With this post, I’m beginning a series of posts that will be discussing the topic of singleness in the church. So leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you were on the wrong end of an inside joke? There’s not much more embarrassing. In the church world today, it seems that this is the very thing happening to many of our single-church goers. And even moreso in ministry circles. This is most distrubing because according to recent statistics, 41% of Americans 18 and older are single. Many in the church world view a person that is not married as immature or as if something is wrong with them. For example, I had a friend recently interviewing for an associate pastor position and this is how part of the interview went:
Pastor: So are you married?
Friend: No, I’m not.
Pastor: So are you dating anyone? Any prospects?
Friend: No, not right now.
Pastor: So are you gay?
It’s as if singleness is a disease. A disease which has only one cure: marriage. The danger in that is there are people who are not ready to be married, who have not found the right person God has for them to marry, or who feel led to a life of singleness. In forcing marriage on people, I believe many are undermining the work of God in that person’s life, and creating doubt in the plan God has for them. Something I’ve always believed and have read in scripture is that God equips people uniquely because He has a unique plan for their lives. With that said, in a person’s attempts to help someone who is single, they can actually be setting them up for failure. In 1 Timothy 6:6, the apostle Paul explains that great gain (success) is found not in what we can achieve (marriage) but rather in godliness and contentment. Therefore, in the Christian community we need to encourage people to be comfortable in their own skin, in who God has made them and where He’s placed them, rather than trying to force them to fit into our own little Christian box.
Good thoughts. I have a feeling that in a year the experience that your friend had will be one that I have. I wish that people were more sensitive to the fact that God works differently for different people.
I wish this subject was addressed better in today’s churches. I have always told people that I feel like my singleness is a disease and everyone is out to cure it…and anyone of the opposite sex I am seen talking to MUST be the cure. Why is there such a rush to get people married off? Let them devote themselves wholly to God and see what happens. That’s my theory. Thank you, Nick!
Good thoughts on this subject. Its sad that this issue isn’t addressed more in churches today. We all have a unique walk with God and I think that is a great point well said. This definitely was a good post to stumble across and I’ll try to check out the follow ups.
By the way, in case you wondering who this random guy is, I’m a friend of Mike Santisteven and stumbled across your blog from his. Just a short fyi. Thanks for the post! It’s good stuff!
I think that there are certain positions within churches where there is more pressure for someone to be in a serious relationship. I don’t know how prevalent that is, though.
Good perspective, regardless.
Good post………a spouse is not supposed to be your fulfillment. We are to be fulfilled in Christ and then serve him together………he knows the timing better than we do…Psalms 37:7 rest patiently in the lord… the key words = rest and patience…
PS> He is faithful to his promises…………desires of your heart!!!
Enjoyed reading this post! It’s really encouraging especially when, for so many people, singleness can be looked at as a disease or “something is wrong with you.”
Would you check out this article and let me know your thoughts?
Very good hat thought. I believe this is so true do to are worldly programing that u must do these things in this order and u should have accomplished this by this time. I cant tell you were in the book that jesus gave us a worldly time line on these subjects. This is a great subject i find that people that feel that way that singleness or that do feel uncomfortable in there own skin will settle. will settle for someone that is not evenly yoked with that person, and then your trapped. I do believe that this needs to be addressed in the church more. maybe it would help with some of the devorse in the church and prevent some of the broken homes that affect so many people inside and outside of the family.