Over the weekend, I had the honor of officiating the wedding of a young couple that Laura and I care about very much. It was a beautiful day celebrating what God has done in bringing them together and praying for all He will do through their now joined lives. It’s always fun watching people cross the divide from singleness to marriage.
I just wish the divide wasn’t so wide in the church.
Just to make it personal, the greatest segregation I see at Restoration City is between married couples and single adults. Sometimes it feels like we live in two different worlds. Married people hang out with other married people and talk about married people things. Singles hang out with other single people and talk about single people things. Just like the rest of the world. And we all miss out.
What if the church became a place that narrowed the divide, not widened it? We have so much to learn from each other and so many way to bless and encourage one another. Consider just a few:
- Single young adults need to be exposed to healthy, Christ centered marriages and families. In a culture that increasingly tells young singles to avoid or delay marriage and the resulting loss of freedom, we need to create spaces where people see marriage is actually a good and desirable thing. Married people, you have the ability to bless and serve singles simply by inviting them over for dinner. Also, the home cooking will be much appreciated!
- Married couples with children have a huge need for time together to invest in their marriage. Singles, you have the ability to bless a young family beyond belief by babysitting for a few hours. Two hours of your time would pour so much life into young parents.
- Lifelong singles are able to follow the words of Paul and have an undivided focus on the things of the Lord. Your singleness isn’t a curse from God. It may be a blessing that allows you to be on the the greatest contributors to the church. (1 Cor. 7:32) Speak into the lives of the next generation, shape ministries and know that we are all tremendously grateful to have you in our midst. You aren’t a second class citizen, you are a vital part of the body of Christ.
- Married people get trapped in a bubble and think only other married people understand their struggles and temptations. True, to an extent. But more than empathy, marriages need biblical truth and singles are certainly able to offer that. Married people could also use a few friends to remind them that life doesn’t have to shut down at 9PM all the time!
- Married couples, when you’re real about your journey, your struggles, your joys and your disappointments in marriage, you give singles an accurate picture of marriage rather than the silly nonsense flowing from pop culture.
This is one of the primary reasons we are committed to co-ed, multigenerational community groups. We want marrieds and singles to interact, to form friendships and to encourage one another and to learn from one another.
Are you living exclusively on one side of the divide? Then break out, reach out and see how much you could learn from the wonderful people on the other side.
4 thoughts on “The Marriage Gap”
After having kids I also assumed I always needed to schedule separate time with non mom friends. I was surprised to find that many single or kidless friends are happy to join in on lunches out or play dates with mom friends and kids.
Yes, katemsite! So much of the discipleship Laura does is at a playground with our boys and some of the single women from our church. You can have great conversations while pushing swings!
Don’t forget that single people also often make very good disciplers of married people. It works both ways.
Totally agree, Pam! That’s what I was getting at in the 4th bullet. One of the men who speaks most into my life is a single guy and he’s a huge gift to me!