Saturday, January 22, 2011

More comments re: Is Singleness an Epidemic?

Heartfelt comments continue to roll in via Facebook on yesterday's blog post, so today we are continuing with this hot topic:

Tim: I think that there are many who have hoped to get married and have a family, but because it did not happen and because they are now of the age when this would be very difficult to happen, if not impossible, they have given up or lost the de...sire to marry. Also, there are many who deal with the aftereffects of divorce for many years and are not able for whatever reason to get past them. These are not people who have the gift of singleness, but are just not motivated for these reasons to seek marriage or remarriage. For these people, they are grieving the losses of dreams or hopes that have died.

I would recommend that we support and love these people, not pressure them to seek marriage or lay platitudes on them about singleness being a "gift", or a calling, etc, or pressure them to seek marriage to someone they would not be interested in. I think this affects many people, and we need to be praying for them and encouraging them.

Stacey: Personally, I think churches have given up on singleness as a ministry. They cut off the ministry of singleness and condensed it into "young adults" and "older adults" ministries. They have abandoned the idea that singles over a certain age will not or does not want to marry. They have failed to address issues concerning singleness. They have failed to reach out and heal the broken hearted in this search for love and ultimately a ministry as a married couple. I think singleness is an epidemic and phenomenon because the church has failed singles.

For me, I have to travel to the next county to find a good singles ministry. Which is better than some people have to travel. Why is it that I have to travel at all?! I have a church at ever corner in my neck of the woods. Even the boonies has a church every 5 miles. I question why we need so many churches with half the pews filled. But, alas, that is a whole different subject...

We ultimately have to search out what is the role of the church. The church is a place of healing, encouragement, getting the word of God in our hearts, bringing in the un-believing, and fellowshiping with the believers. Granted the church is not a singles meet and greet, nor is it a "dating bar" but it is a place like I mentioned above. If at any time the church fails at fulfilling these roles, then they have failed as a church. If there is a need, they need to accommodate to reach the need. Singleness is an epidemic and phenomenon. Why couldn't a good Godly marriage be totally focused on the Lord, and them as a couple? Are our hearts so small? I think not! Jesus came into our hearts to enlarge it. And I think He can make it large enough for Him and our spouse. Of course Jesus gets first place in both spouses. To say that singles should focus on the Lord only is a cop-out of fulfilling a need.

Lorraine: i like tim's softness here ! and gentle approach giving thought to all sides ! and i like stacey's approach say it like it is woman your on my team !!

Gary: Well said guys. I personally haven't experienced much of the pressure to get married just to get married but have seen plenty of the singleness is a gift etc. It's frustrating to find a good singles ministry in any church, even here in the's third largest metropolitan district. What I would like to see and I don't know if it's even possible is a ministry that can give hope, encouragement and "training" to those who seek marriage and are motivated to take the steps to do so on the one hand, but respect the wishes of those who for whatever reason can't or don't seek marriage on the other. Again, I don't know if this balance is possible in one group or not.

Lorraine: I think there should be a dating site based just on dont join if your not interested in marriage end of story ! and if your to scared of the idea of being hurt stay home !! sorry :) life is a risk to get out of bed everyday... where are the brave hearts in the world... the fairy tail still is at hand im thinking. i think to many books to many sermons to many self help books to many whatever besides being yourself and just gettin out the boat and gettin on with gettin on ....

Gary: I would add that part of the challenge is for singles to put aside the petty differences and look at God's purpose in marriage. I've found too often people ditch promising relationships because of a minor incident. That won't get one married and it won't work in a marriage. Whatever happened to commitment, sacrifice etc?

Feel free to add your comments below. Have a great weekend!

~ Linda
Cache' Connections


Pastor John Vaughn said...

From a pastor’s perspective, I hear with anguish the cries of those who sense the church has failed singles. I will concede our landscape is covered with many church buildings that are half full, half engaged, and half dead. However, I believe to paint with such broad brush strokes fails to recognize one of the most critical issues many churches face. As a smaller congregation of around 100, that was planted within the past 6 years, my congregation embraces as many opportunities to reach and serve segments of our society,… meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs where we can. Like any small church, we have limited resources to hire a gifted staff person to lead a specific segment of our church population. I am even more certain it is not always the pastor’s role to take the lead role. As a husband of 38 years, how can I truly relate to the unique issues that singles face?

I suppose in all this rambling, what I am suggesting, is this: Many smaller churches may be very open and welcoming to a singles ministry if there was someone to fill the leadership vacancy. I have watched this blog for several months, and I am confident there are other singles with a heart for ministry, who have the quality of leadership skills of Linda and Kim and others, who could step into a church and give the leadership to not only that church, but to other singles looking for a place to be involved and interact with others,…both singles and couples. There are those who are not just willing to “find a church” who will minister to MY needs, but those who will “BE the church” by leading and developing a ministry to meet other single’s needs.”

Linda said...

Wow Pastor John that's rich! Thanks for your insight. And for your heart for singles and other segments of society.

~ Linda