Reflections on (Western) Christian Singleness

Read time: 22 minutes

Thinking about singleness in the Christian context has never been clear-cut. Jesus and the apostle Paul defied the cultural norms of the day by saying that it is good for a person not to marry (e.g. 1 Corinthians 7:32–33). While it is also still good to marry (1 Corinthians 7:38), Christianity brought a new consideration into the picture: that of ministry (that is, the proclamation of the gospel). A person who is not married has less to worry about than someone who is (1 Corinthians 7:35). Of course a person who is married can still evangelise or be in another ministry (not to mention that having a family itself is a ministry), but a single person has more free time which can be devoted to ministry. However, in Western culture there is a seemingly unquestioned expectation that people—especially within the church—should marry. This can create some tension or even friction, to which I as someone who is single can testify. In this article I want to lay bare some of my thoughts around singleness and I hope that it could lead to some good discussion around a topic which is not (in my experience) spoken about much in the church. Read more …