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 Waited to Have Sex Until I Was 26, And Now I Can’t Have an Orgasm (by a Woman Raised in Christian Purity Culture) – Provides Yet Another Reason to Ditch the Equally Yoked Teaching
I would not be surprised if (Link): my Blog Stalker, John Morgan, still visits my blog (and sometimes my Twitter account) and steals links and story ideas to blog on at his blog. He’ll probably swipe the following story I found and feature it on his own blog.
I did not see an author’s name on this. It just says “Anonymous”
I can’t even talk to my sister or some of my closest friends about it because they all still think I’m a virgin, living my life of purity for the Lord.
I was raised in an almost cult-like Southern Reformed Baptist church. I was told that sex was wrong, lustful thinking was wrong, and basically anything that involved sex before marriage would send me straight to hell. It wasn’t until last year that I had the first physical step of courage to go against my upbringing and risk losing everyone around me to do what I thought was right and okay as a woman — not what I was told by evangelical men.
….The church taught us that sex was one of the cardinal sins. Once defiled, always defiled. Women could not make decisions without a father or husband to do it for them, and how would we earn a husband if we were not pure?
They trained the young girls in our church, myself included, that we should live and die to find a husband. Education was fine, as long as it contributed to getting a husband. “Be fruitful and multiply” was the mantra.
I went along with this. It was all I knew, and I had no mother figure to tell me otherwise. As I grew older, though, I grew indignant of my small amount of options.
They told us to find a husband within the church, one who was “equally yolked,” but no man in the church chose from the church. They left the church to find wives and left a congregation of deserted and bewildered home-schooled hearts. Yet they were applauded for their fine, godly choices in women. Meanwhile, the women of the church were left to rot.
I find that a lot of Christian-written material for adult singles is too sickeningly sweet.
There is an absence in most Christian-penned material for singles that honestly, really gets into and grapples with, how hard, painful, or disappointing it can be to be single into your 30s and older, when you had really expected or had hoped to marry.
Response to Various Cranky Critics Who Have Left Nasty Posts At This Blog From Around June to August 2014
If you have even bothered to glance at the heading on this blog, it says,
this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don’t debate dissenters.
This disclaimer doesn’t stop cranky people, the occasional troll, or idiot from leaving nasty, vulgar, or negative remarks.
I do not usually read the negative posts that closely. I generally scan the first few lines of a new post, and if I ascertain quickly it’s a troll post, that it contains vitriol, snark, or a rant, I send it to the trash.
In the past two months, I’ve gotten a handful of nasty grams. I sent those posts to the trash can.
Here are summaries of the various nasty grams I have received, and my responses.
In this post, I will be discussing,
1. The Bitter Lady
2. The Grouchy Be Equally Yoked Lady
3. The You’re An Intolerant Homophobe Guy
4. The Immature I Am a 40 Year Old Man Who Likes to Pork 20 Year Old Women Lying Creepster Troll
Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities – Theology of Hurt Feelings – Why Christians Are Reluctant To Call Out Sexual Sin
(Before I get to the link proper, here is a long introduction by me.)
I agree with this guy’s editorial (linked to farther below). I’ve written of this phenomenon before on my own blog, going back a year or maybe as long as three years ago (see links at the bottom of this post under the “Related Posts” section).
I do not like legalistic jerks. I don’t think Christians should be rude, mean, hateful jerks to other people, even when condemning certain behaviors as being sinful.
I can’t say as though I’m a whole-scale supporter of legalism’s opposite characteristics, either – which amounts to extreme leniency and “watering down of standards” in the name of Love and Tolerance.
I have seen some Christians so very afraid of hurting the feelings of Non-Christians (or even that of fellow Christians) who are in sin, or in confronting Christians who are openly supportive of behaviors the Bible condemns, they tip toe around the sin in question to an absurd degree – where they end up practically supporting, condoning, or excusing said sin (whatever it may be).
These Christians are hyper-sensitive to other people’s feelings, and it is a huge annoyance to me.
This tendency to treat other people’s feelings with kid gloves has gotten so bad in Christendom (particularly in regards to sexual sin), that some preachers have admitted they are afraid to speak out against sin in public, in their blogs, TV shows, books, or from the pulpit.
It’s also very common among Christian lay persons, or by ex-Christians or liberal Christians, who confuse God’s propensity to love and forgive with the notion that God (and Jesus Christ) are hunky-dory with behavior the Bible thoroughly condemns, such as hetero pre-marital sex or homosexual sex acts, for example.
(Transgenderism is a sexual state which has become the new liberal Christian, moderate Christian, Theology of Hurt Feelings Christian, ex-Christian, and left wing secular Sacred Cow that you may not criticize at all.)
It’s also intriguing to me that on the spiritual abuse blogs I have visited, whose owners and members champion the downtrodden (i.e., adults who have been mistreated by churches, or victims of sexual abuse whose abuse was swept under the rug by their fellow church members),
have forum or blog participants, who will, on one hand, quite understandably call for the heads of such abusive church members on a platter,
rightly call out Christians as being naive fools about abuse in churches, but – many of these same people are also very dismissive of, or blind to, abuses by Muslim militants and homosexual militants.
They are very naive of abuses by Muslims and homosexuals. They seem to have a huge blind spot in those areas.
How they can so easily spot and repudiate Christian and church bungling of spiritual and child sexual abuse, or of preachers who exploit their church members,
but fail to recognize the dangers of Muslim and homosexual militancy in American society and other regions of the world, I will never understand.
The blindness and naive nature by folks on those sorts of forums and blogs also extends to Roman Catholicism.
I have had a few Roman Catholic friends in the past, and they are fine people, but their church? No.
The Roman Catholic Church used to burn people at the stake, but one Roman Catholic individual recently thanked a (Protestant) blogger for bringing to everyone’s attention the anti-Roman Catholic commentary expressed by yet another blog (a Protestant one which was critical of perceived sinful RC behavior).
I mean, really? Some Protestant writing a critical comment about Roman Catholic behavior in general on a blog is thought somehow worse than the Roman Catholic Church in years past doing things such as:
-Covering up priest sexual abuse of children, or….
But you can’t easily point these issues of the Roman Catholic Church out at some forums or blogs – the ones who are into The Theology of Hurt Feelings – as it might offend a Roman Catholic somewhere.
The Roman Catholic Church historically persecuted a lot of people (see again: burning people to death at the stake for things like not converting to Catholicism), but criticism on the internet of their church is considered by some of them to be the height of persecution against Roman Catholics.
At any rate, I agree with the gentlemen quoted below.
There is most certainly a Theology of Hurt Feelings, where-in some Christians are so incredibly concerned with not offending various classes of sinners (e.g., hetero fornicators or active homosexuals), they think Christians speaking out publicly (on blogs, radio shows, in church services, etc) is “unloving” and therefore Christ would object to it.
The mind boggles at this. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for hetero fornication and homosexual sex acts, among other sins of humanity.
But these “lovey dovey” types want other Christians to pipe down about all this and act as though God is totaly fine with, and accepting of, all manner of sin.
The Bible presents a God who is not only loving, forgiving, and gracious, but also one who is Holy, just, and who does not tolerate sin, he does not like sin, and he won’t put up with sin indefinitely. God is not fine and dandy with sin.
And the Bible does in fact call out hetero pre-marital sex, and all homosexual sex acts, as sin.
I suspect that this well-meaning, yet wrong-headed, tendency to want to be Very Loving, Very Accepting,
and To Spare People’s Feelings, is partially responsible for what gave rise several years ago to the ridiculous,
non-sensical, un-Biblical habit of referring to fornicators as “Born Again Virgins,” “Spiritual Virgins,” and similar monikers (see links below, this post, for more about that).
Advocates for behavior considered immoral by Christians who believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, have successfully used the idea of “love” to affirm homoerotic behavior, to redefine marriage and family, to justify pedophilia, and as theologian and pastor James Emery White recently pointed out, to justify assisted suicide.
The problem, White writes in his blog, Church & Culture, is that the “love” described to normalize these behaviors is “not the biblical idea of love.”
Get Over It says Dr Ed Young on Christian show The Winning Walk – And People Who Maybe Do Need to Get Over It
I watched a few minutes of “The Winning Walk” television program hosted by preacher Ed Young Sr. today. He’s a preacher based out of Houston, Texas. I believe he is Southern Baptist.
For about two or three minutes, he lectured his audience on how if something bad happened to them (or even something good, because sometimes people allow success to go to their heads), he said “don’t let that get you down.”
He yelled several times over two minutes, “Get over it! Get over it!”
If you’ve seen my previous posts, you know how much this annoys me. Please see this post:
I could only withstand watching about two minutes of Young’s “get over it” rant and had to turn the channel.
I will add a caveat, here.
I have known a few people over my life who are consistently negative about everything, or about the same two or three topics, or, they allow one or two major hurtful life events from the past define them and their attitude now – even if they were victimized many years ago.
I have listened to them complain or cry about the same problems for many years (and these people are often reluctant to listen to my problems and give me love and encouragement).
I have been very tempted to tell them on occasions where they are once more bringing up the same problem from years ago to “just get over it” but so far have bitten my lip.
I’d say most people I have known, though, do try to get out of the pain, anger, and hurt and not “camp out” in it.
I think for those people, the ‘just get over it’ message is terribly heartless, and I wish preachers would stop barking it at their audiences.
While I do believe the Bible forbids pre-martial sex and supports virginity until marriage; and that virginity until marriage has been under attack from Christians the past few years (in addition from secular culture); and that a person’s choice to remain celibate should be respected by all (not mocked); that Christian parents or parents with traditional values have a right to instill Christian or traditional morals in their children, I do not support things such as purity balls.
One of my first problems with these “purity balls” is that they focus on female sexuality.
In these balls, the young ladies are forced to dress in white wedding type dresses, dance with their fathers, their fathers give them purity rings, and the young ladies pledge their virginity to their fathers.
As far as I am aware, there is no male equivalent, where young males are told to give their virginity to their mother and later, should they marry, their wife.
The Bible is clear that pre-martial sex is forbidden for all, for both genders, not just the ladies.
It is sexist and unbiblical for Christian parents to emphasize virginity only for female children.
I do not feel purity balls are appropriate for several reasons, but if one is going to hold one for females, one needs to keep things evened out by forcing males to participate in them as well, by having the males pledge their virginity to their mothers.
Growing up, I was very much turned off at the idea of marrying a non-virgin male. My preference is still to marry a virgin male.
I do feel that people who have pre-marital sex cheat their future spouse out of something that is rightfully theirs (ie, their virginity).
I know a lot of liberal Christians, emergents, and so forth hate that reasoning, but I apply it equally to males. I am grossed out at the idea of going on a honeymoon knowing the guy I have married has already placed his penis in some other woman’s orifices.
As I get older, I realize I may have no choice, because fornication is rampant these days – adult, male virgins are not exactly a dime a dozen. I’ve made peace with that.
At any rate, male virginity is not valued or upheld nearly as much as female virginity is, especially in religious circles.
I suspect one reason for this is that religious parents do not want to deal with unplanned pregnancies. Who gets pregnant from sex, males or females? Exactly.
I suppose Christian parents find it easier to clamp down on their daughter’s sexuality so as not to have to deal with birth control, abortion, adoption, and medical bills, so they up the pressure on the female children not to put out. One does not have to worry about a son becoming pregnant.
A woman’s virginity belongs to her and her alone.
At this point, I don’t even want to say one’s virginity belongs to God, though I suppose a biblical case can be made that a person’s body, sexuality and so on belongs to God (and there are biblical passages which indicate this), but God does not force Himself on people, their bodies, and their choices.
I have seen numerous testimonies by Christian women who admit to having had slept around many times over their life, and they suffered no ill consequences from that behavior.
God may call pre-marital sex a sin, but He does not enforce any negative consequences – in this lifetime- upon those who engage in such behavior, so far as I have been able to ascertain.
I actually see the opposite: I often see testimonies by Christian women on television programs who said they were big sluts, they admit they knew the Bible is against pre-marital sex, yet had sex anyway, they say they came down with some kind of awful disease as a result, but when they turned to God again, that God completely healed them of their sexually transmitted disease.
Still others said the only bad outcome of whoring around is that they came to feel empty or guilty due to said behavior, later stopped, and later met a great Christian guy who they married.
So, in spite of all the pre-marital sleeping around, they later got married, and now live happy, conventional, married, middle- class- American life styles.
Whether a female chooses to engage in premarital sex is her choice and hers alone.
I am not opposed to parents teaching their children to save sex for marriage and bringing up potential health problems involved of having sex, but in the end scheme of things, one’s virginity is one’s own, and one can do with it as one pleases.
(Note, however, the Bible does in fact teach that pre-marital sex is a sin. You can certainly have pre-marital sex if you so choose, but God does not condone that behavior.)
Forcing girls to attend faux marriage-like ceremonies where they have to devote their virginity to their fathers is distasteful, borders on incestuous, and places unrealistic, unfair pressure on these young ladies.
Give the young lady the proper moral guidance and health information she needs, and step out of her way; stop it with the purity balls.
I find these purity balls to be just as bad as the porn-i-fied culture we live in.
It’s the reverse extreme: usually in our society, people are pressured to have sex, have a lot of sex with lots of people and to start young. They are told their sexual choice to remain celibate is ridicule-worthy, shame worthy.
The virgin’s or celibate’s sexual choice to refrain from sex is often not respected. It is belittled. Virgins are shamed and bullied into acting like whores.
The purity ball is the reverse, but just as bad – pressuring young women into a sexual choice they may not want to make for themselves.
It’s telling them that their body, their virginity is not theirs, but belongs to someone else, either a father or a future husband.
I do believe one should save one’s virginity for a future spouse – so in a sense, I’d say yes, your virginity is owed to your future spouse – but at the end of the day, one’s virginity is still really and finally one’s own.
Your body is yours, not your father’s, not your future husband’s.
What I am getting at is that one’s choices should be respected. If you make all your kid’s choices for her, she will never be able to function as an adult. At some point, she needs to make choices for herself about herself, and that includes what to do when it comes to sex and her body.
Another reason these purity balls are so damaging: they make the job of all Christians (or semi- Christian, semi- agnostics with traditional values) who defend the Bible’s teaching on sex, (such as myself), ten times more difficult.
I already have an uphill battle defending celibacy and virginity as it stands, without these lunatic, crackpot fringe Christian groups holding these bizarre father and daughter virginity dances.
Staying a virgin until marriage does not guarantee great, regular sex, as many Christians like to maintain. I have numerous examples on my blog; just use the search box and type in “sexless marriage” for example after example of people who stayed virgins until marriage, but then their sex lives were terrible or dried up totally.
By the way, I am not fully on board with the “you are married to God” talk one sees pop up among some Christians. It sexualizes God and Jesus. I am an adult single – God is not my husband, and I am not “dating” Jesus.
That page has one slide with screen shots of various tweets by various college students complaining about their professor’s over use of Power Point, including:
-Being a college professor would be easy. Read off a Power Point you made 10 years ago and give online quizzes with questions you googled.
-College basically consist[s] of you spending thousands of dollars for a professor to point at a Power Point and read the bullets.
-I hate when a professor makes class mandatory and reads straight from the Power Point instead of actually teaching… I can do that at home
There are many reasons I no longer attend church and am not eager to ever go to another one ever again, and that is one of the reasons.
Church is boring. (And it’s not personal; churches tend to be impersonal.)
I feel that is a perfectly legitimate criticism of church: church is boring.
I am not saying that from a bratty, entitled, immature, 10 year old kid mentality.
Do not misunderstand. I am not arguing that the only thing a person should look for is entertainment at church.
There are already too many churches today that try to draw in crowds by entertaining them with rock bands, coffee shops in the church building, and gimmicks, primarily the moronic “seeker friendly” churches. That is not what I am advocating.
I’ve read criticisms of the present church model that argue church as we know it today is not how it was when Christianity first began. The first churches were groups of Christians sitting around in someone’s home discussing God, singing hymns, sharing each other’s problems … everyone was invited to participate in those meetings.
A “church service” back at the start of the Christian faith did not consist of one guy at a podium reading verbatim from the Bible, or, in the case of seeker friendly churches, one guy at a podium spouting off personal anecdotes and funny one-liners and pep talk advice while the congregation (the captive audience) sat there in silence.
By the way: the “worship” part of evangelical / Baptist church services don’t uplift me. They consist of people looking straight ahead at a big screen with text on it that is very repetitive. Some people (though this is rare at Baptist churches), put their hands up and wave them around.
I have never felt moved during these music segments at church, and I abhor them. I wish churches would drop the music segments – at least the ones where the entire congregation is expected to participate.
The music sections where some lady or guy stands at front and sings while I sit and listen don’t bother me as much. I don’t like the parts where myself and everyone else is commanded to get on their feet and sing along to words on a big screen.
I am not against music in and of itself, I am saying it feels out of place during a church service. I’ve never felt closer to God during the music part. I don’t see how me mumbling a few simplistic lines from a song honors God.
If anything, the music bits make me feel MORE hollow and empty, because there is this expectation by other Christians that you’re supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy and so, so close to God during the music, or you’re supposed to be basking in the greatness of God, or whatever.
I look around in some churches I’ve been to during the music bits (including one large, non denominational, charismatic church) and see some people with eyes closed, arms uplifted, swaying back and forth. Those types look like they are really getting something from the music.
I hate the music segments. I’m always waiting for them to end the moment they start.
At any rate, church is boring and impersonal.
I am not a supporter of shallow sermons and a rock band – the gee whiz environment that is prevalent in 90% of American churches today. I am not arguing that the antidote to “boring church” is to inject more excitement via rock bands and more coffee shops.
At the same time, though, I have been to one or more earnest churches where the preacher basically reads straight from the Bible – and that is boring. I can do that at home.
I can read the Bible myself and sometimes do, even in the midst of my agnosticism and trying to figure out if I want to remain a Christian at all anymore. (I should explain I don’t read the Bible nearly as much as I used to. I only read very small portions now, every so often.)
I am literate. I am college educated. I can sit at home and read the Bible, I don’t need some guy at a podium on a Sunday morning reading 90% of the Bible to me.
Even the churches that make entertainment a basis bore me. I’ve been to a few Baptist churches, large ones, that have gigantic video monitors and rock bands, with a preacher making jokes and pop culture references in his sermons, and I was still bored out of my mind.
One of the reasons I get bored at church is that there is no “back and forth.” There is no room for me to participate. I am not able to enteract with the pastor or other people. (This is the opposite of my issue with music segments: I prefer to sit out of music performances at church. I hate participating in music at church – but I do want to participate in lessons.)
For those of you who say that is what Sunday School is for – no, that has not been my experience.
In most Sunday School classes I have visited, there is already a pre-planned curricula, a published workbook from “Lifeway” that the class’s Sun. Sch. teacher reads from, or uses as a guide.
It’s not that I object to some pre-planning. I am not saying that use of a guide or workbook is necessarily wrong. If you are a Sun Sch teacher who wants to come up with a plan or topic for the class to discuss beforehand, I am fine with that to a point.
What I don’t like is an hour-long Sunday School class that is 95% a teacher reading from a Life Way workbook, and not much more.
My wife and I raised four daughters — without shotguns in the house! — and three of them have already married. We love our sons-in-law, and it’s obvious God handpicked each of them to match our daughters’ temperaments and personality.
I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for my daughters, He can do it for you.
…. Today I have several single female friends who would very much like to find the right guy.
Some tell me the pickings are slim at their church, so they have ventured into the world of online dating. Others have thrown up their hands in despair, wondering if there are any decent Christian guys left anywhere.
They’ve begun to wonder if they should lower their standards in order to find a mate. My advice stands: Don’t settle for less than God’s best. Too many Christian women today have ended up with an Ishmael because impatience pushed them into an unhappy marriage.
Please take my fatherly advice: You are much better off single than with the wrong guy!
Speaking of “wrong guys,” here are the top 10 men you should avoid when looking for a husband:
1. The unbeliever. Please write 2 Corinthians 6:14 on a Post-it note and tack it on your computer at work. It says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB).
This is not an outdated religious rule. It is the Word of God for you today. Don’t allow a man’s charm, looks or financial success (or his willingness to go to church with you) push you to compromise what you know is right. “Missionary dating” is never a wise strategy. If the guy is not a born-again Christian, scratch him off your list. He’s not right for you. I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.
He goes on to list more Christian men he thinks a Christian single should not marry, including: the liar, the playboy, the dead beat, the control freak, the man child, the narcissist, the bum – and a few others.
I’m not even sure where to start with this.
First, let me say I enjoyed one or two points he made, and I agree with them, such as point #10,
10. The control freak.
Some Christian guys today believe marriage is about male superiority. They may quote Scripture and sound super-spiritual, but behind the façade of husbandly authority is deep insecurity and pride that can morph into spiritual abuse.
First Peter 3:7 commands husbands to treat their wives as equals. If the man you are dating talks down to you, makes demeaning comments about women or seems to squelch your spiritual gifts, back away now. He is on a power trip. Women who marry religious control freaks often end up in a nightmare of depression.
I applaud him on point #10 there, good job on point 10! Woo!
Point #9 (about avoiding the “man-child” category of adult males) isn’t altogether a bad point, either (I was engaged to a quasi man-child, and no, I did not enjoy it), but that point taken too far, or if over-emphasized, and we are getting into Mark Driscoll territory (click here for more on that), and lots of younger males in particular are deeply insulted by some of Driscoll’s views about men.
On the one hand, the guy who wrote this, Grady, assumes God will send you (you being a single Christian woman who wants to get married) the Christian man o’ your dreams.
If this is so, why does Grady make a long list telling single women not to marry a drug addict, bum, control freak, liar, etc?
If it were true that God just blessed single females with a “dream boat” of a Christian spouse, if they just trust God and pray about it, there would be no need for a woman to use her discernment and weed out the pigs, dogs, and liars from the Prince Charmings, and to have these lists of what sort of men to avoid marrying in the first place, now would there?
If you have bothered to read any other posts at this blog before, you know my deal.
But if you’re new, here’s a recap:
I’m over 40 years of age, raised a Christian, dreamed of being married, still single in my 40s, bought into evangelical/Baptist propaganda from my youth forwards that if I only trusted God for a spouse, stayed sexually pure, prayed, and waited, that God would deliver “Mr. Christian Right” to my front door. (I even tried dating sites, went to churches, volunteered at soup kitchens, etc., still no spouse.)
Despite all my waiting, praying, staying a virgin into adulthood, attending church, using dating sites, volunteering at charities, ‘looking to the kingdom first,’ and having faith, and all the other twaddle Christians tell you that you must do to earn or obtain a spouse – God never did send me a spouse.
And did I mention the part where I’m in my 40s now? It’s more than a bit ridiculous to keep telling women at my age to “keep praying, trusting” and all the usual advice these 50- year- old, married men issue to 15 or 23 year old single women.
That is one reason I cringe when I see Christians write comments such as these, by J. Lee Grady, who wrote on the page I excerpted above:
…and it’s obvious God handpicked each of them [the husbands] to match our daughters’ temperaments and personality.
I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for my daughters, He can do it for you.
Buddy, I don’t know how to tell you this… but God did not “hand pick” husbands for your daughters.
Your daughters simply dated around until they found a man they felt compatible with, and they got lucky. And who knows if all the marriages of all three of your daughters will last?
Maybe one or more of your daughters will divorce in the future. If one of them divorces, how will you stick to the belief that God “hand picked” their spouse for them?
Why would God “hand pick” a man for a woman only for their marriage to fall apart years later? If God did the spouse choosing, don’t you think there would be little to no divorce, rather than the 40 – 60% divorce rate among Christians we do have these days?
You have plenty of other single Christian women out there that prayed and waited, and God did not “hand pick” any husbands for them.
Yes, 2 Corinthians 6:14 is, contrary to what Grady states, an outdated biblical rule, especially in the United States of America, where studies I read say there are about three un-married, adult Christian women for every one un-married, adult Christian man.
That means about two out of three Christian women who are single who desire marriage (assuming they all want to marry) will be unable to marry a Christian man, because there are not enough Christian men for the ladies to marry.
The “be equally yoked” (or in the negative, “do not be unequally yoked”) is only serving to keep single Christian women who desire marriage indefinitely single – it sets up an unrealistic, unnecessary hurdle they must contend with in mate selection and in getting to the altar.
Not only that, but some Christians are not even clear on what “being equally yoked” really means. For example, some gender complementarians would tell single Christian women it is not enough for her to marry a Christian man, oh no, but the man she marries must also be one she feels she can “submit to,” or one who can be her “spiritual leader” or “spiritual head.”
Some preachers, such as Seattle’s Mark Driscoll, have also told women, or implied or alluded, to only marry a guy who has his own car and a steady job, on top of marrying only a Christian guy.
Driscoll also stated that Christian single women should NOT marry a Pro-Choice man, see this link:
Although I do not agree with Regenerus (Christian college professor and author) on everything, he rightly pointed out over a year ago in an article that Christians are un-biblical to keep adding more and more criteria on Christian mate selection lists that they expect Christian single females to adhere to, because such criteria are keeping too many women single too long.
Here are some of Regenerus’ remarks from that article:
— start quote —
Genuine interfaith marriage is a challenge I don’t recommend. But as marriage has shifted in purpose over time, many Christians have added layers of meaning onto Paul’s wise command.
“Unequally yoked” has evolved into a graded criterion for an optimal mate rather than a simple test for an acceptable one. This is a problem. Why? Spiritual maturity is not equally distributed among men and women in the peak marrying years. Quality survey data reveal only two serious, churchgoing evangelical men for every three comparable women.
Thus, one out of every three evangelical women is not in a position to marry a man who’s her “spiritual equal,” let alone “head.”
This elevated standard now translates — for women, at least — to something like this: “Find that uncommon man who is your spiritual equal or leader, not to mention kind, virtuous, industrious, employed, and, if possible, handsome, and then figure out how to make him want to marry you.”
A tall order it is.
As a result of the increasing “failure to launch,” evangelicals find themselves saying lots of nice things about the benefits of singleness (which certainly do exist), but seem unwilling to move their boundary stones for marriage. Except that they have moved them, away from acceptability and toward ideals. It’s not a surprising move, since marriage is far more voluntary and economically unnecessary for women (and men) today than it was as recently as 50 years ago.
Basically, not only are Christian singles told to hold out for ONLY another Christian single, but if they are female, and depending on which type of church or denomination they belong to, they are also told they can only marry a Christian man IF he meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. she can picture herself submitting to him;
2. he is more spiritually mature than her;
3. (if in an IFB church), he must be King James Version Only;
4. (if in a Neo Calvinist church), he must be a Calvinist
You might as well also add other, too narrow, picky, and ridiculous requirements for a spouse, such as, in addition to being a Christian single man (which are very rare to start with), the man in question must :
1. the man must have one blue eye and one green eye;
2. the man must own a pet llama named Henry;
3. the man must have a hobby of collecting Mego Star Trek figures;
4. the man must have the habit of picking all blue M&M candies out from every package of M&M candy he opens
5. the man’s favorite day of the week must be Tuesday;
6. The man’s middle name must start with the letter “Q”
The longer one makes a “list of criteria for a martial partner” the smaller the pool of eligible mates one has to choose from.
I really do not think most Christians appreciate this fact – and it’s common sense, but it sails right over the heads of most married Christians who dole out this useless advice to singles.
“I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.”
And I’ve seen a fair share of online testimonies by Christian women who did marry a Non Christian and have no regrets about it. They say they have happy marriages and are doing just fine.
I wonder if part of the stubborn insistence by Christians that single Christian women should break up with a Non-Christian man (even if they are in love with him), and “trust God” to send them a Christian guy later on, is a denial that there are simply not enough Christian men for Christian ladies to marry.
Christian apologist William Craig Lane unfortunately seems to assume if a Christian single woman is dating a Non-Christian man, that if she breaks up with the guy, that in his good time, God will send her, or reward her with, a Christian husband – but this is not true (see this page, off site: (Link): Marrying a Non Christian, reply by William Lane Craig).
A lot of Christian women find themselves waiting, waiting, waiting for a Christian spouse, just as Lane Craig and others advise – and die never having married.
And bear in mind that Craig admits in that answer on that page that he’s been married to a Christian woman for 30 or whatever years – I notice that frequently when Christians who tell hurting, lonely singles to stay single while “waiting on God for a spouse,” they are themselves MARRIED and have BEEN MARRIED FOR DECADES.
How EASY it is for YOU, married guy of 30 years, to tell 25, 35, 45 year old women who WANT marriage, but who are SINGLE, to keep tossing out suitable men, one after the other, just because they are not Christian.
Give me a break. This is nothing but a cruel, devious trick that is unnecessarily keeping droves of single Christian women single indefinitely, or well into their 40s and older.
Over a year ago, I found a long thread on a Christian forum where many Christians who had married atheists and other types of Non Christians talked about their marriage experiences, and many of the Christian women said their marriages to their unbelieving spouses were fine.
There was no abuse, their unbelieving spouses did not cheat on them, respected their faith, and so forth. If I can find that discussion I will link to it. I can’t remember the name of the forum I found those testimonies on.
If you google it, you can of course find a ton of lay-persons on the internet claiming that a Christian to a Non Christian marriage will end in failure and heartbreak – but again, I’ve come across plenty of positive testimonies about it as well. I don’t think Christian to Non-Christian marriage is necessarily doomed to failure.
I preface the link, which is much farther below to an atheist blog page, by saying this: I notice that often times atheists take the “be not yoked” teaching as a personal slam against atheists, which it’s not intended to be, not from the Christian view.
When Christians talk about being married to only other Christians, they are not suggesting that atheists are evil trash and not good enough for Christian companionship.
I mean, look it, you have a lot of Christians who fall in love with a person who is an atheist (or agnostic), and then they run to a preacher asking, “Is it a sin for me, a Christian to marry this atheist? I’d really like to marry him/her, but he/she is an unbeliever, and I don’t know what to do.”
In other words, if all Christians every where thought of all atheists as being evil idiot dirt balls, you would not see this question raised to start with, because you would not have Christians dating and falling in love with atheists (and other types of Non-Christians).
The “be not yoked” teaching is more pro-Christian and supported out of concern for the Christian’s spiritual well being, and is not “anti atheist.”
The teaching is mainly spoken out of concern that a Christian who marries a non-believer might have his or her faith compromised, or the atheist spouse may act as an obstacle to the believing spouse serving God, attending church, and so forth.
It’s a pro-Christian teaching, not anti-atheist, but a lot of atheists choose to misinterpret it in that way. Like the guy on this page below does – the guy who runs the “Friendly Atheist” blog.
I sometimes visit the Friendly Atheist’s blog and even agree with him at times on some subjects, but not totally on the “be not yoked” teaching, where he takes the teaching as an intentional insult against atheists.
I do, however, agree with some of this other views on the issue, which you can read about here:
That page even has quotes from a friend of Mehta (the atheist blogger guy) who is a Christian, Alise Wright, who is married to an atheist. He gets her take on the situation. Here is one quote by Alise Wright on his page:
— start quote—
Due to our differences in faith, my husband [who is an atheist] and I [who am a Christian] have had to work on our ability to communicate a bit more.
It requires us to find the areas where our common ethos meet and build on that. It requires us to be more generous and more forgiving with one another because we are determined not to be another statistic in the broken marriage category. Interfaith marriages are happening.
Rather than simply saying, “Don’t do that,” the Church needs to look for ways to encourage couples who are in these marriages instead of leaving them to their own devices.
If we truly want to recognize marriage as something beautiful and sacred, then we need to provide tools to help those who have married someone outside of the Christian faith find that in their spouse and in their marriage. I agree with those sentiments above.
Grady ends his editorial, “10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry,” by saying,
“Your smartest decision in life is to wait for a man who is sold out to Jesus.”
Er, no. I’m in my early 40s and still not married. You are, when you get down to it, asking me to stay single until I die. No thank you.
God has done didley squat NOTHING up to this point to send me a spouse, so I have to take matters into my own hands, which means getting back on to the dating horse once more, but this time, when I do, I will not be eliminating Non-Christians from the pool of candidates.
I leave you with this image, and a few comments below it:
By the way, what of the ten men on that list that Grady names, the liar, bum, etc.? Is Grady saying such men, if they desire marriage, will never, ever get a spouse?
Is he saying God will deny such males spouses, and they are doomed to die alone and single?
Does Grady believe such men will have to clean up their acts before God will allow them a spouse?
I hate to break it to Grady, but I have a bazillion examples on my blog of Christian men who got married who turned out to be drug addicts, rapists, burglars, serial rapist, porn addicts, pedophiles, and cheaters.
Obviously, God does not expect a person to “clean up” his act before allowing him (or her) to marry.
Of course, I doubt many women would want to marry a man who is a liar, cheat, bum, or man-child, so it may behoove such men to clean themselves up on those grounds, but I don’t see any evidence that God prohibits jerks, idiots, and loons from marrying; quite the contrary, my blog has many examples of jerks, abusers, idiots and loons who got Christian spouses in spite of all their sins, defects, and character flaws.
EDIT. I do not know who originally drew the skeleton lady sitting on a bench drawing you see above. I’ve seen it around the internet forever. I would love to give the original creator credit, but I have no idea who made it. I changed it a little to add text to it.
————————– Edit, March 22, 2014
This guy (Steve Strang) apparently feels Grady’s editorial is awesome – it’s not.
One reason Grady’s piece took off like wildfire on social media is because Grady’s article was copied to liberal Christian groups and sites who thought it was awful. That is one reason why a lot of people shared it on Facebook and tweeted it all over town – to ridicule it and criticize it, not laud and praise it.
Though I do agree in part with Deb, who left this remark on the Charisma News site – she is right that churches ignore adult single celibates and instead opine about the already-married:
— start quote—
That article went viral because it spoke to a need that’s not being met in the church. Men & women in the church need honest, direct guidance in navigating the waters of single life.
The church on the whole, including those singles, would rather put on a front that everyone is celibate and reading the Bible when they go on a date.
Those “dating waters” are treacherous! There are sharks and snakes everywhere! I only spent about two years in those waters–I divorced a “serial adulterer” after over 30 years– but I got an eye-opening education in those two years and at times nearly drowned.
I think I met every man listed in J. Lee Grady’s article. He is so on-point! I could write a book on being a Christian single in today’s world!
Just by observing the other singles, I realized I shouldn’t date men in church.
From what I saw, the men dated outside the church because they wanted to have sex but not have to face the woman in church on Sunday.
Churches need singles groups that tackle the issues of singleness frankly instead of turning a blind eye to the fact that their singles are having sex, getting pregnant, getting diseases and dealing with all manner of sexual perversion while still being active members of the church.
This environment is creating people with a seared conscience.
We must bring righteousness and holiness back into the church, along with a strong dose of truth and honesty. Truthfully, that must start with our leaders’ behavior.
Being single and celibate in today’s society is very difficult. They need a strong support group and strategies to succeed at being single and dating.
For me, when I was ready to get married again, I stopped “dating”. I stopped communicating with the men in whom I was interested. I prayed for God to show me to my future husband….I prayed that my husband would find me.
Deb, I agree with some of what you wrote, but differ on one or two points. I did not care for parts of Grady’s editorial, however.
I wrote a blog post about it (Christian Pundit on Word Press), called “A Critique of – 10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry by J. Lee Grady / And on Christians Marrying Non Christians -and- Unrealistic, Too Rigid Spouse Selection Lists by Christians”
As I said on my blog, Grady made one or two points I agreed with, and a few I did not.
I can’t share your passive approach to dating, however. I am over 40, female, never married, was a Christian for many years, was taught to simply pray, wait, have faith and God would send me a spouse, yet I remain never-married into my 40s. There are many other single, adult Christian females in the same position as myself.
If you want to get married you will have to date. Dating is not fun or pleasant, but it is something a woman must do if she wants to get married.
Even men who claim to be Christians on dating sites I’ve run across are sex-obsessed pigs who don’t even attempt to live celibate, single lives, as they should be doing, since the Bible teaches sex is for marriage only.
But you have to wade through the muck of the dating world to get married. God does not magically grant most women with a spouse who simply pray, hope, and wait for one.
If that worked for you, great, but that passive “wait, trust, and pray” has not worked for lots of single Christian women who find themselves still single past the age of 35 and 40.
I do agree with you that most churches and denominations ignore adult, single celibates and sexual purity standards. I am still a virgin at my age, and churches ignore celibate adults who are over 30, and they also tend to ignore the divorced, childless married couples, and widows / widowers.
I have seen virginity and celibacy mocked and downplayed, even by Christians in the past few years, everyone from the more liberal Christians (which I would expect) but also by self professing conservatives, such as Southern Baptist Al Mohler, Russell Moore, and blogger Tim Challies.
Conservative Christians actually diminish sexual purity now and feel it’s impossible for anyone to remain a virgin past age 25 / 30, even though plenty have accomplished that.
So many Christian women (and a smattering of male ones, but it’s mostly female) are now saying they found sexual purity and virginity teachings they heard while in church, or in other Christian material and venues when they were younger, to be so incredibly guilt- or shame- provoking (because they voluntarily chose to engage in pre- marital sex at an earlier time), that conservative, Christian males (and some females) and entire Christian groups (such as “Focus on the Family”) are now writing many blog pages and articles downplaying celibacy and virginity.
Tim Challies (who is a famous Christian blogger) went so far at to say on one of his blog pages a few months ago that “even fornicators are virgins now” to soothe the guilty feelings of fornicators who read his blog.
Christian television host Pat Robertson recently said on his TV show that virginity was for Mary (mother of Jesus) only, when a viewer wrote in asking a question about sexual purity.
Guys like Robertson feel that hetero pre marital sex is inevitable, unavoidable, and that churches should teach an “easy breezy” forgiveness message about sexual sin. His view on this is common among other Christians these days.
There are other examples, but that should suffice. Christians are no longer upholding adult celibacy, or the notion of staying a virgin until marriage, even if one is over the age of 25; they are not telling fornicators to repent of the fornication / sexual sin. (Some Christians object to the term “fornicate” itself these days, it’s considered too judgy or “old fogey.”)
Even main stream Christian groups and denominations have caved in to secular culture on sexual issues, and act as though hetero sexual sin is no big deal. Some will condemn homosexuality til the cows come home, but dismiss hetero sin of the sexual variety.
Though, strangely, I have seen some Christians (who are hetero) who feel so sorry for homosexual singles, they say they are fine and peachy with homosexuals having pre marital sex, but these types of Christians still feel that hetero singles must abstain – it’s a sexual double standard.
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