How Christianity’s Focus on Hot Married Sex Negatively Impacts Adult Single Celibates from Practical Theology for Women blog
A quick background on myself, for someone who may be new to this blog: I am over 40 years of age, a heterosexual, have never married, had wanted to be married, have a normal sex drive, but am still a virgin. I live a celibate life style.
The majority of this blog post you see linked to below, with a few excerpts, is by W. Alsup pertains to homosexual celibates, but much of it can apply to hetero single celibates as well.
A lot of her page echoes what I’ve been saying on this blog the last few years: that the extreme focus on marriage and sex within Baptist, Reformed, and evangelical churches is very alienating to single adults who are trying to stay celibate.
Adult celibates, whether hetero or homosexual, (as well as the childless) are the Rodney Dangerfields of the church: we get no respect.
In regards to the particulars, it varies from church to church: I’ve seen some churches who maintain (and this was prior to the SCOTUS decision on legalizing homosexual marriage), that it’s acceptable for unmarried homosexuals to engage in homosexual sex acts, but these same Christians quite hypocritically maintain that HETERO singles may not have sex with anyone.
Homosexual singles are allowed by such Christians or churches to have pre-martial sex, while hetero singles are told, “No, you must abstain.”
But again, it depends on the particular church or denomination, because I’ve seen a lax attitude regarding both homosexuals and heterosexuals regarding fornication.
- We have for years presented an anemic, stereotypical version of manhood and womanhood in evangelical churches. But there is more to manhood than attraction to women and more to womanhood than attraction to men.
- In the last decade in particular, the conservative American Church has pounded on the importance of traditional marriage. To many evangelical leaders, the answer to sinful hot sex outside of marriage was righteous hot sex inside marriage. If I didn’t know better, by listening to some leaders I would think sex is the ultimate end all of the Christian experience, the great gift of God through marriage to which all of us should aspire.
- As I pointed out in my review of (Link): Real Marriage, the most vocal leaders of the last decade didn’t seem to have a paradigm for a long term life of celibacy. Mark Driscoll joked regularly of his disdain for the celibate priests of his youth. Their lifestyle caused him to walk away from the Catholic church. All good and well if you are both attracted to the opposite sex and find someone in the faith of the opposite sex who is equally attracted to you. But even in the most healthy Christian marriages, there will be seasons of celibacy.
- What do you do when your ministry focuses on extoling the value of hot sex in marriage and you suddenly lose your ability to participate in such hot sex in righteous ways?
- … Our church invited a panel of members to discuss this with our congregation. One was an elder who had participated in a gay lifestyle in Seattle before meeting his wife. One was a heterosexual single woman in her forties who had never been married.
- The other was a gay single guy who was choosing celibacy.
- My single female friend said that if someone had told her years ago she would be single into her forties, she would have said, “Shoot me now!” Yet, she testified of a full and vibrant life, filled with community and ministry opportunity. She is a happy, peace-filled woman. Celibacy had its problems for sure, but it wasn’t a lifetime sentence to a lesser life. She is every bit a woman created in the image of God living out her likeness in Him.
- … And that God really can fill your life with family and friends even if you choose celibacy.
Regarding this comment:
- And that God really can fill your life with family and friends even if you choose celibacy.
This has not been true for me. Especially since my mother died a few years ago. I’ve had to walk alone. I’ve tried turning to other Christians for companionship, emotional support, but have been shamed for it, or ignored, or rebuffed.
I’ve never married, so I don’t have a spouse to lean on. Nobody to offer a kind word or any encouragement. I’m estranged from some of my living family, while other living family I have are emotionally abusive, so I cannot rely on them for anything. Local churches I’ve gone to for support have been shaming or critical, so Christians have dropped the ball on helping adult singles.
This is one of the only times I’ve heard of a church asking a celibate adult, or group of celibate adults, to speak to a church.
Most churches I’ve seen are more fond of asking people such as ex-prostitutes or strippers to give sexual purity sermonettes, which boggles my mind.
Anyway, I thought that was a very good blog post by Ms. Alsup (I hope I spelled her name correctly) and encourage you to visit her blog and read more of her writing.
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): Asexuality and Asexuals
(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Nor Do They Support Adult Singleness – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol
(Link): Singleness Is Not a Gift
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site