A Cheat Sheet for Indian, Christian, Single Women

In the midst of questions, doubts, struggles, desires, and pressure from family and society, how can Indian, Christian, single women thrive in the gospel?

Christians in India have always been wary of talking about singlehood. To an extent, this comes with the assumption that marriage is the only way forward for a woman, and having a family of your own is the only way to earn respect in society.

If you are unmarried by a certain age, then there’s something wrong with you. If you choose to remain unmarried, then you have an “attitude problem.” If you are divorced, you are “ruined.” If you are a widow, then you obviously need to find another husband as soon as possible.

Society and family puts such pressure on getting married that it takes its toll on the mental and emotional health of women. They often feel like their identity is minimised or based on how they relate to a man.

In the midst of all the questions, doubts, struggles, desires, and pressure, how can Indian, Christian, single women apply the gospel to their hearts and lives?

Enjoy the Privilege of Singleness

The Bible holds singleness in the highest regard. The apostle Paul says, “And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit” (1 Cor. 7:34a).

He is describing a “holy indifference”—a luxury which can only be afforded by a single woman. Some single women have the responsibilities of children and extended families. But the desire of their hearts and the object of their devotion can be fixed solely on the person of Jesus Christ. That is truly a privilege.

Treasure the Creation Mandate
Despite the choices we make and the paths we take, the fundamental purpose of our existence does not change. We are created for God’s glory.

I imagine that is a hard truth to hear when we are constantly bombarded with messages of how to find self-worth, self-satisfaction, and practice self-care.

The beauty of Christianity is that the Lord calls us to enjoy being in community.

Self-care itself is not sinful. But if it becomes the ultimate objective of our lives, it violates God’s creation mandate and works against our own flourishing.

The Lord says we are called by his name and created for his glory (Isa 43:7). We cannot add to God’s glory. He does not need us but he chooses us to be vessels of his glory. That is the privilege of being a follower of Christ.

We often give in to the lie that this is unattainable. But it is made possible through the work of Christ on the cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Embrace Real Family
Though it can be challenging to belong to a church as a single woman, your local church is the family in which God has placed you.

The beauty of Christianity is that the Lord calls us to enjoy being in the community. He protects us from isolating ourselves in a reclusive life. In your singleness, take advantage of this family.

Embrace your church family, even those who will not stop talking about “finding the one” or their son who is a piano prodigy. And remember, for the most part, their “concerns” come from a good place. For the most part, I say.

Pick Your Battles
We live in an age of social media activism. How do you decide which battles to fight?

There is enormous pressure to be an unrelenting Twitter warrior who promotes all the campaigns of social reform. Your standing among your peers depends on it.

You do not need to enter every battle the world calls you to fight.

Disengagement from these platforms can make your voice feel unheard. Even when you faithfully champion a cause, someone can “call you out” for neglecting another one. Nothing is good enough for those who try to do good on social media.

You do not need to enter every battle the world calls you to fight. Pursue what is good and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.

God’s word encourages us to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause” (Isa. 1:17). Equally, it calls us to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph. 5:11)

Let the Lord work in your heart and he will hear its groaning about the things that matter to you the most. You do not need to save the world. You only need to trust in the Saviour of the world.

Seek God’s Will in Your Decisions
If you desire to get married, seek the Lord expectantly and leave it in his sovereign control. Do your part wisely, following his Word and wisdom. By all means, prepare for marriage. Make lists, pray without ceasing, go on that date, and seek wisdom from those who have journeyed this path.

Your singleness is the very means by which he is making you more like Christ.

Whether the Lord brings you a partner through a dating app or your well-connected aunty, hold firm to your biblical convictions. Choose a partner who is a follower of Jesus Christ. But the guy who sings in the worship team and feels comfortable with sex before marriage is probably not the guy for you. Trust me. You know it too.

Let no one come before your devotion to the Lord. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess 4:3).

Some do not sense a calling to be single. Others are unsure of the Lord’s will for their life. But we can all be sure of one thing—there is no greater honour and privilege in this life than to fully devote ourselves to the knowledge of the Holy One.

Resist The Sexual Revolution
The overdose of unfiltered sexual content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms can deeply conform the mind to the pattern of this world (Rom. 12:1-2).

We no longer need special access to pornography. There is explicit content right at your fingertips. The content we consume can control us. What we watch is another way we can honour God.

As the apostle Paul says, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

Our God is holy. Embrace God’s means of godliness and holiness in your lives. Your unmet sexual needs do not take God by surprise, nor is he unaware. Your singleness is the very means by which he is making you more like Christ.

Do not be like Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. We cannot compare the momentary satisfaction our senses will feel to the pleasure that awaits us in his glory.

Like the apostle Paul, let us count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. For his sake, let us be willing to suffer the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that we may gain Christ (Phil. 3:8).

You should never marry someone believing they can satisfy you or make you whole. No man is equipped or called to do that. Only the Lord can do it.

Making this a lived reality can be challenging in an age where gender and identity politics are at the forefront of most of our conversations.

We are witnessing unprecedented freedom of sexual expression. In pursuit of liberation, we are drifting from seeking holiness and submitting to God’s word, to seeking social approval and submitting to political correctness.

Our identity is becoming more shaped by culture than by Scripture. The gospel reminds us we were sinners without a family but by the grace of God, we now belong to the household of Jesus.

As the apostle, Paul says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

Rest in the Sufficiency of Christ
The question of sufficiency is a big one. Whom does a single woman have? Plainly and simply, she has the same person as a married woman. She has Jesus. Regardless of marital status, he is the only one able to satisfy our souls.

As the prophet Isaiah says, “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isa. 58:11).

After the fall, we are restless and wounded. We have a desperate longing in our hearts and we keep searching for something to satisfy us. But even the “perfect marriage” cannot truly satisfy our souls.

You should never marry someone believing they can satisfy you or make you whole. No man is equipped or called to do that. Only the Lord can do it.

I have learned this lesson the hard way. I can think of many instances where I turned to my husband for help and he was not able to. It left me bitter and angry toward him until I realized, by the grace of God, that my husband needs a savior too.

Let no one count you “less than,” for in Christ you are complete.

Marriage is beautiful but it is not always a bed of roses. It is a call to sacrifice and reminds us to take our brokenness to the feet of the Father. He offers himself to us in his son Jesus. “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107: 9).

Finally, sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil. 4:8).

By God’s abounding grace, his word is full of wisdom. Meditate on it day and night. When we seek wisdom, God calls us to himself, for he is the author of all wisdom and understanding.

Jesus redeems singleness and marriage for the glory of God. If you are single, be faithful to Christ and live for his glory. Let no one count you “less than,” for in Christ you are complete.

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