Archives For Singleness

 

Single And Married People Together
 
A Review of 
 

One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church
Gina Dalfonzo

Paperback: Baker Books
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle  ]
 
 
Reviewed by Catherine Guiles
 
 
As a never-married Christian woman in my mid-30s who’s been a part of fairly mainstream evangelical-ish churches my entire life, I was excited to read Gina Dalfonzo’s One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church. Like a lot of single Christians, I’ve been the recipient of slights, misunderstandings, exclusions and insults from fellow believers, many unintentional, but all hurtful to one degree or another. But thankfully, I’ve also been the recipient of a great deal of love, community and opportunities to serve and lead — the kind of things Dalfonzo argues that churches need to give more of to their single members, whether never-married, divorced or widowed; male or female; or young or old. I wholeheartedly agree and appreciate the way she unpacks the issue and frames it within a larger, holistic context of how Christians should relate to one another and make their churches places where “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). ­­­

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A Brief Review of


Singled Out:
Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church.

Christine A. Colon and Bonnie E. Field.

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2009.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]
Reviewed by Rebecca Henderson.

Another book on singleness…GREAT (tone: extreme sarcasm)…what 10-step quick-fix formula will this one present to lead me to a spouse?  Thankfully, refreshingly, none at all.  That’s not what this new book is about.  Singled Out invited me into a world I’ve known experientially for years, but have had little context for outside my own life or that of my friends—living single within the seemingly married world of the Church.  It enlightened me on historical perspectives, both Christian and secular, of my state as a single Christian.  Many of the topics discussed were familiar…painfully so…and current.  Through the authors’ depth and breadth of research, I gained a new understanding of the dignity and value, as well as criticisms, that have existed for singleness and celibacy throughout history.  Both positive and negative images of celibacy are discussed, as well as current demographics of singleness within the United States and the implications they present for the church in America as it ministers to a growing number of older singles today.

Ironically, the very week I began reading Singled Out, my church kicked off a 6-week sermon series titled, “Song of Solomon:  God’s plan for love, marriage, and sex.”  I have to be honest…the ONLY reason I continued to attend those 6 weeks was to see how my church measured up when compared to what I was learning in this book.  Not unlike several examples presented in Singled Out, my church prefaced each marriage talk by stating that I, as a single, shouldn’t tune out because I would most likely be married one day.  Therefore, I should pay attention and glean wisdom for my future relationship.  Really?  Was there no way to utilize these truths now…single?  And if I never get married?  Will these truths from scripture be irrelevant to my life altogether?  But reading Singled Out throughout the marriage series encouraged me to stay engaged in my faith community and initiate discussions regarding how our church incorporated and ministered to singles in general, especially during 6 weeks of Song of Solomon.

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