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 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.
In those moments where we singles may be struggling, probably the last words we want to hear are, “God has just called you to be single, right now”. Something about this isn’t very reassuring, especially if we lack any sense of calling to singleness. Don’t worry - this kind of plainly apparent calling isn’t the experience of most.
I love the story of the prodigal son, the way his father ran towards him with open arms, ready to welcome him back after his years of wasted opportunity. And that’s exactly what God did for me four years ago, just before my 49th birthday - God welcomed me back into his family.
Jackie Hill Perry’s background as a poet and rapper is clearly reflected in the pages of her book "Gay Girl, Good God", with her poetic and striking use of language to portray both her joy in God and the struggles and sorrow that she has experienced.
In the midst of all the poetry in the book of Song of Songs, I have been struck by a very practical teaching that is stated three times: “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”. This implies that it is unwise to allow this love to develop prematurely.