Should a single woman support herself?

Hello, I am a young woman in college. Recently I have developed OCD (scrupulosity) after going through a hard time. I doubt everything I do. Right now I am going crazy over the thought that “It’s wrong for a single woman to live outside of her parent’s household and support herself by working.” I cannot seem to get this thought out of my head. It makes my motivation in college go way down because I wonder why I am even in college trying to get a degree and job. I’m a very black and white person so when I look at the culture of Jesus times and I don’t see single women supporting themselves, it haunts me. Please, if anyone had some insight, let me know! Thanks


Hi, @Lbboothroyd. First, I want to say welcome to Connect :slight_smile:. I’m sorry you are struggling so with this issue, and I hope we can be of some help.

The key thing to remember about this issue is that just because life was a certain way in Jesus’ culture and times doesn’t mean that we have to mimic all of it. Culture does not define the Christian life, but God’s principles as laid out throughout Scripture do. There are a couple of aspects of the culture in Jesus’ time regarding women that are important to keep in mind. First, women in Jesus’ time were usually regarded as property. Second, women usually did not own property, so it would have been very difficult for a woman to support herself at that time. Therefore, in light of those things, it was necessary for a woman to be taken care of. Those things are not true in our culture and times for today, eliminating the need for women to be taken care of in that way. Single life for men or women can make it difficult to make ends meet financially, but so can family life. There is nothing in the Bible that I can find or think of that prohibits a woman from working to support herself.

It might help, too, to remember that there are prescriptive things in the Bible and descriptive things. Prescriptive things are teachings about God’s way and principles that we are to live by with the help of the Holy Spirit. Descriptive things are those things which are described in the Bible but are not being taught or condoned as the “right” way to do things.

What are your thoughts on this so far?


Perhaps Lydia in Acts 16?

But, to echo the comments above, just because something was or wasn’t done in Jesus’ time does not mean that this determines what we do or do not do in our modern culture. I must say I enjoy the comfort my A/C provides, indoor plumbing, my vehicle, and refrigerators. This is just to name a few.


Just had the thought, too, that this seems like it may be affecting how you are viewing and thinking about things, even this issue about women supporting themselves. I personally have had to seek out counseling in the past for overthinking things and obsessive analyzing that started after I went through a really rough time. I had a serious blow to my confidence that I am still working on recovering. It may help to seek out some help with that issue if you haven’t already. We are certainly happy to pray with and for you and respond to your questions, but perhaps some professional counseling could help, as well. It helped me quite a bit :slight_smile:

Praying Christ’s peace for you in and through this. Regardless of what doubts may seem to be overwhelming us in our decision making, God is faithful, and His promises are true and He will never leave nor forsake us. Our sure hope and confidence is in Him. We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps. What a relief that is. Praying foryou, @Lbboothroyd.


Hello Leighton, welcome to the connect family made up of a multitude of people from all over the world, how was that said in the great commission?

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:15 NKJV

Then again in the upper room did Peter lie when he testified. There must have been women there.

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
Acts 2:17‭-‬19 NKJV

In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy.
Acts of the Apostles 2:18 NLT

Even the gentiles recieved in Acts Chapter 10
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
Acts of the Apostles 10:34‭-‬35 NLT

God had no favorites in the days of old. Women were as much an integral part as men.

I can only speak for myself but next to me is a better women who happens to be my wife that helps me be a better man.

Thank you for asking and sharing together with us. I would love to hear your take on the passages I shared?


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