American Churches Need to Address Growing Numbers of Unmarried / Single People

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

Source:
(WWW.)christianpost.com/news/pew-for-one-how-is-the-church-responding-to-growing-number-of-singles-70586/

Before I paste in excerpts from most of the article, I wanted to comment on this part of it first:

“Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”

I addressed that very point in a previous post (-HERE-). Focusing on marriage constantly does NOT encourage singles to want marriage more.

The problem is most unmarried American Christian adults already want to be married, but they cannot find suitable people to date! And while they remain unmarried, they are having struggles and issues that married people do not always face, such as a more intense struggle with loneliness, along with other issues.

For a pastor to keep harping on marriage week in and week out, as most do in their services or literature and blogs, only alienates unmarried adults further, and it’s also painful for some, for it’s like eating a bag of potato chips and chocolate cake in front of a friend who you know likes junk food but who is on a diet.

It’s very cruel to constantly throw something in someone’s face that they want but cannot have, obtain, or achieve – yet most Southern Baptists, conservative churches, and evangelicals continue to do this very thing in regards to marriage vs. singlehood to the long term unmarried and celibate.

Here’s more from the article:

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

By Sarah Hamaker , Christian Post Contributor
February 29, 2012

One can be the loneliest number, especially in the church. Today, there are more singles in the United States than at any other time in history – 43.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are unmarried, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

“The number of single adults in the United States has been rapidly approaching the number of married adults, and this is an unprecedented culture shift that is dramatic,” says Barry Danylak, author of Redeeming Singleness. “This is not an American phenomena – it is seen in nearly all of the modernized and industrialized nations.”

The church, long welcoming to married with children congregants, has been slower to adjust to this demographic shift. “At least 80 percent of every denomination do not have a targeted ministry to single adults,” says Dennis Franck, national director for Single Adult/Young Adult Ministries for the Assemblies of God denomination, headquartered in Springfield, Mo. “However, the majority of churches are not trying to exclude singles, but they are more marriage and family focused, which means singles are not acknowledged very often.

The Rev. Alan Fretto, a single senior in Danbury, Conn., points out, “The church is geared toward children, women and couples. There is very little in most churches for singles, and yet singles dominate the church population. Singles need to be encouraged and included in the process of the church, and should be considered a valuable asset to the church.”

Readjusting Focus

Many churches have yet to formally acknowledge singles in their midst, either with targeted ministries or inclusion in preaching or teaching illustrations and examples. “Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”
Continue reading “American Churches Need to Address Growing Numbers of Unmarried / Single People”

Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

I don’t have any answers for these topics I’m raising; I’m only ranting about a couple of topics that have been annoying me the last few years.

I was watching Hal Lindsey’s Bible prophecy show this evening. I usually like this guy’s teachings (or used to; over the years, I’ve lost some interest in Bible prophecy. One can only stand hearing oh- so- many “the world is ending soon!” type lectures and attempts to figure out who the Anti Christ is before it all gets a little old).

Lindsey was explaining today why sometimes a Christian’s prayers may go unanswered – and I’ve also seen pastor Charles Stanley, other Christian television personalities, and Christians online say the same thing – that is, if your prayers are going unanswered, it could be because you have “unconfessed sin” in your life (they also dole out other possible reasons).

This is a variation of a troubling, annoying, infuriating theme I see among Christians from time to time, from preachers and from Christian family, friends, and acquaintances.

Blame The Victim

Any time one approaches these people with any of life’s disappointments, let downs, struggles, regrets, heart aches, and questions of, “Why doesn’t God do “X” for me, I’ve been praying about it for years?,” these sorts of Christians begin reeling off a list of reasons, such as, “You must have unconfessed sin in your life!,” “You must not have enough faith,” or some such rationale.
Continue reading “Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency”

Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)

Live alone? You’re not alone, from CBS News

“Women do a much better job when they’re living alone,” said Klinenberg. “They tend to make and maintain relationships much better than men throughout the life course, whereas for men it’s much more likely that they will wind up feeling lonely or unhappy or isolated.”

Case in point: Forty-year-old New Yorker Jeff Ragsdale. He describes waking up alone as “hell.”

“It’s very sad,” he told Spencer. “Or going to bed, you know, alone constantly by yourself, eating alone. And also there’s nothing worse than being sick by yourself. You’re lying in bed watching the world go by and wondering, ‘How did I get so alone?'”
Continue reading “Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)”

The Rhetoric of Singleness (from Slate)

The Rhetoric of Singleness – from Slate
by Michael Cobb
Being single and being lonely are not the same thing—but our culture insists on conflating them.

(I am not in agreement with all the author’s views)

Excerpts:

The following article is adapted from Michael Cobb’s Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled, out now from New York University Press.

….Yet the loneliness of being alone is so often framed by the intense, lyrical loss of a loved one—if not theloved one, a spouse.

Singleness marks being alone in a nearly paralyzingly profound manner—so much so that indi­vidualism, the value of aloneness, can barely be thought unless we strip away the pathologizing dynamics of coupledom that at­tach to the individual a bitter affect we might call loneliness. But what I’ve come to understand is crucial: Loneliness will not brand the single as much as aloneness does. The contemporary individual is not lonely, just single—but this is not culturally recognized.

I have serious misgiv­ings about the miscasting of singleness as a terrible condition worth our pity and obfuscation. As anyone who has thought seriously about single life already knows, the problem of the single is not the actual, lived experience of people who find themselves alone as much as the feelings that deliberately foreclose our understanding of single­ness because singles are thought to be lonely—and loneliness, as we’re frequently reminded, has terrible consequences. To be blunt: I’m sick and tired of the single person being the avatar of the lonely crowd.

(remainder of article on Slate)