How churches today abandoned the Christian single

During the time that I attended a service in Colorado, I noticed a few curious things that had me pondering about the state of Christian singles today and how churches treat them.  There were so many groups and ministries that were specifically tailored for couples, families, children, men’s groups, women’s groups and youth groups, but virtually nothing for singles.  Typically the singles group would really be the youth groups: teenagers or college students who are just getting started with life, and even then the central focus isn’t about pairing people together for marriage, but social endeavors to keep the young people happy and staying in church.  And when they stay, they can also be utilized as cheap labor for church projects.  It’s win-win (for the church that is).

We have a culture that promotes and provides an infinite variety of venues for short-term dating, hook-ups and flings, and yet the churches offer virtually nothing to counter that.  They simply refuse or fail to take a more proactive role in helping singles get married, when in fact it should be one of its major priorities.

Why is it so important for Christians to get married?  Marriage provides the training ground to breed new leaders and caretakers for the body of Christ.  We read over and over again that a man cannot effectively lead the church unless he has first had the experience of raising and leading his own family.  Women likewise are more effective caretakers and nurturers because of the experience of raising their own children.  A marriage and family successfully functioning as one cohesive unit provides the skillset needed to run a church as one cohesive unit.

Our enemy (Satan) is well aware of this.  That is why he seeks to destroy these cohesive units wherever he can find them.  If he finds a single, he will try to keep that person single.  If he finds a marriage, he will try to destroy it.  If he finds a church serving Christ as one effectual body, he will introduce cliques to fragment that body and severely weaken its collective power.  Our enemy is all about creating dissension, schisms, cliques and divisions.  Divide and destroy.

For the single, the potential threat of them becoming leaders and a powerful force within the church is removed for as long as they remain single.  In spite of the growing number of singles we are seeing today, rarely does the church ever consider that they may be existing in an unnatural state.  The presumption is that God hasn’t meant for them to get married “at that time,” so rather than find them spouses, singles are instead pushed to do missions, missions, and more missions.  Marrying early, despite no biblical sources to support their premises, is strongly discouraged.  Young women are not urged to marry, but do missions, and if God means for them to have a husband, they’ll find one when the “time is right.”  The idea of marriage is then put off indefinitely, with the focus instead on supporting church projects, ministries and outreaches.  It occurs to very few that there may be little wisdom in perpetuating a lifestyle where both man and woman would have to resist and abide by a constant burn for intimacy and marriage for literally years without relief.

In the meantime, we have singles being given leadership roles within the church that they have no business taking on.  The result are amateurs without a strong marital foundation and the needed experience to draw from to effectively lead the congregation.  (Even David had his lions and bears before he finally confronted Goliath.)  They are novices, and true to the warnings of Scripture, they become lifted up with pride and fall under condemnation.

And yet, the singles crisis is often ignored because it’s couched in the veil of good works.  After all, what could be wrong with putting off marriage just for a little while longer to serve the church?  What’s wrong with a single going on missions and feeding hungry children in Africa and witnessing to the lost? Is this not a sign of true holiness and proof they are putting ahead the interest of the kingdom of heaven ahead of their own interests and happiness?

Except that, it flies right in the face of Paul’s numerous instructions on running the church, where marriage is prioritized before members can begin taking more active roles.  And while he speaks of the virtues of being single, he clearly expressed that this was his own opinion and not God’s, and described singlehood as a gift.  If a man has no necessity, then and only then is he is encouraged by Paul not to marry.  Any man who burns however would not be able to serve God without distraction, precisely the advantage he was supposed to have if God had truly granted him such a gift.  This is the key distinction that too many churches gloss over.  They must be confronted with the reality that there are many Christian singles in the church who remain that way OUTSIDE of the will of God, not because of it.

But rather than prayerfully consider whether the single is single by the gift of God or is merely existing in an unnatural state, the churches instead exploit them.  Without a spouse or children of their own, such singles offer much time to volunteer and money to give.  It is simply not in the church’s own financial/materialistic interest to see such a single get married.  And thus, off to missions they go.

So programmed have members become to this way of thinking that we have a generation of Christian men riddled with guilt and frustration at the lack of prospects and a generation of women who rate their holiness not in having a successful marriage, but in the number of mission trips they embark on.

And yet notably there is another group that eerily shared this same trait: the ceaseless effort to travel thousands and thousands of miles to make a convert in the faith.  They were called Pharisees.

Churches have focused outward, and as a result have ignored the dead bones within.  Singles who remain true in the faith are being left behind, treated as pariahs and exploited for selfish purposes.  The time will come when judgment will begin, not with the lost or in the huts of India, but within the house of God itself.  May the churches consider their ways before then, and repent accordingly.

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117 Responses to How churches today abandoned the Christian single

  1. Butterfly Flower May 12, 2013 at 12:39 AM #

    Yay! I was looking forward to your new post.

    Like you, I was quite unchurched (and still am) when I was single. I was practically an atheist. It turns out my doubting was a blessing in disguise, because it gave me the strength to pursue my own endeavors. Since I ignored the typical path of mainstream Christians (i.e. missions ’till your late 20’s) I was able to get married young.

    Any Hipsters in Colorado? I get the feeling the sort-of girl you’re looking for will only be found among counter-culture types. (Of course, it says something about the state of modern Christianity, when getting married in one’s 20’s is viewed as Hipster-ironic-vintage)

    • Frank Swift May 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM #

      I have the feeling she’d be the same way (and unchurched as well). I’m so counter culture though even my counter culture has a counter culture.

      BTW, I actually live in New York, not Colorado. I WISHED I lived in Colorado, knowing if I found peace in nothing else I’d still find it settling in the mountains somewhere. Maybe one day!

  2. alcestiseshtemoa May 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM #

    The “singles going on missions in foreign, third world nations” cracks me up. It’s quite true.

    • Frank Swift May 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM #

      It makes sense logistically too, married couples and families aren’t going to have time for missions, so they exploit *oops* I mean encourage the singles to go instead.

  3. Laceagate May 16, 2013 at 12:19 AM #

    I agree with you a lot here. One thing I discovered was the failure isn’t just on the Church though; the failure is the lack of communion between the Church and its people.

    While the Church undoubtedly has a responsibility to continue tending its flock, its people do have a habit of going astray. I would say the onus is on the Church to give the people a place to go to. There was a saying I recall hearing about– people become religious (suddenly) when they decide to get married. There, the Church has provided a place for people up until they graduate from high school– and then there is a huge gap until people get married, and perhaps start going to church again.

    What happens during this gap, that can possibly last 10+ years? We all know the answer, of course– tons of fornication (happens even without going to college), aimless meanderings in life, “finding one’s self” (what, did we all get lost at age 18??), and losing one’s faith. All marvelous discoveries in life of course (heavy sarcasm). Once people turn 18 it’s almost as if a bad switch was turned on and then people eschew reasoned faith for one of pseudo-New Age Buddhism where your god is as nice as my god but turns out you don’t really believe in God? Believe it or not, you don’t even have to attend college to get brainwashed by that stuff.

    When people decide to get married once they’re in their late 20’s to 30’s or so, is when they start to think about the choices in their lives. They start to think about “Gee, is getting married in a church important to me? Or how about an outdoor wedding?” They finally start to think about the things that they should have thought about under the tutelage of those much wiser, when they were younger. Suddenly what wasn’t so important at the age of 21 becomes very significant at the age of 31. Hindsight in action.

    Now we may ask, what was the Church doing during this time? I hate to say it, but not much. I mean, in spite of the Newmann Centers there are for Catholics, and the other groups for Protestants, the Church as a whole isn’t doing much for young Christians. The “Young Adults” groups at churches are painfully trying to fill the need for a gap that’s far too large for them. Most churches don’t even have enough young adults in active attendance to even have those kinds of groups! If there are groups, then there is a huge emphasis on missions and doing this and that, as you’ve already mentioned Frank.

    I want to see more cohesive community groups and activities at churches. Not the “meet once a month to get together and talk about philosophy and see you later” sort of groups. I’d like to see the groups that actually foster healthy commingling of the sexes in a tighter-knit manner, so it encourages healthy interactions and helps people find future mates. In fact, that’s the way it was. Even parishes had an active role in approving couples to be married, and marriages were not officiated if a community believed a couple was unfit to be married.

    In the end, the problem is a poor method behind the interaction of the sexes. So much energy is poured into keeping men and women apart, the Church has forgotten they need to be together at some point to get married! There isn’t enough emphasis on teaching healthy dynamics between the sexes because of the ever-plummeting morality of society. As a Catholic, I am all for vocations but I do not believe people should be pushed into a vocation that is not appropriate for them. Those who should get married, need to be married. Those who should become priests, monks, or nuns, should do so.

    Sorry for the long comment.

    • Frank Swift May 16, 2013 at 12:34 AM #

      what, did we all get lost at age 18??

      That made me LOL

      Don’t apologize, I appreciate the time you took to comment here. I also think part of the problem with these youth groups is that they’re hedonistic in tone. It’s all about going bowling and having coffee and pretty much socializing so churches can convince the youth that church is cool and fun!

      Right off the bat they’re setting the youth up for failure on the expectation that no journey is worth undertaking unless it’s fun. They encourage no roots, so when the storms of life come, they quickly fall away.

      The churches have become many things, but a refuge is not one of them. There’s no place of escape, a respite from the world’s evils. So when these teenagers/now adults become overwhelmed with the world’s many lies, deceptions and temptations, what does the church do? They bring the flipping world right inside, because otherwise they’re just too square for da yoots.

      In the process they’re literally making orphans out of everyone, leaving them to fend for themselves.

    • Laceagate May 17, 2013 at 3:30 AM #

      Frank, this post piqued my interest mostly because I saw how it related to your comment over at sunshinemary’s regarding the college and Mrs. Degrees.

      I see the whole idea of keeping the singles too busy to marry and too busy to interact healthily with each other similar to the idea that college should be a place to get one’s Mrs. Now, I do disagree with the idea of keeping busy for the sake of busy, especially when busy pulls you away from real, local, and community-based ties. And I’m not talking about some random Meetup group! I’m talking about actual church and larger faith communities.

      On the flip side– in a *small* way I think I get why the Church as a whole is doing this, and while their concerns are sound, the methodology is a mess. Churches do this as a means to keep people busy so they aren’t just “waiting around for God to send a spouse.” Historically, men and women didn’t do that. Young people were far more industrious than they are now, and college/missions life has filled in the void for what was considered industrious.

      One of the things I saw missing from the discussion at sunshinemary’s was the idea that even though a woman may not have gone to college, what else is she doing? What is she doing to demonstrate that she has prudence and industry– and not busy-bodyness? I think the Church uses social groups and missions to keep people busy, but in a very, very wrong way. Hence why sending a girl to get her Mrs in college is You’re Doing It Wrong, but the premise is to keep her occupied. It’s too bad being occupied and busy doesn’t translate into try industry. Industriousness isn’t supposed to be fun either, and that’s part of the problem. A lot of young people go on missions expecting a fun experience but come back from a shock when they realize they can’t wear mascara (heard girls complain about that).

    • Frank Swift May 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM #

      We’re being served up as cannon fodder. That’s the word I keep thinking off. The younger generation have become cannon fodder for “good works” and “busy bodiness.” Marriage is THE MOST important decision a person can ever make in his or her life, and yet the church stands idly by for the most part. Unreal.

    • christianpundit July 22, 2013 at 5:16 AM #

      Laceagate said, “We all know the answer, of course– tons of fornication”

      No, there are Christians past the age of 30, 35, 45, 50 who are still virgins.

      Your attitude has been fostered by secular culture and Christian culture has bought into it, unfortunately; the attitudes are:

      1. supposedly nobody can resist sex for longer than a second (ie, it would take a rare few with a “gifting of celibacy,” and that gift is equated to some kind of mystical super power -which it is not), and

      2. everybody is doing it.

      So Christian virgins who are past 30, 35 years of age are thought more rare than a plaid elephant. But such Christians do in fact exist.

      You just never hear about them mainly because-

      1. churches/ preachers / conservative Christian groups are too busy sermonizing on all things marriage (such as: isn’t marriage dandy and great, how awful yucky liberals and feminists are trying to supposedly destroy traditional marriage, isn’t it sad that people aren’t marrying as much, etc)

      2. churches and Christian TV shows prefer the dramatic, moving, glam testimony of a former fornicator who became a “born again virgin” to the, (by comparison), less exciting testimony of a 40 or 50 year old who says, “Hi everyone, I am a Christian and have never had sex because I never got married.”

  4. Laceagate May 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

    I don’t deny the reality of that, hence why I think most people don’t become “religious” until they’re ready to marry.

    But how can we reasonably expect people to think seriously about marriage when so much time is spent keeping the sexes apart? There’s a reason why prom is associated with sexual behavior. Young people hardly know how to behave around each other unless its the product of hormonal responses. I think it’s a mistake to heavily segregate boys and girls once they’re age 10, especially in terms of age segregation. Society didn’t always function like that. Extended adolescence has made the problem worse. Oh, and speaking of that you’re gonna LOVE this (not):

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/upside-extended-adolescence

    Churchianity in action! Is it so surprising to note how readily churches accept the modern invention of extended adolescence, especially when it can serve the needs of busy-bodyness and mission work? People who are still adolescents until they’re almost 30 don’t get married.

    Hmm..conspiracy in action…

    • Frank Swift May 17, 2013 at 7:35 PM #

      Looks at Relevant article… *face palm*

      I think parents need to play a more active role in seeking out marital prospects for their children, but ultimately it’s an issue where everyone involved should seek God’s direction, and pray literally without ceasing until the matter is finally laid to rest. It’s only the most important decision a Christian can make, I think I can state with confidence that God desires to ensure such a decision is the right one (whether to marry, wait, or not marry.)

    • christianpundit July 22, 2013 at 5:35 AM #

      Laceagate, you said, “about marriage when so much time is spent keeping the sexes apart?”

      Yes, but this also goes on into adulthood. Sorry, I’m not clear on the ages of everyone posting here, but I’m a little over 40. Segregating by gender and age continues in churches past the 20-something age range.

      You can be 35 years old, or 45, or 55, and churches will still send the men to one room for Sunday School class, and women of the same age to another room.

      I don’t understand how churches expect their singles to pair up and marry off (if they have any singles, most churches don’t have many, they especially are lacking in single males), when they keep the guys in one room and females in another.

      One thing I have discussed on my own blog is that there are a lot of counter- productive Christian dating/marriage advice.

      In a nutshell, Christians are so scared of singles engaging in fornication, that much of their relationship advice in classes/ magazines/ blogs etc, tells men to stay away from the female gender and females to stay away from the males.

      Men and women are both depicted in Christian dating blogs/ books/ sermons as lacking self-control; so they paint this picture of women as being sexual temptresses who cannot be left alone with any male, because all single Christian women will seduce the guy – especially if he is married.

      Meanwhile, the single males are usually portrayed as sex- hungry, sex- obsessed, barely-rapists, so the Christian ladies get told in dating advice books/ blogs to never be alone with a guy.

      Another typical viewpoint I see in Christian commentary on dating/marriage is to simply portray both genders as equally susceptible to sexual sin – that is, if you have a single guy alone in a room with a single lady, they will INEVITABLY have sex on the table right then and there (according to Christian dating commentary).

      Much Christian teaching on dating/relationships, of the past roughly 20 – 30 years, encourages the genders to be suspicious of each other, and to stay away from each other.

      Yet the very churches and Christian groups publishing this dismal relationship advice, which is guaranteed to keep singles from getting married, scratch their heads in confusion that Christians are staying single into their 30s and 40s these days.

  5. Jason May 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM #

    Very well said. Singles in the church (and in this instance I am talking about the single, never-married and child-free) are given over to “kingdom work” which I am not discounting, or are told to many of the lines of: Jesus was single. There is no marriage in heaven! Jesus is your wife / husband! Look, even the Bible says “It is better not to marry”

    All well meaning mind you, but to many singles in the church who arrived later…the men and women who heard and have arrived a little later……churches just don’t know what to do.

    • Frank Swift May 19, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

      Jason, thanks for your comment! I think the problem foremost is how presumptuous everyone is about one being single. There is so much in Scripture about how marriages are the building blocks that make a stable and powerful church, but instead of seeing the attitude, “Hey, let’s get these singles married up!” it’s more along the lines of “Hey, let’s take advantage of all the free time and money these singles have!”

  6. James May 29, 2013 at 9:41 AM #

    Thank you, Frank, that is exactly how I feel, I wrote something to the extent not as will worded on a forum, and read a few answer, one that make me uncertain if I will return to the Forum could have been written by a modern Zophar; but most of the rest seem kindly worded. I just feel like I’m being judge by God because of having a Sex Drive (Hebrews 13:4), and being will pass 40;. if this is a gift from God He is so cruel.

    • Frank Swift May 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM #

      You’re not being punished, so much of this is just the result of the world we live in, and we need God’s guidance and direction more than ever to navigate through it.

  7. an observer June 6, 2013 at 10:01 PM #

    Lacegate,

    The church abandons sound teaching long before age 18.

    Frivorcing women are treated as heroes, whilst frivorced are cold shouldered.
    Teen girls are dosed up on careerism and moxie, that they’re worth it, because they are princesses.
    Teen boys are told they must control themselves, be disciplined, man up and be a leader.
    Youth groups are meat markets, where the situational alphas get all the poon they can handle.
    Leaders criticising the guys for not wifing up the girls.

    Been there, been shamed, still got the scars.

    • christianpundit July 22, 2013 at 5:41 AM #

      @ an observer.
      Single Female Christians have also had to endure shoddy treatment by churches, it’s not just males.

      Not all Christian women are arrogant and think of themselves as “princesses,” either.

      Geeze, Louise, there is too much hatred of women in some of the posts on this blog.

    • SingleLady August 20, 2013 at 9:39 PM #

      Your comment is just full of misogynyny, bitterness and nastiness. Such a narrow world you live in. Sad.

    • Frank Swift August 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM #

      SingleLady: I’m guessing you’re a cat owner.

  8. Frank Swift July 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM #

    So Christian virgins who are past 30, 35 years of age are thought more rare than a plaid elephant. But such Christians do in fact exist.

    Let’s stop drawing on anecdotes, and take a gander at some actual statistics:

    Eighty percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year.
    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/almost-everyones-doing-it

    This only polls up to 29, and doesn’t account for those who eventually get married. So only 20% of Christians are virgins (and I already think that number is too generous). I also suspect most of these virgins are women due to the better likelihood of them being prudes and having the libidos of a dead skunk as opposed to men.

    That leads me to wonder if you have a very low libido yourself, and hence why you don’t readily see the understandable reaction churches have in trying to get a handle on all the out of control fornication. I do agree that they are becoming a part of the problem by not providing a more structured way for people to date and get to know each other, and eventually marry. Instead they segregate as much as they can view that in itself as the solution.

    • John Morgan July 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM #

      “That leads me to wonder if you have a very low libido yourself, and hence why you don’t readily see the understandable reaction churches have in trying to get a handle on all the out of control fornication.” One of the lowest blows I’ve seen on a supposed “Christian” blog. You’re going to be surprised one day when you find out the Lord’s concerns, including mission trips, for those called to singleness are indeed “better” than any successful marriage. I recommend that you read 1 Cor 7 again.

    • Frank Swift July 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM #

      If that’s your interpretation of a low blow you need to get out of your cave more.

      Where’s your proof that missionary work is BETTER than a successful marriage? Boy, you want to talk about idolatry I think we see far more of it in “missional Christianity” than we do regarding the institution of marriage. Attempting to draw on 1 Corininthians 7 as some kind of proof without realizing Paul spoke his opinion rather than giving a word from the LORD strikes me as appallingly and intellectually lazy.

      I recommend that you read the entire Bible again.

    • Mr. Johnson September 2, 2014 at 5:18 AM #

      Um, ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. First, you “article” basically says that I can’t be a leader because I can’t be a bishop because I’m not married. Now, you suggest a male not having sex must have a low libido instead of having strong convictions. Go ahead and tell me that I’m not a real Christian because I hold a B.S. in mathematics. Or better yet, tell me I’m not a real man because I’m over 30 and still single. I know, tell me I’m not capable of being a teacher because my last name is Johnson and that has sexual connotations.

      Have no you love? Instead of using words to bring healing, you words are like a club upon the temples of men and women. If this is a reflection of those in your community that follow after Christ, I morn.

    • Frank Swift September 2, 2014 at 7:59 AM #

      Are you stupid? I didn’t say one should not be a bishop if he isn’t married, THE BIBLE does. I also don’t say it makes you less of a man, simply that you can’t be a bishop.

      Although I would suggest you learn to read first if you’re going to set your sights on a leadership position in any church. That’s sort of a requirement too.

    • prographo September 8, 2014 at 7:06 PM #

      Hi

      What an interesting blog.

      In 1 Cor 7, when talking about marriage, there is that bit where it goes;

      “The Lords says AAAA, and I PAUL say BBBB”

      That isn’t Paul splitting out a tiny bit of his letter and saying this bit here is not inspired. If he WERE saying that, then the rest of his letter would also be UNinspired (except that tiny bit where he quotes Jesus).

      Paul is simply quoting Jesus with regard to Christian marriage, he’s saying – this here is what Jesus said about christian marriage. Paul then goes on to ADD something, he talks about UNchristian marriage, where one of the people is not a Christian.

      I just really wanted to say that.

      thanks.

      :)

  9. Single White Christian Male July 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM #

    I have to be honest that I the tone of this post is very pessimistic to me – and also a very narrow view. Ironically, I think this post actually seems to be coming from the exact thought process why I believe singles already feel so outcast in church – because that view is coming from a married person who obviously hasn’t been single in a while or wasn’t single for very long at all.

    I will be completely up front – I’m a 32 year old single man who has never been married. I’ve only been in a handful of serious relationships, but I know without a doubt that I have truly been in love – and more than once in my opinion. I have been seeking a wife since I was old enough to consider marriage, and had the pieces fallen in place, I believe I could have easily been married to at least one of the women who have been a part of my life. But, for whatever reason, neither of those relationships worked out, and here I am past the age of 30 and still searching for God’s best for me.

    Wait, did you catch my last phrase? “God’s best for ME.” Yes, I have read the Bible, I know exactly what Paul says about singleness and getting married (in fact, having read this post again, I can somewhat count that as another reading of the infamous passage about it being better to be single), and I believe strongly that God created woman for man and that is His plan for the MAJORITY of people. Deep down, I also believe that is His plan for me. But, in my personal opinion, I also believe that God’s plan for me includes being single at this time. And guess what, I don’t blame the church ONE BIT for that fact.

    You see, the problem I have with churches is not that they aren’t providing opportunities for singles to meet other singles, but that they seem to forget that it’s OK for God to work in each person’s life DIFFERENTLY. In other words, I don’t need to be reminded that you met your wife at 18 years of age, and then lament how you wish you had more time to be single so you could have done more of the “Lord’s work”. I don’t need to be reminded that, “once you have children, you’ll understand and be a better person because of it”. And most importantly, I don’t need to be given some horrible look every time someone figures out that I’m over 30 and NOT MARRIED (heaven forbid)!!!

    My point is, every church I’ve ever been in has acknowledged mine and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ’s singleness MULTIPLE TIMES. They have expressed over and over how they are praying for me to “find the one”. They have even pointed out nearly every single woman in the place and tried to pair me up. Maybe my experience is the exception, but having quite a few single friends in churches throughout the city I live in, I don’t think I’m that unique.

    So, from my perspective, maybe it’s time for those in the position of being married to stop trying to point out how sad it is for us singles and how we are apparently missing out on something, and instead show us love and embrace us for who we are. Maybe, it’s time to realize that singles – especially those over the age of 25 – are a part of God’s plan and not just some odd aberration that made a mistake (or in this case, the “church’s mistake”) leading to their singleness.

    There’s only One who controls the timing of things and the ultimate outcome of this world. He’s given me the right to make my own choices, most of which fail without Him. But, if I trust in Him and believe His timing is more important than mine, then no one should judge what God’s plan is for my life.

    • Frank Swift July 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM #

      The experience of many (at least from the churchgoers I talk to) is that generally they receive the same kind of treatment you’ve experienced, BUT while church members regard them with pity, they don’t make a real effort to pair them off with someone. They recognize the “disease” so to speak, but do little to nothing to bring about a cure. Instead they serve up platitudes like, “Oh you’ll find someone when the time is right!” and so forth.

      I don’t doubt given the diversity of our Christian walks that this is SOMETIMES true, but it doesn’t take away from the reality that often these platitudes are said in order to justify inaction, rather than truly seeking God’s will to see if you really ARE meant to be single at this point in your life, or if you’re existing in an unnatural state that the church is unwittingly or intentionally perpetuating. There really needs to be a ministry for singles that attempts to go above and beyond mere platitudes, beginning with:

      Ok this person is single.

      Is it God’s will for him to be single at this time?

      Or is there some area in his life that he needs to address first?

      Or is he ready, but needs our support in finding him a good wife?

      And then prayerfully seek the answers. We don’t serve a God who doesn’t give people much needed answers, but what I do see is this tendency to make a lot of presumptions about what we think God’s will truly is.

    • Single White Christian Male July 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM #

      I understand your point, but I also see exactly where we differ. I personally don’t think it’s the church’s job to find me a wife. In fact, if that were the case, I think you would see more places in scripture strongly pushing Christian people to participate in what would best equate to “arranged marriages”. Admittedly, this practice (or something very similar) occurred often in earlier times. I don’t know that this was a bad idea, but again, I don’t see much context in scripture to justify the church selecting or helping someone select a wife/husband.

      To me, that’s where your logic is flawed. You are basing the concept of singleness in the church as a failing of the body. Personally, I think the failing is on a personal level – assuming that the person singleness is outside of God’s will. At that point, I believe the majority of people who are single (or are single again) are that way due to failures earlier in life. In other words, if they didn’t have a strong mother or father figure, I think that can greatly influence singleness or a second time of singleness through divorce. On that level, yes, I believe that people in the church can be more active in helping families stay stronger. But, honestly, I think the church can only do so much for people later on in life who experienced those issues.

      My main point is that I think there are TOO MANY people who want to immediately point blame at the church when something doesn’t go right in life. And, I agree that I have particularly seen this in reference to being single. But, I just don’t believe that the blame is justified. I think the church has it’s failings (my church’s motto is “No Perfect People Allowed”), but I don’t think a solution in this situation is going to come from a “body-wide” change in thought process. Instead, there needs to be more changes on an individual level. I do believe that singles need more accountability – especially from older members/elders of the church. But, again, in pretty much every church I’ve been in, I’ve been able to find people EAGER to offer that support and accountability if I just asked. Again, I don’t think this is unique to me.

      I personally believe that people still have to take that first step. You still have to be responsible for your own actions. People (as in the case of this post) often want to point the blame in other directions before acknowledging that maybe the real problem is a lack of inaction on our own part. It’s not that hard to find worthwhile people out there worth marrying, but you still have to put yourself out there. And, by no means do I believe that is the body’s responsibility!

      P.S. As a side note in reference to your reply, I do agree that there is a lot of presumptions about what God’s will truly is. However, I think my point with my previous comment is that you are also making a presumption that being single later in life is NOT God’s will. Honestly, I don’t remember ever reading anything that said that those who don’t marry young have committed a sin against God. Yes, it’s obvious that temptation and self-control can be an issue in your 20’s and 30’s, but it would be hard for me to believe that many people would say that temptation is any worse than it was when we were in our teenage years (especially men). If that’s the case, why don’t we marry at 16! And, to be frank, the answer is that we don’t have enough knowledge, experience or maturity to be marrying that young. So, what’s not to say that a 20 or 30 year-old isn’t still in that boat? Maturity is not determined by age. I’m sure you know that, but I’ve known plenty of people 25+ who aren’t mature enough to handle a pet, much less a family! Again, who are you to question God’s will in that case?

    • Frank Swift July 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM #

      SWCM,

      If the church had merely taken a neutral stance I might agree with you, but they actually promoted fads and trends that created this epidemic, so they bear a huge sense of culpability. Joshua Harris’s horrific book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is one example of this. Singles ministries often push non-biblical teachings that discourage dating, courtship and convince singles to just wait on the Lord and go on lots of missions. They are absolutely culpable and their actions in this regard are despicable.

      Biology BTW should tell you that we’re meant to marry early. Does it really make sense for God to design puberty to occur in our early teens only to have us burn in agony for 10-20 years before we can finally satiate our biological urges in marriage? I really don’t think so.

      What happened was Satan evolved our culture so that it’s virtually impossible for a teenager to become independent, whereas in more ancient times, this was common. Arranged marriages also were common, and did MUCH to avoid the massive headaches we’re enduring now. So much of what we’re seeing relationship-wise is simply not God’s will. Ideally, the vast majority of us are meant to be married, and married as early as possible. Only a few really have the collective power over their will (as Paul describes it) to maintain a single lifestyle free of sin.

    • Single White Christian Male July 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM #

      I honestly do see your point. But, I also realize I’ve been lucky to have been part of churches that have “bucked the trend” you are talking about. I do know all about the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” book, but I also think it has some merits along the lines of making people think twice about what their true intentions are. Again, that’s something societal (dating primarily leading to sex, which is obviously not God’s best), but I still believe this is a personal issue that people have to deal with. And, by far, I think the church certainly makes people aware that burning in lust is not God’s best. Offering ways of how to deal with it – well – I’ll just chalk it up to a “per church basis”. In other words, I do think some congregations are offering better options than others. Even so, as stated, I think the church’s role only goes so far…

      Anyway, Frank, what I’m really curious about is the fact that you are still single, correct? So, what I want to know is why you believe you are still single? Do you believe you are single because the church has failed you? If so, do you not believe that it is also your responsibility to be proactive and do something about it? And, if that’s not the issue and the answer is because “you haven’t found the right one yet”, how does that fit into this argument? Because, based on what you are saying, “finding the one” may not be God’s best. Instead, just finding someone who is single and available (which, BTW, was pretty much the idea of arranged marriage coupled with family obligations/politics) sounds like that would be more of the logical answer. In some people’s terms, this is “settling”. But, at least you would be married, right?

      I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just honestly curious. I’ve already told you why I believe I’m single (it’s not my time), but this blog basically says that I’ve already waited to long. I’m just wondering what your reason is for your situation.

  10. Frank Swift July 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM #

    Honestly do see your point. But, I also realize I’ve been lucky to have been part of churches that have “bucked the trend” you are talking about.

    It does seem like you’ve been blessed to participate in a circuit of churches that has been more proactive in trying to get singles together, even if it ultimately hasn’t worked out (yet.)

    I believe I’m single for a variety of reasons, some of it to a conspiracy (for lack of a better term) of unfortunate incidents and bad luck, but ultimately I chalk up much of it to a series of traumatic events that derailed my life for over ten years. Imagine being in a coma in your twenties and only waking up now, or released from prison after a 10 year stretch and you’d probably get my life. I’m only starting to do now in my mid thirties what I should have done in my twenties. Basically, I’m over ten years late to the party, and trying to grapple with a world that seems to have completely left older singles like me behind.

    These “events” were not something I had control over, but I really could have reacted better and been more faithful over the years. I’m ashamed of how I accused God of neglect and abandoning me, and felt the whole world had moved on without me. To this day though, I don’t know if I was really meant to be single this long, or if I had hindered God’s will with all my doubts and unbelief, fearing perhaps who he had in mind for me is now already married, and I missed my chance.

    Of course I’m sure much of this is from Satan, but I always get that niggling feeling that I missed my chance.

    On my good days I accept in faith based on His word that I’ll be married, but ehhhhh… seems like even if I did meet someone, something would still go horribly wrong and I’d wind up in a horrific marriage.

    So a lot of my posts on this reflects my struggles here, trying to trust God, learning what it means to be a good husband, and expressing my grievance and bewilderment at not only the church, but how most women behave.

    • Single White Christian Male July 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM #

      Frank – Thank you for your honesty and candor. That really gives me a lot of insight into not only this post but your blog in general. I also appreciate the discourse today and your willingness to let me voice my comments. Honestly, as all good conversations/arguments/discussion do, you’ve given me some food for thought and a reason to challenge and reaffirm my own beliefs.

      All that said, this will be my final comment on this post, and I’ll leave it alone.

      I completely agree with you that our prior circumstances affect our current situation. My own personal motto is “everything happens for a reason”. I know that logic has flaws, but it’s what holds my sanity together! That said, I also believe there has been multiple reasons why I’m still single, and some of that does stem from my own missteps as a person and a Christian. However, I also know a lot of it has had to also do with my own self-worth and self-confidence (which I talked about in a round about way in another comment on a post of yours earlier today). But, that’s why I honestly believe that my singleness is still in God’s timing. I believe he’s had a lot for me to learn that he has helped build me into the person I am today – and the future husband and father I hope to be soon. I think that, had I been married at 20 years old (or really any time before about 25 or 26), my beliefs and value system would have led me to a woman that would have not strengthened me spiritually or emotionally. I think I would have been a continuous giver and I would have given until I had nothing left. In retrospect, I now see how detrimental of a relationship that could have been, and there’s no question that I would have been severely unhappy or even divorced by now.

      That said, in reference to your situation, I truly believe that there is no such thing as “the one who got away”. I’ve debated this with other friends before, but I just really don’t think God is going to keep away the blessing of a marriage or an amazing wife just because we missed our chance. I believe God knows the desires of our heart, and I believe He blesses those who follow Him faithfully. From watching others who have been in my similar situation, I know I have seen people find the “one” even after almost all hope was gone – but they didn’t lose their hope in God. Frank, it is my personal belief that you still have someone for you out there. And, I have an even stronger belief that the person in question is not the “runner up”. I believe she is the one who God made for you, and your past circumstances will all build up to things falling in place just as it was supposed to – even if there were some twists, turns, and detours along the way.

      So, it is my prayer for you that you don’t give up hope, that your heart is healed from the pain and issues you’ve dealt with in the past, and that the one you’ve been waiting for is just around the corner. I believe He will bless you for your openness and attempts to help people think differently via this blog, and I think there are even greater things in store for you if you let God lead your way. You are obviously a very critical thinker, and I think your thoughts and beliefs are already helping people out there. You may not make them see things your way, but if nothing else, you are challenging them to truly explore their faith.

      God Bless!

  11. Frank Swift July 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

    So, it is my prayer for you that you don’t give up hope, that your heart is healed from the pain and issues you’ve dealt with in the past, and that the one you’ve been waiting for is just around the corner. I believe He will bless you for your openness and attempts to help people think differently via this blog, and I think there are even greater things in store for you if you let God lead your way. You are obviously a very critical thinker, and I think your thoughts and beliefs are already helping people out there. You may not make them see things your way, but if nothing else, you are challenging them to truly explore their faith.

    Thanks for that, I’ll pray for you as well. Feel free to continue reading my blog every now and then as well to see what I’ve been up to. ;-)

    • 2pouzlovestoryineverydaylife October 21, 2013 at 12:52 AM #

      Thank you both for your thoughts! It’s so refreshing to hear an honest opinion of a Christian single man’s point of view. I am a 32 years old single Christian woman & I enjoyed reading your response post to one another, it has been challenging, encouraging & inspiring for me personally, especially today.

      Bless you both beloved of God! May you both continue to work diligently & faithfully as Boaz, your Ruth is in the fields. :)

    • Frank Swift October 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM #

      Thanks for the kind words, 2pouz!

  12. SingleLady August 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM #

    If a single person feels the need to start a singles group or ministry at a church, nothing is stopping them from doing it. Why wait for the pastor or someone else to do it? Mature adults don’t sit around waiting for things to happen, they MAKE them happen. It’s that simple. As for the comments re: single women. It’s better for that woman to go on a mission than rush into marriage with just anyone so that she can “fit in” at a church that pushes marriage. There’s nothing wrong with being single. It’s NOT a “crisis”….now illness, poverty, war, those are crises. A little perspective please.

    • Frank Swift August 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM #

      Sure, and while we’re doing that let me go out and buy a winning lottery ticket. I’m just going to MAKE it happen.

  13. SingleLady August 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM #

    Frank…no. I wish I could have a cat but no pets allowed in my apartment, but quite frankly I think a cat or a dog would make better company than most of the men out there. *sticking out tongue*

  14. SingleLady August 20, 2013 at 9:53 PM #

    Nothing wrong with purchasing the occasional lottery ticket. They fund roads and schools, right?. May I be “Frank” with you?” LOL Based on your posts, you strike me as being a very negative person. Lighten up, sweetheart. No wonder no woman wants you. Who needs gloomy gus around?

    • Frank Swift August 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM #

      I have a sunnier disposition in real life. I use my blog often as a sounding board, so it’s not really an accurate reflection of my deep and incredibly complex personality (and deep it is, if I do say so myself, harrumph).

  15. Janice September 13, 2013 at 1:13 PM #

    Frank, I enjoyed your article. I can relate to a lot of the frustrations of being an older single in the church. One thing I would like to point out: When Paul says “I, not the Lord” in 1 Corinthians 7 he is not saying, “This is just my opinion. It’s not inspired.” When he writes, “not I, but the Lord” in verse 10 he is saying the Lord, meaning Jesus, had spoken on this topic before. Jesus addresses the topic of marriage and divorce in Matthew 19 and Paul is simply summarizing what the Lord said here in verse 10. When Paul says, “I,not the Lord” in verse 12, he is saying Jesus never specifically spoke on this specific issue while on earth. However what Paul says here is still inspired Scripture. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16. I would be careful not to discount any text of Scripture as simply “opinion”.

    One more thing: Not all never-married virgin Christian women over 40 are prudes with low libidos. I know. I’m one of them.

    http://singleunexpectedly.blogspot.com/2013/08/can-i-face-lifetime-of-no-sexwithout.html

    http://singleunexpectedly.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-should-i-be-sexually-pure-year.html

    http://singleunexpectedly.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-do-i-do-with-these-desires.html

    • Frank Swift September 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

      Thanks for your thoughts Janice. Paul made a point of distinguishing his advice from God’s commandment otherwise every Christian would be single thinking that’s the only way they can properly serve God. Paul made it clear he was speaking his words, not God’s and therefore it should not be considered as authoritative. I’m also inclined to believe Paul is speaking here as a widow, not as a never married single, so that’s something to take into consideration as well.

      BTW, I know libido impacts both genders, but men’s drives are much higher and as a result much more frustrating and agonizing to deal with, and it’s been my experience that women have a tendency to dismiss that callously and with an extraordinary lack of empathy. I need to remember not everyone is the same though. :-)

  16. Janice September 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM #

    Frank, I think Paul is making this statement as a widow too. Likely he had been married before being a member of the Sandhedrin. It’s a thorny subject for sure. I alternate between whether I should use my singleness to glorify God versus do all I can possibly do to get married. I hate the 2nd scenario because it makes me extremely anxious and depressed when I’m continually frustrated in my efforts to marry. But the first scenario is tough too because I cannot deny how much I want to be married. It’s quite a pickle to be in.

    I am not dismissive of the male sex drive. I get it. Trust me, I get it. You have my empathy. :-)

    • Frank Swift September 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM #

      Haha, thanks!

      I was reading the Corinthian verses again and noted Paul gives three conditions on the choice to remain single for those never married:

      1) Having no necessity

      2) Has power over his own will

      3) Has so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin

      It has to be rare for one to honestly be able to say he or she can do all three.

      10 years ago I would have scoffed at this being impossible for me. Now, I’m not so sure. I think I like and enjoy being single too much, so of course that probably means I’ll get married after all. :-P

      Though I wonder if it’s possible to teach an old dog like me, (who has gotten so used to the freedoms and whims of the single life) the new tricks of sustaining a relationship and marriage. I admit I now have selfish reasons for NOT getting married, because then it won’t be about meeeeeee anymore. :-)

  17. mc10s October 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM #

    In an attempt to respond to a LOT of the things I have read on here:

    I am a Christian man, in my mid 30’s, single, well mannered and respectful, in good shape
    I have been told I am an attractive guy, and I look much younger than my age.
    I am a successful business owner, and I work a lot. My “house” is in order. I am financially stable, and I have been a deacon and leader in my church.
    I am celibate
    I am a virgin

    I have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Where is this “the one”? Have I already met her and screwed it up? Is there even a ”the one” , or a whole collection of girls who could be compatible?

    I read facebook and see updates on my friends’ lives, and how great they are, and how their kids are doing. I am jealous, but not in a covetous way – in a “man, I wish I had a taste of that life” way. I am often the odd man out when I hang out with my friends at their homes. I enjoy hanging out with them and their families, but then I go home to myself.

    I hear the argument about guys playing games. I play some video games. Guys play video games because it is entertainment. It has a challenge and a goal. It is competition and it is “social”. For most guys, it is “cheap” entertainment. The same way girls shop, text, chat, call, facebook, or read a novel. It is entertainment. Playing a game for 2 hours is no different than knitting, scrapbooking, or watching a movie or tv shows.

    Churches stop having “singles” groups after 30. Most have “young singles” to 25 and “career” from 25-30. We 30+ agers are expected to go to “men’s groups” or “life stage” groups. The thing is, we as singles don’t fit the life stage groups. We are the same age, but the church asks the single guys/gals to be on the same page as the married, most often with kids, folks. The studies are catered to the married/family crowd issues and needs. Square peg, meet round hole. People in those age group/life stage adult classes have usually run out of unmarried single friends. No, I am not interested in a divorcee with kids. She and her husband couldn’t work it out, or they “made a mistake”. Why would I be any different? (Yes, I know there are legitimate reasons to get divorced, but most folks today just get divorced.) Single ladies are encouraged to go to the “ladies only” Bible studies. Ok, so how exactly are single men supposed to meet a Christian young lady in church in they are all culled out into a “women’s only” group? They recruit them right out of the single classes when their “adult” mentor start recommending she attend.

    Christian girls MUST stop being “creeped out” when guys approach them at church or church functions. I have NEVER asked a girl out before, during, or after a church function for this fear. I have several friends who were scorned publicly and privately by the females and leaders of the church for asking girls out at church events. WHAT???? Yes, the pastoral staff has called them into meeting to tell them that approaching a female at a church event to ask them out was WRONG. These guys weren’t lecherous, and they aren’t womanizers. Nice, attractive, “normal” (we all have our own quirks) Christian guys who had the balls to ask girls out.

    Sorry ladies, but not just any woman will do. Sure, there are a ton of girls with great personalities out there, but without any sexual attraction, there can be only so much interest. I take care of myself. My temple isn’t spotless, but it passes inspection.

    I love the folks in the church that start to make the assumption that a man over the age of 28 who is unmarried and single must be a homosexual. Even better are the folks in the singles groups that start to make the assumptions as well. The ladies are not assumed to be lesbians. Why is that?

    Online dating sites are a joke. Nobody actually pays for the services, so when you send an email or a “nudge/wink/smile/poke”, it goes into a virtual garbage bin of hope.

    Girls say they want a stable man with his finances in order. They should stop looking at 20 year old guys for that.That “desire” from women is EXACTLY why young guys are thinking they need to be established financially before girls will give them the time of day. Contrary to popular belief, guys do listen.

    What is Paul’s thorn in the flesh was SINGLENESS? Has anyone EVER stopped to think that could have been the issue? He wanted to be married, but wasn’t. He might have wanted to get off of the road and live a normal life.

    • Frank Swift October 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM #

      Sadly experiences like yours are going to become more and more common, as the churches struggle to handle growing numbers of divorced women/single moms and single men with no means or wisdom to deal with it properly.

  18. PureLife December 1, 2013 at 12:42 AM #

    This is the first article I’ve read that so accurately captures my frustration with being one of the only single females (on the brink of 30) in a congregation of couples, who are popping out cute babies right and left. I don’t begrudge them their children…I’m happy for them, but for a single female remaining a virgin until marriage, it just makes the ticking of my biological clock even louder. We don’t even have enough people to start a singles group, and if we did, it would be a handful of females with the exception of the one guy who JUST turned 20. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has perceived this attack on the family that believing singles are currently fighting against.

    • Frank Swift December 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM #

      Yes you’re definitely not the only one, a lot of us have been left behind by the churches, men and women. I’m sorry to hear that it’s happened to you as well, but I will pray for you.

  19. Amanda_M87 January 12, 2014 at 9:22 PM #

    I agree. I would consider going to a church singles event but none of the Catholic churches in my area have anything like that. It would be nice if they did.

    • Frank Swift January 12, 2014 at 9:38 PM #

      Yeah, they really need to step it up there. Be a part of the solution instead of constantly harping about the problem.

  20. SC January 17, 2014 at 10:39 AM #

    I don’t think it’s the church’s responsibility to set up situations for singles to meet and marry, but I do find that churches make it worse by shaming Christian singles who express a desire to marry. The church goes on and on about how hard and fabulous marriage is, the endless sermons, prayers, marriage seminars, etc., but when a Christian single says, “hey, I want the same things out of life that you spend so much time talking about and posting on Facebook,” they are told they are immature, shouldn’t want it, aren’t ready for it, should focus on God alone and plain old “I don’t want to hear it.” Singles are left feeling angry, abandoned, shameful, not qualities that are useful in finding a mate.

    They won’t pray for you, but expect you to remain pure and if you do meet someone, the first question is whether or not the potential mate is a Christian. They want it both ways. Or the kinder ones say that they don’t blame a single for having sex, which offers no support to the single who is struggling to remain pure.

    I think the impact of not praying for and supporting singles goes further than not finding a mate. It impacts every area of your life, and yet you are judged for not being at the level of maturity of a family man in Christ. As a single woman, I have less of a voice than anyone in the church including single men and children because I don’t have a father or husband at home to influence since it is the men who are permitted to speak. However, I do think single men are ridiculued at much higher rates than single women, and I don’t blame them for not wanting to be in the church either.

    Women in the church overwhelmingly talk about motherhood and sex, in my experience. The first topic is extremely painful, the second, extremely annoying. When and if they bother to ask you anything about your life, it is ALWAYS about work, as if there is nothing more to you than your job. A mother can talk endlessly about the trials and loneliness of motherhood and gets much sympathy. A single who mentions that she is single is told not to be bitter and to read a book.

    Many singles live in urban areas away from their families of origin and yet the church has failed to be a family or community to them, and unapologetically so. I don’t see things changing until some of the leaders begin experiencing widowhood, or their children pass the age of the 30 without finding mates. Then perhaps some sympathy can be mustered up for the earlier “failures” of the church.

    • Bee June 6, 2014 at 5:17 PM #

      Oh wow do I relate to this, haha! You have totally nailed my experiences in the church to a tee. Especially the ones with married women and being asked always about your job, nothing else. Because that’s really all you are, ya know.

  21. SC January 17, 2014 at 11:11 AM #

    I also think that Christian families have so insulated themselves from greater society, that they are not getting to know their neighbors, especially their single neighbors. It would be nice if a Christian family man befriended a single co-worker and invited him into his life – whether that is inviting him to church or simply inviting him to a house barbeque. This doesn’t happen. Combining the secularization of the west, and the 50% marriage rate of the U.S., the mission field is right here in our backyard, yet Christian families are too busy celebrating themselves and protecting themselves from the evils of feminism, secularism and singles in our nation.

    • Frank Swift January 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM #

      I agree, and we have too many churches and families complain about the dire state of broken marriages, rampant divorces, kids born out of wedlock, etc., but they don’t actually make a proactive effort to help people find and choose good spouses. If they’re not a part of the solution they’re a part of the problem.

  22. JustPasssingThrough March 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM #

    Hello. I am very very late to this blog entry (about 8 months late). But I feel compelled to respond.

    I found this blog by doing a google search for the search terms:

    Christian+singles+group+”over 30″

    I did so because I have found a church with a very good senior pastor, but the singles group is restricted only to people under the age of 30. I am appalled. Why am I being prevented from attending the singles group just because of my age? Is this a new thing in Christian ministry? Is it even scriptural?

    I wanted to do this google search to see how common this is.

    I do not know WHY this church is choosing to exclude anyone over 30 from the singles group. But in the end I have no one to fellowship with in this church.

    They started to do small group Bible studies last year and I went to one, and discovered that everyone in the group I was placed into had grandchildren. Everyone. Even the group leader. I was the only person there who had never been married and never had kids. I had very little in common with any of them. They were nice people, but there was just no connection.

    Why is this church doing this?

    Is it because the pastor I charge of the singles group is very young himself and doesn’t feel he can minister to anyone over 30? If so, then he needs to step down and allow someone else to be the singles pastor.

    Is it because someone somewhere did some “research” and discovered that today’s generation of American 20-something Christians have no desire to hang out with people over 30, so they are structuring the group to fit with that research?

    Allow me to rephrase the above by changing the words around, and after I have changed the words, tell me if this is godly.

    Is it because someone somewhere did some “research” and discovered that today’s generation of American white Christians have no desire to hang out with people who are not white, so they are structuring the group to fit with that research?

    Seriously, is this scriptural to push away unmarried people over 30?

    • Frank Swift March 27, 2014 at 7:34 PM #

      A few things:

      I think it’s partly a numbers game. There just aren’t that many singles over 30, so they pretty much fall by the wayside.

      Secondly, churches have a tendency to segregate people according to age, marital status, children, etc. This segregation in my view creates cliques and divides the body anymore. It also weakens any sense of cohesive unity, which is another reason why those who don’t neatly fit into any of the circles/cells churches create also get neglected.

      Thirdly, there’s something very wrong in observing so many young people taking on leadership roles before they’ve had a chance to truly mature in the faith. The Bible indicates that first building a family and proving that you are able to oversee your own household in a successful manner provides the prerequisite to successfully oversee a church. Young people simply don’t have that depth of experience, and it shows, especially in their hubris and arrogance.

  23. Tony nayo May 17, 2014 at 10:40 PM #

    I think this post about single christian is perfect and hits right between the eyes I see a lot of blogs that blame the single person

    • Frank Swift May 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM #

      Thank you, and sadly it’s true, churches more often than not blame the victims rather than accepting responsibility for their actions.

  24. Bee June 6, 2014 at 5:36 PM #

    Sadly this is spot on. I know I’m late to the conversation but this is all so true I had to comment. Thirty year old single woman, and it drives me crazy when singles are bugged and bugged about doing missions and made to fee idolatrous if they’re honest about desire for marriage. What’s wrong with a “hey, be willing to do things for God in singleness and serve Him faithfully, and we have opportunities for you to do that, but while you’re doing that we will pray with you and help you find someone however much we can.” Not in a “we need to fix the singles” way but just in being helpful and encouraging, and praying for us, actually looking around prayerfully, acknowledging a desire for marriage as a good thing and not a symptom of discontentment or idolatry. And not teasingly telling singles “heeeeeyyyyy you need to meet my nephew/niece!” But never actually introducing them because haha it’s so funny to tease singles in their thirties. Yup, been there, done that. It just gets hard feeling like the anomaly no one really knows what to do with because why don’t I just get married and fit in?

    • Frank Swift June 7, 2014 at 2:39 PM #

      Yep, and it doesn’t look like it;s going to change any time soon. The minute one proposes helping singles meet more godly people they get accused of turning the church into a dating service. But turning it into a rock concert, carnival, musical, drama club is evidently ok. >_>

  25. Trulyruby August 10, 2014 at 9:40 PM #

    I am myself so curious why there are so many singles growing older in the church. But some of it has to do with having ideals. A lot of women are overlooked for being over weight, working too hard. I know because i have single Christian women over 45 overlooked to being black or having a chronic illness in churches of 2000 here in Los Angeles. Turns out men wanted skinny blondes.

    Other things to consider

    I am still young but I can see that there is a high risk as so many young men are promiscuous and so many single women are left alone. It really is the work of Satan to destroy marriage. People became emotionally confused from all the divorces that began in 60’s. Th more and more people engaged in sex the less marriages. Today people are far fewer getting married before 35. Because men can have sex they have no rush to get married. Women become so scared hey just go and have sex on the first date. Just because they are secular the same emotional and physical needs are with us. And yes, Christian women on these dating sites will go to bed on the first date.

    And Frank! Trust me my single girlfriends who are virgins, have big libidos and it sucks!

    But think about all the breaking up.
    The Jadedness is affecting the Christian world that engage in sex, the secular world, and the pure Christian world. With the rise of feminism in 70s it has become harder for men to be themselves and women to be open to being pursed, I think about marriage in America all the time. The cultures that have survived did so because the culture placed or arranged the couples to get married. Also the brokenness I see in people and their emotional scars keep them from being healthy. Dating does not focus on people becoming healthy. I can tell a person is single right away…..I am a pastors daughter and an MFT..so I can read a persons emotional maturity instantly. We don’t want to be with baggage.

    We don’t have guidance and what guys go through to ask a girl out is appalling I’m the church. I try to help my Christian single guy friends out, most of the, need mentors. If they need therapy I straight out tell the, they are clingy and needy and women smell that a mile away. But online dating does work. I tell people give it two-three years straight. On dating sites I would give guys pointers, tell them to change some pictures, ect. You do need to present the best of you. It is healthy to show you are healthy.

    It is almost like people should go to therapy for a year and then perhaps have a dating site that arranges courtship. I can read a profile and instantly
    This single hood is just the winning war by Satan to mess it up. Where in history did people date? Like we know what is best for us. Most people are in denial and really in denial and that is us. Thank God forHis grace to point out our faults by giving us honest friends.

    I purposely have remained single because I knew I needed major healing, the church does not press enough the importance of being healthy. America is very dis functional and a lot of people marry a person that is not right for them and Gods plan. Yes we should focus on dating and being open but we also must surrender that we have a path to help the world and we want a person focused on God like ourselves.

    I am not advocating that a single person should focus on mission trips. As a pastor kid I didn’t go on a trip till college, age 22, on spring break. I waited because I said I would go In Gods timing, not because it was the Christian rite of passage. I know that I needed lots of healing from being a pastors kid,

    I finally had my break through last year. I did so by cutting my parents off till they were ready for me to share my pain they bestowed on me.

    I am free now and have less anger, awkwarness, fear. Guys like to be around and feel safe. I know I am a good sister in Christ and not afraid for men to be attracted to me but also know that I am not right for them, (church practices are different and this also is factor for us single people) but I stand with them till they find someone.

    My friend just got married from meeting his wife on Christian Mingle. My other friend who is 29 is dating a beautiful girl form Eharmy. He spent 5 years trying to settle into two churches and hold community, and meet someone, and his girlfriend was on Eharmony for two years.

    Los Angeles has a crazy number of singles over 35

    People need to take care of their health but also people need to give up their ideals. I know a black Christian Woman, Sweet and very strong in God. She goes to a big church but men don’t pursue because they want a thin blond. I was outraged at that racism and my heart broke. Another thing is that we become more and more stuck in our ways. And so we don’t want to be with people because we probably see their baggage. We all have single friends around us. Marriage really has more to do with friendship and the romance grows. Jesus was first our friend. And then we learn to circumcise our heart to understand his pure love for us. That is why the majority of arranged courtships have been successful. And the man and women in their first sexual encounter learn to understand the body.

    We are in a fallen world. This is a war against marriage by the media, the feminist movement, the wars….(think about how many young men were lost because of PTSD in the Vietnam war and live on the street, I blame this and the rise of homosexuality as a partial cause for so many singles in Los Angeles)

    There are a lot of reasons. Perhaps you can lead a way for courtships and helping people to learn to be a safe person to be around. When we are calm and people will long for our companionship.

    Blessings

    • Trulyruby August 10, 2014 at 9:45 PM #

      By the way I am extremely attractive, blond, blue eye, dream girl..I shock people all the time that I am single…but I am single for a variety of reasons. The inner woman is just like everywoman, I want my friends who are all ages 18 to 60 to get married.

      But I want people to also make choices to understand emotional bondage, family dis function, ect….

      READ Boundaries by Clowd and Townsman

    • Frank Swift August 12, 2014 at 1:15 PM #

      By the way I am extremely attractive, blond, blue eye, dream girl…

      You know, I keep seeing comments like these by self proclaimed beautiful women, who all seem to have a very high opinion of themselves, and it’s extremely off putting. One of the hallmarks of being a devout Christian is having a meek attitude, so whatever attractive factor you claim to have is automatically cancelled out by having an inflated ego. We already have a sizable population of beautiful women who have made themselves intolerable human beings because of their smug, arrogant attitudes. Don’t be one of them.

  26. Joel (@LawofLOGiC) September 12, 2014 at 11:02 AM #

    I have to agree with this article 100%. Background info: I’m a 30 year old Christian man who’s never been in a relationship or even kissed a girl.

    God’s also given me the exact same revelation that being single for years and desperately yearning for intimacy and companionship is really not something He intended and is unnatural. What I really hate is the church telling people like me to:

    “Stop looking for validation from women.”
    (How about I’m looking for real intimacy and companionship with a woman because spending time with my guy friends watching movies/football and going hiking is getting really stale like flat beer?)

    “You’re making relationships into an idol.”
    (If I’m very hungry and all I can think of is food, did I make food an idol?)

    “A relationship can’t make you happy.”
    (How about I’d rather be unhappy and be with somebody than be unhappy alone?)

    “You have to find fulfillment in your life first.”
    (I’ve traveled, visited mountains, lakes, etc and have done all of that. I’m pretty sure all of that pales in comparison with exploring the depths of intimacy with a woman.)

    By telling me these things, the church is saying there’s something wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with me. These are natural, God-given desires that I have. But there’s something wrong with the church and its dishonesty. There’s something wrong with cultivating a dishonest atmosphere in church where people can’t be real with their needs without being told something is wrong with them and they need to be fixed.

    • Frank Swift September 12, 2014 at 6:56 PM #

      I agree Joel, barring any OBVIOUS character issues that should reasonably preclude any person from having a relationship until he or she gets their act together, too many singles are being given empty and unbiblical platitudes from the church, which refuses to acknowledge the cultural war that has slowly eroded and ruined the marriage/family structure. They are content to watch singles suffer and endure either loneliness for decades while maintaining their chastity, or capitulate to a sex crazed culture by pursuing casual relationships and hookups. Marriage is no longer perceived as a legitimate or worthy pursuit for most Christians anymore. It is what it is.

    • stephanie March 29, 2015 at 4:36 PM #

      OH GOSH AMEN!!!!!!!!

      I am 42, never been married. Never been intimate. I am SICK of people having this “shut up and serve” attitude.

      I am still waiting for the Lord to send me the right one. I moved from California to Indiana about a year and a half ago and one of the mega churches “doesn’t believe in singles ministries:” say what????

      I feel your pain.

  27. EJ September 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM #

    Will shortly, be 49 years old, and feel like the biggest fool ever, in my youth I trusted God, and while all my friends slept around, I waited, now while my own members burn against me, I have given up all hope, don’t see this as being the gift of singleness, but it sure feels like the biggest curse ever given to a man.
    So i am a man cursed to the gift of singleness. Just wondering what is wrong with me, that God would do such a nasty thing to a person.

    • Joel (@LawofLOGiC) September 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM #

      I’m very sorry to hear that. But I will say that church has a powerful influence in a person’s mind because we lower our guard wrongfully thinking that beliefs we encounter in church are of God. A lot of beliefs are actually of man’s thinking, and unbiblical. Don’t believe everything you hear in church.

      The dating advice your hear in church is geared towards women. “Wait around for the perfect person to come into your life” is advice for women. Women do the waiting. Men do the pursuing. You might hear things like, “Your future wife will love you just the way you are. Big belly, stinky breath and all.” But trust me when I say, if you want a beautiful woman and aren’t willing to accept an unattractive woman in your life even though she has a great personality, neither is a beautiful woman going to accept you “just the way you are”. In short, you’re going to have to look and be at your confident best if you want to attract someone. Lift weights. Buy nice clothes. Learn what confidence looks like to a woman. Next, as a man, you’re going to have to pursue.

      God can help lead you to the women who’ll accept & love you. I’d highly recommend fasting and seeking God to get in tune with His spirit, so you can be led by Him. Once He leads you, you’ll have to walk up to women and have the responsibility of creating romantic feelings within them, because they ain’t just gonna “fall in love” with you at first sight. It takes time, patience, and persistence.

      You’re going to have to put the work into it. God secured the battle for David, but David had to take the risk and sling the shot at Goliath. David didn’t wait around.

      Finally, I’d highly recommend you seriously invest some time and money into learning about women, even reading books written by non-Christian men who have experience with getting women. Check out “The Doc Love System” and/or “How to Succeed with Women” by Ron Louis/David Copeland. Check out Coach Corey Wayne’s videos on Youtube. I highly recommend Coach Corey Wayne’s material.

      Don’t be passive! Fight for what you want! You were meant to marry!

    • Frank Swift September 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM #

      Not too long ago I read of a devout Catholic man who had his first (and hopefully last) marriage at 49 to a (I think) 41 year old woman (first marriage for her as well). Not the ideal success story, but then we don’t live in an ideal world.

    • stephanie March 29, 2015 at 4:38 PM #

      Hi EJ,

      I hate being single to. HATE IT!! I am 42 and I moved to Indiana about a year and a half ago. I got so lonely I would cry at my cubicle because I just couldn’t stand it sometimes.

    • Frank Swift March 29, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

      Hey Stephanie,

      I think it’s a matter of perspective, I’m close in age but I’m coming to appreciate being single and not being tied down in a relationship. It helps when everyone around me are in marriages that are completely falling apart or have stormy relationships where there’s nothing but contention, strife and aggravation. I enjoy the autonomy of being able to go anywhere and do anything without having to “answer” to the old ball and chain. If I get lonely, I go on short term dates or just play with the dog. :D

      I think what makes it hard to really enjoy the single life is when you forcing yourself to attend churches or social groups that all revolve around family and family functions. You’re surrounded by people who all seem to have it together raising a family or with a great marriage, and it makes you feel awful, but so much of it is a lie They’re just putting on phony smiles and appearances, when chances are their lives are in complete shambles. And you should feel bad because you’re the one who hasn’t met anyone? Nah.

      There’s an old joke, a patient comes in and says to the doc that his arm hurts when he does this, and the doc says then don’t do it.

      If you find church and the company that you keep does not edify you and constantly makes you feel bad, then stop going and/or cut them out of your lives. Life is too short for you to be miserable because of other people judging you because you’re not where they think you should be. That’s what compounds the loneliness.

      I look around and I can’t believe what people do to avoid being alone. One woman wound up marrying a guy she’s known for only two months for no other reason than because he was the first one willing to pay any attention to her, despite the fact that he’s a joker with no job and no class. Incredible. She just ruined her life, but hey who cares she’s finally married and that’s all that matters. Oy. When you see lunacy like that eventually it only becomes logical to finally start accepting and believing, you know, being single is kinda kick %%%. ;-)

  28. Stephanie C. October 19, 2014 at 9:13 PM #

    It is hard to meet decent christian guys at church. I dated one almost 2 months and then he started becoming verbally abusive to me. I am a single 50 year old virgin, attractive with a good job for 30 years and have trouble meeting men. I tried a christian dating site for 4 years and got nothing but scammers. I am going to try to get into doing some volunteer work during the week-maybe that will help. I do want to be married some day.

    • Frank Swift October 19, 2014 at 11:01 PM #

      Hope you meet good people while doing volunteer work. You could also try Meetup.com instead of dating sites to see if you can find certain groups with common interests. Good luck!

  29. Anne June 12, 2015 at 6:46 PM #

    Hello

    I would like to add that serving in missions and being married does not need to be mutually exclusive.

    • Anne June 12, 2015 at 7:07 PM #

      Continuing on from earlier comment…
      I know of a married couple who served together in missions abroad.

      I am a single Christian woman in my mid-20s and there are currently no single guys close to my age in the Baptist church I go to. I used to go to a bigger church where there were more young adults, but I left as I found it difficult to get to know people there, and most of the young adults I knew were married.

      Me and a girlfriend in her 30s have both experienced being left behind by the church as single women. She has unfortunately experienced a bad relationship with a guy she met outside of church, which she only ended recently. We are both from Australia. Although ultimately it is our decision as to whether we marry or not and who, I also agree that churches have not provided much, if any support in matching up people for marriage. What makes it more difficult is that in many churches people don’t take time to get to know one another due to the busyness in their lives .

    • Frank Swift June 12, 2015 at 8:16 PM #

      Agree with your points, it’s a shame that the church doesn’t acknowledge what an epidemic this has become, as a growing percentage of people continue to remain single or wind up in awful marriages.

    • Anne June 12, 2015 at 8:50 PM #

      I also think this epidemic can make singles vulnerable to people who will try to take advantage of their desperation eg my girlfriend and I both experienced relationships with guys who turned out to be players. From my experience, I’ve hardly heard any talk in churches about building and maintaining healthy relationships

  30. Rich July 4, 2015 at 12:25 PM #

    You want to know what is really a sign of singles, particularly single me, being abandoned? It is what I saw in this article here. Single is seen as a place that is supposed to be conditioned out of the single, to prepare them for marriage. Singles groups are to act as matchmakers to get singles married. There is noting on looking at staying single as a lifestyle unto itself, and supporting that. It is fight sex drive or get married, all temporary holdover.

    Go look in the Bible on this subject and you see some are to remain single. But, this isn’t even seen.

    • Frank Swift July 5, 2015 at 12:26 PM #

      I think you entirely missed the point then. We’re not discussing singles who are able to remain single and has “power over his will, having no necessity” but singles who desire to be married. Which would be about 95% of singles.

    • Rich July 5, 2015 at 12:55 PM #

      My reply is much more of a practical response to the nature of things, and where society is heading. Paul says singleness is preferred to being married, and marriage is a concession for individuals and not wrong. With the only measure being held out is the strength of a person’s sex drive as a measure of where they are to get married or not, as is the norm, it isn’t doing anything for anyone, and is basing God’s will around carnality. One is capable of doing more for Christ single, than married, because their interests are undivided.

      Above all, what is the way for a person to do the will of God, should not be this sort of universal coverall, but what lies within. Approaches where shoulding is dumped on a person, with no regards for the current state of the world (Paul warned about a current state of the world being one to avoid marriage, back in the day) doesn’t do anyone any service.

      If you want to minister to singles, minister to them, so they can live filling and productive lives in Christ, in their current station, not try to push them into some sort of other way. Then you don’t leave them behind.

      Please go back and look at scriptures regarding this. Here is Biblical support for a man not marrying (being a MGTOW):

      Jesus warned about the challenges of marrying.

    • Frank Swift July 5, 2015 at 1:32 PM #

      Again I think you’re missing the point. Churches aren’t helping singles get married, they’re exploiting them and refusing to take a more proactive role to help them find compatible and godly spouses.

      Being single may make one more productive in Christ, but the only time this idea was put forward was by Paul, and he himself said he spoke by concession, not commandment, and that the ability to remain single is a gift. Most people do not have this gift.

      In addition, you can’t take on any leadership roles in the church unless you’ve first been married and raised children. Building and maintaining a family are the criteria needed to successfully oversee a church as well. Being single has its benefits in the service of Christ, but it also has its drawbacks as well.

      We’re not to designed to be alone, from the beginning God said it is not good for the man to be alone, so being single for many people is an unnatural state. Most singles that need to help need them in the sense of finding a good wife or husband, as daunting as a task like that might be, and not simply say “Jesus is your husband” as a cop-out excuse to remain passive, while pushing these singles into doing drudge work for the church because they have more time on their hands. Very little about the church’s behavior towards singles has any relevance to actually following God’s will.

    • Rich July 5, 2015 at 2:49 PM #

      I look over 1 Corinthians 7 over and over and over, and I see you are reading the concession as being single, rather than the concession being married. Actually, I reread the verse there, and I am seeing where the concession spoken of is to married couples to come back together, to not be tempted.

      The reality here is this: Your expectations you impose on others in this, requires a bunch of willing participants that have to come together and do things to work. To be able to enable singles to live single, and serve (Paul says they are able to be less distracted by the world), is easier to do, and of greater benefit.

      On a practical level, when you treat singleness as a freak exception, you put pressure on singles who MUST then find a partner, and end up feeling broken without this, and incomplete. In addition, you have them finding completeness in another human, rather than Christ. You also elevate the marriage relationship as the highest form of human relationships and recent byproduct of this is the nuclear family enshrined as a savior, rather than the Church. Another problem here is that, the ONE verse on marrying instead of burning becomes THE criterion for determining whether to marry, which makes out a carnal desire as the Will of God, and reduces marriage as a placating of sexual urges, It also, as another thing, when loneliness is addressed by simply saying marriage is the answer, it undermines personal development and making a person better suited to get married later on.

      There is plenty problematic when you push marriage as THE way for about every single Christian, unless they have some freak exception. On about every single level, it doesn’t work, and it isn’t surprising that churches are declining as this forced pattern of the past is being pushed, when you have an entire generation that isn’t seeing marriage as that desirable, nor seeing a way to actually make it work. But it keeps getting pushed.

      Rather than take what you say here, I propose that individual Christians look to find piece in the station in life they are found (Paul says married, don’t see a divorce and if single, don’t seek a spouse) work on themselves to be more complete, and if the right partner comes along, and it works, and you are equally yoked in Christ and can do a common work together, then that is it. But to try to push marriage as THE thing, is to totally undermine a LOT of scripture, to justify a past pattern that isn’t working today, and was built up as a past custom.

      I actually look at your blog post here, and you give a preference rant on what you want to see. I don’t see any scripture in it, or anything for practical Church tradition either, just your preference regarding you see the world as one when marriage MUST be done, and no regard to knowing if anyone should remain single. Yes, some are called to a life of singleness. It happens. And I laid out plenty of scripture in a video I did to show it is valid from a Christian perspective.

      Want to know where churches fall REALLY short? It isn’t just in the marriage side, but in enabling Christians, and young Christians, to find their way in life and make choices. It is very much placating natural wants and desires, and not what the Kingdom of God is like on a personal level for each Christian, and how they are to order their lives.

    • Frank Swift July 6, 2015 at 10:41 PM #

      Rich, you’re overthinking this. Besides that, you’re also misinterpreting my post as a plea to churches to be more proactive to helping singles find a spouse. I do believe churches have failed in this regard, but I don’t expect them to change either. This is a rant on the state of things today, not a plea or expectation that they do better.

      I’ll reiterate, Paul gives great advice, but what he’s saying here is his own opinion, not the word of God. Being and remaining single having no need to be married is a gift, but not everyone has this gift. I’m speaking to those who don’t feel they were meant to be single. If you’re willing to GYOW and you don’t have a pressing need to be married, go pat yourself in the back, but not everyone feels this way, and I would say most people don’t, men and women.

      In addition to a low libido, which is just a small part of the equation, I would say the criterion is that the person has no desire to have kids and raise a family, and feels little sense of loneliness for not having a companion to share his or her life with. They have “no necessity.” I can’t think of too many people who are like that, instead the desire for a companion consumes their every waking moment, and I can’t imagine anyone who is so consumed by the thought of marriage and finding their other half can be much use for the kingdom. You could argue that a lot of this is societal pressure, but for the most part this is an innate desire.

      What I observe are churches today who see an inordinate number of people remaining single, and then ignoring this rather than considering that this might be indicative of a problem, (or just blaming the single, especially single men, for not manning up and marrying that single mom). Not everyone is meant to be married and do have the gift of being single, but the epidemic is that there are far too many singles today who WERE meant to be married, and the church is not only is doing little about it, but has aggravated this epidemic even more.

      You can call that whining all you want, but it’s simply the truth. Again, I don’t expect the church to do anything, instead I will entrust to God what has now become an impossible task due to the times we live in.

      If you want to go your own way, that’s fine, Paul says you’re not sinning by not looking for a wife or family, and if you feel that’s the life you want to lead and will give you more peace, then enjoy your gift. But just as you don’t want singles who wish to remain that way to be condemned or scorned, neither should you condemn or look down on Christians who still desire to be married as being weak or capitulating to the pressures of society.

    • Rich July 6, 2015 at 11:56 PM #

      I would add here that churches really don’t do anything for young adults to help them find their calling in life. This isn’t just the marriage or single thing, but it goes deeper into career. It is like they church ends ups being merely a vehicle to placate married couple issues, provide God for young children, and addressing first world problem discontents of everyone. There is a dire need to be able to have people put first the Kingdom in a practical way, as it would relate to purpose and life calling. It isn’t done, when needing it the most.

      In regards to your take about getting Christian singles spouses, IF LUCKY, you will get a single’s fellowship. And that somehow God will work magic, because God brings the one together.

      You want to look deeper into this? Look into the Dones phenomenon regarding Churches. You have Christians dropping out of churches completely.

      In short, the church isn’t relevant to single’s at all, or anything community related like that. It is just the “personal relationship with Jesus” and maybe offering tithing as a path to prosperity. To demand more in terms of real discipleship that can make a difference, you won’t find.

    • Frank Swift July 7, 2015 at 1:15 AM #

      True, the singles issue is just one facet of the many serious problems in churches today.

    • Rich July 7, 2015 at 1:25 AM #

      I realize that I have no power to change any of this, so I am working on myself, and trying to connect with others to see what can be done to change. I am done trying to get any part of the world to change, and try to connect with people one on one, even if I am doing YouTube.

    • Frank Swift July 7, 2015 at 1:34 AM #

      I think part of the frustration is that we try to change things in our own strength rather than in God’s timing. Moses is such a good example of this, killing an Egyptian in a rage and then having to flee for his life, before finally being brought back to deliver Egypt at the age of 80, a 40 year long wait.

      More recently, one of my favorite Christian authors didn’t start his ministry until he was 47, a ministry that went global and still continues today after he passed on. Waiting for God to open the door and call us to a ministry of His choosing is a hard thing to do, especially when we have to watch the world burn in the meantime. But I am coming to learn that these things are worth the wait.

    • Rich July 7, 2015 at 12:17 PM #

      There is also the parable of the talents where talents were given out, and they were to bring a return. I am not sure the best thing to do is waiting around to get “zapped” by God, and have whatever circumstances show up in your life as supposedly the will of God. There is seeking the Kingdom of God, and also being faithful in little things.

      What I see regarding any waiting is if there is lack of clarity in how to proceed. Once there is, and you are able to be verified with seeing a way to do it, and it has been confirmed with wise counsel, then you do. You move in what you see as a way to do things. Until then, waiting can be called.

      In this, I am thinking churches come up short in providing the ability to gain clarity. There isn’t much teaching for youth on picking the right vocation area to go after, or even the right measurement of whether to marry or not.

      I know with myself I ended up jumping out on my own a lot, and having everything pretty much fail, so I am now working on myself, less concerned with there being a ministry, and more getting my stuff together. If anything maybe my YouTube channel can be seen as a ministry. I did other YouTube channels before, but I did see a need for the addressing the issues that matter to me, from where I am, and it has been wearing on me for years, so I go ahead. I will see what I can say that can be of help. You caught a bit of my take on things. I really think there is a need for resources for single Christian men, and I will see what I can find here. It is an area I know. Each failure I had provided lessons to go ahead. What I see is clustering as singles (as a way to get married, and to avoid lust) and also men, not the intersection of single and men.

      I do think this video is a rare video and of value, on the subject of singleness:

    • Jason February 6, 2016 at 4:45 PM #

      Rich. I liked your comment, and MGTOW seems to be the way to go for many Christian men over the age of 30 ;-)

  31. Rich July 5, 2015 at 2:52 PM #

    And here is a video I did on my take on the problem as I see it:

    So, besides low sex drive, what is the criterion you see for determining if someone is not suited for marriage?

  32. Frustratedly amused September 16, 2015 at 12:41 AM #

    I find your view on this interesting, even fascinating, but disagree with you on your position on church singles in leadership. Wasn’t Paul, perhaps one of the greatest church leaders, unmarried? I concur that marriage can be a great help in building leadership experience, but I do not think that out it’s right for the church to exclude a significant portion of their membership and potential talent simply because God had not seen fit to bring them together with a spouse.

    • Frank Swift September 16, 2015 at 5:19 AM #

      Actually the consensus was that Paul had been married, given it’s one of the requirements to be a Pharisee. He may have even had kids. Regardless, his role was more as a missionary rather than a church leader. When he describes the qualifications of being a deacon and a bishop, two distinctive roles that involve overseeing and pastoring a church group, the requirements were clear: both had to be married and had to have children. “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” – 1 Timothy 3:4-5

      Having the experience of taking care of your own family responsibly and with wisdom is the prerequisite needed to oversee a church. This doesn’t mean singles can’t lead in other respects, but it is foolish and unscriptural for churches to disregard these verses and appoint anyone they please to pastor/oversee a church. Singles should also be mindful of these verses and discern wisely what their place is in the church with prayer and humility. The body of Christ has many parts, many of which does not involve church leadership, and yet each part makes up the whole and is essential to its health.

  33. Michael September 27, 2015 at 9:00 PM #

    Singles make powerful leaders being single disqualifies no one. The scriptures you used don’t support your position.

    • Frank Swift September 27, 2015 at 9:17 PM #

      Are you purposely being obtuse? The verses I cited clearly disqualify singles from being church leaders. What is it with illiterate Christians these days.

  34. James November 19, 2015 at 9:58 AM #

    I agree wholeheartedly with you am over 50, trusted God in my youth that He would find me a wife, now just lonely, and wondering if the Blood of Jesus Christ cover my sins, because God hasn’t even given a care about my need. I watch as people who don’t care about God get someone, yet God has no mate for me. I will go to the grave knowing that i am worthless.

    • Frank Swift November 19, 2015 at 12:50 PM #

      I find as I get older this becomes less and less important to me, and nowadays I have virtually no wish to be married. The desire for female companionship I think is only as strong as you allow it to be.

      It’s possible despite God being omnipotent, we still have free will, and He may have had someone intended for us who chose to follow another path outside of His will. Or He put someone in that path and we rejected that person without even realizing it.

      Don’t have all the answers, but while it can sometimes suck to be single, I eminently prefer that to being divorced, broke and legally bound to support the lifestyle of a woman who no longer loves me (and may never have loved me), which has been the sad fate of so many men.

  35. TheVeryTruth May 15, 2016 at 2:10 PM #

    Many of us Single Good people are usually the Forgotten ones.

  36. Vanessa Loy May 29, 2016 at 6:13 PM #

    “In the meantime, we have singles being given leadership roles within the church that they have no business taking on.”

    Seriously? Every day I come across news articles about pastors, Sunday School teachers, bishops, etc. having affairs with women, looking at child p%&&*graphy, molesting children, or covering up child abuse. In nearly every single case, (Jack Schaap, Bob Coy, Tullian Tchividjian, Donn Ketcham, Brian Houston,C.J. Mahaney, David Loveless, Sam Hinn) the perpetrator was married. Clean up your own house before attacking singles.

    • Frank Swift May 29, 2016 at 6:16 PM #

      Oh please, and we have numerous religious leaders who take a vow of celibacy and have been found guilty of worse. If you gave a problem with marriage being a prerequisite for a leadership position, take it up with God, you stupid dingbat.

  37. Ellen May 30, 2016 at 12:20 PM #

    I agree that it is a real problem for churches to acknowledge and include people who are single. If they do include singles, there is usually some kind of motive. They will assume that the single person will serve in a ministry, or seek to find someone whom they will eventually marry. The churches fail to listen and understand the wants and needs of single Christians. At a parish that i go to they used to have a ministry group for adults in their 30’s and 40’s. The attendance was very sparse. The leader of the group would always take names and phone numbers, but a lot of these people would never return after one or two events or gatherings. I am not sure if this was an organizational issue or social chemistry issue where the people just didn’t connect. I haven’t had any recent conversations on this recently, but in the past, that seemed to be the case.

    So, it if is connection or compatibility issue, then it may be obvious that people (as individuals) are not looking past the intention of marriage. Adult groups do not have to be about dating or marriage, they can be adults who share a common faith with possible shared outside interests. Another reason why groups don’t last is because of the age group. In the Catholic Church across the U.S. for whatever reason, they determined that Young Adult mean ages 18-40. That is a pretty broad gap. They need to break down these age groups into three age groups with some overlap so that people can transition as they get older and outgrow the younger ministry group. There are a lot of gray areas on why many church groups do not last. In my opinion, having these groups should not require a budget because the church should not be paying for any of the adult group events.

    • Frank Swift May 30, 2016 at 8:18 PM #

      Thanks for your thoughts. There seems to be no easy solution to this, other than that churches need to get back to basics and seek God for every answer instead of mimicking the world and debasing themselves into becoming carnival sideshows and social centers rather than a legitimate house of worship.

  38. Vanessa Loy May 30, 2016 at 7:01 PM #

    “you stupid dingbat.”

    Wow. This is how a man of God speaks to people, with insults and namecalling rather than addressing the issue? Jesus Christ Himself wouldn’t be allowed to preach in many churches by their own restrictions.

    • Frank Swift May 30, 2016 at 8:15 PM #

      I’m not a man of God, I don’t hold any position of authority in churches, I’m just a guy calling you out for the idiot you are.

  39. Paul August 1, 2016 at 9:30 PM #

    Well i can certainly Blame the single women out there why many of us Good men are still Single today since many women that have their Careers are so very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, narcissists, and so very power money hungry which is the real Excellent Reason why many of us men are since it does really Take Two To Tangle. Most women today want the Best of all which they will Never settle for Less since it is all about Money for them. A woman will Never go with a man that makes much Less money than they do and God Forbid if they ever did. Quite a real Change in the women of today Unfortunately compared to the Good old fashioned women of years ago when Most of them were really the Best.

  40. Eli Rodriguez August 24, 2016 at 4:41 AM #

    My brother!!! I would like to this message go to every place in the world. I can see so clearly the devils work on today society. I like singleness where praised. Jesus were us about this

    But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Look, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore, and breasts that never nursed.

    The today’s church is just wait , wait, patience , wait , pray. Yes that’s good but WHERE IS THE ACTION!!

  41. Kyle October 13, 2016 at 8:53 PM #

    Churches today only care about singles if they can exploit us for labor. Other than that, they don’t want us around. If one is over 25 and single, there is no reason to go to church unless you find that very rare church which actually decides to care for singles. Better to worship God on your own; no need to be around other people who don’t want you there, and often think there is something seriously wrong with you because you are not married.

  42. Paul December 13, 2016 at 7:53 AM #

    Unfortunately it is the type of women that are out there these days why many of us Good men are still Single today since we really have No Reason at all to Blame ourselves either when Most of us men Aren’t Single by choice.

  43. James A. "Jim" Farmer September 27, 2017 at 2:17 PM #

    At least this writer is sensitive, sensible, and sane in not taking 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 out of context, distorting it, and using it as a religious club to beat single people in the church over the head! We need more writers like this who are both morally and intellectually honest. Yes, I agree. Unmarried people in churches, especially the single heterosexual male, has historically been relegated to “sitting in the back of the bus” so to speak. In fact, I compare this to the plight of the 19th century Chinese or Irish immigrant. A sign in the window on the East Coast might have read something like this: “Irish need not apply”, or likewise the West Coast version: “Chinese need not apply.” I’m not saying all churches are like this, though some certainly are. Again, I feed pretty safe at Shasta Way Christian Church of Klamath Falls, Oregon. I only wish there were many more single women closer to
    my age. And of course your’s truly here coined this graphic statement: “I hate singleness as bad as the Russians hated the Nazis and Fascists during World War II (1939-1945)!” These are my sentiments expressed. I realized in some circles this would be considered both politically and especially “religiously incorrect!”

    “Marriage is honorable in all.” —–Hebrews 13:4

    Native Oregonian since November 1956. Well despite being cursed by singleness,
    at least I was too young for the Vietnam War (1961-1965). And of course World War II ended in 1945, and the Korean War (1950-1953) called a “police action” were before I was even born in November 1956. Beginning in May 1945 any Nazi who wore and SS uniform was considered a war criminal.
    an SS uniro

  44. Single and childless October 8, 2017 at 11:31 PM #

    I agree!

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