Some people tend to stereotype single adults. What are the main stereotypes...?



Question: Some people tend to stereotype single adults. What are the main stereotypes usually mentioned, and what could one say to tactfully correct someone who needs to be educated?

Answer: There are many common myths, misunderstandings and biases about some single and single-again people today. Because of these biases people sometimes give labels pertaining to single adult ministry and some of the people who attend. These labels can be summarized into five categories which I refer to as the five L’s. The first four express a negative connotation and seem to be verbalized more in the church than in society.

     The ministry/group                                      The people

1. “Lonely hearts club”……………………………………………………..."Loners"
2. “Dating Market”…………………………………………………………"Lovers"
3. “Hospital”…………………………………………………………….…."Losers"
4. “Church”………………………………………………………………...."Leavers"
5. “Place of/for ministry”………………………………………………........"Livers"

These labels express what some individuals perceive a ministry to single adults to be. They are biased, and when verbalized tend to discourage some people from visiting a ministry. I would be the first to admit it is true there are lonely people that attend groups for single adults; it is true there are people looking for dates in a ministry group for single adults; it is true there are hurting people that attend single adult ministry groups; and it is true there are individuals who consider their single adult ministry group to be their church and do not involve themselves in any other area of the church, including the Sunday service.

I would be quick to point out, however, it does not take being single to be lonely! The loneliest person in your city/town tonight is not a single adult, but a married adult who is in a horrible marriage. This person is wondering, “Lord, can it get any worse than this?” This married adult knows what loneliness is.

A person does not need to be single to be hurting. Many married adults are hurting from the pain of rejection, misunderstanding, lack of affection, verbal and physical abuse, pornography, adultery, and many problems that can be part, although sometimes a hidden part, of a Christian marriage.

It is also true that some single adults are looking for a date or mate in a single adult ministry. As was stated earlier, however, I would rather a man or woman look for a date or mate in a Christian group, where the chances of relating to Christian men and women with biblical morals and values is much higher than places the world offers!

Considering the label “hospital and losers”, it needs to be understood that we are all losers without Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Singleness certainly does not necessitate the word loser.

People who use the labels “loners, lovers, losers, or leavers” concerning single adults, and/or use the labels, “lonely hearts club,” “dating market,” “hospital,” or “church,” do so out of fear, insecurity, ignorance, pride and disrespect! In reality, everyone, Christian or non-Christian, has areas in their lives that are weak and lacking Christ-likeness. The same exact labels could be used for some of the people in almost any church today.

The purpose of Assemblies of God Single Adult Ministries is to help districts, churches, pastors and leaders build spiritually-strong single and single-again adults of all ages.

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