In my last article, Top 10 Cliché Messages Singles Say They’re Tired of Hearing in Church, I shared the top 10 pieces of cliché advice singles have heard in church. The list was curated by a frustrated single Christian woman who was tired of hearing the same old messages targeted towards singles in church. So she asked her friends on social media to share clichéd messages they’ve heard over and over again in church.
Well…not only did they share the clichéd messages, they also shared their frustrations about those messages. They had some strong feelings too. And to be honest, I can’t blame them.
As the relational economy has shifted over the past five decades and as women have increased their educational, financial, and professional power, it has completely changed the way single men and women’s relationships are started, cultivated, and sustained. But what hasn’t seemed to change is the church’s messaging to these singles. And that has created some very frustrated single-saints who aren’t afraid to express their opinions.
Here are the 5 top opinions expressed by some frustrated singles about what the church is saying to singles.
- “I’m so tired of pastors/preachers talking about singleness in regards to potential marriage. The reality is there is so much more that God wants us to do with our lives than to wait for marriage. Singles play a significant role in spreading the Gospel. God’s will for some people is to never get married. So we need to have chances to disciple single people and make them feel enriched in their singleness.”
- “When we go to church, they can sometimes make it seem like interaction or a close relationship with the opposite sex is a disease. This stupid thing we say and call it a prayer… “Lord if he ain’t the one please remove him from my life”! Whhaaaaat? How about Lord, help me to be a light to this person no matter what. Help me to honor you in this relationship whether it’s for a season or a lifetime.”
- “I simply think that most of the advice singles get is simply a hodgepodge of popular dating advice, old wives’ tales, mixed in with cherry picked Scriptures.”
- “I think that, subconsciously, churches only address singles in the context of marriage preparation because it’s the only context they really know and can “grow” and maintain churches, as marriage is seen as the foundation of families, which translates to more butts in the pews and potentially more money in the collection plate.”
- “I have heard so many different things on dating … and they all sound like man’s interpretation. I think you have to know yourself and know God for yourself and you and He work out the parameters.”
The bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” [Hebrews 13:8]. True! But the messaging about Jesus shouldn’t be the same as it was 50 years ago. When Jesus was teaching or making a point, he often used agricultural analogies or fishing metaphors to drive home a spiritual principle. People could relate to that because they lived in an agricultural society.
In 2017, agriculture and fishing metaphors wouldn’t be effective messaging to drive home biblical principles because we live in the Internet/information age. Likewise…neither are the clichéd messages the church has been using because we are living in an age where women have just as much power, if not more, than ever before.
And that has completely changed the male/female dynamics, which constitutes new relational socio-economics that must be taken into consideration in its messaging. The church would do well to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove in its messaging to the singles…about the singles…lest their frustrations provoke them to turn a deaf-ear to what Jesus is truly saying to the singles in church.
BMWK — Do you agree with their feelings about the church’s message towards singles?