The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968, ended as the number one show on television and it has been ranked by T.V. Guide as the ninth best show ever.

One irony of this family-oriented show is that the majority of the characters are single. The main character, Sheriff Andy Taylor, a single father, is raising his boy Opie with the help of his Aunt Bee.

Everyone is always rooting for Andy to meet a woman. Through the years he meets lots of them: Ellie Walker, Mary Simpson, Peggy McMillan, Sharon DeSpain (his high school sweetheart), and finally Helen Crump, whom he marries in Mayberry R.F.D., the spinoff.

Think about all of the other bachelors on the show: Barney, Goober, Howard, and Earnest T. Bass. Let’s just say that E-Harmony would have had some challenges with that group.

There were single women on the show, too. Barney dated Thelma Lou. Of course, Aunt Bee was single, as was her friend and rival, Clara Edwards.

Rarely did you see a typical mother and father with their children carrying any of the story lines. That made this show unusual for the 1960’s. The message: “We are not all a Leave it to Beaver Family.”

Although the show has no ethnic diversity, the message about family structure is even more relevant today. Less than half of all teenage children live with married biological parents.

While the show explored some different family structures, it highlighted a need we all have, whether single or married, divorced, or have lost a spouse in death, we need each other.

When you think of Mayberry, you always think of community.

In Mayberry people got upset, people had problems, and people made good, but mostly people had each other. They celebrated life together.

Whether single or married, whether we live alone, with a family member or a friend, we still need community. We need each other. That’s one reason God gave us the church. According to ratings, we might not always be the best show in town, but we are still the most relevant.