Proverbs 12:18 - There is one who speaks rashly like a piercing sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
*whew* (Long title - ha) Since it's getting close to Valentine's day, I thought it might be beneficial to share an old Facebook "note" I posted. :) I added the "Daughters" part because I started thinking...many women with daughters might not realize that their young girls could be hearing these things as well. I also know it's beneficial to single women to read because we don't tend to speak up on this subject and we often make excuses after hearing them as though women are justified in saying these insensitive statements.
I found an old DPI book this morning that had an interesting section. It’s titled “Things Not to Say to Single Women.” I don’t believe people are intentionally trying to say inappropriate and hurtful things but that sometimes people just don’t know what to say nor do they really think about what they are saying! A lot of the time singles are just going along happily in life when suddenly someone shines a spotlight on the fact that we are single in a marrieds world. So out of love, I hope you'll consider not saying the following statements & questions that make single sisters cringe and start saying the 10 things that single women long to hear.
Please don't say:
10. “Some people were just meant to be single, like Jesus, like Paul.”
9. “How’s the dating life?” (Seems an innocent question but if anything exciting were happening, she’d tell ya)
8. “How come you’re not married yet?” (Implies something’s wrong with her. We usually get this question enough from our families so you can just skip it please)
7. “What’s wrong with the single brothers?” (This encourages huge attitudes toward the guys)
6. “I’m sure there is SOMEONE out there SOMEWHERE.” (Then where is he? Please put this statement in the trash along with your crystal ball.)
5. “Since you are not doing anything this Saturday, would you keep our kids so my spouse and I could go out on a date?” (How about maybe finding her a date so you can have a double?)
4. Said at a wedding, “You’re next!” (wow, I didn’t even catch the bouquet!)
3. “Don’t worry; I was single for three lo-o-o-ong years before I met my sweetie.” (Ouch! These types of statements are a killer and have sent many single sisters running to the bathroom to cry. Especially those who have been single 8, 10, 15+ years.)
2. “There must be something you need to change in your character, something God’s trying to teach you…when that happens, God will bring him along.” (Really? My sisters, married women didn't figure out the secret formula! You don’t do XYZ and boom-bam you’ve got a husband. Marriage is a blessing from God and no one does anything to deserve it.)
1. And the number 1 unappreciated comment “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn't stay pure that long. I’m so thankful I’m married. “
My personal true experiences:
- Bridal showers, weddings, and baby showers are NOT the time to talk to single women about their dating status. I’ve practically sworn off bridal and baby showers because for years I've left these events, holding back my tears until I get inside my car, due to feeling like road kill that was just picked apart by buzzards. Just saying.
- When a single comes into your family group at church, please don’t say, “Alright, Babysitters!” or ask, “Don’t you struggle not being married?”
- “Trust me, marriage is hard.” Telling us how hard marriage is doesn’t help…no matter how true that statement.
- “Guys are just intimated by you because you’re so spiritual.” (uh, okay. *sigh*)
- “I think you should consider freezing your eggs…ya know…just in case for later.” (Now, to this sister’s defense, I know her heart was not trying to hurt me; this sister in Christ is SO awesome and she did apologize later. Still, it’s a good example along the lines of what not to say.)
- To my younger single sisters in the Lord, be mindful of off-the-cuff statements like: “I sure don’t want to be over 30 and just starting a family.” or “This wedding is so exciting – let’s pretend that we’re the ones getting married!” or “I hope I don’t have to date as many times as you.”
Okay, now the BEST PART!! Things we LONG to hear:
10. “Anything I can pray about for you?” (Lets her know that her overall life is on your heart)
9. “I know your life is busy but would you have time to ____?” (When someone recognizes that we have full lives too, that’s very encouraging! If you assume singles have ALL this free time, then we need to have a talk.)
8. "Thank you for doing _____. You are so valuable to the fellowship."
7. "You are beautiful." (Some single women haven’t heard that from anyone since their mom or dad said it to them in 1st grade.)
6. "You are a great friend. I admire the way you _______."
5. "It would be fun to do a double date with you. When are you available?" (Actually make it happen.)
4. "I respect how faithful you are to God."
3. "I would never want you to marry anyone who didn’t realize how special you are."
2. "You are enough." (I actually don’t know any woman who doesn’t need to hear this!)
1. And the number one, "I’d be so happy if my daughter grew up to be like you."
Ahhhhh. Thanks for reading and for your understanding especially if you are married.
My next statement is hard to take but here it goes…being a single woman is a choice. We choose to be single. I didn’t believe that for a long time but it’s true. I could be married - right now! All any of us would have to do is let go of God’s standards and dreams for us. BUT since we love Him, we don’t let go and, I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s not a thing wrong with a woman who makes that decision!!
To my amazing single sisters: I’ve learned from some of the best faithful sisters out there!! Drop me a line or give me a buzz if you’re struggling with being single. I want to encourage, inspire, and lift you up, 'cause girl, you might not know it, but you are rock’n it!!