What's a single woman to do?

Since I don’t know how to post a new question (and don’t think I’m able to anyway), I’ll ask here since the topic of single women came up. Accepting the creation order, federal headship, and submission of women to men in general, what can single women do? The only answer ever given is ‘single women need to get married’, and thats true and good, but what about in the interim? It may take two days or 40 years to find a man who will marry you, so what is lawful for single women to do during that time? Is it ok to have a full time job outside the home to support yourself, or is that sinful bc you arent being a keeper of the home? Can single women move out and live on their own, or do they have to be under their father’s or other male relative’s authority/roof until marriage? I’m in my early 20s with zero prospects (now or ever) and I feel like I’m in de facto disobedience simply by my circumstances. Delaying marriage is a sin, and Christians have a duty to be married, so what does that mean for those who just aren’t being pursued? And if I am in de facto disobedience/rebellion, and without a male head, as you are saying, how can I be saved? All of this really causes problems with assurance even while trying to be faithful and live according to the creation order and Gods law

@Cb96, relax. :slight_smile: I am not saying you cannot be saved.

I am talking about the general principle of headship that explains the relationship between man and woman and how God uses that to save men and women.

As for your specific circumstances, being single and not living with male relatives does not necessarily mean you are in “de facto disobedience”. But there are men and women on this forum better placed to answer your questions about your situation, so I trust they’ll jump in. (@jtbayly)

Oh i didnt mean you were saying that at all! This has just been something I’ve struggled wih lately and this thread seemed at least a little related :slight_smile: as a single it just seems like the more I learn about all of this and try to align with it the heavier it becomes

Glad you didn’t think I was saying that. :slight_smile:

I hope someone can help you out with that heaviness. I can relate to that feeling if not the exact situation.

Don’t have time to engage, but must say this is not—I repeat, not—the answer that should be given. Please forget anyone ever said it to you, dear sister. There are endless things to do for Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church beyond marriage and childbearing. In other words, one of my wife’s constant helpers is an older single woman, and they need help! Yesterday Mary Lee said to me that our congregation could use one woman full time who simply went from house to house helping mothers—not with childcare, but other things. So don’t feel useless or be discouraged. The Church needs single men and women, and at our church we use them (almost up). Love,


Dear sister, take heart. The Lord sees you and you are not alone.

Being in your 20’s is not old. You don’t need lots of prospects, just one, which the Lord will provide, if that is what He deems best, at just the right time.

I won’t try to answer all of your questions, but here is some practical advice about what you can be doing in this season of life. These are kind of random as my kids are buzzing around me as I type:

  • Find a godly older married woman and find ways to spend time with her. Ask her to read the Bible with you, bring over a dinner to share, offer to watch her kids once in a while, etc. or find multiple women like this. You might only rarely get her undivided attention, as moms can be busy, but if you are willing to work alongside her, you will learn a lot.
  • Go ahead and find a job to support not only yourself but also to give generously to the church and those in need. There is a difference between working for ambition’s sake and working to be fruitful in your stage of life.
  • If you can get yourself a good education without going into serious debt, do so.(No debt is best, but maybe something you could realistically pay off in a year or two wouldn’t be the worst. But don’t go into any debt that would be a hindrance to staying home with children in the future!) It doesn’t have to be a degree. Learn as much as you can in whatever subjects seem best. This is a good investment whether or not you marry.
  • Believe it or not, you have more free time now than you will for many, many years if the Lord calls you to marriage. Use it well for heavenly purposes as well as practical ones you can apply if you have a family later. Make meals for those who just had a baby, or are sick, or elderly, or just having a hard week. Find a teenage girl in your church and spend time with her, encouraging her in her walk. Visit nursing homes and sing and pray with the residents. Read lots of good theological books. Write notes to those who need encouragement. Help young moms with your company or with babysitting. Learn to cook meals that don’t cost a fortune, and commit them to memory so you will be be able to make them while carrying on a conversation. Pray. Take a trip to visit a missionary who needs encouragement (make sure a visit would actually be helpful).
  • Regarding the headship stuff: show respect to your father. Ask him for advice whether he’s a believer or not, and thank him for it. Don’t set yourself up as a teacher over men. If you’re concerned about talking to a pastor, ask the older women in your church for advice first, and they will probably tell you when going to an elder or pastor is a good idea. Maybe they’ll go with you if you’re shy or uncomfortable. Don’t worry about your salvation based on your marital status. That’s not how it works.

I hope that helps.


I’ve made this into a separate topic for you, @Cb96. You’ve asked a lot of questions, and I’m pretty sure not all of them will be answered right away. Hopefully separating it out will bring some additional discussion. God bless you, and walk by faith, trusting that God’s plan is for a hope and a future.

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And I would add to this, if I may: get to know older Christian single women, as they will understand well what you are up against. As a younger single man, I benefitted hugely from having older single men I related to and who mentored me - especially in some respects where my pastor was not able to help.