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"It is not good for man to be alone..."

Discussion in 'Mature Singles' started by NotUrAvgGuy, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    I hear that a lot and certainly understand the statement. I've run into Christians who see two types of Christians. Those given the "gift of singleness", and called to a life of service, or everyone else. I would suggest a third. Those who may not have the true gift of singleness yet wounded by life and not fit for marriage. I think that may be the hardest state to be in. You are not totally at home staying single but also not at home being married. I believe God intended for us to be in one of the two states mentioned above but sin has brought about this third state.

    I have a happily married, well-meaning sister who keeps hinting "church is a great place for single guys" and "you never know who you might meet." It's not just that she would like to see me meet a godly woman, but it also worries her that I attend services over the web. She and her husband are active in their church often volunteering and participating. I grew up with Attachment Disorder and have Social Anxiety. Going to small groups or hanging out after church and talking are not comfortable for me. I used to get upset to my stomach in anticipation of going to a small group and was always the first person out the door when it ended. The people were great but standing around talking in the midst of all those people just was nerve-wracking for me.

    My sister just doesn't understand. Most people assume the cure to social anxiety is to just slowly spend more time around people. That might work for some, but if it's deeply ingrained in you, no amount of time socializing may change it. I prefer to be alone or with one other person at most. This has made relationships very difficult. Most social interaction is built around conversation. You might attend some event but often the event is more of a setting in which to have conversation. I run out of things to talk about. Most of what I hear people talk about is of little interest to me. My mind is less interested in the day-to-day and more into science, theology, learning. I never read fiction. Just non-fiction. Talking about people, and our interactions with them, doesn't do it for me. I find dating stressful because I can't think of what to ask my date out to do.

    I hope my sister comes to understand me. I don't hate people. I do interact just in doses. I will never be the busy bee at church. I also get tired of the frequent family references. It's like us singles don't exist. Sometimes I feel the church treats older singles as self-centered, selfish, probably engaging in all manner of sin as we don't have a spouse. I have been married twice so I've tried it. I'll never fit the mold. I love my kids but I don't care if I am ever a grandparent. I don't need grandchildren to be fulfilled. I don't need to spend holidays with family. Maybe it's good for some men to be alone...
     
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  2. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    Matthew 22:30 and the implications of what that means doesn't really help either.
    And tell the title to those who do not have anyone or struggle because they have disability or awkward, etc.
    Most people don't have the luxury of finding someone that matches both a physical and mental attraction either, people have to compromise.
    Why did God need to do all of this?
     
  3. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    God created us for fellowship and marriage to be a picture of Christ and the Church. Those are good things. We do, however, live in a fallen world and sin sometimes robs us of all of God's blessings. It is part of living in a fallen world. I am not lonely although I wouldn't mind having someone around a bit. Maybe like a great female neighbor, I could hang out with but we still have our privacy when we want it. Or some huge house we could each have our half of!
     
  4. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Nuag, it's good to see you. I hope you're well and thriving. :)

    I believe there's some who are meant to marry. But personal struggles and hardships impeded their path, made them jaded, or hesitant. And they opted out.

    Meeting someone in a Christian setting can be challenging if social impediments make the atmosphere stressful. It isn't a subject I've heard addressed. Perhaps a suitable gathering could be arranged for believers with those difficulties from area churches. It would provide an opportunity for fellowship with others who understand and don't expect different behavior.

    I haven't had a lot of experience with older singles. My interactions were limited. I went to a 35+ group a couple of times. But it made me uncomfortable. I went to the married one instead. I felt most at home with the young couples (25-35). We really clicked.

    I suspect it played a part in my decision to date younger men exclusively. I did in the past but it wasn't a preference. I couldn't connect with the men my age. They were okay as pals. But I wasn't attracted to them.

    I've never been mistreated because I single. I always dated. But I felt the focus was unbalanced. Many define themselves by their marital state and I don't understand that. Eventually, I stopped talking to them and developed friendships with married couples. The conversation was better.

    ~bella
     
  5. Rajni

    Rajni ☯ Ego ad Eum pertinent ☯ Supporter

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    I think it's an introvert thing. I'm the same way. And it kills me, because right now, as a happily-reclusive introvert (who does like people!), and who no longer identifies as specifically Christian, I live near a seemingly awesome church that's practically in my kitchen, it's so close. Like, I could do a somersault, just so, and land in a pew, if it weren't for my sciatica. The irony drives me nuts. Life is strange that way...
     
  6. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    Amen! Finding the balance can be tricky. I know I struggle.
     
  7. BeyondET

    BeyondET Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i'm pretty social but at 53 i doubt i will have kids and i have never been married. but rather social or not it can happen to anyone being alone and not married etc.
     
  8. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    I had a lively discussion with a pastor of a family-centric church in Washington about this. His perspective is that you are either called to be married or you are given the gift of singleness. He sees that as a 99/1% ratio (or 99.9/0.1). He believes it's best to marry young not too many years out of high school. Waiting breeds independence and brings on sexual temptation. Best to be married and have a spouse to help you stay on the straight and narrow. Children should also come along soon (he has 9). Children teach us not to be selfish and keep couples from having too much time on their hands to spend on frivolous things. He also believes we are to be raising godly children to be the next generation of Christians (can't argue with that one IF you have children). Singles are expected to either be young and on the lookout for marriage or an older widow too old to remarry. I'm not sure divorce or people with struggles and hardships exist in their perfect society.

    The progression is that you are born into a family. You grow up in that family and stay connected until you marry. You marry and start your own family. You raise that family and hopefully, your children follow the plan and marry young and supply you with grandchildren. Now you become the doting grandparents helping your children in raising them. It's one state of family to the next for life and you are rarely ever living alone. Unless you are truly called to be single, living single tends to lead to a selfish life and probably a sinful one. I asked him how someone over 30 who had never married would feel in his church. He admitted they would probably feel awkward.

    Some churches embrace singles of all ages and try to help them connect. Other churches see singles (beyond a certain age) as an embarrassment they would rather pretend don't exist. Most churches emphasize how family-friendly they are and how many programs they have for kids. My church calls their collection of mid-week ministries "Family Wednesdays." I am divorced with grown kids who don't go to my church. None are married so I have no grandchildren. Where does that leave me? My church is not like the church in Washington I mentioned. Nothing that extreme but I still feel like an outcast.

    Since I am not that social it doesn't bother me as much as it might otherwise. Maybe someday I will have a wife again to go to church with. Maybe. I highly doubt I will meet her at church. I also do better with younger dates. Women my age rarely interest me. I also don't want to marry someone whose whole focus in life now is being a grandmother. No offense to grandmothers and God bless them but since I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family with an alcoholic mother, I just don't have that tight-knit, hang out with family all the time, gene. I would rather spend holidays with just my spouse than running around to visit different parts of the combined families. I have not really celebrated a holiday in years. I appreciate the Christian meaning of some but in general treat them like any other day.
     
  9. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Wow, words escape me. If he told me that I'd be running in the other direction. It's the sort of rhetoric you hear in cults and certain sects. I assume he's a Quiverful?

    Sounds like the Amish.

    They'd probably have issues and question their worthiness.

    Churches should be inclusive. It shouldn't cater to one demographic while leaving the rest in the cold. That includes singles, disabled, those with mental health and social issues, and so on.

    The differences in mindset and disposition and hard to surmount. Too much complaining, venting, and negativity. The men I'm attracted to are more laid back. We discuss different issues. But our conversation doesn't revolve around problems or what's wrong with world, church, etc. We're focused on the Lord and pursuing our dreams.

    I want to share my days with someone who understands John 10:10 and lives it.

    ~bella
     
  10. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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  11. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    We'd probably get along great. I'm very laid back and not a complainer (except you might think I am complaining here...).

    Yes, he is a Quiverful for sure. Teaches marriage seminars and publishes materials on it. I don't care for churches that form around certain belief like families should worship together and not be split up at the service. If you want to keep your kids with you, do so. If you want to put them in a children's class, do that. We need diversity in the body not everyone who thinks exactly the same way...
     
  12. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I don't see it that way. Sharing your thoughts is fine. :)

    I assumed he was. You've got extremes in every group. Luckily for you, you know yourself and didn't get sucked in. They'd never stop until you were mated.

    ~bella
     
  13. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    I ran into him online. I don't live in Washington. I would have been an outcast at their church and there probably wouldn't have been any single women for me unless they wanted to marry a man twice their age...
     
  14. angelsaroundme

    angelsaroundme Well-Known Member

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    We are in an awkward transitional stage in human history where being single is going to be increasingly common. There are 70 million more men in China and India than women.
     
  15. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Age gaps aren't a barrier in cultures like that. They'd pair you with an unmarried woman or widow.

    ~bella
     
  16. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    They could have tried... I wouldn't join a church like that though. I don't care for single-issue churches. They pick some distinctive and then cater the whole church to that distinctive. They focus on it so much that over time the only people who attend are completely like-minded. They all love it but their ideas never get challenged and even though they think they "got it right", their exclusivity prevents them from being a witness to others. Some call this "Holy huddles." They view anyone outside their church as "not getting it" or worse. I would not want to be paired up with a woman who was sold on that philosophy.
     
  17. VCR-2000

    VCR-2000 Well-Known Member

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    For preaching all the great things about family and marriage and how they laud family values as sacred and condemn the evil of forces that attack it, many Christians reject there being marriage or even any kind of relationship with sexuality and child-rearing in the eternal kingdom-to-come.
     
  18. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I'm not a fan of religious extremes. The holy roller and huddle types would never be in my circle. I'm polite and I'll talk to them. But I don't want that in my head. They usually try to convert others to their way of thinking.

    ~bella
     
  19. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    That's because marriage and family are meant to teach us about God's relationship with us and the church. In heaven, we will all be family and the Bride of Christ. So the family isn't going anywhere. We will all be mature and the lessons of child-rearing are no longer needed. There is nothing wrong with marriage, family, or our sexuality but some of that was designed for this life so we would reproduce and populate the earth. Heaven will be a different type of life and God has yet to reveal to us all we will do and experience there but we will have everlasting joy.

    The sacrificial system in the OT was a central part of Jewish worship yet not meant to be permanent. It was to point to Christ who became THE sacrifice for sin. I'm not worried about the lack of marriage, sex, or child-rearing in heaven. God's got amazing things in store for us. Some things were meant for this life and not the next. Jesus made it clear there would be no marriage in heaven. As I said, I'm not worried.
     
  20. NotUrAvgGuy

    NotUrAvgGuy Active Member

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    My kids were largely homeschooled but did some or all of high school in either a charter school or regular local high school. I remember getting cornered by this "friend" after church who was shocked that I would allow my son to attend this charter school. He all but said I was in sin for doing so. How quickly personal preferences and convictions become law and a basis for judging others.
     
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