Singleness is not something that most people actively seek out. Singleness can be lonely, isolating, and downright depressing – not to mention all the added pressure from friends and family. As humans, the desire for romantic love is a completely normal feeling; after all, we were made for companionship. Marriage and family-building are a huge part of God’s perfect intent for humanity. But sometimes the circumstances aren’t in our favor. And in these situations, we must learn to be content right where we are. So how can we glorify God in our singleness?
First, we should see our singleness from a godly perspective, not an earthly one. The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, lived a single life. In 1 Corinthians 7:6-7, he says, “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” According to Paul, both marriage and singleness are gifts in their own right. To those desperately searching for love, singleness may not seem like a gift. It may seem like a burden, maybe even a punishment. But in this same chapter, Paul goes on to explain that there is a kind of freedom in being single.
For example, singleness frees our minds to dwell on spiritual things. We have more time and energy to devote to serving God – which will, in turn, bring us the greatest joy. 1 Corinthians 7:34 says, “…And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.” Paul is not saying that it’s impossible to be married and live an honorable Christian life. But sometimes in relationships, there is a natural temptation to let the other person consume all of our lives – and this simply shouldn’t be so.
One obvious example of this is in the mission field. There are undoubtedly many married men and women who have wanted to become full-time missionaries but have walked away in order to please their spouses. There are smaller sacrifices to be made, too, in other areas of life. Maybe you feel called to ministry. Maybe you want to spend more time serving in an area you’re passionate about. When you are married, each and every decision – big and small – has to be made with another human being in mind. And so, as single adults, our responsibility is to use this freedom to serve God. Marriage is a good thing, and its importance is not to be neglected. But as with all things, finding a godly life partner is a process that takes time. So in the meantime, let us follow the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”