As the Chinese Lunar New Year is approaching, under the Chinese cultural context that “upon growing up, every male should take a wife and every female should take a husband”, many single Christians are facing a difficult situation.
To Christians the special group, if they fail to find their spouse, such a situation would be more difficult for them. Since Christians’ principles around marriage are based on the Bible, the standard becomes higher when they choose their spouse. Moreover, Christians’ social networks are relatively narrow; even if their exposure to the opposite sex in different churches is relatively limited, such a situation would cause single Christians to become more anxious. If their parents are spiritually mature, they are willing to pray earnestly for their children, guiding them in an appropriate way. But to non-Christian parents, they will be burning with impatience, arranging several blind dates for their children before the Spring Festival, resulting in their children being between laughter and tears.
Ways to Deal with the Pressure of Being Single
Single Christians are not only facing the pressure from people, including parents' and other relatives' urges and reminders but are also facing the pressure of staying alone, feeling lonely, and a sense of failure which affects their interpersonal relationships. They are also under obvious physiological pressures.
At present, there is a severe gender imbalance among Christians, because there are fewer single male believers and more single female members, who become lonely and anxious. Repeating frequently, these feelings appear more often and more serious than in single male believers. Churches should pay more attention to these situations. Even if church members are having these kinds of anxious emotions and negative thoughts, we should not accuse them of not being spiritual, instead, we should understand them, keep guiding them and sending God’s grace to them. As church pastors, we should let single Christians know that it requires patience to wait for the right one, at the same time, we should help them find different valuable things to be involved with, and help them out from the situation that they may be overly concerned about the fact that now they don’t have a spouse.
Actually, to single believers, loneliness comes from the lack of love, so it is important for them to stay closer with other Christians. In churches, there is love from God and love from believers. A single believer's love is not limited to just the romantic relationship between man and woman. They may see that God may not let me have the love from one person, but have the love from church and fellowship which can also satisfy my desire and need towards love.
Unfortunately, sometimes people have used their own method in getting to know the opposite sex at churches. The results are disappointing and have brought out different hurts. In such a situation, pastors should care about the believers and talk to them. Actually, having love from just one person may not totally be prosperous. We should let single Christians know that God will never hold his love back even if they are single.
On the other hand, single female Christians tend to “compare with others from horizontal levels” with desire. They tend to compare with those who are married, under the urges from their family. Actually, God knows that single Christians need a spouse, and single female believers cannot lose their control to the desire of “comparison”. Once we feel pressured, it will be easy for us to use our methods and fall into the temptation. And once we get hurt, our desire will be twisted; and we will be bounded by a stronger desire.
1 Corinthians 7:39 says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.”
There are a few things that single Christians should pay attention to:
1. Pray for his/her spirit more than praying “let me guess whether he/she is the right one or not”. We should pray “God, please let me care about his/her spirit.”
2. We should not stay closer to him/her in the name of sharing the gospel. If the gospel we share is not a testimony of God, but a focus on him/her, the consequence will bring out pain and hurt because of the selfishness and desire. We should bring him/her to God in honesty and integrity.
3. Distinguish his/her spiritual lack and hunger, helping them join the fellowship to receive in-depth discipleship.
Single Christians should not care too much about the criticisms from the family, the environment, or the misunderstandings from others. If it is not the right time for marriage, don’t get married because of what others do or say. To deal with loneliness, single Christians should build good relationships with God and with family members, and to build healthy social networks. This will help us wait in a balanced emotional environment and see his work through prayer.
- Translated by Jessie Cheong