By Jeanie Layne
Awhile back, I didn’t buy groceries and instead tried to eat all the food I already had. For a week or so, my meals consisted of strange combinations of whatever I could find, but the process gave some needed breathing room to my wallet and cupboards. I do this periodically, and each time, I find at least one rotten item. This time, I found moldy cheese tucked deep into the far clutches of the crisper. Unfortunately, I sometimes treat my theology the same way I treat my cheese. It’s meant to serve a purpose, but when I fail to see it make a functional difference in my life, it gets shoved aside and winds up in the trash.
At least for the moment and maybe forever, the Lord has me stationed firmly in the land of singleness. While this station does not define who I am as a follower of Christ, it does have implications for me, and my theology should affect the way I live as a single.
At the beginning of June, I wrote an article on the Trinity and took the opportunity to consider how the Trinity impacts my singleness. I believe Scripture teaches that: God is three distinct persons, God is one God, and each person of the Trinity is fully God. These truths should inform and transform the way I approach any station to which I am assigned, including my current station of singleness.
So, today, let’s consider three ways the doctrine of the Trinity affects the way I live out the singleness the Lord has gifted to me:
God exists in community, so I should live in community.
God is a relational God who lives eternally as three persons in one God, and Scripture communicates that these three persons of the Trinity love each other deeply (John 14:31, 17:24-26, 1 John 4:7-16). God also created a communal world, placing mankind into a family from the first day of man’s creation (Gen. 1:26-31, 2:7-25). So, God demonstrates loving community for man, and then He designs a world where man exists in relationship with others.
Scripture also teaches that believers are meant to live in the context of a body of believers. The local church is the tangible representation of the global Church, where many different members are unified—across racial, economic, and social boundaries—in Christ, through the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God (Romans 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 12:12-27). The church should be a primary means of community, where believers love one another like the persons of the Trinity love one other. Our collective worship in the church will continue forever, even while other human relationships will fade (Rev. 19:1-10, Mark 12:25).
God has not gifted me with the everyday companionship of a husband or children (and I tend towards serious introversion), so I must be intentional to seek out community. The doctrine of the Trinity convinces me, married or not, of the necessity and joy found in community with my local church.
There is only one God, so no human should ever be a god to me.
If God alone is God, then no other created thing should be god. No man, no friend, no family, no status—nothing should be god to me. Instead, God reminds us, “I am the LORD. Besides me, there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:11). God alone is worthy of my worship, and to place another in the position He should possess is idolatry. If I find contentment, joy, or security in the hope of marriage, I am guilty of idolatry.
My idolatrous heart naturally places people in these positions of god-hood. It convinces me a person is worth more affection or time than the Lord. But, thanks be to God, I am no longer enslaved to idolatry. God deserves my worship, and the doctrine of the Trinity reminds me that I should not allow any created being to usurp His position in my life.
Each person of the Trinity is fully God, so I can praise God for His good gifts.
When I am tempted to bemoan gifts I feel the Lord has withheld, the Godhood of each person of the Trinity helps me to see God’s gifts correctly. Because the Son is fully God, He could serve as a substitute in a way no sinful creature could, securing my salvation and producing living hope (Hebrews 10:11-14; 1 Peter 1:3-6). Because the Father is truly God, I can submit to His rightful and kind discipline, which conforms me into Christ-likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18, Hebrews 12:5-14). Because the Spirit is fully God, I am gifted with the indwelling presence of God Himself to overcome sin and exhibit repentance and faith (John 16:8-14).
While there may be times when I desire what the Lord has not given to me, the Trinity convinces me of God’s goodness to gift me with salvation, life, sanctification, and so many other things—none of which would be possible if God were not actually God! The desire for temporal gifts may remain, but God gives gifts of eternal significance, and His gifts are always good (Luke 11:11-13).
As I remember God’s goodness, I can consider all His gifts with appreciation. My present singleness is one of God’s greatest gifts to me—not merely as a sanctifying force or as a season of life to weather successfully. Rather, my singleness is a celebrated assignment, through which the Lord is given glory in the unencumbered way I wield my time and energy for His renown. Why focus on the lack of a few earthly gifts when I’ve been given a treasure of gifts to steward now and into eternity?
Ultimately, our understanding of the Trinity informs and transforms the way we approach the station to which we’ve been assigned. This is true for me in this station of singleness, and it’s true for you in whatever station the Lord has assigned you.
- Maybe you are prone to isolation, and you run from relationships out of fear or pride. God exists in a loving community, and He’s given us community through the local church.
- Maybe you struggle with idolatry and find humans or things to be gods in your life. God is the only true God, and He desires all your worship.
- Maybe you struggle to understand why God has not given you certain gifts. God has accomplished the most glorious feat of salvation imaginable through the power of His Godhood. The God of the universe gifts us with Himself.
Today, rejoice in the doctrine of the Trinity. Pull the cheese out of the crisper, and put it to use. My prayer is that you discover how deeply the truths of the Trinity matter—and how sweetly they will nourish you as well.