Every Christian in the U.S., and probably most non-Christians as well, has heard of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. After all, they are actively anti-abortion, want abstinence-only education, and are vocal in speaking out against homosexuality–all political hot-buttons these days, for Christians and non-Christians alike.
My issues with Focus on the Family are numerous, but I’m going to focus on a single issue today: singleness.
You see what I did there?
Focus on the Family is, by definition, a family-oriented organization. That’s great, but what I object to is their treatment of singles. Rather than ignoring singles altogether, they seem to view singleness as a condition to be cured or, at best, grown out of.
Scanning their Boundless website
- I see articles with titles like: “In the Meantime”, “Addicted to Adultescence”, “Powerful Attraction”, “How to Relate to Men”, “He’s Not My Type”, and “Prep for the Wedding Night”.
- I see advertisements for books like Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen, The Ring Makes All the Difference, and I Kissed Dating Goodbye (ugh).
- I see the tagline of their Boundlessline blog: “Bringing focus to the single years”.
Do you see a trend here? Everything on the website and blog, all the resources recommended and articles written, tell singles we need to grow up and get married.
Okay, there are a few articles that acknowledge that some people may be “called to singleness”. Frankly, I loathe that phrase. Whether or not I am called to singleness, I am content being single, and that is as Paul has commanded. But apparently, according to articles like “A Balanced View on Singleness” by Alex Chediak, I just have “too little desire for marriage”. Chediak’s solution? I apparently need a “kick in the pants”.
Never mind that I don’t feel that labels such as “extended adolescence” or “fear of commitment” are applicable to me. (In fact, in that same article, Chediak advocates that pastors should interfere if they think a single person is stuck in neutral and needs to get married. I can’t think of anything that would make me leave a church faster than if my minister got up in my grill about being single.)
I could keep going. I actually printed off several articles I wanted to respond to when I started this post. I’m angry and feeling alienated by Boundless’ attitude towards people like me — people who are single and content to remain so.
But frankly, I’m not sure there’s much point in railing against Boundless and its parent organization, Focus on the Family. After all, they are self-admittedly focused on the family.
I think, rather, it’s time for singles to start focusing on ourselves. After all, if singleness was good enough for Jesus and Paul, who are married people to tell us it’s a bad thing?
So how about it? Anyone want to help me start an organization called Serve the Singles?