by Kevin Hazlett

We define singleness as simply, “without a spouse.” Every adult has at least spent some time in this condition, naturally. Some have never married, while others through whatever circumstances find themselves here. A 2017 study by the Pew Research Center that 42% of American adults live without a spouse or partner. Of those under age 35, 61% are single.

We have a tremendous responsibility to reach out to the nearly half of our people who list their “relationship status” as “single.” The fact is, many times single adults have been made to feel like they are an accessory or an outcast in society and in our churches. Perhaps it has been unintentional, but it has happened, nonetheless.

As I minister to singles, and as I study God’s Word, I am learning that we all, whether single or not, must come to a fresh understanding of God’s purposes for people in this “season” of life. It is in fact a season, whether a person ever marries or not, because all of life is as a vapor in light of eternity, where all of us as believers will be united in marriage to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

Let me encourage every single person with the Biblical truth that it is not only possible to survive this season, but to thrive in it! We do not have to live like the dormant oak tree in the dead of winter, merely surviving the elements. Every part of singleness can be lived out in the growth and vibrancy of the Spring season!

To do so, singleness must be viewed as a gift from a good God, who only has our best at heart. The Bible does say in Proverbs 18:22 that, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” However, do you know there is another good way of living mentioned by Paul? He says in 1 Corinthians 7:8, “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.” In fact, in the previous verse, Paul mentions that he personally wished every person could remain single, as he was. How could this be? The only logical answer is that Paul had discovered the gift that is singleness. Paul clearly realized that as a single adult, he was free to follow and obey the Lord to whatever end God led him. He could counsel that young man into the late hours of the evening or have a meet a discipleship group on a Saturday without worrying that he was missing valuable time with his family. He understood that there were certain liberties he had in literally giving everything he had to the service of his King.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to convey. I am not minimizing the role of a spouse or family. I am simply saying that we must be vigilant to never underestimate the role a single adult can have in the work of God.

Whether you find yourself still in this season, in it again, or know someone who is, be encouraged to know that this is a great time in life to pursue the Lord and His will above all. It doesn’t have to be a time of waiting or a time of loneliness, but rather, it can be a time of great fruitfulness. We don’t have to wait for another person to “complete” us, because in Christ we are made whole, and our sufficiency and identity are to be found in Him. So, let’s strive to thrive in Christ no matter the season we’re in!