THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN CURBING INVOLUNTARY SINGLENESS
TITLE: NO SEX PLEASE!(until we’re married)
AUTHOR: IAN GREGORY
PUBLISHER: LIFE JOURNEY COOK COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRIES
REVIEWER: NKECHI OBIANIGWE
In this modern parlance, virginity (sexual honesty as Ian puts it) is a subject that we would rather not discuss as it is filled with notions of hypocrisy and Christians tend to over spiritualise it to a great extent, while also considering those that are not in that cadre as being immoral. Ian Gregory in this book, tries to explain the role of the church in curbing ‘involuntary singleness’ that thrives amongst the singles in our churches; how the church can take adequate care in ensuring that the number of believers are not perpetually on a decrease and how these singles could avoid being ‘unequally yoked’; with unbelievers.
He makes reference to other religious sects like the Sikhs, Greeks and Hindi, who take this responsibility upon themselves to ensure that their single believers are not joined with unbelievers, either through a match making process initiated by the parents or social events that provide an enabling environment for these singles to mix. According to Ian, this could be done by events, Christian dating sites can be created and the traditional means where the religious leaders could match make their members should be reinitiated. Also, singles should be accorded respect, these issues should be discussed as the ‘marrieds’ enjoy the respect and attention, while the subject of singleness is swept under the carpet.
Without making an attempt to justify the pre marital sex that is prevalent in our society, Ian wonders why this would not be practiced, since the continuum for the involuntary singles keep widening and the sexual urge becomes very difficult to tame. He urges the church to assist in ensuring that this sexual honesty is maintained till marriage.
He also points out the fact that one of the reasons for premarital sex is the loneliness (‘hug deprivation’) that is prevalent in this communication age, where face to face relationships are slightly bridged by internet social network sites and one hardly communicates with their neighbours. In this regard, people tend to find others who could help fill this space.
Ian also explains the evils of premarital sex and cohabitation. Where the man is comfortable with having his ‘presumed’ partner do all his chores without seeing the need to make immediate commitment. While thinking that they are having real sex, in their ignorance, it is just an illusion and it tends towards comparing the performance of subsequent lovers.
The author attempts to dispel fantasies that Christians assume. The fact that there is that one person that God would lead you to. It helps to reiterate the scripture verse that says ‘faith without works is dead’. There has to be a willingness to want to get settled, God would not automatically place the individual on our laps. He posits that if they (the men) are not coming and the females want them, they should feel free to walk up and ask them out, that is for the girls. In otherwords, the days were girls were viewed as desperate for asking guys on a date is long gone. Instead, you are seen as a ‘go-getter’.
Other fantasies that people have of their prospective partners as being good looking and sexy does not hold water. As the author puts it, it should not be the primary consideration. Alternatively, he introduces the 5C’s on what to look out for in our prospective partners; Christian; Compatibility; Conversation; Character and Chemistry.
At a first glance, one would readily assume another book that is hypocritical or tends to preach abstinence before marriage, ironically only one chapter is dedicated to the subject of ‘SEX’ in its entirety. ‘Sex is important but not all important, powerful but not impossible to control’..(pg 85) Ideally, this should be what the book should discuss, but the author does not dwell much on it until a latter part of the book. He places more emphasis on the role of the church.
The author’s use of scriptures and real life examples is commendable here. The book is not only recommended for singles or SINBADs’ (Single Income No Boyfriend And Desperate), also for individuals that are engaged or married as it would give a better perspective on how to ensure you marriage/relationship is a success