Singles in America

Singles in America

 

I'm  writing a book about this.  The modern evangelical church is the  deadliest thing to happen to singles for a long, long time.  It is  almost useless as a way to help singles find their mates, except for a  few churches that have viable singles ministries, but even those have  issues.  The issue is much, much bigger than "adult singles ministry",  or singles being 'selfish' about finding a mate.  The 'selfish'  accusation by pastors and others is an arrogant and insensitive response  to a need that is legitimate and deeply felt by modern singles,  especially women, as I understand it.  The issue is so big that most  churches and singles don't even know how to approach it.  I don't want  to criticize churches too much, but they are doing enormous damage to  the modern family by ignoring singles.  And they DO ignore singles, in a  big, big way.
 

I'll tell you why I began looking into this.  I spent over twenty years  going to singles groups, and I noticed a recurring phenomenon.  Singles  groups would always start with a bang.  Everyone was involved, there  were lots of well-attended activities, and there was an energy and  excitement that permeated the group.  Loads of people would show up.   You could have seventy or more people when the group started, and that  would last a few weeks, maybe a few months, even a few years, but  eventually it would begin to dwindle.  As the months and years passed,  attendance would drop down to twenty or so, then seven to twelve would  show up.  At this point, there is a core group running things and making  it work.  These are the committed people who know how to make things  happen and make the sacrifice to get things done.   A few couples would  get married and leave the group, and eventually the group would be  nothing more than a Bible Study attended by singles.  Not very  exciting.  Eventually, the core group burns out and the group dies.  Or  everyone gets married off and there's no one left.
 

At the same time, if someone held a dating seminar or a 'Finding The  Love Of Your Life' conference, thousands of singles would show up every  time.  These seminars are always well-attended, and there is always an  energy and excitement that permeates the room.  What is happening here  that isn't happening in the singles group?  Well, it did happen in the  singles group when it started, but it got lost somehow.  The singles  group ended up being an empty shell of how it began.
 

This is what happens.  Singles are looking for a mate.  Duh. For those  of you who insist that looking for a mate is not a proper function of  churches or singles groups, you are wrong.  Dead wrong.  You can't stop  it from happening anyway.  Singles are looking for a mate, and they are  drawn to groups that promise to satisfy that need like moths are drawn  to light bulbs.  It is not a matter of being 'selfish'.  The idea that  looking for a mate is selfish was spawned in Hell.  God's design is for  everyone to be married.  Singles are simply trying to get married like  God wants them to be.  We are designed to be married.  Fulfilling God's  design is God's will for everyone.  When singles groups begin, they  promise to provide a possible mate for everyone who shows up.  When the  singles who attend that group begin to realize that they won't find a  mate in that group, they begin to leave.  When most of them leave, the  only people left are those who have given up on finding a mate and still  want to hang out with other singles in hopes that maybe, someday, a  mate will come along, or they just want to hang out with their friends.
 

So what we realize from this is that singles are looking for a mate, and  they go where they think they can find one. This is not rocket  science.  With modern society encouraging singleness of all kinds,  including cohabitation without marriage, every kind of gay you can think  of, and encouraging women to essentially be men, the family is dying on  the vine.  Children are a burden, not a joy, and financial and personal  success are the holy grail of modern life.   What we're not being told  is that, if we stop having children in proper families, society will die  off.  If we achieve negative population growth, we will soon be no  more.  God's original command to mankind was to multiply and  replenish the earth.  Singles are simply attempting to obey that divine  directive, whether they know it or not.  It is built into our genes.  It  is part of our structure.
 

When I suggest to a pastor or singles minister that they do something to  help singles find a mate, they act like I dropped a rattlesnake in  their lap.  There is an aversion to doing anything along these lines in  churches.  Many churches have singles groups, and those that are  successful have considerable potential for finding a mate.  When that  potential diminishes or disappears, the group dies.  It is a very simple  equation: potential for mating = successful singles group. 
 

It is possible for these groups to thrive in a church, but it is not the  church's intention to help singles find a mate.  Only if it is  accidentally true that there is mating potential will the group thrive.    If the modern church is going to turn around the decline of the family,  it must help singles find godly mates.  Marriage is far too important  to leave it to singles.  Singles do not know how to find a mate.  They  find them, but how many of those marriages end up broken? 
 

In the ancient world, arranged marriages were the norm.  There were two  families involved in negotiations to put their children together in a  marriage that would last and would produce children.  The community was  also frequently involved.  That puts a lot of intelligence into the  marriage, and there have been civilizations where divorce was unheard of  using this method of finding a mate.  It is time for the modern church  to pull its head out of the sand and start providing this function for  singles.   I will deal with this at length in my book.



 Content copyright 2018. Ken Sauter. All rights reserved.