Old Married Christian White Guy Who Teaches Married Women to Put Up With Abuse Has Audacity to Teach Marriage-Desiring Adults How to Handle Their Single Status
Christian author and I do believe one-time pastor? John Piper who holds sexist views so sexist – under idiotic “Gender Complementarian” teachings – that even other Complementarians (Link): think he’s a kook – has been advising singles who desire marriage what he thinks they should do, think, and feel.
I refer to this page:
(Link): John Piper offers advice for singles desiring marriage, warns against having ‘unrealistic notions’ – by L M Kleet, hosted on The Christian Post’s site
I will excerpt parts from that page that quote Piper and then dissect them.
I have not yet read the entire page myself. I will be taking the Piper comments apart as I read down the page at The Christian Post.
First I wanted to point out that John Piper has previously taught that women who are in abusive marriages should put up with the abuse. See these articles or posts by other people for more information about that:
And what have I said before on this blog? I’ve said this:
There are some people I will never, ever take dating or marital advice from and that would include sexist men (who go under the label of gender complementarian in Christian circles), such as, but not limited to, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, anyone who writes articles for complementarian group CBMW, and Doug Wilson.
An author, David Mathis, on the site Piper founded or endorses, “Desiring God,” actually wrote not too long ago that (Link): Christians should “marry the Bible.”
That comment about Christians “marrying the Bible” not only had some married Christians scratching their heads wondering what in the Hell authors of his site were talking about, but it didn’t go over well with the atheists at (Link): The Friendly Atheist blog, either.
So, let us take a look at (Link): this page from The Christian Post, which quotes or summarizes some comments about marriage by John Piper.
Theologian John Piper has shared six ways single people who want to be married can keep their desire for marriage in proper perspective and refrain from “unrealistic notions” that such unions are the “key to happiness.”
In an “Ask Pastor John” podcast posted on desiringGod.org [(Link): “Why Is God Withholding Marriage from Me?”] on Wednesday, the Reformed theologian answered the question: “How do I keep my desire for marriage, as a single person who would like to be married, in proper perspective?”
First and foremost, the desire for marriage is in proper perspective when it’s a desire for marriage for Christ’s sake, the pastor said, citing 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Let’s stop there for a moment. I seriously doubt that each and every Christian that has ever married did so with an intent of doing so for “Christ’s sake.”
As a matter of fact, the majority of conservative Christians regularly push and propagandize marriage for the following motives, or with the following purposes in mind, and none of them have to do with honoring Christ:
1. “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)
– many Christians erroneously believe if single adults (Link): don’t marry soon, they will engage in fornication; they base this on one lone Bible verse.
There is no recognition that all adults have (Link): sexual self control and that (Link): celibacy past one’s 20s is possible – life long celibacy is mistakenly thought of as being (Link): an “heroic feat” that only a tiny few can be capable of.
2. A willingness to “out breed” ideological opponents and to ensure a large, future tax-paying base (see this link for more)
3. A desire to control women. Complementarianism is sexism. The people who teach comp and believe in it are sexist. I (Link): used to be a complementarian, so I know what of I speak.
Comps will deny they want to control women, but that’s ultimately one of the things complementarianism is all about.
One of their driving ambitions is to get all women married off, because they want all women to be under control of a man (a husband).
It’s more difficult for male Christians and male pastors to have control over un-married women. Comps take little to zero interest in single women – women who are widows, divorced, or never married.
Continuing on with excerpts from the Christian Post article discussing John Piper’s response to a single adult:
“Desire pizza in the name of the Lord Jesus. Desire a glass of water in the name of the Lord Jesus. Desire sex in the name of the Lord Jesus. Desire marriage in the name of the Lord Jesus,” he explained.
What? Look, if you honestly want to spend your days in Anal Retentive mode chalking up mundane things such as eating pizza or trimming your toe nails as being “for Jesus,” that is your prerogative as an adult, but it sounds plain nuts to me, and totally unnecessary.
When I am doing something like brushing my teeth or putting on my socks in the morning, I’m not thinking about Jesus.
Also, along these notes, see this former post of mine:
While you’re at it, also dump this other overly spiritual twaddle:
Continuing with the Piper quotes:
Second, Piper said the desire for marriage must be carried, shaped, and sustained by faith. This, he explained, means “letting the desire be embedded in the confidence that God did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for you.”
Third, the desire for marriage is in proper perspective when “the sorrow of not having it does not sour into cynicism and bitterness,” Piper said.
Christians have to stop demonizing negative feelings or reactions in response to life’s disappointments.
I have seen some people wallow in grief, anger, or bitterness for a very long time, which is not a healthy or good thing, but it’s okay to grieve something you wanted but never got for some period of time.
Sometimes people who end up getting married hate their marriage – perhaps their spouse is abusive, a serial cheater, emotionally negligent – in which case, Piper might want to remind his married readers not to become bitter and cynical.
Christians also need to stop assuming that all singles are bitter about being single or that if a single adult expresses any (Link): negative emotion about being single that it’s automatically “bitterness,” and to stop assuming that any and all negative emotions expressed by the single adult about being single are “wrong” or “sinful.”
“It’s not wrong to have sorrow,” he clarified. “But it is wrong not to rejoice and to live for others, and to become absorbed in cynicism and bitterness and self-pity.”
If you’re a single woman who long desired marriage, no, you don’t have to rejoice for or with women who are getting married.
American culture does not recognize the lives or accomplishments of single adults – if you’re a single woman who graduated from college, purchased a house on your own, or received a promotion at your career, our culture does not usually make “Hallmark cards” for such occasions, nor will your church or family hold parties for you for those life experiences – but by damn do people ever expect you to acknowledge the hell out of their marriages or the birthing of children.
It’s a double standard. Single, childless women are expected to “rejoice” with and for friends getting married and having children, but one never sees the married with kids couples celebrating “Never Married Nancy’s” job promotion.
As a matter of fact, churches and many Christian mothers regularly insult childless women and state forth rightly they do not care at all about the feelings and needs of singles or childless adults – see for example:
So, to John Piper: when churches more often begin to weep with the one who weeps, maybe then the childless and the singles would be more happy or more willing to rejoice with those who rejoice.
Interesting and rather condescending that Piper assumes that all singles who want marriage yet remain single are indulging in ‘self pity.’
After my mother passed away, I was in deep grief, and I unfortunately ran into a few Christians during that time who insultingly referring to my emotional pain from grief as being the same thing as ‘self pity.’
When a Christian misidentifies someone’s legitimate pain as being nothing but “self pity” it adds more harm; it is salt in the wound.
As his next two points, Piper said the desire for marriage must not “diminish zeal to glorify God with the freedom of singleness” and or hold “unrealistic notions that marriage is the key to happiness.”
Much like Hollywood Rom Com movies used to do, conservative Christians are the ones who oversell marriage as being the solution (Link): to all life’s problems, and if you’re not married (and not married by age 25), there is something deeply flawed, wrong, or pathetic about you, (Link): these same Christians suggest.
It’s not all or even most single adults who hold unrealistic ideals about marriage, but preachers and Christian publications aimed at singles that glamorize marriage.
We singles are told in churches and in Christian penned articles in magazines that if we singles stay virgins until marriage, for example, that our married sex lives will be wonderful, and steamy hot – which ends up being (Link): bunk and (Link): not true.
Many complementarian (male) pastors give single men false ideas about marriage and ingrain entitled attitudes into single men about women, sex, and marriage.
Christian pastors (Link): drill this idea into men’s heads that they all deserve a physically perfect female specimen who will wait on them hand and foot, be a virgin on the wedding night, but morph into a lusty vixen who is willing for sex any time – this is not a realistic picture of women, sex, or marriage.
These complementarians never ever address the fact that (Link): women also like sex and women (Link): enjoy hot-looking men, so that the men are never taught to meet the sexual (or (Link): other needs) of women, nor are the men taught to hit the gym, work out, and lose the large, unattractive belly.
“It’s not wrong to dream about the kinds of happiness a person may have in marriage,” he said. “But don’t let your desire intensify because you idealize marriage as Heaven on Earth. Not only is marriage not Heaven on Earth — it’s not Heaven in Heaven. It won’t be there: ‘In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage’ (Matthew 22:30).”
It’s not Christian singles who idolize or even idealize marriage – it’s the conservative Christian church and culture which do that.
Conservatives are forever fretting about supposed liberal take-over of the culture and the by-product, destruction of the Nuclear Family and the breakdown of traditional marriage, to ever care at all about adults who never marry, or who become single again, via divorce or widowhood.
Consequently, singleness is thought of by the married conservative Christian pastors and laypersons as being “second class” status as in comparison to marriage and they think of singleness as of being no import to culture or the Christian church.
Singles are shamed for being single (Link): by churches and by preachers.
Finally, Piper advised single people to become a part of a loving, Bible-preaching church: “That,” he said, “is a family that will last forever.”
That is a fantasy. Most churches are so marriage-focused and think of singleness as being “second best” that they do nothing to cater to the needs of single adults. See (Link): this link for more on that, and (Link): this link. And (Link): this link.
Singles, if they do speak up in church settings to ask churches to meet the needs of singles, get immediately shamed and shut down, told to be “happy where you’re planted,” to “stop thinking of yourself,” and if you want something done for singles, “do it yourself.”
Advising those who never marry, Piper said: “The more you feel like you would miss it, the more you should rejoice that it will be replaced. With every taste or every dream, remember: this is only foretaste — only prelude.”
I’m over 40 years of age and have never married, though I had thought I would’ve been married by now (especially considering all the garbage teaching I got on the subject from Christians who said if I just waited, prayed, and trusted God, that God would send me a spouse – that was not true at all).
Basically what Piper is doing in this quote is over-spiritualizing singleness, offering pie in the sky theology, telling singles such as myself to console myself with thinking of being dead and in heaven one day, strumming a harp while sitting on a cloud – this does absolutely nothing to alleviate my real life, in the here and now emotional and relational needs, as well as a desire to be having sex in a committed relationship.
Piper is selling the “Jesus is your boyfriend” type rhetoric which is not helpful to adult singles.
I want an honest- to- God husband to snuggle with on the sofa as I watch TV together; I don’t want to sit down on a couch on a lonely evening with just a Bible, and sit there telling myself,
“Well, I don’t have a partner to provide companionship, but I can sit here and read this Bible alone, that compensates! I’ll also just dream of how I’ll supposedly be compensated by God after I’m dead – which is likely decades away from now….”
Jesus, by the way, is NOT my boyfriend, nor is Jesus ANY woman’s boyfriend, and no, (Link): the “LORD is not my husband.”
There have been times over the last few years I’ve felt relieved that I’ve never married, though, whenever I see news stories or advice columns such as these…
In light of headlines such as those, maybe Piper should be writing pages to cheer up married readers.
(Link): Stop Believing God Told You to Marry Your Spouse by G. Thomas
Even MORE Related Posts:
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
(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)