Presentation on theme: "19 th August 2012 The Challenge of Singleness Brief version for the Web (…with most of the graphics removed to reduce the file size)"— Presentation transcript:
19 th August 2012 The Challenge of Singleness Brief version for the Web (…with most of the graphics removed to reduce the file size)
Singleness Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
The Challenge of Singleness Ecclesiastes 4: 10-12 But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
Agenda Me What is Singleness? … and what does the Bible say about it? Some of the benefits … and some of the challenges The Challenge of Singleness … and over to you
Singleness [noun] –the quality or state of being single Single [adjective] –not married –lacking a partner (a single parent) –unaccompanied by others (lone, sole) –of or relating to celibacy The Free Dictionary by Farlex; Merriam-Webster Dictionary
What is Singleness? … someone who isn't involved in any type of romantic relationship, whether dating, engagement, or marriage. Wikipedia
What is Singleness? Too young Not married / Never married WidowedSeparated/ Divorced Living single within marriage
Not necessarily immutable The way I want to be Reasoned decision Not bothered Resigned to singleness Deeply unhappy
The Challenge of Singleness What does the Bible say about singleness?
What does the Bible say? Genesis 2: 18 –The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. : 22 –Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. : 24 –That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
What does the Bible say? Proverbs 18: 22 –He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord. Jeremiah 29: 6 – Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.
What does the Bible say? 1 Timothy 3: 12 –A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 1 Timothy 5: 14 –So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.
What does the Bible say? 1 Corinthians 7: 1-2 –Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. : 8-9 –Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: it is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
What does the Bible say? 1 Corinthians 7: 26-28 –Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. : 38 –So then, he who marries … does right, but he who does not marry … does better.
Some of the benefits… Freedom: –from family responsibilities –for independence of action… be your own boss 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34 –I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lords affairs – how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided.
The Challenge of Singleness …and some of the challenges
Social stigma –Relegated –second best –poor … / dear … –More acute for women than for men Google image search for Singleness –Outgrown youth group and no place to go
…and some of the challenges Sexual fulfilment –A preoccupation… … elevated to worship? Virginity now carries the social stigma that adultery and premarital sex once had" –The World has idolized sexual fulfillment
…and some of the challenges Homosexuality –No win For the single who is not homosexual… …there is always a concern that others may think that you are For the single who is homosexual… …there is a raft of additional issues and problems to be faced
…and some of the challenges Loneliness –No one nearby to share the highs… … and lows of life
…and some of the challenges Old age –No family for support
…and some of the challenges Coping with life –No question that family life can be hard work … but it is work that is shared –Singles still need to work, eat, keep house etc. …but this is less efficient for someone living alone
Don't instill, or allow anybody else to instill into the hearts of your girls the idea that marriage is the chief end of life. If you do, don't be surprised if they get engaged to the first empty, useless fool they come across! –W–William Booth ( Founder of the Salvation Army) Love, Marriage, and Home (Published in 1902) (Link to full article) chief end of life.
The Challenge of Singleness Micah 6: 8 –And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The Challenge of Singleness The World says: –The chief end of life is sexual fulfilment Does the church say: –The chief end of life is marriage? Has the church idolised marriage?
The Challenge of Singleness A challenge to the church… … to support the transition from single to married. "The secular assumption that living out one's sexuality means having sex is echoed by many evangelical Christians. Single people are not thought of as having sexual potential until about two months before marriage, when they are deluged with Christian sex manuals." 1
The Challenge of Singleness Christians generally are not told how to handle sexual desires intelligently. These desires are seen as okay for the married couple but forbidden for the unmarried who are left alone to figure out how to control these longings that inhabit our beings..... it is very difficult for the single Christian to mention their sexual desires for fear of being thought unspiritual. Julia Duin, "Sex & single Christian" 1
The Challenge of Singleness A challenge to the church… … to value singles. "For singles who yearn for a sense of belonging to a spouse and family, God reminds us that we are part of a family far more significant and enduring than the biological family. 2
The Challenge of Singleness For the single Christian the church can become, not only ideally and theoretically but also quite practically, the source of the highest fellowship and the focal point for the development of one's closest relationships. Single believers readily look to their congregation to be 'family' in the primary sense. Al Hsu 2
The Challenge of Singleness We singles want family; not a singles group. 2
The Challenge of Singleness A challenge to the church… … to understand how changing perceptions of singleness (and marriage) are impacting the worlds view of the church. 3
The Challenge of Singleness Over the past 30 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of people living alone; in the UK, the proportion of one-person households almost doubled between 1971 and 2000 Office for National Statistics 3
The Challenge of Singleness Ecclesiastes 4: 9 Two are better than one. : 12 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. … and over to you