World’s Oldest Woman Said Secret to Long Life is Staying Single

World’s Oldest Woman Said Secret to Long Life is Staying Single

(Link): World’s Oldest Woman Said Secret to Long Life is Staying Single

Excerpts:

  • by Y. Shah
  • The world has a new oldest person. Meet Emma Morano of Verbania, Italy. At 116-years-old, Morano is believed to be the last documented person alive who was born in the 1800s.

Continue reading “World’s Oldest Woman Said Secret to Long Life is Staying Single”

Bethke: “Christians Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence”

Bethke: “Christians Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence”

Before I get to the link itself (the editorial is located on The Christian Post site), whoever Tweeted the link to the article via Christian Post targeted “Young” Christians. I tweeted that account to tell them their quote – “[Christians] Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence” applies equally to older Christians as well.

I find it irritating that frequently, when commentary about marriage comes up on Christian sites, nine times out of ten, it addresses singles who are in their 20s, or at least younger than age 35. There are adults singles who are over the age of 35, and I am sick and tired of this group being ignored.

My second point of contention is the headline itself as it appears on the Post’s page:

  • Jefferson Bethke to Christian Singles: Don’t Make Marriage an Idol

Normally when I link to other people’s blog posts or to news articles, I like to keep the original headline intact, or as close to the original as I can. In this case, I opted to change it as it appears in the heading on my blog. I find that headline as it appears on The Post to be problematic and troubling, because it seems to imply that a single adult wanting to get married is idolatry itself.

That is not so. Merely wanting something it not necessarily tantamount to making whatever that ‘something’ is into an idol.

Too often, Christians shame single adults for wanting to be married – stop it.Stop doing that. There is nothing wrong with a single adult wanting to be married or experiencing episodic bouts of unhappiness or frustration with being single when they’d prefer to be married.

Secondly, it’s generally not adult singles who make marriage into an idol, but churches, church culture, and 95% of married Christians.

Often times, married Christians make marriage out to be God’s intended purpose for most people, and they behave as though singleness is “second class,” a mistake, a bad thing, or a disease to be cured.

Would yours truly writing this post like to be married? Yes. However, this does not mean I take kindly to either being ignored due to my single status or treated as though I am not worthy, good, or worthwhile because I am single. (Please see this post on my blog for more on that.)

Here is the link to the Christian Post editorial (I changed the headline in my link to something less grating)  what he says in this interview / editorial applies to singles of all ages, not just “young Christians”:

(Link): Bethke: “Christians Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence”

  • Young Christians should understand that being single is acceptable within the church, and they should avoid an idolatrous worship of marriage, evangelical speaker Jefferson Bethke said in a recent YouTube video.
  • In a brief video on his personal channel, Bethke addressed the idea of singleness, suggesting that often times, the modern church does a poor job of making single Christians feel welcome and accepted.
  • His message, he explains, is directed specifically at church leadership, as he believes churches need to sincerely ask themselves “are we making a space for single people?”
  • “So many times, we do such a bad job of creating a space for singles,” Bethke explains, adding that young Christians “do not need to get married to live a full and flourishing existence.”
  • Bethke notes that while church leadership don’t explicitly say it, singles can feel like “you’re a JV Christian until you get married.”

Continue reading “Bethke: “Christians Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence””

Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

A few excerpts by a single adult who was pressured to marry by her church but later regretted the marriage and divorced:

(Link): Singles ‘Need’ The Freedom To Choose by All Thinx Christian

  • I would never have thought the church would be a place where people were compelled to be married, but I found out the hard way that it is.
  • …Despite my yieldedness  and commitment to the LORD and His people, I was somewhat marginalized and often treated badly (disrespected and short-changed whenever possible) by God’s people.
  • When I complained about and challenged this behavior in one of the pastors I highly regarded and who was my mentor at the time, he informed me the problem with giving me full leadership support and integrating me into the life of the church was due to unmarried state. He said to me “If you were married, it would be different.”
  • After about another year of this very painful treatment and believing that the only reason for it was because I was unmarried, one day I went before the LORD and said “If marriage is what it will take for me to be properly treated in the church, then send me somebody and I will marry him.”

Continue reading “Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It”

Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

(Link): Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

Excerpts:

  • I am 43, single, never married, and have no kids. That’s me. While those statistics do not define me, sometimes I let them do just that.

Continue reading “Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop”

Get Over It says Dr Ed Young on Christian show The Winning Walk – And People Who Maybe Do Need to Get Over It

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.

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – it’s benefits, drawbacks – also: 1 Timothy 4:3 and Christians cannot agree on biblical doctrine

I first began this post with only an intent on discussing 1 Corinthians 7 in mind, but as I began typing, it meandered a little into other (but related) topics, then I wandered back to the 1 Cor 7 discussion.

(Link): Read 1 Corinthians 7 Online, on Bible Gateway

My commentary is below this long excerpt.

Excerpts from 1 Cor 7,

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

…25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.

28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

…. 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.
33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—
34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

I have had a blog visitor who says she (or he? Though I think she is a she) loathes and hates 1 Cor 7.

I left her a reply under a previous thread which reads:

    • I actually rather

like

    • 1 Corinthians 7,

except

    when it’s used as a weapon or condescending slogan against singles who want marriage.

But, in other contexts, I like that 1 Cor 7 passage, because married Christians (who are the ones who idolize marriage) need to be reminded that marriage is not better than singleness… that is, churches / body of Christ need to stop showing favortism to married with children couples, as they often do.

If anything, I see some pastors (such as Mark Driscoll, whom I wrote about recently (Link): here ), twist and distort 1 Cor 7 and try to explain it away – because he (and other Christians) view singles as being abnormal, or they view the state of singleness as being abnormal, or not as good as, being married, which is an INSULT to adult singles.

I know it can hurt or be frustrating to want marriage when you are single BUT (at least for me), so long as you are single, until you marry one day (assuming you marry), don’t you want preachers and other married Christians to stop acting as though you are somehow lower or not as godly or mature, or not deserving of a church’s finances and time, just because you are single?

That is why I like to toss 1 Cor 7 in their faces (and other passages).

I’ve sort of written on this topic here:
(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

There are some never married Christian adults who actually LOVE the GOS (“Gift of Singleness” or “of celibacy,” “GOC”) talk, they have stopped by this blog before to say they like these phrases…

I can’t get these types of adult, Christian singles to see that not only is neither phrase in the Bible, but the phrases are mis-used and abused by married Christians and preachers to keep singles single – the ones who want marriage.

The GOS/GOC talk and terms are used to maintain discrimination against singles. (I’ve blogged about that before, just search the blog using the phrase “gift of singleness.”)

I also have many blog posts talking about the cliches that Christian singles who desire marriage get from married Christians, and it annoys me too. Here are a few posts about it:

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link): Annoyance of Being A Christian Single (has list of cliches’ one hears from married Christians and friends at church, in sermons, etc)

… I have similar blog posts, those are just a few.

To sum up, 1 Cor 7 can be a helpful ally and tool in the arsenal of an adult Christian single who runs into Christians who idolize marriage – the ones who behave as though single adults are losers.

I was at a right wing, political blog where all the married people were responding to a news story about childless and single women.

Many of these right wing people on that blog were insulting singles and the state of being childless.

Even secular right wingers tend to make an idol out of marriage, parenting, and the nuclear family.

Many married right wingers, even the secular ones, assume women who are never-married and childless past their 30s are man-hating, atheistic feminists who vote Democrat and have posters of Obama all over their bedroom walls with lipstick-kiss marks on them.

These types of right wing morons never realize that women can be conservative Republican and/or Christians and be single and childless into adulthood, based on circumstances they had no control over, or, based on their choice (but choices which are NOT based on atheism, feminism, liberalism, or hatred of God, country, conservatives, or babies).

Singlehood and childless/child-free are not bastions or life stations of liberal feminists and Democrats only. There are plenty of right wing, Republican, Christian, pro life women who choose to stay single and childless, or who find themselves that way due to circumstance.

Every time these types of right wing jackholes bash liberal feminists for being single and childless, they are also inadvertently bashing Republican, Christian, childless/ childfree women too.

When I tried explaining to these people that I am right wing also, but I am single and childless myself, some of them mellowed out in their criticisms and slams against singles and the childless, but some actually ramped the vitriol up… UNTIL… I quoted this at them:

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

Once I quoted that from 1 Cor 7, that shut the married Marriage and Baby Idolaters up pronto.

Several replied, “You’re right; the Bible and God are okay with singleness, and women are not expected by God to have kids if they are single, and marriage is a choice, not a commandment. You are right.”

So, 1 Cor 7 can come in handy for an adult single who is getting damn tired of hearing she is a failure or weirdo for not being married past her 20s.

Oddly, the fact that Jesus Christ and Paul were single seem to usually not leave much of an impact on married Marriage and Family Idolaters, when that fact is thrown in their faces.

But, and stranger still, Jesus’ and Paul’s singlehood and childless status is none-the-less a tid bit that Married, Christian Condescending People like to remind Non-Content Adult Singles of.

Seems like 30% – 40% of articles I read for singles by married Christians likes to offer the chirpy reminder, “Remember, singles, Jesus and Paul were single and childless too!”

Okay, Enthusiastic Christian Married Guy, it’s good for you to respect singleness and being childless by recognizing that Jesus Christ and Paul was single and childless.

Married Christians should indeed keep that in mind, that Christ and Paul were single and childless, because God knows, Christians often go blank on that and assume Marriage and Kids are God’s default for EVERYONE.

However, while that is great for Jesus and Paul, I personally would like to marry so I can bang a man weekly (ie, get my sexual lusts fulfilled), have some constant companionship, to stave off bouts of loneliness. Maybe get chocolates in a heart shaped box on Valentine’s from a sweetie pie, instead of eating Campbell’s soup for one over the sink again. That sort of stuff.

On the one hand, 1 Cor 7 can be used as a weapon against married Christians by singles, against the types of married Christians who tend to elevate marriage at the expense of singles and singleness. That is to the single’s advantage.

On the other hand, some Christians, usually married idiots, misuse 1 Cor 7 as a battering ram against adult singles who want to get married.

And that is not right; the twisting or abuse of 1 Cor 7, borders on this:

1 Timothy 4:3

    3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

I’m an American in 2014. There is no “present” crisis going on with me personally in 2014 America, as there was when Paul wrote to people telling them it is better for them to remain as they were (single if single, or married if married), given their “present crisis.”

Whatever that crisis was – maybe Christians were being persecuted for being Christian?

Continue reading “Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics”

Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

Widows Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples says new study

(Link): Wellbeing higher for widows than couples, National Australia Bank Wellbeing Index finds

    DECEMBER 23, 2013 11:08PM

    WIDOWED people are reporting higher levels of wellbeing than married couples, while women aged 18 to 29 are the unhappiest age group, a survey shows.

    National wellbeing deteriorated to 63.5 points in the last three months of the year, down from 64.4 points in the previous quarter, according to the National Australia Bank Wellbeing Index.

    When it comes to marital status, widows and widowers had the highest levels of wellbeing while singles had the lowest, the survey of 2,100 Australians showed.
    “In particular, mental wellbeing, feeling part of the community and physical health are significantly stronger contributors to the wellbeing of widows when compared to married couples,” NAB economists said.

    Those with no children reported higher levels of wellbeing than those with children, while the highest earners – those on $100,000-plus – were happier than those on lower incomes.

    Overall, wellbeing was highest in South Australia and the Northern Territory and lowest in Tasmania, due to a sharp increase in anxiety over the quarter.

    Those in regional cities reported the highest levels of wellbeing, compared with people in capital cities and rural areas.

    When it comes to age, women aged 18 to 29 reported the lowest levels of wellbeing while women aged 50-plus reported the highest levels.

    “The most important influences on positive wellbeing include personal relationships, your home and personal safety,” NAB economists said.

—————-
Related posts:

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link): Study: People today living alone more than ever before

(Link): Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)

The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles – Christian Material For Singles is LAME

The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles

(Edit months after the fact: this blog post may contain adult language, as in cuss words. Or not. I don’t remember. But it’s a possibility.)
————————-
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to post about this before.

If you are looking for a positive, happy-happy blog to cheer you up about being single, this is not the blog for you.

I don’t aim to give people the warm and fuzzies about being single. I’m not trying to make you feel rotten about being single, either, though.

I am trying to Keep It Real.

I just told a blog visitor in a comment (in the blog post about the 34 year old single woman who is tired of being asked when she will marry), who seems to find this blog depressing, or too negative for her tastes, or something, because I am seldom upbeat and happy:

    …I actually had a visitor here about a week ago who says she really likes this blog because it is “raw.”

I know what she means.

Personally, I tired of the saccharin sweet tone of Christian blogs for singles, and there are many of them out there, if you are looking for upbeat and encouraging conversations about being a Christian single when you feel down about it.

I got turned off by those sites after having looked at them over a period of years.

Sites such as “Christianity Today,” “Boundless,” and “Her.meneutics” (and other Christian sites/ blogs) strive to be G-rated and clean at all times. They are usually afraid to be blunt and real about life, about marriage, about singlehood.

Many Christian sites and blogs (even the ones run by lay persons) are deathly afraid of using rough language, being negative, everything always has to be sunny- sunny, sweet, upbeat, and paint a rosy picture of being a Christian single. In my opinion, that is not real. That is not reality, not to me.

I never got anything out of the sweet, G-rated, prim and proper, super nice blogs for Christians that tell singles to “serve Jesus,” “find contentment in Jesus,” and so forth. These little platitudes don’t convey the deep loneliness and pain some singles who desire marriage contend with.

And that is all very true.

I like that I can come to my little blog here and cuss and rant and be negative (you too can start your own blog. These Word Pres blogs are free).

Continue reading “The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles – Christian Material For Singles is LAME”

(Article) Young People in Japan Have Stopped Having Sex – sekkusu shinai shokogun – Celibacy Syndrome

(Article) Young People in Japan Have Stopped Having Sex

I did a similar post like this one several months ago and joked about moving to Japan (or maybe it was an article about China?).

(Link): Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?

    What happens to a country when its young people stop having sex? Japan is finding out… Abigail Haworth investigates

Abigail Haworth
The Observer, Saturday 19 October 2013

Ai Aoyama is a sex and relationship counsellor who works out of her narrow three-storey home on a Tokyo back street. Her first name means “love” in Japanese, and is a keepsake from her earlier days as a professional dominatrix.

Back then, about 15 years ago, she was Queen Ai, or Queen Love, and she did “all the usual things” like tying people up…

Her work today, she says, is far more challenging. Aoyama, 52, is trying to cure what Japan’s media calls sekkusu shinai shokogun, or “celibacy syndrome”.

Japan’s under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren’t even dating, and increasing numbers can’t be bothered with sex. For their government, “celibacy syndrome” is part of a looming national catastrophe. Japan already has one of the world’s lowest birth rates.

Continue reading “(Article) Young People in Japan Have Stopped Having Sex – sekkusu shinai shokogun – Celibacy Syndrome”

Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage / and Re Girl Talk Blog

Heartless, Simplistic, Crap-tastic Christian Advice by Carolyn Mahaney – for singles who desire marriage

Remember my post of a few days ago, this one:
(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

This post is the of the same sort, only you can substitute “singles who desire marriage” for the “infertile people who desire to have children” angle.

Most of conservative Christianity declares that a woman’s only or greatest calling in life is to be a wife and mother.

Many women naturally want to get married even without that propaganda.

So, what do Christians do when a Christian women has arrived at age 35 or 40 or older and still has no ring on her left finger?

Well, by golly, recite a few Bible verses about jealousy at her and tell her to stop “envying” women who do have marriage and children.

Because, you know, if you want marriage badly, they are saying, you are supposedly “making an idol” out of it.

These hypocritical messages from Christians who strongly push traditional marriage to begin with are so deceitful: they hammer Christian adults to desire, want, and strive for marriage, but if marriage does not happen, they then condescendingly lecture them to “stop envying those women who do have spouses.”

How cruel. Does Satan himself write their blog posts for them?

Does the church make marriage into an idol? Yep, it sure does. That does not mean it is idolatry for an unmarried person to still desire to get married herself, however.

Singles who desire marriage should not be guilted or shamed for wanting marriage, or be told they “want it too much” or are “making it into an idol.”

Here is the stupid post that got me riled up:
(Link): When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010 – on Crosswalk

The same post is also located here, on a different site:
(Link): (Part 1) When Someone Else Gets What We Want by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

(Part 2) Battle Plan for Fighting Envy by Carolyn Mahaney, Sept 2006 – on Girl Talk blog

Mahaney, by the way, is a member of, or contributor to, the dreadful CBMW (gender complementarian group) and is apparently married to C J Mahaney, who stands accused by many families of his church system who say he knew of child sexual abuse committed by various church staff for years and did nothing to stop it. There are many articles online about that; just google the guy’s name if you want to read about the abuse cases and lawsuit.

Anyway. Here are excerpts from this crap-tastic editorial, shaming single Christian women for wanting to be married (a goal in life these same idiots say women should have to start with) – and there are more observations by me below these long excerpts:

“When Someone Else Gets What We Want” by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney, Contributors, Sept 2010

    Nicole: What do we do with a good, yet unfulfilled longing that won’t go away? First, we thank God that by His mercy we desire one of His good gifts.

    However, we must also regulate our desires. We must not love or long for one of God’s good gifts more than we love or long for God Himself. If we do, then we have essentially made an idol out of this good desire and we are worshipping it instead of God.

    As teacher David Powlison paraphrases the eminent John Calvin: “The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want but that we want it too much.”

    One sure indicator as to whether or not a good desire has morphed into an idol is how we respond when someone else gets the very thing that we want but don’t have. When a close friend—who was perfectly happy to be single—up and gets married, and we are, literally, left behind. Or when, as is the case for a friend of mine, we know five other girls who are pregnant and we are not.

    And what about the woman who gets married younger than us, whose job is more glamorous than ours, whose house is bigger than ours, whose marriage is better than ours, whose life is easier than ours, whose children are more well-behaved than ours, whose popularity is brighter than ours, whose intelligence is greater than ours? Need I go on?

    Envy is a sin common to women. But do we always see it for the rancid evil that it is? Several months ago, I found myself envying another woman’s happiness. My husband encouraged me to study the topic of envy, and gave me some material to read. In the course of my study, the following string of thoughts by Cornelius Plantinga hit me straight between the eyes. Buckle your seat belt, for these are hard, yet necessary words.

    …. How do we get there? Mom will share a biblical strategy for overcoming envy.

    A Battle Plan for Fighting Envy

    Carolyn: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good….Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul (1 Peter 2:1-3, 11; emphasis mine).

    …Here is a simple (not easy mind you) yet effective strategy for going on the offensive against envy:

    1. Pray daily for the person we are tempted to envy. Persistent envy can be overcome with persistent prayer. We will find it is very difficult to go on envying someone for whom we are regularly asking God to bless and prosper.

    [remove remainder of suggestions; you can click the link above if you wish to read the rest of the list]

    Originally posted May 15, 2007

    This article was adapted from “Girl Talk” – a blog kept by Carolyn and her three daughters for women in all seasons of life.
    Carolyn Mahaney is a wife, mother, homemaker, and the author of Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood and Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed (written with her daughters). During her more than 30 years as a pastor’s wife, Carolyn has spoken to women in many churches and conferences, including those of Sovereign Grace Ministries, which her husband, C.J., leads. C.J. and Carolyn have three married daughters and one sixteen-year-old son, Chad.

Er, no. You can’t create this intense longing for marriage among young Christian women, pressure them to think marriage is the only acceptable route for them and God’s only design for them, as these ‘gender complementarian’ women and other Christians do, but then give these condescending, simplistic little lectures peppered with little Bible verses in an editorial, telling them they are idolizing marriage: you guys are responsible in large measure for making marriage an idol to start with.

You can take your condescending, insensitive- to- single adults, polly-anna, cloying editorial and cram it where the sun don’t shine.

I love it. You have all these lonely, disappointed wounded Christian single women who had so hoped to marry out there, and rather than cheer them up, you scold them by assuming they are guilty of “envy” and of “idolizing marriage” and are now shaming them and scolding them.

Un. Freaking. Believe. Able.

Also, after having skimmed over several of their other blogs posts at the “Girl Talk” blog under the “singles” category, a lot of those other blog posts also made me want to vomit with their polly-anna, simplistic advice, and other reasons (which I shall not go into here and now).

You’ll notice too, that only in the realms of marriage and perhaps child bearing, do Christians trot out the “you want it too much” line.

I have never seen a Christian use this rhetoric to shame another Christian who wants a new job, new college degree, new car, new hair cut, new shirt… it’s often applied only to marriage and having a kid. If you say you want a husband, they will say, “You want a husband too much!”

If, however, I say, “I sure wish God would heal me of my allergies,” you will get an “Amen, I hope so too, let me pray for your healing!,” rather than an, “Oh gosh, you are wanting a healing too much. Stop making an idol out of sickness and healing!”

Christians do remain in a state of cognitive discord on marriage, and they keep maintaining a nice set of double standards or hypocritical ones about it.

These married Christians (and some the annoying super spiritual Christian singles, see (Link): this link) cannot make up their frigging minds:

    #1. Either marriage is great and all of us should aspire to it,

    ~ OR ~

    #2. We should all seek to stay single because wanting marriage is idolatry and means we are guilty of envy.

Make up your damn minds about this already, Christian community! Stop expecting Christian singles to adhere to both points #1 and #2.
———————————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

Five Page Series on Singleness from Justcor

Five Page Series on Singleness from Justcor

This is page one of five pages:

(Link): Five Page Series on Singleness from Justcor

In my view, the most interesting page was this one:

(Link): Page 2: The first question on the survey asked, “What are one or two things the church is doing that discourages you in addressing the topic of singleness?”

Though I disagree with items on page 2 such as this one:

    13. Unwillingness to combat evil cultural ideals produced by sexual revolution and feminism

Le sigh. Feminism is not totally to blame for all relationship ills among Christians; I addressed that here:
(Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

Nor do I agree with these points:

    15. Letting the cultural ideal of career planning supersede marriage

    16. Missing the mark of God-centered marriage of Ephesians 5 with male headship and female submission

Number 15 hints at people who push early marriage – the weenies who think all Christians should marry at age 18 or 20. See: (Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by A. Moore (editorial) and (Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

Number 16 – aside from the fact I’m an egalitarian, as I’ve written about before, these “biblical gender roles” (which are not biblical) keep the genders apart and is one reason there is a tidal wave of singles in the church who want to be married but can’t even get a date.

A few points from page two that I did relate with:

    5. Use of cliches that fall far short of addressing singleness

    9. Misbelief that unmarried are less mature than married

    17. Celebrating only wedding and births but not significant events of singles

    19. Making promises they can’t guarantee such as “You’ll find the right guy,” etc.

    20. Ignoring the topic altogether

    21. Unwillingness to host a singles-only event

    24. Thinking contentment in God and having a desire for marriage are mutually exclusive

    26. Treating singles as asexual

    35. Enforcing too many boundaries and rules to friendships between men and women

    36. Young Christian men suffering from lack of confidence and fear of rejection

    38. Married people valuing friendship with other married people over single people

(Link): Read that whole list here (page 2)

As to this point:

    26. Treating singles as asexual

There are two strains of thought among Christians on this issue.

Some Christians either think of older, never-married Christians as asexual (or lacking sexual desire), or, conversely, they think we are horny horn dogs who have sex with 567 different partners every night, when we’re not bedding married men.

In the world of conservative Christianity, older single Christians are either thought of as
1. Madonnas or as Whores, or, to put it another way, as
2. sexless or lust-filled, randy bed hoppers.

The truth for a lot of Christian singles is somewhere in-between both caricatures.

There is also a page 3, 4, and a 5 and the Justcor blog about singleness.
————————————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity

(Link): Christian Teachings on Relationships: They’re One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

(Link): How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 3) – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical

(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

Single Adults Why They Stay and Why They Stray (from church) Book Excerpts

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…

    – a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link):

is not biblical

    ;
    -neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
    – C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

The author of the particular chapter I am quoting seems okay, and I don’t see too much that I disagree with in his chapter.

What is really funny is that this book (I’m not sure when it was published, I am just now finding it today), echoes many of the things I’ve said on this blog before.

Edit: this book was published in 2003, but this is the first I am seeing it, or reading excerpts from it. It is incredible how the author noticed most of the same disturbing anti-singles views and trends that I have in this blog the last three years.

As I am a NEVER MARRIED woman, I am not going to present the full section under “divorce” in the chapter. You can visit the link to read it if you want.

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :
(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

    … Do you know how many single adults sit in your congregation each Sunday? Recently I was speaking in a church to three thousand people. I asked for all the people who were unmarried and twenty-two years old or older to stand up. Over a thousand people stood up! The audience was surprised and gasped at the large number…

Do you realize that the number of single adults in America exceeds the total national population of all but eleven of the world’s 192 nations? How shocked would you be to discover that the number of single parents is greater than the entire population of Colorado and Tennesse combined?

According to the 2000 U.S. census 40 percent of all adults eighteen and older (forty-eight million) are single. We are seeing a tremendous shift in American social values.

The median age of a first-time marriage is now twenty-five among women and twenty-seven among men. The fastest growing family type is single parents.

If your church is in an urban area, the percentage of single adults near you is much higher than a rural area. Singles gravitate to the cities for jobs, things to do, and others to meet. They are searching for connection and community.

They are often afraid of loneliness, commitment, and isolation. Most of those under thirty have never been married. The average age of a married person’s first divorce is thirty-four. That means after years of marriage, they are thrown back into the dating scene. They feel awkward and unprepared. They face the same relationship challenges that teens face, but they feel out of place.

One woman said to me, “I am now single, but I feel married. I don’t want to be single, but that was forced on me.” They have been out of the dating world for so long that they have very little idea what to do. And no one is helping them or even having a discussion about some of these issues.

Most singles are invisible to churches.

… They represent every economic stratum you can imagine – everything from presidents of major corporations to the unemployed and all in between. Fifty-three percent of all unchurched adults are single.

But our churches are built on a mind-set of marriage, and singles are often neglected. They are the “Great Invisible Mission Field.” However, businesses are very aware of singles. If you look at the advertising on television or in magazines, you will find that a huge number of ads are geared to attract single people.

Sports clothing, beer, cell phones, and a myriad of other products are marketed to singles. They have the largest amount of discretionary income. But the church in general has a difficult time attracting them and capturing their attention and commitment.

Many single adults believe that the church excludes and ignores them. They feel like the church is either neglecting them or is just not interested in them. So single adults vote with their feet. They come to church for a few months or years; but when their needs are not addressed or they never hear a sermon addressed to their unique issues, they fade away and go somewhere else – or stop going to church altogether. They hear sermons preached on topics such as “How to be a Godly Husband” or “Becoming a Godly Wife.” But they have never heard a sermon on “How to be a Godly Single Adult.”

… [Singles] don’t stay because there is no emotional glue to keep them there. They are not the “squeaky wheel” that is going to ask the pastor to give a sermon directed toward them or to pound on the door of the budget meeting pressuring for more funding. They just fade away.

Are you desperate to attract single adults to your ministry and get them involved? Here is my top ten list on “Why Single Adults Are Turned Off by the Church.”

Number 10: Frivolous jokes degrade the single lifestyle.
Grandparents, pastors, and married friends all have jokes about singles. All the married people laugh, but the single buries the snub under a weak smile.

I was single for forty-two years. When I served as an assistant pastor in my middle thirties, I heard lots of good-natured jokes, but often the ribbing was not funny to me. “Hey, are you afraid to take the responsibility for a mate?” Here I was in charge of several significant ministries in the church, and they tell me I’m afraid to take responsibility?

“Maybe you are just too picky. Are you looking for a perfect wife?” In other words, if you lower your standards you may get somebody.

“You’re not getting any younger, you know.” That was supposed to pressure me to get moving? Sometimes I would get the big one: “What are you waiting for?” Like I better hurry up before I miss the “right one.” But isn’t there a sovereign God? His timing may not be my timing – or the timing of the people who ask me to hurry up.

In trying to encourage me, people would give what I call romantic testimonies: “I finally gave everything to God, and six months later I found the right one.” But I was forty years old and had been a full-time minister for over fifteen years.

Was there something I had not given up to God that some married twenty-year-old ha already given up to God? All the marriage formulas that people give singles may be individual experience they had, but those formulas are not normative for all believers. Why should I seek the holy grail of marriage if God wants me to be content in every situation?

After four years as a pastor, I resigned from my church. Even though I was no longer was the pastor, I continued to attend the church. A single female friend of mine from Kansas came to our city one weekend to visit some of her college buddies. I brought her to the 11 A.M. church service. As we were walking down the aisle, an elderly usher led us to a front row for seating. The organ was softly playing and everybody was kind of quiet. When we stopped to turn into the row, he handed my friend a bulletin and said to me loudly so most of the people could hear, “Hey Dick, when are you going to marry her?” I wanted to die right there, but first I wanted to punch his lights out.

These kinds of jokes will not attract singles to your church! No way! They degrade single life as if the only bright future is for married people. That idea is not found in the Bible. Even the apostle Paul stated that an unmarried person can have undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-35). He did not consider singleness a joking matter.

Number 9: Church leadership is mainly interested in the interests and needs of married people.
The pastor and leaders are usually all married with very little significant empathy or understanding of the unique needs and concerns of single adults.

Single Christians are rarely eligible to be members of the governing board. There are very few single senior pastors. The silent criterion of marriage eliminates singles from serving in many aspects of the typical church. If you carry that to a logical conclusion, the Apostle Paul would not be qualified to be a pastor or elder. Even Timothy would be shut out of the opportunity for leadership.

After four years as an assistant pastor, I wanted to become a senior pastor. I had a total of fifteen years experience in the ministry and two Master’s degrees. However, when I sent in my resumes, not one church ever asked me to candidate, because I had to write on the front page of the resume my marital status: “Single.” Who wants a senior pastor who is single?

It was a bitter experience. I was unqualified to be a senior pastor of a church because I did not have the “Mrs.” degree. Many men graduating from seminary have tremendous pressure put on them. If they want to rise above the level of youth pastor, they must be married. Why is marriage the unspoken golden key that unlocks the door to pastor advancement?

Number 8: Budgeted funds for single ministry are usually inadequate or nonexistent.
Many churches don’t budge anything for singles. When the churches that have budgeted some funds for singles ministry must cut the budget somewhere, the singles ministry often is the one that gets the ax. “Singles are adults – they can handle it,” the budget committee says. But the message that gets across is, “You are not as important as other people in our church.”

… The message the singles hear is loud and cleaer: “You are the lowest on the totem pole. Your needs come last. You are not worth our paying a minister who can meet your needs.” Therefore, singles respond with their feet. They say, “I’m out of here.”

Number 7: Singles feel the church neglects them.
They feel like barnacles on the side of the church ship – there but forgotten. Marriage is espoused as the norm, and singles just don’t fit the model.

I have conducted over three hundred single adult conferences throughout America, Canada, and twelve other countries. Yet only nine senior pastors stopped by to observe and/or greet the crowd.

The even was in their church, in their building, and these are adults. I remember each of the nine because they are so rare….

Number 6: There is a perception that single adults are morally loose.

If a person is not married by mid-twenties, there is something wrong, it is generally thought. A particular church was in the process of trying to hire a youth pastor. Since they could not find one for over a year, they held a congregational meeting to explain the progress they were making. The elder in charge presented all kinds of reasons for the delay in locating the right person for the position. At the end of his explanation, I stopped up and asked, “Does the person you are looking for have to be married?”

You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. People gasped. It was the unthinkable question. The elder hemmed, and he hawed, and he slithered all over the platform. All I wanted was a yes or no. He was very obviously unnerved by my question. Finally some lady in the very back said, “What we need is a role model for the young girls. So I think he should be married.”

“You mean to tell me, in this entire congregation there is not one woman who’s a role model for the girls?” Silence.

“I tell you what I think the real reason is. You are afraid that a single pastor would be sexually frustrated and have sex with one of the teenage girls. Out of all the pastors I have known personally, four have had affairs and left the ministry in disgrace. Each of them was married. Almost all the other pastors I have read about in magazines and books who have committed adultery were married. True, married people do not have a corner on the market in becoming immoral. But you should not be prejudiced against a single adult simply because he is single.”

I tried to tell them that some of the best youth pastors in America are single. I wasn’t a very popular guy after that. The elders eventually hired a youth pastor. Yes, he was married.

Some churches won’t allow singles to teach Sunday school for fear these men and women will succumb to sexual temptation. That is unfounded fear. We all need the power of God to overcome temptation. Don’t single out single people as the most likely to succumb. That is unfair and inaccurate. Single adults want to be respected and trusted. Let them show by their faithfulness that they have a genuine relationship with God.

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.
(please click on the “continue reading/ read more” link to see rest of the post. Thank you)

Continue reading “Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts”

New-ish Christian Cliche’ About Singlehood: Don’t Waste Your Singleness -or- Make the Most of Your Singleness

New-ish Christian Cliche’ About Singlehood: “Don’t Waste Your Singleness” -or- “Make the Most of Your Singleness”

I really hate cliche’s, at least when they are aimed at someone who is upset or hurting about something.

Say, for instance, you are tired of being single, and you tell your married friend, “I sure wish I could meet Mr. Right!,” and she responds by saying one or more of the following:

    -“Be content in your singleness!”

    -“Don’t look for The One, BE THE ONE!”

    -“When you are mature / godly/ spiritual/ content/ (whatever) enough – that is when God will send you your spouse!”

    -(to female singles): “Lose weight and you’ll get a man in no time!”

    -(to female singles): “Grow your hair long and you’ll get a man, men loooove long hair”

    -(to female singles): “Don’t be so independent/ smart/ opinionated/ rich/ capable, it will scare men away; they need to feel needed!”

    – “Get out there and LOOK! A spouse won’t drop in your lap / appear on your front door step by magic”

    – “Serve in the church, that’s how I met my spouse”

    – “When you’re not looking that is when it will happen”

    – “Singleness is a gift! / Celibacy is a gift”

    – “Jesus is sufficient to meet all your needs, the Lord is your husband!”

    – “Join eHarmony (dating site)! It worked for my cousin!”

There are probably several more cliches I’ve forgotten, but you get the idea.

A new cliche’ that has been showing up more and more often the last year or two on Christian blogs and sites, especially in articles for Christian singles, are these:

“Don’t Waste Your Singleness” and the variation,

“Make Your Singleness Count”

I can only assume these got started because at some point, famous (now retired?) preacher John Piper (who makes my skin crawl, and he has sexist, warped views about women, and stupid, dangerous opinions about how domestic abuse victims should deal with abuse), wrote a book with a title like, “Make Your Life Count” or “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

Ah yes, I see from an online book seller, the book by Piper is called “Don’t Waste Your Life” and was published in 2004.

Then of course, we have all these preachers such as Platt and Idleman, who, the last couple of years, lecture Christians that if they don’t sell all their worldly possessions to go work in soup kitchens full time or live in a hut in Africa, they are not serious followers of Jesus and are not radical enough.(See (Link): this post)

So, I’m not exactly sure of the origins of “make the most of your singlness” or “don’t waste your singleness,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if Piper, Platt, etc. weren’t the inspiration.

Anyhoo. What does it mean, anyway? “Don’t waste your singleness?” Should I be in contemplative prayer round the clock every day? Handing out rice to African orphans?

Basically, the only thing you can say to singles in this area will be based on a work-based mind set: you must be performing like a circus seal for the Son of God!

No thanks, Christ said He came to give His followers rest, not more works to perform.

Singles don’t need more cliches and platitudes.

You married Christians, or (Link): you peppy and perpetually happy with your single status types, stop coming up with pithy, and what- sounds- to- you- like- clever one-liners. The cliches don’t cheer up singles, and they don’t make me feel any better. They’re cheap and annoying.
———————
Related Posts, This Blog:

(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift

(Link): Fifteen Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do To Your Single Friends

(Link): Annoyances of Being a Christian Single

(Link): The Problem with Platitudes – for Christian single over 35 years old never married

(Link): Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please.

(Link): Responding to the Cliche’ “Jesus Is All You Need” – Re Christian Singles

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

(Link): Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

(Link): Same Old Tired Advice to Christian Singles

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link): Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me: The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness; The Condescending Single Who Brays “Jesus is all you need, your earthly happiness doesn’t matter”; or the Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness

I. The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness And Doesn’t Understand Why You Can’t Be Too

To clarify something: there are times when I feel relieved about being single, and there are other times it bothers me. I’m not wholly on one side of the fence or the other.

I was just saying (Link): in a post yesterday I get very pissed off and annoyed over these sunny attitude, Rose-colored- glasses- wearing unmarried women (sometimes men, but it’s normally a woman) who go on and on in their editorials for Christian singles about how they are golly gee whiz happy-happy to be single, they love living for just Jesus by golly!, and they say they cannot wrap their heads around singles who think that singlehood sometimes sucks. They think everyone should be as happy-happy with singleness as they are.

The fact is, some of us are not always happy with singleness 100% of the time, and your constant sunniness about it is unrealistic, irritating, doesn’t acknowledge the pain some of us go through at times, and by being so dang chipper about singleness, you’re sort of denying how most churches and denominations ignore or belittle singles.

II. The Super Spiritual Christian Single Who Likes to Say Over and Over: “Jesus and My Bible is All I Need and To Want Anything Else is Inappropriate, Especially In Church” (Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness)

These are usually the ones who pipe up in blog comments in articles for singles who say church is for worship of the Lord and Bible devotions only, that’s all THEY want when they go to a church, they say they are deeply offended when “Brother Hank” or “Sister Sally” tries to play match- maker for them.

And, they say, singles should not be using church to find a mate, because that’s turning church into a “meat market.” And remember, according to them, church is for worship and Bible reading and study only, nothing else.

If you are the kind of single who wants to view church as a Bible study only, fine for you, but don’t sit there and lecture myself and Christian singles that it’s wrong for another Christian person to use church to meet a mate.

There are other reasons for the creation of the church besides worship, Bible reading, the Great Commission, and helping African orphans.

Continue reading “The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me”

Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

Old accusation and stereotypes tossed at unmarried people, even if and when it’s not true: “You’re Bitter!” and “You Have Baggage!” (“And that’s why you’re still single!”)

Before I get to the purpose of the post, a couple of points:

1. Wooo! I am on a roll today! This must be my fourth post in a row today. I need to go jogging pretty soon, though, so I will have to leave the computer for that. But your married Christian bloggers can’t complain, since they say my one magical key in getting a husband is jogging regularly (men don’t want ugly fatties, I’m told).

2. As for the blog post’s heading.

I think Google weighs post titles more heavily than post tags, which is why some of my post headings are insanely long or appear strange.

I normally would not put both terms, “unmarried” and “single” in a post subject heading together, but I don’t know if a person out there will be doing a search using “unmarried” or “single.” Now for the post:

— Hey, since you are unmarried, you simply MUST be BITTER and have TOO MUCH BAGGAGE! —

I really intended on making this post after doing one about how Christians approach the issue of physical appearance, especially as it pertains to dating and marriage, before making this one, but I think that one will take longer to write than this one, and I’m not in the mood to write another long post today.

I’ve seen some Christian bloggers – usually married, male ones – who, when they write a blog post about dating and marriage aimed at unmarried people, if they engage with dissenters in their comment area, will invariably throw the word “bitter” at commentators who hold opposing views.

While it certainly may be true that some unmarried people are bitter – because they want to get married but remain single – I don’t think it’s true of all unmarried people.

I will address the topic of “bitterness” farther below, but I wanted to turn attention to the “I bet you have baggage!” stereotype first.

— BAGGAGE —

I think telling unmarried people they have “baggage,” as in, “the reason you are still single past the age of 35 is that potential suitors perceive someone of that age as having too much baggage” is an idea (and insult, really) that is over-used on blogs, in books, and in TV segments on Christian programs about dating and relationships. I have seen this term used on Christian sites and secular ones about dating and relationships on a somewhat recurring basis.

Continue reading “Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say”

Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28

1 Corinthians 7:28:

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

Skimming over a list of recent secular advice columnist Carolyn Hax columns recently, I feel happy with never having been married, and that I am a life long celibate.

Sometimes, I feel upset at having arrived in my 40s without ever married, but then I see things online or on the TV that makes me feel glad I am still single and not having sex.

Here’s a selection of just a few of Hax’s recent column headlines:

  • Carolyn Hax: History of bad partners; adulterer in their midst – OCT 17
  • Carolyn Hax: When to disclose you have herpes – OCT 16
  • Carolyn Hax: Boyfriend has anger issues, but he won’t go to therapy on his own – OCT 15

“When to disclose you have herpes.” –When to disclose your herpes?! Good grief. I have never been in that situation and likely never will be.

It’s hard being a celibate Christian over the age of 40.

We’re mostly invisible to the American Christian church at large, and get no encouragement or support to remain celibate.

I’m constantly inundated with pro-sex (and pro-marriage) messages and images every time I turn on the television, go to a movie, look at a magazine – and that’s just from “Christian culture,” not counting the mountain of sex messages and imagery I get from secular culture, not just in regards to sex, but the secular culture keeps up this facade that a person cannot be validated unless one is in a romantic relationship.

Regarding my point that the current American Christian culture is just as obsessed with sex as is the secular culture, here are a few examples: everything from pastor Mark Driscoll’s frequent kinky, perverted, sex-filled sermons (he even sexualizes non-sexual content, such as the book of Esther), and pastor Ed Young’s stupid, immature, weird, tacky “Sexperiment.”

You can read more about those topics here (I am not necessarily in full agreement with all views on all topics on blogs and sites I link to):

Ed Young’s Sexperiment, from Church Marketing Sucks

The Trouble with Ed Young’s Rooftop Sexperiment

Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women

Profane Preachers Contribute to Killing the Conscience

This discusses how Driscoll and other pastors are obsessed with sex:

The Church of Sex

Older celibates get treated like weirdos or failures in and out of the church, by Christians and by secular people.

The hypocrisy from Christians is amazing on this point. They frequently lecture teen aged Christians, and the 20-something Christians, to refrain from sex outside of marriage, but when these Christians actually succeed in doing this, and remain unmarried and virgins into their 40s and beyond (such as yours truly), we get treated like second class citizens and freaks by the church. (click “more” to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28”

The Singles Challenge ( Single Christian over 35 years old never married )

From christianity.com
(originally from The Singles Challenge
By Margaret Feinberg
Copyright Christianity Today International):


Theresa became a Christian when she was 18. She says she assumed that God would present her with a fine Christian man, complete with a shiny red bow, and that meeting him would be just around the corner.

“I’m 33 years old now, and no such man has shown up on my doorstep,” says the San Francisco Bay Area resident.

Most of the men that ask Theresa out are not Christians, which makes it easy for her to say no. When she finds herself attracted to a non-Christian, they have to pass a test she calls “dropping the Jesus-bomb.”

She used to let non-Christian guys take her to dinner and then halfway through the meal tell them that she was a Christian. “They’d still seem hopeful until I bluntly told them what that means in their language: ‘I am not going to sleep with you,'” she says. “Most non-Christian men respond to this by saying ‘check please!’ I got tired of the dinner ritual and have sped up the process. Now I simply drop the Jesus-bomb right away.”

She says dates were easier to come by in her early twenties, when most people that age are still single. “But my twenties came and went and now most of my peers are married and having babies,” she explains. “I rarely see a man my age who is single. And the few I have seen, I have no interest in, not that they are asking me out in the first place.”

Theresa is far from alone in her situation. Being single today -especially a single Christian- isn’t easy. A variety of issues assault today’s Christian singles, including pressure to marry from family, friends, and well-intentioned church members; a lack of dating options; and, of course, sexual temptation. In addition, women face the constant ticking of their biological clocks.

And it’s not just twenty- and thirtysomething men and women who are facing these challenges. Today there’s a growing demographic of older singles, 40 and up.

“In singles’ groups with people age 30 and above, a significant portion of the singles are single again,” says Chip Ingram, president of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries and author of Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships. “Thus, the pain of the failed relationship and often being a single parent multiplies the stress in an older single’s world as well as making it difficult for the never-have-been-married singles to discern what their role is in developing relationships where they would be inheriting a family or dealing with baggage from their partner’s past.”

A lot of older single Christians, who didn’t expect to be single at this point, admit to feeling lost. “They thought they would be married by now, or if they’re divorced, they never expected that to happen to them,” says 33-year-old Lori Smith, author of The Single Truth: Challenging the Misconceptions of Singleness with God’s Consuming Truth.

“They often feel less Christian because the church emphasizes family so much that singles are left with the impression that good Christians get married and have kids. They wonder if God has forgotten them. Many are depressed about being single and don’t know how to change the way they feel.”
Continue reading “The Singles Challenge ( Single Christian over 35 years old never married )”

Women Do Not Need ‘Reasons’ for Being Single or Childless

Women Do Not Need ‘Reasons’ for Being Single or Childless

theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/06/women-do-not-need-reasons-being-single-or-childless/53174/

by Jen Doll, June 5, 2012

There are a couple of articles circulating today that have this writer feeling ranty, not because of the articles themselves, per se, but because of what they indicate about the world in which women currently live. The first of these posts is on Jezebel. It’s written by Samhita Mukhopadhyay, executive editor of Feministing, and it’s titled “Ten Very Good Reasons You Aren’t Married Yet.” The second is a piece in Slate responding to a(n unsurprising) Katie Roiphe piece saying that the decision not to have kids is still taboo. In this new article, titled “I Don’t Want to Have Children: I’m not even sure I have a biological clock,” Soraya Roberts explains how she feels about not having kids or even knowing she wants to at the ripe old age of 32, and Double X invites readers to share their own tales of why they have happily decided not to have babies.

All well and good, right? Women should feel free not to have babies, or not to get married, as they see fit. That’s the mark of a progressive society! Except, if that’s the case, why do we have to keep talking, talking, talking about it? And why do these kinds of articles pop up again and again for women, who need (someone has decided) to remind themselves repeatedly of why their decision is OK, even good. Really, really, it is! We promise! Thus, on a platter for your unmarried, child-free self are another set of reasons why; print them out, stick them to your sad-sack single-lady fridge, keep them handy for when that neighbor across the Thanksgiving table asks your mom what’s wrong with you that you’re not married and having kids already. Because it would be too much to say, simply, that’s not what I’m doing. Or to refuse to acknowledge the question.

Therein lies the problem with these articles. Why do women feel the need to explain themselves (womansplain?) over and over again when questions about marriage or having children come up? Why this incessant need to announce to the world, especially if they are writers, “I did this right, even if I did it differently! I may be a total weirdo, but my choice is valid, too!” Who’s the last childless, unmarried dude who has done that?
Continue reading “Women Do Not Need ‘Reasons’ for Being Single or Childless”

Responding to the Cliche’ Jesus Is All You Need – Christian never married lonely single

From The Toughest Questions Singles Ask

3. If God is all I really need, why do I still yearn for something more?

While it’s certainly true Jesus is the ultimate source through which all our needs, relational and otherwise, are met, he meets those needs in diverse ways. Sometimes he does so directly, but often he does so indirectly through people and circumstances.

Many Scriptures—such as Genesis 2:18 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12—point to the necessity of human companionship. In the Epistles alone there are more than 50 references to “one another”: “love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9); “forgive one another” (Ephesians 4:32); “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). God places great value on our relationships. While our relationship with God is primary, we need each other, too.

Unfortunately, a lot of false guilt can stem from a failure to grasp this truth. Here’s what can happen. Let’s say someone counsels “Mary” to find total relational satisfaction in Jesus. She earnestly tries, but because God designed us for relationship, she fails. She then begins to wonder what’s wrong with her, why she can’t get close enough to God to satisfy her unmet relational needs. Now she’s left with a false belief that her relationship with God is flawed. So poor Mary feels like a failure at human relationships (presumably because she isn’t married) and a failure at her relationship with God. We need to work hard to set singles free from this unhealthy, untruthful cycle.

Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Click the “more” link to read the rest)

I agree with the author of this. I find it annoying when people try to cheer me up about my never married status by telling me “Jesus is your husband.” Oh please.

My Savior My Spouse? (Isaiah 54:5)

by Camerin Courtney

If you’re one of those singles who finds comfort in Isaiah 54:5—”For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name … “—you should probably stop reading this column and go reread that passage instead. I’ll catch you next time around.

But if you’re one of those singles who reads that verse with equal parts confusion and consternation, read on, kindred. You’re in good company.

Maybe part of what “bothers” me about this verse is the timing of when it’s quoted to those of us without a spouse—usually right after we’ve expressed loneliness, a desire to be married someday (perhaps someday soon), or sadness over the end of a relationship.

The quoters mean to be encouraging, I know, and sometimes this verse does offer a needed reminder that God is always with us; he’s a relationship constant in a world of frequent moves, shifting friendships, painful divorce. And he offers not just any relationship, mind you, but intimate relationship.

God desires the kind of close interaction with us that sparks comparison to that of a husband and wife. He’s not a distant, cold, ambivalent God; he’s an up-close, hands-on, how-was-your-day, cares-about-the-details kind of God. At least when we let him be that kind of God. And yes, sometimes hearing this verse reminds me of all these wonderful truths.

But most days, when this verse is directed specifically at singles, it can be guilt inducing. You feel lonely? Just cling to Jesus. You want a husband? Jesus already is your husband. Isn’t he enough for you?

Well, yes … and no. Yes, Jesus is my foundation, my savior, my hope. He’s the friend I chat with when my eyes first open in the morning, when I’m in the shower, when I’m driving to meet a friend for coffee, when I’m washing dishes in my pj’s.

Continue reading “Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5”