Being single can be hard when we start see our friends and peers starting new relationships, getting engaged, or getting married. It’s easy to dwell on our singleness so much that it controls our very moods. Life is good and the Lord has blessed us in many ways, but when we start dwelling on our singleness we forget all of that and cease to be thankful. We can begin to get the idea that our lives don’t really start until we’re married. As a result we feel depressed, bored and lonely. Things can go terribly wrong when we turn marriage into an idol.
The desire for a spouse is a good one, but not all Christians are married or even will get married. Some Christians experience hard breakups, some don’t ever get asked out, some are inhibited by their fear of rejection, some do dangerous ministries, and some struggle with same-sex attraction with no guarantee of healing.
The Bible says men who find wives obtain favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). If this is the case, does God not care about us singles? Is this some punishment for something we did? Is He putting us in second place, withholding joys and advantages that only married people can have?
Clearly not, because Paul makes it clear that singleness is also good in 1 Corinthians 7. He himself was single, and it gave him the freedom to do minister in remarkable ways. He could travel expansively, thereby preaching the Gospel all over the world. Singles are free from the anxieties that a spouse and family gives, and they can focus more of their energy, attention, and time on the Lord.
Our singleness is not a waste. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him,” (1 Cor. 7:17). He uses the examples of circumcision or uncircumcision and slavery or freedom, but since he’s saying this in the context of 1 Corinthians 7, I don’t think it’s a stretch to include marriage or singleness in his list of examples. It’s not our circumstances in life that are most important, but our obedience to God. Just as Paul says circumcision or uncircumcision counts for nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what’s important (1 Cor 7:19), so it is the same with marriage and singleness. Whichever circumstance we are in, we all have Christ in common.
When God said that Adam needed a “helper suitable for him,” God didn’t immediately give him his helper. First, He gave Adam a job to do: name all the animals. There are a lot of animals in the world, and there would have been more back then than now (however long ago that was), so this must have taken a long time! Once Adam finally finished, God still didn’t give him his helper, but told him to go to sleep! He had to be patient. Finally, the woman was presented to Adam and he sings “At last!…” (Gen 2:23), which may imply that he waited a while!
This doesn’t promise that we’ll all get married. There’s no guarantee of that whether we want to marry or not. However, it does show that God has work for us to do in whatever circumstance we’re in.
Our lives don’t start when we marry or get into a relationship, they started with our natural and spiritual births. If there’s any good that you can do now as a single, do it. If there’s any growth you can achieve now as a single, don’t hesitate. Whatever work the Lord has for you to do as a single, do it with all your might. We were called to this circumstance for a purpose, so let’s live for the glory of God.