Flying Solo in a Family-Centered Church by Joy Beth Smith and Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): Flying Solo in a Family-Centered Church by Joy Beth Smith and Gina Dalfonzo
Gina Dalfonzo shares an insider’s perspective on the frustrations of long-term singleness
This was never the life I imagined. My friends and I often sit around wondering how we got here. What boys did we pass up? What mistakes did we make?
What routines did we neglect, leaving us sleeping alone while the ticking of our biological clocks lulls us into fitful dreams? I don’t feel equipped for singleness.
All the youth group dating advice was predicated on the idea that marriage was in my future, that if I made all the right choices, kept myself pure, and sought after God, he would reward me with a husband. I’ve only recently gotten to a place where I can ask myself, But what if he doesn’t?
Somehow, despite many friends getting married, the single among us are still here, clinging to a community that seems to view us as more of a nuisance than a necessity. And we long for a place in the church—besides standing up at the altar while other people’s vows are being exchanged.
…Gina Dalfonzo has lived this storyline as well, but a bit longer and with more grace than I have. As a lifelong single, she’s endured passive-aggressive advice, negligent married friends, hurtful generalizations, and the inevitable shaming that comes with prolonged singleness.
…Her book, One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church, is the result of extensive interviews, hours of research, and years of living the harsh realities the book describes.
Dalfonzo highlights the experiences of others as she discusses the state of singleness, touching on everything from the stereotypes and stigmas of the unmarried to the hope we have for a unified church that seeks to celebrate every phase of life.
The Family Centered Church
….But for Dalfonzo’s book to make a mark, we have to first acknowledge a foundational truth: Many churches are proudly family-centered, and while this purpose aligns well with the American dream, it does little to welcome those of us who don’t fit the same mold.
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