Although I don’t always agree with Andreas Köstenberger on gender-related issues, I appreciate what he has to say about singleness, part 1 and part 2. But I don’t appreciate Debbie Maken’s response, preaching that for most people it is wrong to remain single.
Unlike either of these two protagonists, but like significant Christian leaders such as John Stott and Mike Pilavachi, leader of the event I just got back from, I am single myself. This is neither from deliberate choice nor from a settled conviction that God has called me to singleness. In fact I rather believe that God has called me to get married at some time. But, from a combination of circumstances and a belief at various times that now was not the right time to look for a partner, this has not yet happened, even though I have now passed 50. A few years ago I was engaged briefly, but it didn’t last. More recently I signed up for a short time with Christian Connection, a dating agency, and made a few friends through it but it didn’t seem right to pursue anything. I continue to struggle with loneliness, as one of the very few singles anywhere near my age in my church or among my friends. And the attitude of the church is not always helpful. But for the moment I also appreciate the freedom from other responsibilities that gives me time to serve God, and to pursue other interests which are mostly related to God’s work. And I continue to trust God to bring the right marriage partner into my life at the right time if that is right, and to continue to provide for me as a single man if that is his better way for me.