As a single christian woman, I have been to many christian singles events. There are two things that I really hate about some of the events I have attended… It is the two “go to” topics that whoever arranged the speaker and planned the event believes that single people need to hear about. It’s the topics near and dear to their heart. Not mine. For me, these “go to” topics feel like a cop out. They say “I’m a little out of touch with the singles at church and what their needs are, so I’ll just cover this again.”
The first “go to” topic? Sex and purity in dating. I am very aware of what God wants for me in this area, and though I do think it’s important to talk about, I get sick of hearing it every time… as a single-40-something adult, I do have more pressing matters in my life than sex and dating. Is it important to me? Yes, but give it a rest already… Sex and purity is every bit as important in married peoples lives, but it’s not a “go to” topic for married people.
The second “go to” topic? Please stop having married people come and tell us how happy they are and how they waited for the right person and God brought them their spouse… blah, blah, blah… BARF!!! I don’t want to hear that marriage is work and it’s difficult and they don’t always see eye to eye, but through God they are at a place in there life where it’s pretty blissful. Ho hum… *yawn* Yes, you waited and found the right spouse when you were in your 20’s and have been married 20 years. Good for you, but I can’t relate to your situation. In your 20’s there’s a TON of single people all around you. Prospects were looking pretty darned good. When you’re 40 with 3 kids? It’s pretty slim pickings out there. We can’t relate to you.
Let me give you some new topics that maybe christian singles CAN relate to, things that we think about all the time…
1. EMBRACE your singleness!!! Jesus was single. Paul was single. I actually know a few people who have never lived alone, that go from relationship to relationship and never learn to enjoy being by themselves. I was married for 18 years, and have enjoyed (for the most part) living a single life. Sometimes we just need to know that being single is ok. Sometimes I feel left out and I really hate attending family events at church because I don’t like to go by myself. I don’t want to go to Bunco by myself. I don’t want to go to the BBQ by myself. I feel like I don’t fit in and I don’t belong.
2. How about fitness? It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, and I know to many others too. We can have a singles event that involves something health related like a hike or 5k training. A mud run. Something fun! (you know, and not talk about sex or being led my the happiest couple on earth)
3. Single parenting is probably the biggest topic I can think of. It is so hard being a single parent sometimes. Wouldn’t it be great to tackle some topics that fall under single parenting. Parenting is hard enough for married people, but some of us do it all alone.
4. Solo decision making. Where do I take my car to get fixed, and how do I know I’m not getting ripped off? It’s all on our shoulders… sometimes it’s like a millstone around my neck… am I making the right decisions? Uhh, the pressure sometimes!
5. Divorce – being re-single. As strong as I thought I was, and as well as I’ve come through this divorce, at the time I was shaken to my absolute core with the disappointment, failure and loss I felt. I felt liberated, but at the same time guilty for what I was putting my family through. It took some time to realize that wallowing in my disappointment was determining the quality of not only MY life, but my kids lives too! My ex-husband and I get along great, but we aren’t the norm. Sometimes people are so ugly to each other. They need to learn how to function as a co-parent. It’s not easy…
6. Finances. Rarely does someone come out of a divorce without being financially devastated. Except maybe Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I went from paying $1200 for Lakers playoff tickets three times a season to not letting my kids get popcorn at the movies. My entire life has downsized and it still isn’t enough! It’s a little scarey not having two incomes anymore.
7. Friendships. Singles need to find friendships with both other singles as well as married people. Maybe if I arranged to go to Bunco or a BBQ with other single friends I wouldn’t feel so left out. We have to reach out and persue friendships.
I think as a church we need to do a better job of recognizing singles and making them feel included and needed like they actually belong there. If your church isn’t able to sustain an actual singles ministry, they can at least have singles activities now and then, right? How does your church incorporate singles into church and include them in through different ministries? Think about the sub-groups within singles. You have your young singles, widowed, divorced (along with a stigma… we’re “damaged goods”) and how about the 30 year old that feels her biological clock ticking? The never been married that people always ask when they’re gonna get married? Where do we all fit in? How can we reach unsaved singles? Are you reaching out to your singles? I had to move a desk by myself and nearly broke my back doing it. I don’t have someone else to help me lift it anymore. I painted the entire inside of my house, vaulted ceilings and all, by myself… I feel blessed to be strong enough to do that stuff, but what about the one who isn’t?
But in all seriousness… If I get stuck in one more meeting where a happily married couple of 20+ years is telling their life story and preaching abstinance, I might scream and hopefully everyone will think it’s the Holy Spirit that got a rise out of me.