Thirty Day Blogging Challenge #2: Day Three

blog-challenge

Day Three: Your Current relationship. If single, discuss being single. 

Note, this is not directed at my current church or any one particular church. I am very happy at my church and believe that there are many great and wonderful churches out there. Nonetheless, I have seen a growing problem within the Evangelical Christian sphere of ignoring or undermining single individuals and I believe it is an important issue to address. I do not claim to speak for every single Christian in the world—this is merely an observational piece based on my experiences over the years. 

Dear Church,

I am one of many like me. I’m young, college aged, and most importantly, Christian.

I’m also single—and you sort of don’t know what do with me.

I’m too old for your youth group, but I don’t fit your “ideal-adult-model”.

I’m a career-minded women who’s currently going to school to become a journalist. My goal is to obtain a Bachelors in Journalism and Master’s degree in Theology. I don’t have a significant other—just a bunch of “significant others” that I like to call friends. No, I’m not an overgrown “kidult”. No, I have no intention of sleeping around. No, I’m not greedy, or putting money ahead of what’s important in life. I’m just single—in the state of not being married, engaged, or in a relationship.

And, I think that worries you a little. Many of you would not consider me for a ministry position, even if I were a guy. An extremely high percentage of your messages are directed solely at married folks, as you talk about “How to have a happy marriage” or “How to raise Godly kids“. Oftentimes, the word “family” is used interchangeably with “Christian“, because it seems you believe all people with a ring are Christian and all people without a ring are far from God—as you buy into the world’s myth that singles are all hanging out at a bar somewhere hooking up.

I also sometimes get the impression that you’re more concerned about my future spouse than you are about me. I don’t want to believe this—I really don’t—but sometimes it’s hard not to get this impression. A truckload of devotionals that I read and flipped through during my teenage years focused heavily on how to develop into a good future wife, when I was still trying to figure out how to be a good present “me”.

The truth is, you’ve taught me a lot of important and vital lessons. You’ve taught me who God is and how to follow Him. You’ve taught me what the Bible says, and how to be faithful in reading it. You’ve taught me the importance of having regular quiet time with God. I’m thankful beyond measure for these things, and still utilize these lessons to this day.

I love The Church. I believe that it’s one of the best places to grow and learn with a family of believers. I love singing and praising God along with the worship band. I love listening to the pastor preach from the Word. I love partaking in communion along with fellow believers. The reason this is such a frustrating issue for me is because I love The Church—and because I want to see it do a a better job at ministering to all of it’s congregation.

I love you, and that’s why I’m telling you these things—so that you can learn how to better love others like me.

So many of us want and need you, but don’t know how to seek you out. We want to belong without feeling like we need a ring to be welcome. We want to learn what it means to be faithful in this season of life, even if it’s different than the season of life you’re most comfortable with. We want to talk and engage with our married peers, and learn about what it’s like for different people in different pockets of life.

We want community—and the family that Jesus told us you were.

I trust that you want what’s best for us. You want us to be happy—but you need to let us know that it’s OK to be happy where we are. I’ll never forget the first and last time I ever heard a pastor say that it’s OK to be single. I’ll never forget how unbelievably welcome that made me feel.

Our best life starts now, with Jesus. Not in the future. We’re a part of you, and we want you to know that we exist—that we’re standing beside you every Sunday.

So don’t forget to save us a seat at the table.

Forever sincerely,

Courtney

Advertisements

All The Single (Christian) Ladies

Hey everyone, happy Sunday! Today I’m posting an awesome guest blog by the wonderful Emily from Fearfully Wonderfully Me! Her posts are awesome and very inspiring, so be sure to check them out! 😊

unknown

There are a whole lot of blog posts and articles online that discuss life as a single lady from a Christian perspective. However, it seems the topics are always about three common themes:

A) Knowing when the right man is coming along

b) How not to focus on dating while waiting for this man

c) Trying to figure out God’s will for your life while you pray to not become a lonely woman with a lot of cats.

Although I may be exaggerating these points a little bit, we all know it’s true. There just seems to be something missing from these articles. Although I’m sure God has a wonderful husband planned for me (and yes, I still want a lot of cats too), I want to know what to do in my single life right now. I want practical advice that I can put into effect immediately, and if you’re reading this, I’m sure that is your desire as well.

Well guess what? The Word of God has the answer we’re looking for! Although I never saw the New Testament as much of a guide to living life as a single Christian woman, there’s actually a whole passage dedicated to us in Luke 2.

In verses 36­-38, we read about the prophetess Anna, a widow of almost 84 years. You might be asking, what does an old widow have to do with my single years? A lot actually. Anna was only married seven years (verse 36), so while she knew what it was like to be a wife, she had way more experience with the single life. More importantly, Anna’s life was a reflection of how our lives should look right now.

 

Here are the three acts of Anna that led her to a victorious single life.

Abiding

…and this woman was a widow of about eighty­four years, who did not depart from the temple…(Luke 2:37 NKJV)

Anna never left God’s temple. She prayed and fasted constantly. She was always abiding in her Lord’s presence. Now I’m not saying you have to chain yourself to your church doors, but we need to realize the importance of abiding in Christ.

Since Jesus lives in our hearts, we can do this anywhere. We need to make it a priority to put Jesus first in our lives and seek alone time with Him always throughout our day. This is how we build a solid foundation in our faith.

Serving

…but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (Luke 2:37).

The key word here is serving. Anna clearly had a servant’s heart. She was a prophetess, so she prayed and spoke the Word of God to people. We all have different gifts, and it’s important that we use our single years to cultivate these gifts and develop a servant’s heart.

It does not matter if you are younger or older; God can use your passions to do amazing things. We just need to be ready to serve Him in both big and small ways.

Proclaiming

And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38).

When Anna found out about the birth of her Savior, she didn’t waste any time. She told everyone about Jesus. Anyone who was lost or broken who ended up at the temple would hear the Gospel from Anna.

How many lost souls have you told about Jesus? How many broken people have you loved with the grace of God? I know I haven’t done enough, but it’s something I try to work on everyday. Anna’s life mission was to glorify her savior, and it should be our mission as well.

So now, my beautiful friends, you know how to live your single years to their fullest by abiding, serving, and proclaiming. This is a life that is dedicated to worshipping and pleasing God, doing your best to honor Him with your whole heart and soul.

This is really how every Christian should live­­ single or married. This is the purpose of every child of the Most High King. And as single women, no matter what our age, our lives should be a shining example of God’s marvelous love and grace.

Love, Emily.

I’m Emily, owner and blogger at FearfullyWonderfullyMe.com. Jesus is my life, and writing is my passion. I strive to inspire young women through faith and fashion.