29 December 2014

an open letter from a single woman to the church

So many have undertaken the task to write about singleness in the church and I've read, agreed, disagreed and reposted on my Facebook and Twitter timelines but I have yet to add to the conversation. I've finally gathered a few thoughts I am ready to share. I have some requests, which to be honest, I fear will be ignored or responded to with dismissive phrases.

My requests are simple really:
  • I would like to be viewed/valued as a whole person. I know you often tell me I am, but your actions show you believe differently. I am a genuine person who is complete in Christ and able to do great exploits. I am a full-fledged disciple of Christ right now as a single person. I'm the head of my household, everything is my personal responsibility. I am a leader.
  • Please stop assuming I'm not busy if I don't have children- or that if a single parent that I am to be pitied. I currently work and go to school, before that I worked an average of 50 hours a week. I know many singles who are "doing the most" to better their careers and their lives and are serving their communities in great capacities. Just because you can't see someone working does not mean they aren't. Also, there are many single parents out there getting it done- I can't say much on this as it's not my situation. 
  • I actually don't spend all of my free time wishing I were married. When I do have free time, I like to relax with a good book, newspaper, comic book, manga, anime, or a TED Talk or volunteer or hang out with my friends or watch soccer or... Also reference the previous point.
  • Please don't mistake me for some hormone driven, sexual deviant who cannot control their desires. Personally I admit to being human who has sexual desires. I am tempted, but I can and do exercise self-control, a fruit of the same Spirit you have as a married person. I'm not saying there aren't days (weeks, months, seasons...) but I am more than my genitalia.
  • Please stop minimizing my feelings by saying marriage doesn't solve problems, it adds more... I'm not disagreeing with you but I would never say to my friend, who has been trying to conceive for 10 years, that having kids just adds stress to your life. It's a bit insensitive.
  • Stop telling me that God is preparing me for my mate... Exactly how had God prepared you for your marriage when you were 19, 20, 21, whatever age that He has not also been doing in me since before then? Because although it's not what you mean, it is what you're saying- that you were ready and that I am not.
  • I am not impressed by your fancy light shows and trendy themes. I'm not opposed to it, I'm looking for substance along with it. I am looking for a place to connect, to build real relationships with real people. I want to make friends, in a safe environment and be equipped to do the work I've been given to do. It's my child-like hope that we can then all help one another walk in purpose. Seriously.
  • This is life, not a role play game. Marriage and kids are not rewards you receive for "leveling up" in your Christian walk- some of you saying things like this were married before you knew the Lord, or did you forget? There are many who have walked as "committed Christians" for years and are still single or are single again. And these people have not done something wrong because they are "still" single.
At the end of the day, as with everything in each one of our lives, this is about God's timing. You see at just the right time Sarah conceived, Isaac's wife was brought to him, two brothers were born and one was set above the other, a nation had its beginning, the manifested glory of God delivered that nation from bondage and established them, gave them kings and a kingdom. And then in the fullness of time, He sent His Son Who redeemed that nation and every other under the sun for whosoever will respond to His call.

Timing.
Not preparation, although in pursuit of Him we are prepared for greater things than we will ever understand.

Timing.
Not righteous living. Although righteous living should be our response of love to Him.

Timing.
Not rehearsing the events of the book of Ruth as though it were some guide to mate procurement. Although thorough study of the Word will cleanse, purify and renew us to experience an intimacy with God like never before.

Timing.
Not writing down a list of what he or she should be and requesting that. Although I will say that making sure you're living a life that would be attractive to someone else is good.

Timing.
Not endlessly making deals in prayer to negotiate what you want in life. HE doesn't seem to work that way.

Timing. End of story.

So as much as I appreciate your company and encouragement, just remember that I am a real Christian able to carry out the duties of my life and ministry just as I am.

With love,
Aisha Nichole
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