I stumbled across this blog about how singles are often marginalized in church. For anyone who is married I encourage the read. For those who are not, it’s encouraging to us as singles that someone is speaking the truth!
I’ve sat in churches before wondering how I could apply the many sermons about families and married couples to my own life, never hearing about singleness. Sure, one might be able to pick up tips but when it’s specifically directed to families and couples, well….you start looking for another church so you can grow spiritually as well.
This is not just epidemic in churches either, but in missions as well. Friends of all ages and from different organizations (some still single, some now married) tell me it’s in their organizations. I remember in my new member orientation eight years ago basically having a night to talk about “girl stuff” and having to read a story in a book telling us not to have an affair with a married man. Otherwise it seemed primarily focused on families. Things have not changed much.
That’s why when I had the chance to influence new member training I pushed hard to focus more on singleness. I was sad when I saw that going by the wayside and only a few people finally understanding it was important. It’s hard to be the only voice in a room full of “experience” but yet the experience was mostly family life overseas.
Singles make up a large majority of people going overseas, but are we adequately prepared for the unique and challenging situations we’ll face? Are the families trained in how to interact with us other than thinking “Babysitters!”? Put bluntly, no! (Caveat: no, not all families are this way! I had some pretty awesome families in South America.)
I could write so much more but I already wrote an eight page letter to singles (from other singles’ advice) that we used in the orientations I was a part of.
So, if you haven’t read the blog yet, here’s the link again: Singled Out. If you want to know what other singles were advising singles going overseas, let me know.