Read through 1 Corinthians 7 and you’ll see that Paul says there are some real privileges to being single. Singleness is a gift, just like marriage. Both are unique blessings that God brings into our lives for specific reasons. And like many of God’s gifts and blessings, there are benefits and drawbacks to both.
But in the church, single people sometimes get a raw deal. Their married friends are always trying to fix them up, as if something was wrong with them. And we sometimes talk about marriage like it is a superior state, as if singleness were a mark of spiritual immaturity. But singleness is not inferior to marriage. Neither is it superior to marriage. God’s people serve him in both seasons of their lives, because both are gifts from him.
Unfortunately, many Christians do not recognize either their singleness or their marriage as gifts. So many single people look longingly at marriage, thinking that real happiness is only found there. And many married people look enviously at single people (or at other married couples), thinking that they have missed out, and that real happiness is only found there.
But both singleness and marriage are blessings. And we shouldn’t waste one of God’s blessings by longing after another. Some of you feel “called to be married,” but right now there aren’t any prospects on the horizon. In times like this, I think of David in the pasture. David, called to be king, immediately went back to tending sheep. The good news is that some of God’s best blessings come in the pasture—even in the pasture of your singleness.
If you are single, do not sit around and wonder, “When is God going to bless me?” You might find it hard to believe, but God is blessing you. You don’t have to wait until you are married to start your life. Get going with what God is doing. If you are called to be single for a season, God will sustain you for that time. And if God does bring along that person, he won’t do it because you obsessed about it, but because you focused your attention on what God was doing. Get on the highway of God’s will for your life; don’t putz around in the cul de sac of desperation.
And if you sense that it’s time to get married, don’t wait. Don’t be held back by the “eHarmony myth.” There’s nothing wrong with eHarmony, but their sales pitch goes something like this: “You need to find the right person, and once you do, you’ll be happy for the rest of your life.” The problem is that happiness—whether in marriage or in singleness—does not depend on finding the perfect person. Happiness comes from relying on God in whatever season he has us in, and boldly following him during that season.
So if God is calling you to be single, then be single with boldness. But if he’s called you to marriage, then boldly move towards that. Some of you single guys need to stop stringing your girl along and act with some conviction. Put the Star Trek gear and the PS3 away, and put a ring on it. The same goes for ladies, too. Don’t lead a guy on if you don’t intend to marry him.
The point is, when it is time to wait on God, then wait. When it is time to act, go boldly. God has given you a blessing, either of singleness or of marriage: don’t squander one of God’s blessings by coveting another.