As a 25 year old single woman, I started to feel the pressure of an unmet desire for companionship, love, and intimacy. I had a tendency to feel lonely and isolated from others as I was surrounded by news of engagements and relationships and as I saw pictures of weddings on social media. Sometimes, I gave those feelings precedence and questioned God’s love and provision for me. Therefore, I was guilty of unbelief and chose to make marriage an idol by worshiping the created thing rather than the creator. However, God was kind and merciful to me and showed me truths that have become an anchor to my soul, truths that I pray would encourage you as well.
As a Christian, you belong to God and are adopted into His family.
As a single Christian it was sometimes very easy for me to feel isolated and alone, cut off from the rest of the body that have families of their own. However, as I read Romans 8, God through His Spirit illuminated a glimpse of what I have been saved into. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but have received the Spirit of adoption as one, by whom we cry “Abba Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Because of what Christ has done for us, we have been given the privilege of being a part of God’s family, of being grafted into a covenant to enjoy fellowship with God forever. What an encouragement! No matter how isolated or lonely we may feel, our adoption is an unwavering promise on which we can stand.
You are a needed and valuable asset to the local church.
When you become a Christian you enter into a covenant community with other believers and become an integral member of the body of Christ. If you are a believer in Christ, the church needs you! Regardless of your marital status, you have something valuable to contribute. God has shown me that as a single, I have a unique ability to pour myself into serving others around me without hindrances or distractions. 1 Corinthians 12:1-27 displays the uniqueness and diversity of the body of Christ, comparing the church to a human body, which has members and various functions. “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts yet one body” (1 Corinthians 12: 16-19). As you continue to read the chapter, you see the extraordinary connection between individual members of the church. Each person, whether married or single, has a part to play in displaying Christ to a lost and dying world. This has brought both conviction and comfort, has jolted me out of my self-pity, and has allowed me to focus on what is more important.
Your value as a person is not based on your marital status but is based on Christ.
I have had the tendency of measuring my spiritual value by my relationship status. I thought I was less valuable because I was still single. However, as I learned more about Christ and His promises for me, I realized that my spiritual value really has nothing to do with my marital status. Christ is what makes me valuable. Christ is what gives you value. As Kristyn Getty sings so beautifully, “My worth is not in what I own, not in the strength of flesh and bone, but in the costly wounds of love, at the cross.” Your value is planted on a foundation that is infinitely stronger than your marital status. It is planted on the foundation of Jesus Christ and His gospel, in the very wounds that have purchased your freedom.
Marriage is not the greatest fulfillment of the need of love and intimacy. Christ is.
I love the idea of a godly marriage that seeks to have Christ as its foundation. It is something that I have a great desire for someday. However, as beautiful as a godly marriage can be, it fails in comparison to the joy and fulfillment of knowing Christ. Why esteem the created thing as better than its source? Marriage is a reflection of a much deeper reality, where the need for intimacy and love are satisfied to its fullest extent. What can be better than being called a child of God and a vessel of mercy? 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called Children of God.” Jesus must be preeminent above all desires, including marriage.
The Lord has given Himself as your inheritance.
This is by far the most precious promise the Lord has given me. God Himself is my inheritance whether married or single. He is more than enough, and I will always have Him. Psalm 16: 5 6 “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup. You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. ” We have the double privilege of enjoying both the beauty of God’s creation and God Himself. Words are too feeble to describe the miracle of this promise that is anchored in the gospel. I cannot do it justice, but will only say this: God the Father has crushed His only begotten Son so that He can become our inheritance. We were sinful and deserving of the just wrath of God, but Christ has reconciled us to God by his own blood. Therefore "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. He is our inheritance. Make it your chief aim to know Him and regard Him as your greatest treasure.
My prayer for those of us who struggle with singleness is to know the peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that these truths would be an anchor to our souls and a balm that dulls the ache and desire for marriage. I pray that the joy of the Lord would be our strength, and that we would be emboldened to trust God with our singleness and to lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely. I pray that we would run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12: 1)
Let us join the hymn writer Helen Howarth Lemmel and “Turn our eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."
- Joy Dudley