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 ————-
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.
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.
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.
(Link): BGBC Survivors Blog has several good posts about singleness in Christianity, by Julie Anne. I believe she has a new blog now, and the old one is shut down.
Here is one post at the old blog location where Julie Anne discusses a video advertising a movie called “Unmarried,” and where she also discusses how Christian teachings about dating, gender, marriage, and sex, are unintentionally keeping singles single.
The man in the video describes singleness – or maybe he meant specifically delayed marriage – as a “problem.” Well, yes, prolonged singleness is a problem for those of us who wanted marriage, were assured by Christian leaders if we just had enough faith that marriage would happen, but it did not happen for us.
But to treat singleness as a problem in and of itself is biblically inaccurate and a slap in the face to and an insult to singles, whether they chose to remain single or did not choose to remain single.
The man in the video says that delayed marriage and the “rise of singleness” means there is “no future for the church.”
Only someone who truly idolizes marriage and who grossly misunderstands singlehood could arrive at that conclusion. Christ taught that the church would be increased through preaching of the Gospel to the unsaved, not through patriarchy, or through marriage, or by Christians having babies.
I’d also add that the constant worry over marriage and lack of marriage taking place is another form of IGNORING SINGLE PEOPLE and THEIR NEEDS.
Most churches, from the main stream to the nutty fringe churches, will pay you no notice until and unless you are married.
Instead of continually obsessing on marriage and why it’s not taking place, why don’t these churches start to pay attention to the singles they already have now, singles of all ages, and meet them where they are? Their only need is not to get married. While they live alone, they have other needs and problems.
Here are some excepts from Julie Anne’s page about the video:
—- start quote [by Julie Anne] —
And then there were the purity rules – no boy or girl should ever be alone together. Relationships had to go through the father, girls were given purity rings by their fathers (and mothers) and they pledged to remain virgins until marriage, sometimes signing a covenant . . . . and so on.
As I was thinking about modesty and purity, it made me wonder about the movie, UnMarried. Do you suppose all of these modesty and purity rules may have backfired and contributed to the growing number of singles? The people behind the UnMarried movie come from the patriarchal background. They believe in moms having lots and lots of babies to populate the earth with more Christians. Singleness remains a threat to their way of doing things because no babies means fewer Christians in future generations (as if they are the ones who determines if their child was elect, right?).
For years these [Christian] kids were told [by churches and Christian parents] don’t look at the opposite sex, don’t lust, don’t touch. And now the producers of this movie are telling these same young adults: hurry up and get married. Perhaps they might even say these singles are in sin and preempting God’s plans for His church by their “prolonged adolescence”. I’ve certainly read it before by folks within this movement.
Yup, I think it backfired. It is my opinion that the movie, UnMarried is an attempt at damage control. They are trying to recover from the mess they made by their ridiculous rules of making sure their children were completely modest and virginal. Legalism backfires, people. It just does not work the way people want. It usually produces extremes. In my former church, the result of this kind of legalism was a lot of young adults acting out sexually. It can go the other direction, too – prolonged singleness. They’ve raised a bunch of adult children who have difficulty functioning normally in a mixed-sex society. They may be afraid to look at the opposite sex for fear of lust and sin. They may be afraid to talk to someone of the opposite sex because they aren’t married yet and fear, What would people think? In most circles I am familiar with, a young couple would not be allowed to go to even Starbucks alone unless a little sibling tagged along.
Read the rest of that post (Link): here, and check out the rest of her blog for other posts about singlehood.
Churches really need to start meeting the needs of singles of ALL AGES as they are currently, instead of only obsessing on getting the under- age- 25 singles married off.
The under age 25 age group might have other needs – why do the churches only care about their marital status?
The Bible does not teach that Christians are to be this marriage- minded.
The Bible does not condemn singles who want marriage, but it does not foster this bizarre, overly narrow fixation on marriage nor does it treat singlehood in this derogatory fashion, as though singlehood is a disease that can lead to the ruin of civilzation.
As long as the pagans keep having babies, there are plenty of them to convert to Christianity; ergo, the church will not die off if Christians stop having marriage and babies of their own. There will always be plenty of pagan kids and pagan adults to give the Gospel message to.
These Christians who are so insanely marriage- and parenting- obsessed need to trust God more. Instead, they are trying to rely wholly on their own effort (procreation of their own, or preaching fertility to other Christians) to repopulate God’s kingdom. God says in the New Testament that his kingdom will now be repopulated through sharing of the Gospel.
Typical Conservative Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough (or at all), Mr. Right will magically appear
As I was saying in my last post:
What follows is a response to [Christian author] Regneus’ advice that Christian couples should marry by age 23.
I didn’t get my first boyfriend until age 27 or 28, so how does telling a woman to marry by 23 years of age really help?
Usually, most conservative Christians operate under the fallacy that if you pray long and hard enough and have enough faith, God will send you a spouse, and at that, by the time you are somewhere between 25 – 35 years old. That does not work. Plenty of single Christian women who prayed and waited remain never-married well over the age of 35 years of age, including me.
There’s another version of that thinking, though. Instead of the old “pray, wait, and have faith” fairy tale, many conservative Christians -mostly married, I note without irony or surprise- continue to act like marrying is simply a matter of your will, that if you want marriage badly enough, “Mr. Right” will magically pop up on your front door step out of the blue.
That is not how it works.
I also think it would be pretty cool to be Queen over ancient Egypt and get to wear those awesome black wigs, big gold necklaces, and nifty ancient Egyptian clothes and cat-eye make-up, but I doubt that will happen either.
However, if we apply standard conservative Christian thinking about marriage to other situations: because I want to be Queen of Ancient Egypt badly enough, I should magically wake up tomorrow on a litter filled with fluffy, luxurious pillows, being carried by six, muscular Egyptian slaves, and wearing one of those cool headdresses with a gold snake on top.
How many of you think that is going to happen? Me neither.
If you are a Christian woman looking for a Christian spouse and for true love – getting married is not simple or easy at all.
Miss Winner, a fairly recent convert to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism, had written a potboiler of a piece suggesting that unmarried Gen-X evangelical Christians often sleep together and that the rest of us might as well deal with it.
Married evangelicals, she wrote, aren’t willing to talk about sex to their single friends, “except to remind us that True Love Waits. This slogan,” she continued, “might work when you’re 15. Ten years later, catch-phrases don’t really do the trick.”
She went on to describe how the typical church doesn’t really get it. Well-meaning preachers use platitudes to remind their singles to stay celibate, if they say anything at all. Most don’t. Instead, pastors ignore the “thousands” of unmarried evangelicals who disobey this injunction. Why, Miss Winner asked, can’t we talk about this reality?
(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)
I have touched on this issue before in prior posts (see the section, “Pray For The Right Car, but Not the Right Spouse?” on (Link): this blog page), and it’s somewhat related to the idea of one having faith in God to provide one with a spouse.
(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)
At the blog The Gift of Singleness (located at thegiftofsingleness.blogspot.com), in an entry entitled “The Importance of Waiting on the Lord” (dated January 17, 2007), the blog’s author, someone calling herself (or himself?) “Captain Sensible,” compares having faith in God to provide one with a spouse to having faith in God to reveal to a student which college the student should chose.
The comparison at that blog is made to ridicule the notion of any Christian having faith in God for a spouse.
The idea that a Christian would rely on God for college membership choice, or God’s direction or leading in the matter, is viewed by “Captain Sensible” as being silly and unrealistic, so the analogy is that relying on God in the area of marriage is also ridiculous.
Look, I fully appreciate the frustration of Christians who are single well past the age of 35 who dearly want to get married and have no current prospects (I am in that group myself), but I was very disturbed by the cynical attitude of that blog.
After having skimmed over some of “Captain Sensible’s” other content, I find myself agreeing with some of it and enjoyed some of the humor (such as the January 13, 2007 post entitled “Beware! The 14th February approaches!”).
But as I was saying, I do find certain aspects of the marriage mandate crowd’s attitudes (including some of those expressed by Captain Sensible) upsetting.
To mock and ridicule a Christian for having faith in God for provision, whether we are talking about food, water, shelter, a job, a spouse, a baby, a healing, or what have you, seems very antithetical to Christianity.
Especially when one considers all the passages in the Bible where
(a) Believers are chastised for NOT having faith in God and
Friday night. It was getting to be my least favorite night of the week. At least on weeknights it wasn’t a crime for a 24-year-old single woman to stay home. But on a Friday evening if I plopped down in the den with Mom after dinner she’d say, “You won’t find the man of your dreams by sitting home with me.”
I knew that was true, but there wasn’t a single man who interested me at the fish, meat and poultry warehouse where I worked. And I wasn’t crazy about meeting guys at bars or clubs. In fact, maybe I’d just given up.
That Friday night I sat in my room, depressed. I’d looked everywhere for the man of my dreams.
I knew my mom was praying for me, but I said a prayer for myself, too: God, if you don’t want me to be single the rest of my life, you will need to bring the man to me, because I can’t find him!
Please click the “more” link farther below to read the entire post.
Divine Guidance, Reassurance in Marriage / God Providing a Christian With A Spouse
The Missionaries And The Bike
[From the May 2005 issue of Guideposts magazine, a Christian publication, in the “His Mysterious Ways” Section]
More than anything I wanted a new bike. I dreamed about it every day while walking to school. My father was a pastor so we didn’t have much money. The only way I was going to get that bike was to earn my own money for it.
So I worked hard, doing odd jobs like babysitting, weeding and raking leaves. I stashed every penny I earned from those jobs and my allowance in my piggy bank.
Then one day at Sunday school our teacher told us of a letter she had received from Chile about a boy who had hepatitis. His missionary parents said he was recovering, but his spiritis were still low.
“Can you think of anything that might cheer him up?” our teacher asked us.
“A new bike!” the whole class exclaimed eagerly, and we agreed we would raise the money.
All week long I agonized over what to do. My conscience could only come up with one answer — give up my savings for the boy in Chile.
The following content was originally published on my Geocities site in December 2000.
Divine Guidance, Reassurance in Marriage / God Providing a Christian With A Spouse
The Right One
I was watching Christian network TBN* a couple of nights ago, and the guest on the show I was watching is a Christian gentlemen, Mark Gungor, who is a relationship guru.
Gungor has written a book or two about marriage, and he offers marriage seminars. You can visit Mr. Gungor’s site at (Link): Laugh Your Way.com.
Mr. Gungor is a perfectly nice guy, and he’s got a great sense of humor. (Edit, April 2021 – apparently, he’s not so nice after all)
I have nothing against Mr. Gungor personally.
His view point was something else altogether: it angered me and annoyed me to no end, for he stated that it is a mistake for single people, especially for Christians, to think that there is a “right person” out there for you.