With the number of single people rising rapidly (since 1960 one-person households have nearly doubled in the United States, from 6.9 million to 13.9 million), churches should be reevaluating their programs for single adults. If someone wanted to start a singles ministry, where would he or she find resource material? Certainly not in a church library. Probably not in a general library. And writing to a magazine like CHRISTIANITY TODAY for information wouldn’t really help, either. Our book editor has shelf after shelf of material on marriage—pre, post, and intra. But books on being and staying single are scarce. If one does find a book on singleness, its purpose is likely to be to advise women how to hitch a husband.
A couple of books on marriage do include chapters on unmarried persons. John and Letha Scanzoni’s new textbook Men, Women, and Change (McGraw-Hill) has a chapter on marriage alternatives that refreshingly points out the positive aspects of remaining unmarried. Creating a Successful Christian Marriage (Baker) also devotes a chapter to the single life. Its author acknowledges that churches have been ignoring their single members but refers readers to a book on singles ministries that is nearly ten years old. Given our quickly changing society and the steady rise in the number of people choosing to remain single, can a book that old still be pertinent?
Some Christian magazines are now giving space to singleness. Since 1972 His magazine has run at least one article a year on being single. Faith at Work magazine devoted its October, 1974, issue to singles. Two issues ago CHRISTIANITY TODAY printed a long overdue editorial entitled “Celebrate Singleness—Marriage Might Be Second Best” (which, incidentally, was quoted on ...1
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