Should I Keep Preparing For Marriage, or is it Time to Start Preparing For a Single Life?

“I thought marriage was coming, and soon. I thought I gave up the worldly approach to womanhood in exchange for a beautiful biblical picture that included husband, children, a home to be a homemaker in. And something went wrong. I gave up the world’s picture in exchange for nothing. I have nothing to show for it. I’ve spent 8 years in a holding pattern. I pushed off education, training, work, so nothing would be in the way of my getting married. Now I’m wondering if marriage is ever coming at all. Should I keep waiting and preparing, or should I go back to my previous plan?”

This is not only one girl’s question – this is the heart-cry of many young women today. Whether we swore off higher learning and work to engage in full-time waiting for Prince Charming; chose a college based on which one was most likely to provide an MRS degree; were so distracted by boys that we couldn’t focus on a single productive thing through our whole teens and twenties; or simply let the possibility of marriage coming any day now eat up our mental CPU and distract us from moving full-speed-ahead into anything else, most of us eventually realize this is not jibing with a productive, practical Christian life, and that it’s time to choose between our current track and a different one.

If this is the way we’ve been approaching the single season, yes, something does need to change – but it may not involve either of the options “keep waiting and preparing, or … go back to my previous [‘worldly’] plan.” The reason both of these options may feel wrong is because they are – they’re both missing critical elements of God’s plan for women. And no, the critical element is not marriage. … Read more →

EducationMarriage and SinglenessWomanhoodWork

Announcing Four New Audio Messages

Well, we’ve got four new audio messages in the store (two of them free! Go download now!) on four topics we’re pretty keyed up about. At the very least, go check out the two free ones, and write and tell us what you thought! (You can reach us at [email protected]) We love hearing your feedback.


If you think God’s plan for young women is all about being modest, keeping pure, staying home, preparing for marriage, and waiting for Prince Charming… you will not like this message. But…

  • If you’re tired of a small and fruitless vision for single womanhood, and are wondering if God might want more from you…
  • If you’re frustrated with a lack of fruitfulness, real-world involvement, and opportunities to grow, be stretched, and exercise your gifts…
  • If you’re sick of legalism, idolatry, formulas, movements, bandwagons, Christian-subculture trends and man-made rules, and just want to get back to God’s timeless principles for young womanhood…
  • Or if you’re just trying to figure out what you believe and why…

…take a step back with Anna Sofia and Elizabeth, away from the narrow applications and movement trends, and reexamine the baseline biblical principles that should form the foundation of our vision of single womanhood. Discover a robust vision of spreading the gospel, serving the saints, reaching out to the poor and needy, being full of good works, exercising your gifts, strengthening your arms, working with your hands, making the most of your single years, seeking first the Kingdom of God, and more!

In this message, the Botkin sisters reexamine hot button issues like a father’s authority, marriage, singleness, college, jobs, ministry, giftedness, Phariseeism, pursuing fruitfulness rather than just safety, serving our families vs. serving other people, why feminism is not the big enemy, and of course, “staying at home.” Prepare to be more excited about being a single Christian young woman than you’ve ever been before!


You’re a solid young Christian woman. You’re committed to purity and wholesome relationships. You don’t hang out with “bad” guys. And you suddenly find yourself dealing with a guy who’s trying to play you, manipulate you, use you, entice you, or even abuse you. What do you do?

It’s dangerously naïve to deny that predators, manipulators, abusers, playboys, wolves, stalkers, and creeps haunt every circle – as do good guys simply having a hard time mastering their sin nature. And though we’re never responsible for sins men commit, it’s time to know our own power to resist and rebuke evildoers.

Drawing lessons from how Abigail and Bathsheba each responded to the same godly man when he was off the path, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth clear away legalistic relationship rules and formula-based approaches to “purity,” and focus on how to become a woman with the confidence to put the fear of God into men who are in sin. Hear straight talk on self-defense, dealing with a flirt, how not to be a doormat, a woman’s rights and recourses for resisting, combating manipulation, becoming spiritually strong, and the gospel’s hope for moving on from our own past mistakes.


Have you ever struggled with purpose and fruitfulness? Yearned to use your single years more fully? Wondered how God wants to see you developing your gifts and using them for Him? Questioned how principles of home-based womanhood can really work out practically in tough financial situations and a failing economy? Then this talk was given for you. In this inspiring, practical, and game-changing message by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, discover the missing keys to a vibrant, fruitful (and economically viable) family life.


If you’ve ever felt frustrated by a mold of “biblical” femininity that seems small, weak, mousy, or useless, maybe it’s time to re-examine what characteristics God praises in a woman, and the forgotten reason God created woman in the first place — to stand at man’s side in adventure, discovery, progress, dominion work, and spreading the gospel. In this inspiring, humorous, and life-changing message by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, get challenged to go beyond your comfort zone; be introduced to a handful of adventurous heroines from history; be encouraged to embrace a more full-orbed picture of biblical womanhood; and prepare to have all your stereotypes of femininity smashed (with a tent-peg).

Botkin ProjectsEducationGirl-Guy RelationshipsWomanhoodWork

The Top 10 Things Girls Should Study (But Rarely Do)

We all want to equip ourselves to be godly women, but do we really know what that equipping should look like? A diet of books on modesty, courtship, and cake decorating will definitely fill the bill if the role we aspire to is simply one of wearing modest clothes, going through a courtship, and decorating cakes. But if we truly believe the biblical role of women is bigger and more significant than this, we need put our money where our mouths are and pursue education and training to match. … Read more →


A New Botkin Family Webinar


What Should a 21st Century Education Look Like?

[Note: The recordings of this webinar are now available in MP4 form, under the name “Home Education for Real Life.“]

We homeschooling parents know we’re giving our children a decent academic education. But let’s face it – we sometimes wonder if we really know how to equip them to be the adults the 21st Century needs. After all, the world our children are inheriting will be more complex, uncertain, and turbulent than the one we had to face.

Will your children know how to handle business and finance in a down economy? Defend their faith to militant antagonists? Stand firm against a defiling culture? Fight for their freedoms? Take advantage of technological innovations? And see opportunity amid the chaos?

More importantly, what kind of salt and light are they prepared to be? They may be able to name every country in the world, but do they know how to disciple the nations? They may know about the Battle of Waterloo, but do they know how to fight the battles of today – to win? Homeschoolers have proven they can beat the world at geography and spelling. But can we lead in the arts? Can we lead in the gates? Do we know how to take dominion of science and technology?

If your children are going to be the leaders of the 21st Century, they need to be educated for it. And even if you feel unprepared to equip them for this… there’s no one more qualified for the job than you.

A Webinar to Help You Educate Your Children for the 21st Century

The “Ready for Real Life” webinar, hosted by the entire Botkin family, will take on the practical side of educating children for the real world, also tackling every-day issues like saving money on curriculum, teaching your children to take responsibility for their own education, dealing with different learning styles, teaching social skills and confidence, helping children who don’t like to read or write, creating an educational home environment, and helping children learn marketable skills.

Hear from each member of the Botkin family, as they talk about lessons they’ve learned along the way, books and resources they recommend, things that worked for them, and things they’ll never do again.

Six Sessions, Plus Free Bonus Q&A Session!

Webinar sessions will run every Tuesday evening, 7PM CST, from September 3-October 15. Each session will include time for Q&A, plus you’ll get a free bonus Q&A session at the end.

Sessions include:

  1. Ready for What? What We Must Educate Our Children to Be and Do
  2. Ready to Think and Communicate: How to Have Something to Say and How to Say it – Studying Theology, Apologetics, Critical Thinking Skills, Writing, Researching, Editing, Speaking, and how to boldly give an answer.
  3. Ready to Lead Culture: How to Take Dominion of the Arts Without the Arts Taking Dominion of You – Studying Music, Art, Photography, Graphic Design, Fashion, and Filmmaking
  4. Ready to Take Dominion of the Earth: Studying Science, Math, Engineering, Medicine, Computer Sciences, Agriculture, Construction, and the basic knowledge necessary in order to participate in 21st Century progress.
  5. Ready to Lead in the Gates: Studying Economics, Law, Political Science, Military Studies, Geography, and History
  6. Ready for Anything: Figuring Out Vocation, Gifts, Real Life Skills, and the Unique Challenges of the 21st century
  7. Bonus: Final Questions and Answers

Webinar registration fee is $39 for all seven sessions. Join the Botkin family for a weekly whole-family event full of encouragement, challenge, and motivation! Go HERE to sign up.


About The Botkin Family

Home education pioneers and thirty-year veterans Geoffrey and Victoria Botkin homeschooled their seven children from the beginning. Geoffrey has also lectured on philosophy and history at Hillsdale College, on politics at the Heritage Foundation, on media at the Christian Filmmakers Academy, and on theology in the U.S., Germany, Central America, South Sudan, and New Zealand. He and Victoria will be joined by all seven of their grown children (two married with children), including Isaac (author of Outside Hollywood, producer of “Navigating History: Egypt,” and faculty at the Christian Filmmakers Academy), David (military historian, IT professional), Anna Sofia and Elizabeth (authors of So Much More and It’s (Not That) Complicated, producers of “Return of the Daughters”), Benjamin (musician and composer), and Lucas (volunteer firefighter, studying emergency medicine) and Noah (web developer and designer, studying alternative energy).

Botkin ProjectsEducation

Announcing the Reclaiming Beauty Study Course

We’re delighted to announce the release of the Reclaiming Beauty Study Course! The response to our Reclaiming Beauty webinar was so tremendous that we’ve repackaged the recordings into a digital study course, which includes nine hours of video recordings (audio with image-rich power-point, plus Q&A) and a brand spanking new study guide, ideal for women’s study groups.

To be honest, we’re grateful the webinar is over. It was a fascinating glutton of time and energies that we’re now very happy to be able to devote to other things, like gearing up for future family projects and studying things that are not beauty-related. And taking a minute to organize our messy closet, like we told all our listeners to do theirs.

That said, we gained a huge amount from the experience of preparing and hosting this webinar. And most importantly to us, the webinar seems to be doing what we prayed it would: helping young women sort through the important, frustrating, confusing subject of personal image.

During the webinar, listeners signed up from all over the world, some getting up in the middle of the night to tune in. The flood of notes we received after each session, and are continuing to get, made the whole thing worth every moment of effort. Here are just a few, out of hundreds.

Finally, the help I need…thank you! — C

The webinar helped me to truly “reclaim” beauty. I felt inspired with every session! — J

There were so many times where we would say, “Wow! I’ve never thought of it that way before.” Our lives are changed (or should I say, changing) for the better – practically, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. — V

I loved how you brought everything back to Christ and the truth of His Word. — B


It is amazing how one topic can do so much to change a person’s life. … Before listening to this seminar, I would have such terrible anxiety about what I was going to wear and who I was, that it was affecting my health. I have been battling with Anorexia for 7 years and I can’t thank God enough for your obedience to Him and sharing the discoveries you have made in His word. …I no longer feel like I have no purpose, the suicidal grip Satan had on me has ceased, and my relationship with my family is beginning to blossom with healing. — S

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! It is so refreshing to hear a well-balanced view on this subject- a view that is based upon the Word of God and a love for the Lord Jesus. — A

…listening to you both was very helpful, encouraging, exciting, fun, freeing, enlightening, insightful, thought-provoking, action-provoking… It produced growth in all of us and it was a huge blessing! — V

After each session, we were amazed by the number of questions we hadn’t considered and the answers so graciously and persuasively presented from Scripture. …Your presentation was carefully researched, fiercely loyal to Scripture and yet gently and winsomely communicated, practical to everyday use and eminently vital for the cultural transformation of the world. — K, E, and A

“I encourage you to check it out because I have experienced myself what these ladies live and breath, what beauty shines forth from them.” (R.C. Sproul, Jr.)

“My daughters and I have heard the Botkin girls many times and we are always improved in our thinking as a result. I commend this experience to all those who would like to grow in their understanding of this important subject.” (Scott Brown)

Beauty and FashionBotkin ProjectsEducation

A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing?

Dear Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin,

I’m 16 years old, I’m home schooled and (surprise) I love to read . I’ve always read ANYTHING I can my hands on from Jane Austen to Stephen King to John Steinbeck to Anthony Burgess and back again. My Mom and Dad, never prohibited me from reading anything, from the time I was about 11 years old, I pretty much took control of my reading censorship, and I’m not afraid to say I’ve had a awesome time with it.

My Mom and Dad are good God fear people who put a great love of Jesus in me, and I don’t want you to think they haven’t given me guidance, because truly they have. In fact, I think by giving me that intellectual freedom, they gave me “so much more” than if they had only allowed me the “proper” or “age appropriate” literature.

Read more →
Ask A&EEducation

Introducing “Voices From the Past”


When we Botkin children were little, our mother would read aloud to us for a couple of hours each day. We loved the sound of her voice, and we loved the books she chose to read. She had a knack for finding books that would be both educational and exciting — not the twaddle that insults a child’s intelligence — and dramatizing them in a way that riveted us and imprinted them on our memory.

In the last few years, Mom has had many mothers beg her for tips on good literature for girls, when so much of what’s available is fluffy, saccharine-sweet, or unrealistic — especially, they ask, books with good role models for their daughters. Where are the figures young girls are supposed to be looking to for examples? Though much of it is re-told through a feminist lens, or simply not told at all, America has a history of great stories and great heroines — you just have to know where to look. After years of collecting little-known diaries, memoirs, and letter-books of such American heroines, our mother decided to combine her cache of good stories with her love of reading aloud, in this exciting new audio book series.voices_220

Introducing “Voices from the Past”
The Historical Heroines Audio-Book series by Victoria Botkin

This summer, our family dove into making Mom’s idea a reality. She wanted to produce high-quality audio books, drawn straight from the words of the historical heroines themselves, and enhanced with period music and sound effects. We previewed dozens of book options, chose four favorites to begin with, and spent the next couple of months working on researching, editing, recording, editing audio, arranging and composing music, and designing the cover art.

Anna Sofia edits the letters of Abigail Adams, and adds historical commentary.
Anna Sofia edits the letters of Abigail Adams, and adds historical commentary.
The Voice, at work.
The Voice, at work.
17-year old Lucas placing the sound effects.
17-year old Lucas placing the sound effects.
Elizabeth takes the maestro's chair.
Elizabeth takes the maestro’s chair.

The most fun part was researching the popular tunes of each book’s era, arranging and recording them, and placing them into the most fitting places in the audio books. Our brother Ben, a gifted composer, was too busy preparing for his wedding and working on other projects to do the music, but he let us requisition his composing station for a couple of weeks. You can hear a few of our musical attempts here:

The Old Chisholm Trail

Duke of Kent’s Waltz

British Grenadiers

Johnny has Gone for a Diplomat

Projects like these always make us reflect on the diversity of opportunities that can be explored by girls that work with their families. Plugging ourselves into our family’s endeavors has opened up many new avenues and interests we’d never dreamed of. It also reminds us that femininity is not limited to the trends of generic “feminine” activities (baking muffins, knitting tea cozies), but can include any manner of activities that help and support one’s family in the context of the home. We’re inspired by our friends who, for instance, help out in the family concrete business, do bookkeeping, help run a family bakery, help research alternative energy solutions, do market gardening, and more. One of our favorite historical examples of this highly competent, dominion-oriented femininity is Eliza Lucas Pinckney, whose story made it into our audio book series (see below.)

And so — after a couple of rigorous months of family teamwork — here are the finished products.

Abigail Adams: Her Letters


The letters of Abigail Adams bear faithful and moving witness to one of the greatest epochs of world history: the American War for Independence. They also attest to the remarkable life of a wise and witty New England woman who was her husband’s chief adviser and war correspondent, who raised and educated four children, managed a farm on a war-time budget, and served her country as its ambassadress and First Lady. This spell-binding narrative takes the listener from the bustling hub of Boston, to Penn’s Hill, where Abigail stood with her son and watched the slaughter of her people and Charleston going up in flames, to the glittering courts of Europe, where she came face to face with the perpetrator of these crimes, King George III himself.

A Bride Goes West


A well-bred West Virginia bride begins the adventure of her life when she marries a young Montana rancher, who takes her back with him to share his life among the cowboys. Follow Nannie’s adventures in adapting, with grace and pluck, to her new life in the Wild West — one of the few white women there, trying to bring civilization to the range, amidst a host of rowdy cowboys, Indians, and outlaws. Colorful and unforgettable characters, cattle roundups, bucking broncos, Indian attacks, and pioneer spirit, make this a thrilling Wild-West-show of a story. Nannie T. Alderson’s tale is a true story of honor, courage, resourcefulness, and faith, on the range.

The Letters of Eliza Lucas Pinckney


When 16-year-old Eliza Lucas’s father was deployed to Antigua in 1740, he left the management of his household and three plantations in Eliza’s capable hands. In these lively letters, she describes her adventures handling her father’s affairs, cultivating and exporting indigo, educating her sister and the black children on the plantations, and helping to build up the economy of her fledgling colony through her many business schemes. Hear her words of encouragement and exhortation to four generations of men in her family, including her two sons, both Revolutionary War heroes, over the full and fruitful lifetime of this great mother of our country.

An English Family in the American Wilderness


In 1831, Rebecca Burlend, with her husband and five small children, said goodbye to their homeland of Yorkshire, England after years of struggle to survive as tenant farmers, and emigrated to America. Through her first-hand account of moving to a new country, we can feel the anguish of standing on the deck of a ship, watching one’s homeland disappear into the distance, the experience of traveling steerage on an Atlantic voyage, and then of the pioneer’s experience in what was truly a New World — the virgin wilderness of the interior of the continent — and their family’s struggle, ultimately, to prosperity. A true picture of the stark beauty, hard work, and hope of the pioneer adventure.

We are having a 20% introductory sale on the individual audio books and a 30% sale on the entire series. Go here for more information.

Botkin ProjectsEducationWomanhood

Should Girls Read Books Written for Boys?

Our friend Joshua Phillips of has received many questions on whether boys’ literature is appropriate for girls to read as well. Joshua asked if we could also write something addressing this question, from our own perspective as girls.

Why Girls Should Read Boys’ Adventure Literature

By Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin … Read more →


Hannah More on the Education of Women

Hannah More (1745 – 1833) was regarded by England’s intelligentsia as one of the most learned women of her time. She was a member of the original Bluestocking Society, an informal gathering of educated women, which attracted some of Great Britain’s most influential men to its discussions.

Hannah More and her sister were notable, among other things, for assisting William Wilberforce in his crusade to abolish slavery in England. An expert on the social conditions of England, Hannah devoted much of her energy to improving the conditions of the lower classes. She also wrote a great deal of instructional literature for young women.

We would like to share with you one comment she made on the education of women during her time:

…in this land of civil and religious liberty, where there is as little despotism exercised over the minds, as over the persons of women, they have every liberty of choice, and every opportunity of improvement; and how greatly does this increase their obligation to be exemplary in their general conduct, attentive to the government of their families, and instrumental to the good order of society!

She who is at a loss to find amusements at home, can no longer apologize for her dissipation abroad, by saying she is deprived of the benefit and the pleasure of books; and she who regrets being doomed to a state of dark and gloomy ignorance, by the injustice, or tyranny of the men, complains of an evil which does not exist.

Hannah More, Essays on Various Subjects Principally Designed for Young Ladies


What’s a Single Woman to Do?

Here is an excellent article by our friend Jennie Chancey.

“Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a corner and cry, ‘Heigh-ho for a husband!'”
~ Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Act II, scene i.)

Today’s single Christian woman is often made to feel that she should be just like Beatrice, sitting quietly in her corner and waiting for “Mr. Right.” I know; I used to be in that corner. An “old maid” at 23, I watched dozens of friends get married and start families and felt sometimes like a second-class citizen among all the blushing brides. I had been brought up on the principles of courtship and maidenly virtues and really wondered if there was a role open to me in the Church and in society as a single woman. After all, the Bible clearly tells us that “The woman was made for the man” (I Cor. 11:9) and is intended to be his helper (Gen. 2:18). Throughout the Bible, the woman’s orientation is geared toward the men in her life, whether a father, a respected elder, a husband or a protective brother.

I bounced back and forth between contentment as a single woman and frustration with my desire to be a wife and mother. I finally told my parents that I’d decided not to marry at all, since, apparently, no good men were forthcoming, and I was tired of just waiting around, crying “Heigh-ho for a husband” (not aloud, grant you!). My parents had always encouraged me to be content in whatever state the Lord put me, but they had also spent years equipping me to be a capable wife and mother. I could cook, keep house, sew, decorate, paint and organize to beat the band. I loved children and babysat all I could. But I still felt like my life was in “limbo” compared to my married friends. Little did I realize how many single friends felt they were in the same boat.

“Singles Enter Here”

There are thousands of single women of all ages in the Church today who feel like they are stuffed into odd corners or categorized into “support groups” for other singles. Unfortunately, this only adds to the feeling that there is no role for the single woman other than that of waiting for The Man to come along. Granted, marriage is “honourable in all” (Heb. 13:4) and definitely a calling for which God will equip the majority of us, but there must be something better to do than twiddling one’s thumbs before marriage. What if Mr. Right doesn’t come along for twenty years? Or forty?

Fortunately, there are some folks out there these days who are starting to rethink the single woman’s role and find inspiration in the very passages usually held apart for married ladies. One such person is Jennifer Lamp, whose book, His Chosen Bride (available from GraceWorks), takes the Proverbs 31 woman as a role model for the single lady, applying each verse beautifully and aptly. Lamp points out that single women are united to their Heavenly Bridegroom and should consider Proverbs 31 in that light. Seen this way, the passage offers great scope for the single woman, showing her that her services are needed in her own family, in the Church and in society. As St. Paul writes, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (I Cor. 7:34). This doesn’t mean that married people cannot focus on God’s work, but their orientation is going to be different because of the many duties they have toward their spouses, children and in-laws. The single woman is “free” in this sense to concentrate on many families and give of her time more liberally than the married woman often can.

The “Ministry” Mindset

Naturally, when we talk about the single woman’s “ministry,” thoughts of grand missionary trips overseas pop into mind. While mission work is definitely important, the Bible shows that the woman’s “mission” is primarily oriented toward others in her own immediate community and radiates from the home. Think of Dorcas, who sewed garments for the poor (Acts 9:36-40) and Lydia, who invited the entire church to meet in her home (Acts 16:14,15). Unfortunately, our culture worships high-profile, “glamorous” jobs and looks askance at anything that might be construed “mundane,” “demeaning” or “lowly.” But this thinking is contrary to what Scripture clearly teaches us. Jesus said over and over again that “whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26b,27). And His example was so clear as He washed His disciples’ feet, touched lepers and reached out to the lowest social strata all around Him. The Lord of the Universe washing feet! And we think that the only “real” ministries in the Church are teaching, traveling to foreign lands and converting massive numbers of people to Christ. I think it’s time to reconsider that notion.

Most of the time, single women are urged to go out and get a regular job, since there is obviously “nothing else” for them to do. This could not be more false! When I used to read the Proverbs 31 woman passage with my mother, I’d ask, “Mom, where does she get all those ‘maidens’ to help her out?” Today we have thousands of “maidens” who are at a loss for what they can do as a ministry. Ladies, here is one that is crying out to be filled! I’ve known large families who have unmarried women come and live with them for weeks, months or even a year at a time to help out with homemaking, cooking, daily organization and more. Freed up from such tasks, stay-at-home moms are better able to concentrate on their primary ministry to their husbands, children and younger women. And what a training opportunity for the women who live with them! Hands-on, daily work in the home among likeminded people is ideal. I only wish I had thought of doing this when I was a teenager. The young women who have performed this ministry tell me it has blessed them and enriched them in ways they could never have imagined. Today, stay-at-home moms are made to feel guilty if they cannot “do it all,” but you’ll find that the Proverbs 31 woman was great at delegating tasks. To whom will the Proverbs 31 women of today delegate tasks if all the single women are running away from home-based ministry to seek “more worthy” occupations? I wish I had asked myself that question ten years ago.

Scripture also holds midwives in very high esteem (Ex. 1:17-20) and shows what a wonderful ministry they have to the women around them. Many women are gifted in this area and called to medical ministry. It is my personal belief that women are best suited to serve as birth attendants and to take care of “women’s health” issues. I know of one godly elderly woman who was not called to marry and has served a small rural community as a nurse practicioner for over fifty years. She is a gentle, kind and wise lady who truly loves the women and children she serves. Her outreach to the poor has been especially helpful where she lives, and she has shown the love of Christ to countless people. Nursing is something toward which women are often naturally oriented. Keeping order and cleanliness in the sickroom is an honored “profession” that goes back hundreds upon hundreds of years. I know of several young women who have apprenticed with midwives or served as birth attendants in the home and in the hospital, bringing comfort to women and skill to the tasks at hand. Helping to usher life into the world or to care for women’s health needs is something that will always be necessary. A woman who has a specific gift for or interest in medicine may certainly want to consider this avenue of ministry.

Yet another important “job” often overlooked is the command to “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Ex. 20:12). The single woman has a very unique opportunity to make this commandment especially beautiful for her parents. One thing I loved doing while I was at home was working with my father as his research assistant (he was a historian and author). I was able to help him build his own business while sharpening skills that he desired to teach me (thorough research, writing, editing and more). The daughter at home has a fantastic opportunity to honor her father by supporting what he does. If she cannot offer that support directly, she can do it by showing him respect for his job as breadwinner and teaching younger siblings to respect and honor their father as well. The same is true when it comes to honoring mothers. Learning alongside her mother, the single daughter can (and should) eventually take tasks completely off her mother’s hands (as should other siblings). My mother trained her children to do the laundry by the time they could stand on a stepstool and reach the knobs on the machine. She taught all of us to vacuum, mop and dust at an early age. By the time I was eight and my brother was six, Mom really didn’t have to do laundry or much of the housework any longer. She was able to focus her time on teaching us at home and creating fun projects for interested little minds. Single women have a great opportunity to bless their own families in this way, and this ministry is every bit as important as preaching to crowds of people. In fact, it is what makes preaching possible. Christianity lived beautifully is what makes the message appealing and draws the crowds. When the family is going in ten different directions and each member isn’t oriented toward the others, the world sees chaos and disorder. It doesn’t make for much of a message.

Questions Single Women Can Ask Themselves

As the single woman looks around for ways she can minister to her family and to the Body of Christ, she should keep several things in mind. First of all, “Is what I am doing honoring the Lord, specifically in the way He wishes women to honor Him?” The best way to ascertain this is to make a thorough study of the women of the Bible and see how God used their femininity for His glory. The unique role of the woman isn’t less important than the man’s, but it is different. Next, “Is this work going to call for me to do things that should really be done by a man?” We honor men when we step aside and let them do the jobs for which they are best suited. Our egalitarian culture would have us believe that men and women can do the exact same jobs equally. Plain old common sense, backed by good research, shows that this just isn’t true. Women firefighters struggle to lift hoses and ladders or pull dead weights from burning buildings while men (with their God-given upper body strength), can undertake these tasks with apparent ease. This kind of work is not safe for the women involved or for the people who need the help of able firemen. Our post-modern culture wants to emasculate men and masculinize women. Go against this folly by undertaking a ministry that is distinctly feminine. Finally, “How can I use my time as a single woman to the greatest advantage for God’s kingdom?” The answers to this question are many. For starters, the single woman has more time for reading and study. A broad liberal arts education and in-depth Bible study should be available to every woman. A good education, based upon a Christian worldview, builds a woman in her God-given calling and makes her even more effective. That doesn’t mean you need to go off to college, either. I did, but I wouldn’t repeat it. Four years away from home and real ministry is a waste of time and money if you can read, find godly mentors and follow a regular course of study on your own. There’s no excuse for stupidity in our day of 24-hour internet access and live tutors available around the globe on any topic. I’ve learned more and read more since I graduated from college than I ever learned there. And I’ve been able to go deeply into areas of study which were only touched upon in my major classes. A good education is one that builds the mind without building the ego. Besides study, the single woman has time to teach young girls (perhaps mentoring a few if she has special skills or talents). She can run a home business as well, concentrating on an area of talent or specialization. Many times, a friend will say, “You’d really be good at…”. Why not see if that talent might be one the Lord could use to bless others? There are single women running a variety of excellent home-based businesses, including sewing for others, cooking and delivering entire meals to customers, baking pastries and/or decorating cakes, arranging flowers, coordinating weddings, running weekly “mother’s day out” programs, hostessing fancy teas for ladies’ groups, catering, writing, editing, designing websites and more. The opportunities are boundless when you really start looking!

Some women reading this might be older widows who are now wondering what they are supposed to do. When life has been oriented around the husband’s calling for many years, it can be hard to feel out a new direction. St. Paul clearly teaches that the older women are to “train the younger women …” (Titus 2:4). One cry I hear constantly from young women around me is, “Where are the godly older women who should be teaching us?” Sometimes they are busy with their own families, but often we find that they are sitting quietly, feeling unneeded in Christ’s Body. How many churches shuffle their “seniors” into classes for the “old folks” and segregate them from the young people they should be mentoring? Sadly, the majority of churches do this. While older ladies and gentlemen should have ample opportunities to fellowship with one another, they certainly shouldn’t be placed where they are unable to train those who are coming up after them. What a fountain of wisdom we have within the Church if we’d only tap into it! Older single women (even those who have never been married) have much to offer us. They are often the best ones to teach us contentment and patience.

There are ample opportunities for ministry for single women of every age and station in the Church, the family and society. While the vast majority of us will go on to marriage and families of our own, there are some who will not and who are called to remain single for life (I Cor. 7:7-10). Even if she is preparing and hoping for marriage, the single woman should not feel that she needs to be watching and waiting for Mr. Right while the world goes by. The principles of courtship are excellent and do prepare women for godly unions, but they should not cause us to lose our focus on what God would have us do today. Josh Harris makes this point beautifully in many of his talks and in his books. The whole point of rethinking our approach to male-female relationships is to get us to focus on something other than male-female relationships — namely, to focus upon the Lord’s unique calling for singlehood. Look around you. There are needy people right there within your own families, in your church and among friends and strangers. What can you do as a single woman to glorify God and serve Him right now? How can you honor and obey your Heavenly Bridegroom and bring “him good, not harm, all the days of [your] life?” (Prov. 31:12). Instead of crying “Heigh-ho for a husband,” consider crying out to your Heavenly Husband, Who knows your needs and has wonderful work for you to accomplish!

Coram Deo,
Mrs. M. L. Chancey

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