The Issue at Hand, June 2021: Single Life in the Body of Christ

For young people considering their future, the question of marriage looms large. Among the various choices we make during our lives, the decisions of whether to marry and whom to marry are probably in the top two or three for most of us. For many Christian young people, the answer to the first question regarding whether to become married someday seems almost to be a foregone conclusion. Will I get married someday? Well, of course. Someday.

But pause there for a moment. Whose will is this? Your will? Or God’s will?

This might be something that we as young people are prone to forget. Marriage, as it turns out, is neither inevitable nor is it God’s will for all of his children. For some of us, his good and gracious plan is for us to live unmarried in single life, either for an extended period of time or even for our entire lives. And God’s will is always good! In this edition of Beacon Lights, we consider the goodness of single life and how Christian young people ought to behave while living in that state.

The reality is that all young people, to one extent or another, will spend some time in single life. Though you may be dating someone or even looking toward engagement, you are still “single” in God’s eyes until you have taken the lifelong vows of marriage. Several of the articles in this edition of Beacon Lights focus especially on that time of preparation leading up to marriage. During this time, you are called to be pure in all aspects of your life and to seek God’s word as the primary means by which to prepare for marriage.

For those living as unmarried young adults who are not in a relationship that could lead to marriage, this topic may stir up mixed emotions. On the one hand, there is a unique freedom to serve God and his church that accompanies the unmarried life. In this freedom, there is a rightful joy and fulfillment that you might be experiencing. But on the other hand, there can be struggles, too. Maybe you desire marriage but have not been led into a suitable relationship by God to this point in your life. Or perhaps you are content with unmarried life but don’t see much of a place for yourself to participate in church life. Either circumstance can be painful in both an emotional and spiritual sense, and so we need to turn to God’s word for help in both of these situations, too. Articles in this edition of Beacon Lights will address these questions by pointing you to biblical principles that will guide you toward contentment and help you to see your important place in the body of Christ as single believer.

In whatever state you find yourself, child of God, know that his grace always accompanies his will. And when his will is hard for you to bear, his mercies will be great for you.

“And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you,

and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you:

for the Lord is a God of judgment:

blessed are all they that wait for him.”

-Isaiah 30:18


Originally published June 2021, Vol 80 No 6