Speaking my mind

Goodness knows that I've always been opinionated. Goodness knows that I'll say what I think about a situation to friends. But, believe it or not, I'm not always really good about following through and saying it to the person that needs to hear it or someone that might help the situation.

I really wanted "Rebekah" to give me her phone so that I could call and tell off "Timmy the Fly", but I digress.

Maybe it has to do with the book that I've read 200 pages of this weekend. All the characters are so passive-aggressive and unable to tell each other what they really think at the risk of having a real conversation or confrontation that I'm ready to scream.

Last night's event grew from 5 people to 8. I invited my friend Courtney to come with the warning of what went down last time.

Well, let's just say it didn't really go any differently than last time. We did have more chips than last time. I think for the 8 of us, we had 6 bags of chips.

I totally get that all church leadership has to be married men. I don't have an issue with the men, the Bible or God for that. Really, I don't. I will say that there is a disconnect in understanding lumping all "singles" together.

When the preacher asked the kids tonight the question he asks every week (that I've brought up numerous times before), "who are you going to marry when you grow up?" and the kids answered, "a Christian." I mumbled under my breath, "yes, please do so that you don't have to be a part of Singles for Jesus."

That punch line has to do with the introduction to this morning's sermon. Those who were there will get it.

The poor deacon in charge of the singles got an earful from me tonight. I had to try to explain to him the problems of trying to fellowship with a group of believers that have nothing in common. I brought up something dealing with a Fly issue, and he said something about, "well yeah, but he's not quite..." My point is of the 8 people gathered, with all due respect and no offense, at least two fall in the "not quite..." category.

Hey Dude (wish I could come up with a great Acronym... Deacon Under...) - seriously - how much fellowship would you have among the same group? It's like were the group of rejects ostracized to a "life stage."

Don't get me wrong. I have friends of all ages. Of all situations - never married, married, divorced, widowed, etc.. However, I do not try to get them all together at once. What makes us friends and have a basis for socialization is different in each case.

To take a group of people: two college students, a guy in his late 20s who does manual labor, a 20-something church secretary, a PR professional, a 30-something social worker, a teacher who has children older than me and is divorced, and a 70-something school cafeteria lady who really kind of acts older than her age into a room with nothing in common other than they don't have a spouse to go home to and are members of our congregation (actually, 2 were visitors) and expect a lot of cohesion, not going to happen.

One thing that bonds 3 of us together is that the Fly has asked us out, and all have rejected him. Of course, he doesn't remember that he's asked all three of us out, so I'm not sure if that counts. Again, I digress.

What "Rebekah" and I finally ended up with was this suggestion - have a 20s and 30s church event where you quite splitting the marrieds and the singles apart. Part of the reason the singles of the church aren't involved is because we've been segregated. What we need is fellowship among the church, not segregation.

The singles can invite married friends. The marrieds can invite single friends who might not come otherwise, and we can all get along.

Let's have a conversation beyond how your kids were in the Sunday or Wednesday school class I taught or helped with. There are other things to talk about than your kids, as precious as they may be.

The last time I really socialized with any of the married women at church was when I had a Sister Wives watching party at my house. I think some could be really fun to do things with.

As for those over that age group that are single, the Senior's Fun Bunch can be ramped back up, and I know some of those people have been active in it before. There's never marrieds, divorced and widows among that group too.

End of rant. Who wants to go do something next weekend? Single, married, or otherwise. There must be more than chips and dip available.


LaDonna said…
Maybe the question for the children on Sunday nite should be "WHEN you grow up and IF you marry, you're going to marry a Christian".. Maybe that wouldn't ruffle your feathers so much...
Audra Jennings said…
Even my 5th grade kids have brought up they may not get married. Just tired of hearing it all the time.
Mama Bear said…
Is there a Like button for this post? Unfortunately, the problem is the same at the mega-church I attend. It's to the point that I now "attend" online because at least at home, I don't have to worry about what class I should join just because I'm single.
Audra - I was in my late 20s when I got married and was single longer than most of my friends. I totally remember feeling like you describe in your blog post. The most awkward thing that my church did was have a beach trip with ALL the singles. I didn't go but heard it was incredibly awkward with 40+ year old divorced men hitting on 22 year old recent college grads on the beach. Er ... awkward!

I'm not sure if this helps or not, but my husband and I often still feel the same way. Ironically, now that we're married, we have made friends with a lot of single people. Being segregated on the basis of marital status alone just seems strange and unrealistic since church seems to be the only place this happens. We're now having a hard time finding a married couples small group that we feel comfortable in. We're now talking about visiting a singles class with some of our single friends. :)

Not sure what the answer is, but you're definitely not alone!
Audra Jennings said…
Brooke - You're right - why is the place that I feel my singleness the most the church building?