From a Single Christian Woman’s Perspective

Recently, one of my Facebook friends hosted a FB Live session to speak about singleness. He’s a young, unmarried man (in his late 20’s) who is also a licensed minister at his local church. His concerns about the struggles that singles face, and how much being single may have affected his position in ministry were palpable.

On the following day I reflected on his video, and recorded my companion video(s) in response. Check out Part 1 here. Part 2 starts here.

Here are some thoughts from my video(s), in no particular order:

  1. Singleness seems to be a bigger challenge when you are in church leadership (I’m a minister), since you are held to higher standards. This is especially true for me as a mom, because I want to set the right example for my son.
  2. Divorcees are treated like the “black sheep” of the family in many churches. I think widows/widowers are treated better, since their spouses died. Overall, being single again sometimes feels like being ostracized.
  3. Once a young person in the church hits puberty, they are typically chased around about staying pure (i.e. no sex) and focusing on God until they graduate from college. Then, in many cases, they are dropped off to manage the single arena alone without support or guidance. Many singles then feel lost once they get to that stage.
  4. Churches and church leaders seem afraid to discuss topics that apply to their local singles. They seem hesitant to help us navigate the world of singleness. I believe it could be because they cannot relate to our struggles, since most church leaders are married.
  5. Spiritualizing everything that singles are feeling and handling doesn’t work, nor is it necessary.
  6. We may need to come up with our own solutions to help us manage the frustrations in being single.

Several of us expressed interest in following up on this important discussion. My Facebook friend suggested focus groups, but the participants must be willing to be transparent for them to be effective.

I will share updates to this discussion as soon as they are available.

 

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Helping Unmarried People…..

Are you unmarried? Save the date: 11.11.2016!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted something new, so I think it’s time to stop in and share.

I’ve been quite busy; you may have seen my flyer to “Save The Date: 11.11.2016” for New Jersey Christian Singles. My heart has been stirred significantly over the past 3 + years to help unmarried individuals take their lives off “pause” and live full, free and energetic lives. I’ve come across several people who are just existing, and who will go from work, to home, to church, to the nearest Starbucks, to the gym, and then back home – every week, every month, and every year. When your schedule is always the same, and when you aren’t open to trying something different or new, then it’s possible to fall into a rut that may leave you dissatisfied and, frankly, bored. And…if you’re hoping to meet a compatible partner, he or she won’t notice you if you aren’t out there, actively involved and doing things you enjoy.

The organization I’m now a part of (name announcement is coming!) will help us to come together periodically to network, laugh, learn and grow. If your church or group is in or around New Jersey and has an active singles ministry/network, consider inviting them to save the date as well. Pay attention, because the details will be released shortly and you’ll be glad you reserved the date on your calendar!

I’m EXCITED!

Stay Tuned!

Save The Date - 11-11-16

Announcement!!!!

Hi everyone,

For approximately one year I have been going through a leadership development process at my church which culminated today in catechism. Catechism is an event where our beliefs, thoughts, doctrinal concepts, etc. are challenged by current seasoned church leaders. We sat in the room in small groups of two or three and were asked over 30 questions each. This process takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.

I am happy to say that I passed catechism TODAY and I am now preparing to give my initial sermon on Friday October 18! I will be an Associate Minister!

I am totally amazed by God. His ways totally surpass mine, and His plans are always different from anything I could have ever imagined!

Singles Conference!

This week our church is hosting a Singles Conference! I’ve invited Minister Kenny Pugh (www.kennypugh.com) to join us! I am VERY EXCITED to lead this event, my first major event in many years!

If you are in the NJ area, join us on Wed July 31 at 7pm for the first session with our senior pastor, Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr! We break on Thurs Aug 1 and reconvene on Fri Aug 2 at 7pm for a full service including Praise & Worship, spoken word, dance, drama and GIVEAWAYS! On Sat Aug 3 at 9:30am we return for a continental breakfast & workshop discussion on the topic “Can You Do It Standing Up?”, also facilitated by Kenny Pugh. We’ll end the Conference with Bowling at 6pm!

I’m EXCITED and I hope to see you there! To register, email SinglesMinistry.TheCathedral@gmail.com. It’s FREE!!!

Singles Conference Banner
Singles Conference Banner

Celibacy – Why I Live That Life

I haven’t yet written about my celibate life and why I’m on this journey for eight years so far. So here’s why.

1. I am a Christian, and I firmly believe in the Bible. Hebrews 13:4, NKJV states: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” I know it’s considered ancient, outdated and very “Cleaverish” to believe in or to practice celibacy based on the Bible, but I also have other reasons which are listed below.

2. I don’t have to live in fear of picking up a STD or getting pregnant unexpectedly. I know there are “precautions” that we can use and many of them work well when used properly, but there are MANY people who thought they were safe and were still “caught”. As one of my social media friends pointed out recently, we save a LOT of money when we don’t have to purchase birth control or condoms or take frequent tests to ensure that we did not pick up a disease. I don’t think the 15 minutes of pleasure is worth the angst that follows thereafter.

3. My heart is free. The issue of soul ties where we are intimately connected to everyone we’ve ever slept with is REAL. Having to untangle my heart and my soul from several men is, thankfully, something I am not struggling with at this time. I had to work through that issue when my divorce was finalized, which was a tough situation. With healing comes the realization that I don’t want to go down that path again unnecessarily (or EVER).

4. My conscience is clear. It is human nature to rationalize what we want to accept, whether it is the right thing to do or not. I’m very hard on myself in many areas of life because I want to reach higher and grow wiser and stronger in Christ. If I need to justify my behavior to feel good about myself even at the expense of my testimony and my relationship with God, I think I would lose that fight.  Because God created marriage as the context for intimacy and procreation, as a single woman I have asked Him to help me honor my vow to live out His Word.

5. I’m setting an example for my son and for others to follow. We can live fulfilled, pleasurable and productive lives without sex (which includes masturbation and viewing pornography). We are free to pursue our purpose when we are not focusing all our energies on satiating our feelings and desires.

Are there challenges in maintaining celibacy? Of course! I’m human and I was married before, so I know what intimacy is like. Even before I was married (I was a virgin on my wedding day) I still struggled to maintain my virginity up to the age of 25.

Some of us have asked why has God given us these urges if we weren’t supposed to act on them. I think of it in this way: We are given appetites for food, for sex and for other things. If we act on our appetites inappropriately, we reap the consequences of those actions. If we eat at the wrong times (e.g. too late at night) or if we eat the wrong foods OR too much food, we will experience weight and health issues. If we eat in the proper context (eating to live versus living to eat), we maintain a healthy weight with fewer health issues. In that same way, practicing restraint in sexual activities and keeping it within the context that God created it for (which is marriage) makes it fun and a GOOD thing! When children are conceived in a healthy marriage there is a secure nuclear unit, which is the ideal home environment for them.

I am determined to keep the big picture always in the forefront. I am willing to sacrifice a momentary pleasure that has the ability to derail the rest of my life and I am choosing instead to WAIT until God sends Mr. Right in my direction.

I recommend these pages for more information and encouragement on your journey to celibacy:

http://celibacyissexy.com

http://www.pinkypromisemovement.com

https://twitter.com/NoSexMovement

https://www.facebook.com/WorthTheWaitMinistries

https://www.facebook.com/DatingandWaiting

http://abstinencematters.com/

A Word to the Men

As I reflected on several conversations I’ve had in the past with men, these insights came to me so I thought I’d put “pen to paper” on the subject.

I was recently told by a male friend that I am viewed by other men as intimidating, though sometimes I wonder why. Why is that? Is it because of the way I am willing to counter something I disagree with, whether it’s with a male or a female? I am really curious to know….

Anyway, I am digressing from my original thought. One thing I’ve discovered in speaking with men (work-related or otherwise) is that apparently women are discounted by many of them. They may never say that out loud, but I sense many times that opinions on certain issues or convictions about certain moral concerns that a woman may express may be viewed as being immature, lacking in substance or highly emotional. The way I’ve seen many of them handle women (that cause me to believe women’s opinions are discounted by them) is to try to talk her out of her beliefs or opinions, to ignore her suggestions or ideas or by ridiculing her outright (and I’ve experienced all three).

Men, I’d like you to understand this: God created woman from the rib of man, fashioning her in His image and likeness. Therefore, women are highly valued by God and receive special care from the Lord. Examples of this are demonstrated throughout the Bible, but especially within the New Testament in the Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. Never was a woman rebuked or discounted by Him – and He is THE MAN! If ever any man should have rebuked or ridiculed women, Jesus was the best candidate for the job because He had all knowledge and all wisdom. Yet, it would have gone against His nature, as He was also all-loving and super-compassionate. Hopefully the men reading this are taking notes on Jesus’ strategy and style….

Men, whether you are interacting with your wives, girlfriends, daughters, grand-daughters, co-workers and subordinates, remember this: women have a wealth of wisdom and intuition about people and situations that was not given to most men. Men are very logical and factual, so many times the nuances of a situation may not be readily apparent to them. But with a woman in the picture, the vision, the discussion or the issue has some added ‘flavor’ that a roomful of men can never replicate.

I’ve also discovered that although society has expanded and advanced in areas of technology, knowledge, science and women’s rights we are still way behind in human relationships. Women are now as educated (or more educated) than many men, and apparently this is what intimidates many men. And that male ego again – “I don’t want anybody to make me look like a fool.” But how many men have discounted great ideas or suggestions from women, only to discover later that “She was right!!! How was that possible?”

In my working years I have always reported to men until recently. My current supervisor is actually younger than me, but she’s great. It’s easier to relate to another woman, and I find it very uncomplicated to report to her, as she values me as a fellow woman. I may not be at her level of understanding of the subjects she has mastered, but that is mainly because I was not exposed to the types of professional experiences she has had. I find that as I master a new skill she is very supportive, and if I give a great suggestion she doesn’t overpower it with her own just because she’s “THE BOSS”.

I also think men see it as a weakness to admit that a woman has made a valid point on a subject or that her opinions should be respected and even implemented! I know men hate to be disrespected, but so do women! Women desire love, attention and affection, but respect should also be high on that list. (Of course if we’re discussing a professional situation, respect should be the only item from this list that should be considered.)

But gentlemen, I respect you as long as you respect me. I honor you as long as you honor me and my perspective on life. We can “agree to disagree” on subjects too. A woman should not have to submerge her feelings, opinions, desires and convictions because the men in her life think she has nothing valid to offer. It makes women miserable to be continuously made to feel inadequate, unworthy or less than a man. I’m not saying a woman is an exact equal to a man, but she should be regarded as one who was created by God with a specialness within that only she can offer.

Children know and accept the wisdom of a mother. How about the men? Do you believe in your women?

Men, I recommend that you begin to listen to the women in your lives – professionally and personally. You will begin to discover a whole new world awaiting you, as wisdom abounds. You will also live a more harmonious life everywhere you go.