How can single people like myself relate to the “family values” Christians? —Sharon
Thanks so much for sending in this important question. We believe you’re asking, How do I relate, how do I cope in this world as a single person? Single people have unique problems, temptations, and opportunities. And, yet, we’re all human beings that need God and Christian community to grow and mature as believers in Jesus.
One thought is for you to emphasize the common ground you share with your married friends and acquaintances in the church. We belong to the same family (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 3:14-15) and household (Matthew 10:25; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19). And Jesus has modeled and taught us values that—whatever our individual circumstances, sex, age, or marital status—can assure us fulfillment, joy, and peace in Him.
Also, you and all fellow believers possess unique spiritual gifts, talents, experiences, and biblical wisdom to be shared. A growing trend in churches today is to move away from “singles ministry” to small groups comprised of people of different ages and life stations (single, married, working, in school, etc.). This is due to the recognition that we need people who are different from us to experience spiritual growth and sanctification. In other words, married people need you just as much as you need married people.
John Stott, a beloved and influential Anglican pastor who never married, said of singleness: “The greatest problem is the tendency to personal loneliness. Any single person knows more about loneliness than somebody who is sharing his life with a wife and family. This has meant that I have needed to cultivate friendships and to force myself to spend time in the company of others.” Yes, loneliness can be a challenge, but so can selfishness. It’s important to not allow yourself to enter into isolation and veer away from meaningful fellowship and interaction with others—including those who are married.
May God encourage and help you in your desire to relate to those who are in some ways different from you. Consider what Paul wrote: “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Keep striving to relate, the Body of Christ needs you! —Peggy Willison, Tom Felten, Dan VanderLugt
Feel free to submit a “you choose Q” to ODJ by using the contact us form on the home page!