What Christians Can Learn From Bob the Tomato Re: Being Unmarried and Childfree / Childless

What Christians Can Learn From Bob the Tomato Re: Being Unmarried and Childfree / Childless

I was watching the kid show “Veggie Tales” this morning. I’ve seen a few episodes before.

They seem to end most episodes by having Bob the Tomato tell the viewer something like,

“Remember, God loves you very much, and you are very special to Him.”

Bob the tomato
Bob the tomato
I think, in a way, it’s sad I get more validation out of a kid’s show than I do from materials by Christian adults for Christian adults.

I sure as heck don’t get told often by most Christians that I, never-married and childfree in my 40s, am special and loved by God.

I have to sit through and endure multitudes of Christian content that gives the impression that if I have not achieved a very set of narrow lifestyle milestones, such as marriage and parenthood, and have not done so by a certain age, I am a failure, or not as important.

None of which is to say I totally agree with every message I’ve heard conveyed in “Veggie Tales.” I once sat through a show where they told kids to be really nice to bullies.

Without going into too much detail, I just wanted to say that is the incorrect message to send. Christ does not call His followers to be doormats and passively take abuse off anyone- He sure as heck did not. You need to teach your kids to stand up to bullies even if it comes to applying physical blows.

Seriously. If your kids don’t stand up to idiots now, it will hurt them later. And secondly, most bullies don’t respond to anything less than a punch to the face or a severe verbal smack down. But Christian shows for children frequently encourage kids to be passive, wimpy doormats in the face of bullying and abuse. Before He went to the cross, Jesus took nothin’ from nobody – and we are to follow His lead on how to deal with jerks.

But I digress.

Hmm. I bet if I got pregnant out of wedlock, then walked into a church and said I was considering an abortion, I’d get all manner of support, help, and encouragement.

I should shove a big pillow under a shirt and try that experiment some time: claim to be pregnant and unmarried, considering abortion, and watch as the pastor and members fall all over themselves to offer me money, shelter, compassion, and assistance.

Thanks to Bob the Tomato for reminding me that God values and loves me, whether I am married, single, a parent or not.

I had to get this message that God loves me no matter what from a cartoon tomato because most churches and Christian publications won’t convey it.

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Jesus Christ said:

    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37)

It looks like this teaching of Christ’s keeps falling on deaf ears, at least among Americans who profess to be Christians.

What happens when American Christian conservative culture and denominations place an unbiblical fixation on marriage and procreation? Something like this (among other fall out):

(LINK): Barna: Women Value Family Over Faith [study was released in August 2012]

    In the second of a four-part series studying Christian women, the Barna Group released survey results at the end of last week showing that, of women who have attended a regular church service in the last six months, more than half said their family was their highest priority in life. Sixteen percent said faith was most important, followed by health, career, and living a comfortable lifestyle.

    Sixty-two percent of women polled said their most important role in life was being a parent, followed by 13 percent who said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    …The study also found that 75 percent of Christian women were “heavily influenced” by the Bible, followed closely by the influence of their husbands (63 percent). Only 30 percent said they were influenced by the media.

    Read the full report (LINK): here [from the Christian Post]; author: Jeff Schapiro.

Excerpts from Christian Post:

    The study, titled “What Women Want,” is the second in a four-part series by the Barna Group on “Christian Women Today.” The study was conducted by surveying 603 adult Christian women throughout the U.S. who have attended a regular church service in the last six months.

    Over half (53 percent) of those surveyed said their family was their top priority in life, while only 16 percent said faith was most important. Another nine percent of Christian women said their top priority was their health, five percent said it was their career performance and another five percent said it was living a comfortable lifestyle.

    When Christian women were asked about what they felt was their most important role in life, the results were similar to their priorities. The majority (62 percent) said their most important role was being a parent, and only 13 percent said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, said in a statement that some might assume that the research means woman have made their families into “idols” and set them above their relationships with Jesus. Others might view it as a “false choice” women have to make between their families and their faith.

Have we made an idol of families? (copy)

Have we made an idol of families?, by Andy Stirrup [Book Reviews] | published June 6, 2011

Source:

growingfaith.com.au/entertainment/have-we-made-an-idol-of-families

    by Andy Stirrup
    Published: June 6, 2011

    ‘How can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?’

    In Sex and the Single Savior, Dale Martin asks an important question: have we made an idol of families? Our knee-jerk reaction is to say, ‘‘Of course not’. But Martin reminds us that sometimes we cling to theologically-phrased excuses for what we do, rather than examine what the Bible actually says. When it comes to the importance we attribute to the family (in conversation at least, even though our practice may undermine our ‘theology’), Martin asks how can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?

    The book brings together a number of Martin’s previously published articles to get to grips with a number of issues that have to do with gender and sexuality. He examines what classical and early Christian writers would have understood by the Galatians passage which referes to there being no male and female in Christ. He discusses how odd Jesus’ celibacy would have appeared to his contemporaries. But the most provocative chapter, as far as the family is concerned, is the eighth chapter, ‘Familiar Idolatry and the Christian Case against Marriage’.

    Martin begins the chapter with a bold announcement that mainstream Western Christianity (Catholic and Protestant, liberal and conservative) has made an idol of marriage and the family. It is a strong claim but we would have to agree with him that those who do not fit the nuclear family ‘ideal’ usually find themselves on the fringes of church life. Martin supports his claim by turning both to the New Testament and to the writings of the early Church. He suggests that the early Church was culturally much closer to the New Testament period and so they are better placed to understand the intention of the Biblical texts than modern theologians.

    Continue reading “Have we made an idol of families? (copy)”

Bay-Bees – Have Lots of Them (Addendum)

(Addendum to previous post):
“Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what!, say some Christians”

I meant to include this in my previous post on this topic but forgot to (someone left me a response in that thread disagreeing with me, and I left her a response). Anyway….

A woman wrote in to Pat Robertson’s show the other day, The 700 Club, to ask if she should permit her daughter to stay in the same bed as her boyfriend when they come over for a visit.

Robertson then got into this tangent where he said, “Marriage is for making babies.”
(Or, he might have said, “Marriage is for pro-creation.” I forget the exact wording of his remark, whether he used the term “babies” or “pro creation,” but he did say, “that [babies / pro creation] is the purpose of marriage.”

I don’t recall any biblical passages stating that the sole reason for marriage is to have babies. (I don’t even remember any verses saying it’s the primary reason – but perhaps it’s in there, and I just forgot.)

I think a lot of conservative Christians – the ones who have made idols out of marriage and having children, and the more extreme patriarchy- type lunatic “Quiverfull” groups – tend to stretch verses such as “be fruitful and multiply” to apply in situations where they do not, or are not, for all Christians for all times in all situations.

I would dare say since God presented Eve to Adam after having said, “it is not good for man to be alone” that one primary reason for the existence of marriage is for companionship. Not baby-making, but for companionship.

Sure, baby-making might be ONE reason for the creation of marriage by God, but it’s not the ONLY reason, as Robertson implied in his response.

This bizarre obsession with marriage and cranking out babies is one reason why so many people, Christian and Non, feel so unwelcomed or alienated from churches, or why they stop going.

People, including Christian people, who are childless, child-free, never-married, or widowed are frequently over-looked by most American Christianity.

The never-married (over the age of 30), the child free, the childless, and the widowers – their needs are dismissed or never acknowledged to start with. They are not usually mentioned from the pulpit, or on mainstream Christian blogs, in magazines, or in most Christian books about relationships.

Most attention by conservative Christians is spent hand-wringing over and worrying about the decline of marriage, the decline of the U.S. birth rate, complaining about the Democrats, or complaining about the legalization of homosexual marriage.

As for the hand wringing about the decline of marriage by conservative Christians, it is highly hypocritical of them to do this.

When older, never-married Christians ask for help from their Christian communities to get married (“please help me get a spouse! Introduce me to some great singles, or create more singles functions where we can meet and mingle”), they are scolded and lectured and get comments such as… THEY, the singles who desire marriage, are

  • “making an idol of marriage”
  • “be content in your singleness, it’s a gift!”

  • “we can’t turn the singles group into a meat market, it’s for Bible study ONLY”
  • “God may have called you to life long singleness”

-and older unmarried Christians get other such un-helpful comments like those.

Note to churches and preachers:
If you want the marriage rate among Christians to sky rocket, get off your asses and start helping Christian singles, who are ages 30+, to meet other Christian singles so that they can date and then marry. Provide practical assistance in this area.

Anyway, I don’t see any biblical grounds for thinking that making a baby is the sole, or primary, purpose of marriage.

Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what say some Christians

Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what!, say some Christians Please see Part 2 of This Post

I was watching Pat Robertson today – by the way, I don’t always mean to single this guy out. A lot of his views about marriage, gender roles, babies, and other issues are similar to those of other male preachers and Christian talking heads.

Sooo. On a previous broadcast, Pat Robertson advised his Christian viewers to “out breed” their “opponents” (by which he meant Muslims, but I also suspect he was thinking of atheists, liberals, and other groups). You can read this post here at this blog for more about that.

Based on figures I have seen in books and blogs, currently about 50% of the American population is unmarried – this is also true of conservative Christians, 50% are unmarried. This includes never married, divorced, widowed.

It seems strange to me that Robertson and other Christian spokespersons and preachers keep insisting that Christians have more kids. About 20% of married couples do not have children, and who knows why that is. Maybe they have infertility issues, don’t want any, or can’t afford one.

When about 50% of American Christians are single, you’re asking the other 50% to crank out a lot of kids, and some of those 50% might be people over 40, 50, or 60 and don’t have the physical ability, energy, or health to keep up with a kid.

Your 50% of unmarried people technically are not supposed to be having sex. I know it’s popular to question this in some quarters – some Christians on other blogs actually argue that the Bible, and God, are fine and hunky-dory with fornication (sexual activity outside of marriage).

But no, God is not hunky-dory and okay with fornication- that fact is alluded to in many verses. In the Old Testament days, if a woman was not a virgin on her wedding night, she was to be stoned to death, if I recall correctly. She had to bring proof to the priests, via stained bridal sheets (sorry to be a bit crass, but it’s in the Scriptures), that she was a virgin on her wedding night, should her new husband claim she was not.

Obviously, since Christ, God has dropped the “stone her to death” routine, or whatever the penalty was at the time, but the fact that God called for a severe penalty at some point in history for fornication should be a huge CLUE that He is not “okay” with sex outside of marriage – HELLO.

I just find it really insulting, stupid, or unrealistic that some conservative Christians are bemoaning and fretting the decline of child birth among Christians. I can’t quite articulate it.

Maybe it’s because I’m over 40 years old and have never been married but wanted to be married that I find this annoying – that, and I also don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell married couples when or how to have a baby. The Bible does not COMMAND all married couples to breed like rabbits, the “be fruitful” comment aside – I have never understood that “be fruitful” comment to be an iron-clad COMMANDMENT to all married couples forever, that they MUST follow or be damned by God.

These weenie TV preachers are asking Christian women to pop out more babies. I couldn’t pop out more kids if I wanted to, unless I went against biblical teachings about fornication and had a kid out of wedlock. Is that what the Pat Robertsons of the nation really want?
Continue reading “Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what say some Christians”

What Christians Can Learn from The Walking Dead Re: Family, Singleness, and Marriage

When secular sources get it right – The Walking Dead

(I can see disgruntled “Caryl” fans wanting to leave me argumentative comments about this post. If so, please see the “Policy on Dissent on this blog” before being tempted to leave me a nasty gram. Thank you.)

On the cable channel AMC’s hit show about the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead, the topic of ‘what is family’ is explored every so often, as it was most recently in last night’s episode, “The Suicide King.” The show centers on sheriff Rick Grimes, who leads a group of survivors, some related by flesh and blood (or marriage), but most not.

The character Rick Grimes has a wife named Lori and son named Carl, and a newborn daughter named Judith (the wife, Lori, got killed a few episode ago).

Other characters under Rick’s charge include (but are not limited to) Hershel Greene, who has two daughters, Maggie and Beth. All the other members of Rick’s group are unrelated through birth or marriage (some previous members were killed in older episodes). They have banded together to survive.

One of Rick’s group includes the redneck survivalist character, Daryl Dixon. Daryl has become the show’s most popular character.

Daryl and his older, racist, sexist, violent brother Merle get separated early on in the show. Daryl grew up in his abusive older brother’s shadow. When Daryl was not being ignored as a child, he was being physically and verbally abused by his brother and possibly by his father, when they bothered to pay any attention to him.

In the episode ‘The Suicide King’ (first aired February 10, 2013), Merle re-enters Daryl’s life. Daryl decides to leave Rick’s group to go off alone with his brother again, because Rick refuses to allow Merle to join the group.

Rick tries to talk Daryl into staying (without his brother Merle), but Daryl is still stuck in the idea that flesh and blood ties is what constitutes “family,” or that flesh- and- blood ties should take priority to other sorts of bonds.

The character Glenn, who doesn’t want Daryl to leave the group, tells Daryl that Merle may be “your blood, but not mine.” Glenn explains that the group of survivors, headed by Rick, is his family now, even though Glenn is not related to any of these people through blood ties – and Rick tells Daryl, “you are part of this family.” Daryl still decides to leave with his brother Merle, however.

You can view a video clip of a few moments of that scene, and the actors from the show discussing the concept of “family” in this video clip:

(Link:) (SPOILERS) Inside Episode 309 The Walking Dead: The Suicide King (Video on You Tube)

Rick’s group of survivors have been more of a family to and for Daryl than Daryl’s own flesh and blood relations – despite a few arguments with one or two other group members (such as the late Shane Walsh), the group has treated Daryl with kindness and respect, and they have come to rely on him for protection and defense.

In one of the last few episodes, when Rick falls apart after his wife Lori dies from childbirth, Daryl willingly risks his life to go out in search of baby formula for the newborn.

In yet earlier episodes, Daryl took it upon himself, and puts himself in danger, to go searching alone in a zombie-infested forest for the twelve- year- old daughter of Carol, Sophia, who went missing at one point.

Daryl, despite his racist family of origins, freely and glady, with no prompting from any one, gives up some of his big brother’s antibiotic and painkiller medication to a black group member, “T-Dog,” who was gravely injured.

Remember, none of these people – Carol, the new born child, T-Dog, Rick, Sophia – are Daryl’s flesh and blood family, but he still acts on their behalf anyway.

In another episode, Rick, Glenn, Oscar and Maggie – all of no relation to Daryl – go to the town of Woodbury to rescue Daryl from one of the show’s bad guys, the Governor.

Throughout the series, Daryl has shown himself not to be a racist, sexist jerk like his older brother Merle. He has a difficult time emotionally connecting with other people, but he is, at his core, a decent guy who tries to help other people.

~~~~~~ ASIDE ~~~~~~~~

Before I return to the main theme of this post (which is, ‘who is family’), I wanted to address another issue about this show:

It may resonate with this blog’s particular audience to know that the actor who plays Daryl has said in interviews that in his mind, the character Daryl, who is also in his 40s, is a virgin. The show’s writers have, so far, never given Daryl a love interest or a sex scene – and remember, Daryl is hugely, hugely popular with the show’s viewers.

(Please click on the “read more” link below to read the rest of this post. Thank you.)
Continue reading “What Christians Can Learn from The Walking Dead Re: Family, Singleness, and Marriage”

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

Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians | Re: Marriage Not Happening for Hetero-sexual Christians Over the Age of 30

While conservative Christians keep on despairing that today’s American culture no longer resembles 1950s “Leave It To Beaver” families, the majority of them keep right on ignoring one significant group: unmarried Christians over the age of 30 who want to get married but who cannot find a Christian partner.

About the only Christians who have taken note of this plight are those who are in the group themselves, such as myself.

There are many Christians over the age of 30 who want to get married, but they cannot find a suitable partner at church, through friends, or on dating sites. And their petitions to God on this matter are not working. God remains silent and does not move.

Meanwhile, we unmarried Christians [* please see March 2016 update at the bottom of this post], who want marriage but for whom it remains out of reach…

Stand by and see the never-ending avalanche of blog pages, magazine articles, and booklets printed, or radio shows broadcast, by mainstream evangelical groups bemoaning the fact that 20-somethings are putting off marriage until their late 20s…

Or that they are dropping out of church altogether, with a smaller amount of attention paid to topics such as divorce and how to keep a marriage together.

But there is nothing from the Christian community, no attention, prayers, concern, or material, for those who cannot even get to the altar to begin with (with the exception of a small amount of Christian material which insults us and puts us down).

I was reminded of all this again when skimming over parts of a book online. The book is “Church in an Age of Crisis,” by James Emery White.

In a chapter about marriage (I don’t see any chapters on prolonged singleness among Christians – which is typical), he writes in a sidebar:

— Begin Quote from Book —
The Crumbling State of Marriage

-[1] For the first time since the US began tallying marriages, more Americans of prime marrying age have stayed single rather than tied the knot

-[2] Proportion of married adults of all ages was 52 percent in 2009, down from 72.2 percent in 1960 – the lowest percentage since the US began tracking in 1880

-[3] Cohabitation in the US has nearly doubled since 1990
— End Quote from Book —

As for point 1, (“more Americans of prime marrying age have stayed single rather than tied the knot”), how many of those singles want to stay single? How many of them have intentionally chosen to stay single into their 30s and older? Why is this distinction almost never made?

How many of those singles are like me, who always desired and expected to marry, but it just never happened?

Why do these worried and pearl-clutching conservative Christians always seem to assume that those of us Christians who have remained single past the age of 30 or 40 have deliberately chosen to remain so?

Continue reading “Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage”

Reviewers of Dobson’s book about parenting girls confirms it – U.S. Christians fixated on 1950s culture

Hmm. Maybe I should stop listening to Christian radio host Mefferd (her show is online here). The show title was “Mefferd speaks to Dobson,” with no indication of what the topic would be.

I clicked and listened. The show I listened to online is (Link:) here.

Most of her show topics are pretty interesting, but occasionally, she veers off into views I don’t agree with, or she interviews guests whose views make me want to puke.

As it turned out, Mefferd was interviewing Christian author Dobson about a book he wrote a few years ago called “How To Raise Girls.”

I’ve addressed in previous posts how most American churches and Christians are stuck in a 1950s time warp, where they continue to judge all behavior and culture by TV shows from the 1950s.

These types of conservative Christians look upon such television shows or the 1950s itself too, too fondly. I agree that the culture today is vulgar and coarse, and probably more so than it was in the 1950s.

However, and alarmingly, some conservative Christians consider 1950s American culture an ideal one, one to be emulated at all cost – they don’t hold Jesus Christ as the prime example to be emulated, mind you, but 1950s American culture.

Among other topics, I mentioned in the post “American Women Serving in Combat,” that one possible reason Christianity is failing today in the United States and church membership is lagging, is that American Christians spend more time wagging their index fingers at liberals and liberalism, and talking about the evils of contemporary culture (such as the existence of abortion and so on), than in actually helping people – specifically helping other American Christians.

If American Christians spent more time actually meeting the emotional and practical needs of other American Christians, instead of ignoring them in favor of pontificating on abortion, the legalization of homosexual marriage, concern about feminism, or on raising funds (for the billionth time) for rice and beans for starving orphans in Africa, maybe more Americans would find being a Christian more rewarding, practical, beneficial, and want to attend church regularly.

I listened to Mefferd interview Dobson concerning his book “How To Raise Girls,” and was completely turned off.

Gender complementarians (such as Mefferd and Dobson) over-empahsize their view that males and females differ.

Biblical gender egalitarians, such as myself, agree there are differences between males and females.

However, the older I get, I no longer buy the view that males and females are polar opposites across the board.

I think the genders have a lot in common, and both genders are expected by God to imitate Jesus Christ.

There is no “pink” Jesus for girls and no “blue” Jesus for boys.

Anyway, Dobson spent some time telling Mefferd on this radio show that Christian parents ought to raise their little girls to be “lady like.”

That term is rather sketchy and vague, and I don’t recall him clarifying what he means by it. Maybe he was more clear what he means by that term in his book.

I am going to assume for the purposes of this post that I understand what he was getting at with the phrase “lady like.”

I was definitely raised by a “June Cleaver” (1950s fictional television character) type of mom myself – all the way.

I crossed my legs when I sat down, wore panty hose under dresses, did not use cuss words, never wore pants to church services, didn’t sleep around, was never blunt or confrontational – I was a sweet, helpful little doormat who repressed all anger.

I can’t even begin to describe how being raised to be so “lady like” did so much damage to me, how many problems it created.

I am now trying to un-do the years of beliefs and behaviors I was taught was proper, godly, or lady like for a Christian female.

And it’s that very “ladylike” behavior that was so crippling for me (and other Christian women) that Dobson wants other girls to strive for.

There’s this assumption by these Dobson types – the ones who think little girls should be taught to be “lady like” – that if a female is raised to be a gentle, soft spoken, coy, compliant little thing, that this will attract men to her as she ages, and she will be able to get a husband.

I can see how that sort of thinking was true when my mother was a teen ager, but it’s not true for women like me who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.

Being coy, passive, meek, modest, mild, self-effacing, totally selfless, nurturing, and compliant (“ladylike”) does not guarantee a girl a spouse any more, and is actually a lure for abusive men, which gender complementarians don’t seem to realize – or care about.

Being “lady like” also stunts a girl’s ability to become an independent adult.

After listening to Dobson’s interview with Mefferd about his book about girls,  I went to a book review site and looked Dobson’s book up.

I read reviews by people who read Dobson’s book, and they interestingly echo some of the views I expressed in my post the other day, over conservative Christianity in general.

You will see some of those views here, ones that I’ve brought up before about the state of contemporary Christianity, that these reviewers repeat about Dobson in particular, like how these reviewers notice that….

  • Dobson idolizes 1950s American culture;
  • Dobson, like so many other biblical gender complementarians, portrays un-biblical codependency as being desirable in a female, or mistakes codependency for being some kind of biblical standard for femininity;
  • spends more time complaining and bitching about liberalism than he does in actually dispensing useful parenting advice, etc:

From reviews of Dobson’s book “How To Raise Girls”

Review by Aaron Thompson

(who gave the book a 2 star out of 5 star review):

This review is from: Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women (Hardcover)

I’ll just say I’m not a fan of James Dobson, but I have a habit of reading books even if I don’t think I’ll like them. I got this for free, so I thought I’d give it a go.

True to what I expected, I thought the book was far too negative. The majority of the book is spent talking about how the world is terrible and getting worse by the second. He spends a lot of time recounting “the good ol’ days”, which I assume is when he was a young person. I think it’s safe to say the world was just as bad then, just in some different ways.

I also think he is far too old-fashioned. Call it what you will, but I don’t think it’s necessary for a man to walk on the street side of the sidewalk or order for his date. Those types of behaviors would drive me crazy. In general, I don’t agree with the 1950’s housewife idea he has for women. If a particular woman wants her relationship to work that way, fine. But many don’t.

And lots of men don’t want that, either.

And guess what? We are dedicated Christians. I do like a little romance to be sure, but if my husband acted the way Dobson advocates for, I would feel completely smothered.

Dobson also makes himself sound outdated by comparing piercings to self-harm, such as cutting, and saying that it means you hate yourself.

No, Dr. Dobson, I didn’t hate myself when I got my tongue, nose, lip, and whatever else pierced. I just liked the style at the time.

It had no bearing whatsoever on my relationship with God, and it did not mean I was sexually abused, drank alcohol/did drugs, or had promiscuous sex. In fact, none of those things were the case with me.

I also disliked his assessment on Disney Princesses. He’s a big fan. He says girls love them because they’re beautiful, have it all together, marry Prince Charming, have an unlimited wardrobe complete with fancy dresses, and everyone loves them.

They are the epitome of femininity and represent wanting to feel beautiful and loved as well as secure.

I don’t think those are very Christian attitudes, to be honest.

I would rather be focusing my life on whatever God calls me to, even if it’s hard. Even if it’s dirty. Even if it calls me to be lonely, ugly, poor, or unmarried.

I think the Princesses give the wrong idea that desiring security and beauty is more important than desiring God. Would I completely ban a daughter from playing with Princesses? Of course not. It’s fun to dress them up. But I do worry about her “looking up” to them.

Honestly, I don’t think Dobson includes enough scripture. When he does, the majority is from the Old Testament. That’s not bad, but I would like to hear the words of Jesus and his disciples. To me, the book (and Dobson, for that matter) is about Traditional America first, Jesus second.

There are a few things I found worthwhile in the book. Dobson had interesting information on warning signs to look for in teenagers with things like sexual abuse.

This is helpful, because my husband is a youth pastor. I also appreciated the ideas for daughters and fathers to strengthen their relationship. I know that a lot of girls don’t have fathers in their lives, or if they do, their fathers are distant, so I think this is a great thing for fathers to hear and possibly be convicted about.

All in all, I think there are far better parenting books, but in most books, you can find a few worthwhile things.

(Please click the “read more” link below to read the rest of this post)

Continue reading “Reviewers of Dobson’s book about parenting girls confirms it – U.S. Christians fixated on 1950s culture”

Why People Have Stopped Going to Church (Testimonies)

This was previously at the bottom of my last post. I might add to this post as  I find more stories like these.

There are testimonies from never married people, divorced people, people with mental illnesses, married but childless couples, etc:

From a page called “Why Did You Quit Going To Church”:

Can’t Get Back to Church

I am a born again Christian, but the modern church is family oriented to the exclusion of those who have no immediate or extended family. 50% of the population is single, but only 15% of church population is single. The church is not ministering to half the population.

I don’t want a husband, I am not rich, my clothes are not the best and I’m tired of feeling judged and snubbed. Every Sunday, I have anxiety attacks because I want to worship God, but just can’t get myself to go to a church. It’s that bad.

The only Christian I feel comfortable around is a former drug dealer who has been in jail. Not all of God’s children were raised in good Christian homes. If there is a place for me in God’s kingdom, there should be a place for me in church.

—Guest Jeanne

Just Don’t Fit In

Because of some unfortunate situations in our marriage, my husband and I have no children. Church is a constant painful reminder to me that we have no family.

When we try to meet people and make friends at church, their first question is “do you have any children?.”
When we say no, they seem to have no idea what to say next and everything gets awkward and they walk away. It happens over and over again. Since we have no children, apparently we have nothing in common with anyone. We are a rarity. And unfortunately church is the one place that even as a Christian, I’m made to feel as if I don’t belong.
—Guest Mrs. Nokids

Singled Out!

Okay, I just moved to Santa Fe and I am a born-again Christian. I used to attend a church closer to downtown and it was great for a while.
I loved the pastor and his wife too. I did some church skits there too which was wonderful. But still something did not sit with me at all.
Most of the congregation is married and has children. I’m single and am in no relationship and have no children. I live totally alone. Ive been trying to meet someone too. At church also, and the women blow me off over there too.
The pastor talks too much about political issues and pointing fingers at the government and presents such an idealistic view on things and not a realistic one or even a biblical view.
I even talked to the pastor before about some of the struggles in my life and he just oversimplified and doesn’t listen and tries to quote Scripture like it’s a quick fix.
Sometimes, he preaches and singles me out in front of the congregation. I’m happier not to be going anymore.
—Guest Mark
Continue reading “Why People Have Stopped Going to Church (Testimonies)”

Never Married 38 Year Old Christian Guy Wants to Know Why Churches Treat Him Like a Freak

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I totally related to this guy’s question. A guy calling himself “John” wrote in to the Christian television show “The 700 Club” and asked the hosts a question about why, as a 38- year- old, never- married man, so many churches have rejected him (or left him feeling rejected).

I’m just a few years older than John is, though I am a woman. I have never been married, but I wanted to be. I don’t know why I’m not married.

I have to disagree with host Pat Robertson’s reply – Robertson tells the guy, John, that the rejection is all in his head and that churches do not “reject” older singles. WRONG!

The letter writer, John, may not be “rejected” per se by churches, but most churches, and many Christians, do treat single or never- married Christians over the age of 35 and 40 differently – and that in a negative fashion.

We older, never married (single) Christians are either ignored by churches, or most Christians and churches assume that everyone over 25 years old is married with kids, or, they assume if you’re 40, you have been divorced at some stage – (wrong again, I’ve never been married).

Some Christians (the married ones) let loose with the gossip and slander against the older singles…. they assume if you’re over 35 and never married, you are some how “flawed,” a weirdo, or homosexual (none of that is true, either).

Here is a partial transcript from today’s show:
Continue reading “Never Married 38 Year Old Christian Guy Wants to Know Why Churches Treat Him Like a Freak”