Monday, February 14, 2011

My Heroes On Valentine's Day

(I’ve been thinking of my Christian women friends who are single today, and this blog post from a while back came to mind. I thought I’d re-post it in honor of those we love and depend upon so much, but who often are overlooked. If you think it might encourage someone, please re-post it or send it to someone in whatever form you like.)

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 contrary and 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, made pure and faultless, the perfect, New Testament, Holy of Holies? They don’t need to be fixed-up in order to be useful and whole, they’ve been separated 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’ll 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—especially on Valentines Day.

*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. 35 I 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


  1. Lynn Youngblood11:57 AM

    Thanks, Ralph. That's sweet (and true). Happy Valentines Day to you and your family!!

  2. Angela Marie Wilcox11:58 AM

    Thank you, Ralph! I think I will share so My fellow sisters can read it..

  3. Joy Nicole King11:58 AM

    Ralph you have such a way of piercing my heart with truth and making me reconsider the prejudices I harbor against myself... this was beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Cathy Rheeder11:58 AM

    Thank u ralph for yr dear heart & thanx for sharing with sure it goes for the brothers as well.blessed.

  5. Mary Craig2:40 PM

    Thanks, Ralph.

  6. I'm so thankful when fellow believers all over the world share in the love and grace of God. I'm glad you get it!

  7. Jalaine Martel8:41 PM

    Ralph, I am trying to write this through tears. Your note really ministered to me. I am a husband died of cancer 15 years ago. Our God is a faithful husband to the widow and I've had an opportunity to know Him more now because of this. Thank you for your note. You are blessed with a gift: James 1:27. This could be a lonely night for some, yet there have been times when I have had the Lord's table (communion) with Him. He is my Beloved and I am His.

  8. Sidney Hudson8:42 PM

    Thanks, Ralph. I am still discovering who I am in this new life. Love reading your thoughts. Happy Valentine's to you and yours!