S-I-N-gle and other S-I-N words

nametag single

“Sincere, singing, singular, and oh yes, single,” is the title of another post on my blog.  I mentioned that some well-meaning Christians may think it is no mistake that the word “single” starts with s-i-n.  This only applies to English, however.  I looked up the words for “unmarried person” and “sin” in Spanish, German, and French, and there is no similarity between the two words in those languages.  Go figure.

Sincere:  not false or fake; without pretense; free from adulteration.

One suggested origin of this word is from Latin, sine cera – without wax.  The story goes that some dishonest sellers of clay pots would cover over cracks with a mixture of clay and wax. The unsuspecting buyer would not know of the flaw until the pot was used with heat and the wax would melt.  I like that story, although now as I search that term, it is mostly discredited.  It encourages me, though, that God likes sincere jars of clay – cracked or not.  (II Corinthians 4:6-7)  By the way, I think the phrase, “without adulteration” is an apt definition we can ponder as Christian singles.

I’ll gladly apply that s-i-n adjective as a positive reflection of God in the life of singleness.

Singing:  to utter sounds with musical inflections or melodious modulations of voice, as fancy may dictate, or according to the notes of a song or tune, or of a given part (as alto, tenor, etc.) in a chorus or concerted piece.

Well, that’s how Webster.com describes it.  We know it as a mostly uncomplicated expression of the emotions of the heart, usually uttered by our mouth – happy or sad, joyful or sorrowful, fast or slow, leaping or standing still.  God likes our singing when we do it to His glory and honor; our level of skill is immaterial.  Of course, this applies to the whole scope of our lives, not just music.  (Colossians 3:16)

OK.  I’ll apply that s-i-n word as a possible reflection of Jesus in the circumstance of singleness.

Singular:  Webster uses words such as:  distinct; separate; individual; that of which there is only one; unique.

Peter calls us “a peculiar people” in I Peter 2:9.  That’s the King James way to say “chosen people,” “holy people,” or “purchased, special people.”  No matter now you phrase it, we are a singular people.  “A man after my own heart” is how God described David in Acts 13:22.  Now, that is a trait worth pursuing for a lifetime, isn’t it?

Time to apply that s-i-n- word as a positive reflection of the Holy Spirit in the state of singleness.

SINGLE:  One only; individual; separate; having no companion.

The word “single” is not one which is actually used in Scripture to describe a person without a spouse.  In I Corinthians 7:32, Paul uses the term “unmarried” for a man who does not have a wife.  In verse 34, he uses “unmarried” and “virgin” for a woman who does not have a husband.  Why both terms?  In Old and New Testament times, a man was most likely un-married only by way of death or divorce.  Very few men fell into the never-married category.  If a woman was no longer married because of death or divorce, she was un-married.  If she had never been married and had remained pure sexually, she was called “virgin.”  Today, the word “single” is used to denote anyone who is spouseless regardless of their sexual activity.

‘For some of us, words like “lonely,” “isolated,” “unfulfilled,” “unhappy,” “disappointed,” “dissatisfied,” or “discontent” come to mind as we ponder our state.  My personal experience in each one of those places is one of misery and pain.  As I continue my walk into the future, I choose to let each of those adjectives turn my focus to God for His compassionate work in my heart.  Instead of focusing on what I do not have, I ask Him to show me what I do have:

  • * A loving Heavenly Father..
  • * Jesus, Who is my Emmanuel and Savior, AND the ultimate model of the single life and joyful anticipation.
  • * The Holy Spirit Who is inside and beside me at all times working transformation in me.
  • * The ageless word of God which discerns the thoughts and intentions of my heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
  • * Brotherhood and sisterhood with others who walk this challenging path.

So, I guess I’ll add that s-i-n word to my current life, and praise God for His indescribable love for me – and for you!


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