I had to undergo somewhat of an interview process for a ministry opportunity recently. I met the woman who would conduct the interview and after exchanging a few pleasantries her initial statement to me was, “so, tell me a little about yourself.” I talked briefly about my background, where I grew up, my current occupation and then shared a bit about both my current and previous ministry involvement. I spoke about what I’ve learned and how various experiences have helped to mature me in my Christian walk.
After hearing my description, her response was simply, “that’s great but are you married or single?” After a brief pause, I replied, “I’m single” and she said something to the effect of “you know most people usually start with that and then discuss their life as it relates to that fact.”
I’m sorry but I didn’t realize my marital status was suppose to define me or determine what I am able to accomplish for Christ. I’m sure she wasn’t trying to be demeaning by her statements but that doesn’t change the fact that they were quite deflating. I felt as if she believed my marital status was the sole basis of my substance and/or ability to contribute effectively to ministry work. Now I understand there are ministry roles whereby a couple is best suited but this was not the case in this instance.
Yes, I’m single but singleness does not define me, nor should it define you. Christ defines me. He says I am His child and a joint heir with Christ (Rom 8:14-17), His chosen people and a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9), made in His image (Genesis 1:27), fearfully & wonderfully made (Psalm 139), the head, not the tail (Duet. 28:13), His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), His disciple (Matt 28:19-20) and so much more.
I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how anyone else defines me, I am who God says I am. And although people will sometimes treat singles as such, I know I am not an afterthought to God.
I don’t think people intentionally try to make singles feel bad, I just think it’s human nature to try to classify things and fit them into a nice little box. Unfortunately older singles don’t fit nicely into most people’s box because if you’re not married by a certain age, then they assume there must be something wrong with you.
However please bear in mind that this is not just common to singles, but any perceived difference or deviation from the norm. Recall the story of the man born blind in John 9, the disciples asked “who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind?” But Jesus’ response should serve as encouragement to anyone whose life fits outside the box that most would describe as normalcy. Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
That’s why it’s so important that you learn and live out who God says you are. The works of God are to be revealed in you. There is no need for any Christian to live in a box because Jesus has paid for your freedom. So how do you define you and how do you live out your life based on that fact?
About the Author
Lisa is the creator of www.the-christian-single-woman.com, a website dedicated to helping Christian single women lead fulfilling and whole lives during their season of singleness. Though singleness is not a desired state for most, she is a firm believer that it should not be a season of depression. As a Christian single who has endured many ups and downs in singleness, her heart’s desire is to be a voice of encouragement for Christian single women to remind them they are not alone, they have not been forgotten and most of all that they are loved by Christ.