Christian Cliche’ (and it’s un-biblical) “Go to church to serve not be served”
Christian Singles Never Marrieds – it’s okay to get your needs met
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Oh geeze, no. I totally am fed up and irritated by these kinds of views (this comes from Crosswalk’s site, (Link): “The Great Disappearing Singles Ministry“):
However, like many other things churches in North America do that aren’t prescribed in Scripture, maybe singles ministry should be how you serve your church, not how the church serves you.
This goes back to a concept I touched in (Link): a previous post.
Obviously, the Bible calls Christians to help other people and not be selfish, but there is nothing wrong or unscriptural about trying to get your own needs met.
A lot of Christians have this warped perspective that the Bible teaches they are to help only non-saved people or certain categories, such as widows, orphans, etc. However, the Bible advises Christians to help other Christians before trying to reach the unsaved (or homeless, widows, etc).
If the reason I choose a church is based on the lack of, or quality of, a singles ministry, that’s within my rights.
The Church is not helping singles desiring marriage to get spouses (and on top of that, they tend to throw obstacles in our way, such as churches that prohibit singles mixers, or who lecture us to “be content in your singleness,” etc).
As such, it’s up to me to meet my own needs, or for God to send me my spouse.
If you think I am going to waste my time at a church with no single men my age and doing nothing but serving other people all the time and neglecting my own desires and needs, think again. I am not codependent: I have needs and wants, and they are just as important as anyone else’s.
As for the woman in the comments on that Crosswalk page wrote,
“Singles ministries disappearing? I say that’s a step in the right direction. Churches should not be treated as meet markets or singles bars. We’re there for one reason and one reason only: spiritual guidance.”
Speak for yourself, sister (I would classify her as a (Link): Type of Annoying Christian Single). I can see from other comments that same woman left on another page at that site that she is over 40 years old or so, she says she has never married but also says she feels no hope she ever will be, and has accepted it. Well, some of us have not completely accepted it and would like some help from other Christians in being set up on dates.
In the past several days, I have read many articles critical of how the Christian church treats singles and never married people, and it is distressing and dismal.
One recurring theme I keep seeing is precisely what that Crosswalk article is doing: treating singles as though they are the slaves of the church and as though they should not consider their own needs at all.
Another theme I’ve noticed is that many churches do not truly value their singles over the age of 30. They make them do menial tasks all the time, for example, instead of allowing them to use their God given talents.
It’s not that I or other singles object to menial labor per se, only that is all we are given to do, and the marrieds are rarely asked to do it or expected to do it. We singles are treated like maids or second class citizens and are exploited.
An assumption is made that we singles are beneath “real” contributions, so we should only be scrubbing toilets, babysitting kids, or cleaning the church kitchen so the marrieds don’t have to, or we singles get pressured into areas we might not want to really be involved in.
From (Link): ‘The Scandal of Singleness‘
On the other hand, singles are often encouraged to pursue overseas missions, while ministry at home is simultaneously dismissed. They leave the familiar to minister in a strange and foreign land. Yet this single servant is unacceptable to the search committees of evangelical churches. It seems“[T]he only call of God that Western Christians fear more than the call to missions is the call to a life of celibacy” .
This is from (Link): Pastor’s Pastor: Ministering with singles:
Use, don’t abuse. Avoid taking advantage of someone just because they are single. Select meaningful ministry activities that fit the interests and skills of a member rather than assigning a task that you assume they are free to do. One woman wrote, “My church thinks that just because I’m unmarried, I have lots of time to perform any task— especially those chores no one else wants. I’m often told, you have nothing going on, so you can clean the kitchen, babysit the kids, plan the luncheon. Why don’t they ask me to pray, plan worship, or lead a study group? This attitude makes me feel devalued.”
From (Link): How To Serve Singles
Single adults are not workhorses.
Conversely, unmarried men and women are not the church’s workhorses. As a new believer, I was in big demand as a new babysitting resource in the church. While I was thrilled to get to know so many families, one wise woman saw the burnout coming. She advised me to pray and ask God which of these families he was asking me to invest in. By knowing those relationships where I was to say yes, I knew also where I could say no without guilt.