Monday was Valentine's Day. In years past, it was a day I never missed blogging. My Valentine's Day Top 10 lists (Top 10 reasons I don't have a date on Valentine's Day/Top 10 Favorite Love Stories etc.) was some of my favorites to post. This year was a little different. I didn't make plans with my (also-single) brother. I didn't have any special Valentine's Day plans with a lady. I actually spent the morning driving home to spend the week with my parents.
I decided to check my mail and facebook before I hit the road and ran across a status update from an author who I recently befriended after hearing him lecture at a local university. I bought his book over a year ago and had yet to crack a page. His lecture was one of three in a two day span and although I'm not sure what was said at the other two...the one I attended felt lacking BUT decent enough that it made me curious enough to want to read the book and see what else the guy had to say.
The book and his lecture is about the reconciliation of the church to the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transvestite) Community. I don't want to get into this book or this topic in this specific blog...but would be up for some discussions at a later time.
The status in question started with the following sentence. "In most cases single people are treated as crappy in church circles as LGBT's." It was an opinion, which he is allowed, but two things bothered me. First, I think this is the most ludicrous statement ever. Second, dozens of people were agreeing which bugged me even more. I, of course, commented...leaving the only dissenting opinion - but this statement would not give me peace.
I have been in a few churches as a single person in my 20's and 30's. I have at times been disappointed in a pastor's or leaderships lack of effort or even overkill effort in the way single people/ministries are viewed/ran but rarely have I pointed my finger at the church as a whole....and never would I compare it to the things that an LGBT goes through. I know it's not what anyone wants to hear but "in most cases" churches do NOT think kindly of anyone in that (LGBT) community. I understand that it would be difficult since the churches view is in direct opposition to the beliefs of these individuals. I realize that some churches do an extraordinary job of reaching out to people....but most probably do not. But again, that's not where I want to go. I've never heard of a "single" person wanting to kill themselves because of the church, a church parent disowning a child because they are "single", getting beat by a complete stranger(s) because you're single, not being able to talk to your friends because you're "single" (this one could be argued)....but these are the things that people mention when they talk about being gay or "coming out". I'm not saying I agree with the lifestyle of a homosexual....but it would pretty much suck for any of these things to happen to me because I'm "single"....and I'm sure I haven't scratched the surface. Is this like comparing not so bad to something like the Holocaust? Is being "single" and being "gay" really comparable? Does the church really treat a single person as an outcast? a leper? My first response is, if you are in this situation (as those that agreed and liked the comment) talk to your church, be proactive in helping begin or change a singles ministry, or simply find a place that will love you regardless of your status.
PART II: THE COMMENTS
The comments were varied but some said things like. "Everyone thinks i'm available to baby-sit, house-sit, or chaperone because I have so much free time." "They have Couples Banquets, Valentine's Dinners, Couples Night Out, so we do get ostracized a lot." "I feel the same on Mother's Day because I can't have kids." I guess I "could" get upset about some of these things but why? It's true that it's "more likely" for a single person to be available to do the first things listed and instead of getting upset about it be honored that someone would trust you with their child/children or their home. If you cannot or don't want to do it say no and don't feel bad about it. The Nights out and banquets.....i think this is something couples do because they rarely get to do it otherwise....unlike single people. This is one of those "gifts" of being single. I can go to Waffle House at 1am because I'm free to do so. I can go see any movie I want during the week because I don't have kids. Furthermore, one day when you are no longer single you'll look forward to these events. The Mother's Day complaint may be legitimate but you have to decide to not let it affect you. How do you let it not affect you any other given day when you see a mother with their child? Surely coming to church on Mother's Day can't be the only day this bothers you.
This could be a completely different post but in response to all of these responses my question is still there... Why? People seem to forget that they have a choice when it comes to how they are going to go through each day. Valentine's Day may be the worst day of the year for many but I don't understand how people let their feelings dictate their lives. One of the reasons I'm still single is because I am certain that in the overall scheme of things Love is a "choice" not a feeling. You have to decide you are going to love someone and I haven't found anyone that I've wanted to make that all out decision for. Are "feelings" involved sure....but do you always "feel" like loving someone? I don't think so. Do people really sit around on Feb 13th thinking, "Oh no, tomorrow's Valentines Day" and let the next day go by groaning and complaining all day? Singles Awareness Day? The greeting card and candy companies didn't create this event....people wallowing in self-pity did. Why isn't every Friday or Saturday night "singles awareness night? Give me a break people.