views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
“‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ [Book] Told Me to Stay Pure Until Marriage. I Still Have a Stain on My Heart” – Regarding: Dating Book by Author Josh Harris (with other related links about the IKDG book) and Criticizing “Purity Culture”
August 24, 2016 update: I added a new link at the bottom of this post: people continue to attack the idea of sexual purity by publicizing backlash against the Harris IKDG book.
I myself have never read the IKDB book, which was written by Harris. I have read about the book on other sites in the past, and it is my understanding the book discussed how to date, and other such topics, and is not strictly about sex or virginity.
The author uses this review of the IKDG book to bash “purity culture,” and in so doing, touches on the topic or staying chaste until marriage.
I am in the middle of this debate. I cannot completely agree with all the critics of “purity culture,” depending on what they are criticizing about it and why.
I believe that the Bible teaches both male and females are to sexually abstain until marriage, so I don’t believe in tossing out this teaching all because some young women feel they have been hurt or oppressed by it.
On the other hand, how some Christians have taught about sexual purity has been lop-sided – males are typically not addressed, only females – and Christians could do a better, or more sensitive job, in how they present the concept of remaining a virgin until marriage.
With that introduction, here is the link, with some excerpts (and note, I am not in complete agreement with all views in this piece; however, I’m not a supporter of a lot of Christian dating advice. Christian dating advice tends to act as an obstacle to singles who want to someday marry):
In 1997, Joshua Harris published “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” a book that was in part a warning about the harm that relationships before marriage could cause. Harris evoked images of men at the altar bringing all their past partners with them into the marriage to reinforce the point that love and sex before marriage took pieces of your heart and made you less.
At the time, Harris was just 21, but he was already a rising star.
…He [Harris] was what we, as young evangelicals, wanted to be. And so we strove passionately to attain the ideal of premarital purity he laid out for us. Now, almost 20 years later, even Harris appears to be questioning whether his advice did more harm than good.
…But Harris’s book was hugely influential.
…On the surface, I am a purity-culture success story: I am a heterosexual woman, a virgin until marriage, now with two small children and a husband I deeply love. We attend church. We believe in God. And yet, for me, the legacy of purity culture is not one of freedom but one of fear.
Purity culture taught me that I ought to be passed down from father to husband, more an inheritance than a human.
I was taught that men are my cover and my shield, when for the most part they have been the ones causing damage through molestation, rape and abuse.
I was taught that my holy calling was to open my legs for one and only one and bear him children. Barring that, I was to keep them closed and never express desire or lust or fear or longing.
So many women in my life cracked under the untenable pressure, often giving up on God all together. Others were forced into marriages with men who hit them and hid their abuse behind another message of the church borne from purity culture, that God hates divorce.
A woman in India could make the record books as one of the oldest ever to give birth.
Daljinder Kaur, who’s believed to be at least 70 years old, gave birth to a son named Arman (meaning “wish” in Hindi) on April 19. The baby was the first for Kaur and her 79-year-old husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, after nearly five decades of marriage.
“I feel blessed to be able to hold my own baby. I had lost hope of becoming a mother ever,” said Kaur, who underwent two years of (Link): IVF treatmentand had two failed attempts earlier.
For Kim Jackson, staying single into her 50s wasn’t a “big holy decision.” She dated through her 20s, but never met the right person.
“I had some pressure from friends and family for quite a while—now I’m so old, I guess they gave up,” said Jackson, now 58.
The percentage of unmarried adults in America has been growing since the 1970s. Today, almost half of U.S. adults are either divorced, widowed, or never married. But much church activity revolves around couples and families.
Jackson doesn’t begrudge the church its focus on families, but more could be done to make singles feel comfortable, she said. Sunday school class names like “Pairs and Spares” or “Fish Out of Water” make singles feel like they don’t have a place in the church.
And according to data in a recent study of 3,000 people by Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon, professors in the Department of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta, it [age differences between spouses] could be a considerable factor.
Randal Olson, a fourth-year computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, crunched the raw data from Emory and found that a larger age gap is related to a higher divorce rate.
A five-year age gap statistically means you’re 18 percent more likely to divorce (versus just 3 percent with a 1-year age difference), and that rate rises to 39 percent for a 10-year age difference and 95 percent for a 20-year age gap.
Partners from different generations may have different cultural reference points and values, and polar opposite tastes in music and film, and even friends, and also have different approaches to their sex life, says Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills psychotherapist and panelist on “Sex Box,” a forthcoming We TV relationship therapy show. “Sex drive goes up for women in middle age, but sexual function decreases for men.”
…The high number of short marriages could be people remarrying and choosing the same type of partner. “It does not work for the same reasons the prior relationship did not work,” he adds.
Others caution about confusing stability or longevity with happiness. Many marriages that appear stable to outside observers may just be an “empty shell” for couples who stay together for legal, religious, financial and/or child-rearing reasons, says Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
A large age gap may be a big contributing factor to divorce rates, according to a new study on 3,000 people in Atlanta, the (Link):New York Post reported on Tuesday.
Randal Olsen, a computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, found that how close a couple is in age can predict if they get divorced or not.
Statistically, a five-year age gap means you’re 18 percent more likely to split, against just 3 percent with a single-year age difference. At a 10-year difference, that number rises to 39 percent. It soars to 90 percent for a 20-year difference in age.
Reasons for the conclusion are opposite tastes in music and movies, different needs and desires from sex and vastly different pop cultural values and references.
“Sex drive goes up for women in middle age, but sexual function decreases for men,” said Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills psychotherapist.
Having your first baby before marriage can mean you’re 59 percent less likely to end in divorce, as opposed to a childless couple. Though having a child while you’re married shows a 76 percent decrease in divorce rate.
In regards to education, a couple is 43 percent more likely to divorce if they have different levels of education than a couple who has the same qualifications.
And there’s some good news: couples are 94 percent less likely to divorce if they make it to their 10th anniversary, (Link): Market Watch reported.
Critics of the study warn not to equate a long marriage with a happy one. Marriages that appear happy on the outside may still be going on due to religious, financial, child-rearing or other reasons.
“So while having children with your spouse may be a factor that decreases the chances of divorce, it may be that a couple with kids chooses to stay together for the sake of the kids, despite the marriage having nothing else to it,” said Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
The Never Ending Love Affair by The Barna Group With The Millennials
Evangelicals and other conservative Christians have a nasty habit of ignoring certain groups of people – such as the elderly, widows, widowers, the divorced, and never married adults who are over the page of 30.
At the same time these groups get nary a mention – or tweet – other groups, such as The Millennials, are focused upon obsessively. (That, or married couples who have children. Married couples who have kids get lots of coverage in evangelicalism as well.)
I began following the Barna Group Twitter account about two or three months ago (or it feels that way; it may have been longer or shorter than that).
During that time, I have noticed that they tweet about the Millennials frequently, or on a consistent basis.
Every so often, the Barna Group will tweet about general topics that are not necessarily pertaining to Millennials, such as…
Real data confirms how drastically the moral,social, and spiritual lives of Americans have changed and are changing. https://t.co/5EUnqFSQZA
(Barna Group tweet: “Real data confirms how drastically the moral,social, and spiritual lives of Americans have changed and are changing. https://www.barna.org/churchless“)
Which is fine.
However, I have yet to see a Tweet, or a regular series of tweets, addressing studies or articles about Gen X, Gen Y, adult singles, the divorced, or widowers, and, in particular, why these slices of the demographic pie have stopped attending the church, or why they are feeling neglected, and how churches can win these groups back.
If you’ve read blogs and books by people in those demographics, or the work “Quitting Church” by Julia Duin, you will see that many other people, who are not millennials, are dropping out of church also.
But all the publicity and hand-wringing by Christians (including the Barna folks) concerns the Millennials.
Is this a money making thing? Do churches or Christian groups or polling groups get more money by focusing on the current crop of 20-somethings?
Because I’m at a loss to understand what the extreme concern is over whether or not a 21 year old frat boy decides to stop going to church – and little to no attention is being shown for, example, the 38 year old, never married, childless woman who has had it with church and has quit.
I find it ironic that Barna Group seems to be concerned over Millennialls quitting church, but one factor of several I have personally quit church (and possibly the entire Christian faith) has to do with evangelical Christianity’s fixation upon youth. Christians never shut up about married couples, marriage, or “the millennials” and “how to reach children.”
Meanwhile, next to no effort is made by Christians to minister to anyone over the age of 29. If you are over 30, never have married, and never have had children, churches are not welcoming.
I have tweeted to The Barna Group several times in the last few months pointing this glaring omission out – that they rarely tweet about other groups.
A couple of times, one Barna Group lady, and some Barna Group guy told me they do sometimes do research on other groups. The guy who has tweeted me back two or three times seems annoyed by me.
I’m not purposefully trying to annoy him or anyone at his group, but I am merely pointing out the on-going tendency by their group, and Christians in general, to completely ignore non-Millennials, and I find this tendency, well, highly annoying.
Today, under yet another Millennial themed tweet by the Barna Group, I replied, “Another tweet about the Millennials,” and this exchange happened:
I don’t recall ever asking or demanding that the Barna group cease tweeting or writing about the Millennials (though I do think it an enormous waste of time and concern to expend this much effort on 20 somethings).
My point is, if you are going to yak about the Millennials, research them, tweet about them, coddle them, and try to reach out to them to win them back to church, you really ought to be spending an equal amount of time on other groups.
For every tweet, survey, or article about The Millennials, how about one about widows of any age, or divorced people or adult singles?
Over half the American adult population is now single – adult singles now out-number married couples in our nation. You’d think this would merit more attention (and in the form of Tweets and surveys) from Barna, but they seem overly preoccupied with the Millennials who are already a very self-absorbed bunch; they don’t need any more attention.
If you’re in a group that insists on tweeting about the Millennials five or more times a day, how about an equal amount of tweets about other demographics?
Here are some more tweets from the Barna Group about Millennials, observe the date and time stamps on each (farther below).
In-between these tweets, Barna Group does sometime tweet about issues that pertain to everyone, not just Millennials, such as this one, which mentions “adults,” and not millennials in particular.
(I tried to copy only different tweets from their Twitter page, but there may be one or more duplicates below that I pasted accidentally. Barna Group sometimes re-tweets the same material several times over, so some of what you see may appear to be a duplicate, but is not.)
(And you see that “Continue Reading” link below (if you are viewing this on the blog’s main page?) Click that to continue the post and see more Millennials obsession by Barna Group, there are even more tweets)