How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and “Emotional Virginity” Teaching
They say marriage is a great thing and throw fits that Christians aren’t getting married by and large any more, but they are creating the very thing they are protesting: Christians who keep Christian singles single via their stupid or naive dating advice and narrow minded views of women. Here are some more examples.
Source for the following: “My Teen Mania Experience”
Fear of Dating (posted to “My Teen Mania Experience”)
Here are excerpts from the page:
- [Regarding teachings on dating to teens by “Teen Mania” and “Honor Academy” Christian teachers] ….What kind of effed up teachings produce this level of ridiculous fear? This total inability to engage the opposite sex in a normal, friendly manner?
For once, I knew I couldn’t blame this on Christianity at large, because she was not raised a Christian. The Honor Academy was her only exposure to Christianity and these problems and mindsets did not exist before she went there.
[From Christian Pundit: I disagree. This “fear of dating/ fear of the opposite gender” perspective is in a lot of Christian material on dating, not just the Honor Academy. It’s also taught among a lot of Christian home schooling families.]
Now, this may be an extreme example (or maybe not?) but I’ve heard from dozens of alumni – especially women – that after the Honor Academy, they feel incredibly uneasy around the opposite sex. Why is that? I’m going to give a few potential reasons, but I hope you’ll chime in as well.
1) Strict gender roles: Each gender has their assigned duties and no deviation is acceptable. Men lead. Women follow. Men initiate. Women respond.
First off, there are many places in Scripture where Godly women pursued romantic relationships, did not submit to their husbands and held leadership roles over men.
– Ruth proposed marriage to Boaz (Gasp!)
– Abigail did not submit to her husband’s leadership and took matters into her own hands, which eventually led to her marrying King David. (I Sam 25)
– Esther entered the King’s court uninvited – which had the potential to be an offense punishable by death.
This is just a short list. If you research the topic further, you will find many more encouraging examples.
From what I’ve seen, this teaching leads women to feel that they cannot even show interest in a guy (so how is he supposed to know that you like him?). It leads them to being passive and unable to seize opportunities. They are waiting for a guy to do everything in the relationship, and that is just not normal or healthy.
2) Friendship with the opposite sex is actively discouraged.
Many unsuspecting interns have been confronted for “curbside chatting” during their first week of the internship. “Curbside chatting” is exactly what it sounds like – standing on the curb outside the dorms, innocently chatting with a member of the opposite sex. Although this is clearly in public, in full view of all the dorms, its still considered dangerous behavior and will get you promptly confronted by your leadership and/or peers.
I’ve heard alumni say that they were afraid to even be seen walking on a sidewalk in the same direction as a member of the opposite sex, for fear that they would be confronted.