Being Single in The Church Today

My friend, Debby Hudson is hosting a series about The Church this month. The Church being a refuge, a place to disagree, a place to find community.

Today, I’m honored to contribute an essay about something I don’t know about but see in my friends: How hard it is to be single in The Church. Here’s an excerpt, but I encourage you to head over and join the conversation!

sitting-alone-768x513Frank and I were talking about being single. How hard and lonely it iand how neither of us will ever understand what our friends deal with. Even though I wanted to be in a relationship and was often lonely while I was single, I got married at the exact average age for my demographic.

Stories of loneliness, of feeling forgotten, of not having a place have been shared about singles and the church. More and more stories are coming out – that the “singles ministry” isn’t what is needed. How do we embody the family of God for those who so desperately wish to start their own families?

It’s easy to say, We’re here for you! I’ll give you a hug on Sunday! But that doesn’t fill the day-to-day gap our single friends face. On the other side are people giving the advice of Try harder! Join more groups! You’ll feel loved if you put in more of an effort.

This has made me aware of so many groups who feel abandoned by The Church. Who feel lost or on the outside. Who feel that, no matter how hard they try, needs aren’t being met.

It reminds me of the imperfectness of The Church. The thing is, no one’s needs will ever be met by an institution. Loneliness will still be waiting at home. And yet… If we are The Church; If The Church goes beyond the institution, I wonder how I can stretch outside of my own comfort zone to help make small changes?

Head over to Debby’s to read the rest and share your stories!

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2 thoughts on “Being Single in The Church Today

  1. Annie,
    I love your intention and focus. I am single, having spent 15 of the last 16 years believing that would never be the case again. But here I am. I recently said, “I’m the happiest sad person I know.” What I mean by that is my life is filled with more loving, genuine, caring support people than any one person deserves. At this point, I believe no number of social interactions or caring people in my life can replace having a “life partner”. Maybe I’ll change my mind at some point.
    Happily coupled is still at the top of my wish list, followed by happily single, then unhappily single. Far, far in 4th place is unhappily coupled.
    At our church, being straight, single and over 50 year old is an outlier (to the loving amusement of my LGBTQ friends who are used to playing that role). I don’t attend, however, in hopes of finding that partner. I don’t feel that’s a role the church can or should play. That said, I do agree (and hear from other singles in the church) that the church can do more. I hope to be a part of making that happen

    1. As hard as it is to discuss the realities of singleness at our church, I’m so glad you and others are keeping the conversation alive. And, so much yes to being unhappily partnered as last. I often wonder what Paul really meant when he said it’s better to stay single and if that is partially what he was referring to? Thanks so much for stopping by!

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