uring the last year, I have received many questions and comments from people visiting this site. Some of the e-mails I receive are encouraging, some are informative, and some are very sad. There are a lot of Christian singles out there who need teaching, advice, and encouragement so I decided to dedicate this page to the questions, experiences, and difficulties most of us face at some point in our lives as unmarried Christians. Some of the questions below are from a combination of e-mails that had the same or similiar question and some are from discussions I have personally been involved in with other Christian singles.
I plan to update this page often so if you have a question or a topic you would like to see discussed, please feel free to send me an e-mail and I will be happy to consider publishing it here.
1. "I really hate being single and I have prayed for a Christian mate for years. I love the Lord but I'm angry and hurt because He doesn't seem to want me to have the mate I want so much. I'm miserable and I don't know what to do."
~~Always remember that many people are miserable and many of them are married. Being married will not necessarily cure your unhappiness because marriage and children cannot make you whole. In fact, marriage usually brings a new set of difficulties and problems that you do not have to deal with in the single life. You need to try to focus on the fact that Jesus alone makes you whole and brings you the joy you need. There is nothing wrong with your desire for a mate, but if it is coming between you and your relationship with the Lord you must let it go for now. He loves you and He knows the desires of your heart. Give your life to the Lord, along with your feelings of anger and frustration, and ask Him to work HIS will in your life. You will never be sorry for bringing your burdens and unfulfilled desires to Jesus because He understands our weaknesses and meets our every need.
2. "I'm happy and content in my singleness but I have a problem with married family members and friends who have children. The problem is that they often have no respect for my personal life and they act as if I owe them help with their children and other things in their lives. They actually seem to believe that I have nothing important to do and they act offended if I turn down any of their requests. I am really starting to feel angry and I find myself avoiding them."
~~This is a common experience for singles. These days, our married family members and friends are often stressed to their limits. They are sometimes in desperate need of help, so they naturally turn to the single people in their lives. They probably don't mean to be rude and presumptious. I do believe that as Christians, we should do our best to minister to the needs of the people around us by assisting them with the daily burdens they bear - whenever possible. However, that certainly does not mean that they have the right to disrespect us and assume that we "owe" them anything. Just as we must deal with certain difficulties in the single life, they must deal with the difficulties and stresses of married life and raising children. I strongly suggest that you pray about this situation and ask the Lord to guide you as you confront your family and friends at an appropriate moment. Simply explain your feelings and tell them that you are willing to help on occasion, but they must respect your private life.
3. "I am a very happy single Christian but I struggle with going out in public alone. I feel very self-concious in restaurants and when I go to the movies so I have basically stopped going even though I enjoy both."
~~Many single people need to work on feeling more secure in public. We are just as important and valuable as anyone else - even when we are alone. People may notice you when you first walk into a restaurant alone, but they are usually just curious for a moment so you should just smile, take your seat, and enjoy your meal. If you are really self-concious, read a book or a newspaper as you eat and you will not notice onlookers. As far as the movies go, try going shortly before the movie begins so you can basically walk into the darkened theatre. But always remember that you have nothing to be ashamed of and you should enjoy any activity you desire - regardless of what others think.
4. "I attend a wonderful church where I have grown in the Lord. The problem is that most of the preaching, fellowship and ministry are directed toward families. The only time singles are mentioned is when condolences are expressed because we are "still looking for our help-mate." There are quite a few other adult singles in the church and not all are interested in marriage, but the pressure is terrible. I stopped going to fellowhip dinners and other social gatherings because I feel so alone and uncomfortable, especially when the topic of conversation is often my singleness. I really wish churches would get the hint that they need to reach out to singles and stop holding marriage up as some kind of heavenly state. I am happy in the single life and I trust the Lord with my future, but I could use some challenging messages and encouraging fellowship from my own church."
~~Many churches today are realizing the need to reach out to the Christian singles in their fellowships, but too many still do not realize that it is just as important to attend to the ministry needs of unmarried people as it is to minister to those who are married. Marriage is wonderful and God created it to be a blessing, but it is not His will for everyone, and churches need to make that clear. We have seen over and over that the Lord uses unmarried people in amazing ways to reach this world with His love. It is a shame that many Christians are almost obsessed with marriage and family because that obsession causes so much hurt and pressure in the lives of godly singles who are happy and content. Almost all adults will be single for at least a portion of their lives, so more teaching and preaching in this area is greatly needed. It would be wonderful to see more single pastors in churches because they would certainly be more sensitive to the needs of single Christians. In your case, I suggest that you pray about this situation and then approach your pastor with your needs and those of the other singles in your fellowship. He may simply be unaware of the situation. Mabye you can start a fellowship group or Bible study class that will be directed specifically toward issues faced by Christian singles. Ask the Lord to use you and then make yourself available and you will see many opportunities for ministry open up.
5. "I've failed miserably in the area of purity and I have committed sexual sin in many sinful relationships that I've have been involved in. I have repented of my past and I'm now committed to purity, but I can't seem to escape the memories and pain which makes me feel like a condemed failure. Please pray for me and I would appreciate any help you can offer."
~~There is no question that sin devastates us, but there is also no question that the blood of Jesus cleanses us thoroughly when we repent. We often forget that the Lord provides principles and rules for us to live by because He loves us and wants to protect us from the ravages of sin. When we go our own way, the pain and sadness is an inevitable consequence of our willfull decision to disobey. When we finally come to our senses and ask for the Lord's forgiveness, He mercifully cleanses us and gives us a new chance to serve Him. You have to remember that you have been washed white as snow and you are a new creature in Christ. Don't allow the devil to torment you with thoughts of condemnation about your past sins because God has forgotten them. You are a sinner saved by grace just like every other Christian so walk in the knowledge that you are clothed in a garment of righteousness through Christ. Serve the Lord with a life of holiness, obedience, joy, and love and your past will only serve to point you back to the endless mercy and love you have received from Jesus.
6. "I am an unmarried Christian and I know that I am called by the Lord to remain sexually pure. I am committed in this area but I have been harrassed and ridiculed by both my unsaved family, friends, and co-workers, and even some of the Christian ones. Most of what they say does not bother me because I expect persecution for living a Godly life because the Bible tells me to expect it. The one thing that really upsets me though is when I am accused of being "gay." I find that as deeply offensive as if someone called me a murderer or a rapist. I try not to become defensive because I know that just eggs them on. Do you have any ideas about how I should deal with this?"
~~First, you need to know that I have experienced the same thing as a single Christian woman and I know that it is even more difficult for a man because men are expected to be sexually promiscuous. The ridicule and back-handed comments people make when a person is celibate is shocking. Even people who are normally mature and intelligent can behave like five-year-olds when the topic of sex comes up in a discussion. I'm sure that some of the people are really just joking but deep down, some are so uncomfortable with their own sexual promiscuity that they have to attack you because you make them feel guilty. They would probably never admit it, but they know you are right and your light of purity and holiness makes their darkness look and feel even darker. Jesus shined His Holy light on the sinners around Him and some forsook the darkness but others hated Him for it and eventually killed Him. The most important thing you can do is live a consistent Christian life in front of the people around you because if they respect you and realize that you are a loving, trustworthy, normal person, they will be more likely to listen to you on this issue. I do not recommend that you respond to group ridicule in the work environment. Try to discuss the issue with people on a one-on-one basis because you will have a better chance of changing a person's ideas in that circumstance. I did this very thing at work and the "group" started realizing that it was not a good idea to joke inappropriately about sexual issues around me and they eventually stopped the behavior altogether. It was a long process, but I had several discussions with most of them about biblical morality and the results of sexual promiscuity in our society and it slowly started to have an effect on them because of the Holy Spirit and a lot of prayer. As far as the "gay" issue is concerned, do not allow yourself to be upset by ridicule or lying accusations. The devil is a liar and the accuser of the bretheren and he uses people to discourage and upset you. If you feel that you must respond, simply state that as a Christian, you believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong so you will refrain from it until you marry. They are only accusing you of being gay because they are lost and do not understand you or the Godly principles you live by so don't take it personally.
7. "I'm a little embrarrased about my problem but I'm sure you've heard it all so I hope you can help me. Although I have recommitted my life to Christ and am now sexually pure, I was sexually active in the past and I am constantly attacked with deep desires for sexual contact. I do not want to sin in that area anymore so I am considering the use of masturbation and sex products to help me release some of my sexual tension. I feel some guilt about this so I think the Lord is trying to tell me that it is not right. I am confused because some Christians I know and other Christian sites on the Internet have told me it is okay since I am an adult. I know the Bible does not address masturbation specifically. What do you think?"
~~Believe it or not, your situation is common among adult Christian singles and the difficult topic of masturbation arises often. Let me say that some people will disagree with my opinion, but I sincerely believe that it is firmly grounded in the principles of the Bible. Please realize I understand the pressure and desires you feel, but I must tell you that it is clearly inappropriate and sinful for an unmarried Christian to seek sexual gratification in any way for the following reasons:
-Jesus is to be our example in all things. It is a good idea to test the appropriateness of any thought or action by asking yourself if it is something you could imagine Jesus doing. Once you do that with this issue, I think you will agree that masturbation would not be a Christ-like behavior.
-We are commanded in many verses in the Bible to walk in holiness and purity. If we apply the standards of godly holiness to this issue, providing sexual stimulation for ourselves could not possibly be considered pure.
-Although the desire to experience sexual fulfillment is not sinful in itself because it is a God-given desire, the Bible is clear that we should only seek to experience it within the bounds of marriage. Seeking any type of sexual gratification outside of marriage is therefore fornication and sin in God's eyes.
-If you think about it, masturbation is truly an act of self-centeredness and selfishness - both of which are not appropriate for a Christian. We are to set our minds on things above, walk in love and obedience, and serve those around us by our actions and our witness. Living our life in accordance with these godly principles should leave us little time to concentrate so completely on ourselves that we desire to physically excite our bodies.
-If we seek to meet our needs outside of God's guidelines for meeting them, we have basically told the Lord that we know what is right for us, we do not trust Him, and we can take care of everything ourselves. We must learn to take our every need and unfulfilled desire to our loving Lord Jesus in prayer because He understands every one of them and promises to strengthen us and help us. We must trust God and give Him all of our burdens, hopes, and dreams and He will lead and guide us in every area of our lives.
8. "My problem is lonliness. I am not talking about feeling a little down once in a while, I am talking about feeling extremely desperate, alone, and in pain in the deepest part of my soul. In my mind I know that Jesus makes me whole and I do my best to develop friendships with others, but I feel that I must find a mate - a life partner - or I will wither and die inside. Please help me if you can."
-Lonliness is very real and very painful and it is something that every human being deals with whether they are young, old, married or single. God created us with a deep desire for loving relationships - first with Him - and then with other people. You say that you know Jesus makes you whole and that is absolutely true, but it does not mean that you will never feel lonely for a mate. Lonliness should drive us to our knees and cause us to seek an even deeper, more fulfilled relationship with the Lord. He wants us to bring all of our pain to Him so that He can carry the burden for us while we trust Him and obey. We should also go to our brothers and sisters in Christ for help, hope, and encouragement. Find a prayer partner who you can share your needs with so that they can encourage you and lift you up in prayer. Also try to seek out other lonely people and minister to them. This may sound like a flippant answer, but I promise that if you commit yourself to serving people who are sick, weak, widowed, fatherless, or elderly, you will not feel lonely anymore. In fact, you will feel blessed and joyful when you understand the depths of what others are suffering all around you. But most of all, remember that our Father loves you. He will never leave you or forsake you and His plan for your life is perfect.
9. "I am struggling with a temptation that has almost brought me down as a Christian. I am a 31 year old, mature Christian woman who is committed to holiness and purity. The problem is that I have recently found myself in a situation that I never, ever would have thought possible. I think I have fallen in love with a married man. I definately did not go looking for this to happen, and nothing of a sexual nature has occurred, but I have never experienced such strong feelings before and the pain of the situation is almost more than I can bear. I started a new job 4 months ago and he is my supervisor. He is sweet and wonderful and the mental, emotional, and spiritual connection I feel with him is beyond anything I have ever experienced in any relationship. I am absolutely aware of the devastation caused by the sin of adultery. I have begged the Lord to take these feelings away or remove me (or him) from this situation because he is everything I have ever desired in a man and I am terrified of what might happen. I have made the mistake of "fantasizing" about him and I realize that that has made the situation even worse. Please help me because my heart is breaking over this. If he ever approached me in a romantic/sexual manner, I do not know if I could resist him."
~~As you already know, you are in a very dangerous situation. I can tell from your words that you are a godly woman and that you have been blindsided by your feelings, but that is what temptation is all about. Remember that feelings are only feelings and they change constantly. As Christians, we are not ruled by feelings, we live our lives by the principles, moral guidelines, and laws contained in the Bible. Sin devastates lives. It damages us and everyone involved, and that is what we are talking about here. It might help you to think about that constantly. Imagine the pain of his wife and children and the permanent effects adultery will have on them. Imagine the guilt and pain you will have to deal with and the fact that your Christian witness will be seriously damaged. You have only known this person for 4 months so I believe that you are still in a "crush" stage which, I hope, will subside as you come to know his faults. But no matter what, you must keep yourself separate from him as much as possible, dwell on the Word of God, spend a lot of time in prayer, seek encouragement and accountability from other strong Christians, and keep your mind on Phillipians 4:8. If your feelings do not change, it may be necessary for your to look for another position because nothing would be worse than yielding to the temptation of sexual sin. I understand the pain of feeling love for someone that you absolutely cannot have, but you must trust the Lord here. Honor Him with your obedience and love and He will heal your brokeness. He loves you so much and He will restore you and meet your deepest needs.