Don’t Settle for Crumbs: Hope for Christian Singles
What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway
The following article (book review) from Christianity Today covers several topics about singleness and the church I’ve been pointing out on this blog for literally years now.
One big point it brings up that I have: there are more single Christian women in the church than there are single Christian men. This means if a Christian single female insists upon following the “equally yoked” rule (that states a Christian may only marry another Christian), she will remain single.
If you are a single Christian woman who desires marriage, it is imperative you ditch the ‘equally yoked’ rule. You must learn to judge men based on their character, not what their stated religious beliefs are.
New survey research sheds light on how believers navigate the stickier matters of dating and marriage.
July 10, 2019
Over the years, Christians have produced and read far more books on how relationships and singleness should work than on how these things actuallydo pan out. Vicky Walker’s new book Relatable: Exploring God, Love, & Connection in the Age of Choice, based on a survey of more than 1,400 people, aims to change that.
Walker writes from a more-or-less Protestant British perspective, but American Christians will find much they recognize.
Over the course of 12 chapters and several appendices, Relatable covers everything from the history of marriage to typical teachings on gender roles to, of course, sex. But she also gets into stickier matters like the role of technology and the church’s significant sex-ratio gap—the latter a topic that raises questions of dating outside the faith.
Church Is a Family, Not an Event by K. Kandiah
This editorial by Kandiah makes many of the same points I have been making on this blog the last several years.
Church is not just about spreading the Gospel (as so many Christians incorrectly assume), but God designed the church to also serve as a community, another family, where widowed, single, and divorced adults could get their needs for companionship met.
But most churches today do not want to engage in that role; all the church-goers want to go home to their homes in the suburbs with their biological families and just hang out with their families.
Many church-going Christians don’t care to invite over the divorcee’ or the widower or the never married woman and include any of those people in their lives.
The Bible refers to fellow Christians as “brothers and sisters,” but how often do we treat them as family?
…More Than an Event
I have met many pastors and church members who can tell similar stories. As I visit many churches that are embracing people in desperate need of family, my eyes are continually being opened not only to what family truly can be but to what church as family truly can be.
This shift in perception of what church is, and what church is for, has huge implications, not just for our own personal spiritual development but for our understanding of mission, evangelism, worship, justice, hospitality, and discipleship.
James the Single 40-Something Guy Asks 700 Club’s Pat Robertson Why Churches Don’t Help Singles
On an October 31, 2018 airing of television program “700 Club,” host Pat Robertson responded to a question from a 48 year old guy named James who says he is single and wants to know why churches don’t do anything to help single adults get married, because (he seemed to imply), they sure as heck are not helping him.
As of today, I do not see the October 31, 2018 “Questions” section of the show on 700 Club’s You Tube channel.
As of this writing, though, you can view the “Questions” portion (which comes during the last ten minutes of the show) on the full episode (Link): here on You Tube.
You might also be able to view the Questions segment (in the full length show) on the (Link): 700 Club site here.
The gist of James’ letter was – he says he’s 48 years old, single (he did not specify if he is divorced, widowed, or never-married), the Bible says it’s better to marry than burn in lust, but what if there are no options (like in his case – I think he meant there are no single women in his life or church), and the church isn’t doing anything to help a Christian single get married?
Welcoming Singles Into Your Church by E. Metaxas via Gina Dalfonzo
… Many churches today “don’t know what to do with the single and childless,” Gina notes. “While churches offer couples’ weekends to strengthen marriages, and Ultimate Frisbee games for families, many are not able to offer much help, or opportunities for service for the singles in their congregation.”
And sadly, fellow Christians, sometimes unknowingly, make singles feel as if they themselves are to blame for their unmarried state. That somehow if they haven’t tied the knot yet, they must be too self-centered, or too picky, or too focused on their career.
The truth is many singles deeply desire and pray for marriage.
Only Couples Allowed? The Need to Celebrate Singleness in the Church by P. Greer
A guy I follow on Twitter, and who follows me, named Andrew W. shared this link on his Twitter profile. I see in the comment box that my one-time stalker left a comment on that page.
Excerpts (to see the full list, please click link above to visit the page):
…But I see a different story in Scripture. Jesus chose to remain single. Another bachelor, the apostle Paul said, “I wish that all of you were [single] as I am” (1 Corinthians 7:7).
Paul celebrated singleness and referred to it as a gift. At the very least, in today’s world, let’s not put so much pressure on singles or only view the world through the “you-have-to-be-married” lens.
To my married friends, here are several dos and don’ts on how to celebrate singleness:
What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You by G. Dalfonzo
Good on her for writing this, but I can tell you that 99.9% of American churches will ignore this advice because they don’t care about singles: they prefer to worship The Nuclear Families.
Singles are on the rise. Here’s what forward-looking churches need to know.
According to recent Pew data, the (Link): number of married Americans is at its lowest point since at least 1920. In 2015, only half of Americans ages 18 and over were married, (Link): compared with 72 percent in 1960.
Put another way: Singles are on the rise and beginning to outnumber marrieds. The church, however, doesn’t reflect those numbers.
According to a (Link): recent Barna study, while more than half of Americans (54%) between the ages of 18 and 49 are single, only 23 percent of active churchgoers are single. “Your church should be filling up at least half of your pews with single people,” (Link): writes Joyce Chiu for Barna Trends. “So what will get them there?”
…..So how can your local church create a welcoming space for singles?
Recognize that single people’s needs may look different from yours.
When a single person talks about feeling lonely, it’s common for a married person to counter that he or she often feels lonely, too. That’s not surprising. Studies show that up to half of us experience loneliness “at least some of the time.”
Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy
Before I present you with the links to the news reports about this story (which are much farther down the page), I wanted to make some introductory comments in general, and a few specific comments refuting a few points from a pro-Quivering page about celibacy.
In regards to the specific news story I am blogging about today, this Quivering group is completely overlooking Apostle Paul’s comments in (Link): 1 Corinthians 7 that it is better for people to remain single than it is to marry – and Paul does not say that this teaching is in regards only to “a few,” or only a “minority” of people.
The Bible nowhere states that marriage is “a norm,” or that God expects or wants all, or most, people to marry.
It just so happens that in other cultures thousands of years ago, most people did happen to marry – one should not deduce from this cultural situation that God supported it or wanted it to be so. It just was what it was.
If the Bible said that all or most ancient Jews painted their bodies green once a year and balanced weasels on their heads while jumping up and down on a watermelon one week out of a year, one should not assume from this that
- 1. God created that cultural practice and/or that
- 2. God wanted Americans in the year 2016 to practice these things as well.
The Quivering group’s position on marriage, celibacy, and singleness is unbiblical, not to mention disturbing.
According to this article (linked to much farther below), the Quivering group was going to call this event, (where they set up marriages for little girls to marry), “Get Them Married.”
Why not have an event called, per 1 Corinthians 7, “It Is Better To Stay Unmarried”?
Am I opposed to marriage? No.
Is the God of the Bible against marriage? No.
But the Bible does not say that being married is better or more holy for girls, women, or culture, than being single, but a lot of Christian groups, and these wacky Christian cults, insist otherwise.
Christians need to do a better job of recognizing adult singleness and celibacy as legitimate, godly, biblical lifestyles and choices for all persons (and not only meant for a small minority of people who were supposedly “gifted” with it), instead of promoting marriage and natalism as the only legitimate avenues or as ways of fixing culture, the nation, or as pleasing God.
Continue reading “Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy”
Pedophiles Seeking Christian Wives in Churches – Another Reason to be Leery of the “Equally Yoked” Idea and Reconsider Church as a Place to Meet Singles
I skimmed over this really long blog post, on Brent Detwiler’s site (link much farther below), about a guy, Caffery, who was jailed for pedophilia. Caffery has more than one victim, if I remember right.
Caffery wrote a book at one point claiming that belief in Christ changed his life for the better, and so on and so forth (amazingly, he was molesting kids while writing this book – during the same time frame).
Caffery also wrote (in a book or a letter to his church elders, I forget which) that he was afraid if his wife gave birth to a daughter, he would molest his own daughter, so he prayed and asked God for sons. His wife went on to give birth to all sons. (I think the blog post says he later had a daughter by his second wife.)
Let me pause here to say: if I were dating or engaged to a guy who told me this upfront, that he is afraid he might molest any kids we had together, I would take him at his word and dump his ass.
(I don’t know if the woman this guy married knew beforehand or not, I’m just saying if this happened to me, I would NOT stay with a guy who confessed such a thing to me.
Never, ever stay with a guy out of pity or a sense of duty – don’t feel sorry for Mr. “I might molest our kids if we have kids together” Pervert. Helping him or redeeming such a deviant is not your responsibility. Part of the reason I got sucked into my last disaster of an engagement was that I felt sorry for the guy.)
The part that really stood out to me in this blog post by DeWiler was when Caffery said after one wife divorced him, he went looking for a new wife at a large Christian church. I found this alarming and creepy.
Lonely Sunday: Single Christians and the Church’s Opportunity by K. Becker
- … As a pastor who happens to be single right now, I think I can speak for the 45% of the U.S. population who is single right now and say it’s not an easy place to be.
- … And some of us listen to the culture around us for advice on what to do with that desire. This culture echoes a duplicity of voices, of ways to “handle” singleness, and it shines at us on small screens and big screens.
- … Marriage is marketed to us as a blissful, everlasting date – not as the covenant it’s supposed to be, but as an item on a shelf to be paid and bartered for. We fall in love with a wedding.
Our Bodies Were Not Made for Sex by T. Swann
Very interesting editorial.
(Link): Our Bodies Were Not Made for Sex by T. Swann
- The Genesis account of creation reveals that God created only one species of human. He said, “Let us make human,” and not “Let us make humans.” What essentially makes one a human then, is being created in God’s image, in God’s “likeness” (Gen.1:26-27). What defines us then is the ruah (Hebrew word for spirit) of God in our bodies (Gen.2:7).
- God is a spirit. Therefore, when he said, “Let us make man in our own image,” he wasn’t speaking of bodies, but of essence.
- God created the human body out of dust, a decomposable substance, but what is really human—the soul—is indecomposable. This is the God-like property that dwells in humans. The body is really the “house” or “clothing” of the soul.
- So if we are the same underneath the “clothing” of our bodies, in our souls, why are so many arguments for gender hierarchy based on that outer covering?
Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule
The following blog post is so excellent, I am hard pressed just to highlight one or two paragraphs.
I would encourage you to click the link below and visit their page to read the whole essay.
I believe the blog post author also has a book for sale on this topic, and that looks like a book worth purchasing and checking out.
(Link): Reclaiming Stolen Friendships
- Having close friendships with members of the opposite gender is healthy, biblical and important for spiritual growth. But in the name of integrity, the church sometimes raises walls that keep us from meaningful brother-sister friendships in Christ.
- These divisions are neither biblical nor in line with church history at its best.
- And contrary to their promise of safety, adhering to them actually puts us at greater risk of sexual immorality, not less.
- Many churches employ the terms “brother” and “sister”—but in such as way as to empty them of any real meaning. Some now teach that men and women should never be close friends, believing that mixed friendships will lead into sexual sin or “emotional” affairs.
- Others may admit that men and women can share friendship—but then they burden it with a thousand qualifications.
- One well known church website boasts of how none of the church staff ever “has lunch with someone of the opposite sex” or “rides alone in the car with someone of the opposite sex.” Boundaries abound.
- Sadly, though these rules have become commonplace over the last 20 years, adhering to them does not appear to have made us any purer.
Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer
These are just excerpts, so you’ll have to visit the link here to read the page in full:
Commenting on what it was like to be single in the time and culture of Jesus:
- …. Girls were mostly married by the age of twelve, and if a man wasn’t married by the age of twenty the gossips started comparing notes and looking for a reason.
- …. So why was Jesus still single at the age of thirty? It was clear to all who knew him. No-one would let his daughter marry someone of questionable parentage since, if there was any irregularity in their birth, it could cast doubt on the legitimacy of their children for ten generations. And Jesus’ birth, as everyone knew, was very irregular.
- …. Jesus not only shared the stigma of being single – he also tried to do something to alleviate it for other single people. Jewish law excused eunuchs from the command to marry, because they couldn’t physically fulfil the duty to have children.
Why Singles Belong in Church Leadership
- Unmarried ministers offer a unique understanding of devotion to Christ alone.
by Lore Ferguson, guest writer
Each time I read a well-intentioned article on how to make the most of your single years, I scan down to the author’s bio and often discover that, sure enough, he’s married to his college sweetheart, pulling advice from a brief period of singleness years ago.
Even at 33, I’m a spring chicken to some of the seasoned single men and women before me.
These Christians have spent their lives burning with passion, unmet desires, or unrequited love, or have committed to a life of celibacy.
These are the clouds of witnesses I look to for wisdom in issues of singleness—not the well-meaning, but hollow three-points and a poem professor with his winsome wife and four little ones. What do I know of his life?
The hardships of parenting, husbanding, pastoring, teaching, ministering? But what does he know of mine?
If the life of a single Christian, as Paul admonished, is to be undistracted by the world, concerned with the things of the Lord, then unmarried ministers have a unique calling indeed. And it is one the church ought not ignore — or usurp.
Where I live, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, young marriages are common. Younger than the national average at least. Yet few single men and women are involved in ministry.
Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems
I know I have discussed this subject in previous posts, either in posts by myself or excerpts by other people, and sometimes only indirectly, such as…
But I wanted to address another angle to this.
I have in the past heard of Muslims who convert to Christianity and are then ostracized by their family of origin.
A former American Muslim found himself in that very situation and recently gave an interview on a Christian television program, which you can watch here; his family have nothing to do with him any longer because he converted to Christianity:
(Link): A Journey From Islam
- Author and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi shares about his dramatic conversion to Christianity.
You can also watch a copy of the video here:
(Link): A Journey from Islam, on 700 Club’s site
Here are a few additional resources on this topic, with more comments by me below this assortment of links and excerpts:
- (“Zee News,” February 6, 2007)
Paris, France – Muslims are converting to Christianity in their thousands in France but face exclusion from their families and even death threats.
(Link): CARING FOR THE MUSLIM CONVERT.
(Link): When Muslims Convert
- By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
- Commentary Feb. 2005
In the Islamic world, there is a broad consensus, both popular and scholarly, that apostates deserve to be killed. A rich theological and intellectual tradition, stretching as far back as Muhammad and his companions, supports this position.
Though official proceedings against those who reject Islam are fairly rare–in part, no doubt, because most keep their conversion a closely held secret–apostasy is punishable by death in Afghanistan, Comoros, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen.1 It is also illegal in Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, and Qatar.
… The most common dangers faced by Muslim apostates come from their own families.
At a recent evangelical convention in Falls Church, Virginia, a couple of female converts from Islam told a reporter about their fears as new Christians. One woman said that when her family finds out, “I know they’re going to disown me if they don’t kill me.”
The second woman had similar fears. “My brothers haven’t spoken to me in the last couple of years, and that was only because I married an American,” she said. “Can you imagine what they would do if they found out I was a Christian?”
…. Roy Oksnevad, a missionary with the Evangelical Free Church in Minneapolis, tells of a Turkish convert whose brother, an ultra-conservative imam who also owns a lucrative carpet and jewelry business, threatened to have him killed if he ever returned to Turkey.
A Farsi-speaking pastor [name withheld by request] in Oakton, Virginia, told the Washington Times, “I’ve seen some people who’ve come from Iran to the United States to persecute, if not kill, in order to bring back their relatives to Islam.”
Even when apostates do not face physical danger from their families, they are often ostracized. This experience is not unique to Muslims, of course; it is a fact of life for many people who convert out of the faith into which they were born.
But for Muslim apostates, the loss of family and community support can carry a heavy price, especially if they are immigrants. If they lose their livelihoods or the means to maintain themselves financially, they can be forced to return to their home countries–and that can amount to a death sentence.
Many conservative Christians are emphasizing the traditional family unit far too much.
Not only are many adults today staying single indefinitely or past their late 20s, and not only do some become widows or get divorced, but there are people who are ostracized and cut off from their family of origin for accepting Jesus Christ.
I wonder what churches near to where these former Muslims (who convert to Christianity), whether in the USA or overseas, do to help these individuals, now that they are totally alone, now that their biological families have rejected them?
And I don’t mean just financial help, but, do the Christians in these churches adopt these new converts as new family?
Do Christians invite these former- Muslims- now- Christians to their homes weekly or nightly for dinner, or invite them over for holidays?
The world can be a very lonely, difficult place if one has no spouse and no flesh and blood family to turn to, but many Christians, especially in the United States, seem to forget that.
There are people in the world who walk to Christ which means they are walking away from their only support systems they have ever known – their families: their mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, grandparents.
Will American Christians stop obsessing over traditional marriage, parenting, and the “nuclear family,” to reach out to these types of people who give up everything to follow Jesus?
Judging by the American church’s response to American- born individuals who are single, those who never-married, or who are divorced or widowed, my guess is sadly, no.
One of the best things you can do for someone else is to offer yourself, your time, and your companionship. Some people are lonely and hurting and have nobody to turn to and could use the friendship, a shoulder to cry on, and encouragement.
But your married Christians who have children, the ones who attend mega churches, seeker friendly churches, evangelical, Reformed, and Southern Baptist churches, only hang out with other married with children couples, and they continue to market self-absorbed programs and sermons about how each individual can achieve his vision or dreams in life, how a person can have a better marriage, and be his or her “all.”
Truly, these are the concerns of people who have no serious challenges in life. These sermons and ministries are irrelevant to 50% or more of the U.S. population.
If you are a middle class husband and father living in the American ‘burbs, and you feel that weekly sermons about how to “reach your potential” or “how to have a hot marital sex life” are relevant, applicable to all (or most), or of equal concern to all, may I suggest you may be living in a bubble and need to realize there are people out there that are not as fortunate as yourself?
You have what is called “rich people’s problems,” also known as “white people problems,” or “first world problems.” Visit the (Link): First World Problems site to see (humorous) examples.
I can’t imagine how churches offering potlucks for middle class, married couples with children, or offering another ‘ten steps to a great marriage’ sermon series is going to aid, comfort, or help people like the 25 year old single Muslim man who just left all he had to follow Jesus, or the widower who is living alone at 72 years of age, or the never-married adult who is 36 years old.
I will leave you with the words of Christ:
- 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And, from Matthew 12,
- 46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.
50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
September 2015 edit:
Muslim refugees express their loneliness being without families on Eid al-Adha
Muslims across the world are marking Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice.
This is the day when families get together and have a big celebration, but many Muslim refugees who have recently arrived in Austria say this day makes them feel lonely, as it reminds them of their families they left behind.
Zamir Rizoyi is an Afghan refugee who is now staying in a camp in Vienna. He told the BBC how he felt to be far from home on what is usually a special day.
Related posts this blog
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.
Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo
I was originally alerted to this article by Janet Mefferd on Twitter, so hat tip to her.
Overall a good editorial, though I do not agree with the writer that Heb. 10 is a “command” for people to attend church (see this post).
She raises many of the same points I have raised on this blog the last couple of years, references some of the same books and links I have before.
Edit. I just realized that Ms. Mefferd discussed the following article (linked to below) on her radio program, and you can listen to her discuss it in an archived version of her show here (the same show also discusses the problem of pornography):
(Link): Janet Mefferd Show-4/10/2014
A few excerpts:
In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.
There are the well-meaning ladies who ask you about your husband and children and, when you say you don’t have any, suddenly run out of things to say to you.
There are the women’s Bible studies scheduled on weekday mornings, because aren’t all church women (Link): married homemakers?
There are the (Link): sermons and activities directed exclusively at families.
There are the pastors who fault the single men for not getting married, even if they’ve tried, and who (Link): seem to think that singles are marked out for some terrible fate.
There are the Christians who tell you that (Link): life doesn’t start until you’re married. Or that you can’t really understand what love is because you’re single and childless. Never mind that this goes directly against the Christian faith, which teaches that God is the source of all love and that everyone — regardless of marital status! — can know that love.
- Churches are so committed to the idea of a family-centered church that they’re just not sure how to handle rising rates of singleness.
There are the people who talk about singles in the church as a problem. There are the people who say you’re (Link): “too picky” if you have any standards at all.
There are the people who hint that you couldn’t get a spouse because you’re not spiritual enough or because God is trying to punish you for something.
And then there are my favorites: the people who helpfully point out that there’ll be no one to look after you in your old age. (Thanks for reminding me once again of that topic that has so often kept me lying awake into the small hours!)
In a nutshell, there are a lot of nice, well-intentioned Christian married people who say cruel, insensitive, or misguided things to and about single people….
Please read the rest of her post here:
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by by Gina Dalfonzo
Related posts this blog:
(Link): Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias
(Link): Some strands of patriarchy and Christian gender complementarianism teaching: adult singles are not full human beings, not fully in the image of God – you must marry and/or have children to fully reflect God until then you are sub human (Why Christians and singles should be concerned about the gender role debates)
(Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice
(Link): Why Stay-at-Home Moms Are More Depressed Than Working Moms (article) -Intersting- yet Christians hold up Motherhood (especially SAHM – Stay At Home Mommydom) as Being a Woman’s Only Godly, Worthwhile, or Legitimate Calling In Life
Elderly Widower Dude is a Slut Says Adult Daughter – Why Churches Need to Teach Celibacy Applies to Even Married People Not Just Under Age 25 Singles
So this adult daughter writes to an advice columnist explaining that her elderly father lost his wife (her mother) a few years ago, and ever since, he has been a big slut. (Farther below, I have pasted in her letter to Dear Amy so you can read it for yourself.)
I’d like to point out that “slut shaming” happens to men too, but I usually only hear secular feminists complain that it happens to women.
The woman’s senior-aged father is sleeping around with numerous women, he has several girlfriends at a time, but keeps each girlfriend (GF) in the dark about all the other GFs.
The daughter is afraid someone, her dad, or one of the dad’s GFs, is going to get an S.T.I. (aka S.T.D.).
This is yet another reason Christians need to get over the mentality that teachings about sexual purity and celibacy are for young singles only.
Not only do you have never-married (or not- married- yet) adult singles over the age of 30 who are trying to remain sexually pure, there are plenty of whom are still virgins, but you get these married couples whose spouse dies at some point in their lives, and they go out and start having sex with a lot of people after the death.
Celibacy is not just for young singles, it’s for ~everyone~. !HELLO, Christian culture, HELLO preachers of America!
You have married couples where one partner loses his (or her) sex drive due to stress, physical health (illness), or one or both partners find the sex boring after several weeks or months. As a result, some marriage counselors are telling such partners to go have an extra-marital fling (an affair).
I wrote about that situation here:
Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages
It’s not enough for churches to keep acting as though messages of sexual purity are for teens and college students only.
Another reason they need to step up: a lot of 20- somethings and 30- somethings today, ones who drift away from church or the faith now, reject a lot of the church’s teachings on sexuality – that is, the churches and preachers who even bother to teach that pre-marital sex is a sin at all, because many do not.
The problem is, a lot of these ex-Christians or uber- liberal Christian types feel that their conservative churches wrongly taught about sex. These types feel that the Bible does not speak out against sex outside of marriage, even though yes, it in fact does. So, they disregard about any and all limitations on sex at all.
Churches need to do a better job, and try a different approach of, speaking about sexual sin, because a lot of the 20-somethings are later rejecting or disregarding what they are hearing about sex in church when they later leave church.
The fact remains that even married adults need to hear sermons about sexual purity, because some of them are failing miserably at it.
If your husband takes a two week business trip, and you find yourself alone, are you going to sleep with your UPS delivery man, or next door neighbor, while the husband is gone?
If you are a married man whose wife is in the military, and she gets shipped overseas for a six month tour of duty, are you going to remain faithful to her, or whore it up with other women while she is away?
What if you’re 50 years old and your 50 year old spouse is physically disabled or gets early-onset dementia, are you going to be true to him or her, or start sleeping around?
Churches need to address those types of situations and stop assuming that sexual temptation and sin is something that besets ONLY 17 year old kids.
Here’s the letter:
Ask Amy: Randy widower worries his daughter
I’m really concerned my widower father is turning into something of a slut.
My mother passed away seven years ago, and then my father had the very unfortunate luck of having a girlfriend who succumbed to cancer a few years later.
I understand that he’s lonely, and needs affection that only a female companion would give, but he’s currently courting three women, none of whom know about each other.
I know it is none of my business, but I am actually frightened that these women he met online who so easily jump into bed with him will leave him with an STD.
I’ve heard that the spread of STDs is actually more prevalent among the older generation these days. What would you suggest I do to convince him that these trysts may be more than he bargained for, without overstepping boundaries?
He’s quite headstrong and rarely listens to me; what should I do?
— Concerned daughter
You see, preachers need to be preaching about sex in such a way that even married people understand that sex outside of marriage is SIN.
Because evidently, there are a lot of married men who feel okay and fine cheating on their wives while the wife is alive, or like the man in the letter above, they feel just fine engaging in fornication, and with multiple partners, once the wife dies.
Here was Amy’s reply:
I shared your question with a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who responded:
“While CDC continues to find that STDs disproportionately affect younger people in the U.S., it is important to understand that many older Americans face unique prevention challenges (e.g., discomfort in discussing sexual behaviors with physicians and partners and discomfort discussing condom use). It is also important for physicians to assess older patients’ risk.”
Older men may not have gotten the memo about wearing a condom. In their randy youth, condoms were used for birth control; now they are vital disease control devices. Your father could become infected and/or infect his partners.
Onto his sluttiness. There is not much you can (or should) do about his choice to sleep around.
The women he is seeing may also be mutually consenting (slutty) elders, and while this prospect isn’t quite what you want for your dear dad — it is what it is and you may have to accept it and only remind him to speak to his doctor about his risks.
Sexual promiscuity can be a sign of depression, however. If you feel he is out of control, you must do your best to urge him toward a mental health evaluation.
(Link): “Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults
Elderly Widower is Slut Says Daughter – Y Churches Need Teach Celibacy 2 Married Pple Not Just Teens https://christianpundit.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/elderly-widow-dude-is-a-slut-says-adult-daughter-why-churches-need-to-teach-celibacy-applies-to-even-married-people-not-just-under-age-25-singles/ #Celibacy
How Should We Then Marry? Singleness, marriage, and the church by Betsy Carlson
- Jan 2013
Even though ours is a good-size church (attendance runs about 400), there aren’t too many singles; and, as in many churches, single women outnumber single men—although that doesn’t mean Christian men don’t consider it difficult finding someone to date, let alone marry.
Meeting someone at work is an option for some singles, but, of course, the majority of those in a secular workplace are probably unbelievers.
And while sometimes friends and family will set singles up on a date, if friends and family attend their church and generally know the same people they do, they’re back to square one!
So, if singles who’d like to marry find it difficult to meet someone at church, what can they do? What should they do? Anything? Nothing?
And is my friend’s experience as a marriage-minded Christian single an isolated one, or could this conversation have taken place between two believers in the nursery—or at the outreach, music practice, or VBS—at your church?
If singles who’d like to marry find it difficult to meet someone at church, what can they do? What should they do? Anything? Nothing?
Counselors like Job’s
Journalist Julia Duin prompts a similar question in her provocative book Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do about It.
In a chapter called “The Loneliest Number: Why Singles over Thirty-five Are Saying Good-bye,” Duin notes that even while churches promote marriage and family in their teaching, preaching, small-group focus, fellowship, etc., often churchgoing singles who express a desire for marriage are met with a lack of compassion, wisdom, and full-orbed Biblical counsel, which can lead to discouragement.
For example, marriage-minded singles are often given counsel that while true is also flat, one-dimensional, and without mercy: “Be content”; “Don’t make marriage an idol”; “Jesus is all you need.” Sometimes singles receive counsel from those who, like Job’s counselors, mean well, but speak without knowledge regarding what God is doing in a person’s life, saying things like, “If God wants you to have a spouse, He will bring you one,” or “You’re not married because you want it too much.”
While people mean well, such “help” is not helpful, often leaving singles feeling frustrated and ashamed of their desire, and leading some to quit seeking counsel at church or date unbelievers or quit church altogether.
Unmarried America: How Single Adults Are Changing the Face of the U.S. and What It Means for the Church by R. Hurst
- By Rich Hurst
How is the church doing when it comes to reaching the 14th largest nation in the world? How many missionaries are focused on that group? How many people are aware that this population is exploding, while its representation in churches is falling dramatically?
These questions take on real significance when we realize we are speaking about single adults in America.
According to census data, there were 101 million unmarried adults in the U.S. in 2007.
If single adults were a country, they would be the 14th largest nation. (Germany, the largest country in Europe, is number 17.)
Who are single adults? For one thing, they are heads of households. A Census Bureau report released September 23, 2008, shows that in 2007, for the third consecutive year the majority of the nation’s households were headed by unmarried Americans.
Unmarried adults now head up a majority of households in 22 states, and more than 300 cities — a figure that has increased each year for several years.
According to the Census Bureau American Community Survey, over half of the country’s total households are headed by single adults.
That survey also revealed that blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites or Asians to be single. More than six in 10 blacks are unmarried, and almost one in 10 black adults lives alone with children. Gays and lesbians are also a significant segment of the single population (approximately 9 percent), though not necessarily by choice since only two states allow same-sex marriage.
The Census Bureau surveyed about 3 million households from every county in the nation. They include 12.2 million widows and 3 million widowers, as well as 25 million men and women who are divorced. In addition, there are 32.8 million men and 27.1 million women who have never married.
More racially diverse than the overall population, singles are also younger — 57 percent are less than 45 years old, and four in 10 are younger than 35, according to “Singles in the U.S.: the New Nuclear Family,” a report from market research publisher Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.
Unmarried adults — those never married, divorced, widowed, or separated — share generational similarities: younger singles are comfortable with technology, for example, while older singles focus on luxury.
…The configuration of these unmarried households is diverse. More than 30 million Americans live alone, far outnumbering the 24.2 million households that contain married couples with children less than 18 years of age.
The 10.8 million single-parent homes include 2.5 million single dads with custody of their children and 8.3 million single mothers.
About 12 million adults are living with an unmarried partner, while some 47 million unmarried Americans are living with relatives.
While this enormous growth has occurred among this segment of the U.S. population, another dramatic shift has been taking place at the same time. Attendance in most U.S. churches has declined or plateaued across all segments of the population, and especially among singles.
Let us look at two denominations.
According to the 2006 Annual Church Profile (ACP), there are 44,223 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Southern Baptist Convention measures church growth by the number of baptisms. In 2006, 10,449 churches baptized no one; 3,312 churches baptized only one person; and 13,760 churches baptized 1 to 5 people.
A total of 27,521 churches in the SBC baptized five or less people for an entire year, which is 62 percent of all SBC churches.
Furthermore, at least three of four churches are plateaued or declining.
Or consider the Presbyterian Church USA. In 2 years, the denomination shrank by approximately 94,000 people. In 2006, this church saw a net loss of 56 congregations and a membership decrease of nearly 46,000 people. …
ADDRESSING BOTH PROBLEMS AT ONCE
We have a great opportunity in American church history to address two issues at the same time. We can reach out in love to single adults and avail ourselves of their gifts and energy to strengthen the church.
Viewing single adults as a specific target of church ministry is not a new idea; single adult ministry was a focus in many churches during the 1970s and 1980s.
Yet, years later, there are increasing numbers of singles and decreasing numbers of churchgoers. The question today is: How can we use the lessons learned — or missed — by those who focused on single adult ministry in earlier decades?
… At the time, those in singles ministry understood that churches did not want to embrace singles any more than they wanted to embrace the homeless.
But singles simply became too powerful in terms of affluence, education, and sheer numbers to ignore.