3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Preaching Articles

Recently I wrapped up a series on the Song of Solomon at my church called You & Me: Being Single, Finding Love & Staying Married. 

The response from my church was overwhelming, and the response from other pastors was interesting. I think too many pastors are afraid to preach on marriage & singleness, in particular from the Song of Solomon, but that’s another blog post.

I think each year every church should do a series on marriage, finding love, being single and dating. Here’s why:

  1. Most regrets & secrets are sexual. Everyone has regrets and shame in their life. Whenever I meet with someone and they say, “I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone else,” it is almost always sexual. It is amazing how we can believe the grace of God can reach every part of our life except our sexuality. We attach something different to it, whether good or bad, that is the truth. People need to know what to do with those secrets, that hurt and shame.
  2. Everyone wants to know what the Bible says on sex, marriage, dating and being single. We often think that people don’t want to hear what the Bible says on dating, marriage or something touchy like money. That’s false. Everyone wants to know; they are curious. Most people know they have no idea how to do marriage and are looking for help from any source. Most unchurched people will give what the Bible says a listen if it might help.
  3. Most people have no idea how to be married. This is true for couples and singles. Most people grow up in broken homes, have no idea about how to fight well, communicate well, serve their spouse, live out in healthy roles, make decisions as a couple. They are clueless, so they make it up as they go along. Preaching on this topic on a regular basis helps everyone, whether they are single or married.
  4. Those who aren’t married are really curious about this. The most comments I got while preaching through the Song of Solomon were from singles. In fact, singles tell me on a regular basis that the sermons they listen to more than once are on marriage. Why? See #3. They want to make sure they don’t do something now that messes up later.
  5. The effects of a broken marriage are felt for generations. If you have been divorced, have parents who are divorced, are married to someone whose parents are divorced or went through a divorce, you know this is true. We often think this isn’t true, and not to make anyone feel guilty, but how marriage goes or doesn’t go has enormous effects on us and our kids, and their kids. For this reason alone, pastors should spend more time preaching on marriage.
  6. We need to communicate a better narrative than our culture. Our culture talks a lot about sex and sexual identity. Our culture identifies themselves based on sexuality (“I’m gay, I’m transgender”, etc.). Sadly this means our culture thinks the most interesting thing about you is what you do in the bedroom, which isn’t the case. Pastors need to help people find a better and more true identity. On top of that, the New Testament talks about how marriage is a picture of the gospel. You can’t separate the two.

I think more pastors should preach on these topics. I’ll share soon why many pastors are afraid to preach on marriage, but the longer we stay silent on these topics in the church or aren’t helpful when we preach on them, the more our culture will continue to give a narrative that seems right and good to those in our churches.

Josh Reich is the lead pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ, which is trying to live out the rhythms of Jesus. The church's dream is to "help people find their way back to God."

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Pat Damiani

commented on Jul 13, 2015

Some good points here, for sure. But I really believe we need to dig even deeper and get to the foundation, which is the Biblical concept of manhood and womanhood. The way that God created man male and female and the unique roles he established for each of them is the underlying concept that impacts the way we interact with each other in every area of our lives.

Michael Boyd

commented on Jul 14, 2015

I have been in Ministry 20 years. Currently I pastor a Cyber-Church online. I loved doing youth ministry and student ministry ut the cyber church gives me an opportunity to preach I never have. Singles especially in Baptist Churches almost never pastor a church, In fact I interviewed at 5 churches in the last several weeks and was basically told that they want a family man. I agree too many our churches think that being single means your in a holding pattern to start your life rather that serving God where you are. God opened the door for me to pastor a cyber-church and I get to present the gospel to so many international visitors. Just think we need to get our congregations to understand that singleness is a call just as getting married is.

Jean Yates

commented on Jan 22, 2020

Are you also dodging the issue, again brother? There is very little about 'singleness', whether out of choice or through circumstances in your post today. Our churches are full [around the edges] of dear people who are longing to be loved, included and thought 'Normal'Christians. This not always true, of course but happens quite often. Frequently ''singles' they/we have ended up going off somewhere else because of feeling that they do not fit in. People are people and should not get their significance through their marriage status/ parental status ... or even through their singleness. God made us all in His image: to be in relationship with God and with His people. Forgiven and the Body of Christ. This does not ALWAYS apply but happens more often than not. 'Happy Families' also have difficulties. Christian couples have difficulties. God wants to bless us and to feel wanted, loved and accepted ...to be Whole. for whatever role He has ... and has often equipped His people for. Marriage, singleness, widowhood, divorce etc should not preclude a person who is walking right with The Lord. I am happily married now but spent 18 years of singleness [and quite often in the wilderness] after being married for a good number of years where where my lovely children were born into before that. I am older as you see but have stood by others also who have been through a great deal. The second I was married again, I was being asked to 'do things'*for The Lord, in church! * Was 'used of The Lord [publicly] eventually and over a good number of years hard study at university/ universities and many adult biblical study courses; well qualified and experienced in the educational field - children and adults - but still not chosen... sometimes I was told because I am a woman. there are some beautiful God - loving ones waiting in the shadows: not expecting to be called. However, God [not man] opens doors often, that are not open to others. God has his way of using us when we are willing. Sometimes He puts us on hold to teach us patience and opportunities to grow. Look around you: befriend those on their own. Don't be put off inviting someone home - preferably in advance - if they are alone. Married and even families can also be alone and would also like an invite. Doesn't have to be anything grand: just a smile, coffee and Christ's love. JY

Emmanuel Esere

commented on Jan 23, 2020

I think it is more of a cultural problem. Our inability to rightly situate scriptural truth in a particular culture where the Church is situated. Believe you me, there are some cultures that views singlehood as a misnornal. This view places on those that are single, the weight of seeing what they can do but denied the rights. Christianity as a community of believers in Christ Jesus, have her cultures and traditions (doctrine). This oordinarily should define our lives and our living. But we allow our host community's beliefs and practices to influence ours. That is the problem of singlehood, even in church.

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