views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
By Jessica Martinez , CP Contributor
July 11, 2013
Some 45,000 people attended a youth festival hosted by evangelist Luis Palau in Venezuela last weekend, with thousands committing to sexual purity until marriage during the event.
Festival goers descended upon the bicentennial fairgrounds of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, for Juventud Libre 2013, where Palau preached about faith and change under the theme, “Venezuela, open your heart to hope.” The event focused on offering an optimistic outlook for the nation’s future in light of its current political and social unrest, which caused 4,000 youths to dedicate their lives to God while the crowd chanted “yes to sexual purity.”
Link 3 discusses:
Churches depicting women (even married ones, so that’s a refreshing change of pace, usually it’s the singles) as sexual temptresses, and, in another rarity, one church instructs males to keep their shirts buttoned up (usually it’s the females who get the insipid “modesty” lectures), and sexual hang-ups by various churches are addressed.
I don’t condone abuse or neglect of women or children, but, I do have to commend this one Christian cult for at least pointing out that motherhood has been made into an idol by some Christians; they are at least right on that score.
…Women of C-U ministries were totally submissive to males and were barred from leadership or decision-making roles, as well as from work outside the home. Pam says that, “It got to the point where what I had to say usually got suppressed because I knew it was a waste of time to discuss it. I’d lose.”
…Unfortunately, the harshness of the discipline extended to the children as well. Pam says, “I could cry over some of the spankings they received. Bruised bottoms. They were even calloused.”
… In December of 1987, ten-year-old Aaron Norman died as result of medical neglect and a beating administered by his father and Doug Kleber. The boy suffered from juvenile diabetes but his parents did not obtain medical care for him, preferring to rely on the healing power of prayer.
When his physical condition worsened and prayer did not seem to be effective, elders of the church were consulted to determine what the problem was.
According to a story in the June 21, 1988 issue of the Chicago Tribune, the elders determined that Aaron had sinned. The sin was masturbation, but Aaron would not confess to the sin.
His father decided to spank Aaron with a board because the Holy Spirit had told him that he had been masturbating. As the Spokane County deputy prosecutor stated, “His father and the elders ‘rebuked’ Aaron to confess, but he wouldn’t. Aaron’s father and Kleber then beat the child . . . A wooden paddle was used at some point until Aaron confessed. On Sunday morning when his parents awoke, Aaron was dead. There were severe bruises on his buttocks.”
[Regarding another wacko church:]
…Like many other abusive churches, the Two-by-Two’s impose a restrictive and rigorous life-style on the membership. Women adherents shun makeup and wear long, uncut hair wrapped tightly in buns on the tops of their heads. Jewelry is proscribed, while plain dresses are the norm. Slacks, shorts, and sleeveless blouses are forbidden in public.
They submit to the men of the group who tend to wear dark-colored clothes and carry black-covered King James Versions of the Bible. Marriages are performed by civil authorities only, since church “workers” do not register with state officials.
Conformity to a strict life-style is expected of all children and young people in the Truth. They are discouraged from participating in after-school sports and other social activities. Their circle of friends does not extend beyond the group.
Article: Getting to the Root of Female Masturbation / Also: Virgin Lady gets next to no sex in marriage
Interesting. Only about five days after I published my last post about female sexuality, with a link to an article specifically about the practice of masturbation by females, Christianity Today publishes this page:
Which had this link in it:
“For Women, Is Masturbation the Last Sex Taboo?”
This CT post about female masturbation is interesting on two levels:
One, because this is the second or third time that Christianity Today has published an article very similar to a blog post I’ve made to my blog here, and within days.
Secondly, because it is admitting that women even have sexual drives. This is not common. Christians (and secularists) only acknowledge male sexuality and libido, never female.
Regarding the CT editorial, “Getting to the Root of Female Masturbation” – who cares if women masturbate or not? The editorial, written by a Marlena Graves, seems against the practice, or maybe I am misunderstanding, and the author is only opposed to it in cases where it has become a crutch.
For Christians who are utterly opposed to masturbation in all cases, no matter the motive or circumstance, would these Christians rather have females (and males) practice this, or actually go out and literally have sex with another human being, i.e., commit actual fornication?
By the way, there is an interesting comment on the CT page – you know how Christians promise you sexual thrills unlimited if only you marry first, and save sex for marriage?… Well, that is a lie.
Many people wait for marriage to have sex, but their sex life is horrible, or they never get to have sex because their partner has no interest in sex.
Here is another example, by a “Mary Smith” in the comment section on CT – This is a comment by a woman who stayed a virgin until she got married, but her husband is rarely interested in sex, so they hardly ever have sex with each other:
April 22, 2013
I had to comment on this article. I am a 44 year old married woman, but my husband does not initiate sex very often. We went 4 months one time and I finally said something! It is so humiliating to feel unwanted.
This area has been a struggle for us since we got married. We were both virgins but he actually said to me on our honeymoon, I don’t know what is wrong, but I am just not interested.
For the first time in my life I wanted to kill myself.
I had done it God’s way and we both had saved ourselves and it just fell apart.
I went for the first six years with no orgasm.
It was tormenting. When we would have sex he would “operate”just fine. I finally heard the Lord say, you are going to have to figure it out for yourself or it’s not going to get fixed.
I was just like Peter, No Lord! I have never done anything like that. But I was so desperate I did figure it out. I really love my husband, but I still have to resort to pleasuring myself at times because he can go for a month and I can’t.
The older I get and I have lived my own life, and see testimonies by people such as “Mary Smith” above, I am more than okay with ignoring what other Christians say about most areas of morality, including sex.
And a lot of the Christians (such as preachers) who run around preaching virginity- until- marriage are the very same degenerates who hire prostitutes, had sex before marriage themselves, or are porn addicts. Yet they wag their fingers in my face, and the faces of other unmarried Christians, and tell us to abstain from sex. And some also prohibit masturbation in addition to that.
There is so much lunacy and stupidity taught by Christians about sex, marriage, and dating, I disregard it myself; I no longer follow the advice of Christians on any of these topics, not from famous preachers, not book authors… I still read it from time to time to critique it, but I don’t follow the advice myself.
————— Related posts this blog:
Eight years later, I’m still not married. I’d tell you it’s been awesome, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. Society, and particularly the church, seems so uncomfortable with singleness. By the time we hit quarter-life, friendly faces are ready to pair us off at any moment, as if being single necessarily means we’re incomplete. Some even come at us with warnings that we’ll become “leftovers” if we don’t find our mate soon. (Ask me if I’ve ever been called leftovers. I dare you.)
Then come the blog posts and articles, with stats and theories on why all our friends who ended up marrying their high school or college boyfriends got it right. The 2009 Christianity Today cover story, “The Case for Early Marriage,” was just the beginning. This wedding season brought another bump in pro-early-marriage arguments in Christian publications and mainstream magazines.
…This line of thinking remains risky, presenting marriage as such a positive move for 20somethings when so many of them aren’t ready. Surrounded by proponents of young love and young marriage, I felt a pressure beyond my years to make a commitment, and I am so glad I didn’t give in to those expectations, having grown up and grown closer to God in the years since.
…The statistics about the sex lives of single adults, including single Christians, are grim. According to a recent study in Relevant magazine, 80 percent of Christian singles in their 20s have had sex, and 64 percent had done so in the past year. By age 20, 25 percent of single women in the general public have cohabited, but by age 30, 74 percent of women have done so.
So yes, early-marriage champs, the longer we stayed unmarried, the greater our chances of sexual screwups. You win on that one.
But sex isn’t enough to hold up an argument for early marriage (though we hear it (Link): again and again).
Single Christians have the opportunity to throw the curve—to demonstrate that a life devoted to honoring Christ is in fact possible outside of the binds of marriage.
Exercising restraint and resolve to live a biblical singlehood speaks volumes to our fellow single men and women who treat sex as a casual thing. Living out Christian singlehood might also instill a bit of hope in the hearts of our nonbelieving friends; hope that there is more to life in your 20s and 30s than sex on the first date and late night booty calls. And trust me, folks, God is sovereign in our singlehood.
Marriage isn’t the solution to the immaturity of today’s 20-somethings. We don’t become grownups by putting a ring on it. My prayer for my generation is that we can grow into more mature followers of Christ, living as brothers and sisters in the faith as we walk through this journey.
…God doesn’t give us a timeline for when we need to marry; never do we reach cutoff point and become “leftovers.”…
Boy Bands and Rock Singers – Yes, Women Are Visually Stimulated and Visually Oriented (from the time they are teens, too)
Conservative Christians and Non Christians continue to portray all men as “visually oriented” and as sex obsessed weirdos, so if you want a man, single ladies, they say, you better be stick thin, have a perfect body, and grow your hair long.
Meanwhile, women are depicted in secular culture and from pulpits and in dating books by preachers as only being “emotional” and finding interest in knitting and petting kittens (and I do mean literal kittens there; that phrase is not a euphemism) – never are women said to care about what a man looks like, and women, at least the married ones, are portrayed as sexless, lifeless ragdolls who don’t want sex.
The problem with this is that none of it is true for all members of both genders, nor am I certain it’s true of even the majority of them.
The fact is (and I have said this before and will say it again in future posts – yes, I am planing a part two to this post), women – and this includes CHRISTIAN ones as well- like sexy looking, buff men.
Christian women are not turned on by stick-thin, toothless, smelly, balding, or obese males. And we wouldn’t settle for an ugly fatso just because he “loves Jesus” or attends church every week.
But this is the erroneous picture Christian literature and preachers paint of Christian women – that Christian women only care about how “spiritual” a Christian guy is.
So the males never hear sermons filled with bon mots such as, “Hey, dumpy, saggy lard ass: get to a gym and lose your gut, women don’t find that attractive. Get some Rogaine while you’re at it. And when is the last time you used mouth wash or saw a dentist??”
No, no, those sorts of comments are tossed at women, even in sermons and in “Christian” books and blogs about dating and relationships, but of course tilted to feminine appearance, such as, “Hey you ugly fatso, men care about looks, so go join ‘JUST LADIES,’ get on a treadmill, and grow your hair long! You look like a butch lesbian with short hair. No man wants that.”
Women do of course care about what men look like. Yes, we do, even the Bible thumping variety.
When I was growing up, a lot of girls had crushes on bands such as British pop band Duran Duran.
While I enjoyed some of their music, I was never a Duranie per se. But let me tell you, debates used to rage, absolutely rage, among teen girls in the 1980s as to which D2 band member was the cutest. Most chose Simon Lebon, lead singer. (Obviously, John Taylor was the cutest back then, so that settles that – though Simon has, IMO, aged better than John, going by recent photos of the band.)
I remember two very rabid D2 fans who rode my school bus back in the day, who used to argue DAILY, and quite passionately, about who was cuter, Simon or John. ~And people think females only care about a man’s “personality” or other “inner qualities.” Riiiiight. Keep living in that land of delusion, people who are uncomfortable with females being sexual.
Before that, in the 1970s, it was The Bay City Rollers. Girls went nuts for the Bay City Rollers.
In the 1990s, girls went crazy for New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys.
Girls have been lining their lockers with photos of males they find PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE in junior high and high school since the dawn of rock. (There are a sub-set of girls who will find a famous guy’s personality appealing, in addition to his looks, and will tape his photo up on that basis as well.)
There was Elvis and The Beatles in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, there is teen singer Justin Bieber.
I had a friend from junior high who seriously crushed on Patrick Swayze, the movie actor, all through high school. She used to tape his photos up all over her bedroom because she thought he was sexy fine with a nice body.
When I was in my late teens, I had a 50 something, married female co-worker on one job who loved movie actor Kevin Costner, who kept photos of him taped inside her employee locker.
Clearly, women like looking at men they consider handsome. This is fact. This is reality. I’ve been surrounded by this phenomenon my whole life but rarely do I see it acknowledged in Christian media -or secular- that women are visual, just as much as men are.
Instead, I keep seeing this idiotic notion bandied about in magazine articles, dating advice blogs, and in sermons, that Christian women (or any woman) only care about a man’s income or personality and don’t care an iota about what his face or body looks like.
I’m thinking maybe people are just comfortable with sexist stereotypes, and men feel it gives them an excuse to be fat and never work out at the gym. I’m not sure what other explanations can be in order.
The Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold. I almost forgot. Some women found him sexy, and they went a little crazy when that centerfold was published. I believe that was in the 1970s.
She [Gurley Brown] did manage to get Burt Reynolds’ enthusiastic participation in her first-ever nude male centerfold. “There’s a big show in this country called ‘The Tonight Show,’” she explained to me. “He was a guest host, and I asked him off the air.”
The photo that ran was Reynolds’ personal pick. ”He’s got a good body, he’s got terrific legs, he’s handsome, he’s smiling up a storm and you can’t really see any” — here, she paused — “men’s genitalia … It’s about as sexy and revealing as a photo can be, but it doesn’t reveal anything that it shouldn’t.”
The photo, which ran with text proclaiming that male editors had previously “neglected the visual appetites of us equally appreciative girls,” was a sensation. Women mobbed Reynolds’ house.
The founder of Playgirl even cited it as an inspiration for the entire creation of the magazine: ”When I saw Burt Reynolds naked in Cosmo and saw what a winner that was, it came to me, that’s what women want. If a woman says to me she wants to see a man’s smile, his eyes, I say, ‘Don’t lie to me — you want to see a man’s dong,’ that is if you’re normal.”
In “Bad Girls Go Everywhere,” Gurley Brown’s biographer, Jennifer Scanlon represents Gurley Brown as a feminist whose attitudes towards sex prefigured “sex positive” feminism.
That included acknowledging female desire, particularly a desire for men’s bodies. Gurley’s stubborn refusal to “demonize” men, or have any unpleasantness at all in her magazine, kept her at loggerheads with many second wavers; she saw it as simply practical. “I acknowledge that men keep women back,” Gurley Brown wrote, “but since sex is terrific and it comes from men, you can’t rule men out of this world and say they’re all terrible and rotten, because you’re going to need them for your own purposes.”
Women are “visually stimulated,” they are “visually oriented” and you damn skippy most women care about a man’s physical appearance. If they did not, they would not be taping shirtless photos of Patrick Swayze in his prime back in their school lockers way back when.
————————— Part 2:
The Myth of the Gift – Re Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy
Excerpts from a book by Hsu below (same material is available for free on Google books). Some aspects of this material are good, as it clears up some of the nonsense about the insipid “GOS” (Gft of Singleness / Gift of Celibacy) teachings one often sees from Christians.
However, and this is a very big sticking point with me and other singles from Christian backgrounds, Hsu does not deeply or meaningfully deal with unwanted, unexpected, prolonged Christian singleness*, which is going on in spades these days *(at least not in the free excerpts I read).
Christians who desire marriage but who remain single are left wondering: if you prayed since childhood for a spouse, earnestly believed God to send a spouse, and you also put yourself in positions to meet spouses (such as attending church singles classes, joining dating sites and so on), and are still not married into your 40s, what then? Hsu glosses this all over in a mere statement or two by saying something about “of course if you desire marriage, then marry, if the opportunity presents itself, if one can find a partner able and willing to marry you.”
Hsu says as long as you remain single, then by default you have the “gift of singleness” (though he explains that this is not a “gift” in the sense most Christians teach it as being – he clears up several misconceptions. As I’ve noted in other posts, the phrases “gift of singleness” and “gift of celibacy” do not even appear in the original biblical text).
I don’t want to be single forever – that is the crux of the matter – why has God not directed a spouse cross my path, despite all the years of waiting, praying, and joining dating sites and going on the odd date here or there? Hsu does not wrestle with this. I have included below this excerpt, a rebuttal by a book reviewer who calls herself “NoGiftofSingleness” .
Singles at the Crossroads: A Fresh Perspective on Christian Singleness
By Albert Y. Hsu
Chapter “The Myth of the Gift”
“Do you have the gift of singleness?”
No question makes singles more uneasy. And no concept generates more confusion for singles. “Ah, the gift of singleness,” one single friend mused. “Sometimes I wonder if it’s like a Christmas gift you want to return. You know, you get something from someone, and you’re like, ‘Okay, this is nice, but I’d rather have another sweater than this one.’ Well, I’d rather have the gift of marriage than this gift of singleness!”
“If you were to ask me, ‘Do you think you have the gift of singleness?’ I’d probably say no,” Maria said. “If you asked me why, I guess because I have a desire to be a wife and a mother, but I’m not necessarily sure that someone who has the gift of singleness doesn’t have those desires – that they’re completely not there. Some people imply that someone who has the gift of singleness doesn’t even have a sex drive, and I’m not sure that’s true.”
Is there such a thing as “the gift of singleness” or “the gift of celibacy”? What is meant when people talk about a gift of singleness? And if it really is a gift, why doesn’t anybody want it?
In this chapter we will examine the traditional view of the gift of singleness We weill see where these ideas come from, what problems this view may create, and how we’ve come to believe misconceptions about it. Then we will correct these misconceptions by examining the biblical material. Let’s discover what Paul really meant when he talked about singleness as a gift.
Christian Gender Stereotypes Prevent Singles From Marrying – Re Hunger Games
Many Christian singles have said online that gender stereotypes is one thing that is keeping them single, even though they want to be married. I’ve also seen this brought up in books by Christian singles that discuss singleness.
Here’s a web page that addresses one aspect of Christian gender stereotypes:
(Link Now Removed): What The Hunger Games Taught Me (and the Church Should Have) about Men
-THIS POST LIKELY TO BE DELETED IN THE FUTURE- ————————-
Related posts, this blog:
Women Reading and Enjoying Erotica (Fifty Shades of Grey book)
Amy Simpson’s blog touches on issues I raise on this one from time to time, including the odd, common view that only men want sex and are visual while woman allegedly are not. Here’s her post which talks about these topics and similar ones:
(Link Removed): Why I’m Not Shocked by Fifty Shades of Grey
Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols –
Biblical Christians should be very concerned that they are mirroring Mormons
I did a little bit of reading about Mormonism several years ago. I don’t remember everything I read, but I do vaguely recall from what I did read that Mormons place a lot of emphasis upon marriage and family.
Mormons believe in the afterlife that a man can become a god, and he needs a wife and kids to repopulate the planet he becomes ruler over, or something like that (seriously, they believe this stuff.)
Mormons place a lot of emphasis on family and marriage and having a lot of children, and it has something to do with how many planets they get to rule in the afterlife.
When doing an internet search about singleness, I’ve noticed about one-third of the blog pages and forum discussions that show up are for and by Mormons, complaining how there are so many un-married Mormon ladies who want to get married, but they remain single into their 30s and older.
The Mormon singles also complain about Mormon leaders ignoring singles, and about the special preference their denomination/church gives to married couples.
I am struck by how similar all this Mormon singleness talk is to how conservative Christianity treats marriage and singlehood, and how conservative Christianity worships marriage.
Some of the blog pages I’ve seen by Mormon single women sound like something I could have written about being a single in a Christian upbringing and environment.
I just came across this while doing a web search today:
(Link): Family Values. Strengthening Families. [Mormon site]
The happiest marriages and families are those grounded on the principles Christ … She told me she had read The Book of Mormon but was unable to find anyone that …. We welcome all to visit and worship with us in our Sunday services.
On that Mormon web page is a heading that reads, “Families Come First.”
At the bottom of that same Mormon page is a category heading of “FAMILIES PREPARE US FOR ETERNAL LIFE.”
What is eerie about that Mormon web page title, tag line, and other content on the page is that it resembles the same “Rah rah, family values!” rhetoric conservative Christians continually publish and produce – such as, well, (Link): “Focus on the Family.”
(Glancing over the FoF (Focus on the Family) home page, I notice there is no mention made of the un-married, of singles – FoF should care, because if they can help singles get married, there would be more families for them to focus on. This fact continues to escape these marriage- and- family- obsessed Christian groups.)
[After summarizing how Mormons idolize family, marriage]
Who doesn’t want a happy family? Who wants to see their family die off one by one? Who wants to be alone? I certainly do not and nor does anyone if they have had a decent family experience or something similar.
This is the hope that Mormons are peddling. It is the leading foot of their Gospel and the discerning believer will see it is just not the Gospel.
So what can evangelicals learn from this perversion of the Gospel centered on the nuclear family? We must preach joy, hope, and love from the Gospel and not life circumstance.
Whatever joy and happiness can be gleaned through family should pale in comparison to knowing Christ. If family is were you find joy and happiness then you will be sadly surprised in an eternity staring into the face of Christ. Paul considers “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord.” (Philippians 3:8).
The Gospel can and will influence and improve our family relations but this is not the ultimate in view. A radical focus on the Gospel, Christ’s work, as our source of joy and happiness then opens the door for people of all life settings to begin to live in goodness of the Gospel among the wider family of God.
We must reassert the Family of God as primary to the Gospel above the Nuclear Family.
As Dan Edelen pointed out 1 Corinthians7:1-40, Luke 18:28-30, Mark 3:31-35, and Isaiah 56:3-5; these verses all give good counsel on what the new family of God looks like above and beyond the nuclear family.
I might add to this list 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 with its picture of the body of Christ and the differently gifted members there within. I would further point my LDS friends to Christ’s discussion with the Pharisees in Mark 12:18-27.
The marital arrangements of this world will be superseded by a much greater marriage arrangement and that is between Christ and His church.
We must remember now that our marriages and families, as sweet and important as they are, are only meant to prefigure our future union as the church (family of believers) with Christ.
We must work hard to understand the role of singles in the Family of God.
In 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 Paul makes the case for the single’s ability to be free from the anxieties of this world and be anxious about the things of the Lord. This is set against those that are married that must be, by nature of life setting, concerned about the things of the world and not just about the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians7:32-33).
In Fact Paul points to the fact that those that are married have divided interests (1 Corinthians7:34). Picking up Cheerios in a minivan may be more of a divided interest than living the dream.
As the church we would do well to promote the health and Godly vitality that singles can bring to the church as those committed first to the work of the Lord; only to relinquish that work do to a calling to marriage or uncontrolled passions.
Instead of always pushing and prodding singles toward marriage why not push and prod toward Gospel work! One’s singleness can lead to the most fruitful and enriching time with the Lord if the focus is on Christ and His work and not the lack of marital union.
We must be careful not to take the renewed interest in family ministry within the church to far. The Mormon Gospel of family should serve as a warning to Evangelicals in our endeavors to more fully embrace the family in churches.
It is a very good thing for us to think about how to minister to families in our churches, but we must not carry our ministry to far and eclipse the wider family of God we have been called to be a part of.
While I doubt many evangelicals will wrap family in with the Gospel as Mormons have done, we have come dangerously close at times. Family is super-important and is the primary place most of us will live out our Christian witness, but we must keep first things first.
Evidence shows more ladies are embracing their inner cougar.
By Alexandra Sifferlin
June 13, 2013
When it comes to dating, there’s an unscientific, but prevailing opinion that older men want younger women and vice versa. Turns out, the opposite may be true for women on the online dating scene. Numbers culled from various dating sites have consistently shown both sexes prefer to date down the age spectrum rather than up.
AYI (Are You Interested?), is one of the largest websites and apps designed to help users find their mates, but it works in an unconventional way.
Users allow the app to access their Facebook profile, and people are then are paired based on interests. To sweeten the appeal, AYI also flags any mutual friends the prospective pair share. Users who like what they see ”fave” the profile. If not, they can click “skip.”
AYI pulled data from its 68 million downloads and 20 million Facebook profiles to see which subscribers are making successful matches.
It focused in on the 1 million recommended pairings in a specific population of 35,942 users ages 30 to 49. The surprising finding: a woman was five times more likely to show interest in a man was five years her junior that one who was five years older.
If only the men would catch on. Among the 26,434 men ages 30 to 49, 42% wouldn’t even consider a woman if she was older than him.
However, if contacted by an older woman, men wouldn’t necessarily turn her down. The data shows that a man is only 22% less likely to respond to an older woman than a younger woman if she initiates contact.
What are some of the reasons for this? AYI analysts suspect that younger women are inundated by requests from older men and while that might once have had some appeal— in a marrying-for-wealth sort of way — it simply doesn’t anymore.
A 2008 study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly found that women who are 10 or more years older than their partner report more satisfaction and relationship commitment compared to women who are the same age or younger than their partner.
There are three points to walk away from with this letter below, points which are three of several that regularly arise on this blog:
1. This letter makes me feel a little better about my never-married status. I’d rather be single than living in misery with some guy who is a control freak, and where there is no love.
Which is not to say when I’m pining for marriage I appreciate it when married people tell me stuff like, “Aw, marriage can be hard at times, a husband won’t meet all your emotional needs…”
But I do occasionally see married women describe really hellish or awful sounding marriages, and I can see how being alone is preferable to putting up with some guy’s crap. (I was also engaged once, in a long term relationship and felt relief when I dumped the guy.)
2.Note also from this letter that the woman who wrote in says she and her husband are not having sex!
Evangelicals, Baptists, and Fundamentalists try to talk Christian teens into staying virgins by promising them that they will have “mind blowing” (yes, the phrase they usually choose is “mind blowing”) sex when they get married. This is not always so.
3. Notice in the letter that the woman says she never found her husband “physically attractive.”
Often, one hears and sees in both Christian and secular discussions about female sexuality, dating, and marriage that only men want sex and only men care about a partner’s physical appearance, while women supposedly do not care about either.
Q: “I am a 30-year-old mother of two boys, ages 6 and 8, and I have been married for four years to the man I met during my last pregnancy. We have been together for six years on and off.
[The] truth is, I am not happy with him.
My family hates him and my kids merely tolerate him. I’ve never been attracted to him physically, but I fell in love with him because he was there for me when the man I loved left me while I was carrying his son.
He has bought us a nice home and even helped me get my dream car, but he uses his assistance to control these things.
Because of his personality, he has very few friends. He is not very family-oriented.
We do not sleep together and barely talk.
We don’t see eye-to-eye on the children at all.
I dream of leaving but fear I cannot make it alone and I definitely don’t want to leave him in debt.
Besides, I work crazy hours and he takes the kids to football practice and keeps them after school. I want to be happy and I get really discouraged when people tell me to work it out.
I am also afraid of leaving and being lonely or meeting a guy who beats me or hurts my kids. Please help me!” —Anonymous
Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles
I have no doubt that the majority of Christians, maybe aside from some liberals and emergents, would tell you that they believe homosexuality is a sin – at least the behavior, maybe not the orientation – and that they believe homosexuals should refrain from sexual activity. So I would not be surprised if most of them look at the heading of this post and feel very confused.
Concerning heterosexual singles, the majority of Christians are opposed to them having sex outside of marriage – or, they at least claim to feel this way.
However, such Christians stress God’s forgiveness of pre-marital sex and fornication to the point they somewhat cancel out the Bible’s commands of sexual purity, making them appear rather moot.
As I discussed (Link): in a previous post, there is still a current of thought on some Christian blogs, forums, and comment sections under articles on issues such as homosexual marriage, that because one cannot reasonably expect any adult to indefinitely refrain from any and all sexual behavior, that is it unrealistic or cruel to expect homosexuals to never have sex (which in their case, obviously, would be with someone of the same gender).
And, of course, there is the same thought at play for hetero singles: many Christian preachers and even lay persons assume it is impossible for any Christian to refrain from sex for months, years or decades.
Many Christians assume that only a small minority of Christians have the “gift of celibacy” (never mind (Link): there is no such thing). Further, these same Christians usually assume celibacy bestowed upon those “gifted” with it is some kind of super power, wherein God removes all sexual desire (also untrue).
With un-married heteros who stumble into sexual sin, preachers frequently get around this by emphasizing “God’s forgiveness.”
That is, almost any time I read a Christian blog, article, or book about sexual sin among heteros, or hear a Christian on television discuss the single and hetero-sexual sin, it is always mentioned that God forgives sexual sin, so the single is advised to not fret about it.
There was a story in Huffington Post where a mother explained she and her husband were very devout Christians, and at some point when her son was a teen or early 20 something, he texted her one day and told her he was homosexual.
This was a son who she and her husband raised in the church. The son confided in his youth group that he had homosexual tendencies and urges, and they supported him as best they could.
As the son got older, the article said, the mother said she basically told the son he had to choose between his sexuality or Jesus, and he tried to suppress his homosexuality even more than before.
This was stressful for her son. He turned to drug abuse to cope.
Eventually, the son called home and asked if he could come back, if she could love him even if he were homosexual, etc. By this stage, the mother said yes, she just wanted her son back. She got him back, but he later died from a drug problem (one last drug binge).
Here is the part of the article I wanted to call out (from the Huffington Post article “Just Because He Breathes”); the mother said,
“Choosing God [over a homosexual orientation], practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. He [her homosexual son] would never have the chance to fall in love, have his first kiss, hold hands, share intimacy and companionship or experience romance.”
I am quite sorry about the death of her son. Having said that, I would like to point out that the situation is no less different for hetero Christian singles.
While hetero, un-married Christians might be able to share a “first kiss” and “hold hands,” they are instructed by the Bible not to get intimate.
~ No Guarantee of Marriage for Heterosexuals Either ~
I may never marry. I am hetero. I have made it to age 40+ and have not married, though I wanted to. I may die single.
Ergo, one common argument I see, which is “Oh yeah, well as a hetero, you at least have a CHANCE at getting married, homosexuals don’t even have that” is a bogus one. In order for me to have a “chance” at marriage, I must first have a boyfriend. I do not have one. I may never get another one.
I saw a book review once by a 50 year old, never- married Christian woman where she said that she has a circle of 40- and- 50- something, never- married Christian women friends who all desired marriage. She said one of those friends died at the age of 52 or 54 (from cancer, if I recall correctly).
This woman’s 50-something friend, who wanted marriage, never got to experience it. So please, stop with the “oh yeah, but at least you straights have the possibility of marriage!” argument – because we really do not.
Helping Christian Singles Meet Christian Singles (to date)
There is a category of postings at another blog for Christian Singles (links below).
Beware though, for its writers are Biblical Gender Complementarians.
(In a nutshell: Biblical Gender Complementarians believe the only or proper, biblical role for women is to be married with a baby, staying at home, making casseroles; they frown on women working outside the home, some of them are against women attending college, etc.
Some gender complementarians would deny my description of complementarianism and say it’s a strawman – only to turn around two minutes later and blame uppity feminist women who get college educations and use The Pill who do not want to stay at home with a kid, who do not want to stay home organizing a husband’s sock drawer, and who do not want to stay home cooking casseroles for the downfall of American society).
What role can the church play in the lives of single adults who have a desire for marriage and family?
I believe most Christian singles would value their pastors and married couples in their churches introducing them to godly prospective mates, rather than feeling the need to resort to such options as going online and wading through a pool of strangers.
I know many marriages that started with a simple observation made from a married person to a single man:
“Have you ever considered [insert name here]? I’ve observed your friendship with her and see many qualities in her that could make her an excellent wife for you.”
I call that the Foot-In-The-Small-Of-The-Back Ministry and I commend it to married people everywhere! I can assure them their efforts would be received with much gratitude. // end quotes from other blog
WORD OF ADVICE, CAUTION FOR MARRIED CHRISTIANS WHO ARE CONSIDERING PLAYING MATCH MAKER FOR THEIR UN-MARRIED CHRISTIAN FRIENDS
I have read testimonies by 27 year old divorced church- attending women, with kids from their previous marriages, whose married church lady acquaintances tried fixing them up with the never-married, 45 year old, 800 pound, overall- wearing hillbilly, church- going- guy named Bubba, who has bad breath, lives in his Mom’s basement, collects Star Trek dolls extensively, and is socially awkward and plain old unattractive.
While I do feel many singles (men especially) are way too damn picky about physical appearance in mate selection, nobody can be blamed for wanting to date or marry someone they find at least somewhat easy on the eyes.
Groundbreaking News: Women Like Sex (part 1, 2) (articles)
Conservative Christians, men especially, keep assuming and teaching that men are “visually oriented” and want sex, while women are not “visually oriented” and that women hate sex and prefer “emotional intimacy.” I dispute both claims and stereotypes.
Below are some links to articles about the topic, where some researchers polled a bunch of men and women and found that some stereotypes about female sexuality are wrong.
At least two of these articles are written by a guy who seems perturbed by these findings for some reason I don’t quite understand, but I post them here just to provide information about the studies. I have also posted a few other related articles.
Part 1. Groundbreaking News: Women Like Sex A new study reveals that women, like men, enjoy sex. Here’s why this is dumb.
May 8, 2013 • By Ryan O’Hanlon •
Hold onto your codpieces, y’all. You’re not gonna believe the news coming out of Australia. I am currently shivering in a corner, feebly pecking away at a keyboard with my mouth, trying to finish up this post while I attempt to process all of this.
Here is the lede:
It’s a myth that men want sex and women want relationships, says a Sydney professor, as a long-simmering gender spat reaches Australia.
I am dead—and there’s still more:
It is not true that men are focused only on sex and women only want relationships, she says.
But. But. But. But. But how could she know?
Richters, an associate professor at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, uses data collected over 10 years from more than 25,000 Australians to make her case.
UPDATE: Women Like Sex A new book looks at why that isn’t totally obvious. (part 2)
June 4, 2013 • By Ryan O’Hanlon •
Early last month we wrote about a decidedly not-fascinating study, which said: Women like sex.
… Over at Slate, Amanda Hess has a great piece on the topic, stemming from spending some time at a Playboy party—in which the editor-in-chief tells her, “We used to have a pickle shot now and again. Not anymore.” —and a book (Daniel Bergner’s What Do Women Want?) that’s out today. Bergner’s book, Hess writes, breaks down all the modern female stereotypes: “That women are not visual creatures; that their sex drive is lower than men’s; that they’re aroused by love, not sex; and that they’re naturally fitted to be sexual objects, not agents.”
Cheating Married Christian Women and Lessons I Take Away – and Being a Virgin aka Sexually Pure Does Not Guarantee God will Send You a Spouse
This post touches on two or three subjects I’ve raised before.
First, the erroneous assumption by many Christians (usually married) that singles are sleazy sleaze buckets with excessive libidos who fornicate all over the place, while married Christian couples are always sexually pure and never sexually sin.
Secondly, there’s an idea floated around in some Christian material (usually books about dating and marriage, but at times, in sermons) that having pre-marital sex (or committing other sorts of sexual sin) will prevent a Christian from getting married (or from staying married).
It’s usually murky on whether or not the Christian author or speaker means to imply that God is (A.) directly punishing you for your sexual sin by with-holding a spouse from you, or (B.) if they mean to say it’s a natural consequence of your sexual sin. I usually assume they mean it’s A., rather than B.
However, I’ve not seen evidence of A. Well, not even of B, really.
On the contrary, I keep seeing televised testimonies on Christian programs such as “The 700 Club” or “Praise the Lord” by spouses who say their Christian spouse has a history of cheating, but they stayed with the spouse anyway. It’s sometimes a male who admits to cheating on a spouse, but every so often, one will see a female confessing to adultery.
I suppose such testimonies are intended to make the viewer think about forgiveness and grace, that we can see from this the grace God extends to sinners.
I walk away with the opposite impression. Here’s the lesson I get from these testimonies: it does not matter if you stray from a spouse and/or engage in sexual sin prior to marriage, because you can still get a spouse (including a Christian one);
Or, the other side of the lesson I take away is,
If you are already married and cheat, your believing spouse will not divorce you over the cheating.
In summary: There is no penalty for pre-marital sex or for cheating, or it’s not a large one, or sexual sin does not prevent one from getting a spouse, or not every one who engages in sexual sin suffers a negative penalty from it.
And hence (flip side of coin), there is no incentive to remain sexually pure and chaste.
If I thought there were too many eHarmony dating site commericals before, they’ve gotten even more common place shortly before and even after the July 4th holiday this year. I’ve seen a slight rise in Match.com commercials, but a huge increase in eHarmony spots.
eHarmony seems to run more commercials around holidays.
As I said on my last post:
I hate eHarmony and am tired of their stupid commercials.
Neil Warren Clark and eHarmony can go suck on a rock.
Here’s one of the latest eHarmony commercials (2013) TV stations have been airing frequently (showing founder Clark on a speed date):
Are men LESS into sex than they realize? New study finds they exaggerate how often they think about it (and how much sex they actually have)
There’s this myth among Christians (particularly males), and among some Non Christians that only men enjoy sex, want sex, and that only males are “visually oriented.” As I’ve blogged about before, this is all nonsense. A lot of women want sex, enjoy sex, have sexual desire and are just as “visually oriented” as men are.
Un-Married Woman Pushes Back Against Stereotype Held By Married Woman That Single Females are Sexual Temptresses
There is a stereotype in American culture, not only with Christians, but with Non-Christians, that all un-married people are promiscuous and have no sexual self-control, and that single females in particular are great big whores who are all man-stealers.
I was happy to see this un-married woman write in to an advice columnist recently and correct this stupid stereotype, and I have reproduced her letter farther below in this post.
I have no idea if the female letter writer, or anyone else involved in this, is Christian or not, but religious beliefs here are irrelevant, more or less, though I would hope Christians would be more fair-minded about things but they are sadly often just as bad as their Non Christian counterparts.
Is there not a Bible verse which advises Christians to think the best of people, and to not automatically suspect them of the worst?
Perhaps I am thinking of this Bible passage:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
How often do married Christians violate that passage, to assume each and every un-married woman is a Jezebel, a sex pot, a wanna-be adulteress? I have personally had men over the years – married Christian men – who I’ve gotten to know online tell me that they must cut off contact with me, lest their wife assume we’re having an affair, or that one might happen.
Not only is this attitude rude and unfounded, but I have no idea what these men even look like, since they don’t generally post photos of themselves online (some of them do, some of them don’t). Not that I’d steal a hot-looking man away from his wife, either, but really, most guys I’ve seen in person who mistake my friendly chatter for flirting, are very bland-looking, or ugly or fat, or both ugly and fat – they are quite conceited if they think I want romance or sex with them.
You men out there who assume each and every un-married woman is hot for you -including the ones who merely strike up friendly, polite banter- need a reality check: unless you are a clone of movie star Hugh Jackman, Clark Gable, George Clooney, Gary Cooper, Robert Redford, or Ryan Gosling, and with a great physique, most women aren’t into you, sweetness. To quote from a Duran Duran song: “My obsessive fascination is in your imagination; I don’t want your love.”
Here is the letter from the un-married woman to the advice columnist, Hax, dispelling the notion that all single women are easy lays or are out to sleep with married men:
On “available” women:
In a recent column, a husband had a crush on a woman the wife described as a “pretty” and “available.”
“Available” to whom? To the married man? Does single status imply that a woman would make herself available to a married man? I, and my single friends, see it otherwise. None of us would consider ourselves “available” to any man who wasn’t himself “available.”
This wife’s choice of words implies that she believes that men can more easily “have” single women on whom they have a crush than married ones. Certainly we have plenty of evidence that married men fall for the wives of other men; yet the wife who wrote you implies that she would have been more comfortable had the object of her husband’s crush been married or otherwise “taken” — as if a married or “taken” woman is better positioned to resist him. Insulting.
Annoyed by stereotypes
Women are in fact “visually stimulated,” just as men are, and most women do have sex drives (and contrary to what most in the media and from the pulpit continue to espouse about female sexuality), but it does not follow from this that all un-married women are cheaters or looking to steal a husband away from his wife.
Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Regarding Marriage and Family Vs. Singles and Childless / Child Free)
There is a site that sells postcards, banners, and other bric-a-brak to churches. I perused their postcard section, of which they must have one billion post card designs. About 90% of those designs pertain to marriage, sex, and children/parenting. You can see samples of some of their postcards though out this post.
To the right: “Making Marriage Work” and “Fireproofing Your Marriage.” Based on stats I keep seeing in books and on different sites around the internet, upwards of 44% (or more) of the American population over the age of 18 are un-married. They don’t have a marriage that “needs work” or “needs fireproofing.”
Where is the post card that says “Making Singlehood Work?” I didn’t see them on that site that sells these things, and I looked through many, many of their postcards.
To the left there, you will see a postcard of a back car window with a sticker family, with a Dad, Mom, and three kids, with “Families” in big letters. Nothing says “Singles, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you” quite like a direct mail piece to people that doesn’t show a lone stick figure – a stick lady standing alone – but only a traditional family of married couple with kids.
It may be that churches who mail these sorts of cards out have fancy marketing information so that only married couples with kids in their vicinity get these marriage and family postcards, but some churches do not have a lot of income for stuff like this and would probably indiscriminately mail the identical post card out to every one in ten, twenty, whatever mile radius around their church, regardless of their marital status.
Meaning, I would not be surprised if some elderly widow with no kids gets these sorts of “family” postcards, or if middle- aged, never- married people get one, too.
This is a postcard (pictured at right) that shows an optional back printing – you can get a map to your church printed on the back of postcards with the phrase “Bring the Family This Weekend!” on it.
There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or Being Called to Either One
The following reader response (by gortexgrrl) appeared on a blog by a guy named Jeremy, who read a blog post about singleness by another guy named Kostenberger and blogged about it.
Gortexgrrl references Debbie Maken in passing in one of her posts below. I do not agree with all of author Debbie Maken’s views.
Maken pushes for something called “marriage mandate,” and despite what goretexgrrl states below, Maken does go a little “blame the victim” on women who desire marriage, yet who still find themselves unmarried into their 30s and older.
Yes, Maken seems to most heavily blame men for women being single, but I’ve read comments by Maken on other blogs and excerpts of her books, and she does blame women a little bit – she assumes if you are a woman who is still single at 35 or 40, it’s because you didn’t do enough to get a spouse when you were 25, or there was something more you could have done.
The Makens of the world refuse to acknowledge that marriage is often beyond a person’s control: you can join every dating site on the planet and go to every singles church function known to mankind and still find yourself single at 40.
Here are the posts where “Gift of Singleness/ Celibacy” was discussed:
The confusion created by the three different meanings of the “gift of singleness” that you’ve aptly described in your first post would seem to be good enough reason for everyone to just abandon the term altogether.
The “gift of singleness” is a term that appears nowhere in the Bible. Nor does “the gift of celibacy”.
When I posted my concerns about the problems created by the “GOS” [Gift Of Singleness] on Kostenberger’s blog, they were removed (along with others, particularly those that questioned whether or not he had actually read Maken’s book, since he seemed to suggest that it was about blaming women, when the blame was really more heavily directed towards men).
Free speech. Academic freedom. Do any of those things have any meaning in the minds of theologians? Here’s one of my posts, you can critique my thoughts on “the gift of singleness” as well as the question of censorship while you’re at it:
Unfortunately, I must vehemently disagree with the glowing reviews in the posts above and object to this mischaracterization of Maken’s book. She does NOT say “women who are in their late 20s or in their 30s and still unmarried have got only themselves to blame for lack of effort”.
If anything, she lets the women off the hook and blames single men and faulty church teachings for the current epidemic of protracted singleness among Christians.
Maken’s critique of the man situation would have been better if she had not indulged in an imbalanced “man bashing” and if she had acknowledged the severe shortage of men in our churches (which is indeed the greatest cause of protracted singleness among the female faithful). However, her indictment of problematic church teachings was ABSOLUTELY GROUNDBREAKING, especially in “rethinking the ‘gift of singleness’”.
With all due respect, there’s no such thing as “The Gift of Singleness”. The original biblical texts use no such term.
“GOS” first appeared in the Living Bibles of the 70’s, and later in The Message, perhaps to mitigate or update the Catholic notion of “the gift of celibacy” (also not biblical). 1 Cor 7:7 in the NRSV reads
“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.”
Paul states his own preference regarding singleness/celibacy (scholars have debated for years which one) and makes a aside about the uniqueness (“IDIOS”) in how God gifts us (“CHARISMA”: grace gift, not ’spiritual gift’ per se) using a phrase common to Greek speakers to this day “HOS MEN HOUTO DE HOS HOUTO”, which has an INDEFINITE meaning: “like this and like this (and like this, etc.) It’s meaning is NOT either/or, as in “gift of marriage” or “GOS”, it’s less specific than that!
In light of “the present distress” (v.26) the option of singleness/celibacy is presented by Paul as a RECOMMENDATION, not a “gift”.