Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’

Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’

If this married couple is happy, I’m happy for them.

My problem is not with the couple particularly (well, maybe a little bit, but more on that way below), but my primary concern is that Christian outlets keep carrying these stories, stories which can be very misleading to single, Christian adults who read them and wonder,
“Why did God bless these two in this story with a spouse, but God never sent me a spouse? Where is the spouse I spent years praying for and trusting in God for?”

There are a lot of Christian women out there who wanted to be married, but it never happened for them, including devout Christian women who followed all the evangelical, Baptist, or otherwise Christian, rules they were taught to follow when younger on how to get married.

A devout Christian single who desires marriage can live a godly life, devoted to Jesus, and follow all the “how to get married” books and magazine articles by Christians – but still never get married. Such a person can find him or herself single into his or her 30s, 40s, 50s, or older.

I don’t see too many Christians or publications admit to that possibility and reality – and it’s not just me. In my years of blogging here, I’ve seen many other single, Christian women (and some men) say they are in the same situation, and not just online but on occasionally on Christian television shows that take viewer questions for advice.

I have a lot more to say below this link and excerpts, so please keep reading and scrolling:

(Link): She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again

Excerpts:

By Mel Johnson On June 23, 2022

Brittany and Daniel Brooker were both widowed at young ages and both had small children to raise. But God led them through their grief to one day find love again as the Brooker Bunch!

At weddings, a couple vows to love one another for “as long as they both shall live.” And most of us assume that life will span multiple decades.

Sadly, though, that’s not always the case. Sometimes lives are cut short. And that was the case for the first marriages of Brittany and Daniel Brooker.

Continue reading “Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’”

The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies

The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies

(Link): The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony 

Excerpts:
May 13, 2022

When people talk about the structure of the family, they often find themselves arguing for or against the “nuclear family”, which consists, on most tellings, of a father and mother, with perhaps two or three children in their care for the first 18 years of their lives.

These children are then supposed to leave the house, move somewhere far away, and make nuclear families of their own.

Contemporary conservatives are especially inclined to embrace this image of the family, although it is not entirely clear why.

The “nuclear family” is not the same as the traditional Christian or Jewish family that existed before the two World Wars. On the contrary, the nuclear family is closer to being an invention of industrialisation and the 20th century.

And there are good reasons to think that this form of family is, in fact, a failed experiment, one that has done immeasurable harm to almost everyone: to women and men, children and grandparents.

The time has come for us to consider retiring the ideal of the nuclear family, and replacing it with something that looks more like the family of Christian and Jewish tradition.

What is the traditional family?

Continue reading “The Nuclear Family Has Failed – by Yoram Hazony – Re: How the Formerly Extended, “Traditional” Family Was Better for Individuals and Societies”

America’s Fertility Dilemma by Lois M. Collins

America’s Fertility Dilemma by Lois M. Collins

(Link): America’s Fertility Dilemma by Lois M. Collins

Excerpts:

Research suggests that falling fertility in the U.S. is not tied to demographics, economics or policy. But the impact could hit all three

 April 29, 2022

The U.S. birthrate keeps hitting new lows. While an average of 2.1 births per women of childbearing age is considered the replacement rate that would keep the population stable, America is now well below that, at an average of 1.6 children each.

And the desire to have children has also fallen, according to a new research brief for the Institute for Family Studies. Today, nearly 1 in 4 childless adults says “No thanks.”

In  (Link, off site, PDF): “No Honey, No Baby: The Relational and Economic Factors Associated With Having Children in America,” Wendy Wang, the institute’s director of research, looks for an explanation of a trend that now seems to buck some of the usual suspects: demographics, economics and family-friendly policy. Her research suggests a lot of separate factors are mingling to lead many young American adults to say “I don’t” to marriage and raising families.

“The decline of marriage goes hand in hand with falling fertility rates, simply because married women have a much higher fertility rate than unmarried women,” Wang writes, noting research by demographer Lyman Stone that shows about half the decline in fertility since 2008 tracks with a much lower marriage rate.

Continue reading “America’s Fertility Dilemma by Lois M. Collins”

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)”

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)”

Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured

Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured

My condolences to this family.

One reason I’m posting this is that it goes to show that even if you do marry (if you’re a single adult who’d like to marry), it’s still no guarantee that being married with children is a permanent passport to Happiness.

A lot of Christians (especially the Nuclear Family obsessed) and to a degree, Hollywood (at least until the last few years), have been conveying this message for years and years that you can only obtain happiness, purpose, meaning or identity if you marry (and have children).

But what if you marry, and your spouse turns out to be abusive, self absorbed, or he or she develops cancer, dementia, or dies in a car accident or by some other means?

I had wanted to be married (I’ve pretty much made peace with being single in the meantime), but then I see news stories like this, and I wouldn’t want to be in this woman’s place, of having to navigate the deaths of a spouse and children, and now she has to parent the one remaining child by herself.

You can get married but then have it taken away in the blink of an eye by a car accident, house fire, heart attack, or god knows what else. This doesn’t mean that I’m anti-marriage, but I do want to keep a realistic perspective of it.

Aw, I see in the news story that two family pets (dogs) also died because of this fire – usually animals and people die from smoke inhalation, or they pass out from that, so they’re not alive to feel the flames, at least.

At any rate, this woman managed to get married, but now her husband and some children are gone, due to this house fire. She is single again.

(Link): Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured

The mother and oldest child were able to escape the flames
By Andrew Mark Miller | Fox News
Dec 25, 2021

A Dad and two of his sons have died after a house fire tore through their home on Christmas morning.

Authorities say the fire started at the home of the King family at 1:22 am Saturday in Quakertown, Pennsylvania and killed Eric King and his two young sons, Liam and Patrick, according to Fox 29 Philadelphia.

Eric King’s wife Kristin and the couple’s oldest son Brady were able to escape the flames while the rest of the family was trapped inside.

Continue reading “Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured”

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

This doesn’t bother me, and it is as it should be.

There’s nothing wrong with marriage or wanting to be married, but, too often times, secular culture, many religions, and in particular, Christian gender complementarians, have made far too much out of marriage, to the degree all these groups make women who never marry, or who marry only past their mid-30s, or who are divorced, feel like they are big, worthless losers.

Some secular conservatives and Christians even run around on their podcasts, tweets, and blogs saying as such – that single or childless adults are selfish or losers.

Complementarians especially are pretty bad about this, because they tend to define “womanhood” as, and to tie a woman’s worth and purpose, to if she marries and has children .

While I am not a supporter of the far left’s anti-nuclear family views, I also don’t agree with how so many Christians have gone the opposite and equally damaging route by advising women that their value or identity resides only in being a wife and a mother – something the Bible does not teach, by the way, but actually says that being single is better than being married (see 1 Cor. 7).

Christians often seem to forget that Jesus of Nazareth never married and never had children – yet Christians shame or exclude adults today who don’t marry and/or who do not have children.

(Link):  Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

  • Pew research found 9% of Americans saw their partner as a source of meaning, down from 20% in 2017.
  • Dating during a pandemic is hard, and couples had to confront unhappy relationships in quarantine.
  • Paired with the declining birth rate, it seems Americans are finding fulfillment on their own terms.

Some people spend a lifetime looking for their soul mate. But more Americans are finding life’s meaning in other things.

A new report from Pew Research Center that surveyed more than 2,500 Americans found that 9% of respondents cited their spouse or romantic partner as a source of meaning in life.

That’s quite a drop from 2017, when 20% said the same.

Continue reading “Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning”

The Hidden Costs of Living Alone

The Hidden Costs of Living Alone by Joe Pinsker

(Link): The Hidden Costs of Living Alone

In ways both large and small, American society still assumes that the default adult has a partner and that the default household contains multiple people.

By Joe Pinsker
October 20, 2021

If you were to look under the roofs of American homes at random, it wouldn’t take long to find someone who lives alone. By the Census Bureau’s latest count, there are about 36 million solo dwellers, and together they make up 28 percent of U.S. households.

Even though this percentage has been climbing steadily for decades, these people are still living in a society that is tilted against them. In the domains of work, housing, shopping, and health care, much of American life is a little—and in some cases, a lot—easier if you have a partner or live with family members or housemates. The number of people who are inconvenienced by that fact grows every year.

Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of Living Alone”

Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest

Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest

If you’re a Christian – you must recognize that 1 Cor 7 specifies that it is better to remain single than to marry, and no, that wasn’t merely a concession to a specific historical situation.

The Bible doesn’t teach that “marriage makes society better” or will repair a culture or nation. Christians who keep promoting that view are, from a theological perspective, in error.

As to the portions of this article where people interviewed claimed that marriage makes people happier (and I won’t be copying those portions to my post below) – wrong! That is a claim that’s been refuted before.

(Link): Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest 

By Nicole Alcindor, CP Reporter

Higher percentages of Americans view marriage as being “old-fashioned” as just over half believe that marriage is needed to create strong families, according to an annual nationwide survey released on Tuesday.

Continue reading “Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest”