In Her Shoes – Single Women

Singleness.  We’ve all been there at some point. Some of you live the single life right now – for others of us, the memory of life alone begins to dim. Married at age thirty, I remember being on my own. But, recently I recognized that my memories are getting foggy. So, I asked some godly single women what they would like their married sisters, including me, to know about them.

It is my delight to introduce these lovely women of God!  They are their 30s or 40s; two are in full-time Christian service, and two are in secular professions.  Each wants to honor God in her life and in her relationships.  Their objective is not to promote comparison between married and single women.  They want to nuture unity with their sisters in Christ.

What would you like married women to know about you?

Single Sister #1 – Iowa

“What I want married women to know about me:

1) Church service: I do want to serve, but please don’t treat me like a workhorse, always expecting me to serve anytime there’s a need. Just because I’m single and have no kids, doesn’t mean that I have oodles of free time or that I don’t have other commitments.  Three years ago, I got a personal and painful reminder that I need to be better about saying the word “no.” I had just come off of a summer of constantly serving in various areas, and God showed me that I needed to slow down. 

 

2) Please don’t assume that my job is the only thing going on in my life. I may not be married or have kids, but I do lead a full and active life. I don’t mind when people ask me how work is going, but sometimes I feel like that’s ALL they ask me about. There are times when work has been trying for me that day or week, and I really don’t feel like talking about it. But sometimes I have trouble diverting the conversation in another direction because I feel like ‘well, at least they’re talking to me. I’ll take that over nothing.’ I have hopes, dreams, goals, hobbies, musical interests, etc. Please don’t be afraid to ask about my life.

3) Likewise, I want to hear about your life too. I love hearing about others’ kids and families, but I also want to get to know more about you. I think there is much we can learn from each other.

4) I do appreciate it when people ask me how they can pray for me or what I’ve been learning from God and His Word.

5) I am endeavoring to take to heart Proverbs 31:10-31, particularly verse 12 right now.

6) I aspire to keep growing closer to and loving my Lord more and more every day.”

Single Sister #2 – Pennsylvania

“Some have already mentioned my thoughts, but I’ll reiterate them. Our church has a once-a-month ladies’ Bible study and fellowship. There are some ladies that I work with who attend that I could sit with there, but I’d like to get know some other people. I’ve given up and have quit going because none of the married women will include me in their conversations. Sometimes they don’t so much as look at me. I would like married women to know that I don’t have the plague and I do have a life even though I’m not married. I want them to know that I do want to be their friend and hear about their families though other topics of conversation and interest in my life would be appreciated as well.

My parents married late, so they can very much relate to the problem we face in Christianity. “Oh, she’s single. She can do it.” Within three months of being saved my dad was made Sunday school superintendent because he was single. Mom was so stressed out with all of her responsibilities at church that the married women wouldn’t do that she actually postponed their wedding. Single people have to work full time, do all of the grocery shopping, house and lawn chores, pay all of the bills and make all of the decisions by themselves. There really isn’t that much free time.

 

                                                                           
One thing that has bugged me for many years is to hear married women complain about their husbands. I understand that some women have legitimate reasons to complain about their husbands, but that doesn’t give them a right to do so. Complaining is not honoring. Often the complaints are so petty such as how much laundry and ironing he creates. I would be so happy to have a husband to iron for, and I hate ironing! I vowed years ago that if God ever gave me a husband, I would thank God for him every time I did his laundry, and I practice that when doing my dad’s laundry.”


Single Sister #3 – Wisconsin
“To include everyone, not just married people. I have a lot of friends who include my daughter and I in everything, but then you meet people who act like they’re superior because they’re married. And then I hear women who are so upset because their husband doesn’t do every little thing for them. I hear women who have said they’re mad at God because they can’t have any more children and they already have 3 or 4 kids. Sigh…………I try to be compassionate toward them and understand and just love them but the reality of it is that in my heart, I’m thinking that they need to be thankful for the husband and kids that they already have. Some of us would love to trade places with them in an instant.

I agree that many are busy serving their families, but I have a friend who is a mother of 5 girls, she serves her family and husband very well, yet has always had time for my daughter and I in NUMEROUS ways. Having dinner at their house, parties at their house, game night, etc. I think that no matter where you are in life, it comes back to looking past yourself and loving people. As a single mom who runs 2 businesses, the norm for me has been to be up at 7am, to work by 8:30, back home around 8pm, and to bed around 1am. I had time to run both businesses, spend time with my daughter, keep up the house, have play dates with her friends, cook meals for people who just had babies or surgeries, watch people’s kids if they had a Dr’s appt, etc. and coordinate an entire music program (everything from practice, coordinating the calendar, teaching people how to sing, putting together cantatas, you name it.)

I’m enjoying the break I’m having right now from that busy life (just moved), but still looking for ways to serve people in this community. I’ve been buying school uniforms for kids at school who can’t afford them, and I’m planning to organize buying coats for them too. I always try to remind myself that everyone is at a different place spiritually, and even when God tells someone to do something, they might not actually do it. I have to leave it up to God to bring people to the point of looking at other people’s needs and doing something about it.

The only other thing I would add is just being sensitive, especially when you’re talking to an older person who’s single. I’ve had people ask me ‘Why aren’t you married?’  and while I really think they mean it as a compliment, it makes you feel like in some way you’ve failed because you’re not married. As if it’s a social class or something. Other times, people have told me that I ‘just need to get married,’ as if that will solve all of life’s issues and as if there’s some big line of guys that I have to choose from. Getting married just to get married never made anyone happy or solved any problems.

Understanding that God’s plan for some people is to be married, and God’s plan for other people is to be single and supporting each other in living out that plan is important.”

Single Sister #4 – Ohio

“That’s a very sensitive question to ask. Because of health problems, I’ve shared with people at church about how much stress has compromised my health. Two older married ladies have commented that I shouldn’t have any stress because I’m not married with children. I wanted to scream! But they had no personal reference point to understand the deprivations of walking through life alone, working full-time, and, in my case, having no family nearby or any Christian relatives at all.


I also wish married women would be sensitive to singles when they’re in a group setting. Many married women talk a lot about their families, and that’s like a knife in my heart, since I am past the age where I could have my own kids.

I appreciate your asking the question. There are a lot of radio programs, Bible studies or whatever that deal with the issues a person faces when married. Because of that, singles have a fairly good grasp of their struggles, but it’s not common to have information about singles, or if there is, it’s usually about dating, not about just plain living.

In my church, most married women work outside the home. In many cases, it’s because their husband makes them do it, because they feel they need to. But even if not, most of these are people who live pretty comfortable lives in large homes. This week I’ve been praying about getting involved with youth at church again. Two years ago I had to step away from all such ministries because of health issues, and I’m so hungry to offer up that nurturing side of me as a woman. But I think I’m going to have to turn down this opportunity, because my job is just too draining (I literally do the work of 3 people). I have longed and prayed that God would somehow remove the burden of having to support myself so I could be more involved in more ministries and volunteering to be a testimony for Christ in my community.


When I see married women either forced to work or choosing to work, it’s such a sadness to me. My church has suffered because so few women are available anymore for ministries. I would challenge women who have the freedom to not work to pour their energies into this very eternal investment. You are very much needed and valued in these roles.

As a final note: I want married women to know that I feel for them with the issues they face too, because raising kids can be very trying. Whether single or married, it’s good to respect each other’s differences and know that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. I think a forum like this, though, can help us better understand and support each other as members of the whole family of God. I always bear in mind that in heaven there will be no marriage, so if we can focus on people as people here, we’ll be set for heaven!”

. . . . .

Thank you ladiesWhat about you?  Do you have something you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment below.  We are exceedingly blessed to be on God’s mission together!

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them . . . Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another.”


– Excerpts from Romans 12

 

6 thoughts on “In Her Shoes – Single Women

  1. I was not married until I was 27, and for much of my time of singleness, I lived with my parents. I always appreciated when people included me in my own right, not just as the child of my parents. Our church listed me in the church directory in my own entry, as they did all the single adults. When I got an invitation myself to a dinner or activity, it always made me feel better than just as a “tag-along.”
    Marjorie

    Like

  2. Thanks so much for these personal insights! I love the single ladies in our church. But, never having had a single time in my life, I'm grateful for fresh ideas to reach out to them and find more common ground! BTW – I'll admit I do find myself looking back with a bit of jealousy. I wish I'd had at least a few years of singleness. 😉

    Like

  3. I was challenged by reading these thoughts. Good reminder to me as a married mother to be more sensitive to single sisters. I have been incredibly blessed by some single sisters that have sacrificially poured out their lives for others. It especially means a lot to me when singles seek out my children and communicate with them and invest in their lives. I think contentment is such a key issue for each of us.

    Like

What you think is important to me. What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s