Unmarried Americans On the Increase
According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans who are unmarried is rapidly rising.
Between 1970 and 2000, the number of single mothers and fathers more than tripled.1 And, for the first time in history, the majority of US households is led by unmarried adults.2
What does this mean for the church? What does it mean for the individual Jesus follower?
Traditionally, churches have focused on meeting the needs of families. While this is extremely important, here are some suggestions for meeting the needs of singles and one-parent households.
1. Accept and support all kinds of families
It can be easy to judge people for not being married or divorced. However, we need to be like Jesus and accept all people, regardless of their situation. People who are single, divorced, or widowed needs friends just as much—if not more—than people who are married.
2. Incorporate unmarried people into the life of the church
Singleness should never be an excluding factor for church involvement. Often, singles are overlooked in churches. Singles have gifts that can contribute significantly to churches. We can also train and equip singles how to make disciples.
3. Provide ongoing support for people who are unmarried
This is not to suggest that all unmarried people have the same needs, nor does it imply that married people have it all together. But, we can be surrogate fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, and grandparents for people who are unmarried. Further, since 63 percent of people who are unemployed are unmarried3, we have special opportunities to provide them with life skills training.
The goal is to not ignore those who are single, but view them as vital members of society and the church.