The number of single adults in America is on the rise. There are 124.6 million singles in the U.S., which now outnumbers married adults over the age of 16 (Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, August 2014).
What that means is, now, more than any other time in the past century, more people are alone than ever before. But that does not have to be the case.
As a 30-year-old single adult, I could easily fall into the trap of woe-is-me, negativity and seclusion. But I believe the Lord created me for relationships, and while I'm not married yet, it does not mean that I have to be alone.
I crave community and what I've found through being involved in the singles ministry at my church over the past few years is there are lot of others just like me. I've seen young men and women come out of the woodwork for a card tournament, a friendly game of ultimate frisbee at the park and a service day of raking leaves. The type of activity really hasn't been the draw, as much as the opportunity to hang out with friends and enjoy community.
It's not the fun things that really draw people to our community though, it's the discipleship, Bible study, prayer and times when we stand beside each other to bear burdens. It has truly been a picture of the early Church described in Acts 2.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
While some view the increase of singleness as a rise of "tables for one," I like to see it as an opportunity for a rise of tables for 8, 12 or even 18.
If you are single, I would encourage you to make the most of the time the Lord has for you at this stage in life. Seek out those around you and enjoy fun nights with a big group of friends.
If you are married, reach out to singles you know and invite them to dinner at your house, to be involved in a ministry of the church or just to go on a walk with you. Being single is not a disease or something to be afraid of. It's a stage of life that should be embraced for the time being because that is where God has you.
As Psalm 139 gently reminds us, God knows each of your days. He knows how many hairs are on your head. He knows the grains of sand on the beach. Don't you think He also remembers your marital status? He knows exactly why He has you where you are today. While I know there are hard days when I desperately wish I was married, there are so many other days when I'm so thankful for this time in my life. I'm thankful for a community of friends who feel like family. Who bear burdens, walk alongside me on good days and bad, who encourage me, listen, pray and sometimes just show up.