If you have read other of my Blog posts you know that as a Christian woman, trained as a Home Economist, I never expected to be single past my mid-twenties. However, the Lord had a much different plan for me and has gently matured my attitude toward singleness, as well as the purpose of marriage. Rather than marriage only providing an intimate, nurturing relationship, I know now that I should marry only if our united lives would be more effective for the Lord than either of us is in our single state.
As a single professional I established Home Economics Departments in three Christian colleges, and one seminary. I have had the joy of watching numerous young women mature into useful instruments for our Master's Kingdom. Though I have no children of my own, I have spiritual children and grandchildren all over the world. My single status allows me to provide the nurturing that my students need without neglecting my own family. I daily have the joy of experiencing what Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34!
My greatest challenge in experiencing contentment in my single state is members of the Body of Christ who cannot understand how someone who can cook and sew, as well as implement effective management and financial skills, is not married. Their insistence that “Mr. Right” will one day come along discounts the possibility that it is the Lord's will for me to minister to others, as a single, using my spiritual gifts, talents, and educational background.
Longitudinal statistics remind us that “Overall, there are significantly more unmarried women than men: 89 single men for every 100 single women.”[i] This imbalance suggests that a percentage of Christian women will not marry. Paul addresses the practical advantages of singleness in 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 and 7:25-40. A primary reason for remaining single, according to Paul, is the special freedom and independence afforded to the individual. Precious in the sight of God is the woman who uses her days of singleness to concentrate on becoming complete in Christ.
As well, it is important that the Christian community encourages her toward spiritual maturity so that she is prepared for her heavenly Father’s next assignment (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Spiritual maturity for the single woman includes growing in her personal character (Proverbs 31:30), understanding God’s purpose for the home (Genesis 2:21-24), developing a heart of contentment (John 14:1-3), learning how to effectively manage her current home (Proverbs 24:3), growing in graciousness (Proverbs 11:16), practicing biblical stewardship (Philippians 4:11-12), implementing hospitality (Romans 12:13), broadening her world view (Matthew 5:13-16), understanding the contribution she can currently make to the Body of Christ (Romans 12:4-6), and embracing the truth of Titus 2:3-5 so that God’s Word is not discredited. Consider these suggestions for the entire Body of Christ to assist the single woman in achieving her completeness in Christ (Colossians 3:10) . . .
Scripture Encourage the Single Woman to
- Focus her time and energy on her character development (Ruth 3:11). This is accomplished by learning from the wisdom of others (Proverbs 1:7) and embracing the Eleven Principles of the Wise Woman found in Proverbs 31:10-31— Virtuous, Trustworthy, Energetic, Physically Fit, Economical, Unselfish, Honorable, Lovable, Prepared, and God-fearing .
- Acknowledge the strategic position of the home (Genesis 2:21-24). This is accomplished by studying the culture of the twenty-first century in light of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:1-17) and seeking to be a faithful steward of every relationship (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
- Cultivate a heart of contentment (John 14:1-3). This is accomplished by maintaining a diligent heart (Proverbs 4:23) and choosing forgiveness and flexibility (1 Peter 5:5-6).
- Manage her home carefully (Proverbs 24:3) This is accomplished by faithfully maintaining her current living environment (Proverbs 31:27) and implementing effective methods of household management (Colossians 3:23).
- Choose to grow in graciousness (Proverbs 11:16). This is accomplished by following standard etiquette protocol (Proverbs 11:22) and displaying gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Practice biblical stewardship (Matthew 25:21). This is accomplished by understanding and applying basic budgeting principles (Proverbs 27:23-24) along with choosing to learn and implement time management strategies (Psalm 90:12).
- Put into practice biblical hospitality (Romans 12:13). This is accomplished by developing a scriptural attitude towards hospitality (Hebrews 13:2) and choosing to be the hostess rather than the guest (1 Peter 4:9).
- Develop a world view (Matthew 5:13-16). This is accomplished by purposing to broaden her world (Luke 2:52) casting her vision beyond your own needs to the needs of others (John 4:34-38).
- Accept her unique position in the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-13). This is accomplished by thriving in her single state (1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-40) and meditating on the fact that God loves her (Philippians 4:8-9).
- Practice the Titus Two Principle (Titus 2:3-5). This is accomplished by willingly practicing the Titus 2:3-5 instruction (1 Samuel 15:22) and being as excited about being a mentor as having one (Luke 6:38).
A woman who seeks to be precious in the sight of God, as well as those in the Body of Christ who desire to nurture the single woman, understand that marriage is not a condition for salvation, a command, or the standard for everyone. Reflecting on 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, she is encouraged to be content with her marital status and wholeheartedly serve her Lord rather than living in a state of limbo until “Mr. Right” appears (1 Corinthians 7:32; Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5). The teachings of Jesus in Matthew 19:12 suggest that He believed singleness is a good thing. As we study the Scriptures we find a number of single individuals who positively impacted our Father’s kingdom, including the Apostle Paul, Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and the Lord Jesus, Himself. If singleness was an acceptable state for the Son of God how can we reject it? Precious in the sight of God is the woman who uses her days of singleness to concentrate on becoming complete in Christ (Colossians 3:10).
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Therefore, I may boldly say, “As God’s woman I am always accompanied by Him.”
SAVE THE DATE!
Plan to attend the “Building a Culture of Biblical Femininity in the Home, Church, and Community” Conference October 1-3, 2015. For more information visit http://rockcreekbc.org/conference
[i] Strong, Bryan, DeVault, Christine & Sayad, Barbara. 1998. The Marriage and Family Experience. New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 172.