In a previous post, I mentioned that the most neglected group in most churches are the never- married adults over the age of 30 / 35.
I realize that some churches and Christians are pretty bad about treating divorced people like failures or lepers, but based on my observation, divorced people are at least acknowledged to exist – which is a step above being (almost) always ignored if you are a never-married Christian.
Almost every church I’ve been to personally, or driven by (based on their “we have divorce care meetings here” signs), or seen on television, at least mention divorced people. Most churches have a “divorce recovery” group.
So most churches and preachers at least realize there are divorced Christians, and mention them on occasion, or set up ministries to address their needs.
One church I went to for several months would place free copies of a Christian magazine on their tables each week, free for anyone who wanted to pick up a copy. I used to take a copy when I would walk by and read it later. At least once every other month or so, this magazine would have interviews with infertile married Christian women.
I have seen professional Christian online publications run the occasional story on infertility of Christian married couples.
While most American churches do place an inordinate amount of attention on marriage and parenting / children, leading some infertile women to complain they feel ignored (such as the cranky infertile woman I mentioned half way down the page (Link): in this post), the fact remains that infertiles and the divorced do GET MENTIONED in most churches or in Christian culture from time to time.
So do single mothers. I am always hearing male pastors on Christian TV shows giving shout outs to the single moms in the viewing audience. Many of them say they were raised by a single mother and know how hard it is.
Rarely, rarely, rarely, do I hear ministers, or see Christian publications, mention never-married Christian adults over the age of 35.
Sunday School classes for adult singles ages 35 – 50 rarely exist. When and if they do exist, they serve as ghettos to drop singles off and forget about them. Most churches expend little money or effort to actually helping singles with their own set of needs, even within the “singles Sunday school classes”.
So there you have it.
One of the most neglected and overlooked group of people in the church are never-married (not by choice) and childless Christians over the age of 35.
Related posts on this blog:
(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage
(Link): Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian
(P.S.) I have tagged this post with the terms “women” and “gender roles” because most churches only acknowledge and make room for wives, ex-wives, and mothers.
If you are an older lady who has never married or popped out a kid, churches ignore you or treat you like dirt, or like a freak. They apparently feel the ONLY roles God has in mind for women is motherhood and marriage. Any woman who does not fit either mould is ignored or treated rudely.
You’re only wanted in Christian communities and considered normal if you are a woman who is married with a kid, or at least divorced with a kid. Being ignored or treated like a freak, if you are noticed at all, goes even more so if you are a Christian woman past age 35 who is still abstaining from sexual activity.
More Related Posts
(Link): Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”
(Link): Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning
(Link): Your Church’s Mother’s Day Carnation is Not Worth Any Woman’s Broken Heart – A Critique of ‘When Mother’s Day Feels Like a Minefield’ by L. L. Fields
(Link): Lonely Sunday: Single Christians and the Church’s Opportunity by K. Becker
(Link): Adult Singles Do Not Need A Marital Partner to Be Whole or Complete
(Link): Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett
(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line
(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society?
(Link): Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?
(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians | Re: Marriage Not Happening for Hetero-sexual Christians Over the Age of 30
(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single
(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift
(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo
(Link): Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer
(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States (2014)
(Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate and Virgin Shaming
(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)
(Link): A Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical
(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)
(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?
(Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.
Marrieds and Parents also turn every thing into them, about them, about marriage and their needs/ problems
(Link): Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored
(Link): Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please.
(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”
(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5
3 thoughts on “Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents”
I also think that single adults are not really well attended to or ministered to in the American church as a whole. As a single woman, it has helped me to not care so much about what other people in the church think of me and it has made going to church a much more rewarding experience. If the experience is stifling, it could just be that the congregation is a poor fit. Most of the other attenders don’t pay attention to others because they are consumed with their own issues and things they have to do. If somebody is blatantly against single people over 35, then it says something about that person. Whenever married people ask single people who are older why they aren’t married, I interpret that as them wondering,”Would I be able to thrive as well as this person if I haven’t met my spouse?” or “What would I do if I were in this person’s situation? Would I be able to make it? Would I be okay with myself?”
Most of the staff of the church are simply just doing what they can to serve as many people as possible. Perhaps there needs to be a new wave of Christians who will extend a hand out to people who feel disenfranchised because they are single.
It takes a lot of guts, grace and faith to be happily attending a mainline church as an older single Christian woman, but it can be done. I have been rejected and passed over by other Christian men and seen them fall in love and get married to other women, but I am still okay and still attending church.
I am working on a book to help other single Christians, especially those over 30, to navigate through this season and build resilience in a very competitive dating culture where the younger and more attractive people have more “choices”, but thankfully, there is a God who can move mountains and work beyond the scope of what we see. I wish you well.
i am facing the same problem. im a man, 39. born with sexual desires that i dont want and cant control. every female i see in my church is either old enough to be my grandmother, young enough to be my granddaughter, or married. i have never been to a church with a single woman in my suitable age range. i make use of dating sites “where are all the decent christian men?”…i write to these women, my messages get deleted. if i do get a reply, she is usually a christian who cant be bothered to actually follow Christ…so i’m basically out of the game. time is going by, looks are fading, i’m not loaded with cash….so what exactly do i have to offer?
Have you considered leaving church? I left about 10 years ago – for good, unless a miracle happens. I know exactly how you feel, as I’m a never-married 42 year old male. It came to the point where I felt worse coming out of church than going in, so I thought to myself WHAT IS THE POINT? There are lots more interesting, and infinitely more enjoyable things to do than go to a church service on Sunday.
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