7 Things Your Single Adult Children Need to Hear Right Now
- Hope Bolinger Author
- 2021 5 Oct
As an old soul girl in her twenties, I have the unique position of befriending many parents who have children at my age. And many people my age struggle with the current dating pool. We have a hard time navigating those who claim to love Jesus and equally yoked relationships, and those who actually mean it. Many of us don't feel called to marriage, which may seem like a far cry from the dating advice from decades before.
So how do we comfort and uplift our single adult children? As someone in that age bracket I know the words that many of us need to hear in this season (or lifetime) of singleness. My parents have told me some of these, and I know I felt so comforted after hearing these words.
"I'm Proud of You"
Many single Christians can often feel like the black sheep of the family. Other siblings, or cousins, may have received extravagant weddings, have given birth to their first children—and for those of us who have yet to experience such things, we can feel left out. We can feel like we've failed our parents in some way. Especially if the parents have dropped heavy hints that they'd like to see some grandchildren soon.
But the phrase "I'm proud of you" conveys that we are more than our marital status. That you will love us unconditionally and are proud of our accomplishments, even if said accomplishments don't include a wedding ring.
"How Can I Be of Help?"
They probably won't answer that they need you to set them up with a matchmaker. My mom set me up on one date...and let's just say that did NOT go well. But many of us will kindly accept prayers, hugs, and encouragement.
We also have to keep in mind that not all Christians are called to marry. So they may need help navigating finances as a single person or apartment living with roommates. Be there for them, even if they don't have spousal issues.
"I'm Not Putting You on the Clock"
Most of the pressure single people feel comes from families. They feel that if they don't marry at a certain time, they can't have babies at a certain time. And that would make their parents feel shame. Even if moms and dad don't feel this way, it can often come across as such. But assuring your child that you don't expect them to get married by a specific date can help ease this pressure. They will wait for the right spouse instead of rushing into a potentially harmful relationship.
"You Don't Need a Spouse to Be Complete"
They probably know this, but their heart feels differently. Because culture tells them, because Hallmark movies tell them, because many people in the church tell them that if they don't find someone that they will have lived an unfulfilled life.
Not only does this contradict Scripture, but it falsely places marriage on a pedestal. It makes marriage into an idol. So we should reassure our children that they need God alone to satisfy their soul. If he brings along a loving spouse into their lives, wonderful! If not, they will still live beautiful lives according to God's plan.
"I'm Excited for God's Plans for You"
God's plans may include a lifetime of singleness. He may call your son or daughter into something that could potentially be hindered by having a spouse. Paul talked at length about how single people tend to have more flexibility or wiggle room when it comes to missions and calling.
But this phrase includes the possibility of a future spouse, or the possibility of no future spouse appearing on the scene. We don't know the mind of the Lord, but we know that he crafts a fine-tuned plan that none of us could even think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
"Let Me Know How I Can Pray for You"
We can always use prayers in every season. Your son or daughter may ask that God give them wisdom when it comes to marital matters. Or they may not. But prayer goes a long way in any case, and they will feel heard, comforted, and seen when they know you've incorporated them into your prayer life.
What Does the Bible Say about Singleness?
The Bible does have a bit to say about singleness. Let's take a look at a few verses.
Matthew 19:10: "The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”
Mark 12:25: "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."
1 Corinthians 7:32-35: "I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord."
Why Does This Matter?
Single people often feel marginalized in family settings, in the church, and just about everywhere. Culture bombards us with the idea that if we can find a spouse that we've somehow missed out on life itself. But these phrases above, coming directly from people they trust and care about, can help revitalize their thoughts about themselves.
They can also ease off the pressure they feel that they have to accomplish certain milestones within a certain period of time. After all, God is not in a hurry, and he performs everything according to his will in timing. So let's trust that he knows best and love our adult children the best we can.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Aaron Amat
Hope Bolinger is an acquisitions editor at End Game Press, and the author 21+ books. More than 1400 of her works have been featured in various publications. Check out her books at hopebolinger.com for clean books in most genres, great for adults and kids.