I have always fallen outside of the “normal” stereotypes for girls and women. I remember, as early as elementary school, my friends talked about wanting to get married one day—in fourth grade, a friend of mine even had a little “wedding” during recess. Many of my friends were obsessed about finding a spouse, a desire I could never relate to. And that trend has continued even into the present.
Whenever this topic has come up outside of the church, I can’t remember a time I’ve ever felt judged because of this. It’s usually seen as “weird” or “unusual,” but at the end of the day, it’s accepted by others.
The church, however, is an entirely different story. The responses have ranged from dismissing my perspective to pigeon-holing me or other single women until we were married. Thankfully, the reaction that I’ve received has been changing in recent years, but, honestly, the church’s response did some significant damage that I have had to work through. And I wonder how many others have felt “less than” over the years either by the church or the world.
Thankfully, the idea that you have to be married to matter isn’t Biblical.
There are plenty of women in the Bible who were single and still pursued God with all their hearts, making a difference in the lives of others. God doesn’t put down single women. He loves them just as much as he loves single men, married men and women, widows, widowers, and everyone in between.
“Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.” Acts 21:8-9 (NIV)
I love that the Bible mentions that these women were single and were doing amazing things for God. They weren’t resting on the laurels of their father’s faith, but were intentionally pursuing the Lord in their singleness and doing things that built up the growing church.
What are you doing to build up others?
There’s a lie that’s been in the church (and the world) for so long that tells us that we don’t matter until we are married. It’s as if we’ve bought into the lie that we need another human being to complete us. The truth is that we are made to be united and made whole by Jesus, who is our groom and the church is his bride.
Every season of life is a gift: they all have their own particular joys and hardships, benefits and challenges, but they are gifts all the same.
No matter our relationship status, we have the incredible opportunity to serve the Lord and serve others—the actions we take will just look different depending on our particular life stage. Whether single by choice or circumstance, married and loving it or slogging through, each moment matters because we matter. Whether we love this season or loathe it, we can still be like Philip’s daughters and use our season to honor God and serve others.
I’ve been in a season where I’ve felt God beckoning me back into relationship with the church at a deeper level, and it’s amazing to see how he has provided opportunities to use my gifts to serve him and lift others up. And I believe we all have those opportunities around us. It might look like serving in your church one Sunday a month, or helping with things during the week if your schedule allows. It could mean gathering with a few people every week and encouraging them in the Lord day after day.
We can serve our cities, our communities, our families—no matter our season, I hope that we can follow in the steps of these single ladies and live in such a way that blesses others and honors God.
Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough in a particular season of your life?
How are you using your current season to honor God and serve others?