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Is Jesus Enough?

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Today’s blog is a guest post by Justin Campbell.  Justin is a 40 year old single guy living and working in St. Louis.  You can read more by him at his blog More Than Don’t Have Sex, where he writes about singleness, Jesus, the church, and how we can all be in it together.

When I was a much younger single person, I remember a lot of conversations with older folks (mostly married) in which I was challenged with the thought of, “Is Jesus enough?”  In other words, “You’re single right now so Jesus will have to be enough.”

Man that sounded holy to me (It also made me want to sing the Doobie Brothers version of Jesus Is Just Alright – still does actually).  That’s right dang it, Jesus is enough.  I don’t need someone else.  However this is only sort of true, depending on what question you are actually asking.

Part of the problem with the Church’s response (or lack of) to increasing singleness is that we say stuff that not only sets singles up to fail, but also in turn sets marriages up to fail. The reality is that we need a good theology of both marriage and singleness.  One will not work without the other.  We need a lot of help with both.

When we say to a single person that Jesus is enough that implies several things. First off, it could mean that Jesus needs to be enough for right now.  But this makes no sense.  Jesus is enough for now, but not for later?  If you get married, then Jesus won’t be enough?  This goes right along with what I’ve written before about the idea of singleness being a “season where you focus on the Lord.”  This idea is so rampant and so just flat bad.  There is no season where you should not be focussed on the Lord.  And again, if singleness means being closer to the Lord than marriage, no one should get married. Marriage is not a concession to not being tight enough with God.  Yikes!

Which leads to point two.  Marriage happened while Adam had a perfect, sinless relationship with God.  In other words it wasn’t a lack of God being enough that made Him create Eve and put them together.  God looked at Adam and said it was not good for man to be alone.  Wait!  You mean even when he was totally with God, Adam still needed someone else?  Whoops.

Finally there is the idea that gets floated that if Jesus is enough for you, that means you must be called to singleness.  Once again, Jesus wants us to be focused on Him regardless.

The question in regards to the call of singleness is not a question of how much you are focu748042_56229186sed on Jesus.  It is a question of calling to vocation – to what type of ministry you will do.  It’s the second vow, not the first vow.  The first vow we have to make is to Jesus.  We all have the same first vow.  WE HAVE TO GET THIS.

In addition, the Jesus is enough question can lead us to other bad places as a single. Mainly that we don’t find true community.  In other words, regardless of marital status, it is truly not good for “man to be alone.”  We need other people.  We were created relationally, by a relational God, for the purpose of relationship.  If we are told enough that Jesus is enough we can end up not only avoiding marriage based on personal holiness but avoiding true community as well.

At the end of the day Jesus is actually enough in a lot of ways that matter most.  Jesus is enough for salvation – in fact nothing else works for salvation.  Jesus is enough for full life, but when we follow Him, He usually helps us get that by leading us to others and speaks to us not just directly but through the Church (his people) and the Scriptures.  But the truth is that we are not guaranteed that.  In other words He doesn’t promise earthly community and in fact lots of people have followed Jesus without the Bible.  We certainly are not guaranteed a spouse.

But a married person doesn’t have any of those guarantees either.  I could get married this week, and my spouse could be taken away the week after.  Would Jesus be enough? Get what I’m saying?

I think a better question might be, what are you staking your life on?  Now our answer to that needs to be Jesus.  Because at the end of the day He is the one sure thing.  And that has absolutely nothing to do with marital status.

4 thoughts on “Is Jesus Enough?

      1. Overall, the move was fine. My youngest is still in Alabama (returning Thursday) while I am in Idaho with my family and my oldest (which has been very helpful to me). I struggle a little with resentment that, had I known various items of personal property were going to end up with a replacement husband almost immediately, I would have sought a different division of the personal property. But that’s probably (certainly?) petty.

        Sarah is doing about as I expected. She has had daily clashes with her new step-father and her mother about recognizing his authority. She has texted me several times that she’s ready to move back home to Georgia and/or that she wants to run away. But those feelings don’t last, and I take the high road and encourage her to talk with her mom about whatever is upsetting her at the time. I was able to get her a used iPhone for Christmas and she has enthusiastically embraced the FaceTime feature that allows us to see each other as we talk on our phones. She uses it (or attempts to — her internet access there is not consistent) multiple times each day. That has helped tremendously for us to feel still connected. She starts her new school Wednesday, 1/2. Prayers appreciated for that. If she’s going to have to live there, I want her to be able to enjoy her daily experience at school, with new friends and teachers that she likes.

        Thank you for following up about her, and me.

        1. David,

          I’m glad to hear from you!
          I am sure resentment will be a constant temptation, and bitterness and unforgiveness. Praying for God to empower you to forgive and not allow any bitterness to grow into an evil tree in your heart!

          I am really glad to hear that you are supporting Sarah dealing with her mother and talking with her. And Facetime sounds PERFECT! What a blessing!

          We will pray about her teachers and friends and the other students in her class – that she might find some godly friends and teachers, maybe even a godly mentor teacher at school.

          Lord,
          I pray for this family. You know the hurt and pain that is going on. I pray for healing for David and his children. I pray for wisdom for his ex-wife and her new husband as they try to raise Sarah to be a godly young woman. I pray for godly mentors and friends for her at church and school. Protect her from harm and evil. Protect her from temptations. Give her a nurturing, healing, healthy, godly environment in which to grow in her faith. Let her see an accurate picture of God in spite of the divorce! Give her the resources she needs to heal and mature in Christ. Surround her with strong, Christian, loving, supportive friends.

          Give David wisdom with his children. Empower him to set a godly example. Tear down every stronghold of Satan – remove every trace of bitterness. Empower him to live for You and let his life bring You great glory and honor even in the midst of this painful and difficult trial.
          In the Name and power of Christ,
          Amen!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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