Single parents dating on line
Someone tells you, “It’s tough to be alone this time of year.” = 1 point 2. They try desperately to find the silver lining and say things like, “It must be nice not to have to shop for anyone. It’s impossible to be happy and single during Christmas! They feel slightly guilty for watching romantic Christmas movies in your presence, like “Love Actually.” = 3 points 11.Someone tells you, “Being single doesn’t have to mean being lonely.” = 2 points 12.
Normal manners would require them to listen and at least feign sympathy, but they don’t. It’s why some Sundays I can barely drag myself there just to sit in the pew alone. In terms of service, I feel as a single parent I literally have nothing of myself to offer the Church, therefore I’m not even a blip on Her radar.You are given some sort of cross stitched artwork that contains the verses from Proverbs 31 about how a woman should be. People tell you, “Maybe this will be your year” in the same tone baseball fans wonder if the Cubs will finally win the World Series this year. You attend a holiday themed church singles event that is billed as “Not just a Christian version of speed dating,” but is in fact, a Christian version of speed dating. A friend emailed you the link to this post because they knew you needed it. A friend emailed you the link to this post and suggested you troll the comments to find other like minded single people. A friend you only see once a year during the holidays, uses the S word when hearing you’re single. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = 1 point 22.You’re divorced and someone gives you the incredibly encouraging advice, “God will bring you someone who will overlook your past.” = 2 points 23. ‘Well, Scripture says “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.”’ Not the most welcoming way of putting it. I’ve been in conversations when a single friend mentioned the difficulties of being single and people who were normally caring blew them off or even laughed at them, as if they were teenagers fretting over an almost invisible blemish. Other single friends, includingwidows and single mothers who were single because their loutish husbands left them for Miss Suzy Cupcake, have told me they don’t talk about their struggles because the chances of being dismissed or patronized or even condemned are too high.The neglect of single people is a problem that needs a more systematic answer directed by our pastors.
In another column, Fernandez asked for “a little more recognition — a blurb in the bulletin, a priestly mention in the prayer intentions during mass, a homily or two about saints who were raised by single parents or were single parents themselves, and lastly, when speaking of families in general, recognition that single parents and their children are indeed still very much families.” The rest of us who are married can also do something for the single people around us: Make them real friends, especially if the default setting of your life is—as it usually is—to spend your time with other married people.
It might be a gesture of care but it can feel like an invitation to go away—the whole lot of you.
Even the Extraordinary Synod on the Family failed to deal with single-parent families, or with single people in general (who, if they are on their own form a kind of “family unit”), although it was supposed to address “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” As Fernandez wrote of the Interim Relatio, “It’s all divorced and remarried Catholics and gay Catholics with their ‘special gifts.’” The synod’s final statement says only that “Special attention should be given to the accompaniment of single-parent families, in a particular way to help women who have to carry alone the responsibility of the home and raising children.” Big whoop.
In Catholic churches, how often does a priest say that, in addition to being a call and a blessing, marriage is also a duty, and that one of those duties is to be open to life? When I was an Episcopalian, I heard an Episcopal minister, pastor of a successful suburban parish, tell a group that they ought to preach on the family and push family programs because parents with children were their “target demographic.” He mentioned that this would alienate other people, but he didn’t care.
How often is the full meaning of chastity declared to the married as it is to the single? The married should be reminded that they get to have sex, but only in a completely self-giving way that will produce children—probably more than they originally planned on, or think they can afford. You did what you had to do to “grow the church.” This represented a toxic combination of the mainstream belief in the church as a gathered community, Evangelical pragmatism, and ecclesial commercialism, the victims of which were people who didn’t provide enough “market share.” Catholic priests are not so crass, yet it must be difficult not to bend your preaching and your programs to the majority of your parishioners and to say what they want to hear.
Invite them over to watch a football game or to sit outside on a nice day. Break yourself of the habit (if you have it) of saying “We should have the Smiths and the Jones” because putting married couples together is the way you make your dinners work.