That was kind of the theme of today’s chapel lesson, and it’s kind of a Flawless Friday thing, too.
Our speaker, D, opened his lesson with a House joke.
Because D often gets mistaken for Hugh Laurie, or rather. Dr. Gregory House.
Interestingly, his last name happens to be Gregory.
But anyway, he opened with a joke and then got into the slightly more serious stuff.
One of the What If sets of questions were on dating and marriage. Funnily enough, there was a single question about being single.
So Prof Greg (I’m just gonna stat calling him that. Or Prof House.) started with a love story from Genesis, a story of love-at-first-sight, among other things.
It’s a story I’m sure many of us are familiar with.
Jacob and Rachel.
The story opens with Jacob running from his family, specifically his brother, after deceiving Esau and tricking him out of his birthright.
So anyhow, he’s running away, following his mother’s directions to go to her brother Laban.
Jacob ends up at a well, and eventually meets Rachel.
Now, Rachel is a shepherdess, and is athletic and just generally beautiful (see verse 17).
So back to verses 7 through 12:
Jacob apparently falls in love with Rachel right then and there, and apparently rolls the stone away from the well all by himself. (Show-off.) And then he tells Rachel who he is and breaks down crying.
So Rachel does the only sensible thing: she runs home to her dad to tell him about the weird guy by the well.
And then a bit later, Jacob and Uncle Laban make a deal: Jacob will work for seven years, and in exchange he gets Rachel.
Now, by verse 22, everything seems to be in order, and the story can just end there, right?
Wrong. In verse 25, Jacob finally realizes that it’s Leah he’s married, not Rachel.
So he gets all ticked off at his uncle for deceiving him.
See how that came back to him? He deceived his brother, and now his uncle has deceived him.
So verse 30 is really interesting, and kind of sad.
And the rest of the story, Leah takes center-stage. It is Leah who bears Jacob children, and gives her first three sons very interesting names. Check them out.
But alas, no love from Jacob.
And so, with her fourth son, Leah decided to praise God.
Prof Greg said that she’d decided to focus on God, and not on human love.
And through Judah, Leah’s praise, God brought the lineage of Christ. Judah was an ancestor of King David, who was Jesus’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather. (I think it’s five greats. Maybe more. But you get the point.)
Rachel had sons later, and they were Jacob’s favorites, but Leah, his least-favorite wife, became the great-something grandmother of Jesus, not Rachel.
And why? Perhaps because Leah chose to praise God in Jacob’s not-loving her.
The rest of Prof Greg’s portion this morning went something like this (my notes):
Beware of temptation to worship human love.
In God you are complete/worth it/belong/significant.
Your spouse does not complete you. God does.
Purity: Him > sex. (Basically, God isn’t necessarily as interested in our sexual purity as He is our devotion to Him.)
God = One True Love, soul mate. If He’s not, you’re cheating on Him. And our God is a jealous God.
Then Prof Greg’s friend S came up to speak to us about singleness. Because PG isn’t single. And S is.
She opened with a story about hos when she was four years old, she had a best friend, D. She vividly remembers telling her mother that she was going to marry this boy.
Twenty-four years later, she’s single. And God has part of every day.
She loves her single life. She loves that she has space in her heart to love so many people. She feels called to singleness—-for now.
Yes, it’s hard.
But she knows people who are her age and married, and they’d say that being married at 28 is hard.
One is not necessarily better than the other.
Paul wrote about this. If you are single, you should be devoting yourself to God, because you are able to do so better than a married person. It’s just a fact that when you’re married, it’s harder to devote your whole attention to God, because you have a spouse and a family to think of too.
And for single people, S said, pining away for a relationship is not being fully devoted to God.
When this generation’s parents were getting married, the average age to get married was 22 for men and 20 for women. Now it’s 28 and 26.
She said that she feels people who are single are wasting the time given to them, as if we feel that life won’t start until we’re married.
And Satan thinks it’s hilarious.
I don’t remember exactly how she got to this point, but she said that a marriage should help you to become more like Christ. Your spouse cannot be your whole world/community.
We have to make the most of right now, of this time we have to be single. That means not complaining, not friends-with-benefits, not pornography, and not obsessing over your future.
God is not one of these:
Magic 8 ball
S closed with this thought:
Psalm 37:4. But that doesn’t mean that you get whatever you want. It’s Hebrew poetry, God saying He wants us to delight in Him, to get Him, to get our significance from Him. To seek Him whole-heartedly.
This also kind of fits in with my second guest post… Just sayin’.