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): 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): Singleness Is Not A Gift
(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): 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