When I was attending a Christian university, it was a common observation that many a young lady was pursuing a “Mrs. degree.” This, of course, meant that the real purpose of her college work was to get married. This was a little unfair since many guys were there for the same reason. There is nothing wrong with desiring to be married. If you are going to find a spouse, a Christian university is not a bad place to do so. But, I don’t believe pursuing marriage for marriage sake is all that healthy. God wants us to pursue Him and allow His Spirit to direct all aspects of our life, especially our relationships. God can be honored in our marriages as well as in our singleness.
Singleness is not something usually talked about in our culture. This is especially true in the church, where marriage seems to be the highest of relational goals. No doubt, marriage is God’s part of God’s plan to positively impacting culture and His plan to populate the earth. On the other hand, it is important to note what Jesus taught about singleness (Matt 19:12). He explained that there are good reasons for not marrying. For one, a single has more time to invest in growing in Christ and in advancing His kingdom.
Marriage is not God’s plan for everyone. I would also add that the decision to marry is not to be entered into lightly. It is essential to prayerfully seek God’s will before you plunge into the lifelong commitment of marriage. Marriage is a big deal. However, Jesus did not teach us to avoid marriage because it is inconvenient or takes away our freedom. That would be selfish, focusing only on our own benefit. Rather, singleness can be a wise choice. Further, it is a smart choice if that is where the Lord has currently led.
Scripturally we discover that marriage and singleness are both gifts from God (1 Cor 7:1-11). It is often wrongly thought that one is morally better than the other. Both are valuable. I appreciated my singleness, and I now appreciate my marriage. In both seasons of my life, I was able to grow and be used by God in kingdom work.
It is not wrong to be single and desire to marry. But, it is important to accept and find contentment in Christ in our present situation. The Apostle Paul wrote that he wished that all people be like him, unmarried. He was not anti-marriage. However, Paul knew a freedom in ministry others who were married were not able to experience due to added concerns of spouse and family. Again, he was not anti-marriage but is expressing the benefit being single had for him. For those single desiring to be married, I would encourage you to seek Christ, not marriage, and allow the Spirit to guide you in all your relationships. I was not seeking my wife, Krista, but as I sought the Lord, He brought her into my life and led us to enter into marriage. God knows what we need, and when we need it. He is faithful.
Church cultural sometimes can make singles feel less than complete in Christ. On the contrary, in Christ, it is possible to live a full and fulfilling life as a single. One does not need a spouse to be “complete.” Only Christ can make us complete. Whether single or married, we are to find our value and purpose in Him (1 Cor 7:25-40). We find wholeness in Christ. No doubt, in a god-honoring marriage, spouses help one another grow in Christ. Still, singles can partner in godly relationships with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to assist each other on their spiritual journey. Actually, as the church, we are called to help others learn what it means to become the person we have been created to be by God. Singleness is not synonymous with loneliness. God is fully present in a singles life, and God uses relationships within His church to provide Christ-honoring companionship.
If you are single, know that you are completed in Christ. God has a wonderful plan for you. If you desire to be married or don’t, focus on Him and allow His Spirit to lead your steps. This is not bad advice for those of us married as well. Christ completes us, and we are blessed to bless others when we follow His lead. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!