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It may also be difficult to tolerate that fellow church-goers may not respect them as full adults in a way that the larger culture does.
Given these realities, it is perhaps not surprising that we are encountering difficulty in retaining our single adults in the church--single adults that are needed and wanted, single adults that add to our strength as a collective.
That said, treating single adults as though they are not whole people if not married, even if unwittingly, is a troubling conceptualization not only for the inherent condescension in it, but also for how it creates a problematic frame for understanding personhood, sainthood, and even the essential ingredient of a happy marriage.
It also makes it much more difficult for faithful individuals to sort out how to be whole and happy in a context of sexual chastity and singleness.
Sometimes I even share bedrooms with my young nieces and nephews, and my parents don’t understand why it upsets me”.
Singles also report experiencing condescension not just in the pitied nature of their lot, but also that married church leaders and members are often insensitive to or detached from the very real challenges associated with managing adult sexuality and sexual abstinence in adulthood: As a single adult male wrote to me: “Bishops tend to marry young so they don’t get what it’s like to be an older single.
Church-leadership and members are facing a relatively new challenge, or at least a more punctuated challenge relative to our history.
While single adults have always been a part of our faith community, the demographic of the church is changing with individuals remaining single longer.
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I can’t tell you how many mid-single women I see who are still living with mom and dad, working an underemployed job, not taking care of themselves physically and waiting for that day when Mr.