Sexual Purity, Virginity, and Celibacy As Product
I didn’t intend on blogging anything more tonight, but I just made a post about modesty (this one, (Link): “Sexualizing Modesty – Christians Defeating the Purpose”). I noticed in the Right Wing Watch article linked to in that post that it mentioned Dannah Gresh.
Dannah Gresh does guest posts at The Christian Post about sexuality, where she promotes abstinence/ celibacy / chastity/ virginity, and talks about the dangers of pre-marital sex.
If I am remembering rightly, I think the first post I saw that mentioned her discussed how she had sex as a teenager but now goes around as a guest speaker at churches and schools promoting sexual purity. I believe that was what prompted me to come up with the tag for this blog of “fornicators used as sexual role models.”
I find it so absurd that Christians appear to have a preference for fornicators acting as role models for virgin youth (hiring them as speakers for youth groups about the importance of sexual purity), rather than getting an actual, literal, adult virgin who is over age 30, to give advice, write books on the topic, or act as speaker.
It is not that I am against Christians speaking up in defense of celibacy or virginity, or in pointing out that pre marital or casual sex can have negative outcomes, but this Gresh woman seems to be making a living off the entire thing, and that bothers me (like the TV preachers who pimp the Gospel for a buck).
There seems to be something a little unsavory about making a cottage industry, making profit, off promoting celibacy/ virginity/ sexual purity.
I’ve blogged about this Gresh woman before, such as:
I think I have one or two other posts about Gresh, or that mention her, but I cannot find them at the moment.
According to my previous post, (Link): “Sexualizing Modesty – Christians Defeating the Purpose”), Gresh now has an entire web site devoted to the topic of sexual purity and/or modesty, here:
(Link): Secret Keeper Girl
That “Secret Keeper Girl” site has a link to a “store” page on it, where merchandise is being sold (as I skim the page today, there are several books by Gresh for sale).
Here is a screen cap for one of her books from that page:
According to (Link): the page of that site selling that book:
- Discover how to get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find you.
Dannah Gresh traces God’s language of love through Scripture to help you pursue your heart’s deepest desires and seek love the way God designed it to be. Because once you identify your true longings and let God answer them, you’ll know just how to respond when romantic love comes along.
With a guided ten-day Love Feast Challenge, Get Lost will help you see for yourself how getting lost in God opens the door to lifelong fulfillment.
Sigh. This is similar to the sort of thing I read and often heard as a teen-aged Christian girl and into my twenties (in no particular order, and some Christians imply it more than state it out right): be such a faithful, good, sexually pure Christian girl, put God first in your life, put other people first, and in due time, God will send a Christian Mr. Right your way.
And, if you have followed this blog, you already know my story: I’m over 40, was engaged, still a virgin, and never married, though I had wanted to be.
I certainly did all the things Christians advise young ladies to do who hope for marriage: I put God first, lived a clean life style, prayed to God for a spouse, waited, attended church, etc. etc. etc. And yet, I am still single.
Upon reflection, I think I should have pursued marriage. Not sat back, crossing my fingers, hoping God would act and send me Mr. Right.
I should have flirted with more guys more often and so forth, but no, I was taught from a young age, by Christians, to take a passive approach to getting a mate, because God would frown upon me taking any sort of action on my own behalf to make marriage happen.
I had it drilled into me from a spectrum of Christians and Christian teaching (parents, sermons, books, magazines) that a woman should pray and wait, focus on God, and God would send the partner to her.
And it looks like this is the same formula that Gresh is advising in her book above.
If you are a Christian woman reading this, one who wants to be married, I would strongly encourage you to avoid and ignore such advice…
And ignore the secular equivalent advice, which tends to go, “Love will happen when you least expect it.”
I’ve read Non Christian women say despite wanting marriage, they are still single by age 30 because their secular family and friends taught them this mystical, passive approach of “Love will just happen. Just live your life, pursue your career and whatever, and you’ll just happen across the right guy.”
One (Non Christian) woman I read about on a site, who was raised that way, got fed up with waiting, that she was still single in her mid 30s, that she moved to a new city and has since joined dating sites and so forth. She says she is going the active route now because sitting around just hoping it would happen wasn’t producing results.
Look again at this line that Gresh is using to hype and market her “Get Lost” book:
“Discover how to get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find you.”
What if God has no plans on sending a guy to seek a woman? Maybe it’s in God’s will for that woman to be single her entire life. Maybe the Judeo-Christian God is a Deist when it comes to dating and marriage and chooses not to direct a man’s or woman’s path about marriage? In other words, why do Christians always assume EVERYONE who wants to marry WILL end up married?
There are many of us out there, raised as Christians, who had hoped to marry but who are still single at 35 or older. Where are Gresh’s books with tips and encouragement on how to live as a never married adult past age 35? Why do her books seem to assume if you pray hard enough, wait long enough, put God first, and so on, that you will inevitably marry?
I hate to be cynical. I hope Ms. Gresh is sincerely interested in these topics, but it looks as though she’s trying to make a living off it, which makes me uneasy about it.
And the advice she seems to be giving out on her site and her books is the same sort of advice I followed in my youth, and I’m still single at 40+.
I’m sorry if I sound like a “Marriage Concern Troll” (see link to that below), I don’t mean to be one, but I do think there’s some truth that if you put off marriage past your mid 20s, it will get harder and harder to find a suitable man to marry. (On the other hand, I do feel there are benefits to not marrying for the first time until you are older. There are pros and cons to this either way.)
I did not intentionally put off or delay marriage, by the way; I had assumed that God would send me a husband by the time I got to 30, or age 35, at the latest.
If, as you read this, you are in your early or mid 20s, you think you want to get married, or hope to be by the time you are 30 or 35, you need to start looking around now for a spouse, date a lot of men, try to make it happen.
It’s just a hard fact of life that the older you get, most men are already married. When I walk into a church now, there are never any unmarried men over the age of 30. That was true even when I was in my mid 30s, and it’s true now that I’m 40ish years of age.
It’s also easier to find a man in your 20s – hell, it’s even easier to find and make friends with females in your 20s. The older you get, the fewer opportunities you will have to socialize with lots of people in your age range.
(I’m not sure if marrying in one’s early 20s is a great idea, though. I think a lot of early 20s people these days are very immature. So I’m not exactly advocating that if you find a decent guy at 20 that you should marry him at 21.)
In the past few years, I have seen I don’t know how many women (including married ones), some in their 20s up to their 60s, say they are dying of loneliness and would give their right arm to have one or two close, platonic female friends, but have no clue where or how to make friends in adulthood.
To sum things up:
Dannah Gresh appears to be using books and speaking engagements about sexual purity as her gravy train (I hope I am wrong), and following her advice about seeking God first (yes, I know that is biblical), will not necessarily get you married.
That is, even though there are indeed verses that talk about putting the kingdom first, and God will grant you whatever you ask, and God will grant you the desires of your heart….
Yeah, I tried that approach, too, since childhood, I sincerely believed in all that stuff and lived for God, and I’m still single over 40, so what makes you think that will work for you, even if it is in the Bible?
God seems a little picky or inconsistent about when, how, and to whom He keeps his written promises. It’s a total crap shot.
Related posts this blog:
(Link): 21 Year old, Devout Christian and Student, Children’s Minister Charged With Murdering Fiancée He Was to Wed in August; Made It Look Like Suicide – Christian Single Women: Another Example of Why You Should Abandon the “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching