Over on Desiring God, Marshall Segal gives some excellent advice to singles who find themselves discouraged in the midst of the tension between present singleness and hoped-for future marriage. Rather than being discouraged, God calls singles to hope and mission:
Therefore, for the not-yet married, our (temporary) singleness is a gift. It really is. If God leads you to marriage, you may never again know a time like the one you’re in right now. A season of singleness is not merely the minor leagues of marriage. It has the potential to be a unique period of undivided devotion to Christ and undistracted ministry to others.
He gives eight concrete pieces of advice for singles and elaborates on each. Here's his advice in a list (the elaborations are really worth reading and important for understanding his points):
1. Avoid trading marital distractions for other distractions
2. Say "yes" to the spontaneous
3. Practice selflessness while you're still alone
4. Do radical, time-consuming things for God
5. Spend time with married people
6. Spend time with not-yet-married people
7. Find a fiancé on the front lines
8. While you wait, hope in Jesus more than marriage
The main point Marshall makes is that believers who are in Christ are already called; it's unbiblical to think that your full usefulness for the Kingdom won't come about until you're married:
So when you feel lonely or discouraged in your singleness, remember that if you’re saved, you’re sent. Instead of waiting until your wedding day to get about the work, make the most of this not-yet-married life.
Be sure to catch the whole article at Desiring God.
The annual Global Outreach conference, Made for Mission, is meant to encourage people to live on mission for the Gospel in every context of life--married, single, working professional, cross-cultural ministry, paid and unpaid, young and old. Join us on November 5 for a time of corporate worship, small group workshops, and compelling MET talks (Mission, Evangelism, Theology) meant to equip the Church to live on mission. If you're in Christ, you're called!