The body of believers is made up of single Christians, married Christians, divorced Christians, and widowed Christians. Often within Christian circles, many people believe there is something wrong if a Christian chooses to remain single.
Whether a person chooses to remain single or get married, both are equal in the eyes of God (1 Corinthians 7:1-40). A person is not sinning if they stay single nor is a person sinning if they get married. With that being said, there are many ways the church can better acknowledge Christian singles.
A Word on Singleness
If you are a single Christian and you walk into a church full of married couples, you can feel a little out of place. Or maybe you have attended a small group to only discover you are the only single Christian there. These circumstances can make a single Christian feel quite awkward, out of place, or even looked down upon.
I personally can say I have felt the awkwardness surrounding being the only single person among married Christian couples on numerous occasions throughout my life. It is important to recall the fact that being single is a great blessing. Paul was single throughout his life, and it never impaired his ministry. He never lacked anything because God was all that he needed.
Many Christians believe it is a great misfortune to never be married; however, the Bible tells us singleness is a high calling and a great blessing (1 Corinthians 7:1-40). Paul refers to singleness as being a gift (1 Corinthians 7:7). There is nothing wrong with a person being single. Other church members need to stop trying to play “matchmaker” for the single Christian.
As an outsider, a person cannot fully understand why a person remains single unless you are that individual or the individual tells you why they are choosing to remain single. A Christian can choose to remain single for a myriad of reasons.
Some of these reasons can be that they want to dedicate their life to serving Jesus as a single missionary or another field of ministry, they may not be ready for marriage, they may have had a past traumatic experience or another possible reason.
Whether a person is a single or a married Christian, both need to respect each other and not view one as being superior to the other. A married Christian is not spiritually superior to a single Christian nor is a single Christian spiritually superior to a married Christian. Being married or not being married are both permissible for the Christian.
When a person chooses to remain single, they are able to be fully devoted to the Lord in mind, body, and soul (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). A married person’s first priority is their spouse; however, a single Christian’s priority is the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Therefore, being single is a good thing just like being married is a good thing.
Acknowledging Singles in the Church
One of the main ways the church can better acknowledge Christians is by accepting them as they are. As previously mentioned, married couples should avoid playing “matchmaker” between single Christians in the church. Single Christians can be happy without being married, engaged, or dating someone.
Happiness, joy, and fulfillment come from knowing the Lord and having a personal relationship with Him. God created mankind with the purpose of having a personal relationship with Him. He did not specifically create us to have a relationship with another person. God created us to love Him, worship Him, and ultimately spend all eternity with Him.
The church can acknowledge Christians by accepting them as singles and avoid trying to find them a spouse. Church is a time for the body of believers to meet together and worship the Lord together. The physical event of church should never be taken as a day for married couples to try to match the single Christian with another single Christian.
By taking the attitude that a person has to be married in order to be a complete Christian needs to be avoided as well because this concept is not biblical. A person becomes a full Christian at the moment of placing faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is not based upon following rules, commands, or obligations and it is definitely not based upon finding a spouse.
The Bible tells us all Christians are given fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:10). There is never a mention in the Bible that a Christian has to be married in order to experience the blessing of knowing Christ. If a married couple constantly tries to find a spouse for the single Christian, it can paint the illusion that there is something “broken” about the single Christian.
From personal experience, it is not appreciated. Christian singles do not enjoy the idea of fretting about who their married friend is going to try to pair them up with. Do not be this person to your single friend.
There is nothing about your friend that needs “fixing.” Rather than playing matchmaker, accept your single friend as they are and do not ostracize them for choosing to remain single.
A second idea churches can do to better acknowledge Christians is to have the pastor do a series on the blessings of being single. Many Christians within the church are uneducated about what the Bible says about singleness. As we have already talked about, singleness is a good thing just as being married is a good thing (1 Corinthians 7:1-40).
The church can acknowledge singles by conducting sermons around the biblical view of singleness and marriage. The church should also support Christian singles in prayer and encouragement.
If the church desired to, they could design a single Christian small group dedicated to growing their relationship with the Lord and focusing on how they want to serve Christ with their gift of singleness. There have been many well-known single Christian missionaries who went on to be great servants of the Lord, such as Lilias Trotter, Amy Carmichael, and Lottie Moon.
A person can make great strides in missionary work by choosing to remain single. Mission boards feel more comfortable with sending single missionaries due to the ability to be flexible with living arrangements and living conditions as compared to a married couple with many children.
Believers among the local church can also educate themselves by spending time building relationships with single Christians in the church to help them decipher God’s leading in their lives.
Married Christians should encourage single Christians to live out their faith and not look down upon them. Your single Christian friend might grow to become a great missionary in Europe, Africa, or India. Pray, encourage, and help single Christians in your church.
For the Glory of God
There are bound to be many Christian singles in your church. No matter how you felt about singles before, make up your mind that you will no longer judge them, look down upon them, or try to play “matchmaker” with them. All Christians make up the body of believers and there is no place for superiority to come in and disrupt the church.
Whether a person chooses to be single or not is between them and God. The church can do what it can to better acknowledge Christian singles by accepting them as they are, educating themself about what the Bible says about singleness, and starting up a sermon series on the blessings of singleness or a small group devoted to Christian singles.
God wants there to be unity in the church, but there cannot be unity if there is a division between Christian singles and married Christian couples. Single Christians and married Christians can be friends without the married couples trying to find them a spouse. Take these steps into your everyday life and your single Christian friends will really appreciate it.
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Vivian 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.