Making the Most of Being a Single Christian

Being single isn’t easy, but then neither is being married! Whatever our situation, as Christians we should look to make the most of it: relishing the advantages and looking for ways to minimize the disadvantages. This resource looks at some of the advantages and disadvantages, gives some suggestions for those who are single and also some tips for those who are married about how they could support their single friends better.

 

I originally wrote this as some notes for a married minister in his thirties who had been asked to preach a sermon on singleness! It was read, endorsed and added to by a single, male friend.

  

The advantages of being a single Christian

(some of these may be rather selfish and may assume you live alone. Most of them are not specific to being a Christian)

  • You can eat what and when you want

  • You have a whole bed & duvet to yourself

  • You can switch on the light and read a book if you can't sleep

  • You can get up/have lie ins & go to bed when you want

  • No compromises on how you decorate or furnish your home

  • Its easier to get time alone when you want it, including for devotional time

  • No financial pressure from dependents.

 

The disadvantages of being a single Christian

(especially if you live alone)

  • There's no one to tell when you've had a particularly good or bad day or to share a humorous moment with

  • You don’t automatically have people to holiday with, spend Christmas with, celebrate your birthday with, go to the cinema with, go with to a special event, take when you have a "plus one" invite etc etc

  • Eating Sunday lunch alone, probably not a roast but a sandwich.

  • You get invited for lunch or coffee but not to the couple’s dinner parties.

  • No one to automatically sit with in church

  • There may be a lack of physical intimacy and, if you follow Biblical teaching, no sex (although it seems an increasing number of Christians, especially under 35s, ignore the Biblical guidance on this)

  • You can feel a failure because you're not married, or haven't produced grandchildren (Mum's particularly can put pressure on and sometimes we may project that they are.)

  • No one to cook for you or make you a cup of tea when you're at home

  • You have to do all the chores & make all the decisions alone. Yet there's often an assumption that single people have more time eg to serve in the church.

  • Fear of retirement & old age: who will care for you if you are ill/lose mental capacity etc.

 

How friends including couples and the wider church family could better support single people

(some of my friends have done some of these for me)

  • Affirm single people for who they are and what they do

  • if you see someone sitting in church on their own go & sit with them

  • Invite single people for Sunday lunch & to your dinner parties & family activities

  • Include single people in your cinema & theatre trips

  • Check if they are doing anything for their birthday and Christmas & offer to celebrate their birthday with them or invite them to join you for Christmas

  • If you know someone who would like to be married actively think and pray about who in your circle might be appropriate to introduce them to (but don't be too obvious about it!)

  • Avoid gossip/don't put pressure on when you see two single people of the opposite sex together. The church can be a real goldfish bowl!

  • Consider a skills exchange to help each other out eg DIY advice for ironing or babysitting or gardening

  • Marriage may be the biblical norm but we live in a fallen world. Avoid always inferring that its better to be married. It’s not always!

 

Tips for single people

(which could also be helpful tips for those who are married)

  • Practice being thankful for your situation and for all that you have and are.

  • Actively cultivate your friends & support groups: neighbours, local friends for social activities, professional/work people in the same field, prayer triplet, home group

  • Don't feel sorry for yourself. You can have a very rich life as a single person. Remember, married life has as many challenges as a single life. It’s just the challenges are different

  • Occasionally buy yourself treats eg a book, a special interest magazine, some flowers or chocolates (not sure what the male equivalents are)

  • Look out for your single friends, they need support as much as you do.

  • Be proactive in organising social events that include both married & single friends.

  • Recognise that marriage will not fulfil all your needs/resolve all your problems, you still need (other) friends

  • Be honest with God and one or two trusted friends about the challenges you face as a single person. Journaling about it may also help

 

 

Author and copyright Helen Calder 2019

This resource has been peer reviewed.