Okay, let the record show that just because you email us a question it does not mean that we’re going to create a blog post about the contents of your question. We promise.
It just so happens this particular question is centered around a topic we thought the entire community could both advise and benefit from. You know, the whole two is better than one thing…
A reader asked us about Bible study resources for single Christians. She wanted to know if we knew of any Bible studies that included dealing with loneliness and the pressure to be in relationships in order to have value.
We did some digging, and we came up with some resources for those of you who are looking for similar studies. Our answers include chapter books as well as workbooks with fill-in-the-blanks and weekly homework. If a book is what looks good to you on this list, we’re confident you can make your own fill-in-the-blank worksheets if you need some questions to answer in order to feel like a true Bible study has taken place.
Not all of these resources deal with the specific problems the reader asked about, but they are in the ballpark. We wanted to share as much as possible though because everyone’s struggle, while similar, can be different. Some of these can help before we reach a season of loneliness, others can help as we’re in the midst of it—to make sense of what’s going on or to remind us to avoid the temptations that can arise.
Redeeming Singleness by Barry Danylak — “As the trend toward singleness in the church increases, the need for constructive theological reflection likewise grows. Redeeming Singleness meets this need, providing encouragement to those who are single or ministering to singles and challenging believers from all walks of life to reflect more deeply on the sufficiency of Christ…”
The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot — “In The Path of Loneliness, Elliot gives hope to the lonely through tender reflections on God’s love for us and his plans to bless us. She tackles this difficult topic with grace and faith, showing readers how to make peace with loneliness and grow through it…”
Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of the Single Life in the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer Marshall — “The difference between life here and life hoped for can be disillusioning–and cultural changes have made single life in the twenty-first century more confusing than ever. Now and Not Yet offers guidance for navigating this new territory with purpose and contentment…”
Things Not Seen: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Trusting God’s Promises by Jon Bloom — “In these 35 creative retellings of Bible stories, Jon Bloom explores the hope and joy that Abraham, Moses, Naomi, John the Baptist, and others experienced in the painful process of discovering that God’s promises really are more trustworthy than our perceptions…”
Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley — “Through personal anecdotes and careful examination of Scripture, Carolyn McCulley challenges single women to regard their singleness not as a burden, but as a gift from God that allows them to perform a unique role in the body of Christ…”
Seasons of Waiting by Betsy Childs Howard — “We’re all waiting for something. It might be a spouse or a baby. It might be healing or a home. Regardless of what we’re waiting for, it’s easy to feel discontent when things aren’t going as planned and our dreams are delayed—especially when questions of ‘Why?’ and ‘How long?’ remain unanswered…”
Don’t Follow Your Heart: God’s Ways Are Not Your Ways by Jon Bloom — “‘Follow your heart’ is a creed embraced by billions. It’s a statement of faith in one of the great pop-cultural myths of our day — a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies, and songs. Until you consider that your heart has sociopathic tendencies. Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led…”
Prayer by Timothy Keller — “Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. With his trademark insights and energy, Keller offers biblical guidance as well as specific prayers for certain situations, such as dealing with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness. He discusses ways to make prayers more personal and powerful, and how to establish a practice of prayer that works for each reader…”
A Beautiful Design by Matt Chandler — “God created us to function according to His perfect design, and for all of human history, our world has been male and female. But our ever-changing culture faces challenges due to sin. More than ever the church needs to be a safe refuge for the gender confused, the sexually broken, the single, the married, and the divorced…”
Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg — “Join Margaret Feinberg for this 6-session Bible study that will help you embrace a life that’s richer and fuller than you’ve ever known before—a life radiant with joy. Learn to practice joy, defiant joy. Sooner or later, we find ourselves on the battlefield of life and struggle to know how to respond. Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears…”
Praying the Bible by Don Whitney — This 5-day email video series, Whitney teaches how to pray through the Psalms, one of the most encouraging books of the Bible for a person who is struggling with loneliness. At the end of the series, you receive a month-long guide to praying through the entire book.
Rebuild: A Study in Nehemiah by Kathleen Nielson — “The Book of Nehemiah tells of God’s people returned from exile and rebuilding the broken-down city of Jerusalem. More than that, it tells of God’s people being rebuilt according to His Word. As we watch the leader Nehemiah direct the rebuilding, we’re watching the Lord God direct history according to His promises–all of which were fulfilled in the promised Christ who came from this people’s seed. This study of Nehemiah helps us understand our history as believers in Jesus Christ. It helps us learn to walk in faith according to God’s Word, even in times of weakness and rebuilding…”
What Love Is by Kelly Minter — “What Love Is, a 7 session study of 1, 2, & 3 John, encourages you to remain faithful to the truth. You will be challenged to look at contrasting themes such as walking in the light instead of darkness, truth versus lies and deception, loving God more than loving the world, and the meaning of true fellowship and community rather than shallowness…”
Samson: A Life Well Wasted by Chip Henderson — “Samson: A Life Well Wasted is a six-session Bible study for young adults by Chip Henderson that explores the life of Samson in Judges 13-16 and offers six ways we can waste our lives if we’re not focused on our God-given purpose. Hot-button cultural issues from dishonesty and anger to daddy-issues and sex are discussed. Samson offers encouragement and practical ideas for making God-honoring decisions and avoiding regret for what could have been…”
Guardrails: Avoiding Regrets in Your Life by Andy Stanley — “Ever wonder what it would be like to have guardrails in other areas of your life-areas where culture baits you to the edge of disaster and then chastises you when you step across the line? Your friendships. Your finances. Your marriage. Maybe your greatest regret could have been avoided if you had established guardrails. In this six-session video-based small group bible study, Andy Stanley challenges us to stop flirting with disaster and establish some personal guardrails…”
Steps by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer — “Most people hear the word recovery and think of major addictions. But we all wrestle with something: anger, gossip, greed… To embrace the freedom found only in Christ’s redemption, we must get to the root of sin and suffering. Building on the incomplete truths of traditional recovery programs, Steps helps disciples see these truths through the light of Scripture and a personal relationship with Jesus…”
Being God’s Man as a Satisfied Single [The Every Man Series] by Stephen Arterburn — “Being single is one thing. Being a satisfied single is something else. You may be single by choice or circumstance. You may plan to marry and have a family, or you may sense a call to lifelong singleness. Even so, your situation is God’s will for you now. What will you learn from it? And how will you survive the temptations confronting you today? You know firsthand that single men face unique spiritual and moral struggles. Character is the cornerstone of being God’s man as a single in today’s culture. To live a life committed to Christ, you must master the issues of sexual integrity, isolation, contentment, spiritual battle, and identity in Christ…”
What Bible studies have you participated in that were specifically geared toward singleness? Would you recommend them to others? Why or why not?