The Unmarried: Incomplete or Incompatible?

As an unmarried woman missionary, I am often given flack for not having a husband on the field. Why can’t people just let you serve God in whatever ministry to which He calls you? Why can’t they be happy with what God has allowed you to accomplish while you are faithfully unmarried?

Most Christians today expect you to get married, start a family, and serve God with that family. Anything less leaves you somehow incomplete. I can be a Godly adult. I can be a great role model for the youth. I can volunteer and actively serve God in countless ministries. Yet in spite of it all, people believe I am still missing out because I don’t have the “whole package” with a husband and children.

I am single. Therefore, in their mind, I am incomplete.

Have we really lost sight that no one in Christ is incomplete? (But try telling that to the church; Colossians 2:10). The apostle Paul traveled the known world and planted churches as an unmarried man. The apostle John pastored several churches, caring for and mentoring many men and women as an unmarried man. Jesus Himself lived His entire life and ministry as a faithfully unmarried man. Were they incomplete because they lived as unmarried servants of God?

Am I incomplete, or am I simply incompatible with the modern ideas about the necessity of marriage? I wonder if our culture’s push for marriage has not usurped God’s calling for those who are to remain faithfully unmarried.

People tell me that they are praying for God to send me a spouse. They will complement me on how great of a wife I will make to my future husband. They say what a wonderful parent I will make to my children one day. Rather than praise God for what He is doing through me in my life now, they look past all the blessings and focus on what I do not have.

I have never once proclaimed that I will never marry. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. I have, however, stated that I am much more focused on fulfilling God’s work in the ministry than getting married and raising a family.

I encourage you to stop pointing out what I don’t have and begin praising God for what He is doing through me right now. I am not incomplete, I am merely incompatible with what people think is most important. Rather than praying for a spouse, pray that God would bless my ministry as I seek to serve Him (1 Corinthians 7:32).


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