Pam and I were older when we married (both in our 30’s). Consequently, I’ve always been committed to ministering to/with single adults. Here are a few words of advice for singles in our churches.
- Keep in mind that marriage is neither a promise nor a right. Sure, God has a plan for many people to be married, but that’s not His plan for everyone. He is not obligated to provide you a spouse. He does, though, always know what is best for us.
- Don’t live for marriage; live for Jesus. There’s a big difference between the two – and even those of us who are married must live by the same principle. Jesus gives us great joy, regardless of our marital status.
- Maximize your singleness. You really can do great things for God while you’re single that would be more difficult to do if you were married. Give yourself fully to God’s work. Be willing to go wherever and to do whatever for His glory.
- Be aware of the enemy. He would delight in influencing you to fall into premarital sin or to marry the wrong person. Either choice brings long-term pain, so don’t let any loneliness lead you into sin.
- Connect to a local church and a small group. I’m the first to admit that many churches aren’t best prepared to minister to singles – but you still need to be involved in a local body of Christ. In fact, maybe you’re the person to start or help improve the singles program in your church.
- Know that singleness doesn’t give you permission to be a loner. God created all of us to be in relationship with others, even if marriage is not one of those relationships. Isolating yourself from others will only spell trouble.
- Forget about “missionary dating”—that is, dating unbelievers with the supposed goal of leading them to the Lord. Over my 35+ of ministry, I’ve seen unbelievers influence believers much, much more often than the other way around. And, because God gives no room for believers marrying unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-18), why start dating in the first place?
What advice would you add to this list?