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By William Guy, Ph.D., M.D.. Who should we blame for the epidemic UNWANTED Singleness that has been shackled upon American Christians? Have Churches REALLY.

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Presentation on theme: "By William Guy, Ph.D., M.D.. Who should we blame for the epidemic UNWANTED Singleness that has been shackled upon American Christians? Have Churches REALLY."— Presentation transcript:

1 By William Guy, Ph.D., M.D.

2 Who should we blame for the epidemic UNWANTED Singleness that has been shackled upon American Christians? Have Churches REALLY failed Singles? Who should we blame for the epidemic UNWANTED Singleness that has been shackled upon American Christians?

3 The next few slides are from the article by Debbie Maken published at the following web address Following this article I will offer a rebuttal

4 print this page close window How Churches Have Failed Singles Mixed messages and counterproductive 'singles ministries' have forced many Christians to endure protracted singlehood. By Debbie Maken Churches spend a lot of time wondering what they can do for singles. But the better question is, what does the Bible say singles need? The answer is quite clear: marriage. "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18). Scripture does not say that singles need more service activities, alone time with Jesus, fellowship meetings, or mission projects. In the vast majority of cases, what they need is far more simple and difficult: singles need spouses. Here some Christian singles may parrot churchy platitudes that they don't need marriage or that they're satisfied in Christ alone. But both experience and the Bible show that adults need companionship and sexual pleasure--and that "two are better than one" in daily life and in the mission of the church. Christian churches need to define healthy biblical adulthood and take steps to bring singles to that state. Here's how: 1) The Church must abandon its campaign to make singleness and marriage morally equivalent. Singleness is an outcome related to both individual and collective choices, while celibacy is a rare God-given gift. Scripture only exempts from marriage those who (a) have the actual gift of celibacy (the removal of the need for sex) and (b) a special calling from God to accomplish a task that won't accommodate family life (I Cor. 7; Matt. 19). The Church behaves as though every Christian single is uniquely equipped to weather protracted singlehood by the mere fact they have Jesus. Saying that all Christian singles have the gift of celibacy doesn't make those who are suffering unwanted singleness feel better. It also doesn't admonish those who should be held accountable for being chronically single and causing someone else to forfeit marriage. Debbie Maken is an attorney who, in her own words, 'survived the misdirection of the modern church on marriage and singleness and secured a marriage for herself at the age of 31.' She is now expecting her first child and finishing a book on protracted singlehood.

5 Blurring the distinction between singleness and celibacy has grave consequences. For one thing, the natural inclination of a young man to be irresponsible is validated when he has the church's permission to put off establishing a permanent home. Similarly, in the guise of compassion, churches often counsel young women to ignore the costs of protracted singlehood and to focus instead on Christian activities or missionary work. Such women forgo legitimate sexual relations and the physical and spiritual protections of a husband, experience waning fertility, and may miss out on having biological children of their own. This garners only resentment, not more Christian servants. Delaying marriage forces many Christian singles into the abstinence marathon, against which every cell in their bodies revolts. Struggling to endure this suspended, unnatural and unbiblical state for a protracted amount of time, many fail to keep their purity. Giving singles "Biblical twelve steps" to manage sexual desire and find more satisfaction in Jesus won't work, because we're spurning God's blueprint for mankind. If the Church wants to help singles into married life, it cannot make its moral teaching on singleness ambiguous, such that every listener feels affirmed in his own personal truth. Christian singles have to be told that, scripturally, marriage is superior to singleness and that they have a duty to marry in a timely fashion. The Presbyterian Church's Westminster Catechism even cites "the undue delay of marriage" as a sin (Q. 139). This undue delay on the part of many young men is a sin just like premarital sex is a sin. In both cases, it affects others: it keeps another human being from enjoying the fullness of sexuality in marriage. In looking at indefinite singleness, we have to shift from a language of comfort to one of accountability.

6 2) The Church should consider dismantling single adult ministries (SAMs), which create a church 'meat market' where there is a diminished expectation of marriage. SAMs are nothing more than bars sans the alcohol. By encouraging companionship with no commitment, churches are placing the final nail in the coffin of marriage. Does a man really need a wife if he can sail through a steady succession of SAMs: bowling night, barbecues, movies, canoeing, ice cream socials, ski trips, small groups, Bible study, retreats--and never have to face a waking moment alone by himself? Segregated 'singles Sunday schools' reinforce the laziness of many of these young men; they don't have to take action quickly when a constant supply of young women appears always available. Access breeds complacency; scarcity--or the perception of scarcity--makes people act. Young men who have been told that they can take all the time in the world to find a spouse--that, in fact, it is biblically okay if they never marry--will give in to their lack of discipline. They won't find a wife in a timely and reasonable fashion, for fear that something better may come along. Women, on the other hand, do not need another friend. They are usually involved in singles ministries with the goal of finding a spouse. Thus, if the atmosphere in a singles ministry is marriage-neutral, the woman is clearly at a disadvantage. She is selling her fellowship for free with nothing meaningful to show for it.

7 3) Church members should help by being personally involved in the lives of singles, through both effectual prayers and thoughtful set-ups. Throughout ecclesiastical history, individuals have stepped in to assist single people where parents failed. For example, in the past women were often dumped in convents by families who did not want to care for them. Martin Luther, in his lifetime, rescued dozens of such women from cloisters and arranged for their marriages. During eras when dowries were mandatory, Christian charity stepped in where families failed, wishing to spare these women spinsterhood. Contrast that with the situation today. If someone who's single and doesn't want to be asks for help, she can expect to hear glib sayings like "Bloom where you're planted," a lecture on contentment, or suggested courses available at the local seminary to create more busyness and distraction. For women enduring forced singlehood today, the monastic walls have merely been extended. For all our pretense of establishing a kinder, gentler, more modern interpretation of singleness--so that singles don't "feel bad"--our tepid response to suffering singles is based on our own convenience, not true compassion. Unfortunately, the modern church's muddled preaching and counterproductive singles "ministries" keep unmarried Christians from attaining God's revealed will for them.

8 Next I will dismantle the article and address some of the major issues point by point

9 print this page close window How Churches Have Failed Singles Mixed messages and counterproductive 'singles ministries' have forced many Christians to endure protracted singlehood. Churches spend a lot of time wondering what they can do for singles. But the better question is, what does the Bible say singles need? It truly matters if an essential NEED is being withheld. Needs include food, clothing, & shelter without which you perish and you are horrifically uncomfortable until your early demise How do we feel about those who deny us real needs? How do we feel about those who deny us our wants? The former we call cruel heartless tyrants or irresponsible selfish fools, the latter we call parents, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, and wives. Debbie Maken is an attorney who, in her own words, 'survived the misdirection of the modern church on marriage and singleness and secured a marriage for herself at the age of 31.' She is now expecting her first child and finishing a book on protracted singlehood.

10 If Sex is a NEED, then most married folks would have died long ago….

11 But the better question is, what does the Bible say singles need? The answer is quite clear: marriage. "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18). Scripture does not say that singles need more service activities alone time with Jesus fellowship meetings or mission projects. I Corinth 7:32-35] I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you're unmarried, you're free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. [33] Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, [34] leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. [35] I'm trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.

12 In the vast majority of cases, what they need is far more simple and difficult: singles need spouses. Here some Christian singles may parrot churchy platitudes that they don't need marriage or that they're satisfied in Christ alone. Here she is clearly expressing hostility towards single Christians who have told her that marriage is NOT a NEED and that Christ alone can satisfy. She doesn’t get it and her comment describing them as “parroting churchy platitudes” reflects her bitterness towards them. By using the “parrot” comment she accuses them of mindlessly regurgitating church dogma as opposed to thinking for themselves and speaking out of sincere conviction, experience or understanding. She does not consider the possibility that Jesus Christ is actually able to enter our lives and fulfill our most crucial longings.. Jesus is Enough! Awwwk Jesus is Enough!

13 But both experience and the Bible show that adults need companionship and sexual pleasure— and that "two are better than one“ in daily life and in the mission of the church. But both experience and the Bible show that adults need companionship in daily life and in the mission of the church. TRUE (a no brainer) But both experience and the Bible show that adults Need sexual pleasure in daily life and in the mission of the church. FALSE, What kind of church mission trips has she been going on??? But both experience and the Bible show that "two are better than one“ in daily life and in the mission of the church. ECC 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: ECC 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! TRUE

14 Christian churches need to define healthy biblical adulthood and take steps to bring singles to that state. OK, No problem so far… Here's how: 1)The Church must abandon its campaign to make singleness and marriage morally equivalent. Singleness is an outcome related to both individual and collective choices, while celibacy is a rare God-given gift. Scripture only exempts from marriage those who (a) have the actual gift of celibacy (the removal of the need for sex) and (b) a special calling from God to accomplish a task that won't accommodate family life (I Cor. 7; Matt. 19). I Corint 7:36 If a man has a woman friend to whom he is loyal but never intended to marry, having decided to serve God as a "single," and then changes his mind, deciding he should marry her, he should go ahead and marry. It's no sin; it's not even a "step down" from celibacy, as some say. [37] On the other hand, if a man is comfortable in his decision for a single life in service to God and it's entirely his own conviction and not imposed on him by others, he ought to stick with it. [38] Marriage is spiritually and morally right and not inferior to singleness in any way, although as I indicated earlier, because of the times we live in, I do have pastoral reasons for encouraging singleness. NIV 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better. The Church behaves as though every Christian single is uniquely equipped to weather protracted singlehood by the mere fact they have Jesus. That’s because it’s true. And having Jesus is never “mere unless we are just using the Christian religion as “fire- insurance” while we live life as we see fit in disregard for any biblical commands we don’t feel like obeying. And if Jesus isn’t Lord of ones life, then “merely” having Jesus won’t satisfy deep longings. We Christians therefore can be just as miserable as a single non-Christian.

15 Saying that all Christian singles have the gift of celibacy doesn't make those who are suffering unwanted singleness feel better. This “gift of celibacy for all single Christians” is not a valid statement. Who is saying that? Matthew 19 clearly states that some will be single against their wills, not because they chose it or were born with the ability to endure singehood It also doesn't admonish those who should be held accountable for being chronically single and causing someone else to forfeit marriage AGAIN I Corint 7:36 If a man has a woman friend to whom he is loyal but never intended to marry, having decided to serve God as a "single," and then changes his mind, deciding he should marry her, he should go ahead and marry. It's no sin; it's not even a "step down" from celibacy, as some say. Biblically, it is not a sin to remain single. NOWHERE in scripture will you find that.

16 Blurring the distinction between singleness and celibacy has grave consequences. For one thing, the natural inclination of a young man to be irresponsible is validated when he has the church's permission to put off establishing a permanent home. The overwhelming majority of the men who are attending a single adult ministry are very much interested in finding a suitable wife. Most of them would laugh heartily at the accusation that they are desiring only to acquire superficial relationships and have as a goal to be irresponsible and avoid marriage as long as possible. If they remain single for years it is often because they haven’t found someone that they are attracted to that reciprocates their desires. For some the attraction is physical only and they go to single adult ministries because they know where else to go to find a “quality spouse”. They avoid bars “wisely” because they don’t want to find an alcoholic or promiscuous wife (even though they may have additions and a history of promiscuity themselves). Others are more discerning and are attracted to the opposite sex according to physical appeal and attractive healthy character traits. And others are deeper still, and are attracted according to physical appeal, strength of character and spiritual depth (faith). Man and women in the last category are in exceedingly short supply in this country. Some men who remain unmarried do so because they are unwilling to “lower their standards” unless they find someone they deem suitable in all of the important categories listed above. The author of this article is insisting that the church apply moral pressure to this longtime-single man and label him a willful sinner so that he is compelled to lower his standards and rapidly choose one of the available young females who happen to be in close proximity and is desiring to be married.

17 Similarly, in the guise of compassion, churches often counsel young women to ignore the costs of protracted singlehood and to focus instead on Christian activities or missionary work. I am personally unaware of any situation where a woman has been in a relationship with solid marriage potential or engaged to suitable reasonably mature Christian man, and she was counseled by a pastor or teacher at a local church or Christian organization to choose mission-work or Christian activity over marriage. I’m sure it’s happened somewhere. But to say that church leaders are directing women to choose Christian work over marriage OFTEN… the author needs to provide supporting evidence for this allegation. Most activities and mission projects that I am aware of are super short-term and do not even require missing a day of work, let alone loosing ones fertility. Such women forgo legitimate sexual relations and the physical and spiritual protections of a husband, experience waning fertility, and may miss out on having biological children of their own. This garners only resentment, not more Christian servants. Exactly what activities was this woman involved in that it caused her to forgo all of that? Was she a missionary to the moon?

18 Delaying marriage forces many Christian singles into the abstinence marathon, against which every cell in their bodies revolts. I will give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that she is not speaking literally here. The human body has more than 10 trillion (10,000,000,000,000) cells. Only a small fraction of cells have anything to do with sexual desire. Abstinence becomes a painful marathon if the participant is commonly engaged in “almost intercourse” activities, frequent masturbation, entertaining sex-obsessed friends with a very narrow range of conversation topics, watching pornographic matter, or high sex content television shows and movies. PR 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 1CO 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1PE 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. The reward of habitual self-control, is not that the desires for sex continue to build to the point that you have a nervous breakdown, but that the intensity of the urges diminish.

19 Struggling to endure this suspended, unnatural and unbiblical state for a protracted amount of time, many fail to keep their purity. Giving singles "Biblical twelve steps" to manage sexual desire and find more satisfaction in Jesus won't work, because we're spurning God's blueprint for mankind. Here she is trying to say that Christ is not enough to satisfy us and that impurity is justified because we are not getting something that we need. Then she throws in that bit where she describes abstinence as a means to “spurn God’s blueprint for mankind”. The logical conclusion to her claim is that in order to stay sexually pure and keep from spurning God’s blueprint by abstaining from what Has commanded us to do, we need to hurry up and get married. This way we can have sex legitimately and make God happy because his blueprint got what it needed. If the Church wants to help singles into married life, it cannot make its moral teaching on singleness ambiguous, such that every listener feels affirmed in his own personal truth. Christian singles have to be told that, scripturally, marriage is superior to singleness and that they have a duty to marry in a timely fashion. The Presbyterian Church's Westminster Catechism even cites "the undue delay of marriage" as a sin (Q. 139). This undue delay on the part of many young men is a sin just like premarital sex is a sin. In both cases, it affects others: it keeps another human being from enjoying the fullness of sexuality in marriage. In looking at indefinite singleness, we have to shift from a language of comfort to one of accountability. The next slide is of the Westminster Catechism. I wonder how many other of these rules that the author follows and elevates to the level of scripture?

20 2. The Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q/A 70-72) puts it this way: What is required in the 7 th commandment? The 7 th commandment requires the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s decency, in heart, speech, and behavior. What is forbidden in the 7 th commandment? The 7 th commandment forbids all immoral thoughts, words, and actions. 3. The Larger Catechism elaborates in Q/A and says the following: What are the duties required in the 7 th commandment? The duties required in the 7 th commandment are, purity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency; conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings, shunning all occasions of uncleanliness, and resisting those types of temptations. What are the sins forbidden in the 7 th commandment? The sins forbidden in the 7 th commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening to that kind of talk, wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness; gluttony, drunkenness, immoral company, lewd songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others. 4. The Heidelberg Catechism devotes two questions and answers (108 & 109) to this commandment and says, What does the 7 th commandment teach us? That all unchastity is cursed by God. We must therefore detest it from the heart and live pure and disciplined lives, both within and outside of holy marriage. Does God in this commandment forbid nothing more than adultery and similar shameful sins? Since we, body and soul, are temples of the Holy Spirit, it is God’s will that we keep ourselves pure and holy. Therefore He forbids all unchaste acts, gestures, words, thoughts, desires, and whatever may entice us to unchastity.

21 2) The Church should consider dismantling single adult ministries (SAMs), which create a church 'meat market' where there is a diminished expectation of marriage. SAMs are nothing more than bars sans the alcohol. By encouraging companionship with no commitment, churches are placing the final nail in the coffin of marriage. Does a man really need a wife if he can sail through a steady succession of SAMs: bowling night, barbecues, movies, canoeing, ice cream socials, ski trips, small groups, Bible study, retreats--and never have to face a waking moment alone by himself? This sounds like paranoid delusional thinking. The author expresses the belief that the men in her singles group were there just to have fun and do activities. She may be angry because nobody asked her to marry them until she was in her thirties. So she has vilified the men collectively for causing her pain. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of the men in singles ministry groups that I have conversed with very much want to get married. And most of them are not looking for a perfect woman. If they remain single for years it is most often because they haven’t found someone that they are attracted to that reciprocates those desires. If the author of this article was not chosen to be wed by a large number of men, it suggests that she was attractive to them (because they asked her out), but her personality or emotional problems may have been too much for her dating partners to endure. Or she rejected all of them because she was looking for the “total package”. Her description of them as addicted to bowling night and ski trips makes them sound like irresponsible boys out only for a good time with no concern for a future family. These men do exist, but I firmly believe that they are in the minority. Her description of the men that rejected her in these socially maladroit terms is very similar to the comments made by resentful rejected men who describe their dates as “lesbians” because they didn’t accept them.

22 Segregated 'singles Sunday schools' reinforce the laziness of many of these young men; they don't have to take action quickly when a constant supply of young women appears always available. A “constant supply of available young women”? Clearly, I’ve been attending the wrong Sunday school. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if there are 200 “available young women for every man”. Any thinking Christian man has to weed through the crowd and disqualify those that are unappealing to him spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Then there may be other difficult liabilities to consider. Perfection is not a reasonable goal, but the risk of divorce has never been higher in all of American history. A Christian title attached to the bride AND the groom does not protect them from becoming a part of the 50% marriage failure statistic. Poor mate selection has far far far worse consequences than delayed marriage. Just ask the children of divorced parents. Ask ANY believer that has selected a non-Christian or carnal-Christian who has divorced them, and they will confirm this to you emphatically! If the goal is to be married even for a short time, so that you can look “normal” to your family, then anybody will do. If all you want is somebody to call your spouse who won’t leave you, then it might be achieved if you marry somebody much much less attractive with no ambition and lots of needs that you are willing to meet. But if you want to find somebody who has the capacity for long term intimate friendship, who is not going to demand control but has the capacity to be a “help mate” and who shares your commitment and love for the Lord and his work; somebody that sees marriage as a sacred contract before God, then you’ll need to look CAREFULLY! You need to BE the kind of mature believer that you would want to marry. And you don’t SETTLE!

23 If you had to choose one of the following for NEXT year, which would you choose? A.Marriage to an unattractive spouse with good personality but little to no faith in God B.Marriage to reasonably attractive spouse with selfish controlling personality with mild faith in God C.Marriage to unattractive wealthy spouse with good personality and strong faith in God D.Marriage to reasonably attractive spouse with good personality and strong faith in God E.Marriage to very attractive spouse with good personality, and little faith in God, and history of sleeping with 35 others, 1 in the last four months. F.Marriage to unattractive spouse with selfish angry personality and no faith in God G.Remaining single for another year and waiting for new set of choices

24 Let me guess… How did He Know?!!

25 What would your SECOND choice be? A.Marriage to an unattractive spouse with good personality but little to no faith in God B.Marriage to reasonably attractive spouse with selfish controlling personality with mild faith in God C.Marriage to unattractive wealthy spouse with good personality and strong faith in God D.Marriage to very attractive spouse with good personality, and little faith in God, and history of sleeping with 35 others, 1 in the last four months. E.Marriage to unattractive spouse with immature selfish angry personality and no faith in God F.Remaining single for another year and waiting for new set of choices

26 Which would be your VERY last choice? A.Marriage to an unattractive spouse with good personality but little to no faith in God B.Marriage to reasonably attractive spouse with selfish controlling personality with mild faith in God C.Marriage to unattractive wealthy spouse with good personality and strong faith in God D.Marriage to very attractive spouse with good personality, and little faith in God, and history of sleeping with 35 others, 1 in the last four months. E.Remaining single for another year and waiting for new set of choices

27 According to my observations, t he majority of single stable mature believers would rather stay single a little longer than endure marriage with someone that they didn’t find physically appealing, or who is characteristically irresponsible and manipulative or who has very limited sincere love and appreciation for our Lord

28 Does it matter if you have 200 available willing future spouses if none of them possess reasonable physical appeal (to you), reasonable emotional stability and social maturity (to endure the trials of normal family life) and an adequate faith indicative of a genuine COMMITTED personal relationship with Jesus Christ ?

29 For those that considered B or D with the clever plan that you would get them down the isle, and THEN with God’s help you would CHANGE them…. B.Marriage to reasonably attractive spouse with selfish controlling personality with mild faith in God D.Marriage to very attractive spouse with good personality, and little faith in God, and history of sleeping with 35 others, 1 in the last four months

30 Let me say From my own personal experience And from my clinical observations of over 25,000 patients……

31 You Will Fail

32 People can change, but The rule of thumb is that What you see is pretty much What you get. It is foolish to gamble your marriage options, the stability of your relationships with your friends and family, your future ministry and the moral, spiritual and psychological well-being of your future children on the hope that a wayward character-disordered person may change. It doesn’t matter how good they look or how rich they are. The odds are very much against you. We are commanded to love and help all who require our help according to our abilities. We don’t write them off as hopeless. To disqualify someone as our potential mate is NOT the same as writing them off as a beloved brother or sister in Christ. God is not obligated to take away somebody else’s free-will, even though he loves you. Your mate needs to know Christ as his or her OWN personal friend. God will not make them faithful Christians as a favor to us. They need to hunger and thirst for righteousness on their own. Many many believers have learned this lesson (about marrying the faithless fixer-upper) the hard way.

33 Access breeds complacency; scarcity--or the perception of scarcity-- makes people act. Young men who have been told that they can take all the time in the world to find a spouse--that, in fact, it is biblically okay if they never marry--will give in to their lack of discipline. They won't find a wife in a timely and reasonable fashion, for fear that something better may come along. She is revealing her anger at the men again. Does anybody in church really say to the men “take all the time in the world?” My suspicion is that the men that she wanted (who may have been more successful than the man that she got) didn’t snatch her up and pop the question in a “timely and reasonable fashion”. Instead they watched her for an unreasonable time, and decided against continuing on with her. She seems to be resentful.

34 Women, on the other hand, do not need another friend. They are usually involved in singles ministries with the goal of finding a spouse. Thus, if the atmosphere in a singles ministry is marriage-neutral, the woman is clearly at a disadvantage. She is selling her fellowship for free with nothing meaningful to show for it. OK, if any valid sincere follower of Christ with a reasonable amount of spiritual maturity and discernment is reading this, then you know from the last statement that this author is very likely either not a Christian or quite weak in her understanding of God and her faith. Biblically, the goal of doing any ministry activity (single ministry or otherwise. including fellowship), is first and foremost to serve our Lord. We serve others FOR Him, not for what we can get out of them. Our reward does not come from those we serve or from the church. The reward we seek comes from our master. What we have to show for it, is usually only visible in heaven. Matt 6: 3-4 But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. 4 Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you Luke 6:3435 No! Love your enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back. You will then have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God. For he is good to the ungrateful and the wicked..

35 It appears that she endured the Spiritual talks and prayer meetings of her SAM like a hungry restless five year old boy endures the dinner blessing. He despises the ritual because it is keeping him from the food he craves. Yet he must impatiently endure it to get to the good stuff It’s people like this author that make SAM’s a “meat market”. They come to Christian Single Adult Ministries not PRIMARILY to engage in God-Centered Christian fellowship or to learn more about the Bible and to grow in their understanding and knowledge of Christ personally. They come with a singular purpose. And she states emphatically what that purpose is, “finding a spouse”. That is not a bad goal. And most of the people in SAM’s have this in mind. But it’s not THE goal. It seem that for the author it was THE goal, and everything else was a distraction. For her, that Jesus stuff was just a means to an end….finding a man! Since she didn’t get her goal the way that she wanted, then the whole ordeal was a useless big fat waste of her time.

36 3) Church members should help by being personally involved in the lives of singles, through both effectual prayers and thoughtful set-ups. Throughout ecclesiastical history, individuals have stepped in to assist single people where parents failed. For example, in the past women were often dumped in convents by families who did not want to care for them. Martin Luther, in his lifetime, rescued dozens of such women from cloisters and arranged for their marriages. During eras when dowries were mandatory, Christian charity stepped in where families failed, wishing to spare these women spinsterhood. If a Christian single wants to be set up, it may be difficult finding a married friend who is willing to share part of the blame if things turn our poorly. If however, the couple knows two single people well, and has great confidence in the spiritual strength of the single people and feels that they would be compatible and attracted to one another, then an “informed” set-up might be a helpful thing to do. But singles have no right to expect that any other believers are biblically obligated to find them spouses.

37 Contrast that with the situation today. If someone who's single and doesn't want to be asks for help, she can expect to hear glib sayings like "Bloom where you're planted," a lecture on contentment, or suggested courses available at the local seminary to create more busyness and distraction. For women enduring forced singlehood today, the monastic walls have merely been extended. For all our pretense of establishing a kinder, gentler, more modern interpretation of singleness--so that singles don't "feel bad"--our tepid response to suffering singles is based on our own convenience, not true compassion. Unfortunately, the modern church's muddled preaching and counterproductive singles "ministries" keep unmarried Christians from attaining God's revealed will for them. Much of this woman’s advise is in direct conflict with the bible and her recommendations are counterintuitive. Blame, anger and panicking about “protracted forced singleness” does not make us more attractive to the kind of people we would want as mates. It certainly doesn’t speed the marriage process up when we start spouting off resentful insults at the opposite sex for not marrying us fast enough!

38 James 1:19-20 (MsgB) Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. [20] God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 1TI 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. HEB 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." HEB 13:6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?“ comments to me at


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