Monday, May 25, 2015

Before my flight to the beautiful island of Coron, Palawan, someone told me this: “You’re still single? You’re missing half of your life!”

I remember completing my workload of editing a full PhD dissertation, days before I left my home office for the trip. I made sure I left my dad under the loving care of family members. I made sure my cats had enough food while I was away for a few days, among other concerns. I felt that was enough for me to think about as an unmarried individual. So I wasn’t quite sure which half of my life the person, who made the statement, was referring to. 

Was I moved upon hearing the remark? No. Should I be, you think? Besides, I enjoyed so much our stay in Coron, Palawan. My sister and I even went kayaking for an entire day! Well, kayaking for about eight hours didn’t feel so much fun! But we had a good laugh in between rowing and asking, “Aren’t we there yet?” 

My sister Grace. I was teasing her, "Kaya mo 'yan, sis (You can do it, sis)!" . . . while I rested. :)

After the whole-day kayaking adventure, we looked forward to returning to our haven of rest—the Sophia’s Garden Resort. Oh, we were so thrilled to change swimwear and enjoy a warm soak in the resort Jacuzzi!

Earlier that day, my sister sort of scolded me because I overpacked food. I just thought we might go hungry kayaking the entire day from one island to the next islands (that’s plural, yes). The last food pack was the sumptuous pizza especially prepared by the chef of Sophia’s Garden ResortWe savored that last meal at dinnertime by the resort garden gazebo, next to the Jacuzzi and the swimming pool. The outdoor area was all ours that evening! 

Dinner at the Sophia's Garden Resort gazebo, and an invigorating soak in warm water in the Jacuzzi nearby (Courtesy of the Sophia's Garden Resort photo gallery).

As a homebody, I'm not keen going out, but I'm glad my sister Grace, also single (a fulfilled OB-gyne-oncologist), booked trips such as this with me.

Now, does that still sound like this single woman’s missing half of her life? C’mon. Give her a break!

No, you’re not missing half of your life if you’re single. Well, unless you allow that to happen. I’ve met sincere, beautiful men and women in the three decades I’ve lived my life. (I’ve actually lived four, plus three years, but I hadn’t met them in my first decade.) Some of them are still single. (Amen!) Some of them married. (No comment.) Some of them separated already from their spouses and are single again. (My lips are sealed on that one.) And, the good news? They’re still alive and I wish them all God's best.

“Are you still a virgin?” Many years ago, a group of young women asked me that question, and I was so delighted to spend precious time with them, to discuss the glory and honor and majesty of sexual abstinence with grace and dignity! Did you just raise your eyebrows on that one? Well, don’t we uphold the purity of celibacy anymore? Honestly, I do find it sad to hear young men and women take chances when it comes to having their first sex, that is, outside of marriage. I do find it sad when parents and schools teach children the so-called “wise choice” of using condom for safe sex, instead of instilling in the minds of the young the timeless virtue of sexual abstinence. I do find it sad when teachers themselves tolerate promiscuity among young people. (Have you read the news about it this morning? Ugh…) And yes, it was saddening when the young women terminated our discussion after their query received an affirmative response.

Fear of God vs premarital sex. Keeping one’s virginity is not about building up self-importance and arrogance. Abstaining from sex while, and when, unmarried is about fearing God, particularly among people who say they fear God. Sadly, many God-fearing people take premarital sex casually. Even much disconcerting for us believers is when actors, who are professing Christians, by the way, perform the sexual act on wide screen—the glory of movies, or the genuine portrayal of role for art's sake, they say. I also recall a young actress blurted on national TV her commitment of giving her “all” to her boyfriend, in the name of love. Then I remember another actor imparted with the media her statement, something like, “God saw us when we did it.” Of course, God sees everything. People do and say things their way. But is that God’s way? Is premarital sex God’s will? Would it be God's will if it's a SIN?

Dearly beloved, God’s Word says,
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Surprisingly, some people, even professing Christians, debate on the etymology of fornication. Well, they can debate all they want on the subject but that doesn’t legitimize the act of having sex outside of marriage—in the eyes of God.

For 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 confirms:
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:1-2).
Common-law partners behave as husband and wife do, but in the eyes of God and man, they're not married.

Singles are “complete” human beings. Interesting to note that following chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians is a portion of the Apostle Paul’s instruction to the unmarried and widowed. And I quote:
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. . . . The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 7:32-33, 39-40)
What did the Scripture say about an unmarried woman? Underscore there happier, not someone who’s missing half of her life.

Are you single? You should be happier! But that’s going to be your choice. Also, won't you make it a part of your choice to say "no" to premarital sex before you even get intimate with someone? I've heard individuals say, "Hindi ko masabi (Can't say)" or "Ayokong magsalita nang tapos (I don't wanna be quick with my words)". But that becomes the problem: When people don't decide on this matter ahead of time, they fall prey to the lures of fornication.
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthew 5:37)
I wish you a blessed week!

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...