There are a lot of things that the wider church can do to encourage those who are single in their faith. The first is obviously just to think appropriately and biblically about singleness and not have a demeaning view of it.
In many churches, singleness is the thing you’re meant to graduate out of when you get married. People who remain single are, therefore, like loose ends that dangle annoyingly and refuse to be tied up for some reason.
We need to honor singleness in our thinking and in our attitudes.
We need to honor singleness in our thinking and in our attitudes. Therefore, we need to encourage people not to see singleness as just simply the state of not yet married, but hopefully will be one day—a fingers-crossed kind of thing.
We need to find our contentment in Christ. If our contentment is not in Christ as a single person, then we won't be ready for marriage because we’re going to be looking for our contentment in what the other person can do for us in marriage. This won’t bless or serve them well.
We Are Family
We also need to honor the fact that the Bible says we’re a spiritual family. If God has blessed us with a biological family, we need to be folding our spiritual family into the life of our biological family.
There should be a very porous boundary between the two. Our eternal family in Christ is not the people with the same last name as us, but actually, the people who are being baptized into the same name as us. The blood of Jesus is thicker than the blood of biology.
This means that we ought not to be enclosing our biological family in a kind of self-sufficient, self-contained unit. Instead, we should think How can my biological family be a blessing to my spiritual family and how can my spiritual family be a blessing to my biological family? What is my family going to lack if it doesn’t have sufficient interaction with the wider body of Christ? Who are the other people who could be a great input and example to my kids?
It’s a win-win if we practice hospitality in the way the Bible calls us to—if we fold our spiritual family into the life of our biological family. That’s not only going to bless the people that we’re opening up our homes and our lives to, but it’s going to bless us and our families. In God’s economy, it always helps all of us.
What Christians mean by singleness is often very different to what our secular friends mean by singleness.
The ways we misunderstand singleness reflects the fact that we’re looking to marriage in unbiblical and unhealthy ways.
The church is family to all of those without brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.