This article popped up a couple of times on my Facebook feed this morning and it was wonderful, so I reposted it: 6 ways to love single women in your church.
I think it’s also worth highlighting the Driscoll post that prompted Lindsey to write her article – 6 options for godly single women wanting to marry. I thought it showed an insightful understanding of the complexities and difficulties of being an older single Christian woman, which are often don’t seem to be understood by the people trying to minister to us.
Being a woman in this situation, I’ve at least considered all of Driscoll’s options at some point:
- Sin: I have made less than stellar decisions while trying to take matters into my own hands. “But at least I’ll have fun!”*
- Surrender: closed myself off to anyone and everyone and subconsciously tried to make myself less attractive just in case someone got the wrong idea (as if). “But at least I won’t get hurt!”*
- Settle: I haven’t gone down this path, but let’s just say at any rate it’s not like there’s a smorgasbord of choice, so I can see how it could be a temptation.
- Suffer: yep. So easy to indulge in this.
- Strive: My counsellor suggested if being in a relationship was so important for me, I ought to go where the guys are, and go to events and blah blah blah. She said I should get onto online dating sites, which made me want to run for the hills (it works for some, but it’s really not me).
- Solace: this is ultimately where I end up, even when I waver through those other options, and I’m so grateful that I ultimately get back here. But it can be an elusive state if you don’t keep it as your focus (ie, by being steeped in the Bible and godly fellowship).
As I said on my Facebook post, I am blessed to live with my lovely mum, sharing the household as flatmates would, but with the benefit of a deeper mother-daughter relationship. I know what a blessing it is to have someone to talk to at the end of the day, to have someone I can ask “does this look okay?” before I leave the house, to have someone to hug when I just need a hug.
But we still have to navigate the world as single Christian women, turning up to things alone, starting at a new church alone (in mum’s case), making big decisions about life as individuals, not as part of a couple. We each, in our own ways, have to deal with the question of “why are you living with your mother/daughter?” as though there is something wrong with us – me, for not striking out into the world and being an Independent Woman (which I did do for a while, btw); mum, for having to depend on her daughter. I know she feels guilty about the perception (wholly unfounded) that she’s somehow holding me back.