Father Kills His Three Kids (article) – Once more, parenthood and marriage does not prevent sin or failure

Father killed three children after his wife ended relationship over ‘crush’ inquest hears

Married people and parents make mistakes and commit sins – a message that many conservative Christians and pastors have yet to figure out.

Often, Christians advise un-married Christians that if they want to get married, they have to “earn” a spouse, or become perfect enough to rate one.

It is therefore suggested, or implied, by preachers and Christians (usually by married Christians) that an individual has to be sinless or perform certain works (e.g., attend church weekly, do various good deeds, or refrain from sexual activity, or be wholly content in his or her singleness, etc) before God will “allow” that unmarried person to have a spouse.

Of course there are variations of this thinking in secular dating advice material as well – that if you want to be married but haven’t been married yet it’s obviously because you must be flawed in some way, so you must undergo therapy or go on a journey of self discovery, and other such idiotic advice is given.

This story comes from a British paper:

Father killed three children after his wife ended relationship over ‘crush’ inquest hears – The Telegraph

    By Claire Carter

    24 Apr 2013

    A father killed himself and his three children after his relationship with his wife broke down after she developed a crush on her lecturer, an inquest heard.

    Ceri Fuller, 35, is believed to have stabbed his 12-year-old son Samuel and daughters Rebecca, eight and Charlotte, seven, with a hunting knife, before killing himself.

    All four bodies were found at the bottom of a disused quarry in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on July 16 last year. The children had been slashed in the neck, and Samuel and Rebecca are believed to have tried to defend themselves.

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Related posts, this blog;

Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be

Stereotypes About Singles: “You Can’t Attract Anyone Because You Must Obviously Have ‘Too Much Baggage’

Christian Men Who Are Abusive or Killers – Index

Married (especially Christian) couples who engage in sexual sin – Index

Married People Are Supposedly More Mature and Godly than Unmarried People

Marrying Young – from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” by Stephanie Drury

Marrying young – from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” by Stephanie Drury
(also indirectly highlights how many Christians have turned marriage and having children into idols)

I think there’s been a time or two I’ve disagreed with some of Ms. Drury’s (or should I address her as ‘Mrs?’ I honestly don’t know, and mean no disrespect either way), but I do agree with her on some occasions, and I think she’s providing a service of sorts in exposing some of the lunacy that goes on in America in the name of Christ.

I believe she was raised by Christian parents, but I have no idea if she considers herself a Christian now or not.

I’m not exactly sure which blog of hers is current. Her blog has been hosted on various locations over the last few years.

Not only is the post by Drury I am linking to below enlightening (and echoes what I’ve said on my blog before, see this), but read the comments at the bottom of her blog page by her blog guests.

(Link): #207 Marrying young posted by Stephanie Drury

Some excerpts, from the page by Drury:

    Christian culture gets married young. The reason isn’t entirely clear, but the general consensus is that it drastically lowers the risk of fornication. You just can’t fornicate if you’re married, and that takes care of that.

    Fornication is Christian culture’s natural enemy. Bible colleges (aka “bridal colleges” – what did I tell you?) require students to sign a convenant stating they won’t drink, swear, be gay or have premarital sex. But even Christian students at secular universities roil under biblical sex mandates. When you combine guilt with evangelical horndogs you get a lot of marriage proposals and short engagements.

    Continue reading “Marrying Young – from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” by Stephanie Drury”

Unmarried Christian Women Ain’t Got Time Fo’ Dat!

Unmarried Christian Women Ain’t Got Time Fo’ Dat!

I think you can click this picture to enlarge it if it makes it easier to read (I know you got time fo dat):

Sweet Brown says Unmarried Christian Women Ain't Got the Time to follow all your dating advice
Unmarried Christian women ain’t got the time to follow all your dating advice!
.

If your sermon or program supposedly benefits everyone… (post about Christian singlehood)

I was looking for more material about Christian singleness when I found this video:

“How Does Our Church Host a 607 Experience Without alienating Singles, Grandparents, or those without Children?”
(The URL is: http://d6family.com/607/experience/howdoiuseit#howdo )

Edit. Aug 2014. That URL no longer works, they removed the video. You can still view it here: Video Link, Vimeo

I have no idea what the “607 Experience” is, as I did not watch every single video on the page, but from the one I watched, I gather it is yet some other family-centric event for churches to host for nuclear families (nuclear family = typical 1950s American family consisting of husband, wife, one or two kids).

The male host of the video says he recognizes that some Christians may be worried that his “607 Experience” may make singles or MWKS (married couples without kids / children) feel alienated…

But, he feels this program will still be beneficial to singles and MWKS, since it covers topics like how to pray effectively, or some such.

He’s not the first Christian I’ve seen use this tactic. I’ve seen other Christians or pastors say, “Well, my sermon series on marriage may make the never-married and divorced feel alienated, but you should not feel that way you unmarried people, because you can still find information in this series for use in your life!”

Is that so? Well then, what is the point in billing such series or sermons as “for the family,” or putting “marriage” or “parenting” in the titles of these events? If the material can be applicable to all (such as offering suggestions on how to pray better or some other generic, Christian topic) why not title the event, “How to have a better prayer life”?

My second question and concern is, what does this church or Christian group do for singles specifically? In other words, is there a “608 Experience” that is geared only towards the NMNKs (never- married with no kids), where this same man from the “607” video would tell married with kid couples, “But please, don’t feel alienated you married people! Even though you are married with kids, our service for singles can still be of benefit to you!” If this church (or group) is not devoting equal time to singles, then their “607 Experience” is wrong, wrong, wrong, and yes, it will alienate the unmarried and other individuals who don’t meet the “married with kids” demographic.

Forget married couples with kids – the real danger today is for the unmarried Christian. Screw the Christian married couples; it’s singles who need the church’s help and attention. Even secular society discriminates or ignores singles.

The male host of the video said he simply suggests pastors who host a 607 to “just put the elephant in the room right out there.” Just be up front and tell your never-married and divorced or Married- with- no- kids couples that the service will be devoted to marrieds with kids, he advises.

Wouldn’t that be a little like a white Christian host saying on a video for pastors,
“Our series will only focus on how great white people are, and teach people more about white people,” and then telling the pastor,
“But see, that’s okay, because you’re being up-front with, and transparent about, your prejudice.

Therefore, I’m sure any Black, Hispanic, and Asian Christians in your church will be fine and dandy with being so blatantly excluded YET AGAIN. I mean, surely they must agree that white Christian people are under attack by secular society, so I’m sure they’ll be okay and so very understanding with the needs and problems of Asian, Black, and Hispanic Christians being shoved aside, YET AGAIN.”

I swear to goodness the American church is almost completely oblivious to how badly they are excluding people (specifically, never- married people over 35 years old, the divorced, people with no kids, and the elderly) and giving Christianity a black eye to so many people, with the continual insistence upon the self-serving fixation on “marriage and parenting, marriage and parenting, marriage and parenting” mantra.
———————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

Standing Alone – single or never married Christians over 35 years old

This material is from Standing Alone by Cristina Foor

There are more singles in the United States than the entire populations of France and The Netherlands combined. But the church, for the most part, ignores their needs.
A large segment of our culture walks past the doors of our churches every Sunday, almost entirely unnoticed. Many of these passers-by will, at one point, find their way into our sanctuaries. But all too often they will end up feeling as if they are still invisible.

Why? Because the church typically ignores this particular group of men and women–singles.

Some 98 million Americans today are single, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (Current Population Survey, March 2000). That’s close to half of our population age 15 and older. That’s more than the entire populations of France and The Netherlands combined. And this trend toward singleness in our society seems to be on the rise.

Whether it is by choice, by the death of a spouse or by the unforeseen end of a marriage, the fact remains that more and more men and women are becoming single. Mirroring society at large, it is estimated that more than one-half of the church population is now single, too. Ministry to this group has become imperative.

A strong singles ministry can strengthen a church’s overall ministry effectiveness. That being the case, the lack of ministry to single adults must simply constitute denial of this large and growing population.

If churches want to remain relevant and meet the needs of people in our present culture, it is essential for them to develop an effective singles ministry. The issues and challenges peculiar to singles must be acknowledged and addressed.

In order to reach this harvest field, however, the church needs to understand this group and its many dynamics. Singles should never be viewed as people to be pitied or prayed for, as if their singleness were a weakness to be overcome.

As Carolyn A. Koons and Michael J. Anthony stated in Single Adult Passages: Uncharted Territory, the mind-set in many churches today must be altered if a successful ministry for singles is to take place.

Much of the time singles live on the fringes of church life because they feel the church doesn’t understand or care about their particular needs. Singles’ needs differ greatly from the needs of those who are married. With the demise of the traditional family unit in our country, and in an attempt to re-establish lost family values, many churches have focused their attention on those areas while ignoring those who are not currently in families.

The church must shed its indifference toward singles and realize that couples are not better than singles, only different. In many churches, there seems to be little, if any, recognition that singleness inherently presents unique challenges and issues that need to be addressed. In addition, there has been very little real movement toward specific training for this ministry area.
Continue reading “Standing Alone – single or never married Christians over 35 years old”

Assumptions People Make About Singles – Taking Advantage of Singles

From Single and Off the Fast Track: It’s Not Just Working Parents Who Step Back to Reclaim a Life

Excerpts:

….But the benefits only go so far. Heavy workloads keep many employees from using them. And for men and women alike, some managers still assume singles don’t have anything to do but work and pile on extra duties and projects, according to research by Wendy Casper, an associate professor of management at the University of Texas at Arlington.

When Craig Ellwanger’s former bosses hired him as an ad-sales representative in 2006, they were glad he was single with no kids, Mr. Ellwanger says. They told him in the interview, “We’re going to ship you all over the place. Don’t get too attached to any place or anyone.” He spent half his time on the road, living in hotels or company apartments. Dating was difficult; his schedule “was definitely very taxing” for his girlfriend. “It was pretty much a long-distance relationship,” he says. They married briefly then divorced, partly, Mr. Ellwanger says, because his job was so consuming that he couldn’t separate the stresses from home life.

Americans Just Want to Be Single?

An article from Psychology Today

Americans Just Want to Be Single?

A few quotes (the reader comments on the page were also interesting):

Between ages 25 and 34, married people are in the minority
Published on September 30, 2010
by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

….The most irresponsible explanation

Sadly, the one explanation with no data whatsoever to back it was published in the New York Times. The paper quoted Joel Greiner, who said that economic considerations were not the real issue: “It is more a fear of intimacy and fear of marriage.”

Who’s Joel Greiner? He’s “the director of counseling for the Journey, an interdenominational church in the St. Louis area.” Couples in his congregation tell him they are living together while they save money, but he’s decided they’re just scared. That’s right – he is not citing scientific research. He’s not even pointing to what the people in his congregation have told him, except to say that he doesn’t believe it. This is what the New York Times uses to perpetuate its singlism. Singles are just scared of intimacy. Some guy said so.

(For previous discussions of this non-issue, check out Times reporter thinks single women fear intimacy; I’m afraid he’s wrong, and How to make even good findings sound bad.)

The explanation no publication suggested

So let’s see, is there any other possible reason why more and more Americans are living single? Has it occurred to any scholars or reporters that it is increasingly possible to live a full, complete, and meaningful life as a single person, and so a growing number of Americans are opting to do so? No! Apparently, the thought never occurred to them.

For that, you’d have to go to, say, someone whose thoughts about single life are not prefabricated. Take David, for example. He sent me one of these stories with a note about the low rate of marriage: “Why can’t it be because people simply prefer being single?”

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

(Link): No One Wants to Talk About It

By Julia Duin
Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

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

Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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

Spinsterlicious Life Blog

I’m not sure if the woman who owns this blog is a Christian or not. I’m pretty sure it’s a secular blog, but it is interesting. The woman who owns the blog is, I believe, over 40 years old, and she has never been married. She is trying to take back the word “spinster” so as to remove the negative connotations it has.

Spinsterlicious Life

where delightful, single women who know how to live and love life, and the people who love them (…or wonder about them) engage with each other. We’re putting a spin on Spinster!

Older Single Christians And Sex – article by Julia Duin

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


Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

By Julia Duin

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

Miss Winner, a fairly recent convert to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism, had written a potboiler of a piece suggesting that unmarried Gen-X evangelical Christians often sleep together and that the rest of us might as well deal with it.

Married evangelicals, she wrote, aren’t willing to talk about sex to their single friends, “except to remind us that True Love Waits. This slogan,” she continued, “might work when you’re 15. Ten years later, catch-phrases don’t really do the trick.”

She went on to describe how the typical church doesn’t really get it. Well-meaning preachers use platitudes to remind their singles to stay celibate, if they say anything at all. Most don’t. Instead, pastors ignore the “thousands” of unmarried evangelicals who disobey this injunction. Why, Miss Winner asked, can’t we talk about this reality?

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

For anyone who is following or visiting this blog….

I hope anyone who visits this blog understands I use it often to vent and not as a general or all purpose blog where I discuss all facets of my life.

I try not to get bitter or stay angry over being single at my age (I’m over 40 and have never married), and I have other interests in life that have nothing to do with the issues of dating and marriage. I do not spend all my time pondering about marriage and singleness.

This is a blog I use to post articles about singleness and marriage, but I also like to post to it if or when I am grumpy about the whole ‘still single at 40’ issue. If you’re trying to base your opinion on me on the content and tone of this blog alone, you’re not going to get the complete picture of who I am. I’m not quite as grumpy in general as I am on the blog.

Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

(I posted this to a previous entry but it’s so good, I wanted it to have its own page. Click “More” to read the entire post. I have looked at the HTML behind this post and cannot figure out why the blog is displaying the font at such a huge size.)

Quitting Church

The URL is-

blog.beliefnet.com/textmessages/2009/02/quitting-church-a-qa-with-juli.html

(An interview with author Julia Duin)
Q. How have megachurches reshaped our thinking about church life?

People want their needs met. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I was really attacked on a recent radio show for suggesting churches should be more willing to cater to some pretty obvious needs.

Like, I was asked what singles – an underserved group if there ever was one in church life – need, and I said, “To get married.”

Pastors in other countries, e.g. India, see matchmaking as part of their job description but here in the States, it’s every believer for him or herself. And there are record amounts of single Christians out there today, few of whom wish to be that way.
I really got attacked for suggesting peoples’ needs should be met, as the typical churchgoer is supposed to be in this to be a servant, not to get their needs met.
At least that’s what’s preached.
That is nonsense, of course; parents walk in all the time expecting to have their children given Christian teaching in Sunday school, so that “need” is considered legit. People do need friends, they need fellowship, they need to hear from God. What is so bad about churches tending to those things?
The megachurches have set themselves to identifying felt needs and providing the staff and programming to meet those needs. They’ve brought marketing into the equation. I am not a megachurch attendee, as I like to know my pastor and have my pastor know me, but I can see the attraction.
Q. You say that today’s churches are set up to minister to whole families, but not so much to singles and women. What are singles and women experiencing at church today?
Women are slotted into childcare jobs and maybe ushers or the choir – or the worship team, as it’s called today.
But women like me, who are seminary-educated, are given no place to teach. The offer is never extended. Ditto for other women who are lawyers, accountants, etc., who know things that could be of some benefit to the body of Christ. These women are underused at best. Or they are told they can only minister to other women.
When you’re used to be treated equally in the job market, it’s like entering a time warp when you go to church and are told that who you are is dependent on who or what your husband is.
Women whose husbands are elders or ministers have more freedom to exercise ministry, but all other women aren’t given much of a chance.
What’s also galling is how so many women are treated like sexual temptresses. I get tired of pastors telling me they cannot be alone with me and can’t meet me for coffee somewhere, while it’s OK if they get together with a male parishioner.

Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

    Sixty-three percent of all births to women under 30 in Lorain County occur outside marriage, according to Child Trends, a research center in Washington. That figure has risen by more than two-thirds over the past two decades, and now surpasses the national figure of 53 percent.
    The change has transformed life in Lorain, a ragged industrial town on Lake Erie. Churches perform fewer weddings. Applications for marriage licenses are down by a third. Just a tenth of the students at the local community college are married, but its campus has a bustling day care center.
    The New York Times interviewed several dozen people in Lorain about marriage here. What follows are their stories.

Continue reading “Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure”

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

From the New York Times, excerpts from:

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that monationwide surveyving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.

But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.

WHEN researchers ask cohabitors these questions, partners often have different, unspoken — even unconscious — agendas. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.

Sliding into cohabitation wouldn’t be a problem if sliding out were as easy. But it isn’t. Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later.

…I’ve had other clients who also wish they hadn’t sunk years of their 20s into relationships that would have lasted only months had they not been living together. Others want to feel committed to their partners, yet they are confused about whether they have consciously chosen their mates.

Founding relationships on convenience or ambiguity can interfere with the process of claiming the people we love. A life built on top of “maybe you’ll do” simply may not feel as dedicated as a life built on top of the “we do” of commitment or marriage.

Singles, Never Married People Endure Bias, Marrieds Get Favored Treatment

Click “more” to read the rest

In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention

By TARA PARKER-POPE

Here’s a September celebration you probably didn’t know about: It’s National Single and Unmarried Americans Week.

But maybe celebration isn’t the right word. Social scientists and researchers say the plight of the American single person is cause for growing concern.

About 100 million Americans, nearly half of all adults, are unmarried, according to the Census Bureau — yet they tend to be overlooked by policies that favor married couples, from family-leave laws to lower insurance rates.

That national bias is one reason gay people fight for the right to marry, but now some researchers are concerned that the marriage equality movement is leaving single people behind.

“There is this push for marriage in the straight community and in the gay community, essentially assuming that if you don’t get married there is something wrong with you,” says Naomi Gerstel, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who has published a number of papers comparing the married and unmarried.

“But a huge proportion of the population is unmarried, and the single population is only going to grow. At the same time, all the movement nationally is to offer benefits to those who are married, and that leaves single people dry.”

Yet as she and other experts note, single people often contribute more to the community — because once people marry, they tend to put their energy and focus into their partners and their own families at the expense of friendships, community ties and extended families.

In a report released this week by the Council on Contemporary Families, Dr. Gerstel notes that while 68 percent of married women offer practical or routine help to their parents, 84 percent of the never-married do. Just 38 percent of married men help their parents, compared with 67 percent of never-married men. Even singles who have children are more likely than married people to contribute outside their immediate family.

“It’s the unmarried, with or without kids, who are more likely to take care of other people,” Dr. Gerstel said. “It’s not having children that isolates people. It’s marriage.”

The unmarried also tend to be more connected with siblings, nieces and nephews. And while married people have high rates of volunteerism when it comes to taking part in their children’s activities, unmarried people often are more connected to the community as a whole.

About 1 in 5 unmarried people take part in volunteer work like teaching, coaching other people’s children, raising money for charities and distributing or serving food.

Unmarried people are more likely to visit with neighbors. And never-married women are more likely than married women to sign petitions and go to political gatherings, according to Dr. Gerstel.

The demographics of unmarried people are constantly changing, and more Americans are spending a greater percentage of their lives unmarried than married.

While some people never marry, other adults now counted as single are simply delaying marriage longer than people of their parents’ generation did. And many people are single because of divorce or the death of a spouse. About one-sixth of all unmarried adults are 65 and older; nearly one-eighth of unmarried people are parents.

The pressure to marry is particularly strong for women. A 2009 study by researchers at the University of Missouri and Texas Tech University carried the title “I’m a Loser, I’m Not Married, Let’s Just All Look at Me.” The researchers conducted 32 interviews with middle-class women in their 30s who felt stigmatized by the fact that they had never married.

“These were very successful women in their careers and their lives, yet almost all of them felt bad about not being married, like they were letting someone down,” said Lawrence Ganong, a chairman of human development and family studies at the University of Missouri.

“If a person is happy being single,” he said, “then we should support that as well.”

Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has a term for discrimination against single people, which she calls one of the last accepted prejudices. It is the title of her new book, “Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It.”

Continue reading “Singles, Never Married People Endure Bias, Marrieds Get Favored Treatment”

Welcome to the Blog

An introduction to the blog

I intend on covering different topics on this blog, everything from politics to pop culture and everything in between, and obviously, Christianity.

My main reason for creating the blog now has to do with the issue of Christian singles, specifically something called “the marriage mandate,” which I will be discussing in a future post or two.

I myself am a Christian, in my late 30s, and have never been married.

At one time, I had a modest web site, hosted by free hoster Geocities, about Christian singles. Geocities is now defunct, so my site no longer exists, but I saved copies of the web pages, and I’ll be posting most of them to this blog eventually.