According to Christianity magazine, there are now twice as many single women in the church than men. The church community has increasingly growing numbers of divorced people. For some, singleness is a God-given calling. For others, it is a status on facebook that they want to change fast…!
As a community, we love to hear your thoughts on a wide range of issues! With that in mind, we asked you (Sophia Network members) to share your experience (via our facebook community) of being a Christian single in the 21st century and how the church responds to singleness!
We were overwhelmed by your responses and willingness to share – thank you! Unfortunately we cannot repeat word for word what was said, but we have highlighted some of the key issues identified by the people (both women and men of all age groups) who responded to the questions.
And we have some questions for you to reflect on too…
Be challenged. Be supported. Be inspired.
As a single Christian what do you find hard about dating?
- ‘If you are a Christian in your 30-40’s most Christian men you meet want a sexual relationship, but no marriage or commitment’. Is this your experience?
- ‘It is really hard to find Christian men who have moved out of their parents house!’ In what ways might this be an issue?
- ‘In my opinion most Christian men are after Soul Survivor Barbie’. In what ways do you think this might be true?
- ‘It is hard to date without ‘the church’ constantly asking when they will hear wedding bells. They will not let you get to know the other person in a non-pressured environment’. In what ways have you experienced this?
What one thing would you advise other Christians to think through in the whole area of dating?
- ‘Be prepared to wait and not give in to pressure to date or get married.’
- ‘Understand who you are before getting serious in relationships.’
- ‘Learn to be content in all circumstances – ask God to help you be content in singleness or when dating.’
- ‘Relationships are not always bed of roses. Some people can be unhappy in relationships too.’
- ‘Be honest about the chances of finding a partner if you are over 40, single and a female.’ Do you think that it is realistic to compromise on your ‘requirement’ list? Do you think it is the same for men?
- ‘Allowing myself to get sexually intimate before marriage did not bring me happiness. It is good to set boundaries.'
- ‘Know what you are looking for and do not accept anything less.’
What other things would you add here?
- ‘See dating and marriage as positive and teach on what Christians can do rather than what they should not do when in a relationship.’
- ‘We need a lot more teaching on how you can have an understanding of who you are and be secure in yourself before entering into a relationship.’
- ‘More advice for widows and widowers in their 60s, 70s and beyond. The church can treat them as if they are immune to sexual feelings; as if they don't need advice on being single; and we forget them when there is preaching on singleness.’
- ‘The church needs to know that single people are NOT lepers! They just haven't met "the one". (One person replied to this question be saying ‘I'm not prepared to put up with any old rubbish, so I'll probably be single for a very long time’.’
- ‘How can we make sure that marriage is not an idol in the church?’
There are lots of interesting points raised here. What’s your thoughts? Do you agree with the points made or not? Why do you think this?
We would love to hear particularly from people who have chosen to be single and are not actively looking for a partner.
Let's continue the discussion! Be part of it.
Over to you…