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In the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc.,) we really don't see Matthew & Rose, Mark & Betty, Luke & Beatrice, John & Sally, etc.

Why do churches put so much emphasis on couples, inferring that singles who have chosen celibacy really don't have a place (of course unless they are teen or twenties)?

I gave my life to Jesus at 16, and now am 61, and chose a path of singleness, according to the ability God gave me. I am confused because there seems to be such heavy emphasis on couples (nothing wrong with couples; I had extra-terrific parents for example). However, it is hurtful to feel like singles are the "low end of the totem pole"in Christian service and responsibility.

My parents had two girls (one married, and one single...me).

Do pastors cater to couple images because they presume tithing is higher? Is there cultural etiquette persuading the church more than templates of the New Testament church?

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While this is an excellent issue to be looking at, I suspect that there isn't going to be a definitive answer to it. Few churches make it a policy to neglect singles, so there isn't in any way an'official' answer. We might be able to find some respected writers and quote their beliefs about why singles are neglected. –  DJClayworth Sep 19 '13 at 21:37
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You're far from alone in asking that question. My church has been dealing with those issues slowly at the insistence of young singles and young couples, self included. Perhaps you could try the same in your church? –  crownjewel82 Sep 19 '13 at 21:40
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Interesting that you ask. Paul addresses this very concern in Corinthians, unfortunately as with many things, the church sometimes forgets what it's own scriptures teach. While I agree with DJ that we're unlikely to see anything definitive, this is a fairly narrow issue and I'm inclined to see what the answers look like before passing any judgement. –  wax eagle Sep 19 '13 at 22:42
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I'd be interested to know what sort of discrimination you have encountered. Could you edit that into the question? Was it cultural [for example, a single in a hotel pays as much as a couple for the room] or was it actually religious [you'll only get to heaven if you're married]? –  Andrew Leach Sep 20 '13 at 6:08
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@Mawia Yes. Come to the UK. –  Andrew Leach Sep 20 '13 at 6:54

3 Answers 3

Churches/Pastors should never discriminate or cater to any specific group. This is especially true with a group that appears to be elevated in the heart of God.

The Bible speaks of a group, yes those that Paul identifies with:

1 Corinthians 7:7,8 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I

How amazing that this group would be shunned as less significant. It does not appear that this was always so.

Isaiah 56:4,5 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off

Jesus speaks to this same group:

Matthew 19:11,12 …he said unto them, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb”.

Who are the eunuchs spoken of by Isaiah? Are they those to whom it is given, those born to live a celibate life? Are they those like Paul, unencumbered by a physical marriage, wholly united to Christ?

This group should be elevated, set apart, and sought out for their insight into the things of God.

We are in an age where "herd mentality" is very strong and unfortunately a celibate life in an age of hyper-sexuality is not likely going to be understood. Rest-assured, your Heavenly Father esteems those so born.

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Great scriptures on the subject of celibacy but I don't think it answers the question - I think it answers, "why shouldn't there be discrimination against celibates?" –  Wikis Sep 20 '13 at 12:42
    
@Wikis, because they are elevated by God. –  Rick Sep 20 '13 at 12:45
    
I agree that they shouldn't be discriminated against and that celibacy is rare and great gift... my point was that your answer was an answer to a different question. –  Wikis Sep 20 '13 at 13:15
    
@Wikis, perhaps these edits help? –  Rick Sep 20 '13 at 13:32
    
I'd like to say yes... but I don't think so. The question is "why do churches not acknowledge singles?" and your answer is to the question, "why should churches acknowledge singles?" (even though I completely agree with your answer, btw!) –  Wikis Sep 20 '13 at 14:35

speculation

there is a lot of Talk in the new testament about fellowship and this could be the very reason that it seems like a lot of churches cater to couples rather than singles. no one wants to be lonely, and everyone wants to be closer to God.

but really I think that you may be mistaking fellowship between members of the Church for the relationship between a couple. Members of the Church all have a Relationship with each other linked by God, so does a Couple, but in a different way. a single person is part of the Church Fellowship the same way that a couple is part of the church fellowship.

I don't know what Church that you go to, but I have never had the feeling that any church I have gone to catered to Couples over Singles. there are a lot of places where the relationship between members of the church and Jesus and God have been compared to that of a Family, but any member, even if they are not married, is still a member of that Family.

I suggest to you that if you feel the messages in your church are being geared toward Couples that you talk to your minister/preacher/pastor and talk to him/her about it, I don't think that they are intentionally trying to make singles feel out of place, and just bringing it up may help them to see from a singles point of view when they are preparing their messages.

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To many "innocent" eyes will be blinded by the Light of liberty when it is ultimately revealed. Both in this age and the age to come with greater and greater celebration and fearful self-reflection. The mirror that is the Word. Will accurately reveal Christ in anyone who looks "into" it. They wont see... gender divisions as "real" differences but as utilitarian in order and wholly unreliable at understanding its own spirit inhabitant and others. lol

When?

One by one. I think I am last. Would love to add to a real converts experience. My own has proven to only open more vistas than one lifetime...possibly fix and discover. His words are lively and in the light of new understanding, the old "devotions" speak anew to me. So some are touched and some read with a hunger to experience and it drives them from their country. He awaits all who dare to seek. He quenches all thirsty from wanton desire. He satisfies all living beings with himself. Sustaining them without bread or water but with His will. His will to be light is what causes light to continue unhindered. His will to subject another element to vanity in hope of this greater reward for his only begotten is righteous and those elements have declared as much.

Let his people go... they will find him on the Way. :)

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So, I have to say, this isn't a very good answer. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. Specifically, this doesn't really answer the question, although, the question isn't very clear... –  Affable Geek Sep 20 '13 at 15:18

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