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.
Edit. In this post, I mention another type of single adult who annoys me:
(Link): Never Married Person Ticked Off Because Churches Don’t Support Never Marrieds Who Do Not Want To Be Married – that person sort of criticized me
(Link): The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles
(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs
5 thoughts on “The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me”
Thank you for your understanding–and I am glad that you are in the recovery stages of healing. I believe restoration is always available for the time that has been lost by grief. May God continue to bless you in that. Also, kudos to you for breaking off an engagement you didn’t feel was going to be healthy for you to continue. It takes an unusual strength these days to break off a relationship as far as you had made it. There are so many desperate women/men who feel as though if they do not continue on, or marry the first person available, then they won’t receive anyone else. That’s very sad, and I pray for them. You sound a lot stronger than what you think you are:) Once again, what a well written transparent reply….
When I say that two are better than one, I believe because humans were built for companionship and intimacy on all levels, and one cannot truly fulfill that with “a little bit of hanging out and time with friends”, or by themselves; I believe that two incomes can be better off than one, if a single person is struggling. I believe two are better than one to reach a common goal that would take two to attain. I believe two are better than one where physical intimacy issues need to be met (yet, these are NEVER good reasons to get married as many people use these reasons to do so). HOWEVER, on the other hand…there are many well to do successful single christian men and women who do just fine with their one income, purchase a home, and absolutely do NOT need a spouse for that. Then there are single people who have a million and one friends, and those who have a small circle of close friends, where they are happy for the quality time they are able to fill with these individuals, but at the end of the day, they are not sleeping next to you like a mate…someone you can talk to and embrace when you get home (Unless you have a really sweet dog-lol-and even they can’t take the place of the human level of intimacy that we need, and not just sex)….
For those Christians, preachers, and other individuals who throw guilt upon us for desiring marriage or seeking one within the church, they are being judgmental; and I do feel as if SOME of them are putting on a mask trying to appear strong, when in fact, they are probably feeling as strong as the person they are throwing guilt upon! Like how dare them. Everyone is built different emotionally and do not process things the same way, so at times, some people need to keep their passionate opinions to themselves. There is a bleeding wound that people do not seem to see; they just keep on kicking it and making it worse. That also infuriates me, so I totally feel that from your side.
I do believe church is for pure worship, fellowship, serving, and all the Godly things we are intended to do in and OUT side of the church, HOWEVER, I get told right much that I should be finding my future husband in church! Not to go with the intention JUST to meet a man, but, that’s where I should be meeting one. I do believe as you have said, there are multiple ways to receive what we are desiring, and what’s wrong with starting with church? As you said, I wouldn’t want to go to a sleazy club or bar where I may come out with something less than what I know I should have.
And another thing you hit on real well…churches are VERY family oriented with all its marriage seminars and workshops, kids, kids, and MORE kids (okay that’s all great, but the over emphasis on it has to go. It needs to be balanced out by talking about us singles too). Unfortunately, one of the reasons why I left the last church I was visiting was because I could not take the pain of feeling like I didn’t fit in with the people there. 90% of the people were married, the place was small, and it was just not a good fit for me (although it was not a terribly bad place). The larger churches seem to focus more on singles, (still married people), and there is more opportunity to network with other singles. However, the sting is still felt seeing the couple huddled up, especially the ones that just had babies…I can write a novel of how I feel about this. Married people are great, but quite honestly, and I hate to say it…I am starting to loathe seeing married people because it’s a constant reminder of me being single whether I’m going to be married sooner or later, it still hurts. Please continue to share these posts. Your blog is the most transparent and raw written blog that I have read, and I certainly appreciate it. There will never be any easy answers for us because people are not us to know what we feel despite what people say when they say, “I understand”….
Thanks again for the comment. I may leave you a longer comment later, tomorrow or later this week. I’ve had a rotten headache the past few hours today, so I’m not up much to corresponding at the moment.
I’m surprised my blog is not more a turn off for Christians. I started cussing on it more the last couple of weeks (but I warned people first in a post about it). As I explain on the “About” page of the blog, I have been questioning the Christian faith the last couple of years. Someone very close to me died a few years ago, and that, as well as how other Christians treated me after that person died, has also contributed to me questioning the faith.
You said, “Your blog is the most transparent and raw written blog that I have read, and I certainly appreciate it.”
One thing I find annoying about professional Christian blogs (and even a lot of personal ones, like mine) is that so many Christians come across so “Disney.” They sugar coat everything. They put a happy face on everything, and I cannot always relate, or they come across rather fake. Especially if it’s about topics like the ones I write about here (being single when you want to be married).
The professional Christian blogs (such as “Christianity Today”) are interesting to read, but any time they post pages about singleness, infertility, or whatever topic people struggle with, they try so hard to be G-rated, totally non-offensive.
I found that same thing in forums for Christians, even ones containing forums for singles… everyone tries so darn hard to be syrupy sweet, G-rate, squeaky clean.
I sometimes feel, or can be, snarky or sarcastic or downright bitchy (even when I was a totally devout Christian), but those sorts of traits are frowned upon on most Christian blogs/ sites. I feel as though I have to hide a part of my persona when I am on other Christian sites or blogs, or tone down who I am.
As this blog evolved from being one of encouragment for singles to one where I began noticing problems of how the church treats singles, I began writing for myself. I didn’t really expect to get many (or any) readers.
I apologize to any regular readers of this blog, because I can imagine I sound very repetitive (and very ranty), but if I didn’t vent about some of these topics, I’d probably go crazy.
Anyway, I will probably respond to the other points of your post later. I took some ibuprofen for my headache a while ago, but it’s still hurting.
Sorry dear for your headache. Identify what you were thinking about before it happened, breath, and know that you are going to be okay:) I get them in my forehead if I think too much, and boy can I not stand those tension headaches….
I had a rather long reply, so you are fine in not wanting to reply right now. But anyhow, God know that we are not perfect, so there is no use in us trying to be. We need to be more candid with one another, so we can all heal. Hoping you will have you a good nite’s rest:)
I TOTALLY appreciate this post, thank you so much for your transparency. Being singles, especially at my age of 30 is more painful than what it has ever been. I feel like married people forget what it was like when they were single; and now because they are married, it’s all good and they glad they “aren’t us.” I agree with all of your categories of people’s views. God DOES want us happy, and I believe TWO are better than ONE. God gave Adam a spouse and so many other people. I do not believe it is meant for an individual to be alone with the way that God has built us.
Again, like you said, if some people feel like they don’t want to get married, then that’s great. But I do not agree that I will totally be happy in this life if I don’t get married, and I am not going to accept people saying as though I should. May God and the people reading this post desiring a spouse be blessed with one, AMEN.
Kay, thank you for leaving a comment. I’m sorry you’re feeling down about being single. I have been there before.
I always thought I’d be married by my early 30 or mid 30s at the latest, but I’m in my early 40s now and still not married (I was engaged once about ten years ago but broke it off).
Maybe your experience will be different than mine, but the hardest time for me to be single was when I got around age 35/36 to around 38 or so. During that time, I went through a grieving process about the possibility I may never marry.
After that time of mourning, I slowly began to recover. Yes, I still have times when I feel sad or bad about not being married, but I cope with it much better now than I did in my mid or late 30s.
So, just some forewarning there for you, if you still find yourself single at age 34 – 35, not being married may start to hit you ten times harder than it does when you are age 30.
You said, and I believe TWO are better than ONE
Obviously, it’s okay for a person to want to get married – so many Christians today will guilt trip or shame a single adult who confesses to wanting marriage, and I think that’s what you were getting at with your comment, but I have to confess depending on how that phrase from the Bible is used (about two being better than one) can really bother me.
I wrote a post that indirectly touches on that subject here:
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
On the one hand, I would still like to get married, but while I remain single, I do not appreciate churches or conservative Christian evangelical culture either ignoring me (which is their typical position, ignore adult singles) or to make me feel inferior or like a loser for still being single.
Sometimes, evangelical or Baptist preachers will repeat the phrase “two is better than one” as a shaming ploy to shame singles into getting married (they wrongly assume all of us adult singles are deliberately choosing to stay single, when in fact, we pine for marriage but cannot meet Mr Right) and/or to imply there is something wrong with you if you are married.
My position is: do not shame me for wanting to get married and tell me I should “be content where I am,” but then turn around and treat me like a loser freak (or totally ignore me) while I remain single. I want both positions respected: respect my single state, but also respect my desire for marriage (do NOT tell me wanting marriage is selfish or is idolatry).
I do respect the Christian singles who are completely happy with being single. Where I take issue with them, though, is when they turn around on blogs about Christian singles and shame the rest of the singles about still desiring marriage.
They tend to leave their obnoxiously condescending, pious little comments about how church should be about Jesus and the Bible only, that singles classes should not be “meat markets” but for praise only, etc. These type of single Christians make me so angry I could spit. They’re almost as bad as the married Christian couples who act like single adults are losers or lepers.
I think those types of singles need to be a lot more sensitive to those who have not yet arrived at a 100% “I’m okay with possibly being single til the day I die,” or who may never arrive at, that position.
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