Maybe Singleness Isn’t about Waiting for Marriage

So many young adults today endure singleness as a "season of waiting" for the good stuff: marriage. But what if marriage isn't really better than being single? Read more here!

Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of “marriage vs. singleness” discussions among Christian young adults.

The debate looks something like this: many young adults are still single, and some are married. The married people are on the “WOO marriage is so great and if you’re not married you’re missing out big time” side, while all the singles are either trying to deny their emotions (“I’m single and I will enjoy it/pretend I do”) or just open about their desperate desire to get married.


Maybe I have no right to even have an opinion on the matter, since I’m a married, twenty-one year old Christian woman who hasn’t experienced a real “season of singleness.”

I might not understand how hard it is to wait for God to bring someone into your life, or wonder if He ever will.

Maybe I can’t understand how hard it is to trust God, when being a wife and mother is the greatest desire of your heart.

What I have to say actually has nothing to do about the singleness versus marriage discussion. It’s more to do with how God’s will affects the quality of either season of life—whether that’s singleness or marriage.

Maybe it’s not about whether or not you’re married.

Why do so many singles feel that they are missing out if they’re not married? I think it’s a matter of understanding why marriage can be a blessing…and how it can also be quite the opposite.

My marriage is a wonderful blessing to me. My husband is a pretty amazing man. I have more respect and admiration for him than anyone else. But here’s the thing: my marriage isn’t a blessing because my husband and I have forever committed our lives to each other, or even because he’s such a great guy. It’s a blessing because it’s where God wants me.

There are also many unhappy marriages in the world, folks. I know couples who would probably say their marriage is not a blessing to them. Marriage itself isn’t the blessing here.

Likewise, singleness is a blessing for some and not for others. If you are single and you believe that’s where God has placed you for now (which has nothing to do with how you feel about the situation and all about God’s will for your life), you will be—and are—blessed.

We don’t miss out on the blessing because we’re either married or not. We miss out on the blessing when we refuse to stay where God has placed us.

When we look at marriage and singleness and say one is better than the other, we stand dangerously close to the edge. We tempt ourselves because when we believe one is better than the other, we often pursue it relentlessly, regardless of where God is guiding us. It’s so easy to just charge ahead with what we want and ignore the Lord’s leading.

The blessing happens when we choose to be where God wants us. Every step of my relationship with my husband was guided by God. I didn’t push for it. But what if I had believed that no matter what, being single would make me more “blessed”? If I hadn’t married, I wouldn’t be in God’s will and would be worse off.

For those who are married, marriage is a blessing not because it’s a marriage, but because God put those two people there. And for others, singleness is not a blessing because they’re single, but because they are walking in God’s path for them.

Next time you’re wondering which is better—marriage or singleness?—remember that it’s not the circumstance, but the reason you’re there.

It’s not about where you are, but whether you are willing to surrender here & now.

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  1. I love this so much! I think a lot of times people think “the grass is greener on the other side.” But that is never the case! It took me a long time to be content in my singleness and I’ve finally started focusing on my walk with God instead of desperately trying to find my Mr. Right. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. I actually really appreciated your blog post. I didn’t initially have much hope for it due to your disclaimer, which I REALLY appreciated. But your post was nice. It didn’t have the undertones of “You need to appreciate being single or God’s not gonna send you anyone” like some blogs I’ve read… it was simple and to the point. It was beautifully written. And it felt like more of a reminder to remember how you are blessed right now. It is challenging to just be still, be patient and trust in God’s plan…. especially when you feel like you’re starting to run out of time or you feel like you’ve accomplished all of your other dreams. But, all we can do is be patient and pray and continue to appreciate our blessings.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Leigh! I’m so glad you found my words encouraging. I’ve found that in every area of my life (not just my marital status), thankfulness always kills discontentment. Blessings!

  3. Hi Emily! This is the first article of yours that I’ve read + I really enjoyed it! I love where you put the emphasis: God’s will for each individual’s life. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Justine! I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s so easy to focus on the “what” instead of the why. God has a will for each of us, and being in His will is the best place for us!

  4. GIRL YES.

    This sentence:

    We don’t miss out on the blessing because we’re either married or not. We miss out on the blessing when we refuse to stay where God has placed us.

    So true. So incredibly, incredibly true. I got married super young, too, as you know, but something I’ve been noticing more and more as I’m married is just how HORRIBLE it would be if you rushed into things simply for the sake of being married. I married Connor way before I wanted to–my original plan was to be married at 25, not 20! But God brought him to me before I was expecting him (a lot of that was because He wanted to prove to me that my plans are worthless haha). But I see so many women and men running into marriages because they just don’t want to be alone and being in a marriage that isn’t God’s best for you can cause so much pain.

    Marriage is wonderful when it’s God plan for you–not because of marriage necessarily, but because of God’s will lived our in our lives.

    This is my favourite post you’ve ever written, Em. Seriously.

    1. Thank you so much Becca! I definitely get the whole married young thing! Most of my friends haven’t gotten married yet, so a lot have basically told me, “I want what you have.” But what I have won’t be a good thing for them if it’s not God’s will! I’m so thankful for my marriage, but I also have to realize that it’s not because of where I am, but why I’m where I am, if that makes sense. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Emily, you might be young but you have a solid grasp on this concept. I did have a real season of singleness and currently am living in a happy marriage knowing where God put me and accepting that position is the key. We each go through a lot in life and learning to trust God through anything is a basic lesson we each need to learn some of us learn better single while others need the comfort of a team.

    Good article. It’s nice to see you have continued to write.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Adina! It seems that no matter where we are in life, we’re always learning more about trusting God in everything. It’s interesting how God will put you where you will learn the most. Looking back, I realize that for me, being single would have been a reason to just stay comfortable and be allowed to live a somewhat self-serving lifestyle. By being married, I’ve had to learn what it means to put another person before me each day and learn how to serve others. Thanks!