Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Church Chill”

     Why does it feel as though single parents aren’t accepted in the church?  I’m a single parent of two boys, and when I go to church, it seems that people there are distant from us.  Nobody, I believe, was asking to be placed in this type of situation.


Dear Single,

It is hard to say why anyone feels like they aren’t accepted in their congregation.  There are many reasons, and here are just a few:

  1. It may be because the congregation really is distant and are treating you unkindly.  Of course, this is wrong.  We are told that we shouldn’t have favoritism within the church (Jas 2:1-9).  Christians should always strive to show love and kindness to all of mankind.
  2. It may be that your situation makes you feel isolated even though people aren’t trying to be distant.  We often super-impose our own fears upon others, and our perceptions of reality aren’t always correct… especially when we have struggles that make us feel out of place – such as being a single parent in a congregation with few others facing that same difficulty.  Each heart knows its own sorrow, and we can subconsciously isolate ourselves (Pr 14:10).
  3. It may also be that some people have been unkind or uncharitable to you in the past, and that has left a bad taste in your mouth.  Eccl 7:21-22 warns us not to take to heart everything that others say – after all, we all stick our foot in our mouth from time to time.  That being said, a poorly chosen word or action can certainly create distance.

These aren’t all the reasons that cause people to feel detached from a congregation – but they are some of the primary ones.  We are sorry things have been so difficult for you.  Hopefully, tomorrow brings better things.