“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
If there is one topic that attracts most of the Young Adult Christians, it’s about singleness and how we can make use of this time while waiting for something that we want to happen in our life.
We are always eager to know what will happen next. We want to know if we will become ‘a greater kind’ of Christian if we get married. We are curious if there is a certain kind of maturity that we can only get in marriage. We see singleness as a lower step on the stairs of spiritual maturity and marriage as the higher one. We even sometimes witness some church leaders limit what singles can do inside the church. Marriage counseling, for example, is absolutely an issue if it is handled by a not-yet-married person. We easily conclude that his wisdom will not be enough to cater all your needs. Experience matters a lot, they say. On the other hand, our lack of experience in raising kids, and knowing the unique struggles of having our own family sometimes limit us on what to say to those who have marital or family problems.
But have you ever wondered and ask, will you ever be enough for the Church? Do you really feel that you can only be a help if you are married?
I’ve read a lot of complaints about how some local churches make singles feel they are less knowledgeable to do something or too unexperienced to be responsible of leading the church just because they are not married. I’ve heard people say that their churches don’t make any move to make them feel they belong. They say it will always be about the married couple and their kids and not about the single ones.
NOT THE REAL WORLD?
When I was in College, I went into a University Church wherein most of the members were singles. It was never an issue that most of us are not yet married. Anyone can lead the Church or become a Discipleship leader as long as you desire to make use of your talent for God. There was no room for special treatment for married couples. Everybody feels we are all the same.
Our leaders told us that it will be a different thing if we go to the “real world”. Let’s be honest, University/Campus Churches are filled with people who won’t stay for too long. Time will come that people will leave. It’s more about equipping them for the ‘real’ battles after they graduate.
After college, I saw the difference right away on how “the real world” church looks like. It’s way too different from the songs played down to how every church activities are done. Singles in most University or Campus Churches were used to hearing sermons about dating, marriage or singleness but most Local Churches cater less about that and focus more on family issues and the proper interpretation of the Scripture. Most Local Churches preach more not on what you need as Single person, but more on what you need as a Christian.
Singles sometimes interpret that thing in a wrong way. We sometimes think the Elders of our Church are not mindful of what we need. We easily conclude that they don’t know our struggles or they don’t care of what we feel because they’re married and we are not. So we choose to feed ourselves some lies that will ruin how God wants His Church to become.
THE CHURCH IS NOT FOR SINGLES ALONE
I believe that some churches today sometimes overlook the needs of the Single people inside the Church. Some people even forget to acknowledge the efforts done by those who are not yet married. Our needs as singles may have been pushed away at some point, but I don’t believe it was done to make us feel we don’t belong. Sometimes it’s just God’s way of saying that not all things will be about us and our needs. Christianity is in fact about selflessness to begin with. It teaches us that salvation is not in our hands. How much more with Christianity’s view in life? When we gather with married couples and their kids and find the topic to be on their favor most of the time, I think it doesn’t mean they care about us less. It’s just that maybe the topic was too timely for them.
DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES OF THE ENEMY
The Father of lies will always be around to feed you some things that you don’t need. It will sometimes feed your insecurities of being not enough for someone or for the church. Satan will do everything to make people inside the church argue on little things. He doesn’t want to see us gather for our Lord Jesus Christ. The enemy will do everything to let you drown into thinking you are not needed and all your church members will not want someone like you.
Those feelings of being left alone or not needed are some of the things that may drive you away from loving the other members of the church. Having that kind of feeling is not the real purpose why gather. There may be some personalities who find it hard to belong, but I always believe that despite personality differences, God’s purpose for the church should be our motivation why we gather.
YOUR WISDOM MAY LACK EXPERIENCE BUT IT DOESNT MEAN YOU CAN’T SAY YOUR GODLY ADVICE
It’s natural to feel like other people won’t need your opinion just because you know nothing about a certain topic. But do all singles know less about marriage just because they’re not married? I think not and I do believe married people know that fact as well. There are those who prefer singleness because of the dark side they saw in marriage. There are also people inside our churches who are products of broken families and broken relationships. They definitely know much more than those who are newly married couple. They know how it feels to be wounded by trials that come with being in a relationship.
Godly wisdom comes in many forms and you don’t need to experience everything to learn something. So I guess being single should not limit you on what you want to say to your brother and sisters in Christ. If you feel convicted to share some godly advice, do it. Your lack of experience won’t limit the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom in saying the right words for them.
YOU WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH WITHOUT CHRIST – SAME THING GOES TO ALL MARRIED COUPLES
No one is enough apart from Christ! Let’s start with that. No person will ever be enough for a Church if he leads with all of his might yet without God. Everyone stumbles and struggles in this Christian life. It is never a smooth road to sanctification. There will always be a time that you will feel you are not an enough help for the Church.
To ask “Am I Enough?” shows a lot on how you view yourself. We all do stumble at times and even if how much you try to please God in all you do, you will still eventually commit mistake. You will eventually feel that you are not enough for anyone.
Married or not, we will never be enough if we do things inside our church only relying to ourselves. We are powerless apart from Christ and our efforts are all in vain if we have done it all to glorify ourselves.
MAY YOU LEARN NOT TO FEED YOUR PRIDE
Being single doesn’t make you less of a Christian. Your civil status has nothing to do with your worth as a Christian or how you can be a help inside the Church. In fact, you can be a great help especially that you don’t have some responsibilities that married people have. You can give the Church most of your time if you choose to do so.
But I hope you respect God’s unique way of putting Singles, like us, in a situation wherein we need to thrive with Married couples who are not just another fellow believers but also our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are not the real enemies inside the Church. Their presence is not the real threat for us to be a help.
Sometimes it’s our pride and selfishness that tell us to grow insecure and record all the wrong things they made us feel just because we are singles. Our misunderstandings with them and how their actions made us feel are not the reason why we must give up. Most of them are just lies made up by the enemy to break that bond we have with the other church members.
Singles, let’s learn not to think more about ourselves and our value inside the church. We are just mere servants of the Lord. Humility must be upon our hearts.
So learn to live out what you mean when you say ‘It’s not about me anymore.”