I believe marriage is great and relevant and so also singlehood too has a space. However, in a culture where singlehood is not very much encouraged, to remain single is a great challenge in our society. Many wonder if there is something wrong with that person or if they have chosen singlehood for religious reasons. The pressure on singles is great.
There are also few marrieds on the other hand wondering if they would have been better off remaining single, especially when they face various challenges of family life. Some, who would have done well if they were single, get trapped into a marriage relationship and their lives turn out to be really miserable and they also make it miserable for their life partner.
They continue to live such independent lives even though they are married. I would recommend for such people, who have not understood the commitment of marriage, to remain single and pursue their lives. While there are singles by choice, it is true that there are also singles by chance. People remain single because they did not find the right person.
Especially in the context of arranged marriage, it becomes more difficult once they cross a certain age. My wife and I know of many women who are waiting for the right person, but have not found one. There area good number of such singles who have remained single by Chance and not by Choice. But it is also seen that many of them who have waited for a considerable amount of time, become more cautious and rigid about choosing their spouse.
Often their flexibility to accommodate another person into their lives becomes lesser as days go by.Their ability to take risks and get into a relationship, which they could have done in their early twenties, is lost. If people have crossed a certain age and have lived independently with their own rigid ways and space, I would recommend them to pursue singlehood rather than marriage, unless they are willing to share their space and become more flexible to accommodate the other.
Pre-marriage counseling is not a choice but a necessity in such cases. Singleness by choice should also include the ones who go through major health issues or addictions that would affect the partner after marriage. Trying to bring cure to addictions and mental health problems by recommending marriage is quite prevalent in our culture.
This messes up the life of all involved. We have counseled many such cases and have seen the misery of the spouse who is married to an addict or a mentally challenged person. Hence singlehood also needs to be pursued in cases of sickness, ill-health and unnatural genetic imbalances and urges etc. Marriage should not be seen as a therapeutic option to cure sickness but as a sacred space to fulfill godly destiny.
For people with same sex attractions also, I would recommend them to remain single and not get married. I see same sex attraction as an issue to be dealt with but cannot warrant marriage. Many people attracted to same sex also go in for a heterosexual marriage due to social pressure and that too is totally unhelpful. Biblically marriage is sacred and a natural union of one man and one woman and it is not to be defined e based on what each human being feels or defines.
Ultimately, life is not only about my rights and my desires, but every choice needs to be seen in the interest of the larger health of our family, society, nation and the world. Though I believe marriage is a wonderful experience that God has ordained for human beings to enjoy and also enhance their generations, there is definitely space in God’s plan for those who chose not to marry and remain single.
Singles can have a fulfilling and meaningful life and responsible singles play a key role to make the world a better place!