If you’re currently single (not married), chances are good that you don’t want to stay that way forever. This desire to be married isn’t bad, unless it distracts you from the work that God has for you while you’re single. And contrary to what some people think, being single is not a curse. If you believe that “real life begins when you get married,” you’ve swallowed some bad advice.
The time you spend single—which may be a temporary life stage, or could be your whole life—is actually a gift, and you should treat it like one. Being single gives you the opportunity to do some things that would become more difficult after marriage, and also to properly prepare for marriage if that is your goal. It’s a chance to live for God in a unique way, right here and now.
So how do you get the most out of your singleness? Here’s some good advice on how to use that gift.
1. Use time wisely.
You’ll never have more free time than you do right now, as a single person. If you’re tired of hearing that over and over from married people, that’s because it’s true. They’re all speaking from experience. So how will you use this time? (1 Timothy 4:12)
2. Go somewhere difficult.
You can always travel, but you can’t always travel anywhere. Marriage, kids, and even older age can make many trips more difficult and complicated. But right now, you can travel pretty much anywhere that your car or an airline will take you. So see the world. Go somewhere that needs Jesus and share Him there. Spend your weekends sharing the gospel in your city. (Romans 10:15). Opportunities: International discipleship trips; Unashamed weekend trips
3. Work to learn, not just to earn.
Having things like a family and a mortgage do cost money, requiring a reliable income and somewhat limiting your job options. If you’re single and relatively young, you can prepare for that now by learning the skills you’ll need to get the job you really want. Look for a job that will pay you to learn those skills—it may not pay much, but that’s OK, because you only have one mouth to feed. Even if you hate your job, it gives you a place to learn and to live on mission. (Proverbs 22:29)
4. Get to know the Bible.
Continuing on the “learning” topic, the best time to learn your Bible is now. Again, you’ll never have more time to study, and you’ll never have more years to benefit from learning it and putting it into practice. There’s no better “skill” to learn than to know how to navigate and utilize the Word of God. You’ll learn who God is and what He desires for you, and be able to give Godly counsel to others when they are in need. (2 Timothy 3:16) Opportunities: Men’s Bible study, Women’s Bible study, Equipped Disciple classes
5. Pursue purity.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your future spouse is to limit the amount of sexual baggage and bad habits you bring into the marriage. And there is no better time than now to learn how to be faithful in a relationship. If you practice blindly following your sexual urges, you’ll develop the habit of always following your sexual urges—even if they lead you outside your future marriage. Learn to hate porn. Don’t live together. Avoid premarital sex. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
6. Pray for your future spouse.
Pray how? Well, you can start by praying this list for them. Pray that they would be using their singleness well and preparing for marriage. Pray that they would know God and walk faithfully with Him. Pray that you both would trust His timing and not get derailed by “shortcuts.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
7. Join a church and serve there.
This seems like a no-brainer, but I had to put it in the list because for some crazy reason, young adults seem slow to join and get involved at a church. I don’t get it. If you’re a Christian and part of the body of Christ, you’re not meant to live outside the body—it would be like your pancreas trying to survive outside your own body. God made you to be alive in His church. So, find some imperfect church (they are all imperfect in some way) that teaches the Bible and join there. Come under the elders’ authority. Live in community with other members. Serve and give there. Share your talents there so that you might experience life as it was given to you to experience. (Hebrews 10:24-25) Opportunities: Membership Class; Community Group Formation; Serving Areas
8. Get a roommate.
Nothing will prepare you for marriage better than having a really dysfunctional roommate. I’m serious. Some single people say, “I like living by myself.” Well, then you are going to HATE marriage. I’d practice by living with roommates now. Work through conflict with them. Serve them. Practice communicating well with them. In case you think I am talking about someone of the opposite sex: I am not. Read this. (Proverbs 27:17) Opportunities: a lot of people post roommate needs and openings on this Facebook group or this one.
9. Build healthy habits.
Taking care of your body gets more and more difficult. At some point in life your metabolism slams on the brakes, but your eating habits and exercise habits continue as before. So, train them well now. Scripture says your body is a temple. It doesn’t need to be a chiseled temple that you stare at in the mirror, but it should remain a healthy temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
10. Look for a spouse.
Disregard this one if you don’t want to be married. If you do, however, you can be sure that a spouse will not fall through the ceiling into your lap. (If they did, go back to number 4.) To find a spouse, you need to be where future spouses are—see also number 7. (Proverbs 18:22)
How are you using your singleness?