The world taught us many things that we should do while we are still single. Some say you must party all night, get drunk, have sex, travel the world and learn to love yourself. But that kind of advice only drifts you away from God. Such self-indulgence only magnifies our sinfulness and shows how wretched human beings are. The world even taught us that marriage is full of misery. It even came to a point that some are now scared in settling down and start a family.
But singleness and marriage are both good gifts from God. Through God’s goodness, both gifts are beautiful. But, Singles, if we desire marriage and long for it like that’s the only way we could be happy, then we are not waiting the way God wants it to be.
The Bible hasn’t taught us that good things only come when you’re married. It doesn’t tell us that the prerequisite to sanctification is marriage. So why are we longing and expecting that God will only change us and make us holy when we’re only married?
So instead of giving you advices that only glorifies yourself, let me share to you some things you must do while you are single.
1. Deny Yourself, Take up Your Cross and Follow Christ
The world taught us to love ourselves, be wealthy, party like there’s no tomorrow and follow what our hearts want us to do. But the Bible tells us otherwise:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Matthew 16:24
Deny Yourself. We always hear people say ‘Love Jesus’ or ‘Jesus loves me’, but little did they know, Christ has commanded us something more. Just like ‘repent and believe (Mark 1:15)’ that are inseparable, we must not also neglect what Christ has commanded us first, and that is denying yourself. The modern world has forgetten the first step which involves being dead to ourselves — dead in our selfishness and all the things that gratifies the longings of our flesh. We have forgotten that without breaking the walls of pride, we cannot fully embrace the commands of God for His people. We are still slaves to sin and children of wrath if we cannot accept that it should be God alone that is in the throne of our hearts and not ourselves.
Take up Your Cross. The Lord, our God, did not promise His people that we will have our best life now. He didn’t promise us the richness of worldly wealth or even a perfect health. Suffering has its unique role in our sanctification. Without suffering, we will not be able to cultivate Christlikeness. In one way or another, trials and sufferings are there to sharpen us, strengthen us, and remind us to lean on God alone and not on the things that the world can give us.
Follow Christ. There are many religions in the world the profess they are the right way. But Acts 4:11-12 states: “For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Salvation is in Christ alone. And He has commanded us to follow Him.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
And since we follow Christ, we also must live a holy life. Be sober, embrace modesty and love chastity.
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. – Hebrews 12:8
2. Study God’s Word
I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. – Psalm 119:11
The world has taught us to do things that we love. But let me ask you something: Do you love God? If you love Him, you must love His Word.
There is more to life than just becoming a Christian who wears a cross, Christian T-shirt and other ‘Christian’ accessories. Without studying God’s Word, you will not know how deep God’s love is and how great His anger is for those who love to sin. There has been a constant effort by some people to erase God’s wrath in their preachings, but without knowing the wrath of God, we will never appreciate all of His attributes. You can’t love God for just His single attribute. You must know that although God is love, He is also Holy, Just, Wise, Immutable and Sovereign.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Yes, He loves His people. But as long as you haven’t truly received Him, you are still slave to sin. You are still under His wrath. Scary, right? But it reminds me to live a holy life. Not because that’s how I will be accepted in heaven (good works can’t save you), but the Spirit of God has enabled me to live holy because I am worshipping a Holy God. And like what the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:16, we must be holy for He is Holy.
These are just few of the things that we will not be able to know if we won’t spend time in studying God’s word. Don’t be just contented in wearing accessories that show that you love Jesus. Study His Word. It will help you more in worshipping the living God.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
3. Cultivate your Prayer life
The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him. – Proverbs 15:8
Two years ago, I wrote an article about prayer that was published in The Heart of Teens currently known us ‘Reckless Abandon Ministries’ (click here to read the full article).
What I want to emphasize here is that, singles are always busy or maybe we are busy doing the wrong things. In a world that taught us to love Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all those other apps, how big is your love for prayer? Just like what I said on that article,
- We worship as we pray
- We obey God as we pray
- We grow as we pray
- We rejoice as we pray
- We help others as we pray
Through praying, we will be able to cultivate a heart that depends in Christ alone. Disregarding the power of prayer is pride. It’s indirectly saying that you can do things on your own. But we must remind ourselves that apart from God we are nothing. And in praying, we show Him that we depend on Him alone.
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 17:6
4. Don’t focus All Your Efforts in Finding Your Future Husband/Wife
The world (and even people inside the church) taught us to wait, but it came to a point that ‘waiting’ became the source of lies single people now firmly believe.
Just by observing married couples, I know that marriage won’t transform you to a ‘holier’ version of yourself. In fact, some said that marriage showed them their dark side and the things that they need to change. So why are we teaching our young people to fix their eyes in the wrong things? We fed them with books about dating and waiting yet we forgot to remind them that there is so much more than just anticipating to marry someday. That’s why we have some ‘hopeless’ singles who hate singleness because we only taught them about waiting and dating.
Jesus replied, “You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. – Matthew 22:29-30
I’m not saying that we must stop teaching them the right way to do it, but marriage is not the purpose why we are here. Earthly marriage is not the gospel. Salvation in Christ alone is. So instead of focusing more on things that won’t last for a long time, teach them to focus on things that will last for eternity. Teach them to seek God above all else – even marriage.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8
5. Love His People
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. – 1 John 4:12
We, Singles, are sometimes guilty of isolating ourselves when we feel lonely or sad. I know how it feels when your heart is joyful for other people and at the same time sad for yourself because they are now happily married, but you’re there still hoping that it will happen to you soon. We then pity ourselves and tell ourselves that we are useless just because we are singles. But the church has opportunities for us. It’s just you don’t want yourself to be involved.
Singles are free to show their talents and skills. The church will help you show your talents and skills in teaching, playing musical instruments, singing and even preaching. You don’t have to wait for marriage to make those things happen.
Singles are free to go for Mission. Since we are the most available ones inside the church — free from the obligation that comes with marriage (such as working to feed our family or taking care of the kids), we have much more time to spend it for mission. You don’t always have to go to other countries when you say ‘mission’. Although I highly respect people who are brave enough to leave the country and stay in unknown places, ‘Mission’ can also be done in our neighborhood. Just by evagelizing in your workplace, be involved in church planting and praying for the unreached people group, you are already serving God.
Learning the Art of Contentment
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. – 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Just because you have achieved all those things, it doesn’t mean that your future partner will come in an instant. I did not promise that in the beginning of this article. What I want you to learn is that – Fix your eyes in Jesus Christ alone and nothing else.
What if marriage is not for you? Are you still willing to serve God? Will you hate Him if He won’t give you a spouse?
Sometimes those longings point to something more. And maybe one of those things is our lack of contentment. You might say, I’m too young to tell you to find contentment in being single. But why not do something for God’s glory while you are single?
Adopt kids if you are already on your 40s or 50s but you are still not married. Teach in your church and tell the young ones not to focus all their efforts in finding a spouse. Teach them that singleness is not a curse but a gift.
You are not dead just because you are single! We are alive in Christ. That’s why we have no reason to act like we are dead people just because we are not yet married.
I know you will feel lonely at times. You might pity yourself and blame the universe because you are like that. But there is so much more to life than just drowning yourself with self pity. Work for God despite of those things.
If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. – 1 Corinthians 7:36-37
If you really want to get married, pray for it. I think God won’t put that desire in your heart for no reason, but don’t make it as your driving force in serving Him. He doesn’t owe you a spouse.
Serve Him because He deserves it, and not because you want something from Him.