So you’re thinking about being a global worker…you feel that you are equipped and ready to be sent out. But there’s one big question in your mind, “Can I make it as a single global worker?” That’s a great start if you’re asking that question. It’s best to think though these issues before you arrive on the field. One place to start is to answer the following questions honestly because if you’re not being honest with yourself it will come out sooner or later.
- Have you resolved singleness in your own heart? Are you content (usually) in this area? It doesn’t mean that you have given up the possibility of marriage, but that you have peace in your heart that at this time in your life, it is God’s will for you to be single.
- Do you struggle with immorality?
- Do you flirt?
- Do you frequently date different men?
- Do you struggle with your sexual identity?
- If you are faced with temptation, do you confide in a sister?
How did you do with those questions? They are basic, but very deep. If you’re not content with your singleness you’ll find that will carry over to the field. Wait until you have peace in this area before making such a major move in your life.
If you struggle with immorality you should stay where you are and get some counseling. It won’t go away overnight so it’s best to plant yourself where you are. In the States I don’t struggle with immorality, but once I came to the field, I was faced with temptations I never had before. We become very vulnerable when going through culture stress. I have also found that in a Muslim culture most of the men seem to have what I call a “spirit of lust”.
I mentioned flirting because I believe if you are a person flirts then you are a person that plans games with the other sex. I personally am not flirtatious but have found that I sometimes come across as such to the opposite sex in my host country. Remember that many people in your host country would love to marry a Westerner. From y experience the opposite sex does not like you for who you are but for what you are (a Westerner). Beware of this trap of the enemy. The opposite sex in your host country can become attractive because of the attention they give you.
I believe you shouldn’t date a national until after you’ve been on the field about two years. Any time before this is still the “honeymoon” stage in culture adjustment. For instance, in Asia, you are not just marrying the groom, but his whole family. They can move into your house without any notice!
If you must frequently date then you would find it very difficult on the field. Some teams have “no dating” rules for the first year or two. If there is not a “no dating” policy, there is probably not much of a choice in the Christian sector (or maybe there is). I also believe if you have a need to frequently date then you may not be a peace with your singleness.
If you struggle with your sexual identity, I suggest godly counseling prior to going overseas.
The last question I believe is the most important because that is where there is victory; when we share our struggles and temptations with another sister. If you are not in the habit of doing this you can start right now. I have found that the enemy loses his grip on my life in a certain area as soon as I expose it to a sister in Christ. This cannot be stressed enough.
Having said all that, I know the Lord has placed single people on the field. Singles are not the only ones faced with temptations. I hear of more married people falling into sexual sin than singles. I also believe the Lord is big enough to send you a mate right where you are, be it an obscure island or a major city: God is great! May the Lord guide you as you make your decision.
This article is a classic originally published in our early print magazines.
View the original print magazine where this article was first published.