Honest Thoughts On Being 30, Unmarried, & Childless

April 27, 2015 82 Comments

Over the past year and half since I started this blog, I have received my share of messages and inquiries regarding my single-hood. By this stage in my life it has become something I’ve just grown accustomed to, not only from my blog readers but from friends and family. The endless questions/comments are immanent – “Why aren’t you married yet?”, “Are you being too picky?”, “Maybe you should make yourself more available/pursuable.” By this point in life, I’ve heard it all. Especially considering I come from the midwest (Minnesota) – a land of young brides, full nests, and Martha Stewart-esque women. I have four brothers who all met and married their gorgeous, incredible wives in their early twenties and shortly after started having children. I now have twelve nieces and nephews and love each and every one of them to bits. But every time I am with them it makes me very aware of my relationship status and the obvious lack of children running around my home.

I’ve avoided speaking of this much on this blog because it is a vulnerable thing for me. But I recently received a message from a well meaning blog reader that stirred something up in me and inspired me to write. I will not share his full message, out of respect for him, but I will share the gist of it. He pointed out how he thinks that if I want to get married I have to “go easier on the men” who might be interested in pursuing me. He said, in so many words, it seems through my blog and social media that I am too capable, active, independent, and beautiful for most men to have the confidence to pursue. Please know I don’t share this publicly to flatter myself but to simply make my point. I hope you all can see my heart in this. He said men are generally intimidated by this so if I “really want to find a man I need to develop some vulnerability, give men a problem to solve…be mildly needy. And give superwoman a rest.”


First of all, I just want to put to rest the idea that I am “superwoman” or am fully “capable” and “strong” on my own. I will be the first to say that though it may look that way somehow through whatever filter social media places over my life, that is not the truth about who I am at my core. And hopefully through reading and seeing the vulnerability of my blog posts, it is apparent that I have my weaknesses and shortcomings. I am simply me. I am human. I am broken, weak, incapable and vulnerable just like the rest of mankind. And I am often very much in need of support from the incredible friends and family that God has placed in my life. 

With that said, here is my main point. Though I understand where this man is coming from, because I’ve heard it so many times before from other well-meaning friends, I just simply can’t agree. The message that this sends to women who are in a similar situation as me is that the ultimate aim of life is marriage and that to be able to eventually get married we need to essentially not be fully who God created us to be, as to not intimidate or deter a man who might be interested in pursuing us. It is really opposite of what scripture teaches us to do. “Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward” (Philippians 3:14). The one thing you will never see me do is back down from this race that Christ has called me to for the sake of catching the eye of a man. Instead I hope I could catch the eye of a man who is running at the same pace as I am and we could run this race together. I would hope that the right man will fall in love with the true me – strengths, weaknesses and all – not a version of me that I have to put on to impress him. And I think the same goes for all of us. We should never have to be anyone except our true selves – the unique person that God created us to be – for the sake of winning over a potential mate. We are all created differently and no matter your unique personality, giftings, physical appearance, etc, the right person should be able to love you purely for who you are.

My closest friends know that my motto is this, “I will remain single until I find a man with whom I can bring God more glory than I could as a single woman.” I simply haven’t found that yet. And though I have dated some incredible men, God never allowed those relationships to end in marriage. And though that is painful and I have both had my heart broken and have broken hearts, I have to trust that God knows best. And I will stick to this conviction because as followers of Christ our primary call on this earth is not to seek out a spouse (though that is a noble aim and can be part of our calling) but to seek Him first (Matthew 6:33) and “all of these things will be given to you”. He calls us first and foremost to love Him and love others – to lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel whether that includes marriage or not.  I will be the first to say that I want marriage and a family of my own more than anything else in this world and most definitely don’t want to be single my whole life. But God hasn’t willed that into my story yet and until He does, I am learning simply to trust, be faithful, follow, and know that life doesn’t start the day I get married, it started the day I was conceived. And it is full, joyful, and complete just as it is, at the center of His will whether a man is by my side or not. That’s not always easy. In fact, 90% of the time it’s incredibly challenging and I wish more than anything that I had a partner in crime to run this race with. But the older I get the more I realize that we all have a unique story. This is mine. It is different, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.

And that is what I want to encourage all of you singles who are reading this with. That you would know that your story and life is complete right now, just where you are, and right where God has you. It doesn’t start the day you get married, it started the day you were born. All you have to do is focus on being faithful where He has you now – as the unique, wonderful creation that He made you to be – strengths, weakness and all. He sees the desires of your heart. All He asks of you is to have the strength and courage to trust that your story is in His hands and to faithfully follow wherever He leads.

Mandy Dobbelmann

Founder and editor of Forte E Bello. Mandy is writer, singer/songwriter, and music teacher with a love for life, people, adventure and living simply. She is passionate about using her gift for writing and music to be a voice for change.

82 Comments

  1. Reply

    Living in Grace

    April 27, 2015

    Thank you for your honest and vulnerable post. I am one of those independent and successful women who wants God’s best more than the pleasures that come from finding my own mate. It is hard as our culture infers that there is something wrong with us or that we should stoop to a different level to “catch” a man. God is a God of purpose and He created marriage with purpose. It is not something to be treated lightly or crass. God also designed us to live in community – He knows our needs and puts the solitary in families. Stay strong and trust His grace daily. Without it we make stupid decisions and reap what we don’t want. God has good for us, only good. I know for myself I only want His good. You are not alone and I pray today for all single – men and women who are seeking his will to remain close to God during this season of singleness. Seasons do not last forever, Thank you Jesus!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      SO good and so true Kiera! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m glad to hear that you can relate and that God has spoken these things to you. And ha agreed. So thankful seasons don’t last forever! 😉 Best to you.

    • Reply

      Alicia

      April 30, 2015

      Amen, sister! I’m not quite to 30 yet, but ever since I graduated college, each year has brought an increased onslaught of people telling me the same things you’ve been hearing, and though I know they mean well, it deeply hurts. So glad you came forward with your encouraging observations! I’ll be sure to share this so that others may be as encouraged as I was! I look forward to more posts from you!

      • Reply

        Mandy Dobbelmann

        May 3, 2015

        Thanks so much Alicia! I am so glad to hear that you could resonate with it. You are most definitely not alone in this. 🙂 I will pray right now for continued strength and encouragement for you. And thanks for sharing as well. Best!

    • Reply

      Anonymous

      May 3, 2015

      Thank you. My heart needed to read this tonight.

  2. Reply

    Jessica

    April 27, 2015

    Hello, i am from down under, Western Australia. I am twenty eight, single, sick waiting for my healing. This is so very relevant to me. In my alone ness, in my single-ness, childlessness.

    Thank you for being who you are, unashamed, relentlessly pursuing after Jesus. Author, finisher, creator of our very lives. Thank you for your frankness and honesty. It is refreshing to see this in another human. You have no idea how much i admire you. Keep on fighting the good fight. Much love and blessings.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Wow, I’m so glad to hear that this was such an encouragement to you Jessica. And thanks also for your encouragement to me. It means a ton. 🙂 I will pray for you right now, that God will continue to give you strength and peace right where you are at.

      And side note – What part of Western Australia do you live in? My brother and sister in-law live in Perth. Perhaps next time I’m there to visit them we can grab coffee or something. 🙂 Blessings!

  3. Reply

    julia

    April 27, 2015

    a-stinking-men. i really dislike when people give me similar advice. and believe me, men are out there who admire STRONG women – my brothers are men like that – and they give me hope to keep being me. You keep being the kick ass woman you are. run that race and someday you’ll have a guy that can keep up and maybe even push you to a new personal best 🙂

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Thanks @Julia! And agreed! Those men do exist – my brothers are men like that as well. Thanks so much for your encouragement and right back at you girl. 😉 Take care!

  4. Reply

    Rose

    April 27, 2015

    You articulate my experience here! Thank you for sharing this perspective that is counter to the cultural messages we’ve received. I’ve been tempted to diminish who I am in hoping to be more palatable to the average Christian male- and while I might still work on certain behaviors, who I am at my core is a reflection of my God, and I dont want to change that!!!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Amen Rose!! Most definitely! I am so glad to hear that this was an encouragement to you. Continue being you girl! I love your fiery passion and the right man will love it too. PS. I always love our chats about single-hood and relationships. Let’s have more of them. 😉

  5. Reply

    Ketsia Gustave

    April 27, 2015

    Mandy,
    I shared this post on my Facebook page because so many women are pressured by society (even well-meaning Christian friends and family) to pursue marriage as the ultimate goal in life. Your post is so perfect, I wouldn’t add anything except to say to you that you have encouraged many people with this post who probably feel alone in their singlehood and that they are somehow incomplete or imperfect until they are married. God calls us to be the woman of Proverbs 31 before becoming the wife in Proverbs 31: diligent, dependable, contributing to the community and family around her, and most importantly, loving God with all your heart. Thanks for sharing, I know it’s not easy being vulnerable in this area. That’s why you’re one of my favorite bloggers!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      I’m so glad to hear that you could relate with this and were blessed by it Ketsia! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful heart. So good and so true! Thanks also for your encouraging words 🙂 Best!

  6. Reply

    John Morgan

    April 27, 2015

    Mandy – Do you think it’s possible for you to come to a point where you know marriage is not for you and accept a celibate life? Or do you think you will always be either single and looking for a mate or happily married?

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Hey John, at this point, I have neither the desire nor calling from God to live a celibate life. My hearts desire is to be married, and I have brought that desire before God many times. I am open to whatever He wills but I think it is okay to be honest with him about our desires and hopeful that they will come to fruition.

  7. Reply

    Todd

    April 28, 2015

    I can speak for no other man but the one that shares at me awkwardly in the mirror while brushing my teeth every morning, but what Christian man, earnestly following Christ, would not long for a strong willed, independent woman? A woman with the virtue of Ruth, or the strength and fortitude of Esther?
    Why would any man, secure in who he is as a man and who he is in Christ be intimidated by this woman? Why, he should seek this woman earnestly to call her his wife.
    Who would not wish for a woman who could express her thoughts, her feelings and her emotions so clearly? Will not this woman be as a steady wind in her husbands sail? Will not this woman be as calm waters of refuge for a man when the sea around him rages?

    Intimidated by a woman of great strength and virtue! I think not! Intrigued would be more like it.

    Hey, and remember….my offer for Vegas still stands :)) We can get hitched….have a mess of little Vegas Elvis babies….and then buy us one a them polyester curtained mobile trailers with a couple of old window units and a set of redwood wagon wheel furniture. Now what woman could POSSIBLY pass up an offer like that?

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Todd I think this is my favorite proposal from you yet. haha. You had me at the mess of little Vegas Elvis babies. The trailer sounds pretty enticing too. But for all I know you could be some 80 year old married man in disguise 😉

      In all seriousness, it is encouraging to hear that there are men out there who aren’t intimidated by strength and passion. And I love how you said, “why would any man, secure in who he is as a man and who he is in Christ be intimidated by this.” I think that is what it comes down to for a lot of men. Security and identity in Christ.

      Thanks again for sharing….and for the humor. You’re slowly warming me up to this Vegas idea 😉

      • Reply

        Todd

        April 28, 2015

        Now THERE is a Vegas story if I have ever heard one. “80 year old polygamist marries 30 year old beauty queen in Vegas ceremony. Promises to love and cherish her until death do them part….or until December…..whichever comes first.
        I am neither married, nor 80…
        Although I am a smidgen your elder…which means that you must address me as SIR 🙂

        • Reply

          Mandy Dobbelmann

          April 28, 2015

          ha! Well you, SIR, are cracking me up 😉

  8. Reply

    Jac

    April 28, 2015

    Preach it sista! I feel like you’re telling my exact story, yet so much more eloquently than I ever could. I need to have this blogpost ready to share when I hear these comments again from people… because it happens all too often. He sees the desires of my heart and I trust that He’s got it under control. Amen. Thanks for this reminder.

    ps. Who is this Vegas proposal guy? You should do some investigating… he seems pretty funny. 😉

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Most definitely Jaclyn! So glad to hear that you can relate and were encouraged 🙂

      And haha quite honestly I don’t know who he is ;). Just one of my blog readers who keeps suggesting, in quite hilarious ways, that we get hitched in Vegas. I actually did try to investigate, admittedly, but couldn’t find anything. 😉 He’s got a pretty awesome sense of humor though.

  9. Reply

    Arleen Spenceley

    April 28, 2015

    AMEN. [INSERT FIST PUMP!] I SECOND THIS ENTIRE POST.

    Sorry I yelled. This is just too great. Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      haha Thanks @Arleen!! 🙂

  10. Reply

    John Morgan

    April 28, 2015

    Mandy – I understand. I have neither the desire or calling to live a married life. And I too am being honest with God about that desire. So we’re both waiting on marriage. Mine just won’t be on this earth. Like you said, waiting is not easy. And we go against the grain of this world when we saw no to sex. All we can do is put our trust in God and have faith that he knows what’s best for our lives.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Agreed John 🙂

  11. Reply

    Benjie

    April 28, 2015

    Thank you so much for this post Mandy. I actually saw the link from Arleen Spenceley and decided to read it. I admire both of you for speaking from your hearts and revealing to us the truths that God wants us to know everyday, that we are loved and pursued. Sometimes I feel discouraged when friends and family say the same things that you have shared. It is in moments like this that I find comfort and joy knowing that I am in His hands. I will include you in my prayers and hope that you will include me in yours. Continue to inspire women around you through your writing. God bless!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Thanks so much Benjie! I am so glad to hear that it was a blessing and encouragement to you. Thanks also for the prayers. I will include you in my prayers as well. In fact, I will pray for you right now. Stay strong and be encouraged girl. God Bless!

  12. Reply

    anneklock

    April 28, 2015

    “I will be the first to say that I want marriage and a family of my own more than anything else in this world and most definitely don’t want to be single my whole life. But God hasn’t willed that into my story yet and until He does, I am learning simply to trust, be faithful, follow, and know that life doesn’t start the day I get married, it started the day I was born. And it is full, joyful, and complete just as it is, at the center of His will whether a man is by my side or not. That’s not always easy. In fact, 90% of the time it’s incredibly challenging and I wish more than anything that I had a partner in crime to run this race with. But the older I get the more I realize that we all have a unique story. This is mine. It is different, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.”

    This is me, only insert 37 in place of 30. I, too, have always felt called to married life, but until God’s will coincides with mine, I will continue to trust in Him (as frustrating as it can sometimes be, and as impatient as I often am). While I’ve also gotten the “why aren’t you married?” question and the sometimes less-than-subtle suggestion that my standards are too high, as you say, I can’t imagine that whomever I’m called to marry would want me to be anything less than who I am, so thank you!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Thanks so much for sharing your heart Anne. I am so glad that this was an encouragement to you. And agreed, it most definitely can be frustrating and incredibly discouraging at times. I have days where I feel so incredibly frustrated with God and he just has to calm my spirit and remind me that He is in control and to continue trusting HIm. So yes, keep being the beautiful woman that God has created you to be and the right man will fall in love with the beauty of your heart. I will say a prayer for you right now. 🙂

      • Reply

        anneklock

        May 3, 2015

        Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you, too!

        • Reply

          Mandy Dobbelmann

          May 4, 2015

          Thanks so much @anneklock!

  13. Reply

    Alicia

    April 28, 2015

    Thank you for your honesty, Mandy! I only wish more women would be confident in who God made them to be, rather than succumb to the expectations of this world.

    Your words spoke straight from my heart…lol, in a more fluid manner. I too had heard much of the same feedback throughout my adult life. People have a hard time believing a smart, beautiful, funny, successful, independent, etc woman could be single and childless in her 30s. It’s difficult to not wonder if they’re right and you’re being “too picky” or “coming off too intelligent or strong”. Or God forbid, you bring up your faith within the first 3 dates…you don’t want to seem “too religious”.

    I’ve thoroughly experienced all the discouragement and doubt that Satan could throw my way. At 37yo, it’s difficult to NOT question yourself. You feel a time crunch, especially when you’re hoping to have children of your own one day. Thankfully, we have a God whose timing is always perfect!

    I encourage you, and anyone else who struggles with uncertainty, to stay the course. Continue to focus on your relationship with Christ. Continue to strive to be obedient to His Word. Continue to surrender your life daily so that you can become the Godly woman/man who He intended you to be!

    I have been blessed with an incredible man in my life this past year who I am now planning a future with. If you would’ve told me 9 mos ago that I’d be engaged in 2015, I probably would’ve given you a sarcastic “Riiiiiiiiiiight…”
    I am SO grateful I “stuck to my guns” over the years and didn’t compromise. The man I’m with loves and appreciates my loyalty to my faith, my commitment to purity, and all those other qualities that supposedly intimated other men away from me.

    Patience and obedience pays off 🙂
    Honor God with your life and He will take care of the rest!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your heart Alicia. It is most definitely a huge encouragement! And you’re right that God’s timing is always perfect. So glad you found an incredible man who sees you, loves you, and values you in the way you deserve. Also, so glad to hear that you could relate to this article and that it ministered to you. Thanks for sharing! And best to you!

  14. Reply

    Christopher

    April 28, 2015

    Great article, As a male who is about to turn 30 who is single I know how it feels sometimes. I have friends who are 30 and are married and have two or three children and they ask me when I am getting married. It is hard to make them understand that I am waiting for God to provide me with some with whom I can bring God more glory .

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 28, 2015

      Thanks so much for sharing Christopher! And agreed 🙂

  15. Reply

    Becky

    April 29, 2015

    Mandy, I am probably echoing what many others on here are saying when I say that you wrote exactly what I go through on a daily basis. Everyday I am learning more and more how to own my story and that God is in control not me. I am also learning to be faithful to what He has called me to do right now and let him continue to write my story no matter what the outcome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 29, 2015

      Hey @Becky! So glad to hear that you can relate with this and that God has you in a similar place of learning to trust and rely on him. Praying you continue to have the strength to trust! Blessings!

  16. Reply

    Silpa Paul

    April 29, 2015

    Alleluia Mandy.. I m so glad u were inspired to write this.. Very encouraging to all of us single ladies who are often tempted to throw away our pursuit of spiritual perfection so we d become less “intimidating” and more “gettable”.. Thank you

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 29, 2015

      Most definitely @Silpa Paul! So glad it was an encouragement 🙂

  17. Reply

    Katie

    April 29, 2015

    First time visitor and I feel like you wrote out my heart in this post. Thanks for sharing! I recently had a guy as me a “politically incorrect” question (he prefaced it with those words) :: “why is a pretty, funny, faithful, smart girl like you still single?” I have no idea how to answer that question … “um, … because” – well, because no one worth a caliber (I love how you said it – “I will remain single until I find a man with whom I can bring God more glory than I could as a single woman.”) of marriage has ever pursued me. Thanks for writing down my thoughts!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 29, 2015

      So glad to hear you can relate @Katie and so glad it was an encouragement! And ha, gotta love that question. 😉 Love your honest answer even more. Keep staying strong and trusting! You’re not alone.

  18. Reply

    Todd

    April 29, 2015

    Being the mysterious stranger that I am :), I do not normally comment repeatedly….but in this case….I would like to address all of those who have commented on this post.
    When it comes to the one that we will marry, let us NEVER settle for less than our value and our worth. My Christian sisters, you are precious. You are, as Mandy so aptly states in her blog title, forte e bello, and you deserve a man that is going to put God first in his life. You should settle for no less. A man that puts God first will have all of the tools that he needs to love and care for you as a man should love and care for his wife. There will be no doubts in your mind, or lingering questions in your heart.
    Guys…we deserve a woman who places God first in her life. A bold, independent woman of great virtue who knows who she is in Christ and values that relationship above all others. If you find this woman, pursue her, woo her..and if you are fortunate enough that she trusts you with her heart, cling tightly to her and never let her go. For you have found a very precious gift that will bring life and great joy to your heart.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      June 2, 2015

      Todd, I am not sure how I missed this but I just read it now and wanted to say thank you so much for writing it. This was so beautifully put and so right on! I really hope other single women read this and are encouraged as well. Thank you.

  19. Reply

    Jen @ Jumping in Puddles

    April 29, 2015

    Ah!! I finally just read this. I’ve seen it floating around.

    Yes. To all of this. So much of what you expressed is what my heart is saying, as well.

    Great job! And prayers for you!!!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 29, 2015

      Thanks so much Jen! So glad you can relate and were encouraged! Prayers for you as well!

  20. Reply

    Chris

    April 29, 2015

    ​Hey Mandy! Thank you for sharing – your honesty is refreshing! As a guy, there’s something about this that really irks me – not about you, but about the original guy (and also from the well meaning friends who’ve also suggested this to you). Him suggesting that you should “go easier on the men” gives us guys a pass and it’s a cop out! They’re basically saying you should not only lower your standards of guys, but you should also lower your standards of the you God created you to be. Isn’t this completely contrary to what an awesome future wife looks like? Shouldn’t an awesome future wife expect me as a guy to be the best I can be? And shouldn’t I want to encourage my future wife’s best qualities to shine?

    Why would this be intimidating? I hope you pointed this out to the guy who suggested this to you. If being capable, active, and independent is what makes you shine, then that’s exactly what you should be because that’s the true you God created you to be. A genuine guy will notice that passion in you – not try to extinguish those qualities in you. And over time, he’ll discover a more vulnerable side to you in the process. Mandy, if you and I lived in the same city, I would most definitely want to pursue you. Just keep showing the beautiful qualities you have and I promise, a true man will notice!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 29, 2015

      Thanks so much for sharing Chris! And I fully agree. This mentality neither calls men to step up to the plate, nor women to be fully and abundantly free in who Christ made them to be. And so yes, I couldn’t agree more with you. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and insight. It’s an encouragement for me to see that single men like you do exist. Apparently just not in southern California…perhaps I’m in the wrong city 😉 Totally kidding. Thanks for sharing!

      • Reply

        Chris

        April 30, 2015

        Hey Mandy! I didn’t realize you were in Southern California. You wrote in the box at the bottom of your blog that you are a singer/songwriter, and I guessed you were probably in Nashville. I’m on the other side of the country from you (New York) and working in the entertainment industry, an industry where it’s very rare to meet a sincere Christian girl whose faith is as important to her as yours is. I work with a lot of people on both coasts and I may end up in LA at some point in the future.

        From what I’ve noticed about you so far, you’re the kind of girl I’d love to get to know. I realize this is probably a surprise, and you may need to process this a little, so don’t feel pressured to respond. I assume you can see the email address when I replied, so you have my email. Would be great to talk with you sometime!

        And don’t worry…I don’t bite…except on Tuesdays ; )

  21. Reply

    Tiffany

    April 29, 2015

    The reason this resounds so much with me, is because when I respond to these questions from well-intentioned people in my life with: “I’m not ready to be married”, “I think I’m supposed to be single for a very long time.”, or “I may not get married until much later in life, if ever.”, it’s often thought of as me simply being fatalistic and is quickly diminished by their response of, “oh, it’ll happen for you!”

    I want others to recognize that this life of singleness is blessed, and it is good, and it is welcomed in my life because the Lord has called me to his good purpose- which I am 100% confident that I would not fulfill in the same way, for the same purpose, if I was not single.

    Until that day comes, where He says- your purpose is going to shift and morph with someone else’s… I’m fully satisfied in this life. Single. And full. And complete.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Thanks so much for sharing Tiffany! I am so glad to hear this resounds with you!

  22. Reply

    Sarah

    April 29, 2015

    Wow. That guy’s comments is so typical of ‘the world’ I think. The temptation and worry for every woman will always be that she is too much, and not enough at the same time. I’m too emotional or I’m not compassionate enough. I’m too skinny, not skinny enough, I cook too well, I clean too much, I’m too short, too tall, I talk too much, I don’t talk enough…the list goes on and on and on. In the eyes of the world we are never, ever enough, just as we are. But in the eyes of God we are always enough, imperfect yes, but we will never have to pretend that we are something we’re not. I can know, in the depths of my soul, that I am loved just as I am, warts and all. It’s ridiculous to think that you would need to tame this or that part of you (unless we’re talking sinful parts, that is) in order to ‘snag a man’. I say, just be who you are and who you’re meant to be. God will answer your prayers.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      I completely agreed Sarah! That is most definitely the lie women too often believe. I wish every woman could see herself the way Christ sees her and know that she is absolutely enough and is worthy of love just the way she is – strengths, imperfections and all. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  23. Reply

    Kelly

    April 30, 2015

    Thanks-48 and am in a very similar place! And as i head out to go enjoy God’s beautiful world-I will sleep in a treehouse tonight and zipline in the morning( a little staycation in TX), I am greatful that God has blessed me with the ability to provide for myself and know that HE has got my back! Thank you for putting my life in words!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Love this! Most definitely. Thanks so much for sharing Kelly 🙂

  24. Reply

    RICH

    April 30, 2015

    Hey Mandy…. that’s my story….
    “My closest friends know that …………..doesn’t make it any less valuable.”

    Trust me, you won’t have to wait too long…
    God bless!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Thanks Rich. 🙂

  25. Reply

    Presently Anonymous LU Student Blogger

    April 30, 2015

    Frankly, I admire a strong woman. Unfortunately, I believe you went off the rails and stated that your significant other must be able to help you bring more glory to God that you are able to as a single woman. Frankly, that goes against scripture. Paul stated that it is natural that being married will distract you and he also stated that isn’t wrong to get married based solely for earthly purposes (1 Cor 7)! He also warned against those that would preach that you should not get married (1 Timothy 4). Ouch! What a plot twist when compared to what modern Evangelicalism teaches us about what marriage is supposed to look like.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Hey @Palus, thanks for writing in. I’m going to have to politely disagree. 😉 I am fully aware of the passage in 1 Corinthians that you’re referring to where Paul talks about how marriage can be a distraction. That is exactly why I said I am waiting to get married until I find a man with whom I can bring God more glory than I could as a single woman… Because I acknowledge marriage can be a distraction. Paul isn’t saying in this passage that serving God as a married person is impossible, just that it is more difficult. And those who choose marriage and want to serve God first and foremost learn how to work through that, and put their relationship with God always before their spouse. I acknowledge that it won’t always be easy but I think because I desire marriage and a family, it will be worth it. That is why I am waiting to find a man who understands that and can be my partner in every sense of the word. I know plenty of couples, who made very wise choices in who they married and now have incredible ministries/partnerships/marriages serving God and others together, as a team. And that is what I am trusting God for.

      Furthermore you pointed out how Paul states that it isn’t wrong to get married for solely earthly purposes. If I am thinking of the scripture you’re thinking of it says this, “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:9. For sure! But that doesn’t mean we go out and marry the first bimbo who will have sex with us just because we are burning with lust. We still are to make every effort to make a wise choice and choose a partner who will be able to help us “run the race set before us.”

      Lastly, where did you see someone preaching that you should not get married? This post is in every way speaking up for marriage as scripture teaches it – to a Godly spouse for the sake of glorifying God.

      I hope that helps clear things up. Thanks again for writing in though and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  26. Reply

    Allie

    May 1, 2015

    Ahh this is so wonderfully fantastic!! As a 19 year old reader, you are a huge role model for me! Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      🙂 Thanks so much Allie!!

  27. Reply

    wedad

    May 2, 2015

    I couldn’t just pass your article and not read it all carefully, you spoke my heart and actually two guys told me the same note about being independent 🙂 its so funny!
    Being 34 single and in the Middle East is much challenging but what keep me going is trusting God and have faith and trust he knows better and I tell them people these days they get married for the sake of marriage coz its mandatory its like u start living your life which is not. If I wanna get married it would be for the sake of glorifying God and the man I will marry he will help me to be the woman God wants me to be and not what he wants me to be 🙂

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Most definitely Wedad! I am so glad you could resonate with this. And thanks so much for writing in and sharing your story all the way from the Middle East. So beautiful. God has you! Best to you!

  28. Reply

    Susanne Aschliman

    May 2, 2015

    I so appreciate you opening up about this topic! Here, you have penned many of the same things that I have thought myself and agree with wholeheartedly. I believe that the ultimate goal in life is not marriage, but to walk closely with God, allowing Him to do His mighty work in us and those around us to further His Kingdom. I am 32, never married, and do not have children yet either. I consider my singleness a blessing as God has allowed me to have many spiritual children through my work with youth. And I will admit that I still desire to be married to a man of God, with children of my own.

    Like you, I am very independent. I do not enjoy admitting need and vulnerability to anyone, much less my guy friends. I have also heard the common phrases from people, “why are you still single?” or “You just need to put yourself out there, live your life for God, etc.” My aunt just told me the other day, “I still pray for that special man God has for you, Susie,”

    So I also agree that those comments are very annoying if not hurtful. I would have liked my mother to have taught me to value God’s Kingdom work over instilling in me a desire to be married and have children. I would rather my friends and family pray that I’m walking more closely with God and am a light to those around me. Stop only praying that I find a husband!!!! Go ahead and include that, but also include the other things. In all reality, these people have found something priceless in a marriage and just want everyone to have the same gift. I can’t blame them for that.

    I am not trying to offend, and honestly if you are easily offended you need to take that to God. But I could not go without commenting on your critique of this man’s “advice” to you. The key word that stuck out to me in his comment was “if.” If you desire… If you desire to be married, then… If you want to be married, then maybe you should lose the superwoman act.” The word “if” shows that his comment does not imply that the ultimate goal of life is to be married, but it can be a desire people have.

    What he said really resonated with me, and I wanted to take a hard look at myself, and ask do I turn men off with my independence, beauty, and unattainable “superwoman capabilities”? Does God want me to be more vulnerable when it comes to needing the men he has placed in my life? Is He asking me to cherish and celebrate the unique differences and gifts he has given man, in which I can benefit?

    Honestly, I want others to think that I am superwoman. I like when they believe I can do it all! The truth is sometimes I’m so drained that I just veg out on the couch watching Hulu. I don’t read most of my grad books, and I don’t usually research what I need to know for my counseling sessions. I do homework at work, instead of my tasks. I turned in a huge paper that I didn’t have time to proof read. I’m super forgetful and absent minded and messy especially when I am busy. I think a man could to help me when I’m stressed to stay level headed and not allow my emotions to run me.

    In all my shortcomings, God still loves me and that is all that matters. All that I am and am able to accomplish is by the grace of God.

    I think men want to feel needed and I know they want to feel appreciated. If they are intimidated by a woman, who for sure does not need them, they will move on to someone else. And let’s face it, guys have it a lot easier than us when it comes to finding solid Christian women who are passionate about God.

    The way in which you rebutted this man proved his point. I am not trying to be rude, or pretend that I know you or what you struggle with. All I’m saying is take a good look inward, and as long as you are becoming more like Christ day by day, humbling yourself at the cross, and delighting yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart, whatever they may be or whatever desires He puts there. The truth is we do continually need to make changes in our lives to be more like Christ and of course we will need to change for the man God gives us, and he as well for us. The sin and selfishness we each still carry needs to go. Vulnerability, humility, and admitting need can be so endearing and shows strength.

    Jesus died so that each day we could die to ourselves, take up our crosses and follow him. He sacrificed himself in the most humble way. I believe what this man was trying to say was that if you want to be married you should maybe try to be more vulnerable with men, open yourself up a little bit, and need a little bit more. If you need your friends and family, you will most certainly need the man God gives you. And God will meet your needs through him. Again thank you for posting. I needed to read this.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Hey Susanne! Thanks so much for sharing your heart and for challenging mine as well. 🙂 I agree with you regarding your comments in the beginning – I too wish my friends and family could worry less/focus less on praying that I’d find a spouse and instead pray more that I could continue to grow with Christ every day and love others. Because that is definitely our first calling in this life… Though I do appreciate the prayers for a spouse in addition.;) Thanks for sharing that! And regarding your other comments I definitely can say I’m not easily offended so no worries about that. But I do have to say I don’t think you fully got the point of what I was saying. I know you mentioned you struggle with wanting people to think you are super woman, fully capable, etc. What I was saying is I actually don’t like it when people think I’m super woman, or fully capable, or assume I’m not vulnerable….because it’s just not true. What I was trying to say in this post is that the man who wrote the message made assumptions about who he thought I was based on the little that he could see through social media. I am actually a very vulnerable, raw, sensitive woman who wants a husband more than anything. I don’t run from my emotions or put on the “I don’t need a man front”. Quite the contrary actually. I think people who don’t know me assume that because I come off as a strong woman. What I am saying is I am not. I will be the first to say I am weak, in need, flawed and want more than anything to run this race with a man by my side.

      That said, the main point I was trying to get across is that I don’t think we should ever have to change who we are for the sake of catching a man. In doing so we would not be true to who God made us. Of course if it’s sin or a character flaw that is a different story. Furthermore what I was trying to say is that I am waiting for a man who is a good partner spiritually, who has the courage to pursue me, and loves me for my passion, my ability, my strength but also is realistic in knowing that I am imperfect, flawed, weak and in need of his support. Hopefully that clears things up.

      Thanks again so much for sharing and I am so glad you could resonate with it 🙂

  29. Reply

    Emily

    May 2, 2015

    God bless you! I am single and in my 30’s and share your very same sentiments. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 3, 2015

      Awesome, so glad you can relate with it Emily. 🙂 God bless you too!

  30. Reply

    Mary

    May 4, 2015

    Thank you so much for your post. I’m going through a hard time right now. I will be 30 this year and I’m still single and without kids. Until HI had 28 this was not a problem at all, get married was not the goal of my life and already was sure I had more things I could do with my life to give glory to God. But then I met a guy, we start talking and just after a fell in love with him, he started dating some one else and told me we wanted different thing from life and now he is getting married with his girlfrien.
    So now I’m feeling just like in your post, I really don’t feel I’m the kind of girl guy usually look, I feel a big emptiness in my heart, I feel lonely and all that, and miss him very much even if I know was just playing with me.
    I know that what I need is to grow up in God’s love, faith and get a closer relationship with Him but is very hard to remember sometimes so thank you so much for your post, for remeber those things to us.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 4, 2015

      Thanks so much for sharing your story Mary! I am so sorry to hear about the situation that guy. :/ That is so so hard. Especially once your heart is invested. But I am so glad to hear that this article was an encouragement to you. I will pray for you right now for healing for your heart and also for strength and trust that God has your story in His hands. God bless you!

  31. Reply

    Tamara

    May 5, 2015

    Thank you. I feel as though you read my journal. I am 44 never married and no kids and have heard all that you wrote about. My motto in life regarding relationships is that I will only marry the man who together we can accomplish more for the kingdom than each of us could individually. I will not compromise and when I get told that men are intimidated I just respond then those are not the men I want to be with. I want a man who will be attracted to my confidence, my drive, my independence etc.. Well said. thank you

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      May 6, 2015

      Hey Tamara! I am so glad to hear that you could relate with this and that it was an encouragement to you. Thanks so much for sharing your story as well! I couldn’t agree more. 😉 Best to you!

  32. Reply

    TreLisa D. Christian

    June 15, 2015

    Wow! It took my a few seconds of staring at the screen in awe to realize that I was finished reading. I can’t even remember what I typed into Google to land me on this page (I do know it had nothing to do with this post). All I really remember doing is waking up, grabbing my phone, typing something in Google, and reading this. And the first word that I actually spake this morning was “Wow.” God is so amazing. I needed this post so much. I would typically be reading from my two devotionals at this time but He led me here instead. Thank you so much for posting this! I didn’t even check to see what your name is! I should do that. In my group of friends, we are all rapidly approaching 30, we are unmarried, and totally childless (unlike you, I don’t even have nieces or nephews). But we all hope to be blessed with the love of both husbands and children some day. We get told so many times in a year how we are likely being too “picky” (we are not “too picky”, we are pretty broad actually, but we certainly have standards) and we don’t “put ourselves out there enough (still totally confused about where “out there” is exactly). We are told we are too intimidating and to “hold back a bit”. We hear it so much that we have well-rehearsed responses that always follow a sincere smile that knows the good intentions behind their probes and unsolicited advice. I am very grateful to have my dangerously single friends to lean on, as well as God, but your post did something truly amazing to my spirit and I just needed to let you know that. As we speak, my printer is rocking back and forth trying to get the five copies of this post printed for me. Thank you so much for sharing this, Mandy. (I found your name 🙂 )

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      June 17, 2015

      Wow, @TreLisa! Thanks so much for sharing. That’s incredible. I am so so glad to hear that you could relate with this and that you were encouraged by it. I pray that your girlfriends will be encouraged as well. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. Reply

    maricris

    June 23, 2015

    ON POINT. I felt like you wrote this verbatim from my journal or conversations I am having with my “well meaning” friends on the daily 😉

    Keep it up, sister! Can’t wait to read your blog announcing your engagement 🙂

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 16, 2015

      Thanks so much Maricris! I am so glad to hear that you can relate! And haha thanks.. I’m looking forward to that too 😉

  34. Reply

    John Morgan

    July 16, 2015

    “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” 1 Cor 7:27.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 20, 2015

      Hey John, thanks for sharing. However I definitely don’t think that this scripture can be used to say that we shouldn’t desire marriage or a spouse. The desire for companionship and marriage is a very natural, beautiful, and even God designed desire. This passage in 1 Corinthians is a recommendation from Paul, and by no means a commandment. I think it’s beautiful that you have chosen to live a single and celibate life. I completely respect that. BUT I have not chosen that. And of course God’s will is ultimate but I have a very natural longing and desire for marriage and companionship and I do believe that God sees that and my prayer is that he will bring the right man along in His perfect timing.

  35. Reply

    Liz

    July 21, 2015

    I couldn’t possibly add to what you’ve so honestly and eloquently written. I’m now 27 and was single and lamenting (not so gracefully waiting) a year ago. Today, I am engaged and planning a wedding.

    What I tell friends/family now is that there just is no magic formula and every piece of well meaning advice (other than everything you just said) is great for one person and utter rubbish for the next. There’s nothing you just DO right or wrong, which is something I definitely struggled with (possibly more so feeling criticized for not doing one thing or anything really). You just keep authentically being yourself, doing what you are called to do and God will bring that person into your life in his time. So everyone relax.

    Fortunately, if you’re like myself, I’ve been around young marrieds for a long time who lived through potentially equal/opposite criticism on marrying young/having children young and every which life decision.
    My bff and I joked about writing a blog post (on our non-existent blog) intended toward the infamous Thanksgiving Dinner Table entitled: “You marry when you’re ready”…not when you’re precisely old enough or now too old, not when you’re under or over-educated, not when you’ve lived alone/at home/with roommates, paid off your loans/acquired a home/saved a down payment for a house…but when God brings that person into your life and you’re ready. The end.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers that for the continued outpouring of grace will provide for you to preach these truths for those who need to hear it (probably everyone). And of course for that one special guy God’s been marinating for you.

    xoxo

  36. Reply

    Brightmoon

    January 26, 2017

    Thank you for sharing another great article. I followed on your other article about grief of being single and childless. It thought that article describes me perfectly but this article speaks my heart about the reasoning for my grief. I am not Christian and I don’t understand too much about God. But I do believe that the above created me for a reason. I have faith that I am here to serve a purpose and things happen are meant to be. In my early thirties, I doubted myself and decided to take a chance with life by listening to advice of married friends. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and accepted lower standards for myself so I would at least experience a relationship. That was the biggest mistake of my life and I suffered so much as the consequences for my vulnerability. Although I had a short relationship, I was very miserable. Losing oneself is worse than death. I came back from the dead and I would never go down that road again. I might be single forever but I still have myself. What good is it to be with someone when you don’t even exists. No one will love you if you don’t even love yourself.

  37. Reply

    Mandy Dobbelmann

    May 3, 2015

    Thanks again for sharing @Arleen 🙂

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