Single & Faithful
This article originated on Mitchell Johnson’s personal blog. You can find the original and more great content here.
The dissatisfied single: It seems like we didn’t meet the “ring by spring” deadline. Living in a subculture where getting hitched at 22 is the norm, it seems like since I didn’t complete my quest for love, I’m a failure.
I’m thankful for maturity and hard lessons in this area of life. Let’s face it, the Christian young adult culture glorifies marriage. Eventually singleness begins to be looked upon as a “disease” or “liability” of sorts. Symptoms may include loneliness, low self-esteem, and a specific type of bitterness against Instagram around wedding season.
But, what if we lived in a world where singleness was cherished and viewed as more than an unlucky alternative? What if we truly believed singleness is what it’s supposed to be: a gift and yet another avenue to glorify the Lord? What impact could that make?
A kingdom impact. Here are some ways I have experienced glorifying God in singleness.
Everyone has the capacity to love…but not all of us have the same amount of time, and what we do with that matters. Paul explains that his singleness affects his ministry and devotion to the Lord. He has the capacity to do more. Also, if you’ve read the Bible, heard the singleness talk or read the occasional singles blog, (the irony) you would know that the Son of God was a single man! We’re in good company!
Those are facts and sweet reminders, but it often doesn’t get to the root issue of the disturbed single’s heart. Though we are similar to Jesus, we aren’t Jesus. At times, singleness seems like a gift we never asked for.
The dilemma begins when we covet. This means to lust after what we don’t have. After we lust long and hard enough, we forget the blessings of the present. Blessings like time. If we realize what God has graciously given to us, we’ll see more than just the absence of the opposite sex lying beside us. Or the missing plus-one to a friend’s wedding. When we see Jesus, we will realize that we are complete, lacking nothing.
There are men and women who don’t know Jesus. And if that fact doesn’t concern us more than our relationship status, there are other issues that need to be worked out. I believe that if there aren’t singles in our culture reflecting Jesus by serving Him well in their singleness, then it’s a discipleship issue.
The saved and lost alike hear us fantasize about our wedding day. We throw around terminology like woman/man of our dreams. It’s weaved in the magazines we read and laced into the shows we watch. We take good things given to us by the Lord and worship them. Of course, we are left unsatisfied and waste our singleness on daydreaming.
There’s a way to be single and not be miserable. It’s God’s master plan to bring the nations to Himself. He has hand-picked us to make His name famous! This is so much more than merely going to church, leading small groups, and partaking in occasional mission trips. It’s about doing life with men and women who choose to forsake their plans to make much of Jesus!
When we dream profusely about relationships, we are prone to miss the dreams of God. If you are in Christ, there are no excuse to not make disciples. Paul might even say this is held at an even higher standard for singles. When it’s all said and done, let’s strive to be good and faithful servants for our King.
A Glorious End
If you consider marriage to another broken person as the glorious end, then you have missed the point of marriage and the gospel. So, to the dissatisfied single, hear this:
There is nothing wrong with you.
I don’t know how many times people have had to remind me of this truth. We are so inclined to believe the lies that inadequacy throws at us, when it may be as simple as: not yet. I have other plans for you. I’m not sure what those other plans are and I advise you to not try and figure it out. Trust God, seek Him, and be faithful where you are.
Seasons of singleness can be tough. Your history of relationships may sting a bit. There will be times where you crave for someone to share good and bad news with– someone who sees your worst and decides to stay.
Here’s even better news for us: Jesus is here for the long-haul. He has come to wipe tears and bear burdens. He knows us better than ourselves, yet loves us more than anyone ever will. Jesus is the glorious end and cure to our relational loneliness.
 1 Corinthians 7:8
 Romans 1:24-25
 Acts 1:8
 1 Thessalonians 2:8