3 Things I Want Single Christians to Know

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There are many things I want single Christians to know. So I decided to jot down a few of them.

Each single person will have a different experience.

There are age differences. Being single at 20 is very different from being single at 30, 40, or 70.

There are circumstantial differences: some have never married, while others are divorcees, widows, or widowers.

And there are experiential differences: some have chosen to be single and are basically content; others long to be married and feel frustrated.

Here are 3 Things I Want Single Christians to Know

1. I want single Christians to know…Singleness is a gift from God.

So much in our society is structured around couples. It’s often just assumed that adults will have a partner and that there’s something rather odd about them if they don’t for any period of time.

Oscar Wilde summed up the view of many: “Celibacy is the only known sexual perversion.”

There’s nothing new in this negative view of celibacy. In the first century, Rabbi Eleazar said, “Any man who has no wife is no proper man.” The Talmud went even further: “The man who is not married at 20 is living in sin.”

Given that background, it is astonishing how positive the New Testament is about singleness. Paul speaks of it as a “gift” (1 Corinthians 7:7), and Jesus says it is good “for those to whom it has been given” (Matthew 19:11).

A friend of mine once belonged to a young adult church group called “Pairs and Spares.” Single people can be made to feel like spare parts in their families, social groups, and churches.

One man was so fed up with being asked “Are you still single?” that he began to respond, “Are you still married?”

I want single Christians to know that we must resist the implication that singleness is second best.

The Bible doesn’t say so. Marriage is good, but so is singleness: it has been “given” to some.

But what if I don’t think I have the “gift” of singleness? I don’t find it easy being on my own, and I long to marry; does that mean I’m experiencing “second best”? No.

When Paul speaks of singleness as a gift, he isn’t speaking of a particular ability some people have to be contentedly single. Rather, he’s speaking of the state of being single.

As long as you have it, it’s a gift from God, just as marriage will be God’s gift if you ever receive it. We should receive our situation in life, whether it is singleness or marriage, as a gift of God’s grace to us.

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