Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

There are certain areas of life where people tend to think that they or their friends are stuck with "God's second best." We say that we believe Romans 8:28, and yet when it comes to being single or childless, or handicapped in some way it is too common for Christians to take the attitude that something has gone wrong.

Being single myself until I was 38, I have been burdened by the pressure that is put upon us singles by other Christians at times. The match making, the comments, the urgency to marry that are put upon us can make us frustrated, angry, and confused. More than that, they can tempt us to be discontent with what God has willed for our lives at this time.

In contemplating this, the Lord directed my attention to those who are childless. (I say childless rather than barren because there are some who, though they technically may be able to bare children, may not do so for medical or other reasons.) In considering this, it seemed that they are subjected to many similar problems. There are the insensitive questions, the pushing, the "helpful suggestions," the book handed to them that will supposedly "solve your problem." Some will nag them to adopt. Again there is the urgency, in this case that it must be God's will for all married people to have children. And again, these things can tempt to discontent, can frustrate and cause anger.

The marred flower smells as sweet,
Its nectar is for honey meet,
Its colors show God's artist hand;
'Tis only yet despised by man.

Finally it seemed appropriate to add those who suffer from physical or mental limitations to this section. This is also an area of "second best" in many people's thinking. The parents of children who are born with such difficulties often have a hard time coming to terms with what God has allowed for them and their child. At the same time, those who become physically disabled later in life or are suffering from chronic illness, may face many of the same difficulties in accepting God's will and having peace that the single and childless among us have.

More than all of this, for those of us that are in these positions, there is the battle with our own flesh. There are the inner wrestlings that overwhelm, the "whys" and doubts that threaten at times to drown us. Can there be no peace or rest for us? Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows... And again, Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.




Childless, Barren, Infertility:

Childless by God's Choice By Mrs. Robin R. (barren)

Hannah - barren (in the Depression section)

His Mother's Sorrow - a true story about miscarriage by my father.

Thoughts On Unexpected Grief and Being Childless

Thorns - author unknown

A Few Words to "The Mother Club"
on Behalf of the Hurting Ones Outside


Single to the Glory of God By Mary E. Stephens (single till 38)

Handicapped, Disabled, Ill:

Everything in this section has been moved to
Living for Christ In Chronic Illness  NEW


Other Encouraging Items:

A Thanksgiving by Annie Johnson Flint

A Thanksgiving for Hard Things by Mary Van Nattan Stephens

Contentment by J. O. Fraser (missionary, single for years)

"Fear Not" and Comfort Verses

I Could Not Do Without Thee by Frances Havergal (single)

In A Small Place by Annie Johnson Flint (single and handicapped)

Read more of Miss Flint's encouraging poems, and her story.

My Jesus, As Thou Wilt! by Benjamin Schmolck

No Greater Love

Prisoners of the Lord by Annie Johnson Flint

The Grace of God by Annie Johnson Flint


Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


graphics and background by Mary Stephens