The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts

The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog

Warning: I discovered through further reading that the author of the blog is a complementarian. I disagree with complementarianism; more on that below.

Had I known from the start she is a complementarian, I may not have started composing this post. I am leery of pointing anyone to a complementarian resource, but here we are.


As of today, I see only a small number of posts on the The Rhetoric of Singleness blog, dating from April 2017, and this blog appears to be from a Christian perspective – but then, her blog does not display a list or pull down menu of all her posts.

Even though the blog looks to be on hiatus, I’ll link to it on the off chance the blogger resumes writing again.

The person behind this blog says she’s single, in her 30s, and has yet to marry but would like to.

(Link): The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – main page

Some of the only posts I am seeing on this blog include:

(Link): Pursuing Marriage

In that “Pursuing Marriage” post, she says she is a believer in gender complementarianism.

For example, here’s part of what she writes:

So, what options does that leave me, a woman with a complementary view of gender roles, of pursuing marriage? I know for some women who see no options left to them there is a strong temptation to bitterness, resentment, and to denigrate our single brothers who are called by God to the leadership role in the pursuit of marriage.

// end excerpt

Oh no. I (Link): used to be a complementarian myself but ditched it by my mid 30s.

I heard all the same stuff from conservative Christians growing up, as this other blogger likely did, such as, how (Link): men are supposed to be the heads in marriages, God supposedly created women pretty much to exist (Link): only to wait on menand so on.

(And I remained a conservative, even after I realized that complementarianism is false and actually quite sexist – it doesn’t just teach that men and women “complement” one another but that there should be a male hierarchy, of men ruling over women.

Contrary to what complementarians would have you believe, abandoning gender complementarianism will not turn you into a left wing, abortion-supporting, man-hating feminist. I am still right wing, even after leaving complementarianism.)

I am no longer a complementarian, but can pin point complementarianism, among a few other things, as being (Link): one reason as to why I am in my 40s and never got married.

The blogger also wrote:

Instead, it leaves me with the option of trusting God who has given me all things.

…It also shapes my prayers. First, that if the Lord in His wisdom would have me marry that He will send a godly, confident, and courageous man to pursue me.

// end

If she’s still holding out via prayer and faith (and / or  upon her obedience or good character) for God to send her a Christian husband from among a pool of her (I think the term she used was) “Christian brothers,” she’s going to end up in her mid-40s, still being single, as I am, and being very disappointed.

Perhaps that Rhetoric of Singleness blogger believes if she just prays long and hard enough or has enough faith, God is going to send her Mr. Right.

Here is my response to that sort of thinking:

(Link): Those “God Brought Me My Spouse” Stories – Woman Says God Brought Her A Spouse on the Beach

And:

(Link):  Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”

As well as:

I was a sweet, devout, godly Christian girl my entire life. For many years, I prayed to God to send the right guy to marry me, and I prayed and waited with an expectation that he would. But I am in my mid-40s and have never married.

I was a tom boy when younger, but pretty much a traditional, feminine, “June Cleaver” type of gal – the very sort complementarian Christians tell you that you “ought” to be – and none of that landed me a husband.

And in spite of all my faith, waiting, and prayers, God did not send me a spouse.

If this blogger lady wants to get married, she is going to likely have to divest herself of complementarianism, she will have to rid herself of the belief that if she just prays and has faith that God will send her a spouse, and she will need to rid herself of the “equally yoked” teaching and consider getting married to a compatible Non-Christian.

If she doesn’t get off her buns, try dating sites, keep trying to get out there and meet people (and I don’t mean just Christians, but also be willing to date and marry Non-Christians), or ask friends to fix her up on dates, I can pretty much tell you her future will be my current reality: still single in her 40s.

I sure as heck did not plan,  want, or expect to end up being never-married into my 40s. It might happen to her too if she doesn’t change her strategy and views.

I hope that the Blogger lady is aware that even should she marry a Christian man one day, it does not mean he will be a great guy.

There are plenty of devout Christian women (even ones who believed in male headship, complementarianism), who found out after they married that their Christian husband was abusive or cheated on them.

See, for example, all these news stories about godly, Bible-reading, church- attending Christian men who married:

(Link):  ‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little

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

(Link):  Christian Ladies: Be Equally Yoked to Christian Men Who Like To Have Sex With Dogs! (Re: Jerald Hill news story)

(Link): Married Father of Five Preacher Looking for Homosexual Sex on Grindr

(Link):  Another Christian Pro-Nuclear Family Marriage Idolator Married Father Caught By Ashley Madison Hack

(Link): Ex-Church Usher Found Guilty of Hiring Hitman to Kill His Wife So He Can Pursue Kinky Sexual Lifestyle With His Mistress  (the guy in this story is married AND is a parent)

(Link):  Preacher Tullian Tchividjian Resigns after Admitting ‘Inappropiate Relationship’ (ie, Affair on His Wife, She Cheated Too)

(Link):  Married Preacher Raped Two Girls in His Church and Also Had Child Sexual Abuse (Porn) Collection- Some of it obtained by placing hidden cameras in church bathroom

(Link):  Calvary Chapel Pastor in Florida Pleads Guilty to Murdering his Mistress

(Link): Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids

(Link): Pro Ball Player Convicted for Kid Diddling Three Kids Claims to be an Outstanding Christian (and he’s married with a kid of his own) – again, why should Christian single gals limit themselves to only marrying Christian men? The Whole “Being Yoked Equally” thing is irrelevant and unduly limiting for singles

(Link): Married Youth Pastor Father of Four Caught Raping and Molesting Several Little Boys claims the molesting kept the boys sexually pure and cures them of homosexuality

(Link):  Church-Goer and Her Pastor Lover Killed Her Husband So They Could Be Together

(Link): (Married) Pastor Busted in Prostitution Sting – If Married Sex So Great Why Do So Many Married Christian Men Have Affairs

You can see many more such examples on (Link): this page of my blog.

From the Rhetoric of Singleness blog:

(Link): Delayed Marriage

Some excerpts:

…. Second, this conversation, in my opinion, tends to describe delayed marriage in such a way that it becomes classified as sinful while pursuing marriage is classified as sinless.

….The conversation surrounding delayed marriage has introduced two terms into the discourse that encourages Christians towards marriage, but which don’t hold the same encouragement for those who remain single and relationship-hopeful: “adulthood” and “not-yet-married”. Both these terms need to be better defined if they are to support and encourage conversations on singleness and marriage within the church.

…As a relationship-hopeful woman in my thirties, whose delayed marriage is not of my own choosing, my adulthood has not been delayed and I am not a second-class adult just because I am not married [as she quotes Southern Baptist Al Mohler as alluding].

Yes, adulthood is clearly marked by financial independence. And yes, adulthood can be defined by a “readiness for parenthood” (but I think that even this component of the definition may be overly simplified). But defining adulthood by marriage is too simplistic.

Regarding this comment:

Second, this conversation, in my opinion, tends to describe delayed marriage in such a way that it becomes classified as sinful while pursuing marriage is classified as sinless.

// end

I have to disagree with her only slightly. I’ve seen both sides of this from conservative Christians.

While some Christians (such as anti-singles bigot and Southern Baptist Al Mohler) do indeed present adult singleness as being some kind of sin or disease, so that pursuing marriage is made out to be godly and preferred, there are other groups in Christianity that tell singles it is wrong, worldly, or selfish to pursue marriage.

This second group of Christians, the Singles Shamers, will act as impediments to Christian singles who want to marry and who make their desire for marriage known.

This group will tell singles things such as they are making an idol out of marriage, they should be content in their singleness and only then will God grant them a spouse, or that they should be happy being single and just consider (Link): God or Jesus to be their husband or boyfriend.

Singles might be shamed or rebuffed by this group with insensitive, presumptuous, rude comments such as,

“Who are you to think God “owes” you a spouse, just because you stayed a virgin or prayed and had faith for years he would send you one? You’re making God into a vending machine.”

So it is entirely true that there are Marriage Idolizing Christians out there who make singleness out to be “second rate” and to shame singles for being single, but-

It’s also true that there’s another facet of Christians out there who will shame singles who want to get married and who admit quite openly they want marriage, and they will shame singles who try to make marriage happen by using dating sites, or asking friends to set them up on dates, and so on.

Anyway, you may want to drop by that singles blog.

The author has not touched it since April of 2017, however.


Related:

(Link): Christian Egalitarian Singles Blog – A Blog Worth Bookmarking

(Link): Critique of Matt Chandler Sermon ‘Compromising a Godly Spouse Just to Get Married Yields ‘Heartbreak”

(Link):  I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work by S. Allen

(Link): Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader

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

 (Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

(Link): Gender Complementarianism – A General Response – from a Former Gender Complementarian Who Is Still A Conservative

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

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

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time

(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): 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): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link):  Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

(Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

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

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

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(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): How Christian Teaching on Gender Roles and Sex Can Mess People Up in Adulthood (from Wine and Marble blog, post by a former Christian guy)

(Link): Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Leader Al Mohler Makes Tacky, Crass Sex Joke on Twitter

(Link):   More Anti-Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

(Link): Those “God Brought Me My Spouse” Stories – Woman Says God Brought Her A Spouse on the Beach

(Link):   Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link):   Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women

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

(Link): Married (Christian) People Aren’t More Virtuous Than Christian Singles

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

(Link): Does God Require Singles to Be Perfect Before He Will Send Them a Spouse

(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

(Link): Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

(Link):   Only Couples Allowed? The Need to Celebrate Singleness in the Church by P. Greer

(Link):   Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

(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): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

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

(Link):  Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”

(Link):  Women: Stop Asking Pat Robertson For Romantic Relationship Advice – Whether You Are Divorced or Single  – Pat Robertson Replies to Letter from Four Time Divorced Woman Who Wants to Know If God Will Send Her a Non-Abusive Husband

(Link):  Christian TV Show Pat Robertson Says Wives Who Want Emotional Support from a Husband Are Immature and Should Not Expect Emotional Support

(Link):  Some Christians Have Some Very Strange, Unsettling,  Creepy, or Authoritarian Ideas About Marriage, Divorce, or Mate Selection – and they think they should make your life choices for you

(Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness

(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

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One thought on “The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts”

  1. I believe you are absolutely right about the role that teachings like gender complementarianism play in keeping people single. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this subject myself and I have come to the conclusion that while this may not be the declared purpose of such teachings, there is an advantage to the fact that they do keep people involuntarily single. Why?

    Well, for one thing, we all know that there are more single women in the church than single men. So the competition can be pretty fierce. If a significant number of single women can be voluntarily persuaded that it is in their own best interests to follow advice which, unknown to them will take them out of the marriage market, then that has the effect of reducing the competition. So, at this point, there is no real incentive for churches and individuals to change things.

    It’s like a game of musical chairs. If you want to “win”, then it is in your best interest to do everything you can to NOT help other players reach a chair before the music stops. As the game goes on and chairs are removed, the less incentive you have to ensure others’ success. However, this is a game that is ultimately unsustainable. Sooner or later the number of “chairless” players will outnumber those who are still in the game. I believe that some churches are starting to recognize this, and that is why they are pushing for young marriage, before the gender imbalance in the church becomes too lopsided. In their way they are ahead of the game because they realize that much of the advice given to Christian singles over the past 40 years does not work–you and I and other unmarried Christians over 30 are living proof of this. I am not saying I approve of their solution, only that I understand why it is happening. At least they are acknowledging the problem of protracted unwanted singleness.

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