YAEarly Adulthood (20-35 years of age) is a time of leaving the familiar world of family, parents, community, school and entering the big unknown world. It is a break with the past and a move into future. Of course, the very term "adult" is very hard to define. When do you become an adult? When you can drive, vote, drink or when you are married? It is a fuzzy line and for many the transition is a slow process. Some young adults are staying home longer. After all, why leave when there is free rent, cooking, TV and washing? 

Young adults often have some kind of life dream – a desire to achieve great things. They have plans and possibly a sense of calling to pursue something important. It is a time of idealism that will eventually be balanced with a good dose of realism. Mark Twain noted this when he said, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”

This may be a time of further education and then eventually entering the work force as young adults embark on their own career, a time of achievement. Relationally, there is a search for someone to love, then possibly the setting up of a new home. Some become parents of children. 

Around age 30, many experience some kind of transition. Maybe there is disillusionment (from still being single), an emotional crisis (possibly from a relational breakdown), or a career change.

Single people are not second class citizens. They are to be given full acceptance and affirmation. They are not abnormal or to be viewed with suspicion. Marriage is not a superior status to singleness, nor visa versa. Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. Being single is not ‘second best’ or a life doomed to misery and incompleteness.

Singleness is not in any way inferior to marriage. In fact, you are better off happily single than unhappily married. The apostle Paul preferred singleness and encouraged people to consider it as a life choice (1 Cor.7:7-9, 27-28). Jesus was a single too. Singles are not half a person. We are complete in Christ, not through marriage. Marriage is ordained by God, yet it is not obligatory for everyone.

Some of the unique challenges that single people face include loneliness, low feelings of self-worth, problems with identity and life direction, pressure from married people (the 'matchmakers'!), maintaining sexual purity, and possibly or parenting alone.

Reflecting on the lives of both Jesus and Paul, we see that some keys for single people living an enjoyable and fruitful life are: (1) establishing an intimate relationship with God as Father, (2) developing healthy, non-romantic friendships, and (3) having a sense of purpose for life.

Singles, know that God loves you and has a purpose for your life. Marrieds, let's be sure to reach out to singles, giving them heaps of encouragement, care and support. After all, we are all a part of God's bigger family. 

Some Suggestions:

1. Find some mentors, teachers and role models who you can learn from.

2. Foster the sense of enterprise of this season of your life. Try new things. Follow your dreams. Learn from your mistakes.

3. Develop lots of healthy friendships.

4. Find a worthy cause to give your time and energy to.

 Next: Midlife