I have been a married woman since the ripe age of 19.
So, I’m not writing this from the perspective of someone who has spent an extended season as a single person. However, because many of my friends haven’t gotten married until their mid-or-late-20’s (or 30’s) that means some of my deepest friendships have been (and still are) with women who are single.
My husband and I have also had the privilege of sharing our home with single women for over half our marriage (I believe it’s been 15 ladies in the past 6-ish years), and we’re a part of a church community comprised of many godly, unmarried women. Because of this, I’ve gotten to see personally how God works so beautifully in and through those in the single season of life.
I’ve watched these women walk through various joys and trials in regards to singleness: contentment (and sometimes wondering if they should have a greater desire to be married), longing for marriage, the deep heart sickness that comes from “hope deferred” (Proverbs 13:12), grappling with how they fit in the local church, enjoying (or struggling in) their jobs, thankfulness, wondering what will come next, and often a mix or variation of these.
Through these friendships and countless conversations, I’ve had an ever-increasing desire for single women to be encouraged and rallied around, especially by those of us who are married. So, if you are a single woman who is seeking to love, obey, and be satisfied in Christ, this post is for you. I pray it will infuse hope and renewed vision into your current calling, serving as a boost where you are thriving or a comfort where you are struggling.
1. You Are Needed in the Body of Christ
If you are single in this season of your life, that is not by accident. And God isn’t sitting in heaven wondering how He is going to use you. You are where you are on purpose to bring glory to God and advance His kingdom on earth.
I know many single women struggle with feeling less valuable because of how highly marriage and motherhood are honored particularly in conservative Christian circles. And while marriage and motherhood are beautiful callings, they are by no means what give a woman value; being made in the image of God is what gives us value, married or single.
You as a single woman have a unique opportunity to serve and minister in ways that those who are married are far more limited (Paul speaks specifically to this in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35). I’ve seen this played out very practically in our community as my single sisters spend their time and energy befriending exchange students on college campuses, loving on women in homeless shelters, teaching missionary kids overseas, or keeping an eye on little kiddos so their moms can participate in a Bible study once a week. I have a deep appreciation for these women pouring out in ways I can’t in my current season as I witness the Body working together in the various capacities we’ve been called to to further the gospel on earth.
I cannot count the ways I have personally been loved and cared for by dear single friends, whether it’s helping me clean my house, keeping an eye on my kiddos when my husband is out of town and I need to make an unexpected ER trip (true story), or simply popping over (or up) to spend time with me. Just writing that makes me cry with humble gratitude.
My friend, I’m going to say it again: you are valuable and needed in the body of Christ. Don’t let the enemy plant lies in your mind that tell you otherwise.
It is a wonderful (and vital) thing when married and single people partner together, supporting one another as we all seek to obey God in advancing His Kingdom right where He has us.
2. Our Fulfillment is in Christ (Single or Married)
As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. So whether we’re single or married, it can be easy to focus on what we wish we had instead of being grateful for what we do have (yes, married women with kiddos struggle with it, too). But it’s not what we have either as single or married women that will bring us true satisfaction.
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth saying a million times over: our fulfillment in any season must (and can only) be found in Christ. I can tell you with deep conviction that it’s not experiencing emotional or physical intimacy with a husband or bearing and raising children that brings lasting satisfaction. Yes, marriage and motherhood are good gifts, and ones that we as women are made to desire and receive with joy. But if we expect them to give us what we can find only in the Giver of these gifts, marriage and motherhood become a breeding ground for discontentment and disappointment.
You are meant to live a thriving, meaningful, life in Christ today. God does not withhold any of Himself from you as a single woman, and if you choose to seek your fulfillment in Him while you’re unmarried, you will find that if/when God brings a husband into your life you will receive the gift of marriage with far more gratitude, humility, and joy. Does this mean the longings for marriage are wrong or should go away? By no means! But when you are thriving in Christ, you will know where – or Who, rather – to find comfort and entrust those longings.
One of the most stunning pictures of grace I’ve witnessed is when a single woman delights herself in Christ; and I’m not just saying that. She is putting Christ’s love, Christ’s sufficiency, and Christ’s beauty on display in a manner this world so desperately needs.
3. Your Friendship is a Gift
I hinted at this in my first point, but your friendship is an incredible gift (speaking specifically as one who is married). My life is far richer because of the single women who have come into my life and allowed me to be a part of theirs.
As a culture we tend to gravitate toward those who are in a similar season to the one we are in, whether that’s single, newly married, young motherhood, empty-nesters, or otherwise. However, I believe that there is so much we miss out on if we are not intentionally cultivating relationships with women who are in varying stages of life. As a young mama I have received so much encouragement and helpful perspective from those who are not in this season. Because these women are not in the thick of it, they are sometimes able to see certain aspects more objectively and remind me of much-needed truth from the outside looking in. And I have had the privilege of allowing single women to catch firsthand glimpses into the good and the hard of a young wife and mama, offering encouragement to them as they anticipate being in this season one day (Lord willing).
This isn’t to discount friendships in similar stages: these are certainly lifegiving and important. But we were not made to only interact with those who are going through the same things we are—this can cause nearsightedness or cut us off from much needed insight, especially from those who are a few years down the road from us.
Now, I know this is sometimes easier said than done. Sadly, I’ve talked to a number of single women who have said it feels nearly impossible to pursue friendship with married women because they just seem too busy or uninterested. This should not be so. But, my friend, don’t give up. There are probably a number of contributing factors at play. A young mama often feels overwhelmed, exhausted, and concerned about what others will think when she feels like her weaknesses and learning curves are on full display. So continue to gently pursue them. Show them grace. Tell them you’d love to come spend time with them regardless of the state of their house or the noise level of the kids. Invite them out for coffee. Keep going back again and again. Remember, cultivating friendship and community doesn’t happen overnight. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom for what your part in that is.
There is so much more I could say, but I’ll end it here. Know that you are loved and valued by God and by others in the Body of Christ. Your presence and participation in the community of believers is vital. And you have been commissioned to advance the Gospel on this earth by the King of Kings Himself. I am cheering you on, my friend, as you embrace all that He has for you in this season.
If this post encouraged you, would you consider sharing it? Many thanks!