As Women of the Way, we seek Unity in the Body as we focus on Who unites us rather than What divides us.
We are One Body with many parts. We are One Church with many voices.
Join me in welcoming Felicia Riner, Special Education teacher and Huntington’s Disease advocate, as she shares her voice on Unity.
Unity in the Body of Christ seen from Singleness
There almost seems to be irony in using the words “unity” and “singleness” in the same phrase. Unity means being together or one with someone or something. It is the opposite of being divided. Unity is a word for togetherness or oneness. Whereas, singleness means sole, solitary, or only one. To be single, may be referred to or interpreted as being alone, isolated, or separated from others.
Can Unity and Singleness Complement Each Other?
We as Christians are called by God’s word to be united, but yet, as singles, we so often feel alone.
Singleness comes in many forms:
(1)Singles who have never married. This would include individuals who are in a committed relationship or those not currently in a relationship.
(2) Singles who are divorced either by their choice or the choice of their former mate. This includes singles who are mourning their singleness as well as those who are embracing singleness.
(3) The overwhelmed/resentful single who is saddened by being alone or emotionally distraught from the ending of their last relationship. Those who are still struggling to see others happy in their relationships.
(4) The content single who is perfectly satisfied with being single and is flourishing without being in a relationship.
(5) The widow/widower who is single and struggling with the loss of their loved one and has found themselves alone after years of being in a committed relationship.
God is Working Out His Purpose In You
Regardless of your reason or season of singleness, God is growing something in and through you during this time in your life.
These seasons can affect us personally, but they can also affect the body of Christ corporately. God could be doing a major purifying work, or it could be a season of new beginnings, or the enemy could be really attacking people in a certain area. The Lord created different seasons in our lives to shape us, help us deal, and create us into who He intended us to be.
Singles have a Big part to play in the Body of Christ
We as christians are called to be united with one another. We are called to unity as the Body of Christ. We all have gifts and talents that can be used for the edification of Christ and His kingdom. We are called to be Christ-like to come together in one accord. Romans 12: 4-5 says,
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Galatians 3:27-28 speaks to our unity in Christ. It states
“For all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
This is not a unity without diversity but the kind of unity Christ prays for is a unity in spite of our great diversity.
God’s Desire for Diversity
According to the bible (Romans, 12, Ephesians 4, and Corinthians 12), individuals are given spiritual gifts in the following areas: Administration/Ruling, Apostleship/Pioneering, Discernment, Encouraging/Exhorting, Evangelism, Faith, Giving, Hospitality, Knowledge, Leadership, Pastor/shepherding, Prophesy/Perceiving, Teaching, Serving/Ministry, Showing Mercy and Wisdom. This God-given array of gifts shows his desire for diversity. It is our baptism in Christ mentioned in Galatians 3:27-28 that unites us not our differences.
Single or Not- Christ is Our Main Focus
Our relationship with Christ is the most important relationship we can enter into, and it is the one relationship that should be our main focus.
1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
I urge you all to search out your position in the body of Christ.
Where do your gifts and talents edify the kingdom?
Use your time of singleness as an opportunity to learn what pleases the Lord and devote your attention to Him. Striving always for unity as shared in Romans 15:5 – 6,
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Felicia Fanning Riner, is a single mother of 2 grown sons – Greg Riner and Keith Riner. She has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults with exceptional abilities. Currently employed as a Special Education Teacher and a certified Work Based Learning-Transition Coordinator for Lincoln County Schools. Felicia currently serves on the Deaf Ministry team at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green, AL. She is a member of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America- Tennessee Chapter Board and has chaired the annual Cruisin’ For A Cure For Huntington’s Disease car show in Lincoln County since 2016. In 2019, she organized Singles Out Serving – SOS, a group for single women (single, divorced or widowed) that focuses on fellowship and serving others based on 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Facebook- @SingleOutServing @CruisinForACureForHuntingtonsDisease
For more info about Huntington’s Disease visit –www.hdsa.org