It’s an oft discussed topic among non-affirming gay Christians that, being unable to marry in good conscience, our deep need for intimacy must be met by those in the Church, typically married couples and families since they make up the greater majority of the Church. That’s why I find it so frustrating when I read comments like the one below from an article in Christianity Today. When discussing why he would refuse to attend a hypothetical friend’s gay wedding, he says, “Our age makes people think in their bones that only sex and marriage provide the intimacy and love that sate us.” While I agree that our society (including the Church) has put way too much emphasis on sex, Christians can’t pretend that we don’t feed into this feeling that marriage and sex are the answer to intimacy. All the subtle (and at times not so subtle) messages to hurry up and get married so you can have sex, the sermons preached to our youth about the wonderful gift of sex, and the abnormally early age at which Christians tend to marry. This all feeds into an overwhelming feeling that if you want to avoid being alone, you’d better get married. Not to mention the fact that, in my experience (and most of what I’ve read leads me to believe I’m not alone in this), the Church isn’t doing a great job of being welcoming to singles. I often find myself having to fight and plead to get anything resembling regular time with many of my married friends (married could probably be left out here since that’s the only type of friends I have). I’m trying not to whine (and doing a pretty bad job of it), but it’s frustrating that the Church, who is supposed to be so loving and welcoming, is often very lonely and isolating. Meanwhile, Christians are getting upset and the rate at which people are beginning to affirm same sex relationships. Go figure!
I do feel I need to take some responsibility because I haven’t put myself out there as much as I should have. I’ve skipped a lot of events and stayed closed off when I should have tried harder to build relationships, but it seems like the Church is a club of marrieds and families and single people just don’t quite fit in. Even when churches have singles groups, it’s a little depressing because it kind of feels like a party of the rejects. We’re the ones no one wanted to marry, the leftovers. I just hope there’s a shift coming; I hope there will be a time where we can all be a family together and welcome in anyone who desires to love Jesus together.