In Praise of Single Women
As a mother to two teenage daughters I confess that I harbour ambitions for them to marry well. I am not turning into Mrs Bennett and dreaming of future Mr.Darcys, I am not concerned about their economic well being (although in the present climate perhaps I should be), instead I want them to enjoy what I enjoy by being married to a committed Christian, a husband who has worked hard at living out the principles in Ephesians ch.5. Marriage is a good thing to want for your children but I was struck this week by a simple fact. Some of the godliest women I know are single.
I have the privilege of knowing many godly women, women of various ages and a variety of backgrounds, women who are married with children, married without children and women who are single. Most of those single women had hoped to get married. Some of them had really struggled with the thought of singleness, and now find themselves the wrong side of 45 and very much on their own. In a sex obsessed society living a celibate life is thought odd if not impossible. These women have faced many pressures spoken and unspoken. As I reflected on this and thought about the women I knew I saw that they have strengths which are often by-passed, unnoticed and unsung. Paul says, ‘an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord’ (1 Cor.7: 32) and certainly this is what strikes me about my single friends – they are concerned to please the Lord.
It is my single friends who talk to me most about their walk with the Lord, what they are learning, what they are praying for, how they are striving to serve. It is my single friends who challenge me most, asking what I am learning, what am I praying for and how am I serving. My single friends have been committed godmothers and I am thrilled they are involved in my daughters’ lives. I know I can rely on their prayers. I know many wonderful married women but my single friends shine out differently. They have been a strong support over the years and I know they haven’t just been there for me. They have a maturity which is invaluable to the church families to which they belong.
So I write this in praise of the single Christian woman, not necessarily the ones who are involved in full time Christian work (although there are many brilliant women in that category), but the ones who lead quiet lives, who are faithful in their walk with the Lord, who gently urge others on and in the background provide so much help for all the family of God. Thank you – you know who you are! I will trust God with my daughters’ future married or single and pray that I will desire their godliness above everything else.