When Hagar was out in the wilderness, she discovered God as El Roi, “the God who sees.” No one is invisible to Him, yet when I asked my friends why some married people are good friends to singles and some are not, one of my single gal pals said, “Singles do not want to be invisible.”
To be invisible is to be “out of sight, hidden, not discernible by the mind.” In my city 51% of households with children are headed by a single parent, and 1/3 births is to an unmarried parent. 15,000 parents in my County are raising children without a spouse, and nearly half of single moms live below the poverty level. If El Roi sees them, why does it seem like so many married people don’t?
While watching Downton Abbey this past week, single sister Edith cried out, “I’m tired of being invisible!” She speaks for a lot of women out there. When no one else saw Hagar’s desperation, God did, and “So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me'” (Genesis 16:13). Perhaps God wants to use married men and women to show single men and women that He sees them and wants them in the community of His people.
I’ve always had single friends. When Jeff and I dated, we often took a single friend with us; we weren’t trying to have a chaperone. We were just with friends. As I gathered thoughts of godly women who shared about Single Things, I was surprised and thankful to realize God continues to grace my life with a rich resource of single friends. In their own words, here are their answers to the question: What can married people do to be a good friend to a single woman?
What makes married people good friends for singles?
- “Singles desire to spend time with married people too. I love it when a married couple wants to include me in an activity or have me over for dinner. That makes me feel equally important and included in their lives … not different because I’m single.”
- “I think friendship is a 2-way street – helping each other. The whole issue of contentment is a way a married friend can either be a stumbling block for her single friend or a huge help, encouragement, and support to her.”
- One friend told about a single missionary who went to serve on a challenging field. Married members of the team treated her like a teenage child, not giving her a voice on the team or respect, not allowing her the same independence as a married woman. She ultimately changed to a new city with co-workers who see her a an equal,valuable team member.
- “I think some married ladies don’t understand that some ladies desire to remain single, and that life can be very full and happy life without a husband. There is nothing wrong with the single woman who feels that is God’s will for her life. I’ve heard many times, ‘I just want you to have the same happiness that I have.’ It’s almost as if some people think I am unhappy, moping around waiting for a husband, so I can get on with life and truly be happy. It is true that some single ladies portray that attitude, but that’s not all of us.”
- “… make room at your table on a random Thursday night for burgers or Sunday for grilled cheese sandwiches … Keep it casual, and maybe even spur of the moment … Work not to treat single people as a project … someone to set up, cheer up, or fix up.”
- “Please don’t view us as overgrown, irresponsible teenagers. We are adults who work a full-time job; manage our home, car, finances by ourselves; and some even have a child or children to raise all by themselves.”
- “My married friends seem to have a good balance between the time they spend with their families and the time they spend with me … doing a good job of inviting me into their new family by having me over for dinner without making me feel like the third wheel.”
- “Married couples would be a good friend to singles just by having a presence in their lives.”
- “I am observing the married couples around me so I will know what a godly marriage looks like.”
Did you get a chance to find out what they had to say about: Is Valentines Day for Singles?
What do you think makes a married person a good friend for a single? Would love to hear your thoughts.