The 36-Year-Old Virgin
Despite her strong faith, Lakita did not grow up in the church—she admits that as a child she simply refused to go. "I thought church was where all the hypocrites were," she remembers, though her mother was a faithful churchgoer. Lakita finally made a commitment to Christ at age 17, and says she decided right then that she would live by Isaiah 54:5: "For thy Maker is thine husband" (NKJV). She recalls, "I asked myself, 'If God is really my Husband, then why am I flirting with some guy?' God even knows what I'm thinking!"
Lakita admits there were times when she asked herself other things too, like, Is there something wrong with me 'cause I don't have a boyfriend? Fortunately, her young mind wasn't given much room to explore that question—much of her free time was filled with sports or "cracking the books," and TV was usually off limits in the Garth home. In the long years of single adulthood, Lakita learned how to be comforted by God when she felt alone. "I had to go to Him when I was lonely," she says. "If I could be faithful to God during those times, I know I can be faithful to my husband."
Building biblical boundaries
Lakita's ministry is often to teenagers, but she finds Christian adult audiences even more challenging to address on issues of sexual purity. "Christian adults are the most clueless," she notes bluntly. "Many have never heard from the pulpit that sex before marriage is wrong," she says, citing how often singles have come up after her talks and told her so. "The Church needs to start preaching it, and then living it. We need to start equipping folks."
The 2004 Census Bureau's Current Population Survey reports that there are more people in the 30-34 age range who have never been married than there have been since 1970. That means it's likely that there are a greater number of older singles in our churches than we've seen in a long time. But are adult Sunday-school programs, or even church singles ministries, really meeting the needs of older singles? The answers vary, but many church programs seem to be heavy on events, but light on the biblically based teaching relevant to the issues single 30- and 40-somethings face.