On Mondays at lunch, we pray (and fast) for godly men to be emboldened, for godly women to be softened, and for godly marriages to be formed and preserved in God’s timing and grace.
Ever wonder where you fit in? I don’t mean in the middle school boy “let me spray on more Axe” kind of way. As a Christian, I know that God has a plan and purpose for my life, a reason for sucking air on this planet. He tells us this in the Bible through verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:29. The creator of the universe loves us and designed us to “fit” into His kingdom.
So, why is it so hard for me to translate this cognitive understanding into a practical “fit” in the body of Christ, the church? In I Corinthians 12, Paul compares the church to the physical body. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (I Corinthians 12:27). I have a part, but what is it?
If there is one place where I feel my singleness, it’s in the church. We file into an open room on Sundays where most people are seated in clumps. If you don’t have a cluster to sit with, it’s universally understood that you leave a seat buffer between strangers, unless it’s exceptionally crowded. Thus if I go alone, I end up sitting alone.
Then we run down the list of classes or small groups, where they are usually broken out into categories of life stages (young marrieds, married with kids, over 50, etc.). Again, I wonder where I fit. If there is a category for those single and over 30, I often struggle with feeling relegated to the corner of the room with misfits (no offense meant to other participants, just me feeling left out). Even with the women’s activities so much centers on wives and mothers, from the topics discussed to the time of the gatherings (like I can attend a 10am Tuesday Bible Study) that I often feel left out.
One church I attended would have special evening services on the eve of Thanksgiving and Christmas where at the end of the service they asked attendees to gather with their families for communion. I was living over 1000 miles from my parents and siblings at the time, talk about feeling awkward as everyone gathered in clusters.
It’s sad that within the family of God, singles can end up feeling more like a hang nail than a functioning, participating, and valued member of the body. But here is another thing that I know is true, if the enemy of our soul (Satan) can keep us focused on how much we don’t fit in and feeling unwanted then he can limit the full potential of the individual and the body.
I wonder how you avoid feeling sidelined in the church. How do you feel connected to the body of Christ? What advice do you have for other singles looking to have a greater role in the purpose of the church? Is there a place for single women outside of the role of nursery worker?
A card carrying member of the body of Christ,