What Churches Should Do for Singles
- Churches should make deliberate efforts to ensure that single Christians feel loved–and not alone.
BY: Tony Campolo
… But what about the host of Christians who want to be married, and are single by no choice of their own? Almost every church has members like this. What do we have to say to them? All too often their churches are so structured to serve the needs of couples and families that they have a sense of being left out.
The Bible refers to some who have been given the gift of celibacy (1 Cor. 7:7) and have no problem missing out on sexual gratification.
But what of those who do not have this gift and constantly long for erotic fulfillment? I wish I could say I have a ready answer for them, but I don’t.
Given that Christianity has rightly confined erotic sexuality to marriage, these good people are left with intense frustrations.
The church can do several things to alleviate some of this frustration, but it cannot ultimately resolve the problem.
First, we can make deliberate efforts to ensure that these single Christians feel special and are guaranteed inclusion in the activities of the congregation.
The church must diligently give assurance to these good folks that they are part of a church family that they can always count on to treat them as such.
Secondly, we should preach a Christianity that lessens American hyper-individualism. We should encourage singles to establish a sense of community (the Greek koinonia) with other same-gender singles and consider sharing a home to combat loneliness, which is one of the most painful consequences of singlehood.
Thirdly, the church should do some matchmaking whenever possible. Using eharmony.com or another online dating service has worked well for many single Christians who were hoping to find partners with similar convictions. Singles should be encouraged to use this type of service.
Finally, we should let it be known that it’s better to be single and wish that you were married than to be married and wish that you were single. The Bible warns us about being unequally “yoked” with those who do not share our faith.
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