Things I learned at church: Part 1.

Ah! It’s been a while since I’ve written, but we can blame it on finals. The world stops for college students during finals week: sleep becomes a luxury we can’t afford, friends get shoved to the back burner, and blog updates take a hit. I was finally reminded by my friend Mindy that I’ve been neglecting my commitment to the blogosphere, and I’ve been thinking of topics ever since.

I’ll return to blogging with a post in my “Things I learned at church” series. My agenda during this series is to discuss the positive and negative influences that church has had on my views on being a woman. Now, I’d like to clarify that I’m talking about church in general. This is not a vendetta against my church, because I love my church, but will instead be a look at the Christian community.

To start, I’d like to look at marriage, which is something I’ve already discussed a little. For women, especially Christian women, it’s easy to feel pressured to be married. In the Christian community, it sometimes feels that we’re created to grow up as pure young women who get married at a decent age (mid- to late-twenties), have good, Christian children, and raise amiable, Christian families. That’s not always the case.

There are a ton (a TON) of Christian-flavored books that speak to single Christian women who are still waiting for that dashing Christian guy to sweep them off their feet and carry them away to blissful Christian marriage. These books talk about being single as being in a waiting period; we’re waiting for the right man to come along, waiting for God to call us into marriage at some point. But what if God’s never calling us to marriage? Where are the books that talk about being single forever? It’s hard to find those books, I’ve looked. Every girl dreams of her wedding day, and no one wants to think that they’ll never get married, so we’ve avoided the topic altogether.

For a while, Carrie Bradshaw was the iconic Single Girl.

However, this is pretty darn toxic to our female psyches because it conditions us to think that if women don’t get married, they’re missing out on God’s plan. Or they’re not normal. Or they’re being punished by God for something they did. In 1 Corinthians 7:6-7, Paul says that marriage is a gift from God, but so is singleness. If you’re married, you’re usually more focused on pleasing your partner than pleasing God, so it’s harder to put God first. But while you’re single, you can focus more on pleasing God than anyone else. Being single forever is not a bad thing, so why isn’t it talked about? Even if we do get married eventually, it would be nice for those women who don’t get married to be prepared for that possibility. You can never be too prepared. Haven’t we learned anything from the Boy Scouts?

Sometimes God doesn’t have marriage planned for us because He has something better. It’s hard to think about being “alone” (not really alone, it might just feel that way) for the rest of your life, but it’s actually pretty cool when you think about it: God has such a great plan for you that He can’t let anyone else get in the way of it.

Let me know if you come across any Christian books that talk about being single forever. I’d love to see what they have to say!

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4 thoughts on “Things I learned at church: Part 1.

    • I did see that! It’s a weird double standard with regards to leadership: single Christian women make great children’s leaders and Bible study leaders, but single Christian men aren’t considered great youth leaders. But then again, I guess single Christian men are seen as “abnormal,” just as single Christian women are.

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