Better Single Than Sorry
#1
I purchased a book published in 2007 by Jen Schefft called, Better Single Than Sorry. What a book! What a lady!

Jen won the 2003's The Bachelor and starred in 2004's The Bachelorette. She walked away from one engagement and turned down two proposals and has never looked back. She now works in public relations and lives in Chicago.

When she turned down an engagement on The Bachelorette, the backlash was relentless. She was labeled a "spinster" by a celebrity magazine, and a noted national talk-show host remarked that she would be "a bachelorette for the rest of her life."

This is a terrible message to send to singles and she is trying to correct some of the misperceptions on singleness in her book. I have read only up to page 23 but, find that she has a very good attitude about her singleness. For instance she writes:

"...So many women are desperate because they're insecure. Our lives should be full with or without a man. We owe it to ourselves to be content. It's important to be surrounded by people and things that make us feel good. Every day I remind myself that I'm a valuable human being who deserves to be happy. If we don't have confidence, we can fall prey to the forces of evil - the people (often parents) and things (friends' weddings) that tempt us to settle."

"...Time and again, we sacrifice our own needs and our own happiness because we think a man will complete us. Instead, we need to be standing up for ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our own happiness...."


"There are a few reasons why women feel like being single is a curse. We're made to feel that way. Just a couple of weeks ago, my dentist said to me, "You're single? How can you be single? I can't believe you can't meet someone!" I know he was trying to give me a compliment, but once he left the room, the hygienist whispered, "Don't let him get to you....it's okay!" Questions like that are hard to bear and they're harder to answer. It was as if he thought something was wrong with me - like I was doomed.

Don't let yourself fall into this trap. You don't need to be in a relationship to be considered whole. That Jerry Maguire "You complete me" thing? I hate it. No woman (or man) should beel incomplete because they're not in a relationship. Complete yourself."


I certainly will keep reading this book! It make great sense.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#2
There's one thing that scares me a little bit throughout this forum. I at times feel as though being single is the only way to go and is encouraged, but I know it's just supported. I know that the posts on here are meant to help people cope with being single and to let them know there's nothing wrong with it. That they aren't "cursed," as your book and you have described the view of society on being single.

Where are being single is OK as we read Paul's writings truly inspired by God, my main fear is that one may be too closed minded on this issue as to where they may miss when God tells you to accept this man or woman.

I honestly fear that I will be single the rest of my life. I fear this b/c for as long as I can remember I've wanted a wife and a family. I want a family of my own that's close just as how my family is right now with my sister, mother and father.

Perhaps God's plan for a particular person is to be single and to do His work without a distraction of a relationship. But, what if that's His plan for another person only for a certain time to teach them and condition them to focus on God and His plan more than anything, then everything else comes second. Once this condition is met, perhaps God brings a man or woman into this person's life but that person has it in their mind that they are supposed to be single the rest of their lives to focus on God's work?

There can be a danger where one may get too focused on the fact that they should be single that they miss God's direction for the inverse.

To be honest, this fear comes from personal experience. An xgf of mine had this mentality. She thought for sure that she would never be married and in a relationship. She felt as though she shouldn't and therefore, wouldn't by choice inspired by God.

Well, I came along and challenged that thought. I challenged it b/c God told me to pursue her and be with her. I held on to what God told me for a while and pursued this woman. We ended up dating for 2.5 years. We didn't get married b/c I never had the instruction from God to marry her. Other events happened that could be understood that God was teaching the both of us in our relationship.

What if God puts someone in your life for that reason? Or what if he puts someone in your life to be with you for the rest of your life in marriage? To make an unstoppable duo for His plan and work?

My concern, fear is that one may get too focused on being single that they miss out on something better. And please, I'm not saying that anyone is that way right here and now b/c I don't know anyone here. I just see a possibility b/c I've experienced it in someone else first hand.

This is all just a thought. God Bless.
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#3
I suspect you are right, yup. First of all, let me say that I support marriage totally. That is the way God intended all his children to live. That is the way he made Adam and Eve in the first place, to be a couple and live happily with a family.

Your conclusion that we tend to support singles is also correct. We do not want to come across that we promote the single lifestyle. But, let me explain......

I grew up in a small country community were we did have the bachelors, the spinsteres, the old maids, but there was something wrong with these people and that is why they never married. How foolish! Today, in my church, the Adventist Church, I am one of those bachelors, old maids or spinsters. Those terms are very, very hurtful! I have worked in Aventist Single Adult Ministries for several years now and time after time, I see the hurt in those who come to our events. Hurt because our church does not accept these people as whole people. We are exclusively an 'ideal family' church. That has got to change! 50% of society and about 45% of the Adventist Church are single adults. Jesus died for all people. Today we must become a church that sees all people, whether married or single as equally worthy candiates for heaven. Jesus died for all His children, not just those that are married.

That is why you get the message on this forum that we are supporting those who are single in any and every way. We all need to know that Jesus loves us and that we are a part of His family, His church.

I have had a couple of young adults come to me recently who shared that they had been asked by their church to be the Single Adult Ministries Coordinator for their church but, they said..."I just couldn't do it, there is such a stigma attached to Single Adult Ministries!" That is sooooo sad.

By upholding and supporting single adults for several years we have been trying to change the image of the single adult church member in our conference. Are we making any progress? Sometimes I think we are and then we hear a crazy comment made by a married person or a pastor, etc. and realize that we still have a long, long way to go.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#4
I can see where you're coming from. I personally haven't experienced such comments or behaviors.

I really hope I didn't offend. I'm sorry if I did.
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#5
Hi Again. You did not offend. Actually I haven't experienced such comments or behaviors personally either though there are several who have told me they have. As a child I got that message from observing how the single in our community were treated. I have also read about in in TIME Magazine August 2, 2005 issue. No, it is very real but, I think it is less real than it used to be.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#6
hrm... I hope I never had to experience that directly or indirectly. Situations like these happen all to often. It's unfortunate really b/c the people who do these and those who this type of thing are done to don't see the true harm in it all. It's all thought to be innocent and unharming.

People never realize how much hurt they can cause and do cause. I don't know why we all just can't help each other, be nice and love each other. Especially in a relationship. People can be so hurtful.
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#7
I think that most people just don't even stop to think. The older ones have heard the negatives of singleness all their lives and have never thought of how it might affect those they label. Many times it is unintentional. People always talk about 'family' or their 'spouse' from the pulpit without even thinking what kind of message they are sending to those who may not have a family or a spouse. I guess you could call it ignorance.

That is why we have an Adventist Single Adult Ministry. In our conference our ASAM Advisory Committee has been having awareness services in some of our churches and the response we get has been so overwhelmingly positive. Most people just never ever realised how singles feel and that there is such a great number of single adults in our church and community. For many it is shocking.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#8
Well.. I may not be understanding a 100% but I think those sermons concerning marriage and family are VERY important, even to singles. I would be very disappointed if I never heard those sermons any more.

But, have you really heard sermons for singles? Meh, not so much. Though, I think there sermons for singles more than one might think. I don't know. This is an area I have never really thought about.

The church that I attend here in Collegedale is quite obviously ran by God. Pastor Arnold subjects himself to the Lord so willingly and completely. God speaks through him in any issue or subject... IT'S GREAT! Many times he'll include singles, married couples, all ages, etc.... Which is really, really nice.
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#9
Yes, there should be sermons for families and marrieds. I'm not saying there shouldn't be, but when someone from the front often talks about them it then gives the message to singles that they are missing out. When a pastor gets up front and says something like , "Now you men get your wives to....." what about the men who don't have wives? When a person says something like...."What about your husband and kids...." What does that say to those who don't have a husband and kids? I don't think it's intentional, they just don't realize there are people in the world who don't have a husband, wife or kids. Ultimately you could say it is just plain not thoughtful.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#10
You're striking my curiosity darlene! Big Grin

So what's the answer? Do you have them reword those phrases? Not say them at all? In making sure you don't neglect the single, do you end up neglecting the married?
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#11
I think there is a happy medium. With half (50%)of the population in N America single they should say things about singles half the time and with half the continent married, they should say things about marrieds half the time. ;D We need help both the marrieds and the singles know that they acceptable and are equally worthy candidates for heaven. God loves both the same.

Am I encouraging people to be single? No, but, since they are they must be encouraged and know that it's okay to be single, that they are valueable citizens and church members. Right now many people still think that to be single is to be inferior and second rate.
Make it Happen! :-)
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#12
wow... I've never experienced the thought that single people are inferior and second rate. I've never even heard of it. I guess it's different around here. I don't know. Perhaps since I'm younger, 26, I haven't experienced it yet.

I don't know. All of this is new to me. I've never even felt the pressure to be married or dating someone. I guess I'm lucky.
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#13
Today many young adults remain single far longer then they used to. Infact young adults make up a large percentage of the single adult population. That doesn't mean they will never marry but, they are now single. Many of those are the ones that leave the church for a time and come back to the church when they have children of their own.

One young adult in our conference was asked by her large church to become their Single Adult Ministries Coordinator. She turned it down and when I saw her shortly afterwards she said that she just couldn't do it because the stigma of being single was just too great. At that time she was probably somewheres around 24-28 years old and has since married. So, yup, it's there, you just haven't seen it yet. You are one lucky guy! ;D
Make it Happen! :-)
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#14
Interesting.

One thing I have seen in regards to most of the young adults leaving then coming back after they have kids of their own is that there isn't as much of the same devotion as there used to be in our Church. There's a lot out there to get distracted by.

I think a big problem is that when you're single and you have no one there, you have this sense of freedom as a young adult. You can do anything any time without having to answer to anyone or having to respect anyone. I think this sense of freedom is thwarted in the wrong way. We use it as an excuse to do things that distract us from God and church.

We slowly start walking away. Accepting more and more of what we normally wouldn't into our minds. With each acceptance, we become a little more desensitized to materials. After a while, we're doing things and seeing things that we never would have done 5 years ago or however long ago.

I don't think this is THE problem... but I think it's part of it. I see it a lot in people once they leave college and are completely on their own. It's sad really.
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#15
I think you zoomed in on the reason quite nicely. Well not an authority on the subject I believe that many young adults do not want to commit and make the same mistakes as their elders. They see greener pastures and more exciting things to participate in. They like their freedom. Yes, even freedom from a God who wants to use them and to limit them from things they think are fun and exciting.

Now I hope you realize that I'm not talking about all young adults. There are many that have a great commitment to God and their families. I am talking about the ones that marry late and leave the church.
Make it Happen! :-)
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