It is often quite strange to look back over my life and see where God has brought me, sometimes with my full awareness, at other times organising events in the background. It would be great to say that my journey has been straight forward and pain-free, but that wouldn’t be honest or accurate.
Our so-called “connected lifestyles” have often failed to help us encounter other people in truly satisfying ways: being a virtual friend or subscribing to a newsfeed is no guarantee of closeness to another human being. We need to find meaningful community that is realistic in today’s world.
Jonathan explores five reasons why, over time, he has come to appreciate the value of singleness. While being honest about the struggles he's had on this journey, he shows why singleness is not second best, and indeed why it offers some distinct advantages over married life.
Covenant Eyes is a popular provider of internet accountability software. It has recently launched its new Screen Accountability software, where Artificial Intelligence is used to detect pornographic images. I have used Covenant Eyes for several years, so when they launched this change I was interested to see how it worked.
Our pastor recently preached a Sunday morning sermon on marriage and the family. He prayed for “our marriages and families” at the end and then added the line, “and we also pray for those who are single.” He might just as well have said, “and Gary too”, since I was the only single person there!
In an increasingly busy and individualistic world, and in a church culture which seems to promote nuclear family relationships over singleness, it can be challenging to build meaningful friendships within the church, especially for a childless person to build relationships with nuclear families. And yet Jesus calls for radical community centred around Himself and the gospel.
In this interview, we sat down with Dr David Pullinger; a leading researcher in singleness and religion and a Director of Single Friendly Church, which is a UK-based organisation that launched in 2014 to promote biblical emphasis on valuing singleness within the church. David told us about their work and vision.
In June 2019, I circulated a pair of surveys about singleness in the UK church – one survey for single people and one for married people. The purpose was to collect some perceptions of singleness from a range of people – male and female; single and married; young and old.
The topic of masturbation is rarely addressed by churches and so Christians can find themselves conflicted by feelings of shame, confusion and self-justification on this common struggle. Gary explores out what the Bible says about masturbation and proposes some practical wisdom to escape from the cycle of shame, frustration and failure.