• For those who married relatively early, please don’t confuse your memories of being young with being single. Singleness is not a monolithic season. To be single at 40 or 50 and beyond is much different than being single at 25. The ease of finding a marriage partner also changes with time. If you married early, you may think it is not a complicated process to find a mate and you may not clearly perceive how difficult (though not impossible) it becomes over time.

  • There are huge differences between taking some initiative to seek marriage in the context of all other responsibilities and tasks, and being consumed by the initiative.  If I die tomorrow, I will not hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Let’s see, you answered 175 personal ads, attended 546 different singles meetings, went to 891 singles mixers, and accepted 34 blind dates! Enter into the joy of your master.” No, I — like every other single Christian — will be evaluated for how I invested my time, talent, and treasures into the Kingdom. So please don’t push us into a frenzy of activity just to Meet Someone. If we go to singles meetings with our deer-hunting headlights up, we will first blind and then scare away the prey. Instead, please ask us if we are going to meetings to serve others, receive the teaching, reach out to visitors, and advance the gospel. Those are the activities that will earn eternal rewards. If we Meet Someone while doing it, it is an added blessing. However, married people, you can help us steward our time if you prayerfully consider compatible people you can introduce us to and then discreetly (meaning: don’t tell us your matchmaking agenda) invite us all to some event.

  • I hope this list contributes to a fuller consideration of singleness. But this fact remains: The older I become, both chronologically and in the Lord, the more I become aware of how innovative He is in fulfilling His plan. He is not a God of formulas and stereotypes. How He is working in another’s life is never the same as in mine. He is infinitely creative and specifically personal. And whenever we, like Peter, decide to ask Him about His plans for a particular friend and companion, His answer is the same now as it was then: “What is that to you? You follow Me” (John 21:22).

    Carolyn McCulley handles church and ministry relations for Sovereign Grace Ministries and is a member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD.

    She wrote "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred" (Crossway) and contributed to "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ" (edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, Crossway). Carolyn welcomes your comments at
     info@carolynmcculley.com or at her blog, solofemininity.blogs.com. Previous articles and messages are posted at www.carolynmcculley.com.