I have worked for, around and in the church for the last six years or so. I love it. I’ve had the blessing to lead, be lead and grow in ministry in crazy ways. I wouldn’t change my experiences for the world, even though some of them have been impossibly heartbreaking. I have learned tons about myself, my gifts and how great God is.
There are things that I have learned about ministry as a single woman that haven’t actually been realities. Yet, these lies have shaped the way that I do ministry in a major way. They have actually created a platform upon which I have built a few ministry and life rules for myself.
1. “No man will ever marry you if you don’t want children!” I’ve heard this so many times from well-meaning little old ladies in the church kitchen. Frankly, it’s totally dumb. I know that scripture says to “Be fruitful and multiply” but, children just aren’t for everyone. Lots of awesome people don’t have kids. Let it go. Some day, someone super wonderful will meet me and love me and not care that we don’t have kids.
2. “You should volunteer in the nursery!” A woman’s ministry potential does not come from her uterus. That might be crass, but, whatever. It doesn’t. Your ministry potential comes from the gifts that God has given you. If that means hanging out with squishy tiny humans and changing diapers, then so be it! But, it’s fine if it doesn’t. It’s fine if you’d rather be preaching or creating or leading. That’s beautiful. You do you, girlfriend!
3. “Waiting is better than Dating.” I tease the girls in my small groups that they shouldn’t date until they’re thirty. I’m starting to think that it’s because my situation looks that way. But, here’s the reality. I go on dates. I get dressed up and let men buy me dinner once in a while. I get a lot of push back from the Christian community because of it. Apparently, I’m supposed to sit at home on Friday nights in sweatpants watching Gilmore girls until someone shows up at my front door with a ring. That’s not how it works. It’s okay to go on dates. It’s okay to kiss a few frogs. It’s fine. Stay pure for your husband in your heart and with your body. Learn what being cared for well feels like. Don’t settle.
4. Thou Shall Not Post About Singleness and Dating on Social Media. I have actually had a few conversations that have included things like “It undermines marriage” or “It makes you seem desperate.” To this I will say one big NOPE. How is the church supposed to support healthy single Christians when we whisper the word “single” like a swear word? When singles ministries start at 35 +? The only way we can assist with this season is by having conversations. I will gladly be the one to start them!
5. Your Body is a Temple. It is. It is. But, I’ve had conversations with Christian women who use this as a way to call plus-sized girls “fat” or to shame people into working out or eating well and it makes me want to say swear words. DO NOT USE SCRIPTURE AS A WEAPON! My body is a temple. I care for it well. Keep your housekeeping in your own dang temple.
Above all things I wish, I wish it were okay to be a single, Christian woman that is comfortable with her body. I want to encourage that. I pray for curves to be safe, for relationships to be well and for Jesus to permeate culture as opposed to turn His face away from them. That’s what we’re here for. Know that you are loved, deserve to be loved, are beautiful and seen as such. That ringless finger doesn’t define you. Jesus does.