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Thursday, January 30, 2014

For Singles Only--But Anyone May Read This

Photo by: marin

First, I want to thank those who participated in The Singles Survey. I think your responses were eye opening, profound, and inspirational. Some were hilarious, and some showed your real hurts and disappointments. I am grateful for your sincere answers.

Here are just a few thoughts:

1. It’s normal and biblically okay to be single. The Apostle Paul recognized that. (1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 38) If you think about it, Jesus was single, too. Quite a few of our positive biblical examples were single women: Miriam, the daughters of Zelophehad, Naaman’s servant girl, Job’s beautiful daughters, Rhoda, Dorcas, Anna, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Salome, and Philip the evangelist’s daughters.

2. It is not wrong to want to marry. The desire to have a husband and children is good—as long as it doesn’t interfere with your present contentment. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).

3. Those of you who do not desire marriage may have the “gift of singleness” that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. Wanting to remain single is just as normal and biblical as the desire to get married.

4. You can totally overcome awkwardness with men. Just follow the advice that Paul gave Timothy, a single pastor about 35 years old: Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Timothy was to treat older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, and so on—with purity. How should you view the men around you? As fathers and brothers. That’s easy! You can be a friend, have fun, and be comfortable. Do not flirt. Do not look at them as “potential” anythings, just as fathers or brothers, as age may dictate. Then, if something happens, it’s the man who makes the move, and you’ll know it is the Lord’s doing, and not a result of your actions. (Yes, I made up the word anythings.)

5. When you’re lonely, reach out to God. Many of you already look to the Lord for your strength. (I’m going to tell you a secret: married women struggle with loneliness, too. Husbands can’t and don’t meet heart needs. Only God can do that.) I think you will find amazing comfort and strength in the Psalms. Get into God’s Word. God knows exactly what you need and when you need it. A daily diet of Bible along with honest prayer is the only answer to anyone’s heart needs.

6. Reach out to other Christian women. Call someone or do something with a friend. Some of you responded that you like to clam up and “deal with” your loneliness. It’s probably not healthy to go into hiding. Instead, why not get out of the house and do something fun with someone else? Be a friend, and you will have friends. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

7. Make ministry a priority. There are needy people all around you. Open your eyes, and meet those needs that you can. Get busy in your local church.

8. Remember that insensitive remarks come from ignorance.
  • When someone says you need to get married, remember that they don’t realize that the Bible describes two different roles for women—even in one verse—1 Corinthians 7:34.
  • When someone says you need to find a husband, remember that only bad women in the Bible ever went after men. No good biblical woman ever did.
  • When someone sets you up with her nephew or some man in the church, understand that they truly want to help you—even though you and the Lord don’t need any help. You can kindly say, “No, thank you.” If you get invited to the same place at the same time as the eligible guy, just treat him nicely. You never have to do this again. (Usually, the man knows he’s been set up, too. How embarrassing!)
  • When someone points you out as single, just mark it down as “here we go again.” The truth is, many people say insensitive things, because they have no idea how the other party perceives them. It’s ignorance, plain and simple.
  • Forgive. Seventy times seven, if necessary. When you realize people don’t know what they’re doing and that their intentions truly are for your good, it’s easier. Forgive, and smile. 

Enjoy life! Jesus said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10b). Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4). Rely on the Lord to fill your life and to provide you with the desires of thine heart (Psalm 37:4).

You guys inspire me. Several of you are personal friends. I’ve always admired you for all kinds of reasons: brains, talent, doing right, fun, hard-working . . . . I could go on and on! Several of you are career missionaries. (I would definitely need GPS if I were going to do deputation on my own!) Some of you are teachers. All of you are serving the Lord in your churches, homes, and communities.

I’d like to address something that came up in the Singles Survey. Maybe it will help your thinking—and that awful loneliness.

A lot of women read novels. (I do, too.) Most of the novels we read were written by women for women. Women understand how we’re wired, so they give us what we want. That includes romance. Now, romance isn’t a bad thing. But, most novels feature a romantic picture that isn’t anywhere near realistic. The handsome man swoops the lovely leading lady up into his arms. (He bulges with muscles.) He says exactly the right words at exactly the right moment. She sighs and swoons. . . . Please!

Normal men get it right sometimes, but believe me, if you’re looking for any man to be able to read your heart, always say the right words (Most men aren’t verbal, and they think differently.), and always react in the right way—if you’re looking for a man to meet the needs of your heart, you’re living in a fairytale world. (Sorry to burst your bubble!)

Most women’s novels represent that fairytale view. That fantasy world is something that makes even married people feel dissatisfied (because husbands don’t/can’t always add up).

When I noticed this—after blotting away my tears—I started reading more Christian novels written by men. There are a few female Christian authors who don’t overly romanticize, and I enjoy them as well. There’s nothing wrong with a touch of romance, but I’ve found that our emotions can really be manipulated by sappy, unrealistic stories. I pretty much steer clear.

So, a little bit of advice to my lady friends: protect your heart by being choosy in what you read and in the movies you watch. Don’t allow unrealistic romances to twist your thoughts and play with your emotions.

This is Truth: there is only One Person Who can meet your heart’s needs. It’s the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot ever be complete without Him.

Draw near. God can read your thoughts. He completely understands your heart. He hears your prayers every day and night, and He whispers exactly what you need to hear, through His Word. Only in the Lord will you find true joy.


Again, thank you for sharing your heart! We appreciate you, your ministry, and the way you’ve helped us to understand your life. God bless!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Married People Can Learn from The Singles Survey

Photo by stockimages

I hope you’ve been following The Singles Survey. If not, the last three posts are the results of a survey I conducted of 28 single Christian women. They are from different nationalities and backgrounds, and all love the Lord. I think they are representative of the singles in our churches, wherever we might live.

Here’s another quote: “Being single can be good or bad. Since I’m single, I see it as something good, because I understand that it’s what God wants for me now. Being single has its advantages and disadvantages—advantages because you have more freedom to serve the Lord, travel, study, exercise, etc. . . . but also there are disadvantages. You can feel alone sometimes. And sometimes you have to do things all by yourself.”

I believe married women can carry away several lessons from the ladies in our survey:

1.  Include single women in our circle of friends. They are absolutely okay mingling with everyone. Be warm, real, and inclusive.

2.  Single women are just as valuable as married women for teaching. Just because she doesn’t have a husband doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her Bible. (Have you ever read Nancy Leigh DeMoss? She’s single. Indeed, one of the most prepared, godly women I ever heard teach Sunday school is a single woman.)

3.  We need to watch our speech. It doesn’t help to tell a single lady:
  • It’s her fault she’s single.
  • You’d like to match her up with __________ (whomever).
  • She needs a husband.
  • She’s “single.” (She already knows that. She doesn’t want to be defined by her marital status. People don’t point to us and say, “that married lady.”)
4.  We need to understand that most single women (including divorced ladies, single moms, and widows) battle with loneliness. Maybe we can help by being a genuine, caring friend.

5.  Don’t overburden your single friend with too much work. She does, in some ways, have more time than you do—especially if she has no family to care for. But she may work full time, plus cook, clean, and do daily tasks. Ask first if she can take on your project. Then, be okay with her answer.

6.  Consider mentoring younger, single women in the things of God. (Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 7:34)

7.  Perhaps this one is the most important: acknowledge singleness as a perfectly legitimate option for Christian adults. The Apostle Paul did (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit). He encouraged Timothy, who was a young, single pastor. The Bible truth is that there is an important place for singles in the world. Not everyone has to be married. Indeed, God views singleness as a gift (1 Corinthians 7:7-8). Some women really and truly don’t care if they ever marry. They may have “the gift.” Just because a woman isn’t married now doesn’t mean she won’t ever marry. 1 Corinthians 7:34 explains both roles: There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

8.  Many single women desire very much to be married, but they are not willing to marry someone who would not be a kind, gentle, spiritual leader. They are waiting for the Lord—should He please—to bring them the man that He has in mind. I believe it is wrong to try to speed this up by matchmaking. God has His plan, His timing, and His ways of making things happen—if He wants to. Young singles who are walking with God will not mistake His leading. Many of the women who answered this survey also understand that it is not right to go after men; they are simply trusting God.

9.  Singles have much to offer Christian ministries. They organize, do secretarial work, evangelize, and teach. They have contacts with people we will never meet. They have the time to do more one-on-one visiting and to do more with groups as well. I was amazed at some of the career missionaries’ responses. God is using them greatly in many diverse areas of service. Again, there’s nothing in the Bible that says a single woman can’t teach married women. (There’s no distinction at all in the Bible.) We must be careful not to limit ministry opportunities to only married people and families.

Almost half of the people in our churches are singles. It is important to realize the potential and energy they add to our congregations.

Stay tuned for one more post on this important theme. It’s for “singles only”—but we can all read it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Singles Survey--Part 3

If you haven’t yet checked out the first two posts of the Singles Survey, please go ahead and read them here and here. They provide the background for today’s revealing quotations.

Several of the women share their longings, deep feelings, and struggles. Mostly, they’re sharing how they deal with singleness. I believe you’ll be challenged and inspired by their godly insights and attitudes.

Photo by: Sura Nualpradid

"God’s Word has become more precious to me and prayer has been my lifeline. Slowly I am beginning to see and believe that God knew that my singleness was His best way to teach me many lessons that I need learn and His way of drawing me closer to Himself." 

"Trust God, knowing that he is aware and in control of your status."
“I’m not unsatisfied with my time as a single. I have been able to accomplish many things through God and for the Lord. If God wants me to be single for the rest of my life, I know that He will give me everything I need in order to live a happy life in His grace.“
"My biggest battle is with discouragement about my singleness. Before I surrendered everything to God, I allowed bitterness to control my life for about six months. It's a daily battle, and sometimes a difficult battle. I've learned that I have to recognize whose voice I'm listening to. The flesh tells me, ‘It's not fair. I've served/am serving God. He should give me a husband.’ The Spirit reminds me that salvation in itself is a gift from God that I don't deserve. The Spirit reminds me that joy is found in serving Christ. I have to daily choose which voice I'm going to listen to. I'm blessed to be able to serve God."   

"I have found the greatest joy in having a right relationship with God. When I'm walking with God and doing His will, there is joy. It's not in marriage. Joy is found in Christ! Every joy I have here on earth is temporal. Only in heaven will there be eternal joy."
"I know that I want only to be where He puts me, doing what He gives me to do.  Sometimes I have wished for a companion, but decided that if the Lord wanted a man in my life, He would so provide.  He has not—and I am content."  

"What keeps the discouragement away? Grace. I believe it takes a certain grace from God to be married and raise children. At the same time, single people aren't without grace. They have a certain grace from God to be single. I believe Paul was very confident in that. Every time someone tries to discourage me in ministry due to singleness, God has sent someone or something from His Word to lift me up. EVERY TIME. Sometimes I resist and don't like to see it coming. For some reason we like our pity parties at times. But that doesn't mean it isn't there. I like to compare Paul's ministry with Peter's. Most of this is speculation, but while both men had tremendous ministries where God placed them, Paul's reached out to so many more people. Peter was a local guy, serving in his church—he had a family. Paul did not. Paul had the freedom to travel and go wherever and whenever The Lord led him. A freedom I speculate Peter never felt. They both had a different grace for what God had given them in life."
"I may be here for a season or the rest of my life, but I don't want to feel as though my life is on hold until I'm married. I want to live now. I don't want to try to be in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right attitude, so I can meet the right guy. I just want to be in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right attitude so I can be happy and content in Christ."  

"Marriage is supposed to be a picture of our relationship with Christ, so which is better: the picture or the real thing? If I'm not satisfied with the real thing, I'm not going to be satisfied with the picture. If God is not satisfying then I certainly won't be satisfied with a man. I have to continually trust Christ to know what's best for me. I have to continually seek Him as my hope and joy." 
"I want to get married, but if I have put my hope and joy in that as a possibility for my future, that is a sin. God should be my hope and joy. He is the greatest treasure. About a year or two ago I was really down. I wasn't content. I wanted so badly to be married and be a mother. But I also knew if I wasn't content single, I wouldn't be content married and that made me even more depressed. Until I realized what satisfies. What is the source of joy and hope and happiness? I knew Christ was, but I had to experience Him more deeply for myself. Good Christian books, sermons, songs, and verses helped me and continue to help me. Talking with Him and seeing him answer my prayers especially my prayers to conquer sins and deficiencies in my heart and life made me realize I could live with out a man but I cannot live with out my Savior. It's not a once and done thing. I'm still learning how to treasure Him. He has become my hope and joy. And that can be true for anyone married or single, mother or childless, man, woman, boy, or girl."
“Now, with the passage of time, I miss having a mate, a boyfriend who takes care of me, hugs me, and would be my husband . . . . But I am learning that to put anyone in my life ahead of God is an error, because we hope for much more than what any man could give. For life to have real meaning, to be comfortable with one’s self and to feel loved, I have to have God as the foundation—the first in everything. If not, nothing is going to work well, because I would end up with the Lord out of my life.”

We are complete in Christ. Sometimes I would like to wear a T-shirt with this written on it, so that people would stop trying to find me a husband. (smiley face) I believe the Lord has a place for everyone, a time for everything. Our identity is not in our marital status, but in our being in Christ. I believe that the best way that the church can help its single women is not to identify them as singles, but instead as just another Christian. And yes, that they pray for us.” (Emphasis added by the editor.)

"It (loneliness) is something that is always there, even when I’m thrilled with life. It can drain me of motivation if I am not careful to keep focused on what I need to be doing and on all I have in my God. Sometimes when I see something beautiful I get lonely for someone to share it with—it helps to remember that my God is with me and loves it when I share these small things with Him and thank Him for sending me another little token of His love for me. Focusing on the reality of His Person and His Presence helps a lot." 

"Yup, I’m single! YES!!! I DO want to get married!!! No!!! I’m not that desperate . . . right now . . . and pray to God I never will be!  Sometimes I just want to scream!—then, sometimes I just want to cry . . . then I end up laughing—it’s all so crazy, so normal, so awful, so hilarious, so painful, but so . . . well with God, I can truly say, fulfilling. Because true fulfillment can be realized even while these unfulfilled longings torment my being—the perspective of eternity soothes the ache, it is a longing that if unfulfilled, will someday pass away, while the longing of my soul for God will never pass. That is the most important longing, the one I need to seek have fulfilled above all else—and in a strange way, if I allow my God to fulfill that longing, the other little thorn does not ache so bad. The Balm of Gilead soothes and heals. The Heavenly Father holds me tenderly in His strong, capable arms—He loves me; I am safe."


Have you found these quotes inspiring? Challenging? Do they cause you to reevaluate? Have they helped you in any way? Please comment—not for me, but for the ladies who shared their very personal thoughts with you.

There are two more posts to come. I think you’ll find them interesting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Singles Survey: Part 2

Photo by: Feelart

If you haven’t yet seen the first part of the Singles Survey results, please check out my last post, here.  

Q  What is awkward for you as a single lady?
A  Being the odd one out, the only one not married
A  People thinking/telling me they think it’s my fault I’m not married
A  People who try to match me up with single men. (Note from editor: several of the women said they felt insulted when the men people had in mind—or actually matched them up with—were out of church and not serving the Lord.)
A  The perception that I’m a second-class adult because I’m not married
A  Entertaining
A  Not knowing how to act around men, both single and married
A  Being physically separated (put in a different group, especially in a church setting) from married people and families
A  Questions like, “Why haven’t you gotten married?” and statements like, “You should go get a husband,” “It’s your fault you are single.” Those hurt.
A  Being defined and pointed out as single
A  When it’s time to pay at a restaurant, and I find myself in line with a group of husbands

One lady missionary put it this way:
"What makes me feel awkward: 
  • I would rather there not be a separation of missionary wives and single ladies. Why can't we all be 'missionary women' or 'missionary ladies'?
  • When on furlough, I would rather stay in the hotel with all the other missionary families, rather than be put in a room at the church or with a family “so that I won't feel alone or scared.”
  • It makes me feel awkward when the missionary wives don't travel with their husbands and there I am, going out to eat after church with all the men and the pastor and his wife.
  • It makes me feel awkward for my “singleness” to be mentioned over and over again as if it defines me.
  • It makes me feel awkward to always be seated at the kids’ table or the widows’ table at church functions.
  • It makes me feel awkward when missionary wives aren't involved in their husbands’ ministries, relying on me to do all the work. I realize many are mothers, but my mother was a Sunday school teacher. She taught a weekly kids Bible club. She worked in the nursery, etc. And my mother was just a regular, faithful member of the church. Is that too much to ask for missionary wives to do the same?
  • It makes me feel awkward to attend pastors/leaders meetings with few women in attendance."

Q  What makes you feel loved and accepted?
A  A hug
A  A genuine smile
A  Sincere thanks
A  Feeling valued and trusted
A  Having a close girlfriend
A  Being included in families/groups of adults
A  Not being singled out and labeled as “single”
A  When others treat me as an equal
A  When other people help me out with my car, computer, etc.
A  Genuine friendships
A  Knowing other singles (both men and women) who are living for God. They encourage me.

"I have found a group of (married) women that even though I don’t have any children, they still include me and don’t exclude me when talking about their children. That is a huge help in feeling accepted. "
"Things that makes us feel comfortable: When you treat us for who we are. Women. Not strange birds because we don’t have kids or a husband. It’s society both in Christian circles and in secular circles, which has made singles to be outcasts. It’s surprising how many singles are out there, but they seem to be cast out because they don’t conform to the patterns of “church couples” or even society. Do not “single” us out or match us with someone. Don’t act like we have a disease or we are sinning, and that is why we don’t have husband."
"One of the greatest blessings for me is working with a couple and team who value single people and don’t treat us as different than married people when it comes to our capacity for service. . . . I have some great married friends who don’t treat me as though I’m in another category because I’m single. My small group at church is mostly married couples but I feel very at ease with them. It’s because we all treat each other as humans, brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than marrieds or singles."

"I feel appreciated and comfortable when people recognize that singleness is a legitimate and God ordained position in life, that it’s actually a good thing if it’s what God wants for you. I feel I can relax more when the people around me acknowledge that. It’s also nice to be able to be honest about desires to be married without people making an issue of it like you are desperate or something. The fact is we all have desires of different kinds that God may or may not grant. For some reason, if you admit you would like to be married and it doesn’t happen, everyone feels sorry for you. God’s good and He will give what’s best. I like when we remember that. "

"I do have many married friends that have been awesome at including me in their lives with no awkwardness—for this rare breed I am forever grateful. They open their hearts and homes, making everyone feel welcome, accepted and wanted."

"What makes me feel loved and accepted is when others take me as I am and treat me as an equal. I feel loved when others show me that they genuinely care about me by trying to understand me, by listening to me, by asking questions about my life and ministry and then by responding to needs that I may have. I also feel loved and accepted when others are interested in my opinion about things, as if they actually value my life experience."

We’re not finished yet! Check out my next post for some heart-warming (and challenging) quotes from our survey responders.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Singles Survey: Introduction

Photo by: imagery majestic

It is a pleasure to introduce to you my Singles Survey participants. A total of 28 women responded to ten questions. They are Christian women who live all over the world. My respondents include ladies who have never married, divorced, and widows.

The numbers shown in color are how many of the women responded in that way. Some of my questions had multiple responses. Those are represented as answered.

I believe you will find this survey to be eye opening. Please understand that this first installment is only the introduction. There will be several posts after this. I hope you will read all the posts on this important theme.

Under 20—1
Over 60—1

Age that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior:
Under 10—13
Over 20—3

Parents in full-time Christian service:
Both parents—11
One parent—2
Parents not in full-time Christian service—15

I live:
With family member(s)—15
With someone other than family—5

My profession:
Career missionary—12  
Teacher in Christian school or university—5
Work in other ministry (offices, charity, etc.)—2
Secular job(s)—5
Unemployed at present—2

One career missionary shared two excuses that pastors gave her for not supporting her as a single woman: “1. Paul had a partner (still trying to figure that one out) and 2. God took two of every kind in the ark (so I am an animal!)."

Local church involvement:
Very active (teaching, music, helping)—21
Somewhat active—5
Presently seeking a church home—2

Volunteering (besides church-related)—8

Q  When you feel lonely, what do you do? (Almost all of the respondents said loneliness is one of the main battles for them.)
Read Bible—9
Read (in general)—14
Listen to music—6
Listen to sermons—1
Call family, friends—12
Connect with friends online—7
Get together with friends/family, invite them over—10
Do ministry—5
Clean house, do gardening—4
Cook, bake—2
Watch a movie, TV—8
Do arts, crafts, photography—3
Go shopping, eat out—4
Generally get busy or work—7

I don’t feel lonely. Looking for some quiet.—2

"I'm different than most women, because while I was young I never really wanted to get married and have a family. "  

"As for my single status: I love it. Being single, life is just brimming with potential. I can explore so many aspects of it and experience things I'd never get to if I were married or in a committed relationship. Not to mention all of the ministry opportunities that are available. All of the doors are open! Nothing is holding me back! I'm excited about life, serving God, and I can't wait to begin! I don't need a man, and frankly, I don't want one."

NOTE: From this point on, the answers are representative, not counted. Following the responses are direct quotes from some of the contributors.

Q  What are the advantages of being single?
A  Freedom to use my time as I wish, make my own decisions, flexibility
A  Many opportunities for ministry
A  I only need to take care of myself.
A  Ease of travel
A  People feel freer talking to a single woman for Christian counsel than to the pastor and his wife.

“I can, at the drop of a hat, go and visit other women to encourage them. Christian brothers and sisters know they can count on me when they need a favor. As a single, it is also true that I can more easily go out with friends, for example, in my time here I’ve been able to get together with old friends who are not Christians, and I was able to be a witness. Another advantage is visiting in order to encourage people. (You can tell I like to make visits!) I think the flexibility to be able to do things is one of the advantages of being single. In my case, the Lord has been very good to me in giving me a job that gives me flexibility.”

"Sometimes I feel sorry for married women because they don’t get to experience some of the awesome things with God."

"I think it gives me a bit more opportunity as well to show other women that being in a relationship isn't all that there is to life. God has a plan for everyone and we must learn patience so that we can properly execute His plan for us and not get bogged down in what the world tells us we should be/have in order to have that 'perfect' life."
“You can study much more deeply, read more. You have more time to meditate on what the Lord has for your future. Help others, write without interruptions . . . all with an eye towards what the Lord wants you to do. You can go to the gym to stay in shape and go on long walks. I like to take gospel tracts along to give to someone or to leave in a strategic place where I know some curious person will pick it up.”

"I love the way The Lord can use singleness. I know I have more freedom than a lot of people and I am more than happy to pour that into the church.”

"Although we may not have a husband, we don't have any of the pressures and responsibilities of a family, which is really quite a gift. There is a certain freedom that comes with being unmarried that I dearly love and have enjoyed thoroughly."

Q  What are the disadvantages of being single?
A  I have to do everything for myself (shopping, cooking, cleaning, car and home maintenance, driving, etc.).
A  People sometimes take advantage of me because they think I have so much more time than married people. I am overburdened.
A  People sometimes overprotect me.
A  Loneliness (See the question about loneliness, above.)
A  People sometimes pity me. I hate being pitied.
A  I feel left out or like I don’t fit in.
A  I am limited in ministry because the pastor would rather have a married couple working with children/young people.
A  I feel like married people don’t understand my life.

"Disadvantages of being single—Being a family of one means I have to be both the husband and wife. I have to do errands and still cook, clean, and care for my ministry. Not having time for yourself (very important I’ve figured out, since you end up burning the candle at both ends)."

“What is difficult for single people in general (I speak for many of my personal single friends both male and female here) is that the church doesn't know what to do with us. Pastors often aren't exactly sure what to do with us; they are often hesitant to give us leadership positions because we couldn't deal with married people. Some think we need our own isolated Sunday school class, etc.  It is hard being single in the church today. You throw yourself into church work, often study Scripture deeper than most married couples (because you have time), yet we usually aren't seen as fit to work in anything above children's ministry because we aren't married."  
"There are times that I feel there is a disadvantage of being a single woman because I don't understand all that is going on and feel left out. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages all the time!" 
"I find that people in ministry just tend to have an attitude that married is better for ministry. That can be hurtful. More time and attention is given to married couples."

“Another disadvantage is that, being single, people think that you can do everything because you don’t have other responsibilities. I don’t know, but it seems that married people or people with families think that single women don’t have any responsibilities.”

"I've even had some opposition in the past to me teaching a ladies Sunday school class because I wasn't married."

"People in general are just insensitive. Over time, you become a bit anesthetized, but there is often an element of pain. Usually people think that we don't understand because they are so busy and we just—sit around and sip tea all day?! (smiley face) Truth is, we actually have to do EVERYTHING a married couple does TOGETHER, except for the kid part. If the oil on the car needs changed, we have to do it. If the light bulb goes out, we have to change it. If a toilet overflows, we have to fix it. If dinner is going to get made, we have to fix it . . . and all this in addition to having a very heavy work load to pay the bills that we alone pay, which are relatively the same as a married couple without kids. (Not trying to give a sob story, but reality.) I would say the number one difficulty I have is feeling like people don't understand. They think that because we're not married with kids, life is easy for us. It's not. Our burdens are the same—different, but the same. But, we bear them alone."

"Many times I feel like a half-child, half-woman that will never be seen as a full grown woman until I marry. "

"The biggest disadvantage to being single is exactly that. It is having to handle life's responsibilities alone. I am often prevented from doing ministry while having to spend all day at the garage getting my car repaired, waiting in government lines for this and that, waiting in line at the bank, staying at home to wait for the electrician, plumber, etc. It is most difficult when I am sick with no one to cook or look after me. I often have to pay for simple services that most husbands could easily fix themselves."

Weren't these answers fascinating? My next post is more questions and answers from these same women. You won’t want to miss it!