Love Thy Singles
The Christian community is made up of all types of people. We have different ages, ethnicities, social statuses, and relationship statuses. This is what makes the body of Christ so unique. There are all types of people living and worshipping together looking to the same end. Eternity.
I think there is a group of people though that many church families have tragically neglected: singles. People can be single for all types of reasons. Some reasons include it being their choice and others do not. Either way, these people need family and I believe that God calls us as the church to be their family. I don't mean just on Sundays and Wednesdays. I am talking about every day of the week.
As I said, people can be single for a variety of reasons. God calls some people to a single life for ministry, others may just never find that person, some divorce, a spouse may die, some consider Christ more valuable than their LGBTQ attraction. No matter what it may be, I believe God calls Christians to step in as the deep, relational family members for these people. Single people aren't second class citizens in the Kingdom of God.
In Matthew 19, Jesus finishes teaching some hard things about divorce. His disciples respond by saying, "Jesus, if this is true then no one should get married!" Jesus' response makes it clear that being single isn't for everyone, but there are some who will be.
"But he said to them, 'Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.'” - Matthew 19:11-12
A eunuch was someone without the capacity for sexual relations, but Jesus broadens the definition here saying that some are that way from birth, some have been made that way, and some will so choose the celibate life for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:7 that he wishes all could be single. However, God gives singleness to some and He gives marriage to some.
There are those who haven't chosen the single life. They may earnestly desire a relationship, but for multiple reasons that hasn't worked out. God is calling us to love these people deeply and intimately. He's calling us to invite them into our homes, to participate in the things our families do together, and to show them the family of God is so much greater and more desirable than an earthly family.
Marriage won't exist in eternity. Christ will be united with His bride in eternal marriage. That is what we long for and live for on this earth. Marriage is a gift from God to be stewarded well. Our earthly families are to be used for God's glory. Church, it's time for us to bring in those who are single to make our families a greater picture of God's family!