We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
Valentine's Day is the most romantic holiday of the year. Whether watching a commercial of someone receiving jewelry from a person they love, or watching the highlight of an upcoming event for couples on the church video wall, both can be uncomfortable reminders to singles that they are not married or that they don’t have someone special to share their lives with.
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating romantic love. I love that churches are supporting marriages, but I don’t love the fact that we are missing opportunities to show on Valentine’s Day that there is more love to be celebrated than romantic love. In the attempt to strengthen marriages, the church sometimes is guilty of making an idol of marriage.
The beauty of a single life surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is breathtaking. Unfortunately, many singles feel shameful that they are not married, because rarely does the church celebrate Christian singleness and the glory it brings to God.
Where was the celebration when you broke up with someone you knew was a distraction to your walk with Jesus? Who was there to encourage you when you went without so you could pay bills and have money to pay for your child’s school class trip?
There are more singles today in our nation than ever, and yet they are often overlooked or marginalized in our Christian culture and churches. God’s view of singlehood is not the same as how many may view it. He places a very high value on His singles, and we should too.
Dr. Tony Evans
A popular art print on our online shop says: Marriage is beautiful, but so is singleness. Don’t allow the culture to dictate your value based on your relationship status.
The truth is, I could rewrite the quote by changing the word “culture” and replace it with the word “church” to say: Marriage is beautiful, but so is singleness. Don’t allow the church to dictate your value based on your relationship status.
As a singles bible study teacher for over thirty years and a widow, the church has singles feeling some kind of way especially on Valentine’s Day. There are numerous challenges and stereotypes that singles have to face on a daily basis in the culture and in the church.
We need the church to affirm that our value isn’t in our relationship status, a box of chocolates, or receiving a delivery of a dozen red roses. We need the church to impress upon our hearts that we do not become more valuable when we get married, because we are already valuable. We need the church to speak more about the value of singleness and commending singles for their surrendered lives and faithfulness to advancing the Kingdom of God. We need the church to be the one place singles can feel inclusive, welcomed, and valued.
One of the most amazing church events I attended, was a Valentine’s Day dinner for singles and married couples. A single guest speaker as well as a married guest speaker presented their keynote address to an audience of diverse ages and marital status. I was honored to be the single keynote speaker.
It was an amazing event that left us all with a clearer vision of our purpose, and that both singleness and marriage were designed to point the world to Jesus Christ.
With more than half of the people in the United States single, it’s time that the church recognize this ever growing demographic of being worthy of more of its time and resources. Let’s not just have a singles ministry, but have a singles ministry that prizes Jesus and spiritual growth over dating and marriage. Let’s have a singles ministry that caters to the young as well as the older single adults. Let’s have leadership and staff positions not only for marriages, but also for singles.
If it is God’s will for the singles in our church and community to marry, the success of their future marriage depends on us growing and maturing them now in their relationship with the Lord. Because, who we are as singles, will be who we are married. Even the more reason to invest in singles to help in the fight against the high divorce rate among believers.
With Valentine’s Day a week away, what better time to raise awareness around singleness. What better time it is for the church to celebrate and love singles…it doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive, it’s the thought that counts the most.
Or we can individually give a card or a gift card to a deserving single person (especially a single mother, single father, or a widow). Yearly, I host a dinner for singles at my home or take singles out for dinner. It is a small gesture, but one that means so much to them and to me. What a blessing it is to pay it forward.
Or find a way to celebrate yourself and your singleness this Valentine’s Day. I’ll help you get started. Download the Valentine’s Art print to give to yourself or to another single.
Hope your Valentine’s Day is as beautiful as you! Send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to hear all about it. Love, Debbie.
Prayer: Lord, your love for me is like a Valentine’s Day card that I unwrap every day. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you (Psalm 63:3).