Sunday, September 29, 2013

Encouraging Quotes about Singleness - Part 1

This is my first post that’s not in the form of a question. It’s a collection of quotes from Christian evangelical pastors, speakers, writers, and thinkers I admire. These are all located on my Single, Unexpectedly Facebook page as well. Some deal directly with singleness and some are inspiring truths that singles can relate to and learn from. Hope these are edifying to you!

(And if you're hungry for more singleness quotes, check out "Encouraging Quotes about Singleness - Part 2")


"If you are married, then accept that. Accept the husband that God has given you. If you are single, accept your singleness and take it as if today was the last day of your life. Don't be looking constantly to the future.

I remember what Jim wrote to me in one of his letters: "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living." And I think there are a lot of single women who are allowing their longing to slay the appetite of their living. They are not throwing their heart and soul into the will of God for today, because they are simply dying inside for something that God has not given them."

- Elisabeth Elliot

“Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, 'Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows.' Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good.”

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 ESV

Amen! Even singleness!

“Through no fault or choice of my own, I am unable to express my sexuality in the beauty and intimacy of Christian marriage, as God intended when he created me a sexual being in his own image…. As a committed Christian, then I have no alternative but to live a life of voluntary celibacy. I must be chaste not only in body, but in mind and spirit as well.

My whole being cries out continually for something I may not have. My whole life must be lived in the context of this never-ceasing tension. My professional life, my social life, my personal life, my Christian life – all are subject to its constant and powerful pull. As a Christian I have no choice but to obey God, cost what it may. I must trust him to make it possible for me to honor him in my singleness.

That this is possible, a mighty cloud of witnesses will join me to attest. Multitudes of single Christians in every age and circumstances have proved God’s sufficiency in this matter. He has promised to meet our needs and he honors his word. If we seek fulfillment in him, we shall find it. It may not be easy, but whoever said that Christian life was easy? The badge of Christ’s discipleship was a cross.

Why must I live life alone? I do not know. But Jesus Christ is LORD of my life. I believe in the sovereignty of God, and I accept my singleness from his hand. He could have ordered my life otherwise, but he has not chosen to do so. As his child, I must trust his love and wisdom.”

-Margaret Clarkson

"Singleness and marriage are both evidences of God’s grace that are to be experienced and sustained purely by the strength which God supplies."

- Alistair Begg

“I have found that there are two primary reasons why someone desperately needs someone else. First of all, it is because they do not know God as they should. Is God not the God of all comfort? Is not Christ the exalted Lord who fills all things everywhere? Then why do we complain about how empty and alone we feel? Could it be that God extends our time of singleness so that we might find our life in Him and learn to be complete in Him? If we seek to be married because we feel that a husband will fill our lives or will in some way make us complete, we will be sorely disappointed in our marriage. No man, no matter how Christ-like could ever take the place of God in our lives, to think such a thing is pure idolatry. If we are not filled by God now and complete in Christ in the present, then not even a marriage made in heaven will be able to change our emptiness.”

- Charo Washer, wife of Paul Washer

“Your greatest need is not a spouse. Your greatest need is to be delivered from the wrath of God – and that has already been accomplished for you through the death and resurrection of Christ. So why doubt that God will provide a much, much lesser need? Trust His sovereignty, trust His wisdom, trust His love.”

- C.J. Mahaney

"I would urge you to identify yourself, not as a single or as a married, but as a believer in Jesus Christ, who is completely dedicated and consecrated to Him, who doesn’t have one foot in the church and one foot in the world, but whose heart is fixed with a single eye upon Christ. I would urge you to serve Him and leave the outcome to the Lord, instead of bemoaning your singleness or your married state, and making a pitiful exhibition of yourself and contributing to the false stereotypes. God will bless your life. Whatever plan He has for you, He will make it a blessing to you. May God, indeed, make you, either as a single person or as a married person, one who is consecrated to Him and who is trusting Him for all things."

- Dr. D. James Kennedy

“The desire to be married is no guarantee that it will happen. And for that, I have no great answer. If you find that your efforts toward marriage remain unfulfilled, I can simply tell you that we have a loving God, and that he calls us all to be fruitful in whatever state we are in right now. We are to serve him with whatever he gives us: ‘Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms’ (1 Peter 4:10, NIV). Ultimately, our object of satisfaction – whether single or married – should not be our spouse; it should be Christ.”

- Mark Dever

"I would just encourage Christian single people to ask, 'For this chapter in my life, while I am single, what is it about my singleness that could make me especially fruitful for Christ?' And then I would encourage them to give themselves to that."

- John Piper

"Please, if you're single, do not look at marriage as the solution to your trouble. It probably is the multiplication of it. Marriage intensifies human weakness because it puts you under such intimate scrutiny. Sometimes young people say, 'You know, I have strong desires sexually and if I can just get married.' That is not in itself a sufficient reason to get married. Even after marriage there is no guarantee that your elicit temptation will go away. And the fulfillment you find in your marriage doesn't satisfy...listen carefully...doesn't satisfy unrighteous longings.

Some people say, 'Well I'm lonely, I need to get married cause I'm lonely.' And they get married and often are far more lonely after married than before because somebody so close becomes so indifferent, and that's crushing.

Marriage, you see, is the solution to only one thing, just one, and that is this, the will of God."

- John MacArthur

"One of the reasons so many singles are dissatisfied is that they're looking for a change in status to define their significance, rather than finding a purpose in life, granted by God, that gives them significance regardless of the status they're in."

—Tony Evans

"We're mistaken if we take our cues from society on singleness. God doesn't think we need to spend time and money trying to "fix" it. Three times in 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul talks about the unmarried, and he uses the phrase: 'It is good.'"

- David Jeremiah

"There have been noted examples of people who have served God in an outstanding way and have never entered into the married state. The most important thing is not whether we marry or whether we are single, but rather that we serve God."

- Dr. D. James Kennedy

"Who wants to get married for the sole purpose of being used by the other person to get all of his or her needs met? Who on this earth could remotely feel that it is either possible or equitable to spend one's life solely for the purpose of meeting another person's needs? And yet many people who say with a tone of desperation in their voices, 'I need to get married,' are looking for precisely that - somebody to meet all of their needs for them. The need to be married is a me-centered need in most cases."

- Charles Stanley

"I've talked to a large number of single women. I think of the desire to be married as like a plane that's circling above LAX and life can't go on until you get that plane down. Or at least that's the way it appears. And really for those who are single they need to get that plane down and go on with what God has for them because it could be something different than that heart's cry."

- James Dobson

“Single people cannot live their lives well as singles without a balanced, informed view of marriage. If they do not have that, they will either over-desire or under-desire marriage, and either of those ways of thinking will distort their lives.”

- Tim Keller

"Our churches should uphold a high view of marriage, and we singles should graciously applaud those efforts. But let’s not forget it is a temporary institution; the Bride of Christ, the church, is the enduring one and every Christian — married or single — is gifted for her benefit."

- Carolyn McCulley

"Everyone, pray. Pray for a joyful accepting of God’s providential care, believing that godliness with contentment is great gain. If you are single, pray more for the sort of spouse you should be than for the sort of spouse you want. Pray also for the married couples and families in your church. If you are married, pray for the single people in your church, for those never married and those divorced or widowed. All people everywhere, pray for ways to start serving the Lord now, no matter what stage of life you are in or wish you were in."

- Kevin DeYoung

"I think Protestants really have no idea of the glory of virginity. This is something that I do talk to women about as much as I can. I get loads of letters from very angry, self-pitying women who are very eager to get married. They're in their thirties and forties.

Of course, men don't get around to thinking about becoming fathers and husbands until they're in their thirties and forties. (But) who do these men pick?

They pick the twenty or twenty-five year olds. So I try to get single women to realize how single women have been blessings throughout history. I remind them that the Church has always recognized the very important decision, of both men and women, to be single, for the Kingdom of God."

- Elisabeth Elliot

"Single Christians must be careful not to think there is only one person out there who would make a perfect spouse for them. Christians do not stay married because they have chosen the “perfect” spouse. Marriage lasts for those who know they got married for God’s glory primarily, not themselves (1 Cor. 10:31). These couples stay together because they know dissolving marriage vows dishonors the Lord in almost every case (Num. 30:2)."

- R.C. Sproul

"Sex is powerfully pleasurable, but it cannot satisfy your heart. The touch of another person will stimulate your body and your heart, but it will never leave you fulfilled. It's a created thing that will give you a short-term buzz of euphoria. It will offer you temporary pleasure, provide a momentary sense of well-being, briefly make you feel that you're something, and it may even make your problems seem not so bad for a bit. It's all very intoxicating. It all feels great, so you go back again and again, and in so doing, you begin to travel down addiction's road. The problem is that the created thing that you're looking to wasn't designed to satisfy your heart. It cannot give you inner peace. It cannot quiet your cravings. In a word, it cannot be your savior. And if you look outside of the Savior for something to be your savior, that thing will end up not being your savior but your master."

- Paul David Tripp

"Regardless of our marital status, we were made to glorify God and to reflect Him to our world.

God has made women to be bearers and nurturers of life—we can do that whether or not He chooses to give us husbands and physical children.

If a woman has a contented, grateful heart, she will experience joy, regardless of her circumstances (or marital status). If she does not have a contented, grateful heart, there is no circumstance (or marital status) that can make her happy."

- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"Not every woman will be a mother. There are some women that God calls to a life of singleness so they can serve the Lord free from the restrictions or limitations brought about by a marriage and by children. There are some women for whom God has not provided a husband, or married women for whom God has closed the womb, and he has done this for his own purposes. And they must be good purposes because God is good."

- Tim Challies

“Ladies, if you’re single, there is nothing wrong, sinful or wicked about desiring a husband. Anyone who would say otherwise is absolutely lying to you. God wired you for it; He built you for it. Now listen, I do think you need to be content with where you are today. But listen, I’m content with what Christ is doing today in me, but I don’t want to be who I am today. I’m hoping for Christ to complete what He began. It’s okay; it’s alright. It’s okay to want a wife. It’s okay to want a husband. Those things are good things. They’re really good things.”

- Matt Chandler

"Singleness is not a time for watching life go by, but a chance to develop your gifts and use this season—however long it is—to serve the Lord, while trusting God for his good timing for romance."

- Joshua Harris

“Anybody that remains single and doesn’t get married……. you really get shortchanged if you spend the rest of your life in self-pity, and don’t enter into what God can do through the singleness. I mean, you’ve gotta say, ‘Well, Lord it looks like I’m not going to be married. I’m asking you to turn this into something beyond anything I could imagine in terms of blessings.’ And He’s done that before to people who are unmarried.”

- Charles Leiter

“How do you view your singleness? Is it an opportunity to serve God, or is it really a daily burden, or, if you are honest, a curse that you long to be free from? If it is a burden, if it is a curse, that reveals a serious theological deficiency in your thinking. So it’s critical that you do the hard work necessary to study the Scriptures and develop a theology of singleness.

It isn’t sufficient to attend a conference; it isn’t sufficient to be a part of a local church where there is sound doctrine being communicated. You must search the Scriptures for yourself so the Spirit of God can speak to you and you can develop a theology of singleness. Because until you understand singleness from a biblical perspective, you won’t view your present state accurately, you will not take advantage of it, and, most seriously, you will not be pleasing God.”

- C.J. Mahaney

"Both marriage and singleness demand the most serious and solid biblical insight. These are realities that affect every area of our life and thought. We cannot settle for superficial pep talks. Our lives cry out for significance. And significance comes from seeing ourselves the way God sees us. Including our singleness. "

- John Piper

".....I am not the 'answer man' for events in life that don't make logical, human sense. I'm now convinced that even if He did explain His reasons, I would seldom understand. His ways are higher and far more profound than our finite minds can understand. So I now accept God's directions, and I live with them as best I can. And frankly, I leave it at that. I've found that such a response not only relieves me, it gives me hope beyond bitterness."

- Chuck Swindoll

“The most fully human person who has ever lived, or ever will live, is Jesus Christ, and He never once had sexual intercourse.

This can be powerfully liberating to single people who may think at times, ‘This one thing I will never have, sexual relations, and in not having it I will not be all I was meant to be.’ To this thought Jesus, the virgin, says, ‘A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher’ (Luke 6:40). We will always have mountains of truly human Christ-likeness yet to climb, but sexual intercourse is not one of them. For He never knew it. And He is infinitely whole.”

- John Piper

"In most cases, marriage is not a need—it is a perceived solution to one or more needs. Marriage is a need when it is essential for fulfilling God’s purposes for us. But only He can determine that.”

- Charles Stanley

"Pain is a holy angel who shows us treasures that would otherwise remain forever hidden; through him men and women have become greater than through all the joys of the world. It must be so and I tell myself this in my present situation over and over again. The pain of suffering and of longing, which can often be felt even physically, must be there, and we cannot and need not talk it away. But it needs to be overcome every time, and thus there is an even holier angel than the one of pain; that is, the one of joy in God."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If there are singles who find the waters of singleness dark and deep, who feel, ‘I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me,’ this is my message to you concerning singleness: Be of good cheer, my brother, my sister; I feel the bottom, and it is good.”

- Margaret Clarkson

Check out "Encouraging Quotes About Singleness - Part 2" for more uplifting messages!