The Singleness Series | Single and Significant

Before you’re all like, “Rachel, you’re married…I don’t care what you have to say about singleness” hear me out.

I’m not going to tell you that…

  • marriage is a “prize” for being a good Christian
  • you’re somehow “less than” because you’re not married
  • “Jesus needs to be your boyfriend”
  • you haven’t “arrived” until you’re married
  • marriage is bliss and butterflies all the time
  • you just need to “be content” and Jesus will give you a spouse

Here’s what I am going to tell you…

  • Your identity and your worth is IN CHRIST, whether or not you wear a ring
  • God doesn’t owe you a spouse
  • You’re justified in being annoyed with people who treat you like a second-class citizen because you’re single
  • Marriage is not a consolation prize for the well-lived Christian life
  • It’s alright to struggle with being single and feel lonely
  • Jesus is enough – in every season

I also want to apologize for the way that the Church has treated singles. I don’t think it’s right that people get treated like they are somehow less significant or worthy just because they’re not married. Like marriage is an exclusive holiest-of-holies club.

Since when was marriage an indication of your importance?

This irritated me when I was single, and it still irritates me now that I’m married. There seems to be this gap between married people and single people within the church…with all of us acting like we don’t need the other. Married people can treat single people like they are to be most pitied, and single people can treat married people with disdain and jealousy.

Which isn’t how God intended it to be.

Romans 12:4-5
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

I Corinthians 12:12-16 [emphasis mine]
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free [single or married] – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

The bottom line: in Christ, there is no differentiation. We need to love and serve and support one another…no matter what our relationship status is.

Yes, marriage is wonderful. Yes, I love my husband. But being married is also incredibly difficult, and can still be incredibly lonely. As a single girl, I fell into the trap of thinking that if I just served God hard enough, He would reward me with a perfect husband who met every requirement on my “list”, and we’d live blissfully happily ever after.

Not so much.

If I could re-do my single years, I would have spent much more time getting to know Jesus, and much less time trying to coerce Him into giving me the husband that I wanted and thought I deserved.

Because I think this topic is so important, I reached out to several other women in my blogging community and asked them to share their thoughts on singleness.

The responses I got? “YES…I want to write about this…I’m literally crying…”

So, every Thursday for the next several weeks, you’ll be hearing from lovely women such as Bailey Jean, LaurenRachel, Madison, Jenna, Jordyn, Amy, Leah and Lauren. I am thrilled that they are sharing their hearts with you, and I hope you will be blessed like crazy by them in return. They are for you, my friend, and you are significant.

What are your thoughts about singleness? Does “the gap” frustrate you?

Under Grace,
Rachel

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Other Lovely Reads…
Surviving Church as a Single
You Are Significant With or Without a Significant Other
Serving Married-Non-Moms in the Church (because the way that married people often treat single people? moms can treat non-moms the same way)

Image credits | Nicole Marie Photography

Linking up with Chantel at A Harvest Of Blessing!

A Harvest of Blessing

38 thoughts on “The Singleness Series | Single and Significant

  1. I agree with every word. Marriage shouldn’t be something that you’re constantly “working toward”. It’s a big part of life for a lot of people…and I feel like I see so many young girls pining away their few single years wondering “When will I ever get married?” I especially believe that the best possible preparation for marriage is to learn to live well and joyfully as a single person.

    • Hi Rachel!! I’m so glad you popped in!

      “I especially believe that the best possible preparation for marriage is to learn to live well and joyfully as a single person.” – YES. That’s definitely a lesson that I wish I had learned when I was single.

      You’re absolutely right. Marriage is a huge part of life for a lot of people, but it’s not the end-all-be-all and it’s certainly not what you should spend your single years pining after.

      I hope you’ll stop by for the rest of the series, Rachel!

    • Hey there, C Marie!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

      I just read that post of yours…fabulous thoughts, my friend! I couldn’t agree more. Marriage is definitely not the end-all-be-all…JESUS is. That can be a hard struggle, but life (whether married or single) goes so much better when we’re looking to Christ to satisfy all of our needs.

      Please check back in for the rest of the series!! I really think you’ll like the other ladies who are sharing!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with all of this! The gap between married + single definitely bothers me. I fall in a weird grey area because I’m not single, but not married. I’ve been with, and living with, my significant other for 4.5 years, but we aren’t married yet. It can be frustrating when some Christian friends will turn to me for marriage advice, but then just as quickly dismiss me from certain events because I’m not married. Or when they’ll comment how healthy, happy + supportive my relationship is, then say I don’t understand marital connections entirely because I’m missing the ring from my hand. It tends to make so many people feel like rubbish, and clearly as you so beautifully showed, that wasn’t His intention. Can’t wait to hear more thoughts from all of you on this!

    • Hello, Caitlin!! I’m so glad you stopped by!

      Hmm…yeah, I can definitely understand why you’d be frustrated! It seems like people are treating you with a bit of a double standard! No matter whether or not people agree with you, they should still treat you with respect.

      I do think that God’s intention for marriage is based in a covenant relationship…He intended one man and one woman to make a permanent covenant to one another, until death do them part. There’s so much security in marriage, and a much more stable foundation for dealing with conflict, etc. I would definitely encourage you to talk with your significant other about it!

      Blessings, friend! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts as we go through the series!

      • I just re-read my comment + I completely phrased something wrong. When I said “It tends to make so many people feel like rubbish, and clearly as you so beautifully showed, that wasn’t His intention”, I meant that it’s not God’s intention to have people treat each other poorly or make one another feel like rubbish. But I know my comment came off sounding like God’s intention isn’t marriage, which is not what I meant at all! 🙂

  3. LOVE THIS!

    My sister always told me that if people aren’t happy single they won’t be happy married. I enjoyed each stage of life, both married and single. I think each stage has such awesome benefits and blessings to it.

    • Beka!! Absolutely…you’re so right. If you’re discontent without a spouse, you’ll definitely be discontent with a spouse. Marriage doesn’t equal immediate bliss! Being single has its challenges and blessings, and so does marriage. We have to be happy wherever God has seen fit to put us!

  4. I wanted to write and say how I feel like maybe this is a more “your generation” thing but then I started looking deeper into my circles and I think I have just been really blessed in the last few years to be in a good place with getting to mingle and spend a lot of time with singles, and now all the singles I hang out with (generation gap again) are single parents. Often times the church drops the ball on them as well and doesn’t walk beside them as much as they probably should. God has blessed Kjell and I with a Bible study group where half of the people in the group are single parents. What an eye opener and an opportunity to step up and serve. I have always loved how TBC has done the oil change and tire day for the single mothers, I just wonder sometimes how are our single fathers getting treated? I know the one in our Bible study has a hard time with it. Just my rambles but I am hoping maybe at least one of our bloggers is going to be a single parent.

    • I absolutely agree…I think the Church does drop the ball when it comes to single parents, and it’s not ok!

      And yes – I’ve always loved that TBC does the car care clinic for single moms. I just wish they’d opened it up to single-girls-in-college-living-two-hours-away-from-their-dads, too 😉

      Personally, though, I don’t really know any single parents really well. I think that’s probably just where Hans and I are at in life, though. And come to think of it, I think the blogging world could probably use a few more people talking about single parenthood, too!

  5. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:34. “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs. Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of the world-how she can please her husband.” He also says in verse 38 of the same chapter “So then, he who marries the virgin does right , but he who does not marry her does even better.” This is so very true. I have been married for 17 yrs. When I was young and single there seemed to definately be a push amongst the young ladies to get married. At least it seemed that way. My best friend got married before I did and I was definately lonelier and felt left out of this “exclusive club”. There were no groups for single college girls to band together and just devote their lives to serving the Lord. I felt like I needed to be married and this really caused me to make a poor choice. Now remarried for 7 yrs, the choice was a better more prayed about decision.

    • Hey there, Amy! You’re right…there is definitely a “push” and a pressure for young women to get married, and it can be harmful. For young women who get married too soon and for young women who discover that all of their friends have abandoned them in favor of husbands.

      Personally, I got married very young. However, it was definitely prayed about a LOT and I’ve done the best I can do nurture relationships with other women – single or married!

  6. Such a needed area of encouragement in the Church. I too have noticed the gap between married and single people, and it’s an odd paradigm. I think in many ways, people have come to expect the gap. Assuming you no longer want to hang out when you’re married, or forgetting how to connect with single friends once you’re no longer single. This is a great idea for a series and I’m excited for future posts.

    • Hey Jen!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

      I completely agree with every single word you wrote. You’re right…it seems like people just assume that singles and marrieds are oil and water…incapable of mixing! It’s so sad, isn’t it?! This series is definitely an attempt to remedy that, and I’m so glad you’ll be following along!

  7. What an awesome message, Rachel! We DO all need each other– single, married, young, old, strong, and weak. This is prompting me to want to do a better job reaching out to the single ladies at our church. Thank you!

    • Hey Courtney! Thanks for stopping in!

      The song “We Need Each Other” by…is it the Newsboys?…totally popped into my head as I was reading your comment 🙂 I’m so glad this encouraged you to reach out to the single ladies in your church! That’s awesome!!

  8. Every time I read more about your heart behind this series, I get considerably more excited. Praying that it would bless many women (and men?!) both married and unmarried for many months to come!

  9. The one phrase that I can’t stand is ” we’re just in different places in our lives right now”. What is that supposed to even mean? That you can’t have a friendship with someone who is married or has children or isn’t married and doesn’t have children? I feel that I can learn and be blessed by all people in different phases of life. I notice a division in the married and the single and also the parents and the childless. I look forward to reading more posts!

    • Hey Ashley! I’m excited you stopped by!

      “We’re just in different places in our lives right now” is incredibly frustrating…I understand! While marriage is vastly different from being single (and I imagine parenthood is pretty different, too!) it’s not at all an excuse to bail on friendships!

      Some of my dearest friends are in “different places” than I am. It’s wonderful. You’re right – there is so much to learn from them! I’m so excited you’ll be following along with the series, friend!

  10. I’m looking forward to this series! And agree with Ashley above me here, the lie that the different stages of life excludes a meaningful friendship is so frustrating!

  11. As a single girl, thank you for writing this! It’s always refreshing to hear married people shed some light on what marriage IS NOT, as opposed to the ones who make marriage seem like the end all be all “you have finally arrived” status in life. I am so thankful for married friends in my life who realize that we need each other just as much as I need my single friends and they need their married friends!

  12. I’ve had this post up as a window bookmarked to read – so glad I finally got around to it! Great post and series idea, Rachel!! Hooray for closing the gap ; ) Looking forward to more of your writing!

  13. Pingback: The Singleness Series | Single and Submitting | Our Yellow Door

  14. Pingback: Click Here #7 | to dwell in possibilities

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