It can be difficult to be single in the Christian bubble. For a long time, both in Protestant and Orthodox religious spheres, single Christians have heard the message from the pulpit that finding a husband or wife to love is what any true God fearing Christian should aim to have in life. However, some Protestant churches have begun to change their message directed at singles by taking the Bible passages that address the single life seriously. Christian congregations, regardless of denomination, need to pay more attention to the Bible when it discusses the single life and the Christian community must recognize that there are several reasons why people are single.
Society is built around couples. Likewise, churches often assume that people who do not couple are not achieving their full potential as a Christian. This can be seen by the lack of church groups that are built around and supposedly for singles. If there is a group for singles in a church, it is meant to be a way for singles to find another Christian man or woman to date and marry. This is a problem for congregations since it hinders the mission of a church as well as watering down Bible passages that explicitly talk about how the single life is a valid life choice. Some Christians may decide to remain single and celibate, a concept that is foreign to our modern society where sexual identity is the final determination that defines an individual.
For those singles who choose to be single and/or celibate, it is important to know that singleness is a gift from God and to enjoy your time as a single. A Christian single should not be concerned with earthly love that society is enamored by. Christian singles should instead seek to fall deeper in love with their eternal relationship with Christ. The relationship with Christ, unlike those with a spouse, will last forever and there will be no marriage in heaven since we will be able to participate in God’s nature while enjoying the full vision of God. Marriage is an earthly institution that God created for man since Adam was alone, but man was originally meant to walk with God in the Garden of Eden. Despite marriage always being placed on a pedestal by both society and Christians, it is important to recognize that the institution of marriage is not perfect and brings with it its own problems as Paul writes that it brings its own troubles to those who are married.
Marriage is an important institution that is the foundation of society. However, singles can contribute to society and the church without having to find a spouse. The single life is a Biblical lifestyle choice as long as the individual follows the laws that God built into nature when it comes to sexuality and living a pure life that honors God. Churches have made some progress in applying passages that talk about the single life and how it is a viable option to marriage, but there is still much to be done in all denominations to make single feel less pressured to get hitched in the Christian community. At your next youth group, small group, or Bible study do not be afraid to point out how the Bible supports those who are single and how your church may contradict that teaching decreasing the value of those who are not married.