The world seems to have an unwritten rule about the ideal age for marriage. As a long-time single, I’ve felt the weight of that expectation! I’ve witnessed the disappointment in people’s eyes when they ask about my relationship status, endured the awkwardness in social gatherings, and listened to the subtle pressure disguised as “encouragement”. But now, when people (regularly) ask me, “Don’t you think it’s time to settle down?” I’ve learnt to smile and respond with, “Why are you worried that Jesus isn’t enough?”
It’s a response that challenges the assumption that marriage is the ultimate fulfilment in life. It redirects focus to the most important relationship we can have—the one with Jesus. It’s a reminder that my contentment, joy, and purpose don’t depend on finding a husband, because I’ve already found them in Jesus, the one who satisfies my soul.
In a world that overlooks the beauty and value of singleness, it’s important to remember that our worth and completeness come from God (Colossians 2:9-10). Psalm 139 beautifully captures God’s intimate knowledge and care for us, and reminds us of His unwavering presence and love in our lives, regardless of our relationship status. Singleness is not to be lacking or incomplete but a gift from God (1 Corinthians 7:7), allowing us to serve Him wholeheartedly.
While the Church is a place where we’re quick to celebrate and accommodate couples and families, we’re slow to give the same recognition to singleness. Sadly, this is why churches can be one of the hardest and loneliest places to be for many single people. Knowing that we tend to prioritise marriage over singleness, it’s worth asking: how can we adopt a better attitude toward singleness? Here are a few thoughts…
Firstly, I’ve found that intergenerational relationships within churches are incredibly valuable. These relationships broaden our perspectives and help us see God’s work in new ways. We shouldn’t assume that single people should only connect with similar individuals; instead, we should seek out friendships with those in different life stages too. No matter what our age or relationship status is, we can all benefit from the guidance, wisdom, and support of others.
Secondly, we can challenge and eliminate any stigma or stereotypes associated with singleness. As everyone’s circumstances are different, we should avoid assumptions and judgments about why someone is single. Instead, we should be understanding and respectful of their situation. The Bible calls us to do good, especially to those within the family of believers (Galatians 6:10). By understanding the unique challenges single people face, we can better serve them, allowing them to feel a sense of belonging, so they can share their stories and experiences without feeling misunderstood or marginalised.
At last year’s Single Minded Conference, Sam Allberry shared a profound insight, “If marriage shows us the shape of the gospel, singleness shows us its sufficiency.” This means that marriage and singleness complement each other, and both have significance in the work of the gospel. So whether you are married or not, come along this year to gain a better understanding of singleness from a biblical perspective and how we can be supportive toward one another. To find out more and to sign up, visit our what’s on page.