The Top 5 Sins that Keep Christians Single

why many Christians remain single

Hebrews 13:4

In this article, I am going to share 5 of the top sins that keep many Christians single who would like to be married one day.

As a quick side note, I am not saying that everyone who is married has lived a holier life than everyone who is still single and wants to be married. Marriage is not the reward for obeying God. What I am saying is that oftentimes God wants to give someone a certain gift, like marriage, but he won’t do it until they are mature enough to handle it. Certainly sin is not the only reason some people are single, but I believe it can be one reason that should be considered and prayed about.

(For more about this, you can read my article, Are You Single Because You Don’t Love God Enough?)

1. Fear

One of the reasons fear causes unwanted singleness is because it causes people to be unable to express themselves accurately to the world around them. The key to entering into a romantic relationship is for two people to feel like they are both authentically connecting with each other. If someone is struggling with fear, the people around them will sense this and thus it will be very hard for that person to truly connect with anyone.

Fear is like a wall that keeps people from getting in. It will cause you to avoid social settings and when you do try to connect with someone, fear will keep them at arm’s length. 1 John 4:18-19 explains, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because he first loved us.”

When we fear things in the world, oftentimes this is because we have not fully embraced the love of God. When we know God loves us completely, this helps us be unafraid that the world might not love us if we opened up. Only when you know the love of God will you have the confidence and freedom to express yourself to other people in an authentic way.

2. Pride

There are few character traits that are more repulsive to people than pride. When someone is prideful, it makes everyone around them feel like they are getting pushed down and devalued. It is impossible for a prideful person to have a healthy relationship because pride makes you put yourself above others, and that is the opposite goal of healthy Christian relationships.

The only type of person someone who struggles with pride will be able to attract is someone with very low self-esteem. When a prideful person and a person with no self-respect get together in a relationship, the results are always disastrous. There are really only a few options and none of them are good. The relationship can continue while the prideful person uses and abuses the person who does not know their own self-worth. The person with self-worth will eventually realize what is happening and end the relationship. Or the prideful person will get so full of themselves that they breakup with the low self-esteem person because they believe they can do better.

Either way, someone who struggles with pride will mostly remain single, and if they do get into a relationship is will be very unhealthy and unenjoyable. When you are living in pride, you will lack God’s favor, for as James 4:6 states, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

3. Sexual Immorality

Sexual sin leaves a trail of brokenness in its wake. The definition of “sexual immorality” is any sexual act done between two unmarried people. God made sexual experiences to be enjoyed only in the protected and committed context of marriage. When unmarried people share sexual experiences together, rather than bonding them together, this sin eventually tears them apart.

Sexual sin keeps people single who want to be married for a variety of reasons. One, it causes two people to use each other rather than commit to each other. Even if they do not consciously feel used, subconsciously the human heart feels used when a sexual act is done outside of marriage. This feeling of being devalued by other corrodes the relationship and eventually tears them apart. Even if they do not consciously believe that premarital sex is a sin, their conscience knows it is and thus the shame they feel because of this sin eventually makes them want to avoid this person they are producing this sin with.

Another reason sexual sin keeps people single is because once you get pulled into it, it can be very hard to get out. If you are addicted to sex, masturbation, or pornography, the bondage you are in will prevent you from freely interacting with the opposite sex with pure and biblical motives. All of this contributes to a prolonged season of unwanted singleness.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

4. Unequally Yoked

One of the biggest barriers to being in the right relationship is being in the wrong relationship. The more time you waste joining with people who are running from God, the more time you will waste rejecting God’s plan for your life in place of your own plan.

On a practical level, one reason many people end up being unmarried for far longer than they wanted is that they end up wasting their prime relationship years with someone who they know they would never marry. Certainly, I believe God’s grace is enough to cover any sin and no matter what age you are, God can certainly join you with the godly spouse he wants you to be with. But we must not deny the practical benefits of obeying God earlier in our adult lives.

When you are younger the odds are in your favor to get into a relationship. The older you get, the smaller and smaller the pool of eligible Christian singles becomes. Again, I’m not saying this to make anyone feel ashamed or hopeless. God created the universe out of nothing, so it is not a hard thing for him to create a marriage for someone of any age. Nevertheless, when we are talking about sins that keep people single who wish they were married, unequally yoked relationships must be on the list. For as 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 explains:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

5. Idolatry 

Perhaps the sin underlying all sins is idolatry. Idolatry occurs anytime we love something more than we love God. Anytime we reject God’s will and obey some other desire rooted in selfish gain rather than in glorifying God, this is when idolatry occurs.

Idolatry keeps you single because or leads you into unholy relationships because God will not bless you with something that would pull you further away from him. You can certainly choose to be in a relationship without God’s blessing, but this type of relationship will not be a “blessing” from God. Rather, this type of relationship will end up being a curse in your life that takes you further and further from the joy that could be yours if you obeyed God with all your heart.

Idolatry also ruins good gifts from God. Even if you do meet a great Christian single person that you could have a godly marriage with, when you idolize this person you are corrupting the purity of human relationships that God wanted. God intends a man and woman to join together in marriage so they can enjoy and serve God together. When the couple turns towards each other rather than turning towards God together, they miss out on what God really wants for them. This sin either causes them to breakup as the relationship crumbles under the weight it was never designed to support, or they stay together and make each other miserable because they are demanding from each other that which only God can give. As Jeremiah 2:12-13, 19 explains:

Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water . . . Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God.”

Idolatry not only dishonors God, it is also extremely damaging to ourselves. It corrupts everything it touches. It forsakes what is best (God) and ruins what is good (God’s blessings, like relationships). When God is rightly worshiped in your heart, you are also free to then enjoy the blessings he wants to give you as you keep them in their right place.