I’ve been noticing recently some of my single sisters in Christ. Opportunities have come for me to meet and get to know them. I began to think about their situations, and as always for me, that means going to the Bible and then writing!
I was a single Christian once. I remember how it felt—how it was different, sometimes lonely. Yes, I know it was a long time ago, but I still remember. I remember coming into worship and sitting by myself. I remember wondering where to sit at a potluck. I remember learning the difference between being alone and being lonely. The Bible says to have a friend you must show yourself friendly (Proverbs 18:24). No one believes it now but back then I was shy. Stepping out of my comfort zone took great effort, but I finally realized I had to go find a friend—make a friend! I began to sit near someone and speak to them at worship or Bible class. Yes, I was single and often alone, but I didn’t have to be lonely.
When I was single, I had more time to myself. I didn’t have a husband or children to take so much of my time. I could study way into the night! What a joy! When I married and had a family, I remember grieving over how little time I had to pray and read God’s Word. I worked hard to get up earlier and stay up later so I could prepare myself as a Christian. I was always glad to be able to teach classes because that inspired me to study more. Now that my family is grown and I have retired from teaching, I am thoroughly enjoying the great amount of time I am able to spend with God and His Word. To all my single sisters I will say please take advantage of this period of your life when you have only yourself to feed and dress and care for.
Every Christian woman struggles along the path of righteousness. Satan is after us all. Some of our struggles are the same, some different. But sin by any other name is still sin—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. Single or married—life is a struggle at times. When I was single, I remember the struggle being harder because I did not have the encouragement or example of my husband. As a single sister, I was still obligated to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18). I had to put forth the effort on my own. I had to become self-disciplined. No one was there to say get up and go to worship or have you done your daily Bible reading or have you signed up for visitation. Your spiritual life is your responsibility.
Many times women get emotional over things; that’s our nature. And sometimes we become overly sensitive to what people say or do. As a single sister, never let your emotions lead you to over-react to what someone may say to you or do towards you. Some sisters use this as an excuse to miss worship or not participate in church activities. Married sisters have someone at home to talk things out with, but many times single sisters don’t have anyone to confide in who will help them deal with their feelings about certain circumstances. Be careful not to let your sensitivity pull you away from the Lord’s work or assembly.
Every Christian is called to be a servant of Christ, married and single, young and old. If we are to be great in the kingdom, we will always be looking for every opportunity to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Our lives are spent in glorifying our Father. None of us can afford to get caught up in the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life” as Jesus taught in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:14). All of us should be asking, Who have I helped today? What service can I do? How can I make life better for someone today? Am I noticing others and their needs, or am I wrapped up in my own world?
We are all sinners. Everyone falls, that’s why we need Jesus. But we must determine to always get back up and stay on the right path. Sometimes it may be harder as a single person because you may not have a caring person to help keep you accountable, like a husband would. It is always good to have close sisters in Christ to talk to and pray with and study with and fellowship with, but when they are not around, it is still up to YOU to remain faithful. Sometimes single women get caught up in striving to get married instead of striving to enter the strait gate. While marriage is a wonderful institution created by God, the church is the more important one, and you are needed as a faithful, working member there.
My exhortation to my single sisters ends up being the same thing I tell every sister in Christ—Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Obey the Lord. Do not lose focus. Are you caring for the things of the Lord “without distraction” (I Corinthians 7:35)? When you are alone and afraid, turn to Him. When you are lonely, find a way to serve someone. Make your life a reflection of His love. Beautify your life with holiness. Be benevolent to all you meet. And when you are broken by your own sin or the sins of others, go sit at the foot of the cross where forgiveness is. Your Lord was a single man who knows and understands. He loves you and we in the church do too!