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For some of us, church involved an old familiar reminder of our childhood, while for others, it involved a spiritual seeking on our own.
The truth is, as a single adult, it took many of us weeks to muster up enough chutzpah to enter into a strange church building into a service by ourselves, or months of invitations from a friend from work to bring us to an event or Bible study. Sermons always mentioned family – which we didn’t have, and any sermons or studies about love, sex, and dating came from married men with multiple children who have never known what it’s like to date online or be single in their late 20’s, in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s.
Church culture said we were helpful but not normal – until we had a spouse.
Some of us left, and others who were spiritually curious saw church as a place they didn’t belong.
But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” (1 Cor 7:7) To conclude that Paul is anti-marriage is to miss his point completely; in the face of the Corinthian culture and religious culture, he openly refers to both marriage and singleness as gifts – gifts to be exercised appropriately.
Though he thought sooner rather than later, Paul speaks in light of the expectation that Christ is coming again.
It’s not that we’re not okay flying solo; it’s just that having a companion who knows us, teams with us, and is intimately connected to us is a desire found in us.
You saw some of them that morning on your way to church – out running, walking dogs, grocery shopping.
You met up with some of them when you gathered for worship – they arrived early or snuck in late or maybe they served communion or taught your kids or sung harmony.
You said hello and goodbye, and that night, you got the family ready for a week of work and school and everything in between.
Today, eight out of ten of us choose to stick to ourselves instead of connect to a church.
And so, according to the church culture, once again, our singleness felt like a problem to be fixed.