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  • l am not forty yet
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  • I'm bolivian
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Sitting at a round table topped with a crisp white tablecloth and spring flowers, the women around me were making small talk as we sipped tea and nibbled on scones. Actually, the other ladies were nibbling.

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Sitting at a round table topped with a crisp white tablecloth and spring flowers, the women around me were making small talk as we sipped tea and nibbled on scones. Actually, the other ladies were nibbling. Do you have children? Sometimes it takes a while. My year-old self stared at her blankly, wondering if she was trying to be funny. This woman apparently thought 25 was pushing spinsterhood.

Thank goodness her husband rescued her before she hit 26, accumulated 12 cats, and retreated to her apartment to die—alone and unwanted. Sometimes we single women can be too sensitive about our singleness. And, almost always, even the worst comments are made with good intentions. Naturally, you want your single girlfriends to be happy.

And if thinking about marriage and their lack of it makes them sad, the best solution is to stop thinking about it, right? Not really.

What not to say to single women in the church

If I desire to be married someday, telling me to stop thinking about marriage is like telling me to stop thinking about cream-filled donuts. The more I will myself to forget them, the more they pop into my mind. And the more they pop into my mind, the more I want to eat one or seven. Besides, marriage is a good thing. Being single is hard, especially when it comes to the everyday tasks of life.

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This is in addition to holding a full-time job, maintaining relationships, and serving in my church. We long for a partner in life, and your frustrations and seeming sense of helplessness is salt in our wounds. So is chirping about how much freedom and free time we have, as though our lives are filled with nothing but yoga classes, manicures, and Hawaiian vacations. Our lives are filled with home and car maintenance, bills, work, taxes, and so on, just like yours. Except we do it all by ourselves. You get the picture.

This is just depressing. What a hopeless and disorienting view of marriage! Sadly, I hear this statement within the church from the women I would most expect to be the biggest champions of marriage. Many of them downplay or even regret their own marriages.

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Some single women are completely content being single and are even uniquely called to it, and they deserve to be celebrated too. We single women have plenty on our to-do lists see point two without worrying about managing our own dating public relations campaign.

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We go to church, work, school, the bank, Costco, and beyond. But insinuating that our potential for marital success is entirely on our shoulders and that the solution is simply to work harder at it is frustrating and demoralizing. Yes, I have Jesus.

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And in light of eternity, he is all I need. All the other things of life our money, jobs, houses, health, kids—even husbands come with no guarantees. They can walk away or be taken away from us in an instant. Practically speaking though, Jesus has never helped me refinance my home or fix my tire. That partner in life, that heart that cherishes you above all others, that protective presence when things go bump in the night—these are no small things. This is one of the most common statements I hear from married women.

Because it is a lie.

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You hope I will, and I appreciate that. Married friends, the above statements and my summary of them are just things to keep in mind.

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In case you feel utterly defeated and are now determined to never again speak to a single woman or perhaps just me—fair enoughlet me encourage you: we single women need you. We need your friendship, your wisdom, your prayer, your interest, your love, and so much more.

Want to start a conversation with a single woman?

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Ask her how you can pray for her. Share about your own marriage, the ups and the downs. Ask her questions about her life: her job, her church, her hopes, and her dreams. Finally, invite her into your life and your struggles. Show her that her opinions and experiences are valued. Establish a relationship on equal footing with the intention to hang with her for the long haul, and you just may have a friend for life. Lisa Anderson is director of young adults and Boundless.

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articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

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in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. More Newsletters. Jump directly to the content. Log In. What Not to. No .

What not to say to single women in the church

Do you want to be married? He's All You Need.

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You'll Get Married Someday. What to Say Married friends, the above statements and my summary of them are just things to keep in mind. Free CT Women Newsletter. Address.

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Subscribe to the selected newsletters. Tags: Church ; Marriage ; Relationships ; Singleness. Read These Next Live Love. Prayer is the anchor that can keep a husband and wife connecting.

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