4 Ways the Church Hurts Single Women

4 Ways the Church Hurts Single Women

How many sermons have you heard on singleness and sexuality? Sadly, many churches fail to cover these topics in messages. Our singles are believing the lie that something is wrong with them for having sexual desires and curiosities. Can we free these women from shame and share the message that God created them as sexual beings? We need to talk about singleness and sexuality because our single members are asking questions like, “What do we do with our sexual desires?” If we don’t provide these answers, pornography could become their solution.

When the church views marriage as the ultimate goal, we are hurting everyone. We hurt the singles now and we hurt them again if they get married because they are entering marriage thinking that marriage is the solution. The real and lasting solution is Jesus. Yes, I’m married. And yes, I still have all the same issues I had when I was single. Marriage didn’t fix me. Marriage didn’t heal my addiction to masturbation and pornography, Jesus did. Marriage is not our highest calling, but rather following Jesus is our highest calling.

Marriage is not our highest calling, but rather following Jesus is our highest calling. Click To Tweet

When we devalue singleness in the church, we devalue marriage.

When we see marriage as the goal we hurt those who they eventually get married.

The church taught me that marriage was the solution. The church told me that sex was good and amazing in marriage, which was supposed to prevent sexual sin in singleness.

But what happens when one gets married and discovers sex is complicated and often painful? (Read my story of having painful sex.) What happens when a woman realizes that getting married didn’t take away her addiction to pornography?

She may lose trust in the church.

Even worse, she may lose trust in God.

I asked three of my single Jesus loving girlfriends, “What have people in the church done right for singles?”

Laughing, one woman shared, “Nothing.”

Sadly, our churches are hurting our single women.

4 Ways the Church Hurts Single Women

The church fails to talk about sex.

First of all, we cannot talk about singles and the church without talking about sex. The church fails to talk about sex, only saying to wait until you get married. Inferred but not stated, Christian singles often know they cannot have sex outside of marriage. Without a compelling reason not to, this lack of communication encourages people in the church to continue living together.

Instead, the church should preach that the church recognizes that singles have to give up having sex, and that singles are humans and have biological urges. Help singles figure out how to do this well. This needs to be the message to singles. Failing to talk about sex fails to give singles a robust view of sexuality.

The church upholds marriage and family as the Christian goal.

Second, the church upholds marriage and family not just as the norm, but as the Christian goal. Marriage is not a standard to achieve nor a sign of godliness. Instead, preach that marriage is not promised, and then enter into the lament with singles. Create a space for the pain of singleness. Stop preaching the message, “Oh, you’ll get married someday.” This message places satisfaction and fulfillment in Jesus below a spouse. Instead, the message should be that we have everything we need in Christ.

The church lumps singles and young adults.

Third, most churches place singles with the young adult ministry. One friend shared, “Worse than the messages that we hear is how we are treated.” My friend is a 40 year old single woman and feels out of place in the young adult ministry. She joked, “At some point we grow up.” Young adult ministry should be an age bracket, not a place to put singles. This division sends a message that you’re not an adult until you’re married. We must remember that Jesus was a single adult.

The church treats singles as second class citizens.

Lastly, teaching that singleness is second class causes Christian singles to believe they lack gifts to be used in the church. Often, churches won’t place unmarried women as mentors over married women. Yet, Christian single women offer wisdom that married women may lack. Allow single people to exemplify a beautiful picture of more than an unfulfilled longing, but rather a picture of faithfulness.

Have you heard these messages in your church? Comment below. I would love to have a conversation.

1 Comment on 4 Ways the Church Hurts Single Women

  1. Brianna
    April 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm (2 hours ago)

    Yes! I’ve heard and experience every one of those. Thankfully, I have finally found an amazing church that still sees me as a person, even as a single woman. They’re such a blessing in my life. Thank-you for sharing this message. So needed to know that we’re not alone.

    Reply

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