I have had the beautiful blessing of traveling all over the world and living in multiple countries.
In some areas, women are expected to wait for marriage. Wait until you have a degree. Then, get a good career going. Then wait a little bit longer. Play hard-to-get. Test men. Are they willing to give up their job and follow your career around? If they are, wait a bit longer. You wouldn’t want to get married until you are at least 30–if you do, chances are you might have children, and that would certainly mess up all that education…
On the other hand, when I was just 20, I moved to an area where women were either married or at least engaged by the time they graduated from school. Word soon got out that I was single, and I had 6 different young men ask for my hand in marriage. I even got the “if you don’t say yes to one of them soon, you’re going to be an old maid” speech.
Unfortunately, I also know firsthand the pain of loosing a husband–and winding up single all over again.
One thing I have noticed all over the world, whether it is acceptable for a woman to marry young, or expected that she wait until she has life experiences under her belt, a single woman’s heart is always set on her husband. It appears that in any culture, what God said to Eve in the garden remains true:
“Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 b
God’s Word stands now and always will. Married or not, we all have this in common.
Our single season can hold exciting opportunities and great joy. But other times, the single life can bring loneliness, emptiness, anger at God, a low self-esteem, and even a self-induced guilt. If the later woman is you, then I encourage you not only to work through these feelings with God, but also to discretely connect with other women who understand. Find a Titus 2 woman in your church.
Additionally, know that there are other women out there who not only understand, but have some amazing words of wisdom to share with you. Here are some godly women sharing their hearts with you.
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
How did you handle the impatience of wanting to be with the man you loved?
What is our role as single women–waiting around?
These and many more questions are asked of Elisabeth Elliot in response to her books and seminar appearances. In the book, she emphasizes the need to commit daily to Christ all matters of the heart and to wait upon Him. She teaches this often-painful yet rewarding discipline by candidly tracing her love story with Jim Elliot to “serve as evidence that I’ve been there.” Through letters, diary entries, and recollections, she shares the temptations, difficulties, victories, and sacrifices of two young people whose commitment to Christ takes priority over their love for each other. These revealing personal glimpses, combined with relevant biblical teaching, may help to remind you that only by putting your human passion and desire through His fire can God purify your love. This book gives direction in such areas as:
- Singleness or marriage
- Putting God’s desires ahead of personal desires
- What men look for in a woman
- Virginity and chastity
- The man’s and woman’s role in relationships
Every woman needs to read this book at least once in her lifetime. I inherited my grandmother’s copy. It is beautiful. I highly suggest if you can find one of the older original copies, do it. Look in old bookstores, thrift stores, or your library. This is a classic and must own.
Cindi’s audience for Women Who Walk Alone is a broad one―single women, women parenting alone, women alone as the spiritual head of their household, women facing challenging life situations, women without close friendships. And her message is timely―every woman feels alone at some point in her life, yet every woman needs someone to grow alongside her and to encourage her in her walk with the Lord.
When Women Walk Alone encourages readers to see alone times as unique opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Women will discover practical ways to…
- find support from other women who feel alone in their lives
- celebrate their own uniqueness and grow through the lonely times
- gain strength for the challenges of parenting alone
- funnel “loneliness in prayer” into “a new power in prayer alone with God”
- rely on the Lord and others to overcome personal trials
Using examples of biblical and contemporary women who emerged from a time of loneliness stronger and more complete, Cindi also looks at the example of Jesus and the many times He was alone or sought out some “alone time” to draw strength from His Father.
by Eric and Leslie Ludy
The God who created you is ready to write your love story–will you let Him?
Whether or not you are in a serious relationship, now is the time to lay the foundation for a lifelong romance. This book tells you how.
With the humor and heart that has made them so popular among young readers, Eric and Leslie showcase the extraordinary beauty of a God-scripted romance and the secrets to an amazing love story that can stand the test of time.
This books contains powerful, practical advice that bolsters their classic message on dating, romance, sexuality, and what it means to follow God rather than formulas.
by Gayle Roper
“So who am I now that there’s only one place at the table…one pillow with a head dent, one damp towel after a shower. There’s only one toothbrush in the holder. The seat is never left up anymore.
I can still write Mrs. in front of my name…”
Is there only you? Then join Gayle as she draws on her emotions during the loss of her beloved husband, Chuck, and offers you a compassionate devotional to encourage you through your darkest days. Gayle knows a widow’s pain is deep. But she also knows God’s love is deeper still. And it’s in His love you’ll find your deepest comfort.
I have not read this myself, but I do know of groups of widows who read this together. And most say they read it more than once. It is highly recommended to me, and so I recommend it to you.
Read all of these? Also check out:
- Lady In Waiting and A Man Worth Waiting For by Jackie Kendall
- Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs by Cindi McMeanamin
- Boundaries In Dating by Henry Cloud (written by a man, but I am a fan of his other “Boundary” books)
- God, Where Is My Boaz? by Stephan Labossiere
And lastly, if you haven’t already, please join our one year plan to pray for our husbands. Even if he’s not in your life yet, you can still be devoted and loyal to him by lifting him up in prayer.
I hope you find encouraging words here from women who embrace God through their single time in life.