Almost 30 and Single


(Sarah Stoddard) #1

The Bible has a lot to say about the role of the woman as a wife or even mother, but I haven’t found much about the role of the single woman, especially as it relates to this day and age when women tend to leave their families and pursue education and careers long before they marry. As I approach the age of 30, never even having a boyfriend before, I cannot tell you how often I get criticism or questions about my life choices. “Why aren’t you married yet?” “You should join dating websites.” “Don’t you want to have a family and kids?” “You’ll find someone soon.” “You must be scared of commitment.” “Your standards are probably too high.”

The reality is this: Yes, I struggle with being single sometimes because God has given me the desire for a husband. I do not desire for children, but maybe God will change that if I do get married. I love commitment! I’m committed to Christ, after all. My only standards are that he be 100% sold out to pursuing a relationship with Christ (I’d love to hear a statistic of the number of young single men this applies to…) and that we both feel God wants us to get married. I’m not married yet because God doesn’t want me to be.

There is a wonderful purpose for singleness. God provides me with time to learn about myself, others, and Him without the distractions of constantly dating and pursuing relationships. He’s blessed me with opportunities to befriend other women who struggle with their identities and roles in society, feeling the pressure that their worth comes from being attached to a man in some capacity. I believe that God is leading me to walk alongside these women, so that together we can learn lessons such as: how to have healthy relationships, how to behave towards men in varying circumstances as a single woman, being a single woman in a male-dominated work force, what submission looks like and who to submit to, and what God’s purpose is for our lives.

I would love to get anyone else’s thoughts or hear stories on the role of single women in society today. It’s a somewhat broad topic, but anything that you have that may help me and other single women who wish to pursue Christ first, yet struggle with societal (Christian and secular) pressures, would be much appreciated.


(SeanO) #2

@Sarahnaomi There seem to be two elements to your question - women and singleness. Here are some resources that I hope would be helpful. Tim Keller’s talk at the bottom is a great resource for starting to think through being single within this fallen world while we live out the Kingdom. The Lord Jesus grant you wisdom.

Women in the Church

This topic is quite significant in my family of origin. I do wish the Church would be more faithful to the Scriptures on this topic and admit when there is uncertainty in interpretations. Here is a book about Katherine Bushnell, who lived a powerful life as a single - helping women sold into prostitution, learning multiple languages modern and ancient and serving the Lord.

Singleness

Here are some resources from Sam Allberry, who is single by choice rather than acting on homosexual desires. I think he makes some good points.

Here is Tim Keller talking about a ‘theology of singleness’.

Tim Keller Talk <<< Good Stuff


(C Rhodes) #3

@Sarahnaomi. I will cling to brevity if I can. I too have never been married and I may be the oldest virgin I know. :blush: The only boyfriend that I had was someone I knew preferred my sister. So I determined to use him up and cast him aside. Human nature is odd. He became a willing devotee. We never held hands or kissed. But he followed commands well. I have apologized since becoming an adult.

I have many stories and an amazing testimony concerning singleness. I ran the gamut. From sanctity to crazy heat, to sanctification. There is not enough time to cover it all, but I can tell you GOD is so faithful, so amazing, and so completing.

I remember saying to the Lord once, “I will give you until Friday to produce your male selection. If you fail to come through I will go get one myself!” I have this mental image of angels eagerly gathering with a big bowl of popcorn to watch me, clown. But if so, I imagine the Lord breaking up the watch-a-thon with a chuckle and saying, “that’s one of mine’s, leave her alone she’ll soon remember.” Thank GOD I have.

Admittedly the church does not teach the young how to live in sanctification. Sometimes being the culprit that drives the heat in the mind and body of the young. I never tell anyone they should not marry, that is not my place or right. I do say, “the reality of marriage is that it is continuous work.” But so is living single. I tell the children in my life their true purpose is to know the will of GOD for their life, all other things will fall in line. That may mean marriage, that may mean singleness. That may entrust you with millions or send you to work and die in India. Only GOD can define our best selves.

I further believe if you can not live whole as a single person, you bring massive baggage to the marriage. Our first and primary position must be one that lives as if GOD is in complete control. If you learn that as a single person, it travels into the marriage as an amazing companion to salvation. When the mate is more human than they have promised they would be, when the glow of birthing children descends into the muck and mire of biological realities, than the wholeness of your relationship with GOD remains your singular untarnished possession.

You can live as you did ‘singularly’ as unto to GOD! I can’t imagine a better life-time companion than one who loves and lives as unto to GOD. I think I will stop here. Because I could talk even more. For instance how GOD has taught me about contentment. How I have many single friends who don’t know this reality. But even in our failure to be whole in JESUS, there is no condemnation. GOD gets/understands us all.


(David Vermaak) #4

Hi @Sarahnaomi,

Wow, I love your vulnerability and transparency, it shows great maturity, well done for being so courageous!

I was battling with being single for 4 years (27-31), my own mother said I’m being too selective, & believe me, thats saying something!!

I too was very careful of who I was prepared to be yolked with for the rest of my life, and I had many many hours of loneliness, sitting at home Friday and Saturday nights studying the Word or spending time with my family, which was incredible for my spiritual growth, but it didn’t take away that loneliness when your soul yearns for a life partner.

I went on to online dating sites honestly more for the fellowship (I didn’t have any peers my age that weren’t married and godly in my lil town in South Africa) and thought I just want to have godly friends(preferably female :wink:), and if by some really small chance something develops then great.

I formed great friendships with godly woman all over the world, we had rich discussion and fellowship via Skype, Whatsapp etc., it was great just to be able to commune with someone of the opposite gender and have good wholesome talk. This went on for almost 4 years.

I was on e-Harmony (no one in South Africa knows what e-Harmony is and the dating sites there are pretty shabby, in my opinion, thus me being on international sites) and in August of 2015 I got a wink from this beautiful lass (Lisa) who was from the USA.

We started chatting, between 2-4 hours of brutally transparent and vulnerable conversation with each other every day, and within 1.5 months (September) I came to the USA for the first time for 3.5 days after a 25hour trip.

We made the decision while I was in the USA that we were going to pursue a serious relationship based on us being spiritually comfortable with each other (I was interviewed by her pastors, life group etc.) and we loved being around each other!

I came over again in December 2015, Lisa came over in March 2016 (we got engaged), she came over again in May (I almost died from multiple pulmonary emboli as a result of surgery I had had to fix a broken shoulder) and took care of me. I came over to the USA at the end of June 2016, and July 4th 2016, 11 months after we met on e-harmony, we got married.

I wrote this whole story because honestly, logistically/financially/physically it seemed impossible to comprehend that something like this could have happened in the time it did, but God showed up, and He showed off!

I had a deep desire for a wife, and I took God up on His challenge of knocking on the door (Luke 11:5-13), and truthfully sometimes I know it was sinful because I was eventually obsessed with it, it consumed my thoughts and I just wanted a wife.

But I believe God put that desire there(the healthy part) and even though I was consumed with it at times, the very fact that I had that desire was comforting to me because I knew the Lord had someone set apart for me, I believe He does for you too, and He’s working on both of you till the time is right for you to meet, if you haven’t already.

Culturally/biblically -

1 Corinthians 7:25-38 is a great passage to reflect on. Judging by some of the wisdom and wording you used, it sounds like you may have already done so.

Galatians 6:4-5 - Even though in context this passage is talking about believers who are sharing one another’s burdens and sins to not compare themselves to each other, whether for good or bad, the principle remains that, we have an audience of 1 that we need only be concerned about, and that is Jesus Christ, Lord of our lives.

As a pastor I have gained access to a lot of insight into men and woman in the church.
With men it’s the same old story, porn, alcohol, pride, anger, as the recurring themes.

What I had no idea about was the amount of anxiety woman battle with, like 7/10.

I’m not saying this is you at all!!!

But I have seen how the culture you talk about has crept into the church and taken the focus off biblical principles.

Woman are consistently comparing themselves to one another (is my house as neat as hers, she’s pretty, I’m not, she’s skinny I’m not) , fighting for equality with men (this is good, but just as men have sinned by thinking they are better than woman, the same obsession is starting to take over woman and they are starting to define themselves by their success and equality or triumphing over men in the workplace as their identity and not as daughters of the King, this leads to an unbalanced and insecure individual.)

I truly believe the way to overcome this prolific anxiety I’m seeing in woman is to get back to the basics of Galatians 6:4, and for woman to stop comparing themselves to one another and take pride in their own actions, to the Lord of their lives.

So, when your friends give you a hard time about being single, remind them that you take your lead from Jesus Christ, and compare your walk with what He would have for you, and that culture and society, even their input, are way below Gods ways.

Praying right now for strength and comfort for you, and that your husband would get a move on already😉

But if God desires for you to be single and serve Him in a very special and unique way, I believe He will take away those desires of your heart, for the most part (I think there will always be a bit of loneliness when one is on their own, every now and then, but God could remove that completely as well) and you will be content, happy, and blessed being single.

Rgds,

DV.


(Elizabeth Bays) #5

@Sarahnaomi As a single woman who runs a business and is working towards ordination as a Baptist minister I have a few thoughts to share with you. I also want to state that I understood you to be content with where you are currently and so did not wish to infer that you are not.

As a woman created by God to serve Him in whatever capacity He leads you to, you can rest in the promise that God does have a purpose for you and one day may fulfill your desire to marry. Since you love the Lord and desire to do His will this means you are deciding to wait on His timing and not settle for human impulse. The Lord knows what’s best for you at this time in your life, we may want what we want when we want but God sees the bigger picture. While waiting is challenging, it is comforting to know that God has your best interest at heart. This can be a quiet confidence you carry with dignity amid the questions and raised eyebrows you may come across in regards to remaining single.

While woman do encounter certain obstacles in the workforce and even in churches, (and I do not in any way wish to minimize the harsh and unequal treatment many women face around the world) I believe the real question to dealing with these situations is to ask God what He would have you do in them. It can be difficult if people in the church take issue with women in leadership roles but since brothers and sisters in Christ are considered equal in the eyes of God we can trust that He has our back. And in the secular workplace He does as well. I believe what God really cares about is our attitude and behavior in handling the situation. Once again, if we know who we are in Christ, this gives us the confidence to not feel the need to defend ourselves, even as a woman. Whether male or female, young or old, Asian or American, we are all called to be Christlike in our thoughts and actions. To practice the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). God leads us through many experiences in our journey with Him and each one builds on the other in making us more complete in Him and leading us to fulfill the purpose and plan He has for us in His kingdom.

It’s hard not to dwell on the fact that our desires go unmet, we are treated unjustly, or our lives just don’t go as planned. It’s very easy to get bogged down in the overwhelming details of ones life. However, God always calls us up higher and to a different perspective. An eternal one. He wants us to focus on what will last and what will build our character. 2 Peter 1:3-11

I too recommend the links that SeanO suggested. Understanding our true role as God intended and its portrayal in the Bible is very important for all women whether single, married, or considering ministry. And having a church family to support and encourage in this journey is vitally important. It’s wonderful that you are sharing it with other women and supporting each other.


(Dani) #6

I had one boyfriend and thought we’d get married (he didn’t) and then I was single again. I got to where I felt I’d be ok married or never marrying. Really! Yet now I’ve got a boyfriend who fell for Jesus and then for me. I think that the mindset where I’d be ok single or taken, and that God would allow me to meet whomever is the one if He wants me to, was important.

I applaud your patience and that you’re connecting so much with fellow sisters. I’ve found that a relationship is easy to get absorbed in, and each person having solid good friends adds other views (so the couple isn’t just one another’s yes men), and helps to getting their mind back on their peers. Asking to hang out solo or even as the dreaded third wheel with someone in one of those isolated relationships (if you see one), could really bless both of you. I could have benefitted from more time with peers in my first relationship. So please keep growing sister friendships!

I’m not engaged and could still become single. But still, I think whichever I end up I’m ok if it’s married or never marrying. John 4:14


(Sarah Stoddard) #7

@cer7 Thank you very much for sharing your story and commenting on this. I imagine you probably do have many stories, and I can imagine quite a few of them being similar to mine or friends of mine. The lies the devil tells us that we actually believe can be quite unhinging. But you are absolutely right, God is always faithful and is the only one that can truly make us complete and whole.

Although I seem very happy and fulfilled in my singleness, it took many many years and constant struggle, fighting against what God was asking of me. And I’ll admit, I’m not fully there yet. When I finally started to give in to His desires for me, it was the most freeing thing ever. I see other women around me who have yet to reach that point, never allowing themselves to be single for more than a week or so, always ready to find the next guy when one doesn’t work out. These women are never happy or fulfilled, and it breaks my heart.

I would absolutely love to hear more of your stories. Stories seem to me to be one of the most powerful ways to communicate to women my age or younger, myself included. How has God taught you about contentment?


(Sarah Stoddard) #8

@David_Vermaak I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your post. Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing your crazy wonderful story! What an inspiration! My battle with loneliness was in college and graduate school, living away from my family and support system. Those 6 years of my life were extremely difficult and God broke me many many times, but I learned and grew so much. I too would spend Friday and Saturday nights alone, so I know exactly how you felt. Though I was studying human physiology and didn’t have any spiritual support at school.

I found myself hating being alone so much, I’d go party with people I didn’t even care to be around. When that didn’t work, I’d come rushing home on the weekend or every chance I got just to get away from the loneliness. Thankfully, my parents were and still are the most loving and Godly parents God could have ever blessed me with. I wouldn’t have survived without them and without their guidance, but I also was never open with them about my struggles or loneliness, feeling like it was my issue and my issue alone (really dumb, I know…). I am a professional emotion bottler and secret keeper, but God has been steadily chipping away at my defenses. I am trying to be brave and open about sharing my stories, but it is still difficult at times.

Your story is amazing, and I too have reflected on Luke 11:5-13. I do believe God gave me a healthy desire for a husband and I feel He may give me one, but certainly not on any timeline of mine. I doubt Him often on this, and have found myself looking up at the sky and saying, “will You PLEASE just take away my desires for a husband? My life would be so much easier!” He never does. I’ve wanted a husband since before I even really knew what a husband was or did because of the amazing relationship that my parents had. I wanted that. I still do. Although I haven’t found that in human form, I have found that relationship with God, which is more than I’ll ever deserve. I often feel extremely selfish for wanting a husband, having such profound relationships with my family members, close friends, and God. He’s already given me amazing relationships. How can I ask for more? Wouldn’t that be wrong of me?

Thank you for the Bible passages. Those are definitely verses I have read before, but I will definitely reflect on them some more.

I think you may be surprised to find out that 7/10 might be an underestimate for the number of young women in the secular world who struggle with anxiety. Maybe they appear to be okay in public, but I don’t know one woman in my life who doesn’t get extremely anxious when you bring up a specific topic they struggle with. A lot of women don’t even realize it about themselves or they’ve compartmentalized it so much, it doesn’t appear until something triggers it. I know several women with PTSD, and even more with depression. In my opinion, these are all just terms to describe various activities of the mind when we let the devil reside there and believe his lies. God can cure all those things and He always does. I’ve seen Him do it! I’m glad that you have recognized that, even in the church community.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of my friends, coworkers, training partners, clients, etc. are not believers, so when I get criticism, I can’t typically throw out a bible verse or mention Jesus’s name and hope that it will be an effective ward. I would most likely get a response like, “and how’s that working out for you?” They mean well, and they do care about me, but my approach with them will always be a little different than if I’m talking to a believer.

I’ve realized brevity is not my strong suit, but I hope my responses made sense. Your post really hit home in a lot of ways for me, so again, thank you.

Sarah


(Sarah Stoddard) #9

@Elizabeth_Bays Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging post. I struggle very much with the injustices and discrimination women face all over the world. The more I travel, the more thankful I am for what I have, but the more my heart hurts for women in worse conditions than me. I wish there was something I could do, some way I could help, but I often feel powerless. I never feel like men listen to me when I voice my concerns (mind you, I’m not the best at elequently stating my opinions and beliefs), so I don’t bother anymore. I don’t have the funds to donate to organizations that do help women. What I do have is a community of women in my life that have been through it all. We listen to each other and encourage each other. Being single has brought these women into my life, so I couldn’t be happier about that.

I have so much more to learn, and I could say a heck of a lot more about my struggles and the struggles that the women I’m around are faced with, but knowing we are not alone is sometimes the most encouraging thing. We have each other, but mostly we have God. I will definitely continue my perpetual search of God, truth, love, purpose, and exactly what those look like for me and women like me.

Sarah


(Gabrielle Greene Fennessee) #10

I was married for 14 years and have been divorced for 8 years. My single life before marriage and after divorce has very interesting and rewarding. When I was single before marriage I spent a lot of time learning about myself and God’s plan for my life. However I did not receive instruction on biblical manhood and womanhood till recently! The wisdom I gleamed from my experience is to learn more about personality styles, what kind of thinker you are, and how you process conflict. This will help you learn how to communicate and how to receive communication from both genders. I wish someone would have told me things before I got married. It would have helped me be more in tune with the Holy Spirit because you can find a partner who is a believer, however you both are still unequally yoked. I attended a conference and met Dr. Charles S. Lowery. He talks about a lot of the things I just mentioned. These tools will help you learn more about yourself, meaning, destiny, for God’s plan for your womanhood so that you can maximize your singlehood and make a great transition for marriage!


(Sarah Stoddard) #11

@Dani Thank you for responding and sharing your story. I agree, that the idea of being okay no matter what situation God has put me in or will put me in in the future is of utmost importance. I used to try and do things to show or prove to God (really to myself) that I was content and doing the game in the hopes that maybe then He would finally give me what I want and have me start a serious relationship. I wasn’t really content, though, was I? When I did finally start becoming more content, instead of a Godly man, He put several Godly women in my life. I don’t fully understand the purpose or role I’m supposed to play, but I can definitely say I’m happy going down this road. Thank you for the encouragement and I also hope that you remain content in exactly where God has placed you right now. I’m happy to hear that you are in a good relationship, and I’m sure no matter what the end result, you both will gain a lot from it. Many blessing to you!

Sarah


(Sarah Stoddard) #12

@balance1124 Thank you for sharing your story! If you don’t mind me asking, do you have any advice, bible verses, etc. that helped you during or after your divorce? I ask because my best friend recently went through a bad divorce. She was only married 2 years but her husband was abusive and extremely manipulative. He is still trying to manipulate her and she is finding it difficult to fully separate herself from him even though he left her because she wanted to pursue a relationship with God and he didn’t like that. I’d love to share anything that might help with her as she goes through this tough process.

When you talk about personality styles, the kind of thinker you are, and processing conflict, that makes me think of the Birkman method. Are you familiar with it? My father used it as a tool in his ministry because it was developed by a believer. I have taken the test before and it’s proven quite helpful.

I also find it interesting that you mentioned being married to a believer, yet still being unequally yolked. Can you explain that more to me?


(Brittany Bowman) #13

Your question is so heartfelt, and I appreciate you starting this conversation with such boldness. It sounds like you are really using your situation to minister to others in ways you wouldn’t be able to do from the context of other relationships. What an encouragement to hear of someone “infiltrated” into regular society seeking to throw lifelines to others. As you do, here are some resources I have found helpful. It sounds like you are well-versed in resources and study a good bit, so you may have found some of them already. My apologies if some are duplicates.






(I especially recommend the resources at the bottom of the article.)

I would love to hear how you bring Christ into your conversations as a personal trainer. What approaches have you found helpful?


(C Rhodes) #14

Hey @Sarahnaomi. Below I have written about a recent lesson GOD gave me on contentment. I find these lessons are on going. I am thankful for that faithful attention.

In a recent dream, I saw myself visiting an old house I had been in as a child. I was told that what I was seeing was just the beginning of my inheritance. I was taken around and shown pristine lawns, a college campus complete with tennis courts and other amenities. I was shown a private academy with great potential for blessing many children. I was shown a beautiful home on this same campus. A home occupied by a tenured professor but owned by me.

I saw many things. But then I was conducted to the most beautiful of grand hotels. Glided with expensive and treasured things. I was taken up to the penthouse and told it was my permanent residence, for I owned the hotel.

I was hungry and so I decided to venture down to the dining hall where I knew we served complimentary breakfast. In the hall outside my room I saw a gaggle of women, some of them were friends. They were loud and crass in their conversation and made it clear I was not welcomed unless I presented myself as they were behaving. I hurried past them, I did not want to be as they were.

I called for the elevator and my friends rushed to take the ride down to breakfast, but they would not talk with me, only each other. When the elevator opened on the main floor the view of the entrance was so grand and beautiful I wanted to point it out to the women and proclaim my ownership. Instead they rushed from the elevator to the Dining hall. They were worried that all the food would be eaten before they had their plates.

I was told to hold my peace and so I proceeded at a slow pace to the Dining Hall. When I arrived I could see many guest eating along with these women. Strolling up to the banquet line I selected a buckwheat pancake, eggs, bacon, and sausage. The pancakes were huge. Large enough for a platter sized plate, shaped like a huge fish.

When I awoke and prayed about what I had seen, the Lord said, “when you have an inheritance, when you are the owner; your reaction is different from those who are paying guest. You are not worried about food running low, or not having a home or a career. You walk and talk like the owner you are.”

If you had told me when I was a little girl that I would not marry or may not ever marry, I would have laughed you to scorn. I had plans. But now I know nothing but excitement for what is yet to come. For all the ways GOD is teaching me. For the assurance of my inheritance.


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #15

@Sarahnaomi I am glad to hear you pursuing God’s Kingdom! I have done a lot of research and learnt a lot about being a single Christian in today’s world and would like to share some of the wisdom i have gathered over that last while. Just to be clear, i am single (and perfectly content that way as I feel I’m not spiritually ready yet) but i have been doing this research for my sister who is about a year and a half younger than me and struggles very much with depression. She struggles with the emotional balance of living for Christ and being in relationships, plus trying to deal with a low self esteem.
First off, i agree with @Brittany_Bowman1’s suggestion of Boundless. Please check that out, I promise it’ll help you. Here is a two part podcast dealing with your very issue with Lisa Anderson (who is the director of boundless) and Tony Evans (who always has some great wisdom to share):



And here are some books that you definitely need to check out:

Dannah Gresh is fantastic by the way, read her books, watch her videos, her wisdom on these topics are amazing! (Listen to to Focus on the family broadcast of Dannah’s book here) Here’s a co-authored book of hers:

The last book I suggest is by Gary Thomas. I have read this book and must say it is a MUST READ before you consider a serious relationship:

I love this book and basically underlined the whole thing :grin:
If you want, you can also listen to the Focus on the family broadcast based off of this book as well:


I promise that these resources will help you, not only in being single, but also with (and more importantly) with your walk with God!
Remember Paul:
1 Corinthians 7:8-9
8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

If God is putting the desire to be married on your heart, remember it is not a bad thing. Just please search in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

I hope that i have helped. If any of these books are a blessing to you, pass it on because more singles (especially this generation) need to hear the wisdom those books have to share :expressionless:

God bless you!


(Gabrielle Greene Fennessee) #16

You are welcome! I try to share my story to help people not suffer the way I suffered. I have taken time to reflect on the failure of my marriage which includes asking myself:

  • What attracted me to this dysfunctional man?
  • How did my relationship with my birth father impact my mate selection?
  • What character, personality traits do I possess make me a magnet for dysfunctional people?
  • I grabbed a picture of my 8-year-old self and while I was holding the picture what advice/wisdom would I tell her?
  • I found a happily married couple(s) for mentorship to learn what a happy, healthy couple looks like.
  • I have a male pastor/theologian to help me unpack some bad theology I had and learn how to speak man’s language and interrupt man’s language, verbal/non-verbal communication
  • Attended grief counseling to unpack my feelings with the death of my marriage, stabilize my emotions because I have a special needs son to raise.
  • Joined Celebration Recovery to deal with people pleasing, abandonment, and rejection from professional counseling discovery
  • FORGIVE ME and ask my son for forgiveness.

The primary scriptures God gave me to reflect on was the story of Nabal, Abigail, and David in 1 Samuel 25:1:44 and Psalms 107. My ex-husband has severe narcissism characteristics. Abigail’s wisdom in the story is central to navigating through the divorce, savage criticism from my peers. One of my favorite books to help me and my relationship with God was The Prodigal God by Tim Keller. This book helped gain a better understanding of how God made me as a woman to be valuable and equal to men. My self-esteem suffered greatly. This book helped me to discover idols I had built in my relationship and things in my life that did not have a proper foundation. I learned through this book I had some things built on sand.

During this process, my son and I have attended counseling and Celebration Recovery together. He is currently in a 7-year discipleship program with male leaders who are helping me develop his character as a man of valor. I had to make sure we are both healing through this divorce process.


(Sarah Stoddard) #17

@SeanO I wanted to watch all the videos and read your links before responding, but let me start by saying it was all awesome stuff! That is exactly what I was hoping to get when posting this. The talks were great and I am quite familiar with the speakers. I definitely read a lot of the other discussions related to women and I plan on purchasing quite a number of books. Hopefully God will allot me time to read them in between work and school! :sweat_smile:

I have already sent the talks about singleness out some of my single friends. Thank you very much for those resources. I’ve started down a rabbit hole of research on topics such as these and I look forward to where it leads.


(SeanO) #18

@Sarahnaomi Glad to hear :slight_smile: I hear you on the time crunch - there’s never enough time in a day. There are dozens of books I wish I had time to read, but this season of my life simply requires me to be more focused on my professional development. I try to read a chapter or two before I sleep at night or on the weekends and I always enjoy that time - it’s like an adventure to discover more of God’s truth every day! Let us know which resources are most helpful for you and may the Lord fill your studies with joy and growth at the head and the heart level.


(Sarah Stoddard) #19

@Brittany_Bowman1 Thank you so much for the resources! I am not familiar with any of these, so they are welcome and appreciated. I only started diving deep into the topics of singleness as it relates to Christian women a year ago. Mostly I’ve gone to live talks, read a few books, and spent time with other women in similar settings, but haven’t scoured the internet much, yet. Which is why I started this discussion here, to see what else might be out there! And hopefully meet more people willing to be open and share and network with. It’s difficult being surrounded by people of a different viewpoint constantly. I find myself rushing home some days so I can vent everything to my mom. :sweat_smile:

I haven’t had time to check out all the links yet, but I surely will. To answer your question, I am in a wonderful position as a personal trainer in that I often end up becoming my clients’ therapist for the hour or half hour they train with me. Most people use exercise to get their stress out, and let me tell you… do they rant! I’ve gotten to know my clients extremely well, even to the point where I’ve met most of their family members, house sit for them, dog sit for them, etc. This has allowed me an opening to speak to them freely because they learn quite quickly that I try and provide them a judgement-free and stress-free environment. I start by asking really good questions, like what their opinions are on certain matters. I may ask them about their beliefs and whatnot. That then usually leaves the door open for me to share my beliefs and opinions on matters, which are very Christ-centered. I actually have used Ravi’s events to stir up conversation on several occasions because I tell my clients when I go to them. Despite having clients that are Jewish, atheist, or frankly haven’t given much thought to their beliefs, they haven’t yet shied away from those types of conversations. We manage to always find points we can agree on, and I have challenged their thinking, so if nothing else, hopefully they will give their faith some more thought. Any other ideas of how I might approach them or others in my life that I’ve grown close with?


(Brittany Bowman) #20

Your story is quite encouraging, Sarah, and I appreciate your question here. Thanks for encouraging me with your boldness and how you have incorporated so many singles and trainees into your personal life. These small moments can be our most powerful witness, and your story is a good prod to myself to remember that.

I don’t have many resources, except to encourage you to search through past threads, as there are many good resources there. (The “Lewis’ Desire Against Materialism” one is really good.) I enjoy working with Focus on the Family’s Online Mentor program to both learn about new resources they are developing and to practice my response to the hurting. When you are criticized for your singleness, perhaps it could be a good lead-in into the very meaning of marriage being Christ’s sacrificial relationship with the Church. You could describe how your call for sacrifice is not diminished as a single or wife- it’s only different.

That’s all I’ve got. :smiley: There are many more here who have more boldness in witnessing, who I have been learning from. Praying you continue to follow God’s lead!