Single For a Reason: Eight Lies We Tell Unmarried Women

“Some people are single for a season, and some people are single for a reason.”

This adage was my constant companion during my single years. Its purpose was clear: some women are single just because they’re waiting for Mr. Right, and some people are single because they’re actively repelling Mr. Right. I was only a single adult for half a decade before my husband walked into my life, but in those five years, I heard just about every reason why he hadn’t arrived yet.

For the purpose of this article, I’ve narrowed it down to eight things. But, rest assured, most of the singles in your life could add to the list.

You’re Not Properly Approachable

Step one to finding Mr. Right is being approachable.

But not too approachable.

You need to be the perfect balance between Rebekah, minding her own business in that field, and Ruth, getting all up in Boaz’s business. Smile, nod, flirt a little, let him know you’re interested. But don’t smile too much, or nod too vigorously, or flirt too actively, or he’ll think of you as a floozy and not quite wife material. Send out the perfect vibes.

You’re Not Appropriately Attractive

We know that charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain (Proverbs 31:30), but men are visual creatures after all. So you need to be the perfect balance of demure and feminine modesty that is a mask for drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Maybe you aren’t married because you are not dressing modestly enough for men to know that you’re not too invested in your looks. But then again, maybe you aren’t married because your modesty has a homely vibe, and you’re not visually stimulating the men in your life just right.

You’re Not The Right Kind Of Person

Step three, you need to be exactly the right kind of person.

For me, that always meant being exactly the right ethnicity. But black women aren’t the only ones who struggle with not being the ideal. You have to be culturally compatible with the Reformed in-crowd. You have to like the same movies, read the same books, and laugh at all of the same jokes. Even if you don’t have the right cultural background, you have to make sure you’re adopting the correct culture.

You Are Not Fittingly Intelligent

Be smart, but not too smart.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The only satisfaction in this life is found in growth that focuses on Christ as its reward.” quote=”The only satisfaction in this life is found in growth that focuses on Christ as its reward.”]

You need to be intelligent enough to educate his future children, but not so bright that you intimidate him. Study theology thoroughly enough to engage the men in your life, but not so thoroughly that they can’t keep up with you.

Make time to read every book they may want to talk about. Make time to study every doctrine they may want to bounce off of you. But only do it if it’s going to serve the men in your life.

You Aren’t Feminine Enough

Stay feminine.

So, if you have a job that requires ambition to get ahead, maybe keep it a secret or switch to another field. Make sure all of the reading you’re doing is balanced with domesticity. A gentle and quiet spirit doesn’t mean humility, as the Bible might seem to suggest, but, rather, utter docility and vapidness whenever required. You may like books well enough, but don’t like them more than baking pies. And you may like pies well enough, but make sure you’re not only making pies.

You’re Not Trying Hard Enough

And if any of these steps sound like too much work for you, let’s face it, sister, you’re just not trying hard enough! You must not want to be married! Be willing to step it up for your future man. Get out there! Get in the ring! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!

You’re Trying Too Hard

But, after all, I met my husband the minute I stopped looking.

So the key is just to stop looking. He’ll come when you least expect it.

You’re Just Not Sufficient

The bottom line in all of these rules?

I just wasn’t good enough to get married.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The moving target of being the perfect prospect is full of disappointment.” quote=”The moving target of being the perfect prospect is full of disappointment.”]

And all of the married people around me had apparently met their spouses as a divine reward for being the perfect candidates. God’s grace and his purposes had little to do with their love stories — it was all their effort.

God’s Plan Is Enough

The truth, though, is that imperfect people get married every day. Perfection is not the key to finding a spouse. 

My husband found me in my brokenness. Forget this list of eight things — I had about eight hundred things to learn in each and every one of these areas. And yet, the gift of Phillip’s love was given freely, not because I earned it by being the perfect prospect, but because God was gracious (1 Corinthians 4:7).

My greatest comfort as a single was that, ultimately, marriage was completely outside of my control. I wasn’t single because I was dropping the ball; I was single because God still had work to do in my life, and lessons to teach me in that season.

Do single people need to grow? Absolutely. But so do married people. Our marital state is not indicative of our spiritual maturity. All it indicates is that God is most glorified to work on us in whatever season he has us in.

The moving target of being the perfect prospect is full of disappointment. The only satisfaction in this life is found in growth that focuses on Christ alone as its reward. That doesn’t mean we don’t pray for marriage, or hope for marriage — but I hope it releases some of the ungodly pressure of trying to be the perfect bride. She does not exist. But praise the Lord for the Bridegroom who is perfect in our stead — whether earthly marriage comes or not.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Our marital state is not indicative of our spiritual maturity.” quote=”Our marital state is not indicative of our spiritual maturity.”]

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  1. Joanne on 23 May 2017 at 11:21 am


  2. Tiffany D. Pea on 24 May 2017 at 2:43 am

    Thank you so much for this!!!

    As a single, it becomes daunting to hear others’ ill but well intentioned attempts to explain singleness, especially when we’re content in our singleness and are fine w/the prospect of living the rest of this life as such. I’ve walked w/some who struggle with it and it’s painful to watch them endure, even without ppl trying to give “solutions”.

    God bless you, sis. Thank you so much for this and the other posts!

  3. brooke on 25 May 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you. I have heard so many reasons that it hurts. But I also know the truth. God is using my singleness right now to do ministries that I would not be able to do if I were married. Being single isn’t about looking for the right mate, it’s about being ready to be used by God. Being married is the same. We must be willing to serve the Lord in whatever state we are in and to be content.

    • Lisa on 1 June 2017 at 7:21 am

      Well put!

  4. Lauren on 26 May 2017 at 5:28 pm

    This is right on, Jasmine! Thanks so much for the encouragement! It can be so easy to measure my worth or esteem by my relationship status, but that is such a downward spiral!

  5. […] Single for a Reason: Seven Lies We Tell Unmarried Women by Jasmine Holmes […]

  6. Jessica on 27 May 2017 at 7:38 am

    I can identify with all of this! I have heard so many “reasons” that don’t make any sense and so much “advice” from people who don’t understand my situation – it’s very frustrating! But I am always grateful to be reminded that every season God takes me through has a purpose, and marriage is not a reward for being super spiritual- it is just a change of season.

    So encouraging! Thanks, Jasmine!

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  8. Pamela on 28 May 2017 at 9:54 am

    This is incredibly encouraging, Jasmine. I was married for the first time at 32 and I know now that I wouldn’t have been ready for what God had for me even one month earlier. His timing is perfect. Today I seek to be a Titus 2 woman to the younger women in my life and the single ones are going to be reading this article. You are right on target and I hope the young women I disciple will be exhorted to live this season fully and contentedly. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  11. […] Eight Lies We Tell Unmarried Women, Jasmine Holmes. There’s a common and disheartening thread running through all of these lies. It’s the notion that if you’re single, it’s because you aren’t good enough to get married. Hardly any of us would put it so bluntly, but we need to beware lest our well-intentioned “advice” pummels unmarried women into feelings of inferiority. Worse still, that advice may belie an attitude that doesn’t think the gospel is actually sufficient for all people. […]

  12. wura on 24 June 2017 at 3:12 pm

    timely,concise and am absolutely encouraged!!! God bless you

  13. Jean on 11 August 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Jasmine, well observed and written. Thank you. Some of what you shared here reminds me of an old (but kinda “classic” article written in the ’90’s by a sister in Christ named Paige Benton Brown, Singled Out by God for Good.

    Keep on. 🙂

  14. Sarah on 15 August 2017 at 2:34 pm

    “No more blogs,” I say. “Too many voices,” I say. And then I run across this. Whenever I (45, never married, unable to have children) read from 20-something married parents about hoooww loooong they waited and hooowww haaard it was, I roll my eyes and think, “Child, please.” Then I repent and try to be more understanding and empathetic. But somehow, you get it. You really get it. Don’t lose that. Don’t lose that voice. Don’t lose that laser-sharp vision that pierces facades.

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