I’ve heard a lot of single people talk about their singleness like it’s a curse, as if real life begins when you get married. I’m here to tell you: If that’s what you believe, you’ve swallowed some bad advice.
But if you’re currently unmarried, chances are good that you don’t want to stay that way forever, and that’s okay. Wanting to be married is a good and holy desire as long as it doesn’t distract you from what God has for you while you’re single.
That’s because the time you spend single — whether it’s a temporary life stage or a lifelong journey — is actually a gift, and you should treat it like one. Being single gives you the opportunity to do things that would become more difficult after marriage, and it also is a great time to properly prepare for marriage if that’s your goal.
When you’re single, you have the chance to live for God in a unique way — right here, right now. But here are ten things you can do if you really want to waste this special time in your life (and ten arguments against doing them):
The fact is, you’ll never have more free time than you do right now as a single person. If you’re tired of hearing that over and over from married people, that’s because it’s true. They’re all speaking from experience. So how will you use the extra free time you have as a single person?
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. —1 Timothy 4:12
- ONLY TRAVEL TO EASY PLACES.
You can always travel, but you can’t always travel anywhere. Marriage, kids, and even older age can make many trips more difficult and complicated. But right now, you can travel pretty much anywhere your car or an airplane will take you. So see the world. Go somewhere that’s hard to get to and share Jesus there. Or spend your weekends sharing the gospel in your city.
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” —Romans 10:15
- WORK TO EARN, NOT TO LEARN.
Having things like a family and a mortgage require a reliable income and they somewhat limit your job options. If you’re single and relatively young, you can prepare for that now by learning the skills you’ll need to get the job you really want.
So look for a job that will pay you to learn those skills. It may not pay much, but that’s okay because you only have one mouth to feed. Even if you hate your job, it gives you a place to learn and to live on mission.
Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. —Proverbs 22:29
- BINGE-WATCH YOUTUBE INSTEAD OF MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE.
Continuing on the topic of learning, the best time to learn your Bible is now. You’ll never have more time to study and you’ll never have more years to benefit from learning it and putting it into practice. There’s no better “skill” to learn than to know how to navigate and utilize the Word of God. You’ll learn who God is and what He desires for you, and you’ll be able to give godly counsel to others when they are in need.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… —2 Timothy 3:16
- FOLLOW YOUR SEXUAL URGES.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your future spouse is to limit the amount of sexual baggage and bad sexual habits you bring into the marriage. And there’s no better time than during your singleness to learn how to be faithful in a relationship.
If you practice following your sexual urges now, you’ll develop the habit of always following your sexual urges — even if they lead you outside your future marriage. Learn to hate porn. Don’t cohabitate. And avoid premarital sex.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. —1 Corinthians 6:18
- COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING SINGLE.
Instead of complaining about being single, pray for your future spouse. Pray they use their singleness well and prepare for your marriage. Pray that they would know God and walk faithfully with Him. Pray that you both would trust His timing and not get derailed by “shortcuts.”
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
This seems like a no-brainer, but I had to put it in the list because for some crazy reason, young adults seem slow to join and get involved at a church. I don’t get it. If you’re a Christian, you’re part of the Body of Christ and you’re meant to live as a part of it.
God made you to be alive in His church. So find an imperfect church (they’re all imperfect in some way) that teaches the Bible and join there. Come under the elders’ authority. Live in community with other members. Serve and give there. Share your talents there so that you might experience life as it was given to you to experience.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. —Hebrews 10:24-25
Nothing will prepare you for marriage better than having a really dysfunctional roommate. I’m serious. Some single people say, “I like living by myself.” Well, then you are going to HATE marriage. I’d practice by living with roommates now. Work through conflict with them. Serve them. Practice communicating well with them. And in case you think I’m talking about living with someone of the opposite sex? I’m not.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. —Proverbs 27:17
Taking care of your body gets more and more difficult the older you get. At some point in life your metabolism slams on the brakes, so train your eating and exercise habits well now. Scripture says your body is a temple. It doesn’t need to be a chiseled temple that you stare at in the mirror, but it should be a healthy temple.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. —1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- HOPE YOUR SPOUSE WILL FALL FROM THE SKY.
Disregard this one if you don’t want to be married. If you do, however, you can be sure that a spouse will not fall from the sky into your lap. (If they did, go back to number 4.) To find a spouse, you need to be where future spouses are. See also number 7.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. —Proverbs 18:22
You might not like to hear this, but being single is a gift. It’s a gift because it’s a time unlike any other season when you can really double down on growing in your faith and developing (and breaking) habits that will serve you for the rest of your life.
So what about you? Are you wasting your singleness? If so, what’s one thing you can do THIS WEEK to redeem or better steward the precious and unique season of being single? Talk to God about it, talk to your community about it, and then DO IT.
Another great way to not waste your singleness and prepare yourself for marriage is learning more about true biblical masculinity. Launch a BetterMan group and dive deep into what that means for 11 weeks with other men. You won’t regret it!