"Hi! Yes, I am single......................no, I don't need you to guard my heart. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that Proverbs 4:23 says, "guard YOUR heart....."
Ladies, have you found yourself having that conversation (even if it's only in your head)? Somewhere along the way, Church people started to pity the single. They are the lonely, sad group that only has one thing on their mind.....relationships!
If you find yourself looking over your shoulder thinking, "Who's she talking about? I'm good with being single," you are not alone!
Okay, so this post is supposed be sarcastic (don't start the hate mail yet). However, it can honestly be a little frustrating to be a single girl in church. This is primarily directed towards "the next generation of leaders" in the Church (twentysomethings).
So if a bunch of twentysomethings get together for a bible study or some other function, people start making comments to the effect of, "Alright people, this isn't a single's mixer or anything." REALLY? You had to make that clear? Heaven forbid that Christian people actually meet in church. In fact, if you really want to "care for someone like a brother or sister" (more on that line in a minute) shouldn't you hope that they do in fact find a solid guy/girl in church? I mean it's not like we have a 50% divorce rate in this country or anything....
Are we ostracising single people in the Church? As twentysomethings, do we have a tendency to say dumb things without thinking? I know that can't possibly be true....... let's look at some examples:
1. I'm trying to guard your heart........... Again, somewhere along the way we've forgotten that the same Holy Spirit that resides in the speaker also resides in the person it's being spoken too. Do you really want to help your brother/sister in Christ? Respect their convictions and check your own heart.
2. You're my sister/brother in Christ....... One day, some young twentysomething theologian wannabe really took this phrase too far. This phrase is supposed to illicit respect between two people. This is not saying that you have to begin or end a conversation with phrases like "sis" or "bro." Yeah... I'm not a Catholic nun.....It should be noted that this is most often used to "clarify" one's "feelings" towards another....translated, "I know we had this great conversation, but don't get any ideas."
3. I'm not being a good brother/sister in Christ to you...... Well, thank you for informing me of something completely random about yourself. Why is this so frustrating? This phrase is primarily used as an excuse to stop talking to someone. Unfortunately, I have seen this used when a guy and a girl get close and then one of them decides they really weren't serious about the whole thing in the first place, so they bring out the brother/sister line. I know twentysomethings are supposed to be "free-spirits" and all, but let's all try to come up with a different line or something that resembles the truth.
Well we've certainly come up with some really great phrases to make sure all the single Christians know exactly what's what.
I had to stop myself from going into all the physical things we do to try to make sure that Christian singles don't get the wrong idea about anything. This includes personal policies against being alone with people of the opposite sex (even if you were in the middle of downtown New York or standing in the middle of the street).
Okay.... so that was interesting. Too harsh? There's a really cheesy thing I heard once that goes, "I dream of a world where a chicken can cross the road without it's intentions being questioned." Chances are, if you're single in the Church, you just "amened" that.
The truth is, my fear is that by continuing these dumb practices, we are alienating an entire group of the Church.
Let's be clear. Singles are people too. God created them with a purpose too. It's true that 98% of people will be married one day, but a mature Christian will not want to waste their years of singleness (and 2% of people will never be married). As future leaders in the Church, we have to stop treating singles with pity and worse, caution. Singleness is not a disease. It is not contagious. Let's get over our egos and our pride that says that every person we meet is "interested" in being with us.
Yes, I understand that somewhere some guy in the church ran off with his secretary and the church fell to pieces and that's why we all need to be cautious with each other. There's actually a simple solution to that....DON'T BE THAT GUY! (see studies on guarding your own heart, purity, and self-control)
Let's start examining our own lives and start treating men and women in the Church with respect without regards to their desire to wear skirts. There's no need for all the extra fluff, simple respect will do just fine.