Hospitality to single people/parents

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Peggy, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Peggy

    Peggy
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    I just heard about a study that said that single mothers rank #2 on a list of lonely people.

    How many of you have invited a single parent over for dinner and socializing?

    As a single person, I have observed a whole sub-culture of the church that is social among married couples but exclude single people as though singleness was contagious or the single mother might steal the husband.

    I consider myself a friendly and nice person, but I have never been invited to dinner by a married couple in the church. Never.

    Does your church do anything to reach out to single people and/or single parents? Do you?

    Please don't tell me "it goes both ways". I know that... but many divorced people don't feel welcome in the church anyways and are afraid to take that first step.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Martin

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    ==We have a singles class, that I co-teach, and we do various activities together. Usually we will have lunch or dinner about once a season. That is more than enough for me and the others in the class. If I was invited out by a married couple I would be polite, but I would decline the offer. Just like I delcine the far too often, "I know this young lady..." comments.

    ==In my experience married folks can be divided into two camps: those who treat you like a person and those who treat you like someone who is missing something (and in desperate need for their help). I favor being around the first group. I might be single but I assure you, I am missing nothing. My life is full, I am happy, and I am doing what God called me to do. No complaints.

    ==We have a singles class that I and another gentlemen teach. Our outreach is mainly to new people in the church or people looking for a church since the majority of singles in our church are in the younger "college and career" class. At 35 I am the youngest person in our singles class. I always recommend people under 30(ish) join the "college and career" class instead of our singles class. Other singles are in various other classes and are happy there. So the singles in our church are spread out all over the place.

    ==I think people need to start trusting in the Lord and doing what He has called them to do. When I see a healthy adult who is lonely, I see someone who is in danger of becoming emotionaly needy. That drives people away from them and therefore should be avoided. Singles, of all sorts, are best served by getting busy serving the Lord and other people instead of running around trying to get married (I know that was not mentioned in the op).
     
  3. Salty

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    Those many years, I was a single adult - I would refuse an invitation to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I felt those were nothing more than pity invitations. If you could not include in some activities during the year, then there was no need to invite me during the holidays.

    I often see houses of worship that self-Identify themselves as "The Family Church". That sure is a big turn on for singles. :tear:
     
  4. Jon-Marc

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    Society in general ranks single people (especially men) as less than trustworthy. The discrimination against singles is atrocious. We are judged and condemned simply because of being single. I am a divorced parent and grandparent, but all people see is that I am not presently married; therefore I cannot be trusted. I had one man tell me he wouldn't want me near his children or wife--only for the reason that I am a dreaded "single man", and everyone knows that we cannot be trusted around anyone's wife, girlfriend, or children. :BangHead:
     
  5. Amy.G

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    My best friend is single. She comes to our my house and I go to hers, we go to church together and never miss a day without talking to each other. My husband and I treat her as one of the family. I couldn't care less if she is single or not. All I know is...she's a blessing to me!


    Oh, and I met her at church.
     
  6. Salty

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    May the Lord bless you greatly Amy ! :thumbsup:

    Mrs Salty and I often invite Larry over. He is a divorced dad. I'm sure he enjoys Mrs Saltys cooking. (and we dont even care he is Church of Christ :tongue3:)

    Salty
     
  7. donnA

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    I ahve never seen single parent shave any trouble in church, theres always other single parents around and people who aren't single to associate with and build relationships. None have ever been treated differently.
     
  8. Peggy

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    Amy, you're an angel :)
    You too, Salty.

    I'm not looking to get married, I'm just looking for fellowship.

    I do go to a Bible Study/Home Group once a week that has a mish mash of singles, couples, and widows. I enjoy it.

    I don't go to "Christian Family Center" haha! I agree that seems like a subtle way of saying "singles not welcome here".
     
  9. Salty

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    I have been - and it hurts.
     
  10. donnA

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    we just treat single people like that around here I supose.
     
  11. Marcia

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    I think that what often happens is that singles are in the "single ghetto" of the church socially speaking. Iow, the married couples and families let the singles fend for themselves or think that they are okay because they are connecting with other singles.

    I have never been a Christian single, but I have been a Christian single parent and I didn't fit anywhere! You don't fit in with families, married couples without children, nor singles who never married or never had children. Really, unless you have been a single parent in a church, you cannot know what it's like.

    And I don't like to just hang out with other single parents! I like hanging out with married couples, families, and singles. Fortunately, some churches have families or married couples that socialize with singles and/or single parents (other than on holidays), but these people are not the norm. I remember once I went to a bible study (not sponsored by a church but by a larger organization), and they made me go to the single parents group. I really wanted to be in a mixed group.
     
  12. Peggy

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    Its almost like there is some unspoken assumption that singles and single parents will magically find each other to socialize.

    I wish that churches would intentionally reach out to us older singles (35 plus). There are so many sermons and books and organizations promoting and celebrating marriage. Sure that is great, nothing wrong with that. But then it is like "You don't want to end up divorced" as though it is like the bubonic plauge. There are a lot of us out here who believe in marriage but are divorced for reasons becond our control. There is no reason to treat us like second class citizens. Without a marriage partner, we need even more love and support from our church community!
     
  13. exscentric

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    One might ask why it is up to the marrieds to seek out singles to fellowship, singles can reach out as well. I doubt it has anything to do with singles stealing a spouse since that goes on in couples socializing with couples as well.

    I personally have never been asked to a couples home either, in a number of years in a church and I am married - go figure. I smell my armpits often to be sure I am not offensive but still no fellowship. Seems to be many churches are geared for no contact outside of the church, partly due to the busy life style, partly, in my mind, not wanting others to know what you are really like :laugh:
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I have been single all my life, and I have never been in a church that I felt this way.

    I think I have had more married people be jealous of my singlehood than exclusive towards married people. In fact, one of my pastors told me to be careful about the married people I hung around because I could probably persuade them to be single again.
     
  15. Marcia

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    I was divorced before I was saved, but I think that whether one is divorced before or after being saved, it is hard in churches where families seem to be the main focus. I think that married people are probably unaware of this situation and they can't understand it.

    Also, there is a difference in the status of single/never married and single/divorced. It's subtle, but it's there.
     
  16. Peggy

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    Although divorced women are not widows in the true sense of the word, they are without a spouse. I wish more churches would really "get" this verse, understand it, and reach out to fatherless families in their church and community.
     
  17. Jon-Marc

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    I don't go to any "Valentine party" beacuse I know it will be aimed at couples. The games and everything else is for couples and don't include singles.
     
  18. SaggyWoman

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    What is funny to me about that is it then becomes a meet/meat market!! :D
     
  19. SaggyWoman

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    Some years we had our own singles Valentine's parties.
     
  20. SaggyWoman

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    I think many couples feel this way, but as a single, I DON'T WANT YOUR HUSBAND!!! Serously. :rolleyes:
     

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