The Christian Singles Mess

The man-childTim Challies posted on Facebook this quote from a book by Richard Phillips:

“One of the biggest problems in the church today is the failure of young adult men to value and pursue marriage.”

That quote really bothered me, honestly. It seems like the typical male-bashing that is so prevalent today: If something is wrong, blame men.

It takes two to tango, though, so I can’t see why the blame must always fall on men for the state of dating today.

I’ve been married since 1996, so I can’t say that I am totally up on every aspect of the Christian single scene circa 2010, but still, I can’t believe it has changed THAT much since my single days. So when I read quotes like the one from Phillips, I just have to wonder if people see the same mess I did.

When I was single…

It was almost always the woman who broke things off in a relationship. I knew a lot of single Christian guys, and they were typically the dumpee, not the dumper. These were good guys, too. They WANTED to get married. It’s just that their girlfriends didn’t—at least not to them. So just who is putting off marriage here?

While both sexes have “lists,” the lists of desirable qualities in a mate that women kept seemed to be more unrealistic than the lists of men. What made this more glaring was that as single women aged, their lists got shorter, while men’s lists tended to stay the same. So which sex is making dating harder?

I dated about a half-dozen women before I met my wife. Twice, women I dated gave me the “you’re too nice” break-up speech—only to have those two later date men who hit them. Worse, they couldn’t bring themselves to break it off with their abusers. I pray that a third of women out there are not dumping nice guys in favor of bad boys, but my experience says otherwise. What kind of message is that sending to men who are “nice”?

A man’s income is a bigger factor than single Christian women care to admit. Plenty of good, caring, honest men don’t make six figures. I’ve seen too many cases of women dropping the “poor” nice guy in favor of the loaded playboy. The outcome is self-fulfilling. So which sex is succumbing to questionable motives?

This is not a post to bash single women. Still, all the culpability for the mess out there can’t be dumped solely at the feet of men.

It’s true that we seem awash in Man-Child Syndrome, with men acting like teenagers into their 30s. But at the same time, thanks to the inevitable outcomes of radical feminism, we’ve also developed this almost predatory female who wants to compete as a man in those elements of life we’ve always associated with manhood. Can anyone claim that THAT’S an improvement for women?

Here’s the even worse problem: quotes like those from Richard Phillips. Why? Because the fixes are not those most Christians are willing to examine. We can complain all we want about the state of male-female relationships today, but the fixes do not amount to telling one sex or the other to get their collective acts together. The problems run deeper.

Here’s an example:

Today, young men must compete for jobs against young women. But the playing field is not level. Every study I have seen in the last few years shows that companies prefer to hire women. Men are also cowed by the threat of sexual harassment lawsuits. Having been in several workplaces where a male coworker was sued for sexual harassment, I can tell you that the effect is chilling, even on those men who would never consider saying or doing anything deemed harassment. I remember commenting to a woman I worked with that I thought she had a great fashion sense and was a smart dresser; she responded, “And just what do you mean by that?” Her response taught me that it was better to not talk to her at all.

This adds up in the lives of men. It amplifies the so-called Battle of the Sexes, a battle that didn’t exist prior to the 1960s and the rise of radical feminism. As men are most often the loser in this battle, this contributes to the Man-Child Syndrome.

I also believe that the way we prepare young people for the work world today exacerbates the problems. Beyond men and women competing for the same jobs, we use college as an excuse for job prep. We throw young people into a largely unsupervised college environment, expect them to put off marriage for four years, expect them them put off marriage for more years after graduation while they “establish their careers” (and justify the massive costs of a college education), and then we wonder why dating and mating is a giant mess.

Yet what Christian leader out there today is willing to question the way we work, earn money, and get an education? Instead, we find a convenient whipping boy, the man-child, and tell him to act like a man—when our entire system is geared for preventing him from doing so.

As I see it, the problems are systemic and difficult, which is why it’s easier for Christians to simply ignore them as we pursue our careers and gather for ourselves the only thing that seems to matter in life:  money. Telling men to act like men doesn’t get us anywhere unless we’re prepared to make the changes necessary to mold them into our professed ideal. And those changes may mean revising every aspect of our society and culture.

I wrote about my suggestions for how we Christians can address the issue of singleness in the Church in Singleness: Radical Answers for a Harsh Reality. I also talked about how we Christians are not seeing the bigger picture in dating and mating in The Truth About Women (and Men).

I wish more Christians were willing to look hard at masculinity and femininity breakdowns in our society today and pose genuine solutions that challenge the way we live. If we don’t, how can we expect different outcomes?

by Dan Edelen

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172 Comments

  1. Mike Jacobs
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “One of the biggest problems in the church today is the failure of young adult men to value and pursue marriage.”

    Dan, I would like to focus in on the “church today” part of this quote.

    Do you know if there ever been studies from previous generations that show christian or churched people groups that have significantly lower vice rates or social ills than the culture at large? Are we kidding ourselves that we should be expecting this? I mean, in the 50’s I’m sure the overall percentage of the culture was lower vice rates, but my gut says that they were probably the same percentage as the world then too. Just as today’s studies show we are no different. I suspect this is because people are people and while we may be redeemed, most of us still carry a lot of baggage around. (Take a look at the Corinthian church.) I ,and we all, would like to think otherwise, but I’m not too sure anymore.

    • Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Mike,

      I can’t give you 2000 years of data to tell you how effective or ineffective things have been. All I know is that in my lifetime there has been an obvious slide. And the obvious slide occurs because fewer and fewer people end up truly committed to virtue. Premarital sex has always existed, but I would pretty much stake my life on it having been lower in times when the nation was committed to biblical ideals (even if not everyone of that age was born again). Even if the only deterrent was societal shame, at least societal shame existed. I don’t think you can make that same claim today. I mean, I just read a story about a woman who twittered her abortion for all her Twitter feed readers.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy
        Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        I mean, I just read a story about a woman who twittered her abortion for all her Twitter feed readers.

        Well, they call them “Twits” for a reason…

  2. Jeff
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post Dan. As a 32 year old single guy, I have heard quite a mix of teaching and discussion on this topic.

    I used to visit Boundless (a Focus on the Family site for young singles), but eventually had to stop reading the articles…the guilt and burden that they put on single men is just wrong. There are even some authors (“marriage mandators”) suggesting that men only become fully adult if they marry! Yikes…

    Most of my christian single guy friends do want to get married, but it can be difficult finding the right fit. Also, the burden to be a good provider is especially challenging for men at this time. If you are out of work, should you even consider dating?

    The young adult pastor at my church has a more balanced view on things; he holds marriage and singleness up as equally good callings and challenges both single men and women to grow in maturity to become worthy marriage partners.

    • Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Jeff,

      I think we should honor people who have been given the grace to remain single.

      I also think that by buying into the world’s economic system, which encourages delaying marriage long past the sane point, we have created a real sexual disaster. I’d like to see us encourage more young people to marry earlier, while also working harder to ensure we support them more than we have as a Christian body.

      • John Morgan
        Posted November 23, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Dan,

        I’m a 51 year old lifetime celibate who has been given the grace to remain single. Let me assure you, I have never experienced anything remotely similar to “honor” during my lifetime.

        John Morgan

        • Ratata
          Posted April 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          That’s a shame, John, just a proof that Christian Society is too much tainted by the world’s society.
          Have you considered converting to Catholicism? They at least honor their celibate priests…

    • ccinnova
      Posted February 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I have to echo what Jeff said about Focus on the Family’s Boundless website as well as their Boundless Line blog. Their attitude toward single men leaves a lot to be desired.

      As a recent example, contributor Motte Brown posted a video sermon by Mark Driscoll on the Boundless Line blog last November. In the teaching, Driscoll somehow came up with five criteria defining manhood, including getting married and having children, from a sermon text of Luke 1:80. How Driscoll can derive such criteria from a Scripture text concerning John the Baptist eludes me.

      Boundless has also featured articles by authors such as Alex Chediak, Debbie Maken, Albert Mohler, and Candice Watters whose attitude toward single men is similar to that of Richard Phillips.

      Some years ago I made several financial contributions to Focus on the Family. They won’t get another dime of my money until they either shake up Boundless or close it down.

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Seriously, it’s Driscoll, are you really surprised?

        The male bashing by the way is simply being carried over from westernized culture, which elevates women to a status of near deification. There was a warning about this in Scripture but I can’t remember the exact verse (it was in Isaiah).

        I’ve been out of the loop for years now so I don’t know what’s going around in Christian circles, but I’m not surprised that the treatment of single men isn’t much different from the world. Real incentive for me to go back to church, by the way, NOT. LOL

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          Lincoln, single female Christians are also subjected to prejudices, insults, and mistreatment by the church at large; it’s not just the single male Christians who endure this stuff.

          • ccinnova
            Posted December 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            Wow. This post is still receiving comments nearly three years after it was written.

            I reread the comment I posted at the time. There have been some significant changes at Boundless since then. Their editor and at least two other contributors were casualties of a major staff reduction at Focus on the Family that following summer. Since then, Boundless’ attitude toward men has improved slightly; a recent post on male spiritual leadership illustrates this change. On the other hand, they still remain fond of Mark Driscoll. In addition, Scott Croft, who promotes a form of “biblical dating” which is nothing more that courtship legalism dressed up in different terms, is now a biweekly contributor.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      There are even some authors (“marriage mandators”) suggesting that men only become fully adult if they marry!

      Isn’t that just the Christianese form of “You’re not a REAL adult until you get laid”?

      • CrunchyPeanutButter
        Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        @Headless Unicorn Guy

        Women, both Christian and Non Christian, who haven’t had any kids (especially those who admit to never wanting to have kids – it was their decision to remain childfree) get that kind of attitude.

        If you go to forums by people who have chosen not to have kids (with some who wanted them, but who were infertile), every so often, you will see a woman say on those forums once she told another woman she never had kids, the other female will say, “You’re not a real woman if you’ve never had kids” or “You’re not a real woman until you’ve had kids.”

        People say insensitive comments all the time about different things to both genders, about all kind of things… kids, not having kids, about marriage, divorce, singleness. Even as I get older, I still find myself amazed at how cruel or rude people can be.

  3. Jeff
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    “One of the biggest problems in the church today is the failure of young adult men to value and pursue marriage.”

    How about the failure to pursue God? How about lack of faith (fear)? Unfruitfulness? Pursuit of ambition/money above service and community? I can think of so many more critical problems that we (individually and corporately) face. If this (failure of men to pursue marriage) was one of our biggest problems, I think we’d be in pretty good shape :)

  4. Lee
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Jeff. I was thinking along those lines when I read the quote. But also that his quote is completely unbiblical. Paul and Jesus both said it’s better to be single. Why don’t they ever teach singles that?

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Lee, Christ and Paul may have taught that for God’s purposes it’s better for a person to be single (since they can devote more time to serving God), but as an always- single woman (I was never married but wanted to be), I totally hate it. I hate being single.

      I do go through occasions when it does not bother me to be single, and I was content to be single for most of my late 20s to mid 30s, but for the most part, I despise it.

      So it would not cheer me up for a pastor to tell me on a TV show or from a pulpit that “the scriptures say it is better to be single.”

      At the same time, that does not mean I want the church to act like singleness is a disease or that singles are of less value than marrieds are, which they are guilty of doing all the time.

      Singleness is not a gift, either. How I get sick of hearing that cliche from Christians.

      There are some never married people (both Christian and Non) who love being single and have no regrets, but there are some of us who don’t like it. I don’t want to hear lectures that I should love singleness because it gives me more time to serve God, no thanks.

      • Jenai Goss
        Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

        I actually enjoy being single (and I do want to be married! I am almost 30). There is a season for being single and a season for being married. I will never have the free time to study the Bible or fellowship or attend Bible studies and serve once I am married that I do now!

        Singlesness IS a gift and marraige is a gift, and both are for the glory of God. (My sister has the actual ‘gift of singleness’, which while I don’t really understand it, is very cool).

        While single I can focus on God, I know very well that once I am married I will also have a family and husband to look out for.

        If you “do not like it”, examine Paul’s teachings on contentment, (There is also a fairly decent book I recently read, ‘Sacred Singleness’, that gets into this very topic). When we are discontent it is our own hearts that are turning from God, not God that is failing to provide. We may be missing out on God’s best (the gift of a season to focus on Him or shore up weaknesses in ourselves or serve Him freely, etc) because we are so consumed with *our* planned visions of the earthly future.

        • Posted October 1, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Jenai,

          Yet it is the discontent people who are the favorites of God. Hannah, who was discontent with her barrenness. Jacob, who was discontent with his place as second child and in his first bride. Bartimaeus, who was discontent with his blindness. In fact, it is people discontent with the way things are that God both honors and uses to drive society forward.

          There is nothing wrong with being discontent when discontent is called for. Wisdom comes from knowing when it IS called for and when it is not.

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

          @ Jenai Goss.

          I’m trying to be polite about this, but, in all honesty, I did not like your reply at all.

          And your response is unfortunately quite typical of the shallow, platitude- type, shaming response adult singles receive when they admit to not enjoy being “happy happy” with singleness at all times.

          Please do not tell an unmarried woman who desires marriage to brush up on contentment.

          Please do not imply that I am making marriage “into an idol” (all that tripe about looking at earthly happiness, etc).

          I find such pandering not to be honestly grappling with the pain people go through in this life when they are not getting marriage, or whatever thing they sought or hoped for.

          It’s a religious-y sounding answer that must make you feel good to type it, but it rings very hollow to me.

          Jenai Goss, for years, I was ‘little Good Miss Christian Girl’ who looked to God alone. I was not making other things or people my idol. I was intently “into God” and looking to him. My older siblings used to tease me and call me “holy roller” for my devotion to God.

          Ergo, I do not need a “season of life to focus on God only.” I spent the first 40+ years of my life “focusing on God only.”

          You are also getting into this attitude that God only doles out a spouse to someone who “earns” it by meeting criteria (e.g., if only you find 100% happiness and meaning in God, THEN God will send you a spouse, and/or once you find total contentment in God, only THEN will he send you a spouse). This is false. The Bible does not teach any of this stuff.

          And yes, God has indeed “failed to provide” for me by not sending me a spouse (more on that below).

          Jenai Goss, did you not read in my post where I said I was in fact “content” with being single from my mid 20s to mid 30s, and still experience bouts of contentment even now?

          I am sometimes content with singleness now, but overall, yes, I’d like to be married.

          I do have days/weeks where I am bummed about being single.

          It just comes off as preachy, condescending, and insensitive to tell an adult single who pines for marriage that she needs to go take another “look-see” at what the Bible says about singleness.

          I’m in my 40s now, for pete’s sake, I am more than familiar with what the Bible says on some topics, thank you very much.

          I have undergone a lot of changes since I last posted here.

          I am considering leaving the Christian faith for one thing, not only due to the singleness issue, but due to other factors.

          On God not providing:
          I, like many other adult single women now over their mid 30s, was taught by Baptist and evangelical churches, parents, Christian books, when we were younger, that if we simply waited, prayed, and trusted in Jesus, etc, that we’d be rewarded with a godly spouse by our mid 30s at the latest.

          Yet I am still single in my 40s.

          I do not see evangelicals and Baptists replying to this situation, how is it that so many sincere, God fearing women who prayed and patiently waited in their teens to 20s are still single in their 40s.

          Where are the spouses we were promised? Why is God ignoring our prayers for spouses???

          Why are Christian single women being forbidden from at least considering marrying Non Christians, when there are no Christian men to marry, people are so obsessed with the jot and tittle of that ‘be not yoked’ verse.

          I also see news story after news story of “Christian” men, some of whom are preachers and married and fathers, who are arrested for rape, murder, drug abuse, etc, so I see no practical reason to hold out for a Christian man. I have met perfectly nice NON Christian single men over my life.

          Telling me to only stick with dating or marrying a Christian guy because of some verse about “be not yoked to unbelievers” is circular argument.

          At my age, I no longer give a flip what the Bible says about it, either.

          Jenai Goss, being content is not a criteria for getting or earning a spouse from God; you seem to assume that it is.

          The Bible does not teach or contain the phrase or term G.O.S. (gift of singleness), nor does it contain the phrase or term “GOC” (gift of celibacy).

          Many Christians unfortunately mis-interpret the GOS teaching to assume it means God chose in the past who would marry, who would he make single. That is false.

          The New Testament teaches God allows each person to decide for herself whether to marry or stay single.

          I find that GOS concept is used as a bludgeoning tool to beat up on adult singles who desire marriage. GOS should be discarded.

          Many Christians wrongly assume if you are still single at age 35+, that God has forced you to be single forever (he has “gifted you” with singleness, God has chosen singlehood for you). The Bible does not teach this.

          Christians should be encouraging me to seek after and pursue marriage, not giving me (or women like me) little cliched, hollow, sermon-ettes on “finding meaning in Jesus” and so on.

          I don’t give a whit about serving God anymore, either.

          There is actually a Bible verse in the New testament (1 Timothy 4:3) that talks about the day when those claiming to be Christians will discourage or forbid singles from marrying. That is happening in spades the last 10 – 15 years.

          It’s pathetic and infuriating that on the one hand, evangelical Christians yell constantly about how great traditional marriage is, and treat you like trash if you are single, yet, if you are an adult single who asks other Christians for help in marrying, or who expresses a desire for marriage, you get lectured AGAINST seeking marriage, told to be content, told you are “idolizing” marriage, etc.

          (To the guy who owns this blog, I hope I am not driving you nuts popping in here every several months and leaving comments. I don’t intend to.

          What happens is I go googling for information about singleness and your blog keeps turning up, and if I see replies to some post I made in the past, I sometimes feel moved to reply.)

          • Christa
            Posted December 25, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

            Crunchy Peanut Butter (love the name btw), I can relate to so much of what you’ve written. Like you, I am a 40+ (45 now) never married single woman, who also believed that I just needed to focus on Jesus, seek after God, and He would provide my spouse….Years later, now I realized I entirely superspiritualized the whole singlesness/marriage thing, and I do feel this is a huge reason why I’m not married now…..Yes, I can see other things in my life too that were some reasons – I was very shy in my 20s….insecurity…but I think that had I realized that I need to do my part to, not just be a godly Christian girl, I prob would have stepped up more, worked on my confidence, etc, be more proactive in meeting guys my age. I, too, felt somewhat ‘betrayed’ by the church in this regard. I remember reading something that at the time brought comfort to me, but now I realize it was all part of this wrong teaching. It went along the lines of ‘Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. … But God to the Christian says, “No, not until you’re satisified and fulfilled and content with living … exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or belongings.’ The implication is so wrong here. And yet so many of us bought into it, and are now disillusioned. The truth is that God never promised to make our dreams all come true, and He said that in this life we will have trouble (John 16:33). For myself, in order to have sanity in the midst of all this (disappointment, unfulfilled dreams), I hold on to my faith that God is good, and though I don’t understand things, I will continue to stare into the face of the One who loves me most of all, and declare His love and His faithfulness over my life. He is good – all the time. And yes, sometimes His church is not an accurate representation of who He is……And I will be more proactive. It is really strange how we’ve developed such a wrong theology about waiting on God for marriage, when in Jesus’ day, singleness was never an issue, because everyone got paired off at around age 15. I also do believe too that just as the Enemy is against Christian marriages, and so we need to be praying for those who are married, the Enemy is also against and actively opposing singles from even meeting and marrying their spouses. My prayer is that the Church wakes up, starts having a heart for singles, and praying for singles specifically to find their spouses, and even taking more of an active role to encouraging match ups – providing fun singles groups in the churches, inviting groups of singles into their homes. My parents used to do this, mainly with older singles, and I see so few people doing this now. Wow, I rambled on a lot more than I intended…..

          • Posted March 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Singles often get told the following dismissive hurtful cliches:

            1. Stop looking for love and he/she will appear (makes as much sense as stop looking for a job and you’ll get one. Yes, some people will get a job coincidentally around the moment they stop looking for one but it’s not to be turned into a principle to discourage job-seekers)

            2. Be content ( = suck it up. Don’t share your pain. Christians are supposed to be happy-happy-happy all the time. )
            The fact that one doesn’t like a current situation doesn’t mean they’re not content in their salvation.

            3. Better be single than be in a miserable marriage (implying that those are the only two options for that person. Thanks! What about a happy marriage?)

            4. God will not give you a spouse until you no longer desire a spouse (a Christian twist on “If you stop looking for love, you’ll find it.” But there’s no Bible verse that teach that in context)

            5. You don’t need a husband or a wife, all you need is Jesus (= I know what you need better than you do and I’m going to contradict you instead of acknowledging your pain).

            That’s just as cruel as telling an orphan, “You don’t need parents, God is your Father.” There’s practical reasons to need a spouse and parents. I don’t need only Jesus. I need my husband too. Jesus doesn’t give me rides when the roads are snow-covered, but my husband does. I have 100’s of examples why Jesus is not a substitute for a husband, and my husband is not a substitute for Jesus. Both are needed for very different things.

            6. Be careful of making marriage an idol.
            There’s lot of knee-jerk sayings like these that come almost automatically whenever a Christian single express the slightest suffering at being single. But use those sayings for any situation beside marriage and you’ll see how wrong and cruel it is to say them to anyone who expresses pain. Here ares some examples:

            a. Stop taking cancer treatments and you’ll be healed. (same as “stop looking for love and it will happen.” )

            b. I know your child has just been molested, but be content. (like, “I know you’re lonely as a single, but be content.” )

            c. Better be infertile than to have unruly children (Yeah, super encouraging, just like saying, “Better be single than be in a miserable marriage.”)

            d. God will not give you a job until you no longer desire a job. (it’s as illogical as saying, “God will not bless you with a spouse until you stop desiring marriage,” or “it’s when you stop wanting marriage that God will send you a spouse.” )

            e. You don’t need to have a child, all you need is Jesus, be content in your infertility. ( = “You don’t need to have a wife or a husband. All you need is Jesus. Be content in your romantic frustrations, sexual frustrations, and your loneliness.”

            f. I know your little girl has cancer, but be careful of making her health an idol. Be content. Once you stop desiring her to be cured, she’ll be healed. ( = I know you are lonely, but be careful of making marriage your idol. Once you stop desiring marriage, God will send you a mate.”)

            g. It’s because you’re not content with cancer that God won’t heal you. When you’re content, that’s when the cancer will go away. (= “It’s because you’re not content with singleness that God won’t bless you with marriage. When you’re content, that’s when God will send you a wife or a husband.”)

            I hope people will see how cruel it is to say those things to marriage-minded singles too. It’s totally dismissive of their pain (if they’re in pain, some are, some are not) and of their need for the companionship of a spouse.

            I once witnessed a poor 32-year-old woman crying at my old Bible Study. She wanted to have a husband and children and was simply sharing how hard and painful it was to still be single with her chances of having children decreasing etc.
            Almost the WHOLE group ganged up on her saying hurtful cliches like the ones above. Nobody acknowledged her pain and her right to hurt without feeling guilty about it. Except me. Basically they were telling her that if she was a better Christian (content, loving Jesus more etc.) she wouldn’t be hurting about being single.

            In my twenties I waited for Jesus Christ to bring me a husband. In Christianese, we called that “waiting on the Lord.” From pulpits, blogs, magazines, and books, Christian teachers told singles to be passive about marriage. For everything else we were required to work on our goals, lest we be accused of being lazy

            Any expressed yearning for marriage was met with a contentment lecture, a warning against idolatry, and the patronizing statement, “You don’t need a husband. Jesus is all you need.”

            Well-meaning people often added a verse ripped out of context such as, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
            Implying that the reason you’re single is because you don’t love God enough, and if you delight in the Lord then everything you desire in your heart will be granted, including marriage. But if it’s true how come people don’t quote Psalm 37:4 to parents whose child is dying, or to a husband whose wife is in the terminal stage of cancer?

            “Be encouraged, if you delight enough in God, then your child or spouse will be healed! If they die it’s because you don’t delight enough in Him.”
            But it was okay to use that verse to induce false guilt in singles.

            Since I wasn’t a good Berean, it didn’t occur to me that sayings like, “As soon as you’re content and stop looking for love, that’s when it’ll happen,” were not taught anywhere in the Bible.

            My Christian friends and I were active in ministries, and didn’t date. Many of us even believed in saving kissing for marriage. If we followed these rules God would bring someone perfect for us, in Christianese we called that, “receiving God’s best.” I believed it with all my heart and was offended by anyone who dared challenge it.

            Then one day I turned thirty.
            Turning thirty was a milestone, yet I didn’t worry.
            “Even if I lived on a deserted island, if God wanted me to marry, He would bring a husband to me,” I thought with conviction, mainly because I heard it so many times. The deserted island illustration was meant to encourage singles.
            Encourage them to do what?
            To not do anything to find love and to trust that God would do it.
            But if God brought spouses to everyone He wanted married, how come Abraham had to send his servant on a trip to a far away land to find a wife for his son Isaac in Genesis chapter 24? Wasn’t God big enough to bring Rebekah to Isaac’s doorstep (or tent flap)?

            Of course God was big enough, but He wasn’t obligated to do it. He’s not a dating service or a wife-delivery service, He’s God Almighty.

            If Abraham was like most of the Christians I knew, he would have told his son, “I know you’re getting older, Isaac, but wait on the Lord. We don’t need to do anything to find you a wife. If God wants you to be married He’ll bring the perfect person to you even if you lived on a deserted island. Don’t you have faith that God is big enough to do this for you? Let’s wait another ten or twenty years and see if God brings you a wife. Let’s wait until you die of old age.”

            Fortunately Abraham didn’t peddle unbiblical promises.

            In my experience the irrational deserted island illustration is always applied only to marriage, as if, for some reason, marriage is singled out for attacks disguised as inspirational sayings. I’ve never heard:

            “I know you have cancer, but wait on the Lord. You don’t need to go to the hospital. If God wants you to live He’ll heal you even if you don’t get any treatment of any kind. Don’t you have faith that God is big enough to do this for you? If you seek treatments it means that you’re impatient and that you don’t trust God to heal you in His timing.”

            Or “Why won’t you let your teenage daughter walk through the bad part of town by herself at 2 a.m.? God is her bodyguard. Don’t you have faith that God is big enough to protect her? If you take her safety into your own hands it mean you don’t trust God.”

            I didn’t date. I had endured years of Valentine’s Days wondering when my turn would come. All in the name of not doing anything, in Christianese we called that, “not taking the pen out of God’s hand,” because God was supposed to write my love story. That was yet another unbiblical promise I believed for no other reason that it sounded inspirational. Supposedly I would mess it up for sure if I did anything about my love life, so I was required to do nothing and wait.

            Not only I didn’t end up with God’s best by following these rules, I didn’t even end up with a consolation prize. I ended up with Nothing.

            Those well-meaning authors who wrote books full of unbiblical romantic promises have no idea how life-destroying their false teachings are. Only God knows how many thousands of singles never marry as a result or marry too late to have children.

            There wasn’t anyone safe with whom to discuss loneliness—love starvation was more like it—without being ridiculed or criticized for not being “content in the Lord.” Church people responded to yearning for romantic love by saying, “but God loves you,” as if they didn’t know that I meant the kind of love that the Greek called “Eros,” romantic love, which is not the kind of love God gives nor requires from us.

            Men-hating feminists say, “You don’t need a man,” and feminist Christians agree with them by saying, “You don’t need a husband,” and adding, “you only need Jesus.” Who taught countless Christians to be ashamed of saying, “I need a husband” or “I need a wife” ?

            Here are some more stupid unbiblical lies used against singles in the guise of encouragements:

            “It takes so long because God is preparing the perfect man for you . . .”
            “Stay pure and love Jesus and God will write your love story. Don’t take the pen from His hand. Wait and all your dreams will come true . . .”
            “God is saying, ‘Trust Me my child. I have the perfect man for you and at the right time, I will bring him to you . . .'”
            Empty words. Platitudes. Cliches. As if everybody was entitled to an amazing mate. None of this was written in the Bible but they were such popular tropes that singles like me believed because it gave us hope and an excuse to do nothing.

            One day I woke up and realized that these were all lies not found in the Bible, that I mistook men’s traditions for biblical truth. That’s when I pursued marriage the same methodical systematic way I pursue employment when I’m job-seeking. I was very pro-active and deliberate, just like I was looking for a job. I found my wonderful godly husband a few months afterward.

            Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean doing nothing (that’s laziness). We’re to do EVERYTHING we can within the bounds of biblical morality, and then leave the RESULTS up to God.

            But to just wait and expect something (marriage, weight loss, or anything else) is like not working and expecting God to throw money at you from Heaven. See http://thegiftofsingleness.blo.....-lord.html

            • Posted March 21, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

              Thanks for writing, Mrs. Thomas. I agree, the American Church deals badly with singles, but then our entire culture/society in the U.S. is messed up when it comes to singleness and marriage prep. I think if churches and families partnered to work with kids in middle school on marriage prep, we’d have a lot healthier outcome.

              That said, I don’t consider the cancer/singleness illustration apropos. I think we have made an idol of marriage and family in the American Church, and yes, we sometimes make singleness out to be a disease almost, but “cancer” is a bit too dramatic.

  5. merry
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m struggling to follow the argument of this article, quite honestly. You do not agree with Tim Challie’s quote but seem to instead be replacing the “young adult men” part with “young adult women” or “young adults” in general. Correct me if I’m wrong here.

    First, I don’t see the marriage vs. single issue to be one of the biggest problems in the church. What annoys me most is the emphasis Christians place on marriage, as if singles are never quite mature, or that they do not have the ability to be content at all. This just isn’t true. Some of the most wonderful people I know are single.

    I also do not think that expecting people to “put off” marriage until they are through college is an issue, either. People need to put off marriage until they are mature enough to be able to handle it. Singleness is a wonderful time of life, and it should not be rushed through only to end up in a bad marriage. It is not easy for young adults to be able to maintain a marriage straight out of high school coming from broken families and lack of family support so common today.

    Much of what this article talks about is common in secular circles today, but among Christians there are so many young women who are trying their hardest to be respectful. It is equally hard for both genders, you have to know that. I know how it is for women who have horrible relationships with their fathers and just don’t realize how to act. So muany of the issues in this article stem from broken relationships within families.

    • Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Merry,

      The arguments:

      1. Men are not solely at fault for this mess.
      2. Fixing the mess does not consist of telling men to be more masculine and women more feminine.
      3. The source for the problem is systemic—it is in our society and culture. To fix it, Christians must provide countercultural answers and practical ways of making those answers reality.
      4. Because fixing the problems will be difficult, few people/churches will undertake the fix.
      5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      In my Singleness post (linked in the article), I talk about ways we can fix the mess.

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        …among Christians there are so many young women who are trying their hardest to be respectful.

        Respectful where, China? Russia? Saudi Arabia? Certainly not here, where women are encouraged to treat marriage as a career option.

        • merry
          Posted March 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Lincoln,

          You sound bitter. Contrary to your apparent beliefs, there really are good Christian women around. Please don’t stereotype, and please don’t turn this discussion into a woman-bashing session.

          • Posted March 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Awwww merry, did I hurt your wittle feeeelings? *rolls eyes*

            Welcome to the world of what it’s like to be stereotyped and bashed on a regular and relentless basis. Imagine what men must endure then, and yet here you’re already crying uncle over a wayward comment. Poooor you.

            You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your word for it, being that you’re a woman and that women just wubs to lie till the sun goes down. I remain unconvinced that there are any single Christian women left who even know the meaning of the word virtuous or read past the first chapter of Genesis.

            That’s the reality. Deal with it.

            • Sm
              Posted June 21, 2011 at 3:54 am | Permalink

              Lincoln, I am not sure if I should even respond to you after that, I’m a guy, and I know what it feels like to be stereotyped, and sometimes in the past the guy stereotyping is so bad that it makes my blood boil too. But that is no reason to react to Merry like that. My ex-girlfriend, did her best to try to be respectful as the bible teaches, but her family has long put education and there-by as the formost important thing in her life that we just ended up going two separate paths. Please do not insult women, as they are as much being pushed by culture, as we are being pushed by culture to accept to stereotyping. If we accept the stereotyping than we will become no better than some other cultures where guys are expected to “fulfill his husbandly duties”, then leave, do drugs, and die early… where guys have an extremely high mortality rate compared to women, simply because they are taught by example that that’s how they should live. We don’t want to give in to the culture, nor do we want to become part of it by casting harsh words on anyone else.

            • Jenai Goss
              Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

              Virtuous in the Hebrew or the Greek? There are several terms the Bible uses.

              In Hebrew there are a couple terms used: When Ruth (3:11) is called a virtuous woman it is the word chayil – it means “strength” primarily, with variations of excellence, efficiency, wealth, capability, army, valor. Chayil really captures the splendor, action, and order of virtue. This is the same term applied to the “wife of noble character” in Prov 31:10 and Prov 12:4, etc. (Fitting well with woman as the glory of man!) This is the most direct translation for ‘virtuous’ from the Hebrew.

              There is also yashar (such as Ecc 7:29, ‘God created man to be upright’…) – ‘upright’, meaning that which is strait, pleasing, right, or agreeable. Yashar captures the fair, just, and straitforward aspect of virtue.

              A third, less common word ‘tam’ is also used, such as in Song of Songs 6:9, meaning complete, blameless, or perfect.

              Another Hebrew term is tsadoq; acquitted, properly restored, vindicated, or declared right – such as Ez. 16:52 and Psalm 94:15 – it is usually applied in a more legal sense to the actions of a nation or judgement itself.

              Greek also many terms that address virtue.

              Agathopoios means “a doer of that which is good”, more specifically, one who does what is inherantly good and originates from God. This emphasizes both the action and the originator (God) of the reason for action.

              Koismios (derived from kosmos (cosmos), the ‘world’) means “orderly”, hence organized, modest, virtuous, prepared, decent.

              Kalopoieo is ‘attractively good’ or a good that inspires others to embrace what is loveley – an outward display of the inward good. It most closely correlates with the ideas of nobility, noble character, honor, and beauty. (Such as II Thess 3:13)

              Orthos (such as Heb 12:13 ‘make level paths’) is like the Hebrew yashar. It means to be morally right and straitforward.

              Phil 4:8 could be seen as a treatise on the traits of virtue –

              “whatever is true” (alethe – true in fact/worthy of credit, not concealed, what cannot be hidden)

              “Whatever is honorable”
              (semnos – honorable, grave, dignified, what is august, whatever is deeply respected because it is viewed as majestic)

              “Whatever is right” (dikaios – just, righteous, impartial, approved by God, conforms to God’s standard)

              “Whatever is pure” (hagnos – chaste, pure inside and out, holy because undefiled from sin)

              “Whatever is lovely” (prosphiles – worthy of personal affection, worth the effort to have and embrace, pleacing, acceptable, dearly prized)

              “Whatever is of good repute” (Well-spoken of)

              Virtue isn’t simply piety or grace or obedience – it is made of many factors. Though, perhaps the simplest definition is denying the self and walking in humble obedience to God.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy
            Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your word for it, being that you’re a woman and that women just wubs to lie till the sun goes down.

            Under Shari’a, they don’t. They don’t dare.

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

          Lincoln, you said:
          “…among Christians there are so many young women who are trying their hardest to be respectful.

          Respectful where, China? Russia? Saudi Arabia? Certainly not here, where women are encouraged to treat marriage as a career option.”

          I am a respectful single Christian woman. I am in my early forties and wanted marriage but never came across Mr. Right. I never placed career before marriage or acted like marriage was an “option.” I never abused drugs, smoked, slept around. I was always a “goody two shoes.”

          I sincerely wanted to get married and honestly thought I would be married by 30 or age 35 at the latest, but it never happened.

          I was told repeatedly by Christian parents and pastors that if I was a good girl, behaved, prayed, and trusted the Lord for a spouse he would send me Mr. Right, but it never happened.

          The lesson I now get form all this is that totally trusting on the Lord for a spouse and “waiting on God’s timing” is apparently bogus and that being a nice, respectful Christian woman who lives a biblical, clean life style gets one nada, zero, bupkiss in life.

          • Super Joe
            Posted August 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately CrunchPeanutButter, I fully agree with you. I think it is irresponsible to tell young kids in church that trying to be a righteous (not self-righteous) person will guarantee you a wonderful spouse. I have also come to the conclusion that being Mr. or Ms. Goody-two-shoes really just doesn’t matter on the dating scene. I find myself extremely frustrated on this count because it seems to me that there are no shortage of former heart-breakers and players who broke countless female hearts and then BANG!, they got saved! Then they have a great testimony and a wonderful wife — and meanwhile I have nobody. I really just don’t have any answers to this Christian dating clown-show scene I’ve come across. I just don’t understand why men and women in the CHRISTIAN dating scene can’t treat each other with respect and dignity. I know I haven’t been shown much.
            I wish I had wonderful words of comfort, but I don’t. I don’t know how a person who tries to live a clean Christian life can get married in this day and age. Most Christian websites have unhelpful one-liners like “Man up!” and secular men’s websites are all about how to get the woman in bed on the first date — or something ridiculous like that.
            If I date and marry, I want to do it in such a way where it is honorable to myself, my future spouse, my parents, and society in general. However, it seems like dating is all about cut-throat, back-stabbing competition, lying and playing games, living with each other, manipulation etc… I am not willing to do these things, but it seems like in today’s society, these things are necessary in order to be married. In other words, the ends justify the means for the “worship at the altar of marriage” church crowd.
            To be honest, I don’t believe I will be married. From this point forward, I will do the best I can do in order to please my God to the best of my ability — as a single man.

            • Ratata
              Posted April 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

              Super Joe,
              You deserve the Cream of the Crop. :)

  6. Posted February 27, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    OK…I am an expert on this one. Here is the major problem. We segregate our singles from the marrieds. And what do you think this does psychologically? It sends a strong message to the singles that they are NOT valued in the church (although today they are valued in the society), and the only way to get that value is to get married, whether you are ready or not. Thankfully, the younger adults today are not falling for this and are not joining church “single groups.” Also, their married friends do not wish to separate from them and so most churches today have single groups (if they have them at all) from 45 on up, because sadly, older marrieds still want to ostracise singles. But sadly, those churches that don’t have single groups almost always give the same feeling that marrieds are #1, and singles are “second bananas.”

    I am glad that young men and women aren’t marrying young as today young adults are much more immature than they were in previous generations. Immature adults shouldn’t be getting married, and I take offense at all of these married people telling singles they need to get married early. This sounds exactly like the “old” game Idescribed above, namely, “as a Christian, you are no good if you are single. I attended a church that had excellent gepgraphical home groups where singles were welcomed. You couldn’t believe in one year the effect this had on the singles. Our singles’ group matured greatly and good marriages began to happen after most of our group were involved in these home groups. Oh by the way, that was Jack Hayford’s church, The Church on the Way. It was one of the only churches I attended (and believe me, Ive been in scads of church single groups) that really treated their singles like respected adults. And, the singles rose to that expectation.

    So, in summary, the attitudes of church leaders MUST change and show themselves as examples of good attitudes toward singles or this hurtful sinlge dysfunctionalism will go on and on into the future.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Something I noticed in the Eighties, when the rest of the Cal Poly Gang were getting married off:

      Marrieds do NOT associate with Singles. Period.

      My writing partner (a burned-out preacher-man from across the country) is an exception — I keep telling him how odd it is that he, a Married, still associates with Singles like me. Understand, where I came from, this was unheard of.

      It sends a strong message to the singles that they are NOT valued in the church (although today they are valued in the society), and the only way to get that value is to get married, whether you are ready or not.

      And you don’t go where you know you’re not wanted.

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Headless,

        I agree. I’ve written about this issue in the past. One of the worst problems we have in our churches IS our separating singles and married.

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          @Dan Edelen.

          I suspect I know why this is, or at least one reason.

          One issue that author Julia Duin raises in her book “Quitting Church” (which I’ve not yet read, only excerpts of it online, and interviews with her about the book) is that a lot of Christians (married males and females) view single Christian females as sexual temptresses who are out to steal the husbands or married women, which I think she finds an insulting attitude (as do I).

          Duin describes how married male Christian pastors don’t hesitate to meet with single male church members to discuss life problems, church issues, or theology or whatever, but they always refuse to meet with her alone if she wanted to discuss that same stuff because they didn’t feel it would be appropriate (they imply things could turn sexual, or she might flirt with them).

          I’ve seen the same thing with married Christian men I’ve known in person or online…. I have zero interest in them romantically, but they always cut off my online/in person contact with them because they are afraid either

          1. the platonic friendship will turn into something else (which is arrogant of them – these are not guys I find the least bit attractive)
          or
          2. their wife will think something suspicious is going on

          • CrunchyPeanutButter
            Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            Correction, “husbands or married women”

            should be “husbands oF married women”
            or just “husbands”

    • Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Only reason I would go to a single group is to find me a babe. It’s the only place where my odds somewhat improve on finding a like-minded girl, and I suspect my attitude is usually the prevalent one, hence the failure of such single groups in general. If I wanted to do outreach or contribute to the community, then I would do just that, join an outreach or community group, NOT join a singles group.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Only reason I would go to a single group is to find me a babe.

        Then you’re going to be rejected. Every time. They already have a Perfect Boyfriend, only his name is Jesus instead of Edward (sparkle sparkle sparkle).

        I’m going to try SoulGeek instead.

  7. ccinnova
    Posted February 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Dan, I can relate all too well to several of the items you discussed in your post.

    I’ve always been the dumpee in every relationship I’ve had. I’ve yet to initiate a breakup.

    I can also relate to what you said about nice guys. The first woman who dumped me later married a man whom I met once at a social gathering. He was both drunk and profane. I still shake my head as to why she chose someone like that for a husband.

    What you said about single Christian women judging a man by his income is also spot on. I worked for a company for more than 20 years. My salary was modest and wouldn’t have been enough to support a family where I live in metropolitan Washington, DC, but at least it was steady work. That wasn’t satisfactory enough for some of the single Christian women I’ve met. And now that I’ve been unemployed for more than a year after my position was eliminated, I’m considered to be of even less value.

    My 50th birthday is now in my rear-view mirror. I still hold out some faint hope that I’ll marry someday, but that hope is fading fast.

    As for today’s young single Christian men, I have never met any in my church who could be considered overgrown adolescents. But I don’t envy the conditions they face today.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I can also relate to what you said about nice guys. The first woman who dumped me later married a man whom I met once at a social gathering. He was both drunk and profane. I still shake my head as to why she chose someone like that for a husband.

      Simple. Nothing triggers the “OOOOOO! MY SOULMATE! HE’S SO (gasp) EXCITING!!!!!” in a woman like a User and Abuser.

      Funny about how that works — you get to hate women so much that the only thing you can think of doing is Use and Abuse, and suddenly you’re Irresistable.

      My 50th birthday is now in my rear-view mirror. I still hold out some faint hope that I’ll marry someday, but that hope is fading fast.

      And once hope is gone, there is only Payback.

      I wonder why Islam hasn’t used this to appeal for converts? After all, in an Islamic Theocracy you’re pretty much guaranteed a Virgin Bride who WILL Stay Faithful — or else.

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Headless,

        I wish I could understand what causes some women to go after bad boys. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to it. Psychologists will say it was a distant father or a need to get back at controlling parents, but I’ve seen close fathers and wise parents get burned by a daughter who goes after the bad boys. That’s especially true in families with multiple daughters and only one daughter acts out that way.

        People are complex. Who knows the human heart except for God? We don’t even understand ourselves.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy
          Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          All I can say is if women were not like that, I might now be celebrating my 20th anniversary with a six-foot-one cuddly amazon instead of another year alone as a 54-year-old virgin. But I wasn’t “Exciting” enough. So much about when they tell you they’re also a virgin and are also saving themselves for marriage.

          I’m now at the point where I can think of a woman as capable of virtue or chastity only if she is visibly NOT human. (And I’m NOT talking four-leggers! More like Disney’s Maid Marian or her distant descendants in Fantastic Mr Fox. I believe there’s a passage from Lewis on that exact subject somewhere in Out of the Silent Planet.)

        • Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          They go after bad boys with the intent of changing them into good guys. They make it their mission and purpose in life. A good, decent guy doesn’t offer the allure of a “project” they can work on.

          The other attraction is the aloofness of men. Women are turned off by guys who treat them like queens, preferring men who are aloof instead. The more apathetic, the more meh, I could care less if you live or die, the more it attracts them.

          I don’t think it’s a matter of people being complex.

          • Bibiana
            Posted October 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Not me! I do NOT go for the bad guys. No thanks!

      • CrunchyPeanutButter
        Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        And I hope Headless Unicorn Guy sees this…

        Two main reasons women go after the jerks:

        1a. Codependent women attract jerks like bears to honey.

        Abusive or egotistical men intentionally look for and pursue codependent women because they are easy prey (no boundaries, easy to control and take advantage of).

        Many of these women feel like trash and like they don’t deserve a truly good man.

        Many of them had abusive daddies, and thus confuse abuse for love, so they will date idiots who remind them of their mean, abusive dads.

        Instead of being angry at such women, you should have compassion on them, because they are usually like this because they were beaten up by their dads when they were kids, or they were sexually abused, or had their needs neglected in childhood.

        They become walking doormats who feel the only man they can ever be worthy of is a jerk.

        1.b. Also, another factor for these codependent women is that the jerks make all the decisions.

        When they were little girls, codependent women were not taught by mom and dad how to make decisions, or that they even should make decisions. So they automatically do whatever other people tell them to do. Their controlling, mean boyfriend is kind of like a father figure.

        2. The jerks directly ask women out on dates. They don’t let rejection get them down, they take risks. That is why they get dates and girl friends.

        So I have a bone to pick with guys who claim they are super nice but never get GFs (girl friends), or that all women like “bad boys” (I’m a good girl, but no, I do not like bad boys).

        The “bad boys” are usually arrogant or don’t care if a woman turns them down if he asks them for a date and the woman says no.

        Many nice guys who lament that women prefer jerks are actually either codependent themselves, or have low self esteem, or are afraid of taking risks.

        Instead of directly asking a woman out who they find attractive, “nice guys” will use passive aggressive methods to woo their way into the woman’s pants, such as change her oil in her car for her, carry her heavy dresser and couch up to her new apartment, and then think, “At last, she will see what a knight in shining armor I am, how nice I am, and I don’t slap her and spit on her like her ex, and she will no doubt give me a kiss, or a roll in the hay.”

        No, no she won’t. If you are doing nice gestures hoping to get sex from a woman (or in hopes of dating her), you are not a nice guy, you are a two-faced manipulator, trying to use favors to exploit her into having sex.

        When men are nice, we women usually assume you only want friendship, not romance. So if you want romance with a woman, be blunt about it.

        Tell the woman you want to date her, don’t just offer to mow her lawn or change her car oil and hope she magically deduces (or reads your mind) that you want to be her romantic partner, then get all hopping angry when she doesn’t passionately fall into your embrace with a kiss because you cleaned her cat’s litter box for her or changed her oil.

        If you want a date with a woman, ask her out on a date. Take a risk of her saying “no.” Don’t drop hints, do nice gestures and just hope and assume she will figure out you want romance and/or repay your gestures by falling in love or by putting out.

        • Funky Monkey
          Posted February 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          Woman do have high standards for themselves, but most are realistic. A lot has to be in place: chemistry, physical attractiveness, peace about the realationship, etc. It seems that some of those guys have a chip on their shoulder, which is a turn off. If you don’t treat a woman like she is special, you won’t win her heart. Some of the guys want somebody instead of her and woman pick up on that.

        • Stephen
          Posted July 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          CrunchyPeanutButter, you said that many women who go for jerks are women that were either beaten up by their dads or sexually abused. There are tons of women who were never abused by their dads, yet they still pursue bad boys and jerks. What you’re doing is trying to blame men for the faults of women. This is one reason why young Christian men are not pursuing marriage–because we are sick of all the feminist garbage that gets shoved down our throats. Many women go for bad boys simply because they are selfish and ignorant, not because they were abused by their dads.

          {Note: Edited by Dan to soften the tone.}

          • CrunchyPeanutButter
            Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink

            @ Stephen, who said,

            “you said that many women who go for jerks are women that were either beaten up by their dads or sexually abused. There are tons of women who were never abused by their dads, yet they still pursue bad boys and jerks.”

            You mis-read my post and twisted it around.

            I stated the main reason is that, “Codependent women attract jerks like bears to honey.”

            In some cases, women become codependent because they were abused in childhood (by a male or female care taker), but women can also become codependent from other reasons, such as having an un-married mother who is passed out drunk all day, or debilitated by depression.

            The point is, codependency arises in a woman’s youth because she did not get her needs met by either parents. (Usually that arises from abuse by one or both parents, but also it can come about by being neglected.)

            Such women grow up with poor boundaries, and they also feel they will only be loved and accepted for what they do for a man, not that a man will love them for who they are.

            Codependent females tend to attract abusers or selfish men. That is a fact.

            So no, I was not “blaming men” for what women do.

            But sometimes men are to blame in specific cases, like if a woman grows up codependent because her father abused her or was extremely critical during her formative years. That happens to some women.

            Conversely, a lot of Christian literature unfairly blames women on several fronts, such as…

            1. Modesty / purity teachings.

            Christian Women are told by Christians, in Christian magazines, blogs, and in sermons, to “dress modestly lest they cause a brother in Christ to stumble.” That is nonsense.

            Men are responsible for their thought life and behavior, regardless of how women dress.

            Also, it contradicts with other advice single Christian females get from the churches which is, “Be physically attractive, unmarried ladies, because men are ‘visually attuned’ and don’t like fat or ugly women!”

            -so churches and preachers tell Christian single ladies to be sexy and pretty if they hope to get a date, but five minutes later tell them NOT to be sexy and pretty.

            . Feminism is not to blame for prolonged singleness among Christian males and females, not to the extent it is taught from pulpits

            All of feminism is not solely to blame for why so many Christian men (and women) stay single.

            A large chunk of that blame can be laid right back at the doorstep of conservative Christianity itself, due to their naive or faulty dating and marriage advice they begin doling out to Christian youth in Sunday School.

            Christian sex, dating, and marriage teachings contributes to prolonged singleness, but feminism has been turned into the boogey-man by Christians, especially by Christian males that have been unable to get a Christian wife.

            Stephen said,
            “Many women go for bad boys simply because they are selfish and ignorant, not because they were abused by their dads.”

            No, that has nothing to do with it.

            Women either date bad boys because they are codependent or because Christian men are too ‘fraidy cat scared to actually ask a woman out on a date.

            Christian men I am seeing online who discuss all this, on other forums and blogs, are too afraid of rejection, so the ones who get bitter and complain about not being able to get dates with Christian ladies (despite the fact they insist they are so darn nice) is because they will not open their mouth and ask a woman out for a cup of coffee.

            By the way, I am a never- married woman in her 40s who was a nice, Christian girl, and no Christian Mr. Right ever asked me out on date, other than my ex (but we had to break up a long time ago, and we met through a mutual friend).

            Feminism did not keep me single this long, what kept me single is a combination of factors, including but not limited to, not enough single men my age at churches, the ones who do exists will not get the courage to ask me out, etc. Has nothing to do with “feminism.”

            • Stephen
              Posted April 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

              CrunchyPeanutButter, you are talking drivel. I know of many women who had a great upbringing, yet they still chose to date jerks. Many women today are just dumb and selfish, which is the main reason they reject good guys and date ass holes. Women are the main cause of the problem. You just can’t admit it because women have a very hard time admitting fault.

              And women SHOULD dress modestly. It doesn’t help when women dress like whores. Of course it’s going to get men interested. Women have to take some responsibility.

              The rest of what you said was just absolute drivel.

  8. Sonya
    Posted February 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I second the comments about Boundless. They are in pretty tight with all things SG which has alot of problems.

    Back in my AG’s and non denoms of the 70’s I was taught pretty early on to follow Christ with your whole heart and he will bring someone along who can keep pace with you every step of the way. Well I also am 40’s something and yet to meet him. Sexual ethics in the church are terrible. Falling in that area already tells me about that person’s maturity . Are they branded ? No of course not but they aren’t for me.Which seems to be ALOT of men today ( and women )

    Where are all the second and third generation christians anyway? I rarely met men like this !! If he can ski,bike and paddle pray him my way ! Hah LOL. It’s not easy at all but I’d rather keep waiting.

    • ccinnova
      Posted February 27, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Sonya, by “SG” are you referring to Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM)? For Boundless is heavily involved with them. Boundless editor Ted Slater was an SGM member at one time; I don’t know if that’s still the case.

      Two of Boundless’ regular contributors are highly prominent members of SGM. Joshua Harris is pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the denomination’s mother church. Carolyn McCulley worked in the denomination’s Maryland headquarters for a number of years.

      Considering how controversial SGM is – some former members describe SGM as cult-like or a cult – one would think that Boundless and Focus on the Family would want to steer clear of them so as not to damage their own reputations. Then again, it may be too late.

      Dan, I apologize if this post is off-topic.

  9. Posted March 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Tim Challies’s quote from Rich Phillips is ironic considering the misogynist overtones of Scripture (not that the verses are in fact misogynistic, it just appears that way) especially in Ecclesiastes. We are told that for every thousand righteous men, there is only one righteous woman in that same bunch, if even that.

    It seems to me the primary perpetrators of evil in our increasingly feministic society are women, not men. The courts favor women, while our laws give women special status in almost every aspect of their lives. Women can also false accuse men of rape and destroy their lives with absolutely no risk of consequence. The entertainment industry also constantly denigrates and insults men at every turn. How could this relentless bombardment of male bashing not seep into thinking of even well intentioned women?

    Personally, I’ve given up on the idea of marriage. I have accepted that there is simply no single woman out there left that is worth my time and aggravation. Who can find a virtuous woman? Certainly not I. As a result I have become very bitter about it, but I am slowly learning to accept that Paul was right, I am indeed better off single. Of course women who see this will say the reason I haven’t found anyone is because I’m caustic and bitter. They have absolved and divorced themselves of any accountability in regards to their despicable behavior whatsoever. It is ALWAYS the man’s fault. I’m single? That’s my fault and my fault alone. Women are but darling cherubs of light to which it is impossible for them to do any wrong.

    Marriage? Please. Not for this newly enlightened soul. :)

    • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Lincoln,

      I did something to your comment that I don’t normally do: I edited the beginning. The person you were referencing is not that way, and I did not think the imagery was edifying.

      I think that men and women each have their own societal challenges.

      It’s funny, but when I gave up on marriage and concerned myself with other pursuits for the sake of the Kingdom, that’s when I met my wife. I wasn’t bitter about giving up, though. I found it freeing in a way.

      Marriage has its own challenges, and I think we sometimes fall into a “grass is always greener” mentality, whether we are single or married. Paul is right, the married man does lose opportunities to serve God in a more devoted way. I know that each day brings all sorts of craziness that must occupy my time that I never had to face as a single. And all of it encroaches on my ability to serve the King and the Kingdom.

      In the end, everything we have from God is a gift. It’s what we do with what He has given us that matters.

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        I don’t give two flying leaps what you think is edifying or not, and fortunately you will not be able to edit what I say on my own blog, which I promise will be a LOT more incendiary. Toodles!

    • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Let me make a comment about the “lack of righteous women.” I speak from my own observations, so I am definitely not trying to assign any imprimatur.

      I believe that women, in general, are more spiritually minded than men. They seem to be more sensitive to things of the Spirit.

      That said, my experience has been that the people who seem to go deepest in the Lord are more often men. So while women outnumber men in their faith in the Lord, the men who are on fire for God seem to burn more fiercely.

      Why is that? I think that the way God made men equips them with more of a “do or die” mentality that enables them to buck “the system” and attain those deep wellsprings. We also are more willing to allow this of men, too, while we tend to expect women to manage what the men drop in order to get to that deeper place. It may not be fair, but at the same time I think that women have no rebelled against picking up that slack that let’s their men get to that deep place, because women profit from having men on fire.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy
        Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        When I was flushing a grand down the toilet on various Christian (TM) Dating services, I noticed a pattern in a lot of the women there: “Jesus is my Edward Cullen!”

        The Christian women already had the Perfect Boyfriend and Perfect Husband — his name was Jesus. It was like Medieval Bridal Mysticism without the highly-erotic language. Or “just like Twilight fangirls, except Christian (TM)!”

        Around 20 years ago, when I was still listening to a Christian music station, there was this Christian love song on the playlist that illustrated my point. Allegedly a Christian girl gushing over her boyfriend/fiance, what fragments I remember went like this:

        “You’ll always be my Number Two —
        Because JEESUS is Number One in my life
        So Second Place will have to do!”

        Tip for all women: NEVER tell a guy that he’s second place in your life. Especially if first place is another male.

        And the “What I’m Looking For” on the dating service forms was to say the least unrealistic. All Scripture, and Witnessing, and Scripture, and Church, and Scripture, and… Essentially a laundry list describing an Uber-Christian so Spiritual and Perfect that even Christ Himself couldn’t measure up. Never mind a mere mortal like me, an aging ex-kid genius who wasn’t wrapped all that tight to start with.

        • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          The minute you see the name Cullen or other references to Twilight, run like the wind.

          That reflects the biggest problem in the church which supersedes everything else. Christianity is a poorly xeroxed imitation of the world’s culture and philosophies. You would think reformed dudes who purpose to be regenerated would have a markedly different perspective, but instead we see dweebs like Phillips merely imitate the viewpoints of secular feminists today. If I wanted a spoonful of that I’ll just watch the Oxygren network. Or maybe Lifetime.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy
            Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            First, the “Jesus is my Edward Cullen” Twilight reference was original to me, to illustrate the dynamic at work. The same dynamic as in Medieval Bridal Mysticism. (In case you haven’t guessed from my other comments, I’m involved in Furry Fandom, which attracts a LOT of the “Character Obsessor” type of fanboy, and this is a variant on that.)

            Christianity is a poorly xeroxed imitation of the world’s culture and philosophies.

            Tell me about it. Jollyblogger coined the term “Christian Bizarro World” to describe this attitude, and I joined the Lost Genre Guild for a reason. (The same reason Jeff Gerke of the LGG started Marcher Lord Press.)

            You would think reformed dudes who purpose to be regenerated would have a markedly different perspective, but instead we see dweebs like Phillips merely imitate the viewpoints of secular feminists today.

            It ain’t just “the viewpoints of secular feminists”, dude. It’s EVERYTHING. Every fad that comes along, every trend and Celebrity shtick.

            Such as this: One of our spies in the Guild attended a Christian (TM) Publisher’s conference last year where they claimed The Next Big Thing in Christian Fiction was — guess what? “Christian (TM) Paranormal Romance”, i.e. “Just like Twilight Except CHRISTIAN (TM)!” Guess you can’t call them Vampires, but they still have to *SPARKLE*SPARKLE*SPARKLE*.

            ANOTHER CHRISTIAN (TM) KNOCKOFF, A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SET THE TREND AND START THE FAD INSTEAD OF DOING A CHEEZY KNOCKOFF, USUALLY AROUND THE TIME THE ORIGINAL JUMPS THE SHARK?

          • Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Dan,

            You speak to the quality but not the quantity of women who are spiritually minded. I don’t doubt that they can be on a more profound level, but how many are like that really? maybe a handful in each state, all over 80 years old I would suspect because by that time they finally grew up and stopped perceiving themselves as princesses.

            HUC, I’ve separated myself from the CINOs so these things don’t antagonize me the way they used to, but when I do unfortunately find myself in near proximity I’m a ball of fire.

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Headless Unicorn Guy -
          I’m a normal Christian woman. I am interested in secular entertainment (not Twilight), so I have interests outside of Bible stuff, and I am capable of chatting about secular entertainment.

          But I have met Christians who are so heavenly minded, they sound like religious robots, and this includes Christian men too, not just the women.

          I tried dating sites too. On dating sites and in F2F (face to face) encounters, I have come across odd Christian men who talk only about Jesus or spiritual things, so this is not something only Christian women do.

          I have seen Christian males on dating sites basically describe their ideal, fantasy Christian wife (who they hope to one day marry) as a combination of Megan Fox (movie star) meets Mother Theresa (perfect, selfless Christian servant with impeccable morals) meets Mary mother of Jesus Christ meets Cindy Crawford meets Martha Stewart (perfect home maker, housewife, cook).

          So the Christian men can be just as bad as some of the women on this score.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Of course women who see this will say the reason I haven’t found anyone is because I’m caustic and bitter. They have absolved and divorced themselves of any accountability in regards to their despicable behavior whatsoever. It is ALWAYS the man’s fault. I’m single? That’s my fault and my fault alone. Women are but darling cherubs of light to which it is impossible for them to do any wrong. — Lincoln

      ISLAM promises a solution to that. Plus Payback.

      Don’t you think we should be offering a better solution?

      • Posted March 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Honestly, I don’t want payback, I’d be more content to not being denigrated just because I’m single. Like say, offering discounts to singles on vacations instead of romantic packages for two. Pfftt…

      • Bibiana
        Posted March 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        If you feel this way, why not marry a Muslim woman? And by the way, Islam is not perfect either. Premarital sex and adultery happens among Muslims too. And as far as guarantees or payback, a spouse is more likely to stay with you out of love than out of fear.

  10. Sonya
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Lincoln,

    I hear your frustration.

    Are there any seminaries in your area? There are many real great women in seminary and bible colleges. Maybe you can look into taking a night class somewhere?

    The advice section on Eharmony is helpful to. The staff there write alot of good articles. There is also a blog which is helpful after each article. It’s free. :>)

    • Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Sonya,

      Oh mommy, please don’t suggest anything remotely related to eHarmony, even if it’s just a few articles. I’ve gone through literally several hundred matches on there and even contemplated suing the company over my experience.

      Seminaries and bible colleges might be a good idea, but I’ve spoken to a few students about the experience, they would tell me women only matriculated there to major in a FAH degree (Find A Husband), and that included a sizable amount of unsaved women. While that might seem encouraging in prospects I found that a bit unnerving instead.

  11. Sonya
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I am not quite as old as you but getting there and I am a virgin also. I think that’s awesome ! It’s incredibly difficult. I actually got involved in abstinence education to encourage myself as noone else does ! You might want to look into any groups or school districts in your state that do this.

    Re: your comment about ‘Jesus is my Edward Cullen’ I am afraid I have to agree with you. I’ve proably gotten that extreme myself. When you are of marraigeable age and most christian men seem rather nominal that’s how single women compensate. And it works. mostly…. if it went for our darn sex drives. That’s how we get hooked usually.

    I was at a womens prayer meeting a few weeks ago and when I start hearing about all the prayer requests for unsaved husbands… ad nauseum I cringe inside. There seems to be alot of it. Dan is right. Women do benefit from on fire men but most I meet like that are in pulpits already married.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      I was at a womens prayer meeting a few weeks ago and when I start hearing about all the prayer requests for unsaved husbands… ad nauseum I cringe inside.

      I just thought of something that might explain this. In another comment I mentioned how I longed to hear an “I love you” that didn’t continue on to “…as a brother in Christ.” Maybe that’s part of the problem — we’ve established such a family tribal identity within the Christian singles’ groups and you don’t get the hots for your brother or sister, only for someone outside the “family”.

      It’s called “exogamy” and has a biological purpose of preventing incest/inbreeding. This is a major reason for the “lure of the exotic” — if somebody is too familiar or identified as “family” instead of “other”, they’re not exotic enough to attract you. I don’t want a “sister” (even though I never had one for real), I wanted a girlfriend who could become a wife, a co-equal partner through life. And these “Unsaved husband” married women probably wanted the same. And the Christian men in their churches and singles groups were “brothers in Christ”, so they got passed over for reasons of exogamy.

      Women do benefit from on fire men but most I meet like that are in pulpits already married.

      Sonya, it’s a Mystery of the Universe that if you meet someone who’d make a good wife or husband for you, they’re already married to someone else. That Law of Nature has nailed me more times than you can count. There’s even songs about it, including one where a woman laments all the guys she runs across “are Married, Neurotic, or Gay!” with over-the-top examples of each in the verses.

      Sometimes it’s only the sheer South Park craziness of it all (and my “Growing Up Martian” as an outsider looking in) that makes it bearable. To the point I don’t get as consistently bitter as Lincoln, and after what I’ve seen and been through, it’d be so easy to get as bitter as Lincoln.

      Instead, I write fantasy, and a lot of the more spontaneous stories (the ones that tend to write themselves) get pretty DARK.

      • Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Yep, I’m bitter alright, I must have just been born that way, that depravity thing and all.

        It certainly couldn’t have been the 20 odd years of aggravation and trauma of dealing with Ameriskanks and a church that has turned into a schizophrenic Disneyland that made me this way. Nah, couldn’t be. So don’t mind me, I’m just an unregenerated soul who just wasn’t handpicked for salvation because God already selected enough Italians already. Carry on my enlightened and morally superior brothers in the LORD.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          So don’t mind me, I’m just an unregenerated soul who just wasn’t handpicked for salvation because God already selected enough Italians already.

          “That Depravity Thinng”? “Wasn’t Handpicked for Salvation”?
          You were raised Calvinist/HyperCalvinist? No wonder you’re so messed up! I got my head messed up by an end-of-the-world cult back in Hal Lindsay’s heyday, and since then the Catholic Church has been doing a duct-tape repair job for around 20 years. Still not wrapped all that tight, but then I never have been.

          As for “20-odd years of dealing with Ameriskanks”, I’ve been dealing with them for 30 years. As well as “enlightened and morally superior brothers in the LORD”, though not as many of these Christian Kyle’s Moms since I swam the Tiber back into Catholicism. They seem to swarm over you like chickens pecking a defective to death if you’re not Just Like Them. (Like I said, I’ve never been wrapped all that tight.)

          • Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            No I have an Assemblies of God background. I’ve never been a calvinist, but every now and then I like to mock their ridiculous belief system. But that’s an argument and a bloodied fight for another day. :D

            Ok, I think I’ve tormented Dan enough with my ornery comments here, so I’ll just politely slink away into the background now, lol

      • Jenai Goss
        Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

        A lot of the women and men who claim “I love you…as a brother/sister” are looking for the wrong thing in love. They are falling for the lie that love is an emotion or a flurry of chemicals, vs. a choice. It would be perfectly fine to marry someone you saw only as a friend or a brother – chemistry is the easiest of the four loves to nurture and the one that fluctuates the most. If the other loves God, meets your standards, has no barriers/red flags, your parents approve (Etc) – why not?

        Now, if they actually don’t meet your standards or you know there is a red flag (such as communication issues), then that is a very real reason to stay brother/sister. Lack of chemistry is a pretty shallow one. Marriages built on chemistry (that fuzzy hormonal honeymoon period that lasts for the first year when dating) are far more likely to divorce (Even christian ones!) than ones built on phileo and agape love that -then- nurture eros along with storge when the time is right.

        • Posted October 1, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          Jenai,

          Everyone tries to place one “love factor” higher than another. If life has taught me anything, it’s that everyone who claims one factor trumps all the others is wrong. All of them need to be in play in various strengths. Chemistry is just as valuable as anything else. When choice is troubled, chemistry may be enough to smooth things over. Next time, choice may be what proves to be the soother when chemistry fails. Physical beauty may beat commitment one day, while the next day commitment wins. All the factors need to come together in their time and in their place. And we need all of them.

          • Ratata
            Posted April 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            I think Agape love trumps all over. The rest are just tools.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Addendum to Sonya re exogamy:

      This is a biological reason for the “lure of the exotic”, where over-familiarity acts as a brake on attractiveness and the exotic Other becomes very attractive. Rabbi Boteach writes of the same phenomenon, and that retaining a sense of mystery is essential to attraction. (As a personal take on this, I’m in Furry Fandom, and a lot of the attraction for semi-human “furry ladies” (such as Mrs Fox in Fantastic Mr Fox is that they are the ultimate Exotic Outsider.)

      Those women “with unsaved husbands” you write about may have rejected Christian suitors because they were Christian and thus “family”, while being attracted to those men outside because they weren’t of the Christian “Family”. Too familiar, not exotic enough.

      This might partially explain the attraction of Users & Abusers — they’re sure not part of the Family!

      And the paradox that crops up any time “The Christian Singles Mess” goes Open Mike night: single Christian women lament they can’t find any single Christian men and single Christian men lament the only thing they get from single Christian women is a solid string of Rejections. And I know from experience that enough unbroken string of rejections and you just don’t take the chance of getting rejected again. Lincoln took one road — bitterness and misogyny. I took another — depression and despair.

      • Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Listen, just because I hate women doesn’t mean I’m a misogynist.

        … … … … O:-)

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Sonya, please don’t be too hard on the Christian women who marry Non Christian men.

      For many years, I believed in that “don’t be unyoked” stuff, but

      1. when you’re in your early 40s, still unmarried, and the Christian man every one told you would show up and marry you if you just prayed hard enough never did show up, and

      2. when you never see unmarried Christian men over the age of 30 in the churches you attend; and

      3. you start seeing lots of Christian divorced women say on blogs that they had to divorce their Christian husband (who worked as deacon or pastor) because he emotionally or physically abused them;
      and

      4. you know of women (both Christian and Non Christian) who date and marry Non Christian men who are perfectly (truly) nice and caring men, just as good and caring as Christian men, then the idea of dating (and marrying a Non Christian) doesn’t seem so bad or dangerous.

      At my age, it looks I will have no choice but to marry a Non Christian if I want to get married. There are no single Christian guys my age out there.

  12. Sonya
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    One more thought..

    ANYONE who hints of a past in child abuse ,domestic violence ,dating violence,divorce,or criminality is NOT marraigable UNTIL they get ALOT of counseling. These patterns and cycles repeat themselves through the generations. Getting genuinely born again will break that. Maturity in Christ is still a better bet in choosing a partner for life.Then gifts and callings that are compatable,then looks. In that order IMO. The ‘list’ is relatively short and certainly not impossible for OUR GOD.

    Set your face like a flint to do His will and He will bring someone along.Better to be single and wish you were married than to be married and wish you were single !

    Rally on my friends !! You are a peculiar people. In time when you look behind you ,you will see a few work friends and family following behind.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      ANYONE who hints of a past in child abuse ,domestic violence ,dating violence,divorce,or criminality…

      Triggers the automatic “OOOOOOO! MY SOULMATE!” reaction in women. Especially if he also looks like he’d be dynamite in the sack.

      “Just because Edward always wants to kill Bella doesn’t mean he’s abusive!”
      — Twilight fan at a domestic abuse/violence seminar

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Set your face like a flint to do His will and He will bring someone along.

      That’s what I got told 30 years ago, by Christians — who were themselves already safely married. Want me to show you the bill of goods I bought?

      Now, 30 years later, the only things I can look forward to are qualifying for the senior discount at Denny’s and getting published as an SF writer before the cancer-Langoliers catch up with me. Alone.

  13. Sonya
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Lastly,
    My hunch is alot of you may be watching to much TV or listening to talk at work by alot of ungodly people ( to be frank ) Don’t take your cues from culture. Get rid of cable or TV all together for a awhile.

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Sonya, the Christian church is also bad at giving unmarried people the wrong idea about marriage/ dating/ romance, not just secular culture and Hollywood.

      Many of us Christian ladies who wanted marriage but who still remain single in our 40s, were told if we simply prayed hard enough and prayed enough, God wold send us a spouse – I did that, and God did not send me someone.

      And yes, I even tried the advice about trying dating sites, serve other people, go to church, etc, and still could not meet anyone.

      So the church keeps teaching that if you want marriage, just “wait on God’s timing and pray to Him” but that does not work.

      Then we get told we are making marriage an idol and should accept and cherish our “gift of singleness.”

      If you continue to express your feelings of frustration or lonliness over marriage not happening for you, you are condescendingly, rudely told by pastors and Christians on some blogs that you are “bitter” or “turning marriage into an idol.”

      Or, we are told by some Christians that if you are still single by such- and- such an age, it’s all your fault (because you didn’t try hard enough, didn’t have enough faith, etc) – so we get blamed for something that is not our fault – which stings.

      We are given cruddy, horrible advice by Christians about dating and marriage from the time we are children.

      The “pray/ wait/ serve and you are guaranteed to get a spouse from God” shtick does not work.

  14. Sulan
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I am single — I have now been single for over 30 years.

    On churches and singleness, they know not what to do with you. They cannot relate to you, because they haven’t walked where you continually walk.

    Everytime the minister would say, ‘Now husbands and wives, hold hands, look each other in the eyes and say — I LOVE YOU — we who were single felt like our limb had been lopped off.

    Everytime this happens, you feel like you did something wrong — but that can’t be, as they still take my money. BUT you continue to wonder what there is about you that makes you so invisible.

    It took me many years to be able to be glad that I am single. I have learned to have a greater relationship with God and the Godhead, and that works better for me than a physical one would.

    I hear the pain of all single men and women, and my only advice is — ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you’ Matthew 6:31.

    May all of you seeking a mate, find a greater place in God first..

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I would have liked to hear “I love you” without the tacked on “…as a Brother in Christ.”

  15. David
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I can’t tell you how disturbing this discussion has been to me. For one thing, I had to look up who Edward Cullen is, and if women today are comparing him with Christ, then we have a serious problem, Houston.

    Singleness and Marriage are two issues that haven’t had enough biblical discussion in the Church. I know, one thinks that the Church today talks about little else…But I mean biblical discussion. There is far too much conversation about cultural norms and expectations, and too little discussion about God’s norms and expectations. One is more likely to hear about marriage in the context of “Pride and Prejudice” than that of Ephesians 5. A pastor may well begin reading from Ephesians, and end with roses and chocolate. Being willing to die is rarely mentioned.

    And as mentioned before, the “Christlike” life is single, not married.

    Are there false expectations in the dating world? Duh. The fact that there are “Christian” online dating services should give warning to how much Satan has affected Christian relationships. The Church has conveniently excused itself from a role explicitly handed to it by God. A good part of this is due to the wrong-headed emphasis the Church has put on evangelizing the very young (at the expense of youth and adults) and on the lack of discipleship at all ages. The young will not listen to the old today because the Church abandoned the practice of discipleship.

    I listened to a convention speaker years ago, who spoke of “exploding the myth of romantic love in Christian dating and marriage.” It’s something to consider. Romance is soft, warm, and fleeting. Love is a hard road, long, full of troubles, and is “the greatest of these.”

    Edward Cullen is romance. Jesus Christ is Love.

    Choose.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      For one thing, I had to look up who Edward Cullen is, and if women today are comparing him with Christ, then we have a serious problem, Houston.

      Actually, it’s more like the other way round; they’re turning Christ into a Cosmic Edward Cullen, the Perfect Fantasy Boyfriend. I’d seen the pattern for decades (and been burned by it), but it wasn’t until Twilight as an example that I was able to put a name to it.

      And the result to us mere mortal males is to become the poor farmer with one lamb in the story Nathan told David regarding the Bathsheba affair.

      Are there false expectations in the dating world? Duh. The fact that there are “Christian” online dating services should give warning to how much Satan has affected Christian relationships.

      And every Christian dating service I’ve been to has been a complete waste of time and money. The women already have their Cosmic Edward Cullen; the best us mere mortals can hope for is to become a distant Number Two and live-in ATM.

      • Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Headless Unicorn Guy,

        I’m almost afraid to ask, but as you got older did you ever find the desire for a woman and companionship to decrease with age? I’m wondering because I’m researching over the possibility of using drugs to suppress libido so I no longer feel any innate desire for the company of a female.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Not the desire for companionship. Especially cuddly companionship. It’s what I desired all my life but could never have. I just had a massive attack of “Ann withdrawals” last month, triggered by a picture I bought in an art show.

          I’d go with the antiaphrodisiacs to kill all sexual desire — I’ve found exposure to porn does it for me (sex = disgust reaction that lasts about six months) — but that won’t kill your desire for cuddly companionship. All I can offer is to make a large circle of friends and get what companionship you can from that, knowing it won’t be the cuddly kind.

          I write fantasy using romance as a major plot skeleton. Using non-human species who actually pair-bond and mate for life instead of screw like bonobos. And that helps.

          • Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Ah, I see you went the Lovecraft/Tolkien route.

            I think what helps is having people with failed marriages in your life too. The constant wailing does a lot to remind me on why it’s great to be single. Best career option in that respect is to be a cop dealing with domestic calls. Fun times. :D

          • Headless Unicorn Guy
            Posted March 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Okay, Tolkien I can understand (because Elves pair-bonded like that), but LOVECRAFT?

            (Though some of the porn I’ve been exposed to in my life WAS grotesque enough to fit right into the Non-Euclidean halls of Great Cthulhu or the mindless madness piping Void of Yog-Sototh. 2D6 SAN loss, no save.)

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      @ David

      And loads of Christian males want a wife who looks like Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie but who has the morals of Mother Teresa – and these are fat, balding, dweeby men – even they feel entitled to hot babes, and they refuse to date average looking or chubby Christian gals.

      It’s not just some Christian women who hold out for unrealistic ideals, not by any means.

  16. Paul Walton
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    For those who are single, here is a testimony of the type of spouse you should pray and trust God for. I hope the link embeds.
    JOLLYBLOGGER
    My Wife
    1 day ago

  17. bob pinto
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Dan’s assessment of society’s attitude towards men.

    Yet I’m hearing Sonya as the voice of levelheaded reason while Unicorn and Lincoln are enormously bitter and cynical.

    I wanted to marry before I did so 24 years ago, but I didn’t want to marry any member of the entire female sex.

    Will you two stop broadbrushing women – it makes for lazy opinion-making.

    • Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Spoken like a typical married guy who has long since been neutered by his overbearing wife. It must suck to be you. :-)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Let me tell you something, Bob. Within one or two years after you get married, you become incapable of remembering what it’s like to be single and incapable of relating to a long-term single. I’ve seen it happen, and heard it described. No matter how long you were single beforehand, a married has no idea what it’s like to be single, and the transition is complete before your second anniversary.

      That’s one of the problems trying to communicate, and Lincoln is just a lot nastier about it than I am. Whatever you say about what us singles should be or do, to us it’s going to sound totally stupid and condescending. Imagine somebody who’s starving being told by someone well-fed and fat to “just wait on the LORD” or “Be content”. While the hunger keeps gnawing at you and you see all the oh-so-delicious feast he’s stuffing into his mouth. And every time you’ve tried a mouthful, it (not you) has vomited itself out. For what’s now approaching 30 years in my case. How would you react?

      That’s the best illustration I can think of at the moment.

      • Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Headless,

        I can still relate to being single. I remember every last shred of my single years. And I don’t think I have any problems communicating with singles. But then, I tend to be highly reflective and empathetic, almost to a fault.

      • CrunchyPeanutButter
        Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Headless Unicorn Guy,
        I know you at another blog (I use a different name there), and while you are overall a friendly guy, I do see a lot of anger here on this blog in your posts at all Christian women not just the several you’ve had run ins with.

        I’m a bit younger than you, but I’m in the same exact position, but with genders reversed.

        I’m a woman who can’t meet single Christian guys my age, and when I do manage to find a few, (like on dating sites), they are hypocritical, or inattentive, or they adhere to unrealistic standards (even the ugly guys feel entitled to beauty queens but the beauty queens also have to have perfect moral lives).

        (Even though most men think I am very attractive, I am turned off by the men who seem only interested in my looks, so I do not reply to them on dating sites.)

        So I do appreciate your frustration, and maybe even anger at certain types of Christian women, but not all of us Christian women are alike. I’m sorry you’ve had a tough time in the world of dating and maybe wanting marriage but not being able to get a wife, but not all Christian women are to blame.

        If anything, I think much of the blame falls on naive or legalistic or wrong-headed teachings and advice about dating and marriage we Christians have been getting the last 40 or more years, from both male and female leaders, preachers, authors.

        I also think it’s due to our culture changing. People used to get married from age 20 to 25, but these days, things have changed. Most of us go to college first, move around a lot, etc and by the time you are ready for marriage, it’s harder to find someone your age who is compatible.

  18. Sonya
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Singles also include the divorced or widowed. I never hear from them to much.
    To be honest most of my girlfriends at my age are divorced. ( these are christians..now. BTW guess what brought them to Christ? )

    I think they suffer some but most are so happy to be free. The widows I don’t know…

  19. connie
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I have one married and two single grown children. Neither of my grown single children are whining about being single… There is nothing less attractive than desperation, and nothing more attractive than someone who has a purpose and goals in life. Just a hint from someone who has observed a lot (and who was single till 25 herself back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.)

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Connie- I have to disagree with your post and I find it rather insensitive and rude.

      Just because a Christian single is not 100% happy and content with being single does not necessarily mean that she (or he) is desperate, bitter, or whiny. So you didn’t marry until age 25? You have no clue what being unmarried is like until you have reached your 40s or 50s and still unmarried.

      The church has unfortunately told Christians for decades now that if they only pray hard enough, or serve enough, or have enough faith and/or remain chaste, that God will reward them with a spouse.

      What of those of us who did all that, and we are still without marriage? It hurts a lot, for some of us (those of us who desire marriage) – and we have a right to express that hurt and disappointment, and we should be able to do so without people on blogs saying we are “desperate” or hurling other insults at us.

  20. Sonya
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Headless Unicorn Guy

    Re : your comment about exogamy. It’s interesting and has some merit. However for a ‘ real ‘ christian ( which is another topic these days IMO ) who married a unbeliever.. flat out disobeyed Gods word. Period,and will suffer for it and all those who care about that couple including any pastor that approved it.

    Conversion after marraige of one or both partners is another matter… but your still stuck.

    I want nothing to do with it. The Song Of Solomon for someone who is the Beloved’s ‘sister’ sounds pretty hot to me. I don’t think you will have to worry about it. The few men that were christians I have been attracted to, ‘brother’ was not first and foremost in my thinking LOL. Good grief I had trouble concentrating some when they showed up !! Hah.

    • Hans
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Sonya

      A friend of mine ( who walks very close to the Lord ) realized he was totally incapable of choosing the right wife, so he prayed for the Lord to bring her to him. The Lord answered his prayer and caused him to marry ( with dreams, signs, and wonders ) a non believer, a foreigner from a different culture, Its worked out well and now 10/12 years she’s a firm believer……….are you going to tell he was disobedient ?

      Can we really say who’s a ‘real’ Christian or not…….

      • Headless Unicorn Guy
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Can we really say who’s a ‘real’ Christian or not…….

        All too often that becomes a one-upmanship game where the Proof of a Real Christian becomes “whatever I do that YOU don’t” and The Unpardonable Sin becomes “whatever YOU do that I don’t”.

        Then there’s the “100% dedicated to the LORD” one-upmanship game where no matter how much you’re dedicated, it’s never enough. God’s Litmus Test becomes 110%, then 200%, then 1000%, etc.

        I’ve had both of them used on me, and that’s no way to live. That’s not even living.

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Sonya

      When you consider that a lot of “Christian” men are addicted to X rated sites, are having serial affairs, that about 40-50% of “Christian” marriages end in divorce, and that Christian husbands abuse their wives too – and when you know Christian women who married stable,loving NonChristian men who treat them wll – all the sudden, that little teaching about “be yoked not to an unbeliever” loses its allure or authority.

      Also… God does not punish Christians who engage in fornication (based on the numerous testimonies I see of Christians who admit to fornicating who did not get sexually transmitted diseases and who got wonderful spouses later on in life), either, so I see no point in any Christian remaining chaste, there are no practical benefits to it, and the church does not support it.

      • Joan of Arcadia
        Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        @ Crunchy Peanut Butter….

        Today is Wednesday and the sun is shining. As my dad so often tells us in the morning, “today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

        I completely understand your frustration, but the bottom line is that for whatever reason you are going through this trial of singleness, God is still able to bring you the desires of your heart and to an expected end.

        If you fall into the trap that many of us do in “trying to figure God out”, you’ll only find heartache. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.

        And don’t be deceived about God not judging Christians for fornicating or sexual immorality before marriage – God is not mocked and the divorce rate in the church has a lot to say about what goes on behind closed doors… The church is reaping a bitter harvest today. Keep your eyes on the LORD and only trust Him. =)

        • CrunchyPeanutButter
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

          @ Joan of Arcadia

          Thank you for trying to cheer me up. My mind is not changed, though.

          I watched lots and lots of Christian TV over the years and have read many testimonies online by Christian women who say they fornicated a lot, but then their lives still turned out okay.

          These women who were highly sexually promiscuous did not get a case of the STDs, or did not wind up alone, or did not suffer never-ending heartache over having pre- marital sex, or any of the other common “scare tactics” Christians like to use on teens to discourage them from having sex.

          If you believe God is in fact holding fornicators accountable for sexual sin, and in this life time to boot, I’d love to see the examples. (I’m not being sarcastic about that.)

          Seriously, if you could provide links to sites with stories of women who say, “Why yes, I am a Christian, I slept around before marriage, even knowing it was wrong to do so, and I got a raging case of STDs,” I’d love to see them.

          Yes, some women DO in fact get unplanned pregnancies or STDs from pre-marital sex, I realize that, but it does not seem to happen very often, based on the Christian testimonies I see from women who talk about how accepting Jesus as Savior (or ‘returning to Jesus’ after being lukewarm and back-slidden in youth) changed their lives for the better.

          On another front, virginity and sexual purity – the teachings as well as the practice themselves – are being ridiculed on blogs by and for conservative and emergent Christians, and by Christian feminists.

          Some male conservative Christian bloggers have also jumped aboard this ‘virginity bashing’ train lately, because I think they want to appear cool, hip, and sensitive.

          These Christians are now saying Christians should stop teaching ‘virginity- until- marriage,’ and stop teaching about celibacy, because doing so makes people who had consensual sex as teens feel guilty and ashamed when they are in their 20s or older and hear Christians teach about sexual purity.

          I enjoy Rachel Held Evan’s blog (she is a Christian blogger), but she is one of the ones who regularly features posts on her blog by herself, or guest writers, who question and criticize virginity and/or Christians who support sexual purity and virginity.

          Some of the same Christians saying this stuff are also insulting adults past 30 who are still virgins by claiming they are “prideful” about their virginity (even though in many cases, they are not).

          So Christians today are attacking not only virginity (the concept/teaching), but virgins themselves.

          We’re being told to be super easy gentle on sexual sin and sexual sinners, but it’s open season on Christian adult virgins.

          So I wish I could share your faith that God holds the fornicators responsible, but I am seeing the total opposite in American Christian society.

          I am not a legalist who believes in torturing folks over their sexual sin, but I am very angry and turned off by this current trend of Christians “bad mouthing” sexual purity and virginity teachings, and in the name of “sensitivity” and “not hurting feelings”.

          • Joan of Arcadia
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Crunchy… =)

            My dad was a pastor and I’ve been involved in church ministry for almost 40 years… I’ve seen and heard many stories that speak to the contrary – that people are suffering the consequences of sin and are paying dearly for it. I too, am frustrated with the lack of honesty in this arena, but can only give grace as I’m sure those involved are suffering greater pain than I can see and public shame would only make life completely unbearable. I’ve found in cases of injustice, it’s best to trust the Lord.

            I don’t know what else to say to ease your grief in this trial – I’m in it with you and definitely feel slighted, but some days, I have to admit, I take comfort in the fact that I do not have the heartache of raising children in this culture, nor do I have the heartache of being disappointed in marriage, should that be my fate.

            I feel very sad for both men and women today, but I am equally excited at the amount of time and opportunity I have to share the gospel and use my freedom to serve the Lord.

            Regarding virginity bashing…. *rolleyes* Sad, but definitely a tool of Satan – don’t let him trip you up on it. God commands us to be pure – do it and let God sort the rest out.

            What do you do for a living? Do you at least enjoy that? Do you feel fulfilled in your calling? Do you have a calling? I do and am not saying it’s the end-all and be-all, but it definitely helps to have purpose outside my singleness… God bless you.

          • Joan of Arcadia
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Crunchy… =)

            My dad was a pastor and I’ve been involved in church ministry for almost 40 years… I’ve seen and heard many stories that speak to the contrary – that people are suffering the consequences of sin and are paying dearly for it. I too, am frustrated with the lack of honesty in the public arena, but can only give grace as I’m sure those involved are suffering greater pain than I can see and public shame would only make life completely unbearable. I’ve found in cases of injustice, it’s best to trust the Lord.

            I don’t know what else to say to ease your grief in this trial – I’m in it with you and definitely feel slighted, but some days, I have to admit, I take comfort in the fact that I do not have the heartache of raising children in this culture, nor do I have the heartache of being disappointed in marriage, should that be my fate.

            I feel very sad for both men and women today, but I am equally excited at the amount of time and opportunity I have to share the gospel and use my freedom to serve the Lord.

            Regarding virginity bashing…. *rolleyes* Sad, but definitely a tool of Satan – don’t let him trip you up on it. God commands us to be pure – do it and let God sort the rest out.

            What do you do for a living? Do you at least enjoy that? Do you feel fulfilled in your calling? Do you have a calling? I do and am not saying it’s the end-all and be-all, but it definitely helps to have purpose outside my singleness… God bless you.

  21. David
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I am maybe not the oldest or most experienced guy here, but I can say that this post is nearly spot on. I would almost say 100% spot on.

    Thanks Dan for speaking out on this very underground, very sensitive and very not-spoken-of topic. I am not out to bash women or men. We both have our responsibilities. It is the man’s responsibility to lead — I get that.

    However, I think many a man’s problem is they are not pressing into the Lord to discern another woman that is pressing into the Lord. I am talking complete abandonment and surrender for the Cross. Many men (and women) are loosely holding onto sound doctrine, mortification of sin, repentance and deep seeded affections for the King of Glory. This results , in my opinion and experience, in pursuit of a spouse that is partially clinging to the cross and partially clinging to sin, lust and the world. When we go for people like this, should we really expect anything different in the dating world? I am not saying that all the points given by Dan are real. I more than completely agree with all his observations, some with tempting chords of bitterness.

    My take on the matter — repent of sin, trust in the Lord, obey Him and find someone that is completely sold on that as well, not just in theory.

    • Posted March 4, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      David,

      Thanks for writing.

      I don’t think anyone is 100 percent “sold out” for Jesus. If people were, then there would be a whole lot more Christians who are single by choice and happy about their state. The very act of getting married means you now split your “devotedness” time between the Lord and a spouse. Kids fracture that time even more.

      The question then is, What percentage of “sold-out-ness” is acceptable? Is 90 percent? How about 63.7 percent? ;-)

      It’s a valid question, though, and the point where each one of us goofs, as no human being can determine his or her own level of spiritual commitment, much less that of someone else. And particularly not of “that special someone.” Love IS blind, especially to those realities.

  22. Sonya
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry if I am monopolizing the conversation as of late but you are right Dan. I’ve heard that so many times.

    Another good one… all those times I’ve walked an isle weeping and wailing …” laying it all down for Jesus ” because marraige is an “idol”….” well ya never know sister Sonya, maybe it’s an idol in your life.” Hah LOL. I’ve bought into that one too. Pllllleeeeaaazzzzzzzzzeee. Our motives are NEVER 100% directed towards God 24-7 !!! Like all christians who are now married didn’t have that problem and marraige wasn’t an ” idol “… for them but it is for me?

    anyone else out there heard that one?

    Connie I like what you say and have heard that to. However if your single children end up staying single longer than they would like and their purpose and goals lead them to missions, ( of course it better be religious related to get the ” ok” ) or they get a few degrees or a house, there’s the crowd that says you havn’t gotten married because your to selfish.

    Then there’s the ” Satan brings the counterfeit before God brings the right one “. Demonizing all the unbelievers and christian ones that didn’t work out.

    Hmm it never ends.

    I’m trying to trust Him. If he gives me grace and empowers me with His HOLY SPIRIT to do the right thing then he has a plan and purpose for it all. I won’t be put to shame.His name is at stake.

  23. Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    The church’s problem is not that we have failed to value marriage, it’s that we’ve over-valued self. We’ve bought into the cultural emphasis on “self-esteem” which is, ultimately, self-love and self-worship.

    Put two people in a marriage each with “high self-esteem” you will inevitably discover unresolvable conflicts of interest.

    Put two people together who at least make an effort at valuing others above themselves and their interests will coincide with synergy.

    We’ve abandoned self-worth in favor of self-esteem. And our marriages, our churches, and our singles have suffered for it.

    Regards,

    Rich
    BlogRodent

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      No Rich, I don’t think that (the self esteem stuff) has a lot to do with it.

      Take it from a never married, 40 something Christian woman who wanted marriage, I can see a lot of the reasons why there is an epidemic of protracted singleness going on among Christians, and it’s not due to culture’s emphasis on self esteem.

      There are other dynamics at play – like bad teaching on dating/ marriage (which actually hinders marriage), and the shortage of unmarried Christian men over the age of 30s – the chicks out number the dudes.

  24. Sonya
    Posted March 7, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Hans,,
    I always find those type of stories intriguing. Why would God violate His word though? Hosea is an example of a type of Christ with us. I know that the Vikings were evangelized to Christianity eventually but that was because they stole and seized christian women after brutalizing them along with their raidng parties.

    I think Derek Prince had a simlar story with one of his wives. She was quite a bit older than he and jewish…she converted but it wasn’t an easy marraige.

    I have had more unbelievers take an interest in me with all kinds of ‘signs’ indicating there seemed to be something happening on Gods end to get them saved so I could date them like I wanted, but not A ONE ever did or has. One was even married with problems leading to seperation. I had to fight all of them and my flesh every step of the way. ! NONE EVER RECIEVED CHRIST. I don’t buy it. As I said before, after the fact it’s a different story and 1 Cor 7 :14 kicks in but that’s after… and it’s still risky. You stay in the marraige regardless of what happens. Although if a woman respects a man enough to marry him and she’s an unbeliever she usually will follow him in all things more so than a man in the same situation IMO.

    Pastor Tommy Nelson refers to unbelieveing man in a marraige to a believer a ” ROGUE MALE ” eeeewwwhhh.

  25. Hans
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Sonya,

    The problem I have is this issue of who;s Christian and who isn’t….that is not for us to decide…..For only God really knows the heart.

    I’ve been to churches all across this country (Canada) during ‘walk-abouts’ on our Fathers business and while better than 95% of the people may have been confessing Jesus as their Savior I would say less than 10% actually saw Him as LORD and lived accordingly

    Since God knows the end from the beginning He could easily pair up believer with a nonbeliever, knowing when the nonbeliever is going to finally ” get it ” and there by not violate his own word. God is not subject to time, time is part of God’s creation and subject to Him

    I personally would much rather see my believing daughter marry a nice kind loving fellow who’s walking his God ordained path ( but may not yet had his epiphany ) than marry a loud mouthed Jesus confessing wolf in sheep’s clothing that practices works of iniquity

    Back to the issue of who’s a ” Christian or not ” My previous mentioned friend happens to have the gift of seeing into the Spirit realm and often sees where individuals go or end up when they pass on. I have also been allowed a degree of discernment in that particular area, It makes funerals very interesting sometimes, and you would be very surprised at who gets ” in “……and who doesn’t.

    It behooves us to be very cautious about who we ” condemn ” because they happen not to be ” one of us ”

    The problem with a lot of unbelievers is not that they are ‘not saved’
    but that they just don’t know that they are !!! It was a done deal 2000 years ago……..

    We are directed by Jesus to preach the KINGDOM……not salvation…….

    • Paul Walton
      Posted March 8, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Hans,
      I find it amazing that your friend claims to know who has been judged by Christ to eternal life, and to eternal death at their funeral umm.

      • Hans
        Posted March 9, 2010 at 2:01 am | Permalink

        Paul

        That’s really quite mild compared to some of the things we have both experienced in our individual walks and our walkabouts together, frankly there is only a handful of fellow believers we dare confide in……the majority of “Christians” just can’t handle it.

        I could write a book on the adventures we’ve had in the Lord…but what good would it do anyone, when what they really need is Divine adventures of their own…………besides that was yesterdays’ manna……

        Didn’t Jesus tell us that if we have so much faith as a mustard seed we would…………..etc…….., etc……..when do we start taking Him at his word ?…… were we not told to do the very things he did and even greater things……As I was saying to our pastor last Sunday, to biggest challenge we have as a church , or corporate body is to get over our collective unbelief and start to get a handle on how big and absolutely sovereign our God really is……………try walking on water, that will stretch ya

        All it takes is obedience and belief

        • Paul Walton
          Posted March 9, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          Hans,

          The reason I’m amazed at the claim, is that God’s word clearly tells us that Christ will judge believers and unbelievers at the end of this age. No one has been eternally judge yet, how can you claim to have these revelations? I believe this is border line heresy, that is, to make your self equal with Christ, for only He is qualified to judge, and that hasn’t happen yet!

          • Hans
            Posted March 15, 2010 at 3:03 am | Permalink

            Paul

            Sorry, but the long and short it all is that we are at the end of this age and judgment IS HAPPENING, and we have been bearing witness to that for several years now. The period of Grace is coming to an end and the Christian community needs to wake up to the fact, many things and goings on that have been allowed and tolerated up to now just cannot be in the Kingdom age to come ( spend some time in the prophets and you will see )

            As a ‘watchman on the wall’ is it not my duty to sound the alarm , as long as I speak up even if no one listens their blood is not on my hands

            No one here is claiming equality with Christ or would even consider it, but at the same time did Jesus not COMMAND us to BE LIKE Him. So if we say yes and amen and take Him at His work and am willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, will He then not exercise His judgment through us. Was not His given name for his second coming ‘Emanuel’…” GOD With US ” . Dare to meditate on that a bit

            To be a witness to His judgment, or to partake in prophetic acts to establish His judgment isn’t anything we have every gone looking for……they just happen….in HIS timing…………. but are always accompanied with external conformation and ‘extraordinary evidence’

            If some should find this offensive, well too bad so sad, what can I say …IT IS WHAT IT IS…!!!!!

          • Paul Walton
            Posted March 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            Hans,
            Thank you for your very humble reply. God Bless you brother.

            Paul

        • Headless Unicorn Guy
          Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Extrordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

          There’s a lot of craziness and outright BS going on with everything that gets lumped under “Discernment”, and little signal amid the noise.

    • Posted March 8, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      It behooves us to be very cautious about who we ” condemn ” because they happen not to be ” one of us ”

      Yet I see you condemning the “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” and I don’t see a rule saying they can’t repent either down the road and “get it” as well. Interesting how that works. Maybe your daughter is meant to marry an ornery troublemaker because she might serve as the instrument to set him back on the path. Can’t deny God’s will if that’s the case, haha! :D

      • Hans
        Posted March 9, 2010 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        Ha ha,

        Or else pay-back for the grief and heart ache she caused me…. back then………( don’t worry all’s good between us now )…

        But it’s so true , God’s will is God’s will and no one gets away with anything

        And I don’t wish to condemn the ‘wolves in………’ just identify them for self preservation….( how do you stick them happy faces in there anyhow )

  26. Posted March 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that this is the scariest blog discussion that I’ve read in quite a long time…

    Maybe it’s because I’m belgian and married that I can’t relate at all, but what the ???? are you guys talking about???

    I’ve been single for 23 years before I was married btw, and yes I do have single friends (both male and female) and not much has changed when I married. I do believe that friendship is a form of love, and I don’t understand at all why there would be segregation of singles and married persons… That sounds like a rotten system and way of thinking in which I cannot see anything christian at all…

    peace

    Bram

    • David
      Posted March 9, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Most churches split up their congregations into “birds of a feather” groups. Singles with Singles, Married with Married, Kids with Kids, Divorcee’s with Divorcee’s. No doubt shown to be the “best” way to deal with large groups as per some efficiency expert back in the 30’s.

      It’s gotten so natural that to break up that dynamic results in complaints, confusion, and discontent. As these are things all churches do their utmost to avoid, the “caste” system is rarely if ever challenged.

      Small groups and home churches have made an attempt at breaking up the layered dynamic of church activity, but for the mainstream, ‘Koinonia’ still means “married 50’s with adult children”.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        And when the American Evangelical de facto doctrine of “Salvation Through Marriage” (that being single is a sin) gets added to the mix, Singles become one of those Special Need Groups:

        Wednesday Night: Alcoholics Ministry.
        Thursday Night: Singles Ministry.
        Friday Night: Homosexuals Ministry.

  27. Sonya
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    As a older single I don’t mind mixing with married couples as long as they are healthy. Brambonious’s comment ” not much has changed when I married ” was nice. I mean I don’t think your supposed to loose your personhood are you ? Strict roles a-la SGM/CBMW is a huge problem.

    Something I didn’t mention but as a single woman ever notice how when we show up on the scene all the married women suddenly hold their husbands hands. Or when the on fire for Jesus single guy shows up the husbands in the crowd smoothly reach and wrap their arm around their wives waists.
    I have alot more to say about that one but I won’t and it’s not my imagination either.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy
      Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      i.e. “You’re Not Gonna Get MINE.”

  28. Single Man
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Having just stumbled across this post, let me throw my two cents in. I’m 40 and still single. There’s nothing more I would like than to marry a godly women, but despite looking for 20 years I have yet to meet her. I don’t know who Richard Philips is, but I certainly do value marriage. Perhaps he’d like to find me a partner…

    • Posted March 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Single Man,

      I hear you. I really do. Whenever I heard some preacher say, “You need to do ________,” I want to ask that preacher, “Sir, and just what are you doing personally to help me meet that condition?” One of the worst aspects of American Evangelicalism is that we are all set to tell people how they should live as Christians, yet we do nothing to help them achieve the ideal we preach. That’s called hypocrisy where I come from!

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Single Man, I have the same problem, only I’m a woman looking for a Christian man and haven’t been able to find one.

      Even the ones on the dating sites are creepy, as some say they want a Christian woman who has “previous sexual experience.” O rly? What about “keep the marriage bed undefiled?” I guess such Christian men don’t know or care about that, or they’re saying they want a divorced woman?

      The old standard used to be all men wanted to marry virgins, but somewhere along the way, something changed, now they all want Paris Hilton or her equivalent.

      • Ratata
        Posted April 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        If Single Man is still virgin (I sure do hope so, that would be worthy of lots of respect in that age), maybe CrunchyPeanutButter and him should go on a Date! :D

  29. Sonya
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Did anyone see a article on Fox news recently about some 30 million men in China are going to have trouble finding wives in the next 20 years because of the one child policy and the trends to abort girl babies. Sad.

    What about the christian men there that might be effected. How are they handling that ? To say ” trust God ” sounds weak in some regards…

    It could cause a bump in adultry and trafficking/prostitution or looking outside your own culture.

  30. Mel
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    lol, battle of the sexes not existing before the 1960’s? Uhh, I think you need to get an education Dan. The battle went like this: women were not allowed a college education, not allowed to vote, not allowed to have their own bank accounts VS men who had it all and treated women like idiots. This was wrong, unfair and un Christ like. Women fighting for their freedom to contribute to the world in other ways besides baking and having babies HAS been VERY beneficial for society- penicillin, life rafts, bullet proof vests and laser eye surgery are just a few inventions by women. Why do you have a problem with this?
    FYI sexual abuse against women is an epidemic, women HAVE to be on their guard for self protection. Maybe if men did more about men who abuse women, women wouldn’t have to. Think about that.
    Its a shame you had to bring up these tired, ignorant scape goats, otherwise you nearly made some good points.

    • Mike
      Posted December 22, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      My mother and grandmother both lived in the sixties, and both voted, worked and had their own bank account. I think you watch to much TV, Or have had to much liberal education . The only way career driven radical feminist have benefited the world is by contributing greatly to the breakdown of the family.

  31. CrunchyPeanutButter
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot I could write, and maybe I shall return to your blog and leave a follow up post later, but I’m not in the mood to address every point in depth at this time.

    I not only read the post, but I skimmed over a few of the top replies on the page.

    There is also pressure and blame placed on single Christian females by the church; it’s not just the males who get shamed and blamed.

    We unmarried Christian females are told if we are not married (and popping out babies) by age 25 or 30, we are to blame for our singleness – we are obviously, (it is incorrectly assumed and stated in many Christian publications and blogs for singles), vehement feminists who hate men, or we are placing career before marriage/ dating/ men, etc., none of which was true of me and plenty of others like me.

    Forget women supposedly having long, unrealistic wish lists.

    Many men, Christian ones included, I am sad to say, even if they themselves are obese and unattractive and age 35 or older, all feel they are entitled to a 22 year old movie star Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie look alike.

    I’ve been on dating sites where even men who claim to be Christian have the poor taste and audacity to mention sex in their profiles – how much they like it and want it. I’m sorry, but as a Christian woman, stuff like that is a total turn off; it’s inappropriate. You just do not discuss sex right off the bat on a dating profile or on a first date.

    I have seen articles in the past few years that explain that Christian women around my age group (age 30 – 50) presently outnumber single Christian men. There are not enough Christian men to go around for all the Christian single women, and out of the ones that do exist, they are not attending church..

    I was taught by both my Christian parents that a Christian woman who wants marriage should attend church weekly because that is where she is likely to meet “Mr. (Christian) Right.” That has not been the case. It has turned out to be a joke.

    Every church I attend, the women either out number the guys, or the men present are way to old for me (as in 15 years or more. When it comes to dating, I prefer to stay within five years of my age).

    Also, many churches ignore singles who are age 35 and older. Most churches pour in all their time, money and attention to singles under 35, especially those in their 20s.

    Take a look at the book “Quitting Church” by author Julia Duin, as she documents that information, as well as the discrimination or neglect older singles face by churches in one of the chapters. (You can read part of that chapter for free on Google Books.)

    One thing I’d like to clear up – not all women want a “bad boy.” I’ve never wanted one. I always wanted a good guy, a nice guy, because bad boys are too much trouble and heartache.

    Bad boys frequently cheat on their girlfriends, or take financial advantage of them, or verbally or physically abuse them.

    So I get very tired of seeing single men (both Christian and Non Christian) complain about how nice (Christian) girls only want bad boys and “not nice guys like me.” That simply is not true.

    • Sarah
      Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      “So I get very tired of seeing single men (both Christian and Non Christian) complain about how nice (Christian) girls only want bad boys and “not nice guys like me.” That simply is not true.

      It is true. Deal with it. ‘Christian’ women have much to answer for.

      • ccinnova
        Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        My first girlfriend dumped me and later married a “bad boy.” Trust me, it happens. That was more than 30 years ago and I still shake my head in disbelief.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          ccinnova,

          It could be worse: You could find out she’s divorced. Or that he left her for a guy. Oh, the questions!

      • CrunchyPeanutButter
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        @ Sarah

        No, it’s not true. You’re also very rude.

        I was a stereotypical “nice girl,” a June Cleaver type, and it did not land me a husband. It’s also not true that nice girls (or any girl) prefers “bad boys.”

        I explained in two posts higher above yours that the reason some women go after “bad boys” is because such women are 1. codependent, and
        2. the jerky bad boys have the courage to risk rejection and ask women out.

        The reason “nice guys” don’t get dates is because often, they are cowards. They don’t have the courage needed to directly ask a woman out. That is why they stay single.

        Deal with that, Sarah.

  32. Debbie Long
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    In my experience (as a British 37 year old Christian single woman), the majority of single Christians are female. Single non/new Christians hear this, and see the Church as a haven for single women. They expect us to be desperate and needy and affection-starved.
    So – we take everyone’s advice to “see how it goes” and end up listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, which, in my case, has always been “You’re compromising on my promises to you” or “He’s not the one I have for you” and (more often than not) “I want you to myself for the foreseeable future”.
    The danger with this kind of article is that it assumes that everyone is meant to be coupled up, and that if boy-girl relationships don’t work out, or people remain single for an extended period, something must be wrong!
    We were created for relationship with God first and foremost. Nothing more, nothing less.
    It’s about time people stopped being distracted with singleness as an “issue” when it’s nothing more than a God-given state. Sometimes permanently and sometimes temporarily.
    Now can we all stop judging God’s plan for each other’s lives and get on with our own please?

    • Joan of Arcadia
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      @ Dan – My father was a pastor, I grew up amongst some of the most prominent church leaders of our day and have had the privilege of hearing many “insights” to the problem of singleness. For myself, I was in love 3 times and each of the men were not what they appeared to be, all the while claiming to love the Lord. I can see both sides here, but the truth is there is a war on both of the sexes and the church is no exception.

      @ Debbie – I am a 39-yr old single female – I hear you. I found this article very helpful:

      http://gracefortheroad.com/2012/02/03/idontwait/

      • ccinnova
        Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Joan of Arcadia, thanks for posting that article.

        • Joan of Arcadia
          Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

          U R WELCOME. =)

    • CrunchyPeanutButter
      Posted December 24, 2013 at 3:04 am | Permalink

      But it is an issue, because in American churches, singles are either ignored or treated like trash.

      It’s also an issue for Christian single women who desire marriage. Where are all the single Christian men for them to marry?

    • Ratata
      Posted April 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Debbie,
      bless you for seeking the LORD in a country that is so high on atheists.

      -Ratata

  33. YouloveMe
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    The truth is that there are many single christian males and females. However, as a female, I find that many females are very hard working with careers but many of the males are not doing much for themselves these days.

    No, women are not looking for men with 6 figures. Christian women want men who love God first and then the woman and also men who can provide the BASIC NEEDS… pay the bills, pay for the children’s diapers etc… A lot of the Christian men these days love God but can’t take care of their own needs how much more the needs of their wife and future family. Loving God is great! God doesn’t condone being a bum either. See “1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    It is not okay for you to be proud of the 25 cents raise you’ll be getting at your place of work as man and leader of your household! How is that going to help your family? I understand that there are seasons where things could be tough but if this is how you intend to live your entire life with pennies, it’s such a shame!

    Also, since when do men think it is alright for them to sit back and have women pursue them and ask them out. Please, man up and do the pursuing! I honestly feel that if men will take the lead to provide for their homes and if men will step up to pursue the woman, there will be much godly order in this society!

    We have such a pathetic situation now in the church were most of the single women are the ones with careers and with properties and the single men do not have much to show for their lives. Very sad! I am currently single and in my 20s with a career and loving Jesus with everything and wish that there is a genuine godly man out there who is hardworking (not asking for 6 figures) but who can provide for our future. Is this too much to ask for, God? I also have female friends in this situation too! We just wouldn’t settle for a bum. Really, who wants to come home to a guy who plays video games all day long and does nothing or a guy who has no plans for his future?

    Please, men, step up to the plate and pursue a career or a trade so you can provide for your family and relieve the government from welfare payouts!!!

    Advice for women… please ONLY say “yes” to a man that you will honour, respect and submit to. “Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Submission doesn’t mean you’ll be a door mat! It means that you’re letting your husband take the lead. Your husband is supposed to… “Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Yes, Jesus gave up his life for the church and he did whatever it took to provide everything for his bride, the church! Providing comfort, protection, love and everything else…

    Honestly, if a man would step up and be the example that Jesus was in honouring his bride and providing for her and loving her, I could say “yes” to him!!! Now where is a man like that who is in his 20s or 30s? I really don’t want to marry a man my dad’s age. Love is not that blind for me! Haha. Digest on my entire comment! It’s truth!

    • Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      YouloveMe,

      I would recommend reading the book Stiffed by Susan Faludi. Parts of the book are outdated (it was published in 1999), but it raises a serious look at how our society has changed to favor women over men. Many of the problems you lament are due to advances for women that we now see have come at the expense of men. Companies are more likely to hire women, colleges are more likely to grant scholarships to women, organizations abound that work to advance the cause of women, and the entire U.S. economy has changed to favor the kinds of jobs more often pursued by women.

      Even our culture has changed with regard to men, with Father Knows Best replaced by endless TV shows that portray men as clueless louts who are barely able to function without savvier women to help them. The songs we sing in churches across America have lyrics that make it seem like God is a celestial boyfriend, and the more rigorous brand of faith that appeals to men is considered passé (or even detrimental to seeker sensitivity). The activities men like to engage in are viewed as boorish or simple-minded. And men are forever trapped in this “no man’s land” by voices that tell us we are both not sensitive enough and not masculine enough.

      Frankly, it is not hard for me to understand why men are taking a look at all this and just throwing up their hands.

      Honestly, I don’t know who these men are that you lament, either. I’m not seeing them. What I am seeing are men who were told that the world was a certain way, but when they finally get out in it, they find a lot more stacked against them than they were told and they are not sure what to do about it. I don’t see the man-boys you are talking about. I see a lot of younger men who are desperate to be what they are expected to be, yet despite their hard work, they are not finding the kinds of jobs they expected, regardless of their education. Often, they are forced to compete against women for the same jobs, and historically that will work against them because women are more likely to work the same job for less money, and companies are all too ready to pay less if they can. Manufacturing, construction, and industrial jobs (all male-dominated) are depressed, while healthcare and service jobs (dominated by women) are way, way up. Sure, a few young men are expecting too much and a few are underperforming. But I’m not seeing this enormous wave of man-boys crashing on the shore that you describe.

      • YouloveMe
        Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink

        Hi Dan,

        Thank you for helping me to prove my point.

        Now, you’re making excuses for why most men are not stepping up to the plate to be men by you recommending that I read the book Stiffed. Where do we draw the line in making all these excuses?

        You said, “Many of the problems you lament are due to advances for women that we now see have come at the expense of men.”

        My response… in the very beginning Adam blamed Eve for eating the apple. Not much has changed with you Dan. Now you are blaming women for issues with men!

        You said, “Frankly, it is not hard for me to understand why men are taking a look at all this and just throwing up their hands.”

        My response… What kind of woman would want to marry a man who will throw up their hands and give up when they encounter a problem? My point exactly! Men these days need to toughen up! God said in “John 16:33 …In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
        Please do not encourage men to throw their hands up in the air. Woman have to also deal with issues in this world as well. Everyone has obstacles to overcome so no excuses!

        God said in Proverbs 24:33-34 “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”

        Bums get poverty and scarcity! Bums can’t provide for their families. Don’t encourage men to be bums!

        Like I mentioned in my previous comment, I understand that there are seasons when someone could go through a dry period with respect to finances. However, when men do not have a platform at all to provide for their families, they will not have an opportunity to support their homes! Please men, step up and pursue a career or a trade so that you can be the head of your house and leader that God wants you to be!

        I want to marry a man who exemplifies Jesus Christ!

        • Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          YouloveMe,

          Rather than attacking, realize it’s harder than it once was. Be a support. That’s what men are looking–and hoping–for.

          I don’t know any men who are bums. Each and every one is doing what he can to be his best and do what is best for his family or for his future family. I’m sorry you keep finding bums. I don’t know where you live, but it must not be in my area.

          • YouloveMe
            Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            Hi Dan,

            I’m not attacking but stating the obvious.

            Most of the Christian ladies in my area are rather frustrated and wondering if there are any non-bum single Christian men left in our city!

            Maybe the men in your area need to come to my area and marry us ladies!

            Peace.

            • Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

              YouloveMe,

              You wrote: “I’m not attacking but stating the obvious.”

              The problem is that it’s not obvious. Our society has changed. The support systems that once helped men now work against them. It has never been harder. Many women do not realize this because they have not experienced this sea change themselves, except as beneficiaries. Saying, “You better do better!” is not an answer. Be part of the solution. Help to make it easier for men, not harder. Thank you.

              • YouloveMe
                Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

                Hi Dan,

                You said, “Our society has changed. The support systems that once helped men now work against them. It has never been harder.”

                My response… “Please stop whining about things being harder for men.” Like I mentioned earlier, everyone in life has obstacles to face. We all have issues to deal with. If you want to make more excuses, we can throw in discrimination issues for people of different races, religions etc. No excuses for anyone to be a bum. If we all throw our hands up and give up for difficulties in this life, how will any of us progress. Now you want us to hand out cookies for men? How about people of minorities or people of other religions? Toughen up. No excuses.

                What if everyone started complaining about the issues they had? Where would we draw the line? Please stop blaming “society” and “advanced for women” as reasons why some men are giving up. Like I said, in the very beginning Adam blamed Eve for eating the apple. Stop making excuses. Period.

                No one in this life should be living in their own pity party. In this world we all encounter difficulties. Those who prevail through these circumstances with God’s help overcome all.

                I won’t marry a bum. I don’t encourage people being bums. Toughen up and do life.

                No more comments from me. Peace to you.

            • Ratata
              Posted April 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

              YouLoveMe, why do you even read blogs if you don’t want to listen to people’s views?

              Just asking.
              As for ‘blaming women’, I think you need to read more of Dan’s posts.

  34. linda
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dan,
    Wow! what a topic. Who knew that there was such angst over being single? I was a married woman for 30 years. Rather, I should say that I was a married single woman for about 20 of those years. It is very possible to be married and be on your own so to speak. Not financially, for me anyway, but in almost every other way.

    I guess guys, that you have to have something to offer in order to attract older women. When I was 18, I met my former husband. We were together from 18 to 49 years old. We divorced in 2007 when I was about 53 years old. I’m 59 years old right now. I married for love. That love slowly whittled away over the years. I was in a situation of emotional and mental abuse. I still love my former husband but I would be too frightened to live with him again. Those days are gone. He has remarried. I have remained single.

    One thing I discovered about myself, I make poor choices regarding a long term relationship. God has saved me several times since 2003. This has occured through his Word (the Bible). I chose to follow what He said. After doing this I found out what a serious mistake I would have made. One of these men was a Christian. He was similar to my former husband. A controller. It would have been disasterous for me to have married him. What saved me? God’s word saying that I would be an adulterer and anyone who married me would also be an adulterer. He had not been married before. I couldn’t take the chance, and neither could he. Thank God.

    I know that there is differences on how some of these scriptures are interpretted. But, do we really want to take that chance? Our eternal life is at stake. We will not be married in eternity. the Bible makes this clear in the scriptures. Marriage is for this time on earth.

    We don’t want to be jumping into situations without looking seriously at what God says about our circumstance. We could make a really costly mistake, that may cost us eternity. God says no adulterer will enter the kingdom of Heaven. This is something to think about.

    • renee rochow
      Posted August 12, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      What you said seems rather judge mental, what if your are repentant, I don’t think your doctrine is very correct or maybe it’s a based on the old testament before christ saved all sinners who believe ?

      • linda
        Posted August 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Hello Renee,
        Sinners saved are no longer sinners. This is something that believers are not being taught. As believers we must turn from sin. Many believers have remarried after divorce. God is merciful. However, alot depends on the circumstances. It’s not black and white forgiveness or black and white judgement. Being saved does not mean that we sin without consequences. One consequence could posstibly be that we forfeit God’s best in eternity. We understand that there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor in God’s house.

        God says in his word to ‘pick up our cross, and follow after Him’. What if my cross is to give up a second marriage that is not sanctioned in the scriptures to have more of God? We don’t know what cost is involved. The Bible only says that when we understand what sin is we have a responsibility to avoid it and reject it.

        • Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Linda,

          If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we do not claim our position as saints, then we do not work in power, and we then fail in the ministry of reconciliation and ambassadorship.

          Sadly, our churches focus on one or the other but not both. Our churches are either obsessed with sin or obsessed with sainthood. Those churches ultimately fail their people because they are preaching a halfway gospel.

  35. Stephen
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    YouloveMe

    If the women in your church have your attitude, then it’s no wonder they are single. Women in the West simply refuse to acknowledge that Western culture is against men and is bending over backwards for women. If you think men are just going to “man up” and take responsibility, think again. I am happy being single. I have more time to serve the Lord. I think a man is a fool to get married today, if he lives in the West that is.

  36. Larry
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Right you are, Stephen! I can’t say how many men I know who did marry and then at some point the marriage broke down despite his best efforts, and the children involved were subjected to false accusations by the mom about sexual abuse of the kids. I personally believe that any such accusation, if proven false, should result in the mom losing custody to the dad, and she should be incarcerated or committed to a mental health facility. I am now 53 and serving the Lord fulltime. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I attended Baptist churches where the young women were not shy about reporting any guy to the pastor who THEY considered socially inept in any way, even if he never asked them out or did anything wrong to them. And of course, the pastors never bothered to ASK the guy what had happened, if anything – they just automatically assumed the woman was “right” and would often ban him from coming again. Seeing this happen to other men I respected, and to me once, was enough to convince me not to marry because of the wasted time and effort in dating versus what could be accomplished in my life and in the lives of others. Now I never attend “singles” functions, I merely attend mens ministries and help out in whatever ministry I can be of service to in my present church. Comments like the ones from YouLoveMe almost sound like a troll – someone who tries to stir up anger in a thread. Don’t feed the troll. I am not a loser, nor gay, nor lonely – I have a great social life and no longer feel under any kind of pressure to marry. Some of those women from long ago messed up their lives by dating “dangerous” men they thought they could change, and ended up being beaten and cheated on. Some ended up as single moms. Churches (SBC in particular) need to stop the pressure on singles to marry before, or if ever, they are ready. Personally, I wouldn’t marry someone like YouLoveMe if she were the last woman on earth.

    • renee rochow
      Posted August 12, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      Takes two to tango one sex is no more to blame than the other maybe it’s the way we raise our children and the way our society says what we should have and shouldn’t have that makes it so hard?

  37. renee rochow
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you this is so true. The only thing I disagree with here is that women are always the ones to dump guys.

    In my case Im not sure why but I’ve never even been asked on a date by a christian man even in my 20’s? So i haven’t had the opportunity to dump anyone. The only thing on my list for a guy to date and possibly marry is that he is a nice guy and of course that we get along ok. In the secular world I have often encountered men who saw me as an object to be obtained and used for physical gratification so I can understand why we have laws against work place sexual harassment. Mind you I’d be flattered if a guy told me I had good dress sense. I am not flattered when they make sexual advances stare at me and do things like run their hands down my back like one of my ex collegues did. Knowing full well that I had christian beliefs and wouldn’t be recipricating the behaviour. I coming from a violent back ground of abuse would never want to stay with a partner who hit me and would never expect that i would be allowed to hit my partner.I wouldn’t consider it.

  38. Trish
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    To Everyone who Commented:

    I found the comments as interesting as the article. This subject affects so many of us that we all have a different take to share. This dialouge is helpful if only to show that none of us have , ” the answer” to this mess. It is a mess.

    I do agree that men have had an especially rough time of it. I , too, know good men that can not make a living. They want to, they try, but it is really tough for everyone right now.

    I have felt the pressure of , ” not settling” with a man who can not provide well, and have to ,as a divorced woman, take on full time work that is exhausting and leaves me little time for courtship.

    Once you are in the working world, as an older single, life is tough. I am middle aged and only have so much energy. Although , I know if I am attracted enough , I would find the time and energy.

    The last man I was with was not a Christian. I had immense attraction to him, and felt God has placed in my path after having waited so long, I thought for sure it must be him. He did not make much money either, and that became an issue as I found , and he found, the fact frustrating.

    I still have the ideal in my mind that a man should provide. Is that wrong? I know there are many circumstances( disability, ect.) where a man can not. I never want my man to feel less than or that I settle and can ” get someone better”

    I did feel resentful in my last relationship that he could not provide me with financial help, nice gifts and an easier life. I discounted him as a husband because , after struggling for so long on my own, more poverty doesnt sound appealing at all. That sounds very unspiritual, but it is true.

    Besides his not being a Christian, of course. However, I wonder, even if he were, would I still feel the same way? He also has some physical issues which hindered our activities. I did love him, but those issues were factors.

    I believe the only , ” answer” is for one of each of us, in our unique circumstances going before God, seeking His face for our answer , for each moment we live.

    The Holy Spirit is able to direct us in the way each of us should go at every moment of our lives, no matter what our need. The answer may vary from moment to moment, and only God who knows all things, and does all things well, can give us that counsel.

    Given the fact that these issues are intensely frustrating on a daily basis and beg us to DO something, the reality is only God has the answer for what each of us should do, or not do, moment by moment.

    I am clinging to the Hope of the God who loves me, will help me process through the issues of my life as I face them, and show me lots of Grace as I make mistakes, as humans do.

    I have learned to ignore my own irritation at constantly being asked if I am married, why not, etc. I have learned that those things are none of other people’s business, and that if I accept my circumstance at the moment, than that is all that matters. I have also learned that there are many worse things than not being married, though this certainly is not my chosen state, and I am not gifted for it.

    We each have complicated situations that God knows all the ins and outs of far better even than we ourselves do. I forget that sometimes. God doesnt have a blue print for all people, but in His Spirit can commune with each of us to guide us. That is our inheritance, and our strength. It is our Blessing as people of God. Human people , who have lots of problems, issues, some worldly ideas mixed in with our faith. God knows this and chooses to bless us anyway. That is how good He is.

    To the frustrated out there ( me included):
    I pray patience, calm, and Trust that God knows exactly where you right now, knows your need, cares about your need. He cares about what kind of man/ woman you would enjoy having as a part of your life. He knows all the issues of children, former spouses, broken hearts, broken relationships, betrayls, hurts, wounds,griefs, and pain we have suffered.

    He knows what would bless from moment to moment. We think we can tell Him what to do, but He gives perfectly. It might be a good same sex friend one day, sharing and encouragement, and a romance sparkler the next. The seasons are in His hand.

    I ,personally ,always ask for the exciting sparks.

    We can , and should ask, talk to Jesus all about it, every day. He is the only one who can show each of us what He would have us do about this very serious and intensely concerning matter.

    I pray that each of us has Hope that God has a great plan to meet each of us in unique and fascinating ways we never thought of. Every day is a new day to search our the mystery of Love, and God’s handiwork. He does keep us guessing for reasons all His own.
    Blessings on all.
    Thanks for all the great discussion!

  39. Randa
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The quote you mentioned kind of irked me as well (And I have heard it), and I am a female.

    It is for a different reason, however, I must say what bothers me is the PRESSURE to go out and pursue a mate. Almost as if you don’t do that, you are wrong. Yet the apostle Paul was not married based on the information one can find in scripture, moreover, not everyone is created for a relationship, Paul clearly states that it is better to remain single, but marriage is important for some not succumb to fleshly desires. So, as he wrote it, “the person that marries does good, the one to remain celibate does better”.

    Why is it that this, rather direct comment is censored/ignored, and then replaced with “the problem we have today is that men aren’t getting married?”, when that isn’t even to be referenced in scripture?

    Clearly, the pressure should not be on singles to marry, as that is not what Paul did, but rather decide on their own (through God’s counsel), what is right for them. Many people have been created to be celibate, like the Bible says they were, but they feel like freaks in the face of the Church because they are accustomed to being taught there is something wrong with them. I find this very unfortunate…

  40. ChristianMod
    Posted May 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    This is an interesting discussion…..

    I am going to comment…a little background

    *I am 44 years old, never been married, never had a date, never have had a girlfriend, never been endeared, never had a hand held.

    ….and “no” I was not raised in the church. I am not ugly. I am not a “tool” and I have sleek sense of good style (probably the only genuine compliment I have received from women over the decades)

    I cam to Christ later than most (39) but had been attending church a few years before that.

    As a man who has lived in the world, a product of a boys’ prep school, private college, and graduate school….let me say this:

    Men are better off today staying single. I lost a lot of sleep, snorted a lot of cocaine, and drunkenly cried myself asleep and fell into a stupor at home destroyed and wrecked by alcohol because I was “never good enough” or “too nice” or given the stupid lines of “It’s not you, it’s me” and “someday a great gal is gonna walk into your life” I had heard these lines (lies) since I was a very young man, and as my career wore on and watched women date, sleep-with, and get messed up by “misunderstood” men / boys………I drifted deeper into depression and addiction.

    When I finally got wise, and discovered the Savior of us all, praise Him btw……it got even worse with my Christian sisters.

    No man will EVER be good enough for 99% of them today. No man. They put up a good show of “Lord, I just want a man who loves God and leads” yet you ask them on a DATE (they view dates as marriage proposals now) they tell you the same thing women in the secular world do.

    It’s sad. Really sad. Marriage is for glorying God. Not “yourself” or “having eye-candy” so lets crack open and look at scripture (no, NOT Corinthians 7) but let’s wheel it back to the OT in ISAIAH 53 : 2 NKJ (this is prophecy, of what the Messiah to come would LOOK like): “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, as a root out of the dry earth. HE HAS NO FORM OR COMELINESS; AND WHEN WE SEE HIM, THERE IS NO BEAUTY THAT WE SHOULD DESIRE HIM”

    Capitals are my addition btw….what The Word of God (bless it’s wisdom) is saying here is that Jesus was an AVERAGE looking guy. There was really nothing PHYSICALLY attractive about Him. If Jesus was indeed in the flesh walking around today 99% of people who claim Him would have nothing to do with Him. Why? Because no one would believe what He said because he was not hot” or “handsome” by the cultural norm of todays times. This is a big problem in Christian circles today. Everyone (men and women here) have this “image” of beauty today that is the WORLD’S standard (satan that is). We have let these UNREALISTIC standards into OUR dating culture in the church, and we accept it as normal. A shame.

    Attraction plays a role, but WAY too much focus is on this. Sorry ladies, men DO get thinning and gray hair or go bald in their forties. Yeah, guys women AGE as they get older. It’s a fact. The Psalms even tell us about “beauty fleeting” and that applies to men and women.

    If the church today has done a HORRIBLE job about curbing or challenging materialism, they have done an EVEN worse job in the area of singleness. Men have had the worse end of this today.

    As of now? I love MY SAVIOR and serve the people. I pray for my Christian sisters to “see” beyond the obvious and help nurture the fruit of the spirit in their fellow Christian brothers. I pray for marriage to glorify God again, and not be a “fashion show” or accessory of “look what I got!!!!” smugness that has twisted something good, into something CRASS and PETTY (satan again folks) I pray for pastors, and those in leadership to STOP SHAMING MEN for EVERY problem in the “dating” realm of the church. I pray for Godly, educated men to START talking more about it, in positive and proactive ways. I pray that men learn to LOVE and that women learn to SUBMIT.

    This man of Christ is a bit tired of “Christian women” in word only, but zero in deed. No wonder more men don’t show up, or come to Christ. It’s time for men IN church now to LEAD, and if they don’t know how, get steeped in the Word. Be active. Sing louder, pray harder and ask your fellow brothers to hold you accountable. It won’t be easy, and you might be facing some SERIOUS personal sin in your own life. Get to it! The DAY of Salvation IS today, and if not today????? How about right now!

    We have to walk deeper with singles and QUIT the platitudes of fake wisdom cloaked in “feel-good” language.

    Being single HURTS. IT”S HARD IN CHURCH. But it’s time now to realize that we know there is a problem. Let’s not spend DECADES talking about it. If you want to be married men, start conforming DAILY to image of God’s Holy Son who died for us! Women, be THAT helper. A shy man in your church? A FRIENDLY smile can go a LONG way. Doing things for YOU and not to get a man’s attention makes you more attractive.

    I don’t care if ANY of you disagree. This wicked, broken, lost, over-educated coke-head FOUND redemption.

    I still stand by not getting married, but if you MUST, take the above advice…and yeah, it will take more than a few days

  41. Kyle
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    ChristianMod got it 1000% correct. Women today, and Christian women are the worst, will reject men for the tiniest flaw, but will gravitate toward a man who is a self absorbed, abusive narcissist who leaves a trail of human wreckage wherever he goes. Some of the rejections I received from Christian women hurt me so bad I nearly took my own life. It’s why I haven’t sat foot in a church in 4 years and I likely never will again. I can worship God on my town. And all the lies about finding someone, I’ve been fed that stuff since I was a teenager and it is just that, abject lies.

  42. Christina
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I found this to be insightful. I am happily married with two children, but this topic is of interest to me as well. The exception is holy men who are meant to be single (ballpark: 2%). I have wondered if the problem was partially generational : half of us come from uncomfortably tumultuous home lives and divorce. Perhaps we were afraid? Then my thoughts wondered to single, Christian men. I was married the week of my 28th birthday. I had been dating in church for quite some time and it was always either me or the men that had a problem. I felt like many men despite being in their late twenties or thirties, were not pursuing marriage…they wanted intimate friendships. Maybe everyone wanted a 20 year old Southern Belle. At 18 19 20 I had many men I wasn’t interested in pursue hard…it’s hard to say that it was my fault I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t attracted, usually. At the same time I dated some who I wished would pursue harder and really ended up flaking off. I think you have a great point about being taught to hold off marriage until a strong career is established. Too many rules. I think some Christian men are really sinful and wrong to not pursue marriage harder…but women also are acting as if they have endless amounts of time to find some ideal prince. To me there has to be a clearer answer somewhere but I don’t know what it is. I think with my own children, I’d like to encourage early marriages rather than waiting till infertility issues arise.

  43. The Real Truth
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Well with so many women nowadays that are Sleeping Around with different men is certainly the reason why many of us Good Men are Single since these type of women can’t settle for just One.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Sanctum – The Christian Singles Mess – boy is it ever a mess and the writer nails it down. I can really go off on a rant here but […]

  2. […] to this, my post on Christian singles from a few years ago (“The Christian Singles Mess“) saw a reader comment turn into a diatribe against younger Christian men and their inability […]

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