Dear Single Christian Girl
When I woke up today morning, I thought of you. I thought of all the things that you are struggling with. All the things you have to navigate. I thought about your highs. Your lows. Your faith. I though of all the judgement you constantly face, just for being you. Just for existing the way that you do. Judgement on your belief. Judgement on your lifestyle. Judgement on which church you go to. Judgement from those that don’t understand you. Judgement for the choices you make.
Dear Single Christian Girl, following Christ is not supposed to be hard. Jesus told us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The biggest understanding of Following Christ is that our identity is in Christ. We belong to Him. He gave us the power to become God’s children just by our belief in God.
And yet, daily, we struggle to understand who we are. We look for things to identify us. To identify with. So that we could belong to a community like us. What is our star sign? What is our sexuality? What is the colour of our skin? What is the tribe we belong to? Which church do you go to? Which religion are you? And (the reason for this letter), are we or are we not married? And if we are, are we parents?
Dear Single Christian Girl, when I was 15, a missionary came to our school to preach the gospel of abstinence and the value of virginity. She spoke at length about how she’d had sex out of marriage. And how much shame she’d felt. She then spoke about finding Christ and then magically receiving her hymen and bleeding on her wedding night. It was a pretty compelling story.
At the time, I didn’t consider that there might have been a plethora of reasons that she’d bled on her wedding night. Periods, painful intercourse, etc. I just thought, this is what God wants me to be. He wants me to be pure. I placed my innate value in my virginity because this lady told me that Jesus told her that it was expected of me.
The glaring thing that I didn’t consider but can now clearly see because hindsight is 20/20 is that the boys in the school were not subjected to the same talk. They were off playing games, being boys. They were not encouraged to be virgins. They are not expected to be pure until they are married. This mandate is only left to the girls. Girls in school were expelled for pregnancies while the boys that were responsible for these pregnancies were left to continue their studies. How fair was this? It still baffles me that purity is pushed on women while men are encouraged to sow their wild oats. How many times have you heard a man who is not a virgin say they want to marry a virgin?
Dear Christian Girl, it is estimated that 1 in 3 women globally have been assaulted, so there’s a chance that you have been sexually assaulted. If you have, I am deeply sorry that this happened to you. Deeply sorry. It’s a club that I wouldn’t want anyone to join because it takes away your agency, your sense of self.
If you have been assaulted, how many times were you asked about what you were wearing? Why, in this culture, are men portrayed like Neanderthals who can’t help themselves when they see a woman’s ankle? Why do you think the blame is placed on you for what the man did to you? This is the harm of purity culture. I want you to know that it wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t what you wore. It wasn’t what you said or how you smiled at him. It was all him.
Dear Single Christian Girl, have you been told that your innate value is in your virginity? Your sexual purity? Do you know that it’s not? Your value, your womanhood is not tied to the fact that you have had sex or not. Your value is in Christ. Hold on to that nugget of truth. You are worth much more than your ‘purity’. This ‘purity’ that the world holds as precious is finite. Your infinite value is not found in men and their acceptance of you. It’s in Christ.
Have you been told to hold on, your husband is coming? How many conferences have you gone to where you were tasked with praying for your husband? Are you at a certain age where everyone is asking you when you are getting married? Are you wondering about when you will get married?
Dear Single Christian Girl. How many women with good intentions have looked at you like you were disabled and told you that your time will come? How many times have you heard the phrase, “I’m praying for you and you will get married.” Do you see how these questions and statements are wearing you down and chipping on you? Do you feel the anxiety to be ‘settled down’ by a certain age? Do you see how you are being pushed into relationships that may not be good for you because society and the church expect you to be married by a certain age?
You are not defined by the fact that there’s a ring on your finger. Don’t lose yourself in the pursuit of this. Society, this big arbitrary thing, will always demand more of you. It will ask you to get married; after marriage, it will demand a child; after the first child, a second child. If the child is one sex, society will demand a child of the other sex. You can’t win with society. The demands will weigh heavy on you. Don’t even try to win. Your identity shouldn’t be found in the broken lens through which society views you. Don’t fit into that mold. Dear Christian Girl, Jesus sees you perfectly.
Dear Single Christian Girl. I reiterate, don’t lose yourself in pursuit of a ring. Hold true to yourself. Enjoy yourself and your life in Christ. Live life to the fullest. You are whole, without a man. The Lord of the universe thinks the world of you. He loves deeply. That’s who holds your value. When you do meet a man, don’t allow him to diminish all you are in the name of marriage. The person that cherishes and wants you to be the best version of yourself, that’s the person that loves you. That’s the person for you.
I write to you, because I am you. Let’s hold each other on this journey of life. Jesus loves more than I do. More than any human does.
All My Love
Welcome to a series that I had planned before I took a break from writing. My break was involuntary. I couldn’t bring myself to write after my Dad’s death.
I called this The Sunday Series (Let’s Go To Church). In this series, I will be exploring about issues that I, a millennial Christian, have seen and faced.
This letter touches on many things without going in-depth but the one thing I want to rail against, is purity culture. I am going to link a few articles that talk about the damaging nature of purity culture to women and men.
There’s a lot I’m still deconstructing about myself and my faith. And I hope you’ll go on this journey with me.