Even if you have no intentions of marrying (or re-marrying), your singleness can be used in a way that is for the betterment of the community, your family, and yourself. In being self-absorbed, you will never be content. Your singleness has a purpose.
Serving strengthens the community, it improves your character, and it reaches into the lives of others who need your skills or your views on life. Along with the immediate benefits, serving also has added future benefits for younger adults who intend to marry one day and have a family.
Singleness is not a period to wait for the next big thing. It is a period to prepare for the next big thing.
Serving at Home
If you are living with others, they should be the first people you learn to serve. This is a personal community you were selected to be part of, even if you aren’t particularly fond of them. People in a household need to serve one another lovingly in order for a household to be efficient and welcoming. Serve those in your home by assessing and serving their needs. Pay attention to your own responsibilities in the home – such as your own laundry, cleaning, share of cooking, etc. – and do what you can to make less work for someone else in your house. Serve them emotionally by spending time with them, repairing relationships that are sliding, and paying close attention to your way of communicating.
Future Benefits: When you are married, your spouse will be the most important person you need to serve. This will be a person that lives in your home at all times, and who – frankly – you may not be completely fond of on a daily basis. Serving the community in your home now will prepare you to serve your future spouse and family.
Serving the Church
The church is another kind of family that needs your service. Every person in church is someone who needs support, encouragement, and a community of people they can rely on. You can serve the church by joining or starting prayer chains, attending studies, getting involved with ministries, and volunteering for events and special outreaches. Serving the church helps the community as a whole, and it helps the church thrive and flourish. But most importantly, it keeps your eyes off of yourself and on God.
Future benefits: Serving the church as a young adult has many benefits. It can be a great resume booster, and a way to network with others who have the same interests. Getting involved with children’s ministries will help prepare you for your future children, and being involved with ministries with the older and wiser generations will give you insights in preparing for future issues. And most importantly, serving the church will keep you Christ-centered, which will give you a solid foundation for your life, as well as your marriage.
Serving the Community
There are many community services in your local area that are in need of assistance. Most of these projects are non-profit or barely funded, and are dependent on volunteers to make the community a better place. Check around for services your community provides, such as youth outreach, food kitchens, building repairs, or even office work. There are larger organizations that have many sites in many cities, such as Feeding America or Habitat for Humanity. Find something you are passionate about and get involved.
Future benefits: A benefit of getting involved with your community is – obviously – a better community. This creates a better place for you to raise your kids, and a better place for other people to raise their kids. Serving strangers helps you develop communication and social skills that will help you to serve your family better.
Serving the World
As a single person, you have more access to the world than you think Singleness is the best time to explore the world and gain new perspectives, and it is best to do so while you do not have a spouse. You can serve the world by joining short or long-term mission trips, getting involved with large programs such as Samaritans Purse or Youth With a Mission.
Future benefits: Not only does serving the world give you great stories to share with your spouse, but it also helps you adapt to different kinds of situations that you are sure to encounter while married. Marriage may not always be financially or emotionally comfortable, and things such as missions trips or working with organizations can help give you perspectives and insight on many different environmental situations.
There is nothing wrong with using your singleness to work towards your goals, but there is a problem when that becomes the only focus of your singleness. Singleness has many opportunities for growth in maturity, spirituality, and character. All of these will serve you, your marriage, and your family well in the future.