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Offline Josephonair

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Should I Feel Called?
« on: Thu Aug 28, 2014 - 22:11:33 »
 I'm 38, was raised a Christian and went to a Christian college.  To anyone's astonishment who is reading this, I have never dated.  In high school, I wasn't allowed to.  In college, I tried a couple of times but it wasn't on the table with the ones I was interested in.  After college, I basically gave up.  Before you imagine me as a social wreck, which maybe I am or am not, the fact is I haven't felt "called" to the ministry of being a husband and father.  It might be hard to find the right person to respond to this kind of a posting, but is there a Christian out there who feels I should feel "called" to this ministry - or would those of you reading this advise me just to do whatever pleases me with my life, whatever that may be.  I am looking for a serious reply to this post.  I realize this may be a tough one to answer.  If you're logged in as a member, you'll see a Member's Only poll on this question.  Or a regular reply would be appreciated too.  Thanks much!
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 28, 2014 - 23:55:40 by Josephonair »

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Should I Feel Called?
« on: Thu Aug 28, 2014 - 22:11:33 »

Offline chosenone

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #1 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 00:10:03 »
I wouldnt say it is a 'calling' in some sort of superspiritual sort of way, but its something that most of of just want to do and are made to do. If you are happy being single, and have no desire to marry or have children, then dont do it. Maybe God has other things that He wants for your life. Single people usually have more time to devote to other things for God, so ask God what that may be. 
« Last Edit: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 05:14:39 by chosenone »

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #1 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 00:10:03 »

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #2 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 02:04:01 »
I just want to log back in and say thank you to anyone who offers a reply here. This is a question I have wrestled with and it is a privilege for me to put the question in writing and to read some honest responses. Thank you.

Offline Bluesman

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #3 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 06:48:19 »
  is there a Christian out there who feels I should feel "called" to this ministry - or would those of you reading this advise me just to do whatever pleases me with my life, whatever that may be.

There is nothing wrong in remaining unattached as you are. Paul speaks in favour of this in 1Corinthians7:1-9. At the same time he does not speak against marriage but refers to it as a concession. I don't think there is a clear right or wrong here.

Give yourself a chance. Don't give up just yet. Get to know other Christian singles. The right person may inspire new instincts in you, where you feel "called" to marriage & fatherhood in a way you'd previously thought impossible. If this doesn't happen you've still gained in fellowship!

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #3 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 06:48:19 »
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Offline notreligus

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #4 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 09:50:28 »
  is there a Christian out there who feels I should feel "called" to this ministry - or would those of you reading this advise me just to do whatever pleases me with my life, whatever that may be.

There is nothing wrong in remaining unattached as you are. Paul speaks in favour of this in 1Corinthians7:1-9. At the same time he does not speak against marriage but refers to it as a concession. I don't think there is a clear right or wrong here.

Give yourself a chance. Don't give up just yet. Get to know other Christian singles. The right person may inspire new instincts in you, where you feel "called" to marriage & fatherhood in a way you'd previously thought impossible. If this doesn't happen you've still gained in fellowship!

Excellent answer!

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #4 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 09:50:28 »



Offline JohnDB

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #5 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 15:57:06 »
Absolutely not.
Actually you are in need of some fellowship time and becoming a "joiner" time.


In today's electronic fueled social media society everyone is so busy. Even their "down time" is spent catching up on social media and connecting to others with funny videos and memes. What used to happen before all these things was television...(which we still have).


All these things together create two scenarios in your average individual. Either a lack of empathy or emotional exhaustion...take your pick. Empathy comes from having vast amounts of time with absolutely nothing to do so a person becomes introspective...and then as time progresses with their introspection they can actually empathise with others when they go through good or bad times. Then the emotional exhaustion comes from plugging into all these outlets once again with all their "made for TV emotional moments" both good and happy or sad and happy or angry and vengeful etc etc and etc.


All of this electronic stuff has made most of the younger generations less empathetic to anyone about anything.


Psychologists did a research study of a large group of people that they offered money to in order to administer electric shocks to...all the ones that abjectly and forcefully refused the money were the main ones they focused on. When they were set in a room with nothing to do whatsoever...no cell phones or any kind of self amusement except for the machine used to give the electric shocks What they found was that these people would self administer electric shocks in order to keep from having any sort of introspective moment. Mostly due to the great depression that would set in from their concentrations about how their life was going and the choices they had made and etc. (extremely significant numbers)


Being alone (as far as marriage goes) has become the norm. People hang out together when company is needed or wanted and unless they have a large amount of testosterone naturally they usually don't get involved sexually with anyone.


Hence the real problem....


People do not become intimate with anyone any longer. They don't want to be intimate with their own thoughts much less anyone else. They simply are too self absorbed and self involved with pleasure for the moment to realize what they have lost in the process. The actual ability to grow and build something that will actually create a legacy for the next generation to look at and gain inspiration from is over these days.


The truth is our Christian society that we currently have (regardless of denomination and not including the heathen atheists) is the result of someone thinking about our generation and making sure that we could hear and have access to the Gospel Message. They built churches and libraries and wrote books and evangelized and created missions and did a whole host of things that we rely upon now. So we actually stand on our Spiritual Father's shoulders to see the gospel message that we see today. None of that would be possible if they couldn't work together as husband and wife teams and have some empathy on an unknown generation of people.


Everyone quotes Paul when speaking about being single...and miss the whole point from some extra-biblical sources all at the same time. Paul was either divorced or engaged to a woman before he became a member of The Way (Christianity). Even after she was gone Paul still had women chasing after him....in fact Lydia was after Paul something fierce. She even attended his funeral and placed a piece of purple cloth in his "coffin" because she missed him so much and wanted to take care of him even though she knew where he was. Paul wasn't called to being single because he couldn't get a date...he was called to be single because he knew his life was to be full of suffering as well as short and that the end of the age was soon at hand. Paul didn't want to expose his life of suffering and early death to another willingly. He also said very clearly that those who marry didn't sin or that if engaged to be married he should finalize the deal.




So when you talk about your inability to be married or date and equate that as a calling you are doing a great disservice to those who actually were called into single life. What actually you need to do is be more caring about those in your world...and if your world is so small that there aren't enough people in it you need to definitely grow your world. Feed people with tasty treats, provide comfort to those hurting, be a friend to those who need one. Your benefits will come eventually...this isn't a give to get thingy here...just a natural progression of people recognizing a true, nice, guy and some woman somewhere recognizing that aspect...
« Last Edit: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 16:03:17 by JohnDB »

Offline R-Simon

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #6 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 17:22:52 »
I am in my mid-late 50s and also single.  When I was not that much older than yourself I decided I would just remain single and discontinued dating.  Several reason for this, one is that some folks are so anxious for companionship they will accept something like a dating relationship where you are just friends and have a dinner and movie companion hoping it will develop into something else, then it ends in somebody getting rejected.  Tried that one; it doesn't work.

I also didn't date in Highschool but for different reasons.  When I stared working at age 15 the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour and even back in those days it was common to "waste" 8-10 buck on a date.  I had better things to do with my money like purchasing a car then paying for gas and insurance.  As an avid hunter and fisher I never seemed to have enough money for fishing gear and shotgun shells.  I just wasn't going to waste the money on something I thought was trivial and meaningless [as opposed to hunting and fishing which I didn't think was trivial and meaningless].

After completing my education with a side-track completing military service I still didn't have a lot of money but casually dated a bit.  At about age 30 I had severe back problems but didn't get surgery for 5 years.  After recovery my company released a new product and for the next 4 years or so I was working 60+ hours a week.  I moved around but often had one of those jobs where if you didn't work the extra hours they didn't need you, they needed somebody else, something that was constantly proven with strings of lay-offs in boom-bust cycles.
In my early-mid 40s I decided hey, I'm single, I will remain so and that's fine.

Christian singles groups should just focus on issues involving being single but often they are socially more focused toward people looking for partners.  If you want to get married that's a place to look as certainly Christians should marry like-minded believers.  If you decide to remain single avoid Christian singles groups.

There is a call to be in fellowship with other believers but that doesn't necessarily mean becoming a registered official member.  Pastors are supposed to be familiar with these issues and this is something you can talk to a pastor about, usually you don't have to be a member.

Marriage and raising children is what most people do, it's something Christians should take very seriously but it's not a ministry.  If you're single that's fine.  There is no call be be married as others have pointed out.  In other venues and literature it's possible to find people who try to insist that singles must somehow become super-Christians devoting all the time and resources that would be involved with maintaining a marriage and raising a family to Christianity.  If you want to do that it's fine, if you run into an author or preacher insisting you do that they're wrong.

« Last Edit: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 17:31:50 by R-Simon »

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #7 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 18:35:01 »
** A note from me, the original poster **

One more word of thanks for these answers.  This truly has been a real question in my mind.  "Should I feel called?"  The ambition and motivation with which I pursue this portion of my life is important to me.  Thank you again for the honest answers that are coming in on this question.  I'm pretty certain that many others are going to be helped by considering both the question... and the answers.

Thank you.

Offline R-Simon

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #8 on: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 19:28:19 »
I will add one thing in general but this applies to many other topics.

When reading articles in magazines or listening to sermons remember that authors have to write, they have a deadline.  Pastors have to preach, sometimes more then once each week [as in Wednesday night Church].  Broadcasters need to do a radio show and have to fill air time.

Frankly most of what I have read or heard about Christian singles and the "gift of being single" is just nonsense, somebody was trying to fill dead air or meet their deadline.  It's not that there aren't good authors, pastors and broadcasters out there but we live in world where there are also lots of causal ones and motivational speaking seems to be a highly regarded talent in recent decades.  I can't recall anybody in the epistles getting saved because Paul, John and Timothy were really good motivational speakers and liked to say things like "Just bring them in, fill up the pews and don't worry about the tares".

A friend once directed me to an on line sermon archive his pastor did about "The Gift of Being Single".  It was full of stuff like people being selfish, only caring about themselves, not wanting to take on responsibility, not wanting to support others and these types charges.
I know there are people like that but I was surprised that absolutely nothing in the sermon applied to myself, my decisions, my situations, my commitment to friends and family etc.  The fact that some singles actually support relatives didn't even come up, I have actually done that and continue to do so as do my siblings.

Some of the broadcasters and authors are also pastors and God bless our pastors for all the work they do.  I don't know if I could handle situations like getting a call at 2:00 in the morning that somebody's kid had just overdosed and then changing up my schedule so I could do the funeral Saturday.
Having said that some of these guys are just coming up with nonsense that isn't in scripture and the sermons, books, magazine articles and radio shows some of these guys are doing are often just people who have become a little too proud of their own opinions.

So far I can't honestly recommend any sermon or article I have ever heard or read about things like "the gift of being single".
It's simple, we're just single.  No special sermons, magazine articles, books or other extra-biblical theories required.
« Last Edit: Fri Aug 29, 2014 - 20:00:56 by R-Simon »

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #9 on: Sun Aug 31, 2014 - 10:39:19 »
This is a final post from me, the original poster.   I have read all of the replies.  Thank you each for the honest responses.  I honestly believe that if I wanted to, I could get a date and companionship.  As I said with a bit of laughter in the original post, I may or may not be a social wreck.  I honestly don't think so.  I am happy.  I am not compelled to pursue a relationship.  I do have fellowship. 

As for whether I should feel a spiritual calling on my life to pursue a relationship, it sounds like the group consensus falls more in line with fulfilling a natural desire for full-time companionship.  Folks, I honestly don't have that desire.  Nor do I feel that I should have or raise kids.  I can't relate to the majority of people who have those desires.  So I agree that if a pastor were to accuse me of selfish motives, I'd respond with confusion.

Not being able to relate to a desire and being a social wreck (which I don't believe I am) are two different things.

Thanks to those of you who clearly answered the question, and who gave me something serious to think about.   ::amen!::

Offline Rella

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #10 on: Sun Aug 31, 2014 - 11:12:38 »
This is a final post from me, the original poster.   I have read all of the replies.  Thank you each for the honest responses.  I honestly believe that if I wanted to, I could get a date and companionship.  As I said with a bit of laughter in the original post, I may or may not be a social wreck.  I honestly don't think so.  I am happy.  I am not compelled to pursue a relationship.  I do have fellowship. 

As for whether I should feel a spiritual calling on my life to pursue a relationship, it sounds like the group consensus falls more in line with fulfilling a natural desire for full-time companionship.  Folks, I honestly don't have that desire.  Nor do I feel that I should have or raise kids.  I can't relate to the majority of people who have those desires.  So I agree that if a pastor were to accuse me of selfish motives, I'd respond with confusion.

Not being able to relate to a desire and being a social wreck (which I don't believe I am) are two different things.

Thanks to those of you who clearly answered the queston, and who gave me something serious to think about.   ::amen!::

My mother would be the very first to pipe up with "Not everyone should be married."

It is possible that you have been called to singleness. For what ever reason .

I am in my late 60s and never been married. I always wanted to be, but no one wanted me.


You are a young man. There is nothing wrong with being single. But as you get older be sure you do have good fellowship with others because there will come a time, as you age, that you will need help.

It is quite frightening to look at you forthcoming mortality and know what most likely is in store as one ages and know that you are alone.

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #11 on: Sun Aug 31, 2014 - 21:48:09 »
(I'm the original poster, again here)

I will leave it to each reader to determine my credibility here, but I have absolutely felt moments of terror even at this age.  I said to my dad today on a slightly different topic, "I have never been alone," and that I have run into meaningful friendships when least expected.

Terror is the number one reason I even give this topic thought.  That's a bad reason, and my responsible response has been to wrestle with whether a commitment to a relationship is a calling, in a spiritual sense.

Offline JohnDB

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #12 on: Mon Sep 01, 2014 - 10:49:06 »
This is a final post from me, the original poster.   I have read all of the replies.  Thank you each for the honest responses. I honestly believe that if I wanted to, I could get a date and companionship.  As I said with a bit of laughter in the original post, I may or may not be a social wreck.  I honestly don't think so.  I am happy.  I am not compelled to pursue a relationship.  I do have fellowship. 


This is an absolute reversal of what you originally posted.


Quote

As for whether I should feel a spiritual calling on my life to pursue a relationship, it sounds like the group consensus falls more in line with fulfilling a natural desire for full-time companionship.


And in this day and age I would be very very scared of agreeing with the consensus. Every time in biblical history this happened it was bad news for the nation as a whole.


Quote
  Folks, I honestly don't have that desire.  Nor do I feel that I should have or raise kids.  I can't relate to the majority of people who have those desires.  So I agree that if a pastor were to accuse me of selfish motives, I'd respond with confusion.

Not being able to relate to a desire and being a social wreck (which I don't believe I am) are two different things.

Thanks to those of you who clearly answered the question, and who gave me something serious to think about.   ::amen!::


And this is precisely what I was referring to in my post to you. You feel no need to become intimately involved in anyone's life. This is exactly 180 degrees counter to the gospel message and model provided to you by Jesus and all apostles and disciples. The whole concept of leaving a legacy to future generations unknown to you or the concept of having your own children to raise up to become spiritual leaders in their community long after you are gone is as alien to you as owning a fourth arm or having a purpose for a horn growing in the middle of your forehead.


And this widespread and rampant lack is going to be the cause of the final eschaton.

Offline chosenone

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #13 on: Mon Sep 01, 2014 - 11:06:49 »
(I'm the original poster, again here)

I will leave it to each reader to determine my credibility here, but I have absolutely felt moments of terror even at this age.  I said to my dad today on a slightly different topic, "I have never been alone," and that I have run into meaningful friendships when least expected.

Terror is the number one reason I even give this topic thought.  That's a bad reason, and my responsible response has been to wrestle with whether a commitment to a relationship is a calling, in a spiritual sense.

What actually gives you such terror?

Offline R-Simon

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #14 on: Mon Sep 01, 2014 - 11:56:43 »

I will leave it to each reader to determine my credibility here, but I have absolutely felt moments of terror even at this age.  I said to my dad today on a slightly different topic, "I have never been alone," and that I have run into meaningful friendships when least expected.


This brings to mind being in a Church community or assembly.  Many now days will have Men's groups, in one I know of they spend time in bible study together, they also have time to fellowship in group and men can bring up issues troubling them, they do activities together sometimes calling it "ministry".  Others will break the functions into different groups and activities but the resource is still there
In most cases there are others who have had similar problems, feelings and concerns.  Also there are pastors and these pastors are supposed to be trained in giving advice and council in these areas.  The pastoral function can also be done at some level by elders or any mature Christian but that's getting us back to the Men's groups.

Sometimes a person is in an assembly that seems formal and doesn't want to bring up problems if they are self-conscious and may be thinking it seems like they are the only one with problems.  If that's the case there are probably other assemblies around, it's usually possible to just visit one occasionally and join the Men's group without being a member.  It doesn't mean making a commitment in the sense of leaving one assembly and officially joining another, you just go.  The original NT churches didn't have official membership lists, baptismal records and personnel files on each member; they just came to fellowship with each other.

Being alone and being alone because one isn't "mated" are two different things and it's not clear how "terror" plays into this.  You can certainly post in forums like this one but it's impossible for the rest of us to get to know you the way we would if we were in personal face to face fellowship with you 2 or 3 hours each week.

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #15 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 13:08:01 »
I feel like I just got hit with a ton of bricks.  This is the original poster.  I don't view the moments of terror that have prompted this honest question as a reversal.  Everything I have stated is honest.  The loudest voice in this forum is angry and accusatory.  Has anyone else noticed that? I appreciate every reply on this board- even the angry one.  I think every possible angle has been considered, but I ask people to be aware of how they are coming across.  I've read the unpleasant replies, and appreciate them equally with those that sound a bit more kindly worded.  I guess that if you're having a tough time understanding where I'm coming from, please refrain from replying.  Leave room for someone else to try their hand.  Again, moments of terror do not betray a reversal.  Sure, it sounds like it could.  I'm afraid of an unknown future- not of a present difficulty I'm living today.  Please reply kindly, or just don't at all.

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #16 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 13:27:06 »
I'm sorry. I got caught up in defending myself, and missed a basic question. The answer to why I feel moments of terror - not intended as a reversal - is tied to the fact that I have great relationships today in which I can hear and be heard, but I view the connections as temporary, affected by time and health and where I live and work.

I think I know that marriage is not everyone's lifelong answer.  I think I know that people who got divorced may have the same concerns as I do, about being alone.  But they've added a divorce to their plate, and may have pains that even I don't have.

I think we are all concerned about ending up friendless.  And I have wondered if I should pursue a marriage or relationship just to cover a base, as a precautionary thing.  That's not a reversal.  I'm not interested in taking the plunge. 

But I have wondered if my current feelings are enough for me to act on, or whether I should feel called.

To the responder who feels that my involvement in a family would serve the next generation, thank you.  But what if I take the plunge without a calling, get in over my head, and respond daily with frustration because I can't handle the pressures?

I've been asking the group for a real generality on what's required in order to make an initial approach to relationships, and I don't think a good outcome is guaranteed, even from me.

Offline chosenone

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #17 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 13:49:54 »
I'm sorry. I got caught up in defending myself, and missed a basic question. The answer to why I feel moments of terror - not intended as a reversal - is tied to the fact that I have great relationships today in which I can hear and be heard, but I view the connections as temporary, affected by time and health and where I live and work.

I think I know that marriage is not everyone's lifelong answer.  I think I know that people who got divorced may have the same concerns as I do, about being alone.  But they've added a divorce to their plate, and may have pains that even I don't have.

I think we are all concerned about ending up friendless.  And I have wondered if I should pursue a marriage or relationship just to cover a base, as a precautionary thing.  That's not a reversal.  I'm not interested in taking the plunge. 

But I have wondered if my current feelings are enough for me to act on, or whether I should feel called.

To the responder who feels that my involvement in a family would serve the next generation, thank you.  But what if I take the plunge without a calling, get in over my head, and respond daily with frustration because I can't handle the pressures?

I've been asking the group for a real generality on what's required in order to make an initial approach to relationships, and I don't think a good outcome is guaranteed, even from me.

So your terror is in being alone? Is that right?
Well as you stated, those in marriage have no guarantee they will always have their spouse. I was married for 25 years, then suddenly became a single mum for 6 years, and now am married again(nearly 9 years now). I love being married, and always wanted to marry and have children from when I was a teenager, but I am aware that divorces happen and one spouse nearly always dies some time before the other, so many of us will have times of being alone even if we do marry. 
Getting married just because you fear being alone is surely a mistake.
Probably better to invest in friendships that will last, and they take time and effort. 

Offline Goshin

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #18 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 14:51:36 »
I voted: "Not Necessarily.  This is about companionship, and other things will happen naturally."

I think if you believe you're being "called" to be a father or a husband, it could cause you to rush into something you might regret later.

There are far worse things than being alone, in a bad relationship foremost among them IMO.

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #19 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 16:11:46 »
* Again from the original poster *

Thanks to all for these replies.  When I originally posted, I knew this question had the ability to bless me, if answered.  I've really put my heart and soul out here, but I feel that all of the responses together have made the vulnerability worthwhile.

Don't mistake my vulnerability as weakness.

Thank you.

Offline R-Simon

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #20 on: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 16:43:20 »
The answer to why I feel moments of terror - not intended as a reversal - is tied to the fact that I have great relationships today in which I can hear and be heard, but I view the connections as temporary, affected by time and health and where I live and work.

Yes, the relationships probably are temporary.  Many don't live in a close knit family community anymore, many of us move around a lot.  Some of the best friends I had back in the day were when I was in the military, I don't have contact with them anymore.  Lots of good friends were at jobs, I don't work there anymore.  If one moves from one community to another it certainly means changing church fellowship as well.

It sort of brings to mind a passage from the Sermon on the Mount --
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
The context of the Sermon and it's passages get debated quite a bit though here I think there is a valid precept or teaching.

As for retirement I can tell you what one family acquaintance did.  The guy was a teacher and had a pretty good retirement.  Leaving work and retiring meant leaving his secular community of fellowship.  Even though he had a house he sold it at that point, he moved into a retirement community on an old campus that was remodeled into retirement condos.  That was his new community, he didn't just live alone in his house. 
Who knows what option you will have when that time comes but there will always be some type of opportunity. 

As for posting in a forum different things come to mind for different people who may choose to respond.   One thing that came to mind for me was that some have taken [I'd even say twisted] the passage in 1 Corinthians 7:7 "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that."  Into a whole new thing that Paul isn't exactly teaching, "The Gift of Being Single".
Here in the modern church there is sort of a "monkey see monkey do" thing going on [evolutionary pun not intended].
One says amen, they all say amen, one starts having testimony night they all start having testimony night, one preaches a sermon on the gift of being single they all start preaching a sermon on the gift of being single.
I have had friends point these things out to me, they were pretty much filled with charges of being selfish or stating that single Christians should be super-Christians or at least super members of society bringing up famous bachelors like Newton, Pascal and DaVinci.  One guy even highly touted the fact that singles will have lots of extra money to give to the church, no doubt he had his own church org in mind.
Any Christian looking into the issue or doing web searches is likely to run into these things so I commented on it.

As for fellowship I still think that the small group model certain churches use does indeed develop close fellowship but it probably won't last past the next time you move.  Anyone in a church is supposed to be in fellowship with brothers and sisters.  If that's not the case it's possible to visit other churches that do have this type of fellowship in a less formal way.  I can sort of understand the problem of stuffy and formal churches, most of my family spent time in churches like that.  If somebody had a problem the people at church were the last they wanted to talk to, it was like saying you were the only one in church with problems.  If so and so is talking to pastor a lot it was probably a bad thing not a good thing.  It's necessary to escape that type of thinking to have true fellowship.

Offline Josephonair

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Re: Should I Feel Called?
« Reply #21 on: Thu Sep 04, 2014 - 11:09:47 »
* Original poster*

Thank you each for these meaningful replies, all the way back to the first reply. By the way, my heart goes out to the woman who wanted to get married but didn't.

My read from the first to most recent reply is an apples-to-apples exhortation, from the group. Some replies have underscored the value of what a marriage relationship is, and what it can produce, and how it can be specially longed for and desired.

Many of the other replies have gotten at my daily reality: the loose ties upon which many friendships, even at church, are tied with.

If I have encapsulated all of these replies in a short form, it is to work on what is really bothering me, at work, church or elsewhere.  And, secondly, that trying to strengthen a loosely bound social order with a question about marriage is like trying to replace a missing apple with an orange.

To that end, the practical suggestions for being meaningfully connected both today and in the future... much appreciated.
« Last Edit: Thu Sep 04, 2014 - 11:17:10 by Josephonair »

 

     
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