It sucks, right? Sitting there in the movie theater watching your third flick of the month with a group of friends, and about every 15 minutes you look over and see your best friend getting all cute and cuddly with their significant other while you’re double-fisting your gallon-sized popcorn with no remorse.
Suddenly the emanant thoughts begin to fill your head—How did this happen to me? Will it really be like this for me forever? Is this because I didn’t do that Whole 30 diet with my mom?
Truth be told, I cannot give you a definitive answer on any of those questions. However, I can guarantee that your singleness is not a mistake, and it does not come without purpose.
Some of you may be a loud and proud member of the single community, while others may be longing for companionship and feel quite lonely. Members of either party are totally justified in their feelings, but regardless of how you feel, I think it’s important for you to know the truth about what being single means, and why your singleness matters.
First, I must debunk a myth. For quite some time, our society, and yes, even the church has managed to promote the lie that a married person has their life “together” more so than a single person. This is simply not true. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7: 6-9, “6I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am.
But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Paul not only tolerates singleness but supports and endorses those who are single, describing singleness as a gift. This is contrary to the lie we choose to believe that marriage translates to balance, togetherness, and harmony, while singleness is an indicator of imbalance and chaos, which it simply isn’t true. Marriage actually magnifies the issues of a single person. You think being a messy person is an issue when you’re single? Try sharing a house with someone who has their own opinion on that.
Marriage is also temporary. Sure, it is permanent in our lifetime on Earth, but in heaven, there is no need for marriage because we are in a perfect relationship with God for eternity. So in your time of singleness, you are actually beginning to prepare for the relationship status you’ll have for eternity!
Now if you’re married or in a committed relationship, please don’t think I’m trying to discourage you. Marriage is a beautiful representation of Jesus’ relationship with the Church, and it is encouraged by God. I’m just emphasizing that being single does not mean that you aren’t following God’s will for your life.
Secondly, being single gives you the flexibility to be used by God in a wide variety of ways. If someone gave you the opportunity to go on a fully-funded, fully supported, year-long mission trip overseas, guess what? You could go. No questions, no hesitation, you could simply leave to go and do The Lord’s work.
Could your mother or father do this? Maybe. But it would require a far greater amount of planning and preparation to leave not only your spouse, but your kids, full-time job, and the many other responsibilities that come with being married.
Lastly, your singleness affords you an undivided intimacy with Jesus that produces lifelong joy and satisfaction. Surely married people can experience this as well, but there’s no hiding the fact that relationships and even marriage can become a distraction in your devotion to Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, beloved, USE your singleness for the gift that is. For most of you, your singleness will expire one day, and at that time everything will change. The freedom and the utility you have within the kingdom of God now will ultimately be replaced with your new role as a married man or woman. Believe me, this will be a blessing when it comes, but don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the waiting. Your time as a single person is equally as important as that of a married person!