As I have moved to Texas and a smaller church I have been struggling with and hear other singles here struggle with how to fit into a family church as a single adult. I think the solution is to be part of THE family.
Singles need to see that married life is not as glamorous as what they think and married adults need to see that the single life is not as glamorous as they think. Married or single, there are relational needs. That is how we were created. God Himself is in and has always been in relationship with Himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
I am not sure what all the needs are for someone who is married. But I can give some practical ideas on ways to help reach out as a family, the family of God, to singles you may know or see.
Ways as a Married couple you can reach out to singles in your church:
- Invite to a meal. Maybe a Sunday lunch. Everyone needs to eat, but everyone should not have to eat alone.
- Family night. If your family is having a family night, invite someone who is single to join. One of the longings of singles is to have a family. Why not yours, for a night!!
- Sit near us in church. Being single you are very away of personal space. You are also aware of who is in or near that personal space. I know there are days that go by where the nearest a person has gotten to me is standing behind me in line at Starbucks. If you see someone sitting alone, go sit in the seats directly in front or behind them. If you sit right next to, it is more distracting sometimes than helpful. Then engage them in conversation. Just knowing someone is near who cares... is huge!
- Set us up! Do not be afraid to set up singles. If you truly know the parties involved and believe that they are compatible, do it. Now, don't force anything to happen, but pray and ask. I know that I would much rather get a recommendation from a loving couple who know the personality and walk of a man, than a eHarmony match. So if the Spirit is putting these people on your heart, act and help them to meet!
Now, if you are reading this and are married, I'd LOVE to know how we as singles can reach out to you! There has to be something other than babysitting (though I know that is huge) that singles can do to help a married couple or the same gender individual within a couple. Please let us know!
Two points to clairfy (Cause I know this is a longer conversation than this blog can hold):
1. I know that having friends and hanging out with people who are in the same circumstances as yourself is really important too, but I pray that we will look beyond that and really begin to love all our neighbors.
2. The reason this was on my brain today is b/c there are so many in my church that get it!!! I was asked several times today if I needed help moving. Couple and singles jumped at the chance to help. We'll just see who all comes next weekend when it is time to put words to action...hehe ;) I love my church and how so many there truly desire it so be THE family that God calls us to be.