In the ongoing annals of having to systematize what used to be typical traditional relationships, conservatives could do a lot for the long-term singles that populate their churches and neighborhoods by reviving the ideas of the spinster aunt and the adopted bachelor.
One thing that is hard to accept is that conservatives cannot rely on blood and soil, so to speak. Patriarchy that is functional and effective has a complex, interlocking web of kinship and community/city/nation bonds with obligations. All that has been expertly demolished and the work of restoring even the idea that those bonds and obligations are real, crucial and important will be the work of generations.
A start on that, though, is finding ways for people to step back into some of those roles. And adopt an auntie/bachelor is a way to bring back the social utility of those roles and restore the perfectly normal interactions of older adults with promising young kids and mentoring families.
Ideally this would not be a church ministry, but something formed outside of that. Another day I’ll have to get into why the church can’t be the place all these things happen even though it often is the only institution many people have now. But it used to be that aunties and bachelors paid for schooling, provided for basic needs and sometimes arranged/provided care for the babies and old as needed. And also were among the folks throwing the parties that connected people to their future spouses or employers. Basically, they were connected to other families because marriage wasn’t the only lifelong, deep relationship one had with other people.
Part of community is finding ways to include people who aren’t in the tiny community of nuclear family.