Participants: Alanzo Smith, June Smith
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000069
00:30 Welcome to Marriage In God's Hands.
00:34 I'm Alanzo Smith and this is my wife, June.
00:37 And together we want to talk about what singles want
00:42 married people to hear.
00:44 Wow. That's an interesting topic.
00:47 It sounds like.
00:48 You know, we have a lot of singles in our churches today.
00:53 Quite a lot.
00:54 As a matter of fact, based on the statistics
00:57 we have more singles than we have married people
01:01 in the church.
01:03 And I think one of the great challenges is that our church is
01:06 so family focused.
01:07 And we have so many projects and activities that are all
01:14 geared towards the family that, many times, single people
01:18 feel pressured and they sometimes feel displaced.
01:23 And sometimes they feel the programs that are being planned
01:27 don't have them in mind.
01:29 A good starting point would be this text in the Bible in
01:33 1 Corinthians 10 that says, "Whether therefore ye eat
01:37 or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
01:41 honor and glory of God. "
01:43 And that's what we would use as a starting point
01:46 when we're talking to singles and single families.
01:49 We're saying, whatever you do, do it to the honor
01:52 and glory of God.
01:54 Of course, there are some issues that are affecting singles.
01:59 And the one that I hear as we travel around the world,
02:03 the one that we hear every so often is,
02:06 "Why so few available men?"
02:09 What would be your response to a question like that?
02:13 I think there are many factors that would contribute
02:16 to the void that exists in eligible partners for
02:22 our Christian single women.
02:24 But I would think that one main one is that a lot of our
02:28 young men end up in war or end up in the Army.
02:32 Whether it is the Marines or the Air Force, or where ever.
02:35 And so...
02:36 Now we're not saying that war is, I mean, they're going
02:40 into the Marines or into the Air Force, or what have you,
02:43 that it's bad.
02:44 What we are saying is that by virtue of going to war,
02:47 we have lost a number of our able bodied men that
02:52 single women could have to marry.
02:55 That's the point we're making.
02:56 So we believe our soldiers have done a great job
03:00 and they're doing a great job.
03:02 We respect and we honor them.
03:03 But the fact is clear that, yes, we do lose a lot of
03:09 able bodied men as a result of war.
03:12 And that would be one factor.
03:13 Another sad reality is a lot of our single men end up in jail.
03:19 Wow, that is sad. That is sad.
03:22 Our prisons are loaded with very capable and wonderful young men
03:28 whose lives were cut short or whose lives were interrupted
03:33 by criminal activities for whatever the reasons are that
03:36 got them into this and took them out of the pool, as it were.
03:40 You know, June, maybe there's a young man
03:42 listening to us right now going down the wrong pathway.
03:48 You're single, you're young, you're energetic,
03:52 you say you want fun.
03:53 But the things you're doing, the places you're going,
03:56 it's the wrong type of fun and the wrong type of activities,
04:01 the things that you find yourself involved.
04:03 And I'm not afraid to say, for example, if you're doing drugs
04:06 sooner or later you're going to end up in prison.
04:09 So we want to appeal to the young men, who at this point
04:14 in their life, you're not taking a positive control of your life
04:19 and you're not doing the right thing,
04:20 you will join the statistic.
04:23 There are too many able bodied young men
04:27 who are in prison that should be out in society
04:31 making a valuable contribution.
04:33 Don't make that mistake.
04:35 We might even add that they should be in school,
04:37 they should be in college, they should be learning a trade,
04:40 so they're getting ready for the work force and hopefully
04:44 to become a father and a husband someday.
04:47 So I'm hearing you say, failure to improve
04:50 is another variable why there are so few available men.
04:54 Many young men who leave high school, although so many
04:59 of them drop out of high school, but many young men who
05:02 leave high school are anxious to get a job and probably to buy
05:06 a fast car or to buy whatever it is that they perceive to be
05:09 their need rather than going to college.
05:12 And we have the reverse happening with the women
05:14 where most young girls who finish high school
05:17 are looking to get into college.
05:19 And when we go to college graduations, we see a typical
05:22 graduation with fellows and young women graduating
05:25 and maybe one hundred young men, if that many.
05:28 That's a sad ratio.
05:29 The ratio might not be as bad as that, but...
05:31 I tell you, in some places it's probably almost all young women
05:34 and very few, if any, young men.
05:36 But it's a sad picture and we really would like our men
05:40 to hear us and to understand what we are saying.
05:42 We want you to improve yourself, we want you to do well.
05:46 Some of you are not.
05:48 You're in school and you're failing,
05:50 you're making poor grades, and it's not bothering you,
05:52 it's not affecting you, it's like it's okay.
05:54 This mediocre type of mentality.
05:57 And that's not good.
05:58 It's not good for you, it's not good society,
06:02 and it's not good for the young ladies who are progressive
06:04 and are moving ahead in life.
06:07 There is another problem.
06:08 We say many young men are later in coming on to their or
06:14 developing an interest in spiritual things.
06:16 And that is something that I have observed as an
06:21 evangelist myself, and as I go around the world and I
06:26 have these evangelistic campaigns, I notice that
06:29 more women gravitate towards the gospel than men.
06:33 And what is happening is we're having more ladies
06:38 coming into the church and we're having less men.
06:42 I think as preachers, we have to try to help turn this around.
06:48 And by this I mean, preaching sermons and building sermons
06:54 that appeal to a male population and not necessarily
06:59 a kind of a female population.
07:01 We have to make a conscious effort.
07:04 One of the things I have done, and I have seen a lot of success
07:07 in that, is that in these evangelistic campaigns
07:10 I have nights geared towards the men and I call it
07:14 Men's Night or Young Men's Night.
07:16 And I ask the wives and the ladies to bring the men tonight
07:22 and we're going to talk to them.
07:23 And I talk to them about some of these very same issues
07:26 because I want to see more men accepting the Lord.
07:30 That's a very good idea.
07:32 Now there is another factor.
07:36 We could consider the concept of fearing commitment.
07:40 I speak to so many young men who seem to be at the age
07:44 at which they should be in a serious relationship.
07:47 And I would ask them, "What's going on here?"
07:49 And they would say, "They're afraid to commit
07:51 because it just seems that once you commit,
07:54 it's all downhill from there. "
07:56 And it's just such a twisted or, I think, a bad perception
08:01 that many young men have.
08:03 So if you see a young woman that you admire
08:07 and would make your potential partner, who loves the Lord
08:10 as much as you do and who is progressive and ambitious and
08:13 meets all the criteria you have established for yourself,
08:15 don't be afraid to commit.
08:16 Tell her you love her and move towards dating her.
08:19 Make sure it is God's will and God's plan for your life.
08:23 Pray about it, but yes, make the commitment
08:26 rather than flirting forever.
08:28 That's the point we're making.
08:30 It's strange that we talk about that because when you have,
08:36 when organizations, religious and faith based organizations,
08:41 have what we call retreats like women's retreat
08:45 and men's convention, you generally see a large
08:50 percentage of women going to the women's retreat
08:53 and a small percentage of men going to the men's convention.
08:57 Just like we talked about the graduation and the
08:59 disparity between male and female.
09:02 Something is kind of radically wrong with the male population
09:08 in terms of going to these events to self improve.
09:13 Even someone who is married sometimes has an aversion to
09:17 going to a spiritual retreat or a spiritual convention
09:22 that would help to build them up and strengthen their families.
09:25 I think the same thing is true for singles ministry.
09:31 You have retreats or events that are created just for singles
09:36 and the reality is many of these events are crowded
09:41 with young women and very few men.
09:43 And when I talk to the men, the men say,
09:45 "Well, I'm not single. I'm just not married yet. "
09:48 Well, so why so few available Christian men is one of the
09:53 issues affecting women.
09:54 Another one is, how do we control our intimate urges?
09:58 How do we control them?
10:00 I like what Ellen White says.
10:01 She says everyone has to be guarded.
10:04 They have to learn to restrain their passion
10:07 and control their principles.
10:11 So restraining the passion, controlling the principles
10:15 that are there.
10:16 I think that's one of the number one challenges that
10:19 single people have.
10:21 Especially the single woman.
10:22 As I've talked to them going around the society,
10:25 they will tell me, "What am I suppose to do?
10:27 I'm normal like every other human being.
10:29 I have my hormones pumping into my bloodstream
10:32 and I have sensual urges.
10:35 What do I do?
10:36 I don't have a boyfriend, I don't have a husband,
10:38 I'm not married.
10:39 How do I do that?"
10:40 So I think it's very pertinent that we address this issue.
10:43 And I like what the Bible says when it admonishes
10:46 guarding the avenues of our soul.
10:49 I think there are some things that we expose ourselves to
10:52 that make us more vulnerable.
10:54 For example, if we were to, as a single woman,
10:58 look at and observe sensuous material,
11:02 you know, whether it is a movie or a book that you read,
11:06 that would, what you call, turn you on or inflate the passion
11:11 then you're going to be in a very difficult place.
11:14 So the Bible is instructing you to reduce contact with those
11:18 kinds of stimulations so you don't get yourself
11:20 into a tough place.
11:21 Garbage in, garbage out.
11:23 In other words, what you put in is what you get.
11:25 Isn't it part of the theory of cognitive behavioral therapy;
11:29 what you think, the way you think about an issue is
11:34 the way you feel about it.
11:36 And so if you find yourself thinking and meditating
11:39 and dreaming over certain things, you start feeling
11:42 that way, it inflames the passion and you move
11:44 in the wrong direction.
11:45 So the places you go, the friends you hang with,
11:48 the things you talk about, the things you read.
11:50 The things even that you eat.
11:52 All those things contribute to the capacity that you have
11:56 to contain your passion.
11:58 Well you know, there's a lot of pressure that is out there
12:01 on singles, and sometimes they become desperate as a result.
12:06 What do they do with their desperation?
12:09 Or should a young lady allow herself, or a young man
12:12 for that matter, allow himself or herself to get to the
12:15 point of desperation?
12:16 I think that it is reasonable to concede that a young person
12:21 might get to a certain age...
12:23 I've spoken to so many young people and they tell me,
12:25 "Oh my biological clock is ticking. "
12:27 And it simply means that they're getting to an age where
12:30 they're in child bearing age and they'd like to have a
12:33 child at some point, but they don't want to have
12:35 the child out of wedlock.
12:36 And so they do experience a sense of desperation.
12:39 But my counsel to them would be, allow the Lord to lead them
12:42 and allow the Lord to give them the things
12:46 or allow the experiences in their life that He knows
12:48 will be best for them.
12:49 Unfortunately, some people will not get married.
12:53 So take control of your life, take control of yourself,
12:58 and let God guide you.
13:01 We have a lot of things to talk about.
13:03 We're talking about what singles want married people to hear.
13:07 And when we come back, we're going to go right into that.
13:10 We're going to share with you some of the things that
13:12 singles are saying, "We want married people to hear. "
13:16 Don't go away. Stay with us.
13:18 Because you are going to enjoy these things.
13:20 And not only that, we're going to share some things also;
13:23 what do you do if you're a single individual.
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14:06 Welcome back to Marriage In God's Hands.
14:09 My husband, Alanzo, and I have been discussing
14:12 what singles want married people to know.
14:19 And now we are going to look at some of these issues.
14:23 The first one, singles are saying stop pressuring
14:28 them to get married.
14:30 When you ask questions like, "When are you getting married?"
14:34 or, "Aren't you married yet?"
14:37 These single people are saying that's really putting
14:41 pressure on them.
14:43 If they were going to get married, you would have heard.
14:46 So stop asking them that question.
14:49 Is that fair?
14:50 I think that's a fair request.
14:52 It must be a very uncomfortable thing for a young woman or man
14:56 who would like to get married but isn't being pursued to
15:00 constantly have to answer, "When are you going to get married?"
15:03 I think another concern that is frequently identified is that,
15:08 single women, especially, find that married men
15:13 tend to want to flirt with them.
15:16 And they're saying, they're not available and
15:18 neither do they feel respected when that happens.
15:21 And so they want to say, "Stop it. "
15:26 It goes on every so often but it doesn't mean that it is right.
15:32 And you have to understand that there are singles out there
15:36 with their integrity, singles who stand for values and strong
15:42 moral principles because they have a strong moral character.
15:46 And sometimes, as married men or married women,
15:49 we make some inappropriate jokes, we pass some remarks,
15:53 we do some uncomfortable touching that they don't like,
15:58 they don't appreciate.
15:59 And yes, they're saying they really don't like it
16:02 and they would like you to desist that kind of behavior.
16:05 So they're saying that they feel vulnerable in the presence of
16:08 many married men.
16:10 And I don't think it's only men that do these
16:14 inappropriate things.
16:15 I think sometimes married women may also pursue
16:18 single men as well.
16:19 So it goes either way.
16:21 Sometimes you find that they express their love to them
16:25 but in a joking way.
16:26 Like, "You know, you wouldn't believe this but you're the
16:30 only one I love. "
16:32 It's not right.
16:33 They're saying it makes them feel uncomfortable.
16:36 I am sure they're not expressing their love to their spouse.
16:40 And that's what they need to do.
16:41 You need to go tell your spouse that she's the
16:45 only one you love, he's the only one you love.
16:48 And singles are saying, "We really don't appreciate it.
16:51 We don't want you to be expressing your love to us. "
16:54 Express it appropriately to the individual
16:57 that you should be expressing it to.
16:58 Unfortunately what happens sometimes is that
17:02 married men often find single women and they will tell them
17:08 that their marriage is a mistake hoping to attract the
17:13 single woman to himself.
17:16 And that is so wrong.
17:18 Isn't it a form of deceptive tactics?
17:20 It's like, "I want to fool the woman.
17:26 I want her to feel that she's so important to me,
17:28 she's so significant to me.
17:30 So I'm letting her know that, you know, I made a mistake.
17:33 If you were around, if I had seen you. "
17:37 And the funny thing about it is that sometimes
17:40 they know these single women prior to their marriage.
17:45 Yet, and they selected the person they married,
17:49 but afterwards now they're going back to them and they're saying,
17:51 "Oh I made a mistake.
17:53 You're the one I should have married because really
17:55 you're the one I'm in love with and I don't know why
17:57 I was so foolish. "
17:59 Should a woman be that gullible or a man be that gullible
18:02 to accept those?
18:03 Unfortunately, some are? But it shouldn't.
18:06 And we're saying, don't allow it to even start.
18:10 If you're married, you need to stay committed to your wife
18:13 or to your husband.
18:14 And nor should you disrespect a single person.
18:18 You know, a woman who is single or a young man who is single
18:22 are quite capable, if it is God's will, to pursue and
18:26 find a person who they will fall in love with.
18:29 But for a married man to try to use them, or a married woman
18:32 to try to use them in that regard, it's very disrespectful
18:34 to the single person.
18:36 But here the individual is saying, "I made a mistake. "
18:40 Well, when we're forming relationships, it is okay
18:45 to have friends.
18:46 And from that group of friends, you're going to select
18:50 one to be your wife or husband.
18:54 And it is possible, humanly speaking now,
18:58 it is possible that you could have made a mistake.
19:00 That is to say, in terms of chemistry and what have you,
19:03 you select "J" and not "A".
19:06 But what if that is my situation?
19:10 What if I made the mistake and I'm saying I made the
19:14 mistake and I selected the wrong person?
19:15 In your case, you didn't make the mistake.
19:17 Oh no, I know I didn't make the mistake.
19:18 33 years of marriage. No, no.
19:20 We are cool, we are okay.
19:22 But what I'm saying is, for the listener out there,
19:25 the man who is saying or the woman who is saying,
19:27 "I made a mistake," and is like crying and pleading
19:31 to this one now saying, "It should have been you. "
19:33 Isn't it tough luck whether or not...?
19:35 I would say to the single person, if a married man tells
19:38 you that as a woman, you need to say, "Too bad.
19:41 If you made a mistake, you've got to live with it
19:43 because I am not available. "
19:45 Or if a single man is told that, he needs to say
19:48 "Go respect your husband and leave me alone. "
19:52 But sometimes, unfortunately, the contrary is true.
19:57 It kind of restores some of the pain that I experience because,
20:03 the pain of rejection, because I was not accepted.
20:05 And so here's an opportunity now to make up for my past loss.
20:10 Those are some of the dynamics that result,
20:13 but it doesn't make it right.
20:14 So what the single person is saying is that the best thing
20:18 is to stop telling us.
20:19 "We don't want to hear it.
20:20 If you made a mistake, too bad. We don't want to hear it.
20:23 If you didn't make a mistake, we still don't want to hear it.
20:25 Whatever it is, live with your situation and leave us alone. "
20:29 One of the things that I want to say to single people is that
20:31 singleness is not a disorder, singleness is not a dysfunction.
20:35 It is okay if you don't get married.
20:38 You can still have a very productive and
20:41 positive experience.
20:43 Well, sometimes you find that married men pressure
20:50 singles, and married women pressure single men
20:55 to have intimacy with them.
20:57 Singles are saying, "Stop pressuring us for intimacy. "
21:01 Because sometimes they apply the pressure?
21:03 They apply it in so many ways.
21:06 When you know that someone is vulnerable, you prey on them.
21:10 It tends to be the human encounter.
21:12 And so yes, single women and single men are vulnerable.
21:15 But they are saying they don't want to be
21:18 pressured for intimacy.
21:19 Because they're not willing to violate their values
21:24 nor to disappoint God.
21:25 Their bodies, they recognize as His temple and
21:28 they want to keep it that way.
21:29 And if it's God's will that they should get married,
21:31 then that will happen.
21:32 But yes, they want to avoid doing that.
21:34 So keep the jokes clean.
21:36 Keep the jokes clean, and no means no.
21:40 So when a man says to a woman, "no," he means no.
21:45 So when a woman says no to a man, she means no.
21:48 And they're to respect that.
21:49 No means no.
21:51 But there is a phrase that goes around, and I'm sure
21:55 you have heard it, where they say, "When a women
21:58 says no, she means yes. "
22:01 I've heard that every so often.
22:03 Elaborate on that for me.
22:04 Unfortunately, some women do behave like that
22:08 and it gives a double message.
22:10 But a respectful woman, or a woman who respects herself,
22:15 when she says no, she means no.
22:17 And so it's a myth to think that if she were to send a
22:20 double message, the result would be that you can still pursue.
22:24 A woman who says no, she means no.
22:28 So, men and woman, those if you who are married,
22:32 get the message clear.
22:33 Stop pressuring singles for intimacy.
22:37 Now there are times when there are problems in a marriage.
22:42 And what tends to happen with some married people is
22:45 that they find a single person who might be a good friend;
22:48 a co-worker, a person at church, or wherever,
22:51 and they will relate their marital problem
22:54 to the single person.
22:55 And that sometimes can be a very difficult thing for a
22:59 single person to handle.
23:00 And that creates a very vulnerable situation
23:03 for relationships to develop between a married person
23:06 and a single person.
23:08 So singles are saying they don't want to hear
23:10 your marital problems because they're not counselors.
23:13 If you have a problem with your marriage,
23:14 talk to your spiritual advisor or your spiritual leader.
23:17 Talk to a professional counselor.
23:19 Talk to somebody who can help you.
23:20 But don't go relate the intimacy of your life to somebody
23:24 who is not able to assist you.
23:27 I hear them saying also that when you introduce them
23:31 to someone, leave it there.
23:35 Nothing is wrong in introducing a potential suitor
23:40 to a single person.
23:41 But once you make the introduction, leave it there.
23:44 They don't want to be pressured into these many questions like,
23:47 "What's happening now. "
23:49 "You're too picky, you're too choosy. "
23:51 "Why didn't you take this person?"
23:53 And kind of putting a guilt feeling on them.
23:57 Relationships are complicated, at best, sometimes.
24:00 And individuals must be given the freedom to make their choice
24:05 and undue pressure should not be brought upon them.
24:09 So an introduction should be an introduction.
24:11 And it's okay to make the introduction.
24:13 They're not saying you should not make the introduction,
24:15 they're saying after you have done your part in
24:17 introducing someone, leave it there and move on.
24:21 So in a sense, we're saying that single people
24:24 will sometimes be in the presence of a married person,
24:28 and they might even request a service.
24:31 For example, you might need your car tire to be changed or
24:35 something is happening in your car and you're not sure
24:37 what it is, a young woman, you might ask a married man
24:40 to look at your car and help you diagnose what the problem is.
24:42 But whatever you ask for, whatever help you ask for,
24:46 all you're doing is asking for help to that specific problem.
24:50 You're not inviting this person in for anything else.
24:53 No intimacy, not nothing.
24:55 So single women are saying, or single people are saying,
24:58 "If we do have to ask for your assistance,
25:02 that's all we need. "
25:03 No strings attached.
25:05 So if you come to fix the faucet, fix the faucet
25:10 and go home.
25:11 "If we offer you a drink or some food, eat it and go home. "
25:16 That's what they're asking you to do.
25:17 In fact, I would even go as far as to say, you know,
25:20 maybe single women, especially, should avoid asking
25:23 favors of married men.
25:24 Because unfortunately, some people are not able to
25:27 establish clear boundaries.
25:28 And therefore, don't put yourself in a vulnerable place.
25:31 So be careful because there are some good married men who
25:34 generally go and help with no ulterior motives.
25:37 So just be careful, that's the operative word here.
25:40 Be careful.
25:41 Now, singles, we need to talk to you because you have to
25:45 love yourself and accept yourself for who you are.
25:48 If you don't do that, then you become vulnerable
25:51 to so many of these things we're talking about.
25:53 So it begins with self acceptance, self esteem.
25:57 Know who you are and feel good about yourself.
26:00 Value your strengths.
26:02 Understand that you are normal, you are healthy,
26:06 and if it is God's will for you to change your status as a
26:09 single person, that will happen.
26:10 But if it doesn't happen, you can live a very fulfilled life
26:14 like anyone else who is married.
26:17 Think positively.
26:18 It is important for you to think good about yourself and
26:21 feel good about yourself.
26:22 And always be optimistic.
26:25 There are so many other variables in life that you can
26:28 access and you can be healthy and productive and strong.
26:31 And we have so many who are doing just that and
26:34 we commend you, we applaud you.
26:35 We appreciate what you are doing.
26:37 But there are others who are falling apart.
26:39 There are others who are not maintaining their God given
26:42 strength and integrity.
26:43 And you are the ones we are reaching out to.
26:45 Sometimes you will feel a little out of place.
26:47 You go to church and the focus is on families.
26:50 Or you go to a banquet or a wedding and you feel a little,
26:53 you know, out of place.
26:55 But go with your head held high and feel good about yourself
26:59 because you have a right to be there.
27:01 Discount criticisms or anything that would minimize your role,
27:05 and see yourself as a valuable child of God.
27:09 Jeremiah chapter 1 and verse 5, God told Jeremiah,
27:14 "Before you were born in the mother's womb,
27:18 long before you were formed, I knew you and I have
27:23 a plan for your life. "
27:24 That means Jeremiah is special and that God
27:28 planned his life out.
27:29 The same is true for every one of you whether you are single,
27:33 widowed, married, or divorced.
27:35 You are special.
27:37 So singles, hold onto your integrity and your sense
27:40 of purpose and what God has done for you.
27:43 Because you are special.
27:45 Wait on the Lord and be of good courage
27:48 and He shall strengthen thine heart.
27:50 Yes, He says wait, wait on Him.
27:53 So as you live your life, live your life with joy
27:56 and with peace and with God's love flowing out.
27:59 You are special, special to God and special in this world.
28:02 Be good, be good to yourself.
28:05 God bless.