We're Sisters, Whether Single or Married: Calley Sivils
Marriage is lovely. And when between a man and a woman who cherish the Gospel and are being sanctified by the Lord, it's a resplendent (albeit messy) picture of Christ and His Church. A wife's first earthly allegiance belongs to her husband. They are one flesh in a mysterious, God-glorifying way (Ephesians 5:32). But that shouldn't stop her from pouring into other women in the church. If a wife's only relationship to the fellow single women in her church is when she's trying to play matchmaker, something's wrong. A husband is an "only" not an "ultimate."
Single women are often stung or left behind after their friends marry or as they become friends with married women. Of course, it shouldn't be expected that wives text their single friends constantly on their honeymoon (er...no thanks) or give daily updates of their lives. But years often go by without a word (even if the singles reach out first), no matter how close the friendship was before. It's as if marriage can be used to isolate husbands and wives more than it grows them in the body of Christ.
1). They are a part of the true Groom's body
Both single and married women belong to Christ and are an indispensable part of the church. However, many single women experience married women merely watching and waiting for the single ladies to be "swept off our feet" (which they assure us will happen) so we'd have something to talk about or relate to. It's understandable that if you've had a great marriage and husband, you're excited for other women to know the same joy (that's a good thing!). However, it's not only a hard (sometimes scary and painful) topic for a lot of us but also we want to be valued and poured into because we're members of one body, not because we're potential wife material.
Singleness is not an excuse to marginalize and push single women into the corner, only taking notice of us when we *finally* walk through the door holding hands with some fella and a sparkly ring on our finger. Women are not accessories for men and we should not be invisible, least of all in the Bride of Christ, without a man.
2.) They need support
Single women do not have husbands (and sometimes families) to support them emotionally or spiritually or physically. Single women face an unimaginable barrage of hard things and if you've been married a while, you might have forgotten what life is like without that support and constant "other."
These times are when single women need the church and you (not to act as a husband, obviously) but to be closer than a sister to us and help is in any way you can. Invite us over whether you have 8 crying kids or none. Mourn with us over the brokenness of this world. Weep with us over the darkness of our own sin struggles. Rejoice with us as we remember that our precious Savior is returning "soon." We all need these beautiful reminders. We all need sisters to walk through the deepest sorrows and the highest joys with us, pointing to Christ all the way.
So many of us have been wounded in romance and we need to see that it can work out and that men can actively seek to love their wives as Christ loves His Church (Ephesians 5:25). If you remember what singleness was like, maybe you remember the insecurities you had about men, the thoughts as you lay alone at night that no man would ever be interested in you, the ideas that haunted you about relationships. Chances are a lot of us have those too and we need to see that we can be loved through them--not only in a marriage but by Christ and others in His Church.
We Must Stand As One
For women devoted to Christ, singleness doesn't mean "freedom" in the way culture portrays it: free to sexually experiment and hate on men and look down on married women and use our time wantonly. If we are single, then it is for the Lord and we ought to be utilizing our time to minister and serve our local and global church in many different capacities, including bonding with other sisters--single and married alike.
For women devoted to Christ, married life doesn't mean "tied down" in the way culture portrays it: unable to have fun and be locked in a cage to only to be let out for cooking and cleaning. If we are married, then it is for the Lord.
Married sisters and single sisters, the culture (even "Christian" culture in some ways) is simultaneously lying to all of us. It's saying that marriage is not only breakable at the slightest whim but that to say our vows is to sign away our freedom of expression and be forever straight-jacketed into the 50s housewife stereotype.
"You're married? But you're so young! Didn't you want to live a little first?"
"What's it like knowing you're going to be stuck with him for the next 40 years?"
Yet, it's also asking what's wrong with us if we're a single woman over a certain age:
"Maybe you should try losing weight. I know Christian guys aren't supposed to look at only that but they do look at it...."
" Maybe if you didn't sound so smart, guys wouldn't be intimidated..."
These mindsets are not Christ-centered and as culture puts increasing pressure on both marriage and singleness to conform to its ways, we're going to need one another to band together, to grasp hands firmly and push back saying in God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, Holy Spirit-filled unison:
"Christ is better in every circumstance. Christ is glorious in singleness or marriage. Christ is all-satisfying, whether single or married."
Calley Sivils began her journey toward an Advanced MDiv in Biblical Studies at SEBTS in May of 2018, moving halfway across the country from her home state of Missouri. Her passion is to see cultivated in others a thirst for the Word, a passion for solid theology, and a drive to display Christ as returning King in thought, word, and deed. Calley is a member of Restoration Church and is an imperfect woman astounded hourly by the grace and mercy of a perfect God