I was honored to be asked to write an article about Valentine’s Day from a single woman’s perspective for MTL Magazine (an online women’s magazine designed to bring you more to life). Single living as a godly woman is a subject I feel very strongly about, and have MANY years of experience in (if you catch my not so veiled drift). My “never been married” portion of the 3-part article (which also includes a write-up from a divorced woman and a widower) is below:
For years I referred to Valentine’s Day as “Single Awareness Day”, or “S.A.D”. Let’s be honest, it is not a holiday designed to celebrate those of us without a husband or boyfriend. In the past, right after we would ring in the new year, I would avoid grocery stores, because they would begin to look like Cupid flew in and went crazy shooting those annoying arrows all over the place. The result would be aisle after aisle of overstuffed pink bears and giant heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. For my fellow single sisters, the period around February 14 can bring up thoughts of loneliness, insecurity, and self-pity. But in recent years, I’ve come to look at my singleness less as a burden, and more as the gift the apostle Paul says it is.
“Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.” 1 Corinthians 7:7 (MSG)
As a single woman over 39 (I have not been able to bring myself to say the “4” word since my October 2016 birthday), Paul’s words here are like music to my unmarried ears. It is so refreshing to hear someone refer to being single as something more than a temporary vapid state that will be remedied as soon as the scales fall off of some bloke’s eyes, and he sees me the catch that I am. I am not a poor, unfortunate, lady-in-waiting whose life is on hold until “Boaz” puts a ring on it. I am much more than someone’s other half.
I am a Holy Spirit-filled, woman of God, who was made complete the moment I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. I am a mighty warrior princess armed with the Shield of Faith, who skillfully wields the Sword of the Spirit. I am called by God to build His kingdom by using the gifts my Father has given me. Since one of those gifts is my singleness, I choose to embrace the many benefits that come along with it. Those include:
- Freedom to use my time to draw closer to God through extended times of Bible study and prayer
- Freedom to come and go as I please (for example, I recently hopped on a last minute flight to surprise a buddy of mine who was going through a difficult time and could use a prayerful friend)
- Freedom over my money, which allows me to sow financial seeds into causes that store treasures in heaven, such as ministries focused on victims of human trafficking
- And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I have the freedom to cook or not cook, sleep in (and in complete peace…and all across the bed), and have absolute dominion over my remote control!
As Paul exhorts in his letter to the church in Corinth, “The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God.” (1 Corinthians 7:34 MSG). Clearly, from the creation story and the whole counsel of the Word of God, we know that there is a divine beauty in the sacred union of two people becoming one. I have, what I believe is a God-placed desire to marry one day, so this is not to say that being single is better than being married. This is to humbly say that, in a culture that often exalts marriage over singleness, let us not forget that there is a blessing in both. If you are a single woman this Valentine’s Day, it’s okay to be aware of it, but rather than allowing it to make us sad, let’s open our eyes to the gift it is, and enjoy it while we can!
“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.” 1 Corinthians 7:17a (MSG)
The full article appears in MTL Magazine. For the current issue (with CeCe Winans on the cover), visit mtlmagazine.com to order your subscription today.
P.S. I’ve got a pretty jammin’ #SingleAppreciation Day Spotify playlist you can listen to throughout your day. Check it out here!