Have you ever felt like singleness was some sort of curse? Or punishment? I have. At the very least, it can sometimes feel downright embarrassing.
I love the perspective offered in this short video by counselor Winston Smith.
Smith reminds us that those who are single and those who are married are both called to rich, meaningful relationships:
All Christians — single or married — are called to rich, meaningful relationships. Our life in Christ is about engagement in the kingdom, pursuing relationships in a way that builds people up, that produces fruit that is eternal and lasting.
Sometimes I feel like my life will really shift into the next gear when I get married. I will have that big box checked off, and my deep longings for marriage will finally be over. Then I can really focus on ministry.
But the Lord has recently been ministering to my heart in this regard. I’ve been learning that my primary mission in life is to please Christ, to do the work He’s given me to do. I’ve been rethinking marriage in light of Christ’s call on my life.
There are many difficulties we can experience in life, and singleness is certainly one. It’s hard to be single. But nothing in life should keep us from a laser focus on accomplishing the work Jesus has given us to do. As the Apostle Paul spoke to the church in Corinth, “So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).
The highest ambition/goal of our lives should be to please Christ. We should deeply desire for Christ to be pleased with our lives. But if I’m honest, most of my decisions tend to be self-centered. I’m prone to make my ambition to please myself: to pursue work that pleases me, to buy things that please me, to pursue relationships that please me. It’s so easy to live our lives ambitious to make ourselves happy.
But I’ve been asking God to change my heart in this way. I’ve been asking Him to give me a heart more deeply focused on pleasing Christ. I want every decision to reflect a heart of love and submission to Christ. And so marriage becomes less about me and more about Christ. If it would please Christ for me to love a woman the way Christ loves me, I’ll do that. But if Christ would be more pleased through serving Him as a single man, then I’ll do that. My ultimate aim is whatever will most please Christ. If I stay single, I make it my aim to serve Christ. If I get married, I make it my aim to serve Christ.
Wherever you are in your pursuit of marriage, check your heart on whether your ambition is to please yourself or to please Him. I find it comforting to set my heart resolutely on serving Christ in whatever station I find myself. Whether you are single or married, you are greatly loved by God, have nothing to be ashamed of in Christ, and have a daily opportunity to please Christ.
So to address the opening question, “Should I feel guilty that I’m still single?” I say no. Set yourself apart for Christ. Make it your aim to please Him. And don’t let anything in life distract you from that resolve.