A danger of the single life is isolation. Because our churches are (sadly) often geared around families our unmarried people are left to fend for themselves for fellowship and friendship. Women’s Bible Studies are frequently focused on marital issues. If there is a “Singles Group” it is mixed and can (and often does) become a social group to find a spouse. Small Groups and Community Groups are usually couples or families and the Singles are lumped in with them. This leaves our precious unmarried women without a peer group to whom they can relate. Is it any wonder they seek friendships outside the church, or isolate and have few or even no friends?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” This is a secular statement, but a true one nonetheless. One pitfall single women land in is to think they have nothing in common with their married counterparts. This is part of what I believe drives them away from women’s fellowship activities. They give up on ministering to and serving other women because they are focusing on themselves. The thinking goes something like this: “I have nothing in common with them. They have nothing to offer me so why should I go or participate?”
This thinking is erroneous and reveals a heart that is focused on “self.” This thinking completely disregards Philippians 2:1-8 with a special emphasis on verses 3-4
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Every person is to seek ways they can serve others, putting the needs of fellow Christians ahead of their own. You may think that you will not be missed if you avoid other Christian women, but the Lord has encouraged single women to be active participants in the Body. You have things to offer to other women, and it is part of your responsibility to determine what that looks like.
You can be an example of godliness to other women in many ways if you are an active part of the church. Your life speaks volumes even when your mouth is silent. What you participate in, how you serve, what you do with the gifts God has given you all are a silent testimony to others. Do you work well with others? Are you temperamental and difficult to get along with? Must everything always be your way for you to serve? Is having you a part of a project a blessing to others or is it more of a burden?
If upon reflection you find that your life’s witness is not what it ought to be, you still have time to change that. Sign up and participate at the next opportunity and determine to be a blessing to those you serve. Take instruction and pray the Lord will help you with a servant’s heart.
You can be an example of godly speech. Like any other woman, you hold the power of life and death in your tongue. (James 3:2-12) Your speech is a powerful indicator of the condition of your heart. Scripture says it actually reveals the contents of your heart (Matt. 12:34) and for some women that is a frightening thought indeed! Be an example by not gossiping about others. Be an example by giving grace to those who hear you speak (Col. 4:6). Is your speech pleasant or is it full of complaining and discontentedness at your singleness? Are you grumbling and complaining about where God has you in life?
If upon reflection you determine that you have some cleanup work to do in your speech, there is no time like the present to make this right. Confess your sin to those you have subjected to your unwholesome speech and ask their forgiveness and then ask for their help. Humility is a wonderful character trait to cultivate.
You see, you have to reach out into the church and allow others to reach out to you. You have to be willing to take the risk and reach out to others and make friends. As I have said before, your fellow Christians are tools in the hands of God to sharpen you. They are used by Him to blast off the rough edges and to conform you into His image and likeness. Consider these things…pray on them…focus on others, trust God and make a friend.