Well, well, well. A RARE, RARE, RARE, RARE acknowledgement on a Christian show that unmarried people even exist.
Some pastor is hosting tonight’s episode of TBN’s “Praise the Lord” show. I forget his name. I think his first name is Bil. Anyway, his last guest (I forget that guy’s name too) were discussing single people. (I just did a google. The pastor’s name is Bil Cornelius.)
I was not expecting this at all, so I was not listening closely to the show as I was on my computer.
The pastor at some point said something like, “And what about those singles in the audience who want a relationship but haven’t gotten one…” (and he said some other stuff). That was what caught my attention.
Then Pastor Bil said something like, “I now have such a burden on my heart for single people! They comprise about 50% of the American population today!”
And to his guest, he said, “Would you please say a prayer for the single people in our audience?” (Then the guy said a prayer for single people.)
I don’t think Pastor Bil was referring only to singles under the age of 25, either, which is such a nice change of pace.
By citing the 50% figure, and based on other comments he made, he was saying he realizes that there are never-married, Christian people over the age of 35 who exist.
Thank you pastor Bil!
Pastor Bil did not say anything rude about unmarrieds, he was not patronizing, nor did he make any assumptions as to why we remain single – well, not really.
Now, a bit into this segment, he did sort of lecture singles to not rely on God wholly and urged them to “do their part” to get a spouse – which was a bit uncalled for, perhaps – it felt a little “blamey,” but most of what he said was okay.
Singles get a lot of confusing, mixed messages on this point.
You do have your Christians who lecture you to join dating sites and join ministries in churches and so on to meet someone if you want marriage, but the lion’s share of messages I got growing up were about me being passive and having faith and not actively seeking Mr. Right.
In light of that, I don’t think it’s fair for a pastor to chide singles for “not doing enough” to get a mate.
How often I heard growing up from Christian parents, the church, pastor Billy Graham on TV shows, etc, and so forth, that I should not worry about finding a spouse and run myself ragged looking for one, but I should only pray, trust God, and wait, and in due time, God would send me Mr. Right.
I trusted my elders on this point. I was raised that being a good Christian girl meant being fully obedient to Mom and Dad and their teachings, so if Mom and Dad said, “pray and have faith, and you’ll meet Mr. Right,” I took them at their word.
Also, the Bible is filled with examples of waiting on God and not using your own effort to get what you want, because every time someone in the Bible used their own methods, plans, or strength to get what they wanted, the results were usually terrible. I read my Bible as a kid and a teen (the entire thing), so I knew what it said about these issues.
Therefore, I think it a bit unfair for pastor Cornelius, or other Christians, to tell older Christians, “Well, you know, you can’t just sit there, you have to ‘do your part!’”
I know this Cornelius guy probably means well when he says that, but… he (and people like this) are sort of implying we’ve been single this long because it was our fault (or that is the implication of their views) – hearing things like this after a life time of being lectured by older Christians to just wait on God is a little off-putting.
My whole life, I was told to wait and have faith – now I’m being told no, it’s my fault I’m unmarried because I’m not supposed to wait and have faith, I’m supposed to join e-Harmony, grow my hair long, and do all this other nonsense to meet a guy.
But I see it as a step in the right direction that at least one married pastor (Bil is married) at least realize that 50% of the U.S. population is UNMARRIED.
He also gave a shout out to “singles without kids, and married people without kids,” so he realizes that there are lots of people who are not a 1950ish nuclear families (i.e., mom, dad, with two kids).
If only more Christians acknowledged older unmarried (and the childless) from the pulpit, from TV shows, tracts, blogs, their Christian magazines, etc.
It would make being single for so long (especially when one did not want or expect to be single past the age of 35) – a little easier to bear.