HEARTLIGHTSingle... Not Alone







What the Bible Says
About the Single Life
by Cary Branscum

    You probably think you already know, don’t you? Sometimes I think I already know too. The reality is, no one knows EVERYTHING the Bible says about the single life, for God’s Word is living, active, and sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Plus, God’s Spirit works through the Word, and He helps us see certain things at certain times. Make no mistake, God’s inspired Word is changeless; WE are the ones who change. We are the ones who are to be made in his image. In the next several articles, we will get down to what the Bible really tells us about the single life.

    Let’s start at the beginning. In fact, let’s start with the book’s name that means beginning; Genesis. In Chapter 2, God creates humans in His Image. Male and Female He created them. Both genders reflect the image of God, no matter how low or tattered an individual life becomes. Sin and evil, and hard living can obscure the God-given image. At the same time, within each human person is the spark of the Divine Image. Even after the Fall, the Bible insists that we still carry the image of God (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9) and as Christians, we have been re-created in the image of God (cf. Colossians 3:10).

    We come from the ground and we come from the breath of God, according to Genesis 2:7. As a result, we feel a part of this earth. God created it and we have a sense of belonging here. We also have a longing for God, for the eternal, for the breath of God that helped fill and form us. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the word for living soul is pronounced “nephesh”. We owe our very life, being, and existence to God’s active creation. All this is true whether we are married or single.

    So we have Adam, the original single guy in the original, coolest, greatest bachelor pad in existence. God created the garden and gave man free rein, with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (More on that problem later.)

    God created man with the ability to name things. This is one of the earliest things we know about ourselves. We talk, we speak, we symbolize; in other words, we use words. We name ourselves, our environment, and anything else we care to name. Naming, thinking, communicating; it’s what we DO. Man names the animals in Genesis chapter 2.

    At this point, two important statements are made in Genesis chapter 2:

  1. In verse 18, God himself states “It is not good for man to be alone”.
  2. In verse 20, it was said there was “no helper suitable for Adam”

    Let’s consider both these statements:

  1. The word “alone” literally means separate or apart. The idea is to be cut off from others. Now certainly we all need some solitude. And being alone from time to time is a part of the single life. There are times we even enjoy “being alone with ourselves.” But “being alone with ourselves” is not what the Bible means when it says that it is “not good to be alone.” When “being alone,” being separate or apart, becomes our whole mode of existence we run into trouble. We need interaction with others to be the people God intended us to be. As Christians, we need to be around others to influence them for Christ and be led closer to Christ. We need to be around other Christians to be encouraged, strengthened, and edified in our walk with God, and to encourage them.

  2. There was no helper suitable for Adam. This tells us God loves His Creation, and wants the best for us. As a single guy, Adam needed someone to connect with spiritually, emotionally, and physically. This would happen within the marriage union in which God would soon place them. When woman was created, Adam had that sense of recognition that this is “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh”. God created Eve and she became his wife. This begins the “leaving and cleaving” process (verse 24) that God created marriage to be.

    You’re probably thinking, “This sounds more like a message on marriage, what’s the big lesson for me, a single person in here?”

    Let me share three lessons:

  1. You are God’s Creation and you reflect His Image, no matter if you are single or married, male or female. There is a reflection of the Divine Image in you. No matter how discouraged or disappointed you may be, no matter how you succeed or fail, you are made to reflect the glory of God! Don’t view yourself as less. Don’t settle for someone who will treat you as less than God made you to be!

  2. Isolation and loneliness as a lifestyle are not good for you. You need to connect with people and learn to balance solitude with fellowship and sharing - remember, it’s okay to be “alone with yourself” you just don’t want to be cut off from relationships with other godly people. Find a group of people who will move you closer to Christ with whom you can be yourself and share your life. It won’t be a perfect group, but that’s part of being connected to others - loving them through their faults as you are loved through yours. Don’t “settle” on someone to marry to keep from being lonely. Loneliness is a condition of the heart, and the spirit. Do not let Satan discourage you from finding a church family that cares about singles. It’s worth it.

  3. Find “helpers” who are suitable to you. Helpers are those folks we connect with. Helpers are those folks who will help you more fully and completely live your life. Ask God’s divine help in finding these folks. It seems difficult sometimes. But we need helpers that connect with us spiritually and emotionally and can help lift us up when we are down, hurting, and feeling rejected. These helpers help prepare us to be ready for a lifetime helper if that is God’s will for us. And if God’s will is to use us as a single, remember that the Apostle Paul, a great single leader in Christianity, always had helpers with him doing the Lord’s work.

    More next time!


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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Article copyright © 1999, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
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