The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me: The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness; The Condescending Single Who Brays “Jesus is all you need, your earthly happiness doesn’t matter”; or the Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness
I. The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness And Doesn’t Understand Why You Can’t Be Too
To clarify something: there are times when I feel relieved about being single, and there are other times it bothers me. I’m not wholly on one side of the fence or the other.
I was just saying (Link): in a post yesterday I get very pissed off and annoyed over these sunny attitude, Rose-colored- glasses- wearing unmarried women (sometimes men, but it’s normally a woman) who go on and on in their editorials for Christian singles about how they are golly gee whiz happy-happy to be single, they love living for just Jesus by golly!, and they say they cannot wrap their heads around singles who think that singlehood sometimes sucks. They think everyone should be as happy-happy with singleness as they are.
The fact is, some of us are not always happy with singleness 100% of the time, and your constant sunniness about it is unrealistic, irritating, doesn’t acknowledge the pain some of us go through at times, and by being so dang chipper about singleness, you’re sort of denying how most churches and denominations ignore or belittle singles.
II. The Super Spiritual Christian Single Who Likes to Say Over and Over: “Jesus and My Bible is All I Need and To Want Anything Else is Inappropriate, Especially In Church” (Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness)
These are usually the ones who pipe up in blog comments in articles for singles who say church is for worship of the Lord and Bible devotions only, that’s all THEY want when they go to a church, they say they are deeply offended when “Brother Hank” or “Sister Sally” tries to play match- maker for them.
And, they say, singles should not be using church to find a mate, because that’s turning church into a “meat market.” And remember, according to them, church is for worship and Bible reading and study only, nothing else.
If you are the kind of single who wants to view church as a Bible study only, fine for you, but don’t sit there and lecture myself and Christian singles that it’s wrong for another Christian person to use church to meet a mate.
There are other reasons for the creation of the church besides worship, Bible reading, the Great Commission, and helping African orphans.
This is another issue that pisses me off about some Christians: they are codependents who think it’s sinful for a Christian to have needs and to seek to have them met at church.
These are the types of Christians, both married and single, who are also wont to say, “You should go to church to serve not be served.” That saying is not even in the Bible, but they quote it as though it is.
The Bible actually teaches that if you have a need, you are to get it met at church / via other Christians.
There are several passages in the New Testament which indicate that Christians are to encourage other Christians; weep with those who are hurting (give emotional support); help other Christians out financially in times of financial crisis, etc. The church is supposed to be a support system for believers to help other believers, not merely for believers to spread the Gospel, or to help the homeless and orphans.
You can quote to me all day about how Jesus “came to serve,” but the man sometimes got his own needs met. The New Testament says Jesus sometimes took naps, broke away from crowds who sought healing from him to go on a mountain to pray. Jesus did not always disregard his needs totally, nor did He always put his needs in last place to “serve others.”
God established the church for several reasons, not just one or two religious sounding ones.
There are Christians who act like churches should only exist for The Great Commission, about sending missionairies to Africa, and that is incorrect.
Why are most white American Christians obsessed with Africa? Do not middle class whites need salvation too? Do we not care if middle class American whites are going to Hell?
By the way, there are some white people in Africa who were born and raised there, but clips I see on Christian TV only show white Christian American workers helping black African people.
I am not opposed to Christians of any color helping people of any color, but I am alarmed to see how so many white Christians seem to assume that white people don’t need help or need the Gospel; there appears to be an undue emphasis on helping dark-skinned Africans, some of whom have written editorials in their African papers saying they find this “white savior” mentality of many white Americans/ Christians offensive or patronizing, and I don’t blame them.
I also just find the extreme preoccupation by white American Christians with helping or saving black Africans odd. I’m not saying don’t help them at all, but only that I don’t get the obsession, and the lack of interest in reaching out to middle class, or even lower or upper class, whites in the USA or in Europe, is also odd and alarming.
If American Christians had shared the Gospel with, and shown compassion to, the caucasian Tsarnaev brothers at some point (who were originally from a region outside Russia), maybe they wouldn’t have killed people at the 2013 Boston marathon. But no, Christians only want to reach dark- skinned people in Africa.
—–end SIDE BAR—–
The Bible actually says that your duty is to help those in your immediate vicinity: first other Christians in your locale, then to the pagans in your area. I’ve written about this issue before and cited Bible verses in older posts to back this view up, so go look over my blog for those posts. I am in no mood to cite verses here.
As to the Christians who complain about Christians who want to use a church as a place to meet a Christian mate. As I’ve asked before, where else do you, Mr. or Ms. Christian, realistically expect a Christian single to find a Christian partner, at a bar?
Would you really prefer a Christian single go to a night club? Because those are their only options, and dating sites don’t work for everyone, or singles can’t afford the dating site fees.
Some singles do not have an extensive social network and cannot rely on Christian friends to set them up with Christian singles.
I understand not wanting to turn church singles groups into “meat markets.” I’ve been hit on before by sleazy males in secular venues. It’s not pleasant.
I’ve been relentlessly flirted with (read: harassed, more like it) by men who don’t take “No” for an answer, which is creepy and rude of them. I am not advocating that churches put up with skeezy males who hit on women in a sleazy manner.
BUT in light of the fact that the church exists for many reasons (not just Bible reading or The Great Commission), and the Bible does not condemn singles using church as a way to meet other Christian singles, I don’t see a problem with singles looking for a marriage partner at a church.
I am so sick and tired of these pious little singles who say in comments under articles for singles, “Church is not for meeting a mate, it’s for worship only! I only care about Jesus and not meeting Mr./Ms. right at church and that’s the way it should be.” ~ Well, says you. Don’t make your personal preference for church culture into a “Thus Saith the Lord” command for all other singles.
III. Christian Singles Who Are So Heavenly Minded They Are No Earthly Good (aka, “You should be content in Jesus alone, earthly happiness does not matter,” or “I’ve accepted that I’m never going to marry so you should just suck it up too, sister”)
There are some Christians over the age of 35 or 40 who have resigned themselves to being single forever, which I guess is fine for them, if that is their decision. But these types of guys and gals will lecture other singles that it’s worldly or selfish to look for a spouse at all, or to still desire one.
These sorts think you should think only about spiritual issues.
This category, like those under section II., sound remarkably like married Christians who don’t get or understand or don’t even try to empathize with singleness and all its complications and problems.
It’s bad enough to get stereotyped or browbeat and insulted by married Christians, which Christian singles often are, but to have members of your “own camp” (other singles in your age range) turn on you too, is maybe a bit more offensive and hard to swallow.
I’ve actually seen older Christian singles write in books for other singles that it’s wrong or selfish for us to look for a spouse, and that wanting earthly happiness is wrong. We’re only supposed to think and care about eternity.
If that’s your philosophy for life, okay then, but don’t try to make it a rule for all other Christians.
These kinds of Christians are rather sad. It’s like they’ve given up or thrown in the dish towel on ever getting married, so they try to convince themselves or others that they have truly, totally accepted the idea of being single for the rest of their lives. Then they try to sugar coat it further by saying they’re totally living for Jesus now, and only eternity matters.
This also touches upon one of my pet peeves about some Christians, both single and married:
The ones who say God doesn’t want you to be happy; or He’s not interested in you being happy; or God cares more about making you holy than making you happy. I’ve posted about this topic before, so I’ll not opine too much about it here, just to say I see no biblical support for this position and find it presumptuous and annoying.
There may be some Christians who wanted to get married who have truly accepted they may never marry, and have decided to make the most of their lives single. I don’t have a problem with them.
I’m talking about a sub-set of Christians within that group who aren’t just living their lives, but who write blog posts or books who “tut-tut” singles over 35 who still desire marriage, who guilt them into thinking they’re being selfish, or not doing enough for Jesus, if they still want marriage or are using dating sites, etc. Those are the particular ones I take issue with.
While I advocate for singles and blog about how American Christianity treats Christian singles like lepers and treats them unfairly, I do on occasion find specific types of Christian singles themselves equally annoying, or harmful to Christian singles who still want to be married.
The following is from the Christianity Today article “The Fitness-Driven Church” by Leslie Leyland Fields and also touches on some of these subjects:
…. All this [advocating for Christians to diet and exercise] may hardly sound revolutionary, but outside the church, it challenges the prevailing notion that our bodies belong to us alone—either as machines to be hacked and fueled, or as “plastic” to be reshaped, starved, pierced, and used for pleasure or vanity. And inside the church, it challenges the dualistic worldview that God cares only about “spiritual” matters. It was that dualism that led Gary Thomas to leave his bestselling Sacred series to pen Every Body Matters.
Historically speaking, the church has not overlooked the body entirely, of course. It’s just tended to care more for the bodies of others than for our own. Jesus provided the model for his followers to care for the physical needs of others. Throughout the centuries the church has founded hospitals, cared for plague victims, and attended the dying. We understand all this as our spiritual service to God, the enacting of “loving our neighbor as ourselves.”
But we’ve not recognized, until recently, that we ourselves are sick. Pastors also consistently choose the welfare of their flock over their own wellness. Gwen Wagstrom Halaas, a family physician and wife of a Lutheran minister, wrote The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy in part to sound the alarm on clergy health. “They think that taking care of themselves is selfish, and that serving God means never saying no,” says Halaas. It’s not easy to change this mindset. One pastor told me that if his parishioners see him playing tennis, they ask him, “Why aren’t you out visiting and sharing the gospel?”
At the heart of these beliefs and practices—stewarding our God-made bodies and glorifying him in everything—is a growing understanding of the unity and integrity of the human self. It’s an essential stake in the wellness revival tent: that body, mind, and spirit are inextricable, and that true health and true spirituality will address all three. These efforts may help lead the church toward re-membering a dis-membered faith that separates our beliefs from what we do with our bodies.
IV. Wrapping Up
Speaking of which. While it is fine to want marriage, marriage is not a “mandate.” Christians are not commanded to get married or else God considers them to be in sin. There are Christian jerks out there who say in their books and blogs that if you are not married, and/or have not married by a certain age, you are in sin. They are full of crap, too.
Being single doesn’t make you less acceptable to God, it’s not sinful, and churches should not ignore you, or treat you like a second class citizen or a weirdo freak while you remain single.
Many churches and conservative Christian coalitions have made marriage and having children into an idol, which is very wrong and has resulted in singles being wounded and disenfranchised, but a single desiring to get married (or have kids) IS NOT AN IDOL.
There are many Christian blogs, Christian relationship advice books, lay persons, and preachers out there who will tell Christian singles who say they want to get married eventually that such singles have made marriage into an idol, with the indirect idea being the single should not pursue marriage (they should be totally fine and hunky dory with being single and do nothing to change their single status) – and those ideas are incorrect and unbiblical.
The Bible actually warns about coming false teachers or religious belief systems that discourage or forbid marriage (i.e., ‘in the last days, some will forbid believers to marry,’ or ‘will forbid marriage,’ I forget the precise wording.)
Most churches, preachers, Christian think tanks, and advocacy groups (e.g., “Focus on the Family,” “the Moral Majority”) have made marriage and parenting into an idol, but you personally wanting to get married is not an idol.
Don’t feel ashamed or bad about wanting to get married, if you want to be.
On the other hand, again, if you can’t get married, you are not in in sin for it. Being single is not sinful, wrong, or shameful, so Debbie Maken and Al Mohler and those of their ilk, who push the “marriage mandate” view point can go take a long walk off a short pier.