It's been on my heart for such a long time to write for, and about, single women. There are challenges and blessings particular to the single state. I want to encourage those others of you who are single women - young or young at heart - share my own experience with you, and be encouraged by you in turn.
With that thought always in the back of my mind, as I was casting my net to catch some inspiration for this week's post, what should I come across but a very interesting article about single people in the (Christian, not specifically Catholic) church. I'd like to share it with you, and so invite you to visit Radical Womanhood: because being a biblical woman in a modern world is a radical act.
The article is titled, How to serve "The singles" -- ministry to unmarried adults in your local church. The website is written by Carolyn McCulley.
Here are some highlights:
"Churches should have a high view of marriage and uphold it without apology. But church leaders also need to recognize that when marriage is devalued in our culture, that brokenness comes into the church, too. There was a time when older members of any community worked hard to ensure the next generation married well. In our current hands-off approach, many single adults are adrift and need help to meet and marry wisely because that’s not a priority in our culture."
"It’s important that unmarried men and women are discipled as men and women and not a generic lump of singleness. From my perspective, Scripture’s emphasis is on being made a man or a woman in the image of God, with a secondary emphasis on how that looks in the various roles and seasons of life. Unmarried men and women are no less masculine or feminine because of being single."
"Extended singleness is a form of suffering. There is an appropriate time for mourning with those who mourn. This is especially true for women who see the window of fertility closing on them without the hope of bearing children. Don’t minimize the cumulative years of dashed hopes for unmarried adults."
"It’s all about trusting God’s good provision for our lives. Encourage single men and women to read Ruth. Not because it’s a matchmaking book (it’s really not), but because we all tend to be like Naomi. We survey our circumstances and think we know exactly what God is doing. . . or not doing. But we simply have no idea that he is doing more than we can ask or imagine. His quiet providence is on display everywhere and an eagerness to look for that and praise him for it cultivates gratitude."
October 25, 2012