Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Biblical Womanhood series. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.
A few months ago, I was attending a friend’s fall party and met a fantastic couple. While in conversation about life and filling them in on my oh-so-deprived relationship status, the man asked me a profound question, “So are you an independent woman, or just a woman?” Trying not to make the astonishment that was in my head evident on my face, I replied after a momentary pause with, “I am a woman who at this point in life has to be independent.” I think that my response took him aback just as his comment did me, and he nodded in approval and we continued on with the conversation. However, I never imagined such a simple question could illuminate past expectations, dreams, and desires that I had planned would come to fruition by now. I mean I had a plan, a mini-van driving, diaper changing, dinner-making, laundry folding, wifely duties kind of plan and singleness was nowhere in the equation. My equation of life was not adding up as I had planned, 1+1 did not equal 2 in my book. Being 30 and single was not how life was to happen. I was supposed to go to college get my “MRS” degree (and maybe my teaching credential), which meant meet an amazing man, get married, teach for a few years and then start a family. But here I am, 30 and single.
So are you an independent woman, or just a woman?
Even though being 30 and single in our culture today doesn’t seem that outlandish, I have found that in the subculture of Christianity I stand out like a sore thumb. The women of society scream, “Who needs a man” and the stereo-typical Christian culture gently (with down cast eyes that remind you of your grandmother scolding you when you were 7) tells you “Honey, bless your heart, I’m sure you’ll find someone someday.” It’s not like I am choosing to be single. I deeply desire to be in a relationship, I want to be a servant wife, a loving mother, and strive to be the woman in Proverbs 31, but because none of this has happened, my tendency is to play the doubting game. I doubt what I am doing is right and therefore not pleasing to the Lord or others. I doubt my worth and subsequently doubt God’s true love for me. But worst of all, I doubt that I can live my life out well as a single woman.
When looking to the Word, you don’t find a chapter that is titled “How to live the Single Life,” but I did stumble upon is a woman whose life is a beautiful demonstration to all women, without a mention of her relationship status. Dorcas, which by the way means gazelle or beauty (Acts 9:36-42), was a woman who fit the true definition of what it means to live life passionately for the Lord. Even though there are only a few verses about her and are easily missed, they are evidence of her character.
She loved the Lord.
She loved others passionately.
She was loved by others around her.
She was a philanthropist who used her skills for the benefit of others.
But one thing that isn’t mentioned about her is her marital status.
Are we as women of God so focused on what we don’t have, that we miss living a life that is first and foremost pleasing to the Lord?
She was a woman who carried high respect with any and all people that she came into contact with so much so that when she died, they mourned her and urged Peter to come to her and when she rose to life again, more lives were changed. Dorcas wasn’t defined by her ability to be a good wife or mother, but her ability to show others Christ through her love and service. Her life was lived for Christ and lived out well. What an amazing testament of a woman who, in just a few short verses, has defined what it looks like to live an outrageous life for the Lord!
So with that, are we as women of God so focused on what we don’t have, whether it be a husband, children, money, recognition, independence, ______________ (insert your own here), that we miss living a life that is first and foremost pleasing to the Lord? Do we tell ourselves that “when I have _________,”life will truly start or that is when I can start fully living for the Lord? Instead let’s be women of God who first and foremost seek Him daily and fervently pursue a life pleasing to him. Let us be women who realize that no matter our relationship status (single, married, divorced, widowed), Christ has a plan for our lives and never settle for anything but His best!
Let us be women who realize that no matter our relationship status (single, married, divorced, widowed), Christ has a plan for our lives and never settle for anything but His best!
My prayer is that we (myself included) as single women start realizing that this time is a season and not eternity, that our lives aren’t worthless but precious, that we can live passionately and purposefully in our singleness and until we do this, we will never fully grasp God’s plan for our lives! For my married ladies out there, the same prayer is for you. That you would not be defined by who you are married to, number of children, or status, but Christ alone would be where you set your gaze so that you would fully live out life for the Lord and that others would see Him through your life!
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