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Q&A: What advice does the Bible have for single people?

All my friends are getting married, and I’m tempted to feel “less than.” Does the Bible give some advice?

It may seem like everyone else is getting married, but according to the latest census, almost half of the adults in the United States are not married.

Married to Christ

Everyone has different roles in this life. The roles may include child, spouse, parent, friend, employee, etc. These roles are blessings for this life, and that includes marriage.

But it’s important to recognize the difference between role and status. Jesus said, “At the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). Since roles can change at any moment, it’s important not to draw your identity from your roles. Instead, we draw our identity from that which does not change: our status before God.

In one way, you, as a single person, are in good company. Our Savior, Jesus, was single. Well, I suppose not really. Jesus is married. He’s married to you. Jesus calls you his bride (Revelation 19:7-9). This is who you are, and this does not change. Marriage in this life will come to an end, but your marriage to Christ lasts for an eternity!

The blessings of singleness

When the disciples asked whether it’s better not to marry, Jesus said that some renounced marriage “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” Then he continued, “The one who can accept this should accept it” (Matthew 19:12). In 1 Corinthians chapter 7, the apostle Paul speaks of singleness as a gift and then states: “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband” (v. 34).

Marriage is a blessing, but every married person will tell you that it takes time and energy. Family takes priority when you are a spouse and parent. Paul’s point is not that singleness is easy and marriage is hard. Paul’s point is that singleness is simpler, allowing those who are single to devote more time and attention to the Lord.

I think of an unmarried professor I had in college. He was able to devote so much more time to his study and the work of the church. He was an incredible gift to the church, largely in part because he was single. He said that he “married the Scriptures” and encouraged us to do the same.

The blessing of companionship

One of the blessings of marriage is companionship. And what a blessing it is! Human beings need people. Even introverts need people; they just may not need as many.

However, marriage is not the only way to have companionship and fill that need for deep relationships. Jesus said, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). Single people can look at their time of being single as an opportunity to show that sacrificial love not just to one person but also to their friends and family in a way that isn’t possible for married people because of their other responsibilities.

You are not less than. You are the bride of Christ. You are not alone. God has placed so many in your life who love you and whom you can love.

Have a question, ask it here!

Q&A Bible study open bible 2023 Dave Scharf

I’ll often begin premarriage counseling with the question: “Whom do you want to marry: the person sitting next to you or the person you hope he or she becomes?” There is a right answer to that question! God’s Word is powerful and will change us, but it’s dangerous to enter into a marriage thinking, I’m going to change him or her after we get married.

Many people choose a spouse on the basis of things that get weaker over time: looks, body, riches, etc. There is wisdom in finding a spouse based on something that gets stronger over time: faith.

Read Ephesians 5:22-33.

What did/do you look for in a spouse? How does this section of Scripture add to your answer?

Instituted by God

God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” In this verse, God gives principles that will provide a firm foundation for a marriage. Both the man and the woman commit to each other by leaving behind or refocusing all the other relationships in their lives. They commit to join as a unit when they get married and commit to grow in that “one flesh” unity for their whole lives. One could say that the essence of marriage is commitment.

What are the keys to commitment? What do you need to work extra hard on in your marriage?

Read God’s institution of marriage in Genesis 2:18-24.

After saying that it is not good for the man to be alone, God sends Adam to name the animals. Why?

What lessons about marriage can we learn from how God chose to make Eve?

What lessons about marriage can we learn from how Adam greeted Eve?

Purposes determined by God

In his Word, God lists three main purposes or blessings for marriage, often referred to as the three Cs. Companionship is a special blessing because you have someone to share life with in the most intimate way. Sometimes God blesses a couple with children. Finally, God gives the gift of chastity, or sexual purity, to married couples.

Read Genesis 1:28; 2:18; and 1 Corinthians 7:1-5.

If you are married, how have each of the three Cs of marriage been a blessing in your life?

Agree/disagree: One’s spouse should be one’s best friend.

Often people will say, “Opposites attract.” For what reasons is this true or not true of your marriage? What does this mean in your marriage?

Learn more> WELS Discipleship offers short weekly videos called Marriage Moments that highlight a biblical thought to strengthen your marriage. View and subscribe to these videos at welscongregationalservices.net/marriage-moments.

Author: David Scharf
Volume 111, Number 02
Issue: February 2024

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This entry is part 1 of 66 in the series question-answer

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