Is long-term singleness God's will?


If you're a Christian in your late 20s and you still aren't married, chances are you have feelings of anxiety every now and then because you still haven't found the one. I've met and counselled a number of young men and women who are paralysed by despair and fear, thinking that God hasn't given them the "one" yet because they must have done something wrong.

Marriage is a blessed gift by God and a wonderful one. However, I've said this before and I'll say it again because I'm convinced of this: Marriage isn't for everyone.

God loves marriage and designed it so that man doesn't have to be alone (Genesis 2:18). But marriage is not the only way to experience partnership and companionship. First and foremost, there is our partnership with Jesus, which should really be all sufficient, and then there are our friends and other family members.

Is singleness a result of what you do? In some sense, it is. A desire for marriage with no action will almost always lead to no results. If you want to get married but have not taken steps to reach that goal (e.g. prayed, fasted, went out on dates, said "yes" to a man, asked out a woman, etc.), then maybe you might want to start with acting by faith and get going.

Meanwhile, some single men and women make their own plans for marriage. They insist on their way, their standards for a partner, and their idea of marriage. Proverbs 19:21 reminds us, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand."

So if you've done all that is necessary (and nothing more than that) and still haven't found the one, but you know the desire for marriage is there, there's only one last way to prove your faith in God: patience. Many times when God gives a promise He will require you to wait. Question is will you be willing to wait?

And maybe, just maybe, marriage will never come to some people—whether they're extremely hopeful for it or have no desire at all. Whichever it is, understand that God's will is greater than just marriage. As wonderful as marriage is, God does not tie your will and satisfaction to it. He ties these things to Him.

In all things let us remember Matthew 6:33, where Jesus urges us always to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

Singleness is not a curse and neither is it an accident. God's will, when we submit to it, is always good, pleasing, and perfect. We can trust that whatever season God brings us into, that's where we should be.