SIDEBAR: Helping Unmarried Men
They are single by default, by circumstance, or by choice. Some have visions of marriage and family, while others have given up. Still others see their relational context as a gift.
Regardless of their perspectives and desires, all these men face unique moral and spiritual struggles that require more, not less, character than their married friends. They need strong beliefs to support stronger — but culturally disapproved — behaviors that preserve spiritual integrity.
The most influential Man who ever walked the planet was unmarried and had a sense of self, rooted in God and His purposes, that transcended the broken male culture of His day. Jesus, along with a host of God-honoring men in the Bible, provides the template for our conversations with and ministry to unmarried men. Here are the top three issues, examples, and principles we should be addressing with this group of men God wants to use mightily.
Identity (1 Timothy 6:11,12)
“But you, man of God … fight the good fight of the faith ….”
These intentionally directed words toward Timothy call out his identity. What does Paul know that we should know too? He knows that whatever commands this unmarried man’s identity will also command his energy and expression as a man. Security of identity in Christ produces powerful discipline, patience, perspective, and purpose in the midst of the unmarried man’s battles. Like Paul, we want men responding and reacting out of their identity in God first — regardless of the unique context or issue that arises in the moment.
For resources on this topic, type the key word “identity” into the search bar at everymanminsitries.com.
Women and Sexual Integrity (Ephesians 4:17-24)
With the Holy Spirit’s help, today’s single men can exercise self-control and maintain an honoring attitude toward women.
Leaders must directly and transparently address the need for sexual restraint in today’s culture. They also must teach lifestyle habits that replace resistance alone — including healthy male and female relationships that support a man’s spiritual and sexual boundaries.
For resources on this topic, type the key word “sex” into the search bar at everymanminsitries.com.
Contentment Vs. Comparison (1 Corinthians 1:3–9; Philippians 4:12,13)
Managing expectations — and dashed expectations — is a huge part of ministry to unmarried men.
Every man has expectations, but many times God is not operating on our time frame of delivery — for His good reasons and His good purposes. Over time, unfulfilled desires for intimacy can lead to panic and fear-based attempts to meet needs ahead of God’s timing or outside His will.
This aspect of being single, or “single again,” can rob men of hope, create a reservoir of negative emotions, and, consequently, make them vulnerable to attack from within and without.
The only path for unmarried men that guarantees greater contentment and hope — and less comparison and cynicism — is a clear vision of God. More specifically, single men need to see God as their faithful Creator, while serving Him in purposeful ministry that provides meaning, connection, and intimacy.
We have all heard stories of God’s miraculous realization of a person’s hopes after they yielded to Christ’s loving sovereignty, care, and rule.
Personal dreams and longings may remain, but God’s purpose goes a long way toward replacing comparison with contentment.
For resources on this topic, type the key word “contentment” into the search bar at everymanminsitries.com.
Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and founder and president of Every Man Ministries.