Older Singles Need Resources Too
- Thursday, November 10, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I am in my 50s, a single Christian woman, childless, with no family nearby. I am craving good books or other avenues for learning about living as a single Christian woman as I get older. In most of the books I have read by Christian women, they talk so much about their relationships with spouses, children, parents, etc, or are geared to young single Christian women . . . and I 'tune out.’ Is there a book for me? (Maybe I should write one!)
HE SAID: I have to somewhat agree with your assessment of the material available for those “seasoned without children” singles, yet there is one author whom I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with for the past ten years who may have something you’re looking for.
This amazing Christian woman is a slight bit older than you (she says she’s seventy plus) and has never been married, nevertheless has lived out her years like no one else I know and lives younger than many “whippersnappers” ever will.
The incredible woman I’m speaking of is Luci Swindoll. She is a successful businesswoman, accomplished vocalist, talented artist, Women of Faith speaker and best-selling author.
She shares her ongoing journey as a single woman in all of her books, but ones I would recommend are I Married Adventure and Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living with Imagination.
I Married Adventure is an autobiographical memoir tracing Luci’s years through personal photographs, sketches and stories rooted in her Christian heritage. She takes you on a voyage through her life, not as a lonely single woman, but rather as an explorer searching for the next unknown quest to conquer. Her singleness is not one of regret for what she could have had in marriage, but only for adventures she did not have time to challenge.
Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living with Imagination is a continuation of Luci’s insightful voyage through life. She says, “Adventure is an attitude, not a behavior.” Too many of us ask ourselves, “why me” or “if only.” In Doing Life Differently, Luci challenges us to ask “what if?” and “why not?” Instead of thinking about what might have been, she leads us into envisioning the possibilities.
Both will help you to see your life differently.
SHE SAID: Yes, maybe you should write a book! That’s a great idea, because I haven’t seen too many resources out there that are geared for “older” single Christian women either. Most books about singleness are written for women in a younger demographic.
While I’m not yet in my 50s, I’ve still found myself struggling with finding appropriate resources for my life stage as well. Bottom line, we’re in the minority out there (women who have been single for a long time). So if customers are not demanding certain products or resources, then it’s safe to say that publishers, manufacturers and what have you will probably not be churning out a bunch of what you and I are looking for in these “different” stages of our lives.
But . . . let me encourage you on your quest, as I share with you from my own. A few years back, I read a book by Dale Hanson Bourke called Second Calling: Finding Passion & Purpose for the Rest of Your Life. It’s marvelous!
Now it’s not talking about singleness per se, but about how God is still able, willing and ready to move and shake in our lives even in our “later years” when we might think that our lives (or our purposes) are pretty much cemented (as in nothing could or would ever change) or even over.
She interviews various women (some married and with families and some who have had successful careers outside of the home) who share about God reigniting the passion in their hearts and seeing their spiritual growth get another kick-start. The biblical story of Naomi is also woven in to show how, as older women, we have an opportunity to help mold and shape the younger women in our lives (in our case, that might specifically mean a ministry to younger single women . . . perhaps one or two will come to your mind as you’re reading this). And even though we are not married, I fully believe we can still do our Titus 2:3 part.
Another tip from my own back pocket is this: I have gained so much encouragement and edification from devotional books and Bible studies that are more geared toward married women. I know that sounds strange, but I really have. In fact, I’m reading through Elizabeth George’s A Woman After God’s Own Heart right now. And even though overall it’s speaking more to wives and mothers, I’m still able to glean from the insights therein.
Just this past week, I was studying in a chapter about “a heart that loves” and what that looks like specifically as it relates to a husband. Even though I am not married, I was able to internalize what I read and consider how I “love” or show respect to the men who are in my life (leadership at church, my superiors at work, my brother-in-law, my male friends, etc.). Most of the same principles from a husband and wife relationship can apply, and I found myself convicted in my role as a woman in showing love (appropriately) to the male figures in my life.
I’m sorry there’s no perfect “top ten” books list for you in my answer, but maybe I’ve helped you think outside the box a little bit for your search. The Lord has given me wisdom and food for thought for my single life by way of some pretty unexpected resources (and people!). Perhaps he will do the same for you, too.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Recently on He Said-She Said
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content