Singleness can be a very lonely time.
Almost every Christian single knows all too well the overwhelming feeling of loneliness, sometimes to the point that going food shopping gets depressing.......SIMPLY and ONLY because you have no company, but whether it’s living with an unfulfilled desire, or just being alone a lot, like a lot, singleness can be the loneliest season, that seems to just drag on and on.
Being single in your 20’s is far different from your 30’s and beyond.
When we think of singles, we think of teens and college kids. But it’s far more than that. Churches all across the world are filled with singles who are divorced, widowed, or over the age of 29. “Being single in your 30’s is so different from your twenties, sometimes, I feel lost.” a friend once told me
I'm still in my 30s, but as the years go by, I can already see the feelings, attitudes, and perspectives toward singleness changing to that of a sort of terminally diseased person. Obviously, this makes for super awkward encounters. At times, it's like other Christians seem ashamed to be seen having a conversation with a single person.
Things to be mindful of
Watch your social media posts. Not every single social media update has to be about your spouse. Admittedly, this is probably more to fault the singles over the married couples, but constant posts about your spouse is annoying and can create envy in singles.
Watch your words closely. “Stop saying, ‘just be content in Christ,'” is, unfortunately, very likely the first thought that enters the mind of a single person in conversation. When people rush into truthful statements, or rush to a specific point without first listening and understanding what a Christian single is saying, they make singles feel like you don’t care. I'm always reminded of this quote .
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” Stephen R. Covey.
Give the truth in love, however, jumping to these blunt, albeit very true statements can also be perceived as "This is what you need to know, but stop talking to me."
Don’t try to play “Match-Maker.” This is a BIG one. Introducing a godly guy to a godly gal is fine, but constantly trying to hook singles up in your church is exasperating. I'm sure I'm not the only single that finds this exhaustingly annoying.
Intentionally pursue GENUINE friendships with singles. Married, it's ok to genuinely be friends with a single person. They don't have leprosy and just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t hang out. Just don't ALWAYS talk about setting them up with so-and-so or even go through the names of all the single people you could introduce them to.
Ways churches can help
Provide Bible studies for singles.....of ALL ages. A lot of "singles ministries" are nothing more than social clubs. Perhaps that bible study could be a series of messages on all the single people in the Bible, encouragement for waiting on the Lord.....or being prepared to never be married.
Maybe host an annual game night at church, encouraging singles to come out. Churches can help by facilitating an atmosphere of genuine friendship building. That is, set things up to where married folks hang out with single folks more often.
Answer the questions singles are asking. Hoever, when answering questions, don't look down at the person as if to say, "you should know this..why don't you know this?" Or " I don't need to talk to you, go look it up/study it yourself" That tone just pushes them away.
Foster and encourage the talent of talented single Christians. Many churches are “run” by married folks. We must adhere to the biblical guidelines of church leadership found in 1 Tim. 3 and other places, but let’s not forget about singles when it comes to small group leaders, giving announcements, and other such roles.
Ways anybody can encourage singles in their lives.
Encourage and remind them of the blessings of their free time. Many Christian singles feel lonely, but not all. Yes, singleness can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be joyless. Whether it’s overseas missions, serving the church, or more time for evangelism, singleness offers a lot advantages that married people don’t have and encourage the singles you know in this.
Some singles definitely have a deep and, at times, burning desire to be married one day and some will probably get married...and some may not. The big wedding day, honeymoon, and family that they envision for their life may come......or it may not. No one has any idea what’s going to happen to them tomorrow let alone their future. Instead of placing hope in a spouse, place hope in the perfect life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, and encourage living for the glory of Christ.