Prioritizing marriage and family isn’t a bad thing. But a church environment that constantly reinforces the idea that marriage and children are both the ideal and the goal of life conveys an unbiblical message to everyone, not just singles. As you think and pray about how to be an advocate for singles in your church, realize that some—though not all—of the unmarried people in your congregation would prefer to be married. There can be pain attached to this reality, but if I might speak for all singles everywhere for just one moment: unmarried people would prefer not to dwell on what they don’t have or be treated like they’re lacking or deficient in some way. When Jesus promises abundant life, he doesn’t promise it only to those who get married! The church can be a place where singles hear not just the gospel, but some other good news as well: that they are loved and whole and defined by who they are in Christ, not by their marital status.
Amanda Fowler has a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and after 13 years in Los Angeles has just relocated to her home state of Michigan. She is in the process of discerning what life and ministry look like in a place with winters.