Online dating is weird. It’s probably a lot of things, but it is at least weird. That much is self-evident, or so my wondering ears tell me so. I sense the discomfort of the single. The sense of not knowing meets a fading hope. It's surely not like that for all, but at least for the many honest. And yet the single life, when done well, is a beautiful thing. Even worthy of aspiration, 1 Corinthians 7:8. No doubt, not all will aspire such a beautiful fidelity exclusively to the Lord. However, it must be noted that those who have, have found it to be good. 

 Our scriptures, as so often are, don’t flush out the full breath and weight of every topic under the sun, but it does give us a wonderful place to begin. For Paul, his desire is like that of the Lord's, that you, single or not, would be first, free from anxiety (1 Corinthians 7:32a). Perhaps this should be a prerequisite for dating, marriage, and yes, divorce too. Unfortunately, we have thought wrong about the second part of this passage: “An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord”. We have often taught that Paul is suggesting to the single that we should, “Have anxieties about the things of the Lord,” as if that’s a good thing. However, this is not what he says at all. He clearly states at the beginning of verse 32 that, “I want you to be free from anxiety.” He then says what is truly greater (again, single or not) that, “Undistracted devotion to the Lord,” in verse 35 should be our aim. I might add, our delight. Anxiety is many things, but, “Undistracted,” is not one of them. That is precisely his point; concern and worry distract you from the solitary soul. The paradox that snares us but not Paul is that we think the operation is to be either worried about pleasing a person for their affection, or else pleasing God for His affection. But for Paul AND Jesus, this is not an option. For them, and now for you, is to put aside the normalcy of anxiety, concern, or worry, and embrace the freedom of the undistracted bohemian soul that has fixed its eyes in solidarity to Jesus.

If I may press further, my amazement of the virtuous loner is to say that by your unconcern, your deponent is God and His rubbernecker is you. Your worship is complete, and the Soul of God raptures all that anxiety could not accomplish. You truly have all that you need and can now say, “I shall not want,” Psalms 23:1.  The allure of the endless swipes of illusion have lost their luster. They have become simply too cheap in comparison to the cross of singular fidelity. 

 

1 Corinthians 7:32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and 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. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.