Paul, Singleness, And Mutuality: Three Proposals for The Church (from Junia Project)
This argues several points I’ve made on this blog over the years.
Unmarried women are on the lowest rung in churches – unmarried MEN are a step above unmarried women.
Not only is there a bias against adult singles by Christians, but there is a lot of sexism, hence, being a single woman is a double whammy. Single men only have to put up with the anti-singles nonsense; not anything that is “anti man” because most churches clearly favor men over women.
JULY 10, 2015 BY
Something I’ve come to understand is that singleness is a high price to ask of people.
I was single for a long time before my girlfriend said yes to my awkward proposal (thankfully), and so I have some realization of what it means to be single in a sub-culture within a larger and highly sexualized American culture. To constantly be fed a steady stream of images and products designed to inflame and provoke and yet maintain sexual celibacy is not easy.
When Christian culture prioritizes marriage over singleness, we make things even more difficult by unwittingly illustrating that our single brothers and sisters are unwanted, or worse, unneeded.
So how can the church integrate and empower our single brothers and sisters? I offer three suggestions, though many more could and probably should be added.
1. Recognize the implied status of married men in the church
My wife tell me that on her seminary campus she often sees masculine language on ads for pastors and other church jobs. Almost exclusively, these churches wanted married men—not single. I will be seeking ordination upon graduation (probably alongside my wife, and I know that I am much more likely to be hired if I am married.
Being a married man in evangelicalism is like having special access to all the perks our subculture has to offer.
For example, it includes an implied status that exudes responsibility and maturity. I know several men who have gotten married specifically to increase their chances of being ordained by a particular denomination known for wanting stability in candidates. What better way to illustrate this than by showing you are married?
I’ve heard male friends say that being married automatically makes you more mature, with one even intimating that unmarried men were lazy.
Having known many married men, I can tell you that immaturity is not imputed on you when you “put a ring on it”. Plus, if I am allowed a moment of cynicism, hiring a married dude often means that a church gets an additional (unpaid?) worker in the wife.
We need to recognize the privileged status we confer upon married men, especially in our churches.
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both