All the single ladies know what I’m talking about.
The sympathetic looks when you attend a wedding without a date.
The awkward silence after your aunt asks if you have a new love interest.
The pressure to join the Singles Ministry in order to find a man.
The long nights, spent alone, watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls and eating an entire bag of Ruffles potato chips and french onion dip…
Wait. Maybe that was just me.
I recently realized an unfortunate truth:
The “church” has been lying to single women.
At first, when you are single, people in church label you as “Super Holy.”
“How godly of you to wait for your future husband! God will bless you with the perfect guy if you just keep the faith!”
(In the church, God’s plan for you obviously includes marriage, 2.5 kids, and a dog.)
Then a few years go by and you aren’t married. You start to hear well-intentioned, kind words, like-
“I’m sure he is out there, waiting! Read “The Five Love Languages” so you are ready when he comes!”
“I have a grandson who has been single for years, too. I should introduce you! Just remember- his good eye is the one on the right.”
And my personal favorite: “Have you prayed hard enough?”
…No, I have never considered praying that God bring me a guy. Never crossed my mind. Ever. Thanks for the ground breaking advice…
I would like to apologize, on behalf of churches, myself, and well-meaning aunts everywhere:
“I am sorry for shaming you in your singleness.”
Somewhere along the way, for single women specifically, we equated “Christian” to “Married.” We connected your love life to your faith, a thick rope tying your future husband to the wrist of God. Want a date Saturday night? Not so fast. You have to prove your love for God FIRST, then you can meet that hubby. Maybe you should:
Change who you are. Become more feminine, more “nurturing.”
Read your Bible every morning.
Have more faith!
…THEN you will be graced with the presence of your future husband.
Don’t get me started on the church’s “True Love Waits” message! Though taught with good intentions, we have unknowingly programmed our brains to believe Prince Charming is waiting right around the corner if we simply save ourselves for marriage. What does it mean if he isn’t waiting? What if our ring finger remains bare? Did God forget about us? Were we not “pure” enough? What are the effects of this message on this (and the next) generation of women?
Here is Truth:
Obedience does not equal marriage. Period.
God loves us and wants to write our best story.
If that includes marriage, great. If not, that’s equally awesome. I am telling you that your love life (or lack of) is not contingent on how “spiritual” you are or how hard you prayed. I knew plenty of single, AMAZING, godly women that have no love interests on the horizon, and that does NOT mean they are not focusing on God “enough.”
Does obedience to God lead to a deeper, richer faith? Yes. Does praying consistently open you up to hear from God if the right guy comes? Sure. But should we seek these things in our faith, just to fulfill some antiquated promise of holy matrimony? No!
I believe we, the church, should be lifting up those that are single to be who God called them to be! Some churches have led the way in this movement, not isolating “singles” into “singles’ ministry,” but encouraging them to connect in the church where they are passionate.
Bottom line? We have breath in our lungs, the love of a God who will never leave, and life enough to make today a new day. We are truly blessed. Not because we are single or married, but because John 15:9 says Jesus loves us just as he loves his Father.
We are loved, period.
Trust in that promise, not that of a ring.
*I am speaking to the girls who have a relationship with God and have a great spiritual maturity. I understand that some women still need to learn how to pray and seek God first in ALL things, not just their love life. This article is not permission to give up seeking God- it is a challenge to view our singleness in a new light- the light of God’s unconditional love.