Thursday, March 27, 2008

Being never-married in a married church....

There are all kinds of single people in the church but one of the points I try to make in the book is the degree to which singles are largely ignored, to the Church's great detriment.

Let me try to narrate an account of one set of singles:
You are born. Your parents baptize you (or wait till you request it, depending on your affiliation). They bring you to church each week. You learn prayers and when to sit and stand and sing. You go to Sunday School and learn Bible stories. Eventually you become a teenager. You go to youth group. You get confirmed (or baptized). The people in your church love you because you're "THE FUTURE". You feel the love. You graduate from high school. And suddenly....

you fall off a cliff into the dark,murky,depths of singleness.

Now you are a single person and officially an adult. You have questions. You have doubts. You want to participate. You want to matter to this group of people called "The Body of Christ". After all, you were baptized there. They promised to "confirm and strengthen you" in the way that leads to life eternal. Where have they gone?

You try to find others who might ask the questions with you and live the faith with you. You despair a bit because the announcements each week deal with children's Sunday School or the new adult Sunday School class. You despair a bit because the sermons seem always to relate to married couples. You go to Adult Sunday School and discover you're out of place because they're all married and you're not.

You discover that most other people don't want to ask questions because they're married now and have children and any questions about faith are reserved for their children. And they don't have time to do much else other than raise their children. Understandable, you think. But still. Where's your place in all this?

You maybe find a small group of people (three or four) who are also not married. You get shunted into "the group that meets for brunch once a month with other unmarried folks."

You find yourself at a crossroads. If there is no place for you here in this Body of Christ, maybe you ought to leave. Or, you could get married. You struggle a bit but take the latter path. You sign up for an online Christian singles site. Maybe you find "the One". Maybe you get married. Maybe you have children. All this is good, very good.

But inside you're confused about the focus on marriage because you always thought that Christ was the only "the One". And in brief moments when dropping off children for Sunday School, you wonder what happened to the Church that proclaims 1 Corinthians 7.

No comments: