A Word to those who are Single V: Struggling Singles


What is a struggling single? This is a single person that desires to marry but hasn’t found any prospects. Know and understand that the desire to marry is good because marriage is good (cf. ). Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of the world and is a Divinely established institution.

Why is it then that some who desire to marry remain single? There are a number of possible reasons. Sometimes those who desire to marry but can’t find anyone may have unrealistic expectations. Sadly, a single believer may have a certain expectation in their mind that isn’t grounded in Scripture but is simply worldly. These expectations tend to be focused on outward appearance and ignore the importance of godly Christian character.

Another reason why some might still be single is due to immaturity. I am amazed at how many people who are single desire to marry but still behave like juveniles. Living a life of parties, video games, and an all-consuming social life is not living a single life to the glory of God. If these things mark your single life, you need to grow up.

But what about the single person that is honouring the Lord, has realistic expectations and is living with maturity? The struggling single believer needs to know that this is due to God’s plan. For a reason unknown to you and me, God has provided you with a providential opportunity in being single. When it comes to God’s providence I am referring to the work of God, in which He sustains (), directs () and governs () all things. “God’s providence” says Thomas Watson, “reaches to all places, persons, and occurrences.”[1] What is the purpose of God’s providence? It is His glory () and our good ().

If you are single and struggling, know that God has not forgotten nor neglected you. In His wisdom (), He would have you be single at this time for His glory and your good. Allow the providence of God to be an encouragement to you. Because of the providence of God, struggling single you ought not to fear () or worry (), your Heavenly Father knows what you need () and He cares for you ().

To finish off this post, here are three practical points to keep in mind if your are a struggling single:

Look to Jesus Christ
Whatever state we are in, we must set before us our Lord and Saviour. He is our Master and we are His slaves. As a struggling single, remember that we have a compassionate High Priest. The writer to the Hebrews said, “ For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (). He is aware of your situation and cares for you. We are to look to Him and treasure Him in all situations. Mark Dever noted, “Ultimately, our object of satisfaction – whether single or married – should not be our spouse; it should be Christ”.[2]

Give yourself to Faithful Service
While you wait upon the Lord, certainly pray for your future spouse, but make use of this providential opportunity. Christian single, you have an opportunity to be faithful in the Lord’s service with great freedom (See The Advantages of being Single). With great dedication, discipline and delight immerse yourself in the Lord’s service. Honour the Lord with faithfulness with the stewardship of time He has sovereignly granted you. If you are to marry, this can be a time in which you grow in your character and even learn from mature Christian couples concerning roles in marriage and parenthood. Christian single, don’t waste your singleness!

Don’t Marry an Unbeliever!
A temptation many Christian singles face is the issue of dating or marrying an unbeliever. With great wisdom Steve Cole writes,

“Burn it into your thinking: It is never God’s will for a Christian to become unequally yoked with a non-Christian in marriage (7:39; ). For some reason, it is usually Christian women who get tangled up with nice (they’re always nice!) unbelieving men, rather than the other way around. I don’t care how nice he is to you, if he is not committed to Jesus Christ and if he is not denying self daily to follow Christ, then he’s living for self. You’re going to be miserable married to such a person. Your children will suffer. Your devotion to Christ will be hindered. Don’t do it!”[3]

If you are a Christian, understand that dating or marrying an unbeliever is not an option.

Let us be prayerful for and encouraging towards of dear struggling brothers and sisters that are single.


[1] Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, Banner of Truth, 1978, p. 120

[2] Mark Dever, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Crossway Books, 2005, p. 135

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.”

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

Published by

Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.