third wheeling


As I write this, I am sitting in the Union Station hotel, which this year is host to Revoice ‘19. As per normal, it has brought up many thoughts for me related to the church, married people and LGBTQ folk. If you’ve read even a few words of my other blog posts, it should come as no surprise that I am absolutely passionate about those of us that make up the Church being better at loving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 

A single friend once said to my husband and me, “I have never, ever felt like a third wheel with you guys.” And then she proceeded to list off couples who made the space around them “awkward,” leaving her feeling unwelcome.

Many of you reading are part of a couple. Have you ever thought about the space around your relationship? Does it have room for others to join you? Are you welcoming and inviting? Or does your relationship give off an exclusive air that would cause a single person to move to a different seat?

This may seem like a funny topic, but if our churches are going to be welcoming, and the people that make up our churches are often couples, then how couples behave is crucial.

What makes a space “awkward,” you may be asking?

I think that even as a married person, there are couples with whom I spend time where it feels like three friends together. And then there are couples who definitely are a “couple,” even though we are all hanging out.

Sometimes it’s the amount of incidental touching that happens.

Sometimes it’s the frequent knowing glances they exchange.

Sometimes it’s the insistence of sitting next to each other.

And sometimes it’s just copious talking about their marriage. 

Get the idea?

  • If you are part of a couple right now, what kind of couple are you?

  • Are you welcoming in your relationship?

  • Are you inclusive of those around you?

  • Are you sensitive to the fact that not everyone gets a lot of “healthy touch” in their lives?

  • Are you aware that long after we are in heaven, you will be brothers and sisters and not married?

I’m not at all suggesting that we ignore our marriages, but I do want them to not be idols.

God designed marriage to be a reflection of His relationship to His Bride, the Church. 

  • But He certainly models inclusivity. 

  • He certainly models turning outward.

  • And He absolutely is aware of the people around Him that need to feel His love.

Humbly ask some of the single people around you if they get the “third wheel” feeling, looking for honest feedback.

Let’s strive to have our marriages accurately reflect the heart of God.

Susan Titus