As I read through the article I was amazed by just how many personality disorders there are and the detailed descriptions. I wasn't focusing so much on the marriage part knowing it would be difficult to marry someone with one of these disorders but more so realizing these are some of the people in our singles ministries. This is why singles ministry is so hard--some of these people never get healthy, never change, and cause issues wearing you out as a leader. Some of them need meds, counseling, shadowing, etc. Some of these people end up dominating your ministry to the point that the healthy ones leave and others never come. Unlike marriage ministry (which can have some folks with issues too), we deal with this daily.
So, what to do? Jesus came for us all, even those with personality disorders? How do you keep things balanced in your ministry? How do you keep people from taking over, pushing others out, and maybe even dating--when they aren't healthy to do so?
Years ago, I had a couple of ladies in my ministry with bi-polar and Schizophrenia. Both were on medications, however one kept going off. As a result, she was sporadic in her attendance. When she would come, she would be crying or deeply depressed. I counseled her, sat with her, listened, hug, shadowed but simply was not making any difference. Then I contacted an old friend of mine with the Southern Baptist Convention who specialty was how to minister to people with various mental and physical disabilities in your church. I quickly contacted him and ask for help. I was relieved to know that it wasn't my place to be their doctor and that some issues do need to be handed over to trained professionals. That while Jesus can heal anyone at any time, in the meantime, it was OK to say I couldn't help or to refuse someone in our class---especially if they were causing division.
Wow, how could I do that? How could I refuse someone to be in our ministry? How could I ask someone to leave? Well, it came down to prayer and resources. The only way I knew what to do, how to counsel, how to help was to pray and ask God what to do. Then, he either advised a resource to help or he told me to ask them to leave. Of course, this was after I had done all that I knew to do. This was after many conversations, grace, forgiveness and so forth.
Now, I will say that some of these personality disorders could be by choice. I mean, all of us have something wrong with us. But if these issues affect others around us to the point we do not have healthy friendships, then not only are we going to have problems with friends, but also family and those we work and live around...and marriage will not be in the future. While I do believe some of the issues could be managed by meds and some counseling, you also have to want to change and get help. And there lies some of the problem. I find a lot of singles do not want to really get healthy. They think people should accept them and their behavior as is--and that is what's hard for me as a leader.
So, while I don't have all the answers and I know grace is needed more than ever. I also know Jesus asked the man by the water--do you want to get well? Even if we know our issues keep us from having a marriage, we can at least work on general relationships. Perhaps that is what we can do as leaders of singles--just help them to live--each day to its fullest.
in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda,[a] having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.[b] 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
To reach Kris, call 919.434.3611, email@example.com, www.TheSinglesNetwork.org