One of the problems in our evangelical culture today when it comes to singleness and marriage is the message that is sent over and over again that men are less spiritual, more sinful, and less mature than women. It is said from pulpits, in interviews on tv, and of course in books. It’s all part of the Christian “Man Up” industry. It assumes women are innocent and men are not.
In case you don’t believe me read the following quote from one of the biggest names in evangelical culture today. At the end of a blog post to single women he writes,
To my single sisters wanting to marry, I do not want to discourage you in any way. But, the truth is that it is harder to be a single woman than a single man as a Christian. Every poll I have ever seen says that single women are generally more mature and responsible than single men. Men are waiting until around 30 years old to marry for the first time, if they ever do. And, they are going for younger women, according to the statistics. Across Christianity, there are far more single women than single men, which means that the odds are not in the favor of godly single women. In addition, for theological reasons, many Christian women do not want to be the dating initiator, asking guys out and taking the lead in the relationship.
All of this together means that godly single women live in a complex world that is increasingly more difficult for those who want to marry and have children with a godly man. Love, prayer, friendship, support, counsel, and community are needed more than ever.
This is complete and total nonsense.
First of all, let me be honest in the interest of full disclosure. There was a time where I would have agreed with this statement. I would have said that if men did what they were supposed to do then women would be set. I was a part of the “man up” group. But I was wrong.
Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t think there are a lot of men that need to step up and become better men. Are there men that need to learn to lead, initiate and get past their own selfishness, idols, and insecurities? Uh. . . yeah. . . all of us, including me. But to lay the problem of increased singleness in the church at the feet of men and say, “hey it’s all your fault” is extremely short sighted, only addresses half the equation and does both men and women a lot of harm.
There are three main ideas that I believe are completely false and/or overblown.
For starters the idea that there are more Christian women than men is complete garbage. I’ve been working in full time ministry for the last 20 years mainly with people aged 15-35. I’ve worked with literally thousands of people in that age range. I’ve been in church that whole time, have helped lead small groups, and even helped plant a church. Here’s what I would say. There are indeed more women who go to church. There may be more women who say they want a godly marriage. But that means about jack squat when it comes to how people act and what they do with their lives.
Which leads into the second idea that women in their twenties are more “mature” than men. What exactly constitutes this maturity? I know that the statistics on college and church attendance lean female. But I’m not so sure that equals maturity. Been on a college campus lately?
But most egregious to me is the idea that men are more sinful. Especially when it comes to sex, dating and marriage. This idea that men are just about sex and women are some sort of “victims” is wrong. Women are obviously having sex. How do I know? Because men are. It takes two to tango so to speak. Amazingly, women also sin.
This whole line of thinking has a profound effect on singles in our churches (and frankly marriages). For starters (the list is much longer and deeper):
- It fails to address why men are not going to church, getting married, or even finishing college (or other “mature” things).
- It fails to address women’s sin in any way
- Completely ignores attraction and choices involving it.
- It makes women the helpless victims and absolves them of their choices
- Embarrasses the men in church who women don’t date – of which there are many
- Doesn’t help any of those men learn anything that will help them get married
- And most of all, creates more disrespect of men within the body of Christ.
Think you aren’t affected by this? When a man says he can’t meet a Christian woman what do you think vs. what you think if a woman says the same thing? What’s the first thing you think when you meet a divorced woman vs man? When you see an unwed mom – whose fault is it? When a woman can’t get a date vs when a man can’t?
I’m not suggesting we switch gears and put all the blame on women. The truth is there are a lot of reasons for the rise in singleness and the decline of marriage. But it’s everybody’s fault – not just men’s. Plenty of blame to go around.
I’m also not saying any of this from some sort of whiny, mad place. It’s just a fact. If you keep telling men it’s all their fault, you’re sending the wrong message to everybody. Maybe some nice men who your women won’t date will jump on board. Maybe women will cheer you and feel better that Sunday. Maybe you will be the hero to women in your congregation. But mostly it will just create more of the same and we can’t afford that.
Is there little wonder us men would opt for singleness over marriage when every message we’re subjected to suggests we’re dolts, selfish, perverts, immature and ignorant fools… To name but a few of our kinder attributes?!
I recommend every young, single guy take a entire day and just sit and listen to what goes on in divorce court in America. He’ll get a fuller picture of just how stacked the odds are against him and maybe save him countless dollars and heartache in the process.
If it makes you feel any better, some Christian leaders, such as Al Mohler, disdains and insults all of singleness, both genders – he doesn’t seem to bash males more than females or vice versa, the man simply feels singleness itself is like a disease and married people are superior to singles.
Single ladies also get bashed in some segments of Christian culture. We get told we’re not pretty enough, or not submissive enough, or not “whatever” enough, or we are too picky, or we’re not trusting God enough to send us a spouse, etc, and that is why we are still single.
Some Christian leaders, such as the aforementioned Mohler, assumes Christian single ladies put career before marriage, that we hate men, etc (none of that is true. A lot of single women want to marry and don’t know why they cannot seem to get married).
For more on that, please Google for the page, “Is Singleness a Sin? – by Camerin Courtney.”
Here is one little gem of a church sermon example by a “wannabe Mark Driscoll” Pastor named Perry Noble.
This video is called “How to find a godly wife”:
Notice some important repeating patterns in this video that are common to most Churches and Pastors:
1) The single men come to those Pastors with dating troubles asking sincerely for real help to solve their dating troubles. They don’t know what to do, because they have already tried the traditional solutions, which didn’t work. They really want to learn, grow, and change, BUT….
2) Pastors don’t want to LISTEN to the men, and instead ASSUME/BLAME them for not having success (defined as making the single women “happy”/Pastors only listen to the concerns of the women), and are tired of these “Loser” Christian men who “don’t ask the “precious” single ladies out.” (even though we already have many times, and it didn’t work, or those women eventually became “bored” and break-up with their boyfriends anyway), SO……
3) The Pastors shame those men from the pulpit, calling them “losers” and making repetitive jokes out of them in their sermons, and the “ladies” in the audience clap loudly and laugh at all those blaming/shaming jokes (evident in this video)(because it is easier to blame men for any problems in the system than to listen to and learn from their legitimate concerns).
4)The Pastors label all the Christian women as “Proverbs 31 women,” simply because they happen to be females in a church building, and tell them that they’re ALL “more precious” and “more valuable” than rubies (not what those scriptures were really saying), not because they actually have the godly character of a true Proverbs 31 woman, but because ALL women are already assumed to be “more holy” and “more spiritual” than men. (I’ve seen Pastors use that verse to claim that ALL men OWE ALL women a high dowry price, as if ALL women are already “rare and precious rubies”, but if women equal 50% of the population (and higher in churches), then by definition they aren’t “rare.” Not every woman in church has the character of the Proverbs 31 woman – most don’t!! That honor should be reserved for the women that do have such godly character, and men should be warned that most women in Church don’t have the character of the Proverbs 31 woman, and that we should seek the ones that do.)
5) Pastors yell at the men to “Man-Up”/”Grow a pair” and “ask those ladies out” (ie: the normal, traditional solution that we’ve all tried a dozen or more times already, which we’ve already established doesn’t work/is not the real solution to our problems)
6) Pastors tell the men to be “Chivalrous” and worship the ground that any/all Christian women walk-on (a big part of the problem), and regardless of any true demonstration of a woman’s godly character, or any visible, ongoing desire she has to be a godly woman/biblical wife. Pastors keep teaching men to be “nice” and “make her happy,” and ignore giving men any helpful advice about avoiding ungodly/dangerous/manipulative “Christian” women, or subordinating ourselves to women in general. To Pastors, any single woman in the church is already/immediately validated as “holy enough” to date any single Christian man, no matter how much selfishness is in her heart or how much she might use/damage/discard him when she is done (or “bored”) with him, and Pastors think such women “deserve” the praise of all christian men, because they don’t want her to be inconvenienced by the consequences of their own choices and behaviors to men. Pastors think all men owe unrepentant women grace – including the absence of all negative consequences or the wisdom on our part to avoid such women.
7) The Pastor’s advice to men is 100% blaming/shaming those men (in front of the women in the audience, which is why he was motivated to entertain the women in the audience), but he does not show that he cares about the well-being of those men (and acts like he is better than them), nor does he offer them any new viable solutions, warn them to avoid ungodly women, or take the opportunity to correct the women about how to reject men respectfully. He literally told men to chase, beg, and subordinate themselves to women, using the same “nice” methods that were proven not to work, and then beg and thank God for the attention of any woman they can find, regardless of her character (ie: men should not have any high standards of godliness in the women they choose to date (and women should?), but men should settle for any church women who might accept their offer (because women are “better” than men), and those women have no expected Christian responsibility or accountability of their own to treat those men “like Christ.” / Men alone carry the full weight, responsibility, accountability for the choices/sins of women / Churches are supposed to make justifying excuses for women’s sins, and women are to be absolved of all guilt and held blameless no matter what.)
There was no redeeming quality in this sermon to help solve the problems of Christian men who come to him for help. It was just a discouraging message meant to entertain the women in the audience, and even though the women were entertained, nothing changed. The system is still broken, and it is still regarded as “all the men’s fault.”
I believe a message directed towards men should never have any women present. His approach just encouraged more women to disrespect men, and ruined any remaining chances for those men to find dates.
Pastors like this are encouraging men to seek our own sense of human value and worth through serving and pleasing women, rather than just ignoring most women and choosing instead to seek and find our value in Christ.
A bad message – even with “edgy” clothes, hair, and attitude – is still just a bad message – and it does tremendous damage to the body of Christ.
Wow, this pastor has the same fashion sense as Mark Driscoll as well. Speaking of being a “man” how come all these pastors dress like 22 year-old-college kids or look like they walked out of ‘Urban Outfitters’ ???????
I am praying for this pastor and his flock actually.
This was probably a rhetorical question, but I’ll make a guess at an answer anyway.
I believe old, senior pastors throughout America, with churches that have declining youth ministries, notice other, larger churches with “young and hip” pastors like Mark Driscoll that are drawing in large numbers of youth, and they want to replicate his success in their own Churches.
They notice the presentation of his “edgy” clothes and attitude, and believe naively that they can just find someone else with those same external characteristics, plug them into their own youth ministries, and immediately have the same success (defined by increasing numbers of people attending instead of those present becoming more mature in their faith). The Urban Outfitters attire is just the uniform they wear to win acceptance and approval from fickle students, hoping they might be granted “authority” to speak into the hearts and lives of those youth. Just as Paul said, “I became all things to all people that I might win them to Christ,” so too are these pastors becoming “like youths” to “win them to Christ.”
The difference is that Mark Driscoll can pull-off those clothes and that attitude, because that is authentic to who he really is – it is not an act. But, all the hundreds or thousands of Pastors that mistakingly try to act like Mark Driscoll, such as Perry Noble, just look and sound like cheap impostors wearing ridiculous costumes and repeating the same phrases – they are not remaining authentic to who they really are. Only naive people, such as his youth group, would take him seriously – which is the point. He thinks he is being a great leader, but he is really just being a bully with trendy clothes and a bible. There is no love in his message, and he is probably hurting many people in his Church.
Unfortunately, those Senior Pastors are so out-of-touch with how much the world has changed – even in just the last 10 years – and really for the last 30 years – that they are totally clueless about how to understand and meet the needs of youths now. They want a “quick fix” solution to their troubles that requires minimal time, thought, effort, or change. They want to keep doing Church as it has always been done, not realizing that the solutions they have to offer are not what youths want or need. They want to “fix” youths instead of really listening to them and understanding them. And, they don’t even realize that they are a big part of the problem when they make endless excuses for women and double-down on their blame for men. Youths don’t need “edgy,” they need the correct, biblical, and unapologetic message of the gospel, demonstrated with Christ’s love.
What they want is for people to be authentic. This is why they follow Driscoll, Piper, Bell, and Keller, even though they are all different. It’s because they are who they are.
Personally I think Mark Driscoll is part of the problem is well 🙂
Haha- well he his part of the problem we are discussing here to be sure. But I think (I think) he really means it – whether that’s good or bad, I think it’s authentic.
“A bad message – even with “edgy” clothes, hair, and attitude – is still just a bad message – and it does tremendous damage to the body of Christ.”
It’s difficult to catch the context here because I don’t know this “pastor,” and I use the term loosely; he’s (an assumed pronoun) really a punk.
Attacking us from the stage is not a way to get your message across. There may be some truth in what he says, and all good humor is based on truth, but at what expense?
A good coach doesn’t always berate his team. A good coach teaches, encourages, and mimics the kind of behavior, attitude and actions that he wants. I saw nothing in this speaker who exemplifies this. But we’re not talking about the speaker.
If men were properly coached, not just from the stage on Sunday morning, but in life, we’d probably be more successful. Instead, we’re left to our own devices (partially our own fault) and then go looking in the wrong place (magazines, television shows, radio programs) for advice.
I know for me I would personally respond better to a man who has earned his place to coach me and mentor me. Men respond to encouragement (ever seen a bunch of guys and one is being “encouraged” to “do it, dude!). Of course there’s good encouragement and peer pressure, but you get the point.
Maybe that’s what the church is so desperately lacking: men in close relationship with each other who have earned the right to encourage, coach, criticize and discuss, based on a life of bumps, scrapes, bruises, successes and failures that isn’t about tearing down, belittling and berating, but on building up.
Exactly Todd! I attended at a large “prayer workshop” here in Fresno last night, hosted by a large non-denom church. I really enjoyed listening to about how we pray and why we pray, and it boiled down to (for me anyway) that we pray because “He is worthy” of our prayer, and “we are needy” of His grace. His love. His patience……you get it…….
At the same time we men are told that we somehow are “weak” in the eyes of “women” when we submit to this mentality that Christ gave as an example to us to follow……
We are told to “grow some” or bring the “world” into our Christian-dating-culture. I know we are not to be a “worldly meek” when asking a gal out who we would like to get to know; but at the same time we seem to be given mixed messages.
The leader of this prayer workshop had some great stuff to say, and solid ideas for me to not give Christ “spiritual leftovers” in prayer….
The only thing that did cause me to raise an eyebrow was a statement he made, and the actual response the crowd of 500 men or so gave him….
“Women have it correct. They pray. They show up. They take action, we men in church have a lot to learn from them and it’s time that we men listen to what they have to say to us, and what they expect and want from us as Christian husbands and fathers.” (I was the youngest man in attendance here, and I am in my forties btw).
He got thunderous applause for this comment.
Myself and a fellow brother from my church just smiled politely at this. What was I going to do? Stand up and argue? Disagree?
You can always vote with your feet. Walk out. If someone engages you in conversation on your way out the door, politely tell them why.
I recently discovered http://churchformen.com. Can’t say I 100% agree! but there’s a lot here to strongly consider for the church if men are going to engage the church. I’m personally sorting out what all this means right now and don’t have all the answers.
I have checked out church for men. Sure, I can agree in concept to many of the points….however cloaking Christ in face of “manliness” and having a “bold” pastor does not replace for me The Real; which is Jesus Christ.
Church is not about the pastor. It’s about Jesus.
Teaching about the actual Jesus, and His Gospel will help everyone.
I cannot fault most of the pastors / reverends / priests today though….look who the flock is (women) and they are going to preach and deliver a message that “appeals to them” on a cultural / social norm as well.
Women in general love messages on what they FEEL; not what is fact, or right, or even Biblical.
seventiesjason said, “Women in general love messages on what they FEEL; not what is fact, or right, or even Biblical.”
No, not all women. I see you used the qualifier “in general,” but no, we ladies are not emotional jobs.
That is another stereotype Christian culture (preachers) lob from the pulpit. It fits with their other gender stereotypes, such as, only men want sex, only men are visually stimulated, women are more into emotional bonding, etc. None of that stuff is true.
Many Women are indeed into sex, want sex, are visually stimulated, not always into being emotional, etc.
From what I see in the Bible, both genders are to copy Jesus Christ, and Christ had all qualities across the spectrum that we would consider masculine and feminine…
Jesus could be tender and gentle but also tough and assertive. Both men and women are called in the Bible to reflect the entire character of Jesus. The “tough” and assertive side of Jesus is for women too, not just men. The gentle side of Jesus is for men too, not just women.
You will seldom hear that taught in most evangelical or Baptist churches, however, because they love them their gender stereotypes that all women are girly, emotional, cry at rainbows, love pink, and all men are tough he-men, love blue and NFL and hockey.
Reply to Guest, who posted the Perry Noble video.
Most people realize Noble is — he is not godly, which is a vast under statement,and I would use stronger language, but this is not my blog.
Go look up “Perry Noble / James Duncan” to read about how Noble’s church (with his knowledge) harassed a former church member. It is chilling. I would not listen to Perry Noble’s advice on how to boil a pot of water, let alone anything that man has to say about dating or marriage.
“Loser” Christian men who “don’t ask the “precious” single ladies out.” (even though we already have many times, and it didn’t work, or those women eventually became “bored” and break-up with their boyfriends anyway), ”
I must jump in here.
One glaring problem I’ve had since my teen years and have witnessed this in my adult years, in regards to myself and female friends of mine:
Unrealistic male expectations and desires. You guys never get this push back from male preachers or male Christian bloggers about this issue, but you need to hear it.
Males who are not physically attractive, who are socially backwards, chronically unemployed (you don’t have to be rich, just an average smoe), or obese, or stick thin (dweeby types), and/or who have the personalities or mud, all feel entitled to ask the women who are sparkling, pretty, interesting, etc, out on dates.
If, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being Successful and Handsome, you are felt by most women to be a One, yet you keeping ignoring females who are Ones and hitting on the Tens, you will find yourself lonely.
I’ve seen many men who are a one or a two over-estimate and feel they are a 8, 9, or 10.
No women, Christian or not, is obligated to flirt with you or date you merely because you want her to, or because you are or were “nice” to her. Guys who claim to be “nice” are some of the most manipulative, hateful guys ever.
Nice guys are not honest with a woman they have romantic interest in and clearly let her know they want romance, but lead her on, pretending to be her platonic buddy, and just sit back and hope she repays him with some romance.
Do you really have to slam all single Christian women by referring to them in a derogatory fashion with the word “precious” in front of it? That is just rude.
If you are this hostile and bitter on a blog discussing how you are having issues getting dates, believe, me, women in Real Life encounters with you will pick up on this anger and your sense of entitlement and will not date you.
I think this “nice guy to get a relationship” issue is a lot more complicated than you make it out to be. Granted – yes – men should not be friends with women SOLELY for the purpose of hoping she becomes interested. A lot of guys are nice and respectful to women because this is what the church teaches!
Finally – I think this is something a lot of Christian women need to hear! If I could date a non-Christian I would have been married a long time ago! This is because SOME non-Christian women see what secular dating is like and are fed up with it. So like Justin – even though I did everything wrong I still had many many secular women interested in me. It mattered much less to them that I was boring and socially awkward. When younger, I don’t think a lot of Christian women understand what they have! A lot of secular women would love to date a man who has a lot of character that won’t cheat on him. Because of the vast number of choices at a young age, Christian women are more selective!
Reply to Terminator, who replied to my 2014 post in 2019. Wow, it’s been around five years later and my post got a reply, LOL!
You said, “A lot of guys are nice and respectful to women because this is what the church teaches!”
There’s a difference between a man honoring a woman’s boundaries, being respectful to women (which is what you’re talking about) and between what “Nice Guys” think and do. The two are not the same.
If you search google for the phrase “Nice Guys” and how they are viewed from the perspective of women, you’ll learn how and why most women are turned off by self-described “Nice Guys.”
Most self professing “Nice Guys” are actually not very nice.
I think there is a definite overlap between guys who describe themselves as “Nice” and those who are “Incels” (involuntary celibates) – who are entitled, bitter men who gripe all day on forums and blogs how they cannot get girlfriends and dates, despite the fact they are supposedly so darn nice. (But their attitudes reek with sexism against women.)
A lot of these guys are entitled, they all want and feel entitled to Fashion Models, even though they may be physically unattractive themselves.
They act as though if they perform a nice gesture for a woman, that woman is then obligated to have sex with him or to date him.
And if she refuses, he will go on to those forums screaming and yelling about how all women are dirt bags who don’t want “nice guys.”
There was an Incel guy named ” Elliot Rodger” who ended up murdering women several years ago because he was angry that women, he felt, did not want to date him.
I have a few more examples of men like him on my blog who killed women, or tried to kill them, because they were angry that women would rebuff them.
(These are for the ones who even let the women know they are romantically interested; a lot of these guys who claim to be nice won’t even be direct with the woman and let her know they are interested romantically.
They expect the woman to read their minds and to understand that because the man did “X nice gesture” for her, it must mean he wants to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Most women are not going to pick up on that.)
These types of guys whine that they are “so nice,” and they cannot understand why women won’t date them. Their frustration boils into murderous rage.
If you visit my blog and search for the phrase “Nice Guys,” you can find several posts on my blog about it.
I have many articles on my blog about it (and about related issues), this is just one of them (assuming we can post links to this blog, I don’t know):
(Link): Who Are “Incels”? Behind the Misogynistic Ideology That Inspired The Toronto Suspect
A lot of these “incel” guys who post hateful, sexist screeds against women on their forums think of themselves as “nice guys.” This is the sort of thing that single women have to put up with.
to the Guest guy who posted the Noble video, you said, /// start Guest quote ///
“He literally told men to….. [be thankful for] the attention of any woman they can find, regardless of her character (ie: men should not have any high standards of godliness in the women they choose to date (and women should?), but men should settle for any church women who might accept their offer ”
/// end Guest quote //// It is usually the opposite situation.
Single Christian women get told all the time by Christian preachers, but usually by female Christian authors who write books or blog pages about singleness, that the women are still single because they are “too picky” and need to “settle.”
But it depends. It sometimes goes the opposite direction.
I’ve seen married female Christian bloggers do the opposite, and put so many impossible criteria into place, they are guaranteeing a lifelong of singleness for any woman who follows their advice.
For instance, not too long ago, some young, married lady at Christianity Today wrote this big, long editorial about how single Christian women should insist on only marrying a Christian man who is her “spiritual leader” who will pray with her daily, read the Bible to her, etc.
So, some Christians are acting as stumbling blocks to Christian single women who wish to marry, if those women actually use this advise, which severely limits the number of men a woman can marry.
These days, according to articles written to adult single Christian women who wish to marry, it’s not enough for a Christian single female to marry a Christian man.
Oh no, the Christian man must ALSO be this, that, the other, her prayer leader, her spiritual leader, her X, Y, Z, and her blah blah blah, and he must be great at (-insert endless list of traits here-).
The list of requirements Christian authors say single adult females should hold out for in a Christian single man is endless.
Then they sit back and stupidly wonder why Christian women aren’t getting married. Their endless, unrealistic lists are one reason of several.
There is a lot to chew on in this post. I will start here:
“Oh no, the Christian man must ALSO be this, that, the other, her prayer leader, her spiritual leader, her X, Y, Z, and her blah blah blah, and he must be great at (-insert endless list of traits here-).
The list of requirements Christian authors say single adult females should hold out for in a Christian single man is endless.”
First, I want to say it is nice to here a side where both men and women confront the messages they have heard in the world today or the church itself.
I grew up in the church. Most of what is said here in this post about women and men alike I have heard and believed those things. All the stereotypes of men and women, who I should be as a woman, and who a man should be, etc. I battle those things whether they are true to this day.
I guess the reason that I wanted to respond to this quote is to offer some encouragement with my testimony. I am a Christian and a follower of Christ.
I came to know my husband and fellow believer, Clifford, through my first real career job. However at the time he was legally separated from his wife. I did not know he was technically still married. The moment he started to have feelings for me was when he told me that he was going through a divorce. He also told me that it was his second divorce… I was completely shocked. He was very honest with me about his past. Struggles and all. I had the mindset of what God wanted for me and what a christian man should be (like the quote above). CLEARLY this was not the man. Well, honestly that wasn’t true and it still surprises me to this day. Clifford had biblical reasons to divorce each time but I wouldn’t date him. The way I saw it, was that he was still married and if I encouraged a relationship with him, that would be against what God says in his Word. I felt like I had to pray for their marriage. Anyway, the marriage was already over by his ex-wife’s choice. She no longer wanted to be married. At that point there was nothing Clifford could do. I did have very strong feelings for him, and when he was legally divorced from his wife, we began to date. Now, this went against EVERYTHING I thought. After all, he was a divorced man and technically needed X,Y and Z before he could ever THINK to date someone else. After all, he is just a broken vulnerable man looking to fill a void right? WRONG. My family knew this mans past because I was honest with them. I was afraid at first too, BUT I TRUSTED GOD. GOD proved himself to me. God walked me though the hard conversations and questions I had to ask knowing this man had been married twice before. I don’t want to give the impression that “oh well we fell in love, so I didn’t think twice about anything. I just married him”. No.
What our relationship taught me is that no one is unredeemable. What this taught me is that God will not live in a box. I had a view of what God wanted for me and CLEARLY it was wrong. What this taught me is that God wants to bless his children and it may not look the way that the world or even the church wants it to look like.
Clifford is an AMAZING husband. He is my very best friend and has so much to offer a woman. I have such high opinions of him. I am so in love with him.
I know there is so much brokenness and discouragement toward men and women. I face believing those things everyday. It hurts. As a women, I believed that my worth is by what I do or look like. I believe that men are highly visual to the point of feeling worthless and inadequate. I face in my marriage the fear I received FROM THE CHURCH, if you don’t sleep with your man, he will find it elsewhere…
IT HURTS. I am impacted by it everyday.
I don’t know what healing will look like for all of us. But it looks like the devil wanted to discourage and destroy God’s people.
I guess what I am getting at, is that we have to remember who we are really fighting against… Lord knows I forget everyday.
Hope this offered some encouragement.
I can’t post directly under your reply – hopefully they will see it…
I have no doubt what you are saying is true…….SOME men being too bitter and taking it out on forums and out on the woman who said no to them after they were being “nice” to win their heart.
What I am trying to point out is simply this. Everyone is coming to this forum viewing this issue of dating with too narrow a focus. In your instance, we will have to agree to disagree on what “nice guy” means. I don’t think this phrase necessarily refers to a guy who is nice AND gets real bitter at the woman who don’t want to date him. To me, nice guy means a guy who is super nice – that’s all.
To help expand your mind on this issue (hopefully) allow me to share some personal experience. Every woman I asked out doing the “nice guy” approach – I never stalked. I never showed anger or bitterness when she said “no”. I understood rejection was part of the process and accepted it. In addition, I was nice to women I had no interest in dating. In this case, I would not fit your definition of “nice guy”. However – it isn’t as simple an issue as you say; because, when I did back off on the “nice” behavior, things improved. This means there is more to this “nice” issue than the specific focus you have placed on it.
Another example is all the people who say women only date jerks. Is this statement absolute truth? Look around at the husbands in your church – do they beat their wives? Do they sleep with other women? Are they in prison; or, are they seemingly good men?
Finally, what the church says about “treating women well” also bears some truth. The qualities that got me labeled “too nice” in some instances were the same qualities that had every single women I had ever been in a relationship say that I was the best boyfriend they ever had. My wife is convinced I am from Mars – earth could not possibly produce a man like me. My first two girlfriends thought I was too good to be true so I must somehow be a dream they will eventually wake up from… Nice does matter; however, at the beginning – showing SOME indifference is generally the best approach.
I hope this clears some things up for you!
This is how I felt God was towards me about finding a wife, I no longer care to be married if this is the whole attitude and is indeed Gods view
I’m a woman but agree with your premise that men are unfairly blamed and labeled. In reality, women are blamed for their singlessness too, it just tends to be in books and on online magazines (20 Reasons why you’re still single) or in private conversations with other Christians rather than pronouncements from the pulpit. Still, I sympathize with single men who show up for church only to be chastised as if that’s going to encourage them to keep going. It’s been my experience that it’s the married men who are most guilty of these comments. I’ve also noticed as a single woman that if I ask married men if they know anyone who is available, they are the ones that act like there aren’t any good men left. I’d rather meet some of the men and judge for myself.
Those are good points T. I think the difference is that women are often blamed for their singleness, but not very often for the growth of singleness as a whole. Your comment about how married men “protect” you from all the bad ones is so true.
Yes, single women get blamed for being single all the time, not just in evangelical blogs and literature, but also in secular media.
We are often told if we just do “X,” we will get a man. It is assumed we are not getting a spouse because we are too homely looking, so we are often told to work out, diet, grow our hair long, etc.
There’s all the typical cliches about “Just keep trusting in God’s timing,” “be content, and when you are, that is when God will send you a spouse,” etc.
Conversely, we are told we are not getting a spouse because we are doing “X” and need to stop “X” because “X” is a turn off to males. One example off the top of my head (and these are contradictions):
We ladies are told that men want an independent woman. So, get and hold a steady job, have your own interests and hobbies.
But then, another advice maven will tell us, no, men need to feel needed, so you need to come across as poor, uneducated, weak, helpless, if you want to attract a man.
So, single ladies are told to be helpless but not TOO helpless. We are told to have some of our own money but not TOO much.
We’re also given other contradictory advice, which annoys me, such as, “Men are visually stimulated, so look sexy if you want a man.” Then we are told (and I disagree with this), “But you must not dress sexy lest it cause a brother in Christ to stumble.”
So, I, as a woman, am supposed to look sexy but not look sexy at the same time to get a man. That is what that advice boils down to.
Most Christians are very double minded about marriage and dating. I generally tune their advice out now, about how to date or get married.
But anyway, yes, Christian single ladies get blamed sometimes for being single.
I’d say maybe around the same amount, though, we get told syrupy platitude type stuff like, “Just serve the Lord and be happy where you are as a single.”
These same people admire marriage a lot, and tell us singles we should desire to get married – but they don’t want us to actually take any steps TO get married.
If we mention we want marriage, and particularly if we say we are using dating sites to meet men or whatever, we are SHAMED for it and told we have made marriage into an idol.
See, it’s another contradiction: single ladies are supposed to want to get married but not want to at the same time.
Oh I agree 100% that single ladies are in a tough spot as well. I just think that the church ultimately (at least from up front) blame men for the decline in marriage overall – not individually.
Justin…..the hipster Christians I meet use that word all the time: “authentic” but Jesus IS authentic, he never changes…….the trends, the fashions, the “bold” approaches that he (Driscoll) and other pastors today use maybe authentic in a sense, but it seems to be more about themselves instead of Jesus. No hate. No anger here! I really enjoyed this post / topic btw 😉
I’ve been in church nearly every week of my 50+ years and I can’t begin to count the thousands of times I’ve heard preachers criticize men for getting women pregnant before marriage, not getting married, not paying child support, abusing women, not going to church, not spending enough time at home, not managing their time wisely, not providing for their kids, not being sensitive to their wives, not disciplining their children, and on and on. But honestly, I’ve never heard anything that affirmed my life as a Christian celibate man. Never. I think it’s a given fact that most churches have opted for the WIC plan where women are seen as “victims” and placed on pedestals to be worshipped by “sinful” men. It all falls in line with the “men are more visual” mentality because virtue today is defined by the visibility or absence of a pregnant waistline. It’s the price we pay for family idolatry. A dumbed down “how many fingers do you see?” society. You’re right on target Justin.
“I can’t begin to count the thousands of times I’ve heard preachers criticize men for getting women pregnant before marriage, not getting married, not paying child support, abusing women, not going to church, not spending enough time at home, not managing their time wisely, not providing for their kids, not being sensitive to their wives, not disciplining their children, and on and on.”
That, along with “The Breakdown Of The Family” have been the recurring themes for every Father’s Day church service message I can remember.
“Come forward to the altar, Fathers, and repent for “the breakdown of the family,” (because, certainly, no women have contributed to this in the last 200 years).
So, if “the breakdown of the family” is this bad, then why didn’t you also say this same thing on Mother’s Day? Glad to know everything bad in life is all mens’ fault! Thanks, Pastor!
This makes me wonder, “Wasn’t it really all just Hosea’s fault that Gomer was such a slut? Did he just not love her enough? Was there something more he should have done?”
I find it amazing how many Pastors will say that a woman’s sin was “just her human sin,” and that we should “go back to the bible for life’s answers,” but then when engaged in any real discussion about female sin, they want quickly to end all constructive discourse with men, because they still want to find and rationalize ways in which men are still somehow to blame.
Pastors can almost admit that women do sin, but then they become uncomfortable and frustrated with any idea or suggestion of holding women accountable for their own sin. They often want to end the “unproductive” conversation, and turn all of responsibility for “solutions” back onto men, as if men are supposed to accept all the consequences and blame for women’s sins in some “chivalrous” attempt to “lead” women out of their own sin. We are just to supposed to bear the burdens and blame of their sins each and every time they sin – and “lead them back to Christ” – but then never require any true repentance or permanent change from them. Wow! That sounds like a great plan!
Ultimately, a woman’s choices to sin or not then become a man’s responsibility to “lead” her well, as if his strong leadership ability would prevent any and all women from ever sinning, and if one woman sins, then her man is surely to blame.
He did not love her enough!
He was not a good enough leader!
He is not being “Christ-like” enough!
Sorry, Pastor! What verse was that in, again?
Where does it say that being a “good, strong leader” will eliminate all sin from a woman’s heart, mind, words, and actions? I must have missed that part!
Time to “Man-Up!”
Mother’s Day is not a picnic for never married, virgin Christian women, or married ones who have infertility.
We single women repeatedly hear in churches, but especially on Mother’s Day, that our greatest or only or most godly calling in life is to be a “mother and wife.” So we singles who are childless are made to feel like second class citizens.
Churches do not validate single, adult, virgin never married women either.
This is often true. Before I was 25 people would tell me that it was so good that I was being smart and waiting to date… After 25 married Christians often assume something is wrong with me because men do not ask me out. The truth is that I am 31 and still have not been asked out by a man my age who is a Christian who will listen to me when I talk about my dreams. Well, I mean, one did but he was addicted to drugs and had a girlfriend and children already so…
So, I have not dated despite having a decent job as an RN, having decent looks and long hair, and keeping my weight normal. I am afraid of dating websites. I do not blame men for not asking me out as I have always been a bit of a tomboy and tend to befriend men instead of knowing how to flirt with them, but I do worry that I will never get married and I feel isolated when I go to church. Sometimes I want to go into missions because I feel the church is more accepting of single women in missions and that I could feel useful, but I don’t actually feel called to it at this time.
I critiqued the same exact Mark Driscoll post over at my blog a few months back.
There are probably several things I could say about your post, a few points I didn’t quite agree on, but the main one I wanted to discuss was…
You write here, “For starters the idea that there are more Christian women than men is complete garbage. “
It is most certainly not garbage. Based on polls and surveys I’ve seen in various news articles the last few years, and books that discuss Christian adult singleness, there are indeed more evangelical single women than there are males.
The only folks I see dispute the fact that single men are out numbered by males are usually the Christian groups (eg, Boundless and Focus on the Family) who have a vested interest in making an idol out of marriage and family, so they deny there is a numbers problem, an imbalance between numbers of single females vs. males among Christians.
Such groups don’t want to see women like me drop “equally yoked” and then marry outside the Christian faith, say, to an atheist. It ruins their little empires and puts a dent in their
“family values” cultural war.
Any church I’ve been into, from my 20s to my 40s, there are either no single men in those respective age ranges, or the men who are there are either
1. married or
2. not eligible / appealing to most women (eg, men who are socially backwards, very obese, odd ducks, etc)
You even contradict yourself a bit when you do acknowledge,
“There are indeed more women who go to church.”
I have sought out, in the past, churches that have many men in my age group, when I was in my 30s, and then in my 40s. No matter what churches I attend, the situation is as I say above, either all men are already married, or the very few who are there are not desirable.
I am by no means the only Christian single woman past age 30 who has noticed the imbalance. Almost every book, blog, whatever by a Christian single woman over 30 will tell you, there are more Christian women than there are men – that at least holds true for church attendance, leaving the ladies with no choice but to try bars to meet a man, or dating sites. And many of the self professing “Christian” men on dating sites can be quite inappropriate with their language and sexual innuendo on their profiles.
Some of them men do not even stick to age appropriate classes in churches. I’ve been to church singles adult classes advertised for singles ages 35 – 45, but men who are obviously aged 60 and up are in attendance in those courses (the white hair and many wrinkles and walkers are clues).
Correction: “The only folks I see dispute the fact that single men are out numbered by males ”
The only folks I see dispute the fact that single men are out numbered by females
I don’t think I’m contradicting myself. I said clearly that more women go to church. If that is how we want to define Christian then yes there are more women. But also, everyone in the South is a Christian.
I’m sure you’ll disagree with this but I think women like religious activity, men don’t. Generally at least. If a guy is half committed to Jesus, he is most likely not going to church.
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Well with so many of us men today that are Single, we do very much Blame the women because we would certainly love to meet a good woman to settle down with since we can’t. Very Extremely Hard for many men and women to Connect with one another nowadays. But many women prefer to be single today, and many of us men don’t.
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Most women today unfortunately aren’t like the old days at all, when finding love back then really wasn’t hard at all compared to today. Women have really changed for the worst of all these days, especially when many of us single men get Cursed out by these very mentally disturbed women for no reason at all. There are many of us men looking for love today obviously, since we were never married at all and would really like very much to meet a good woman to settle down with. Women are just very nasty nowadays, just by saying good morning or hello to them has really become very extremely dangerous for many of us men now as well. So how in the world can many of us single men find love now that most women are really like this these days?
I appreciate the fact that you seem to want fairness in how women and men are viewed. I base what I believe in facts and observations. I think that it is a lot more difficult for Christian women to find a Christian man than the other way around.
This often begins in the homes, where people put more effort into training their girls to be and act right than they do with their boys. “Boys will be boys” mentality takes root early on. Some people apply it to things that are actually wrong and sinful, instead of saying boys will be boys in harmless ways, such as wrestling, playing rough, and getting dirty.
Those things are okay, but to refer to sins as a matter of boys-will-be-boys is wrong, and it program girls early on to have low standards for boys and causes boys to feel entitled to act up. I believe this is one reason why women have been so tolerant I meant that behavior including cheating. She’ll keep taking back a man who cheats. The fact that many women have lower expectations for men is coupled with the fact that women have been programmed to idolize men, love, and relationships, and they believe that men and marriage validate them as a woman.
Many fathers rather see their sons be good at football and are not concerned as much about their sons getting someone else’s daughter pregnant. But they’re strict with their girls, because they don’t want their girls to get pregnant. For Christian fathers, their focus should be on the fact that sex outside of marriage is sin. Not simply brushing it off because their son cannot get pregnant.
Many fathers do not model to their sons how to love, value, and cherish a woman. They also fail to properly instruct them verbally. Too many fathers are not counteracting societal evil influence that praises men for promiscuity and objectifies women. Too many fathers do not effectively counteract filthy locker room talk, but give their boys too much free rein.
They’re not concerned it seems, with training their sons to be good husbands. Their focus is often on him being a good performer in athletics and in the corporate world. While making money and being an athlete is good, it does not mean a man will be a good husband.
Not only that, in many religious settings, girls are ridiculed for Eve being deceived in the Garden of Eden, and men are falsley portrayed to be wonderful because Adam wasn’t deceived. Not only is that story taken out of context and used as a weapon against women, but it sets men up to believe that generally men do right and women do wrong, and because Eve did wrong, women are held to a higher standard than men.
These are the kinds of religious circles I grew up around. In our society, males are affirmed for having material assets and for sleeping around, but women are valued more for being nurturing, loving, and pleasant to be around.
These are only a few of the reasons that men often come out behaving worse than women. Even in the church, some men have a warped and distorted view of headship and submission and I think that’s what attracts them to Christianity. This is not true Christianity.
Some men are about trying to be their own god and lording it over others. Some men are obsessed with power and see headship and submission in a warped way and as an opportunity for them to weld power.
One man admitted to me that it is harder for men to accept the concept of Christ. While he cannot speak for every man, this is something I had observed with men that I know. It’s not set in stone. Everybody is an individual, but women have often been required to act better and expected to do better, so that is what we get.
In addition, men are wired differently, and the enemy can influence them differently than he influences women, due to their wiring and biological makeup. Men and women have some of the same struggles, but they also have some different struggles. In regards to both people having sex, women are also sinning when they have sex outside of marriage.
However, plenty women are often looking for a commitment and love, and many men are looking for mating rituals, opportunities to brag about sex, and strokes for their egos. For this reason many of them deceive women into believing that they are in love with them. Others get into a relationship or married and cheat a lot. I do believe men have far more options to choose from when it comes to a godly woman, than women have to choose a truly godly man.
Long ago, men created unbiblical double standards and rewrote the rules, giving themselves a lot of leeway when it comes to behavior. Because of this, and because of natural wiring, women are expected to act better and do act better in many cases. If we look at who by far commits most of the murders, rapes, assaults, violence, etc, it is not women. Men lead in those things and women often follow and reflect men. Lately, more women are crumbling and beginning to behave worse.
A truly godly man who is not a religious imposter or not a religious chauvinist is difficult to find, in my experiences.
Been thinking. When a nation is in moral decay the innocents also suffer for the sins of society. I refer you to the abortion industry.
Maybe we shouldn’t make judgments about men (or women) as soon as they walk in a church door without a spouse and kids in tow.
My grief will never end. I’m not sinless, but do I deserve to suffer shame and loneliness forever? Lots of people tell me I’ve failed God since I never could marry or have children and He wants nothing to do with me now. That He has no use for childless single women.
At this point I don’t care. I am angry and won’t stay where I’m not wanted or offer what everyone hates. I daresay God does hate my kind. I can’t love Him either.
I tried to lead a godly life but couldn’t obtain the “highest calling” for women. And there’s nothing else women are good for according to the Epistles. Nor do churches want us to serve. I’ve had matrons conspire to freeze me out. And mock me in public for not having children. “What would you know about anything? You’re not a mother. You’ve never had children.”
They wouldn’t let me teach Sunday school because of this. Even though the kids liked me and learned a lot.
I’m at a new place and never will offer to teach again or do anything! Third class citizen equals third class service and minimal investment.
At 48 and completely alone forever I know He does NOT care for me.
More than the worst of sinners—what God really hates are life’s losers. Just like His people in their expensive buildings.
The poor, the disabled, the lonely, the sick, the widow/old maid, the orphan. They’re not welcome in the House of the Lord.
It wasn’t the opposite sex who rejected me. It was God Himself. His contempt and endless disdain for me is overwhelming. Because I “failed” to fulfill a woman’s role I’ve failed at life. I have nothing to live for. And Heaven doesn’t thrill me either. Probably won’t get in because God has determined to hate and crush me down forever no matter what for reasons. Just like His people have. Those He showers with blessings to show how pleased He is with them How much He loves THEM. Not me.
It is funny how back in the old days it was very easy to find love for both men and women that really wanted it, the way that are family members had it since it was certainly a lot easier for them when they met each other at that time. Unfortunately the women today are so much different than the past which is why for many of us single men love isn’t easy to find today. Too bad many of us single men weren’t born back in the old days, and we would’ve been all settled down ourselves instead of dealing with this mess today.