The proportion of people living as singles is increasing in Western
cultures. In fact, there are more unmarried adults than married ones in some
Western countries already, and the trend is toward that in other countries as
well. Ron has written a series of brochures, “Cross-Cultural Singles Issues,”
to help individuals deal with some of the situations that arise when singles
serve in other cultures.
Love: The Bible discusses several kinds of
love because its languages had different words for them. This brochure presents
three major kinds of love found in Greek and in recent research, and it
discusses which kinds are all right for single cross-cultural workers.
Celibacy and Chastity: Today
celibacy and chastity are nearly synonymous, but years ago they meant quite
different things. This brochure discusses these different meanings and what
these concepts mean to single cross-cultural workers.
Loneliness: Single cross-cultural
workers know that loneliness can be a major problem. Here are some things that
cause loneliness as well as suggestions to help overcome it.
Identity: During adolescence in Western
culture most people go through a period of role confusion before developing
their identity. Single cross-cultural workers have fewer roles available to
them, so here are some suggestions about available roles in both host and
Sexual Fantasy: Most people at some
time in their lives engage in sexual fantasy. This brochure considers what the
Bible says about such fantasy, what changes have occurred since Bible times, and
what single cross-cultural workers can do to cope with this fantasy.
The Ticking Clock: Turning thirty
or forty makes single cross-cultural workers who want to marry and have children
realize that time is running out for them. This brochure offers suggestions for
those who are not content with their singleness.
Housing: Single cross-cultural workers are
more likely to be asked to share living quarters with others than are married
cross-cultural workers. It seems to make financial sense to the agency, but it
may lead to serious problems with the cross-cultural workers. Here are some
Matchmakers: Matchmakers have been
around for thousands of years, and new kinds of matchmakers continue to be
developed. Here are some suggestions about using them, and possible responses to
Contentment and Comparison:
The Bible talks about both contentment and comparison and the results of each.
Here are some ideas to keep comparisons from leading to envy and destroying you
The New Singleness: In many
cultures marriages were arranged while people were still children. A couple
centuries ago Western culture invented adolescence so that everyone went through
a period of singleness and people became responsible for finding their own
Is Singleness OK? Both Jesus and
Paul were single and encouraged others to be single as well. For many centuries
most cross-cultural workers were single, and they spread Christianity around the
world. Only recently have the majority of Christian cross-cultural workers been
Single Again: During most of the 2000
years of Christianity divorce was quite rare. However, during the last two
centuries, divorce in the Western world has made becoming single again
Arranged Marriage: Many people
today confuse arranged marriage with forced marriage. This brochure gives an
example of how arranged (not forced) marriage worked well, how it worked among
Christians in one culture for half a century, and how compares it with many
arranged marriages today.
Masturbation: Two hundred years ago
most people in Western culture condemned masturbation, a common practice among
singles. Today most people in Western cultures approve of it. The Bible does not
mention it, so single cross-cultural workers must decide for themselves.