We are more likely to talk about sex, than singleness. Kimberly Smith has written an excellent book on singleness, “What we cannot be alone: Understanding singleness in God’s family.” There were so many things I valued from reading it. First and foremost was understanding life from her perspective as a single person in church.
We love to talk about families and marriages in church, but singles? This is a conversation we rarely, if ever, have. It can be a complex, sensitive topic. The experience of singleness, or single again, is diverse. Yet singleness in society is increasing. One in four Australian households is a lone-person household. In our local area it is nearly one in three households. Our church must be better at understanding and serving singles.
Who would you say are your family? In our society this is a small circle called the nuclear family, which may reach out to the extended family. Kimberly’s book reminded me how following Jesus expands our sense of family. She has delightful examples of how she belongs through church in the life of others. Family for the Christian are no longer those with a common bloodline. Family are our sisters and brothers of faith. How can we be a church family to all our brothers and sisters? What does it mean to expand our circle of belonging to include more people (not just singles) around our dining tables, Olympic game watching, holidays, entertaining? This is probably something we can work on.
(Photo by Praveesh Palakeel on Unsplash)