Thursday, April 08, 2010

Comment to a discouraged single in the church.

________, sounds like you’re one of the “broken toys” that ______’s bishop spoke of.

I know, I know, “It takes one to know one.” So be it.

There’s a lot more going on than you realize, both with yourself and with others. (More so with yourself.) But if you stick with the gospel, you’ll grow and heal, and eventually transform into the kind of person who will be more desirable. It may take some time though. Some guys don’t “wake up” (or come out of their chrysalis) until they are in their 40’s or 50’s.

But the gospel applies to everyone, single or married, happy or sad, whole or broken, (young or old, bond or free, etc.). Actually, if I read the scriptures correctly, the gospel applies even more so to the sad and broken. The Lord came to heal the sick. The church is a hospital for sinners and the spiritually wounded, not a showcase for saints.

If you live the gospel consistently and with any degree of devotion, the spiritual, psychological and emotional wounds eventually heal. And if you live the gospel, plus go to some kind of professional counselor, the psychological and emotional wounds can heal even faster.

I’m in my 50’s, and never been married, and I’m still learning what my dysfunctions are. My friends say that I’ve made noticeable improvement since I came back to church.

I firmly believe that if I hadn’t gone inactive, I would have made improvement all the sooner. But those 15 years of inactivity were spent not only spinning my wheels, and losing the time, but going backwards as well.

Single or married, DO NOT GO INACTIVE! The gospel is for EVERYONE, single or married. Don’t let the married people shame you out of the church. The church is for YOU as well as for them.

If anyone makes you feel unwelcome in church, tell them so. And report their unwelcoming behavior to the bishop, so they won’t hound any more singles out of the church.


At 4/09/2010 01:37:00 AM, Blogger Jana said...

If only I'd read this years ago! I might not have lost 5 of my own years. Thank goodness I'm back, and brought my husband (whom I married "late") and family along with.

At 4/09/2010 08:41:00 AM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Hmmm. The stat counter shows this entry is popular.

Another thing about this topic that's been on my mind, is the hurtful question: "Why aren't you married?" and its variations.

I've come up with what I think is a good retort, letting the questioner know it's an improper question, but not being hurtful in return:

"No matter who you ask, and no matter what their reasons are, all possible answers to that question are personal. And that makes it an improper question."

Then, if they persist or attempt to self-justify their question, just flat out tell them in a calm voice, "That's a hurtful question. You should never ask a single person that. That attitude is what drives single people out of the church."

Then, if they insist it's not an improper question, let the bishop or branch president know about. (Matthew 18:15-17, and D&C 42:88-89.)

At 4/11/2010 02:44:00 AM, Blogger m_and_m said...

Thank you for this, Bookslinger. The gospel indeed is for everyone. Thank you for sharing your testimony of that.

At 5/21/2010 03:26:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

I just say "I'm verrrry particular" and laugh. People are usually meaning it as a compliment, sort of like "I can't believe *you* aren't married" or at least I take it that way, so I don't ever feel hurt or offended. I don't think most people even realize it's a sore spot for many singles. They may feel a bit jealous because they have so much less free time, etc.

It can be really hurtful hearing that question. But every possible source of hurt that I can remove from my viewpoint, from my mental processing, I try to do that. So I just decided one day never to take offense or hurt when none was intended, and it's really helped me. I hope it's a helpful strategy for anyone else who might read this, as well!


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