Debunking Eros: Why Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Love Worth Having by Mimi Haddard

Debunking Eros: Why Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Love Worth Having by Mimi Haddard

This raises several points I’ve been pointing out here on this blog for years:

(Link): Debunking Eros: Why Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Love Worth Having

Excerpts:

by Mimi Haddard
June 4, 2019

Recently, my graduate students discussed how US culture sometimes idolizes sex. Citing a friend, one said, “the orgasm has replaced the cross as the place of transcendence in 21st century American culture.”

A recent study suggested that, though casual sex is more accepted than ever, loneliness is too.

 Twenty-seven percent of Americans feel isolated, but loneliness is far worse among eighteen to twenty-two year-olds, followed by Millennials. The least lonely were Americans aged seventy-two and older—those having fewer sexual encounters.

Western culture often celebrates eros (romantic or sexual love) exclusively, but Scripture speaks of four distinct types of love: storge (love for those who are familiar, such as family, neighbors, coworkers, etc.), agape (God’s love), philia (love between kindred spirits), and eros.

Continue reading “Debunking Eros: Why Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Love Worth Having by Mimi Haddard”

Awful Early-Marriage Promoting Editorial, ‘The Future of Christian Marriage,’ from The Christian Post that Actually Cites Deviant Mark Regnerus (December 2020)

Awful Early-Marriage Promoting Editorial, ‘The Future of Christian Marriage,’ from The Christian Post that Actually Cites Deviant Mark Regnerus (December 2020)

Below: another article (this time from The Christian Post) seemingly advocating for the good ol’ days when, supposedly, most women got married by the age of 21 and popped out 10 kids apiece and lamenting at how folks just aren’t quite into marriage now as much as they used to be.

Such articles inadvertently suggest that being single and/or childless are somehow “wrong,” immoral, dangerous for society, or “second best.” They are sometimes (Link): intentionally or inadvertently singles-shaming.

Seems that about once a year, every year, some secular conservative or Christian group or person releases some kind of editorial bemoaning delayed marriage.

You can count on these things appearing regularly. Just like death and taxes, or the sun rising in the east tomorrow.

Continue reading “Awful Early-Marriage Promoting Editorial, ‘The Future of Christian Marriage,’ from The Christian Post that Actually Cites Deviant Mark Regnerus (December 2020)”

Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

A few weeks ago, Sheila Wray Gregorie, who maintains a Christian martial advice blog, shared (Link): this on twitter.

A woman who runs yet another blog (called (Link): “True Love Dates”) featured a post by a single adult woman who I guess posted under a pen name, or as anonymous.

This single woman explained in her comment that, no, it’s not God’s will for all single women to be single, and for so many Christians to keep mouthing this assumption or repeating it in their sermons, books, or blogs is hurtful and discouraging to some single women who’d like to be married but who have not met the right person.

I too have done several posts over the years attempting to correct some of the wrong, hurtful, or insensitive teachings and attitudes that a lot of Christians have about singleness –
– such as, (Link): God told you to marry your spouse;
or, it’s (Link): God’s will for most to marry;
or that (Link): single adults exist only to serve married couples;
or that (Link): unwanted and protracted singleness is a “gift” God bestows upon some. (There are so many Christian fallacies about singleness.)

Here is the featured content for this post, and I agree that Christians need to stop saying that singleness (especially unwanted protracted singleness) is “God’s will.”

(Link): Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will?

Excerpts:

[by Sheila Wray Gregoire]

If you’ve never been married, does that mean that it was always God’s will that you would be single?

I think we talk about that a lot–that people are “called to singleness”, as if God decides before you were born, “Oh, I’m going to make sure that Jennifer doesn’t get married,” or “I’d prefer Stacey never meet the man of her dreams.”

Now, I do believe that God puts on some people’s hearts to be single, and to dedicate their life to a singular purpose to serve Him, in which singleness is necessary.

But I don’t think that’s the majority of people who are single.

Continue reading “Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire”

Why Are So Many Single Women Leaving the Church? by K. Gaddini

Why Are So Many Single Women Leaving the Church? by K. Gaddini

I have been blogging about this topic, and ones pertaining to it, for several years now. It’s no mystery to me why women have been leaving the church in droves the last ten or more years.

(If you’d like to see just a few of my posts explaining why the Christian faith, or more specifically, churches, are a huge turn-off to single women, please see some of the links to my other blog posts below in this post, under the “Related Posts” heading.)

However, most Christians only obsess over smaller numbers of MEN leaving church; they don’t seem to either notice or to care that single women have been dropping out as well.

One of the few things this article highlights is that the “equally yoked” rule is a waste of time for women of faith who’d like to be married.

If you are a Christian woman, and you’d like to marry, it is vital you give up a hope or strict rule of marrying only a Christian man – otherwise, you are more than likely to remain single.

Secondly, and obviously, too many churches have made marriage and parenthood into idols and benchmarks of adulthood, so that any woman who doesn’t marry or have kids is ignored or viewed and treated like a child. That needs to change. Single women should be valued and recognized in their singleness. 

I can also see how gender complementarianism (traditional gender roles) are also keeping these Christian women from getting married: they have internalized the idea that being anything other than the Christian gender complementarian woman (i.e., a passive doormat) hinders them from getting a husband, and worse yet, some of the men they’ve met in church actually do feel that way.

Christians need to toss out the regressive stereotypes (which are snuck into Christian teaching under heretical gender complementarian teachings) if they are truly concerned about declining marriage rates and would like to actually help marriage-minded single women to get married.

Not all women naturally fit into the gender complementarian ideal, which means they may not get married, if everyone insists all women must be gender comp to merit marriage. (The Bible does not hold up women being passive or being gender complementarian to merit a husband; it is church members who promote this false view.)

(Link): Why Are So Many Single Women Leaving the Church? by K. Gaddini

Excerpts:

…. It turns out that in both countries, single Christian women are leaving churches at increasingly high rates. In the UK, one study showed that single women are the most likely group to leave Christianity.

In the US, the numbers tell a similar story.

Of course, there is a distinction between leaving church and leaving Christianity, and these studies do not make the difference clear.

Regardless, leaving – whether it be your congregation or your faith — is a difficult decision. Women stand to lose their friends, their sense of identity, their community and, in some cases, even their family. And yet, many are doing it anyway.

What or who is driving them out?

Continue reading “Why Are So Many Single Women Leaving the Church? by K. Gaddini”

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

I’ve noted in older posts how terrible Christian advice on the subjects of dating, marriage, and relationships are – if you’d like to see my posts on those subjects, some of them are linked to below, at the bottom of this post under the “Related Posts” section.

By the way, I would ask you to click on this link below to go to the page and read it, but, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to read any posts by single adults who leave comments, including one comment by a 60 year old lady with the screen name “janep75_2173,” who has been divorced for 20+ years, on how badly her local church treats her for being single.

(Link): Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized

What’s missing from Christian books on dating, singleness, and purity

Excerpts:

…. [The author discusses having read numerous Christian books about dating, marriage, and relationships when she was a teen-ager]

….Our theology of singleness and the “not-yet-married” has gone unmonitored, unchanged, and unimpressive for too long. Much of it is built on outdated gender roles and unhelpful clichés that don’t apply easily to today’s dating world.

For example, many of these books assume that sexual attraction is the “burden” of men and not something women struggle with.

Or, many of these books assume that men will lead a dating relationship and women will follow. Others encourage men and women to avoid and fear each other to avoid “stumbling.”

Continue reading “Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey”

What If Marriage Is Overrated? – A social psychologist has been chipping away at many claims about marriage changing one’s life for the better

What If Marriage Is Overrated? – A social psychologist has been chipping away at many claims about marriage changing one’s life for the better

(Link):  What If Marriage Is Overrated?  by Jesse Singal
– A social psychologist has been chipping away at many claims about marriage changing one’s life for the better

When I attended the American Psychological Association’s annual conference in Denver last August, the best and most well-attended talk I saw was by (Link): Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies single people.

For years, DePaulo has been chipping away at the commonly held belief — a myth, in her view and according to her research — that marriage offers unique happiness and well-being benefits. These findings are seriously overstated or misleading, DePaulo has argued, and if there weren’t so much intense social pressure to get married, a lot more people would be single, and many of them might be happier as a result.

Continue reading “What If Marriage Is Overrated? – A social psychologist has been chipping away at many claims about marriage changing one’s life for the better”

It Doesn’t Take the Combination of Male and Female to Image God by S. O’Connor

It Doesn’t Take the Combination of Male and Female to Image God by S. O’Connor

I used to be a Christian gender complementarian. One unfortunate by-product of complementarianism is this notion that it takes a man married to a woman to equal a full human being.

I am a woman over age 40. I have never married. I find it deeply sexist and insulting any time I see Christians insisting in their sermons, books, blog posts, and where ever else, that it takes a man married to a woman to fully image God, because this view implies that a never-married woman such as myself is not “fully” human.

Nowhere does the Bible say it takes a man and a woman together to “equal” God’s image but this idea seems fairly common in Protestant, evangelical Christian circles.

I do not need a man as a husband or otherwise to fully represent God or to be a “full” human being.

The following blog post picks this “it takes two” view apart nicely:

(Link): It Doesn’t Take the Combination of Male and Female to Image God by S. O’Connor

Excerpts:

Practically everywhere I go I hear that it takes the combination of male and female to image God. God is not a man or a woman, it is argued, so it’s only logical that neither gender can fully image God by itself.

Continue reading “It Doesn’t Take the Combination of Male and Female to Image God by S. O’Connor”

I Probably Wouldn’t Be Discussing My Sexual Choices If Other People Would Shut Up About Theirs

I Probably Wouldn’t Be Discussing My Sexual Choices If Other People Would Shut Up About Theirs

I suppose my main basis for having started this blog a few years ago is that I am single and was wanting to get married, and I couldn’t figure out why I was still single – then I thought back, reflected, on how most churches ignore or disrespect single adults merely for being single. And I was not seeing this discussed much, or not consistently, on Christian sites.

But then I also started noticing how most people, Christians included, are terribly rude and disrespectful, towards people who are not having sex.

I just wanted to say I probably would not have started this blog about being a celibate adult (and being single), or write about celibacy as much as I did, if the church and most of society would shut up about sex and marriage.

I’m not the kind of person who goes around blabbing about her sexual status to people – certainly not announcing it all over the place, or not to friends or co-workers.

Continue reading “I Probably Wouldn’t Be Discussing My Sexual Choices If Other People Would Shut Up About Theirs”

Over 30, Single and Very Content – via Relevant

Over 30, Single and Very Content

(Link):  Over 30, Single and Very Content

Excerpts:

It doesn’t just need to be a waiting period until marriage.
– – – – – – – – – – –

I am over 30 and single. There, I said it! It was tough but phew, it’s out there, now you know. Excuse me whilst I go hide under a rock from shame or embarrassment or both

…You wait and remain optimistic and you pray regularly (verging on obsessively, might I add) for that spouse, someone who will be the other half of you but after realizing potential husband number 23 was also just playing you while doing the same to six other girls, you start to lose heart.
…How did this happen? You watch each of your friends get married and wonder what you did wrong. Is this punishment for something, am I not trying hard enough, am I simply not “enough”?

How Do We Solve a Problem Like the Singles? by R. Kilgore

How Do We Solve a Problem Like the Singles?  by Rachel Kilgore

Before I get to the link to the essay by Kilgore, which is hosted at MOS (Mortificiation of Spin / specifically, Aimee Byrd’s blog, ‘Housewife Theologian’):

For years and years on this blog, here on “Christian Pundit” blog, I have been explaining over and over again that most evangelical, Baptist, Reformed, and Fundamentalist Christian denominations, churches, and groups IGNORE adults singles – the older a single you are, the worse it is – the more ignored you are.

I have also commented on other people’s blogs under the Christian Pundit blog name, and under other names, alerting Christians to how horribly American Christians treat adult singles. I have Tweeted about it.

When Christians aren’t ignoring us older singles, and they do manage to notice our existence, many Christians shame us for being single. They insult us. They try to make us feel like we are losers (seriously, see (Link): this post, (Link): this post, (Link): this post), (Link): this post – I could cite many more examples from my blog of anti-Singles bias by Christians, but that should suffice.)

I used to be what is called a gender complementarian.  I am not interested in spending a lot of time explaining what that means.

I am no longer a gender complementarian.

I am linking you here to a post about adult singleness at a blog (the one by A. Byrd) owned by what I would term “soft gender complementarians.”

Continue reading “How Do We Solve a Problem Like the Singles? by R. Kilgore”

Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church – Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family. by J. Hellerman

Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church – Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family. by J. Hellerman

I’ve been saying the same thing on this blog the last few years: American Christians have turned the Nuclear Family, and all that goes with it – Marriage and Children and Parenthood – into idols.

American Christians have done so to such a degree that anyone who is not part of such as family, anyone who is single or childless, is marginalized.

Edit.

By the way, Facebook group SCCL posted a link to this same editorial (link to SCCL discussion thread). Unfortunately, many of the participants in the thread have chosen to take the editorial the wrong way – they think it’s rude, inappropriate, or weird to ask or expect Christians to make spiritual family (other believers) a priority to them, over their biological family, or in addition to.

The posters at SCCL clearly do not understand – you have people (such as me), with little to no biological family, and people such as myself (older singles with no kids) are side-lined, minimized, all by a church culture that hypes and deifies “the nuclear family,” children, and marriage.

I do not think a Christian should so prioritize his church that he ignores his biological family, but we have the opposite problem in many churches today – people who are widowed, never married, divorced, or childless are treated like trash, and their needs go unmet, because too many churches cater to the traditional family unit, something Jesus expressly forbid them from doing.

(Link): Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church – Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family. by J. Hellerman

Excerpts:

…  American adults, according to (Link): a recent Barna study, are “most likely to point to their family as making up a significant part their personal identity.” Country and God come next. Christians are no exception; natural family has usurped God and his family as the primary identity marker for most church-goers.

Most of us prioritize our commitment to family above our commitment to the church. This is unfortunate, because the Bible offers us a different set of relational priorities.

Continue reading “Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church – Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family. by J. Hellerman”

Woman Burned To Death For Refusing Marriage Proposal

Woman Burned To Death For Refusing Marriage Proposal

And there are some whiny, cry-baby men who think THEY have single life harder – news flash, (Link): you don’t have it worse, men: men usually are not murdered by jealous women over turning down dates or proposals.

While I’d say that the root of this case involves a lot of misogyny and patriarchy, I think perhaps a small factor is an over-emphasis upon marriage.

Perhaps if cultures like this one were taught that being single and/or celibate are perfectly fine lifestyles to live, we wouldn’t see people feel so pressured to marry, and they would realize they can control their sexual urges. Therefore, women would not be killed for turning down dates, requests for sex, or marriage proposals.

You don’t have to be married, or have sex, to enjoy life or be happy and content. (I am not knocking a desire to be married, you realize, only saying if it does not happen for you, you will survive – and realize you can enjoy life without marriage or sex.)

Dollars to doughnuts that everyone in this news story was Muslim.

If so, I’d like to say again I see striking parallels between Islamic attitudes and behaviors towards women as I do from some gender complementarian or Quiverfull Christian groups, as well as sexist men and MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) groups – they all treat women like second-class citizens to be controlled by men and are considered to have value only in- so- far as they breed like rabbits and/or provide men with sex.

(Link): Pakistani woman dies after being set on fire for rejecting marriage proposal

By Azadeh Ansari and Sophia Saifi, CNN

Updated 11:47 AM ET, Thu June 2, 2016

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN)- An 18-year-old Pakistani schoolteacher died Wednesday from injuries after her body was set on fire for refusing a marriage proposal, police said.

The perpetrators beat Maria Abbasi, then drenched her in petrol and set her body ablaze before leaving her for dead, her family members told CNN.

Continue reading “Woman Burned To Death For Refusing Marriage Proposal”