I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah

I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah

This author hits on a lot of points I have on my own blog in the past few years.

One point she hammers on which I have blogged on a couple of times myself, is that a lot of churches, for some stupid reason, equate having sex and/or being married with becoming an adult.

You can be an adult at age 40, but Christians will still treat you as though you are a child because you have never married, and they associate being married with being an adult. This needs to stop. You don’t need to marry, have sex, or have children to be a full-fledged adult.

The author also discusses another common experience among a lot of Christian women: the huge pressure other people place on you to marry and to marry right away, and that you should change aspects of yourself (such as “dumb yourself down”) to attract “husband material.”

Notice how Christians just assume you want to marry or that all people will marry. The reality is that not everyone wants to marry, and some people, even if they do want to marry, never manage to because they never find a suitable partner.

I am putting this blog post under the rubric of “ageist” or “ageism” because I have noticed that churches, while fine with singles who are under the age of 25, tend to ignore or insult singles who are over the age of 25 or 30.

(Link): I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That by A D Abdallah

Some excerpts (with a comment or two below this excerpt by me):

  • Our identity isn’t stagnant, figured out when young, and never changing or developing. No, it is formed throughout our lives, especially during transitions. While some aspects endure, others mature, some are added, and still others are cast off.
  • When I was about sixteen, a pastor told me to be less assertive and strong because otherwise I’d never find a husband. Mom says I came home saying I couldn’t deny who I really was in order to please others.
  • But my husbandless twenties left me wondering about who I was. Not about whether I was assertive or strong, but about my identity as a woman. I had only understood womanhood in the roles of wife and mother, roles I did not have.
  • After college graduation, I moved to South America to teach school. The church kept me in the jovenes group—the one for teenagers and other unmarried folks. Two years later, in my rural Pennsylvania church, people treated me like I was still a college kid. I knew I was in the fourth year of my teaching career, but was I a woman or still just a girl?

  • …Though we’ve not grown up the same and our experiences profoundly differ, I find that many women still wonder about womanhood in a similar way, regardless of how their backgrounds defined womanhood.
  • Media and society say identity is found primarily in sexuality or career.
  • The Christian church negates these ideas, but offers discipleship that is often one-dimensional teaching about following God’s commands. She needs more than that. She needs to know what being a Christian woman is and when and how she can become one. That’s what I was searching for when I began to name myself “woman.”
  • …Roles don’t define us. God does.
  • (( click here to read the rest ))

Regarding this part of the page:

  • Media and society say identity is found primarily in sexuality or career.
  • The Christian church negates these ideas…

I disagree with the author slightly here. I don’t think the church fully or truly negates those notions.

I do think a lot of secular ideas about adulthood, sexuality, gender roles, and marriage have crept into the church.

On the one hand, sure, a lot of Christians will pay lip service to the notion that having sex is not necessary to being an adult or in forming one’s identity, but in other actions or commentary, that is indeed the very message they send.

See, for example, this post at my blog:

The Bible does not teach that having sex (or being married) is necessary to know God, or to know God better, or to know God more fully, but there you have it – there are in fact some married Christians teaching that sex or marriage is necessary to “know God.”

Then there is material such as this:

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Related Posts:

(Link): John Hugh Morgan Continues to Copy Stuff from my Blog / Report Inaccurate Information / Other Critiques

(Link):  John Hugh Morgan Still Lurking At My Blog as of summer 2015 – What Nerve

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Related Posts, Part 2:

(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers

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

(Link):  Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

(Link):  Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault by  C. Courtney

(Link): Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

(Link):  Preacher: ‘They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hot SEX Lives’ – and once more, never-married celibate adults and their experiences, wisdom, and input are ignored

(Link): Paul, Singleness, And Mutuality: Three Proposals for The Church (from Junia Project)

(Link):  The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link):   Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages

(Link): Lonely Sunday: Single Christians and the Church’s Opportunity by K. Becker

(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): Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

(Link): Another Obnoxious ‘Why You’re Not Married Yet‘ Article

(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo  

(Link): Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Womanhood” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link):  Our Bodies Were Not Made for Sex by T. Swann

(Link):  Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

(Link): Christian Patriarchalists and Gender Complementarians Sexualizing the Trinity and Insisting Sexual Activity is Necessary to Fully Know God (via Under Much Grace blog)

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Adult Singles Do Not Need A Marital Partner to Be Whole or Complete

(Link):  Moving past stereotypes about sexual desire to find wholeness in Christ By Kelli B. Trujillo

(Link):  The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line 

(Link):  Family as “The” Backbone of Society?

(Link):  Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

(Link):  Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States (2014)

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): A Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(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

(Link):  Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

(Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.
Marrieds and Parents also turn every thing into them, about them, about marriage and their needs/ problems

(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

(Link): I’m Single, But I’m Still a Whole Person (article)

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link):  You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies

(Link):  Five Unhelpful Things Singles Are Tired Of Hearing by R. Duncan / Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Single Friends by K. Wilkinson

(Link):  According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ?

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Related material on other sites:

(Link): Driscoll: Single men “cannot fully reflect God”

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1 thought on “I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah”

  1. Interesting thoughts! I like how you responded to my post!

    I’m interested in the spot where you say you disagreed. Thanks for making me think a little more. I think you’re on to something that the church would not admit. It seems that in theory, or in written theology, the church negates those ideas. However in practice, you’re right that society’s standards have often been adopted by the church.

    Hopefully, as we talk about these issues, the church will begin to do a better job!

    –Amy F. Davis Abdallah

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