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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Singles Survey: Introduction

Photo by: imagery majestic

It is a pleasure to introduce to you my Singles Survey participants. A total of 28 women responded to ten questions. They are Christian women who live all over the world. My respondents include ladies who have never married, divorced, and widows.

The numbers shown in color are how many of the women responded in that way. Some of my questions had multiple responses. Those are represented as answered.

I believe you will find this survey to be eye opening. Please understand that this first installment is only the introduction. There will be several posts after this. I hope you will read all the posts on this important theme.

Under 20—1
Over 60—1

Age that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior:
Under 10—13
Over 20—3

Parents in full-time Christian service:
Both parents—11
One parent—2
Parents not in full-time Christian service—15

I live:
With family member(s)—15
With someone other than family—5

My profession:
Career missionary—12  
Teacher in Christian school or university—5
Work in other ministry (offices, charity, etc.)—2
Secular job(s)—5
Unemployed at present—2

One career missionary shared two excuses that pastors gave her for not supporting her as a single woman: “1. Paul had a partner (still trying to figure that one out) and 2. God took two of every kind in the ark (so I am an animal!)."

Local church involvement:
Very active (teaching, music, helping)—21
Somewhat active—5
Presently seeking a church home—2

Volunteering (besides church-related)—8

Q  When you feel lonely, what do you do? (Almost all of the respondents said loneliness is one of the main battles for them.)
Read Bible—9
Read (in general)—14
Listen to music—6
Listen to sermons—1
Call family, friends—12
Connect with friends online—7
Get together with friends/family, invite them over—10
Do ministry—5
Clean house, do gardening—4
Cook, bake—2
Watch a movie, TV—8
Do arts, crafts, photography—3
Go shopping, eat out—4
Generally get busy or work—7

I don’t feel lonely. Looking for some quiet.—2

"I'm different than most women, because while I was young I never really wanted to get married and have a family. "  

"As for my single status: I love it. Being single, life is just brimming with potential. I can explore so many aspects of it and experience things I'd never get to if I were married or in a committed relationship. Not to mention all of the ministry opportunities that are available. All of the doors are open! Nothing is holding me back! I'm excited about life, serving God, and I can't wait to begin! I don't need a man, and frankly, I don't want one."

NOTE: From this point on, the answers are representative, not counted. Following the responses are direct quotes from some of the contributors.

Q  What are the advantages of being single?
A  Freedom to use my time as I wish, make my own decisions, flexibility
A  Many opportunities for ministry
A  I only need to take care of myself.
A  Ease of travel
A  People feel freer talking to a single woman for Christian counsel than to the pastor and his wife.

“I can, at the drop of a hat, go and visit other women to encourage them. Christian brothers and sisters know they can count on me when they need a favor. As a single, it is also true that I can more easily go out with friends, for example, in my time here I’ve been able to get together with old friends who are not Christians, and I was able to be a witness. Another advantage is visiting in order to encourage people. (You can tell I like to make visits!) I think the flexibility to be able to do things is one of the advantages of being single. In my case, the Lord has been very good to me in giving me a job that gives me flexibility.”

"Sometimes I feel sorry for married women because they don’t get to experience some of the awesome things with God."

"I think it gives me a bit more opportunity as well to show other women that being in a relationship isn't all that there is to life. God has a plan for everyone and we must learn patience so that we can properly execute His plan for us and not get bogged down in what the world tells us we should be/have in order to have that 'perfect' life."
“You can study much more deeply, read more. You have more time to meditate on what the Lord has for your future. Help others, write without interruptions . . . all with an eye towards what the Lord wants you to do. You can go to the gym to stay in shape and go on long walks. I like to take gospel tracts along to give to someone or to leave in a strategic place where I know some curious person will pick it up.”

"I love the way The Lord can use singleness. I know I have more freedom than a lot of people and I am more than happy to pour that into the church.”

"Although we may not have a husband, we don't have any of the pressures and responsibilities of a family, which is really quite a gift. There is a certain freedom that comes with being unmarried that I dearly love and have enjoyed thoroughly."

Q  What are the disadvantages of being single?
A  I have to do everything for myself (shopping, cooking, cleaning, car and home maintenance, driving, etc.).
A  People sometimes take advantage of me because they think I have so much more time than married people. I am overburdened.
A  People sometimes overprotect me.
A  Loneliness (See the question about loneliness, above.)
A  People sometimes pity me. I hate being pitied.
A  I feel left out or like I don’t fit in.
A  I am limited in ministry because the pastor would rather have a married couple working with children/young people.
A  I feel like married people don’t understand my life.

"Disadvantages of being single—Being a family of one means I have to be both the husband and wife. I have to do errands and still cook, clean, and care for my ministry. Not having time for yourself (very important I’ve figured out, since you end up burning the candle at both ends)."

“What is difficult for single people in general (I speak for many of my personal single friends both male and female here) is that the church doesn't know what to do with us. Pastors often aren't exactly sure what to do with us; they are often hesitant to give us leadership positions because we couldn't deal with married people. Some think we need our own isolated Sunday school class, etc.  It is hard being single in the church today. You throw yourself into church work, often study Scripture deeper than most married couples (because you have time), yet we usually aren't seen as fit to work in anything above children's ministry because we aren't married."  
"There are times that I feel there is a disadvantage of being a single woman because I don't understand all that is going on and feel left out. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages all the time!" 
"I find that people in ministry just tend to have an attitude that married is better for ministry. That can be hurtful. More time and attention is given to married couples."

“Another disadvantage is that, being single, people think that you can do everything because you don’t have other responsibilities. I don’t know, but it seems that married people or people with families think that single women don’t have any responsibilities.”

"I've even had some opposition in the past to me teaching a ladies Sunday school class because I wasn't married."

"People in general are just insensitive. Over time, you become a bit anesthetized, but there is often an element of pain. Usually people think that we don't understand because they are so busy and we just—sit around and sip tea all day?! (smiley face) Truth is, we actually have to do EVERYTHING a married couple does TOGETHER, except for the kid part. If the oil on the car needs changed, we have to do it. If the light bulb goes out, we have to change it. If a toilet overflows, we have to fix it. If dinner is going to get made, we have to fix it . . . and all this in addition to having a very heavy work load to pay the bills that we alone pay, which are relatively the same as a married couple without kids. (Not trying to give a sob story, but reality.) I would say the number one difficulty I have is feeling like people don't understand. They think that because we're not married with kids, life is easy for us. It's not. Our burdens are the same—different, but the same. But, we bear them alone."

"Many times I feel like a half-child, half-woman that will never be seen as a full grown woman until I marry. "

"The biggest disadvantage to being single is exactly that. It is having to handle life's responsibilities alone. I am often prevented from doing ministry while having to spend all day at the garage getting my car repaired, waiting in government lines for this and that, waiting in line at the bank, staying at home to wait for the electrician, plumber, etc. It is most difficult when I am sick with no one to cook or look after me. I often have to pay for simple services that most husbands could easily fix themselves."

Weren't these answers fascinating? My next post is more questions and answers from these same women. You won’t want to miss it!


  1. Si son fascinantes y muy parecidas.

    Bendiciones. :)

  2. Fantastic! Thank you so much for doing are so thoughtful! God bless you! - Kara Baker

  3. Excellent, Lou Ann. . I specially enjoyed reading the "disadvantages" and hurt for these ladies who are so often misunderstood and relegated to the shadows in ministry! God bless them and thanks for doing the survey and for sharing it. love, Joy

    1. Glad you could visit, and I really appreciate your comment. God bless!

  4. This will be a valuable study. As a mom to a 29 year old single guy, I can tell you that the absolute worst thing people can say is "When are you getting married?" Someone just said that to my son last week. :-( Sometimes single people are struggling with that very issue, and it's like rubbing salt on an open wound to ask questions like that. Or sometimes they are content with being single, and the question implies there is something "wrong" with them or they are not complete if they are not married.

    1. Yes, even though I interviewed women, I believe a lot of the same things apply to single men as well. I think this survey will help all of us to better understand such a huge segment of our society--47% of American adults. Thank you for your comment. God bless you!


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