Mar 4, 2016

In Every Season: What Christian Singles Want Non-Single Friends to Know (Pt. 3) : Respect


I have been sharing what thirty-two single Christian gals say they wish their non-single friends knew. The responses were from a survey I sent out (see survey HERE). The #1 thing Christian single gals want their non-single friends to know is to be a friend, even though y'all are in different life seasons. Read that post HERE. The second, is pray for these gals (see the post HERE).

The third response that was most common during the survey, was that single gals want to be respected regardless of their single status. Although many gals responded that they did feel respected by friends who were dating or married, others felt excluded, forgotten, and disrespected. Sometimes married friends can unintentionally belittle single friends with comments like "you'll see when you get married" or "you must have tons of time on your hands since you're single!" without realizing how hurtful it can sound. Other times, a single gal may feel slighted by her friends who leave her out of conversations because they don't think she'd want to hear about their relationships, kids, etc. And sadly, for some, there seems to be this undiscussed hierarchy rating with single ladies at the lowest rung of the ladder and married women at the top. This is wrong and shouldn't be found with any friendships, but especially within Christian friendships because Scripture lays out foundations for how to interact within community with love and respect for one another, despite our differences.

Some of the ladies shared that they do feel respected by their friends who are no longer single: 

       "Though we are in different seasons of life its easy to connect with them. We each have something to bring to  the table, a way to encourage one another or just laugh with one another. Just because a girlfriend is in a different season of life does not mean you can't be friends"

"I have many amazing friends that are in different seasons of their life that are respectful, sensitive, and aware of my frustrations and have been encouraging, real, honest with their own frustrations. Our friendship is based more on who we are in Christ, than our social status. We talk about family, kids, husbands, but they also know to focus more of the conversation on other important life areas, than to make me feel like I'm missing out because I don't yet have what they have.”
" In the grand scheme of things, women are still women, that's a unique common ground that opens up a lot topics of interest as well as an area where reasonable/godly advice can be shared vice versa. It's also dependent on every individuals relationship/friendship with another woman. I'd say I'm very fortunate to have good friends in all of the relationship stages mentioned above.”


Here is what some of the single ladies shared in the survey that they wished their non-single friends knew about wanting to be respected:

    “Love me for ME, as a full person on my own, not as someone who is any less. Don't try to put your experiences on me, but instead accept my own for what they are and meet me in them and walk with me through this season in love.”

 “Be considerate of that persons singleness. As in knowing that one is single and understanding that changing to focus to finding out what you two have in common. Ways that one can pray for you and help you. The same way it goes for those of us that are single, being considerate of those that are married or in a relationship. Prayer, inviting or going with the single ones to meeting or different events etc. Things as such help keep the connection and is encouraging.”

  “Please have a filter on how much you talk about your significant other, there's only so much we can handle. Please carefully consider PDA- especially at church. It is the most distracting thing a single person can see while they're trying to listen to a sermon or worship."

“Just be open, raw and real. Share your past experiences, the good ones and the less than great ones. Offer a listening ear and warm heart. Advice with wisdom rather than opinions. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in what and when to speak.”

 “Be honest! Talk about how you felt and what the Lord did through ALL your seasons of life. It's amazing to see how God used women in each aspect and how that all links together.”


Think About It:

If you are a dating, engaged, or married, how do you show respect to your single friends and/or single gals in your church and community? Is there anything you think you can do to show more respect?

If you are single, are you willing to be honest with the non-single friends in your life who are (likely) non-intentionally showing disrespect to your singleness, but doing this in humility, love, and a desire to heal from any bitterness you've harbored against them?

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In Every Season Announcements:

Next week, I am switching gears for a little while and will share Q & A about the engagement season. Posts on singleness will take a break, but they will come back with a few guest posts in late March or early April!

If you would like to catch up on the In Every Season posts on singleness, click HERE

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the series so far, and anything you hope you'll see in the series in the future! I love feedback and want this series to be practical, encouraging, and a resource for women to share with one another on the variety of topics brought up, so please let me know how it can improve!


3 comments:

  1. Great post! It's always important to respect your friends, no matter where they're at in life!

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  2. Great perspective! This always exists, as a newly married woman it was "wait til you have kids! You have so much time now with no kids... Etc." and now I have a kid and its "just wait until you have two kids!"... Always comparing. It's so important to speak love to each other and not compare our struggles or successes.

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  3. Oh, this is SUCH a big one, even in regards to weird things like Christmas cards and family celebrations.
    Examples: I've had an aunt pass out Christmas cards to all my (married) siblings, look me in the eye and turn and walk away without any explanation as to why I didn't also receive one. I've also had to make it clear that I WANT to be given a dish or two to bring for Christmas or Thanksgiving celebrations. Finally, the hardest was when I was asked to babysit siblings' kids so that they could have a couples night. This is generally fine - but it was really hurtful when I found out that it wasn't just two of my siblings and their respective spouses going out together... I sat alone that night after my nieces went to bed while ALL of my siblings who were in town went to hang out without me.
    Those examples are times when I feel really disrespected or thought of as a non-adult. I don't mind the "wait 'til you have kids" comments so much (most of the time), because I know there is so much I don't know about marriage and childrearing - but being excluded simply on the basis of being single is painful.

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I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice