“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-33, 35
For some, Valentine’s Day is either a pain on the wallet or a pain on the heart. Every mid-February, some go all out to celebrate with their significant other, family, and/or friends by purchasing flowers, cards, gifts, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
Others have playfully and sarcastically coined this day “Single Awareness Day.” As if every day was not a continual reminder that they are single, the world has a whole day of celebration to make it painfully obvious. During this time of the year, walk into any store, and you will be instantly hit with a surplus of pink, red, balloons, and chubby angels with arrows. Inevitably family members or friends will gently, subtly, or even passive-aggressively remind a single adult that “time is passing by”, “you’re not getting any younger”, or the fan-favorite “how are you still single?”
Most people have a God-given desire to find that special someone and get married. But desire and reality don’t always match up. Exasperating the situation is the belief that somehow single adults are not complete people. Remember that cheesy movie line when the man told the woman “you complete me”? As cheesy as it may sound, people actually believe this to their core: unless you have a significant other in your life, you are somehow incomplete. Maybe you have even made the following statements:
"Singleness leaves you incomplete. Marriage makes everything better. Singleness means no family. Singleness is a waste of your sexuality."
To be clear, God created marriage. God is very pro-marriage.
But let’s be equally clear: singleness is not a problem to be fixed. Not when you are a kingdom-minded, full-court follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too many times people forget that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died a single man. Note: he died AS a single man. Not BECAUSE he was a single man! Ha!
Jesus’ life teaches us that God has ordained a season of singleness to everyone. Nobody is born married, and it’s important not to condemn what God has ordained. A wedding ring is not a VIP pass to the secret club of automatic extra holiness. Every married person said “amen.”
A Pew Research Center study released in 2017 found that 42 percent of American adults are living without a spouse or a partner. Today, 61 percent of adults under 35 are single.
Single adults make up a significant portion of our population, and they make up a significant part of our church. Single adults are a part of every ministry, every facet of the church. Single or married, we should celebrate what God is doing in all of our midst. His Spirit is alive in all who have surrendered to Him. God is more than enough to bring wholeness to the married and single alike.
Single adults are faithful to serve the Body as they serve Christ. Let us thank them for their work, and remind them that they are part of a great family, the eternal kingdom family of God. Incomplete is how the church feels when single adults are not a part of the church family.