As you might have noticed, the culture is in a state of sexual upheaval: young people are marrying later, having less kids, and embracing lifestyles that would stun their ancestors. In the midst of this turmoil, Christians are having a fresh conversation about singleness. Our take on singleness, after all, differs markedly from the world’s. We don’t live a single life as a man or woman to gratify our deepest urges or shirk responsibility. Whether single or married, we embrace the life God gives us in order to live it for his glory.
But what does this look like today for godly singles? There’s a good deal of confusion in the church. I just wrote a piece for Boundless entitled “A New Model for Living Single” in which I diagnose how well-meaning Christians sometimes do more harm than good to singles. For example:
• In some cases, we’ve shamed singles. “Can’t you just find someone you’d like to settle down with? Is it really that hard?”• In others, we’ve talked down to singles. “I want you to know that I am here to help you through this condition.” We make it sound as if singleness is a disease — when the apostle Paul says it’s the state he prefers. (See 1 Corinthians 7, for example.)
• At other times, we’ve simply ignored singles. Too many sermons and pastoral prayers, for example, treat only the realities of marriage. “We pray for husbands and wives for their flourishing, their protection, their happiness … and, Lord, for everyone else.”
Read the whole thing. From this point, I go on to suggest four key points that I hope can help men and women embrace God-given singleness with joy and spiritual productivity: be refreshingly honest, pour out your heart in prayer to a kind God, build a spiritual family, and live a full-throttle life.