life and best life is you've got to be married in that.

Tim Lundy (05:52):
I'll just remind you the greatest man who ever walked this planet was a single adult. Jesus Christ. And I know you immediately go well, he's Jesus. He couldn't get married. Marriage is not a sin. And so in that, Jesus chose, and if you looked around him and the people He did life with. In fact, if you look through the Bible, you'll see a lot of single adults that are listed in ways and have been significant for the Kingdom. The second point in that single adults have unique opportunities as followers of Christ, very unique opportunities as followers of Christ. Continuing on, Paul says this about his life. He says, I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife. His interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be Holy in body and spirit.

Tim Lundy (06:54):
But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit. And again, he says not to lay restraint on you. I'm not writing any rules here, what you have to do. He's just saying, I'm saying for your benefit to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. What he's pointing out, just the practical realities. If you are married, you have some anxieties. You have some stresses that unmarried people don't. You have to give your attention to your spouse. You have to give your attention, time and money and effort there. And again, I don't say that like, oh man, unmarried people, they have it so easy. No, it's just a different challenge. And what Paul's pointing out here and I think there's the thing to embrace with it. He's just looked at his own life and he goes, this is where God's placed me.

Tim Lundy (07:54):
You know, a couple of chapters later, he'll write these words. He says, run the race. All of us are to run the race to win. And part of what he's calling each person wherever God's placed you is run your race and run now. And if you are single, God's not waiting for you to get married before you start running. If anything, Ge's looking and going, run hard now. Run the race that God's placed in front of you. Now, as we say that and we look at that, you need to realize there's some challenges as well. Single adults have unique challenges as followers of Christ, some unique things that you face in that. Now we'll walk through some of these and I think this is where it's really important as a church. These challenges are not strictly unique to single adults, but I think for us to be a church family, we need to embrace together what are some of the things they're facing that we're not?

Tim Lundy (08:54):
First thing that you hear and see often is loneliness. Loneliness. A deep loneliness. When you look up and you realize I am doing my life alone. I don't have that relationship. I don't have someone I come home to. I don't process life and it can get lonely. And there's nothing wrong with solitude. Solitude is a good thing. And some of you, you like living alone. You like the solitude that you have in that. Some of the greatest writing, thinking thoughts have come out of people who are able to spend time alone. There's a difference between solitude and loneliness. And loneliness has an impact on us. There's a professor, John Cacioppo. He is a director at the Center of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. And he wrote kind of the definitive work, a book about 10 years ago. He wrote a book entitled Loneliness. And they studied it in all different segments of society.

Tim Lundy (09:58):
And one of the most fascinating things though is they studied the physical impact on the body of lonely people. Listen as he describes, he said, when we drew blood from these lonely adults and analyzed their white cells, we found that loneliness somehow penetrated the deepest recesses of the cell to alter the way genes were being expressed. Here's a summary. When you are lonely, your whole body's lonely. You feel it down to even the way the cells are expressing it. And some of you, even as I say those words, you know that. You don't need a scientific description. You feel it. And one of the greatest dangers of loneliness, loneliness and depression can go hand in hand, where you find yourself not getting energy even to face the day like you could. You feel like you're in a hole and you can never get out of it.

Tim Lundy (11:03):
One of the things that I love, I love the ministry. And we've been highlighting at this month, living with hope and mental health. And having a group here at Venture that just addresses yes, I'm struggling with depression, yes, I'm struggling with bipolar behavior, yes, I'm struggling. I am struggling in ways and I don't know who to talk to. And especially if you're alone, especially if you're single and you go, I struggle with these things alone. I would encourage you, if you find yourself in that place, one of the greatest first steps is just inviting people in, of just connecting with people. See, it's not good for any person to be alone, whether you're married or not. One of the key things, and if you look at Scripture, it's interesting to me, the single adults that you see in Scripture, this conscious effort to create the kind of relationships that are needed.

Tim Lundy (12:02):
You know, Paul talks about the fact. He goes, man, I love being single. It gives me a freedom. And if you look at Paul's life, part of it was a calling he had on his life. He was called to plant churches all over this planet. And he lived on the road. Paul would have not done well married. He really wouldn't have. And he recognized that and he said, I'm so thankful for how God's wired me and the gifting He's given me in that. But you know, it's interesting in every city he went, every letter he wrote, if you look at how many names of people that he's greeting, how many names of people that are traveling with him, he never did life alone. He always had deep friendships and relationships around him in cities. Sometimes with men he was a mentoring. Sometimes, one of his best friends was a couple, Priscilla and Aquila.

Tim Lundy (12:54):
They did ministry together. He stayed with them for a season. He would always greet them. His ministry, a couple that partnered with him. It's a great picture of what it should be like in the church. Probably the greatest picture I think is Jesus. I mean you look at Jesus. He was a single adult, but He didn't do life alone. Now, I know He always had the 12 disciples around Him. But did you ever look at the friendships He had as well? I mean a group that was some of His best friends were three siblings: Lazarus, Mary and Martha. And Scripture never mentions their spouses at all. No indication of that. And yet when Jesus would come into the region, He'd stay with them. He'd connect with them. In fact, in John 11, look at this verse as it describes their relationship. This is when Jesus is coming. Lazarus has died and he's about to raise him from the dead.

Tim Lundy (13:51):
I want you to notice though their relationship when it said, so the sisters sent to him saying, Lord, he whom you love. And it uses the Greek word here phileo. Greek has different words for love. English has love, and we try to express it in different ways. Greek was a little more precise. And so in the Greek, Lord, he whom you love. Phileo here is the love of friendship. It's the love of brotherhood. Your friend, he's ill. A couple of verses later, it says, now Jesus loved. And here it's a different Greek word. It's agape. This is the love of commitment. This is a love of sacrifice. Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. I mean you get a snapshot here of their relationship that Jesus with these three, He's got deep phileo, deep friendship, deep comradery, deep level that they just, they like doing life together.

Tim Lundy (14:54):
He also has agape, sacrifice, commitment. He's there for them. Now there's another Greek word for love. Eros. It's the word for sexual love. That romantic love in it. It's interesting here. You don't see that word ever show up. There was no erotic relationship there. In fact, Jesus didn't have that with anyone. And I think it's important to recognize because our culture produces the message that if you really are going to love, it's got to have that as part of it. You've got to have that in your relationships. And Jesus models for us, no, these are people I love and we do life together and we go deep together. There's an intimacy of relationship that they have. But there's nothing erotic. It doesn't have to be a part of it.

Tim Lundy (15:57):
And I think it's important and I would challenge you, especially if you're a single adult, but you know, loneliness is not just for singles. Some of the loneliest people I know are married. If you are not reaching out and having the kind of relationships where there's a comradery, where there's a commitment. See, the problem with loneliness, it's self-defeating. You can get there and you sit there and go, who's going to come rescue me from it? And I would encourage you, if you find yourself in that place, you need to be the person that goes, no, I'm going to reach out. I'm going to start developing those relationships. All of us need that friend that will be there. All of us need that person that you can talk to and say anything to, that person in your life, whether you are married or whether you are single. We need that.

Tim Lundy (16:52):
You know, Bob Greene describes it. He went through a hard season. He was a columnist in Chicago, Chicago Tribune. And after a difficult season to begin with, his wife died. And as he was dealing with that, dealing with his kids, he just cratered. I mean just the news came that she had died and he just shut down. He went and got in bed. He said, I don't want to talk to anyone. Woke up the next morning. And for just a moment, when he woke up, he kind of had that hopeful sense of the new day and then reality crushed him. And he just felt it. And he heard the phone ringing and he picked up the phone. On the other end of the phone was his friend Jack who lived out of town. First words were, hey, Bob, this is Jack. I'm in Chicago. For a moment, Bob thought, he said he was coming to Chicago. And he goes, no, I'm here. Heard the news, took the first flight out this morning. You probably don't want to talk to anybody. Probably don't want to see anybody. So I'm in this hotel room. I'm going to sit here until you're ready. And when you need me, I'll be there. And then he hung up.

Tim Lundy (18:13):
Bob said, you know, for several hours, he didn't want to talk to anybody. He didn't want to reach out to anybody. But when the time came, he picked up the phone, he called Jack and Jack was there. And Jack walked with him through the worst days of his life. You got that kind of friend? You got the person that on your worst day, they're there? They don't force themselves. They don't try to over-prescribe. They're just there because they know you and they love you. Maybe the better question is, are you that kind of friend? If you want those relationships, you have to be those no matter what your status is.

Tim Lundy (19:11):
Now that can get hard as you're alone because here's the second challenge for single adults is self-focus, self-focus. And here's why I say this. I don't say this to pick or it's any worse. We all come into this world pretty selfish. And part of the curriculum of life is to draw us outside of ourselves. Especially as you come into a relationship with Jesus, He's constantly calling us outside of self. He says you got to deny yourself in that. And marriage is helpful. I didn't realize how selfish I was till I got married. And you start living with this other person, and they have a different perspective on how life should be done. And then children. And you know, children, you look at it and you go there's times where you go, how could these little beings be so selfish? Here's the interesting part though. The times, usually when I feel like the kids are being the most selfish, it's usually because they're tapping into my selfishness. They're forcing me to not be able to what I want to do. And I go, ah, that's hard.

Tim Lundy (20:22):
Now when you're alone, here's one of the dangers of it though. There's some great advantages. Paul said, man, I've got the advantage to do these things Kingdom wise. One of the disadvantages though, you can always do life around you. Eat what you want, do what you want, set the schedule according to what you want. That's an advantage. But in that advantage, you can get in a perspective where it's about me. And so part of the challenge is constantly looking, okay, where is God calling me to [inaudible] myself? Where's God calling me to sacrifice? Where's God calling me to look out for others in a way that cuts across the freedom that I have in that? Because I want to serve them, but I also want to grow in that.

Tim Lundy (21:07):
Philippians calls all of us to do this. It says, let each of you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. Don't just look out for you. You're always looking out for others in it. You know, one of my heroes of the faith is John Stott. I've always loved John Stott, his writings, phenomenal pastor, phenomenal theologian, phenomenal evangelist. One of the key leaders of the Lausanne Movement around the world. And John Stott lived, ministered and died as a single adult. Never married. And yet, if you look at his life, I think one of the things that made him so effective was he was always looking for ways to serve others. He was always pouring into others. In fact, Rene Padilla describes a time he was traveling with Stott. They were down in a conference in South America in Argentina. And he was thrilled because he was sharing a room with John Stott who's like this superstar of the faith.

Tim Lundy (22:10):
And they got in late at night, had to walk through the muddy streets. And the next morning, he woke up early in the morning. He could hear this brushing sound. And he looked over and there's John Stott and he's got his shoes and he's got a brush and he's brushing the mud off of Rene's shoes. And Rene looked at him. He said, John, what are you doing? You don't have to clean my shoes. And Stott just smiled at him. He said, oh, Rene, Jesus told us we're supposed to wash feet. But I didn't think you'd want your feet washed this morning. But the least I can do is brush your shoes. I think that's one of the reasons God used him so tremendously for a lifetime is he never lost that perspective.

Tim Lundy (23:06):
I would challenge you, if you're a single adult, are you looking for the ways that you can serve? Are you looking for the ways you can give your life away? Who depends on you? And I'm not talking about your work. I'm talking about outside of your work, outside of your normal world, where have you put yourself in a place of sacrifice that if you don't show up, somebody's depending on? You know, and one of the best ways you can do this, I just would challenge you, teaching in our family ministry, especially in the children's ministry. If you are a single adult, it's one of the best ways you can parent in the family of God. It's one of the best ways you disciple children and invest your life in them.

Tim Lundy (23:51):
I know even as I say that, some of you go well, Tim, I would love to, but then I'm committed every weekend. I kind of like leaving my weekends a little more flexible. Well, of course, you do. But where are you called to sacrifice? And maybe it's not on this campus. Maybe it's at a kid's club. Maybe it's at a homeless shelter. Maybe it's somewhere across town. I just would call you and it's the call to all of us. But I would challenge you specifically, where have you placed yourself in a position of sacrifice that will call you outside of self, that if you don't show up, somebody's depending on you and you're needed in it? God will grow you through that.

Tim Lundy (24:35):
Third area challenge that you see in it is sexual purity and frustration. Sexual purity and frustrating. And I put both of these together because a lot of times as the church, we teach on this, the sexual purity part. And we call single adults to sexual purity and God's Word speaks to sexual purity with it. But you know, I think it's easy for us who are married a lot of times to speak to this without addressing the fact as single adults, there's a lot of sexual frustration too. Just because you're single, you didn't just become this asexual being. And it's one of the greatest areas of challenge in that. But Scripture speaks to it. It's not silent in it and we can't be silent in it as well.

Tim Lundy (25:22):
Look what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7. He says to the unmarried and the widows, I say that is good to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. Now, one of the things I love about Paul, he's just so practical. He really is. I mean he's not like, oh, we can't talk about it. Let's just talk about it. He goes, man, I wish you were single like me. I wish you were wired like me. Doesn't mean that Paul had no sexual desire. He said, this is an area of control in my life. And he would consider it a gifting, the gift of celibacy so that I can do this ministry in the life God's called me to. He doesn't look at it as this curse or this bad thing. He goes, this is just how I'm wired. This is what God's given me. He goes not everybody's this way. Some people really burn with passion. He said, if that's you, then it is better to marry than to burn.

Tim Lundy (26:19):
Notice what he doesn't say. He doesn't say, well, if you burn with passion, you're an adult and you know, God knows. It's okay to have sexual relationships. We just won't talk about it. He goes no, that's not how God set it up. He said, there's one context to express that Eros, that love. And that's a marriage between a and a woman. He continues on in another passage with it. If anyone thinks that he's not behaving properly toward his betrothed. He's even talking about engaged people here. He says, even if you're engaged with it, if his passions are strong and it has to be, let him do as he wishes. Let them marry. It's no sin to get married is what he says.

Tim Lundy (27:05):
As he continues on in the passage, but whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control and has determined this in his heart to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So then the one who marries his betrothed, his fiance does well and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. Again, Paul wants everybody to be just like him. So he says, man, those don't burn with that and don't experience that, he said, I wish they were just like me. But again, notice what he keeps coming back to in this and I think this is where it's really important. He says, if this is a struggle in your life, if you burn, there's no sin in the struggle. There's a reality around it. It's what you do with the struggle. He said, there's a context for it and it's marriage.

Tim Lundy (28:06):
Now there's a part of this. If some of you, even as you hear it, it's kind of frustrating. You go, well, Paul, you make it sound a little easy. I'd love to get married. I've not found that person. And we live in a particularly hard culture with that. When Paul was writing this, they approached marriage different than we did. They approached marriage, marriage was a commitment first and the romance came second. We do it opposite in our culture. In our culture, the romance comes first. You fall in love first and then you get married out of that. And again, I'm not saying one is better than the other. There's challenges In that. And some of you are in that place that you go, man, this is a difficult topic and I struggle in it.

Tim Lundy (28:53):
And what I want you to hear, one, I just think we have to talk about it as a church and talk about the context and extend grace to those who are in that journey. And I think for those of us who are married, walking alongside those who would like to be married, who struggle in this. And if the church isn't the context where we address this, where are they going to talk about it? Because I'm telling you, this isn't what the culture's telling them. And honestly, it's because it's not talked about. I think the culture just kind of permeates how we do life. It was interesting. Several years ago, a different church, I'll just say that context with it. I did a series on sex and we're addressing different issues of sex and issues around that. And in it, addressed single adults with it. And I heard from a number single adults, especially single women who were older. And almost all of them said, you know, I am trying to do this the right way. I'm trying to date Christian guys with it. And they would tell me, you wouldn't believe the pressure we get from older single guys who when it comes to just the area of sex, they kind of just look at us and go, well, that's for young people. Those prohibitions. That's for the kids. But we're kind of at the stage of life, that does this really apply to us.

Tim Lundy (30:18):
And it was a struggle because I remember talking to one woman in particular. She really loved this guy. And he kept kind of talking like, they'd get married. But here's what he put out in front of her. We got to sleep together first. And he told her, he said, we need to find out if we're sexually compatible before we ever get married. Now I knew this guy. He's a wealthy guy. And so I said to her, you know, you ought to call him tomorrow and say, you know, before we ever think about marriage, we need to think if we're financially compatible. And so I want you to go down to the bank with me and I want unfettered access to all of your checking accounts, all of your saving account and all of your retirement. Sign my name up to it. Let me have half of it. Because we just need to find out if we can financially be compatible.

Tim Lundy (31:21):
She said, I don't think he'll go for that. I said, you know, what he's asking you to give up is worth a whole lot more. Don't ever forget it. And she called him and drew a line and said, you know, we're not going to sleep together before marriage. She said, I've made enough mistakes in my life and I feel like that would be a mistake. And he broke up and it was hard and it was painful. But you know, as she walked through it and got away from it a little bit, there was a part of her that at first felt like, God, what are you doing to me? And then finally, she realized, wait, God, I think you were trying to protect me. Guys, sex is powerful. It's both bonding and blinding. And one of the reasons God has called us to protect it in marriage is to protect you, protect your heart. He's not against you, He's for you.

Tim Lundy (32:42):
And you need to hear from us as a church, we're for you. We want to walk through you with this. And we know it is a difficult, it is a hard journey that God's called you to in this. And the church should be the place where you experience grace in the journey while holding onto the truth of what God's called us to. To do that, let me close out with just some things that we can do together as a church, all of us, as we think about it. How do we live together as a church family? The first thing I would say is together, live with empathy and respect but never pity. Never pity. Nobody wants to be pitied. I don't care your status in life. Nobody wants to be identified that the only thing you know about them is whether they're in a relationship or not, that every time you say, hey, are you dating anybody? Any relationships? Let them tell you. And find out more about life. In that, I really would challenge parents as well because it's hard as a parent if you've got a single adult child. And you may want that relationship for them. You may know they're disappointed right now because they're not in that relationship. And so you feel that disappointment with them.

Tim Lundy (34:10):
Be really careful as a parent because a lot of times that disappointment with them feels like disappointment in them. And you're not going to parent them into a relationship. It just doesn't work that way. This one of those things you're going to have to step back and let God control and let God walk through in their journey. And as you do that, and here's where I challenge all of us as a church. Again, that Romans 12 passage that's so important. We rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, live in harmony with one another, do not be haughty, associate with the lowly, never be wise in your own sight. Never approach life just from your perspective. Never approached life from just what's going on in your life. Man, maybe you are married and God is blessing you and you're having babies and it's such an exciting season in your life. Rejoice. And you know what? If you're a single adult, go rejoice with them.

Tim Lundy (35:08):
But you know what? In your rejoicing, you look up and you go, how are they feeling? What's going on in their life? This isn't all just about me and my marriage and my family. See, we're called to live with each other. You know, empathy, all empathy is? Is just putting yourself in somebody else's shoes. Just asking yourself every so often, what does this feel like for them? What are they experiencing? Second thing in that, seek God's total plan for your life and learn contentment in it. That's one of the hardest words. Learning to be content where God's placed you. Learning to embrace this is where God's got me right now. And I think that's a hard term, especially for single adults. It's a hard term for some married people. Some of you wish you were single. Frankly, you do. And God's got you in a hard marriage. Look how Paul puts it in Philippians. Paul, when he talks about, he says, not that I'm speaking of being in need, for I've learned in whatever situation, I'm to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound.

Tim Lundy (36:21):
In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. And this is a line. We throw it out a lot of times I think often in the wrong context. We kind of throw it out there in sports events and other things. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Paul's actually talking about it when you're in that hard place and yet to embrace contentment. And so right now, I'm single and I don't want to be. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Right now I'm really having to draw some hard boundaries. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And in it, it's embracing God help me be content in the season you've called me to. And I know even as I say that, some of you, you go, yeah, but Tim, if I embrace contentment, then God's going to keep me single.

Tim Lundy (37:10):
That's not how God works. Contentment will never rob you of God's best for your future. But a lack of contentment will rob you from experiencing God's best right now. Embrace that. Give it to Him. As you do that, the third thing with it, cultivate deep, caring relationships. You got to be the friend you desire. Be that friend. If you find yourself in a lonely place, here's what I'd encourage you. Look around and go, who among my friends look lonely? Who could I start self-sacrificing for their sake and be the friend they need? And you'd be amazed the relationships that grow in your life. I would challenge though families in the church and the next point you see it. Families should do life with single adults and especially single parents. This is where you do life together. And I think the single hardest task in our church, the single hardest job is being a single parent. And if families don't come alongside, if we don't come and support, if we don't invite, if we don't do life, if we don't look up around our dinner table and on a regular basis, there's a single adult or there's a single parent or there's a family sitting at the table with us, we are not living out what the family of God is supposed to be.

Tim Lundy (38:39):
This is where rubber meets the road where we consciously look up. Instead of just doing life with people just like me and other families like me and kids my age and all that we can just find ourselves in, the church is called to look up and go, okay, who needs to be sitting around this table? Who needs to go to this event with us? Hey, we're going to the movies as a family. Who do we need to call? Who needs to just come and do life with us and connect across those lines? Final point I'd say is as a single adult, look to Jesus as your example and your advocate. If you're here and you're single, and I know there's parts of it, you go, Tim, you can say those things. You're not walking the journey I'm walking. I would absolutely agree with you. But I promise you this. Jesus did.

Tim Lundy (39:30):
He's your example. And this word advocate, you know what it means? He's for you. He's on your side. Look how Hebrews puts it. For we do not have a high priest, talking about Jesus, who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin. Jesus is tempted in every way. You've been tempted. And if you are single, He identifies with you I think the most. He knows your temptations. He knows what that's like. So what is it we can do then? Then let us with confidence draw near. And I love how it describes His throne. Look at the throne He's sitting on. Look at the throne that we go to in prayer. Let us draw near to the throne of grace.

Tim Lundy (40:20):
That we may receive scolding, coaching? No. Mercy. And find grace to help in the time of need. He's the God of grace. He's the Savior who's walked your journey. That's what makes Him different from any religion, any God. He actually walked on this planet and He faced what you faced. And even though He never gave into it one time, instead of using that to lord over us, He says, hey, when you come to me, I'll sympathize. I got mercy. I got grace. And when you face that level of temptation, remember Jesus. Remember Jesus who after 40 days with no food, Satan shows up and says, hey, why don't you turn this into bread? You need to take care of your physical needs. And what did Jesus say? Man doesn't live by bread alone but by the Word of God. It's not just what I physically want.

Tim Lundy (41:31):
And as a single adult, Satan is going to come to you again and again and go, you know what? You need to take care of your physical needs. Come on. You need to give in here and you need to look at him, go, no, I'm not going to live by that. I'm going to live by God's Word. It's what Jesus did. Took Jesus on top of the temple and he says, hey, are you really God's son? Let's really test this relationship. Does God really care about you? Throw yourself off. See if he'll catch you. See if God's going to show up in your life. I'm telling you as a single adult, He will come to you again and again and go, does God really care? Is God going to show up? Where's God when you need him? Throw yourself into this relationship. Throw yourself into this opportunity. Test God. And I'm going to tell you in that moment, respond like Jesus. We don't test God. We trust God.

Tim Lundy (42:25):
And he took Jesus up on top of the mountain. He said, you came for the world. The world is what you want. I can give you the world. And it's easy. You just have to take a shortcut. Just bow down. And then you don't have to go through all of that hardship. You don't have to go through the pain. You don't have to go through all that's coming in front of you. Jesus said, no, I worship God alone. No shortcuts. I'm telling you as single adults and especially single Christians, Satan is bombarding you today with shortcuts. That you don't have to do it God's way. There's an easier way to do it. And I'm telling you look to Jesus. Jesus' way is not easier by the way, but it's always better. And He went before you and He is for you. And in the height of your struggle, go to His throne of grace. Know that He is both your example, but even more, He's your advocate and he's your friend. He is your friend.

Tim Lundy (43:42):
Let's pray. Father, I thank you. Thank you for our Savior. I thank you for the cross. I thank you for what you've overcome. I thank you for the single adults that you have blessed this church with. Teach us how to love them well. Teach us how to live this out. Lord, I pray for those, they are in the height of their struggle right now. And I don't know what they're facing, but you do. I pray that your grace would flood them. I pray that they'd have a sense of renewed strength in you. I pray that you would show us as a church how to come alongside them and love them the way that you have loved us. Lord, we thank you for Jesus. That He came, He lived, he did it perfectly. And instead of holding that over to us, He extends grace to us every day. We pray this in His name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032