MoS: Distraction6:45 AM
Musings on Singleness: Distraction
Distraction. It's happened to all of us. We'll be walking along, happily engrossed in life and ministry, doing well in the things of God, serving in the kingdom... and then *BAM* someone appears. And all of the sudden, feelings are going crazy. Birds begin to sing. We see fireworks and smell roses and everything seems a bit fuzzy and fantastic! :)
Why does this happen? Beats me! Even the Proverbs.. in all their wisdom.. could not understand the mystery of ‘the way of a man with a maid.’ (Proverbs 30:18-19) All I know is that attraction happens. Let me be clear: Attraction is not evil! Without it, I highly doubt anybody would be getting married...
A good friend once told me, "There's nothing wrong with noticing Jesus in someone." If you are attracted to someone's spirituality, it's okay! Heck--being attracted to someone physically and intellectually, etc. is okay, too. However, when attraction becomes distraction, there is a problem.
The Word gives a pretty clear idea of what a single person’s life should look like.
“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord… And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit;… And this I say for your benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7: 32-35
How do we know that we have become distracted?
When our focus on Christ is lost.
When our concern is for pleasing a person, rather than the things of the Lord.
When our love for Christ or my devotion to the ministry of the kingdom has lessened.
When we find soulish sustenance from any other thing than obedience to God.
When we forgot that our JOB, especially as singles according to 1 Corinthians 7, is to do the work of God.
How do we deal with distraction?
Refocus on God, not self (me).
We used to have a phrase in youth small groups that was the standard answer for every. single. discussion question. The leader would ask, “How are you going to apply this certain principle to your life?” Inevitably, someone would reply, “Read more, pray more!” It became the all-encompassing answer to every question. This annoyed the group leaders to no end, yet it is true in a basic Christian way. When we are faced with struggles—even of the romantic attraction variety—the first place we need to run for is the prayer closet. The first counsel we should seek is the Word of God. Too many times, we sense feelings changing in our hearts or are presented with some amazing person and our instant inclination is to pick up the phone & spill our hearts to the BFF. Not wise, my friends, not wise. A human will never give the wisdom, peace, discernment and strength needed to deal with crazy human feelings.
Getting on our knees about an attraction keeps it from becoming distraction.
Getting before the Lord keeps our perspective eternal, rather than temporal.
Getting out the Word keeps our hearts set on the spiritual, rather than the carnal.
Don’t take my point and twist it to say that I am rejecting Godly counsel or the wisdom of parents/pastors/mature spiritual friends. May it never be! God has ordained and set people in your life to speak words of wisdom. However, HE is the first and best place you should run.
The fact is--before anyone even gets to marriage, there has to be 'noticing' someone/interest and then attraction and then Godly pursuit in God's timing. There is a right and good way to go about marriage. Attraction provides the motivation to seek after marriage. So you could say--depending on the situation--attraction is used by God. Hmmm, revolutionary concept.
Marriage should not hinder our pursuit of God, but rather multiply it to greater depths. Singleness should also be an unhindered pursuit of God.
Distraction can be avoided, if we continually resolve to set our hearts on the Lord and seek His wisdom in all we say and do.