Singleness: Advantage or a curse?

You may be wondering why I have placed this singleness writing in the Wounded Hearts section. The reason I did this is that a good number of single adults who are single, hurt or “ache” from being single. Some are single again and this can also bring grief. So, I am not suggesting being single necessarily means we have emotional wounds or that being single is in itself an emotional wound, but rather being single has a “pain” component mixed within it for a fairly high percentage of Christians. The Bible says in Genesis 2:18‚ “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” At times this verse has been encouraging. At times I have felt like ripping this page out of the Bible and flushing it down the toilet. How’s that for honesty! Being single has been one of the most difficult things in my life. I am 45 years old now and have been praying regularly for a wife since age 23. I realize this is not the norm as most people begin praying for a mate and within a few months, or a few years at the most, they meet someone. For me, God has kept me single for a few reasons. One‚ I had deep emotional wounds to work through, the worst of which was childhood sexual abuse at the hands of strangers. I needed to work through past issues so I would be healthy for someone. Also‚ my calling to international evangelism brought with it a unique pruning and equipping phase that I needed to go through alone. Ultimately‚ it simply comes down to the fact that God has not allowed me to meet the right woman yet. Are you a single adult? If so‚ how are you doing with your singleness?

Advantages of Singleness
Being single when we don’t want to be does have advantages‚ such as having the time to get prepared for marriage. We can get our education done‚ start our career, and begin financial preparations for marriage. As a single, we can have more freedom to serve the Lord in our church‚ mission trips‚ etc. We can give more money to God and His work. We will have time to study and better understand the opposite sex. As a single, I have taken advantage of the “laboratories” around me by watching and spending time with married couples. This has helped me learn, to an extent, what realistic Christian marriage will be like. I have learned some things to do and not to do. Being single also‚ very importantly‚ allows us to work through any and all unresolved past emotional wounds, like I mentioned I have done as a single. Working through our wounds now as a single can mean we will not carry “baggage” into our future marriage relationship, or hopefully we will have at least worked through the worst of our stuff. If we don’t work through our wounds while single, the emotional and sexual intimacy of marriage will probably surface our wounds. Then the wounds have the potential to actually damage the marriage. So‚ we can take advantage of our singleness to grow more intimate with Christ‚ to prepare for our future, and work through any emotional wounds. Are you growing and preparing now as a single for your future marriage?

Disadvantages of Singleness
Not having a sexual partner is one of the biggest disadvantages of being single. Being single is no fun if we don’t have the spiritual gift of celibacy. The gift of celibacy enables a person to find contentment as a single where the need for sex is not such a driving force. For a while I began praying for the gift of celibacy. My sexual drive got worse so I quit praying for that. If we are a Christian single adult, God wants us to be celibate‚ which means no sex or sexual activity at all! If we are having any type of sexual intercourse or sexual contact, we have moved out of God’s will and this may be why you are still single‚ the sin has shut the door to God bringing the right person. We also need to be careful with lust and pornography as being single can make us more vulnerable in these areas. If you are involved as a single with any sexual behavior or pornography, you need to repent and commit to being completely celibate, as well as find someone to talk to about these struggles. Sounds impossible, I know, but the power of Christ in us and the accountability of other Christians will keep us pure sexually if we really want to be.

Another disadvantage of being single is the void we may feel for simple companionship. Just having someone to go to a movie with‚ hold hands with‚ worship in church with‚ is a desire we long to fill. Sure‚ going with friends can help somewhat, but won’t meet that deep need for a romantic companion. Being single can even lead to depression‚ grief, and frustration. If you reach this level of being deeply frustrated as a single, please find a friend‚ qualified pastor, and/or Christian counselor to talk to. Simply venting the emotions connected to being single can really help and of course, praying with our Lord about our singleness is most vital.

It is not good for a Christian man or woman to be without a spouse. God has someone for most people. And those who don’t marry and are content have a gift that enables them to be single and thrive. How can we find the right person? First‚ in my opinion‚ God has just “one” person for each of us within a choice of “ones.” What I mean is I believe there is more than one person we are compatible with. It is a matter of seeking God’s will deeply in regard to God’s choice of one lifetime companion in the midst of more than one compatible prospect. Here are some things we can do in seeking to find someone, as well as some suggestions on what to do when meeting that prospective someone.