The early church elevated females for their faith witness, not their fertility. We should do the same today.
Single women are having a rough go of it lately. Their growing numbers are blamed for the rise of “woke” politics, millennial selfishness, and even incel culture. In some Christian circles, single women are reminded (in case they forgot) to marry and have children, even with a gender imbalance among unmarried Christians, and even though they’re discouraged from dating outside the faith.
It’s a numerical bind causing anxiety all around.
Meanwhile, the single Christian women I know are trying to make the best of a complex reality. They seek to serve God with their daily work, invest in friendships and the church, and pursue creative and educational opportunities as they arise. Many of them also try to meet Christian men, dabble with dating apps, and pray.
Their lives are both rich and imperfect. They experience cycles of hope and frustration. For most singles I know, their status is not for lack of trying, or for lack of honoring marriage as such. As sociologist Lyman Stone notes in a recent CT piece, when you ask unmarried Christians today, most of them say they want to get hitched. Even shakshuka girl said as much.
You don’t have to be a Calvinist to affirm that God is present to every person wrestling with unmet desires and quiet griefs, and that God is working out his plans in times of social stability as well as upheaval, decline, and unprecedented change. Far more, people worried about the future of Christendom—or perhaps Western civilization and its declining birth rates—are called to remember the primary way the church will be preserved through the centuries.
In sum: It’s baptism, not just babies. After all, Jesus taught it’s not enough to be …