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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpts:

By Mel Johnson On June 23, 2022

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

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

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

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

What do Female Incels Really Want? By Kaitlyn Tiffany

What do Female Incels Really Want? By Kaitlyn Tiffany

(Link): What do Female Incels Really Want?

Excerpts:

By Kaitlyn Tiffany
May 12, 2022

“We were all ugly,” Amanda, a 22-year-old student from Florida told me, recalling the online community she found when she was 18. “Men didn’t like us, guys didn’t want to be with us, and it was fine to acknowledge it.”

This Reddit forum was called r/Trufemcels, and she commented there under the username “strangeanduglygrl.” Amanda didn’t post very often, but she checked in every day on the community of self-identified “femcels,” or involuntarily celibate women. (I agreed to refer to her by her first name only, to separate her current life from her former internet identity.)

They came to complain about the superficiality of men and the privilege of pretty women, and to share their experiences moving through the world in an unattractive body, which therefore disadvantaged them romantically, socially, and economically.

They were finding the modern dating landscape—the image-based apps, the commodified dating “market,” the illusory “freedom” to be found in hookup culture—to be unnavigable, and they talked about taking a “pink pill,” and opening their eyes to the reality that society was misogynistic and “lookist.”

Continue reading “What do Female Incels Really Want? By Kaitlyn Tiffany”

I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

Before I get to the link and the letter, I wanted to say…

The article below – via The Guardian – doesn’t make it clear, but the following appears to be an e-mail or a letter from a married mother who has low self esteem, and she’s writing to this paper for advice, guidance, and help.

I’m sorry this lady is not doing well, but I want you to take away from this that being married and being a mother (having children) will not necessarily make you happy, or bring you joy, inner peace, or a healthy sense of identity.

I’m afraid that a lot of conservatives – especially Christians – keep promoting these false notions to women, from the time we are girls, that if we just marry (and/or have children), that being married and a parent will bring us permanent happiness and purpose in life, but clearly, that is not the case.

I am not “anti family” nor “anti motherhood,” but I figured out a long time ago that being a parent or married may not bring you fulfillment in life, and it is that expectation that a lot of “pro family,” “pro motherhood” type of conservatives continue to hold up – it is misleading, false hope and propaganda.

I’ve got other examples on my blog of women who married (or who are mothers), and yet, being married (or being a mother) didn’t bring them happiness, but they were still left feeling overlooked, depressed, or lonely – in some cases, because the man they married doesn’t meet their emotional needs regularly, but spends all his day wrapped up in his hobbies or watching television.

I have blog posts of women who admit that they regret motherhood!

I think if you’re someone who had hoped or expected to marry (or have children) it can be painful  or very disappointing if that did not happen for you, but if you can accept it,
and permit yourself to go through a grieving process and determine to move on in life and determine to enjoy life anyway (in spite of life not turning out how you had hoped), that you can ultimately find joy, happiness, fun, and peace without a spouse and without children.

You can find other avenues of joy, meaning, and happiness in life that don’t involve being married or having children. I made that transition myself years ago, though it took me several years of grappling with unhappiness to get there, but it can be done.

But again, notice, that although the woman letter writer here married and had children, that she is STILL depressed, feels like a failure, feels like a “loser,” and thinks she is not enough.

Being a wife and a mother – contrary to what a lot of excessively pro-family, pro-natalism Christian conservatives bang on about – did not fill that empty void she has, nor increase her self image to a healthy level.

(Link): I appear successful, but since having kids I feel I’ve lost myself

Excerpts:

Squashing your anger down is exhausting. Try using your free time to do what makes you feel good, and see what shifts

May 20, 2022
by Annalisa Barbieri

[This appears to be a question from a writer to an advice columnist named Annalisa Barbieri? – the article doesn’t make it clear]:

[Dear Advice Columnist,]

I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens and have had therapy and medication on and off since I was 17 (I am now 37). I’m aware of deep-rooted low self-esteem and shame.

I feel worthless. I never want to draw attention to myself and have a paralysing fear of confrontation.

I have managed to maintain a few close friendships, have worked in the past, and am married with two kids. So I appear “successful” on the surface.

Continue reading “I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)”

Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’

Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’

I’m not even half way done with this video yet (linked to and embedded below in this post), but this lady in the video is giving some great insights and advice. (I’ve just finished listening to the entire video, and it is worth the entire watch.)

The lady in the video mentions she didn’t get married until around (or a bit after?) age 40.

The divorce attorney (who later became a judge, if I understand correctly) said up until that point, she did get a lot of questions from people asking her why she wasn’t married yet.

(I also had to put up with that, or with other nasty assumptions, from others, when I was still single into my 30s. I was raised in a conservative Christian church, and a lot of Christians wrongly assume if you’re a woman who has not married by the age of 30 or 35, it’s because you are a man-hating feminist or that that you were too “career focused.” It’s a very victim-blaming, sexist world view.)

Some of the points this lady, Faith Jenkins, addressed in the video includes but is not limited to (these are also points I’ve learned along the way with life experience, and just mulling things over):

  • You have to know who you are and figure out who you are before you get married.
  • It’s far more healthy to learn to be single before you get married.
  • Don’t wait to get married to start living and enjoying your life – she says, “being single is not a rest stop. [At the time I was single I concluded that] it’s time for me to really live.”
  • Don’t look to someone outside of yourself to make you happy.

(Note from me, the blog owner: this is a big one.
If you go through life making your sense of self worth, happiness, or opinion about yourself contingent upon external circumstances or on how others treat you, you will never, ever achieve stable, consistent, or lasting healthy self esteem or happiness
– and along the way, if you keep making your self worth contingent on how others treat you or their opinions of you, you will tend to attract selfish people, abusers, and very emotionally needy people who will want all your time and attention, leaving you drained
– I’ve learned the hard way that many of the people who will want to use you as a sounding board, a “rock” they lean on, will not return that courtesy to you – they won’t allow you to talk to them about your problems)

  • She says you should know who you are before you marry – I think this is also a good idea prior to dating.

If you know who you are prior to dating or marriage (you know your identity and your likes, your dislikes, and your values), you won’t change to please someone else (a lot of abusive or controlling people will either badger you, pressure you, threaten, or demand that you make changes to yourself or your life to please them), and it makes it easier to weed out incompatible or potentially abusive partners.

  • She discourages you from trying to clean up, fix, rescue another person, what she refers to as “rebuilding” another person.

I agree with her on that – you ultimately cannot change another person, and you will only exhaust yourself trying. I think a lot of women who do this are people pleasers or codependents, and it’s a huge waste of time.

Continue reading “Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’”

How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

(Link): How Everyone Got So Lonely

Excerpts:

The recent decline in rates of sexual activity has been attributed variously to sexism, neoliberalism, and women’s increased economic independence. How fair are those claims—and will we be saved by the advent of the sex robot?

By Zoë Heller
April 4, 2022

[The article opens by going over all the information I’ve been posting to this blog the last several years: more and more Americans (and people in other nations as well) are remaining virgins or celibate, and some are opting out of dating and marriage.
Some are doing so out of choice – with some they may want to have sex and/marry but are still single or celibate due to circumstance.]

… The chief driver of this so-called “sex drought” is not, as one might expect, the aging of the American population but the ever more abstemious habits of the young. Since the nineteen-nineties, the proportion of American high-school students who are virgins has risen from forty-five per cent to sixty per cent.  …

[The article covers many of the explanations various studies and authors have been citing to explain the lack of sexual activity, especially among the young – everything from more people in their 20s and 30s living at home with their parents, to porn, to video games.]

… For the British economist Noreena Hertz, the decline in sex is best understood as both a symptom and a cause of a much wider “loneliness epidemic.”

In her book “The Lonely Century” (Currency), she describes “a world that’s pulling apart,” in which soaring rates of social isolation threaten not only our physical and mental health but the health of our democracies.

Continue reading “How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)”

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

I’ve been saying many of the same things on this blog for the last several years that this 2022 essay says.

Churches, especially gender complementarian ones – and not just in women’s ministries, but overall, in every facet of a church – make single / childless / childfree women feel ignored or unwanted, except for those Christians who patronizingly behave like the only use for a single, childless woman is to babysit the children of the married couples.

Reminder to Christians: more adults are not marrying these days – at all. Some may marry, but not until their 30s, 40s or older. Many (even if they do marry) are choosing to forgo children.

When churches focus on marriage and motherhood to the extent they do, they also send a message that being married and a parent is necessary for sanctification or relationship with God, which is false.

A person does not need to marry or have children to be sanctified, know God, or to be mature, ethical, godly, loving, or responsible.

(Link): Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Excerpts:

March 25, 2022
by Rachel Baker

Women’s ministries are often the home to every category of woman: Single, married, mother, widow, and so forth. As a Women’s Ministry Director, I both attend a women’s small group and organize the women’s ministry meetings at my local church.

In my small group alone there is a vast array of women, each in different categories, some are empty nesters, some are starting families, some are intentionally single, while others are single with the hope of being in a relationship in the future.

We cover the gamut, so why is it that women’s ministries’ regularly cast their focus on the married mother?

Don’t get me wrong, as a married mother I have absolutely benefited from Bible study curriculum and content focused on marriage and motherhood, however it should go without saying that these types of studies do not represent all women.

If you are in a position at your local church in women’s ministry or as a small group leader here are a few reasons why you might want to steer your Bible study content away from marriage and motherhood:

Studies Solely Based on Marriage and Motherhood Can Feel Exclusive

As a young married woman and then young mother I desperately needed support and connection and resources to help me feel a little less alone in that particular season of my life.

Marriage ministries and parenting ministries absolutely have a place within the church; they are absolutely needed.

However, when our larger-scale ministries such as women’s ministry or small group ministry only focus on young-married or motherhood we can miss out on the richness that comes from a group of women of all life-stages and relationship status.

Continue reading “Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood”

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Not only has there been a surge in editorials the last few weeks by conservative marriage-pushers beating young people over the head to marry and marry really young (I’ve not gotten around to addressing those articles and editorials)-

But I wouldn’t be surprised in the weeks to come if conservatives, both secular and Christian, don’t see this new study about interfaith marriages being on the rise, freak out, panic, and start publishing a lot of fear-mongering editorials or pod-casts guilt tripping or manipulating Christian singles into abiding by “equally yoked” and not even thinking about marrying a Non-Christian.

I have some more comments to make below these two links with excerpts:

(Link): Americans increasingly ditching religious marriages for secular, interfaith relationships: study

Excerpts:

by L. Blair
Feb 18, 2022

Fifty years ago, religious marriage ceremonies were the norm. Most people got married to someone who shared their faith, and just a small fraction of husbands and wives were in relationships where no one practiced a religion.

That trend, according to the latest American National Family Life Survey, is now on the decline as the influence of religion in society has been progressively fading.

…“Only 30% of Americans who were married within the past decade report having their ceremony in a church, house of worship or other religious location and officiated by a religious leader,” the study said.

Interfaith marriage — a union between people who have different religious traditions — has also grown increasingly common and make up 14% of all marriages. Another 14% of Americans are in a religious-secular marriage where one person does not identify with a faith tradition while the other does

Continue reading “Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study”

Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

For a Christian-penned essay, this is pretty good (the link, with excerpts, is below).

I usually find most Christian- authored material about singleness to be off mark, but this was pretty good.

Pair of Valentine's Day Hearts A word from me about Valentine’s Day, that echoes what the author below says:
If you’re single, want to be married, but still find yourself single into your 30s, 40s, or older, Valentine’s Day can be a painful and/or frustrating holiday.

With the passage of time, though, as I came to accept my singleness (I had wanted to be married for years, but it never came to pass), as more and more time went by, Valentine’s Day stopped bothering me.

Maybe the same will be true for you, if you’re single, don’t want to be single, and find Valentine’s to be a difficult holiday.

I initially found Valentine’s Day sad, then after a few years (as I was still single), I was annoyed or angered by it – then after a few more years (still single), it just stopped bothering me – I’d say this was some time around my mid or late 40s, age-wise.

I was kind of apathetic about this holiday by around my late 40s. These days, I actually kind of enjoy Valentine’s Day.

In my family, when I was growing up, Valentine’s Day was not just about romantic love; my Mom used to give us (my siblings and myself) Valentine’s (cards and candy), and as I got older, my Dad usually gives me a Valentine’s card, I send them either via snail mail or on social media to my sister, she sends them to me, and I sometimes give my Dad a card.

You don’t have to have a boyfriend or a husband to celebrate the holiday. You can still send cards or candy to family or friends.

My point being, as time goes by, the holiday loses its sting – at least it did for me. You may even come to enjoy it, the more you accept the fact that marriage hasn’t happened for you. I’ve actually come to enjoy Valentine’s.

This year, I bought a couple of bags of chocolate candy on sale prior to the holiday; they are heart-shaped chocolates in red- colored wrappers, and I had a handful on Valentine’s Day. I treated myself, and it felt good.

I don’t know where you are in acceptance of your singles status, but if you’re still struggling, know that with the passage of time, it will probably get easier for you.

(Link): Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

Excerpts:

….I chose long ago to face February 14th without fear. If you’re single with no romantic prospects in sight, here are a few ideas for how to do the same.

It’s OK to be sad. Valentine’s Day is marketed for couples, and if you don’t have a plus-one, it’s easy to feel left out. Whether you’ve been overlooked in love, you’ve recently walked through a breakup or divorce, or perhaps the love of your life has died, love lost is something to be grieved.

Don’t be ashamed to give yourself the time and space you need.

Continue reading “Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson”

Instagram is Making Valentine’s Day Even Lonelier by Margaret Renkl

Instagram is Making Valentine’s Day Even Lonelier

(Link): Instagram is Making Valentine’s Day Even Lonelier

On New York Times: “A Valentine’s P.S.A.: Instagram Is Not Your Friend Today”

Excerpts:

by Margaret Renkl

By now, whatever time of day you read this essay, your Facebook and Instagram feeds are most likely filled with hothouse flowers and lovely hand-dipped chocolates and stories of the funny way two people met, how lucky they are to have found each other, how grateful they feel, on this day of love especially, to be moving through the world together. Such stories can be incredibly sweet, but their cumulative effect is … not. valentinesRosesCandy

…Thing is, it makes a lot of people feel awful. They’re already lonely, and along comes Valentine’s Day to rub their noses in it.

Or they’re perfectly happy in their own relationships, but everyone else’s relationships suddenly look happier somehow. Sweeter. Tenderer. Filled with better chocolate.

…But much of the unhappiness engendered by “social” media doesn’t come from its poisonous effect on society. It comes from its poisonous effect on us.

Other people’s beautifully curated Facebook and Instagram posts are no closer to real life than reality TV is, and maybe we even know it, but it still makes us feel bad.

“I don’t know very many people that come away from 30 minutes on Instagram feeling really good about who they are,” the designer and podcaster Debbie Millman told Kara Swisher last week in an interview on Sway.

Continue reading “Instagram is Making Valentine’s Day Even Lonelier by Margaret Renkl”

Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

(Link): Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

Dating apps have made it easier than ever to find a partner. Paradoxically, the ease of finding matches means some remain perpetually single.

January 8, 2022
by Scotty Hendricks

Dating can be drudgery. The trouble of finding someone to date, going to a restaurant for a quasi-job interview, having to scrutinize everything they say for red flags like you’re trying to root out a communist agent, and then having to decide if the whole experience was enjoyable enough to do it again might make a person want to stay single forever.

Dating apps were supposed to make this easier by simplifying the first part: finding the potential mate.

With the swipe of a finger, you can search through eligible bachelors and bachelorettes all over the globe.

However, a forthcoming study in the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics suggests that the ease of using dating apps can, and does, cause some people to think that “the one” is merely one more swipe away — so they never actually go on a date.

Continue reading “Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps”

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

Man Who Lost Movement in His Entire Body Feels He Is Missing Out On Relationships and Sex

Man Who Lost Movement in His Entire Body Feels He Is Missing Out On Relationships and Sex by L. Thomson

I hope this guy realizes he’s not alone. I’m still single into middle age in spite of having wanted to be married, and I do not have any physical health issues that prevented me from marrying.

I am also still celibate. I was waiting until I got married to have sex, but I never married, which is largely due to religious convictions (I refer to being sexually abstinent), but I have other reasons as to why I am celibate.

Sometimes, life does not turn out the way we planned, expected, or hoped.

I think very few people have lives that are more difficult than what this guy is enduring.

(Link): Man Who Lost Movement in His Entire Body Feels He Is Missing Out On Relationships and Sex

Excerpts:

Rhys Bowler lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a severe, progressive, muscle-wasting disease that leads to difficulties with movement and, eventually, premature death.

As a result, he cannot move his body and uses solely his thumb to drive his wheelchair.

The 34-year-old lives on his own in Wales and has carers that come and help him throughout the day.

He also has a computer that controls everything in his flat and helps him communicate through messages and emails.

During lockdown Rhys started writing a diary about his feelings and worries, including the things he believes he is missing out on, such as relationships and sex – something he says was difficult for him even before the pandemic.

Continue reading “Man Who Lost Movement in His Entire Body Feels He Is Missing Out On Relationships and Sex”