If there is someone who knew what it meant to maximize his life and maximize his single years, it was our bro Joe! Every time I read the account of his life in the book of Genesis Ch 37-50; I am left in awe. Joseph was the REAL DEAL in every way! He wasn’t perfect, but he definitely was genuine in the way in lived. There is so much we can learn from his life and the way he chose to live it. If you are single, I wrote this blog for you. I believe Christian Singles can learn 5 very important things from Joseph’s life.
1. Singleness does not mean exemption from life’s hurts or life’s traumas.
Joseph came from a very dysfunctional family (Gen 37). Joseph was hated by his brothers (Gen 37:18). His brothers threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery, then faked his death to his father and other family (Gen 37:28-36). After being sold into slavery, he was then falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison (Gen 39). ALL of this took place while he was SINGLE. Some people say things such as, “Singles, you all have it easy! This is the best time of your life. You have nothing to worry or complain about. You don’t have to deal with the struggles that marry people have to endure.” Reality is this: There are MANY challenges that singles face. Joseph went through some of his most trying times and heart wrenching moments as a SINGLE MAN. His life was far from easy. He felt great pain and endured many hardships. However, he never allowed it to destroy his relationship with God. Don’t ever let people minimize the pain you endure as a single. Life hurts for ALL PEOPLE, including single people. Remember, you have a God that loves you and can use everything you endure to grow you into the person that he would have you to be.
2. It is VERY POSSIBLE to be single and remain pure.
The bible specifically takes the time to let us know that Joseph was “well built” in form and exceptionally “handsome.” 21stcentury lingo… JOESPH WAS FINE! (Hahaha) Let that sink in for a second. Joseph probably could have gotten any woman he wanted. But here is the thing about Joseph: Beyond his exceptional exterior, he had exceptional character! He had a pure heart towards God. While serving under his master Potiphar as a 17-year-old young man, he remained honest, true, and pure! Potiphar’s wife pestered him day after day. She said to him, “Make love to me. But he said no” (Gen 39:8). She, being a “married woman,” desired to sleep with Joseph. As singles, it’s important to realize that temptation comes in many shapes and forms. Temptation can come from other single individuals OR married individuals. It can come at you on the job, when you’re at your home, and even when you not looking for it. That’s why it’s important to stay on guard and realize that purity and self-control is birthed from a sincere relationship with God (1 Cor 6:18-20). Purity is a choice. Joseph understood the seriousness of sexual immorality, & that it meant he would sin against the great God of heaven. Joseph helps us see that you can be SINGLE, AND STILL CHOOSE PURITY. Never believe the lie that it’s impossible to remain pure. It IS possible, VERY possible!
3. Singles are not forgotten by God.
One of the consistent phrases I see in the account of Joseph’s life is this: “The Lord was with Joseph...” “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master” (Gen 39:1-2). “But while Joseph was there in prison, The Lord was with him, he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Gen 39:20-21). The Lord was with Joseph in EVERY STAGE OF HIS LIFE. God was with the 17-year-old Joseph who was scared, lonely, and unsure of his future. God was with the 21-year-old Joseph, the 30-year-old Joseph in the palace, and the 110-year-old Joseph on his death bed. God saw him and remained faithful to him even when everyone else deserted him. If you are a faithful, single, child of God… GOD IS WITH YOU!That is an astounding truth that will give you comfort, courage, and confidence to move forward. Singleness is not a deficit when you have God with you. His presence and favor will propel you. Joseph experienced God’s faithfulness in his single years and so can you!
4. You can SERVE & LEAD as a single!
Joseph proves that you do not have to be a certain age to lead, nor do you have to be married to lead in some capacity. Joseph chose to lead and serve no matter where God placed Him. Joseph encourages us as singles to LEAD and SERVE exactly where we are placed! “So, the man who was running the prison was pleased with Joseph. He put Joseph in charge of all of the prisoners” (Gen 39:21-22). Joseph led in the prison AND in the palace. What made him an exceptional leader was not his position, nor was it his environment. It was his character and his heart toward God. Real leadership starts with submission to God. No matter what stage of life you are in, remember that there is service and leadership within you! It’s not about having a platform, but about positioning your heart toward God. “So, Pharaoh asked them, can we find anyone like this man, one in who is the spirit of God? Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.” Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh the King of Egypt” (Gen 41: 38-39).
5. The purpose of God can be carried out, EVEN through Singles.
Joseph’s life was bigger than himself. His life was for the purpose of God to be fulfilled. Joseph helped save the people of God. The Tribes of Israel included the tribe of Judah, in which the Messiah, Jesus Christ would come through (Matthew 1:1-17). Jesus Christ our Savior died for the sins of the world. He gave us a chance to be reconciled back to God through obedience to the gospel (John 3:16-17). God used Joseph to carry out his ultimate purpose. All the things Joseph endured and experienced was purposeful. They prepared him and helped him be the man of God and the leader of God that would save God’s people from the famine. His life had an immense amount of purpose! As a single, I want you to know, your life has purpose. You matter for the bigger picture of the kingdom of God! As a single, live EVERY DAY walking in the purpose of God. This world needs you. You were created for such a time as this. This generation needs you. Your single years don’t have to BREAK YOU, but they can MAKE YOU…into everything God would have of you!
“But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Do you think I’m God? You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives.”” (Gen 50:19-20)
Be like Joe and let your single life glow!
God loves you.