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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Bible on Single Women

In the Bible, we read several interesting passages about the role of the single Christian woman. Let’s look at them:

The first passage is Numbers 27:1-11 about five single sisters with unique names: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They went to Moses, Eleazar the priest, the princes, and the congregation asking a question about inheritance. They had no brothers. They asked for an inheritance from their deceased father, even though they were women. And Moses brought their cause before the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. So, these ladies were given an inheritance, just as if they were sons. Later, they were married.

1 Corinthians 7:34 distinguishes between the role of an unmarried woman and a married woman. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. The single lady is to be holy (pure, God-pleasing) in two ways: in body and in spirit. She is to care for the things of the Lord. The single woman should be wholly dedicated to God, serving Him.

The Apostle Paul had much to say to singles. He was a single man, himself. He also mentored a young, single preacher, Timothy. Let’s look at some of Paul’s teachings:
  • For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).
  • So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better (1 Corinthians 7:38).
  • But she (a widow) is happier if she so abide (single), after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 7:40).
  • That they (older women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:4-5. Some of this passage applies to young married women, but it also applies to singles.)

The Apostle Paul taught—by inspiration of God—that it is very much okay to be single. There is a role for singles (both men and women) in the church and in the work of the Lord.

I have a lot of friends who are single women. They range from high school age to some who are my age. Some have been married, and some have not. Since they are my friends, I’ve had somewhat of an inside look at what it is to be a single Christian woman today. What I have seen is enlightening, educational, and challenging.

I decided to do a Bible study about singleness and then to do a survey of my friends who can be categorized as single. I think you will be fascinated by their insights.

But, let’s go back to the Bible and see what we can learn there:
  • A single woman (See Zelophehad’s daughters, above.) is as important in God’s eyes as anyone else.
  • God has a special place of holiness and service for single women. (1 Corinthians 7:34)
  • It is perfectly normal and okay for someone to remain single. (1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 38, 40)
  • The ability to remain single is called a gift from God. (1 Corinthians 7:7)

  1. You might be surprised at how many Christians think that every young Christian girl just has to find a husband. (Not a Scriptural concept, by the way. The biblical model never has the woman looking for a man, unless she is a bad woman. Plus, Paul says it is fine to be single. Word of God.)
  2. Many churches practically ostracize their single members with their family-friendly message. (It’s done unintentionally. There’s nothing wrong with an emphasis on building families. But we need to be conscious of a group of people who aren’t families, who are adults by themselves.)
  3. People either overburden or limit singles in their service to the Lord, simply because they are single.
  4. Singles battle loneliness constantly. We need to be conscious of this and be more socially inclusive—without playing matchmaker.
  5. Single women may or may not stay single. We need to be careful in the words we say and the attitudes we have as married people. God knows what’s around the corner, but we don’t. Let God work, and stay out of it. This is God’s business, not ours.
  6. Single women need our prayers just as much as married women do. The single woman works, manages her home, and makes decisions on her own.
  7. Single women missionaries are some of the most effective soul winners, simply because they have all their time to serve the Lord. They also have more contacts, due to their work. I am in awe of some of the ministries that are being done by single ladies all over the world.

In future blogs, I will share some results of my survey. I surveyed single missionaries, teachers, students, and businesswomen. I believe that their input will be valuable in understanding the wonderful single women around us.

Stay tuned!
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(If you haven’t already participated in my survey and would like to, please send me a personal message on Facebook—my full name—with your e-mail address. I will e-mail you a 10-question e-mail survey. Thank you!)

4 comments:

  1. Amen. I've become aware over the last several years how we can unwittingly make singles, males and female, feel somewhat incomplete or out of the loop.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara, for your comment. God bless!

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