Cross Cultural Workers

Mental Health Resources for People Living and Working in Cross-Cultural Settings

Cross-Cultural Workers and Singles' Issues

The proportion of people living as singles is increasing in Western cultures.  In fact, there are more unmarried adults than married ones in some Western countries already, and the trend is toward that in other countries as well.  Ron has written a series of brochures, “Cross-Cultural Singles Issues,” to help individuals deal with some of the situations that arise when singles serve in other cultures.


The Bible discusses several kinds of love because its languages had different words for them. This brochure presents three major kinds of love found in Greek and in recent research, and it discusses which kinds are all right for single cross-cultural workers.

Celibacy and Chastity:

Today celibacy and chastity are nearly synonymous, but years ago they meant quite different things. This brochure discusses these different meanings and what these concepts mean to single cross-cultural workers.


Single cross-cultural workers know that loneliness can be a major problem. Here are some things that cause loneliness as well as suggestions to help overcome it.


During adolescence in Western culture most people go through a period of role confusion before developing their identity. Single cross-cultural workers have fewer roles available to them, so here are some suggestions about available roles in both host and passport cultures.

Sexual Fantasy:

Most people at some time in their lives engage in sexual fantasy. This brochure considers what the Bible says about such fantasy, what changes have occurred since Bible times, and what single cross-cultural workers can do to cope with this fantasy.

The Ticking Clock:

Turning thirty or forty makes single cross-cultural workers who want to marry and have children realize that time is running out for them. This brochure offers suggestions for those who are not content with their singleness.


Single cross-cultural workers are more likely to be asked to share living quarters with others than are married cross-cultural workers. It seems to make financial sense to the agency, but it may lead to serious problems with the cross-cultural workers. Here are some suggestions.


Matchmakers have been around for thousands of years, and new kinds of matchmakers continue to be developed. Here are some suggestions about using them, and possible responses to self-appointed ones.

Contentment and Comparison:

The Bible talks about both contentment and comparison and the results of each. Here are some ideas to keep comparisons from leading to envy and destroying you contentment.

Safety and Security:

Singles know that they face some security issues while in their dwelling, on the street, on public transportation, and in other public places. Here are some suggestions for both men and women.

Finding Community:

Singles may have difficulty finding close friends. Here are some suggestions about international churches, other agencies, international schools, and the business world as well as TCKs.

The New Singleness:

In many cultures marriages were arranged while people were still children. A couple centuries ago Western culture invented adolescence so that everyone went through a period of singleness and people became responsible for finding their own spouses.

Is Singleness OK?

Both Jesus and Paul were single and encouraged others to be single as well. For many centuries most cross-cultural workers were single, and they spread Christianity around the world. Only recently have the majority of Christian cross-cultural workers been married.

Single Again:

During most of the 2000 years of Christianity divorce was quite rare. However, during the last two centuries, divorce in the Western world has made becoming single again commonplace.

Arranged Marriage:

Many people today confuse arranged marriage with forced marriage. This brochure gives an example of how arranged (not forced) marriage worked well, how it worked among Christians in one culture for half a century, and how compares it with many arranged marriages today.


Two hundred years ago most people in Western culture condemned masturbation, a common practice among singles. Today most people in Western cultures approve of it. The Bible does not mention it, so single cross-cultural workers must decide for themselves.