(The Single Woman Series)
For the Christian woman, singleness, whether just for a season or permanently, can undeniably be a calling and a gift from God. There is so much that God can do in this season for his purposes and his glory!
I know this is a difficult pill to swallow. It took me several years to finally see singleness the way God saw it and the beauty of being in such a position. At this point where I am writing this Article, my Prince has not yet come and I still very much want to be married and to have a family of my own but I have realized that, while marriage is honourable and beautiful, so too is singleness.
What I have learned though, from my own experience as a single woman of many years is that whether the single calling is permanent or just temporary, it can be a difficult season for many women who have professed to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
It certainly was for me.
Between society’s expectations and a Christian woman’s own personal goals and desires, when the months and years roll on and she knows, although imperfect, that she has so much to offer, yet no decent man worthy of her hand seems to be on the horizon, this can make many single women feel restless, anxious, worried, frustrated, afraid, tired, overwhelmed, confused, depressed, dejected, growing in resentment against God and others, envious, insecure, feeling unworthy, not good enough, not attractive enough, not woman enough, like an outcast, perpetually guilty for already confessed mistakes of the past, feeling like maybe it has been a waste of time to wait on God all these years with nothing to show or that maybe they should have lowered their standards and just gotten married to whoever in the Church was interested in them or that maybe they are being perpetually punished by God for sins that they have long forsaken and repented of or maybe they are hopelessly cursed and confined to a life of awful loneliness.
Many other negative emotions come to the fore during this very vulnerable season and of course, the enemy sends people to try to reinforce them, so as to keep the single woman stuck in these negative mindsets, so that she will not be of much use to God’s Kingdom, to others and even herself.
The Bible teaches though, that the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God is one of the Christian’s weapons and that whereas the God she serves is a God of truth, the devil is and will always be a liar. In addition to prayer therefore and all else that God has provided for us in this life’s spiritual warfare, we must use the sword (the Bible), to counteract and deal some blows to the enemy and his lies.
We must gird up our loins in truth and never let it go, always remembering and meditating upon what God has said about us, who we are and our situation, not necessarily what family members, work colleagues, Church members, friends, acquaintances or enemies have said or whispered behind or backs or how they have ridiculed our singleness or considered us hopeless write-offs or how they have tried to pressure us into going ahead of God’s plan for our lives and to make unwise choices.
As a woman who has been single for many, many, MANY years (and technically speaking, maybe all my life), I know what it is like to be a single woman who wants to be a wife, not just to any man but to a high quality, Christian gentleman, a man that I am proud to walk down the aisle to and honoured, even humbled, to spend the rest of my life with because his character and everything about him, though imperfect is admirable, respect-worthy and inspiring.
I know what it is to obsess over it, to be ridiculed in my singleness, to feel ashamed of not being married, to see the years roll on and wonder why God is taking so long, to be pressured by family members and some people in the Church to just choose anyone, to even be made to feel guilty by aunts, when you tell a Christian brother the truth (which is that you are not interested in him), soon after you realize that he is interested in you because you know that you don’t feel the same way, you don’t believe in playing with people’s emotions and you know that you two are not compatible, as you are not in the least attracted to him physically, spiritually or emotionally and therefore that he is not THE ONE for you.
I know what it is to feel insecure, as if maybe, somehow, I am not good enough or attractive enough or desirable enough, as no one of worth and with whom I can build a relationship, seems to be ‘seeing’ me.
In those moments of vulnerability, when the devil sends ungodly men from the world to try to woo you with all manner of statements to get you to let your defences down or to make you think that only men of the world would want to pursue you because none of God’s high quality sons will ever notice you or want to marry you because you are only physically attractive for sex but not for the role of wife, you forget, that in your early twenties, after foolishly falling in love with the wrong guy and dishonouring God with some of your actions, you prayed to God sincerely, in repentance, asking that he would keep all men from you, including Christian men, until he was ready to send THE ONE for marriage.
That was eons ago but in retrospect, after all those years, God has definitely honoured your request because he is not ready to send Mr. Right just yet and you realize, that you should be grateful to God because he has faithfully kept you from so much. Your virginity is still intact, solely by the grace of almighty God and you still have it as a gift, to present to your one-day husband. God has kept men from you all these years and preserved you beautifully for THE ONE he has appointed for you, in HIS perfect timing.
Despite the truth of this, I know what it is to long for companionship and to worry whether you will ever have children or be able to have children, given that the years are rolling on and Prince Charming is still nowhere in sight.
I even know what it feels like to feel betrayed by your own body, as you seek to pursue after righteousness. I’ve heard people talk about bodily urges but God kept me beautifully throughout the years and I did not have that. However, as I got older and in fact, in the past few months or so, I have begun to notice some changes with my body, especially around that time when I am having my monthlies.
This is new to me. I feel like if my body is asking for something and as a single woman, I am in no position to provide it with what it wants, anytime soon. I think that my monthly that I just had, which ended today was perhaps the worst. I was having very strong urges, it seems, to be with a man physically, like I have never had before.
To say the least, the thought of having to deal with this new bodily inclination in moving forward, even at a point where I was not even courting anyone was terrifying. I did not think that I was in danger of having sex but I did not want to be feeling the things I was suddenly feeling and not be able to satisfy them right then and there.
This is torture! I thought to myself. I needed to please God and while it had been relatively easy over my many years of singleness to do so, these bodily urges were now threatening to drive me crazy, as I was getting older!
Thankfully, I remembered that it was God that created my body and since I was resolved that my body would not get the better of me and therefore had to be brought under subjection, I thought of some verses that could help me and then I went to the Lord in prayer. I thanked him for all the years that he kept me without these urges, asked him again, to please provide me with a husband, quick and asked that he silence the screams of my body or whatever was going on within, as I was still a single woman and had not even met my future husband as yet. I asked that he help me to bring my body under subjection and that whatever was acting up inside me, would be made dormant again, only to be awakened on my Wedding day, when I could actually take action on what I was feeling.
When I finished praying, I felt better. I was confident that God had heard and would answer my prayer because I genuinely desired to obey his Word and not to be walking around longing to be with a man physically. No way was I going to allow my body to torture me with urges from now, until I got married! It could take years before I got to that point and I refused to entertain whatever I was feeling, for so long. It had to be completely silenced until the right time when it could be given beautiful expression with the right person, in a marriage and without inhibition and so I prayed, asking God to do just that.
I then compiled a list of Bible verses on a range of issues, which I found to be particularly useful to the single Christian woman as she traversed through her single season. These are as follows:-
When feeling WEAK, TIRED OF SINGLENESS and the RIDICULE, PROVOCATION, HARASSMENT, REJECTION and CONDEMNATION that often comes with it, as if you can’t take one more minute of it, that God does not care about your suffering or has forgotten about you, remember God’s Word which speaks of his character as it pertains to his children. It says:
- “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; Thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:16)
- “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear, even I will carry…” (Isaiah 46:4)
- “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 13:5-6)
- “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.“
- “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
When OBSESSING about and being PREOCCUPIED with the thought of getting married, having sex and having a family, to the point where you have elevated it to the throne of your heart so that you feel that your life has no significance outside of this desire and you pursue it with all your strength, remember God’s Word which says:
- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
- “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthians 10:14)
- “…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)
When feeling DEMOTIVATED or UNINTERESTED IN DOING GOD’S WORK until he brings you a husband and you find yourself thinking selfishly, that this life is all about you, that you will hold God to ransom and until he brings you a husband, you will do nothing significant or worthwhile for his Kingdom because you are too sad and feel too down with disappointment, remember God’s Word which says:
- “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “…Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?… If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the Lord to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land be subdued before the Lord: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the Lord, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:6. 20-23)
- “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.” (Haggai 1:4-11)
- “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts…” (Haggai 2:4)
- “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
- “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
- “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
- “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
When feeling DISCONTENT with your life thus far, down in the dumps, LONELY, sad, UNTHANKFUL, resentful, hating where God has you, AFRAID of remaining single forever or marrying too old when no longer attractive or beyond child bearing age, ANXIOUS and panicked, remember God’s Word which says:
- “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”(Philippians 4:4)
- “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” (1 Corinthians 7:24)
- “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
- “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
- “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34)
When feeling DOUBTFUL and PANICKED, as if men are in too scarce a supply for God to provide you with a good, high quality Christian husband because you can’t figure out where he will come from or how you two will meet or how he will find a way to pursue after you and court you or you’ve had so many years of not moving forward in this area of life and being a single woman, that you begin to doubt whether your status will ever change and you wonder whether you heard right, when you thought that God gave you a promise while reading his Word, that you would one day be married and a joyful mother of children, remember God’s Word which says:
- “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:11-14)
- “Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” (Psalm 113:1-9)
- “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:7)
- “The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 115:14)
- “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” (Numbers 11:23)
When feeling IMPATIENT, TIRED OF WAITING and disappointed with how long the wait is taking and as if it will all be for nought and you are ASHAMED of your single situation.
- “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)
- “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I NOT be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall NOT be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7)
- “Yea, let NONE that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.” (Psalm 25:3)
- “I am the Lord: for they shall NOT be ashamed that wait for me.” (Isaiah 49:23)
- “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
When feeling tempted to be REBELLIOUS to God and to DISOBEY his Word because you feel miserable and are dissatisfied with your life, like gossiping, creating drama for others, going out and finding a man for yourself instead of waiting on God’s timing, his will and choice or badmouthing that family member or Church member who God has blessed with what you are still waiting for.
- “God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6)
- “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
- “…he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Colossians 3:25)
- “Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:14-16)
When feeling TEMPTED SEXUALLY or having PHYSICAL URGES for sexual intimacy
- “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-4)
- “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
- “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
- “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:13-20)
- “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
- “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
(Written on 30th January, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article and scriptures to be helpful, edifying, insightful or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 142 – ‘Single Woes – The Battles We Singles Fight Every Day’
- Note 146 – ‘Three Idols In the Church: Getting Married, Having Children & Working A Secular Job‘
- Note 150 – ‘What the Bible Has To Say About Singleness, Marriage and Widowhood‘