He suggested I create an advisory board to help me evaluate my invitations and schedule.The goal of the advisory board was to make sure I was not traveling too much.When I was a single woman in my mid-thirties, I invited the elders of my church and their wives to a formal holiday dinner as a way of expressing my thanks to them for their care and ministry. ” This pastor offered this comment as an expression of thanks and I received it that way.

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It’s important that unmarried men and women are discipled as men and women and not a generic lump of singleness.

From my perspective, Scripture’s emphasis is on being made a man or a woman in the image of God, with a secondary emphasis on how that looks in the various roles and seasons of life.

A single woman in her 50s with a demanding career caring for elderly parents is not equivalent to a recent college grad who is still living at home.

Both are unmarried, yes, but chances are, the older single woman and the parents of the college grad may have more in common.

The hope here is that these ideas will foster a stronger connection between unmarried people and their local congregations: Churches should have a high view of marriage and uphold it without apology.

But church leaders also need to recognize that when marriage is devalued in our culture, that brokenness comes into the church, too.

Unmarried men and women are no less masculine or feminine because of being single.

Put 1 Corinthians 7 to work in your churches by showing that the church actually unmarried adults who are devoted to the Lord, especially single men.

There was a time when older members of any community worked hard to ensure the next generation married well.