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I totally related to this guy’s question. A guy calling himself “John” wrote in to the Christian television show “The 700 Club” and asked the hosts a question about why, as a 38- year- old, never- married man, so many churches have rejected him (or left him feeling rejected).
I’m just a few years older than John is, though I am a woman. I have never been married, but I wanted to be. I don’t know why I’m not married.
I have to disagree with host Pat Robertson’s reply – Robertson tells the guy, John, that the rejection is all in his head and that churches do not “reject” older singles. WRONG!
The letter writer, John, may not be “rejected” per se by churches, but most churches, and many Christians, do treat single or never- married Christians over the age of 35 and 40 differently – and that in a negative fashion.
We older, never married (single) Christians are either ignored by churches, or most Christians and churches assume that everyone over 25 years old is married with kids, or, they assume if you’re 40, you have been divorced at some stage – (wrong again, I’ve never been married).
Some Christians (the married ones) let loose with the gossip and slander against the older singles…. they assume if you’re over 35 and never married, you are some how “flawed,” a weirdo, or homosexual (none of that is true, either).
Here is a partial transcript from today’s show:
- JOHN SAYS,
“AT THE AGE OF 38, I NEVER MARRIED. AND I FEEL REJECTED BY MANY OF THE CHURCHES I ATTEND.
AM I THE ONLY ONE OR ARE THERE MANY OTHERS LIKE ME?”
Pat: I THINK IT IS IN YOUR HEAD. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T GET MARRIED. IN FACT, THERE ARE MORE AND MORE TODAY WHO ARE NOT GETTING MARRIED, WHICH IS A BAD THING.
BUT CHURCHES WILL NOT REJECT YOU. THEY HAVE THINGS SET UP FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE SINGLES’GROUPS.
[The Co-Host, Kristi Watts, replied]:
I’M WORKING ON A SERIES [for The 700 Club television show] THAT IS COMING OUT IN JUNE, AND PART OF IT IS [about older]… CHRISTIAN SINGLES.
AS I’VE BEEN TALKING TO A LOT OF US, IT IS FASCINATING. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE A LITTLE OLDER, THERE ARE SOME IN THE CHURCH THAT COME TO YOU, WELL, YOU’RE NOT MARRIED? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? OR CHURCHES [might] HAVE THINGS FOR THE FAMILIES OR THINGS FOR KIDS, BUT FOR THE SINGLES, NOT SO MUCH.
AND THE SINGLES ARE MAINLY DIRECTED TOWARDS THE 20s [so if you’re a single person over 30, you are neglected or ignored by many churches].
Kristi Watts knows what she’s talking about on that score, and Pat Robertson does not. Robertson has been married for 30 or more years and has no idea what it’s like to be 35- 40 years old (or older) and never married. There is indeed a stigma to it, and not just by secular culture, but within Christianity as well.
We older never marrieds are either ignored, our needs go unmet by the churches (who are absolutely fixated on marriage and kids and giving non stop “how to be a better parent” sermons), or we get treated like freaks.
There is in fact a disparity and disrespect by most Christians towards older, never married believers, despite the fact the Bible says not to show favor to one type of person more than another. We singles do pick up on and notice the slights and disrespect.
((Link): Source for 700 Club transcript)