Single adults in the Bible demonstrate that the single life is both a viable option and one that affords people the opportunity to live uniquely for the Lord—undistracted by particular concerns of the world. The following eight individuals were unconcerned with spouses, education, or lucrative jobs. Rather, their primary focus was to live faithful to his calling as they followed the Lord, despite the costs.
- Paul: The ‘Gift’ of Singleness. The apostle described the value of living contentedly where God placed him—whether or not he had been “gifted” with singleness or marriage (1 Cor. 7:7).
- Anna: Left at the Altar. With seemingly little to contribute to society, the widow Anna was willing to rest in the Lord as she actively served him in the temple and marked her life with praise (Luke 2:36–38).
- Martha: Living Life in the Fast Lane. Martha illustrates that single adults, and even married adults for that matter, can easily allow the busyness of life to distract from their worship of the Lord (Luke 10:38–42).
- Jeremiah: All Alone in a Couple’s World. Jeremiah was able to serve productively and face loneliness because he recognized the Lord called him (Jer. 1:1–9), trusted in God’s control (17:7), possessed God’s perspective (1:12), prayed continually (21:2; 29:7,12; 37:3; 42:2,4,20), and benefitted from the help of others (38:7–13).
- Ruth: Encountering Shattered Dreams. In the midst of hurts, Ruth’s life was marked by an expression of sacrificial love, a faithful adherence to a commitment, and a hope rooted in faith (Book of Ruth).
- Joseph: Purity in the Midst of Temptation. Joseph understood the various traits of temptation, recognized the destruction of sin, and grew in his affection for the Lord (Gen. 37–50).
- Nehemiah. Not Going “A-Wall” (i.e., AWOL). Despite immense adversity, Nehemiah remained faithful to the Lord and his people (Book of Nehemiah).
- John the Baptist: Always a Groomsman, Never a Groom. John exhibited a motivation to follow Christ as John abandoned the world no matter what the sacrifice (John 3:22–30; Matt. 14:1–12).
Dr. David Hoffeditz (ThM, 1996) is the author of They Were Single Too: Eight Biblical Role Models.