Written By Jeffrey Siauw, Indonesia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia
There is nothing wrong with being single. Yes, you read this right: There’s nothing wrong with you if you are not married or attached—or, for that matter, if you have never been in a relationship.
Sure, God created us with the desire for love and companionship. It is therefore completely normal to want to get married and to work towards that. But your worth as an individual is not determined by whether you are attached or not.
Of course, one of the biggest struggles that many singles face is loneliness. (I faced this struggle when I was still single too.) Some people try to deal with it by immersing themselves in activities, keeping occupied and hanging out with friends. Some try to deal with it by satisfying their material desires, such as buying the latest gadgets or indulging in various forms of entertainment. And there are some who are tempted to seek a distorted sense of intimacy, such as through pornography or visiting prostitutes.
Many of us tend to adopt the “if” or “should” attitude towards relationships and marriage. If I have a girlfriend, or if I get married, I will surely not be lonely! Marriage should be experienced by everyone (or at least by me). It’s my basic right as a human being to have a girlfriend, get married, have children, and so on. If I do not have it all, it’s unfair.
But such a pattern of thinking is likely to produce bitterness. By focusing only on what we don’t have, we will lose sight of the grace and work of God at work in our lives. We will see only what we are lacking, not what God has graciously provided for us. We may also forget that there are many aspects of God’s work that we can be involved in precisely because we are single. The apostle Paul himself had made a case for singlehood, noting that singles can give their undivided attention to God and His work (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). We can lose out on the joy we can experience as singles, because we think we can be happy only if we have a girlfriend. In the worst-case scenario, we may even let sexual sin take over our lives. Not only will it destroy our lives now, but it will also destroy our relationship with our spouse in the future.
I would like to encourage all Christian single guys: deal with your singleness differently. Don’t let loneliness take over your life and bitterness take root in your heart. Remember this: loneliness is not a consequence of not having a girlfriend or wife. Loneliness is something everyone faces, whether they are married or not. Even Jesus experienced loneliness when His disciples did not keep watch in the most critical time of His life. Don’t forget: loneliness is a trial, not a sin. It only becomes a sin when we let it control our lives.
So the next time loneliness strikes, let it serve as a “reminder” to build close relationships with your family and friends. On top of that, use your time as a single to pursue holiness. Holiness is not merely about avoiding sin, but about building a life that God wants. Learn to trust in God’s grace, with or without a spouse. Ask God to turn you into a man who loves Him and others in Christ.
And if you do meet your future spouse one day, you’ll find that learning to love others will help you love your spouse even more. This is something I discovered for myself: When I learned to love others the way God called me to, I found that I could love my wife better and unconditionally, the way Christ loves the church.
But even if you do not get married, remember that your life can still be a wonderful testimony of God’s love, and a blessing to others.