Being God’s Single Woman in a Modern Wor
About the Guest
Are you struggling to find your place as a single? Join us today to hear single author Carolyn Leutwiler share her views on what the single life is and isn’t. Carolyn reflects on the dating scene and the risk that’s involved in finding someone compatible to marry.
Carolyn LeutwilerCarolyn Leutwiler is single. BUT, this no longer defines her! In her past, she was overwhelmed by a range of emotions, perspectives, and opinions on singleness. These experiences and the struggles of her single girlfriends caused her to consider how the Lord's Word speaks to single women. This led her on a journey of Scripture study and prayer, and ultimately to the penning of her first book. Carolyn is currently pursuing her MDiv at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Prior to this,...more
Are you struggling to find your place as a single?
Being God’s Single Woman in a Modern Wor
Carolyn: I certainly hope that’s how it’s going to happen for me. I’m going to be doing my life work. Doing what God has called me to do day by day and that person if God has a husband for me will be along that path. If we’re about what God has called us to then I think He is going to bring a person that’s suited to that same passion.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, July 10th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife Dennis Rainey and I’m Bob Lepine. So if you are single what do you do until God brings somebody along? What do you do if that never happens? We’ll talk about that today.
Welcome to FamilyLife Today thanks for joining us. Did you ever think when you were single that you might be single for a long time?
Dennis: (laughter) Well, after a couple of ladies that I pursued turned me down…
Dennis: Yes, I was going for it and having a DTR (define The Relationship) and I didn’t just get the cold shoulder.
Bob: The whole iceberg moved in?
Dennis: I got it all. I got the pink slip. I was out of here. So the answer to your question is absolutely.
Bob: You did start to wonder I might be single for a while?
Dennis: I really did.
Bob: But there is a difference with a guy who wonders that and a young lady who wonders that, isn’t there?
Dennis: Oh, yes. There is a huge difference because a guy can do something about it in terms of pursuing a young lady. Now I know there would be those in this culture who would say well, so can young ladies. We live in a liberated age. Well, to the young ladies who pursue a man in order to get one and they take over the relationship and they become the leader. If they catch the guy after they’ve caught him they are going to be happy with what they’ve caught. No doubt about it.
In fact let’s ask our guest here on FamilyLife Today. Carolyn Leutwiler who has a little experience on this. She’s written a book called Singleness Redefined. She lives in Manhattan, New York City not Kansas. She spent a good amount of time evaluating being single what do you think in terms of what Bob is asking here? Young ladies, should they pursue young men at this point if they are single and losing hope?
Carolyn: There is a great title to a book I’m sure a lot of people have heard called He’s Just Not That Into You. I think that pretty much sums it up actually. I’m not recommending the book necessarily. I haven’t read it but the title is great.
I think it just really shows I believe that if a man really is interested in a woman he’s going to do something about it. He’s going to pursue her. For a woman I think there is something beautiful about being pursued by a man instead of trying to make something happen. Unfortunately women seem to be pros at manipulating situations to try to get what we want.
Dennis: You write about internet dating in your book so here is the test for you. Have you ever signed up for one of those internet dating services and put your face and information out there?
Carolyn: I have not. I personally don’t want to. Let me say first of all that I do have friends who have and who have met their wonderful spouses on line. So it is definitely something that God can use I would say because obviously He has used it in these people’s lives. I think it is a sad comment on where we’ve come in our society that we need a computer to bring people together. For example especially at my church because it’s a huge church I would think that most men I would hope could find someone there. There are tons of women and far fewer men. I do think there are some concerns about internet dating. One would be you are looking for the perfect person. You can go through all these men out there. He looks like he might be a possibility.
Dennis: It’s the ultimate check list.
Carolyn: It’s a huge checklist.
Dennis: I mean great Scott you’ve got…I’ve not done it obviously I’ve been married happily for…
Bob: But you can review hundreds of resumes and filter through if you want.
Bob: I can almost imagine somebody saying okay Carolyn I agree with you. I wish things were different then they are. I wish we didn’t live in the technological age that we do and it was like it used to be but it’s not. I hear you saying there are problems with internet dating but you know what call in about five years when you’ve been single for another five years and let’s see if you still feel that way. Are you thinking I would never do that or are you thinking right now that’s not the path I ought to go?
Carolyn: That’s a great question. I definitely am not saying I would never do it because like I said I think God can use it. He has brought my friends together.
Dennis: So you don’t think it’s wrong.
Carolyn: I don’t think it is wrong.
Dennis: It’s just an issue of preference and choice for you.
Carolyn: Right and I just would say I think people should be aware of the dangers of it but as you said Dennis there are dangers with it regardless with dating.
Dennis: I’m not trying to change opinion. As you were describing it though I thought Carolyn is describing what takes place when two people start to get to know one another anyway.
Bob: If you are looking for the danger free method for bringing a relationship together it doesn’t exist does it.
Dennis: It’s back to how does this happen? Well a young man has to step forward toward a young lady and he has to express some interest. He has to pursue her and he has to pursue a relationship. I want to tell you something I’m encouraged at the number of men that I’m hearing are stepping up and doing that. There just needs to be more of them. I think they need to be cheered on when they take the step knowing that it is risky. It is risky for a guy to do this because he may get rejected. It’s not nearly as safe as a video game.
Bob: I’ve got a question for you. If you were to arrive back in Manhattan back after this interview and you go home and you open your mail and there’s a wedding invitation from one of your friends. You didn’t even know that this person was engaged and now you’re invited to the wedding. Do you go my heart rejoices or do you go there’s another one?
Carolyn: Today I think I could say my heart rejoices. Ten years ago I would have really really struggled. It could be that in ten years if I’m still single it’ll be very difficult. So I think it goes back to seasons. We’re in different seasons of life and we continually have to regardless of where we are say okay Lord what do You say about me?
Remember that He is working something good in our lives. Yes, there’s definitely the sinking in the heart when you get an invitation.
Dennis: Since Bob is grilling you I’ve got one for you. Bless your heart. I’ve got a single daughter so I know how this is a little bit because I’ve comforted her and encouraged her along the way. Tell you how you want to feel about this. We just want you to get together with this young man and we’ve got someone we think would be perfect for you, Carolyn. He loves Jesus and he’s been going to church for 30 minutes, I mean, 30 whatever…what do you think about that?
Carolyn: I think that even though it can be really uncomfortable sometimes and maybe usually what if? What if that person does end up being a good match? So I would say why not? For the single person I would say why not? Be open.
Carolyn: I’m serious.
Dennis: Wide open huh? Then an arranged marriage. So if Bob and I, now that we’ve kind of gotten to know you a little bit, if we know a young man…
Bob: Hang on. Hang on here. It could mean that you’re going to spend an awkward and uncomfortable evening couldn’t it?
Carolyn: Yes, it could mean that.
Dennis: But what I heard her saying Bob…
Bob: It’s worth the risk for that. Is that what you’re saying?
Carolyn: Yes. On the flip side I would also say to people who would like to set someone up try to think …I know this single person and I know this single person so let’s get them together. Have a little more thought about it because if these people have nothing at all in common and they live on the opposite ends of the world maybe it’s not going to be the best situation. So just be thoughtful about that.
Dennis: Has this happened with you?
Carolyn: Yes. I have been set up actually I was set up recently and it was a lovely date. It was a really nice time unfortunately nothing came of it. (laughter) But at least it was a nice date. And I also have been set up in a very awkward situation too. But I’m still very open and in fact recently I have told a couple of married friends of mine by the way if you know of any nice…
Dennis: Oh really.
Carolyn: Yes, I have.
Dennis: So you really believe this is safer than internet dating?
Carolyn: I think so. I feel safer with it personally. Sure it can be awkward. If you trust the people. If you trust your friends.
Bob: Here are the two situations you just described for us. One is awkward. The second is you have a lovely time and nothing comes of it. Both of those are disappointments. It’s almost where you’d get to a point and you would say enough disappointment in my life I don’t want to go back out and be disappointed one more time.
Dennis: Have you ever thought about giving up on dating? Have you ever thought about it? I didn’t say you had decided.
Carolyn: No. Because I think then you close yourself off to the opportunity of meeting someone. There’s always the chance and probably the likelihood that you are going to be disappointed but what’s the saying you have to be willing to have your heart broken to have something come. Something positive to happen.
Bob: Let me ask you about this. Let’s say you do have a nice time with a young man and you start to see him regularly and you just develop this huge crush. I would assume that in your 20s and 30s if you’re not married you can still develop big crushes on people right?
Bob: What do you do with a crush if there is nothing happening?
Dennis: She had a crush for seven years.
Bob: That’s the reason I’m asking.
Carolyn: I know.
Bob: You talk about your seven year crush right here.
Carolyn: I know. I know. Pathetic, right?
Dennis: No, it’s not pathetic. What did you do with that crush?
Carolyn: I had to pray to God to help me to move on. Obviously there is disappointment but I think we have work through that and not try to repress the feelings. Work through it and bring it before the Lord. Say I am disappointed. I’m struggling here. Help me get through this.
Dennis: Did you ever tell the guy that you were fond of him?
Carolyn: I didn’t. As women we have the opportunity to encourage men and perhaps with this man I did not encourage him as I could have. Looking back I realize that. Because I think he was interested at one point and I probably didn’t encourage that.
Dennis: The reason was?
Bob: No, no wait. What would you do differently today if the situation presented itself? How would you encourage a man if you suspected there might be some interest?
Carolyn: That a good question. When we were in college we wrote letters and sent them to one another. It was before email. He had written me a couple of letters over the summer.
Bob: Okay wait. If a guy does that, that’s huge. Guys don’t write letters.
Carolyn: I know. I know. See but I must have been blind or something back then. I should have written him.
Bob: You didn’t write back?
Carolyn: I think this was before I was really interested in him.
Bob: Oh, Carolyn.
Carolyn: I know.
Dennis: That guy probably is in a recovery program somewhere.
Carolyn: No, he’s married and has a child.
Dennis: Why didn’t you write him back?
Carolyn: I don’t know. We do things in our lives that we can’t explain.
Dennis: So back to Bob’s question. What would you say if you had it to do all over again? I’m not talking about just writing back. Describe if a young lady was interested in a young man without taking over the relationship and becoming the leader and usurping the guy and who he needs to be because men need to step up. That’s real clear. Men need to pursue women.
Dennis: What should a woman do? Describe that.
Carolyn: I’m going to give you a personal example of what has happened recently to me. There is a man that I was interested in and he seemed to not be picking up on that or maybe he was not interested. I don’t know. I decided I was going to say to him, “Hey I’ve seen you a couple of times and it seems like we just keep flying by each other and don’t have an opportunity to have a conversation. So we should get together some time.”
Carolyn: Yes, I did and that was very bold for me. I just sort of put it out there for him and I feel if he had an interest that should have been encouragement I would hope.
Bob: Yes, you were not saying let’s go out on a date. You were saying we ought to get together some time. And let him either pick up on that or not follow up. In this case did he pick up on it?
Dennis: What did he do?
Carolyn: He seemed positive so I’ll say this again this is pretty recent.
Bob: So we’re still waiting to see. The jury is not in yet.
Carolyn: I think the jury is in and nothing is going to happen.
Dennis: I’m speaking to the guy…
Carolyn: Yes, because maybe he’ll listen.
Dennis: I’m a dad and I’ve got a daughter. Here’s the way it looks. The young lady is attractive, bright, a lot of ambition, a lot of talents, a lot of abilities if she seems friendly and you’re single you know what guys, call. Knock on the door. Step on up and risk it. Listen to me. Nothing comes to the man who waits.
So if she’s nice and she’s pretty. She smiling like this young lady is doing right here and you happen to be listening. And you’re putting two and two together and you realize it was Carolyn who said that to you, call 1-800-FL TODAY …no we won’t.
Here’s the deal. Men need to initiate. Men were made and I don’t mean this in the rough the sense men were made to conquer kingdoms and to love princesses and make them queens. The only way you’ll carry her off to the castle is if you pick her up.
Bob: As you’re telling this I am remembering being in the 11th grade and being scared to death as a guy. I remember when my friend came to me and said do you like so and so. And I said well, yes, kind of. Well she likes you and she’d go out with you if you’d ask her. He’d gotten the inside skinny and I was still scared.
Dennis: It was a sure bet and you’re still terrified.
Bob: Yes, why is it that guys are like that?
Dennis: Because you’re stepping out and risking your heart even at a very primitive level. I don’t want to beat up on the guys. I think guys get hammered a lot but you know what? In this culture I think there has been a concerted effort to take away initiative from men. In an effort to create equality we have taken away the sword of initiative from a man. Women want a warrior. We’ve got one in the studio she’s nodding her head right now.
Bob: But here’s what I have to ask you in the midst of this. It’s possible that with the desire you have to be married and have a family that won’t be God’s gift to you in this life. His gift to you will be the gift of singleness. Can you sit here today and say if that is God’s plan for me I will rejoice in that plan and find joy in life if from here until I go home I’m a single person? I can embrace that.
Carolyn: I only can because I’ve seen the past faithfulness of God and because His word tells me so. That sounds really simplistic but sometimes that’s all we can hold on to is God’s word. Knowing that He is good regardless of what my circumstances look like. Yes, it will be really hard to be single for my whole life but I don’t know how long my life will be. I think we have to claim God’s promises and sometimes the rejoicing might be with a tear streamed face. Saying God I’m going to rejoice in You even though I am crying and I am in pain. The rejoicing is in God it’s not in the circumstances.
Dennis: Earlier we talked about how whether single or married we have dreams, hopes, and visions for our lives and yet none of us knows the future. As we’re traveling and hopefully fulfilling God’s mission for our lives God shuts a door to the left and He opens a door to the right.
You shared earlier how God shut the door of opera in your life but yet you feel like He’s opening other doors. I think the real challenge for all of us as we make this journey in tumultuous times we walk by faith and we embrace the scripture that you have called us to in your book and on the broadcast. To believe it and not trust your emotions but in fact express your faith in spite of your emotions at times and I appreciate how you model hammering out life in what has to be one of the toughest places on the planet to be single, New York City. What a great challenge and opportunity to let your light shine.
Trust me if Bob and I run across the right guy we may end up calling you and say we’ve got this guy Carolyn …
Dennis: We’ve got this guy…
Bob: This is not the first time he’s played matchmaker like that. Let me encourage our listeners in order to qualify for us to pass your name along to Carolyn you need to go to FamilyLife Today.com and buy a copy of her book. (laughter) I’m just kidding. That’s not how you qualify but you do need to go to FamilyLifeToday.com if you’re interested in getting a copy of Carolyn’s book, Singleness Redefined in the FamilyLife Today Resource Center. We also have a lot of other resources designed to help singles better understand this season of their life. And to help them start thinking about what they ought to be looking for about how to evaluate relationships and know if a person might be the person for you.
You can go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com. Or you can also call us toll-free at 1-800-FL-Today. 1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800, F as in family, L as in life, and the word today. When you contact us someone on our team can let you know about the resources that are available and make arrangements to have the ones you need sent to you.
I get asked from time to time what have been your favorite interviews that you have done on FamilyLife Today and we’ve had the opportunity over the last 16 and a half years now to talk to a lot of folks to hear a lot of stories and to get a lot of good solid biblical wisdom that we can pass on to others.
We had that kind of a conversation not long ago with our friend Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She is an author and speaker and the host for the daily radio program Revive Our Heart. She has written a book called Choosing Forgiveness. We spent some time with her talking about what the Bible has to say about the subject of forgiveness. That conversation was recorded.
This month we are making the CD of that discussion available to those of you who are able to support this ministry with a donation of any amount. When you call or go online and make a donation feel free to request a copy of the CD Choosing Forgiveness with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. You can do that by typing the word “forgive” into the key code box on the donation form or you can call 1-800-FL-Today. 1-800-358-6329. Make a donation over the phone and mention that you would like the CD with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Again we are happy to send it to you.
We do appreciate your financial support of this ministry. We are listener supported so your donations are what keep us on the air in this city and in other cities all across the country. We are grateful for you and we appreciate your partnership with us.
We hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend and I hope you can join us on Monday. We’re going to talk to a woman who met her future husband while they were together in Bible College only to find out years later that he’d decided he didn’t believe in God any more. What is it like to be a spiritually single wife and mom? We’re going to talk with Nancy Meyer about that next week. I hope you can be back for that.
I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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