A friend wrote me recently, sharing about an issue on her heart. She said the Lord kept bringing me to her mind so she decided to reach out to me on this. Honestly, I’m still so glad that she did. Because she asked whether I struggled with a certain issue in my singleness.
And the answer was yes. Yes, I did struggle. Yes, I do still struggle. In fact, even on the best days I struggle as there are quite a few different things that relate singleness that are hard for me. These issues, they come and go in seasons. Still, I struggle and I am quite ashamed at times about how much I struggle.
Then again, I don’t think I am the only one.
Your Singleness Is A Gift
There is a thought that has crossed my mind quite often lately. I circle around it on some days, thinking and knowing and feeling it. That my singleness — and your singleness? It is a gift. But in all honesty, my singleness often doesn’t feel like a gift. It feels anything but a gift on many days, if we are being real here.
But I keep coming to this point, and I am reminded of it when wise men speak on the topic. My singleness, just like your singleness, is a gift. If you let it be, that is. Your singleness might not feel like a gift. But as a single person, you are such a gift to your church and to your community.
Sure enough, you can always be a gift to your church and your community. That isn’t dependent on your marital status, gender, education or financial situation. I believe that especially when you are putting your spiritual gifts into use in your community, you are a blessing to those around you.
Friend, I have witnessed this in the lives of others over the years. I think I could even say I have witnessed it in my own life. But that feels like bragging, so I rather focus on others here at this point. I have seen friends pour out their time and energy to a ministry, taking care of matters that make a Sunday service roll smoothly. I have seen them spend time on a certain person needing someone to walk with them for a while. And I have seen them come with a vision, an idea that has reached lost people.
All this, because they were willing to use up their time for God. Because they were willing to be given.
Is This Only A Season?
Sometimes it can be easier to endure hard things when we know that they are only for a season. With singleness, it’s impossible to say how long this season is here for. Many say that they found their spouse “when they were least expecting it.” Or when they finally were fine with being single. Yet, I don’t know about that. I know many sweet people who are fine with their singleness but remain single still.
What I know, though, that the season of singleness carries freedom with it. We are able to do many things just because we are single. As a wife or husband, a mother or a father — we are bound to others and their schedules. That might make use unable to do things as we are able to do them as singles. Often, too, we find ourselves not wanting to do things because our spouses and families are a higher priority.
There is nothing wrong with that, no. But it means that ministry looks different in different seasons of life. As a single person, your skills and your freedom to use them are such a gift to your church, your community, and your people.
Singleness Is Not A Punishment
Now, please hear me out. I believe that every one of us, no matter our marital status — can be a gift to our communities. We are the body of Christ, meant to work alongside one another. When we live out our calling and spiritual gifts, God can do so much in that community. But it’s easy to elevate those who are married.
So hear me out when I say this: singleness is not a punishment. Married people are no better in the eyes of God. Yes, marriage often “hones” our character. But our spiritual growth is not dependent on marriage, and it should never be portrayed as such. After our, our Lord Jesus Christ was a single. Therefore, spiritual growth doesn’t happen more in a marriage setting. But it might look quite different, for sure.
Now I know, singleness can also limit us. At least that is how I feel at times. Because I don’t have a husband on my side, I am somehow less. Less important, less invited, less able. It can be hard for me to find couples who want to hang out with me, just because I don’t have someone on my side.
This is what I know for sure, though. God can use me. God can use you, too — no matter whether you are married or single, rich or poor, introvert or extrovert. God can use you, if you are willing. So are you willing?