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The Single Woman and the Christian Singles Group

(This applies to men too.)
by Neill Scott, LMSW-ACP Psychotherapist

Stephanie

I am reasonably attractive, and still trying to recover from my divorce  of a year ago. I have a little boy, age 4. Since I donıt have much in common anymore with most of my married friends, I have led quite an  isolated existence this past year. I just donıt feel right about myself.

Last Sunday I visited a church singles group. I felt very awkward and  out of place. There were a lot of people there, well over 100, Iıd say. Out of all that large crowd, only three people made an effort to be  friendly to me. One was a man old enough to be my father. There were some really weird characters in the group too. Iıve heard that this  group has an inside clique and you are nowhere unless you belong to it. There was an inspiring program that Sunday and I really liked the lesson. I t was certainly convenient to be able to have my son go into the Sunday School and not to have to worry about him. He liked it so  much that he is begging me to let him go again. I did see some attractive men there; but none of them showed any interest in me. Overall, the group didnıt do very much for me. I was very disappointed. I thought that a church group would be friendlier than this one was.

PSYCHOTHERAPISTS COMMENTS

Stephanie has visited a singles group sponsored by one of the larger big  city churches. Though on the surface it appears that Stephanie had a disappointing experience with this organization, these groups are worthy  of consideration by singles of both sexes. Many of the groups do not have a typical Sunday School atmosphere  (Yet some do.) Instead they put a heavy emphasis upon socializing and activities. You usually donıt have to be of a particular faith or  become a member of the church to participate in the group.

To understand more about these organizations, lets look at Stephanieıs situation. she is making two of the most common mistakes of those checking out a church singles group. Her first misconception is assuming that because this is a church group, she should be warmly welcomed and catered to. Most of these groups are simply too large for the regular members to get around to welcoming every guest. Also, many of the people there are visitors looking for the same things she is.

Stephanie would get more out of the group if she were more assertive and  friendly and extended herself to people instead of waiting for them to come to her. She seems to expect it all to be handed to her, and, as we know, life simple does not work that way. The second mistake made by Stephanie is judging the organization on the basis of only one visit. To get a feel for what the group is really all about, She should attend the main Sunday functions at least three times, go to at least two of the groups parties and one outing. There is much more to these groups than what goes on at their Sunday meeting. The   organizations parties, after Church lunches and outings, provide a much more informal atmosphere where it is easier to get to know people.

It would also be a good idea for her to visit other Church singles groups to see which one fits her best. The more Stephanie fellowships with good people to enjoy herself, the quicker she will get her life back together and heal from the trauma of  her divorce; and the better mother she will be since a child always does better when their parent feels good about her/himself. A church singles group can be one of many excellent choices for Stephanie to get started on all of this. For instance, the group can be ideal for her to cultivate new women friends. Right now she needs the  companionship of other women even more than she needs the right guy in her life. Even though many of the churches sponsoring singles groups do  not emphasize Church attendance, it could be very helpful to Paula, while she is on the premises, to join others of the group to attend   church services where she can get inspired, nurture her faith, and likely pick up some superb insights into coping with these tough times she is struggling with. At first glance, the church singles group do seem to have some serious  disadvantages such as the weird characters² Paula mentioned. However, she will have to get used to the reality that there are always some weird characters at almost any singles gathering whether it be church organization or singles bar. Actually, when you get to know them some of the weird characters² turn out to be stimulating and worthwhile  personalities. Though some of them may ocassionaly become a nuisance.

Yet, part of becoming a mature woman is learning how to diplomatically turn away an undesirable man. If Stephanie will steadily involves herself more in the group, the chances are excellent that she will meet the types of men that she is looking for. One of the great advantages of a church singles organization is that many eligible men and women pass through these groups. And if Stephanie has herself established there, perhaps as an officer or greeter, she will meet that neat guy who  is new in town and visits the group a time or two.

Stephanie is turned off by the group having an inside clique. However,  cliques will form in almost any organization of human beings. Yet,  there is still plenty of room in the group for newcomers like Stephanie  if she will give the organization a chance. Even if she is not up to investing very much of herself in a church singles organization and only attends occasionally, this can be better than her and her son staying home all day Sunday and missing out on  spiritual enrichment. Getting out to be with people and worship the creator is good therapy for Stephanie right now. The church singles group is one of the great blessings for single persons living in large metropolitan areas. These groups have something for almost every single individual. Many singles could improve  things for themselves by adding one of these groups to their list of  places to be involved. Check it out!

Neill Scott, LMSW-ACP
Neill Scott is an experienced Licensed Master Social
Worker/Psychotherapist who works extensively with singles. He offers
his services to the Christian Community. He is a committed Christian and
an active member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. For
other articles and helpful information, please check out his web site
at: http://ve.net/relationships/


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