Still Single, Still Here!

A friend of mine persuaded me to watch a film on dating. The main character, Grace, has been in and out of relationships. She seeks a good thing, marriage, but ends up in a lot of hurt. In despair, she shares with her parents that she questions whether God wants her to marry. I have met ladies and gents in such a predicament; they desire marriage but feel God has withheld it from them. This is either because of hurt from past relationships or a prolonged season of singlehood while they desire marriage. This unfulfilled desire can lead to despair, anxiety, insecurity, questions, or suffering that can sometimes be challenging. Some of these anxieties are confirmed when a friend, church member, or family member asks about marriage and their plan. 

The desire for marriage is good, but it can become a sin if it’s not desired for Christ’s sake. What truths can you anchor yourself on in this season? Note: By no means do I have all the truths or answers, but I pray that these few truths may encourage your soul this season. 

Singleness is Hard; Marriage is also Hard

Reading or hearing such words may comfort some, but others may think, “Where is the comfort?” Socrates once said that for celibacy or marriage, let a man choose his course, and he shall be sure to repent. Singleness does come with a sense of loneliness, unmet needs, struggles with sexual purity, etc. When we read Moses’ account of Eve being created, we see Adam’s aloneness was not good (Genesis 2:18). God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, took out a rib from him, and from the rib made a woman for Adam (Genesis 2:21-22). 

“While marriage was the immediate answer for Adam’s solitude, the story of Scripture shows friendship and the family of God are also his provision. Not everyone needs marriage, but everyone needs friendship. The single man is not to be a lonely man. Friendship is an often underappreciated necessity of life,” writes Drew Hunter

The greatest temptation for singles pursuing marriage is to think marriage is easier. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7, demystifies that myth. As much as marriage may ease loneliness, it does not solve all the struggles one may have in singlehood. Marriage comes with its fair share of struggles (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Paul reminds the singles in the church of Corinth to give their undivided attention to the Lord. We live in a fallen world, so both marriage and singleness can be difficult and lead to suffering. I do not seek to make light of the suffering that befalls you in praying for and desiring marriage. Hebrews 13:4 exhorts us to esteem marriage highly; however, we must be careful not to idolise marriage.

Hard ≠ Bad

Just because something is hard does not mean it is bad. Both singleness and marriage are gifts from God (1 Corinthians 7:7). Jesus says that not everyone will receive the gift of marriage, and not everyone will receive the gift of singleness (Matthew 19:10-12). However, regardless of the gift you receive, it is good and perfect because it is from him who created you (James 1:17). Singleness, even for a long season, is a blessing from God. Hard as it may be, especially when your peers are transitioning or have transitioned to marriage, singleness is good, and that is something you will often need to remind your heart. Singleness is not inferior to marriage. Neither is greater than the other. Dear one, in your singlehood, you are lacking nothing! You’re still elected (2 Thessalonians 2:13), regenerated (Titus 3:5), justified (Romans 5:1, 8:30, 33), righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:30, 1 Peter 1:1-2), saved (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:9), and loved (1 John 3:1) no matter if you’re single or married. Yes, there may be gifts married people enjoy that you look forward to enjoying, but fret not, for you lack nothing in your lack of them. In the current season, as you seek God for marriage, remember the blessings of this season.

Your Marital Status is not Your Purpose

This is the hardest yet most important truth we all need. If I were to summarise this truth, there is no better way to do it than the answer to the first question of the Westminster Catechism: “What is Man’s Chief End?” Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God, the author of life, created us to worship and glorify him in all things (Psalm 100:3, Isaiah 43:6-7)! None of us lives to ourselves or for anyone else; we live and die for the Lord (Romans 14:7-8). Our ultimate end is to seek the glory of God (Romans 11:36, Isaiah 60:21, 1 Corinthians 10:31) and our enjoyment of him (Psalm 16:5-11). Marriage is a blessing of this earth; it is not for heaven (Matthew 22:30). What profit is there in seeking marriage if you lose what is essential (Matthew 16:26)? God does care for our joy on this earth, and that is why, even after the fall, the blessing of marriage was not taken away. Singleness is also a good thing, and in its season, God does give us gifts to enjoy: friendships, the church, etc. Ultimately, for our joy here on earth and in heaven, he gives us himself that we may delight in him and enjoy his goodness (Psalm 37:4). 

Why Not Yet?

Friend, your desire for marriage is a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). Marriage may not come your way, you may feel lonely, and you may be tempted frequently. Dear one, remind your soul to rejoice (Phil. 4:4), and when the suffering of temptation comes, remind yourself that his strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10). Dear one, be content in the season the Lord has you in today. Esteem marriage highly (Hebrews 13:4). Covenant yourself to a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, loving local church. Rejoice with those who are blessed with marriage. Lament to the Lord and ask of him in faith; he does not withhold good gifts from his children (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 84:11). Yes, pray for your future spouse. Above all, find eternal contentment in worshipping and communing with God!




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