Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Single Christian Women—My Heroes
If I had the chance to stand up and praise the heroes in my life, I suppose it would take a while. And if I stood up today, perhaps I’d give the most time to a specific group of heroes—single Christian women. From Zagreb to Georgia, and Barbados to California, I admire and respect them deeply. They’re incredible.
While they have become the righteous and holy, new creation daughters of God, they nevertheless endure the faulty, measuring scrutiny of the world. Even from the church.
Even though the apostle Paul suggested we would all be better off single rather than married in our service to God (1 Cor 7), nowadays we don’t actually believe it’s true. Think of the single Christian women in your church and tell me they don’t endure endless prescriptions from well meaning, but Bible disbelieving people as to how they can “be healed” of their infirmity—singleness. Spoken or implied, we mostly think of them as incomplete or crippled, and shuttle them off to Children’s Ministry where they can at least partially fulfill their presumed destiny.
Single Christian women live with the not-so-subtle prejudice that there is something wrong with them, something that can only be cured by a ring on their finger and a man in their bed. Do you think my words are too strong? Then accept my challenge: ask them. Ask them if they believe they are seen and valued for who they are according to God, or if they are seen as something less, something different. Ask them if they feel revered because they remain single. And not just the nineteen year olds; ask the thirty-eight year old single Christian women. Ask them.
While I don’t recommend a curative prescription of giving single Christian women new places of prominence and authority as a way of proving our repentance, I do believe that we need to look anew at our saintly sisters. Do you see what God says is true of them? Do you believe that each is His chosen dwelling place, the modern-day Holy of Holies, made pure and faultless? They don’t need to be fixed-up in order to be useful and whole, they’ve been separated single unto God, at least for a season. How fantastic! For some, it will be a life-long marriage to the One we cannot see.
But can you see them anyway? Can you, by the eyes of faith, see them for who they are—the chosen, twice born, holy and blameless, radiant daughters of God? If you can, I’m certain you will see similar “invisible traits” emerging from the rest of the church too. The temporal shadows of this world—clothing, physical looks and abilities, status, etc.—hide the sons of God already, even from themselves. But you and I see according to The Truth, even when the suggested truth of this world says otherwise. The Truth directs our thoughts about God, and it directs our thoughts about each other. It must.
If we would approach each other according to the truth—let it begin with our single Christian women—then the revival many of us hope for would begin with us. We would thank them for the great example they are to us in their single-hearted, undivided devotion to the Lord. We would encourage the single Christian women to “go for it” with God, to run off at His leading, to be daring and adventurous in their godly situation, unencumbered by the challenges Paul says marriage brings. We would think of them as the royalty they are, instead of the royalty they could become . . . if only.
Knowing something of the struggle they face, we would be their cheerleaders—our team is on the field! Hooray! for single Christian women.
You’re my heroes.
(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 this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:34b-35)