Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single
Joy Beth Smith wrote a book about Christian adult singleness called “Party For One” and was interviewed about it on the Christian program “700 Club.”
(Link): The Subtle Art of Singleness
Joy Beth was raised by her mom and grew up in the Baptist church.
She participated in the True Love Waits movement where young girls betrothed themselves to Jesus and wore promise rings while saving themselves for their future husbands.
When Joy Beth was in 7th grade, she started writing love letters to this future husband and continued this practice for 10 years. “I wrote letters all the way through college,” says Joy Beth.
She spent hours recording details of her life but one day at age 22, Joy Beth realized that she couldn’t imagine any man enjoying the experience of reading hundreds of repetitive letters.
So she burned them. “I took my lavender-scented candle and lit the edge of one envelope on fire,” she says. “I realized that day how much time I spent pining for more than what I had –for what I liked to think was the inevitable but in reality, is not.”
What she learned over the years is this: marriage and motherhood are not inevitable.
In reality, Joy Beth says God promised her joy, intimacy, comfort, the presence of the Holy Spirit and eternal life. “As much as I longed for this thing…I am not entitled to it,” she says. “God never promises me a God-fearing husband.”
She says she believed many misconceptions taught to her in church. “There are so many lies about singleness that are ingrained in our religious culture,” she says. “We need to dig deep into Scripture and find the truth, distinguishing what is biblical and what is cultural.”
The first lie is the way we assume marriage is coming for us. “Marriage is a gift that God has the right to withhold, should He so desire,” says Joy Beth. “Some women will spend their lives desperately wanting a husband only to never receive one.”
Though she is no longer writing letters to a faceless figment of her imagination, Joy Beth says she often daydreams about a husband.
She reminds us of the verse in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9,
To the unmarried and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry.
Joy Beth, 29, believes that singleness is not a season. “This stage of your life, even if it lasts for your entire life, is something so much greater than a funnel to marriage.”
She reminds us that singleness is not a season guaranteed to end in this life. “We can’t spend our days trying to wait it out, constantly looking for what we hope is coming next.”
Joy Beth believes leaders in singles ministries don’t always get it either. “It ends up feeling less like an opportunity for growth and discipleship and more like an elaborate dating game!” she says.
… One of the common sentiments about being single across the country [she found when she talked about singleness with singles]: lots of people hate dating and find the process miserable and hard.
… Many of the women she spoke to feel marginalized by the church’s push for marriage. Despite that, Joy Beth encourages singles to lean into their churches. “Find community there, even when it requires much of you,” she says.
… Fear also plays a role in making singleness difficult. “Women are fearful they will die alone and because of that fear, people get married – maybe to the wrong people – and they realize they’re not a strong match, but they feel it’s better than being alone,” she says.
You can click here to read the rest of the article.
By the way, if you ditch the Christian “equally yoked” rule, if you stop insisting on getting a Christian for a husband, if you’d open yourself up to marrying a Non-Christian man, it seems to me it would increase your chances of obtaining marriage.
The author is only 29 years old now.
She seemed like a lovely person when I caught her on TV, but let’s see how she feels about sticking to “must be a Christian” in her lists “non-negotiables” on a mate hunting list, if she’s still single past 45 years of age (it will fly out the window).
I already dumped that one requirement a few years ago (but I’ve not been dating because I have thus far chosen not to date).
She’s suggesting that singles, who are marginalized by churches, keep on going to church? – I don’t think so. I must disagree with that bit of advice.
I don’t bother with churches any more.
Most people at churches are married adults, and they don’t want to be-friend single women, in part because of the horrid “Billy Graham Rule” which casts all single women as harlots.
Many Christian married women treat single women like potential threats and man-stealers.
I also find, the more I leave the Christian bubble, that I find it painful to be around Christian women who still reside there in that bubble.
Hearing Christian lingo makes me want to vomit. The G-rated, overly sweet, naive way of looking at life that evangelicals are into, is just so unrealistic.
One older Christian woman (who is married) I tried talking to on and off this year kept trying to “sell me” on Jesus, even though I told her, even though I reminded her, I accepted Jesus as Savior when I was a kid.
I just needed a sympathetic ear to listen to me (which is why I approached her), I did not want or need this Christian woman “selling” me on the Gospel.
I was also insulted and hurt that she was acting as though I was not already saved.
This Christian woman I went to because I was in need of a friend and emotional support (which I explained to her prior to meeting her) was of the view that if a person has pain and struggle in life, as I do, that I must not be “really” saved.
She thinks if you really, really know Jesus, you will not have pain or problems in life.
I finally got to the point I stopped visiting with this lady because her attitude and continued insistence on returning about every conversation back to JESUS made me feel ill at ease.
So, no, if you are a single Christian in need of companionship or a shoulder to cry on, think again if you think you’re going to be taken care of by Christians or by a church (and churches are fixated on marriage and married couples), or receive non-judgmental support. You likely won’t receive the care, encouragement, or empathy you are looking for.
There were some true points in Smith’s interview, and, she seems like a lovely person, but I cannot fully agree with everything she’s advocating. I do appreciate that she’s bringing attention to adult singles in the Christian culture.
On You Tube:
(Link): The Subtle Art of Singleness July 20 2018
(Link): Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin
(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): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One
(Link):The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’
(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault by C. Courtney
(Link): The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan
(Link): True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church?by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.
(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents
(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?
(Link): Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine
(Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)
(Link): Sex Regarded as Passage Into Adulthood
(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)
(Link): Singles Discrimination, Complementarianism, Equally Yoked Teaching, and Spotting Predators in Church Video