Single women ignored in churches through ignorance?

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M

Miri

Guest
#1
Hi just sounding off. Lol

I’m single always have been.
I go to work mix with single and married men and women without any problems. I get to know them they get to know me. We spend several hours each day together.

We all chat, discuss, laugh etc and generally get on. All of which is condusive to good business and good relations at work, etc etc Sometimes I’ve even had life’s home from work by male colleagues, especially in awful weather conditions. Or in emergencies when my aunt has been unwell.

There are no rules at work how single people of one sex cannot chat to married people of the opposite sex, that would be totally impractical and hinder the work place.

Everyone goes home after working and mingling together. We all cooperate together, moan together, sort out challenges together, work hard to meet deadlines together. We even have one-to-one meetings with no one else present to discuss work related issues. It’s all considered normal, plus I’m the only Christian at work and it’s all perfectly acceptable, above board and normal.

At church in the other hand. God forbid that a single woman (unless she is over 80) talks one-on-one with a male pastor regardless of if they are single or married. God forbid that a single woman meets with a male married church leader to discus church matters or that she receives counselling or pastoral care from a man at all, unless someone else is present in the room. God forbid that a single woman speaks to a married pastor, leader, etc even just to say hi unless they are surrounded by crowds of people!

Are all Christian pastors and leaders so insecure in their marriage or insecure about themselves!

Can you imagine the work place if men were not able to speak to women. If a man and a woman could not discuss business matters without the entire office being present!

Or can you imagine if a male doctor refused to see female patients for a 10 minute consultation without a chaperone present - even if no examination was necessary. It would double the staff and payroll bill.

Or how about if a male teacher could not tell off a female student or warn her about her behaviour and grades, unless another staff member was present.

In fact imagine society full stop, where men could not speak to single women at all without others present. How would you go to the dentist, get your car fixed, arrange for a plumber to fix something in the house etc etc. Or arrange for an extension to be built, the house redecorated as a single woman (bearing in mind most of these jobs are male dominated).

Or how about seeing a male psychologist, a male vet with your dog. Would it ever be possible to have female astronaughts if everyone else on the international space station was a man!

I was reading an article the other day about how Billy Graham never spoke privately to a woman married or single, on his own. But the article was saying that leaders and pastors have a responsibility to both genders. They cannot ignore an entire gender in their church.

More often than not, women get passed to the pastor’s wife or the wife of another leader, who has no theological degree, no counselling training, no experience of running a church. While the men in the church are pastored and counselled by fully trained pastors.

Imagine if a man had a problem and he went for counselling but was told I can’t speak to you unless you let someone else listen in. As a man would you go for counselling if someone else was in the room. Yet women are expected to do that. Or imagine if a man wanted to discuss and arrange the funeral of someone at a sensitive time and speak privately to a pastor. But the pastor said I will be bringing someone else with me as well. Just a few examples!

Are male born again Christians in leadership, that insecure.

Anyway I just wanted to let off steam. Lol.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,438
1,501
113
#2
Though I understand your frustrations, it isn't always that extreme or clear cut of a comparison as you are presenting. Work and church are extremely different environments. Two of the biggest differences are common life experiences and how personal the topics being discussed are (or the environment in general is). And while it's fine for two people of the opposite sex to talk about non-personal inconsequential topics ( this project at work, I bought this or am going to that event, oh this co worker is frustrating me so much today, etc.) things can get confusing quickly when talking about the more personal deeper topics, like those you might seek out counseling for or need to have a good long sit down heart to heart and ask life advice and direction for.

Beyond that I think the caution shown in churches is less about insecurity and much more about caution and protecting people from false accusations. Lynx talks about driving the church bus and having one of the church ladies fill a position he called "indemnity patrol", she was there not because Lynx had any concerns about his self control or keeping his behavior appropriate, but because one false accusation can put you through a world of hurt. In a lot of trusted positions like pastoring, an accusation (especially one that can't be thoroughly refuted) can be almost as damaging as a conviction. So it's not so much that the pastor doesn't trust himself or you as he's putting structure in place to protect himself from those who would unscrupulously take advantage of his trust (and it's so much easier to have that policy of never being alone with a woman than to meet with her alone the first time and find out either she has improper intentions or the privacy causes her to feel too close and connected and then have to alter things to add in a chaperone at a later date).

Yes there are intermediate solutions (windows, meeting in a larger room where an observer can see but not hear, nowadays you could do video chat meetings, etc.) There's a lot more I could say on the topic, but lunch is over and I have to go back to work.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
8,074
2,942
113
#3
Yea always found that kinda weird in some churches.
But one church I attended the pastors wife died and I still went to see him about stuff in his office and that was fine maybe it depends on how old the pastor is. I dont know why the trend is for some churches to have young pastors straight out of bible college who have no idea how to talk to any woman apart from their wife who they married straight out of school.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#4
Cinder I think that’s a bit of a cop out really, as the same could happen
in the secular world too.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#5
Cinder I think that’s a bit of a cop out really, as the same could happen
in the secular world too.


Sorry ran out of editing time.

Cinder I think that’s a bit of a cop out really, as the same could happen
in the secular world too. Plus I spend 8 hours a day at work a job I’ve done for 21
years. I know my work colleagues far better than anyone at church.

I honestly think there is far more segregation of the sexes at church than is healthy.
You don’t see it anywhere else apart from Muslims. I just wonder what we are all
really afraid of. If churches treated members of the opposite sex as they should
ie brothers and in Christ. Instead of potential Jezebel’s or Solomon’s (he had 1000
wives/concubines). Maybe segregation would not be needed.

I can certainly do without be treated as a potential seductive woman! I think its
rather insulting.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
16,192
3,655
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#6
Maybe it's a regional thing Miri. I don't see the same thing here in southwest Tennessee where I live. Maybe there's a strong litigious atmosphere where you live, lots of people always on the lookout for a reason to sue somebody or cause trouble. Maybe the pastor there has to be careful.

Or maybe it's just that particular pastor. Maybe he had somebody make an accusation in the past and now he's really paranoid about it happening again.

Whatever it is, it ain't everywhere. But even here, in an area where we don't have to go to extremes like that, I sure was glad for my indemnity patrol. I don't consider that going to an extreme at all, I think it was just good common sense on a bus trip.

And what Cinder said might seem like a cop out to you in your situation, but she was right in all she said. There's been a lot of men pastors try to counsel women and find the conversation going into areas it shouldn't be going into. There are even songs about it - Lauren Talley, "Reverend John and Mrs. Rose" for example, off the top of my head. When a man and woman are talking about emotionally charged topics, attachments can occur real easy.
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
612
674
93
#8
I understand your frustration, but it's honestly a reflection of the world we live in. Look at the "Me Too" movement. It's not wise for anyone in a leadership position to be meeting with single woman alone, especially in the church.

At our church, the elders and pastors talk freely with everyone, just as we talk freely with other church members, but behind closed doors, there is always a second person. It's not done to ignore single woman, but to protect both parties. All the churches I know, don't pass a single ladies issues to another woman or someone of less capabilities, they just have a second ear. As believers, the devil is always at work trying to get us to mess up, it's better to be wise about these situations. It also eliminates the opportunity for assumptions and rumors, which can be just as devastating as something actually happening.

The workplace is different for various reasons. You said you're the only Christian, so many worldly people aren't concerned with these issues. It's also different in the workplace because you are all colleagues on the same level. Certain positions are held to a higher standard. Praise God you haven't had any issues at work.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
2,123
1,745
113
#9
Sorry ran out of editing time.

Cinder I think that’s a bit of a cop out really, as the same could happen
in the secular world too. Plus I spend 8 hours a day at work a job I’ve done for 21
years. I know my work colleagues far better than anyone at church.

I honestly think there is far more segregation of the sexes at church than is healthy.
You don’t see it anywhere else apart from Muslims. I just wonder what we are all
really afraid of. If churches treated members of the opposite sex as they should
ie brothers and in Christ. Instead of potential Jezebel’s or Solomon’s (he had 1000
wives/concubines). Maybe segregation would not be needed.

I can certainly do without be treated as a potential seductive woman! I think its
rather insulting.
And herein lies a major issue. You have already decided the reasons and motives of all who make this decision. And every motive you've fabricated is rooted in negativity. And since you chose negative motives you feel angry and justified for those feelings.
But have you ever considered people have other reasons? That doesn't involve insecurity or assuming you're the bad guy?
Perhaps these men want to avoid any "appearance of evil". In reality it's totally feasible to think women may develop a crush on a counseling pastor. This is why in the world of psychology there are very strict rules against counselors and patients. Patients often develop crushes on their counselors.
How many pastors have you Spoken to and asked, and how much of this is you assuming you have the answers and getting upset with the blank spaces You filled in?

Oh. Yeah. By the way Billy Graham Had to set that rule in place because the journalist that got the first and only pic of Billy Graham in a questionable position with a woman would have top headlines.
Did the article also mention that due to this that it was common that journalists would try to sneak women into his hotel rooms just to set him up and that he had his rooms checked before even entering? He wasn't insecure, or ignoring women, he was protecting his reputation as the bible states.
And the article Does say he didn't meet Alone with women, but had his wife Present. That's not ignoring anyone. That's wisdom.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
14,933
8,049
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#10
Here's a good reason why churches should have trained female pastors as well as male.
 

LittleMermaid

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2019
329
392
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#11
I used to go to a church where the Pastor and his wife were pretty young (late 20s I think?) Anyways, there was a Christmas party and they did not have any wine. When people asked them why, their answer was "Oh we don't think it's a sin to have wine with moderation, but we prefer not to. We are leaders in the Church and we need to refrain from anything that could cause another to stumble."

I always loved that response. They didn't think it was wrong to drink wine, but they knew that if they did, rumors would start among the church! People love to talk unfortunately, especially about those in leadership roles.

Can you imagine seeing the Pastor talking to a 20 something year old girl alone? How do you think that would go? How do you think a young woman who is about 21 would feel receiving so much attention and emotional support from her cute Pastor? I think boundaries are good, necessary and helpful. They keep us safe. In the case above, both the Pastor (do you capitilize Pastor or no? lol) and the young lady need those boundaries to keep themselves safe from rumors and/or emotional devastation.

Actually, I think a large reason for divorce nowadays is because people spend way too much time with their co-workers. They sometimes fall in love/lust and cheat on their spouses because they end up knowing the co-worker more than the spouse. Again, boundaries are necessary.

I know it isn't fun to be single in the Church...but I don't like being alone with men married or not. I just get really uncomfortable. I keep steady boundaries and they've helped me avoid sticky situations in the past. :) When I need help with something, I prefer to talk to my Pastor's wife. She's a girl and she would understand me better. But my Pastor's wife has a few degrees in theology and counseling...so she's awesome!
 
M

Miri

Guest
#12
I should add I live in the U.K. the litigation stuff isn’t anywhere near as bad as
the US. To my knowledge the media isn’t quite so obsessed with stalking
pastors and snapping pictures of them with women.

I’m not even really talking about high profile famous pastors, Billy Graham was just an
example it was something I found on the internet. I’m talking about your common garden
average pastor/leader.

I’m also not a teen or young 20 something, I’m 51.

Basically I had a dream about a person in church that they were happily saying hello to
people, smiling etc but in the dream there was something wrong with them but no one else
knew. So in reality the next day I texted this person to ask if they were ok.

They texted me back saying how did you know something was wrong. It turns out she
has been having panic attacks, severe anxiety, troubled thoughts. So we met up and
had a good natter.

I suggested she ask about church counselling, we have qualified counsellors in the church.
She did but it turned out the male counsellor would not see her unless another person was
present. So in the end she went to her doctor who referred her to a secular psychologist
Who was a man anyway but not a Christian. At one Point she also spoke to the pastor
whose role it is to pastor the adults in the church (we have 4 pastors with different roles).
He directed her to his wife who does not do any pastoral care at all in the church. In fact she
works part time herself as a nurse in a secular job.

I’ve had some struggles myself too and was thinking of asking for church counselling but
after hearing this there is no point.

My point is that women are getting second class care just because they are women.
 

Ruby123

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
3,467
2,557
113
#13
Yes I totally agree. They are afraid as to what the rest of the congregation will say if they should be seen one on one praying for or counselling you and are warned not to put themselves in such a position. In the mean time we are pushed aside without counsel or prayer. I have experienced this myself. Shame that a person who requires help is tossed aside and this is justified through their fear.

We are not after the pastors nor do we wish to cause problems in their marriage. If I need my car fixed I go to the mechanic, if I require legal help I go to a lawyer. Help for our situation is what we require. No hidden motivations whatsoever.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
8,074
2,942
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#14
Why didnt you go with this person to the male counsellor? Just wondering.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
8,074
2,942
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#15
Cant he counsel over the phone?
Thats a bit weird I got counselling and deliverance by males alone in person and over facetime and it was fine.

I also had healing prayer in a service, one by a male who talked with me for a bit alone, and the other by husband and wife team who both laid hands on and prayed for me. Actually it is WAY better when pastor wives work as a team. Healing is more effective but its the fervent prayer of a righteous man that availeth much. And how, cos they honor their wives who dont hinder their prayers.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
12,448
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#16
God forbid that a single woman speaks to a married pastor, leader, etc even just to say hi unless they are surrounded by crowds of people!
That's not a question of being ignored. It is simple common sense and prudence. Although *crowds* might be stretching it a bit.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
16,192
3,655
113
#17
You could offer to be the other person who goes with your friend when talking to the counselor. :cool:
 

Waggles

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2017
3,338
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South
adelaiderevival.com
#19
More often than not, women get passed to the pastor’s wife or the wife of another leader, who has no theological degree, no counselling training, no experience of running a church. While the men in the church are pastored and counselled by fully trained pastors.
You raise very good and valid points.
In my church single and married women have access to pastors and elders for counselling and other matters of concern.
Women often ask to speak with our pastor Tony for any number of private issues. Sometimes they go into another room
for their conversation, etc.
But in one's private home our Pastor would not entertain a single woman by himself without others present.
When doing outreach or followup we are all encouraged to go out in twos to avoid any "complications." But that does not just
apply to single women, this is equally valid when visiting a single male or a family.

As for myself I may call in to visit a sister briefly during the daytime, but I would definitely not be with a sister for any extended period
of time by myself after hours. This just avoids "complications" perhaps more so with the neighbours.
It is like walking a tightrope the balance between assisting those of the opposite sex and yet upholding our testimonies before
worldly people.