Single Person, Please Don’t Skip the Marriage Sermon

“I’m so tired of hearing sermons on marriage.”
“I’m single. I feel left out. Everywhere I look in the church, I see married people.”
“When I hear that my pastor is going to be preaching on marriage, I make sure I take a little holiday from church that week.
“We need more sermons on single people.”
“We already feel left out enough; do we really need to sit through another sermon walking us through the principles of
The Five Love Languages?”

To start—let me tell you that I understand where you are coming from. I sat through dozens of sermons on marriage as a single person. I sat through very few on what it meant to live out the gospel in my singleness. There are texts in the Bible that talk about singleness. And there are pretty major characters named Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul (among others) who lived their entire lives single. Finally, I’ll say that if your pastor ever does a series on The Five Love Languages I don’t blame you for taking a holiday away for a few weeks. In fact, I’d say that if he has a habit of preaching popular Christian books instead of the Bible, you might be well served to find a new church all together.

With that qualification in place, I want to challenge you to submit to the biblical preaching on marriage in your local church as a single person. As a pastor of a local church, my prayer is that single people show up and tune in for those weeks as much as any other. It’s not ultimately about “preparing for someday,” because there are people to whom God has given a life-long gift of singleness[1]. But you don’t have to be married to interact with the marriage texts in Scripture. They apply equally to all people, and are profitable for training, correction, rebuke, and teaching for all people[2].

You don’t have to be married to interact with the marriage texts in Scripture. Click To Tweet

Here are three reasons not to skip the next Ephesians 5:21-33 sermon at your church:

1) You need to know the truth about God’s design for manhood and womanhood.

You are either a man or a woman, and learning about how God created a man and a woman to function in marriage is going to teach you something about your manhood or womanhood. Marriage is the foundational relationship that God created before the fall for his covenant-keeping people in their God-designed purpose. God put marriage in place in order to create a safe and stable boundary of lifelong covenant relationship for the perpetuation of the human race. He gave the command to ‘be fruitful and multiple’ to the first man and the first woman. He designed the marriage relationship to be the context within which they would carry out this command. Adam’s image-bearing manhood and Eve’s image-bearing womanhood were given the marriage covenant within which their specific gender identity would manifest. This doesn’t mean you have to be married to live out manhood or womanhood, but it does mean that looking through a window into what God says about marriage will grow your understanding of you own sexuality.

2) You need to be able to divide truth from lies on this thing called “marriage.”

There is a whole heap of stuff going around in our culture today about the idea of marriage that is a total mirage. If you’re married or single, a man or a woman, you’re being inundated with this content in our culture. If you’re a Christian, you’re called to divide truth from error, not only in your own heart but also in the lives of others in your faith family. You need to know the truth to be able to speak the truth. Despite the ringing endorsement of the spirit of the age as it relates to the different arrangements being labeled ‘marriage’ in our culture, what marriage ultimately is hasn’t changed. You’re being told to sit down, shut up, and passively accept marriage defined by culture as opposed to marriage designed by God. If you’re a Jesus-following, Bible-believer, you can’t opt out of this dialogue.

Christian, you’re called to divide truth from error, in your own heart and in your faith family. Click To Tweet

3) You are the product of a marriage.

You have been impacted by marriage, in either a positive or negative way. There is no neutral here. If you’re a living person, an egg and a sperm got together and a human being was conceived and that human grew up to be you. The relationship of the man who carried that sperm and the woman who carried that egg has come to define more about you than you know.

Your biological parents may not have even been married, or perhaps you haven’t even met them. Both of these realities have affected you. You grew up somewhere, and the reality of that environment, the man involved (or not) and the woman involved (or not) developed more in you than you may realize. Marriage touches us all. As you live your life, you need to know God’s design, man’s sin, and God’s redemption of this foundational relationship.

If you’re a Jesus-following, Bible-believer, you can’t opt out of this dialogue. Click To Tweet

I know it’s tempting to skip the marriage week. Please don’t. If the Bible is preached, and you approach the text in prayer for open ears, God will work.

[1] 1 Corinthians 7:7, Matthew 19:11

[2] 2 Timothy 3:16-17