Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Singles in the Church

My last post was being single and what helps and what doesn't help from a relationship standpoint. Today, I want to get more specific in talking about what it's like to be single in the church.

It's one of those things were we do some things well and some things not very well when it comes to how we treat singles in our churches. I say "we" because I and other singles are as much a part of the church as those who are married.

As a single adult, I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard to go to church on the weekend or to other church things sometimes. I don't always look forward to sitting by myself. And, unless someone I already know is there, that is usually the reality - at least until one of my friends shows up, or maybe for the whole time. Sometimes it would be nice to walk into a room knowing I have someone to sit with.

But, even in those moments, I'm glad to see families together. In a society where family has taken a beating, it's a good thing to see families together and to be in a place that values families and wants them to thrive.

As we value families, we must also not forget the singles in our midst. Singles can be any age, so they can't all be lumped together into one ministry. And we must never completely segregate everything by marital status. As single people, we need friends who are married too, not just other singles.

Our worlds are too small if we only spend time with people just like us - whether we're married or single.

When I, as a single person, volunteer for things at church, I may choose to take on more than someone with a spouse and kids at home would. That's because I have the time. There's no one at home waiting for me to get home that day.

But just because I have more time, doesn't mean I'll say yes to anything and everything I'm asked to  do. There are some things I just don't feel like I should be doing. I need some time for other things too. And I still have extended family that gets some of my time.

It's all about finding the balance that works. For a single person that will be different than for a married person. But it's still about balance and what God calls us and gifts us to do.

I know Scripture says a lot about the importance and value of marriage. But that doesn't mean single people have less value in the family of God. And it doesn't mean single people look at married people with jealousy because married people have something the single people want.

The reality is, Scripture is full of examples of people God used to build His church - both single people and married people. Because in God's eyes, it's not marital status  that defines us. In God's eyes we're all His children and we're al forgiven because of Jesus' work on the cross.

It we really are the family of God, living out the Gospel message and being the agents of redemption God calls us to be, then our marital status shouldn't be the focus. Tranformed lives and learning to live the way Jesus tells us too as the family of God should be.

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