Before I was married, if I didn’t have someone I was dating, which was more common than not, it was not a time to recognize Valentine’s day but rather Single Awareness Day. A clever little statement hiding within the acronym of that phrase. S.A.D. As in, so sad, to bad, you are a loooooooooooooser!
It is so unfortunate that so many singles either 1)feel that way or 2) are made to feel that way and in addition, become so obsessed with the ‘finding of’ that perfect mate that they do not stop to think about what they are seeking for. This is not to say that some people (a good number, in fact) are going to be content to be single or able to maintain purity if they stay single, but before we push, encourage, or jump off of the single band wagon into a marital relationship, let’s consider a few things from a Christian perspective.
1. Do you really need to be married? Every one has a cell phone and yes, they make life convenient but what about the many billions of people who existed, lived, and died before there was a phone of any kind? In other words, does marriage in and of itself, make a person more valuable. (this is not the same as asking if a person can be more effective or a better person but just the inherent value). The answer is “No”, marriage is not a command of God (Thou Shalt get married) and Jesus died to save single people too.
2. Have you considered serving God without getting married? Paul indicates in 1 cor 7 that you can be more careful and concerned with the things of the Lord when you are single than when you are not. I am not talking about taking vows of celibacy here and never getting married, but while you are waiting, have you ever thought of planning a trip to a foreign mission field in preaching the Gospel?
3. Is your emphasis on marriage so strong, you throw out the check list you made of the perfect mate? True, what interests the 12-year-old child may give way to a more mature view of things for a 22 or 32-year-old (at least I would hope so) but do you play around with the dating game without any consideration of how strong emotions can be and the attachment which can be formed?
4. Remember, marriage is to be permanent decision. God forms it, we are not to break it. (Ability does not equal permission) You cannot get out of the marriage covenant without sin being committed. Regardless of the intent of getting married, I don’t know anyone who said “I will be divorced in 5 years”. Remember, the permanence was from the beginning. Don’t need to go to the Gospels for that, just look at God’s law from the beginning.
Some steps that might help you out.
If someone (parents, other Christian friends) are putting pressure on you to marry, then kindly remind them that while it may be strange to the world to not be married, it is not a commandment of God.
Don’t wallow in your singleness, rejoice in your ability to serve God more. Being able to stay out late and not meet the needs of a spouse (these are not a burden but they are what is needed) allows you to stay up late with a friend who needs a helping hand or move in a buddy for a few days that turn into months. It allows you to pick up and go to another country or to drive to a country church to preach for 8 Christians whose preacher is on vacation or who don’t have one. It allows you to spend money in the service of others that you would not be able to do if your spouse and you were planning a family or budget with kids. I am not even scratching the surface of things that, as a single person you can do (or do more easily) without a spouse.
Know what a good mate needs to be like in character. While many will argue over whether the mate needs to be a Christian or not, nothing can be proved by the examples. both Christians and Non Christians change for worse or better. So look further and deeper than just “do they go to church” and “read the Bible”. Get to know their character, their family connections, the beliefs and practices about money, kids and plans for the future.
If you meet someone who is content in their singleness and serving God, that person can make an ideal candidate for marriage. But by being such a person yourself, you make it easier to recognize another one when you meet them.
Rejoice if you are single and if you find yourself lamenting that fact, first pray and then go get busy serving the Lord.