In our last post, we discussed, “Is Wanting to Be Married a Bad Thing?” Today, I want to address the opposite end of the spectrum.
God’s Word says that marriage is a gift and that singleness is a gift. Neither one of them are bad or wrong.
I wish that all people were as I am (single). But each has his own gift from God, one person has this gift, another has that. I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, since it is better to marry than to burn with desire. To the married I give this command—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to leave[f]her husband. But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband—and a husband is not to divorce his wife. 1 Cor. 7:7-11
Both marriage and singleness are good. And both can be used for God’s glory!
- So if you do not desire to be married, that is totally okay! If you simply want to seek the Lord and desire to serve Him on your own, He can and will lead you in His incredible and fulfilling calling for your life.
- If you do desire to be married, that is also totally okay! God can lead you in His incredible and fulfilling calling for your life, as well.
The key is that we put the Lord first in our hearts and that we seek Him far above anyone or anything else. Then, whether we are called to be single or married, we will honor the Lord with our lives.
There Are Many Benefits to Remaining Single
Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. 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. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Cor. 7:28-35
For those who follow the Lord’s calling to be single:
- There is the ability to be more wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord in certain ways.
- There is greater freedom to respond to the Lord and to move as He leads you.
- You don’t have to have a husband’s permission, leadership, or cooperation to do what you believe God wants you to do.
- There is less stress/anxiety/trouble for those who are single than for those who marry. (Not to say there is no stress, anxiety, or trouble. There will be! As long as we are in this world.)
- There can be greater opportunities to follow the Lord and to do His work with less hindrance.
- God can and will use the challenges and trials you face as a single person to help you grow in your faith.
If you love being single and you have no desire to be married, that is totally fine! Don’t let anyone pressure you and tell you that you have to get married. You don’t! And if you wish you could be married, but there is not an opportunity to be married right now, that is fine, too. It is better to remain single than to marry someone outside of God’s will for you (someone who isn’t wholeheartedly following Christ).
You Can Still Have a Life and Be Single!
Single believers in Christ don’t have to be alone or isolated. You can have amazing, godly friends. You can have a close relationship with your family, in many cases. Or, if your family is not super healthy emotionally/spiritually, you can seek a family where you do feel loved, accepted, and welcome and be part of their love. You can be involved in ministries and in social events. You can cook and invite people over to your house. You can have a prayer partner, or prayer partners. You can have a wonderful roommate who loves the Lord, as well, if you would rather not live alone, and you feel led by the Lord.
Don’t think that being single means you have to be alone.
It doesn’t! You can choose how involved you want to be with other people, friends, church, family, and work friends. You can follow the Lord’s leading in ministry opportunities and service.
And keep in mind that marriage may seem like protection from loneliness, but it is really not. Everyone has to face loneliness at some point. Even married people. Sometimes, loneliness can be overwhelming – for singles and for marrieds – for a variety of reasons. But God is with us and we can take our loneliness to Him.
Don’t Listen to the Pressure from Others
So many people want to pressure others about things that are not their business today.
Don’t let anyone push you into anything. Follow the Lord. Seek Him with all your heart. You can absolutely be content in Christ in all circumstances. Yes, even as a single woman! There is no reason to feel guilty for being single or to cave in to pressure to marry if you don’t want to get married, or if you can’t find a godly man who truly wants to live for Jesus.
No other person gets to decide what is right for you.
Someone may try to set you up with a man. That is sweet of them to care about you and want to try to help you be happy. But you don’t owe anyone a date with a man and you don’t have to get married at all.
That is completely between you and the Lord. You do what you believe the Lord is calling you to do. Ultimately, you only answer to Him, alone.
Always Check Motives
I know I have to watch my motives. Sometimes, I may realize that my motives are not right. If this is my situation, I want to be sure to repent of any wrong motives and do the right thing for the right reason. That is what God calls us to do in everything.
Some wrong motives for wanting to be single:
- Fear – I want to be single because I am afraid of marriage or afraid of being hurt or of not knowing how to be a godly wife.
- Resentment/bitterness – I want to be single because I have been hurt by someone – my parents, their divorce, rejection, a former crush, a former boyfriend, etc…
- Hatred of others – I want to be single because I hate men/people/children.
- Self-hatred – I want to be single because I hate myself.
- Jealousy – I want to be single because I am jealous of other people who are single or of certain people who are married.
- Lust/sexual immorality – I want to be single so I can live a promiscuous lifestyle.
- Greed/selfishness – I want to be single because I want lots of money and luxury for myself and I don’t want to have to be responsible for anyone else or serve anyone else.
- Idolatry (desiring something or someone more than I desire Christ) – I want to be single because self, singleness, money, or something else is more important to me than anything.
We humans can make anything into an idol. In fact, I could idolize remaining single just as much as someone else may idolize getting married.
I want to be careful that I don’t tell God something (or think something to myself) like:
- “I will do anything for You, except get married. I have to remain single. I will absolutely not consider marriage under any circumstances, even if it is Your will for me to marry a specific man.
- “I don’t want to be monogamous. I want to have sex with lots of different guys. Pleasure in the moment is the most important thing to me.”
- “I have to have my independence. I don’t ever want to have to answer to anyone. I want to call the shots.”
- “I hate men. Men are all pigs. No way am I ever going to marry a man. Women are so much better than men.”
- “I hate Your design for marriage, Lord. I’m never going to follow the leadership of a man. I need to always be in charge. I only trust myself.”
- “I never want to have children. They are such a burden and inconvenience. I don’t want some boring life as a wife and mom when I could have an exciting life doing glamorous things and getting a lot of attention, fame, and money.”
If I find I have wrong motives, it doesn’t mean I need to rush to get married because my motives for being single are wrong. I want to have right motives for wanting to be single or right motives for wanting to be married – and for everything I do. This is part of how we grow in Christ. We allow Him to help us see our wrong thinking and wrong motives and to help us think rightly.
I need to hash through any wrong motives and repent to God and invite Him to change my thinking and my heart as I bow to His wisdom and His Lordship.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:1-2
As God changes my heart and thinking to align with His heart and His mind, I will be able to discern God’s will for me in various areas of my life.
As a believer in Christ, I want to do things because they are:
- God’s will for me.
- God’s commands for me.
- My personal calling.
- Beneficial for the body of Christ and the gospel.
- Helpful for me to grow spiritually and to be increasingly sanctified.
- Honoring to the Lord.
- Going to promote the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom.
- Done from pure motives.
What are pure motives? The two greatest commandments, given to us by Jesus!
- Loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. (Matt. 22:37)
- Loving others with God’s love. (Matt. 22:39)
What Does the Bible Say about a Christian Staying Single? by www.gotquestions.org
Does the Bible Say Teach There Is a Gift of Celibacy? by www.gotquestions.org
The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn – can help you find your God-given calling and purpose as a woman and believer in Christ.