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: if you want it bad enough magical thinking
Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband
A couple of days ago, I saw this episode of The 700 Club.
A celibate Christian woman wrote Pat Robertson this question –
And her question is one all Christians avoid: they just scream at a 20 year old today to MARRY NOW NOW NOW!
They have no advice and no encouragement to give any adult over 35 who wants to be married but still finds him or herself single.
The usual Christian response is just to shame this lady for supposedly not having done enough to marry when younger, in spite of not knowing her background, or what she did to try to marry – Christians just arrogantly ASSUME if you are not married past a certain age, it is all your fault, and there were no mitigating circumstances.
So here’s her question to Pat, host of The 700 Club:
The Bible says that it’s better to marry than to burn with lust, but what about someone like me who can’t find someone to marry?
I’m Not Pining for a Long-Lost Love. I’m Single by Circumstance by S. Reed
I wish more articles addressed the “single by circumstance” situation as the one I am linking to in this post does.
Unfortunately, I don’t see too many articles about that topic, and in the meantime, a lot of conservative Christians who rail against delayed marriage, or declining marriage rates, assume that most or many single women are intentionally avoiding marriage.
So, these conservative Christians (and sometimes secular conservative groups or people) scold women for being single, and they engage in fear mongering, where they do things like tell women they will supposedly die sooner or live miserable lives if they don’t have a husband (Bella DePaulo has refuted many of these types of claims, and I have a few posts about her work on my blog).
Many single women – such as myself – wanted to get married and still want to – and I find it either hurtful, frustrating, or absolutely insulting and infuriating to see these articles (usually by conservatives) who assume I’ve remained single by choice, so they then shame or scold single women such as myself, or they feel they must argue me into getting, or convince me to, get married. However, I don’t need to be “sold” on marriage.
I don’t need to be convinced that marriage is nice. I’m already sold on the idea or marriage.
However, the fact remains that wanting something like marriage does not magically make it come to pass.
Then, you have conservative authors (such as (Link): this one), assume I could easily get a boyfriend or husband if only I made myself weak and stupid to attract a man (or dropped a hell of a lot of standards).
You see, it’s supposedly that pesky feminism or that stubborn insistence that I have self-confidence, or be independent, (or that a guy feel like a good match for me), that is keeping me from landing a man (*roll eyes* at all the backwards thinking and sexism in those assumptions).
The simple truth is, you can be a great person – smart, funny, attractive, and have a host of other great qualities – and just not be able to meet a comparable person you would like to partner with. Nor should you dumb yourself down and become clingy and needy in the hopes doing so will attract a partner.
Speaking of all that, like the author of this article does, I too tire of societal assumptions that if you are single, or have not married past a certain age, it must necessarily mean you are horribly flawed in some way. You can be a good person and a good catch but simply never run into anyone decent, or not anyone who is compatible with you.
….Countless movies, books, televisions shows, musicals and operas teach us to believe there’s someone out there for everyone: Just wish on a star, or get a makeover, or take a chance and boom! True love will find you. So if you haven’t found that person — or lost him somehow — people have trouble understanding why.
….For some, that glaring absence can be explained only by some horrible flaw I must possess or a love gone wrong in my past. Although I have many faults, I’ve never noticed that folks who are in relationships are perfect. And when I look back at my romantic history, I think: “That’s a lot of bullets dodged.”
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.
Pedophiles Seeking Christian Wives in Churches – Another Reason to be Leery of the “Equally Yoked” Idea and Reconsider Church as a Place to Meet Singles
I skimmed over this really long blog post, on Brent Detwiler’s site (link much farther below), about a guy, Caffery, who was jailed for pedophilia. Caffery has more than one victim, if I remember right.
Caffery wrote a book at one point claiming that belief in Christ changed his life for the better, and so on and so forth (amazingly, he was molesting kids while writing this book – during the same time frame).
Caffery also wrote (in a book or a letter to his church elders, I forget which) that he was afraid if his wife gave birth to a daughter, he would molest his own daughter, so he prayed and asked God for sons. His wife went on to give birth to all sons. (I think the blog post says he later had a daughter by his second wife.)
Let me pause here to say: if I were dating or engaged to a guy who told me this upfront, that he is afraid he might molest any kids we had together, I would take him at his word and dump his ass.
(I don’t know if the woman this guy married knew beforehand or not, I’m just saying if this happened to me, I would NOT stay with a guy who confessed such a thing to me.
Never, ever stay with a guy out of pity or a sense of duty – don’t feel sorry for Mr. “I might molest our kids if we have kids together” Pervert. Helping him or redeeming such a deviant is not your responsibility. Part of the reason I got sucked into my last disaster of an engagement was that I felt sorry for the guy.)
The part that really stood out to me in this blog post by DeWiler was when Caffery said after one wife divorced him, he went looking for a new wife at a large Christian church. I found this alarming and creepy.
Women Are Still Being Told To Lower Their Standards / Stupid Sh*t People Say to Singles by S. H. Weiss
One thing the author of this page brings up is something I have as well: women are just as visually oriented as men are and do care about what men look like. However, women are conditioned by secular society and religious groups to think they should not care about a man’s physical attractiveness.
Women are conditioned to look past a man’s ugliness to consider his other traits – is he smart, financially stable, and so on.
Now, I do think some people are in fact way too judgmental or picky regarding physical appearance in dating or whom to marry.
But, on the other hand, there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to date or marry someone you consider attractive. I don’t think people of either gender should be super picky about looks, but it’s okay to have some preferences or standards.
The woman who wrote this says she caught some guy she knew lying in his dating site profile – he was 35 years old but claimed on his dating profile he is 25 or 30 years old. She asked him why he lied about his age.
He claims it’s because he wants to start a family and a woman in her 20s is guaranteed to be fertile.
First of all, women in their 40s (and 30s) still menstruate and get pregnant, so you don’t need to marry a 20 something to have babies. Some women in their 20s are childfree or infertile.
Secondly, as I noted before, I advised single women who read this blog to lie on their dating site profiles about their ages, to make themselves younger than they are.
As so many men are this very shallow and particular about age in a woman (many of them have a cut off age of 29, while for others, it’s about 35), go ahead and cite yourself as being 20 or 30 something on your profile if you are over 40 and want dates.
The worst thing that will happen once the guy gets to know you after he meets you via a dating site is that he will decide to stop dating you. Big whoop.
I have seen or read about a lot of men ages 45 and older who lie about their ages on dating sites. I’ve had guys who are obviously 65 or older (they have all white hair) who contact me on dating sites, who claim to be 41 or 42 years old. Men lie out the ass about their ages (and their height, according to other women) all the time on these sites.
…It is Traister’s message that I would like to share with the women I have spoken with lately, women who feel they need to defend themselves to others about why they are not married, why they are not “just settling down already” and why they are “being too picky.”
The women I speak of range from early 30s to early 40s. Some of them have never been married, while others were married briefly. A third of them are divorced and have children. The one thing these friends have in common is that they all say that are not “single by choice.” They express the desire to find their perfect life partner.
..However, there are Yentas everywhere, some well-intentioned and others questionably motivated. This is especially true for those who are part of a tight-knit or religious community (ranging from the Mormons to the Modern Orthodox Jewish).
Scary Single Ladies: Rebecca Traister Explains Why Single Women Frighten The Hell Out Of The GOP
Sometimes some of these reviews of Traister’s book, or interviews with her, bring up how so many Republicans often demonize or criticize single motherhood.
I happen to be a Republican myself, someone who was raised in a traditional Christian home.
One thing I don’t get is how so many other Republicans and Christians do in fact constantly bad-mouth single motherhood, but out of the other side of their mouths, they frequently complain that not enough women are having babies.
It ticks these types of Republicans and Christians off that baby-making rates have declined a bit in the last decade or whatever (see this link for example).
So, on the one hand, my fellow Republicans complain about women having babies (women who happen to be single), but then turn around and complain and gripe about women NOT having babies.
Christians and Republicans are somewhat inconsistent on this point. They might argue that women should marry first, and then make a baby with their spouse, but this is part of the problem: plenty of women WANT to marry, but there are no eligible males for them to marry (see this link or this link for more).
And, of course, there are married women who cannot have babies because they are infertile, or some may choose to forgo motherhood – and their choices should be respected, not condemned.
Another thing that bothers me about this conservative demonizing of single motherhood is that I suspect one view that undergirds it is that they believe that marriage or parenthood supposedly makes adults more mature, responsible or godly, which is simply (Link): not true (and see this link and this link).
(There are a lot of conservative Christians who have taught or said that people only become mature or responsible when they marry or have a kid.)
The Bible does not teach that marriage or parenthood are necessary to make a person more godly, loving, responsible, or mature.
And even every day common sense and observation bears that out: we’ve all known, or heard of, married parents who are immature, greedy, or immoral swine.
I am right wing and have been a Republican for years. However, I don’t always agree with Republicans on everything.
I do occasionally agree with some of the left wing’s criticism of right wingers, and concerning how dismally right wingers treat singles, I agree with them on that.
Author Rebecca Traister’s new book on single women looks at how this growing population is reshaping America
Author Rebecca Traister’s last book, “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” took a comprehensive look at how the 2008 elections changed everything for American women.
Now she’s back with a similarly pop music-themed title, “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation,” an examination of the role single women have played in American culture, both in our history and in our current times.
(Link): Single women are a potent political force in a way that they never have been before, making up nearly a quarter of the electorate and leaning to the left of both men and their married counterparts.
This, along with a whole host of inchoate fears about what happens when women are left to their own devices without male supervision, has led to a rash of conservative pundits and politicians denouncing the ladies who aren’t married. I interviewed Traister about this moral panic over single women and what it means for the culture at large.
[Question to the book author]: In your book, you detail how obsessed the conservative media has become with single women, who clearly anger right-wing pundits. The most hilarious quote you pull is Rush Limbaugh whining, “What is it with all these young, single, white women?” What is it with these conservative pundits focusing on single women?
The fact that he said “white,” well, there are these versions of single womanhood that we are presented and the version that threatens most, is the white, privileged women.
Sandra Fluke testifying in front of Congress, women who are writing books, Murphy Brown, and Anita Hill, even though she’s not white, a lawyer appeared for Clarence Thomas.
There is a kind of woman who is economically powerful, professionally powerful who threatens a white male grip on power that has a long historic precedent in the country. Independent women living outside of marriage threaten all kinds of things about the way power is supposed to work.
What if reproduction is taken outside that version of male control? What if women are competing?
Critique of: Why Single Men May Not Be Having the Most Fun by W. B. Wilcox (who tends to be a marriage idolater and anti-singles bigot)
I would encourage you to take anything this Wilcox guy says with a huge grain of salt, especially if it pertains to singleness.
Wilcox is a huge marriage idolater and is anti-singleness. He has the tendency to write anti-singles editorials in a push to elevate marriage. I’ve written of his anti-singless, singleness fear mongering before (Link): here.
Wilcox seems to feel that if he can scare singles about being single – such as telling us that being single will increase our odds of being raped or getting toe nail fungus or growing a third hand out of our heads – that this will motivate all us singles to run out and marry right away.
Of course, one problem with that view is that there are plenty of singles who do want to marry but are unable to find a partner (see this link as one example, see this link for additional commentary).
These anti-singles marriage idolaters (like Wilcox) just ASSUME all or most singles HATE marriage and are intentionally avoiding it, when such is not the case for all singles.
Guys like Wilcox have this terribly biased view that married life is the only way to go for anyone, that to improve a society or culture, everyone should marry (and marry in their 20s), and live out the 1950s nuclear family Ward and June Cleaver lifestyle, and he (like a lot of my fellow conservatives) is very put off that so many people are opting out of marriage, or just staying single whatever the reason.
So, these marriage idolaters do everything they can to write pages claiming that being single is not as safe, healthy, fun, or wise for individuals or culture as marriage supposedly is.
Articles like this also fail to take into account the “equally yoked” teaching which exists among Christians, a rule which prohibits Christian singles from marrying Non-Christian persons.
The problem with this is that for every single Christian man, there are 55 million single Christian women (no, that’s not an exact figure – it’s my way of saying… There are not enough single males for the single religious ladies who want to marry).
At one point in his article, Wilcox goes on and on about how lonely some single guy is who he discusses as an example of how crummy single life can be for some men.
True, being single can be or feel lonely at times – but so too can being in a marriage.
I was in a long term, serious relationship, and there were times that although I was sitting in the same room as my fiance, I still felt all alone, because the ass hat (my fiance) was not meeting my emotional needs; he did not care to, he was terribly self absorbed. I blogged more about that (Link): here, in this older post if you’d like to read that.
Having a romantic partner is no guarantee you won’t experience loneliness.
Articles like this one I am linking to you here in this post just perpetuate the notion that there is something “wrong” with being single, or that being single is not “as good” as being married.
I’m not sure if Wilcox is a Christian or not, but I do know that there is nothing in the Bible that says that being married is better than being single, or that everyone being married “cures” society of its problems.
I would not be surprised if singles advocate Bella DePaulo doesn’t, in the future, refute this page by Wilcox in (Link): her column over at Psychology Today – or, you know, it looks like (Link, off site): she’s already refuted the Wilcox page, in a fashion.
Edit (Feb 15, 2016). Ms. DePaulo dropped by and left a comment below. I wanted to edit this post to add a link she left in her comment, and one other one:
This Wilcox piece is singles shaming at its finest – painting singleness as though it’s some mental or physical health problem that needs the cure of marriage. Or, you could say it is a form of ‘singles concern trolling,’ I guess.
Views such as Wilcox’s also suggest that a person cannot or does not become a “whole” person or a mature person unless or until he or she marries – something which the Bible does not endorse at all. A person does not have to marry or become a parent in order to reach maturity or wholeness.
Also note how often Wilcox seems to be stressing people marry in their 20s in his essay – marriage idolaters such as this show no consideration for anyone over 30 or 40 or older who would like to marry but who find themselves single. Marriage-pushers such as Wilcox come across as being very ageist.
Bradford Wilcox is the (Link): director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow of the (Link): Institute for Family Studies. He is the coauthor of “Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos.”
…Oh, the life of the young single man. Pop culture’s depiction of young men’s single years as impossibly fun, footloose and fancy-free has a certain purchase in our culture. It’s one reason why plenty of young men look at marriage as a “ball and chain,” but that mind-set can have a number of downsides.
There is nothing in Scripture that suggests there is just one person we’re ‘supposed’ to marry.
Proverbs 31 urges young men to be guided by a woman’s faith and character in making their choice—there is no mention of second guessing some divine destiny.
In 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul tells women (widows, in particular) to seriously consider singleness, but assures them the choice of whether to get married is up to them, and then specifically says women can marry “whomever they wish” as long as their potential husband is ‘in the Lord.’ (v. 39)
If the Bible explicitly says, ‘it’s your call whether or not to get married’ (a sentiment Jesus echoes when he says some “choose” to become eunuchs—celibate—in Matthew 19:12, with emphasis on the word “choose”) and it’s entirely your choice as to who to marry, why should your subjective feelings and reasoning override living by the truth of Scripture?
There is, quite frankly, nothing in Scripture that ever tells us it is our sworn duty to marry one particular person. Whether we marry, and who we marry, are spoken of in Scripture as part of God’s “permissive will,” something he allows us to choose.
In the “if you get the young men you win” commentary, Driscoll writes:
Most churches are built to cater to 40-something-year-old women and their children and the guys are nowhere to be found.
No, let me assure you, as a 40-something woman, most evangelical and Baptist churches most certainly do not cater to me or to women in general, regardless of age.
Most churches either cater to married men (women and singles of either gender are not permitted to serve in meaningful capacities), or churches are built to support married couples who have two or three young children still living at home.
One reason of many I no longer attend church, and may never return, is precisely that churches do nothing for 40 something, single, childless women such as myself. Mark Driscoll is once again spouting off about a bunch of crap he knows nothing about.
Here is the main reason I am making this blog post – these posts:
The point of those posts is that Driscoll, particuarly about ten years ago, ranted and railed against young, single men in books, forum posts, and sermons. He accused them of being lazy, homosexual, wussies, and clowns because they were not self-supporting, did not own their own homes and cars, etc.
What the post goes on to explain is that at the height of his single-man bashing, Driscoll himself was strapped for money. He had to take in young single men as roomies to help him make payments on his home.
Here are some excerpts (from WTH blog, the first link):
What problem needs to be fixed? The young men need to be yelled at so that they shape up and fly right. They need to get real jobs, find women, marry them, make babies and do all this for Jesus’ fame.
The possibility that many of those 20-something men won’t find “real jobs” because of changes in the economy in a post-industrial context where “we” exported a lot of our unskilled labor overseas or a lot of unskilled labor is unglamorous drudgery “real Americans” don’t want to do may not be on the Driscoll radar.
That neo-Calvinists lament the median age of first marriage has soared up to the highest levels we’ve seen in the last forty years may need to be offset by the observation that the last time that number got so high was during the Great Depression.
Lame Advice from Christian Publication “Relevant” on What To Do When You Are Single
First of all, the sub heading of this article from Relevant is something like, “A bucket list of things to do before you marry.” Who says everyone is going to get married? I’m in my early 40s, heading into my mid 40s, and I may never marry.
Christians: stop assuming everyone will marry, even the Christian women who desire marriage and pray for a husband daily – some Christians go to the grave never having married because God never sent them a spouse.
Shut up with the “Things to do until you are married,” or “tips on how to live life while you are single,” type editorials, since they have the underlying assumption that everyone will get married, or married by age 30. Some people never, ever marry, even including the women who seek marriage, go on dating sites, and pray for a spouse.
Here is an excerpt from that page on Relevant:
4. Get Involved With Church
Along with the time with friends, connecting at church is much easier to commit to when you’re single. I’m currently helping out with my church’s children’s ministry and love that I can dedicate as much time to it as I do. I’m usually free for the extracurricular events outside of Sunday mornings, too, so I try to help out with those as often as possible.
It can be easy to feel down about how open your schedule may seem without weekly romantic dates to go on, but it’s so fulfilling to use this season of life to invest in others.
Gee, fellow adult single (who must only be about, what, 22 years old, see me again when you’re 40 years old), thanks for upholding a stereotype that all singles have loads of free time – we don’t.
If anything, we adult singles have less free time than the marrieds do because we don’t have a partner to split up chores with.
As to this writer’s suggestion to go work in the church’s kid ministry?
I do not like being around babies, kids, and teens, but churches won’t let me, a single childless woman, to serve in any other area.
Church members often incorrectly assume that ALL women are CRAZY FOR and WILD ABOUT and CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF babies and children.
Churches almost always “shoe horn” single, childless ladies into baby ministry. I am a single, childless woman, and I emphatically do not want to work around or for babies, toddlers, kids or teens, or college aged kids.
One clear proof that marriage and motherhood are NOT God’s “only” or “best” role for women is the fact that some women totally lack an interest in either or both!
I have never been “kid crazy.” I never really cared strongly if I had a kid or not (if I did, it would have to be after marriage and by age 35.)
I just do not care about kids, in that, I see baby photos, and 99% of the time, I don’t feel anything about the kid or the photo of the kid.
Most women will look at a baby photo and the maternal side kicks in: ‘Awww, what a cutie!’
-Me? Nope. Nothing. There are some child free women who are even less interested in children and babies than I am.
If it were true that God’s “best” role for women was to be mothers, I would guess that he would have clearly instilled a huge maternal instinct and longing into every woman ever born, but that’s not the case.
Go hang out on forums, Twitter accounts, and blogs for Child Free women, and you will see many women (and men too) who are just not the least interested in children, and some down right loathe and despise babies and kids.
I tagged this post with the word “infertile” because a lot of these same churches that assume all women are wild for babies forget that some women desperately longed to have a baby of their own, but are infertile, continually had miscarriages, married a guy who didn’t want kids, or did not marry until much later in life and their fertile years had passed. Even these women get brow beat into serving in the kid’s section at church, which has to feel like a knife to the gut to them.
Reader reaction to the lame Christian advice for singles, from the Facebook group SCCL:
Re: Relevant Magazine, “9 Things to Do While You’re Still Single, A Bucket List For Before You Tie The Knot”
as a single 24 year old woman, i honestly found this article/list super lame. or maybe i’m just already “good enough” at being single. but either way, i try to be open minded when reading this kind of stuff but nope. this was useless
Get involved with the church because you are single. Single people tend to have more time ??? Boo, this is one is one of the reasons I left the church
Sounds good in theory, till you get there and all the married people treat you like you have the plague. At least the single women. Any other single women visit a church and as soon as you spoke to a man, his wife would appear at his elbow and white-knuckle his biceps? [see meme at bottom of this post]
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.
Remember that niches aren’t walled divisions, just different shades of a shared story. Here’s what you’ve told us so far about our many sub-communities. Don’t see yours? Let us know.
By Choice and By Chance are like the East and West Sides of our ‘city’. Except, our map includes a Venn diagram where the two sides share land for women who describe themselves as Both. They once wanted kids, very much so in many cases, but at some point they realized the effort to conceive was too taxing, or that the idea of motherhood simply didn’t fit anymore.
…The big umbrella of Infertility/Age includes women who’ve tried IVF, or experienced miscarriage, or simply waited too long before trying to conceive. A partner’s infertility counts, too. And Age can push a woman to declare herself without children By Chance and By Choice: Both.
Health-Challenged NotMoms may well be fertile, but conditions such as cardiovascular disorders or kidney and liver disease, make the attempt life-threatening.
Childless by Marriage is a term I credit to Sue Lick, who wrote a book and more about marrying an older man who was already a father and didn’t want more kids. When he died suddenly, her stepchildren vanished from her life, and her age made childbearing distinctly improbable. That was her ‘by marriage’ story, but there are many more.
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).
“49% = Number of women ages 40 – 44 who are voluntarily childless”
“More women choosing a childfree life”
Editor’s note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She is a mom of two. Read her other columns and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.
(CNN) — Women without children like Patrice Grell Yursik, who just celebrated her 12th wedding anniversary, get the same questions all the time.
“I can’t even tell you how many cab drivers in Chicago, in New York, in L.A., have asked me, ‘So any kids? No kids, why no kids?’ It’s just the way that people engage with you,” said Grell Yursik, 35, of Chicago, creator of the beauty and lifestyle blog Afrobella.com.
She and her husband have not decided whether they want to have children.
Laurie White, a 43-year-old writer and social media manager, who has referred to herself over the years as “accidentally childless,” said people always come up with solutions for what they perceive as her “problem.”
“Why don’t you just parent by yourself? Why don’t you adopt? There are so many kids who need homes,” White, of Olney, Maryland, said people tell her. “It really discounts whether or not that’s something a) that I want to do and b) whether that’s something that’s really wise for me to do as a single person.”
Kitty Bradshaw, creator of an online destination covering lifestyle in Los Angeles and New York, said, “More and more guys are saying ‘Oh there must be something wrong with you if you are 35 and you’ve never been married and you’ve never had kids.’ ”
Bradshaw, White and Grell Yursik are not alone by a long shot; 47% of women between ages 15 and 44 don’t have children, according to 2010 U.S.
Census Bureau data, an increase from 35% in 1976.
That’s a massive group comprising nearly half the women of childbearing age, and yet this demographic remains misunderstood, poorly portrayed in the media and nearly invisible to Madison Avenue, many women without children say.
Best-selling author Melanie Notkin, 45, coined the term “The Otherhood,” the title of her newest book, to refer to women like herself who don’t have children either by choice or based on life’s circumstances.
In her case, she experienced what she calls “circumstantial infertility … the pain and grief over not having children” because she’s single.
Too often society perceives women like herself as making a choice between having a career and having love, marriage and children, she said.
“This implication that we have chosen a career as opposed to falling in love is, as I say in the book, about as preposterous for me as having an elephant as a household pet,” Notkin said at a recent panel discussion hosted by DeVries Global, a public relations and social media agency.
Our pledges belong to the Heavenly Father, not our earthly ones.
by Gina Dalfonzo
When we see a man and a woman holding each other tenderly, wearing fancy clothes, we think wedding, marriage, romance. It’s simply instinctive. So when looking through a series of purity ball portraits—girls in white dresses, beside loving fathers—we’re seeing something very familiar, but in a very different context. This juxtaposition strikes as jarring at best, inappropriate at worst.
Jessica Valenti at AlterNet called the pictures “beautiful [but] disturbing.” In message boards and Facebook groups and comment sections around the Internet, words like “creepy” and “strange” were thrown around. On the flip side, there were those who said you’d have to be “perverted” to think there was anything wrong with the pictures.
I’m sure this lady means well, and I don’t mean to sound too hard on her, but there were a few parts of her page I did not agree with or thought were a little naive.
Here is one part that had me laughing (see my explanation below for why I find this funny – or naive):
Dating Comeback: Meeting Singles in Church
Sunday isn’t the only day when you have the opportunity to meet someone.
Religious affiliations all across the country host organized activities for single people during the week. Most host single mixers, parties, and dances and there are usually support groups for widowed or divorced Christians as well.
Branch out by looking beyond Sunday to meet other singles. If you’re unsure what’s being offered in your area, look in the weekly Church bulletins or give your local Parish a call.
She must be joking.
There may be some churches in some part of America that do hold adult singles functions, but there are not many.
Based on my personal experience, the blog pages for and by Christian singles I’ve read, and books about Christian adult singlehood, most churches have absolutely no ministries or classes for adult singles over 30 at all, or the ones they have consist of one or two adult singles.
While I do believe the Bible forbids pre-martial sex and supports virginity until marriage; and that virginity until marriage has been under attack from Christians the past few years (in addition from secular culture); and that a person’s choice to remain celibate should be respected by all (not mocked); that Christian parents or parents with traditional values have a right to instill Christian or traditional morals in their children, I do not support things such as purity balls.
One of my first problems with these “purity balls” is that they focus on female sexuality.
In these balls, the young ladies are forced to dress in white wedding type dresses, dance with their fathers, their fathers give them purity rings, and the young ladies pledge their virginity to their fathers.
As far as I am aware, there is no male equivalent, where young males are told to give their virginity to their mother and later, should they marry, their wife.
The Bible is clear that pre-martial sex is forbidden for all, for both genders, not just the ladies.
It is sexist and unbiblical for Christian parents to emphasize virginity only for female children.
I do not feel purity balls are appropriate for several reasons, but if one is going to hold one for females, one needs to keep things evened out by forcing males to participate in them as well, by having the males pledge their virginity to their mothers.
Growing up, I was very much turned off at the idea of marrying a non-virgin male. My preference is still to marry a virgin male.
I do feel that people who have pre-marital sex cheat their future spouse out of something that is rightfully theirs (ie, their virginity).
I know a lot of liberal Christians, emergents, and so forth hate that reasoning, but I apply it equally to males. I am grossed out at the idea of going on a honeymoon knowing the guy I have married has already placed his penis in some other woman’s orifices.
As I get older, I realize I may have no choice, because fornication is rampant these days – adult, male virgins are not exactly a dime a dozen. I’ve made peace with that.
At any rate, male virginity is not valued or upheld nearly as much as female virginity is, especially in religious circles.
I suspect one reason for this is that religious parents do not want to deal with unplanned pregnancies. Who gets pregnant from sex, males or females? Exactly.
I suppose Christian parents find it easier to clamp down on their daughter’s sexuality so as not to have to deal with birth control, abortion, adoption, and medical bills, so they up the pressure on the female children not to put out. One does not have to worry about a son becoming pregnant.
A woman’s virginity belongs to her and her alone.
At this point, I don’t even want to say one’s virginity belongs to God, though I suppose a biblical case can be made that a person’s body, sexuality and so on belongs to God (and there are biblical passages which indicate this), but God does not force Himself on people, their bodies, and their choices.
I have seen numerous testimonies by Christian women who admit to having had slept around many times over their life, and they suffered no ill consequences from that behavior.
God may call pre-marital sex a sin, but He does not enforce any negative consequences – in this lifetime- upon those who engage in such behavior, so far as I have been able to ascertain.
I actually see the opposite: I often see testimonies by Christian women on television programs who said they were big sluts, they admit they knew the Bible is against pre-marital sex, yet had sex anyway, they say they came down with some kind of awful disease as a result, but when they turned to God again, that God completely healed them of their sexually transmitted disease.
Still others said the only bad outcome of whoring around is that they came to feel empty or guilty due to said behavior, later stopped, and later met a great Christian guy who they married.
So, in spite of all the pre-marital sleeping around, they later got married, and now live happy, conventional, married, middle- class- American life styles.
Whether a female chooses to engage in premarital sex is her choice and hers alone.
I am not opposed to parents teaching their children to save sex for marriage and bringing up potential health problems involved of having sex, but in the end scheme of things, one’s virginity is one’s own, and one can do with it as one pleases.
(Note, however, the Bible does in fact teach that pre-marital sex is a sin. You can certainly have pre-marital sex if you so choose, but God does not condone that behavior.)
Forcing girls to attend faux marriage-like ceremonies where they have to devote their virginity to their fathers is distasteful, borders on incestuous, and places unrealistic, unfair pressure on these young ladies.
Give the young lady the proper moral guidance and health information she needs, and step out of her way; stop it with the purity balls.
I find these purity balls to be just as bad as the porn-i-fied culture we live in.
It’s the reverse extreme: usually in our society, people are pressured to have sex, have a lot of sex with lots of people and to start young. They are told their sexual choice to remain celibate is ridicule-worthy, shame worthy.
The virgin’s or celibate’s sexual choice to refrain from sex is often not respected. It is belittled. Virgins are shamed and bullied into acting like whores.
The purity ball is the reverse, but just as bad – pressuring young women into a sexual choice they may not want to make for themselves.
It’s telling them that their body, their virginity is not theirs, but belongs to someone else, either a father or a future husband.
I do believe one should save one’s virginity for a future spouse – so in a sense, I’d say yes, your virginity is owed to your future spouse – but at the end of the day, one’s virginity is still really and finally one’s own.
Your body is yours, not your father’s, not your future husband’s.
What I am getting at is that one’s choices should be respected. If you make all your kid’s choices for her, she will never be able to function as an adult. At some point, she needs to make choices for herself about herself, and that includes what to do when it comes to sex and her body.
Another reason these purity balls are so damaging: they make the job of all Christians (or semi- Christian, semi- agnostics with traditional values) who defend the Bible’s teaching on sex, (such as myself), ten times more difficult.
I already have an uphill battle defending celibacy and virginity as it stands, without these lunatic, crackpot fringe Christian groups holding these bizarre father and daughter virginity dances.
Staying a virgin until marriage does not guarantee great, regular sex, as many Christians like to maintain. I have numerous examples on my blog; just use the search box and type in “sexless marriage” for example after example of people who stayed virgins until marriage, but then their sex lives were terrible or dried up totally.
By the way, I am not fully on board with the “you are married to God” talk one sees pop up among some Christians. It sexualizes God and Jesus. I am an adult single – God is not my husband, and I am not “dating” Jesus.
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”?
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.