Because they do not have anyone waiting for them at home, singles are often asked, and not always politely, to volunteer for all sorts of tasks. It’s time to learn how to say “no”.
In a consumer society, employees can often be seen as an object to be used for an end goal. The staff is moved from one department to another without really considering the humanity and individuality of each. Clients are all treated the same way, students are all taught the same way. This is the world we live in: a world that has rejected God. It is not surprising that love is excluded. We must not be offended, we must pray, as Christ said in Matthew 6:10, that the Kingdom of God comes on this earth.
However, since our churches and religious organizations are managed by humans, sometimes the same rules of management are established. At times leaders are even encouraged to take management courses to apply the same principles of the world in their organization. Sometimes these principles are applied unconsciously, without really thinking or praying about the subject. This is where sentences like: “Since you are single and no one is waiting for you at home, can you come to lead the intercession every morning?” And since we are Christians, there often the added line: “You will see, God will bless you and use you powerfully”.
In some churches, singles cannot have a position of authority, but they are used for worship on Sunday morning services (including Wednesday night rehearsals), Friday evangelism, Tuesday Bible studies, and Thursday’s food bank. Add to this the church daycare on Sunday mornings and all the other services, including Saturday conventions. We heard a church tell singles to come and serve couples on Valentine’s Day… since they had nothing to do that night. It is time for this exploitation to stop.
Serving God is the best thing we can do. But even in our enthusiasm, we must take the time to ask God if it is His desire for us to do a task. We can have the best intentions in the world, we can serve God out of love for Him, but not be in His will by doing all that. We can exhaust ourselves and miss out on the best He has for us. Like Martha (Luke 10:38-42).
Just because your pastor asks you to do something that does not mean God is asking you to do it. It is your responsibility to talk with God before making a commitment. You gave your life to God, not to your church. Of course, we submit to our authorities, there must be order in the church (Hebrews 13:17). But submitting to the rules does not mean doing everything you are told to do without thinking about it. Because sometimes, a lot is asked from singles without checking their agenda, interests, calling or even their dreams. Sometimes there is a lack of communication between the different departments of the church, and sometimes there is a lack of individual care. That’s why it’s important to always consult your Shepherd: Jesus Christ.
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37 NKJV). You can say no! Some singles need to learn to say no, just like some singles need to learn to say yes and get more involved. But before accepting to render a service, consult the Lord. He knows all the details of your life, and He will make sure to keep a good balance in your life. He will make sure that you will have enough free time to be alone in His presence, to rest, to work on your faults and improve yourself, to take care of your friendships and even to have the time to look for a partner. Humans do not know every detail of your life, but God does. Learn to consult Him before accepting a commitment.
Learning to say no is a challenge for some singles! Sometimes it is related to a lack of self-esteem or fear of creating conflict. Sometimes by the desire to be loved and valued. But learning to say no is essential. Assume this eventuality: you will disappoint some people. But you gave your life to God, and His goal is not to destroy it by exhausting you and leaving you no time to flourish. So always consult Him before committing yourself. After all, it’s His life now, right?