I used to love roller coasters- the breath-stealing hills, the twists and turns, your stomach up around your throat, hysterical screaming. They were great.
Being single can feel a lot like those roller coasters. There are high highs and deep lows, twists and turns. Most days, if you asked me, I would tell you I’m pretty okay with being single. I like my freedom and independence. I love being the fun aunt. And the fact that I don’t have to cook?
But some days singleness feels like too much. On those days I stare down the long, empty, seemingly-unchanging road of my life and despair of anything ever being different. The rough days mean fear, doubt, and frustration. They mean playing the comparison game and believing every other woman has it better than you.
On those days I don’t need anyone to throw words at me- words about online dating, your certainty I’ll find a man, or comments on how pretty I am.
I just need you.
Single friends, married women, co-workers, and older church women, I need your affirmation and support.
Single women often come across as independent or aloof, but for many of us, it’s a facade. We really do need you.
We need each other.
And, if you wanted to take the time to let me know my life isn’t a mistake, that would be great.
5 Ways to Affirm Single Women
- Pray for us- not for us to get married, but just for us.
Please pray for us! In the past people have told me they’re praying for me to find a husband, but that’s not really what I need right now (or ever). What we all need is someone who’ll hold up the lives we actually have in prayer- pray that God helps us with loneliness, with unfulfilled desires, with jealousy, selfishness, and even laziness (it’s easy when you’re single, believe me). Pray us through financial uncertainties and times when we feel left out. Those are the kind of prayers we covet.
- Invite us into your lives- make time for us
This is huge! Bring single women into your lives. I’ve written about loneliness before and how it’s one of the main struggles we face. Invite us into your mess; make us a part of things. Most single women enjoy time spent with families. It helps us feel like we’re a part of things and God can use it to provide us with an entirely different kind of family. Dinners, holidays, just hanging out- we might like to join you.
(I have to say this: Single friends, I’m talking to you, too! Some of my single friends are almost impossible to get together with. We’re flooded with busyness, but is it really necessary?)
Anyway… this is what single women really need- someone to make time for us.
Reach out to us, even if it’s only coffee for an hour.
It means so much.
- Have meaningful conversations with us
I value good conversation. I love it. When I was living in Illinois my friends and I would sit at Starbucks for hours, sometimes until closing, just talking and sharing (and eying the “Taylor the Latte Boy”). Those long conversations are one of the things I miss most now.
People typically zip by me and briefly ask how teaching’s going. I say good, they say good, and they’re gone. That’s not a real conversation. Please look me in the eye and ask about more than my job. Get to know me on a personal level and let’s talk! I would love that. I think a lot of single women would.
- Don’t tear us down with your words
Check out last week’s post for everything you shouldn’t say to a single woman. 😊 Please don’t use your words to bring us down, no matter how well-meaning you are trying to be. Instead, the best thing to do is say, “You’re single? Ok, great.” And then move on. Honestly. That would be amazing.
Build us up with your words- if we can do number three and have some good conversations, we can get to know each other and find ways to be mutually supportive and encouraging.
- Point us to the Word of God
As a Christian, I believe that God plans out my life. The Bible is clear about it. God never promises happiness, marriage, or the fulfillment of any other dream. Instead, He promises that He’ll make us more like Him. He’s always with us. He’ll provide for our unique needs and challenges.
I truly, truly wish more women, especially older women, would point us to the Bible for support rather than telling us God has someone for us. If singleness is God’s plan, then it’s good. Period. Encourage us with the truths of Scripture rather than what you think we want to hear.
Encourage one another, and build each other up… – Thessalonians 5:11
Words have power. So many single women have been hurt by words and pushed into dating because of them, often with tragic results.
Christian women, both married and single, it’s time to develop a new mindset toward singleness. Let’s stop promoting marriage as God’s best and instead, find ways to use our words, our lives, and our actions to affirm and support each other right where we are.
What would it look like if woman got on the same page and started to mutually encourage each other as they all lived out God’s plans together?
Personally, I think it would be a beautiful thing.
This week, I’m thankful for words of affirmation. They’re out there! May we all be women of the word, joyfully living out the lives God’s given us. His plan is always good. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!