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For years my parents’ church supported a missionary in Nepal who, by all accounts of her ministry, was the definition of badass.But — and I’m not sure where or how I learned to think this way — even as a young girl, I distinctly remember praying that I would never end up like her. Not because she was a spiritual powerhouse who was doing amazing work among the young girls of a developing country. Flash forward a couple of decades to the present day.I was babysitting a family of outrageously adorable children and as we walked to the park, one of the girls asked me if I had a little girl of my own. The other sister asked if I was married and I admitted I wasn’t.
” It took everything in me not to burst out laughing — largely because, as most of us realize when we get older, having a partner often complicates, rather than simplifies your life.
I am a Christian woman in my mid-30s, and I am single.
And though I enjoy a life that I would consider abundant — full of friends and family, great professional opportunities, a decent level of financial freedom, and above all else, an extremely deep spiritual relationship with the Creator of the Universe — I recognize that to many younger women, I’m a cautionary tale. “Perhaps even more strikingly, the number of adults younger than 34 who had never married was up to 46 percent, rising 12 percentage points in less than a decade.
For women under 30, the likelihood of being married has become astonishingly small: Today, only around 20 percent of Americans ages 18–29 are wed, compared to nearly 60 percent in 1960.” Curious about the percentage of single women in churches, I decided to look into the numbers myself.
According to the Pew Research Religious Landscape Study conducted in 2014, the percentage of unmarried women (including never married, widowed and divorced/separated) amongst evangelical Protestants was 42 percent.
Those numbers were similar to that of women in the Catholic Church (40 percent) and among mainline Protestants (45 percent).
Those numbers increased in Historically Black Protestant churches to 59 percent.
If I had more time and access to some stats software, I would crosstab these percentages with age in order to get a more complete picture.
But as a professional church lady, I’ve also seen these demographics to be empirically true.
And any church leader worth his or her salt (pun absolutely intended) knows that communities of faith reap tremendous benefit from having single women — and men — in their congregations.
— that it allows men and women to be more available for God and the church — is borne out time and again when church ladies like me put together service schedules.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating