Single but Not Lonely Part 2
Feb 8 8:48 AM

Single but Not Lonely Part 2

Feb 8 8:48 AM
Feb 8 8:48 AM

Continued from last week.....


3. Desire and Be Content


What about singles who deeply desire marriage? How can we endure seasons of discontentment? We need to clarify what we mean when we talk about contentment. Paul writes to the Philippians,

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. (Philippians 4:10–14)

First, you can be content in singleness while desiring to be married. Paul thanks the Philippians for assisting him while in prison. I don’t think Paul is telling the Philippians that he desires to stay in prison because he is content in all circumstances. Between being hungry or well fed, he prefers being fed (“It was kind of you to share my trouble”).

“You can desire marriage while still being content in seasons of singleness.”

Desire and contentment are two different realities. You can desire marriage while still being content in seasons of singleness. If you are single and desire to be married, then, don’t feel guilty about that desire. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Enjoy your singleness and look for a spouse!

Second, contentment sees the goodness of God in one’s circumstances, not detached from them. Do not try to find your ultimate satisfaction in the future fulfillment of a spouse. Find your satisfaction in Christ in your season of singleness. Our focus in singleness should not be primarily oriented toward the hope of future marriage. Our faithfulness in singleness is valuable because it honors Christ. As Sam Allberry says, “If marriage shows us the shape of the gospel, singleness shows us its sufficiency” (7 Myths About Singleness, 120).

Third, you can be content in singleness and still struggle with the difficulties that come with singleness. We intuitively understand this about marriage. Difficulties in marriage don’t necessarily mean discontentment in marriage (though it can certainly lead there). Christ can handle our delights and our disappointments. You can be honest about the difficulties of singleness while trusting Christ in “in any and every circumstance” (Philippians 4:12).

4. Devote Yourself to a Church Family


In Mark 10:29–31, Jesus says,

Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Jesus promises us a family worth a hundred times more than anything we may leave — now in this time. The family that Jesus promises is his church.

Here’s an excerpt from our church’s covenant:

We . . . promise to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to rejoice at each other’s happiness; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to restore one another through discipline; to be slow to take offense, but always ready to reconcile immediately in obedience to Jesus, the head of our church.

What does that sound like? It sounds like a marriage vow. Commitment to a church provides an explicit, mutual responsibility in a spiritual, familial relationship. For a Christian, then, a single life need not be a lonely life. The most practical ways you can practice undivided devotion to Christ will come through a love for his church (John 13:34–35).

Single, Not Lonely


Life in the local church enables me to serve in ways I can’t alone. I get to babysit children while their parents go on dates. I get to go out of my way to spend time with a shut-in that lives further away. I get to use my time to serve in ways that would be difficult for other members in the church. There is no selfish singleness in the kingdom of God. While married Christians expend most of their energy for their physical family, I get to expend most of my energy for my spiritual family.

Living with the local church also lets me depend on other Christians in times of need. A warm, homecooked meal is a phone call away. Church members who know me cry with me, challenge me, and encourage me as I pursue Christlikeness. It doesn’t mean they love me perfectly (I don’t love them perfectly either), but in this life, my church has been as precious to me as brothers, sisters, mother, father, or children.

Singleness has its fair share of joys, difficulties, and opportunities. But our faithfulness now displays our hope in future glory, when people will “neither marry nor [be] given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30), because we’ll see our Bridegroom face to face. And when we see him, we’ll know that the investment we made in this season was worth it.


desiringGod. Single but Not Lonely. January 28, 2023. John Lee.



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