So I’m feeling inspired by an article I’ve read recently in The Briefing and some sermons I listened to on Singleness. I’ve decide that the time has come for us single people to speak up and help you to help us.
So this is the first of a series of post sharing thoughts gathered from single women about what not to say to your single friends. Of course I should add that what I have to say is mostly specific for single girls – whether or not its helpful for blokes is a question for someone else!
#1 – Don’t assume that they are single by choice
Singleness is often really hard. A lot of single women I know (and this includes me) struggle with it either all the time or most of the time. So my advice would be to be gentle and thoughtful when broaching this subject. Don’t assume that it’s their choice to be single, or that they are happy about it. And on that same note it’s almost never a good idea to point out a woman’s age to her (or say things like ‘biological clock’) when talking about her single life…. I promise you she is much more aware of it than you are!
I want to say that you should encourage your single friends in their singleness – but I guess part of these posts is trying to work out what that looks like. I do know that it means praying for them. And praying with them. And always encourage them to serve Jesus’ name above all others NOW and to stand firm in Him.
Always for Jesus’ fame
I find that it is rarely a choice. I have only once heard of someone choosing to be single for the gospel – however, they eventually got married later on in life!
Thanks, Kate, for being willing to tackle what is sometimes a difficult subject. I’m very much looking forward to posts #2 – ???
Hang in there, my friend.
Hey! I haven’t read all that you wrote however, being in the room as you chatted and wrote this it reminded me of a great ‘footnote’ written by Barry Webb in the book ‘Five Festal Garments’ (NSBT, IVP/Apollo) p.33-34. Barry writes on the topic of ‘singleness for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 19:12) exemplified by Jesus himself’. etc etc. Here is the footnote…
“Complex and sensitive issues arise here. Clearly, singleness is not to be seen as inferior to marriage in all respects, and single persons should not be viewed as ‘imcomplete’ in any way that calls into question their integrity and dignity as human beings. Nevertheless, Song of Songs has something important to say in this area, and it must be allowed to make it’s contribution to a fully biblical approach on these matters. [he then discusses Gen 1-3 – ‘not good for man to be alone’ (2:18) stands in stark contrast to Gen 1 “it was good… good … good … very good’. Here is something that is not good.] The good answer to this is the ‘one flesh’ union between man and the woman in Gen 2:23-25. …. [Song of Songs highlights the] full enjoyment of what our created natures naturally desire and long for. … Singleness [in light of the coming of Jesus] remains a state that is ‘not good’ in the sense that it is a state of loneliness in which certain natural created desires are not met. There are compensations, of course, and important benefits, but particular needs remain unmet, ans the single person has to live with that fact and work through it. It is important to acknowledge this; otherwise there is a danger of moving in to a kind of unreality and denial that are not helpful, either to single people themselves, or those who minister to them.’
These are sensitive words from a learned and gentle-man.
very true – thanks Jacko!
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