God. Gay People. Single People. Church. Valentine’s Day.

In most cases single people are treated as crappy in church cirlces as LGBTs. Who cares what others think of you. Love yourself because God loves you THAT much. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://thejourneydeeper.wordpress.com/ Darlene

    This may very well go down in history as the shortest blog post I have seen ever. :) Some day I’ll be brief too – maybe.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Sometimes things just need to be short and to the point. :)

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter O

    We used to hold anti-valentines parties for single people only.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      That’s awesome! Would it be ok if The Marin Foundation stole that idea for next year?

      • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter O

        Only if I get commission on every entry fee… :-)

        • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

          That depends if I have to convert dollars into pounds :)

          • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter O

            I’m not picky. I’ll take either.

  • Scott

    Gotta disagree with you on this one, Andrew. At least, that is, until most mainline churches have GLBT ministries to match their singles ministries…

    That said, I love what you are accomplishing! Happy V-Day, and keep up the good work!

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Scott – True statement! I totally see your point on that one and agree with you. Thanks for referencing it from that point.

      And (I am being 3/4 funny, 1/4 serious) most church single’s ministries are pretty much no different than a match.com in-person Christian church version. So it’s not like it’s that much heavy lifting.

  • Mrs T

    Even tho I have been married some time, I still sympathize with single friends & don’t make a fuss over this day. I’m glad our church tries to accomodate single folks’ needs. They had some valentine dinner or something, but it certainly wasn’t overemphasized.
    I didn’t grow up in the church, so didn’t see the cultural discrimination, but I do feel the pain of those who hurt!

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Hurt is universal. I think in general, our church world needs to be more full-bodied as One instead of so many compartments of this-or-that-specific-type-group.

  • Cheryl

    I am a single Christian in my 30s, and at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I want to point out the attitude that this blog post and comments seem to be taking. The assumption seems to be that being single is a bad thing, we deserve pity, we’re hurting and sensitive (and we need the empathy of married people), and we need a partner to be happy. I disagree. Being single is an amazing gift to celebrate! I find the idea of an anti-valentine’s party distasteful, because I don’t want to reaffirm the assumption that seeing others celebrate love makes me unhappy. On the contrary, we as singles can appreciate their love for each other just as we appreciate the gifts given to us in being unattached. I would rather see my friends affirm the opportunities my singleness provides than feel sorry for me for what they feel that I’m missing. I am a bit surprised (and disappointed) to find that the Marin Foundation website seems to echo the broader culture in assuming that happiness is found in romance. Let me tell you a secret: it’s not! Let’s not give in to the lies that fulfillment is found in a partner. Our fulfillment is in Christ and following the path He has ordained for our lives! Any relationship – romance, marriage, platonic, gay, hetero – is so inconsequential in comparison.

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter O

      The idea of an anti-Valentines party came from a group of us at the vicar factory who were single. Some of us were happily single and some weren’t but we all didn’t like the lovey-dovey nature of the day and, as you rightly point out, the patronising attitude some Christians have towards single people with 20s/30s ministries simply being a local syndicate of eHarmony. So we held an anti-Valentines party. Only single people allowed and relationships weren’t allowed to be talked about. It was a great evening.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Cheryl – The exact opposite is true! In fact, I talk often publicly about (and get a lot of heat for) the wrong cultural (and especially Christian!) ideal that “the greatest amount of love someone can give to another is sex” when the Bible says it’s to help another be conformed to the image of Christ.

      My three sentences in the post were an alerting statement to actually back up people who are single, bringing the church world’s awareness to the fact of how crappy single people are treated in church circles solely based on the assumption that God’s intent is for all people to be in a relationship – when that is not the case.

      • Cheryl

        Andrew – I recognize that in your blog more broadly, which is what made it so surprising to me to see the direction the comments seemed to be taking.

        Peter O – perhaps the reason I personally have a strong reaction to the idea of the anti-Valentine party is an experience I had more than 10 years ago. A newlywed couple from church, trying to be supportive of their single friends, had a fancy dinner for us on Valentine’s Day. It was very sweet of them. And through the whole dinner, discussion focused on how hard it was to be single, and how they remembered the struggles they had when they were still single, and how the church really needs to be better at supporting single people. (I didn’t find it hard to be single. I loved it.) And when I finally admitted that I liked being single, they talked about it for a while, couldn’t quite figure it out, and finally decided that I was just wierd, I was old enough that I shouldn’t be OK with it. That’s the worst Valentine’s Day I’ve had. In fact, the only bad Valentine’s Day that I’ve had!

  • Carol A

    Cheryl, what a breath of fresh air. I’m often surprised at the mainstream assumptions of most Christian sites. And the “pity” directed at single people is not anything if not condescending. Single people lesbian, gay or straight strike me as exceptionally happy. And Valentine’s Day just doesn’t have all that commercial …. cheap pastic meaning for me. In fact, modern romance as it is “marketed” I think is just plain tacky.

  • Samantha

    I think it’s interesting that you believe it is the “Christian” belief that being single (and not having sex) should be looked down upon. CRAZY! First of all, so many holy men and women and saints NEVER engaged in sex. (hmm case in point- Mary, the perpetual virgin) and so many single men and women live incredibly holy lives! From my understanding, the greatest way to show love isn’t through sex, it’s through sacrifice and reflecting the incredible sacrifice that Christ made for us.

    We can show this sacrificial love in our friendships, marriages, and relationships with our family and loved ones… and not just on Valentine’s Day. ;)

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