Some of the things Pastor John
Pavlovitz mention include:
You need to know that you are
valued and treasured and
appreciated, even when we have
failed to let you know.
You are The Church.
You are not second class Christians.
You are not inferior members of our communities.
You are not worth less than those who have found married life
Your singleness is not a temporary affliction that you need to be
healed of, or a sad fate you need to be rescued from.
It is not a sign that your faith is suspect or that your prayers are
not earnest or that your goodness is at all in doubt.
and so much more.
I believe this post is powerful as I, myself, am a single over 35, and I
also minister to singles of different ages and can see how some can
feel inferior by members of church communities who provide a
“You poor thing” type attitude once they discover one’s age and
I especially like when he says, “It is not a sign that your faith is
suspect or that your prayers are not earnest or that your goodness is
at all in doubt” This rings true in most mega church communities where
so much emphasis is on faith that if you feel you don’t have something in
life by a certain timeline or deadline (i.e. if you’re single and over 40)
then something must obviously be wrong with you and/or your faith – without
considering the possibility that maybe you’re still single for a reason and that
marriage is simply a shift in one’s season, not to be dictated by man’s
timetable but God’s.
For example, I remember when a single young lady over 35 told me that her
then pastor’s wife (aka “First lady”) asked her if she was dating anyone and
the young lady’s response was, “No.” As soon as she said that the pastor’s wife
proceeded to tell the young lady that she needs to ‘press harder,’ in other words she
needed to pray harder for a spouse, thus indicating that somewhere in the young lady’s
prayer closet, as she prayed and asked God for a husband, she was lacking.
Either God wasn’t hearing her, or she wasn’t praying hard enough.
I’ve also sat in meetings with singles in which they were told over the pulpit
that one of the reasons they’re still single is because of sin in their lives. How many
people do you know who sin, shack up and still end up getting married?
They sinned, yet they got married – with sin in their lives. Not condoning sin, but
simply pointing out some of the assumptions and judgements that some singles have
to be confronted with.
Marriage is a choice.
In most cases singleness is a choice as well, but it’s not up to us
as a Christian community to try and dissect one’s personal life or lump everyone
into categories or deem one marital status as more superior than the other. When
this is done you end up with more people marrying for the wrong reasons while
giving an appearance of what many deem as “God’s graduation” while not really putting
in the right amount of time to really get to know if the person you’re dating is truly God’s
best for you. Some are in such a rush to get over to the “married people’s club” that they
ignore red flags in their significant other because they covet the “other side.” Paul says
in Philippians 4:11, Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever
state I am, therewith to be content. So whether you’re single or married as long as
you’re doing what God has called you to do in order help someone and to bring others
to Christ…whether you do it while
single or married God still sees as valuable and precious in His sight.
So I appreciate what John Pavlovitz is attempting to explain.
An apology is definitely a nice start and a nice gesture, however
let’s take it one step further and simply not judge someone else or make baseless
assumptions about someone else because of their marital status and let’s simply
enjoy our journeys, appreciate our different seasons while realizing that we are
all valuable members of the body of Christ and that we’re all one in God’s sight.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither
male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Also, check out John’s complete blog post here:
Kim Brooks, author of bestselling novels, She That Findeth, He\'s Fine...But is He Saved? and more. www.kimontheweb.com