Is Singleness Punishment for My Sin?

Dear Single Girl,

I know that you associate singleness with punishment, but nothing could be further from the truth! How can I be so confident? Because God’s Word is crystal clear on the matter. Please do yourself a favor and give this lie the boot!

1. Someone else was punished for your sin.

You have a substitute. A Savior.

Jesus Christ willingly stepped into your place and took the full brunt of the Father’s wrath and punishment for your wickedness. If you have put your full trust in Christ, it is done. You are cleansed. Forgiven. Loved. Free.

Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us . . . “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin (Heb. 10:11–18).

You can know that God the Father accepted Christ’s substitution for your sin because He not only raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus returned to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Intimacy was restored. The deed was done.

Clearly, it would be unjust of God to punish His Son for your sin . . . . and then turn around and punish you as well! And God is anything but unjust.

You will never know His punishment, only His favor through Christ . . . if you trust in Jesus alone as your Savior.

2. Jesus was single, and it was not because He had sinned!

Hebrews 4:15 says, ” For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (emphasis added). Obviously, singleness is not the result of sin, because Jesus never, ever sinned.

Not only is singleness not punishment . . .

3. The apostle Paul says that singleness is a gift.

In 1 Corinthians 7:7–8, Paul writes:

I wish that all were as I myself am [single]. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am (emphasis added).

Paul goes on to explain why singleness is a gift: because “those who marry will have worldly troubles,” because he wants you “to be free from anxieties,” and because the married woman’s interests are “divided” trying to please both God and her husband (vv. 28–34). Paul summarizes all this in verse 35:

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Sweet girl, the real problem is not that you are being punished for your sin. The real problem is that your hopes are misdirected.

Do not waste the gift that this season of singleness is.

Marriage is a beautiful gift . . . if and only if you are not looking to a man to fulfill you and complete you and replace your sadness with joy.

Marriage is a beautiful gift . . . if and only if you are running to Christ daily to fulfill you and satisfy you with His love and replace your sadness with joy.

Do not waste the gift that this season of singleness is. Use it to repent of your misplaced hopes and to find Christ to be your all-in-all. Only then will marriage or singleness be able to be received—not as punishment—but as the gift they both are.

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York.

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  • Tanya

    Thanks so much! I love how God often answers question that were just on my mind through your blog!

    Thank You Lord for speaking to me this way and for caring so much for me! I know you led me to this blog and please bless everyone who writes and reads on here! Amen!

  • Grace

    This is a completely random question, but I kind of need an answer before this Saturday. I am trying to figure out what to do for my birthday–me and my mom usually go out together. But I am failing to think of anything todo–we always go shopping (which is fun, but I want to do something different.) I am 17, and was wondering if anyone could help me come up with some mommy daughter dates?

    • GraceofGod

      My birthday was recently. I went to a movie with my mom and then we went out for coffee together(well actually, I had coffee and she had tea), it was a really fun and sweet time. I don’t know if ya’ll like doing that kind of thing, but just an idea. I hope you find something awesome to do and have a great birthday!

    • Emily

      My Mom and I sometimes go on walks or bike rides together. It’s a great way to talk and exercise at the same time! And happy birthday!!!

    • Happy Almost-17-Birthday, Grace! That’s so great your Mom is going to take you out. If you can get to a book store before then, check out some of Dannah’s ideas in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Dates-Moms-Daughters-%E2%80%A6Modesty/dp/0736961143/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1473778132&sr=8-11&keywords=Dannah+Gresh.

    • Kristen Snyder

      My mom and I once went to chick-fil-a for lunch, then we went pottery painting. It was so fun! We each painted matching tea cups to remember it by (we painted something else together also). It was so special and memorable.
      Some of my friends have gone to a tea place for an elegant brunch with their mom I believe.
      Just a couple ideas 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this post!! I used to pretty much idolize getting married. I never thought I did, and I never would have admitted that, but thankfully, God has been working on my heart, and I’m realizing that singleness IS a gift and my joy comes from Him alone. Thanks for this reminder!!

  • Abby

    This post sort of goes along with what I’ve been trying to tell one of my best guy friends. He doesn’t seem to understand why I would want to be single right now. I’m a senior in high school, and this summer I did a 7 week mission trip to Montana, and got to truly see how wonderful it is to be single while loving God and growing in my relationship with Him. I know I shouldn’t worry about what my friend thinks, but I wish he would realize what a special time it is for someone to be single. Thanks for the post!

    • Wow, Abby. Keep showing him by your life example the awesome adventure of life lived with and for God. So glad you’re enjoying and “bearing fruit” in this season!

  • SaRiNhA

    Thanks for this post!I’m grateful to God to learn more things about relationship!I believe God have a perfect plan for everyone who decides to trust in Him!😄

  • Lily

    Thank-you for this post! It’d be nice to know sometimes if I’m going to be single for a lifetime, but for the most part I’m just going to live as though marriage will never be in the picture. I can’t even imagine marriage in 10 or 15 years down the road. This post was a great reminder that there is a special value in singleness and I should simply embrace it day by day and let Him lead me.

  • Maya

    i just subscribed to this blog yesterday, and imagine my surprise seeing this in my inbox!! like you wrote it just for me 🙂 thank you!!

  • asle

    Most who gives comments are kids…:-).. of course, it’s better for you to be single first while achieving your dreams-one is while studying….

    …for me, i’ll be 26 this coming month and still single..do you think, I really needed to find the one…like many had said…:-)… because I’m relying it all to God. I am okay with being single if that what God wants…:-)

  • Ruby Bartle

    I’m so gonna use that one in future ( singleness is a gift) when people ask me and then they give you a look that says ” How do you live or you poor thing”. I’ve heard a talk on this passage and what I got from is that being married is good and honourable but being single allows you to devout more time to God and can be easier.

  • Lisa W.

    I can’t believe anyone would even ask that question! I don’t even think about being single as a trial anymore. I’ve had my struggles in the past, but Jesus is meeting my needs and I have no loneliness or restlessness or longing for something more. He is everything in a way that no human being can match. I’d still like to get married some day, if that’s God’s Will, but if not, I can honestly say I will be completely happy and content! The longer I live (I’m 33) and the more unhappy and tragic marriages I see and the more guys without godly character I meet, the more thankful I am to be single! There are a lot worse things to be!

  • Mary P.

    So true! Singleness is not a punishment for sin. JESUS CHRIST already took care of that part when He died in the cross for us. However, I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible that says the singleness is a gift. However, I that it’s a nice way to soften the blow of being single for those who are still sitting there in what appears to be an endless season of waiting on God to bless us with a godly husband.

    • Hey, Mary,

      FWIW: Those verses about singleness being a gift are found in 1 Cor. 7:6-9.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      paula

  • Guest

    Why is it always that articles on the “benefits” of being single are written by MARRIED women? And young women at that? Try being 55 without having had anyone to share your life with, and without anyone who will care for you if/when you get frail. I won’t have the money to live in a care center, because I didn’t benefit from having 2 household incomes in my life. And I won’t have any children (or grandchildren) to visit me. Believe me, being single IS punishment — hell on earth.

    And as for Paul’s preferences — so what, he was just a man. GOD said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” God would never have made woman or the institution of marriage if it wasn’t what he intended for people. Those of us that don’t get marriage or a partner are most definitely being punished by God — I only wish I knew for what.

    • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

      Grace,

      The enemy’s age-old scheme has always been to cast doubt upon the goodness and greatness of God. To cause us to wonder if He really does care. If He really does hear our prayers. If our unanswered prayer result from “wrong praying” as though God were a harsh task-master waiting for us to “get it right”. Or, if perhaps, God is punishing us for some past sin.

      The God of the Universe is not like that, Grace. Scripture tell us He is filled with lovingkindness, He is gracious, He’s longsuffering, He desires that none would perish, but all would come to repentance. The punishment that is rightfully ours because of our sin, was poured out upon Christ. He suffered so that we could have a relationship with the God that loves us.

      God’s not angry at you, Grace. He loves you and wants to show you His love. He wants to care for you, shepherd you, be for you all that you need. One of His names is, “I Am”. He’s everything we need, Grace—in every circumstance that we find ourselves in. In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years (Isaiah 63:9) NLT.

      There are no easy answers to the unfulfilled longings that we all face, Grace. But there is the grace of God that enables us to entrust those longings and desires into the hands of the One who loves us infinitely more than we can imagine and who has promised to work all things together for good to those who love Him.

      Would you take some time to listen to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s message aired last year on Revive Our Hearts https://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/i-become-mrs-day-1/. I’m praying it will be an encouragement to you, friend.

      Grace and peace,
      Carrie

  • TheRealTruthHasBeenTold

    Well i am going to be real honest here with my comment which many others may or may not agree with me. First of all it does take two too tango these days since this is a very completely different time that we now live in unfortunately. Most of the women nowadays have really changed for the worst of all as well since they will only want the very best and will never settle for less. It is very difficult for many of us good men looking for love nowadays as it is since so many women are now making their six figure income and are now so very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, narcissists, and very money hungry as well which really speaks for itself right there. They will never go with a man that makes much less money then they make either since it is really all about money for them anyway as you can see which is the real reason i believe why many of us men out there really can’t find love anymore like i mentioned in my comment already which i am sure many other men will agree with me on this which this definitely has a lot to do with it. Most women now just can’t accept us men for who we really are anymore like they did in the past when both men and women in those days did really accept one another since they hardly had any money at all to begin with when they were struggling just to make ends meat at that time. So finding real love back then was certainly a lot easier for the men in those days which certainly really explains why our family members had it so very easy back then as well. A very good time for finding real true love back then unlike today it is like trying to win the lottery for many of us men still looking since we really can’t blame ourselves at all to begin with. And unfortunately trying to start a conversation with a woman that will attract us as become very impossible for many of us men since so many women these days are just down right nasty and will even Curse at us men for no reason at all. A losing battle altogether now for many of us men.

  • TheRealTruthHasBeenToldAgain

    And just to add more truth to my comment that i have just made which is God may or may not have something to do with it since we really have no control over a woman’s behavior problems these days as well since it is mostly the women that are at fault for this problem that many of us good innocent men are suffering for since there are many of us very good men out there that would really know how to treat a good woman that is if there are any good ones left out there with a lot of love, respect, and commitment which they just Don’t want to give many of us men a chance at all today. Now it is very obvious why many of us men are still single today and most likely unfortunately will always be especially with the kind of women that are now out there these days.