views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
Category: how christians are keeping singles single
I am a right winger. I was a Republican until recently. I am now a conservative Independent.
I was a conservative Christian for many years (I am no longer sure about what my religious views are), and I (Link): Am A Former Gender Complementarian(someone who believed in and lived out traditional gender roles, views which are based in large measure on incorrect interpretations and applications about gender in the Bible).
I sometimes agree with secular left wing feminists on some topics, but not always. At times, I disagree with secular and religious left wing feminists and have written several blog posts critiquing some of their views.
This series of posts is addressing author Suzanne Venker’s relationship advice, as I have seen her advocate for, in behalf of her book “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage.”
I myself am not, nor have I ever been, what she terms an “Alpha Female.”
I have always been what she refers to as a “Beta,” and guess what?
Being a Beta did not land me a spouse, dates, or make my life easier, more peaceful, less stressful, or rewarding, as Venker tries to reassure her female readers that it will. More on that in a future post.
As a conservative who is in her 40s and still single (though engaged at one time), I have been seeing these sorts of attitudes about gender and marriage that are discussed below in an article by Venker advanced by secular and religious conservatives since I was a teen in the 1980s.
There is an annoying, recurrent, and yes, sexist, motiff by conservatives to say the reason society has problems with marriage, dating irregularity, high divorce rates, and other relationship problems – is that women are at fault.
Women are always blamed for relationship trends and problems – and at that, usually by other women – and at that, by women who tend to be conservative and who publish books or articles about dating and marriage.
Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage
Holy guacamole did I ever find a post by a Christian guy who really knows how to slam never-married or “single again” adults.
I was astounded by parts of this guy’s post.
I almost re-tweeted a link to his blog post about divorce from my Twitter page (I saw someone else share it on Twitter), thinking someone may find it helpful (judging from the title alone, it sounded like it might be a good page) but thankfully, I skimmed it first.
I left a reply under the guy’s post, and his blog says my post is awaiting moderation. Who knows if he will approve it to appear or not.
(August 2016 update: my comment on his blog, that I made in April 2016, is STILL tagged with the “awaiting moderation” comment on his blog. Unreal.)
I have copied in my reply farther below. I tried to be civil in my reply.
I’m going to try to be charitable here on my own blog: maybe this guy does not realize how deeply insulting his blog post is – the parts where he talks about divorced people or the never-married.
This guy should realize that upholding marriage or discouraging divorce does not necessitate INSULTING SINGLE PEOPLE.
You do not have to scare married people out of divorce by suggesting that all “single again” or never-married adults out there are great big, scary losers who have a lot of baggage, so if married people divorce, they won’t be able to find a great partner.
Complementarian Churches and the Single Adult Woman by J. Dyer
This is a page by a woman in her mid 30s who thought she would have been married by now but still finds herself single. She describes how the gender complementarian churches she has attended don’t minister to adult single women properly.
She also notes in this page how following all the usual Christian dating advice has not worked – she’s tried it all and is still single; this is a phenomenon I’ve blogged about before.
…But it [meeting a spouse at church] didn’t [happen]. Well-meaning friends told me all manner of things about how God must be teaching me something (it appears I’m a slow learner). Or–my favorite–if I could just delight in the Lord, when I least expected it, God would bring “the man” into my life.
Churches often try to tell women how to be women without considering the whole range of God-inspired possibilities. There will always be outliers to the model they create.
I’ve watched the video, but I didn’t pay close attention to it. Several of the guys mentioned they wanted a “girl” who would be servant-minded – what, so they can serve these guys, bring them their beer and slippers when they get home from work? Bleh and puke.
Some of the guys in the video also mentioned wanting a girl who “dresses modestly.”
Someone on SCCL named, Elizabeth Burger, typed up a transcript of the video:
Transcript complete (typed by E. Burger):
[Three or Four Young Christian men speaking:]
I define a godly girl as a girl who is wholeheartedly pursuing God with her life.
A godly girl, to me, really understands that being a wife and a mother is an extremely high calling.
So to me, a godly girl is a girl who loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to serve Him.
To me, a godly girl is someone who is patient.
To me the most attractive thing about a girl is that she is really selfless.
I really admire when girls dress modestly.
I really admire a girl who is content with where God has her in life.
I admire a girl who has love for people.
I really admire a girl who is respectful towards her parents and is kind to her siblings.
Some character qualities that I really appreciate in a girl are selflessness, and a girl who is kind.
I admire a girl who gets outside of herself and invests in the lives of others.
I know a girl who really prioritizes God in her life. Every morning she talks with the Lord through prayer and reads her Bible and really just yearns to hear from the Lord.
Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by W. Alsup
I am fairly certain that the woman who wrote this is a gender complementarian.
I myself am a former (note: FORMER) gender complementarian. I believe that Ms. Alsup might be a “soft” complementarian. If I am mistaken about that, I am sorry.
I’m only somewhat familiar with Ms. Alsup’s writings and views, and if I am remembering correctly, she is not terribly extreme in her gender role views and sometimes writes blog posts criticizing aspects of gender comp, such as the one that follows, though I believe she may support beliefs that women are not to be preachers in churches and so on.
As I’ve noted on my own blog time and again, Christians, especially gender complementarian ones, tend to sexualize any and all persons and relationships.
Of course, secular culture and left wing Christians can also be very bad about sexualizing anything and everything, though, hypocritically, the progressives profess to feeling “icked out” by Christian sponsored “Daddy Daughter” balls and date.
The progressives who find “Daddy Daughter” dates to be patriarchal and incestuous in undertone are often the same ones who sexualize hetero male-female relationships, or male-male relationships.
Progressive Christians or ex Christians tend to operate in the school of “it’s impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.” You can view an example of that here, in left leaning SCCL’s facebook thread about (link): Daddy Daughter dates.
To a degree, I share some of their (their = SCCL or liberal) reservations or concerns about “Daddy Daughter” dates, but then, I’m also not running around acting as though men and women are incapable of being buddies. I am not insisting that any and all male-female relationships are sexual, or have sexual undertones, or the potential to be sexual.
One very unfortunate result of conservative Christians, especially the gender complementarians, sexualizing everyone and anything, is that unmarried, adult women are treated like suspected harlots and are consequently shunned or excluded from social events, church functions, or friendships with married persons.
Married persons are coached in Christian sermons, marriage blogs, and TV programs, to steer clear of single women. This practice of shunning single women is sometimes referred to as the “Billy Graham Rule.” (Please see the bottom of this post, under the “Related Posts” section, for links to more information about that.)
… What was God’s purpose in creating two genders to work together to image Him out into His kingdom? For a time, conservative evangelicals simplistically set up marriage as the ultimate purpose for the creation of two genders, particularly around Genesis 2:18.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
However, if you embrace Jesus as the key to understanding all of Scripture, then Jesus’ words on marriage in eternity give us necessary clarification on the purpose of the creation of two genders in Genesis 1 and 2.
God’s purposes for interactions between the two genders in this first sinless perfection in Eden is informed by glimpses of the second.
In Luke 20, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about whose wife in heaven a woman would be if she had multiple husbands on earth. In His answer, Jesus is clear that in heaven we do not marry. (Actually, we do marry, but Jesus is the groom.) Jesus teaches us that the ultimate goal in perfection for men and women is not human marriage to each other.
But then, what is left for perfect male/female relationships if not human marriage? Well, a TON is left. But we are warped as a society away from valuing the vast wealth of human male/female relationships that don’t involve sex.
The Genesis account of creation reveals that God created only one species of human. He said, “Let us make human,” and not “Let us make humans.” What essentially makes one a human then, is being created in God’s image, in God’s “likeness” (Gen.1:26-27). What defines us then is the ruah (Hebrew word for spirit) of God in our bodies (Gen.2:7).
God is a spirit. Therefore, when he said, “Let us make man in our own image,” he wasn’t speaking of bodies, but of essence.
God created the human body out of dust, a decomposable substance, but what is really human—the soul—is indecomposable. This is the God-like property that dwells in humans. The body is really the “house” or “clothing” of the soul.
So if we are the same underneath the “clothing” of our bodies, in our souls, why are so many arguments for gender hierarchy based on that outer covering?
Woman raised in the Bible Belt by religious parents says she ended up in TWO abusive relationships – because being banned from dating made her ‘ignorant’ about men
(A link to a woman’s testimony about how Christian or religious dating advice as a kid hurt her as an adult is linked to farther below in this post.)
As I’ve written of before on my blog, much Christian teaching about dating, gender roles, and marriage – especially if espoused by Christians who believe in and teach something called “gender complementarianism” – can often leave marriage-minded singles single far longer than they wish, or perhaps permanently.
Christian teaching on dating, while intended to help singles date “safely” (i.e., to prevent pre-marital sex) ironically erects obstacles for singles who’d like to get married.
One problem of Christian teaching about dating and singleness is to teach singles, to teach men and women, to be afraid of each other; never spend time alone with an opposite-gender person, lest it lead to fornication.
Well, the only way to marry is to first spend time with an opposite-gender person (assuming you are hetero), via dating.
If you are a lady, in order to discover if you are compatible with a guy, you need to spend time alone with him on dates, especially if you are an adult. (Group dating is for teens, not people over the age of 21.)
This woman’s testimony I link to farther down this page is yet another example of this situation, of how damaging the usual Christian dating advice and gender complementarianism is to singles, especially women.
The things she was taught growing up by her religious parents – things about dating, modesty, gender roles, etc – caused her relationship problems later in life.
Christian Gender Complementarianism infantilizes women, causes them to be naive, and teaches them it is wrong, unladylike, or selfish to have boundaries and to be assertive.
As you can see in this article, this was certainly a problem for the woman author, Lorens.
When she was confronted with vulgar, strange male clients at her job in a store, she did not know how to assert herself and tell them to shove off – or even if she could do so in the first place.
Dannah Gresh does guest posts at The Christian Post about sexuality, where she promotes abstinence/ celibacy / chastity/ virginity, and talks about the dangers of pre-marital sex.
If I am remembering rightly, I think the first post I saw that mentioned her discussed how she had sex as a teenager but now goes around as a guest speaker at churches and schools promoting sexual purity. I believe that was what prompted me to come up with the tag for this blog of “fornicators used as sexual role models.”
I find it so absurd that Christians appear to have a preference for fornicators acting as role models for virgin youth (hiring them as speakers for youth groups about the importance of sexual purity), rather than getting an actual, literal, adult virgin who is over age 30, to give advice, write books on the topic, or act as speaker.
It is not that I am against Christians speaking up in defense of celibacy or virginity, or in pointing out that pre marital or casual sex can have negative outcomes, but this Gresh woman seems to be making a living off the entire thing, and that bothers me (like the TV preachers who pimp the Gospel for a buck).
There seems to be something a little unsavory about making a cottage industry, making profit, off promoting celibacy/ virginity/ sexual purity.
I’ve blogged about this Gresh woman before, such as:
That “Secret Keeper Girl” site has a link to a “store” page on it, where merchandise is being sold (as I skim the page today, there are several books by Gresh for sale).
Here is a screen cap for one of her books from that page:
According to (Link): the page of that site selling that book:
Discover how to get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find you.
Dannah Gresh traces God’s language of love through Scripture to help you pursue your heart’s deepest desires and seek love the way God designed it to be. Because once you identify your true longings and let God answer them, you’ll know just how to respond when romantic love comes along.
With a guided ten-day Love Feast Challenge, Get Lost will help you see for yourself how getting lost in God opens the door to lifelong fulfillment.
Sigh. This is similar to the sort of thing I read and often heard as a teen-aged Christian girl and into my twenties (in no particular order, and some Christians imply it more than state it out right): be such a faithful, good, sexually pure Christian girl, put God first in your life, put other people first, and in due time, God will send a Christian Mr. Right your way.
And, if you have followed this blog, you already know my story: I’m over 40, was engaged, still a virgin, and never married, though I had wanted to be.
I certainly did all the things Christians advise young ladies to do who hope for marriage: I put God first, lived a clean life style, prayed to God for a spouse, waited, attended church, etc. etc. etc. And yet, I am still single.
Upon reflection, I think I should have pursued marriage. Not sat back, crossing my fingers, hoping God would act and send me Mr. Right.
Don’t Let Someone Who Gave Up On Their Dreams Talk You Out Of Yours
In a couple of posts in the past (such as (Link): this one), I discussed the disheartening trend I see in Christian books, articles, interviews, or blogs by (1.) other never-married adult Christians who are over age of 35 or 40 (or, (2.) on occasion by married Christians who condescendingly lecture adult singles on these issues).
These (I am speaking of group 1 above) are adults who had hoped to marry, but they remain single into their late 30s or beyond.
(There is also another group, Christians who are over 40 years of age, who are thrilled and totally at peace at having never married and never really cared either way if they ever married or not. They are guilty of what I write about in this post, too.
Hell, I sometimes see single Christians below the age of 35 who are guilty of this, but their views stem more from being naive about life.)
The never-married Christians, who are past the age of 35 or 40, who have given up on ever getting married themselves then turn around in their interviews, articles, and books and shame other post-age-35 singles from pursuing marriage.
I kid you not. They will guilt trip you if you still hope to marry some day, and you are past 35 years old.
They have given up hope of ever getting married themselves, so they go about trying to convince other singles to give up, too. They will try to shame you out of pursuing your dream. They will tell you that at 40, you are too old to be on dating sites and still expecting marriage.
They believe you should only think of “eternity,” or, they will argue, you should be consumed in this life only with thoughts about Jesus or with how to serve Jesus in the here and now.
They will shame you by telling you that it’s selfish, immature, un-christian, or self-centered (or a combination of all those things) to go after an earthly pursuit such as marriage, even though Jesus did not preach a “pie in the sky” theology, but said he came so that you may have life more abundantly – that means NOW, not after you’re dead.
Many Christians believe in a theology of CODEPENDENCY and ASCETICISM, both of which are condemned in the Bible (see for example Colossians 2:16-22). It is okay to seek after your own personal happiness in the here and now. People who tell you otherwise are peddling false doctrine.
If you are over 35, have never been married, and would still like to be, don’t let anyone else dissuade you from pursuing marriage, especially the ones who once held the dream but have given up.
———————- Related posts:
Another Too Long, Too Strict Suitor List That Will Keep A Single Single: “The Man Who Will Marry My Daughter”
The dude who wrote this, Miano, is sexist. He is a gender complementarian and thinks it is sin for a woman to teach the Gospel to men in public.
Based on other sites I have visited, he does not have a paying job, but his wife does, yet he teaches that a man is head of the house and actually lists this quality as being one he insists a man must have if a man wants to marry his daughter:
“[a man must] …be able to provide, financially, for his wife and family (1 Timothy 5:8) “
Miano himself is incapable or unwilling to financially support his own family (this is according to information I have read on other sites), so I have no idea why he makes that a requirement for a man who would want to date his daughter.
He also, based upon what others have said on other blogs, goes on his Facebook ministry’s page and begs for people to send him Wal-Mart gift cards and to buy him vans and stuff. If he was financially supporting himself, he would not have to beg funds and for cars from other people.
This blog posting by Miano, by the way, came to my attention via (Link): Stuff Christian Culture Likes. (I would encourage you to click that link and read visitor comments.)
You’ll notice in this essay that this guy does not view his daughters as fully functioning, independent adults capable of making their own choices in life.
Miano has infantilized his daughters, who range in age at the time of this writing of about 17 years of age to age 26 or 27, which is a very huge mistake. It is not his duty to choose boyfriends or husbands for his daughters.
A father is certainly welcome to offer his daughter his advice or views on aspects of her life, including whom she is romantically involved with, but not to act as final arbiter of whom she marries.
I completely object to the “dating is sin” or “dating is wrong” mindset this guy has.
Notice also that Miano assumes each daughter will be married and that God “chooses” spouses for them – this is totally unbiblical.
The Bible nowhere states that God will send a spouse to someone; God makes no statement in the Scriptures that he promises that he will send you, or anyone else, a spouse.
Let me also use myself as an example of why this belief that everyone is destined for marriage and God “sends” them a spouse, or chooses a spouse for them, is a falsehood.
I am over 40 years of age, a woman, had expected to marry, was a Christian from girlhood, and prayed daily from childhood onwards for God to send me a husband, and I never got a husband.
It is simply not true that God “sends” or “chooses” spouses for people. If that were true, I would have been married years ago, but I am still single to this day.
It may be that even if you are a Christian and want to marry that God will never send you a spouse, no matter how long you pray for it, and no matter how much faith you have.
You may be single your entire life. Miano’s daughters may never marry.
Here, a bit below, are some excerpts from the page by Miano – please understand that his list is pretty long.
I am not going to reproduce the entire list here; this is only a portion of it (I have additional comments below this excerpt):
Godly, manly young Christian men are harder to find these days.
But I will not lower my standards for my future son-in-laws.
I will answer to God, not the culture, for to whom I give my daughters.
Since our daughters were very young, Mahria and I have instilled in them a family commitment to courtship.
Our girls will not “date” before they are married.
We see no biblical precedence for “trying people on for size” or being in relationship with a member of the opposite sex because it is pleasurable or “something to do.” Courtship is a family affair.
… Mahria and I understand that the day will come, probably soon, when three godly men (one for each daughter) will seek our daughters’ hands in marriage.
… (Note to any potential candidate who may read this: if this first essential quality is not true in your life, you need not bother reading the rest of the list. You may be a wonderful young man, but you are not the one my Lord and Savior has chosen for my daughter.)
… not be an adulterer in any form, including pornography (Matthew 5:27-28).
… open car and building doors for women whenever given the opportunity. Chivalry is not dead (1 Peter 3:7).
… understand and accept his biblical role as head of the home and his wife (Ephesians 5:25-32).
I want to preface the editorial farther below by saying our culture, both Christian and secular, ridicules and shames FEMALE ADULT VIRGINS and FEMALE celibates too, not just MALE ones.
Once you have gotten to your late 20s as a woman and are still a virgin, you are looked at askew by society – both in and out of church.
I say this too because I see older male, usually Christian, virgins on other sites and blogs whining, crying, and boo-hooing at how tough they think male celibates have life! Oh please, as if you guys have it more difficult? You do not.
Women virgins over 25 / 30 years of of age get teased, left out, and treated like loser-freaks by Non-Christian and Christian culture, PLUS, we ladies get the added shame messages in church sermons and Christian propaganda on blogs and in books, that we are not fulfilling our “God given duty” or “Godly role” to make a baby!
We ladies get the shame, insults, and scorn double.
Men do not face anywhere NEAR the amount of pressure by Christian culture to breed and pop out kids.
Men never (or not as often as women) have to make excuses as to why they are not a daddy, but we women get asked that all the time in regards to parenting, why are we not mothers, don’t we like kids, when do you plan on having a kid, don’t you know you better hurry your bio clock is running out, etc. We ladies get the ‘baby’ questions constantly.
It is not only MALES who face discrimination and stereotypes for being virgins. We women virgins get lambasted for it as well. We female virgins are assumed to be frigid, weird, lesbian, have too much baggage, we must be obese and ugly, or neurotic.
By the way, while the young man himself in the recent news story is responsible for his actions – the 22 year old guy who shot up a bunch of people because he was frustrated at being a virgin and not getting dates – I can’t help but wonder if the Celibate- and Virgin- shaming I see on anti-sexual purity blogs, and the overall anti-virginity attitudes I see on blogs and Facebook groups only contribute to the problem.
Maybe if culture was more accepting of virginity and did not humiliate or shame people who never lose it, or who don’t lose their virginity until they are 25, 35, 55 years old, this guy would not have felt the need to go out and shoot a bunch of people.
But as I have been reporting on here the last couple or more years, Christians have jumped aboard the “virgin and celibate shame” train, too.
It is no longer only secular culture that mocks virginity and says staying sexually pure is impossible, it is every other preacher on TV or in church now, too.
Christians are now taking “pot shots” at the concept of sexual purity and virginity on their blogs, and saying nobody can be expected to stay a virgin their entire life, or past age 25.
Maybe if the church stood on a hill and screamed, “It’s okay to be a virgin and single your whole life, feel no shame,” you wouldn’t have 22 year old men thinking they are a loser-nothings for being a virgin… maybe that kid would have realized he was okay as he was, he would not have gotten worked up and angry and murdered several people as he did.
The Christian church should be presenting virginity as a perfectly fine, viable option for adults in our culture, to act as a counterpoint to our sex-saturated culture, but often, they do not.
Christians – the married ones, and the preachers – also shame older virgins for being virgins and for being single, and they never discuss singleness and celibacy. Preachers are always giving sermons on MARRIAGE and MARRIED SEX.
What do you tell the male virgin in a sexed-up 21st-century “bro culture”? Is there anything an older sister of sorts could say to encourage men frustrated by their unwanted celibacy? Here’s my attempt.
To the male virgins out there:
I suspect you feel a lot of shame about the term “virgin.” These days, it’s hard not to. Even among young adults, virgins are a clear minority; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 American men enters marriage a virgin; most start having sex in late high school. The numbers show women behave very similarly.
… Whatever our various reasons for ending up so, adult virgins must navigate a culture that regards sex as central to human fulfillment. But abstinence from this supposedly penultimate experience raises slightly different identity issues for men and women.
For women, men’s disinterest can seem like a knock on our beauty and desirability. Depending on where we find our value, that rejection can throw our own self-worth into question. But where women may blame unwanted abstinence on some lack in ourselves, men seem to read sexual inexperience as a fundamental failing, or even evidence of women’s universal aversion to or even contempt.
It might seem silly to you, but let me encourage you not to see it as such. Many of you who read this are young pastors. I know too many pastors who have lost great credibility because of an accusation (let alone an indiscretion).
I am not irresistible. I have a great face for radio. I do not think that anyone will swoon over me. But I do not know the stability, morality and disposition of people that I meet.
When I told my wife, I thought she might slap me. She has been excited about my recent health plans. However, she was the opposite. She felt protected and affirmed. She knew I would not put our family in jeopardy.
I remember Danny Akin once saying that he would not pick up a woman on the side of the road in the rain if her car broke down. He would never be alone with a woman not his wife. It seemed a bit selfish until he told the rest of the story. He would pull over and give her the keys and let her drive to where she needed to be.
Guarding yourself takes work, can be awkward and is often inconvenient. But one problem averted makes it a good stewardship of your life, ministry and family.
At the churches I planted, we always used something like Saddleback’s Ten Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.
2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.
3. Thou shalt not kiss any attendee of the opposite sex or show affection that could be questioned.
4. Thou shalt not visit the opposite sex alone at home.
5. Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex alone at the office, and thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without that person’s mate. Refer them.
6. Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex in counseling. Refer them.
7. Thou shalt not discuss your marriage problems with an attendee of the opposite sex.
8. Thou shalt be careful in answering e-mails, instant messages, chat rooms, cards or letters from the opposite sex.
9. Thou shalt make your co-worker your protective ally.
10. Thou shalt pray for the integrity of other staff members.
(The first four do not apply to unmarried staff.)
I hope you have a list like this for your own life and ministry.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…” (Ephesians 5:3)
———— end quotes by Ed Stetzer
Here we have Ed Stetzer maintaining the usual conservative Christian misunderstandings and stereotypes, some that prove to be quite harmful to women and to single ones in particular, and maintaining stereotypes about the genders, sex, marriage, singles and all the rest.
Stetzer’s views on this matter are actually anti-biblical. He is advising men to behave in the exact opposite way that Jesus Christ treated women, that Jesus role modeled for men in the Bible.
I cannot find any biblical examples of God telling men in the Bible to avoid women, nor do I see examples of Jesus running away from women or refusing to meet with prostitutes, to avoid being alone with women, – and no, my dear, “fleeing temptation” does not count, for it has been skewed by Christians to mean something it does not: isolate women and treat all women as temptresses.
A citation of Ephesians 5:3 (the “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality” verse) has been carried to absurd lengths by Stetzer in his “thou shalt not list.”
As Jesus said of the mis-interpretations and too-rigid interpretation and application of some Old Testament laws of the religious groups of his day,
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24)
Jesus had to remind the Pharisees that they followed the letter of the law rather than its spirit, which defeated its purpose and intent on some matters. And that is what guys like Stetzer do with Ephesians 5:3.
Your Bible mentions that you, if you are a Christian, are capable of SELF CONTROL. It is not inevitable that if a Christian man and woman meet alone or become emotionally close that it will always end in SEX.
As I said on a previous post, re-read the account of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, and you will see that Joe’s FIRST reaction was NOT to “flee.” Nope. After the wife hit on Joe, he reasoned with her several times.
It was not until later in the story that he then fled. Christians often assume that the very first time the wife made a pass at him that Joe fled, but that is incorrect. Read it yourself ((Link): Genesis ch 39):
And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
Yeah, it says, “day after day” the chick hit on him, and he refused her.
It does not say, “Joe refused to be alone with her in the first place,” or, “the first time she made a pass he fled.”
I think that contemporary American Christian views about men not being around women lest they be tempted to pork them mirrors those of the Pharisees, which Jesus contested.
Here are some examples:
An ancient baraita enumerates seven classes of Pharisees, of which five consist of either eccentric fools or hypocrites:
(1) “the shoulder Pharisee,” who wears, as it were, his good actions. ostentatiously upon his shoulder;
(2) “the wait-a-little Pharisee,” who ever says, “Wait a little, until I have performed the good act awaiting me”;
“the bruised Pharisee,” who in order to avoid looking at a woman runs against the wall so as to bruise himself and bleed…
No rabbi of Jesus’ day that I know about included women among his disciples.
But Luke said that Jesus included women in His circle of followers– even women from questionable backgrounds
…. Jesus then did five things that are astonishing because what He did broke through the cultural mold of that day.
First, He called this woman [the woman bent over in the synagogue in Capernaum] forward from the place of the women (the back of the room) to the place of the men (the front of the room).
He interrupted the teaching of the Word of God–the most sacred time in Jewish life–to minister to a woman.
…. Second, Jesus broke culture by speaking to her [the woman bent over in the synagogue in Capernaum].
The Jewish writer Alfred Eidersheim wrote that there were rabbis who prayed every day: “I thank Thee, God, that I was not born a Gentile, a dog, or a woman.”
Isn’t that a great prayer? (Do you notice the word order?) No wonder everyone was shocked as Jesus spoke to this woman.
Jesus broke culture a third way: He laid hands on her.
Eidersheim explains that in Jesus’ day some Pharisees were called “the black-and-blue Pharisees.”
Why? Because they were so strict in their observance of the Law they would not even look at a woman. If they sensed that a woman was going to cross their path, they would close their eyes tightly and walk straight ahead.
Sometimes they would smack into a wall or fall over an ox cart and receive their bruises. Here, in contrast to the example of the “black-and-blue Pharisees,” Jesus laid His hands on a woman.
Fourth, Jesus affirmed her worth in society. These men in the synagogue were probably thinking, What is she doing in here? What is He doing? He’s touching her. Look at what He’s doing in God’s holy place.
Jesus knew their hearts and said to them, “Don’t you loose your ox or donkey and take it to be watered on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:15).
They all knew they broke the Sabbath by watering their animals.
Jesus continued, “This woman is worth far more than any animal you have. This woman is not an animal; she is a ‘daughter of Abraham’ ” (Luke 13:16). By saying this, He restored her rightful position.2
This episode is especially important because Jesus willingly risked His life for the sake of a woman. He humiliated His opponents in their own synagogue by ministering sensitivity, kindness, and mercy to a woman. It is for this act of kindness and divine love, and many others like them, that these men sent Him to the Cross.
Of course, if you know anything about Islam, you know that some forms of it require women to wear partial or full head- to- body coverings, otherwise men may look upon them and lust.
Basically, you have some branches of Islam and other world religions teach the same thing about male gaze, female sexuality, etc, that some Christians do, a few similarities include:
-They over-hype that men are visually stimulated (ignoring that women are as well),
-they assume men are rapey rapers who can’t keep their penises in their pants (ie, they assume and teach that men lack sexual self-control),
-they teach and believe that all women are easy tarts and harlots who will bed any man in sight, even fat, balding middle aged evangelical doof wads,
-that women are responsible for men’s sexual behavior by their own or by how they dress (hence puerile Christian modesty teachings or the extreme of Islamic burkas)
By the way, contrary to the sexist crud Christians continue to spew in their marriage sermons and blogs, women are visually oriented, not just men.
Sadly, the cheapening of sex is having a long-term impact on marriage… which, in turn, negatively impacts parenting. It’s a tragic chain-reaction of events that work together to undermine the institution of family.
I know that Focus on the Family has a new family-centric film to promote ((Link): unfortunately), and I see the heading there says “cultural impact,” but Mr. Daly, the fact is, some women never marry and never have children, including Christian women.
The Bible does not say God promises all women a marriage partner not even the ones who pray for one and who want one.
If you see my previous post (link), you can see the stats on the number of singles in America.
Many women today are staying single these days, some against their wishes.
(That’s right, the typical conservative Christian canard that women are choosing to stay single because they hate marriage, hate men, or put career above marriage, or had tons of marriage proposals but turned them all down because they were too picky, are false).
There are plenty of Christian women such as myself (though I am half-agnostic now), who were raised in church and by Christian parents to expect, plan for, and count on marriage.
I had hoped for marriage. I still find myself single. I did not plan on being never-married into my 40s. I may never marry.
I am still a virgin. I have never had children.
The church does not support adult virginity – they ignore or shame adult celibate singles (a few links with examples of that can be found at the end of this post, and all over this blog if you search).
It makes no sense, and I see no biblical support, to suggest the only or main reason to argue against casual sex is on the basis of how it may “impact marriage and family.”
Married Female Christian Blogger Whose Mate Hunting Criteria is Guaranteed to Keep Marriage Minded Single Christian Men Single Perpetually
An analysis of “13 Women Men Should Never Marry” by Mary Colbert
There were a few items on Colbert’s list I thought were okay or spot-on, but most of her blog post was a train wreck.
If you are a single Christian man who wants to marry some day, and you follow this married woman’s advice to a “T” you will be single forever.
This lady also seems to be arguing for traditional gender roles in marriage (a.k.a. “gender complementarianism.”)
The only type of man who really and truly wants a “biblical woman” are controlling, abusive men – only they are attracted to doormat females (a.k.a. “gender complementairans,” aka. “biblical women”).
Colbert seems to define a wife as being nothing but an accessory to a husband, as though the woman will not, does not, or should not have any needs, goals, or dreams of her own.
A woman who is willing to serve you, a man, every step of the way and be a doormat to you is NOT EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY.
There is a reason such a woman is putting you first all the time and stuffing her emotions and anger down, and it is not because she is truly happy doing so or truly wants to live that way. Your marriage will end in divorce.
I know if you are a (non abusive) man (abusive men already know they prefer doormat women who cater to their every whim), it may sound really great to think that the wife you marry will always put you first, always help you meet your goals, and meet your every need, but no, no, no, it will not be the fairy tale and fantasy you think it will.
Not only will your wife eventually burn out (because she is meeting all your needs, but you are not meeting any of hers), she will eventually be filled with unspoken resentment, and you will grow very un-challenged by your wife and the dynamics of your marriage, and hence you will also grow BORED by your doormat wife, and you will have an affair or divorce her.
Unfortunately, many Christians pass off the emotional sickness of codependency as being “biblical womanhood,” as the woman of this piece does, which I find very odd, considering one of her other points on the list to men is to tell them not to hook up with a woman who always expects the man to help or rescue her.
Women who are codependent (remember, “biblical womanhood” and “gender complementarianism” are nothing but codependency under other names) put you, the man, first, because they are very clingy, emotionally needy, and such women expect you to be “Mr Knight In Shining Armor, He Will Fix All My Problems” types.
They are trading off their independence and such for your protection and you being a provider – and that is NOT a good thing for them, for you, or for your marriage, if you want your marriage to succeed.
Such women are not catering to your every need out of altruism, dedication to the Bible, or out of pure love – some such women may not even realize this about themselves until years later, or unless and until they’ve gone through therapy for codependency.
I’m not even saying a man should not marry a codependent female, but know what you are getting into before you marry one.
If you marry a codependent, you will have to coach her to express her anger to you (codependents are reluctant or afraid to express anger or disagreement, they are scared of conflict) and coach her to tell you what she really wants and needs in the relationship, and make it clear you cannot know what she wants and needs unless she tells you because you cannot read her mind.
And for God’s sake, buy your codependent girlfriend books about codependency and tell her to read the books – start with Dr. Cloud’s and Dr. Townsend’s book “Boundaries,” or some book like that.
I feel as though the woman who wrote this piece is very prejudiced against people who have mental health problems. There is no compassion shown to people who struggle with various mental health issues.
This Colbert lady is basically teaching a form of the false Christian belief that God will not reward you with a spouse unless and until you become perfect – she teaches that marriage is possible only for perfect people who have no flaws, which is a total lie (see this list for examples).
9. Married Mindy. You would think this would be obvious, but unfortunately it is not. If a married woman is sending you signals or if you’re married and a single woman is sending you signals, beware.
If she will cheat with you, she will cheat on you.
“Why bring the hot coals of fire into your chest?” the Bible clearly warns you. Unless a woman has a true heart change in the Lord, and not a heart change because of you, history will repeat itself.
10. Lying Linda. Listen to this woman. If she has no problem lying to family, friends and co-workers, she will have no problem lying to you. That which you fear, you cannot love. Trust will always be an issue with you. Eventually your love for her will dry up.
One item that I partially agreed with:
3. Holy Holly. This woman can be exhausting. She quotes the Bible in everything she does.
She is the “only one” who hears from God correctly. She has no real joy in living. No sense of humor. If she laughed, her face would crack. Her comfort and joy come from the law of the Lord.
A few points that I totally disagreed with:
12. Sad Sally. This woman has no joy.
She seems sad most of the time and has the attitude of “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Attitude will determine altitude—how far you will go.
Like a helium balloon, you are constantly having to pump this woman up, only to find her deflated in the morning. Look for a woman who knows how to encourage herself, and you will find one who will encourage you and won’t weigh you down.
13. Nervous Nellie. This woman is afraid of everything—afraid to drive, afraid to fly, afraid to try anything new.
She will have to see it to believe it. Nervous Nellie can hold a man back from becoming the gift he was meant to be. This doesn’t mean a woman can’t balance a man to keep him from being careless. Often a woman can sense the things that men overlook.
I am saying that this one can never go beyond her comfort zone. She is obsessed with illness and talks of sickness as if it is something to expect—that it’s normal and a healthy life is unusual.
The married woman who wrote this travesty signed off with,
Mary Colbert is married to Dr. Don Colbert, who graduated from ORU Medical School in 1984. He then moved to central Florida where he did his internship and residency at Florida Hospital.
For over 20 years, Dr. Colbert has practiced medicine in Central Florida. He is currently board certified in Family Practice and Specializing in Anti-Aging Medicine.
Dr. Don Colbert is also a New York Times best selling author that has written over 40 books.
Notice how she defined herself totally in terms of HER HUSBAND.
Warning: I suspect she is enmeshed with hubby and is highly codependent. Other clues I picked up that may be true of her were these comments she made on the page:
Her pains will become your worst nightmare. Remember you are looking for a helpmate, not a mate to help.
As I said in some comments below the article:
post by christianpundit
Wow, this list was pretty demeaning and so general, encompassing so many different flaws and personality types, everyone will be guilty of them at some time or another.
The “Sad Sally” (or whatever it was called) category is especially demeaning to women who may be diagnosed with clinical depression – such women are still worthy of a mate and of being loved. There is no such thing as a perfect woman (or man).
The “Nervous Nelly” one is also insulting for women who struggle with anxiety attacks (which can be biological in origin). Maybe a loving, caring man can help such a woman through her anxiety, and if she takes doctor prescribed medication, she would make a perfectly fine and suitable partner/wife.
There are, unfortunately, a lot of males, including Christian ones, who are searching for the perfect woman, and there is no such creature – and whom they usually define in un-biblical and/or unrealistic terms, such as the 45 year old fat, indebted, socially awkward man who insists on having a perpetually stick thin, 25 year old, steadily employed girlfriend who has a ton of money, no problems in her life at all, and no needs of her own.
This list is basically telling men they are going to be single for life, because you are telling them to look for a perfect woman to date or marry (i.e., a woman with no emotional, financial, or health-related issues – there is no such woman, just as there is no such man).
One or two points in this editorial were valid, such as, “Just make sure that looks aren’t the only thing you see, because although a trophy will lose its shine over time, what’s on the inside never will.” -but a lot of the rest of this editorial was dreck and over-generalizing.
It was also mentioned in the editorial a few times that a woman should help the man meet his goals – no, it is a two way street. A woman is not a man’s accessory.
A wife does not exist only to meet the man’s needs, to help the man reach his goals, or to serve the man. The husband should also help the wife meet HER goals in life and help build up HER talents. The “helping the partner reach their potential” is applicable to both partners in a relationship, not just one person.
I can guarantee you if a relationship is lop sided to where the woman is constantly serving the man and helping him achieve his goals, but he does nothing to help her with hers, resentment will build in her, and she will eventually divorce the guy.
All women have needs, and many of them have dreams for their own lives, that is a reality.
If you are telling un-married men to search for a woman who doesn’t have any needs or goals of her own, you are telling single men who want to be married to look for a woman who does not exist. There is no “fantasy” woman who comes with the perfect figure, AND perfect face, AND zero baggage, AND zero problems, AND zero flaws, AND zero financial (or health / emotional) problems.
My response to some guy who was defending the “Holy Holly” point (he acts like he would be thrilled to marry a “Holy Holly” type of gal):
To each his or her own, but I have been around “Holy Holly’s” and “Holy Hanks,” (also known as Stepford Christians), and they are not a joy to be around.
They pepper every single other sentence with a Bible verse quote or theological talk… one cannot have normal, every day pleasant conversation with Stepford Christians, like about the weather, current events, or one’s favorite TV shows; they are very robotic, they find it necessary to mention Jesus every third sentence, or bring theology up in every topic, even ones having nothing to do with theology.
I find them weird… even when I was a gung ho Christian myself. They were either boring to me or came across as weird or one dimensional.
If you are a single guy of any age, and you want to be married, I would be very, very careful about following the ‘how to’ lists put out by Christian groups, or the ‘who not to marry’ lists and advice columns. If you follow their advice too closely, you may die single.
——————– Related posts this blog:
When Mormonism Sounds Like Gender Complementarian Christianity – Also: Man Shortage in Mormonism Just Like Christianity
It is creepy how much Mormonism sounds like Christian gender complementarianism. Also, it sounds like a lot of the same problems that befall Baptist, Reformed, fundamentalist, and evangelical Christian adult singles are some of the same issues that are faced by Mormons.
DAEJEON, South Korea — Ashley Farr, once Miss North Salt Lake Teen USA, is the first in her family’s long line of Mormon women to become a missionary, and in December she embarked on her new life in this gray corner of Asia.
She packed her bag according to the church’s precise instructions: skirts that cover the knee, only one pair of pants, earrings that dangle no longer than one inch, and subtle but flattering makeup, modeled in photos on the church’s website.
… In the coming years, these women are expected to fundamentally alter this most American of churches, whose ruling patriarchs not long ago excommunicated feminist scholars and warned women not to hold jobs while raising children.
[Mormon] Church leaders have been forced to reassess their views because Mormon women are increasingly supporting households, marrying later and less frequently, and having fewer children. And for the first time, waves of women like Ms. Farr are taking part in the church’s crucial coming-of-age ritual, returning home from their missions with unprecedented scriptural fluency, new confidence and new ideas about themselves.
Already the church has made small adjustments, inviting women to weigh in on local councils and introducing the first leadership roles for female missionaries. When a band of Mormon feminists staged a demonstration last year in Salt Lake City calling for women to be ordained as priests, their demands were felt in church headquarters — in part because the church’s own surveys also reveal streaks of female dissatisfaction.
… To revise female roles in the church threatens what many see as the very foundations of the faith, which dictate that men are ordained as priests at the tender age of 18, taking the title “Elder,” while women, who can never progress beyond “Sister,” are considered holiest and most fulfilled as wives and mothers.
Many Mormon women embrace their traditional roles and flinch at the word “feminism”; a small movement to encourage women to wear pants instead of skirts to Sunday services was met with an angry backlash. Even younger Mormon men are often uncomfortable with the ambitions of their female peers, some women report, creating a chasm of expectations between the sexes.
But if the church, which keenly polishes its image, does not update its ideas about gender, it may be seen as out of step with contemporary life, an untenable home for women who are leaders in their workplaces and breadwinners in their households.
“The great unfinished business in the church is gender equality,” said Joanna Brooks, an English professor at San Diego State University who often writes about her experiences as a Mormon woman. “An increasing number of young Mormon women are growing up in a world where they not only can work, but have to work, and they are operating 12 hours a day in contexts where gender is irrelevant, but in a church structure where all financial and theological decisions are made by men. This will just stop making sense.”
…. “Maybe in the past, homemakers didn’t get that chance” to do missions, said Mrs. Christensen, her eyes welling.
“It used to be that mission was the rite of passage for men, and marriage was the rite of passage for women,” said Ms. Hanks, the feminist scholar who returned to the church. Now, she said, “the church has officially established the mission as an equal rite of passage for women.”
A picture in the lobby of the Seoul mission depicts a male missionary preparing to go out tracting, or canvassing for converts, as a knight in shining armor. On a recent trip home, Mrs. Christensen bought a matching image of a sword-wielding sister missionary, so the women would be able to see an inspirational portrait, too.
… But some former female missionaries said their 18 months of proselytizing planted new questions about inequality.
Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader
Usually, I am not a fan of the “and that’s why you’re still single” view dished out in Lonely Hearts columns, but can I tell you, if you are a single Christian woman wondering why it is you’re 35, 45, or 55 years old and still single – though you want marriage – it may just be that you have too many qualifications you insist a man must meet before you will consider marrying him.
This isn’t quite the same thing as scolding a woman for “being too picky.”
Often, being “too picky” is distorted by critics of singles to mean that “you insist every man look like actor Brad Pitt and be a multi-millionaire,” when, usually, a woman who is “being too picky” is merely holding out for a solid, average guy, someone who has a steady job and who will treat her well.
And there’s nothing wrong with having standards, ladies.
Don’t settle for some ugly, fat, broke, and/or abusive guy just for the sake of being married, or getting your marriage-obsessed family to back off.
No, I’m not talking about being picky (having standards). I’m talking about erecting all manner of laughable, unwise, unduly limiting, idiotic restrictions on to mate selection that some Christians recommend you do, such as only be willing to marry a Christian man if he is your “spiritual leader” or if he goes to church every week.
From the ladies’ section of Christianity Today online magazine:
See how that’s designed to limit the number of potential mates a single Christian woman may choose from? Yeah, and it’s not helpful.
Look, in my Christian days, all I was looking for in a guy (in- so- far as religious traits were concerned) was that the guy was a sincere Christian.
I was not even insisting and demanding that a suitor had to be more spiritually mature than me, be my spiritual head, lead me in prayer, be at the same level as me spiritual-maturity-wise, or know the Bible better than me, or attend church weekly. And I am still single in my 40s.
There are not a lot of men out there who meet the Basic Christian Criteria – which is, the guy accepted Christ as Savior, so what makes the author, Hill, believe a single woman cannot only get a Christian (a man who accepted Christ as savior), but also one who is her “spiritual leader”?
Feb 25, 2014
Religious education in Australian schools should be scrutinised: most parents do not want children to be taught creationism, or their daughters told that their nipples are a ‘temptation to men’
Most people who read this are probably going to focus on the dinosaur teaching, and even get offended at the ‘homosexual feelings’ comment. I am not terribly interested in any of that. Here is where I got tripped up (emphasis mine):
Another primary school’s principal demanded an apology and is now hosting a departmental investigation after SRI [Special Religious Instruction] volunteers gave year 6 children a “Biblezine,” advising girls how to avoid making their nipples a “distraction and temptation to men,” explaining that wives must “submit” to husbands and instructing children never to act on homosexual feelings. She called the material “completely inappropriate,” “against fundamental school values” and said it “smacks in the face of everything we do.”
SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The system, I understand, in Victoria has changed, in that now parents can opt in to the classes, whereas previously it was an opt-out system. Doesn’t that give parents more of an option?
JOE KELLY: Yes, it does and it doesn’t. It was very clear at this school that parents were very confused about what actually was on offer.
Quite a number of them thought the course was a study of religion, a comparative religious course – which I have no objection to.
But the course is not that – it is one, it is a course of instruction in Christian dogma, and there are children that attend this program because parents, for a whole range of reasons, either don’t understand exactly what it is, I’ve spoken to some parents who have their children going because they don’t want them sitting out in the corridors doing nothing for that period of time. I’ve had other parents say, look, my husband’s Indian, we have our own religion, but I don’t want my son to look different or to be out of sync with the rest of the class.
So there’s a very dysfunctional element about the whole management of it.
Parents and teachers have called for an urgent overhaul of religious education in schools after year 6 children were given material claiming girls who wear revealing clothes are inviting sexual assault, and homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are sinful.
Students at Torquay College were presented with “Biblezines” as a graduation present at the end of their Christian education program, run by Access Ministries – the government accredited provider of religious instruction in Victorian schools.
The magazines, Refuel 2 and Revolve 2 – which intersperse the text of the New Testament with dating advice, beauty tips and music reviews – warn girls not to go bra-less because “your nipples are much more noticeable and a distraction and temptation for men”, and not to wear tube tops and low-rise jeans because men are “sexually stimulated by what they see”.
“The Bible says not to cause anyone else to sin. Are you putting sexual thoughts about your body into guys’ heads? If you are showing a lot of skin you probably are,” it states.
The material, produced by the News Corp-owned Nelson Bibles, America’s largest Christian publishing house, also “exposes the lie of safe sex”, claiming that condoms condone promiscuity, and urges those who think they are gay never to act on it.
In response to an agony aunt-style question about, “How far can you go before you are no longer pure?”, the document reads: “Let’s put it this way: How much dog poop stirred into your cookie batter does it take to ruin the whole batter.”
…. Access Ministries says it did not approve the Biblezines, or their content, and they were a graduation gift from local churches, which normally donate traditional Bibles.
In a statement, chief executive Evonne Paddison said: “This year there was a huge rush for the Bibles and, for reasons we do not yet understand, it seems as though 15 copies of Refuel 2 were handed out. Students were asked to return them on the day . . . Our agreed curriculum teaches the basic beliefs of the Christian faith and does not stray into areas of sexuality at all. We are extremely disappointed that this has occurred and will continue to investigate how it happened.”
[—- end article excerpt ———]
There are parts of this stuff I actually agree with, and parts I do not.
My wife and I raised four daughters — without shotguns in the house! — and three of them have already married. We love our sons-in-law, and it’s obvious God handpicked each of them to match our daughters’ temperaments and personality.
I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for my daughters, He can do it for you.
…. Today I have several single female friends who would very much like to find the right guy.
Some tell me the pickings are slim at their church, so they have ventured into the world of online dating. Others have thrown up their hands in despair, wondering if there are any decent Christian guys left anywhere.
They’ve begun to wonder if they should lower their standards in order to find a mate. My advice stands: Don’t settle for less than God’s best. Too many Christian women today have ended up with an Ishmael because impatience pushed them into an unhappy marriage.
Please take my fatherly advice: You are much better off single than with the wrong guy!
Speaking of “wrong guys,” here are the top 10 men you should avoid when looking for a husband:
1. The unbeliever. Please write 2 Corinthians 6:14 on a Post-it note and tack it on your computer at work. It says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB).
This is not an outdated religious rule. It is the Word of God for you today. Don’t allow a man’s charm, looks or financial success (or his willingness to go to church with you) push you to compromise what you know is right. “Missionary dating” is never a wise strategy. If the guy is not a born-again Christian, scratch him off your list. He’s not right for you. I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.
He goes on to list more Christian men he thinks a Christian single should not marry, including: the liar, the playboy, the dead beat, the control freak, the man child, the narcissist, the bum – and a few others.
I’m not even sure where to start with this.
First, let me say I enjoyed one or two points he made, and I agree with them, such as point #10,
10. The control freak.
Some Christian guys today believe marriage is about male superiority. They may quote Scripture and sound super-spiritual, but behind the façade of husbandly authority is deep insecurity and pride that can morph into spiritual abuse.
First Peter 3:7 commands husbands to treat their wives as equals. If the man you are dating talks down to you, makes demeaning comments about women or seems to squelch your spiritual gifts, back away now. He is on a power trip. Women who marry religious control freaks often end up in a nightmare of depression.
I applaud him on point #10 there, good job on point 10! Woo!
Point #9 (about avoiding the “man-child” category of adult males) isn’t altogether a bad point, either (I was engaged to a quasi man-child, and no, I did not enjoy it), but that point taken too far, or if over-emphasized, and we are getting into Mark Driscoll territory (click here for more on that), and lots of younger males in particular are deeply insulted by some of Driscoll’s views about men.
On the one hand, the guy who wrote this, Grady, assumes God will send you (you being a single Christian woman who wants to get married) the Christian man o’ your dreams.
If this is so, why does Grady make a long list telling single women not to marry a drug addict, bum, control freak, liar, etc?
If it were true that God just blessed single females with a “dream boat” of a Christian spouse, if they just trust God and pray about it, there would be no need for a woman to use her discernment and weed out the pigs, dogs, and liars from the Prince Charmings, and to have these lists of what sort of men to avoid marrying in the first place, now would there?
If you have bothered to read any other posts at this blog before, you know my deal.
But if you’re new, here’s a recap:
I’m over 40 years of age, raised a Christian, dreamed of being married, still single in my 40s, bought into evangelical/Baptist propaganda from my youth forwards that if I only trusted God for a spouse, stayed sexually pure, prayed, and waited, that God would deliver “Mr. Christian Right” to my front door. (I even tried dating sites, went to churches, volunteered at soup kitchens, etc., still no spouse.)
Despite all my waiting, praying, staying a virgin into adulthood, attending church, using dating sites, volunteering at charities, ‘looking to the kingdom first,’ and having faith, and all the other twaddle Christians tell you that you must do to earn or obtain a spouse – God never did send me a spouse.
And did I mention the part where I’m in my 40s now? It’s more than a bit ridiculous to keep telling women at my age to “keep praying, trusting” and all the usual advice these 50- year- old, married men issue to 15 or 23 year old single women.
That is one reason I cringe when I see Christians write comments such as these, by J. Lee Grady, who wrote on the page I excerpted above:
…and it’s obvious God handpicked each of them [the husbands] to match our daughters’ temperaments and personality.
I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for my daughters, He can do it for you.
Buddy, I don’t know how to tell you this… but God did not “hand pick” husbands for your daughters.
Your daughters simply dated around until they found a man they felt compatible with, and they got lucky. And who knows if all the marriages of all three of your daughters will last?
Maybe one or more of your daughters will divorce in the future. If one of them divorces, how will you stick to the belief that God “hand picked” their spouse for them?
Why would God “hand pick” a man for a woman only for their marriage to fall apart years later? If God did the spouse choosing, don’t you think there would be little to no divorce, rather than the 40 – 60% divorce rate among Christians we do have these days?
You have plenty of other single Christian women out there that prayed and waited, and God did not “hand pick” any husbands for them.
Yes, 2 Corinthians 6:14 is, contrary to what Grady states, an outdated biblical rule, especially in the United States of America, where studies I read say there are about three un-married, adult Christian women for every one un-married, adult Christian man.
That means about two out of three Christian women who are single who desire marriage (assuming they all want to marry) will be unable to marry a Christian man, because there are not enough Christian men for the ladies to marry.
The “be equally yoked” (or in the negative, “do not be unequally yoked”) is only serving to keep single Christian women who desire marriage indefinitely single – it sets up an unrealistic, unnecessary hurdle they must contend with in mate selection and in getting to the altar.
Not only that, but some Christians are not even clear on what “being equally yoked” really means. For example, some gender complementarians would tell single Christian women it is not enough for her to marry a Christian man, oh no, but the man she marries must also be one she feels she can “submit to,” or one who can be her “spiritual leader” or “spiritual head.”
Some preachers, such as Seattle’s Mark Driscoll, have also told women, or implied or alluded, to only marry a guy who has his own car and a steady job, on top of marrying only a Christian guy.
Driscoll also stated that Christian single women should NOT marry a Pro-Choice man, see this link:
Although I do not agree with Regenerus (Christian college professor and author) on everything, he rightly pointed out over a year ago in an article that Christians are un-biblical to keep adding more and more criteria on Christian mate selection lists that they expect Christian single females to adhere to, because such criteria are keeping too many women single too long.
Here are some of Regenerus’ remarks from that article:
— start quote —
Genuine interfaith marriage is a challenge I don’t recommend. But as marriage has shifted in purpose over time, many Christians have added layers of meaning onto Paul’s wise command.
“Unequally yoked” has evolved into a graded criterion for an optimal mate rather than a simple test for an acceptable one. This is a problem. Why? Spiritual maturity is not equally distributed among men and women in the peak marrying years. Quality survey data reveal only two serious, churchgoing evangelical men for every three comparable women.
Thus, one out of every three evangelical women is not in a position to marry a man who’s her “spiritual equal,” let alone “head.”
This elevated standard now translates — for women, at least — to something like this: “Find that uncommon man who is your spiritual equal or leader, not to mention kind, virtuous, industrious, employed, and, if possible, handsome, and then figure out how to make him want to marry you.”
A tall order it is.
As a result of the increasing “failure to launch,” evangelicals find themselves saying lots of nice things about the benefits of singleness (which certainly do exist), but seem unwilling to move their boundary stones for marriage. Except that they have moved them, away from acceptability and toward ideals. It’s not a surprising move, since marriage is far more voluntary and economically unnecessary for women (and men) today than it was as recently as 50 years ago.
Basically, not only are Christian singles told to hold out for ONLY another Christian single, but if they are female, and depending on which type of church or denomination they belong to, they are also told they can only marry a Christian man IF he meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. she can picture herself submitting to him;
2. he is more spiritually mature than her;
3. (if in an IFB church), he must be King James Version Only;
4. (if in a Neo Calvinist church), he must be a Calvinist
You might as well also add other, too narrow, picky, and ridiculous requirements for a spouse, such as, in addition to being a Christian single man (which are very rare to start with), the man in question must :
1. the man must have one blue eye and one green eye;
2. the man must own a pet llama named Henry;
3. the man must have a hobby of collecting Mego Star Trek figures;
4. the man must have the habit of picking all blue M&M candies out from every package of M&M candy he opens
5. the man’s favorite day of the week must be Tuesday;
6. The man’s middle name must start with the letter “Q”
The longer one makes a “list of criteria for a martial partner” the smaller the pool of eligible mates one has to choose from.
I really do not think most Christians appreciate this fact – and it’s common sense, but it sails right over the heads of most married Christians who dole out this useless advice to singles.
“I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.”
And I’ve seen a fair share of online testimonies by Christian women who did marry a Non Christian and have no regrets about it. They say they have happy marriages and are doing just fine.
I wonder if part of the stubborn insistence by Christians that single Christian women should break up with a Non-Christian man (even if they are in love with him), and “trust God” to send them a Christian guy later on, is a denial that there are simply not enough Christian men for Christian ladies to marry.
Christian apologist William Craig Lane unfortunately seems to assume if a Christian single woman is dating a Non-Christian man, that if she breaks up with the guy, that in his good time, God will send her, or reward her with, a Christian husband – but this is not true (see this page, off site: (Link): Marrying a Non Christian, reply by William Lane Craig).
A lot of Christian women find themselves waiting, waiting, waiting for a Christian spouse, just as Lane Craig and others advise – and die never having married.
And bear in mind that Craig admits in that answer on that page that he’s been married to a Christian women for 30 or whatever years – I notice that frequently when Christians who tell hurting, lonely singles to stay single while “waiting on God for a spouse,” they are themselves MARRIED and have BEEN MARRIED FOR DECADES.
How EASY it is for YOU, married guy of 30 years, to tell 25, 35, 45 year old women who WANT marriage, but who are SINGLE, to keep tossing out suitable men, one after the other, just because they are not Christian.
Give me a break. This is nothing but a cruel, devious trick that is unnecessarily keeping droves of single Christian women single indefinitely, or well into their 40s and older.
Over a year ago, I found a long thread on a Christian forum where many Christians who had married atheists and other types of Non Christians talked about their marriage experiences, and many of the Christian women said their marriages to their unbelieving spouses were fine.
There was no abuse, their unbelieving spouses did not cheat on them, respected their faith, and so forth. If I can find that discussion I will link to it. I can’t remember the name of the forum I found those testimonies on.
If you google it, you can of course find a ton of lay-persons on the internet claiming that a Christian to a Non Christian marriage will end in failure and heartbreak – but again, I’ve come across plenty of positive testimonies about it as well. I don’t think Christian to Non-Christian marriage is necessarily doomed to failure.
I preface the link, which is much farther below to an atheist blog page, by saying this: I notice that often times atheists take the “be not yoked” teaching as a personal slam against atheists, which it’s not intended to be, not from the Christian view.
When Christians talk about being married to only other Christians, they are not suggesting that atheists are evil trash and not good enough for Christian companionship.
I mean, look it, you have a lot of Christians who fall in love with a person who is an atheist (or agnostic), and then they run to a preacher asking, “Is it a sin for me, a Christian to marry this atheist? I’d really like to marry him/her, but he/she is an unbeliever, and I don’t know what to do.”
In other words, if all Christians every where thought of all atheists as being evil idiot dirt balls, you would not see this question raised to start with, because you would not have Christians dating and falling in love with atheists (and other types of Non-Christians).
The “be not yoked” teaching is more pro-Christian and supported out of concern for the Christian’s spiritual well being, and is not “anti atheist.”
The teaching is mainly spoken out of concern that a Christian who marries a non-believer might have his or her faith compromised, or the atheist spouse may act as an obstacle to the believing spouse serving God, attending church, and so forth.
It’s a pro-Christian teaching, not anti-atheist, but a lot of atheists choose to misinterpret it in that way. Like the guy on this page below does – the guy who runs the “Friendly Atheist” blog.
I sometimes visit the Friendly Atheist’s blog and even agree with him at times on some subjects, but not totally on the “be not yoked” teaching, where he takes the teaching as an intentional insult against atheists.
I do, however, agree with some of this other views on the issue, which you can read about here:
That page even has quotes from a friend of Mehta (the atheist blogger guy) who is a Christian, Alise Wright, who is married to an atheist. He gets her take on the situation. Here is one quote by Alise Wright on his page:
— start quote—
Due to our differences in faith, my husband [who is an atheist] and I [who am a Christian] have had to work on our ability to communicate a bit more.
It requires us to find the areas where our common ethos meet and build on that. It requires us to be more generous and more forgiving with one another because we are determined not to be another statistic in the broken marriage category. Interfaith marriages are happening.
Rather than simply saying, “Don’t do that,” the Church needs to look for ways to encourage couples who are in these marriages instead of leaving them to their own devices.
If we truly want to recognize marriage as something beautiful and sacred, then we need to provide tools to help those who have married someone outside of the Christian faith find that in their spouse and in their marriage. I agree with those sentiments above.
Grady ends his editorial, “10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry,” by saying,
“Your smartest decision in life is to wait for a man who is sold out to Jesus.”
Er, no. I’m in my early 40s and still not married. You are, when you get down to it, asking me to stay single until I die. No thank you.
God has done didley squat NOTHING up to this point to send me a spouse, so I have to take matters into my own hands, which means getting back on to the dating horse once more, but this time, when I do, I will not be eliminating Non-Christians from the pool of candidates.
I leave you with this image, and a few comments below it:
By the way, what of the ten men on that list that Grady names, the liar, bum, etc.? Is Grady saying such men, if they desire marriage, will never, ever get a spouse?
Is he saying God will deny such males spouses, and they are doomed to die alone and single?
Does Grady believe such men will have to clean up their acts before God will allow them a spouse?
I hate to break it to Grady, but I have a bazillion examples on my blog of Christian men who got married who turned out to be drug addicts, rapists, burglars, serial rapist, porn addicts, pedophiles, and cheaters.
Obviously, God does not expect a person to “clean up” his act before allowing him (or her) to marry.
Of course, I doubt many women would want to marry a man who is a liar, cheat, bum, or man-child, so it may behoove such men to clean themselves up on those grounds, but I don’t see any evidence that God prohibits jerks, idiots, and loons from marrying; quite the contrary, my blog has many examples of jerks, abusers, idiots and loons who got Christian spouses in spite of all their sins, defects, and character flaws.
EDIT. I do not know who originally drew the skeleton lady sitting on a bench drawing you see above. I’ve seen it around the internet forever. I would love to give the original creator credit, but I have no idea who made it. I changed it a little to add text to it.
————————– Edit, March 22, 2014
This guy (Steve Strang) apparently feels Grady’s editorial is awesome – it’s not.
One reason Grady’s piece took off like wildfire on social media is because Grady’s article was copied to liberal Christian groups and sites who thought it was awful. That is one reason why a lot of people shared it on Facebook and tweeted it all over town – to ridicule it and criticize it, not laud and praise it.
Though I do agree in part with Deb, who left this remark on the Charisma News site – she is right that churches ignore adult single celibates and instead opine about the already-married:
— start quote—
That article went viral because it spoke to a need that’s not being met in the church. Men & women in the church need honest, direct guidance in navigating the waters of single life.
The church on the whole, including those singles, would rather put on a front that everyone is celibate and reading the Bible when they go on a date.
Those “dating waters” are treacherous! There are sharks and snakes everywhere! I only spent about two years in those waters–I divorced a “serial adulterer” after over 30 years– but I got an eye-opening education in those two years and at times nearly drowned.
I think I met every man listed in J. Lee Grady’s article. He is so on-point! I could write a book on being a Christian single in today’s world!
Just by observing the other singles, I realized I shouldn’t date men in church.
From what I saw, the men dated outside the church because they wanted to have sex but not have to face the woman in church on Sunday.
Churches need singles groups that tackle the issues of singleness frankly instead of turning a blind eye to the fact that their singles are having sex, getting pregnant, getting diseases and dealing with all manner of sexual perversion while still being active members of the church.
This environment is creating people with a seared conscience.
We must bring righteousness and holiness back into the church, along with a strong dose of truth and honesty. Truthfully, that must start with our leaders’ behavior.
Being single and celibate in today’s society is very difficult. They need a strong support group and strategies to succeed at being single and dating.
For me, when I was ready to get married again, I stopped “dating”. I stopped communicating with the men in whom I was interested. I prayed for God to show me to my future husband….I prayed that my husband would find me.
Deb, I agree with some of what you wrote, but differ on one or two points. I did not care for parts of Grady’s editorial, however.
I wrote a blog post about it (Christian Pundit on Word Press), called “A Critique of – 10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry by J. Lee Grady / And on Christians Marrying Non Christians -and- Unrealistic, Too Rigid Spouse Selection Lists by Christians”
As I said on my blog, Grady made one or two points I agreed with, and a few I did not.
I can’t share your passive approach to dating, however. I am over 40, female, never married, was a Christian for many years, was taught to simply pray, wait, have faith and God would send me a spouse, yet I remain never-married into my 40s. There are many other single, adult Christian females in the same position as myself.
If you want to get married you will have to date. Dating is not fun or pleasant, but it is something a woman must do if she wants to get married.
Even men who claim to be Christians on dating sites I’ve run across are sex-obsessed pigs who don’t even attempt to live celibate, single lives, as they should be doing, since the Bible teaches sex is for marriage only.
But you have to wade through the muck of the dating world to get married. God does not magically grant most women with a spouse who simply pray, hope, and wait for one.
If that worked for you, great, but that passive “wait, trust, and pray” has not worked for lots of single Christian women who find themselves still single past the age of 35 and 40.
I do agree with you that most churches and denominations ignore adult, single celibates and sexual purity standards. I am still a virgin at my age, and churches ignore celibate adults who are over 30, and they also tend to ignore the divorced, childless married couples, and widows / widowers.
I have seen virginity and celibacy mocked and downplayed, even by Christians in the past few years, everyone from the more liberal Christians (which I would expect) but also by self professing conservatives, such as Southern Baptist Al Mohler, Russell Moore, and blogger Tim Challies.
Conservative Christians actually diminish sexual purity now and feel it’s impossible for anyone to remain a virgin past age 25 / 30, even though plenty have accomplished that.
So many Christian women (and a smattering of male ones, but it’s mostly female) are now saying they found sexual purity and virginity teachings they heard while in church, or in other Christian material and venues when they were younger, to be so incredibly guilt- or shame- provoking (because they voluntarily chose to engage in pre- marital sex at an earlier time), that conservative, Christian males (and some females) and entire Christian groups (such as “Focus on the Family”) are now writing many blog pages and articles downplaying celibacy and virginity.
Tim Challies (who is a famous Christian blogger) went so far at to say on one of his blog pages a few months ago that “even fornicators are virgins now” to soothe the guilty feelings of fornicators who read his blog.
Christian television host Pat Robertson recently said on his TV show that virginity was for Mary (mother of Jesus) only, when a viewer wrote in asking a question about sexual purity.
Guys like Robertson feel that hetero pre marital sex is inevitable, unavoidable, and that churches should teach an “easy breezy” forgiveness message about sexual sin. His view on this is common among other Christians these days.
There are other examples, but that should suffice. Christians are no longer upholding adult celibacy, or the notion of staying a virgin until marriage, even if one is over the age of 25; they are not telling fornicators to repent of the fornication / sexual sin. (Some Christians object to the term “fornicate” itself these days, it’s considered too judgy or “old fogey.”)
Even main stream Christian groups and denominations have caved in to secular culture on sexual issues, and act as though hetero sexual sin is no big deal. Some will condemn homosexuality til the cows come home, but dismiss hetero sin of the sexual variety.
Though, strangely, I have seen some Christians (who are hetero) who feel so sorry for homosexual singles, they say they are fine and peachy with homosexuals having pre marital sex, but these types of Christians still feel that hetero singles must abstain – it’s a sexual double standard.