Offering Hope to Singles
While there are a lot of challenges, there are also plenty of amazing experiences that come with this role. I am often entrusted with the stories of others who are in the same season of life as me. They’re usually struggling with similar things, wondering how to be content, and wondering if they’ll ever feel complete without a spouse. It’s a joy for me to offer messages of hope and new ways of approaching their singleness.
My hope has been born out of the pain of being single and wanting something different. I have watched friend after friend find “the one.” Each time I wonder if it will ever be my turn, and I question whether I can stay content in a season of life I never expected to last this long.
Through this journey, however, I’ve come to see that marriage isn’t the goal. God values inclusive community for all people—married, single, divorced, or widowed—and that’s what we’re working toward. God created us as relational beings made for this beautiful community.
There was a time when I focused solely on what was missing from my life: a spouse and children. After a lot of prayer, therapy, and self-reflection, I realized that I was missing out on the beauty of all the different relationships that I already had in my life. I may not be a wife but I am a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mentor, and pastor. I made a choice to invest deeply in these relationships and create a chosen family, a group of people that are committed to doing life with me for the long haul. Today, I have an amazing community made up of single people, married couples, and parents from different backgrounds, classes, and cultures. I cannot imagine doing life without them. We navigate big decisions together, babysit each other’s kids, talk about the challenges of being single and married, vacation together, and cook meals together. They challenge me, support me, care for me, pray with me, and, most importantly, love me unconditionally. They are my family, and if I meet the man of my dreams tomorrow my family would simply grow.
That is the beauty of the church. We are called to be a loving, supportive community for all people. Within the body of Christ, no one should feel like a second-class citizen because of their marital status. While I still wrestle with my singleness, I am committed to creating space in our community to discuss these issues. I’ve been given the gift of seeing how the church can unintentionally harm people in this season of life and how marriage can be the default perspective for many church leaders. Because God has allowed me to see this, I am able to share my perspective and help others see God and the value of community in new ways. God does not discriminate with his love, and he desires for us all to experience that love to the full, regardless of our marital status.
The Beauty of Being a Single Pastor
As single pastors, we get to wrestle with and model this truth. We have an opportunity to ask ourselves: How can we challenge our small-group members, both married and single, to expand their view of community? How are we helping single people invest in building well-rounded community that encourages them to grow and experience the love of God in tangible ways? How are we talking about relationships in holistic ways, rather than just from the perspective of marriage?