As I posted the entry for the site where I was a guest poster this morning, a thought came to my mind, and that was how it must occasionally be difficult to be a single woman in the church. Whether we are young and single or older and single, it must be hard.
I know single women of a few ages. My daughter is a single woman. She has quite a few friends who are married now. That is not in her plans at the moment. There is a woman who is a retired teacher who has just begun coming to our Monday night bible studies. A friend of mine was widowed before she was 55 years old. She has children, of course, but her children are older. I wonder how hard it is to be a single person in the church. I'm sure it isn't always easy.
When we talk about mentoring young women, we often assume that they are married. In that guest post, below, I talk about young mothers, specifically. I did so because that the blog owner specifically asked for something directed to young women. I do think it's important, though, to mentor young single women as well.
I have only vague recollections of being in the workplace as a single Christian woman, and at that time, I was younger and still lived with my parents. What of the women who are pursuing careers and supporting themseleves? The women who live far from their own mothers, or whose mothers are unavailable to them? Are there specific ways to minister to them?
Quite a few years ago, through blogging, I was connected with a young single woman. I read her blog, and she read mine. We became internet buddies, and now our friendship continues on Facebook. I am eagerly hoping to meet her sometime. In addition to her regular work, she works with people who chase storms. Yes, you heard correctly: storms. I told my husband I want to do that. I want to do that and take pictures of the amazing skies. Over the time we've known each other, I've had a few opportunities to share advice, and now she shares her photography expertise with me. Our friendship is forged through a mutual love of Christ. Recently, another young professional woman found me through Twitter, and she is involved with women's ministry at her church. We've shared book titles, and mutual encouragement with each other.
These young single women need to be mentored just as much as young married women. They may not have husbands to care for yet, or children to raise, but they have the daunting task of representing Christ in the workplace. I haven't been in the workplace outside my home for years; I think it's probably hard. One of the ladies in my Sunday school class shares tidbits of the struggles she occasionally has. My own daughter is a Christian young woman in a very secular, feministic environment. What are the challenges, and how are we as older women able to help them? It may be that God has called them to a life of being single. How can we help them in the future?
These are questions that roll around in my mind. As an older woman, it is not my desire to minister simply to younger mothers. I want to share with single women, too. Godliness is not confined just to marriage and family raising. These young woman long to be godly women where God has placed them. They have opportunities to minister that young mothers don't, and they need prayer and support.
One of the things my church does is host a dinner three or four times a year for the older, single people at my church. This means the widowed folks. The young singles, of course, have a single group where there are events. I think it would be great to have a time for older single women and younger single women to get together. Surely those older ladies who are on their own now have much to share, too. I may have to mention that to our women's ministry co-ordinator sometime.