As I’m wrapping up this blog series, I want to share some hope and prayers for myself and other single women. My homemaking has not turned out as I originally planned or dreamed, but it is good, and I am lacking for nothing because I have God Himself. Because God is faithful and because true hope and contentment are based in the hope of eternal life with Christ (not marriage), my life can test and prove that His power has indeed “given me all things pertaining to life and godliness” and that “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places”. My prayer for my life as a woman is based off 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12: May God make me worthy of his calling. May God’s power fulfill my every resolve for good and every work of faith. May my life glorify the name of our Lord Jesus. May I never lose my hope of future glory with and in Christ. May I never forget that it is all because of the grace of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
My hope for my home’s mission comes from an inscription in the Dohnavur Fellowship in India, “There they dwelt with the King for his work” (Dohnavur Fellowship was founded by Amy Carmichael and the inscription is based off 2 Chronicles 4:23). May my home be filled with the presence of the Lord. May my home be filled with my King’s work. May I always see purpose in the work of my homemaking, even if it doesn’t follow the conventional pattern.
As a believer, I need to accept that my life is hidden in Christ and is secure in Him. My life is also not my own. It was bought at a great price by a God who chose me to be the holy woman he loves. By His grace, I am single, but never alone. I may wish I had a man’s covenant promise of marriage, but I have God’s covenant promise of life eternal, which is the greatest blessing. Never, then, am I alone, forsaken, unloved, or forgotten. I do not need the approval of others, nor need to be defensive when my singleness does not make sense to others, even those in the church, because God has numbered my days, written my life in His book, and given me the work that I am to walk in. Maybe those works will include marriage and parenting, maybe they won’t. Whatever blessings and sufferings come, I have the same promise that Paul had – God’s grace is sufficient for me. Lydia Brownback beautifully expounds on this truth in her book “Fine China is for Single Woman, Too”:
Paul did not achieve contentment of this depth by snuffing out his personal desires. On the contrary, he pursued what he wanted wholeheartedly and received what he was after. That’s because the thing Paul wanted most was Jesus Christ and his glory… Contentment was something God cultivated in Paul though the trials he faced; that is the same way God cultivates it in us… As for you and me, we might learn contentment through the experience of watching our friends get married one by one, through an awareness that our chances for motherhood diminish as the years sweep by, or through the pain of loneliness… When Paul was plagued by the thorn in his flesh, he asked the Lord on three separate occasions to remove the thorn. What did Jesus answer? He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2Cor. 12:9). And through this grace, Paul learned to be content in the knowledge that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Phil. 4:13). God had a reason for not removing Paul’s thorn: it was to keep Paul humble enough to be an effective ambassador for Christ… And if God has said no, it is only that you might learn that this grace is sufficient for you and to keep you able to serve him in the way he alone knows best… Yet whether or not you decide to acquire china, you already possess the best treasure for serving guests, and that is Christ himself… Offer your singleness to God. Ask him to use it in his redemptive plans in the place where he has set you. Allow him to take your singleness and make it beautiful. Let that be your finest china.”
In God’s perfect plan, there is no second best for a woman, regardless of her age or relationship status. The heart-beat of the single woman’s home is the love of God, the fear of God, the peace, joy, and hope of God. It is God Himself indwelling the single woman, and filling the home with His presence, and consecrating them both to his service. It is His perfect will assigning the work. It is His all-sufficient grace making every good work possible and His strength fueling that service. May we continue faithfully in that work and found abiding in Him until the day He returns.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14