5 Conflicting Messages Singles Receive in Church

I’m from Georgia—the place the brass was made and leather was bound for the original Bible Belt. I knew southern culture’s church game long before I experienced God’s grace, and shortly after the latter, I discovered the harsh, awkward experiences that singles navigate under the steeple. Most of my friends were married, or at least engaged, by 21. Me? The hopelessly single girl who already had one college degree and still no prospects, I wasn’t the black sheep—I was the old sheep.Unfortunately, most of these archaic reminders stemmed from prominent figures in the church, and as a result of their unhealthy curiosity and subsequent labels, I had women bringing their grandsons, youth group leaders sneaking their brother-in-laws, to casually “meet” me. One awkward date after another, I sifted through these boys… still leaving the church on my own each Sunday. I took this personally, wondering what was wrong with me, why things weren’t clicking, whether this was God’s punishment, grace, or apathy. Turns out, this spiritual and emotional crisis stemmed from constantly conflicting messages that the church sent to me, to us single ladies. To save you some hurt (and a terrible date to Olive Garden with a grown man who might pick you up in his mom’s SUV), I’ll share five of these messages that the church instilled in single me—that were never, ever of God:Getty Images/master1305