Here are a few suggestions as to what I think Christian pastors and Christian talk show hosts should (or should not) preach or discuss when addressing Christian singlehood.*
Sex, Sex, Sex and More Sex
I think sex is one topic that Christian pastors need to stay away from when talking to or about singlehood, or they need to stop lecturing about it as often as they do.
Anytime pastors or Christian personalities (such as people who host Christian television shows) do bother to address singles (usually they’re fixated on married life, unfortunately), it’s usually nothing more than to issue dire warnings about not giving in to sexual sin.
It is irritating that anytime singleness is brought up, it’s always in regards to sexual sin, or to tell singles they really “ought” to be married (which is “preaching to the choir”).
If, when addressing Christian singles, you absolutely insist upon beating the very dead horse of Christian admonishments against…
- “non-marital diddling,”
- “pre-marital diddling,”
- and other diddle-related matters
…you pastors and talking heads on Christian television programs need to be aware that not all Christian singles are 20 year old male college students or 45 year old divorced men, because often times, you do exactly that.
Stop It With the Assumptions
There’s a segment of Christian singles, both male and female, who have never married, and who are over the age of 35.
Stop assuming that all singles over the age of 35 are single due to divorce (some of us over age 35 have never been married to start with, so obviously, we’ve never been divorced.).
Stop assuming that most, or all, people age 25 or older are married with children.
Stop assuming that Christian singles who are over the age of 35 who have never been married are single by their own choice. (I will discuss this more below.)
Nor should you assume that all non-married Christians are hyper sexual, obsessed with sex, and/or engaging in non-marital diddling (or looking at dirty magazines or sites), because often times you assume those very things.
Some single Christians may struggle with the occasional sexual urge, but not all are absolutely consumed by the issue.
If I have to hear one more lecture, sermon, or broadcast where some Christian bemoans the high rate of Christian guys hooked on internet p*rn0graphy, I’m going to barf.
If I had a nickel for every report I hear about this problem on Christian television shows, I’d be wealthy.
I know resisting sexual urges and having p0rn addictions are a problem for some Christian guys (including married ones), but not all of us (male or female) are engaging in this behavior.
What You Should Be Preaching or Saying
If you’re a preacher looking for what you should be preaching about in regards to singleness (if you actually ever bother to address the topic, since most of you behave as though everyone is married), here are a few suggestions:
- Acknowledge to the singles in your congregation that for those of them who do not want to be single, you know how painful, lonely, and difficult it can be at times;
- How about telling the singles it’s acceptable and permissible not to be thrilled, at peace with, or constantly content with being single;
- While you’re at it, toss out a few words of encouragement (such as, “Yes, I know God will send you someone, ask and have faith”), rather than the morose, downer lines such as, “Singleness is a gift,” or “God may have called you to be single”
Stop It With the Blame
Do not blame singles for being single.
We can’t help being single. There are many Christian singles who do not want to be single.
We did not decide or choose to be single.
Not all of us placed career before relationships, either, which is one common assumption I see bandied about, especially by the heartless, rude “marriage mandate” advocates.
There is nothing easy about getting a suitable mate.
Getting a mate is not as simple as ordering a pizza over the phone, but many Christian preachers, book authors, and Christian dating advisors behave as though it is that easy and simple, which is insulting to singles.
Behaving as though landing a husband is as easy as getting a new pair of socks from the store is a gross over-simplification of a complicated situation.
Don’t assume someone is single because they weren’t “looking hard enough,” that they have unreasonably high standards, or that they have some kind of character defect, they’re a loser, or they didn’t have enough faith.
Or, do not assume, as many in the “marriage mandate” crowd do, that older Christian singles are still single because they’re immature, lazy, or are living in “extended adolescence.”
All this blame placing is very hurtful, as most of us singles do not understand why we can’t seem to meet someone.
The fact of the matter is that it is plain hard to meet someone.
After you’ve been out of college for years, unless you’re attending a church that has hundreds of single Christians, you’re simply not going to meet anyone your age.
Most of the churches I’ve attended do not have many single males in my age range.
If you are deeply concerned that a friend, relative, or church member of yours is now age 35, 40, or 45 and has never been married, rather than shaming or blaming them, why not help them out?
Do you know anyone the same age with similar interests you could set them up with?
Instead of complaining that a Christian you know is single, get off your butt to help that person.
Stop Assuming The 20-Somethings Need Help In Finding A Mate, When It’s Those Age 30 and Up Who Need The Most Help
Twenty somethings, especially in the age range of 20 – 25, generally have an easier time in finding other single Christian people their age.
A 21 year old kid in college is going to meet a lot of singles his or her own in college classes.
Most 20 somethings usually have more free time to go to social events, where they will again have more opportunities to meet other singles their age.
It doesn’t make any sense to me, but most Churches have programs, written materials, and sermons that are geared toward the Christian singles who are 20 – 25 years old.
The 20-something age group already has a ton of help and resources in finding a mate from churches and society at large. Enough attention already goes to them.
Churches really need to be expending the most energy helping single, never married Christians who are over age 30, especially those over age 35, and not 22 year old college kids.
*Pastors and Christian TV talk show hosts should also see other posts at this blog, such as
- List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1,
- List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 2
- Annoyances of Being a Christian Single
As for the auto generated links below:
From time to time, a link to “Boundless Webzine” pops up on my blog, and it’s out of my control.
I do NOT advise you to visit Boundless.org, as many of their authors are advocates of that hideous, insensitive “marriage mandate” garbage.
I don’t think I have any control over which links get automatically posted to my blog by Word Press. If I did, I would prohibit the links from Boundless Webzine from displaying on my posts at random.