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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Biblical and Cultural Views of Singleness

What are the biblical and cultural views of singleness? Do our churches take care of singles? Consider different age groups of singles. What are some premarital questions we should consider? Why do people invest in bad relationships and who suffers the consequences?

From Chapter 4 of Boundaries in Marriage, what do the authors mean by “It Takes Two to Make One”? What are some things that a relationship can and cannot provide? Whether married or single, why is it important to know this early in life?
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Biblical and Cultural Views of Singleness:
The views on singleness vary between biblical and cultural perspectives. In the Bible, singleness is seen as a valid and honorable state of life. The Apostle Paul, for example, encourages singleness as a way to devote oneself fully to God’s work (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). In biblical times, singleness was often associated with a higher calling, such as prophets, priests, and those dedicated to serving God.
However, cultural views on singleness have evolved over time. In some cultures, singleness may be seen as undesirable or incomplete, with societal pressure to marry and start a family. This can lead to stigmatization or feelings of isolation for singles who do not conform to societal expectations.
Churches and Care for Singles:
The level of care provided to singles in churches can vary depending on the specific church and its beliefs. Some churches have recognized the importance of supporting singles and have established ministries or programs specifically designed for them. These ministries may provide opportunities for fellowship, spiritual growth, and support in navigating the unique challenges faced by singles.
Different Age Groups of Singles:
It is important to consider the different age groups of singles as their needs and experiences can vary significantly. Young singles, for instance, may be focused on education, career development, and finding a life partner. Older singles, on the other hand, may be dealing with issues such as loneliness, aging, and financial stability. Churches can play a vital role in addressing the specific needs of each age group through tailored programs and support systems.
Premarital Questions to Consider:
Before entering into a marriage, it is crucial to ask important premarital questions to ensure compatibility and a strong foundation for the relationship. Some key questions to consider include:
Communication: How do we handle conflicts and disagreements? Are we able to effectively communicate our needs and concerns?
Values and Beliefs: Do we share similar values, beliefs, and goals for the future? How do we handle differences in religious or cultural backgrounds?
Finances: How do we approach financial matters? Are we on the same page regarding budgeting, saving, and spending habits?
Family and Children: Do we both desire to have children? How do we envision our roles as parents? How will we handle extended family dynamics?
Investing in Bad Relationships and Consequences:
People may invest in bad relationships for various reasons, such as fear of being alone, low self-esteem, or a desire to fix or change the other person. Unfortunately, investing in unhealthy relationships can have severe consequences. Emotional and psychological well-being can suffer, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. Additionally, investing in a bad relationship can hinder personal growth and prevent individuals from finding a healthy and fulfilling partnership.
“It Takes Two to Make One” from “Boundaries in Marriage”:
In the book “Boundaries in Marriage,” the authors use the phrase “It Takes Two to Make One” to emphasize the importance of individuality and personal responsibility within a marriage. They argue that a healthy marriage requires two individuals who are willing to take ownership of their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is not about becoming one person, but rather about two individuals coming together to form a strong and mutually supportive partnership.
What a Relationship Can and Cannot Provide:
A relationship can provide companionship, emotional support, intimacy, and a sense of belonging. It can be a source of love, encouragement, and personal growth. However, there are certain things that a relationship cannot provide. For example, a relationship cannot fulfill all of an individual’s needs and desires. It cannot solve deep-rooted personal issues or provide complete happiness and fulfillment. It is important for individuals, whether married or single, to have a sense of self-identity and personal fulfillment outside of the relationship.
Importance of Knowing This Early in Life:
Understanding what a relationship can and cannot provide is crucial early in life because it helps individuals develop a healthy perspective on relationships and avoid unrealistic expectations. Knowing this early on allows individuals to focus on personal growth, establish healthy boundaries, and make informed decisions about their relationships. It also helps individuals avoid becoming overly dependent on a relationship for their happiness and well-being.
References:
Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2017). Boundaries in Marriage. Zondervan.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Crossway.
DePaulo, B. M., & Morris, W. L. (2006). The unrecognized stereotyping and discrimination against singles. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 251-254.
Stanley, S. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Whitton, S. W. (2010). Commitment: Functions, formation, and the securing of romantic attachment. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 2(4), 243-257.
Fincham, F. D., Stanley, S. M., & Beach, S. R. (2007). Transformative processes in marriage: An analysis of emerging trends. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69(2), 275-292.

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