How to Love Your Single Friends Well

Kelley   |   April 25, 2023 


I hesitate to write on this topic, as the prompt for this month is “Walking with Someone Through Suffering.” A huge disclaimer: I in no way equate singleness with suffering! However, as I have engaged in conversations with my single friends and relatives, the pain for those who desire the gift of marriage can occasionally, if not often, be quite acute. Beyond this, the struggle is often compounded based on not-so-helpful comments/mindsets from others concerning their singleness, however well-meaning these might be. This article is not an exhaustive treatment in loving our single friends well, but I’d love to offer four points that could aid us in this journey based on conversations with some of my single sisters.

Examine your own heart.

The Apostle Paul unequivocally states that both marriage and singleness are good gifts from the Lord (1 Corinthians 7). So, married Christian, do you struggle with thinking that marriage is actually a better gift from God than singleness? Do you find yourself feeling sorry for your single friends for not having entered “their best stage of life?” Do you find yourself thinking of ways that marriage can “fix” your loved ones? Marriage is indeed used by the Lord for sanctification, but so is singleness. After all, God was sanctifying us well before we were married.

In order for us to heartily point our sisters to their true identity in Jesus, we must first see that we are grounded in our identity in Christ more than our identity as wives.  We can only be a safe place for our friends to genuinely lament an unmet desire for marriage, through our own internal confidence in both their and our identity in Christ alone. Though we might rightly join them in prayer for a godly husband or set them up on a date with a mutual friend, they must know we do not see their worth or identity as being tied to their future marriage prospects. Matchmaking attempts and desires for them to “find someone” can never be desperate ones for Christians. Instead, we can love our friends through relying ultimately on God’s own providence to direct and His own goodness to satisfy.  Our friends don’t need marriage to fulfil them. The most joyous and only perfect Human never married. So they are in good company.

Weep with those who weep.

As we affirm our friend’s identity in our own hearts, we can also speak these truths to them, though our manner in doing so is crucial to loving them well. As Solomon says, “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23).  The truths of God’s word which affirm their worth in Him alone are not ones to “attack” our single friends with at the first sign of their sorrow but ones to speak as a balm to their heart with gentleness and much love.

The old tirade is true, that people will never care how much we know (or how brilliant our advice is) until they know how much we care. Paul calls us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). This truth is crucial, as not all of our single friends are necessarily struggling with singleness. Some of our sisters are happily single and don’t desire to get married, much like Paul himself. Others, however, are deeply grieving their singleness, and the hope of marriage deferred continues to sicken their hearts (Proverbs 13:12). Many of our sisters might seesaw between these emotions, or go back and forth concerning their sense of contentment.

So, as we speak with our single friends, let’s be curious rather than certain about their own desires and struggles. There are moments for speaking truth boldly and a time for offering counsel, but these can never stand apart from our tears with those who shed tears. If the Lord holds the cries of our sisters in a bottle, how can we not also treasure the honour of their tears shed with us and the opportunity to cry alongside? (Psalm 56:8)

Ask them about other things.

It is hard to affirm our single sisters in their worthiness in Christ alone on one hand, while always and only asking them about dating/marriage prospects on the other. If we truly believe that our sisters are living the life that God has designed to bring most honour to Him, there will be multiple avenues of conversation concerning how He is presently completing a good work in them.

Are they working a job they love or struggle with? Caring for ageing parents? Leading a prayer group? Writing? Going through therapy to talk through old wounds? Pursuing a new course of study? Struggling with a particular sin? Starting a business? It feels silly to make a list, because the list is literally endless. If God is using all of His gifts through them and the circumstances He has placed them in, let’s dive in and see what He is doing in their life.

Invite them home.  

We are made for relationship. Our need for community with other people is not a result of our sin, but is a creation ordinance given by God Himself who sees the church living and growing together and says it is very good. Our single friend does not need a husband to be satisfied (any more than our husbands can deeply satisfy us like Jesus can), but we all need Christ’s body, with all of her members’ various gifts, to enjoy His fullness through the communal means of grace.

It is well and good to engage with singles on Sundays, and this is certainly a starting point for many. It is better to invite singles into your home, not as a dating project, but to know them, encourage them, and be encouraged by them as vital members of the body of Christ. Inviting friends into our homes can look differently in various stages, but for some of us, it might mean inviting a single friend currently struggling with loneliness to stay with us for a few days. It could mean having a single relative over during a busy evening but letting them help us out with the dishes and little ones, alongside intentional times of conversation.

Go to their home as well! Singles are equally up for showing hospitality, and they have designed their homes as their unique place of refuge just as married couples do. Enjoy their space and their lives and invite them to enjoy yours.

I pray that we will continue to grow in grace in this area of loving our single friends, family members, and church members well. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to better care for your single loved ones. If you don’t know what to say in a certain situation, share that, and ask them for help. Be humble and curious. Speak the truth in love. And above all, let us hope together in our mutual Saviour and the eternal marriage to come when He returns for the church, His own dear bride.



Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

The following two tabs change content below.


Kelley loves coffee dates, scheduling, traveling whenever possible, and reading fiction. She is passionate about life in Bangalore where she resides with her husband and little girl. She is currently enjoying learning to drive in the city, though she still enjoys long auto rides the most. This year, she is learning more about her identity in Christ and how only he provides true rest for her soul. With this, she is learning to take herself less seriously and to take him more seriously (a work in progress for sure!)

Latest posts by Kelley (see all)

2 comments on “How to Love Your Single Friends Well”

  1. This is such a beautifully written blog and the topic is one rarely discussed in Christian circles (especially not this well!) I love that you used the word "curious," I think it's such an important position as we walk with one another—it's never helpful to assume what someone is feeling or wanting. Thank you for sharing such great perspective!

  2. Dear Heather,

    Thank you so much for this comment! I am so thankful that you enjoyed the article! I have definitely had to learn and am still learning about being curious instead of assuming! I'm so grateful the writing was encouraging to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

From Our Archives

© 2024 IndiAanya. All rights reserved. Designed by NWD.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram