This post is for every woman who loves Jesus and has experienced marriage or family focused ministry and felt left out or forgotten.
This post is for any woman who wants to understand her single sister’s heart.
This post is for the woman who needs to be reminded that she isn’t worth any less because she isn’t married or doesn’t have kids.
I follow quite a few pages and blogs from Christian women; devotionals, inspiration, lifestyle, theology, etc.
Most of it, I’ve noticed, can be geared toward wives and mothers. Attending a few churches and conferences, I’ve seen the same thing.
What about the single women though?
Sometimes women’s ministry isn’t inclusive of divorced women, single women, single moms, or women whose husbands aren’t Christian.
On my personal social media I made a post asking:
Dear female friends who are single, what have been some things that people have said to you that were not helpful in your season of singleness?
What things do you need to hear, or would be helpful?
What ways could the Church better support those who are single?
Do you find that church or ministry is often marriage-centric?
If you could ask for something or bring something to a leader’s attention about your spiritual needs what would you say?
The responses I received grieved my heart.
“You just have to trust God.”
^ so I’m single because I haven’t “trusted God” ? What does that mean to you? How do I not meet the standard?
“Why are you still single?”
“The chances of you finding someone to be equally yoked with are extremely low.”
“I was told because of my weight that if someone (finally) showed interest in me that I should graciously accept because it may be the only chance I get. That if I really cared about quality I would lose weight.”
“What drove me crazy was that there was always the assumption singles were looking for a mate. There was one time during a family series where we were then split into categories for an activity. He said he covered every category but literally the only category for singles was single and looking, everything for that group was around finding a spouse. It was maddening! My divorced mom was also there and had no “category” either. It felt as though my value to the church and to God didn’t start until I had a spouse. I was actually concerned about the opposite- that if I got married it would hinder my pursuit of the Lord. No one in the church seemed to have a grid for someone single who wasn’t longing for a spouse and family.”
I received comments and messages from women who were told their home didn’t have a “head” because their husband didn’t attend church.
I’m not single, but my husband no longer attends church and doesn’t practice any kind of personal faith. In my journey, I’ve had lots of time to see some of the harmful ways the church treats marriage as an idol, and how I had as well.
I’ve sat in sermons where the pastor has said, “There is nothing better than having a spouse who loves the Lord.” As if to say that singles, or those in my position somehow have less than God’s best.
I cling to Christ. Knowing Him deeply and in a way that assures me of the hope found only in Christ is better than any marriage.
I’ve also sat in leadership meetings for children’s ministry where the idea of husband and wife serving together has elevated status. Going to church alone, or taking my kids by myself, is hard enough (seriously difficult emotionally).
I don’t even know what the answer is, but there has to be a better way to approach this topic and not preach as if traditional, Christian marriage is the ultimate God experience and imply that those who don’t have that are not “as Christian.”Personal message shared with permission.
Dear single woman of God:
You have value. Your worth is not dependent on a marriage or ring. You are a whole being, designed by God, showcasing His glory… Yes even without a husband.
Singleness isn’t a curse, and you aren’t a lower tier of Christian until you find “the one.” Your singleness is more than just preparation for marriage.
You are more than your marital status.
Your faith isn’t lacking or weak because you aren’t married.
You deserve community, I’m so so sorry for how the church at large has neglected that. The Christian media focus on finding your mate is abhorrent, you don’t need a mate to function in the Kingdom!
Where ministry has fallen flat and catered to only married couples, married women, or moms… Please know you are seen. That’s not God’s heart.
Marriage and birth and homemaking isn’t all there is for a woman of God. A wonderful task for those called, but not all will be. And the Body needs to recognize that better.
Your place in the Body of Christ is equally important as any man or married person.
Marriage and babies, while wonderful, isn’t your only purpose. It’s not even your number one purpose! Making Him known is. No part of the Great Commission says “after you’ve been married.”
Dear sister, you don’t need to settle.
If you have high standards and expectations and no one has met the mark yet, that’s okay. You deserve someone who will honor you, share your values, and celebrate your passions! You don’t need to marry someone because someone thinks you should because of age/weight/station/career/finances/etc.
Dear one, you are worth celebrating – right where you are.
You are wanted, you as a whole being. Your friendship is valuable, your presence matters!
Your identity is more than “spouse” because your God-given, Jesus-won, Calvary-redeemed identity is daughter.
Dear friend, you are an incredible champion for the Kingdom.
I am sorry for anyone who made you feel like less than because you weren’t dating/engaged/married.
Keep running your race well, keep fighting for your convictions… you are doing amazing.
As I was talking to God about this post, He highlighted a friend to me. I asked her to write something on this topic, and she was so kind to pray over it and give me a beautiful word from the Lord.
Dear reader, this is for you.
A word from
“I was praying and asking God what he thinks about His single daughters. I was awestruck by the ferocious beauty and gold He wished to pull out of each and every one of them.
I began to see in the spirit young ladies of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, showcasing different hobbies, goals, and varying passions.
Every woman was holding the hand of a little girl version of themself. It was like the little girl inside of them was burgeoning to come out and take part in the building of their life.
I heard the Father say, “Don’t ever let her die because of grown-up things.
Little you is going to light the path of the most authentic version of you.”
I then heard the Holy Spirit say- “You are celebrated in heaven. You are celebrated on earth.
You bring value and permanency to the hearts you touch. You bring peace and you bring joy. You carry the fire, and you bring a cool drink of water to those who need it most.
When others are distracted by the world around them you are waiting, observing, and attentive to those
You bring color to a world plagued by black and white, and you have the freedom to draw outside the lines.
You don’t need to do anything to deserve or earn love, you haven’t done anything wrong to deserve “singleness”, you haven’t missed a step in the process, or have to strive to prove yourself. It is a phase for some, a season for others, a choice for many.
It is not a title tattooed to your self-worth or a sign of malfunction. You are not measured by your singleness. You are far more precious than the finest silver and gold.
You are loved because you simply are and you do not need to overcompensate to be seen.
Your voice is valuable on its own, and what you have to say matters. Do not be silenced by a world that doesn’t know it’s up from down because you my darling are perfectly and wonderfully made.
So worry not of what the future holds, but wrap yourself in blankets of His kindness and mercy.
You are royalty, my daughter. A Queen in all of her glory and splendor. Shine as bright as the stars or as soft as
Your life is soulfully solely yours and you are doing a magnificent job living it!”
You can find Kathryn at https://www.globalgodencounters.com/
May we as Christians remember Paul, apostle and biblical author, was single. And he had quite a bit to say about the topic! (1 Corinthians 7)
Let’s come along side our friends in pursuit of Jesus and sharing the glory of the kingdom. Let’s do life with people from different walks and stages of life, because we all have lessons we can share with other. Your perspective is unique and needed in your church family and friend circle.
If you’re reading this and married, do you have any single friends? Are there single women at your church? Let’s not wait for rings to make new friends. A single woman can disciple a married woman and vice versa!
If you’re reading this and single, or even spiritually single because of a husband who doesn’t believe – You are loved, treasured, and seen. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being present, for showing up, for being who you are.
Because you matter. All of you, just as you are.
I leave you with these final words, from an essay about Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. May we all take it to heart and love our co-laborers in Christ well.
We married people tend to assume a lot about those who are single. We assume that marriage is God’s intention for every individual. …We assume they would make better leaders, teachers, counselors, and better friends if they were married.
What if single members were encouraged to embrace their singleness as a vocation (whether
temporary or permanent) central to the life and ministry of the church?
Phillips, Beth (2001) “1 Corinthians 7 and Singleness in the Church,” Leaven: Vol. 9 : Iss. 3 , Article 4. Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol9/iss3/4
What if married members were encouraged to look to the single, not as immature inferiors but as unique imitators of Christ and witnesses to Christ’s truth in our midst?
Singleness is no longer a burden or a stigma but a gift-both to those who are single and to those of us who are privileged to be in community with them.