so a few days ago i wrote a word to my single friends. and i wanted to write one to you.
first of all…
i want to apologize on behalf of the church for putting so much weight on this one relationship. i am sorry that so much pressure was applied, often unintentionally, that you felt the need to always be on the lookout for your spouse. i apologize that you were told sex was bad before you were married and then with a flip of a switch, it is supposed to enjoyable. i am sorry that there is always a push for the next thing….when are babies coming? when are you getting a promotion? when are you going to buy a house? i am sorry that when you got married you had in essence “arrived” and were on your own to figure it out.
maybe that was never your experience but much of it has been mine. i’m not downing the church. i love the church. i don’t think the church has intended to give poor models. i think it is easy to make a small thing the big thing. isn’t that why we need Jesus?
that being said, i would like to invite you on a journey for a minute. all of you at one point or another were single. some of you for long periods of time…others “season of singleness” was quite short. either way, you have experienced it.
i don’t know why this happens but it seems often people get married and then only hang out with their married friends. maybe they don’t feel like they have anything in common with their single friends anymore. of course we would never say that but it seems to happen at each stage. you have little kids and then all of a sudden you are surrounded by people with little kids. and so on and so on.
i would like to offer an alternative. what if we engaged each other like family, like the church was created to function?
what if the church was all that God created it to be. that as people walked by they saw that all were welcome. that everyone had a place and was known. that everyone was loved, regardless of where they were.
you see the thing is single people have something to offer older and younger and married and w/child. older have something to offer. married with or without kids…we all have something to offer. we all have a relationship with this King whether we choose to engage Him or not.
paul uses the analogy of the body over and over in the bible. what body doesn’t know or pay attention to the other parts of the body? that doesn’t really happen!
PLEASE HEAR ME. i am not mad. i by no means am blaming anyone. we can’t do what we have never seen or don’t know how to do. i am not trying to say you are doing something wrong.
i want to invite you!!!
you see, i think as married people you have an advantage.
as a single person, at least in my own experience, we are often far from family. we often spend holidays alone because we can’t afford to go home or at least not for every holiday. we have friends but we miss out on what you bring to the table as you know God in a different setting.
you see i was often told “just drop in” by couples who meant well but they were close to my age and had kids….i didn’t feel close enough to just drop in. it wasn’t helpful. we have a lot to give. we want to love you well. but we need a little help to not feel like we are invading. maybe that is merely my own brokenness but i have heard it many a times so i think it isn’t just me.
we need you to ask us how we are handling being sexual beings and choosing to not act on it in a world that idolizes sex. we need you to ask how we are processing disappointment with God when what we wanted isn’t happening.
but as much as we need those things, we want to be those things for you. we want to bridge the gap. we want to see the restoration of the church as a family…one that has “everything in common.” i’m not saying we should all go sell our possessions and have a big pot we all share from…though i do like the idea…
BUT, i am saying that we should know the other body parts. i am saying that i should be invested in your life just as much as i am asking you to invest in mine. we have a different set of struggles. what you now have two people for, i am still trying to do it all on my own. but in the context of family i know longer have to do it alone and neither do you.