Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships

Every so often, the “Ask Amy” advice column can be instructive, or it reflects themes I’ve mentioned on this blog before.

A letter I saw today was one of those times; this is a letter from a married person to “Amy,” who answers letters mailed to the “Ask Amy” column:

DEAR AMY:

  • “Worried Husband” asked if it was OK to have a “secret friendship” with another woman.
  • Friendships help us get through life. One problem with our understanding of marriage is that it should be the “be-all and end-all” relationship. That is simply impossible. It’s this wrong-headed belief that drives us to feel as if we must have “secret” relationships.
  • If we can learn to develop honest and mature relationships with our spouses (and our friends), we avoid the destructive baggage that comes with keeping secrets. Your spouse doesn’t need to know every single thing that you do or say or feel, but she/he does have the right to not be lied to.
  • Secrets, in the sense of this situation, are lies. — Sally

DEAR SALLY:

  • I agree. Thank you.

I happen to agree with the letter writer too.

There is a web site which is about friendship, and if I could recall its URL, I’d give the link, but I don’t recall it at the moment. At any rate, one of the site’s guest writers, or maybe the guy who runs the site, laments how everything in our culture, and all relationships are sexualized to the point people just assume that males and females cannot be, or remain, platonic friends.

If and when every encounter or relationship is assumed to have romantic or sexual undertones, or that it will result in that, it makes many people hesitant to reach out to other people. It makes females hesitant to befriend males, males females, and marrieds reluctant to befriend unmarried people.

I’m not saying this is not a possibility, by the way. Many, many times over the years, I’ve had men mistake my platonic conversations with them as flirting. A lot of men assume if you are talking to them, even about mundane topics such as the weather, they assume you are hot for them and want to sleep with them or at least date them, when those are nowhere near your mind at all.

But then, I take it that this is due to the fact that males have been conditioned by churches and secular culture to view all women as temptresses who want them sexually. (I discuss this farther below.)

The church is not immune from this sort of thinking, either. Even Christians assume a man and a woman cannot be friends, or cannot remain friends for long, without the relationship turning sexual and/or romantic.

What this does is isolate unmarried people even further than they already are. (I’m not the first to pick up on this, of course. If you’ve read other blogs or books by and for unmarried Christian adults, you will see they’ve noticed this as well.)

It’s often assumed by Christian and secular culture that all men are wolves with huge libidos who will prey on a woman sexually if given even the smallest of opportunities. That may be true of some men, or even 80 – 90% of them, but not all.

And I have to wonder, even if the figure is as high as say, 90%, how much is that due to the male gender’s intrinsic biological make-up, or how much of that is due to the fall (sin entering the world via Adam and Eve) and/or how much is due to socialization.

I have to wonder, if you keep repeatedly telling a young male from the time he’s age ten or 12 or 15 on up, that he’s an absolute horn dog who cannot resist sex, and he’s supposed to want sex all the time, if he will then begin to think and feel that way precisely because he’s being conditioned to believe it by his teachers, blogs, parents, churches, etc., and how much is truly innate?

And there again, the disturbing, sick, troubling, ironic thing (in my view) is it is not just secular culture via movies, TV shows, movies, and rap and rock songs telling young males they’re horn dogs who have an insatiable thirst for sex, it’s also the typical preacher, Christian dating advice blogs, and Christian relationship books that do so as well.

So maybe it’s more of a self-fulling prophecy. Maybe a lot of young guys with otherwise average- to- low- sex drives would not have sex outside of marriage, or at least not before a certain age, if they were not hearing the implication all the time from pastors, Christian dating blogs, secular sources, etc, that there is something wrong or weird about them for either not acting on the urges they have, or for not having a huge sex drive to start with.

Anyway, the socialization aspect especially intrigues me because I was just listening to an online interview a while ago by a Christian guy who visits high schools to talk about sexuality with students, and he said there are teen males who don’t want to have sex yet, who don’t feel ready to have sex, who approach him in private after his lectures, to say they feel tremendous pressure to start having sex, but they’d rather not. They are looking to him to give them responses they can give to people to get them to back off with the pressure.

These teen males say to this Christian guest speaker that males in particular are ridiculed or harassed for remaining virgins past a certain age – which I do not doubt.

(By the way, if I were them – it’s nobody’s business as to your sexual status. If you are a 15 year old guy and your friends ask you if you’re still a virgin, and you would rather not answer for whatever reason, then tell them, “that is private and none of your business.” You’re under no obligation to tell people about your sex life, or lack of one.)

As a female, I can say this pressure and ridicule is also true for females, and it has been true over the last 20 or 30 years. Maybe it used to be true up until the 1950s or mid 1960s, that remaining a virgin until marriage was a huge virtue for females, or that it was more expected of females than males, but about the time I was a teen (in the 1980s) that was no longer true.

Girls get picked on and thought of as “nerdy,” unhip, weird, or a loser if they’re still a virgin at age 18, 20, etc. Girls get bombarded constantly with these idiotic messages from secular feminists that having casual sex and viewing porn is “empowering” for them, so they feel expected to have sex.)

The teen males aren’t alone in being made to feel like freaks or kill joys if they’re not sexually active – teen girls and women in their 20s and beyond also get subjected to this pressure, ridicule, disbelief, etc.

These male teens I was discussing a moment ago would prefer to remain virgins, at least for awhile longer, but they don’t know how to fight the taunts and pressure from their peers to cave in and have sex.

From a female vantage point, I get sick and tired of married women, or chicks with BFs (boyfriends), assuming I want to steal their man. I’ve been a “goody two shoes” my whole life – I’d never break apart another couple. I’m actually the last woman you have to worry about trying to steal your sweetie. For a woman to behave as though I’m a potential “home wrekcer” has always been deeply insulting to me. (I probably have better morals than they do – which I say not to brag, but only to point out how hypocritical some people can be.)

Secondly, on the part of the man or the woman (for I’ve had married men assume I can’t wait to bed them, so they must keep their distance from me), I almost never find these men attractive….
(please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post, thanks.)

Continue reading “Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships”

Pastor on TV: ‘Churches don’t talk about sex enough’ -is he kidding?

I saw about 15 minutes of Ed Young Sr’s show today. He’s a pastor in a church in Houston, Texas, and not to be confused with Ed Young Jr.

Young Sr’s sermon was about sex, and he opened it by saying (paraphrasing):

“SEX! I always wanted to open a sermon by yelling that word! … Christians today don’t want to talk about sex. Churches don’t talk about sex enough.”

What planet has he been living on lately?

(Please click the “more” link to read the rest of this post)
Continue reading “Pastor on TV: ‘Churches don’t talk about sex enough’ -is he kidding?”

‘Sworn Virgins’ of Albania

From Yahoo News

‘Sworn Virgins’ of Albania by Jill Peters

[visit the page to see the photo gallery]

source: news.yahoo.com/photos/sworn-virgins-of-albania-slideshow/

“A perfectly ordinary girl, perhaps with aspirations of marriage and becoming a mother is asked by her family to take a vow of celibacy and foreswear sexual relations for life. She is not being encouraged to join a convent. She is taking on the responsibility and honor of protecting her home, her family and socially becoming a man. In the solidly patriarchal and tribal areas plagued by blood feuds and honor killings of Albania’s rural mountain villages many such women who have “become” men act as the heads of their households. For sacrificing their innate natures, they are afforded considerable masculine privileges. Skirts and blouses are traded for trousers and button downs, long hair cropped to a manly stubble. They smoke, work and swagger about town with the other men. They are referred to as “he” and “uncle”. Their absolute transition is accepted, posited and taken without question by the people among whom they live. They are called Sworn Virgins of Albania, or ‘burneshas’. There are only a handful left.”

Mark Gungor on Sexuality and Singles on Jan. 2013 TBN Guest Appearance

Mark Gungor, who often delivers lectures or commentary about marriage on Christian television shows, is a guest on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” show tonight. I had no plans to make another post to this blog tonight, but I listened to Gungor and had to write something.

In a previous post about Gungor, I explained his off-putting (and weird) view that Christian singles are impersonal, interchangeable widgets, so having a good or happy or successful marriage does not depend on either the unmarried Christian man or woman having anything in common or not, other than salvation in Christ. (I found one post where I mentioned Gungor before, and it might be this one I’m thinking of: “The Right One”)

(Scrolling through those old blog posts caused me to remember when I first began this blog (which was based on an old Geocities site I had – and which I think author Debbie Maken copied off for one of her books on marriage/singleness), I was a lot more chirpy and upbeat. I’ve become more cynical or grouchy as time has marched on, heh. Anyway.)

On tonight’s “Praise the Lord” show, Gungor is discussing women having sex outside of marriage, among other subjects. I’ve not yet heard him address Christian males who are committing fornication. (This episode, this interview with Gungor, will be repeated tomorrow on TBN at 4 PM rebroadcast of “Praise the Lord,” and can probably be viewed on TBN’s “iTBN” site, if you’d like to watch it for yourself.)

Gungor said something during this broadcast like, “It’s not that God doesn’t want to withhold things from you, he’s okay with you having sex, but just get married [first]!”

Uh yeah, Mr. Gungor, you have literally millions of Christian women over the age of 30 today who cannot find a Christian husband, but they would love to get married, and it’s not for a lack of trying or due to a lack of faith. They want to get married and have sex, but marriage is not happening, and they don’t know why.

Christian women desiring marriage were told to try “eHarmony,” pray and trust the Lord for a spouse, and serve other people (because, supposedly, if you’re running around acting like Mother Theresa, you will magically bump into Mr. Right) – but none of that led to a spouse.

Gungor just made the odd comment that some study he saw said that a man who remains single will die sooner (than a married man), that remaining single (for men) has the effect of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. (He was saying this in the context that a woman can sometimes change a man for the better, wives can have a positive influence on men.)

Well, okay, buddy, but what about any Christian men out there who desire marriage, they prayed to God for a wife, they waited, attended church, tried eHarmony – but still no spouse. Or how about the ones who are still single and who are happy about being single? What of the males whom God called to singleness (for lack of a better phrase; I do not believe God foreordains who will marry vs who will not)?
Continue reading “Mark Gungor on Sexuality and Singles on Jan. 2013 TBN Guest Appearance”

‘Contemporary Christian Virtue’ -Another Blog That Discusses Older Unmarried Christians

Another blog that talks about singleness and older Christians:

Contemporary Christian Virtue, by Shannon Mulvari

One of my favorite posts was this one – which unfortunately only shows up in google cache (she discusses how singles are stereotyped in the church, among other topics, such as how Christian culture exploits celebrity Christian virgins, how celibacy is usually ignored, etc):

Christian Single Adults Not Welcome in American Churches, by Shannon Mulvari (was first posted December 12, 2012)

I don’t know why its author edited or deleted that blog page – it’s an excellent page, and I wish she would re post it.

Here are just a few excerpts:
———————————
Don’t have a wedding band? Don’t have a marriage license? Don’t have children in tow? Played by all the rules and never found that special someone? Looking for encouragement and affirmation? I would not recommend churches today – unless you want to be treated like a leper. They do not welcome single adults, especially those who are older and never married. I’m not sure of all the reasons for this phenomenon. But I can tell you it’s a fact. And it works in both directions. Singles don’t feel needed or included in church activities. And churches don’t include them in leadership roles or welcome them in their congregations or social circles.

… This brings me to [another] reason singles have been excluded — Marriage and the nuclear family have been elevated to the point of representing the highest form of Christian standards. Church members with the gift of singleness who are concerned about the Lord’s affairs as Apostle Paul explains in 1 Cor 7 have been placed in fantasy land. They are theorized as an anomaly so rare, it doesn’t warrant a second thought. They can’t see beyond “the whole world is going to hell.” Instead, churches are hunkering down in fear of the gay lifestyle and circling their wagons tight around their nuclear families – at the expense of every other Christian virtue. I don’t support same sex marriage or the gay lifestyle either. But I don’t let that control my every thought and behavior.

… The fact is, we are no longer living in Mayberry [fictional American town, in a 1960s American television show, where most everyone had Judeo-Christian values] where innocence was taken for granted. There are no rewards for the virtuous Christian single today.
————————————-
[Read the rest of her post]

Liberal Christian Gal Throws Fit Over My Post About Celibacy / Dissent

Dissent on the Christian Pundit Blog

Before I specifically address a message I received from a self-identified liberal Christian woman who was ticked off about my one of my previous posts about sexuality and virginity, I wanted to mention my policy of handling dissent on this blog.

To anyone who visits this blog: I sometimes delete posts by visitors who disagree with me, or who are argumentative or rude.

This is not a blog for debate; that is not its purpose (though I have allowed 2 or 3 posts whose authors disagreed with me to be published in the past, and I replied to them). I use this blog to ‘think aloud’ about things. I am not here to argue with people on this blog.

I have several discussion forums and groups where I work as a moderator, where I regularly allow people who disagree with me to post. I have my hands full with several of those forums and a few other blogs, where I do permit dissent and respond to critics.

I am spread too thin by having to bicker and enforce rules on other blogs, social groups, and sites to want to have to spread myself even thinner by putting in that kind of effort here.

Honestly, when I created this blog about 2 years ago (or three?) I never felt I’d get any followers or many readers. I kind of view this blog as an online journal of mine – not a debate forum.

I want at least one or two blogs where I can post my views without having to debate back and forth and not have to engage with the rude idiots or malcontents one comes across on the internet.

The Message from the Irate, Self- Identified Liberal Christian Female Who Reads The Bible As A Great Big
Allegory And Who Thinks It’s Peachy and Fine For Single Women To Have Sex Outside of Marriage

A few days ago, I received an e-mail notification that I got a new reply to a post on this blog (I think it was a response to the post about how the Church Undervalues Celibacy and Virginity, or it was a reply to a similar post on my blog).

The post was by a self-identified liberal Christian woman, who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, based on her profile photo.

This liberal woman left a somewhat rude, or at least argumentative, post where she disagreed with my views, and based on her comments, I could tell she has no idea what I believe, because she assumed I hold opinions I do not. She attributed opinions to me that I do not hold.

She clearly had not read my other posts on this blog about my views pertaining to conservative Christianity, sex, marriage, dating, and singleness, and how the church treats people who are hurting and having problems.

I only skimmed her post in part and did not read it in detail, but based on what I remember, here were some of her points (please click the “more” link to read the rest of this post):
Continue reading “Liberal Christian Gal Throws Fit Over My Post About Celibacy / Dissent”

How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)

One caveat about this post below (originally by a New Zealand author) that I am copying: the author seems to suggest if you are still single past a certain age, it’s because you are ugly. I disagree. I am attractive. I have had males (including Non Christian men who did not know I am a Christian) see my photo at a friend’s house and a sister’s house and request to be set up on dates with me.

I’ve been “hit on” by Non Christian men. So my looks are not the problem – sometimes a person can be very attractive but yet not meet the right mate. Being pretty is not a guarantee of getting a man or of keeping one. Look at movie stars such as Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe: beautiful women and considered sexy by most, but they each kept getting divorced.

I also disagree with this author’s assertion that loss over being an infertile married couple who wants kids is tougher than suffering from loss over never being married but wanting marriage – sometimes I’m okay with being single, but sometimes my grief over missing it far, far out weighs the pain of any infertile woman who misses having a child. That woman at least has a spouse. I have nobody.

TALK DOWN – Preparing for singleness when you’d much rather be preparing for marriage

by By Ross Clark

Source:

singleness.org/talkdown.shtml

… Go to any Christian bookshop and you will find a mass of books on the big issue, the life-changing decision of getting married, and how you should prepare for it. But books on the single life are much harder to come by.

For many, the process of coming to terms with being single is ferociously difficult, yet there is little help to be found in the Church. Pastors spend much time helping faltering marriages. Helping a faltering single is a lesser priority. Why? Shouldn’t we be thinking of how we prepare some people for the single life, specially when their own natural inclinations lie in other directions?

Not every Christian single makes it—too many of the older singles drop out of our churches, and/or marry unbelievers. We need to ask what the churches can do to help Christian singles, because the problem of unreasonable and unrealised expectations which many singles struggle with has its roots in the churches’ own Teaching.

The Glittering Prize

What messages are we giving our teenagers and singles?

Gather a group of fourteen year-olds from any church scene and make them our reference group. Put them in one place, and the conversation will eventually turn to relationships and romance. Given the age, immaturity, and emotional state of the people concerned, that is hardly surprising. But what’s a youth leader to do?

The Biblical standard—no sex outside of marriage — is absolutely clear, and youth leaders work hard to teach it. Generally, they will say something like, “trust God, and he will have his best for you. Save yourself for marriage, it’s your loss if you don’t. God blesses those who trust him.” Or, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. Somewhat out of context, Jer 29:11 will get a look-in.

Dating, at any age, is often described as “not really God’s will. Instead, trust him to bring you his choice for you.” Or — and without any Biblical justification — “God already has someone for you, if you just trust in him”. A variant on this is, “Yield your rights and God will have just the right person for you”.

When the issue of sexuality is confronted, dire warnings are given to anyone who would threaten to cross the line, generally raising the obvious threats of STDs and pregnancy. Later on, the concern shifts to Christians who ‘live in sin’, and all sorts of horror stories will be trotted out about what happens to the Christians who do so.

And so a very powerful expectation is created concerning marriage: it is made to appear the ‘glittering prize’, God’s blessing for doing the right thing, particularly in facing off sexual temptation. The teaching that obedience will inevitably be accompanied by the appropriate blessing — generally, a good marriage, family and status amongst the people of God — further cements this judgment. That this becomes part of the “success fantasy” foisted on people (the term is Tony Campolo’s) is not even realised.
Continue reading “How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)”

News headline: Out of Wedlock Births Are Now The “New Normal”

Remember my previous, recent post,

Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

That post was brought to mind when I saw this headline on CBN News.com:
Out-of-Wedlock Births Society’s ‘New Normal’
(Source: cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/December/Out-of-Wedlock-Births-Societys-New-Normal/ | Date: December 18, 2012)

___START EXCERPT____

More children are now being born outside of marriage, according to a new study by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values.

The report focuses on what it calls “middle-America,” the nearly 60 percent of Americans who complete high school but not college.

Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage. That’s up from 13 percent in the 1980s.

___END EXCERPT____

And yet, most American churches continue to act as though everyone (at least as though Non Christians) is a virgin until marriage and has two or three kids by the time they are 30 years old, and continue to act as though such married couples stay married (even though divorce rates are very high, for both Christians and Non Christians).

Oddly, though, and as I have mentioned in other posts, most churches behave as though all unmarried Christians are engaging in sex (even though some of them are not), and even though they tell unmarried Christians in sermons, magazines, television shows, and blogs, “But you really should not have sex outside of marriage! Fornication is a no-no. But remember, when you do have sex as an unmarried person (and we all know you will!), God will forgive you, so the fornicatin’ all over the place is all cool! So don’t worry about it!”

(That is a topic I discussed in yet another older post, The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity)
Continue reading “News headline: Out of Wedlock Births Are Now The “New Normal””

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex (list 2)

Remember my last post on this topic:

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex

Because the church does a hideous job of providing encouragement, support, and examples of celibacy and virginity to Christians over 25/ 30 years old, here’s another list of secular examples you may find encouraging (though a few on this list might be Christians):

Celebrity Virgins: Stars Who Spoke Publicly About Being A Virgin

(source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/celebrity-virgins-stars-who-spoke-about-being-virgin_n_2239884.html)

If you want to read the whole list please visit the URL above. Here’s just one example:

Adriana Lima
Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima was often dubbed the “world’s sexiest virgin.” She had no problem strutting her stuff in bikinis and lingerie, but decided she wasn’t having sex until after she was married.

“Sex is for after marriage. [Men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there’s no respect, that means they don’t want me. When we’re traveling together for the first time, we sleep in different rooms. That’s the number one thing,” she told GQ in 2008.

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex

I think it’s a sad, sad commentary on American society these days when people who are virgins until they marry, or who remain celibate after a divorce are considered special, unique, or newsworthy. If anything, waiting until marriage, even if you’re a virgin at 30 or 40, because you have not married yet, should be viewed as the norm, not the exception.

However, I think maybe an article like this might encourage some older Christian singles, since goodness knows they aren’t getting encouragement for remaining celibate from the church in America.

I have no plans of copying the entire list, so if you want to see it, you will have to visit their site.

Celebrities Who Abstained: They Waited Or Are Waiting Until Marriage To Give Up Their V-Cards
Source:
styleblazer.com/75357/celebrities-that-waited-for-marriage-or-are-waiting-until-
marriage-to-give-up-their-v-cards/

These stars might be sex symbols, posing in sensual photo shoots, shooting steamy scenes and writing lyrics that could sing the pants off anyone, but don’t be mistaken: these celebs are pretty conservative when it comes to what happens between the sheets. Here are 19 celebrities who waited til marriage or are waiting until marriage to give up his or her v-cards.

Lolo Jones

The American Hurdler that fell short of medals at the 2012 Olympics is still holding on tight to her V-Card. “It’s just something, a gift I want to give my husband” says 30-year old Jones, saying that abstaining from sex has been “Harder than training for the Olympics.” The American Hurdler that fell short of medals at the 2012 Olympics is still holding on tight to her V-Card. “It’s just something, a gift I want to give my husband” says 30-year old Jones, saying that abstaining from sex has been “Harder than training for the Olympics.”

Kathie Lee Gifford

The Today show host kept her sacred treasure all to herself until she was 22, when she gave it up to her first husband Paul Johnson, something she reveals in her autobiography. “My lifelong self-consciousness about my body seemed, miraculously, to fade away…” Gifford says of the experience.

Lisa Kudrow

The Friends star is nothing like the free-loving hippie she played on the show. Lisa remained a virgin until she was 31, a decision she explained while promoting her 1999 film The Opposite of Sex. “My virginity was something I’d decided was very precious…an honor I was bestowing on a young man.” That young man turned out to be her husband, Michael Stern.

Kevin Jonas

At the age of 22, the oldest Jonas Brother wore a “purity ring” until 2007, when he married Danielle Deleasa (the co-star on the new reality show Married to Jonas.)
Continue reading “Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex”

The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

I am put off and annoyed by common comments and advice I see by Christians regarding sexual sin.

First, it is assumed by most Christians, including preachers, that other Christians over the age of 25 are having sex, and having lots of it, possibly with many different partners.

This assumption annoys me. I’m in my early 40s, and my virginity is still intact. The fact that someone can remain a virgin past 25 years old seems inconceivable to most Christians. I expect that shoddy, short-sighted attitude from secular culture, but other Christians? What a let down.

Secondly, for all conservative Christianity’s supposed upholding of sexual purity and virginity, I see the opposite in practice and in living these teachings out in real life.

As I addressed in my previous post, many American Christians pay mere lip service to sexual abstinence for all unmarried people, and lay it on extra thick for teens and those up to age 25.

But past age 25, especially past the age of 30, Christians who have still refrained from sex are either ignored (we get no material or sermons encouraging us, no practical help or tips on how to stave off loneliness and so forth, or no ‘patting us on the back’ for a job well done), or we get subjected to odd looks, insults, or put downs from the Christian culture. (One reason for this is that it is assumed we failed because we did not marry and have kids.)

In light of all that, it cannot be said that American Christians are truly committed to virginity or sexual purity. They claim they are, but in practicality, where the rubber meets the road, they are not.

If you cannot support those Christians who are over 35 years old who are celibate, you are not genuinely in favor of the belief that ‘sex is only for marriage,’ because if you were, you’d put your money, time, and effort where your mouth was.

One of my biggest pet peeves revolves around how Christians, especially pastors, address sexual sin. (Click the “more” link to read the rest of this post.)
Continue reading “The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity”

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

1 Corinthians 7:28:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ed Young’s Sexperiment, from Church Marketing Sucks

The Trouble with Ed Young’s Rooftop Sexperiment

Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women

Profane Preachers Contribute to Killing the Conscience

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

The Church of Sex

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

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

News story: Eunuchs Really Live Longer

Eunuchs Really Live Longer

A historical study of castrated men in Korea finds that they outlived their peers by a wide margin

By Alexandra Sifferlin

“Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men,” the authors write. Based on earlier research, the authors argue that one explanation for this could be that male sex hormones may negatively influence the immune system and “predispose men to adverse cardiovascular attacks.” They note further that the theory helps explain why females — in many species — live longer than males.

….And there are other reasons that women may outlive men, including for example the presence of estrogen, which may help enhance longevity. Also, as ABC News reports:

Females may have an advantage in longevity because they have a back-up X chromosome, [Dr. L. Stephen Coles, a co-founder of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group,] said. A woman’s body is a mixture of cells, half containing an active X chromosome from her mother and the other half from her father, he said. If there is a defect on one X chromosome, half of her cells will be unaffected.

 

Older Christian Singles and Celibacy (There Are No Consequences for Sexual Sin)

Older Christian Singles and Celibacy (There Are No Consequences for Sexual Sin)

(click on the “more” link to read the rest of the post)

I am including in this post an URL to an interview with a Christian author regarding a book she wrote about Christian singleness and celibacy.

I will only be quoting portions of the interview, which I am chalking up to “fair use.”

If you want to read the rest, I would advise you to visit their site:

(Link): Every Older Singles’ Battle – Christianitytoday.com Article

I wanted to preface the quoted material by making a few comments.

For all my life, I fully agreed with and abided by the Bible’s teaching about sex being for marriage only. I thought, when I was in my 20s, and even into my mid-30s, that I would be married by the time I was 35. That did not happen.

My views on sex may be changing slightly now that I find myself over 40 and still unmarried.

I still believe that the Bible is clear that sex if for marriage only. I am not going to sit here and try to explain away biblical passages that tell readers sex is for marriage only, as I saw one 25 year old, liberal Christian female do on her blog.

To paraphrase this other female blogger, she said that the Bible is “not clear at all that sex outside of marriage is sinful or wrong.” I disagree. The Bible is pretty clear about the topic.

My stance, however, is that I think it’s unfair and unrealistic (I’m not sure what word to use to describe this) to expect any Christian over the age of 30 to remain perpetually chaste, regardless of the Bible’s teaching on the matter.
Continue reading “Older Christian Singles and Celibacy (There Are No Consequences for Sexual Sin)”

Double Standard by Some Non Christian Childfree

I wrote about childfree people in a previous entry. I myself am childfree, but I’m also a social conservative, conservative Christian, and a Republican, unlike most CF (child free people) who seem to be left wing and atheist – and who are hostile towards people such as myself.

One glaring double standard I see on CF (child free) blogs and forums are CF Non Christians who complain about mothers who breastfeed. (I agree that breastfeeding should be done in private and not in public.)

Many CF seem to believe there is something sexual about nude breasts, even in the context of breastfeeding; maybe to an extent they are correct about that. (For example see posts in this thread about Time magazine’s breastfeeding cover at Bratfree Forum).

Here are a few quotes from that CF forum thread regarding the Time magazine breastfeeding story:

by loavesstillsuck

THE HORROR! The look of the self-satisfied moos [mothers] standing their with their adult children (well, practically) sucking on their udders. . . . . . . glaring into the camera lens as if to say “I dare you to think of me sexually with a kid sucking off of me!”

BLEAH! There is no word appropriate enough, save for BLEAAAAAAH and VOMMITTTT.

by gwddee

Yeah I noted the ‘lighten up” twit. What the f*uck? Yep, keep defending that pedophile [mother in photo breastfeeding son], assh*le.

by rudegubmintworker

Why can’t the mom pump her breast and give the brat her boob milk from a cup? Because she gets physical and/or sexual satisfaction from it, loves using it to control the brat. Whether she wants to admit it or not.

When I was almost age 4 (like this kid SUPPOSEDLY is) I was in pre-kindergarten and could already read (and had been formula fed). I can’t imagine leaving school where I read, drew numbers and stick figures to go suck on Mom’s tit. Not to mention – some kids even back in the seventies at age 3 and 4 were skilled in the art of teasing other kids. What happens of other kids get wind of the fact Suckley still nurses? He’ll become the victim of bullying.

There are many, many other similar quotes to those above at that site and at other CF sites, who are equating breastfeeding (or the photo of such on the Time cover) to pedophilia.

Many CF, though, do not believe there should be any or many limits on sexuality in other areas, and they don’t seem to spot their own hypocrisy in this.

Many of the Non Christian CF mock and ridicule Christians or conservatives who teach and believe sex should be for marriage only, teens should not be having sex, and that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful.

Continue reading “Double Standard by Some Non Christian Childfree”

Childfree Christians / Childfree childless

(click “more” to read the entire post)

I’ve visited a few blogs and discussion boards for people who are “childfree.”

Most childfree people bristle at being referred to as “childless,” since most of them never wanted to have kids and intentionally took steps to avoid having any, such as undergoing sterilization procedures.

The term “childless” signifies to them that they wanted kids but could not have them, as well as other unwanted connotations, so they dislike the term.

Before I discuss my views on these childfree sites, here is my background and views as they pertain to kids and other topics I see regularly brought up on childfree forums and blogs:

I do not have any children. I have never had children. I have never married. I wanted to be married and would still like to be married.

I’ve never felt totally comfortable with the idea of becoming pregnant and having a baby, but I was never totally opposed to having one of my own.

I do not hate children, but I don’t like most of them. Most children are irritating and too loud. Most teens are obnoxious and idiotic. I don’t think 99% of infants are cute.

I am pro-life; I do not support abortion, nor do I support homosexuality or the legalization of homosexual marriage.

I am a social conservative and a Republican.

Here are my experiences of visiting childfree blogs and forums…

While I can relate to many of the problems and situations described at some of these sites, such as The Childfree Life discussion board or Bratfree Forum, I am dismayed or put off by some of the comments and attitudes I see by some members.

There is quite a bit of profanity on those particular boards and on others like them;  there are jokes about killing or maiming kids/babies (implied); rude or cruel comments about people who did nothing to deserve it; many generalizations or gross misrepresentations or misunderstandings of conservative Christians.

Continue reading “Childfree Christians / Childfree childless”

Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian

Excellent piece by Jackson Watts (I omitted the footnotes; you can visit the link “The Scandal of Singleness” to view them); click the “more” link to read the rest:

(Link): The Scandal of Singleness

Sometimes others know us better than we know ourselves. Though the world sees through a darkened lens, occasionally it observes something in Christians worth considering. Recently, a New York Times has done just that in exploring the bias in evangelicalism against hiring unmarried pastors [1].

Erik Eckholm recounts the case of one experienced pastor unable to find work after searching since 2009. According to Eckholm, most evangelical churches will never seriously consider a single pastor for fear that (a) he cannot relate well to married couples, or (b) his sexual orientation is in question. While it would be easy to target search committees for their myopia, the data shows that this bias extends throughout many evangelical denominations.

This trend represents the concerns of Christians about the state of marriage in America. Many publications have noted the fact that unmarried adults are now the largest demographic in America. According to the last census, nearly 50% of American adults are unmarried—the most in history. It is in this vein that evangelical theologian Al Mohler responds to Eckholm’s findings: “Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married” [2].

So, is this bias against singles, especially in ministry, justified? Is the privileged status of marriage over singleness Scriptural? Is singleness as scandalous as some imply? I contend that the church’s witness is hindered insomuch as it ignores or belittles faithful expressions of singleness in the church.

Continue reading “Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian”

For older never married Christians – ‘Single in the Church’

Here’s an excellent article for older, never married Christians (unfortunately it is in PDF format. I prefer HTML pages):

(Link): Single in the Church – Eunuchs in the Kingdom, by Clyde Ervine (PDF)

One of the things I like about this article is that Mr. Ervine points out something I’ve noticed for a long time now: almost all material for single Christians is directed at divorced people, or for 20-somethings  who are assumed will get married at one point, but there is hardly any material, support, encouragement for those of us (like me) who are over 40, who wanted to be married, but who have never been married (and may never be married). Many churches refuse to even acknowledge the existence of people such as me, or they don’t ever stop to consider some may never marry.

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

(Link): No One Wants to Talk About It

By Julia Duin
Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

(Link): Where Are America’s Virgins? Discouraging the Virtuous

Excerpts:

Three decades later, virginity is under such withering attack, you would think it was child abuse. It is associated with words such as ‘frigid,’ ‘prideful,’ ‘judgmental’ and ‘holier-than-thou.’  “Virginity” was on the Washington Post Outlook section’s 2010 list of the year’s top 13 things to “throw out.” There are now books out with titles like “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women” by Jessica Valenti.

….The nay-sayers seem unusually ferocious these days in their zeal against the ideal of virginity. I am surprised at how would-be defenders in the religious community are doing such a poor job of striking back.

In January, Christianity Today’s women’s blog, Hermeneutics, reviewed WeWaited.com, a singles site for virgins seeking other virgins. The writer suggested the idea was unrealistic, moralistic and “poses problems” in terms of exalting a potential partner’s virginity rather than his or her Christian commitment. Yet, now as in previous eras, virginity is a major test of one’s Christian commitment.

Agree with the Bible or not, Scripture is clear that sex is to be abstained outside of marriage. It is the job of the church – likewise the mosque and temple and other traditions that at least on paper aspire to purity at the marriage altar – to hold the line. The church has surrendered its teachings on chastity, so it’s no wonder that even among the devout, the virginity percentages are dismal.

Continue reading “Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin”

Older Single Christians And Sex – article by Julia Duin

(Click the “more” link to read the entire post)


Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

By Julia Duin

Not long ago, a minor flare lit the evangelical horizon as Lauren F. Winner, a senior editor for Christianity Today, wrote a tell-all column on “evangelical whores.” The piece appeared on the new multi-religious website, Beliefnet.com.

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?

Continue reading “Older Single Christians And Sex – article by Julia Duin”