The “Problem” with Being Single (also discusses celibacy) by Heather Pillette

The “Problem” with Being Single (also discusses celibacy) by Heather Pillette

(Link): The “Problem” with Being Single by by Heather Pillette

This is a pretty good article (there are excerpts below), but I am not opposed per se to adult singles ministries as the article author, Pillette, seems to be.

I do feel churches should do more to integrate adult singles into the church body. Pillette is correct about that.

I think singles ministry can be a good place for a single woman to meet a single man for the purpose of dating and marriage, so I cringe every time a writer chides churches for having a singles ministry that reflects that purpose.

I was a Christian single women for many years, and my only alternative to snagging a husband in a singles class was trying dating sites, and dating sites do not always work. In my view, absolutely one purpose of a singles ministry is to help marriage minded singles get married!

It’s either meet a mate at church or try a dating site or a bar. If you are a Christian, where do you prefer a Christian single to meet a mate, at church or a bar?

There are many, many adult singles in America today. Roughly 44% of adults in the USA are single, and among these are Christians. One reason a lot of us adult singles leave churches is that they treat single adults as though they are defective.

Pastors gripe and complain about dwindling attendance numbers, but then do nothing to retain adult, celibate singles. They actually tend to insult adult singles whenever they topic of adult singleness is brought up by them.

Don’t sit there and complain about your dwindling church numbers when you continue to exclude or insult some of those very members, and at that, on the basis of their single status, or whatever else.

You are treating people like crap, which drives them away, but then have the nerve to complain that people aren’t coming to your church anymore, so you write these blog posts shaming people for not attending church anymore (see this link). Give me a break, you oblivious hypocrites.

(Link): The “Problem” with Being Single by by Heather Pillette

    Every church has at least one. You know—the sweet and well-intentioned elderly lady who is always telling you about her grandson or neighbor’s daughter.

    She genuinely wants to see you settled down with a “sweet girl” or “good ol’ boy” and to watch you experience the joys and blessings of marriage and family life.

    The truth is, you may want that experience too, but you are just not there yet.

    This dear woman represents an unspoken attitude of the larger church: there is a problem with being single.

    From Disney to youth group messages, we have heard the “someday my prince will come” line. We have been taught to seek God’s face and pursue our passions until that time. We are taught by pastors and parents to wait for that one “right” person.

    The only trouble these days is the expectation that we will find him/her by the time we are 22.

    So what happens for those of us who don’t?

    What does the Church, culture, and Scripture have to say about our love lives and relationship statuses?

    Plenty. Let’s take a look.

    Churches are operating under a fix-it model; floundering to create and keep up a ministry for the twenty-thirty something singles.

    Too often these groups get lost in well-intentioned programming that isolates them from the larger body and misses the bigger issues.

    The usual result is a crashing cyclical ministry: start, failure, and restart.

    Let’s start by examining the Church’s view on singles. If you look back to the 1970s-80s, you will find singles ministries were common, almost a staple at many churches.

    Today, we are living in a post-singles ministry era and the attitude of the church has shifted to viewing singles ministries as a burden and a problem.

    On multiple occasions pastors and other leaders have expressed sentiments of marriage as a necessary “prerequisite” for ministry and a “full” life.

    The irony of this message is they do not realize what they are communicating with their statements.

    The discouraging truth is the discord between the messages the church teaches adolescents and the messages communicated when those adolescents “graduate” the youth programs and enter into the “adult” ones.

    On one hand, we endeavor to teach our teens and children how their lives are full and complete in Christ; then we undermine this very valuable message as soon as they are at an age where they are discovering their individuality and selves the most.

    A secondary contributor to this “problem” is that we have seen a major shift in society and culture. For one, the stages of adolescence have been prolonged into the late twenties, and a part of this is evidenced by the fact that many are now waiting until their late twenties and thirties to marry and start a family.

    This trend has allowed for some beautiful things: space to pursue dreams and goals and time to decide what one really wants in life. The church however, has not experienced this shift in the same way.

    The church often treats singles in this age group as if there is something innately wrong with them, and seems quote unprepared for those who have committed to celibacy and singlehood for life.

    Therefore, the church’s reaction has been to create a singles ministry: with the dual purpose of creating a space for this group and also a place for them to “meet and marry.”

    This brings me to the third point: singles ministries are failing because of their structure. Anytime you take a group and isolate them from the rest of the body of Christ you can expect to encounter some pretty big issues.

((click here to read the rest))
Related posts:

You do not have to marry or have sex to be a mature adult, which is what Christians teach, and that is one point this article makes:
(Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

(Link): Singles and Singlehood Represent God’s Marriage To The Church Not Just Married People / Myths About the Unmarried / Singles and Singles Ministries / False Assumptions Preachers Make About Singles (article)

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(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): Why Churches Don’t Have Singles Ministries (article)

Included on this page: Christian singles who say Christian singles who should not view church as a place to meet a mate:
(Link): The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles? by S. Hamaker

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): 2013 Study: People today living alone more than ever before

(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): Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”

(Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming

(Link): Preachers and Christian Media Personalities: Re: Marriage – You’re missing the point stop trying to argue or shame singles into getting married

(Link): The Changing American Family (article)

(Link): Unmarried America: How Single Adults Are Changing the Face of the U.S. and What It Means for the Church by R. Hurst

(Link): Focusing on the Family Causes Church Decline

(Link): The Way We Never Were (book – Family Idol)

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