Teaching on singleness

It is important to have some positive teaching on singleness in your church. Below are some points which may be helpful when writing a talk or discussion on singleness.

Being single

  • Every person has infinite value before God.
  • Each of us are 'single' in that we are individually loved, redeemed and cared for by God.
  • In a human sense Jesus was single and he talked about how there won’t be marriage in heaven - we will all be single (Matthew 22:30)
  • Paul seems to have been single (some think he may have been a widower). In one of the most well-known passages about singleness in the Bible, He wrote to the Corinthian Church in Chapter 7:
    'I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.' (Chapter 7 v 7-8).

The Church as an alternative family

  • Jesus spoke about an alternative spiritual family. Matthew 12: 46-50 - When He was told his mother and brothers were outside the place where he was speaking he gestured to his disciples and said:
    “Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12 v 46-50)
  • Paul taught that those who believe in Christ are adopted as children of God experiencing the fatherhood of God and the sister and brotherhood of believers. He emphasised the inter-relatedness of individuals in the church. He said we are all 'members of one body' (1 Corinthians 12:12).
  • From the lives of Jesus and Paul, their singleness doesn’t show them to lack anything - and this is because of the community of believers and friends around them. Jesus had close companionship with his disciples, Paul had the community of believers and close friends who he travelled with.
  • The focus of the church from the very start was inclusion. In Acts 2 the community of believers shared their resources with the needy, they broke bread in each others homes, and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
  • There were a lot of widows in the Early church - this was not a church for the married. In Acts 6 we are told they were so concerned about making sure the widows felt included, supported and welcomed in, that the disciples formed a committee of 7 people to overlook the distribution of food to make sure that the widows weren’t left out.
  • In a society that is becoming more individualistic and and where isolation is increasing, how much more does the church need to be a counter-cultural light, by being a community that embraces everyone, and sacrificially loves every member of the body?