How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

(Link): How Everyone Got So Lonely

Excerpts:

The recent decline in rates of sexual activity has been attributed variously to sexism, neoliberalism, and women’s increased economic independence. How fair are those claims—and will we be saved by the advent of the sex robot?

By Zoë Heller
April 4, 2022

[The article opens by going over all the information I’ve been posting to this blog the last several years: more and more Americans (and people in other nations as well) are remaining virgins or celibate, and some are opting out of dating and marriage.
Some are doing so out of choice – with some they may want to have sex and/marry but are still single or celibate due to circumstance.]

… The chief driver of this so-called “sex drought” is not, as one might expect, the aging of the American population but the ever more abstemious habits of the young. Since the nineteen-nineties, the proportion of American high-school students who are virgins has risen from forty-five per cent to sixty per cent.  …

[The article covers many of the explanations various studies and authors have been citing to explain the lack of sexual activity, especially among the young – everything from more people in their 20s and 30s living at home with their parents, to porn, to video games.]

… For the British economist Noreena Hertz, the decline in sex is best understood as both a symptom and a cause of a much wider “loneliness epidemic.”

In her book “The Lonely Century” (Currency), she describes “a world that’s pulling apart,” in which soaring rates of social isolation threaten not only our physical and mental health but the health of our democracies.

Continue reading “How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)”

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

I’ve been saying many of the same things on this blog for the last several years that this 2022 essay says.

Churches, especially gender complementarian ones – and not just in women’s ministries, but overall, in every facet of a church – make single / childless / childfree women feel ignored or unwanted, except for those Christians who patronizingly behave like the only use for a single, childless woman is to babysit the children of the married couples.

Reminder to Christians: more adults are not marrying these days – at all. Some may marry, but not until their 30s, 40s or older. Many (even if they do marry) are choosing to forgo children.

When churches focus on marriage and motherhood to the extent they do, they also send a message that being married and a parent is necessary for sanctification or relationship with God, which is false.

A person does not need to marry or have children to be sanctified, know God, or to be mature, ethical, godly, loving, or responsible.

(Link): Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Excerpts:

March 25, 2022
by Rachel Baker

Women’s ministries are often the home to every category of woman: Single, married, mother, widow, and so forth. As a Women’s Ministry Director, I both attend a women’s small group and organize the women’s ministry meetings at my local church.

In my small group alone there is a vast array of women, each in different categories, some are empty nesters, some are starting families, some are intentionally single, while others are single with the hope of being in a relationship in the future.

We cover the gamut, so why is it that women’s ministries’ regularly cast their focus on the married mother?

Don’t get me wrong, as a married mother I have absolutely benefited from Bible study curriculum and content focused on marriage and motherhood, however it should go without saying that these types of studies do not represent all women.

If you are in a position at your local church in women’s ministry or as a small group leader here are a few reasons why you might want to steer your Bible study content away from marriage and motherhood:

Studies Solely Based on Marriage and Motherhood Can Feel Exclusive

As a young married woman and then young mother I desperately needed support and connection and resources to help me feel a little less alone in that particular season of my life.

Marriage ministries and parenting ministries absolutely have a place within the church; they are absolutely needed.

However, when our larger-scale ministries such as women’s ministry or small group ministry only focus on young-married or motherhood we can miss out on the richness that comes from a group of women of all life-stages and relationship status.

Continue reading “Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood”

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Not only has there been a surge in editorials the last few weeks by conservative marriage-pushers beating young people over the head to marry and marry really young (I’ve not gotten around to addressing those articles and editorials)-

But I wouldn’t be surprised in the weeks to come if conservatives, both secular and Christian, don’t see this new study about interfaith marriages being on the rise, freak out, panic, and start publishing a lot of fear-mongering editorials or pod-casts guilt tripping or manipulating Christian singles into abiding by “equally yoked” and not even thinking about marrying a Non-Christian.

I have some more comments to make below these two links with excerpts:

(Link): Americans increasingly ditching religious marriages for secular, interfaith relationships: study

Excerpts:

by L. Blair
Feb 18, 2022

Fifty years ago, religious marriage ceremonies were the norm. Most people got married to someone who shared their faith, and just a small fraction of husbands and wives were in relationships where no one practiced a religion.

That trend, according to the latest American National Family Life Survey, is now on the decline as the influence of religion in society has been progressively fading.

…“Only 30% of Americans who were married within the past decade report having their ceremony in a church, house of worship or other religious location and officiated by a religious leader,” the study said.

Interfaith marriage — a union between people who have different religious traditions — has also grown increasingly common and make up 14% of all marriages. Another 14% of Americans are in a religious-secular marriage where one person does not identify with a faith tradition while the other does

Continue reading “Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study”

A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella DePaulo

A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo

(Link): A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo

Excerpts:

… Social scientists have sometimes contributed to our preoccupation with romantic love by focusing on that far more often than other kinds of love or other kinds of meaningful relationships.

Increasingly, though, researchers are documenting the potential downsides of an overinvestment in romantic love.

 They are showing the ways in which (Link): romantic themes limit the aspirations of young women.

They are also showing that adolescents who get their wish and become romantically involved (Link): end up more depressed than adolescents who spend the same amount of time without any romantic relationships.

Adults, too – women, especially – sometimes find that (Link):  their romantic relationships become more depressing over time.

Continue reading “A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella DePaulo”

Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

For a Christian-penned essay, this is pretty good (the link, with excerpts, is below).

I usually find most Christian- authored material about singleness to be off mark, but this was pretty good.

Pair of Valentine's Day Hearts A word from me about Valentine’s Day, that echoes what the author below says:
If you’re single, want to be married, but still find yourself single into your 30s, 40s, or older, Valentine’s Day can be a painful and/or frustrating holiday.

With the passage of time, though, as I came to accept my singleness (I had wanted to be married for years, but it never came to pass), as more and more time went by, Valentine’s Day stopped bothering me.

Maybe the same will be true for you, if you’re single, don’t want to be single, and find Valentine’s to be a difficult holiday.

I initially found Valentine’s Day sad, then after a few years (as I was still single), I was annoyed or angered by it – then after a few more years (still single), it just stopped bothering me – I’d say this was some time around my mid or late 40s, age-wise.

I was kind of apathetic about this holiday by around my late 40s. These days, I actually kind of enjoy Valentine’s Day.

In my family, when I was growing up, Valentine’s Day was not just about romantic love; my Mom used to give us (my siblings and myself) Valentine’s (cards and candy), and as I got older, my Dad usually gives me a Valentine’s card, I send them either via snail mail or on social media to my sister, she sends them to me, and I sometimes give my Dad a card.

You don’t have to have a boyfriend or a husband to celebrate the holiday. You can still send cards or candy to family or friends.

My point being, as time goes by, the holiday loses its sting – at least it did for me. You may even come to enjoy it, the more you accept the fact that marriage hasn’t happened for you. I’ve actually come to enjoy Valentine’s.

This year, I bought a couple of bags of chocolate candy on sale prior to the holiday; they are heart-shaped chocolates in red- colored wrappers, and I had a handful on Valentine’s Day. I treated myself, and it felt good.

I don’t know where you are in acceptance of your singles status, but if you’re still struggling, know that with the passage of time, it will probably get easier for you.

(Link): Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

Excerpts:

….I chose long ago to face February 14th without fear. If you’re single with no romantic prospects in sight, here are a few ideas for how to do the same.

It’s OK to be sad. Valentine’s Day is marketed for couples, and if you don’t have a plus-one, it’s easy to feel left out. Whether you’ve been overlooked in love, you’ve recently walked through a breakup or divorce, or perhaps the love of your life has died, love lost is something to be grieved.

Don’t be ashamed to give yourself the time and space you need.

Continue reading “Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson”

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

Convicted Sex Offender on the Run for 20 Years Found Living New Life as Pastor, or “Musical Minister,” in Alabama

Convicted Sex Offender on the Run for 20 Years Found Living New Life as Pastor, or “Musical Minister,” in Alabama

My parents used to tell me as I was growing up that church is a better place for single adults who’d like to marry to go “spouse-hunting” than other places, especially bars or night clubs.

I can see how maybe that was true in the past, but these days, I’m not so sure.

I don’t know or care if this bogus, sex offending pastor or minister mentioned was a “true” Christian or not; the point is, a lot of his church mates assumed he was a real-deal Christian.

So, could you imagine if you are a single, Christian woman, and he was single, you walk into this guy’s church, and you may just assume this guy is safe to date or marry?

Especially for those of you single, Christian ladies who are way too beholden to the “equally yoked” teaching.

If you’re a single, Christian woman who’d like to be married one day, you really need to get rid of the “equally yoked” teaching in regards to whom you choose to date or marry, as it will increase your dating odds if you get rid of following that rule.

If you insist on limiting yourself to dating only self-professed Christian men, you could end up dating or marrying a self-professing Christian man who by all appearances seems to be a devout Christian but who ends up being a child rapist, like the pastor in this news story below.

You may as well ditch that dippy, stupid rule and judge men by their behavior, not by what religion they claim to follow.

(Link): Fugitive sex offender caught working at Alabama church after 20 years on the run

A convicted sex offender who spent 20 years on the lam was busted in Alabama — where he’d been working at a church for a decade, authorities said.

Larry Albert Flake, 75, was nabbed Friday in Birmingham, where FBI officials said he was living under an assumed name, Larry White, and was known to locals as Rev. White, FBI spokesman Paul Daymond told AL.com.

Officials at the Evergreen True House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church told the outlet Flake was a minister of music and not a pastor.

Continue reading “Convicted Sex Offender on the Run for 20 Years Found Living New Life as Pastor, or “Musical Minister,” in Alabama”

Joy Pullman at The Federalist is At It Again: This Time, She’s Promoting ‘Bedroom Evangelism,’ Which is Not Biblical

Joy Pullman at The Federalist is At It Again: This Time, She’s Promoting ‘Bedroom Evangelism,’ Which is Not Biblical

As a moderately conservative individual, I agree with much of the content published at The Federalist, but certainly not all. This is one of those times when no, I don’t agree.

The name Joy Pullman looked familiar to me, and sure enough, a few years ago, I did a post or two criticizing (Link): one of her other articles.

This time, I am disagreeing with this following piece at The Federalist by Joy Pullman;
I will put some excerpts in, and below that, discuss where my areas of disagreement are
(and it’s a super long excerpt – my comments will be way, way below):

(Link): Christianity’s Growth Problem Isn’t Politics, It’s Our Failure To Have And Evangelize Children

Like just about every other Western Christian body, as well as the United States, the SBC is left to squabble over shrinking slices of a dwindling pie.

by Joy Pullman

The New York Times put out a lengthy preview of the Southern Baptist Convention’s top controversies heading into their annual meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn. Members of the nation’s largest evangelical denomination are weighing the future of their religious body amid numerous theological controversies.

Decline Stems From No Babies, Not Being Too Trumpy
The Times reports that one of the SBC’s concerns is “15-year decline” in members, both through potential theological schisms intertwined with politics, such as critical race theory, and through an aging and thus declining membership.

….While the Times makes much of contrasting the SBC’s political conservatism with its forecast of demographically decisive American leftism, it doesn’t note that the SBC’s decline is directly related to following broader American culture, instead of Christian beliefs, on a keystone of institutional vibrancy: fertility.

Continue reading “Joy Pullman at The Federalist is At It Again: This Time, She’s Promoting ‘Bedroom Evangelism,’ Which is Not Biblical”

Candace Cameron Bure Says It’s ‘Not Too Much’ to Ask That Her Adult Kids Date People Who Love Jesus

Candace Cameron Bure Says It’s ‘Not Too Much’ to Ask That Her Adult Kids Date People Who Love Jesus

I am going to try to be nice about this. This is a topic that can set me off, and I can get mouthy, but my impression of Mrs. Cameron-Bure is that she sincerely means well and actually tries to live out the Christian faith consistently, which I respect.

So I will try to keep the tone of this respectful and not get too… how do the kids say it today, “salty.” I’ll try to keep sarcasm out of this.

I will paste in some excerpts from the page and below those, offer some of my thoughts.

(Link): Candace Cameron Bure says it’s ‘not too much’ to ask that her adult kids date people who love Jesus

Excerpts:

By Jeannie Ortega Law, Christian Post Reporter

Hollywood actress Candace Cameron Bure recently revealed that she has one specific desire concerning the people her children date, and it’s that they love Jesus.

The “Fuller House” star told Us Weekly that she has asked her three adult children, Natasha, 22, Lev, 21, and Maksim, 19, all of whom are actively dating, to bring home someone who’s Christian.

“When it comes down to it, I just want [their significant others] to love Jesus the way I love Jesus,” Bure shared in her video interview.

Continue reading “Candace Cameron Bure Says It’s ‘Not Too Much’ to Ask That Her Adult Kids Date People Who Love Jesus”

Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green

Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green

I will excerpt this essay from The Christian Post, which was published about a month ago, then offer my thoughts.

I will start out by saying it’s not just a lack of YOUNG men in the church, but a lack of single men of ANY age at churches that is a problem for any Christian single woman who expected to be able to find a marital partner at a church.

I remain single past my 30s and 40s. I had wanted to be married, I was taught by Christian culture and my parents that if I was just a good Christian person, prayed, and trusted in God, that I would be “sent” a Christian spouse, and that I could likely expect to meet this spouse, whoever he was, at a church.

So, over the years, in my 20s and older, I would pop into the occasional church every so often. However, any time I attended,  there were never any single men of my age, once I got into my mid or late 20s, my 30s, and my 40s.

It’s not just women in their 20s who’d like to marry, it’s women in their 30s and on up age-wise who’d like to marry. Why oh why do Christians always ignore them? It’s not fair or okay.

Never, ever focus solely on 20-something singles.

With that, here is the article – below the article, I will offer my observations:

(Link): Crisis in the Christian Church: A lack of young, single men

Excerpts:

By Solomon Green, March 4, 2021

….Churches are increasingly becoming a (Link): very unpopular [PDF document] place to meet a future wife or husband since the 1940s. The truth is, Christian Culture is dying.

…new families cannot be formed when there is a barrier of severe gender imbalance.  According to (Link): Lyman Stone’s study, a typical Sunday service has 71 eligible men to 100 eligible women.

This is an enormous problem within the Body of Christ that isn’t getting any better or going to fix itself.

New men aren’t just going to walk into churches. So how do churches fix this? Well, here are three steps to help solve the problem.

Step One: Have more Sunday sermons focused on careers, sex, and marriage. These topics are of great importance, yet are hardly covered from the pulpit …

Continue reading “Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green”

Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

A few weeks ago, Sheila Wray Gregorie, who maintains a Christian martial advice blog, shared (Link): this on twitter.

A woman who runs yet another blog (called (Link): “True Love Dates”) featured a post by a single adult woman who I guess posted under a pen name, or as anonymous.

This single woman explained in her comment that, no, it’s not God’s will for all single women to be single, and for so many Christians to keep mouthing this assumption or repeating it in their sermons, books, or blogs is hurtful and discouraging to some single women who’d like to be married but who have not met the right person.

I too have done several posts over the years attempting to correct some of the wrong, hurtful, or insensitive teachings and attitudes that a lot of Christians have about singleness –
– such as, (Link): God told you to marry your spouse;
or, it’s (Link): God’s will for most to marry;
or that (Link): single adults exist only to serve married couples;
or that (Link): unwanted and protracted singleness is a “gift” God bestows upon some. (There are so many Christian fallacies about singleness.)

Here is the featured content for this post, and I agree that Christians need to stop saying that singleness (especially unwanted protracted singleness) is “God’s will.”

(Link): Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will?

Excerpts:

[by Sheila Wray Gregoire]

If you’ve never been married, does that mean that it was always God’s will that you would be single?

I think we talk about that a lot–that people are “called to singleness”, as if God decides before you were born, “Oh, I’m going to make sure that Jennifer doesn’t get married,” or “I’d prefer Stacey never meet the man of her dreams.”

Now, I do believe that God puts on some people’s hearts to be single, and to dedicate their life to a singular purpose to serve Him, in which singleness is necessary.

But I don’t think that’s the majority of people who are single.

Continue reading “Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire”

The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake – by David Brooks – and Related Links

The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake – by David Brooks – and Related Links

If you want to get right to it, here’s the main link:

(Link): The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake by David Brooks  – via The Atlantic (off site link)

Before I paste in excerpts from that editorial by David Brooks below, I wanted to say a few words, and I will be pasting in any relevant links about the Brooks piece even farther below that.

I’ve been saying on this blog FOR YEARS many of the same things that Brooks has outlined in his essay.

Some of what I’ve been saying on this blog for years now includes:
that Christians and conservatives have turned Marriage and The Nuclear Family into idols,
that they have placed weight upon both that the Bible never did, and in the process of advocating marriage, these conservatives and Christians have marginalized the never-married, the divorced, the widowed and the childless or childfree among them, and this is wrong.

The Bible does not teach that marriage – or parenting – are going to “fix” society, or that being married or becoming a parent is necessary to make a person into a moral, upstanding, responsible individual.

If you’re a conservative or a Christian who keeps sounding the alarm about falling marriage rates, you need to accept reality for what it is: most people now are either single and childless by choice or by circumstance.

The United States is simply never going back to the June and Ward Cleaver family structures in mass droves that existed in the 1950s; (Link): so get over it already, and stop trying to punish or guilt trip anyone and everyone who doesn’t marry or have children.

Continue reading “The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake – by David Brooks – and Related Links”