Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

"An increase in the number of single adults, and particularly single adults over the age of 30, brings with it a need for increased intentionality toward single adults in churches. A study from Lifeway Research asked Protestant pastors how their churches specifically minister to single adults ages 30 and older." - Lifeway

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Is There a Gift of Singleness?

Reposted with permission from DBTS Blog.

The tendency among young men and women to delay marriage (or even to abandon it entirely) in contemporary Western society has given birth to a curiously parallel increase of interest in Paul’s passing comment in 1 Corinthians 7:6–9 about his own marital state and implication that there is a “gift of singleness” to be had and even sought in the modern church. Note the full pericope in question:

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

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Unmarried Christians need the church, and the church needs unmarried Christians

"While rightly shoring up marriage, the church tends to neglect the unmarried or segregate them in a classroom down the hall. Singles often miss out on dinner invitations and family gatherings, and when the ladies meet, husbands and parenting are the main topic of conversation." Single-minded

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“I’d rather have a dog over a kid"

More young women choosing dogs over motherhood

"Over the past seven years, the number of live births per 1,000 women between ages 15 and 29 in America has plunged 9 percent. At the same time, research by the American Pet Products Association shows the number of small dogs — under 25 pounds — in the United States has skyrocketed, from 34. 1 million in 2008 to 40.8 million in 2012."

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How Should We Then Marry, Part 2

Reprinted with permission from Baptist Bulletin Mar/Apr 2013. All rights reserved. Read Part 1.

I know of a man who met his wife in a most unusual way. One day he was making a run for his job as a cleaning supplies salesman when he passed by a house that caught his attention—actually, it was the mailbox that caught his eye. It bore the phrase, “Jesus—the Way, Truth, Life.” He was intrigued, and on impulse, he stopped and stuck his business card in the door.

“I thought that a family lived there,” he later said. As a man in his late 20s with an evangelistic bent, he was aware that sometimes people present as Christians who, in fact, are not, and he wanted to meet the family who owned the home and find out where they stood spiritually.

But instead of hearing from a family, he received a call from the young woman who owned the home—a nurse who worked the night shift. After chatting by phone and enjoying the conversation, he expressed an interest in getting to know her better, but she said he would have to meet her family first. So she suggested they meet for a Sunday service at the Baptist church her family attended. He stopped by the church, and the rest, as they say, is history. The couple hit it off, the family approved, and three years later they’re happily married and living in the house with the legendary mailbox!

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How Should We Then Marry

Reprinted with permission from Baptist Bulletin Jan/Feb 2013. All rights reserved.

A few months ago I was serving in my church’s nursery during an evening service alongside a single woman who attended a Christian college, is now employed in the secular workforce, and faithfully serves Christ in ministries such as Awana, VBS, teaching, music, and hospitality. I’d been reading up on the challenges that marriage-minded Christian singles face, and I wanted to pick her brain regarding what she has experienced as a single in the church, as well as what she desires and hopes—things like, does she hope for marriage and family? If so, how does she meet Christian men? Has the church been a help to her as a single—has she felt cared for, encouraged, understood? Were believing friends, family, or those at church missing anything in their care for her during this season of life? My friend and I had just two little ones in the nursery that night, so as we cared for them, we had some time to talk.

“Most of my friends are married or dating,” she said. “With friends getting married and having kids, the shape of those friendships is changing. Everyone in my Adult Bible Fellowship is great, but sometimes I feel awkward as the only single person, although this is probably just me.

I do want to be married and have a family, and I pray for my future husband, but as far as meeting someone…” Her voice trailed off. “Where would we meet?”

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