On Endurance When Single

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Starting today and running through October 30th, She’s in the City is hosting a series called More Precious Than Gold – because all of us are just that! The series will encourage women of all ages on endurance in various seasons of depletion and disappointment and was inspired from the following passage in 1 Peter:

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

-1 Peter 1:6-7 

Each week’s episode will focus on a different season of trial or weariness we face as women. Which begs the question: what if this week’s season doesn’t apply to me? My encouragement is LISTEN ANYWAY! If you haven’t yet experienced something, it’s likely a loved one or dear SHE around you has. We hope in those cases, our talks in the coming weeks can foster compassion in you and serve as a comfort to share with those in your life who are facing these specific seasons.

My new favorite motto, which is noted in this week’s episode, is this:

“We’d rather be with you in your mess than alone in ours.”

I hope y’all feel the same!

When we’re killing it physically, but our minds and spirits are a train wreck.

This week we talk with two successful, faithful women all about the relational white elephant of singleness. Why is it so hard to talk about? Why are there such stigmas around not being married after your late twenties? And why does the church seem to be the place many single women feel the most lonely?

The truth is Paul, as well as many other heroes of and teachers in scripture, stayed single by choice for the sake of the Kingdom. I can’t image any more noble choice and lifestyle! But for those of us who love Jesus and also desire to marry, how do we endure the loneliness, disappointment, and exclusion that we inevitably feel in a family-centric culture?

The answers we’ve come to: faith, gratitude, and a change of perspective.

The hard reality is, if we are in Christ, He may or may not have a spouse prepared for us. And if He does, there’s a tough chance that they’re ready for marriage and that the Lord is still working to prepare us for it. Whatever the case, the key to enduring when our hope for this life is marriage goes back to surrender. We must be honest about the sadness and disappointment today; seek our resilience in hope for the future; and be diligent to continually give the both the hurt and the hope to the Lord in the mean time. 

What about gratitude? While there’s much we feeling we’re missing out on in a single life, there’s also much to celebrate. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that singleness is a gift, though many days it doesn’t feel that way. A few facets of that gift are freedom, flexibility, and most of all time and energy to invest in yourself, your relationships, your interests, and your faith.

We talk about the importance of maximizing the time and energy we have as single women for personal and spiritual growth and for sowing deeper relationships with others and with the Lord.

And sometimes we just need a little change of perspective! To stop dwelling on what feels like rejection and pursue a little re-direction, both for yourself and for those around you. Continue to hold a marriage relationship as your desire, but don’t let longing for it thwart the rest of the desires for your life. Speak truthfully to married friends about what you need to feel a part. Let them know it often feels worse to be excluded than to be included as the 5th wheel. I believe they’ll feel just as relieved as you will when everyone is honest about the elephant that shouldn’t be an elephant!

Most importantly we talk about keeping faith at the core of what you seek in mate. Don’t ever compromise that and stand firm on the “non-negotiables” on which faithful romantic relationships should be built.

We hope this week brings you life if you feel discouraged in waiting for marriage. We pray you will continue to ask the Lord for the desires of your heart and also allow Him to shape yours in brilliant ways while you wait on Him.