Is being single a curse? You might think so in some church communities, the way that many well-meaning people say things like, “I am sure I know some nice man that would be so suitable just for you, now let me see…” or “You’re 23? and still single?” or “There is someone just around the corner for you.”
Sadly, people put pressure on single people feel somewhat wanting and inadequate because they are not “with someone”. Although ordinarily, Christian men and women do marry, it isn’t always the case. The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, may have planned a different path for you. He may have planned a life of singleness. Or marriage at a later date. So what do you do?
I was talking to a single female missionary friend of mine recently on this subject. Yes, the struggles are real, but then so are struggles within marriage too or when you have children or whether you are on the mission field or not. There are always struggles. Just some are different from others. Loneliness, lack of companionship, and having some one close to ask for help in decision making are some of the more acute struggles for a single person. My friend said that the best advice she received was…
Don’t. Waste. Your. Time!
How true this is for all of us but perhaps particularly so for single women. So many times I have talked to single women who are just biding their time waiting…. working at some menial, go-nowhere job until… and becoming frustrated and even bitter in the process.
Younger women: Seek ye first the kingdom of God… and he will surprise you with what marvellous plan he has for you. Become a strong woman of God. Look for avenues of service for him and his church. You could be mentoring younger women, leading a young women’s Bible study, being hospitable to others. Learn new skills. Practical ones like cooking and sewing if that is your interest (a friend of mine learnt tiling, wall-papering, upholstering and other practical skills which she used to refurbish her parents house). [Actually, everyone, men and women need to learn how to cook and be hospitable, so practice.] Look at doing further study. We certainly need Christian women in many fields, not just midwifery, nursing or teaching. Be content with where God has you for now and be thankful too. As we become more and more thankful (and look for things to be thankful to the Lord for) we become more and more contented and less bitter.
Older women, please, encourage our single women. Get alongside them and meet them for prayer and Bible study. Help them to seek the kingdom of God first. Help them to become strong women of God. Encourage them to look for avenues of service for the Lord. Don’t forget to invite to invite them into your homes. They are often lonely and left on the margins. Ask their permission before you start setting up possible “meet-ups”. Don’t nag them about men, don’t make comments that infer that singleness is somehow a second rate option. It’s not. Strengthen them and encourage them. Befriend them. Welcome them as part of Christ’s body with a unique part in it.