community and singleness

I am single. I’ve never been in a serious relationship. I can count on one hand the number of proper dates I’ve ever been on.

And being single can get lonely — very lonely. God created within each of us a desire for relationships, which is why community is so important — especially, I think, for singles. God has blessed me with community in each place that I’ve lived in the past few years. God has surrounded me with the body of Christ and provided me with friends that I would not have found otherwise.

It is interesting to think about the kinds of people that I call brothers and sisters in Christ. The Body of Christ is made up of people from every nation, speaking every language, living in every kind of circumstance. The church is blessed to have people from every sort of background: rich and poor, former criminals, soldiers, single moms, leaders of countries, members of governments, kings and queens, and the list goes on.

But we all have one thing in common: the blood of Christ covers our sins. 

This is why the bond forged out of Christian community is so strong. As Christians, we have dedicated our lives to following the One who gave His life to set us free from sin and give us an eternity with Him.

Many point to Acts 2 as the beginning of the church. Jesus had been resurrected, preached for 40 days and ascended into heaven. Acts 2 begins with the day of Pentecost. This event ended in the salvation of at least ‘three thousand souls.’ These people were from all over the place — ‘every nation under heaven.’

Check out what happened next:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47 ESV)

So what did these new believers do? They sat down and ate together, spent time together, prayed and worshiped together. They began to live ‘life on life.’ They began to get to know each other–the good, the bad and the ugly.

Christian community is vital for all believers, regardless of their stage of life. But where marriage and family often provide a sort of built-in community, singles don’t always have the same opportunity. So why is community important for singles?

It keeps us accountable

Where a married person may have a godly spouse to hold them accountable and help them in their walk with Christ, a single person living outside of community has to navigate this on her own. It is harder to delve deep into God’s word and spend daily time in prayer without the accountability of another believer.

Scripture says:

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

(Galatians 6:1-2 ESV)

It makes us better people

Have you ever heard someone say that their spouse or significant other allows them to be the best version of themselves? Each person brings something to the table and helps the other grow in that area as well. When you live in a gospel-centered community, the Body of Christ is there to encourage you to be the best version of yourself and live as the person God created you to be in Him.

Scripture says:

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

(Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

 It fulfills our need for relationships

God created within us a desire for relationships and friendships. Even Jesus had His close circle of disciples. A single person can often get lonely and discouraged. The Church points singles towards Christ while encouraging them.

Scripture says:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)

It helps us lift each other up in prayer

Maybe you live alone. Or maybe you move a lot. Maybe there is something you are struggling with, but have no one to share it with. We are told to pray for one another in the Body of Christ.

Scripture says:

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

(James 5:13-16 ESV)

Because we are commanded to

This is simple. Scripture commands us to be a part of Christian community. That command is for everyone. Married or single, we are called to live together as one body in community.

“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 ESV)

These are just a few reasons why a single person should be actively involved in a Christian community. There are many more, and the Bible is full of verses that speak about the importance of living in community with other believers.

So, even though it may seem hard or awkward, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, go seek a church and stay put.

 

Get involved and reap the benefits of living life on life with people who have also been bought with the blood of Christ Jesus and who are working towards the same goal. You may be surprised at the kinds of people you meet, the messiness you may see. You may even find people who are just like you. Nobody in the church is perfect, but with one another we press on towards Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

 – Rachel

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Community and Singleness

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