Especially in our day, where 1 in 3 church attenders is single, He provides a role and ministry for those who are not married or in a relationship. Psalm 68: 5-6 speaks of God as ‘Father of the fatherless and protector of widows …’ and one who ‘makes a home for the lonely …’
This new spiritual family is the hallmark of a genuine church. Jesus, on the cross, instructed John to take His own mother into his home to become part of John’s household (John 19: 26-27). A new relationship was formed, based on a deep covenant bonding rather than natural family ties.
Singles and celibates have a role in this vision. Rather than feeling unsure of their place they are vital to a healthy, inclusive church where all are valued and needed. None should ever feel that their face just doesn’t fit.
It is very unhelpful to see singles as somehow unfulfilled and incomplete until they become married. The examples of Jesus and Paul strongly contradict this! With more time and availability celibates and singles can make a big contribution to creating deep relationships and forging friendships with people from all backgrounds and of all ages, and to reaching out to the unchurched.
May all singles, celibates, unmarried folk, widows and widowers, the divorced and separated be recognised within any church as having valid ministries in building up the body of Christ.