Singleness Transformed

Janet Aucoin June 4, 2021

Janet Aucoin and Jocelyn Wallace break down Titus 2:3-5 by sharing bot the context of the passage and application of Paul's calling for the "older women" and the "younger women" in the local church. Main passage: Titus 2:3-5

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Resources:

Books

7 Myths of Singleness - Sam Alberry

Singled Out for Him – Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

She’s Got the Wrong Guy – Deepak Reju

Singleness Redefined – Carolyn Leutwiler

Passion and Purity – Elizabeth Elliott

Blogs/Articles

When Marriage Isn’t promised - Alexandra Amnesty

Loving singles Well - Redemption Bible Chapel

5 Things Singles Wished Married Couples Knew - The Gospel Coalition

Single Ladies Catechism - Feet Cry Mercy

Sermons

Loving When You’re By Yourself - Faith Church

Single in Christ - Desiring God

Janet: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.
Alexandra: I just want to make it as totally simple and no brainer as possible for ladies to see that
the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.
Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.
Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of
my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to
inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as
women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy. Typically, I’ll be joined by either
Jocelyn or Alexandra, but for our first full episode listen as all three of us discuss the topic of
joy.
Janet: Welcome back once again, this is Janet and I'm here with my co-host Jocelyn again. And
today we're going to be talking about a more narrow topic, but if you're not single, I encourage
you to continue to listen because a lot of these principles, number one, are for all of us. And
number two, we want to know best how to love other people. We don't want to just listen to
things about ourselves.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Strangely.
Janet: We want to think of others.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: So today we're talking about some of the unique challenges, but I'm also going to say
opportunities, that women face during a season of singleness. And I'm just going to start by
saying no, I'm not single. I married at 28, which is early to some, late to some. I understand that.
But it was long enough to remember being in a lot of weddings and not knowing if I was going
to have one.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And my husband and I had the privilege of ministering to, and serving with our career and
college ministries for probably the first 10 or so years of our ministry. So we're pretty familiar
with the joys and heartaches that come along with that.
Jocelyn: Well, I'm pretty excited to hear about this topic. Because I think the things that you're
going to talk about hit hearts of everyone. We all long for someone to live our life with, and for
my situation, I got married when I was a teenager, actually. Not for all those godly reasons that
you might hope for me. And God has transformed our marriage and turned it into something
beautiful, as a sweet gift from Him. But I also longed to have a lot of things that our single sisters
probably long for, I just longed for a shorter period of time and then got married younger. But I
also have two grown daughters. One of them is an adult and I want to be able to help her think
through this topic well.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: And to not rush into decisions that are not wise or biblical or loving. And I want to help
them to be on a good path for their future. So I'm excited to hear about this topic. And I also have
a lot of single friends and I want to love them well.
Janet: Yeah. Yeah. I love, and I will be mentioning Sam Albury's book more than once in this
session. And I appreciated his thoughts on this. And I do think frequently when we talk about
singleness it's from the perspective of, I'm sorry. It's really hard. And I feel bad for you.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And interestingly, that's really just not the way the scripture talks about singleness at all.
So we're going to be looking at it differently. And I love --John Piper has a paper he wrote on
this subject. And I'm just going to quote his summary statement because I really think it says, I
really think it's true. He says, after saying a lot of other things as only John Piper does, and so

many good words that he defines: "To say the main point more briefly, God promises spectacular
blessings to those of you who remain single in Christ. And He gives you an extraordinary calling
for your life.
Jocelyn: That's cool
Janet: to be single and Christ is therefore not a falling short of God's best, but a path of
Christ-exalting, covenant-keeping obedience, that many are called to walk. So, I know that
sounds very lofty. And there are a lot of women listening to this that would say extraordinary
calling is not even one of the phrases
Jocelyn: Yeah. Totally.
Janet: That comes to my mind. But hang with me. So I'm just quickly, this is not a session on
marriage, but frequently what happens is we feel the need to compare. So let's just at least say
marriage and singleness are both gifts from God.
Jocelyn: Absolutely.
Janet: And 1 Corinthians 7 says. Actually, he says it this way in verse six. "Now as a concession,
not as a command, I say this, I wish," Paul says, "that all were as I, myself am," meaning single,
" but each has his own gift from God. One of one kind and one of another." So he's saying there
each gifts, one of one kind, one of another. And he actually says he kind of wishes everybody
was single at that point. And he says, why later on in verse 26. "In view of this present distress,
it's good for a person to remain as he is." And then he goes on to say, if you're married, that's
great. Be married. If you're single, Hey, maybe you just think about being single. The point is not
which one is better, but it's in that situation he was actually encouraging them to consider
singleness might be better for the kingdom.
Jocelyn: And to see it as a good thing.
Janet: Yes. Yes. So we're not going to go over all the passages that tell me how beautiful
marriage is. Though it's obviously true.
Jocelyn: Clearly true scripturally. Yep.
Janet: I want us to focus on how do we think about singleness, knowing both are gifts from God,
both are used to glorify God and build up others? And I believe that that's true. I also think that
there are a lot of things that get in the way of living that way.
Jocelyn: Oh yeah.

Janet: And even within the Christian subculture-- I believe the world at large exalts singleness
better than the Christian subculture.
Jocelyn: That's interesting. Yeah, I definitely agree.
Janet: And so when we're in our own culture, I think that there are things that make it hard to
believe this, but in addition to just that culture, there are things that are really going on inside of
us. There's challenges that we all face, and I believe they're common challenges, but uniquely
affecting singles.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: And one of them, so I'm going to go through a few of them. Certainly not all of the
challenges, but I did ask several people to give me lists of some of the things they work with and
a big one: loneliness.
Jocelyn: Yeah, right at the top. Yep.
Janet: Very real emotion that singles face. And I know that this sounds hard. But it is true that
married women face it as well. And every single woman is going. Yeah. But I would like your
kind. I get that. But having been on both sides of it, we all desire to be part of something or
someone that tells us we're not alone.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: We just want someone who understands us and is committed to us. And I don't believe
that's wrong.
Jocelyn: No.
Janet: I think that's part of our creation design, to orient our lives around helping others.
Jocelyn: Exactly.
Janet: We're very relational.
Jocelyn: God made us to be relational. It's right that we long for it.
Janet: Yes. And then I can warp it and say, I must have it.
Jocelyn: Exactly. I need it.
Janet: Instead of giving it. And I forget I'm in a sin cursed world. So all of these good longings I
shouldn't expect that they would all get met here married or single.

Jocelyn: And some of those longings might become twisted. It might be idolatrous.
Janet: Yes. Absolutely. And I personally struggled on the deepest level with loneliness after I got
married.
Jocelyn: Isn't that crazy?
Janet: It is crazy. And that's because, not because I didn't have loneliness before, but before I was
married, I really thought
Jocelyn: it was going to solve it.
Janet: Yes. If someday, and I know I was older, so it wasn't even like I had a man in mind, but if
the Lord gives me a man, this'll be gone. So I just gotta hang in. I gotta wait for that moment.
And I didn't even know I was doing that until I got married. Well, now I'm in the closest
relationship I'm ever going to be in.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And I'm lonely. What do I do with that? Brent was struggling because you know, he's not
Jesus and I chose to take it personally because I needed him to be everything for me. So it wasn't
personal, but I took it personal and I got hurt. So, if I'm hurting, what do I do? Oh, I would go to
my best friend who's got to be there for me at every moment of the day, my husband. Well, I
can't. Because he was already hurting and he was the reason I was hurting. So now what do I do?
I can't go to another friend. That would actually be gossip.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: I was so alone.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And I can remember it felt so hopeless because I couldn't say, well, someday, maybe
there'll be a closer relationship.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Because that was it. That was the prize. That was what you had your eyes on.
Janet: Yeah. I got the prize and it was insufficient.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And it was despair.
Jocelyn: That's a good way to say it. It is despairing.

Janet: Yes. And that is how I felt. And I remember he used to I used to go on walks and talk to
the Lord a lot. So I cried a lot. I can only imagine what people around me thought. Here's Janet
walking and crying again. So I was walking and crying and it was like, there is nowhere else I
can go, I guess I'll go to God. I mean, how ridiculous is that?
Jocelyn: I remember a couple of walks similar to that as well in our first year of marriage.
Janet: That's like that's ridiculous, but that is exactly where I was. And I even remember saying
to the Lord. Now I'm totally terrified because what if I try You?
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And You're not enough?
Jocelyn: Yeah. And You fail. Yeah.
Janet: And then I got like nothing. So I'm almost afraid to try.
Jocelyn: It's almost depressing. Like it's almost like, Oh, my word. That could be my very last
option.
Janet: Yes. So I'd almost rather not try. But I did. And started crying. And God in His grace, I
won't say I'm totally fulfilled now and I have no loneliness, but I began to understand it and to
not clamor so much. And I realized I was looking for a relationship. And at this point, Brent, to
be for me, what only God could be. And I got so convicted that I couldn't even love Brent
because I needed him. And I thought that was love. I need you like every moment of every day.
And I need you to be amazing for me because I love you. And I actually thought if I get to the
point where I don't need him, it will be like, we're not close anymore.
Jocelyn: Wow. I'm glad your walks were so effective helping you.
Janet: I know.
Jocelyn: I wish mine in my first year had been that effective. Mine were like years one through
four.
Janet: Well, this was a while. But I learned and I still remember coming back and he was laying
on the couch and dealing with what he was dealing with. And honestly, to my shame for the first
time that I can remember, I sat next to him and expressed concern for him. And he looked at me
and said, how is it you're doing this? You don't do this. I mean, how sad is that?
Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: How sad is that? But that's really where it was. And I was like, because I realized I don't
need you.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And now I need to love you where you're hurting.
Jocelyn: When you don't need someone, it frees you up to love them where they actually are.
Janet: Yes, but it's hard because I want skin on my savior. I want physical arms to hug me. But
when I recognize that, I realize a lot of times, God does give me someone who can hug me, but
not always. And He knows what I need and he knows the best way to meet those needs. And
He's more concerned with refining my soul than making sure I never feel lonely. And if the
loneliness was what was going to refine my soul, I needed to not make it my goal to get out of it.
Jocelyn: And think about how loneliness, as it affects humans, is what often pushes us to a
relationship with God. And so loneliness is a valuable part of our human experience, because we
were made for Jesus. We were made to be in relationship with Him. And so often we just fluff
our life up with relationships with anything but Him.
Janet: Yep. And I agree. And I think, only, the Lord knows, but if Brent had been able to meet
my standards, I don't know that I would ever go to God.
Jocelyn: Because you would have had a perfect person.
Janet: I would settled for the substitute.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: If it worked, I would settle. Even though Brent was never murdered for me, even though
God's the only one who deserves that loyalty and worship. I really think knowing where I was in
my own heart, if a substitute would satisfy, I'd go there. So I needed that loneliness.
Jocelyn: Yes. I agree.
Janet: I needed it to fall apart.
Jocelyn: I agree.
Janet: But the desire to not be alone, that's not a bad thing.
Jocelyn: No, but we can allow it to become too loud and to control us and point us in a direction
that is definitely not helpful or healthy.

Janet: Yep. And I, what God wants me to do with that. Is run to Him. Not so that I'll never feel
loneliness, but because whether I feel it or not, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake
you, says the Lord. Hebrews 13:5. I have to believe that.
Jocelyn: And quite honestly, like, think about someone who might be in prison, captured for
living out their Christian faith. They're literally alone for decades of years. And that can still be a
very worshipful experience when they're with the Savior. And then think about something
opposite. You can be surrounded by hundreds of people and be physically present to a lot of
people, but feel utterly alone. And so relationship with God is the constant that we can always
rely on and look forward to as the cure for utter loneliness in any circumstance.
Janet: I hear Pastor Goode in my head. And one of the phrases he used to use is that God gives us
circumstances that crowd us back to Christ.
Jocelyn: That's cool.
Janet: And I think, yeah, because it's only when other things are not working, it pushes me back
to a better place. But we don't go there naturally. And loneliness is a big one. I would say another
one that's-- it's similar to the loneliness. But a little bit of a different twist is I, when you're single
it's-- frequently, I feel like I just don't belong anywhere.
Jocelyn: You don't have a place.
Janet: Yeah. Like when I attend a big church wide event, everybody's sitting with their family.
And we say we're all one big church family, but it doesn't feel that way.
Jocelyn: We still, we still like gather together in our little groups.
Janet: So when I walk into that room, where do I fit? I mean, literally where do I sit? Because I
don't belong to anyone.
Jocelyn: That's a very practical question. That's very helpful.
Janet: And so I think for those of us with friends who are single, let them know where you're
sitting. I mean, I remember that with a friend of mine who was single and in my insensitivity, I
just didn't even think about it. I said, Hey, you're going to be at this event. And she's like, eh, she
hesitated. And I was surprised cause it's, she likes church things. Like she loves God. And she
said, those are really hard for me. Duh, why didn't I think of that, but I didn't. So I met her out in
the parking lot and we walked in together.
Jocelyn: Oh, that's cool.
Janet: So she didn't have to like scan the room, looking for my family,

Jocelyn: standing back there trying to find you.
Janet: Hoping that I had a seat. But that's hard. And you see it there, you see it that not
belonging. There's not a relational stability. I lived in several apartments eventually ended up
buying a home while I was still single. And I had a lot of different roommates. But I had a lot of
different roommates and they were all wonderful people.
Jocelyn: But they were inconsistent.
Janet: They were not permanent.
Jocelyn: They came and left
Janet: Yep. Yep. Someone got married. Somebody took a different job. Somebody bought their
own house. Constant relational change. And so where do I fit? Where do I belong?
Jocelyn: And it's so unsettling to have change every couple of months, or have to adjust to a new
normal.
Janet: Yeah. And then you realize how much of us we love that stability. So where am I going to
find stability?
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: When I'm a single person, and I can't say this is my rock.
Jocelyn: This is where I fit.
Janet: Where is it going to be? And I think it's probably maybe true for men and women, but I
really do think that the struggle for that special relationship and security seems to be a bigger
deal for women.
Jocelyn: I agree.
Janet: Even before marriage. Because we have to have a best friend. Who is your BFF? I mean,
you have a lot of friends, but who's your best friend?
Jocelyn: And who is always waiting for you to get where you're going, so you can go do it
together.
Janet: Yes. And who is it that when you're younger, you split your necklace in half and I have
half and Jocelyn has half because it shows we're really--
Jocelyn: We belong.

Janet: Yes. We belong to each other. And of course for women, I think it really, it ends up with a
lot of jealousy, a lot of cliques.
Jocelyn: That's true.
Janet: And I think that's where some of that comes from. But again, we're just trying to belong.
And because I don't know what to do with that, I clamor. And I don't believe it's wrong. I just
need to learn how my relationship with Christ impacts, where I belong. What does that actually
mean, that I'm a daughter of the King of the universe and I belong to Him? And we'll get there.
But another one. People not understanding you. Now again, so many different people would say
that. And whatever their specific is, but there are some specific things about being single that
those who are not single don't really understand. And the people who are single get very
frustrated. I love this quote from Carolyn McCauley. She says it this way. "There are as many
stages and seasons to single adult life as there are for married adults."
Jocelyn: True.
Janet: "A single woman in her fifties with a demanding career caring for elderly parents is not
equivalent to a recent college grad who's still living at home."
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: "Both are unmarried. Yeah. But chances are the older single woman, and the parents of
that college grad, have more in common."
Jocelyn: That's interesting.
Janet: "Though some of the most intimate relationships may be different, we all share a basic set
of priorities and we often need to be reminded of that. "
Jocelyn: We shouldn't lump everyone together just because they're single. That isn't the most
qualifying identity of their life.
Janet: Exactly.
Jocelyn: It just happens to be one of their many realities.
Janet: Right. And so, if you're not currently single, we don't always recognize we're doing that.
And those who are single then can get angry and resentful at what we singles deem as your
insensitivity. True. And I'm going to just say this, when you're single a single lifestyle provides
opportunity. I didn't say it has to be because we all bring the same sinful heart to the table, but it
provides an opportunity for more self absorption. So I'm already being tempted to think more
about me than I ought. And now the fact that you're not thinking about me as you ought--

Jocelyn: It's just poking you with a stick.
Janet: Exactly. That's even more offensive. But the reality is everybody naturally gravitates to
selfishness. The difference is when I am living with others, and my life is intertwined with
theirs, it gets exposed.
Jocelyn: Right. Cause if you're selfish to me, I'm going to probably point it out. Because I have
to live with you.
Janet: Right. And it's more obvious. When I'm single, I can go quite a bit down the path if I'm--
especially if I'm living alone-- without thinking about somebody else.
Jocelyn: Yeah, not even cause you're trying to. Just because, why would you challenge yourself?
If
Janet: I know
Jocelyn: you're the only one that has to live with you?
Janet: I know, I think about like now, when I think about meals, I need to think about when
Brent's going to be home and the things that he's like. When I had the kids at home, I need to
think about that. And I should, when you're single, what are you going to do? Eat things you
don't like?
Jocelyn: Just to challenge yourself.
Janet: Yeah. Just to say, I'm not going to be selfish. I don't have to always have what I want.
Jocelyn: We're eating something gross today.
Janet: Yes. So we just think about ourselves. And that's a danger.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So I'm thinking about me. And then what others think about me, gets inordinately
important.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So I'm thinking about me. And then what others think about me, gets inordinately
important.
Jocelyn: That's your only identity.
Janet: Which means whenever I'm somewhere, and I meet an eligible single man, I go, Ooh.

Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: I found the one. I got to fix her up. Like two people, any two people slap them together.
There's a unit.
Jocelyn: Oh yeah.
Janet: 'Cause here's one. That's not quite put together yet. Here's another one we need to make a
unit.
Jocelyn: And how offensive for the only quality that somebody would see in matching someone
up is that they had both happened to be single. What about their personality or what they like to
do or their job,
Janet: their passions, their, yeah.
Jocelyn: I had a single friend that was fixed up so many times. And she was like, I am more than
the fact that I'm single. Like why would anyone ever think that that man would be interesting to
me? We're nothing similar.
Janet: Yeah. Yeah. When we do that, that can be painful. But in reality, I think as a single
person, what we need to remember is, instead of being so offended that this person is doing that,
realize we're not any different. We do the same things. If anybody around me is going through a
trial or a season of life, I haven't experienced, do I always know how to be sensitive and care for
them?
Jocelyn: No. Hardly ever. As for myself, like, I don't know their story. I can only assume that
their story is similar to mine, and it's definitely not.
Janet: Probably not. Yeah. So if I've never lost a spouse, am I always sensitive to how to help
someone who has? If somebody else has chronic pain, do I always think about that, if I've never
dealt with pain? And what do I want? I want them to be gracious with me. I remember taking a
friend to church. This was several years ago-- to lunch-- several years ago now. She had severe
physical difficulties. Sometimes couldn't walk at all. At this point was using a walker. And she
may have had crutches instead at this point. But it would go back and forth. Just had a lot of that.
But wanted to get her out of the house, picked her up. We went out to lunch. She didn't eat all of
her lunch, got a take home bag, and then we get up to leave. So, what do I do? I just get up to
leave.
Jocelyn: Start walking.
Janet: Yeah. I didn't even think about the fact that she can't use her crutches-- she did have her
crutches-- because she can't use her crutches and carry the bag.

Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: I didn't think about that. She had to ask me, would you carry that for me, because I can't.
And here's what I know, it's hard for her to always have to ask everybody to do everything for
her. I know that's hard for her. So I'm mad at myself and I'm like, Janet, why didn't you think of
that? But I didn't, and you know what I wanted? I wanted her to show me a lot of grace. I wanted
her to think, at least she tried. It was clumsy, but at least she tried. So maybe that's what I need to
think about my married friends who are setting me up.
Jocelyn: And who just don't see
Janet: no.
Jocelyn: as completely as maybe they should.
Janet: I need to recognize they're thinking about me. And they think this would be good for me.
And so they want it for me. Even if they're wrong.
Jocelyn: Right. And apparently like they think this will bring some goodness into my life.
Janet: Yes, because they care about me.
Jocelyn: Not just because they're being jerks.
Janet: Right. And a lot of times, if someone is really enjoying their marriage, they're thinking, I
want that for you.
Jocelyn: I want you to have this same kind of happiness.
Janet: Instead of you have something different.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So her desire is good. Her method is not effective. I get it. But I can have compassion
because I mess up showing love to others all the time, too. And I think when we're single, we can
make this the one thing that we get to be mad at everybody about.
Jocelyn: That's what I was kind of thinking. I can see how this could lend to kind of a bitter
attitude where this is the one thing you're always watching for. And you allow yourself to be
cranky about it because obviously the rest of the world is not observant to how much it hurts
you.
Janet: Yes. Instead of, we all do these things. We all do these things.

Jocelyn: We all do this in relationships.
Janet: But it does happen and we need to acknowledge that it does happen. Another area that I
just want to mention is somehow we feel less deserving in quotes.
Jocelyn: So a single person feels less deserving.
Janet: Yes. Or least defensive that we need to prove to you and to me that I'm not less deserving.
Which means I must, I think I am, because now I'm getting defensive
Jocelyn: Right. 'Cause you're defending it.
Janet: Yes. And I think, you know, while it's not true, I think we do have to, as a culture, take
some responsibility for the fact that sometimes I know when I was single, some of these things
were said to me. God's not going to give you a husband till you're content without one.
Jocelyn: That's a little bit sadistic.
Janet: Oh my word. So now what does that imply about my singleness? It's a lack of spiritual
contentment. What does that imply about your marriage?
Jocelyn: That it's more, I'm more spiritual.
Janet: You must have been. Cause you got the prize. And I didn't get it. I wasn't spiritual enough.
Jocelyn: So behaviors-- that's such a behavioristic way of thinking about God. If I do the right
thing, He'll give me what I want.
Janet: And what you would earn as a man.
Jocelyn: Right, right. That's the prize.
Janet: Wow. So,
Jocelyn: I mean, my husband is a prize. That's really wrong, theologically inaccurate way of
thinking.
Janet: But we say it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And we say this to women who want children.
Jocelyn: Oh yes.

Janet: You got to stop wanting it so badly. Then you'll have one. What in the world?
Jocelyn: That's such a messed up way of thinking. Want it. Don't want it. Want it. Don't want it.
Want it. Don't want it.
Janet: So these married friends passed the spiritual test. I didn't. And if I buy that at any level,
here's what I have to do. If I want a husband, I have to convince you and me and God that I don't
want one.
Jocelyn: So He gives you one.
Janet: So that He'll bless me with one, because I don't want it anymore. That's when I'll get it.
Okay. How twisted is that?
Jocelyn: That is so messed up.
Janet: But that's what we do. So now when we talk about my singleness, I attach to it, you're
saying I'm not as spiritual.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And in part it's because of these kinds of things.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So now I need to say to you, you know, I'm not second class citizen, how come these
people-- where's that coming from? God is not twisted like that.
Jocelyn: And that's what I was just thinking. That really exposes your heart and what it believes
about God. That He messes around with people. He flicks you around. He plays with your
emotions. He plays head games. That's not at all what God says about Himself in the scriptures.
Janet: No. And it requires me now, if I'm buying that-- and sometimes we buy it without
knowing we've bought it, because I don't think any of us would say, God plays head games with
me but that is what we're doing.
Jocelyn: But ultimately that's what we believe.
Janet: That's what we're saying.
Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Without knowing it. But what it requires me to do is now all my energy is on me. I'm not
thinking about God and you. I have to think about me. Okay. If I can't get content without a
husband. Oh my word, what if I have the gift of singleness?
Jocelyn: What a tragic shame.
Janet: I know. I don't want that. And I'm going to tell you, I am not a believer that singleness is a
spiritual gift given at salvation, like encouragement. Like if I have the gift of singleness, I'll
never be married.
Jocelyn: I see.
Janet: What I see in scripture, and that passage we just read, some have one gift, some have the
other. So, anything in my life today is a gift from a good and loving God.
Jocelyn: And God is sovereignly and affectionately controlling the good and loving gifts that we
have because the same way that somebody might long to not have the gift of singleness, they
might also long to not have the gift of infertility or not have the gift of physical suffering. So all
of us are being conformed by these trials that God is sovereignly and affectionately controlling.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: And this just happens to be the sovereignly affectionately controlled gift that this one
person
Janet: for that season.
Jocelyn: for that one person for that season. Right.
Janet: So that season, that's what I need to look more like, Jesus. So if I'm single, for today, that
gift, putting in my life, whatever's gonna make me look more like Jesus, that includes singleness.
And for 28 years I had that gift. Now I have the gift of marriage for a time. And that's what God
is using. And most likely Brent or I are going to have the gift of singleness again.
Jocelyn: That's the ultimate reality. Unless you die in a car accident together, one of you is
probably going to go to heaven before the other .
Janet: And we'll have the gift of singleness in that season.
Jocelyn: At that point. Yeah.
Janet: Again.
Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So, what do we do with all of those challenges? What would it look like for Christ to
transform these challenges? Ephesians 1, I think, and I go back there a lot, but I think when we
read through Ephesians 1: 3 - 14, where I just love that Paul starts that book, the book that tells
us so practically how to grow and change, he starts it with just saying, let's just spend a lot of
time talking about what's your identity? Who are you? And how would those verses relate to
everything we just talked about in the challenges? Ephesians 1: 3 that I was predestined before
the beginning of time. And I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.
Think about that. And then think, how does that go with not deserving? Well, It certainly doesn't
make me more deserving, but I've been blessed with every spiritual blessing. If that's true, this is
so not about deserving anymore. How can I be less deserving than you when, before I was even
born, God chose me and gave me every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies? If you were chosen
before the foundation of the world, what does that say about the fact that you don't feel like you
belong? It's a lot.
Jocelyn: It speaks to it. It's exactly the truth that you need to combat that lie in your head.
Janet: Now, the next thing we want to say is, but I don't feel like it. I get it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: But here's the reality.
Jocelyn: And our-- eventually our emotions, if they're trained through scripture will begin to
reflect the reality. We'll see that the spiritual blessings are a good thing. And this situation in life
is spiritual blessing. Not some second class life situation.
Janet: Yep. So I'm not deserving. And yet I have everything. Which levels the playing field.
There is no less deserving, more deserving. There's the completely undeserving who've been
given everything. So there's one thing. I do belong. And what about my loneliness? I love the
fact that at the end of that passage in verse 14, it talks about being given the Holy Spirit as a
guarantee, our down payment. Oh, my word. You're never alone.
Jocelyn: Yeah. He's inside of you.
Janet: You have the Holy Spirit as a deposit for your inheritance. So number one, will there be a
day when I don't feel all of these hard things? Yes.
Jocelyn: Certainly.
Janet: And what's the guarantee? I have the down payment of the Holy Spirit.
Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And in the meantime, I'm never alone.
Jocelyn: And quite honestly, not feeling deserving, not feeling like you belong and feeling lonely
is not only applicable to single women. So the same theological truth speaks to those situations
that other, like someone who is struggling with infertility, like, what am I not deserving of a
child?
Janet: Yep.
Jocelyn: So this truth speaks to every situation where loneliness and sadness is felt.
Janet: Yep. So it tells me, my singleness is not a punishment. I'm already totally undeserving.
And I've already been blessed with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. All the
punishment, on the cross.
Jocelyn: Yep.
Janet: Deserved. Yes. And on the cross. None of us earn God's love. None of us earn His
blessings. None of us are alone and all of us belong. And I would say being single does put you
in an opportunity, in a position to be more aware of that. I can't hide behind my husband and
family.
Jocelyn: And think about how someone who is married and has children, who doesn't understand
that could be crushed when the marriage or the children are challenging. And so God allows
circumstances to expose us needing to deal with this.
Janet: Yes. Yes. And when I'm single. I'm not deceived into thinking it's okay because I have so
and so. I have to cling to my belonging in Christ. I am being again, crowded back to Christ, a
better place, not a lesser place.
Jocelyn: Yeah, a better place.
Janet: A better place. I revel more in the fact that I'm called His beloved, His precious
possession. You know, I remember when my kids were really little. And they're close to the same
age, they're 17 months apart. So I can never remember who said what? It's all a blur. It was, it all
went. I don't even know. I didn't, I don't think I slept a lot. But I remember having them on my
lap and saying to them, why do you think I love you? And they would start giving me reasons
which were always hysterical because they've required at least partial amnesia on their part to
believe these things. Because I'm so good. Are you kidding me?
Jocelyn: Do you not remember this morning?

Janet: Because I took care of, you know, I'm loving to my sister. Because I obey. And I'm like,
actually, where have you been living? None of that is even true. Then they'd get a little confused
and I would say, so that's not it. And I remember they'd go through their whole list of why, and
then I'd say, okay, let me ask it this way. Maybe you'll figure it out now. What do you think you'd
have to do and I would stop loving you? And they would say really bad things and usually things
they'd already done. Which is what was really funny. What if I like hit my sister? Honey, you
have.
Jocelyn: And yet I love you.
Janet: Yes. What if I just like disobeyed to your face? Honey, really? Okay. So my, and I believe
this was my son, cause this would be him, who said to me, cause he thought he had me and he
was always the one who would try to do that. What if I murdered somebody? And I said, Oh my
word, that would be so sad. And he's nodding like yep. Got you.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And I said, I'd have to call the police and you'd have to go to jail. Cause that is wrong.
And I would come visit you. And you know why? Because I love you. And there's after awhile,
they're almost like discouraged because they can't win. So they're very perplexed. And I finally
would, and I remember this, they were sitting there. I said, so you want me to tell you why I love
you? Oh, absolutely. Yes. And I said, just cause your mine. That's it's a fact. You did nothing to
get it, and you can't do anything to lose it. It's just because your mine. That's the way it is.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And what was I trying to do? In an imperfect way, because my love is not perfect.
Sometimes I got mad at them and sometimes I behaved in ways that were not in any way, loving
toward my children. But I wanted them to get a taste of that's how God loves you. Because that is
security for a child. What if I said to them, I love you because you're sweet and caring?
Jocelyn: Right. Because it makes us so performance-based? Like perform so I love you.
Janet: And now what happens when they're struggling? They don't wanna tell me.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: Because I have to hide my weakness from mom.
Jocelyn: Cause it would take your love away from them.
Janet: So now think about, God knows all about you. Single sisters. You're not less than. That's
all over. I love studying Psalm 139 for that. And we won't today because that's a whole another

session, but Psalm 139, David talks about how God is everywhere. He can't hide from Him,
which means He knew about him raping, murdering, deceiving, all of that. And then he says, and
Your thoughts about me or precious? Oh, He knows the sin in me I can't even admit to me, and
He loves me. So I don't have to try to earn God's love. I'm secure. That's belonging. That's, single
or married, that's where I need to find my belonging. And when I'm married, I might think I
believe that, but I'm really clinging to my husband more than I know until the Lord allows me to
see it, like He did for me.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: When you're single, there's nowhere to hide as easily. That's a good thing. I am not kept by
my worthiness, but God's. So single friend, your hope isn't that your married friends are going to
get it. Your hope's in a much better place, because God understands and it's best. But let's spend a
little bit of time saying how about to the rest of us who are married? What are some of the things
that will hinder? What are some of the lies? What are the, some of the things that hinder that
transformation? I read a couple of years ago, a book by Sam Alberry called "Seven Myths of
Singleness." So good. And here's what I realized. I held some wrong beliefs about singleness.
And I'm not single, but it impacted how I thought about singles.
Jocelyn: And it definitely impacts how you relate to your single sisters.
Janet: Oh, absolutely. First of all, I think I've viewed singleness as the minority position. That's
why I think it's so hard. Because the norm is married. And then there's those who are single and
have a special help dispensation from God for this horribly hard thing. It's good and honorable,
but it's really hard. In 2016, 45% of all adults, 18 and over are single.
Jocelyn: That's such a shocking statistic to me. Because I agree. I would think the majority of
people in our church are married, but this says pretty much half and half.
Janet: Yeah. And we act like that's the minority position and it really isn't. Another Pew research
in 2017, 42% of all American adults are living without a spouse or partner.
Jocelyn: And it's interesting to think it doesn't mean that they were never married.
Janet: No.
Jocelyn: It just means. At that moment, they are single.
Janet: That's right.
Jocelyn: And we live our life in seasons. And we're not guaranteed anything.
Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Even if you're married, like we said, it's likely that you probably will be single for some
period of time at some point in the future.
Janet: And Sam Albury says that in his book. "Most of us who are married will one day be single
again." And he's saying that as a single person. So when I think about that, it's a large percentage
of the church.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So we need to think about what are some of the wrong ideas we have about singleness.
Married or single. And I think the first one is what I've mentioned, it's just so hard. It's too hard.
It's too much to ask of a person. They're martyrs, if they're single. And it's not easy, but this is so
interesting. In Matthew 19, when the disciples are talking about singleness and marriage, their
interchange is really interesting. The Pharisees are asking Jesus about lawful reasons to divorce.
And Jesus responds by quoting from Genesis, and shows about marriage. So can you read
Matthew 19: 3 - 12. This is fascinating.
Jocelyn: Sure. "And the pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, 'is it lawful to
divorce one's wife for any cause?' He answered, 'have you not read that He who created them
from the beginning, made them male and female and said, "therefore, a man shall leave his father
and his mother and hold fast to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh." So they are no
longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.' They
said to Him, 'why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her
away?' He said to them, 'because of your hardness of heart, Moses allowed you to divorce your
wives. But from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except
for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery.' The disciples said to him, 'if such
as the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.' But he said to them, 'not everyone
can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been
so from birth. And there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men. And there are
eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one
who is able to receive this, receive it.'"
Janet: That's fascinating to me. That is so opposite of what we say.
Jocelyn: Absolutely.
Janet: He's basically saying Marriage is something not to be undone or reversed. And I'm just
going to say this, the Scriptures teach, there are conditions where divorce is allowable. And it
can be very, it can be God honoring for sure.
Jocelyn: It can be the best way to handle things right.

Janet: But, that isn't the design. And the Israelites were used to having all this list of reasons that
would allow them to have legal permission for divorce. Jesus pushes back, and says, that's not
the goal. His disciples say, "if such as the case of a man with his wife, it's better not to marry.'
Marriage sounds too hard to them. And Jesus, doesn't say that's ridiculous.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: He says, "not everyone can receive this saying."
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: That's fascinating. Albury says it this way. "Jesus' thinking seems to go in the opposite
direction. Marriage can be too hard for some, so he commends celibacy."
Jocelyn: That's such a change of thinking.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: Such a different way of thinking through this.
Janet: Yeah. And I'm not going to say which one's harder.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: I don't think that's the point. But it is interesting that in this context, marriage seemed too
hard. So what's the takeaway. How about living in a sin cursed world in a way that honors God to
my own hurt is hard. And that's not bad, but it is hard. Married or not.
Jocelyn: Right. The context is kind of irrelevant, because the situations are both going to be
difficult.
Janet: Right. And you see that here in their context, they looked at it very differently than we do.
We think marriage is easier. So we want it. They thought singleness was easier. So they want it.
Isn't that fascinating? We don't want what's most God honoring. We want whatever is easier.
Jocelyn: I would say, well, the goal there was easy.
Janet: Exactly.
Jocelyn: If that's our goal, we're going to be like so disappointed.
Janet: So, just think about one area maybe to flesh out how both are hard but different. What we
know is marriage is more complicated according to scripture.
Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: 1 Corinthians 7 talks about the fact that you will have divided interests. I have to take care
of a family, and things of God.
Jocelyn: You have so much more time invested in that.
Janet: When I was single, 1 Corinthians 7:32, I was able to focus more on the Lord's affairs. But
I remember, I was working full time. I had the opportunity to be an ambassador for Christ at
work. Most evenings I was either meeting with other women, serving in some way .That was just
the flow of my life. And then I got married, and I really, we had to have a conversation about
what nights I would be home.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Because that's not, that was not the flow of my life. Now, I need to think about his
schedule. Now, I can't just say, you know what? They have a need. I'm just going to go have
dinner with them. My husband is waiting for food at home. Now I'm managing a home for two.
It's more complicated. I love being married. That's not a pity party. I have less freedom to serve.
As far as serving how and when I'd like. It's just different.
Jocelyn: And you have less freedom to serve outside of your home, because you're serving so
much inside of your home. You're still serving. Just the location is different and the recipients are
different.
Janet: That's exactly right. So you're right. I am serving. But it looked different. And I couldn't
just say you have a need, I'll be there. I have to think about other things. Not wrong. It's just
complicated.
Jocelyn: Just different. Yeah.
Janet: So that's how I spend my time. How about when you're single. There's a different danger
when you're single. And Albury, who is single, as a pastor says it this way: "it's easy to channel
our flexibility and energies into merely pleasing ourselves rather than God. It's easy to do what I
want, how I want, when I want."
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Why? Because you don't have a spouse or children that you have to flex around.
Jocelyn: Exactly.
Janet: That forces you, not because one's more spiritual than the other, it's just being forced.
Jocelyn: When you're living in relationship with someone else, your weaknesses will be better
exposed.

Janet: Our former pastor, Pastor Goode, really encouraged us. I was in a singles class at that
point, and he came and spoke to us and talked about not living alone for that reason.
Jocelyn: That's so interesting.
Janet: As a single person, don't set yourself up to where you don't have to flex around someone.
Not because it's sinful to live alone, but because the danger, the opportunity to become more self
oriented, is right there.
Jocelyn: Just tiny steps of self orientation, and you end up way off course.
Janet: Yes. So both are hard and both have challenges. But I do think in our Christian culture,
many of us think singleness is the more demanding and the more unfair. And then we share that
attitude with our single brothers and sisters to their harm. We feel bad for them.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Instead of encouraging them to have strength in a different way.
Janet: Yes. Allberry says it this way. "We are exposed to endless stories as adults, where the
wedding is the end and climax, the resolution of the tension. It's the goal and the destination."
Can you relate to that? Like once they're married, they've got the goal.
Jocelyn: Exactly. I have been so reluctant to allow my kids to watch Disney movies or read
romance novels. Because it's like builds this false truth in their mind that the point of their life is
to meet the man that suddenly fulfills you, gives you purpose, and then you get married and live
happily ever after. So at age 20 you've climaxed. And I mean, it's a nice thought, but it's totally
inaccurate.
Janet: And it's less than the truth.
Jocelyn: And it encourages so much sin. And it leads to disappointment if you think that's the
only point that you exist for.
Janet: Yes. And if we feed that even as married people, we're making it harder for them to see the
beauty of where they are because we are living so horizontally. We see that.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: I think another thing that's unfair and not true is that singles need most to be around other
singles, which is kind of back to that whole, no matter what season of life they're in, you all
single.
Jocelyn: You just lump them together.
Janet: That's the goal. And there is value in finding people in a similar season of it.

Jocelyn: Right. But it's not the only value.
Janet: No. And it's not the only similar season. The thing about your season is your, whether or
not you're married.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So there's great value in getting to know people in other seasons of life. And we have to
realize the needs of singles are diverse. It's not, let's have a singles ministry because singles need
blank.
Jocelyn: It's just like the needs of married people are diverse. And the needs of young children
are diverse. And the needs of teenagers are diverse. You can't just lump them into the same
category because of their station in life or their age.
Janet: Yup. Yup. And for some singles they really value single friendships. Because they want to
be able to talk to someone who can at least understand.
Jocelyn: That identifies. Yeah.
Janet: I got it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: There are some singles who are saying, I just want to be part of a family. Not even it has to
be a permanent family, but I value that. So we should be involved in each other's lives as a
family, not just a single with singles.
Jocelyn: Right. Definitely.
Janet: And I think that means invite singles into your life.
Jocelyn: Definitely.
Janet: If you're married and if you're single, don't think I should wait to get invited to a married
family's home. Invite a family over. I think that's a really cool thing to do as a single. You don't
have to be, you're not really an adult where you can have people over until you get a wedding
ring. Like, well, that's ridiculous. If you want to invite a family over for dinner, invite a family
over for dinner.
Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Be a family and pursue relationships with those who are married. If you're single. Build
friendships with singles around you and bring them into the everyday mundane areas of your life.
It doesn't have to be an event or a feast. It can just be a regular meal.
Jocelyn: And how else will you get to know that person's unique personality and challenges and
how you can serve them and how you can pray for them? You just need to know them and not
categorize them. Just get to know each other.
Janet: There's a resource listed that we will list at the end of this podcast, a blog from a single
woman, sharing ways for her church family to understand her. And it's really, really good. And
one thing she says is, "we don't mind hanging out with you and your family. Actually, we love it.
Please don't assume we only want to be friends with other singles. Please don't ditch us when
you get married."
Jocelyn: Oh. That's a good point.
Janet: "We still need you in our lives. We miss family. It is not awkward for us to be friends with
married people. It's normal." Because sometimes we think, Oh, I don't want to have them over.
Then they'll even be more aware of the fact that we have a family and she doesn't. We already
know this.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Just invite them.
Jocelyn: Wouldn't it be appropriate within that relationship to ask them how it's affecting them?
Because it would probably affect
Janet: different people differently
Jocelyn: a single person different ways.
Janet: Right. Yes.
Jocelyn: Just the same as if you had a widowed friend and you might be afraid to be around your
husband around her because you don't want her to miss her husband too much. Well, ask her.
Like ask, how does it affect you when you see me and my husband together? Does it make you
sad? Does it make you happy? Does it make you remember your happy memories? Would you
tell us them, like, let us get to know you.
Janet: And I think, like I remember when I was still single, there was a couple in the church that I
was close to. And I would go over there sometimes in the evening. They would invite me over

and we would all sit around and talk. And so it was the, after the kids were in bed as the two of
them and me. I did not think, Oh, it's the two of them and me.
Jocelyn: How awkward.
Janet: I didn't. But I knew they were married. But the fact that they wanted me to be part of their
life and have these conversations, that felt good. It didn't feel like third wheel.
Jocelyn: You had a place to belong.
Janet: But I will tell you this. And I never said an actual, I've never said this, but I do remember
thinking, he would frequently show physical affection to her. And that would make me sad.
Because he was rubbing her hair, like the whole time we talked, but it was just like, huh, but it
was fine. It was just hard.
Jocelyn: It was hard for you. And may have been good for them to know at some point.
Janet: Yes. It wasn't important.
Jocelyn: But it wasn't, it's okay for you to long for the closeness that a marital relationship could
offer
Janet: And work through that.
Jocelyn: And struggle through that.
Janet: Yep. And it was still very good. I look at that. So I think one of the areas I realized I
needed to change. Singleness as something to be fixed. Because it goes back to the things we've
already said, like it's not the norm. I need to fix it. And it's too hard. I've been guilty of this. I
know. I mean, I teach this stuff that it has challenges and opportunities. I know that, but
somewhere I've taken in the cultural perspective that it's. Singleness is something God uses.
Jocelyn: But the ideal
Janet: is marriage.
Jocelyn: is not singleness. Right.
Janet: Allberry shares this from his life. "Sometime ago, I randomly met someone I hadn't seen
for about 10 years. As we caught up on a decades worth of news. I asked about her kids when I'd
known her before she had two teenagers who were now in their late twenties. So I asked what
they were up to. One of them's married and the other's engaged. So they're both sorted was her
response." And he says, "I was glad to hear they were doing well, but what. But my mind's stuck
on that last word sorted."

Jocelyn: Almost like the Disney movie romance novel. Like once you've got the guy, then you
can live happily ever after as if the goal of life is just to coast through your existence.
Janet: Yeah. And he says, "I guess I knew what she meant. But it was hard to avoid the
implication. What did that say about me? Am I unsorted?" And he said "comments like this often
unintentionally tend to imply that we singles are a little like loose threads that have been left
dangling, and they need to be tied up. It's like, we're still awaiting processing. Once people have
become established in their own family unit, they're good to go. They're ready for life. Or as my
friend put it. Sorted."
Jocelyn: Which is so interesting as a member of a four person family, I would tell you, we are
most definitely not sorted. Like every single morning we wake and have to re-sort ourselves and
orient ourselves in God's Word. Just like being in that relationship did not magically sort us out.
Janet: Right. But what I realized is I find security for my single friends in, I want them to have
someone to take care of them. I want that for them. Now they'll be okay.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: That's not even true.
Jocelyn: And it's not even best.
Janet: How much counseling have I done to know that marriage is not the answer?
Jocelyn: No, absolutely.
Janet: Oh my word. Have I not counseled enough women in pain in marriages, to know marriage
is not a guarantee for no loneliness or pain. I know this.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: But somehow I would find comfort when knowing that one of my friends who'd been
living a life of singleness and doing it well, but it would have challenges and loneliness. Oh,
good. She's sorted. I'm like, what is wrong with me? I'm doing it. How horizontal!
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: They have a much better security than that. And maybe that's surfacing that I've put some
false security into my marriage,
Jocelyn: Yeah. That's a good point.

Janet: and not even knowing that I'm doing it. So therefore I want you to have that too. So that
was really good for my heart to say,
Jocelyn: That is good to hear.
Janet: Wow, I've got to work on my own attitude. I need to long for those around me to be secure
in Christ, because that is security. That is joy. That is what they were designed for. I say I believe
that, but this surface for me, I still need to grow too. They're going to have hardships. But if you
are finding your security and your peace in Christ, I have a precious friend right now in a very,
very difficult season. And she said, I had, these were her basic words. I had a breakthrough a few
weeks ago and recognized I have been trying to find as a believer and growing, my security and
peace in this relationship. And this relationship, there was nothing stable about it at this point.
And she's like, but I have all of that in Christ. And now I can engage this relationship.
Jocelyn: That's cool.
Janet: In a redemptive way.
Jocelyn: That's neat.
Janet: And is it perfect? Of course not, but it was like, that's better, but that's better.
Jocelyn: That's a good foundation.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: A solid foundation that doesn't shift. It doesn't wiggle. You're not going to fall off and
drown.
Janet: And then I, if that's where I am, I get to encourage my married friends, my single friends,
all in that direction.
Jocelyn: We're all -- Yeah.
Janet: We all need to get our thoughts transformed.
Jocelyn: All of us, we're all in the same boat.
Janet: So if I'm single, I'm not going to be superstitious anymore. I'm not afraid I have the gift. I
don't want to enjoy this. Because if I enjoy anything about my singleness, Oh my word, God
might say.
Jocelyn: You might get stuck with it forever.

Janet: I remember being superstitious about building a home.
Jocelyn: Oh, yeah.
Janet: I built a home. Cause am I saying it's permanent? I'm okay with this as if God doesn't
know what's best for my soul. I was just tired of paying rent.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So I did. And what was really funny is as a friend before we even knew each other very
well, Brent painted my home before--
Jocelyn: Oh wow. That's funny.
Janet: before I moved in. And then I had other roommates and I had no idea. He didn't know he
was painting his future home. But the Lord knows. I just want to use the gift of singleness the
best way I can for the time I have it. If I'm married, I'm not going to wait for my single friends to
get married in order for them to be satisfied.
Jocelyn: Or constantly try to fix them up
Janet: No.
Jocelyn: so they can get fixed.
Janet: I'm not going to feel bad for them. I'm not going to try to fix it. I'm going to enjoy my
sister in Christ, knowing she does have unique struggles. And I want to help her look up too.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: That's the freedom.
Jocelyn: Yep.
Janet: So just some questions-- and in the transcript as well. So I'm going to say them quickly.
Single friend, here's some questions. If you're thinking, how am I doing in the area of loneliness?
Do you have a lot of self pity thoughts? Does anybody care? Do I find I have to be loud and
needy, and attention seeking in public? Or the opposite, quiet and uninvolved. I'm going to see
who cares enough to seek me out all thinking about me and my loneliness. Am I flirting? Am I
toying with the physical affection of others? Because at least somebody is thinking about me.
How about, do I understand my belonging in Christ? Well, are you possessive of your
friendships? Do you only go places if your best friend goes too? Are you jealous of your friend
developing additional friendships?

Jocelyn: Those are really good questions for any person. Those are really good.
Janet: How about I need to be understood. How do I know if I'm struggling in that area? Do you
have a condescending view of married couples who don't get it? You're the only one who gets it.
They just don't get it. Do you have resentment when their kind intentions really aren't most
helpful? Do you have an inordinate focus on your rights as a single and expectations that your
situation should always be taken into account? Do you get mad if sermon illustrations are about
marriage?
Jocelyn: That's interesting.
Janet: I've had people tell me that. In the area of, do I feel less deserving or am I trying to
compare my deserving instead of knowing I'm totally undeserving and have everything.
Jocelyn: Completely undeserving.
Janet: Am I embarrassed by my singleness? Do I work hard to earn God's favor, so He will give
me that spouse? Do I get defensive when I'm asked if I'm dating or in a relationship? Because it's
actually a spiritual attack. So, if you see yourself in any of these, here's your opportunity to
praise the One who knows all about you and loves you. Now you get to work to align your
thinking to His. To thank Him for doing what's best for you and your soul and your ministry and
use whatever gifts you have.
Jocelyn: And it's interesting how if we can focus rightly on living out our singleness in a way
that honors God, it frees us up to love other people. And one of the concerns that I have, if you're
not thinking correctly about your gift of singleness at this point in your life, is that when you
become obsessed with marriage, it turns every relationship with a guy into a relationship with a
potential husband. And the self focus of that lifestyle can just overwhelm you. And the men are
almost like prey for you to manipulate and capture. And it makes the entire focus
Janet: Ouch.
Jocelyn: Of that relationship to be one of conquering this goal. Instead of simply
self-sacrificially, loving the men that God allows into your life and also seeing how you can
serve him as a sister in Christ. So if you start relationships kind of with that mentality. Like I just
need a husband, I need a husband. I need a husband. You're almost setting them up for failure to
begin with. Because that is such a self focused consumeristic way of thinking. Like you're
possessing and you're looking out for yourself and it makes it at the same time, really hard to
evaluate whether that particular man might be a person that God would want you to consider
being in a relationship with. Because all you look at is the fact that he's male and available.
Janet: Right. And maybe a Christian.

Jocelyn: And hopefully. But not every Christian available male is a good match for you, and your
strengths, and a good challenge for your weaknesses, and someone that will help you to be pure
in Christ. The only qualification is not just man and alive.
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: And when you have that focus on needing to find a husband, it really leads you to
self-focused consumeristic prey mentality.
Janet: So that could be even, you know, another question for that. How do I know if Christ is
transforming my singleness? When I meet a guy, what are my thoughts primarily around? What
about him? Could he be the one or is it. Am I at least fighting to go, regardless, this is my
brother.
Jocelyn: And how can I know him so I can serve him.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: And I also think another reason why sometimes single people are lonely is because
they're longing for a family and they're longing for children, which is a good and godly, longing.
God tells us to invest in the next generation and to develop their hearts to love Him for all of
their years. And so I think it's also really important for our single sisters to realize investing in
the next generation is a good, godly goal that can be done with any child, not just the children
that are genetically born from you.
Janet: Spiritual mothering.
Jocelyn: Right. Spiritual mothering. Investing in your sister's children or investing in your
spiritual sisters' children, your sister in Christ. The impact of Scripture is to reach the next
generation period. Not only if they came from you. And so it's a good and godly goal to want to
have a family to invest in, but it doesn't have to be a family that came from you genetically.
Janet: Yes. Excellent. So we're going to have-- I've got a lot of resources on this. I'm not going to
mention them all, but they will be all on the transcript and in the show notes. Alexandra, who
will be joining me soon, also has a blog from her sister-in-law, "When Marriage Isn't Promised."
And there are a couple of other blogs. There's that article that I mentioned single in Christ by
John Piper, the book by Sam. Alberry, one by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Another really good
book: Deepak Reju, "She's Got the Wrong Guy: Christian Women who Settle and Why.
Jocelyn: Ooh. That would be very interesting.
Janet: It's such a good book, such a good book. Lots of things there for you to be able to look at
and learn from. But next episode, we're transitioning. Jocelyn and Alexandra co-host with me for

about six months each. So Jocelyn, I'm looking forward to recording again with you in the fall,
but what are you going to be up to until then?
Jocelyn: Well, our family are organic produce farmers, and so this is our busy season. We've got
a lot of stuff planted and a lot of stuff getting ready to plant. So we're going to grow vegetables,
sell them at market. I'm going to get my daughter graduated from high school and get her settled
into her freshman year of college. Get my next one ready for her junior year. And then I'll be
back in the fall.
Janet: So in the meantime, Alexandra will be coming in. But before she starts, the next episode,
we're going to have another guest. And I admit he's my favorite. My husband, Brent, is going to
join me here and we're going to discuss why we do what we do. So I hope you'll plan to join us.

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website.

Janet Aucoin

Bio

Janet is the Director of Women's Ministries at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.