May 26, 2016
The Lobster satirizes society's obsession with marriage, an obsession that's partly encouraged by the church.
I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know whether it imagines some dystopic society in which the very concept of marriage is twisted. I imagined societies such as those in "Hunger Games", "Logan's Run", "Soylent Green", "Rollerball", "1984", etc. In these societies, the very idea of a loving relationship is outlawed or at least crushed by the prevailing laws. I would say that if any idolization occurs, it's parenting. I once found an article entitled "How American Parenting Is Killing the American Marriage". I also think that any unspoken "unfriendliness" toward singles in churches may be an attempt by married people to protect their domain. Let's face it. Not all churchgoers are committed followers of Christ. Thus, if proper precautions aren't taken, problems can occur. For the record, our pastor is single, not by his choice. I'm widowed without children, and I find myself hanging out with some older ladies, widowed and divorced, and we've formed a bond. They seem to have accepted me as a younger companion. Paul acknowledged his singleness as a gift that not everyone would be able to live out, all the while never dismissing God's own statement in Genesis that it's not good for man to be alone. I think the major problem is that we've somehow idolized self-gratification, forgetting Paul's definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. We quote it in wedding ceremonies but don't teach young engaged couples that love is action, not feelings. Now more than ever, we need strong marriages based on this understanding, not some twisted expectation based on our own selfish desires.
THANK YOU for this message! I am a 40 year old woman who has never married and never had children. Both of those situations often break my heart. On top of my heartache, I often feel as though I walk around with a big sign that says, "Unmarried and unwanted." In church I have often heard it preached how important family is to God and I can't help but wonder why God would not allow me to participate in something so "holy"? I also grew up in a very dysfunctional and abusive family. The one thing I would tell myself over and over was "Just get through this. When you grow up you will have your own, loving, good family." Yet, here I am, single at 40. I am definitely more peaceful about my situation than I used to be, but it still hurts sometimes. I feel I don't quite "fit in" with any of my peers, most of which are married or, at least, have children. I feel I am the odd one out.
In Reply to Jane Mar Brackrog (comment #28306)
In terms of the movie, Jane, I would say that the society depicted has a twisted understanding of both marriage and singleness. And we've actually touched on the idolization of parenting here: https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/parenting-is-not-a-covenantal-relationship.-marriage-is
In Reply to Rachel Gerster (comment #28307)
Thanks for sharing, Rachel. Yours is unfortunately a familiar story for many churches.
A framework of how ALL parts of our lives need to be oriented/re-oriented - family, marriage, singleness one example. An inspiring presentation. Thank you.
The Lord does not love a person less because they aren't married or because they aren't parents. He has other plans for your life if you remain single. There are plenty of tasks in His Kingdom and very rewarding also.
We are previous in His sight in whatever state as long as we follow His Word. Those who treat singles as secondary do not understand very well how to love as Christ loved.
In Reply to Marge (comment #28312)
You may not be able to correct your word in the last paragraph where it should be precious I think instead of previous. Small detail.
I had experienced the exclusion of married when I was single for many years. I recently became married and noticed a sudden shift in attitude towards me. I think we need to speak about this subject more because I don't believe many people do this intentionally.
I believe practicing kingdom love in marriage will trickle down to practicing love to all, single, married, widowed or (whatever the status) and our children if we have any.
Jesus was single and hung out with both single and married, and men and women.
I am interested in seeing this movie now.
Yes the word should have been precious.
I also experienced exclusion while single both before marriage and after divorce... by my church and by my family. Divorce does happen because we live in a broken world and some partners want to continue living as though they are single while being within a marriage. To them, growing together with prayer and following the Word is a concept that doesn't fit in with their own personal agendas. Some put on a good show but later it becomes evident through a variety of actions and inactions that the Lord is in second place.
Yes this topic is an important one as God has plans for every one of His children and if we don't like those plans we show immaturity of faith.
Perhaps pastors can address this topic more frequently to ensure all topics receive enough attention and all are loved for the uniquely created individuals that the Lord made.
Yes, and the idolatry of marriage by churches is precisely what led to the legalization of same sex marriage. When celibacy is not presented as a viable option, young people who do not fit the comfortable family mold will find acceptance in other lifestyles.
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