How the Church is failing its single members

By Mackenzie Young

I’ve noticed that the Church almost always speaks of singleness as merely a season of life – a precursor to a bigger, better time, a time to be married, a time to mother and raise children in Christ’s name.

But being single is not an “issue” to be fixed.

Your walk with the Lord is a solitary walk, filled with an entire Church to point and lead you toward Him. Your duty as a disciple of Christ is to point everyone you meet toward Christ – not merely your husband. If you believe your sole ministry is toward your future husband, it might be time for a heart check.

Being “content in your singleness” is not the point, Church. It’s about Him – whether you’re single, dating, engaged, or married.

Celibacy is a beautiful vow, and the Church almost never talks about it. Why wouldn’t we praise someone for literally devoting themselves to God, both in this life and the next? Remember that Jesus calls us to leave behind our nets in favor of a life following Him (Matthew 4:20). Sometimes, relationships can hold believers back from a full life with Christ – meaning a relationship can be a “net” that we must cast aside.

When you are single, your time is His, and you are more able to fully devote yourself to Jesus.

“An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:34-35).

We need, as a Church, to listen to the women that are single and feeling out of place in our home. We need to acknowledge that we have been excluding singles from the table for a long time, and that our Lord, a single man, was the one that set the table for us.

Remember Jesus’ words during the parable of the wedding banquet: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven (Matthew 22:30). No one will be married in Heaven, and everyone’s endgame is Heaven, not marriage.

Sister, keep close to your heart the knowledge that Christ Jesus spent His entire human existence unmarried. His example is the perfect one to follow during your years of singleness – whether they are short or lifelong.

As a single woman, your yes is freely given to Him. The world is yours to behold, to travel, to love well. Your capacity to love is defined by Christ, and your cup is ready to be poured out into the entirety of His church. Therefore, rest in the truth that Jesus has claimed you as His love, and your love story began the day you chose to give your life to Him.

4 thoughts on “How the Church is failing its single members

  1. Thank you for this. I have personally mentored teen girls who felt too much pressure to become part of a pair, having been inadvertently taught in the past that singleness somehow equates to spiritual incompleteness. I’ll be keeping this post in mind when it inevitably comes up again in the future.

  2. This is 100% true. It is crazy to think but around 60% of the population is actually unmarried. Yet churches act like only married people exist, they are the only “blessed” and subsequently “useful” ones yet scripture does not teach this. Worst yet is how churches pour loads of money and time into specialized programs for children, teens, and high school, then act like you disappear as an adult if you are not married. There is no safe place in churches for singles to even hang out or find friends. If an event happens it’s about “preparing oneself” or “avoiding temptation” or some other subject equally demeaning. And singles notice. We aren’t dumb. When I look around most churches I’ve been to are filled with 50% singles and many of them women. We are like a forgotten group. The church acts like motherhood is a any one can do. What about the many women who are unable to have children or ones no one has ever even asked out for coffee? It is so rude and pathetic. I’ve heard singles who are sad to be single be told tropes like “it just isn’t your time yet” or “volunteer more” or you just need to “lean into” a guy or girl you want to date. Like what on earth????? No one ever sees or tells singles they are a complete and useful person. Even the most well intentioned pastors tend to talk about their family or how they met their spouse, they don’t talk about being single not what they were able to accomplish at that time. Its gross and it needs to stop. We wonder why church numbers go down, but when you cater only to baby makers its bound to happen.

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