So before Christmas I had the chance to go to coffee with Betty Price, the Director of Women’s Ministry at the college, to talk to her about what biblical femininity looks like in singleness. Having been a single woman her entire life, Betty is one of the few examples of single women I know who seem to have aged with great grace. She’s incredibly godly, humble, and intelligent. Of all the people I know, I pray that if the Lord has me to be single, that I grow in grace in my singleness the way she has.
Our conversation was both simple and enlightening. Sometimes you just need to hear truth you already know from another person for it to sink in. I asked Betty a lot of questions, about how single women can cultivate godliness, what it looks like to be a helper when you don’t have a husband, about finances and responsibility, about fellowship and serving in the church, about submission, and opinions and independence and what God requires of women, what makes them distinctly feminine apart from their role in marriage.
Betty, in all sincerity and kindness, reminded me the ultimate purpose of any believer is to love God and love people. That’s it. Surprisingly simple, huh? So for the single woman, her goal and aim in life must be to love God and love people. Brilliant.
The other thing that stuck out to me was Betty’s answer to my question about independence. One of my greatest fears in remaining single is that I will be overgrown with independence. Betty told me the greatest way to combat this is to pray and make yourself dependent on the Lord. Huh. Again, incredibly simple. I realized that in my attempt to live my life contentedly, I have stopped looking to marriage as a savior. I plan my life, my finances, my goals and dreams, my living situations with the idea that I will not marry. This has caused me to be incredibly independent and I think my pursuit of contentment in singleness has brought with it some unwelcome character traits, namely pride, independence, and perfectionism. The worst part of all is that each of those character traits I have developed takes the glory away from Christ and puts it on myself. Instead of humbly living to magnify Christ, I have been living to magnify myself.
Then Betty went through several areas that I should be cultivating: being a helpmate at work (speaking well of my boss and coworkers, making them look good because of my work), spending time in the word and in prayer, evangelizing, having meaningful relationships with families and married couples, learning to be flexible by living with roommates, and being purposeful in pursuing godliness alongside my roommates.
I learned more from Betty than just what she taught me with her words. She is slow to speak and quick to listen. You can tell by the way she thinks before she answers, and doesn’t go on blabbering beyond what she needs to say. She truly is an example of strength under control. Someone who is gentle because she has taught herself to trust Christ.
She also gave me a book to read on femininity. It’s fascinating to think of what makes a woman truly feminine. I’ll keep you posted as I continue discovering more….