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In die Skriflig

versão On-line ISSN 2305-0853
versão impressa ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.44 no.3-4 Pretoria Jan. 2010




Pastoral care and the agony of female singleness in the African Christian context


Pastorale sorg en die pyn van enkellopende vroue in 'n Christen-Afrikakonteks



M.E. Baloyi

Department of Practical Theology, Unisa, PRETORIA. E-mail:




In our society the norm is that every adult should get married one day. This could imply that unmarried people do not feel welcome either in the community or the church. They may feel neglected or even like outcasts. It is a pity that the church, which also finds itself within the community, is composed of people who still continue to have the kind of attitude that excludes singles, even inside church circles. While churches run programmes that have a strong emphasis on marriage and family life, nothing is being done to address singleness and its related problems. As a result, singles often regard themselves as unimportant and worthless. This article is aimed at uncovering the role of the church through its leadership (pastors in particular) to assist and help to redeem the damaged image and self-esteem that singles may have in their respective communities and churches. The article focuses on singles in the African church and society. It is crucial that a church programme of care and counselling be structured in order to minister to persons who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married for whatever reason.

Key concepts: loneliness, self-esteem, singleness, withdrawal


In ons samelewing is die norm dat alle volwassenes uiteindelik sal trou. Die gevolg hiervan is dat ongetroude mense dikwels in sowel die gemeenskap as die kerk onwelkom voel. Hulle mag dalk verwaarloos en selfs verstote voel. Dit is jammer dat die kerk, wat ditself midde-in 'n gemeenskap bevind, nog steeds uit mense bestaan met 'n houding wat enkellopendes uitgesluit laat voel, selfs binne kerklike kringe. Alhoewel kerke programme aanbied waarin sterk klem gelê word op die huwelik en die gesinslewe, word niks gedoen om enkellopendes en hulle probleme te hanteernie. Gevolglik beskou enkellopendes hulleself dikwels as onbelangrik en waardeloos. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die rol van die kerk te ontdek deur sy leierskap (veral predikante en pastore) en by te staan in sy rol om enkellopendes by te staan in die herstel van 'n seergemaakte selfbeeld wat hulle moontlik in hulle gemeenskappe en die kerk opgedoen het. Die artikel fokus op enkellopendes binne die Afrika-kerke en -gemeenskappe. Dit is van kardinale belang dat 'n kerkprogram geïmplementeer moet word vir die versorging en berading van afgesonderdes, weduwees en wewenaars, asook mense wat nooit getroud is nie, om watter rede ook al.

Kernbegrippe: eensaamheid, enkellopendheid, onttrekking, selfbeeld



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