Sexual Purity, Virginity, and Celibacy As Product – and: Christian Myths That Are Keeping Marriage Minded Single Women Single Courtesy Dannah Gresh

Sexual Purity, Virginity, and Celibacy As Product

I didn’t intend on blogging anything more tonight, but I just made a post about modesty (this one, (Link): “Sexualizing Modesty – Christians Defeating the Purpose”). I noticed in the Right Wing Watch article linked to in that post that it mentioned Dannah Gresh.

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:

    (Link):

Fifty Shades of Feminine Hypocrisy – editorial by Gresh, discusses slut shaming, rape culture, modesty – has points I agree and disagree with

(Link): Sexual Purity Under Attack in Nation’s Schools, Says Christian Author Dannah Gresh

(Link): Christians Blaming the Woman – again: Regarding: How Women Can Make Church a Safe Place for Men by D. Gresh

(Link): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

I think I have one or two other posts about Gresh, or that mention her, but I cannot find them at the moment.

According to my previous post, (Link): “Sexualizing Modesty – Christians Defeating the Purpose”), Gresh now has an entire web site devoted to the topic of sexual purity and/or modesty, here:

(Link): Secret Keeper Girl

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:

Screen shot of Book Advertisement
Screen shot of Book Advertisement

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.

Continue reading “Sexual Purity, Virginity, and Celibacy As Product – and: Christian Myths That Are Keeping Marriage Minded Single Women Single Courtesy Dannah Gresh”

American Teen Missionary Raped Several Orphan Children in Africa, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke

American Teen Missionary Raped Several Children, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke

Given that Christian men are just as apt to be baby-rapers as Non Christian ones, I think it’s a safe choice for an unmarried woman to hedge bets by marrying an atheist or agnostic, as it would marrying a self professing Christian, even one who works for charity.

The cherry on top is that some preacher or dude affiliated with the charity referred to this pervert (the child rapist) as a “true man of God” or some such. See articles below.

(Link): Matthew Durham Christian child rapist: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

    Matthew Durham is the aid volunteer from Oklahoma who the feds say confessed to raping HIV-positive orphans while he was on one of his humanitarian missions to Kenya.

    …You can read the full criminal complaint here, on page seven, section 15, there are vivid descriptions of the sex acts in question. Warning Disturbing Content: (visit their page to view material)

    … 2. The Feds Say He Had Sexual Relations With HIV-Positive Orphans

    …On his last trip, between April 30 and June 17, 2014, the feds say, Durham insisted on staying in the children’s home rather than with a host family.

    Continue reading “American Teen Missionary Raped Several Orphan Children in Africa, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke”

A Grandfather and Married Men Among 600+ Adult Men Arrested for Pedophilia in UK Major Child Porn Crackdown – parenthood is not a guarantee a person will be more ethical

A Grandfather and Married Men Among 600+ Adult Men Arrested for Pedophilia in UK Major Child Porn Crackdown – parenthood is not a guarantee a person will be more ethical

UK Legal Crackdown: married men and a grandfather among the 600+ perverts arrested for child porn (links farther below)

This echoes a previous post I did over a year ago about another child sex crackdown by police, and out of the however many men arrested, several were MARRIED FATHERS.

That’s right, sometimes married people, or people who are parents, do bad things, including molesting children.

If you are new to this blog and not familiar with Southern Baptist, Reformed, Fundamentalist, or evangelical views about family, marriage, parenthood, singleness, and sex, you may find that a very odd statement.

Of course married parents can and do bad things, just like anyone else, you are thinking.

I know that. You know that.

But unfortunately there are stereotypes about married people and parents (and adult singles) among conservative Christians. Namely, that marriage and parenting automatically bestow (or some may teach it may take a matter of years) wonderful qualities on a person, such as maturity, responsibility, godliness, and makes a person far less likely to engage in sexual sin.

Conversely, married Christians assume that all or most adult singles (including Christian ones, and ones who are also childless), are (pick one or more from the list):
immature, stuck in arrested development, losers, selfish, ungodly, highly promiscuous (or more easily enticed by sexual sin, or more prone to sexual sin), irresponsible, untrustworthy, suspicious, homosexual, or weird.

Never mind the Bible does not teach that being married or a parent instantly sanctifies a person (sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit), nor does the Bible teach that singlehood is an inferior, or less godly state of being, than marriage.

Most Christians do not care that these stereotypes are unbiblical, insulting, and false. Some of them actually assume the Bible supports all or most of these ideas. So they continue to keep and spread the stereotypes in books, blogs, podcasts, their TV shows, sermons, and magazines.

Christians often only permit MARRIED MEN WHO ARE FATHERS to serve in positions of influence and responsibility in churches, even though the Bible does not support this ((Link): here is one post about this).

Several of the Bible verses married Christians used to back up their biases against single adults are twisted to support prejudice against singles. The Bible does not explicitly limit certain leadership roles to married parents.

As such news stories of married fathers who get caught doing things like molesting children attest, marriage and parenthood do not necessarily make a person more loving, ethical, or godly. Here’s another example below.

At this time, I am still googling around to find out how many of the men caught in this police sting are married fathers. So far I have found one example of a GRANDFATHER who was caught.

(Link): Child abuse image investigation leads to 660 arrests

    16 July 2014 Last updated at 13:18 ET

    … The National Crime Agency (NCA) said among the 660 were teachers, medical staff, former police officers, a social services worker and scout leader.

    … Examples of those arrested include:

    -A doctor, who has been charged and remains in custody over images of child abuse

    -A grandfather who had access to 17 grandchildren, two of whom were allegedly abuse by the man. He was taken into custody

    -A foster carer, who was caring for a 12-year-old, was arrested. He had no previous convictions or allegations of offending

    Notable arrests by job/voluntary position

    Teachers: 6
    School workers: 4
    Police staff: 2
    Medical staff: 2
    Ex-police officers: 2
    Social services staff: 1
    Private sector working with children: 1
    Scout leader: 1

(Link): Almost 50 suspected paedophiles arrested in child abuse crackdown

Excerpts:

    All those arrested were male, white north European and aged between 14 and 70.

    Detectives revealed that several men were married and some had children of their own.

    Those children are now subject to child safeguarding arrangements with partner agencies, the force said.

(Link): National Crime Agency arrests hundreds in online child abuse sting

Excerpt:

    16 Jul 2014 by Jamie Hinks
    The NCA arrested a total of 660 people that includes people from all walks of life such as doctors, teachers, scout leaders, former police officers and care workers, and most of them had no previous contact with the police.

(Link): Arrests made in major sex crime crackdown

A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No. (from NR, by Russell Moore)

A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No.

Moore is at it again. And he’s flip flopping in a way.

Moore goes from bashing the concept of virginity until marriage ((Link): see this post) to now sort of arguing in favor of, or thinking it’s great that more Christians are supposedly remaining sexually pure. He also (like the rest of Christendom) seems to assume there are no virgins past the age of 30 (but there are).

(Link): A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No.

    Defying the secular culture, churchgoing Christians are sticking to Biblical teaching.

    By Russell D. Moore and Andrew Walker

    In any discussion about the future of religion in America, especially as it relates to stalled growth in churches and denominations, those outside our religious communities find one theory especially compelling.

    This is the idea: that young Evangelicals are frustrated with Christian orthodoxy’s strict standards of sexual morality.

    We’re told that these young Evangelicals will soon revolutionize our churches with liberalized views on same-sex marriage, premarital sex, gender identity, and so on. But a new study by a University of Texas sociologist finds that Evangelical Christians ages 18 to 39 are resisting liberalizing trends in the culture.

    Continue reading “A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No. (from NR, by Russell Moore)”

Millennials: Society Will Be Just Fine Without Marriage

Millennials: Society Will Be Just Fine Without Marriage

I am amazed the media have not picked up that there are lots of Gen Y and Gen X who are not married – including a lot of us who had hoped to marry (see the post on (Link): The Otherhood). But no, they keep harping on Millennials and marriage.

(Link): Millennials: Society Will Be Just Fine Without Marriage

    A poll suggests young people aren’t convinced that spouse-hunting and baby-making should be a priority for their generation.

——————–
Related posts:

(Link): Article: Why Are So Many Professional Millennial Women Unable To Find Dateable Men?

(Link): Mature Christians Need to Stop Allowing the Under 30 Crowd to Direct the Entire State of Christian Affairs

Follow Up – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist, Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)

Follow Up – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)

This is a follow up to my post from yesterday,
(Link): Obnoxious, Condescending, Sexist, Pervy Esquire Editorial by 50-Something Year Old Man: “In Praise of 42 Year Old Women” – Condescendingly Reassures 40 Something Women He’d Sex Them Up

Here are other people’s reactions to the insufferable, obnoxious, ageist, and sexist Junod editorial on Esquire.

(Link): Older women don’t need mansplaining boner prose in praise of their sexiness

    by Jessica Valenti
    theguardian.com,
    Friday 11 July 2014 07.15

    An homage in a men’s magazine to the ‘carnal appeal’ of 42-year old women is no great win for feminism

    Breaking news! Men’s magazines have determined that it is not abnormal for men to ogle and objectify women over the age of 40! Women of the world, feminism has won! Rejoice!

    Or not.

    To kick off its annual women issue, Esquire magazine on Thursday published an essay called “In Praise of 42-Year Old Women”, assuring the normally-depressed old hags that dudes (or at least the writer Tom Junod) still want to bang them. Junod – who has an “interesting” history writing about women – writes that, while “[t]here used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman”, they now have “carnal appeal”.

    — start Junod quote
    A few generations ago, a woman turning forty-two was expected to voluntarily accept the shackles of biology and convention; now it seems there is no one in our society quite so determined to be free. Conservatives still attack feminism with the absurd notion that it makes its adherents less attractive to men; in truth, it is feminism that has made forty-two-year-old women so desirable.
    — end Junod quote

    Protip to male writers gorging on self-congratulation as they deem grown woman fuckable: leave feminism out of it.

    Junod, careful to qualify that the 42-year-old women worthy of praise are those who “have armored themselves with yoga and Pilates even as they joke about the spectacle”, seems to believe that he has done women a great kindness with this piece. But when he writes that 42-year-old women are “superior” to men and that “the best thing that that forty-two-year-old American men have going for them is forty-two-year-old American women”, he does so with the same benevolence of a lazy husband praising his wife’s laundry skills. (Or financial skills, in his case.)

    It’s easy for men to call women “superior” in a society that privileges men at nearly every turn: they’re not the ones being grossly objectified under the guise of a compliment.

    Certainly, women over 40 deserve more reverence and respect than they typically get – and I’d love to see women of all ages receive that … outside of women’s magazines and day-time talk shows. We live in a culture, often driven by the media and Hollywood, that paints women over 25 as desperate and pathetic: we’re considered past our prime, never to be “nubile” (a word worth banning from our collective consciousness if there ever was one) again!

    But the validation that women seek is generally not of the erection-producing variety. It’s very nice and all that writers are catching on that women of all ages can be sexy, but framing that as an amazing new discovery makes it more about men than it is about us (which feels about par for the course).

    For example, in a companion piece on Esquire’s website, writer Stephen Marche urges us all – in a slightly less cringe-inducing way than Junod’s overwrought boner-prose – to retire the word MILF. He writes that “there’s another explanation for the rise of 42, one that’s even more revelatory. Maybe it isn’t fashion at all. Maybe it’s what men wanted all along.”

    Right. But maybe, just maybe, what men want isn’t – and doesn’t always have to be – the damn point.

(Link): BREAKING: Esquire Declares 42-Year-Old Women Now F-ckable by Tracy Moore

    Why, used to be, a woman at the age of 42 could hardly be glanced at, much less taken to bed and ravaged shame-free in broad daylight. No longer. Esquire has sent word across all channels that 42-year-old women have been removed from the Do Not Bang list and are no longer off-limits to respectable men. In other news, FIRE SALE AT CHICO’S.

    Forty-two year-old broads everywhere can now pack up their loose but crisp linen shirts, let their slightly graying hair down, and select their finest modest but sexy cocktail dress and get back out there.

    Behold the clarion call courtesy of author Tom Junod:

    —- start Junod quote
    Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman. With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something—namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother. If she remained sexual, she was either predatory or desperate; if she remained beautiful, what gave her beauty force was the fact of its fading. And if she remained alone… well, then God help her.
    — end Junod quote

    We’ve all seen those women — you know, the beautiful aging ones who just seemed so pathetic for existing at all. Also, he is right, I can’t think of more forceful beauty than the fading kind. The not-fading kind is great — don’t get me wrong — but if you think about it, it’s just not quite as potent, all said. However, a hint of beauty once there is just, well, sickening. Really sad, too.

    The only thing more ludicrous than Tom Junod’s feelings about 42-year-olds are the misguided assumptions that lurk beneath them… like a 42-year-old woman clawing at the icy surface above her, desperate to escape the tomb of her old age and fading beauty, trapped in part because she acknowledges that icy cold water could significantly invigorate her appearance.

    Continue reading “Follow Up – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist, Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)”

Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

Sometimes, I enjoy and agree with some of the views as expressed by S. Drury’s SCCL (“Stuff Christian Culture Likes”) Facebook group, but not always.

Folks who frequent the SCCL group generally despise Christian sexual purity teachings.

Me? Nope.

My position is that the church needs to start upholding sexual purity teachings more, rather than the SCCL group’s preferred option of backing off or halting.

Very few churches and Christians today condemn sexual sin, nor do many Christians support virginity or sexual purity, something I have blogged about on a recurring basis (see links at the bottom of this post for more).

One of the things that caught my attention were a couple of posts at the SCCL group this week.

Continue reading “Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All”

Americans Idolize Fatherhood – Enough with the Pro Fatherhood Editorials or Claiming Anti Father Persecution, says writer

Americans Idolize Fatherhood – Enough with the Pro Fatherhood Editorials or Claiming Anti Father Persecution, says writer

As much as conservative Christians and secular social conservatives idolize fatherhood, they idolize motherhood a million times more.

Men don’t get anywhere near the pressure to marry and crank out babies as women do.

But in light of the fact that Father’s Day is this week (I think), here you go:

(Link): Who Are the Fatherhood Cheerleaders Arguing With? No One Is Against Devoted Dads.

    By Amanda Marcotte

    Father’s Day is Sunday, which means that it’s time for pundits and politicians to scold the American public—with special ire reserved for black members of the American public—for our supposed indifference to the wonder and awe of fatherhood.

    Jessica Lahey has a piece in the Atlantic this week called “The Case for Dedicated Dads,” in which she argues, “Mothers are very important to their children’s development, of course, but research has shown that fathers help kids grow in specific ways.” Dozens of other writers are making the same argument, pegged to Father’s Day, for a variety of local and national media sources.

    … I love a good dad story as much as the next daughter, but I can’t help wonder: Who are these writers arguing against?

    Continue reading “Americans Idolize Fatherhood – Enough with the Pro Fatherhood Editorials or Claiming Anti Father Persecution, says writer”

Daddy Dearest: How Purity Culture Can Turn Fathers into Idols (Purity Ball Photos)

Daddy Dearest: How Purity Culture Can Turn Fathers into Idols
———————————–
One thing I’d also like to add that is damaging about these purity balls is that

1. The parents involved with these purity balls ASSUME their daughters will grow up and marry.

What if their daughters never marry?

2. Male virginity is not taught, stressed, or supported by these groups.

I’ve yet to hear of a “Male Purity Ball,” where sons are encouraged to “pledge their virginity” to dear old mom. Why the double standard? Why are women expected to be virgins, but not the men?

(Link): Daddy Dearest: How Purity Culture Can Turn Fathers into Idols

    Our pledges belong to the Heavenly Father, not our earthly ones.

by Gina Dalfonzo

When we see a man and a woman holding each other tenderly, wearing fancy clothes, we think wedding, marriage, romance. It’s simply instinctive. So when looking through a series of purity ball portraits—girls in white dresses, beside loving fathers—we’re seeing something very familiar, but in a very different context. This juxtaposition strikes as jarring at best, inappropriate at worst.

The blogosphere erupted with their reactions to (Link): Swedish photographer David Magnusson’s “Purity” series. “Thoroughly f—ing weird … striking and frankly terrifying,” opined Tom Hawking at Flavorwire.

Jessica Valenti at AlterNet called the pictures “beautiful [but] disturbing.” In message boards and Facebook groups and comment sections around the Internet, words like “creepy” and “strange” were thrown around. On the flip side, there were those who said you’d have to be “perverted” to think there was anything wrong with the pictures.

Continue reading “Daddy Dearest: How Purity Culture Can Turn Fathers into Idols (Purity Ball Photos)”

Creepy and Weird: Preparing a Two-Year-Old for Marriage

Creepy and Weird: Preparing a Two-Year-Old for Marriage

I want to re-state my views upfront so as not to confuse any newcomers to the blog. I am not anti-marriage or anti-traditional values.

I do, however, think some self professing Christians are guilty of making marriage and the traditional family into an idol and then some.

I’m not opposed to parents instilling their values in their kids, but it seems way out there to emphasize marriage to two year old children.

The blog link below reminds me of the article with the preacher guy who said a prayer over someone’s infant daughter that God bless all the eggs she was ever born with so that she could be a mother of many children, or whatever.

These Christians think they are honoring traditional values, I am sure, but these things come across as slightly perverse or weird.

Also, why are there no seminars by this group on preparing their children for adult singleness? Nobody is guaranteed a spouse, and some of their kids may group up and choose to stay single. If they are going to offer a creepy “preparing two year olds for marriage” why not “preparing two year old for a possible lifetime of adult singlehood”?

This comes from a FIC (Family Integrated Church) blog page:

(Link): Morning Breakouts: Preparing a Two-Year-Old for Marriage

    Posted by The NCFIC on Oct. 29, 2010
    This morning Jonathan Sides addressed the importance of teaching our children about marriage from a very young age. It is folly to think that we can wait until our children are on the brink of marriage to communicate to them a Biblical vision of courtship and marriage. The world doesn’t wait; It begins attempting to instill an unbiblical, romanticized view of marriage in your children from their earliest years.

————————–
Related posts:

(Link): Cloud’s Critique of Family Integrated Churches

(Link): Six Christian Homeschool Brothers Some of Whom Attended a FIC (Family Integrated Church) raped their kid sister over ten year period

(Link): A Critique of the Family-Integrated Church Movement by Brian Borgman – Christians turning the family into an idol

(Link): The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language (How churches exclude singles and the childless) by E A Dause

(Link): Christians Who Sexualize Female Infants and Who Have Wacko, Weird, Unbiblical Gender Role Views They Actually Believe are Biblical / Re Botkins

Christians Over Hyping Parenting – When All Identity is Wrapped Up In Being a Parent – Empty Nest Article

Christians Over Hyping Parenting – When All Identity is Wrapped Up In Being a Parent – Empty Nest Article

Not only is Christian culture guilty of hyping motherhood, but secular culture is as well.

The majority of girls in America are conditioned to be mothers when they are older. It is expected all women want to be mothers or will be mothers some day.

Christians in particular – especially the kook groups, such as patriarchy and quivering – teach that a woman’s only or best role is to be a wife and mother.

It’s one facet of codependency to base your entire identity in your relation to one or more other people (such as husband and children).

One issue is that some Christian women are so wrapped up in being a mother they never stop to think, “What if my child dies tomorrow,” or, “What will I do when my kid gets out of college and gets her own apartment.”

One of my aunts only had one child. He died in his early 20s, he was hit by a guy who fell asleep at the wheel. She had divorced the boy’s father years before.

This Aunt of mine was forced to live out her life alone after her son died. She could no longer define herself by the role “wife” or “mother” in the same way other women do who are still married or who have living children. She had to figure out who she was apart from the roles of “wife” and “mother”.

There is no guarantee your kid won’t get hit by a car, hit by cancer, or kidnapped and murdered. At the very least, your child will probably one day grow up and move out of your home.

I really don’t think churches and Christians in general think through their worship of motherhood often enough.

Not only do they raise Christian females with the expectation that if only they pray hard enough God will send them a husband, but they so enforce the “you will be a mommy” shtick so much, women are never taught how to cope with the possible reality they may remain single into their 40s and older, or, they may be infertile, or their kid may die young if they have a kid.

Here is an article about Empty Nest Syndrome.

It’s very dangerous for culture and churches to keep teaching women to define themselves by their relation to other people.

It is wrong and unhealthy for preachers and other Christians to teach women that their only or even primary meaning comes from being a wife and a mother. Husbands divorce or die, or you never get one at all and you stay single your whole life through. Kids die, become estranged from their parents and never phone them, or they move out and only visit on the occasional holiday.

By the way, when Christians keep hyping motherhood as much as they do, that is a form of Virgin Shaming or Singles Shaming. Churches need to venerate and respect adult virginity and singleness and being childless every bit as much as they do motherhood. That they do not, that they continually applaud motherhood but never cheer on singleness, is a form of singles of celibate shaming.

(Link): Dealing with a looming empty nest

Excerpt

    By Tracy Grant,
    Published: April 16

    My kids are going to graduate from high school in a matter of weeks and in a matter of months, they will head off to college.

    None of this comes as a surprise. I’ve known it intellectually pretty much since the day they were born. Knowing, as veteran-mom friends have warned, that “you’re really going to feel it when they are gone.” I’ve even written about my dawning realization of this next step of parenthood.

    But there’s a difference between knowing something in your head and knowing something in your soul. And this month, with actions that are positively quotidian, the knowledge is seeping into my soul.

    First came the realization that I would make the last Catholic school tuition payment. The only rational reason for feeling sentimental about this is that soon I’ll be pining for the (relatively) small payments associated with those years of education.

    Continue reading “Christians Over Hyping Parenting – When All Identity is Wrapped Up In Being a Parent – Empty Nest Article”

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult Children to Murder or Sickness (links)

Disclaimer: I am not anti-motherhood, nor necessarily against people taking their mothers out to brunch on Mother’s Day, or buying dear old Mom some flowers to mark the occasion.

I am, however, against the excessive focus on motherhood, the failure to acknowledge and celebrate childless and childfree women, the onslaught of syrupy Mother’s Day hoopla, on and before the day, and the church services that honor mothers because:

  • Some people (women included) were abused by their mothers and so find the holiday awkward or painful,
  • some people had or have mothers who are/were cruel or overly-critical,
  • some people’s mothers are dead and they miss them terribly,
  • some women desire to be a mother but cannot because they are infertile, their spouse is infertile, or they are single and cannot find “Mr. Right” (and don’t believe in getting pregnant outside of marriage, or don’t feel they could support a baby alone)
  • some women choose to be child free, but feel excluded or shamed by church and secular staggering emphasis on motherhood on the holiday

Some Christians have turned motherhood (as well as fatherhood and marriage) into idols, which they should repent of.

That is one reason why churches are losing visitors and members: despite the fact that 44% of American adults are single (edit: as of 2014 studies, (Link): that figure is now 51% or greater) and a big chunk are childless, most churches either…

– IGNORE adult singles/ childless adults,
or,
-preachers and Christian talking heads insult adult singleness and adult virginity from their blogs, pod casts, books, organizations, and pulpits, by implying or forth rightly saying, that adult singleness (or being childless) makes a person stunted, or makes a person not as “godly” as being married with kids.

Now, why the hell does anyone suppose I, a never-married celibate woman, would want to attend a church where I am insulted before I ever step foot in it?

Most churches spend mountains of money on “family” ministries, family dinners, programs for youth and married couples.

Most churches and denominations do not budget time or money for adult singles anything – not classes, social functions, dinners. The big message from that is, “At our church, we don’t care about adult singles or those without children. You have to be married with a kid to count here.”

If you are a church that has a “Mother’s Day” celebration or ceremony of some sort, even if it’s very brief, you should also have one the following Sunday for all the childless, never-married women, the child free women, and infertile- but- married women too, or women who have not been able to carry a baby to term (ie, miscarry) – it’s only fair.

If you are unwilling to honor ALL women in ALL situations, ages, and life stages, at one time or another during the year in your church, nobody should get a holiday or party, none, nope, nuh-uh.

This post discusses being single and childless or childfree on Mother’s day, or other circumstances that make Mother’s Day painful for some women.

—–THE LINKS—–

(Link): For the childless this Mother’s Day (and those who love them) by S. Burden

(Link): When Mother’s Day isn’t so rosy: 6 recommended ways to cope

Excerpt

    Happy Not-A-Mother’s Day to every woman who might be reading this and does not have children. This coming Sunday, it will be Mother’s Day yet again.

  • More than likely the author of this article will attend church services with her husband and quite a few children will be passing out flowers for each of the mothers in attendance. When one of them reaches her and starts to place a beautiful blossom in her hand, she will gently refuse but thank him or her anyway.
  • The child may become confused but that will just have to be.
  • He or she does need to learn that not all the adult women that are in attendance for church are mothers.
  • The author is in her very early 40’s, an adult, and a wife but she is not anyone’s mother. For as long as the Earth has existed, the persistent ticking of most women’s biological clocks have equated their lives with one purpose only and that has been to have children.
  • However in today’s society, great numbers of married women have decided not to have them.
  • Happily the writer of this article was lucky enough to have been born at a time in history where such a choice was accepted with women, and also to luck out and find a husband who felt the same way she did about children.

(Link): ‘Childless’ or ‘Childfree’: The Difference Matters

Excerpts

    Here’s the problem: While “childless” means the condition of being without children, it implies that everyone who does not have children would like to have them. However, being “childfree,” like Mirren—and like me—means that one does not want to have children at all.
  • ….The taboo that surrounds women without children, childless or childfree, is potent.
  • We spend a lot of time explaining ourselves (or avoiding explaining ourselves) and looking for people who understand us, who don’t ask us to or expect us to explain. But at the same time, the difference between childless and childfree folks is important to take note of and apply correctly, because we are not, in fact, the same.
  • As a woman who’s childfree, I’m not experiencing reproductive challenges.
  • I’m not waiting for the right partner, or enough money, or the perfect geographic location.
  • I don’t feel like something is missing from my life because I don’t have children. I don’t want to have kids. There is no yet.
  • … That might be hard to swallow, for some—childfree folks constantly hear things like, “You’ll change your mind” and “You’ll regret it.”
  • Perhaps, because it’s still so unfathomable to the world that a woman wouldn’t want a baby, the term is deliberately misunderstood. If we keep confusing the language, the thinking may go, we can deny that childfree women exist.
  • The experience of not wanting children in a world where women are defined by their reproductive desire and potential—where women are expected to structure their lives around babies—is very different than being a woman who would like a baby or would like to be a parent some day. That difference has to do with desire.
  • If you’re a cisgender, heterosexual woman—especially a white woman—who doesn’t have a kid but wants one, you’re still in line with expectations about how a woman should behave.
  • You’re not threatening, you’re adhering.
  • A cisgender, straight woman who doesn’t want a baby is transgressive, subversive, pathological, a perpetual mystery to be solved.
  • Things may be different, of course, if you’re queer, trans, single, poor, or a person of color; as a society, we’re pretty clear on who we want to be having babies.

(Link): Mother’s Day After Abortion

    Mother’s Day is a wonderful celebration – a time when mothers are honored for their constant love and daily sacrifice, and when life itself is recognized and treasured as the gift that it is.
  • But for many women who have had abortions, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest triggers of painful memories, regrets, and remorse over what “might have been.”
  • My heart breaks for these women.
  • Even though they accepted and believed the messages our society esteems so highly – messages about a woman’s right to choose and the importance of “family planning” – these women have learned, through bitter experience, the truth that abortion is tragic for women.

(Link): Why You Should Watch What You Say on Mother’s Day

Excerpts:

      • by Lori Holden, May 2014
      • ——————–
      • An open letter to ministers, yoga teachers, rabbis, spin instructors, pastors, professors, priests, Zumba leaders, imams, motivational speakers, reverends and anyone addressing mothers and fathers in mid-May or mid-June.
      • ——————

Dear Person at the Front of the Room,

  • I know you worked really hard on that homily about Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. It’s a time of joy and appreciation and community for almost everyone you address. Thank you for your special sentiments to soothe those in your audience who don’t have their mothers or fathers accessible to them. It’s a nice touch to bring in that compassion.
  • You may not know this, but there are likely other outliers receiving your message. That 30-something lady who pulled tissues out of her purse and filled up three of them with tears and snot? That man who had to excuse himself awkwardly? That woman who tried to hide the fact that she was sobbing on her yoga mat?
  • These are people who desperately want to be a mother or father, to join the parenting club at long last. To have the cards and commercials and 30% off sales apply to them. To bring into their lives what others are able to effortlessly.
  • These are the outliers in your audience.
  • Let me tell you about some of them.
  • Could be a woman who found out this morning that her third IVF attempt didn’t work — no line on the pee stick. To make matters worse, she turns 35 next week and her medical chart will be marked AMA — advanced maternal age. Her prospects for success with future treatments looks unbearably bleak.
  • Could be a couple who has been waiting in an adoption pool for 28 months. Each period she has — each turn of the calendar page — marks another month their prayers have gone unanswered.
  • Could be a couple who thought they were finally going to be admitted to the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day club, but whose hopes ended in a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
  • Could be a couple whose planned surrogate is suddenly unavailable to them.
  • Could be a man who wore the title of Dad for a few months — until his baby died.
  • Could be a woman who experienced an unexpected pregnancy and took the course to place her baby in the arms of another mother.
  • Could be a couple who has exhausted their options and who has resigned themselves to living a child-free life. Not so much by choice as by circumstance.

Written by a Child Free, lesbian Woman (you do not have to be a lesbian or agree with or endorse lesbianism to relate to what this woman says):

(Link): On Not Being a Parent by Julie R. Enszer

    As the United States moves into the frenzied celebrations of female parenthood, I want to register an alternate voice and declare my autonomy from children. I am not a parent, and I am happy to not be a parent.
  • I am a child-free woman. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, about 17 percent of women between the age of 40 and 44 had not had a child. This is a significant number of women without children in the United States today.
  • Child-free women do not speak out enough. We are not necessarily women who wanted children but could not have them; we are not necessarily women who forgot to have children; we are not necessarily women who missed a crucial life milestone. Being child-free is not necessarily a source of shame or regret.
  • I want to say plainly: I am blessed to not have children. I have more time and energy to devote to creative pursuits and projects that fuel my passions in the world.

(Link): A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day can be such a bittersweet time. It is a special day to celebrate our mothers, but for those of us who have lost our mothers, did not have a caring mother or have not been able to experience the joys of motherhood despite trying, it can be a painful reminder.

Continue reading “Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)”

Happy Mother’s Day From the Moms on Whisper Who Hate Their Kids

Happy Mother’s Day From the Moms on Whisper Who Hate Their Kids

(Link): Happy Mother’s Day From the Moms on Whisper Who Hate Their Kids by E G Ryan

    And so, in the ramp up to Mother’s Day, the anti-June Cleavers of the internet are venting their socially unacceptable frustrations on Whisper, the anonymous social network where users can leave their confessions for the world to see without attaching their real identities to their words.

There are all flavors of moms who kind of hate it. Mothers who are fed up that their kids don’t realize how obnoxious they are:

regretKids

Mothers Admit to Regretting Having Children and/or Getting Married
Mothers Admit to Regretting Having Children and/or Getting Married

Other confesssions by parents:

✦ “I hate my son. I didn’t want a boy. I wanted a girl”

Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day From the Moms on Whisper Who Hate Their Kids”

Christian Mouthpiece – Russell Moore – Who Says Christians Are Prideful About Virginity Has Audacity to Make Pro Sexual Purity Arguments on TGC (Gospel Coalition) Site

Christian Mouthpiece Who Says Christians Are Prideful About Virginity Has Audacity to Make Pro Sexual Purity Arguments on TGC (Gospel Coalition) Site

Russell Moore is being a hypocrite on this topic. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth about it.

(Link): Can We Trade Sexual Morality for Church Growth? by Russell Moore, hosted on TGC site

Here is an excerpt or two from that page with observations by me below the excerpts:

    by Russell Moore

    From time to time we hear some telling us that evangelical Christianity must retool our sexual ethic if we’re ever going to reach the next generation.

    Some say that Millennials, particularly, are leaving the church because of our “obsession” with sexual morality. The next generation needs a more flexible ethic, they say, on premarital sex, homosexuality, and so on. We’ll either adapt, the line goes, or we’ll die.

    …Always Difficult

    The same is true with a Christian sexual ethic. Sexual morality didn’t become difficult with the onset of the sexual revolution. It always has been. Walking away from our own lordship, or from the tyranny of our desires, has always been a narrow way. The rich young ruler wanted a religion that would promise him his best life now, extended out into eternity. But Jesus knew that such an existence isn’t life at all, just the zombie corpse of the way of the flesh. He came to give us something else, to join us to his own life.

    …But even if it “worked” to negotiate away sexual morality for church growth, we wouldn’t do it. We can only reach Millennials, and anyone else, by reaching them with the gospel, good news for repentant sinners through the shed blood and empty tomb of Jesus Christ.

    If we have to choose between Millennials and Jesus, we choose Jesus.

    …No Amendment

    Some think the Christian sexual ethic is akin to our congregation’s constitution and by-laws, that it can be amended by a two-thirds vote. But this isn’t the case. Sexuality isn’t ancillary to the gospel but is itself an embodied icon of the gospel, pointing us to the union of Christ and his church (Eph. 5:29-32).

    This is why the Bible speaks of sexual immorality as having profound spiritual consequences (1 Cor. 6:17-20), ultimately leading, if not repented of, to exile from the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

    Sexual immorality isn’t simply a matter of neurons firing. A Christian view of reality means that the body is a temple, set apart to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Sexual immorality isn’t just bad for us (although it is); it’s also an act of desecrating a holy place.

And Moore’s editorial goes on like that for several additional paragraphs.

I don’t think a guy who advises Christian virgins that they are “idolizing” virginity if they are upset or disappointed that their betrothed is a non-virgin – as Moore has done preivously (see link below) – is really in a place to opine about how churches should not “trade sexual morality for church growth.”

Even sadder is that a well-known Christian apologetics group was tweeting a link to this Moore editorial yesterday, as though they approve of it.

I tweeted them a link to my rebuttal:
(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

A person who claims to represent Christian sexual ethics and who scolds a virgin Christian for wanting, or hoping, to marry another Christian virgin, and accusing her of “idolizing virginity” or “being prideful” about it, has no place to write

    “Sexual immorality isn’t simply a matter of neurons firing. A Christian view of reality means that the body is a temple, set apart to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Sexual immorality isn’t just bad for us (although it is); it’s also an act of desecrating a holy place”

and similar things.

Continue reading “Christian Mouthpiece – Russell Moore – Who Says Christians Are Prideful About Virginity Has Audacity to Make Pro Sexual Purity Arguments on TGC (Gospel Coalition) Site”

The “Problem” with Being Single (also discusses celibacy) by Heather Pillette

The “Problem” with Being Single (also discusses celibacy) by Heather Pillette

(Link): The “Problem” with Being Single by by Heather Pillette

This is a pretty good article (there are excerpts below), but I am not opposed per se to adult singles ministries as the article author, Pillette, seems to be.

I do feel churches should do more to integrate adult singles into the church body. Pillette is correct about that.

I think singles ministry can be a good place for a single woman to meet a single man for the purpose of dating and marriage, so I cringe every time a writer chides churches for having a singles ministry that reflects that purpose.

I was a Christian single women for many years, and my only alternative to snagging a husband in a singles class was trying dating sites, and dating sites do not always work. In my view, absolutely one purpose of a singles ministry is to help marriage minded singles get married!

It’s either meet a mate at church or try a dating site or a bar. If you are a Christian, where do you prefer a Christian single to meet a mate, at church or a bar?

There are many, many adult singles in America today. Roughly 44% of adults in the USA are single, and among these are Christians. One reason a lot of us adult singles leave churches is that they treat single adults as though they are defective.

Pastors gripe and complain about dwindling attendance numbers, but then do nothing to retain adult, celibate singles. They actually tend to insult adult singles whenever they topic of adult singleness is brought up by them.

Don’t sit there and complain about your dwindling church numbers when you continue to exclude or insult some of those very members, and at that, on the basis of their single status, or whatever else.

You are treating people like crap, which drives them away, but then have the nerve to complain that people aren’t coming to your church anymore, so you write these blog posts shaming people for not attending church anymore (see this link). Give me a break, you oblivious hypocrites.

(Link): The “Problem” with Being Single by by Heather Pillette

    Every church has at least one. You know—the sweet and well-intentioned elderly lady who is always telling you about her grandson or neighbor’s daughter.

    She genuinely wants to see you settled down with a “sweet girl” or “good ol’ boy” and to watch you experience the joys and blessings of marriage and family life.

    The truth is, you may want that experience too, but you are just not there yet.

    This dear woman represents an unspoken attitude of the larger church: there is a problem with being single.

    From Disney to youth group messages, we have heard the “someday my prince will come” line. We have been taught to seek God’s face and pursue our passions until that time. We are taught by pastors and parents to wait for that one “right” person.

    The only trouble these days is the expectation that we will find him/her by the time we are 22.

    So what happens for those of us who don’t?

    What does the Church, culture, and Scripture have to say about our love lives and relationship statuses?

    Plenty. Let’s take a look.

    Continue reading “The “Problem” with Being Single (also discusses celibacy) by Heather Pillette”

Hollywood Men: It’s No Longer About Your Acting, It’s About Your Abs (article about how male actors are now valued for being eye candy)

Hollywood Men: It’s No Longer About Your Acting, It’s About Your Abs

If society is not going to stop being so judgmental against women in regards to their physical appearance, I am happy to see that the same pressure is being applied to males now.

This actually is a trend that is several years old. Several years ago, I started seeing more and more articles about how men are being judged almost as harshly as women are in regards to looks, age, and weight.

More males are going in for cosmetic surgery, and not just on their faces, but they are doing things like getting “pec implants.” More and more males are developing eating disorders at younger and younger ages.

(Link): Hollywood Men: It’s No Longer About Your Acting, It’s About Your Abs

    But what’s really interesting is the fact that for decades in the entertainment industry, women were the ones expected to be the eye candy. Years and years and years of young, thin but curvy starlets draped over leading men. Somehow, though we’ve made progress in terms of using ladies for window dressing, instead of arriving in a place where it’s less about aesthetics, it’s men who are being held to new, unrealistic standards. Hill says that recently, “a major production was pushed back several weeks when the star told producers he needed more time before he could go shirtless.”

(Link): Building a Bigger Action Hero

    By Logan Hill May 2014
    A mere six-pack doesn’t cut it in Hollywood anymore. Today’s male stars need 5 percent body fat, massive pecs, and the much-coveted inguinal crease – regardless of what it takes to get there.
    ——————————
    Acting skill – even paired with leading-man looks and undeniable charisma – is not enough to get you cast in a big-budget spy thriller or a Marvel Comics franchise.

    For much of Hollywood history, only women’s bodies were objectified to such absurd degrees. Now objectification makes no gender distinctions: Male actors’ bare asses are more likely to be shot in sex scenes; their vacation guts and poolside man boobs are as likely to command a sneering full-page photo in a celebrity weekly’s worst-bodies feature, or go viral as a source of Web ridicule.

    A sharply defined inguinal crease – the twin ligaments hovering above the hips that point toward a man’s junk – is as coveted as double-D cleavage.

    Muscle matters more than ever, as comic-book franchises swallow up the box office, in the increasingly critical global market. (Hot bodies and explosions don’t need subtitles.)

    Thor-like biceps and Captain America pecs are simply a job requirement; even “serious” actors who never aspired to mega-stardom are being told they need a global franchise to prove their bankability and land Oscar-caliber parts.

    …To get that hungry look, trainers stress calorie-conscious diets and exercises that pump up fat-burning metabolism. No actor can gain 10 pounds of muscle in a six-week period, but he can lean down to reveal the muscle underneath.

    Continue reading “Hollywood Men: It’s No Longer About Your Acting, It’s About Your Abs (article about how male actors are now valued for being eye candy)”

Sacred and Secular Split and Its Effect On How Christians View Morality (via Probe)

Sacred and Secular Split and Its Effect On How Christians View Morality

These blog posts from Probe seek to explain why so many evangelicals are leaving church or not adhering to biblical ethics and standards. It unfortunately focuses on the millennials, but I can see how a lot of what they write can apply to Christians in any age range.

(Link): Good News for Evangelicals? (part 1)

(Link): How Are Evangelicals Doing? Part 2

And scroll to the end of this post to see excerpts from Part 3, about guilty feelings.

Excerpts Part 2:

    The Barna Group and its founder (now independent George Barna) are warning that evangelical and born-again believers actually hold to confused, disjointed and unbiblical beliefs that result in unbiblical behavior

    When You Look at Peoples’ Beliefs as a Set, Voila! All Studies Show the Same: Captive Evangelical Christians

    …So each of the surveys used by the four different sociologists basically showed the same result: less than one third of born-agains (or evangelicals) had a set of beliefs consistent with the biblical worldview taught by Jesus, and less than 10% had a biblical worldview and a set of cultural beliefs (e.g. beliefs about sex outside of marriage, abortion, materialism, caring for the poor, etc.) taught by Jesus in the New Testament.

    …Among several, I think that three major messages from the survey results are important for us to consider here.

    Bottom Line: Evangelicals Copy Culture, Young Adults Leave Church and Beliefs Splinter Between Sacred & Secular

    First, as the culture has adopted more unbiblical views regarding pluralism, sexuality, honesty, etc., the majority of evangelical church members have adapted to accept the new cultural positions rather than stand firm in the truth taught by Christ and his apostles.

    In other words, they have been taken “captive by the empty deception and philosophy according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

    Continue reading “Sacred and Secular Split and Its Effect On How Christians View Morality (via Probe)”

Women Hating Sites / Men’s Rights Sites Such as Moronic “Save The Males”

Women Hating Sites / Men’s Rights Sites Such as Moronic “Save The Males”

In a previous post, a reader asked me to check out and comment on the site “Save the Males.”

Here is in part how she described that site and some of the views on the site:

    [Writers on the Save the Males site are] …. always talking down to women about how their position is at home with a husband and baby and specially the last article telling women to snatch a husband while in college.

    This women is pushing the one sided idea that if a women wants to get married all she needs to do is snap her fingers and the guy will instantly agree to tie the knot, when the truth is far from this.

    I will say it again most college guys will laugh at your face say if are thinking about marriage. They are focused on their career and or partying and see women as casual hooks or someone to avoid.

Here was my response to the reader that I was going to leave as a reply but decided to put into a post of its own:

Nothing has changed. I was a college student in the 1990s, and it was the same in the 1990s as it is now with the 20 something males.

By the way, you are not going to be in your 20s forever. You will turn 30, then eventually 40, and you will grow to deeply resent how the culture and churches fawn all over 20 somethings and cater to their every concern while ignoring yours.

If you are a single woman past age 35, you rarely will get any articles, editorials, or advice about being single.

Most preachers (and many secular authors) tailor all their singleness sermons, blogs, and books, and articles to a 20 something audience. People are very ageist in this regard.

If you think being single is bad now, just wait until you reach age 35, 40, and older and are still single – it gets 100 times worse, in several regards. (In some ways, it gets a little better, but that is another topic for another time.)

Also, it’s not just men in their 20s who are like what you were describing in your comments.

A lot of older men, men ages 30, 40, and up, are also reluctant to marry.

Continue reading “Women Hating Sites / Men’s Rights Sites Such as Moronic “Save The Males””

Aged Out of Church by M. Van Loon (For Christians over the Age of 35 – 40 – Churches ignoring middle aged adults)

Aged Out of Church by M Van Loon (For Christians over the Age of 35 – 40)

If you are, as of 2014 especially, over 35 years old, especially over age 40, you should relate to this (if you are currently 20 years old, come back and read this blog post in another 15 – 20 years, and you will relate):

(Link): Aged Out of Church (on Virtue Online)

(Link): Aged Out of Church

    • Even in our congregations, midlife has become a joke.
    by Michelle Van Loon

I have linked to some of her material before, or similar material by other people, such as

    (Link):

Why Even Middle Aged Married with Children Christians Are Leaving Church – Not Just Unmarried Singles | 40 Somethings Gen X Quitting Leaving Church

(Link): Why Even Middle Aged Married with Children Christians Are Leaving Church – Not Just Unmarried Singles | 40 Somethings Gen X Quitting Leaving Church

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

Excerpts

(Link): Aged Out of Church (on Virtue Online)

(Link): Aged Out of Church

    • Even in our congregations, midlife has become a joke.
    by Michelle Van Loon

Ask anyone who’s hit midlife, and they’ll tell you: this stage is no joke for us.

The emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational shifts that occur at midlife can lead to disconnection from old social networks and a profound sense of loneliness, which brings with it serious health risks. At this point, many also feel drained by the increasingly common occurrence of death, disease, divorce, and the changes that redefine old friendships.

And yet, rather than engage these important but uncomfortable issues that come with aging, our culture—including, at times, the church—would rather laugh it off. We see midlife as a caricature…

….Church should be a place of meaningful connection with God and others at every stage of our lives, but nearly half of more than 450 people who participated in an informal and completely unscientific survey I hosted on my blog last year told me that their local church had in some painful ways exacerbated the challenges they faced at midlife. As a result, they’d downshifted their involvement in the local church from what it had been a decade ago.

Continue reading “Aged Out of Church by M. Van Loon (For Christians over the Age of 35 – 40 – Churches ignoring middle aged adults)”

Elderly Widower Dude is a Slut Says Adult Daughter – Why Churches Need to Teach Celibacy Applies to Even Married People Not Just Under Age 25 Singles

Elderly Widower Dude is a Slut Says Adult Daughter – Why Churches Need to Teach Celibacy Applies to Even Married People Not Just Under Age 25 Singles

So this adult daughter writes to an advice columnist explaining that her elderly father lost his wife (her mother) a few years ago, and ever since, he has been a big slut. (Farther below, I have pasted in her letter to Dear Amy so you can read it for yourself.)

I’d like to point out that “slut shaming” happens to men too, but I usually only hear secular feminists complain that it happens to women.

The woman’s senior-aged father is sleeping around with numerous women, he has several girlfriends at a time, but keeps each girlfriend (GF) in the dark about all the other GFs.

The daughter is afraid someone, her dad, or one of the dad’s GFs, is going to get an S.T.I. (aka S.T.D.).

This is yet another reason Christians need to get over the mentality that teachings about sexual purity and celibacy are for young singles only.

Not only do you have never-married (or not- married- yet) adult singles over the age of 30 who are trying to remain sexually pure, there are plenty of whom are still virgins, but you get these married couples whose spouse dies at some point in their lives, and they go out and start having sex with a lot of people after the death.

Celibacy is not just for young singles, it’s for ~everyone~. !HELLO, Christian culture, HELLO preachers of America!

You have married couples where one partner loses his (or her) sex drive due to stress, physical health (illness), or one or both partners find the sex boring after several weeks or months. As a result, some marriage counselors are telling such partners to go have an extra-marital fling (an affair).

I wrote about that situation here:

      (Link):

Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages

It’s not enough for churches to keep acting as though messages of sexual purity are for teens and college students only.

Another reason they need to step up: a lot of 20- somethings and 30- somethings today, ones who drift away from church or the faith now, reject a lot of the church’s teachings on sexuality – that is, the churches and preachers who even bother to teach that pre-marital sex is a sin at all, because many do not.

(See: (Link): Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality / Sexual Sin For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners)

The problem is, a lot of these ex-Christians or uber- liberal Christian types feel that their conservative churches wrongly taught about sex. These types feel that the Bible does not speak out against sex outside of marriage, even though yes, it in fact does. So, they disregard about any and all limitations on sex at all.

Churches need to do a better job, and try a different approach of, speaking about sexual sin, because a lot of the 20-somethings are later rejecting or disregarding what they are hearing about sex in church when they later leave church.

The fact remains that even married adults need to hear sermons about sexual purity, because some of them are failing miserably at it.

If your husband takes a two week business trip, and you find yourself alone, are you going to sleep with your UPS delivery man, or next door neighbor, while the husband is gone?

If you are a married man whose wife is in the military, and she gets shipped overseas for a six month tour of duty, are you going to remain faithful to her, or whore it up with other women while she is away?

What if you’re 50 years old and your 50 year old spouse is physically disabled or gets early-onset dementia, are you going to be true to him or her, or start sleeping around?

Churches need to address those types of situations and stop assuming that sexual temptation and sin is something that besets ONLY 17 year old kids.

Here’s the letter:

Ask Amy: Randy widower worries his daughter

Dear Amy:

I’m really concerned my widower father is turning into something of a slut.

My mother passed away seven years ago, and then my father had the very unfortunate luck of having a girlfriend who succumbed to cancer a few years later.

I understand that he’s lonely, and needs affection that only a female companion would give, but he’s currently courting three women, none of whom know about each other.

I know it is none of my business, but I am actually frightened that these women he met online who so easily jump into bed with him will leave him with an STD.

I’ve heard that the spread of STDs is actually more prevalent among the older generation these days. What would you suggest I do to convince him that these trysts may be more than he bargained for, without overstepping boundaries?

He’s quite headstrong and rarely listens to me; what should I do?

Signed,
— Concerned daughter

You see, preachers need to be preaching about sex in such a way that even married people understand that sex outside of marriage is SIN.

Because evidently, there are a lot of married men who feel okay and fine cheating on their wives while the wife is alive, or like the man in the letter above, they feel just fine engaging in fornication, and with multiple partners, once the wife dies.

Here was Amy’s reply:

Dear Concerned:

I shared your question with a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who responded:
“While CDC continues to find that STDs disproportionately affect younger people in the U.S., it is important to understand that many older Americans face unique prevention challenges (e.g., discomfort in discussing sexual behaviors with physicians and partners and discomfort discussing condom use). It is also important for physicians to assess older patients’ risk.”

Older men may not have gotten the memo about wearing a condom. In their randy youth, condoms were used for birth control; now they are vital disease control devices. Your father could become infected and/or infect his partners.

Onto his sluttiness. There is not much you can (or should) do about his choice to sleep around.

The women he is seeing may also be mutually consenting (slutty) elders, and while this prospect isn’t quite what you want for your dear dad — it is what it is and you may have to accept it and only remind him to speak to his doctor about his risks.

Sexual promiscuity can be a sign of depression, however. If you feel he is out of control, you must do your best to urge him toward a mental health evaluation.

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Related posts:

(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

(Link):  Sex and Alzheimer’s – Selfish, Perverted Husband Rapes His Alzheimer’s Wife

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): AARP post: How to Handle a Sexless Married Life – But Christians Promise You Great Hot Regular Married Sex

(Link): Horny Celibacy – Another Anti Virginity, Anti Sexual Purity Essay – Also discussed: Being Equally Yoked, Divorce, Remarriage

(Link): Grieving widow doesn’t need to start dating in order to heal (letter from advice column)

(Link): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

(Link): “Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults
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Elderly Widower is Slut Says Daughter – Y Churches Need Teach Celibacy 2 Married Pple Not Just Teens https://christianpundit.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/elderly-widow-dude-is-a-slut-says-adult-daughter-why-churches-need-to-teach-celibacy-applies-to-even-married-people-not-just-under-age-25-singles/ #Celibacy