Linda Hardin, DMin.
Little research has been completed to determine the life
cycles for single adults and to identify how they differ from married adults.
Single in a Married World reports on one study by three counselors. While this
book is written from a secular viewpoint and does not always reflect Christian
perspectives, the authors' insights make it a book worth reading. For married
Single Adult Ministries leaders, it provides an overview of the stages of
singleness, the tasks, and issues faced.
North American culture continues to hold marriage as the rite
of passage into adulthood. Marriage is the expected progression from dependency
to adulthood. When this passage is delayed or not taken, it becomes difficult
for portions of society to view these individuals as adults. This emphasis on
marriage often makes it difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, for single
adults to make decisions frequently deemed as those made by couples. This
includes purchasing a home, beginning a retirement plan, purchasing furniture
and other household items, and many others.
This reluctance becomes a major challenge for Single Adult
Ministries. We must validate the individuals involved in our ministries as
adults. We must applaud their decisions to move on with their lives and affirm
the adulthood of the more reluctant ones. As our single adults understand the
task of each life cycle stage and receive encouragement and support, we empower
them to forge ahead. Single Adult Ministries may well be the first entity of the
church to recognize their adulthood. Read the full article