Dear Single Woman,
Your life is not incomplete. The world will try to make you feel like it is, asking if you’ve “found your other half” yet. Friend, you are not a half. In Christ, you have been made whole. Society operates under skewed ideas about what relationships are for and what they can do. People will tell you that relationships are for helping you feel fulfilled and that a man can make you happy. Even well meaning Christians will tell you that marriage is necessary because it’s the means for God-honoring sex and child rearing. I’m here to tell you that those worldly perspectives are lies and that even the common Christian beliefs are incomplete. The ultimate purpose of marriage is to display the covenant relationship of Christ and His church. As John Piper puts it, “That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream” (This Momentary Marriage).
At its core, the meaning of marriage is not found in the good things that accompany it such as companionship, sex, commitment, and children. The purpose of marriage is to honor the Lord and put Him on display. While God has ordained to make Himself known through Christian marriages, this does not mean that you, as a single in Christ, cannot shine for Him. The way you display Christ and His love will look vastly different from how the married couples you know display Christ and His love, but you can do it. After all, there are God honoring ways to be married and God honoring ways to be single.
In writing an open letter to single women, I’m addressing two camps of women at the same time. Some of you may be content in your singleness, happily planted exactly where God has you. More of you, most likely, struggle with discontentment related to your singleness.
First, a word to the content singles…I’m happy for you. People probably don’t say that to you half as much as they should. In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul addresses singles like you, exhorting you to leverage your singleness for the furthering of the kingdom of God. You have a unique freedom that married women do not have (1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-35 [Please note that Paul is not speaking poorly of marriage in these verses. Rather, he is simply explaining the benefits of singleness and calling content Christian singles to remain unmarried and commit all that they are to the Lord.]). Pour yourself out for the good of the church, the Bride of Christ.
And now to those of you who struggle with seeing your singleness as more of a burden than a blessing. I know the struggle of discontentment. Now, I know you might be thinking What can she possibly know about discontentment? She got engaged the day she turned 20. You would be right about my early engagement, but you would be wrong to think I don’t know what discontentment feels like. The promise of marriage is a glorious thing, but despite what you may think, it does not cure every source of discontentment.
If discontent is something you struggle with, take it to the Lord. Ask Him to take your heart, broken by yearning, and mend it. Trust that He is enough to satisfy your desires for a husband. He knows the longings of your soul even better than you do. Even if you feel like your prayers for a relationship are falling on deaf ears, trust in Him. He hears every prayer (1 John 5:14) and sees every tear (Psalm 56:8) and makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11a). Thank Him for His love, which never fails (Psalm 136:26).
Much love to you,
Your sister, and fellow member of the Bride of Christ
P.S. Stay tuned for my upcoming Open Letter to the Married Woman!