Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage / and Re Girl Talk Blog

Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage

Remember my post of a few days ago, this one:
(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

This post is the of the same sort, only you can substitute “singles who desire marriage” for the “infertile people who desire to have children” angle.

Most of conservative Christianity declares that a woman’s only or greatest calling in life is to be a wife and mother.

Many women naturally want to get married even without that propaganda.

So, what do Christians do when a Christian women has arrived at age 35 or 40 or older and still has no ring on her left finger?

Well, by golly, recite a few Bible verses about jealousy at her and tell her to stop “envying” women who do have marriage and children.

Because, you know, if you want marriage badly, they are saying, you are supposedly “making an idol” out of it.

These hypocritical messages from Christians who strongly push traditional marriage to begin with are so deceitful: they hammer Christian adults to desire, want, and strive for marriage, but if marriage does not happen, they then condescendingly lecture them to “stop envying those women who do have spouses.”

How cruel. Does Satan himself write their blog posts for them?

Does the church make marriage into an idol? Yep, it sure does. That does not mean it is idolatry for an unmarried person to still desire to get married herself, however.

Singles who desire marriage should not be guilted or shamed for wanting marriage, or be told they “want it too much” or are “making it into an idol.”

Here is the stupid post that got me riled up:
(Link): When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010 – on Crosswalk

The same post is also located here, on a different site:
(Link): (Part 1) When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

(Part 2) Battle Plan for Fighting Envy by Carolyn Mahaney, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

Mahaney, by the way, is a member of, or contributor to, the dreadful CBMW (gender complementarian group) and is apparently married to C J Mahaney, who stands accused by many families of his church system who say he knew of child sexual abuse committed by various church staff for years and did nothing to stop it. There are many articles online about that; just google the guy’s name if you want to read about the abuse cases and lawsuit.

Anyway. Here are excerpts from this crap-tastic editorial, shaming single Christian women for wanting to be married (a goal in life these same idiots say women should have to start with) – and there are more observations by me below these long excerpts:

“When Someone Else Gets What We Want” by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010

    Nicole: What do we do with a good, yet unfulfilled longing that won’t go away? First, we thank God that by His mercy we desire one of His good gifts.

    However, we must also regulate our desires. We must not love or long for one of God’s good gifts more than we love or long for God Himself. If we do, then we have essentially made an idol out of this good desire and we are worshipping it instead of God.

    As teacher David Powlison paraphrases the eminent John Calvin: “The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want but that we want it too much.”

    One sure indicator as to whether or not a good desire has morphed into an idol is how we respond when someone else gets the very thing that we want but don’t have. When a close friend—who was perfectly happy to be single—up and gets married, and we are, literally, left behind. Or when, as is the case for a friend of mine, we know five other girls who are pregnant and we are not.

    And what about the woman who gets married younger than us, whose job is more glamorous than ours, whose house is bigger than ours, whose marriage is better than ours, whose life is easier than ours, whose children are more well-behaved than ours, whose popularity is brighter than ours, whose intelligence is greater than ours? Need I go on?

    Envy is a sin common to women. But do we always see it for the rancid evil that it is? Several months ago, I found myself envying another woman’s happiness. My husband encouraged me to study the topic of envy, and gave me some material to read. In the course of my study, the following string of thoughts by Cornelius Plantinga hit me straight between the eyes. Buckle your seat belt, for these are hard, yet necessary words.

    …. How do we get there? Mom will share a biblical strategy for overcoming envy.

    A Battle Plan for Fighting Envy

    Carolyn: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good….Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul (1 Peter 2:1-3, 11; emphasis mine).

    …Here is a simple (not easy mind you) yet effective strategy for going on the offensive against envy:

    1. Pray daily for the person we are tempted to envy. Persistent envy can be overcome with persistent prayer. We will find it is very difficult to go on envying someone for whom we are regularly asking God to bless and prosper.

    [remove remainder of suggestions; you can click the link above if you wish to read the rest of the list]

    Originally posted May 15, 2007

    This article was adapted from “Girl Talk” – a blog kept by Carolyn and her three daughters for women in all seasons of life.
    Carolyn Mahaney is a wife, mother, homemaker, and the author of Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood and Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed (written with her daughters). During her more than 30 years as a pastor’s wife, Carolyn has spoken to women in many churches and conferences, including those of Sovereign Grace Ministries, which her husband, C.J., leads. C.J. and Carolyn have three married daughters and one sixteen-year-old son, Chad.

Er, no. You can’t create this intense longing for marriage among young Christian women, pressure them to think marriage is the only acceptable route for them and God’s only design for them, as these ‘gender complementarian’ women and other Christians do, but then give these condescending, simplistic little lectures peppered with little Bible verses in an editorial, telling them they are idolizing marriage: you guys are responsible in large measure for making marriage an idol to start with.

You can take your condescending, insensitive- to- single adults, polly-anna, cloying editorial and cram it where the sun don’t shine.

I love it. You have all these lonely, disappointed wounded Christian single women who had so hoped to marry out there, and rather than cheer them up, you scold them by assuming they are guilty of “envy” and of “idolizing marriage” and are now shaming them and scolding them.

Un. Freaking. Believe. Able.

Also, after having skimmed over several of their other blogs posts at the “Girl Talk” blog under the “singles” category, a lot of those other blog posts also made me want to vomit with their polly-anna, simplistic advice, and other reasons (which I shall not go into here and now).

You’ll notice too, that only in the realms of marriage and perhaps child bearing, do Christians trot out the “you want it too much” line.

I have never seen a Christian use this rhetoric to shame another Christian who wants a new job, new college degree, new car, new hair cut, new shirt… it’s often applied only to marriage and having a kid. If you say you want a husband, they will say, “You want a husband too much!”

If, however, I say, “I sure wish God would heal me of my allergies,” you will get an “Amen, I hope so too, let me pray for your healing!,” rather than an, “Oh gosh, you are wanting a healing too much. Stop making an idol out of sickness and healing!”

Christians do remain in a state of cognitive discord on marriage, and they keep maintaining a nice set of double standards or hypocritical ones about it.

These married Christians (and some the annoying super spiritual Christian singles, see (Link): this link) cannot make up their frigging minds:

    #1. Either marriage is great and all of us should aspire to it,

    ~ OR ~

    #2. We should all seek to stay single because wanting marriage is idolatry and means we are guilty of envy.

Make up your damn minds about this already, Christian community! Stop expecting Christian singles to adhere to both points #1 and #2.
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

2 thoughts on “Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage / and Re Girl Talk Blog”

  1. As far as desiring marriage, I feel we can have this deep longing for it, and not be sinning. To want something “too much” (ie: “wanting something more than God”) is completely different from wanting that something to the point of aching, but still holding fast to the Lord.

    I see examples of this in the persons of Job, Hannah the mother of Samuel, and the daughter of Jephthah. Job’s heart ached at the loss of his wealth, children, and health. He cried out to the Lord in his pain and heart-ache. Hannah, in the midst of ridicule for being unable to bear children and having the desire to bear children, cries out to the Lord for healing of her womb. The daughter of Jephthah mourned for two months the fact that she’d never know a man, but her heart seemed to clearly be for the Lord. These 3 all clearly had hearts for the Lord, but instead of suppressing their desires, they cried out to the Lord with them.

    I feel marriage is the same way. We can continually come to the Lord and let Him know our heart’s ache, as He is a loving Father. We can be content in the Lord, yet have unfulfilled desires. Paul had unfulfilled desires; he often wanted to visit churches and people that he could not due to the Spirit leading him else where.

    So we can mourn, but hold fast to the Lord. We can deeply desire, and still love the Lord fully.

    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving a reply.

      I’m afraid the majority of marriage/dating type advice I see by Christians equates ALL desire and longing for marriage to be “idolatry.”

      And who is to say where the line is, how does one measure how much desire equals “too much.”

      Also, I notice that Christians seldom equate anything else with “idolatry,” only singles wanting marriage.

      I rarely see most Christians admit that people can turn their careers into idolatry, seeking after a bigger, more expensive house into idolatry, going on nice vacations into idolatry, or whatever else.

      If a Christian says he wants to further his college education, you will not see other Christians scolding him and saying, “You’re making an idol out of college! Be content with your situation now as it is! Jesus is sufficient for you.”

      Nope, we never hear those admonishments in other areas of life from Christians – it’s ONLY when it concerns singles who want marriage.

      I do think Christians (Christian culture, preachers, organizations such as “Focus on the Family”) overall have themselves turned marriage into an idol, and singlehood is treated like it’s a “lesser than” life.

      Christians hype, hype, hype marriage, but when singles go chasing after marriage, the singles then get told THEY are the ones making marriage into an idol.

      The church sets marriage up as an idol but then chides any unmarried person who actively seeks it out; it’s pure hypocrisy, and it’s cruel.

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