I haven't had a chance to read Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman yet (if you could only see my To Read stack these days) but I'll never pass up the opportunity to promote someone who is engaging with the topic of singleness. As I scanned the Table of Contents, a few of the lies stood out to me especially. Like "because no one has chosen me, I'm not valuable" and "I'm not beautiful." They're definitely lies but on hard days it's difficult to grasp the truth. I'm not the only one who struggles with this and that's why I'm glad Allison has written this book. I know it will be healing for many.
I hope you'll enjoy reading through my interview with Allison. I'll be curious to hear what you think about her responses.
1. What inspired you to write Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman?
My journey of prolonged singleness was difficult, especially in my thirties. I believed I was doing all the right things, but my dating relationships never resulted in marriage for one reason or another. I prayed for a husband for a really long time and found myself losing hope. In 2008, I quit my corporate job to take some time off. During those months, I rediscovered my love of writing. God led me on a healing journey through blogging and writing as he showed me the lies I had allowed to subconsciously creep into my life. “No one has chosen me, so I’m not worthy to be chosen. There is something wrong with me. God has forgotten about me.” I started writing about the lies and sought truth in the Bible so I would be armed to fight these lies that marched through my mind. Over the course of about four years, that healing journey turned into what is now Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman.
2. What do you think married people commonly misunderstand about singles or singleness?
I believe many married people, especially those who got married at a young age, don’t realize how difficult singleness can be. It’s tough to do life alone. Of course singles have friends and family, but it’s different than having a life partner, spouse, and built-in date to every event. In the book, I talk about how being single and going on dates during my mid-thirties made me feel childish in comparison to the big life changes my friends were experiencing, things like marriage and babies. Even though singleness definitely has perks—your schedule is completely your own and you can eat popcorn for dinner every night if you want—we shouldn’t overlook its challenges.
3. What are some ways the Church can support singles? Has this been your own experience with church?
This is a great question and definitely a loaded one! I devoted a chapter to this topic in the book. In my experience, it’s difficult for churches to maintain a vibrant ministry for singles or young adults. Many churches try to develop a community for their unmarried members, but in my experience, the result is either a group people attend to find someone to date, or it seems forced because marital status is the only thing these individuals have in common. I believe many singles feel like outsiders in today’s churches. There is so much focus on the family unit. Singles can easily feel left out. I don’t have the answers, but I know it’s important for sermons, activities, and groups to be presented in such a way that doesn’t alienate singles or make them feel like oddballs. We need to encourage singles and let them know they are loved and valuable. Tell them there is nothing wrong with them. Most of all, church communities need to love each other well, regardless of marital status or any other labels.
4. What was the scariest part about writing a book about singleness?
One of the scary parts was not wanting to be labeled as the “Christian Single Girl.” I aimed to share truth in the book instead of giving advice. I wrote the book while single, and I definitely don’t have all the answers. Everyone approaches singleness through their own individual filter, so there’s no magic solution. Writing a book in general is pretty terrifying, especially when you share your story and put it out there for people to critique. I pray the book will provide truth, hope, and
encouragement. Throughout the process, I kept saying that if God used the book to help or inspire one person, it would all be worth it!
Allison K. Flexer is an author, speaker, and blogger who is passionate about communicating the love of God to others. Her first book, Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman (Beacon Hill Press), tells the story of her single journey and gives practical steps for letting go of the lies that destroy the joy and confidence of unmarried women. Allison was also a contributing writer for Fulfilled: The NIV Devotional Bible for the Single Woman. You can connect with Allison on her website at www.allisonflexer.com or on Twitter: @allisonkflex.