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Is it Okay for a Christian to Stay Single?

The Lord does not promise us marriage and believers should not expect marriage as a promise from the Lord. Singleness is a great gift from the Lord. Remaining single should not be looked down upon, but rather, should be praised and lifted up.

Contributing Writer
Dec 20, 2021
Is it Okay for a Christian to Stay Single?

Within Christian culture, there is a major emphasis placed on the necessity of individual Christians to get married. There are many Christians, professors, and entire seminaries who believe a Christian cannot be “complete” without being married. Despite this being the view of many individuals, is it true? Does a Christian really need to be married in order to be “complete?”

What if a Christian has decided in his or her heart that they want to stay single in order to be fully devoted to the Lord? Is it okay for a Christian to stay single throughout their life? This article will be able to answer these questions and help the reader ascertain God’s will for their own individual, unique life.

Choosing to Stay Single

Paul talks much about the topic of choosing to be married or to stay single (1 Corinthians 7:1-40). Whether a person chooses to remain single or to get married, is between them and the Lord. If a person marries, that is good; however, Paul says that the one who chooses not to marry does even better (1 Corinthians 7:38).

In other words, whether a Christian chooses to get married or stay single are both acceptable options for the believer. If they want to get married, they can; however, if they do not want to get married, they do not have to get married. Salvation is not based on marital status as salvation is only based upon accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord (John 3:16-17).

Doing good works or getting married will not give a person salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus is clear that He is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). Many people within the church tend to look down on single Christians; however, this is wrong. Nobody should look down on you because you are single.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been given fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:10). Marriage does not complete a person, nor will it make a person more spiritually mature. Only a relationship with Jesus will complete a person and only by cultivating their relationship with Jesus will an individual grow in spiritual maturity by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Apart from God, nobody can grow in spiritual maturity. It is a misnomer to believe that a person can experience spiritual growth outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. From my own personal experiences, I have come across many seminaries that have taught that a person needs to be married in order to be in the full will of God.

This is erroneous teaching as a person is in the will of God if they have accepted Christ and are following Him in their daily life. It is perfectly okay for a Christian to choose to remain single. A believer is not outside of the will of God if they choose to stay single.

The Lord does not promise us marriage and believers should not expect marriage as a promise from the Lord. Singleness is a great gift from the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:7). Remaining single should not be looked down upon, but rather, should be praised and lifted up. It is a gift to be single and keep yourself fully devoted to the Lord.

Married couples’ first priority is their spouse — not the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-40). If a believer chooses to remain unmarried, it is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with staying single. In fact, as previously mentioned, the Bible tells us it is a gift to remain single (1 Corinthians 7:7).

Whether you are married or single, both are good and praiseworthy. There are benefits to each side of the coin as some are called to singleness while others are not. Jesus tells us if we are called to singleness, we should accept it (Matthew 19:12).

When a person chooses to remain single, they are able to be fully devoted to the Lord in mind, body, and spirit (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). For the believer, this is a great honor, privilege, and calling. There is nothing bad about staying single and likewise, there is nothing wrong with getting married.

Believers should not judge one another based on their marital status. All believers are beloved by the Lord (John 3:16-17). A person’s marital status does not affect their salvation. If you are single, rest in the knowledge that singleness is a great gift from the Lord. If you remain single, you will be spared from many difficulties during your life (1 Corinthians 7:28).

Married couples will go through much more struggles in their life as they will have to balance their devotion to the Lord with their marital duties to their spouse. As Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians, this is not meant to restrict people, but rather to inform them in order for us to live a life fully devoted to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

Therefore, in order to decipher God’s will for your life, you need to pray and be open to His guidance. If you are not happy now and you think finding a spouse will make you happy, it is just not true. True joy is found in Christ alone. Only Jesus can fill the void in your heart — not a relationship, friendship, or marriage.

There is a hole in each of our hearts that can only be filled by the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ. If a Christian decides to get married, they are not sinning as it is perfectly okay for a Christian to get married as long as they are marrying another believer and it is for the right reasons.

A believer should never marry an unbeliever as the Lord condemns this type of marriage and defines what biblical marriage looks like (2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 1:26-27). If a Christian weds another Christian out of true love for each other, it is a holy marriage; however, marriages should never be done out of lust.

True love is self-sacrificing and puts the needs of the other person above their own. Jesus displays a genuine love for us by dying on the cross in our place. There is no greater love than Jesus laying down His life for our own lives.

Choosing to Follow Jesus

You can follow Jesus whether you are single or married. It is okay for a Christian to remain single throughout their life. As a single Christian, you will be able to devote your time, life, and energy to the Lord. Personally, this is how I am going to live out my life as I want to serve God with all my heart and be completely devoted to Him.

There have been many Christians who remain single throughout their lives and have done great things for the Lord, such as Lilias Trotter, Amy Carmichael, and Lottie Moon. Remaining single can help you stay focused on the Lord, deepen your relationship with Him, and help other people come to know the Lord.

Being single is also a great benefit if you decide to do missionary work as you will be able to be more flexible and would be allowed to go in more restrictive areas where married couples with their families may be prohibited from going.

Despite the belief found within Christian culture, Pharisee-minded professors, and incorrect seminaries teachings, it is okay for Christians to stay single. In fact, it is a great blessing and gift to remain single.

As a single Christian, you will be able to be fully devoted to the Lord with all of your mind, heart, and soul. There is nothing greater than having a strong and genuine friendship with the Lord and serving Him with your entire being for the rest of your life.

For further reading:

How Can the Church Better Acknowledge Christian Singles?

What Does the Church Think of Those Who Have Never Been Married?

Is Singleness a Lesser State Than Marriage?

Why Does Our Identity in Christ Matter More Than Our Marital Status?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Kar-Tr

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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