I feel like it’s always a little dangerous as a married man talking about singleness because I think single people go, “Thanks for your time,” like, “You already got there,” or something. I will say this: I got married a little later. I wanted to be married, but I loved my singleness. And that’s not taking anything away from my wife. That’s to say, I embrace that God gives us different seasons.
Paul is clear that singleness is a gift because it allows us devote ourselves to Christ without distraction.
And in 1 Corinthians 7, God is pretty clear about it, through Paul, that God will give you the gift of a season of singleness, and he says it’s “to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:35) — that it’s a gift he’s given you, that there can be minimal distractions in your way, and it’s to secure a devotion to the Lord.
So, that’s how I would encourage people who are single. Would that describe your single experience? Is your single experience a devotion to the Lord that you are taking all that free time and free space you have? It’s fascinating, I remember watching my friends have kids, and just to go to the store down the street is this massive endeavor of loading up the minivan. And to go on a vacation, you have to move heaven and earth to mobilize these munchkins.
And even getting married, when you initially get married, I tell young men one plus one equals four, financially. All your costs are going to go up, and you’re not going to take your wife and sleep on a buddy’s couch to travel Europe. It’s just not going to happen. You are going to suddenly have higher bills and greater challenges, even if you have a low-maintenance wife or low-maintenance husband. There’s just added details and responsibilities with marriage and children that you don’t have when you are single.
I remember right after I got married when the tsunami hit overseas. I had a single friend that jumped on a plane and went and just served. And there was a part of me that was like, “Oh, man.” I couldn’t do that. I didn’t have the finances together, couldn’t leave my wife at that point. Singleness afforded him that opportunity to just hop on a plane and go.
If you want to be married, tell that to the Lord—he cares. But don’t waste your singleness just pining for marriage.
So, I would encourage you if you long to be married, tell that to the Lord. He cares. He’s not cold-hearted about it. But don’t use your whole single experience to pine away about marriage. See it for what it is: ordained by God to secure an undistracted devotion to the Lord. And so, take that time and dive deep into his word. I fell in love with God in those single years. I got rid of my TV and would just sit at my house and dive deep into his word, and I fell in love with him there. So much of what he taught me, I got to minister to so many people in my single years. I’m so deeply grateful for that season.
And then he did bring the right woman. We’ve loved our married life together. I celebrate it, but I get to love every chapter. And I want you to do that. Don’t miss this chapter by pining for the next one. Trust that God is guiding your future, and enjoy every moment of the gift of singleness.