Singleness or Being Paul

This is an hot potato that has probably done the rounds but just some thoughts. God loves me whether I am single, married, with kids, without. OK. However I recognise that there are differences in how you are supposed to act, behave, think when you are single, especially in the church’s eyes.

Are single people supposed to become Paul and because they have so much time on their hands, become missionaries, help in soup kitchens, volunteer to be youthworkers, help in the local old folks home, babysit etc… And we are supposed to be fulfilled as a person through this service!

I also find it very hard to go to church, join new activites as I am always going on my own, driving there on my own, walking in on my own, having to look for someone I know when I get there… And they wonder where all the young people are in the church i.e. 20’s.

Sorry this has all been a bit bitter and angry and I don’t want it to be like that, thanks for the website.

7 Replies to “Singleness or Being Paul”

  1. Thanks so much for this article, Anonymous – lots of important questions and ideas, very honestly expressed. Food for serious thought.

  2. I can easily understand how you find it difficult to go to church…although I really like my church at home, there are very few single people in the 20 – 30 age group, and it is all very family-orientated. I can imagine people who are single feeling a bit left out and uncomfortable, especially those who don’t know many people there. I suppose churches such as mine, which are full of families, should make an especial effort to make single people feel welcome.

    I also think that being single doesn’t mean that you automatically have more time, though…after all, many people are single because they are very busy with their career and don’t have much time for dating etc. I think that being single doesn’t mean that it is your duty to become a missionary or something – you should just try and do the things that will make use of your talents, as you should do whether you’re married or single.

    I feel that in some churches single people are treated a bit as though they are deviant, as though ‘they should’ get married, which annoys me. Many people nowadays are opting for singleness and lead very happy and fulfilled lives

  3. Thaks for this. It definitely is easier to go to stuff when you’ve got someone to go with, but I just want to ‘encourage’ you that I hate going even though I’ve got someone to go with.

  4. Thanks for the comments and understanding. Sometimes all you need is for somone to really listen and try to understand how i feel, which may be wrong or right but it is a valid feeling.

    I agree that I think the clergy in the church are responsible for making sure that everyone uses their talents to the best of their abilities, and this should not matter what your circumstance is.

    I still very much struggle with the church and how it helps singles to fit in, as I don’t think it does. I went to a christening on sunday, i knew about 16 people there, all couples. They saw me and although waved nobody sat by me and I think i was the only person in the church who walked in on their own and walked out again.

    I know lots of single christians who struggle with church and are more likely not to go , than go. I am thinking about doing a questionnaire and presenting findings because i believe the church could do better! I am also going to speak to the clergy of the church and try and get them to understand my position by trying to put something down on paper. I do feel as though I am doing something positive with this rather than just sitting and moaning.

  5. I think a lot of churches have unintentionally become alienating places for singles, as well as childless couples, because of its focus on marriage and the family. Let’s face it, marriage has not got a good reputation these days, and divorce and co-habitation are not the scandals they once were. I think that churches have, quite rightly, leapt to defend marriage and traditional family morals, and celebrate these things, but in the process paint them as ideals to which all single people should aspire, and this can be quite alienating.

    I’m married now, but was single in church for a number of years and struggled with this – it seemed like all young singles were jumped upon to become Sunday School teachers, and it felt like we were all being pigeon-holed.

    I think the church needs to balance its teaching and relate it better to the world in which we live. For a number of reasons – mainly astronomical property prices where I live – people get married and have children much later in life than they used to, and as a result, the bulk of twentysomethings are still single and quite career-minded. We need teaching that helps us to be effective Christians in these circumstances, rather than teaching that tells us we’ll all be OK once we get married.

    Lee

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