Recently, I was talking with a pastor about Christian singleness, and he said something that I’ve known for a long time. Society, and even the church, do not usually understand the challenges and struggles of Christian singles.
When most people talk to singles, they hardly talk from a place of empathy; they talk from the position of unsolicited counselors, they speak with undertones of blame and accusation. Add this to the fact that singleness is generally frowned upon as a second-rate life, you will understand why many struggle with singleness, not knowing how to enjoy being single while waiting for marriage. Many Christian singles are angry with God for their singleness, and more so because even the church gives them reason to.
For example, I was in a church that glorified marriage to the point that as a single, I felt God had not blessed me. I had a good-paying job, I had loyal friends, I had people who looked up to me to disciple them, yet I felt unloved simply because my singleness seemingly overshadowed every good thing about me. My pastor even used an underhanded way to have me admit to sexual immorality as the reason why I was still single.
If you’re a single in your late twenties or thirties, you understand perfectly the challenges of not only being single, but Christian. You can’t date the same way the world does. And you may have to wait for long seasons to be in a relationship only to have it crash without reaching the altar. You may even find a loving, suitable Christian single guy or girl, and God says no! You may believe God has shown you your future husband or wife, and then the relationship sours in ways that leave you confused and hurt.
Yes, Christian singleness has it struggles and challenges.
The good news is that you can overcome them. You can be content as a Christian single whether you’re waiting for marriage or plan to stay single. But for you to enjoy this season, you have to embrace what the Bible says about singleness, not what other people say. To a lot of folks, singleness is just a terrible place to be, one to escape from soonest and through whatever means.
What does the Bible Say About Singleness?
In Matthew 19:12, the Lord Jesus, in replying to his disciples’ statement about ‘better to stay single than to marry’, states that not everyone can accept that truth. He then distinguishes 2 main types of lifelong singles: those who are single due to handicap and circumstances and those who are single by choice. In 1 Corinthians 7:8, Apostle Paul, who was single for life, says that singleness is even better than marriage, but he also says that lifelong singleness is a gift by God to select individuals.
To summarize what the Lord Jesus and Paul say about singleness, we see that it is a temporary state for many and a lifelong status for a minute group. People who cannot control their sexual desire should seek marriage
That doesn’t mean that everyone who wants to get married will get married, because there there are various reasons why people are or remain single. For some, it could be handicap or circumstances as the Lord said, or some singles never find someone to marry, or some unmarried persons live such fulfilled singles lives, especially those dedicated to a vocation, that they chose not to marry to be free from marital responsibilities.
The Challenges of Christian Singleness
The struggles of Christian singles are diverse and may depend on your environment, both geographical, family, and church environment. Also Christian single ladies, because of the biological clock, may face different and more challenges than the males.
It is worth noting that not all challenges of being single and Christian focuses on romantic relationships. Single people are whole individuals who need to go about their lives just like everyone else. Singleness is not a handicap.
Generally, the challenges Christian singles face include:
- Sexual tension
- Inability to find suitable romantic relationships that end in marriage
- Being seen as a misfit, loneliness, and may be depression
- Various fears. For example, fear of rejection, fear of not being attractive to the opposite sex, etc.
- Jealousy and resentment especially when your friends are getting married and having kids
- Anger at God for your singleness
- Insecurity and low self-esteem when others put your singleness on the spotlight or don’t appreciate your achievements simply because you’re still single
- Rejection, hostility, and pressure from family and church communities
- Problems with finding focus and direction in life
- Feelings of inadequacy
- The difficulty of waiting on God
- Disturbing thoughts about why you are still single
How to Overcome the Challenges of Christian Singleness
As a single, I face fewer and less of these challenges. I can confidently say, by the grace of God, that I am a happy and contented single who desires to get married. But this is not how I always was. In fact, at nineteen, my desire for marriage was so great that I feared I might develop high blood pressure if I didn’t get a husband soon. So it’s been a journey of taking my eyes and ears off of what society defines as normal life, and placing my focus on Jesus. He is my life and the source of my strength.
2 Important Ways
Although the challenges of Christian singleness may be many and diverse, I know only of two major ways to deal with them, which is what has worked for me. An Intimate Relationship with the Lord + A Purpose-Driven Life
We can break those two down into simpler points, but that’s mostly it. If your relationship with the Lord is strong:
- You will value what He says above what man says.
- It will deal with your loneliness and depression issues due to singleness.
- God will help you live a sexually pure life.
- He will help you face your jealousy and bitterness when others are getting married while you’re still single.
- Waiting on God, even though not always easy, will not be burdensome. Your faith will rest on God’s goodness and faithfulness.
When you have a focus and direction for your life (Your God-given purpose):
- It keeps you busy and useful, therefore taking away boredom and aimless living. This helps to deal with feelings of low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy , and even loneliness.
- Purpose helps you not to date without direction. Because you can’t date anyhow, it doesn’t take forever to know that a relationship isn’t the right fit for you.
Other ways to deal with the challenges of Christian singleness
- Create friendships with people who can encourage to stay true to godly values and principles. This also helps with the problem of loneliness
- Don’t fold up when people mock or make insensitive jokes about singles and singleness. Stand up to the harassment and bullying
- If you need one, get an accountability partner, someone who can help you stay true to sexual purity and abstinence.
- Make yourself available for dating. If you want to get married, you can’t sit at home and expect God to drop your mate into your laps. Search for dating sites that are friendly to Christian singles.
- Talk to a Christian counselor or life coach if you have difficulty identifying your purpose and direction in life
Encouragement for Christian Single Ladies
There is so much to encourage the Christian single woman with, which goes beyond a blog post. That’s why I recommend my book, a very relatable and enjoyable book that will surely bless you.
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