The Purpose of Singleness || Jeff Cherry

Posted on February 13th, by Jeff Cherry in Heart, Unitive Sessions: Love. 64 comments

The Purpose of Singleness || Jeff Cherry

Singleness. The gift no one wants. The season no one wants to be granted, and the place that feels like you’ve discovered a deeper level of alone.

This must be a mistake. He did say, “It is not good for man to be alone,” right? So, why hasn’t He fixed this problem? Why does He let this error persist when there’s someone here ready and willing to solve it?

Is it possible that there’s been no mistake made? Is it possible that there’s intent behind your single status? Yes.

Instead of constantly trying to get out, maybe we should consider why we’re in. Instead of loathing maybe we should be celebrating. Instead of frantically questioning maybe we should peacefully be trusting.

What is the proper response to singleness? Here are a few thoughts.

I would argue that signing up for eHarmony or church hopping to find the one with the most available young people isn’t the answer. I’m all for dating and getting yourself around other singles, but I have to believe there’s more intent behind this season than teaching you the right places to find a date.

Instead of preoccupation with finding the man or woman you want to marry, use this season to become the man or woman that God wants you to be. We’re very quick to find fault in God and others, but rarely willing to consider how we might need to grow. A humble heart will see singleness as a time to draw near to the Lord and reflect on how you need to change to become more like Him. As you follow Jesus and ask Him to transform your heart, you are going to begin to attract the right kind of man or woman.

God is in the business of protecting His children and leading us into the place of greatest joy. This means He knows what you need and when you need it. There is intent, purpose, and a reason behind this period in your life.


Maybe there’s sin that needs to be dealt with and He’s preventing you from inviting someone else into your mess. Two sinners don’t fix each other’s problems. God uses marriage and relationships for our sanctification, but He also uses singleness to spare us pain, consequence and to keep us from pulling others down. This is cause for gratitude and gratefulness, not anger and bitterness. He’s protecting all His children because He loves them.


God may need you to serve in such a way right now, where all your energy, time and attention need to be devoted to what He’s calling you into. One of my high school youth leaders didn’t get married until he was 32. While he was single he gave countless hours serving our youth group for eight years. Many of the leaders that I do college ministry with today we’re impacted by his dedication that would not have been possible if he were married and starting a family. God allows singleness because this life is not about you but about His Kingdom and His purposes being accomplished. This is cause for thankfulness and joy, that our Father would invite us into His work and want us to be a part of what He’s doing.


Perhaps God just wants you to wait patiently and trust Him.

Many of us say we want Jesus to be King, but if we’re honest, it’s only true as long as he runs things the way we would do it. The second he veers from our plan we fight to take the reins back.

God knows more than you do. His plan is perfect, His timing without flaw. The ultimate question is do you desire God’s will over your own? Will you trust Him? This season might be the time to slow down, stop resisting and be thankful that God is making you into the man or the woman that He needs you to be for His purposes and for His glory.

Here are some questions to ask yourself in seasons of singleness?

1) Am I looking to get out before looking to understand why God might have me here and what he wants me to learn?

2) Are all my thoughts toward singleness bitter and resentful? What are the blessings and opportunities I am afforded during this season?

3) Do I truly believe that I have worth and value as an individual created in the image of God?

4) Am I using my extra time to contribute to the Kingdom or to question God and complain?

5) Am I banking on a relationship to fix the sin issues in my life, or am I desiring the Holy Spirit to help sanctify me now?

Jeff Cherry Jeff Cherry graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010 and now leads For the King, a college ministry in Tacoma, Washington. He's passionate about helping college students use their college experience to make Jesus famous. He enjoys programming electronic music, reading, Coca-Cola, and Seinfeld. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffcherry
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64 Responses to “The Purpose of Singleness || Jeff Cherry”

  1. […] blog today about singleness. If you find yourself in this season of singleness, check it out here: The Purpose of Singleness. Thank you Jeff for your heart, wisdom and pointing it all back to […]

  2. Courtney says:

    I have found myself asking all these questions. Searching for a boyfriend. Or should I say someone to save me. I have been in church my entire life. Stayed pure. And sometimes often wonder this is what I get for honoring God. And lately I have come to realize its not always a bad thing to be single. I have been stuck in this rut of talking on and off to the same guy for over 2 years he is a Christian and loves God but not everyone who loves god is meant for you. I think when we force relationships it ends badly. So in the midst of the loneliness trust in Jesus. I’ve heard single and lonely is better than married and miserable right?! So in this time of singleness I will make the best of it and prepare myself to be so in love with Jesus and making his name know and wherever my future husband may be I will be praying for him! Thank you Jeff for posting and sharing these kinds of post because they definently help out so many people!!!!

  3. owen anderson says:

    Hi Jeff,

    This is very thought provoking, I love thebeauty in the truths of our lives, and how God works it out for his glory.

  4. Chris says:

    Such a great article! I’m glad Alyssa shared this. As a single man at 21 I struggled with this and still have times of loneliness but I always remind myself of Genesis 3:18 “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; “I will make him a helper fit for him.” As you said in your article we must become the type of person we want to meet. We don’t want to meet the Right person when we are still the Wrong person.

    • Ashleigh says:

      I too have struggled from time to time with loneliness. Although these are things I have been taught from such a young age, there are still moments in my life when I desire to have someone special to share things with. Someone that will be there to encourage, support, love, and embrace as we serve God together. However, I want to be the girlfriend (and some day, the wife) God has called me to be! I want to be ready for my husband. I know in my singleness, God is molding and shaping me into that Proverbs 31 woman that He has called me to be and I am okay with that.

  5. Ello says:

    My problem is that I was ok with being single for the longest time-I even embraced it.

    And then I came to college, and it slowly changed to now I’m at the point I’m desiring the opposite.

    I don’t want to be discontent with my singleness, and I’m praying I can go back to that point where I am happy being single again.

  6. Mike says:

    I am 59 years old and single again (divorced 15 years) but I really liked the article. For those that are out to find the “right” person I want you to think about this statement I read “Am I the kind of person that the person I”m looking for is looking for?”

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for the reminder. I get get caught up in who I want to meet and have forgotten to look at myself and reflect if I have those qualities.

  7. Dorissa says:

    I love this! just what I needed for encouragement. This makes me excited about my singleness and the plans that God has for me. I wanted to be married so badly and I was foolish to think that getting married alone could make me happy. My focus was more one finding a man than on Jesus. In my efforts in finding a man, I fell into sin and became bitter. Now I just praise God for lifting me out of that mess and restoring me. I have found new joy and peace in Jesus!

  8. Libby says:

    I grew up always thinking that I would be married by 18 or at the very least engaged. Well MY TRUE PRINCE had other plans! I was dating this guy and when I felt GOD telling my heart to let go it was as if my whole world were crashing right before my eyes. Then GOD put godly mentors into my life and I soon after realized that my whole identity had been wrapped up in the wrong thing! After talking to the GOD given mentors GOD really just softened my heart. Now I do sometimes miss it, but GOD has given me two verse. Isaha 43:18-19 and Phillipians 4:6-7!

  9. Chris Downey says:

    This is a well written piece! I love it.

    Thank you for taking the time and writing this.

  10. Elyse says:

    I’m a single chick who was dead set that God was having me stay single for the purpose of furthering his Kingdom in the world, and just surrounded myself by doing ministry like crazy until it consumed my life. Last year the Lord shook me up and made me realize that really I’m not ready for intimacy yet because I don’t understand intimacy with HIM yet. All this time I’ve just been familiar with God…

    I’m currently in a season of learning to fall in love, head over heels, with God so that when I’m ready to fall in love with the right man, he’ll still pale in comparison to my intimate God and I won’t get my priorities screwed up.

  11. Janelle says:

    Awesome read, really encouraging! Thank you God for my season of singleness!!

  12. Paul says:

    Interesting article. However, I think there are perhaps some problems.

    The anecdote about the young man who was a youth minister solely dedicated to the church as a single man, having virtually no time for a wife….well, in my opinion this should not be used as a valid example. Do we really want churches to hire guys who are barely older than the teenagers, and who have never raised a child of their own, to be the ones “discipling” the next generation, when it’s clear from scripture that that’s the father’s job? Of course not. In other words, anecdote involving this young single youth minister who was [seemingly] overly dedicated to the church, should not be seen as normative. Churches should repent for hiring spikey haired 21 year olds to disciple the “youth” of the church, who are barely older than the teenagers themselves, who aren’t married, and who certainly haven’t raised children themselves. Brothers and sisters, this is not wisdom.

    • Jack says:


      Could you clarify on what you mean by “overly dedicated” to the Church?

    • Kris says:

      I think you are too quick to put down single youth leaders. Some of the best leaders I have experienced and known have been single and younger. Having an older person is not always the best route. I know plenty of both and some successful leaders in both categories. Younger guys/gals obviously relate to the kids better. I think it is a case by case basis. Just because they are older does not mean they are wiser. I know some young leaders that have more better things to say than older leaders. I think the example used is very valid because I have seen this in person and experienced it. I wouldnt turn it away so quickly…

    • Mike Reimer says:

      “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

      As long as a young person is setting an example for believers in speech, life, love, faith, and purity, then I (and more importantly, I believe God) would have no problem letting them lead the church. Yes, age often does often come along with wisdom, but it is not age that gives wisdom: experience does, and God does when we ask for it. I know many co-workers of mine who have more than double or triple the number of years I have on this earth, but their self proclaiming actions show them to be fools by their life choices.

      If it is really truly God acting in us, through us, and for us, then I don’t think anything, least of all age, can hold us back from advancing the kingdom. And without God, we are all truly hopeless and totally insufficient: incapable of leading the church, regardless of our age.

      “And pour contempt on all my pride,” amen.

  13. Natalie Almonte says:

    Wow I am in complete shock because I would have never thought about being single this way because of how impatient I have become to meet ” THE ONE” or let’s just say the The One God Has Planned for me. But just reading this truly shows me how patient you have to be with God, not just with love and being single, but with every aspect of your life. You really have to give your all to him until he thinks your ready. It has always been an age thing for me. It’s like saying ” Oh my i’m 25 already and have not met anyone and thought I’d be engaged already” or my biological clock is ticking where is my soul mate. But in some way I have been very patient and in some way greatful for it. Now I’m 27 and trying to rebuild my relationship with God in some way even though it is a challenge for me. But again, this is such a beautiful message for all single Christians out there. Be patient and wait on God by being faithful and fullfilling his purpose.

  14. […] The purpose of singleness […]

  15. Tara says:

    I love this.I never understood why people see being single as a bad thing. I know that if I did not allow God to keep me single all these years I would not be the person that I am. Because it allows to grow a deeper relationship with God and develope who you are in Christ, not who you are in this guy or that guy. You are given this awesome alone time with God so that He can remove the stuff you don’t need and deposit the things you are going to need for your future. I can’t say anything bad about being single, it is only a season and it will pass.

  16. […] wouldn’t be best for you right now to be with someone. As Jeff Cherry said, maybe He’s refining you and purging you of a sin that needs to be dealt with before you […]

  17. […] The Purpose of Singleness by Jeff Cherry […]

  18. Luvi says:

    I always wondered why all these articles about ‘singleness’ are written by either young people or anyway someone who still has ‘a family’.
    I am not youngas such and i don’t have a family. Only a cat.
    I have no husband, no partner, no mother or father, no children.
    I am alone. I do have a job and a cat.
    This is being single, not simply not being married.
    Being single of course is not a bad thing per se, but it can hurt.
    And no matter how much I pray, no matter how much I’d love to cry, it still hurts.
    No matter how many books or blogs I read, it is not easy.
    Sorry :)

    • Jess says:

      Luvi, do not be dishearted. I am 34 years old and will be turning 35 in a couple of weeks and I have been single for a long time. I always thought I would be married by now. I really know how it feels to be single for a very long time because I have not been in a relationship for several years. I keep telling myself to hang on, trust God but often, I still think God has forgotten or not listening to me; however, there is an inkling of hope that hears me.

  19. Julio says:

    Thanks for your wisdom!

    Even though statistics show that a majority of people are likely to get married, we have to understand that there is no promise of marriage for any one of us. It is not one of God’s promises; if we expect it and God does not give that to us, we are setting ourselves up to be resentful against Him.

    He does, however, show us that we can be complete and fulfilled in His word alone by looking at how Jesus lived completely fulfilled in the word of his Father. I need to learn more of that, haha, and if someday God calls me to be a husband for my wife I will be better equipped to understand the relationship between Jesus and how he loves His bride the church.

    Blessings and thanks again for your encouragement!

  20. […] The Purpose of Singleness || Jeff Cherry […]

  21. Pat Macken says:

    I agree church is not the place to seek a husband or wife. But on each of your numbered either or questions I’m betting most could answer yes to both.

    32 maybe seem old to you but try being 34 and having not even been kissed until you were about 29 (and two failed relationships since).

    Clearly you haven’t spent the first 11 years of your adult life having had fewer dates than you have had fingers on one hand. I took the harshness of the world believing I was doing what God wanted me to do. When I needed him he wasn’t there. When I thought it would finally wok out. When a young lady was finally able to date. When she had been acting interested and we had things in common, He could have blinded me to her, put somebody else in my path at different times or he could have let it work out (even if it meant the long courtship I was prepared for). He could have given me somebody else to spend my life with. Instead he allowed my heart to get broken and my faith with it.

    Hell I’ve even been rejected by eharmoney.

    After that night…I trashed my morals. God clearly hates me (not the world just me personally). At least since then I have actually had two girlfriends. Maybe I lived in sin with one but at least I could pretend somebody was in love with me and that was more that I had before that.

    Nothing He ever has needed me to do would have been prevented by the kind of relationship I need and seek. Nor would I have ever pulled somebody I loved down. If I can’t make their hopes and dreams my own I have no business in their life.

    You should get spend some time being the one harshly and repeatedly rejected before writing something like this. You need to know what it is like. It is easy to say “let it happen” until “letting it happen” is forced on you and it still doesn’t happen. You need to experience a long time of that feeling of rejection (and to truely know what some of us feel have never experienced the opposite) to even relate to those people.

    • Massey says:

      You put this relationship you wanted to have above God. Your writing suggests that you expected and deserved this from God. You do not, we deserve death. He had compassion on us and sent His Son Jesus to die so we could have life. This same Son suffered for our sins…. our sins. If you have Christ you have in full the best you could have. Marriage, relationships, any and all gifts are just that, gifts that are undeserved. Your writing suggests that you would choose Hell and eternity without our Blessed Savior over a failed relationship? Is that really true? Be careful what you write… is this really what you mean. I pray you examine yourself and repent of this untruth in your life.

      • Pat Macken says:

        I do love God…he is the one who didn’t care about me. i took the ridicule and rejection….I have carried forth the good fight..for him because it was right even in the secular world aginst things like gay “marriage”: yet still when I needed his help to find somepone and even found someone who would hav ebeen that “oerfect lmatch”…did he just give me taht one little bit of help? No. I have repented many times. But when I needed him and his help…he wasn’t there…try living the life I described a while Massy…you really don’t know what you’re talking about until you have…

      • Pat Macken says:

        And Massy I’ll believe God cares about me when I have a wife and not one momment before…it was that harsh rejection that night when I realized he didn’t care. My faith broke that night…any God that would allow me to be pushed that far doesn’t care. I need to see to believe it and until I see that ring on her finger and hear the words “I do”…not gonna believe it.

    • Julia says:

      Pat. I know you have been hurt. I know rejection and how it feels to have someone you absolutely were in love with to stop caring about you and loving you. It’s pretty much the worst thing in the world. It hurts for months. Sometimes it seems like the pain will never leave. But can I just say, from someone who has been hurt before, that it is not God’s will for our hearts to be broken. It’s not His will for us to be in pain, for our faith to be broken. But what is His will, is for us to find our satisfaction from Him before He brings someone into our lives. He doesn’t want our faith to be shaken because of a person. He wants our faith to be in Him and in Him alone. So that when your wife COMES, you can be the man of God that can lead her spiritually. I know you’re thinking, “yeah, that’s easy to say, but you don’t understand.” You’re right, I may not understand everything you have been through… but the Lord does. And He so desires for you to give those pains and hurts to Him. He so wants to restore your heart, and make it whole again. He so longs for you to arise and be what He has empowered you to be. All you have to do is just give it all to Him. He DOES care about you. He DOES love you. Any voice that tells you otherwise is not the truth, it’s a lie that the enemy wants you to believe, because those kind of lies will keep you stuck in life. The Lord loves you SO much Pat. And if you trust Him, He will bring you your wife and the desires of your heart. But He doesn’t want your faith to be in a person. He wants it to be in Him. And He’s waiting on that, before He brings you the right one. If our faith in God is only in Him bringing us ‘the person’, then we aren’t ready for the person. I’m not here to make you ‘repent’ or any of that. That’s between you and God. All I want you to know is that Jesus is CRAZY about you. He has better plans for you than you do for yourself. He knows your dreams, and desires and secret petitions of your heart. So give Him a chance to show you what only HE can do if you put your trust in Him. Ask Him to heal and restore your heart. He is so faithful and He loves you so much!

    • fei says:

      Pat, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been through something similar, where the someone I thought was “the one” ended the relationship. I cried to God and to people about why a loving God would allow this to happen. But, just wanted to share some truths to hopefully encourage you.

      – When God reveals idols in our hearts, it’s a good thing, so that we would draw back to himself and depend on him. We have idols because we want what we want, and often times, we want what we want more than we want God. This is the root of sin, because we want to BE god. We want to tell God how to be a better God. But we are not God. Only God is God.

      – We shouldn’t doubt God’s goodness and his love for us just because we don’t get what we want. If God of the universe gave us his one and only Son, Jesus, what else would he withhold from us if it’s truly good for us?

      – For me, personally, I’m also learning that if I continue on my current path, putting my identity and worth in my marriage or my husband, I am doomed to be a slave to my husband/marriage and be disappointed and hurt. Also, no one can (or would want to) carry the burden of being 100% responsible for another’s happiness. God wants me to first learn how to secure my identity in the Lord, because any other human being (however wonderful) is just another sinful man. There’s no way my husband can fulfill all my hearts desires. God’s showing me that if God is not enough for me now, having a husband or a marriage won’t be satisfy me either.

      One sentence that you wrote really struck my heart, you wrote “At least since then I have actually had two girlfriends. Maybe I lived in sin with one but at least I could pretend somebody was in love with me and that was more that I had before that.”

      My heart breaks because that is such a true statement for all of us. When we “live in sin”, aka apart from God, we turn to whatever we can get our hands on so we can pretend to be satisfied, because at least temporary satisfaction is better than no satisfaction, right? But that is a LIE. That is the lie in this world that we all buy into. This is why we substitute our real desires for love & hope, with whatever seems good for a moment. We were made for eternity, so please don’t just live for this moment! In the end, only God is able to fill our hearts the way it was designed – with or without a significant other, with or without a wonderful career/money, or anything else that our hearts lusts after.

      When you have nothing else to turn to, I pray that you will turn to God the Father once again and let Him heal and restore your heart. Only he can do it!

  22. […] yesterday happened, and this blog post showed up on my news-feed. Take a second and read it. […]

  23. Massey says:

    I think sometimes the gift of singleness is misunderstood. I have the gift of singleness, always have. All through my 37 years I have been unlike other women in my life… I have not craved a relationship like they have, even in my younger years. As a women I have a natural attraction to men, but they have never been the focus of my life. When I look back to my younger years, any time I spent focusing on trying to get a boyfriend or dating someone it was mostly to fulfill the social pressure that I should want to be in a relationship. I feel the Bible is very clear. If you have a very distinct problem being single then you should marry. The gift of singleness is a gift of being free from the need of a marriage relationship. Those with the gift.. and I know others like me, don’t struggle with the need to be married or be in an intimate relationship. Most of the time the pressures from others don’t even faze us. We get hurt when people see us as odd and say hurtful things, but mostly we love our lives, are content with our situation and truthfully can say singleness is a gift.
    I think you have some good points, but your point about sin does not sit well with me. There is all kinds of mess in marriages… in all relationships really. To say God is not giving you a marriage partner because of sin I think is harsh. Every married couple I know has two partners involved who have deep sin issues, some of them extremely difficult to navigate in a marriage. Also, one of the reasons to marry is to avoid sinful lusts, etc.
    In my observations, the reason people without the gift of singleness aren’t married is so vast and complicated it can’t be narrowed down to one thing… even thought I’m sure some would like it to be.

  24. Tim L says:

    “Maybe there’s sin that needs to be dealt with and He’s preventing you from inviting someone else into your mess.”

    Umm… If you thinking that you just need to rid yourself of sin in order obtain a husband or wife, then you’re going to be single for a long, LONG time. Reality check: We’re ALL sinners. Always have been. Always will be. We’re human.

    That’s the beauty of the Gospel. We sent the only human who did NOT sin undeservedly to Hell to pay for our screw-ups.

    And then there’s…

    “Two sinners don’t fix each other’s problems.”

    I don’t disagree with this. However, if you think marriage will fix your problems, you’re going to be horribly disappointed.

    I feel like we’ve forgotten the symbolism of marriage here. Isn’t is a supposed to be a reflection of Christ lovingly giving himself up for the Church, despite all its problems?

    (Hey, look! It’s the Gospel again!)

    If any potential spouse doesn’t show this kind of love to you, then you are likely with the wrong person.

    At least that’s what I’m holding out for. God can do whatever he wants with me in the meantime.

    It’s a rollercoaster, ya’ll. Throw your frickin hands in the air. And you’d be daft to think you know where it’s going. –> Romans 11:33-36

    • Elyse says:

      I think in the article he makes it fairly clear that he is referring to a specific sin that God wants purged, not just the sinful attitude that we will spend our whole lives shedding by the grace of God.
      One friend knowingly married a repentant drug addict.
      Another friend had to be totally freed from his porn addiction before marriage because his girlfriend had been sexually assaulted and the two would have been like water and oil in marriage.

      There are different cases.

  25. John Morgan says:

    Jeff – Most of us who are living this life prefer “gift of celibacy.” “Singleness” has no meaning in the culture we live in today. I have a single pencil on my desk. Nevertheless, I’m afraid your view of the gift is not accurate. It is an exceedingly rare calling. Actually, it’s not necessary for us to be identified to do our work. We’re on the front lines of the Christian values war that is being raged in this country. We are not called to this life because we have “sin that needs to be dealt with.” Everybody has sinned. But we take our commitment to lifetime celibacy seriously and just ask for respect from those who write about it on the sidelines. There are a few books you may be interested in reading: Called Out by Christine Colon, And You Are Christ’s by Fr. Thomas Dubay, I’ve also written a few books and articles on the subject. You may want to check out “The Gift of Celibacy – Its Meaning Today” at John Morgan, LTC

  26. Marcella says:

    Hi :) God bless you
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article and truly letting the Holy Spirit guide you. I know there are many people seeking answers to doubts in their hearts as I was. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness & sincerity you placed into this. Thank you for this blessing it was beautiful :)

  27. Lily Tamez says:

    Such great helpful insight! :) and great encouragement to serve!
    We need to stop treating singleness as some sort of sickness. Sometimes it’s also the church, or the society that looks down and puts pressure on single people…
    each stage has it’s own sacrifices to make :)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me there are many non single people that could ask themselves the same things, and many married people that don’t have it all figured out. Thanks. Your article manages to reinforce the horrible belief that us singles have done something to deserve being single, or haven’t reached whatever heights the rest of the community reached to be granted their mate.

  29. Ruud says:

    The problem with this article is that singleness is described as some sort of school in which God teaches you all kinds of things. If you pass the exam, you get a spouse and if you fail, you’ll stay single until you finally manage to pass the exam, if ever.

    If this were true, why then do we see so many divorces among Christians, despite apparently having “passed” singles school? Apparently the wise lessons were forgotten again?

    Yes, you need to get busy doing the Lord’s work, fill your life with His will, grow, etc, but that is not only important for singles, but it is just as much important for married people as well.

    Whoever said that singles have so much more free time than married people? By far not all married people have little kids to take care of and they can share lots of things and chores, while singles have to do many things on their own.

    Singleness cannot just be considered a season or as something that will certainly pass one day in their life. Quite some singles won’t find a spouse ever in their life so singleness for them is not any more temporary than life itself.

  30. […] I read to blogs, by Alyssa Joy Bethke on the Hope in Singleness and one by Jeff Cherry on The Purpose of Singleness- awesome posts and filled with such thought provoking […]

  31. […] I hate religion but love Jesus guy”? yep their a power couple!)- check out his blog as well!prettyPhotoat ( sorry I’m quoting so many people , but I’m still […]

  32. I disagree with this blog page on a few points. It seems to be aimed at 20-something singles(?). I’m in my early 40 and have never married, though I still desire to be married.

    To be frank, I find the admonishments to singles who desire marriage – such as giving them checklists of faults they need to be on guard against, or a list that assumes they are guilty of the actions and attitudes on that list – to be a condescending for a few reasons, which I will explain (and sorry if this post becomes long).

    I seldom see Christians issue these sorts of lists to married people. Take this item from the list, for instance:

    “2) Are all my thoughts toward singleness bitter and resentful? What are the blessings and opportunities I am afforded during this season?”

    Do Christians ever inquire of marrieds things such as,
    “So, your husband keeps leaving the toilet lid up, which annoys you. Husband, you say your wife keeps leaving the lid off the toothpaste tube. Does this make you bitter and resentful? Well, if so, God may not have given you the “gift of marriage.” Maybe you should consider divorce.”

    Why does #4 on the list assume singles have more free time than married couples? Sometimes, the reverse is true: singles have less time than married people. In a marriage, chores can be divided up, where one partner takes care of yard work, the other house work. A single person does not have anyone to share all the work load with, on top of having a daily office job too.

    Also, when Christian married couples do have spare time, do they use that time to “serve the Lord,” or to kick back on the recliner and watch NFL? I know a lot of suburban married couples who use extra time to watch TV, read mystery novels, play video games, or goof off in other ways. Don’t kid yourself that married couples are more pious than singles, spending all spare moments on Bible reading or giving bread to homeless people on the streets.

    As for the “sin” category. God nowhere in the Bible states that sinless perfection is a requirement for gaining marriage – or his grace in any other area in life. If God insisted on sinless perfection as a criteria for allowing marriage to happen, nobody would be married in the world today.

    The original post said, “Instead of preoccupation with finding the man or woman you want to marry, use this season to become the man or woman that God wants you to be.”

    Yeah, that sounds very spiritual and nifty when you’re 25 years old and possibly 30 years of age, but when you sincerely put God first your whole life, prayed for a spouse, tried dating sites, lived a clean and pure lifestyle, and still find yourself not married in your early 40s, you realize that maybe getting married is up to you – which means, yeah, you are going to have to start putting even more effort (becoming even more “preoccupied”) into finding a spouse than you did previously.

    It means yes, you have to expend some effort and time at finding a partner, which may mean joining “eHarmony” or something of that nature.

    Trust me, I was raised by Christian parents and in a church that taught me to put Christ first, serve God, wait, pray, have faith, and God would send Mr. Right my way – and again, I have never married and am now in my 40s.

    It’s becoming a little more obvious to me as I get older that the “pray and wait, put God first, have faith, serve God” rhetoric may be keeping Christians single single a very long time, and maybe there is more human effort (i.e., joining a dating site) involved than I had been led to believe by parents, churches, preachers, books about dating/ marriage, etc.

    I know when you are in your 20s, you think you have plenty of time to get a spouse, so you can spend all your time “serving God first” and not looking for a spouse, but your 40s will get here before you know it.

    This comment about ‘become the person God wants you to be first’ also seems to suggest that getting married is a works-based performance issue, that God only merits a woman with a husband if she gets all her kinks and problems totally worked out.

    I don’t know of anyone in life who obtains absolute, or close-to, perfection in this lifetime.

    Regarding the phrases “gift of singleness” and “gift of celibacy.” Those phrases have been terribly over-used, misunderstood, and misapplied (and even abused to shut concerned singles up) in Christendom.

    Several professional Christian authors on the topics of marriage and singlehood have pointed out in their books and blogs that neither phrase actually appears in the Bible – yet Christians keep using them, along with their attendant false understandings of singleness they imply (such as, people with a “gift of singleness” supposedly have a supernatural ability to find joy in being unmarried – that is false).

  33. Alejandro says:

    Thanks Jeff, this is so helpful. I’ve used to look at my singleness in a bitter way, but little by little God is giving me the gift of happiness in this time. Thanks dude!

  34. Seriously Speaking says:

    being single really sucks for many of us men that hate it, and it would be very nice if we could meet a good woman to share our life with instead of being alone which certainly makes sense. why should we look at so many Very Blessed men and women that have met to have a life with a family?, and i am very sure that many of you will agree with me too.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I would definitely say that I at times enjoy being single. I enjoy the freedom it presents to pursue interests in Christ, but I am going through a season where I am not enjoying it at the same time. I know, it sounds a little dichotomous. I don’t know if that has to do with more of loneliness or with being single. I haven’t ever had a girlfriend, a kiss, or even held hands with a girl, and I’m 23 almost 24. So I definitely do feel like I am a little weird and stick out with that. Plus, without someone in my life at this stage post-college, I also don’t have the same connections with others for friendship as I used to. So I am for sure alone. I guess one could fix it and go get a girlfriend, but why go get a girlfriend to fill your voids that could drag you down in the end? Plus, in a case like mine, I have a fix set of interests and a couple “legitimate” reasons that keep me single.

    I’m not the party person, the bar scene, or the nightclub dance type (please). I don’t even like to go out that much. If I had to be honest with you, I spend a lot of my time on computers and am basically a homebody reading the Bible. I just don’t go to too many places other than work, and I don’t want to go to places where I wouldn’t fit in. I don’t like to. So what happens if you meet someone who wants to go out and likes to party all the time? It would not be that great of a fit. It just wouldn’t. So why meet someone just to find someone wrong for you? I don’t get that.

    Far be it from me to be cynical (don’t harp on me, ok?), but I feel Dating already seems so fake to me anyway. I guess it’s important to people, but the way dating is now, it’s all dependent on money and attractiveness anyhoo.. I guess I am frugal with things honestly. Spending $100 on a date simply doesn’t really excite me. It’s only a loss of $100 at the end of the day from my observation. It’s a loss! Then there’s all the relationship drama. Oh, goodness! I honestly don’t like to hear relationship gossip, but if relationships were supposed to be good for us, why then do they lead to such anger?

    Maybe if that wasn’t basically every relationship, it would be better. However, conflict shall arise between two people at some time. So I basically stay away from that. It’s not a problem for me, minus the social isolation. That gets rough, but apparently not so rough that I’ll just rush to find any person.

    Speaking of the whole party scene, it’s probably why I honestly know, like, no women though. So you basically have to trade off, I guess. I guess when you break down my options after that, trusting God looks better and better. Remember that Christ makes one complete, not a mate. I think when people in the church stops pushing for marriage & kids, we would all get it quicker. Marriage isn’t a mandate, nor is it the destination. Is the marriage altar the Right Hand of God?

  36. Jim says:

    Well there are many of us good men out there that hate being single, and are hoping to find a good woman to settle down with. Singleness really stinks.

  37. […] out Jeff Cherry’s post on being Single.  It’s […]

  38. Anonymous says:

    Embracing this period of singleness in my life right now, I know that God is working in me and my future husband. While we wait for our groom let’s remember to give God bride first.

  39. Kara says:

    Amen. This is the lesson God has been teaching me over the past couple months. It is hard but it is g o o d! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  40. cameron adams says:

    Such an amazing outlook on this.
    What he said made me look at singleness in a whole new perspective….Thankful!

  41. Great post – I am working on a book about choosing to live a single life for God’s glory, and was glad to come across your positive post that echoes many of the thoughts I have had. Thanks for sharing!

  42. So True says:

    There are many of us men that really hate being Single, and are hoping to meet a good woman to share our life with. and who in the world would want to be Alone in the first place? Yes Singleness is certainly a Curse for me.

  43. […] But this (seemingly forever-long) season has a purpose. (as you can read in this fantastic article here, by Jeff Cherry.) My singleness serves a purpose, and I know it will help me grow in my […]

  44. Anonymous says:

    I have come to realize that in today’s society it is not “normal” to be single. If you are single then it is automatically assumed that something is wrong with you..? However i would rather be single and loving the Lord then in a relationship with a guy that will take me away from my faith (that has happened before). I am finally content with being single and waiting for that “right” person. I am not in the arms of my prince charming yet but i do belong to the King!!! So my dear friend, wait on the Lord, he has been teaching me patience through my singleness and and I know he can do the same for you. Dont lose hope!!!

  45. Prashant says:

    I’m beginning to think that I’m never going to know the real’ me. I try to think about tgnhis I’m good at, tgnhis I like, etc etc and I just come up blank. And then I try to think about What God wants me doing, where He wants me and again I come up blank. It’s kind of sad being almost 35 and still wondering who the heck I am .-= Tishia Lee s last blog .. =-.

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