Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

A few excerpts by a single adult who was pressured to marry by her church but later regretted the marriage and divorced:

(Link): Singles ‘Need’ The Freedom To Choose by All Thinx Christian

I would never have thought the church would be a place where people were compelled to be married, but I found out the hard way that it is.

…Despite my yieldedness  and commitment to the LORD and His people, I was somewhat marginalized and often treated badly (disrespected and short-changed whenever possible) by God’s people.

When I complained about and challenged this behavior in one of the pastors I highly regarded and who was my mentor at the time, he informed me the problem with giving me full leadership support and integrating me into the life of the church was due to unmarried state. He said to me “If you were married, it would be different.”

After about another year of this very painful treatment and believing that the only reason for it was because I was unmarried, one day I went before the LORD and said “If marriage is what it will take for me to be properly treated in the church, then send me somebody and I will marry him.”

Continue reading “Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It”

Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

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Reminder:

(Link): Blogger Guy John Morgan Who Accused Me Of Being Untrustworthy Finds My Blog Trustworthy Enough to Use as Resource

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These are just excerpts, so you’ll have to visit the link here to read the page in full:

(Link): Bible Scandals (Ineligible Bachelor) by David Instone-Brewer

Commenting on what it was like to be single in the time and culture of Jesus:

  • …. Girls were mostly married by the age of twelve, and if a man wasn’t married by the age of twenty the gossips started comparing notes and looking for a reason.
  • …. So why was Jesus still single at the age of thirty? It was clear to all who knew him. No-one would let his daughter marry someone of questionable parentage since, if there was any irregularity in their birth, it could cast doubt on the legitimacy of their children for ten generations. And Jesus’ birth, as everyone knew, was very irregular.
  • …. Jesus not only shared the stigma of being single – he also tried to do something to alleviate it for other single people. Jewish law excused eunuchs from the command to marry, because they couldn’t physically fulfil the duty to have children.

Continue reading “Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer”

Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles (links)
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The book Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness by Melanie Notkin is available for sale on Barnes and Noble, and other sites.

From a page about the book:

    More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children.

While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true.

In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now.

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Disclaimer: I am not anti-motherhood, nor necessarily against people taking their mothers out to brunch on Mother’s Day.

I am, however, against 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.
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This post discusses “Otherhood” (women who delay motherhood for years, or who are infertile, or ones who were open to having children but who’ve not met “Mr Right,” and for whatever reason, do not want to have a child while single, but would prefer to be married before having kids)

OTHERHOOD

(Link): The Otherhood: Single women face ‘circumstantial infertility’

Excerpt

    Melanie Notkin wanted love, marriage, and then the proverbial baby carriage — in that order.

By the time she reached her early forties, the entrepreneur and author was still single and appreciated the likelihood that, despite wanting desperately to be a mother, she might never give birth to a child on her own.

Like many women her age, Notkin, 44, a Montreal native, expected to reap all the social, economic, and political equality that her mother’s generation didn’t have. At the same time, in addition to her education and her career, she anticipated a traditional family track.

In her new book, released today, “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness,” Notkin uncovers the personal stories of women like her, who are part of a growing demographic trend and suffer what she calls “circumstantial infertility.”

Often, people presume that when a woman like Notkin is childless, it’s probably by choice. But many of the childless women in their thirties and forties simply want to do it the “old fashioned way,” she says, and find the right relationship before making a lifetime commitment to have kids.

Continue reading “Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)”

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”

Condescending Remarks About Single and Childless Women on Christian Gender Complementarian Site: ‘Motherhood or Singleness: Which Is More Sanctifying?’

Condescending Remarks About Single and Childless Women on Christian Gender Complementarian Site: ‘Motherhood or Singleness: Which Is More Sanctifying?’

h/t Stuff Christian Culture Likes group (I would encourage you to visit (Link): that group’s comment thread about the link farther below).

The link comes from True Woman, which I think is a Southern Baptist, gender complementarian hosted site

There are married women who are infertile, or who keep having miscarriages. Apparently the author of the page, Colleen Chao, is unaware of that.

Here is the link:

(Link): Motherhood or Singleness: Which Is More Sanctifying?

Anyway. Excerpt:

    by Colleen Chao

    [Because the author is now married with a kid] But I no longer have to sacrifice in the way my single friends do either: I won’t go to bed alone tonight, cry over unfulfilled passions, work a demanding full-time job to support myself, solitarily juggle all the details and demands of daily life, or feel like an anomaly at a table of all couples.

I’m over 40, would like to be married, never have been. Never cared too much if I had a kid or not (kids are annoying).

Yes, there are times I’m sad or angry about being single, but I also have many days where I’m okay with it.

I do not appreciate this lady making my life sounds like it’s a total pathetic suck fest because I’m single and childless. Her post is just so very insulting to single, adult, childless women.

It is remarkable to me how Christians will sometimes write these books or blog pages trying to re-assure single adults they are fine the way they are, and that God loves them even un-married and childless- but the tone of their whole piece, or certain comments, are so incredibly condescending, their piece has the exact opposite effect.

And I don’t need someone patting me on the head telling me God loves me just as I am, that I’m okay as a single and childless woman… I already know.

I don’t need your validation. How dare you assume that I do.

People who do this are so arrogant and insensitive, but they think they are being supportive and loving.

By the way, sanctification is an inward work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of singleness, parenting, or marriage.

Anyway, it’s amazing how deeply insensitive these Christian writers can be. The woman who wrote that page probably thinks she is cheering on unmarried, childless women, when in reality, she is insulting their lives.

Her editorial is hinting at, or implying, the somewhat common Christian false idea that singles and the childless are only “one half” a person, are not and cannot be fulfilled as a married parent, and not as worthy to God or culture.
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Related posts:

(Link): The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

(Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

(Link): Is The Church Failing Childless Women? by Diane Paddison

(Link): Oh geeze. Another married Christian condescendingly patting single Christians on the head, reassuring them they are dandy as-is, and to remember they have the fictional Gift of Singleness

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Astonishing: Evangelical Baptist Marriage Idolater David E. Prince Wants to Know Why Evangelical Baptists Are Not Worshipping Marriage More

Pope Francis Perpetuates Christian Falsehood that One Man, One Woman Married Equals Image of God – (which in effect leading to: ) Teaches Single / Unmarried Do Not Reflect God That Singles Are Sub Human or Only One Half A Person / This Is An Anti Singles View and Is Unbiblical

Pope Francis Perpetuates Christian Falsehood that One Man, One Woman Married Equals Image of God

If you are a Christian who is opposed to homosexual marriage, I understand trying to come up with apologetics to defend traditional (hetero) marriage, but it should not be done at the expense of un-married, celibate adulthood, which is what some Christians do.

Here is another example of that situation (though, and I’m sorry if I offend any Roman Catholic readers, I don’t usually view Popes as being actual Christians, unless it is known that they believe in sola fide and accepted Christ on those grounds (see my previous post, under “Mistake 3”)).

Considering that Paul said it is better to stay single than to marry (see this link), and that, if I remember rightly, nowhere does the Bible state that it takes a man married to a woman to reflect God’s image, I contend that Pope Francis is incorrect.

(Link): POPE FRANCIS: ‘THE IMAGE OF GOD IS THE MARRIED COUPLE: THE MAN AND THE WOMAN’

    By Michael W. Chapman

    CNSNews.com – Although the national gay magazine The Advocate named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” in December 2013, the Pope repeated on Apr. 2 the Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman, adding that this is part of “God’s design” and that “the image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman ….”

    During his General Audience speech at St. Peter’s Square on Apr. 2, before a crowd estimated at 45,000, Pope Francis first cited Genesis, saying, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. … Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

    “The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together,” said the Pope. “God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful.”

    “When a man and a woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were ‘is mirrored’ in them; He impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love,” said Pope Francis. “Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.”

    He continued, “Indeed, God is communion too: the three Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit live eternally in perfect unity. And this is precisely the mystery of matrimony: God makes of the two spouses one single life. The Bible uses a powerful expression and says ‘one flesh,’ so intimate is the union between man and woman in marriage. And this is precisely the mystery of marriage: the love of God which is reflected in the couple that decides to live together.”

Pope Francis is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

(Link): Pope Francis calls traditional marriage an icon of God’s love

(Link): Pope Francis Says Marriage Between Man And Woman As Icon Of God’s Love
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Related posts:

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy – evangelicals, Southern Baptists and other Christians are teaching that an unmarried woman or unmarried man is not fully human, does not fully reflect God

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Study: Conservative Protestants’ divorce rates spread to their red state neighbors

(Link): Divorced From My Husband, and My Faith by Tova Mirvis – Also: Why It May Be Wiser For Women to Enter First Marriage At Age 40+

(Link): Divorce Rates in America Decreasing But Divorce Rates on Increase Among Southern Baptists

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): Roman Catholic meetings focus concern on marriage, family – also, remarriage and divorce

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Bias / Prejudice – Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview)

(Link): Conservatives and Christians Fretting About U.S. Population Decline – We Must “Out-breed” Opponents Christian Host (Pat Robertson) Says

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin? by Camerin Courtney

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

Singleness, Marriage & Story by James Prescott

Singleness, Marriage & Story by James Prescott

(Link): Singleness, Marriage & Story by James Prescott

Here is just an excerpt or two. Please use the link above to read the whole page.

    I don’t generally write on singleness, because I don’t see it as a label and my value isn’t tied into my marital status. I’ve been single the majority of my life. Much of the time I’ve been an unhappy single. Not no much anymore (though I have my moments).

    How and why did this change? When I changed my perspective on marriage and relationships. For years I held the same view as I believe many in our culture – and in church – have of singleness and marriage:

    Simply this:

    Singleness is the waiting room.

    Marriage is where the journey really begins.

    This view says we are only single until we can find someone to marry – and ‘complete’ us. Once this happens then we’re in a position where we can fully complete and fulfill our life calling.

    …In some ways it sounds good. Even logical.

    But it’s total garbage.

    For so long I subscribed to this view. Culture – both in and outside church – fed me this idea of my story only being worthwhile, me only being a ‘real man’, once I was married.

Please use this link to read the rest:
(Link): Singleness, Marriage & Story by James Prescott
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Some strands of patriarchy and Christian gender complementarianism teaching: adult singles are not full human beings, not fully in the image of God – you must marry and/or have children to fully reflect God until then you are sub human (Why Christians and singles should be concerned about the gender role debates)

(Link): Goodbye to romance: Are rom-coms worse than porn? (How Hollywood Feeds Into People’s Tendency to Idolize Marriage and Turn a Spouse Into a Deity)

(Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

(Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

(Link): The Bible Calls Christians to Make Individual Disciples, Not to “Change Culture” Nor to Save, Redeem Culture Nor to Save or Promote Marriage or Manufacture Christianized Entertainment

(Link): Why Stay-at-Home Moms Are More Depressed Than Working Moms (article) -Intersting- yet Christians hold up Motherhood (especially SAHM – Stay At Home Mommydom) as Being a Woman’s Only Godly, Worthwhile, or Legitimate Calling In Life

(Link): When Mormonism Sounds Like Gender Complementarian Christianity – Also: Man Shortage in Mormonism Just Like Christianity

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage [or maybe children] But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single [or for being childless while you are childless]

(Link): Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical

(Link): Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Womanhood” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Christian Gender Complementarian Group Teaching That There Will Be Marriage in Afterlife and That Women Must Submit To Males in Heaven (post at Spiritual Sounding Board)

How Should We Then Marry? Singleness, marriage, and the church by Betsy Carlson

How Should We Then Marry? Singleness, marriage, and the church by Betsy Carlson

(Link): How Should We Then Marry? Singleness, marriage, and the church by Betsy Carlson

Excerpts:

    Jan 2013

    Even though ours is a good-size church (attendance runs about 400), there aren’t too many singles; and, as in many churches, single women outnumber single men—although that doesn’t mean Christian men don’t consider it difficult finding someone to date, let alone marry.

    Meeting someone at work is an option for some singles, but, of course, the majority of those in a secular workplace are probably unbelievers.

    And while sometimes friends and family will set singles up on a date, if friends and family attend their church and generally know the same people they do, they’re back to square one!

    So, if singles who’d like to marry find it difficult to meet someone at church, what can they do? What should they do? Anything? Nothing?

    And is my friend’s experience as a marriage-minded Christian single an isolated one, or could this conversation have taken place between two believers in the nursery—or at the outreach, music practice, or VBS—at your church?

    If singles who’d like to marry find it difficult to meet someone at church, what can they do? What should they do? Anything? Nothing?

    Counselors like Job’s

    Journalist Julia Duin prompts a similar question in her provocative book Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do about It.

    In a chapter called “The Loneliest Number: Why Singles over Thirty-five Are Saying Good-bye,” Duin notes that even while churches promote marriage and family in their teaching, preaching, small-group focus, fellowship, etc., often churchgoing singles who express a desire for marriage are met with a lack of compassion, wisdom, and full-orbed Biblical counsel, which can lead to discouragement.

    For example, marriage-minded singles are often given counsel that while true is also flat, one-dimensional, and without mercy: “Be content”; “Don’t make marriage an idol”; “Jesus is all you need.” Sometimes singles receive counsel from those who, like Job’s counselors, mean well, but speak without knowledge regarding what God is doing in a person’s life, saying things like, “If God wants you to have a spouse, He will bring you one,” or “You’re not married because you want it too much.”

    While people mean well, such “help” is not helpful, often leaving singles feeling frustrated and ashamed of their desire, and leading some to quit seeking counsel at church or date unbelievers or quit church altogether.

    Continue reading “How Should We Then Marry? Singleness, marriage, and the church by Betsy Carlson”

Additional Rebuttals to CBMW Gender Complementarian Heresy and Travesty That Declares All Females Must Submit To All Males In Heaven

Additional Rebuttals to CBMW Christian Gender Complementarian Heresy and Travesty That Declares All Females Must Submit To All Males In Heaven (Part 3)

I should note that not only are Christian egalitarians recoiling in horror and disgust over CBMW’s “women shall have to submit to all men in the afterlife” editorial, but a number of gender comps have as well.

Some of the writers or contributors or moderators of some of the following blogs are gender comps:

> (Link): Headship in Heaven According to CBMW

> (Link): Eternal Patriarchy? The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood says, “You Bet!”

> (Link): The Logical Fallacy of “Equal But Subordinate”

> (Link): (Forum discussion): Eternal submission of women to Men
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Previous posts about this topic at this blog (parts 1 and 2):

Post 1. (Link): Christian Gender Complementarian Group Teaching That There Will Be Marriage in Afterlife and That Women Must Submit To Males in Heaven

Post 2. (Link): Gender Complementarian Christians Who Teach Gender Inequality Even in Afterlife – an UPDATE

Kinda related:
(Link): Does head mean boss when it is connected to the body?

    This is the first in a series about marriage and the connection between marriage to women’s gifts in the church.

    Some people in an effort to keep women’s ministry gifts away from the benefit of men, teach that the term husband as the “head of the wife” means that men are to have authority over women and this eliminates women as having any kind of teaching authority in the body of Christ.

    So does the term “head” mean “boss over” or “authority over” when it is connected to the term “body”?

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Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Womanhood” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Christian Gender Complementarian Group (CBMW) Anti Virginity and Anti Sexual Purity Stance (At Least Watered Down) – and their Anti Homosexual Marriage Position

Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

(Link): ‘SPINSTER’ PHOTOGRAPHER POSES WITH MANNEQUIN FAMILY TO DEPICT THE AMERICAN DREAM

    “My name is Suzanne Heintz and I’m a photographer … and a spinster.” —Suzanne Heintz

Denver-based photographer and art director Suzanne Heintz was fed up with people asking her when she was going to get married.

From her mother’s direct plea, “Just pick somebody!” to others’ woeful sighs of pity, Heintz lived half her life wondering where she had gone wrong.

After years of struggling to politely answer the question, she decided to procure the house, husband, and offspring everyone so desperately felt was the pathway to happiness.

Purchasing a pair of second-hand mannequins, Heintz set about playing house to achieve the American Dream.

From a Parisian holiday to Christmas cards of wildly escalating happiness, Life Once Removed is a sharp, witty critique on the archaic expectations of domestic bliss and fulfillment.

Describe the ‘perfect life’ that is expected of every woman.

“This is a weird time in women’s history. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased as punch that I was born when I was. I’ve got more choices and opportunities than any generation of women before me, but our roles have never been more complicated by deeply ingrained mixed messages from both previous and present generations.

“The term ‘perfect’ is no longer used to describe what we’re all striving to be. Now it is called ‘fulfilled.’ But for women, the path to fulfillment is not through one thing, it’s all things—education, career, home, family, accomplishment, enlightenment. If any one of those things is left out, it’s often perceived that there’s something wrong with your life. We are somehow never enough just as we are. We are constantly set up by our expectations to feel as though we are missing something.

“In my case, it seems I was missing the family component, and was suspect for that gap in my resumé as a successful woman. I thought it was high time to call this nonsense out publicly, because this notion is not just about me, nor only about women in regards to marriage. It’s about anyone whose life doesn’t look the way it ‘should.’

“I’m simply trying to get people to open up their minds and quit clinging to antiquated notions of what a successful life looks like. I want people to lighten up on each other and themselves, and embrace their lives for who it has made them, with or without the Mrs., PhD. or Esq. attached.”

You have taken grand measures to actually enact these family rituals of home, holidays, and vacation. Why was the physicality of the work significant?

“This is why I’ve never used a model for the wife and mother role. It is a self portrait. I personally had to act it out to make the point. I had to physically demonstrate ‘going through the motions.’ If I had married because it was ‘time,’ I’d be living by rote, not choice. That’s exactly what I’m criticizing—acting out a life based on outdated expectations. I construct these artificial scenes of real life to ask, ‘What’s more important? That I’m happy, or that the open position of husband and father is filled in my life?’

“Now in regards to the physical difficulty of transporting and shooting uncooperative fiberglass quadriplegics—why would I put myself through this? It’s because the struggle is what tells you that the message is important. We are all overwhelmed by a flood of insignificant messaging. A message of any significance requires a great effort to be heard.

This monumental effort I’ve made is absurd, but it reflects my point. Going through life by rote or spending it feeling as though you did it wrong, are lacking, or not living up to expectations—that’s what is truly an absurd waste of time.”

(Link): Single Woman Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

    Posted by Pinar on February 12, 2014 at 10:00am

Life Once Removed is a whimsical yet thought-provoking portrait series by photographer and self-described spinster Suzanne Heintz that explores the societal expectancy of women to get married and start a family. The photographer places herself in front of the camera with a set of mannequins, posing as though they’re a nuclear, all-American family from a postcard or perhaps a 1950s sitcom.

Heintz originally embarked on this project because, she says, “I got really sick and tired of answering the question, ‘Why aren’t you married?’ over and over again. Like my life was behind schedule or there was something seriously wrong with me. Like I wasn’t living up to expectations.” Therefore, she intended to create her own husband and child. Throughout the series, Heintz wears her toothy smile as she goes sightseeing with her plastic family.

Continue reading “Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family”

The Problem with Worshiping Romance (secular editorial by Matt Lewis)

The problem with worshiping romance (secular editorial by Matt Lewis)

(Link): The problem with worshiping romance

    Just what we need: Distorted expectations!

    by Matt K Lewis

    It’s time once again for that day of obligation foisted on us each year by the commercial racket known as the greeting card industry. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Valentine’s Day somehow manages to turn voluntary acts of kindness and warmth into perfunctory gestures, and romantic candlelight dinners into onerous burdens — all in the name of “love” (read: commercialism).

    Now, if those were the only things I didn’t like about Valentine’s Day, I’d probably keep my grumpiness to myself. But this holiday also perpetuates bogus, unattainable notions about romance, love, marriage, and sex that has probably contributed more to our unhappiness (not to mention our divorce rates) than anything else.

    One such message goes like this: You need somebody else’s approval and acceptance to be a complete, fulfilled person.

    If Valentine’s Day isn’t the cause of this worldview, it most certainly has profited from peddling it. And while it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where this notion came from, the rise of popular music catering to teenagers is a fair, if surprising, place to assign the blame.

    Just as Valentine’s Day seems utterly harmless, much of the “wholesome” music we grew up listening to fostered this pernicious worldview.

    The Righteous Brothers, for example, sang: “Without you baby, what good am I?”

    (The answer, I suppose, is … not much.)

    “I could try to be big in the eyes of the world / what matters to me is what I could be to just one girl,” declared The Beach Boys.

    Anyone vaguely familiar with Christian theology and rhetoric will recognize the religious overtones. (We are advised to be in this world, but not of this world.) It’s not the “world” that Mike Love (no pun intended) needs the approval of. His salvation is found in “just one girl.”

    She completes him. Until she leaves. And then his world crumbles?

    Many people have an emotional longing. They feel empty. And the desire for affirmation from other people gives them hope. This sounds good, but it’s a trap.

    In his 1973 book The Denial of Death, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker explained why we developed this modern notion, which he calls “the romantic solution.”

    In short, he argues it’s because we no longer look to God for our personal fulfillment. Instead, he says, “Modern man fulfills his urge to self expansion in the love object just as it was once fulfilled in God.”

    To be sure, compared to today’s coarse culture and music, it sounds absurd to criticize the sappy songs of the ’50s and ’60s. But the perpetuation of this romantic notion has arguably done more to pervert our understanding of the proper role of romantic relationships than almost anything else.

    Continue reading “The Problem with Worshiping Romance (secular editorial by Matt Lewis)”

Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming

Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate and Virgin Shaming

I don’t think these preachers who elevate marriage to an idol and who take pot shots at singleness understand that by doing so they are actually undermining a support of virginity and celibacy.

Think about it. I’m over 40 and still a virgin, because I was a Christian Good Girl who was taught sex prior to marriage is sinful. So here I am, still single. My Mr. Right never entered the picture. But I have been celibate this entire time. Every time a preacher slams singleness, he is in a round about way, slamming celibacy and chastity as well.

The preacher who condemns singlehood and who insists all Christians marry, is, in effect, saying God requires all people to be engaging in sexual intercourse (or other forms of sex), and that God rejects or hates celibacy.

To be single in a Christian worldview is to be celibate, or, to put it like this:
Single = Celibate

Every time a preacher “rips on” singleness (and in the sense that singleness is not as valid or good as is being married), he is in effect saying celibacy is unbiblical, shameful, or wrong. But the Bible teaches the opposite; it upholds and respects and expects celibacy.

According to this report (first spotted at SCCL group on Facebook), this church practices singles shaming:

(Link): The Vintage church in Raleigh attracts young college students, but does its anti-women stance collide with its public image?

Excerpts (emphasis added by me):

    by Jane Porter

 

    February 05, 2014

On any given Sunday, hundreds of hip 20- and 30-somethings flock to Vintage church in Raleigh, swaying to Christian-rock music, their hands raised in worship.

The church describes itself as a “beautiful mix of downtown Raleigh-ites, families, college students, and empty nesters.” With 800 to 1,000 people attending its services each week, the church has outgrown its current downtown location on West Street.

… But contrary to the youthful, inclusive image that Vintage presents, its rigid theological views most closely resemble those of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention. Vintage belongs to the Acts 29 Network, a vast evangelical church-planting endeavor founded by conservative Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll. Raleigh, in particular, has become a hotspot for Acts 29 churches. There are 16 Acts 29 churches in North Carolina, with five in Raleigh alone.

.. A former Vintage member named Laura agreed.

“They’re fundamentalists in hipsters’ clothing.”

Sarah McCoy left Vintage in 2010. Now an associate pastor at Love Wins ministries, she couldn’t accept Vintage’s views on women.

“It became clear to me they did not honor my personhood in the same way they honored the male leadership,” she said. “The work we do [at Love Wins] is all about people being equal in the eyes of the world and of God. I believe we are all fundamentally the same, no matter the gender.”

… Strangely, the Acts 29 organizations are not up front about this aspect of their structure. There is nothing about Vintage’s refusal to ordain women on the church’s website.

…”Their most consistent messaging to men is that they are re-masculinizing the church,” Hall said. “It’s been feminized and we need to re-masculinize Christianity. If young people stay a part of those churches, we will have a significant segment of that generation being very gender conservative on the natural hierarchy between men and women.”

“It was communicated to us in sermons,” Laura, a former Vintage member, said. “Pastors would talk about women, almost on it being a level of sin for a mother to work outside the home and it was a sin on the husband’s part because he wasn’t providing for the family.”

McCoy said she also experienced “single-shaming” for being unmarried.

“It’s one thing to say we as humans are meant for relationships,” McCoy said, “but when you’re made to feel like you’re doing something wrong by being single, that’s taking it to another extreme.”

Another former congregant who asked not to be named, remembered a sermon in which Pastor Jones said the most important thing a woman can do is be a wife and mother.

“A lot of women in the congregation were really hurt by that,” the former congregant said. “Many were single or divorced. That’s a pretty strong statement.”

She added that Vintage experienced a mass exodus in 2007 after it made its position on women clear. This was when the church began to move in a more fundamentalist direction.

Continue reading “Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming”

To All the Single Ladies – Singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice. (from CT)

To All the Single Ladies – Singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice. (from CT)

This is a decent editorial, I suppose, it has its heart in the right place, but I’m a tad uncomfortable with the sub heading on the page, which reads:

    Singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice.

For Christian women over the age of 30 or 40 or older who had hoped and expected to marry, being single is in fact not a deliberate choice, and was yes, due to a lack of options (as in, no single men their ages in churches they went to, trouble finding single men’s one’s age anywhere).

In- so- far as staying single to avoid being married to a douche bag, yes, there is a bit of choice involved in that, but it’s not like I envisioned myself still being single into my 40s.

I was engaged in my early 30s, but the guy was an idiot, so I broke up with him. I realized if I married him, our marriage would be terrible – the engagement was horrible, so I didn’t see how being married would magically make things better between the two of us.

But I did not choose to remain single indefinitely.

Me passing up a loser or two along the way (such as my ex fiance) to avoid a horrible marriage should not be equated to “choice” by Christian authors, in the way the following editorial makes it sound.

Most Christian literature I read, and even the Bible itself, seems to support the idea that if you trust God enough and pray hard enough, you will, sooner or later, get a half way decent Christian spouse, or whatever thing you are fervently petitioning God for.

It did not entirely occur to me that my fiance’ of my early 30s may be the last shot I had at marriage.

I thought after a few years after breaking up with the ex, God would send some decent guy across my path, and I would be married by age 35, or 36. I did not expect to be single into my 40s. I did not ‘choose’ to be single this long.

From Today’s Christian Woman (from Christianity Today):

(Link): To All the Single Ladies

    Singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice.

    When did our relationship status become symbolic of our status in life? When did someone decide it takes “putting a ring on it” to give a woman value and worth?

    And when did single become synonymous with desperate? It seems that although women have had the right to vote for decades, we still get strange looks when we choose single over settling on the ballots of our own lives.

    The next time you check the box “S” for single, remember this: singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice—a choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status, and to live every day happily, to let your “Ever After” work itself out.

    Whether or not you have someone in the passenger seat, you are still the driver of your own life, and can take whatever road you choose.

    So the next time you hit a speed bump—otherwise known as the ages-old question, “Why are you still single?”—look ’em in the eye and say, “Because I’m too strong, too smart, and too fabulous to settle.”
    ——————————————————-
    Excerpted from Mandy Hale’s article, All the Single Ladies. Mandy Hale is affectionately known around the world as The Single Woman

——————-
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Preachers and Christian Media Personalities: Re: Marriage – You’re missing the point stop trying to argue or shame singles into getting married

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage (ie, women who desire marriage but there are not enough single men their age in churches or anywhere else)

(Link): The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

(Link): The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles – Christian Material For Singles is LAME

‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo

‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles

I despise the “why you are still single” articles and books and blogs. They are often predicated upon the false assumption that all people still single past a certain age are un-marriageable, that they are not attractive enough, or have some kind of character flaw preventing them from marrying. Such articles or books are cruel, obnoxious, and stupid.

Many of the articles also buy into idiotic gender stereotypes, such as ‘all men love long hair, so if you want a spouse, ladies, you best grow your hair down to your ass.’

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles

Excerpts:

    Don’t let ‘why are you single’ lists get you down

Published on December 13, 2013 by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D. in Living Single

There are a lot of “why are you single” lists popping up these days. I have mostly stopped clicking on the links. Maybe some of them are fine.

Back when I used to look at them, though, far too often they came with an attitude that was insulting to single people— that all single people are single because there is something wrong with them and they need to be fixed.

That’s an example of singlism and like all instances of that prejudice, it is unfair to single people.

Only rarely did the authors ever concede that some people are single because that’s exactly what they want.

Maybe they are even single-at-heart—not only do they like living single, but that’s how they lead their best, most meaningful, and most authentic lives.

My concern about these lists is that some single people might internalize the blame that is inherent in some of them. So as a countermeasure, here are some of my own writings on the topic. Included are some examples of how to critically assess these kinds of claims about single people and how to use the same standards for thinking about married people that are used to judge single people.

(Link): The last ‘why are you single’ list you will ever need

(Link): ‘Why are you single’ meets ‘why are you married’

(Link): “So why have you never been married?” A case study in accidental singlism

(Link): Here’s the answer you are not allowed to give if you are single

(Link): CNN: ‘Still single? What’s the matter with you?’

(Link): Americans just want to be single?

(Link): Why remarry? The best and worst answers and the set-up in the question


Related Posts:

(Link): The Study of Why Men Stay Single: What No One Is Telling You by B. DePaulo

(Link):  The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan

(Link): Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link): Another Obnoxious ‘Why You’re Not Married Yet‘ Article

(Link): A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)

(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

(Link): I’m Single, But I’m Still a Whole Person (article)

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

(Link):  Women: Stop Asking Pat Robertson For Romantic Relationship Advice – Whether You Are Divorced or Single  – Pat Robertson Replies to Letter from Four Time Divorced Woman Who Wants to Know If God Will Send Her a Non-Abusive Husband

Ministering to the Unmarried by Noel Cameron

Ministering to the Unmarried by Noel Cameron

I post this with a misgiving or two. At one point the author actually describes singleness as being a problem:

    God has a solution for the problem of singleness.

As the kids say today,
*FACEPALM*

To characterize singleness as being a “problem” is, in a way, insulting to singles.

Now, I am a single who desires marriage, and I tire of the simplistic “rah rah, singleness is a gift” rhetoric which cheapens what I go through at times, but, I do want to be respected as I am, which is SINGLE.

I do not like being referred to as “a problem” because I am single. I would advise Christian authors to be careful in how they phrase articles for adult singles.

(Link): Ministering to the Unmarried

    by Noel Cameron

    Effective ministry to single adults—widowed, divorced, or never married—is one of the most difficult challenges facing the church today.

    Although church-related activities absorb youth, children, families, young couples, and other special-interest groups, single persons usually find themselves on the periphery of church life.

    Many beautiful lives go unnurtured, and the body of Christ is seriously crippled.

    If the minister is to meet the needs of the unmarried, he must under stand what those needs are. He must understand the pressures the single adult confronts. And he must grasp the Biblical perspective of singleness.

    Consider the dilemma of the single adult. He or she feels isolated and often neglected by the church for several reasons.

    First, the very fact of his singleness often creates insecurity that makes it difficult for him to point out the deep and varied needs of single people.

    Moreover, the single person is keenly aware of an apparent church perspective that implies that success and fulfillment and even normalcy as a person are to be found only in marriage.

    Christianity is often seen as a family affair. Thus, the single person has difficulty identifying fully with the life of the church.

    Second, the church is oriented toward couples and families, especially in its social fellowship.

    How often have churches innocently planned dinners, weekend activities, or socials for couples and families, without a thought for single members, who circulated on the fringes of the activity or avoided it entirely, their hearts lonely and heavy, be cause they did not really fit?

    Unknowingly the church has many times shaped its life to inhibit the singles’ involvement, thus neglecting vitally important needs.

    [comments by Christian Pundit:
    snip author’s critique of singles ministries as being “dating services.”
    I for one would LOVE to attend a thriving “dating service” type church event or class if there are tons of good looking single men to flirt with, choose from, and pursue, thank you very much. It’s either look for a man at a church, or try “eHarmony” dating site, or the corner bar.]

Third, the church pastor usually finds ministry to the single adult very difficult. Since ministry to singles almost always focuses on social relationships and needs, the pastor feels a desire to protect himself from real or potential dangers to his ministry and reputation, and thus shies away from an involvement in personal ministry with single adults.

In public ministry, church activities tend to center around youth and families or around singles as an isolated group. Both situations substantially sever the single person from the heart of the church.

Continue reading “Ministering to the Unmarried by Noel Cameron”

Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian? by Duke Taber

Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian? by Duke Taber

I may have posted this to the blog before, I don’t remember.

Singles have been the “second class” citizen in American Christianity for many decades now, there’s nothing “new” about it.

(Link): Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian?

      Feb 2013 by Duke Taber

… being single is not some type of disease, stigma, or disqualifying condition [but many Christians behave as though it is].

Single People Are Complete People

There is a misnomer in our society. It is the thought that we have to find someone else to be our other half or that we have to be married to be complete.

This is totally against what the Bible teaches concerning the nature of man.

God created man in His image. He created them male and female.

It does not teach that He created two half beings that when they come together they are complete, but instead it teaches that both male and female are complete creations formed in His image.

The nature of marriage is not final completion but a miraculous union of two complete people becoming one. So to view a single person as somehow not able to pastor or be a leader is one that is truly non-biblical.

You also cannot find any passage in scripture that would support such a position and in fact you find passages in scripture that support the opposite.

    1 Corinthians 7:32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord – how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world – how he may please his wife.

34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband.
35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

Single People Are Not Second Class Citizens In God’s Kingdom

I do not know how many times I have visited a new church as a single person and received a cold shoulder. The leadership looked at me as if I was there to prowl for wife material. The couples looked at me as if I had nothing to offer them since I was single and they only related to married people.

There were very few singles around to hang with. With that type of reception I can see why! I was only there to worship my God. To have the word of God expounded to me. I had no ulterior motives but was treated as if I did.

Single people are not second class citizens in the kingdom of God. However with the emphasis that the church places on marriage and family, to the exclusion of the benefits of being a complete single person, most single people are treated as second class citizens and this mentality taints the way single people are viewed when it comes to leadership. The church must come to the place where not only is it color blind in regards to race, but marital status blind as well. That type of prejudice is ungodly.

Why Does The Church Prefer Married Leaders?

When it comes down to it, it is because they are looking for the 2 for 1 deal. A single man only has so many hours to invest as a leader in the church, however the church assumes that a married man will ask his wife to work along his side, thus doubling the amount of hours invested in the church.

This reasoning is not only carnal, but it is false. A married man has to balance church ministry with ministry to family. Thus having less time to actually devote to the things of God.

So to have a prejudicial attitude towards singles is not only non-biblical but in all honesty it is wrong!

Interesting comment from some guy on the page:

      by

mojavemark3

    7:04 AM on February 22, 2013

I was single for 7 years between marriages and it really woke me up as to the realities of the church and singles. It can be tough on singles. It’s like “A Tale of Two Cities”. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

BTW 1 Timothy 3 says that a church leader can’t be a polygamist. That’s what “husband of one wife” means. It’s not a command that the guy has to marry. Jesus and John the Baptist need not apply for the position of pastor if it’s a prohibition for single people.

————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link):  Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine

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

(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

Instone-Brewer: Ancient Jews Expected All to Marry, Was Illegal to Remain Single in Ancient Rome

Instone-Brewer: Ancient Jews Expected All to Marry, Was Illegal to Remain Single in Ancient Rome

The Apostle Paul affirms singleness in the New Testament, but in ancient societies, as today in American secular and evangelical Christian society, singleness is frowned upon.

Instone-Brewer said the question of early Christians was, “Are we allowed to stay single?,” not “May we remarry.”

Instone-Brewer says it was illegal to be single in ancient Roman society. Your neighbor could sue you if you divorced and did not remarry. Watch the video:


Related Posts:

(Link): The Rebel Virgins and Desert Mothers Who Have Been Written Out of Christianity’s Early History by A. Mar

(Link):   Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link):  No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity or Sexual Purity or Modesty

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage (and “family”) by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Why I, Christian Pundit, Post Anonymously (why I don’t post under my real name)

(Link): Stop Telling Adult Singles and Adult Virgins That Their Virginity and Singleness is “For God’s Glory” – just stop it already

(Link):  “Because I was single I felt second class.”-by Chandin, former Mars Hill member & single, on Mars Hill church

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Why Some People Become 30 Year Old Virgins (Article / Study)

(Link): On ‘Late’-In-Life Virginity Loss (from The Atlantic)

(Link): Living Myths About Virginity – article from The Atlantic

(Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Virgins and Celibates are Sexual – Not Asexual and Androgynous – You don’t have to have sex to possess sexuality

(Link):  The Obscure History of the ‘the Disease of Virgins’ that Could be Cured with Sex

(Link):  I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)

(Link):  Some Atheists Are Just As Ignorant About Adult Singleness and Celibacy as Progressive Christians, Secular Feminists, and Protestant Evangelical or Conservative Christians

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

This is a rather long blog post. I do not want to reproduce the entire thing, so please visit the blog and read the entire thing.

I would also encourage you to read the visitor comments at the other blog. Those are quite informative too.

She raises points in her blog post about Christians and singleness and marriage that I have been discussing at my blog here for over a year to two years now, including the concept of “married people privilege,” which I blogged about months ago here on my blog: (Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Marrieds Think Single Life = Easy / Marrieds and Parents Turn All Topics Into Them And Their Needs / Problems

Here is the link to the other blog entry about singleness:

(Link): Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

    By christena on December 2, 2013

    … After doing extensive interdenominational research, Dennis Franck,the national director of single adult ministries for the Assemblies of God denomination, concluded:

    “The vast majority of evangelical and Pentecostal churches of any denomination are ‘marriage and family focused.’ That in itself is not a bad posture. Most Christian leaders understand the importance of marriage and the church’s role in strengthening the family unit. The unfortunate reality, however, is that our marriage and family emphasis many times does not include single adults. This is not necessarily by design but is often by ignorance and neglect.”

    … Meanwhile, single people are relegated to the margins.[ii] Whether this is intentional or not, this “married people monopoly” results in a Christian world in which single people are often misunderstood, ignored, overlooked for leadership positions, caricatured, equated with immaturity, and little more than a punchline or an afterthought. To me, it makes sense that churches and Christian organizations have a poor track record when it comes to honoring single people.

    … [A]fter interacting with the church, many singles start to wonder:
    Is there something wrong with me? Is God working in my life? Am I as valuable (to God, to the church) as married people? Does God love me as much as he loves married people? Does God have good things in store for me as a single person?

    … In a Church that was founded by a single guy, singles are terribly marginalized. There’s something wrong with this picture.

    So without further ado, here are my tips on how church people (pastors, leaders and other influencers) can turn this barge around and begin to create communities that honor the image of God in single adults.

    6 TIPS ON HOW MARRIED CHRISTIANS CAN EMBRACE SINGLE ADULTS

    1. Admit that singleness is complex and that you know little to nothing about it.

    A lot of people seem to think that singleness is to marriage as junior varsity is to varsity.

    As a result, married people sometimes mistakenly believe that they know something about singleness when in fact they don’t. Singleness isn’t a junior varsity version of marriage.

    It’s an entirely different sport – and if you haven’t played it, you haven’t mastered it.

    The average marrying age is 29.8 years for men and 26.9 for women. If you got married before these ages, then it makes sense to acknowledge that your experience as a single adult is below average. In other words, you don’t know a lot about singleness. This calls for humility.

    2. Recognize that as a married person, you are privileged.

    Married people run the Christian world.

    For example,

    – Since many pastors, board members, and organizational leaders are married, the married perspective is well-represented in the Church in ways that the single perspective is not.

    – Married people are much more likely to get hired as pastors.

    – A quick search at Amazon.com reveals that for every 1 Christian book on singleness, there are 298 Christian books on marriage.

    – Just for getting married, friends and family members buy married people expensive gifts like Kitchen Aid mixers (a mark of privilege if there ever was one).

    – Marriage is the norm, the gold standard.

    If you don’t adhere to it, people ask questions.

    Case in point: I’m out-and-about in the Christian world a lot these days. As a result, I meet new people all of the time. The fact that we’ve just met doesn’t stop Christians from asking me why I’m not married.

    Out of the blue, and with a quizzical look, they’re like, “How come you’re not married?” It’s my most frequently asked question. Seriously.

Please visit her blog page to read the rest. Thank you.
—————————-
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

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

(Link): The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage

(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity [they ATTACK both concepts]

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian

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

(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift

(Link): Astonishing: Evangelical Baptist Marriage Idolater David E. Prince Wants to Know Why Evangelical Baptists Are Not Worshipping Marriage More

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): False Christian Hype About Waiting Until Marriage For Sex – We’ve Gone From “It’s Mindblowing” to Now: “It’s Magical” Re: Timothy Keller / Tim Keller Virginity Celibacy Singles PreMarital Sex

(Link): Christian TV Show Host Pat Robertson Disrespects Virginity – Says Pre-Marital Sex Is “Not A Bad Thing”

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Why So Much Fornication (sex outside of marriage) – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

(Link): Tim Challies Christian Blogger Who Proclaimed That All Fornicators Are Virgins Is Now Telling People Not to Look In Lust – WTF?

Patriarchy Views and Even More Narrow Gender Role Views Creeping Into Already Family and Marriage Obsessed Christian Groups – Re: Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings

Patriarchy Views and Even More Narrow Gender Role Views Creeping Into Already Family and Marriage Obsessed Christian Groups – Re: Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings

A somewhat recent visitor to this blog (who has an excellent blog I have linked to before, (Link): Under Much Grace, a blog which discusses spiritual abuse, unbiblical gender role teachings among Christian groups, and other issues) encouraged me to look into or make a post about this topic.

Her original post on this blog introducing the topic is located (Link): here. I will repeat her post here- this was in response to a post I did on “Focus on the Family.”

    by UnderMuchGrace

    I became so disappointed in Dobson that I stopped listening to FOTF in ’94.

    I was even more disappointed to find out a few years ago that the editor for one of their teen magazines recommended Mouser’s “Five Aspects” gender teachings, and since then, they started signing the laud of Voddie Baucham. He may even have a regular column in one of their publications now. I know that they’ve featured articles written by him when I last took a look a number of years ago.

    If you google Mouser’s name and the Five Aspects teachings, you’ll find two links to critical reviews on my blog, and the rest of the links will take you to the Bayly Blog, CBMW, Doug Wilson’s material and the like. Bill Mouser bought the message board, the CCC forum (having something to do with complementarianism) from CBMW many years ago — back around the time when CBMW became to[o] liberal for Bayly and Mouser. (This was shortly after CBMW central and the powers controling it moved from the Bayly mentality on to Louisville/SBTS.)

    I love this post, but I’d argue that FOTF is now promoting something much worse than the anachronistic 1950s lifestyle.

    I love the religious freedom that we have in America, and people can be free to make choices about how they want to live. It saddens me, though, that FOTF which I once found to be a very helpful resource has taken things in this direction.

Here is a link to the critique by Under Much Grace:

(Link): Critique of Bill Mouser’s “Five Aspects” Teaching
From the Patriarchy Discussion Group on Yahoo

Here are just a few excerpts from that page (please click the link above to visit the other blog and read the rest):

    …Information posted by “Light” regarding Bill Mouser’s Five Aspects Teachings:

    In this post, I’ll explain the pagan concepts that are so sneakily inserted into these so-called Biblical materials.
    Mouser asserts that God is masculine and Creation is feminine. I don’t want to spend much time on the masculinity of God, since that could be a book in and of itself. Suffice it to say that if God is masculine, and not feminine, then human males are more like God than women.

    … It’s most helpful to see the men’s study and the women’s study materials side by side.

    According to Mouser, men should pattern their lives after the following “righteous masculine archetypes: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Christ the God/Man and the last Adam, and Created Adam, the first man.” Women should pattern their lives after the following “righteous feminine archetypes: Wisdom the first feminine, Eve the first woman, Israel the wife of God, The Virgin Mary mother of Christ, The church the bride of Christ, and Jerusalem our mother above.” (page 300)

    This is quite interesting. All of the masculine archetypes are actual beings – including God. Of the six feminine archetypes, only two are real beings, and four are metaphorical constructions! None of them are God. By dividing the archetypes into two distinct groups, one that men should emulate, and one that women should emulate, this abnormal division leads us away from what the scripture actually teaches.

    The Bible calls all people, men and women, to a single standard of Christlikeness. In this study, by arranging it in this manner with a separate list of archetypes divided by gender, Christlikeness is articulated as the sole domain of the man. In comparison, women are encouraged to look to ametaphor as their model of holiness. Can’t we have the real thing as our model? Or do only men get access to that?

    Mouser believes that men are made more in God’s image than women are. It’s right there in black and white on page 334 in the Five Aspects bible study materials.
    “Man can picture God more fully in his roles than woman can. But he can also picture Satan more fully than woman can.”

Please (Link): click here to visit the page and read the rest (Under Much Grace blog)
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Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (hint: some Christian groups are teaching that an unmarried man is not as much in God’s image as is a married man – singles are only “one half” in God’s image, not fully human, etc)

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice

(Link): How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 3) – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical

(Link): Christian Gender and Sex Stereotypes Act as Obstacles to Christian Singles Who Want to Get Married (Not All Men Are Obsessed with Sex)

(Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both – [both = marriage, having kids] (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)

How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)

Excerpts from Pages 2- 5 of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines – read it for free on “Google Books.”

(Below this long excerpt are a few observations by me):

    For a magazine [Playboy] to clearly state that it was not “a family magazine” in the 1950s was close to heresy.

    According to social historian Stephanie Coontz, it was during this period that there was an unprecendented rise in the marriage rate, the age for marriage and motherhood fell, fertility increased, and divorce rates declined.

    From family restaurants to the family car, “the family was everywhere hailed as the most basic institution in society.”

    The mass media played a pivotal role in legitimizing and celebrating this “pro-family” ideology by selling idealized images of family life in sitcoms and women’s magazines, while demonizing those who chose to stay single as either homosexual or pathological.

    The most celebrated sitcoms of the period were Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The ideal family was white and upper middle class, with a male breadwinner whose salary supported a wife and children as well as a large home in the suburbs.

    The primary roles for men and women were seen as spouses and as parents, and the result was a well-run household populated by smart, well-adjusted kids.

    The print media also got in on the act, carrying stories about the supposed awfulness of being single. Reader’s Digest ran a story entitled “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are to Be Marred,” which focused on the “harrowing situation of single life.”

    One writer went so far as to suggest that “except for the sick, the badly crippled, the deformed, the emotionally warped and the mentally defective, almost everyone has an opportunity to marry.”

    In the 1950s, “emotionally warped” was a coded way of saying homosexual, and indeed many single people were investigated as potential homosexuals and by extension Communists, since the two were often linked during the McCarthy years.

    This pressure on men to conform not only to the dictates of domestic life but also to the growing demands of corporate America had its critics in the popular media. Some writers pointed to the conformist male as a “mechanized, robotized caricature of humanity… a slave in mind and body.”

    According to Barbara Ehrenreich, magazines like Life, Look, and Reader’s Digest carried stories suggesting that “Gary Gray” (the conformist in the gray flannel suit) was robbing men of their masculinity, freedom, and sense of individuality.

    While pop psychologists criticized the corporate world for reducing American males to “little men,” it was women in their roles of wives and mothers who were essentially singled out as the cripplers of American masculinity. As Ehrenreich has argued, “the corporate captains were out of the bounds of legitimate criticism in Cold War America,” women were the more acceptable and accessible villains.

    Described as greedy, manipulative, and lazy, American women were accused of emasculating men by overdomesticating them.

    Continue reading “How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless -and how over-emphasis on “family” and lack of respect for singleness started a backlash against both – [both = marriage, having kids] (excerpts from ‘Pornland’ book)”