Suffering In Singleness

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is the idea of suffering.  This has not been brought on because of personal suffering.  I am in a season right now where I don’t feel a lot personal suffering.  But I have had many seasons where I have.  This was especially true when I was single.

What has brought on these thoughts is that I have friends who have suffered and I’ve seen a lot of confusion in the singleness arena about the idea of suffering.  For example there is the idea that celibacy is too great a cross to bear.  That it is unfair that we are asking those who are not called to Celibacy for the Kingdom to suffer.  The idea that it is unfair to ask those who are unmarried and wish to be or those that are celibate due to the fall of man, to remain celibate is to ask them to suffer unfairly.

I want to offer a few thoughts here about suffering in general and then bring it back to singleness.

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The Image Of God Is Not Male Plus Female

Many of you may remember the movie Jerry Maguire.  In it Jerry is a sports agent and his assistant Dorothy falls in love with him.  Jerry at first loves her but isn’t what one might call “in love” with her.**  But at the end, Jerry realizes that he and Dorothy belong together.  He goes to her and says, “You complete me.”  They live happily ever after.

Now from a theological standpoint, there’s all sorts of things wrong here.  As I’ve mentioned over and over here, what we often do in Christian culture is just take secular beliefs and dress them up into Christian ones.  For example we take the romantic idea of the one, dress it up and turn it into the “one God has for us.”  These examples go on and on.

But today I want to talk about the idea of two people completing each other.  We talk about this all the time. Many times we hear how a person couldn’t be who they are without their spouse.  We talk about how a person couldn’t do the ministry work they do without their spouse.  

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Is Sex With A Robot “Wrong”?

You may have seen in the news that a man recently “married” a hologram.  Yes you read that right.  A hologram.  Now before you get all judgmental here please listen to the man.  Akihiko Kondo points out that, “I believe that the shape of happiness and love is different for each person.”  Does this sound familiar?

I’m not here to bash Kondo today.  What I want to do with this post is discuss a couple of things.  1. We are careening off the rails as a culture and 2. What should it look like as the church to stand in the middle of it.

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Making Your Church Unmarried Friendly – Experientially

This is the last post in a series about what it might look like to make the church unmarried friendly.  We’ve talked about why this is so important for the future of the church and why it matters in the big picture.  Last time we talked about the theological side of being a church that welcomes 66% of folks who don’t go to church – the unmarried.  Today I want to get practical

The question you need to ask is what is the user experience for a single at your church? Here’s what I can tell you experientially; I was single until I was nearly 41 years old and one of the hardest places to go was church.  The experience was mostly not good.

So what does it look like, or maybe a better way of saying it, what could it look like?

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Can Christianity Be Bred Out?

As you may know, Christians around the world are being persecuted at a high level right now.  I saw an interesting article about what one political group in India wants to do.  They want to sterilize Christians as well as Muslims.  You read that right.  Confess your faith, be sterilized.

According to the article:

“Deva Thakur, vice president of the radical Hindu Mahasabha Party, has called for the forced sterilization of Indian Christians and Muslims. The radical leader also called on Hindus to have more children in order to counter the rise in India’s Christian and Muslim populations.”

Needless to say, this is an inhumane and terrible idea.  But it sort of raised some thoughts for me about things we’ve talked about here in regards to the church and the family of The Kingdom, vs. the church of the nuclear family idol.

The real question is this, can you breed out Christianity?  It’s actually a really, really interesting question.  The answer is of course no.  But it’s not as simple as even I might like it to be.

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Are You Good Enough For Marriage?

When I was in high school and college, one of the things that I battled with constantly was the idea that I wasn’t “good enough”.  I battled this in almost every area of my life.  I saw myself as decent, but not great at pretty much everything.  The things that I did care about (sports for example) I worked my tail off to become great.  But I never saw myself as arriving at greatness.

Nowhere was this more true than with the opposite sex.  I was constantly in the friend zone with the girls that I liked.  I thought I was physically not attractive enough.  Later I thought I wasn’t making enough money.  The list goes on.  One of my go to thoughts was, “I’m just not good enough.”

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The Soft Sexism of Blaming Men

In my last few posts I’ve been talking about how we publicly shame men, even the good ones, from the pulpit and on the internet.  Note that I’m talking here about how Christian men shame other men.  This doesn’t include all the other people doing it.

Before I say any more, I want to say that I’m not bringing all this up to play some sort of men are the victim card.  I’m mainly bringing it up because it’s not effective in any way.  Frankly its part of the reason guys don’t go to church.  (There are other reasons, but that’s for a different day).

Today I want to venture deeper into the other side of this whole deal.  How does the way that Christian men call out good men impact Christian women.  While I’ll touch on some ways it affects marriages, my main focus will be for the unmarried.

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