The Church Is Fighting Yesterdays Battle

Right now there is a lot of reporting out there about the American Evangelical culture and it’s impending doom.  While I think that reports of it’s death have been greatly exaggerated, it should lead to a lot of reflection in all sorts of contexts.

As I watch it unfold and watch the church interact with the culture in several ways and in many different contexts I see a couple of things that we have to get past.  These things play out in all sorts of different ways, but of particular interest here in the space, is in relation to singleness.

Here are two major problems (not that there aren’t more – as well as many good things) that I see over and over again in different cultural exchanges.

First, the church is in constant reaction mode and almost never in leadership mode.  There are numerous reasons for this including insulating ourselves and living in fear of everyone else’s opinion.  We want everyone to like us – and come to our events.

Secondly, we come late to every fight.  Now in fairness – we almost always get there – just not usually first, or when the problem starts.  So bottom line, we react to what is going on around us too late, and then fight the battle that we should have fought earlier.

There are sooooooooo many examples of this in the last 50-60 years.  Marriage is one – I don’t remember the protests when no fault divorce was being ratified state by state across the country.  I don’t remember bakers not doing third weddings?  But now we want to take a stand on marriage.  Here’s one happening right now.  We are now in the last decade or two really figuring out that we ought to do poor urban ministry – heck we should even all move there.  But the next wave – it’s already coming – is called the rural poor.** I’m not seeing a bunch of hip young believers heading out there to “live among” the people.  That’s probably a little harsh.  But the point is valid.

What made me think of this is a recent sermon series from a church about family.  I’ve talked a ton here about the the churches nuclear family idol.  To this particular church’s credit while they did talk about the nuclear family, they started and clarified that the church is a family and we have many different family make ups.

But regardless it was their series description that got my attention and that I want to discuss today.  The first part of that read something like this: Our families are in crisis, marriages are crumbling, kids are hurting . . . .Rediscover how the family (read nuclear) can be transformational.

I’m not picking on this church today.  But this is a great example of the problem.

For starters, the idea that families are crumbling is only sort of true.  Actually most marriages aren’t in crisis.  The divorce rate is actually going down slightly for first time marriages.  Even better news is that the idea that divorce is rampant among practicing believers is not true at all.  The funny thing about this is that the church probably should take some credit here.  But instead of pointing to the success of their marriages, they are reacting to the sky that was falling 25 years ago.

The reality is that the boomers caused the divorce rate to skyrocket. They’re still doing it actually – now they are leading an all time rise in “gray divorce“.  But the new problem, the one going on right now, is not divorce – it’s lack of marriage.  It’s the fact that people aren’t getting married.  The new “family” problem is not “My parents got divorced”.  It’s literally that “My parents were never married”.

You see while people aren’t getting married (or divorced – as much) they are still having sex, living together, and having kids (sometimes alone on purpose – future post).  40% of the kids born in the U.S. today are born out of wedlock.  Don’t look for that number to drop.

Basically what we are doing is telling all the people who probably won’t get divorced, how not to get divorced.  I guess that’s good.  It’s for sure easier.

The problem we are facing now is different.  Why aren’t people getting married?  We have to be willing to actually look at the real answers to that.  Why aren’t they at church?  66% of the people that don’t go to church are unmarried.  We have to be willing to deal with the real reasons for that.

If we want to go make a difference in culture we have to figure out how to talk to single people.  We have to stop being the church for the family and start being the church that is a family. We need to stop looking to save the family and start trying to save the people.  If we do that, the family part will take care of itself.

 

** For free – Read that link and ask – where’s the church in this story?  We should be going there now.

 

A Single Christmas Blessing

So it’s the Christmas season.  I love this time of year.  But as I’ve written about before it can for sure be a weird time for the single Christian.

First, this is the time of year that the Church seems to double down on it’s Family idol. After all, this is the time where all the Easter and Christmas “Christian” families come to church.  It’s time to invite your neighbor, who we will wrongly assume is living in married bliss, to church.  It’s time to make sure that the whole nuclear family is involved and celebrated.

It’s also time to face all of the relatives that want to know why we are still single.  The best part is half of them probably are struggling in their marriage.  But I digress.  It’s still tough.

It’s the time where you as the single person are expected to do the traveling.  You leave your home to go to the home of your parent for to the siblings that have the kids house. I never minded in the sense of I knew it was right.  I wanted to be with family and kids should be at their place or the grandparents for Christmas.  No doubt.  But still. . . It would be nice to do Christmas at home.

And even though you love your nieces and nephews, they aren’t your kids.  Which is fine when you are 25 but can hurt some when you are 35.  There’s just this part of you that almost feels tired.  Maybe even sad.

I used to not really do much for Christmas with my house.  Then when I got older  I just decided to go for it even by myself.  Tree, lights outside on the house, whole nine yards. I’m glad I did.  But there is something lonely about the tree and you.

New Years is a whole other ball game.  If you’re young, dating someone or even sort of dating someone, or can get at date of any kind . . . it can be fun.  Maybe you meet up with friends and go out.  I had some great New Years single.  Watched a lot of football.  Haha. I remember one year me and my roommate didn’t leave the house for about three days. All football.

But again, as the years go by, it’s tougher.

People will tell you that it’s not better with a family.  Sometimes that might be true.  But that’s mostly B.S.  I can tell you now on the other side of it, married with a  kid, it’s better with a family.  It just is.

I’ve written some other posts on this in the past with practical thoughts.  I’ll link them at the bottom.

But really what I want to say is this.  God bless you this Christmas season.  God sees it all. He sees you leave your house locked up and dark to go to your brothers.  He sees you engage you nephews and nieces.  He sees you love them in special ways.  He sees you get on the floor and play.

He sees you calmly handle the questions of grandparents.  He sees you love your parents who really are glad you are there.  He sees you alone with your tree late at night.  And He sees you wish you had a permanent New Years Eve Date.

You may feel alone, left out or tired this Christmas season.  But you’re not.  Really Christmas isn’t about the nuclear family.  It encompasses it, but it isn’t about it.  It’s about a God who put on flesh.  Who came for you and me.  Who came and was born in a cave with animals, no extended family in attendance.

Jesus came and changed the whole world.  He opened the Kingdom to everybody.  Not yet married, married, divorced, widowed, parents, kids, rich, poor, sick and healthy.  He came so no one would be left out.  I’m sorry for when the Church doesn’t get that.  But God does. You might skip the family centric Christmas service, but God isn’t skipping over you.

You are not left out of the real Christmas.  I know that could sound cheesy, but you know I don’t mean it that way.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or that the hurt doesn’t matter. Really it means it does.  Jesus came for that.

Someday we’ll celebrate this day all together.  The dinner table will be filled with the best food and the seats will be filled by all the people in the Kingdom.  No one will fill tired, left out, or hurt.  May you know that you are not left out of that!

Merry Christmas!

 

Former Christmas Blogs

Dealing with family on the holidays

Christmas Tips For Singles

Don’t Be A Singlist

I knew it would happen.  In an era of hash tags and isms it was only a matter of time before our growing unmarried population found a way to play the same card.

It’s finally here single folks.  You’re very own ism.  Singlism.  This is the new word for the way that singles are discriminated against in our society.  I guess the people doing it will be called Singlist?  Man the church for sure is #singlist.  No doubt about that.

Bella DePaulo is a single lady in her sixties and a harvard trained social scientist has “coined” the term.  (Man I wish I had gotten to it first).  She defines it as “the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination of people who are not married”.

Oh but it gets better.  Married people of course have “marital privilege — the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married”

DePaulo actually points out many things that we’ve talked about here.  Married people make more money than single people.  Not only that, but due to tax laws, family leave acts, along with other systemic Singlism issues in the corporate world such as insurance rates and even travel packages, singles end up paying more for things.  All of that is true.

Man, I was a victim for so long, and I didn’t even realize it.

If DePaulo thinks singles in the secular world have it tough, she should try the Church. In the Church it’s hard to get a job as a pastor if you are single.  Often singles are not offered positions of leadership even in non-paid positions.  And they have to endure marriage sermons, conferences and a barrage of bad Christian romance novels. #suffering #singlechristianproblems.

Now I want to be clear, if I were running things I’d change a lot of this.  Obviously I have constantly advocated here many times that the Church needs to change how it deals with singles.  But that starts not with creating a new victim group but instead actually dealing with whole body of Christ including all forms of singleness and marriage.

What I have never advocated and do not advocate is turning singles into a special group in and of themselves.  There are a number of reasons for this.

The first is that as I’ve pointed out many times, singleness is a terrible term.  We have to get that there are many different groups and each has their own standing and context in the Church.  There are the widowed, the divorced, those called to marriage who aren’t and then those who are celibate for life either because of gifting, choice, or the sin of man. These are absolutely not the same.

Second, to me the idea of singlism implies that it works the same as say racism or sexism etc.  The problem with this is that for most of us, being single is sort of our choice.  Our race or sex is not (at least from a biblical perspective – I can’t believe I have to type that).

Now I know that right now some of you are saying, “but I’m not single by choice”.  Ok, I hear you.  Let me make a couple points about that.

For starters saying that there is singlism when a significant amount of people are simply single because they lack the ability/desire to make a lifetime commitment to a person is ridiculous.  Every single person who is sleeping with or living with someone does not count as living the single Christian life.  In no way are they a victim of the people with marital privilege.  GIve me a break.

Secondly, most people could get married to someone if they wanted.  Not all.  But most.  I was single until I was nearly 41.  But there were people I could have married.  But many things kept that from happening.  Some of those things were my own fault.  Some were issues that I needed to deal with but again, I had to choose to deal with them.  Sometimes I chose the wrong person to date.  Sometimes someone didn’t choose me.  But I had choice many different times.

That is not to say that everyone who is unmarried had that choice.  Obviously a widow didn’t choose to have their spouse die.  Divorce can be a choice, and most often is, but if the person divorces you, that might not be your choice.  But again those are different contexts from not being married yet. So I guess in that sense you could be a victim.

Finally, most single people are working at or at least hoping for a time when they are not single.  Do the same people who are single now want to give up this supposed marital privilege when they get married?

Frankly the only people who can claim singlism are the people who are gifted, called or forced into celibacy.  So perhaps we should call it celibacism.  That’s not quite a catchy though.

I acknowledge that we have a problem with how we deal with singles.  We really should change many of our laws because honestly, we should want to treat people fairly regardless of marital status.  This should be especially true in the Church where the Church family should trump the nuclear one.  But playing the victim and equating singleness to race is for sure not the way to go about it.  Instead we need to actually deal with what marriage is and help people walk in each of the contexts of singleness.  Our problem is more in how we view the whole thing.

What’s crazy is there is still time for the Church to lead here.  Now that would be a movement worth getting behind. #Crazy #Leadership #Biblical

The Nuclear Family Or Kingdom Family

A few people in the church starting to wake up to the fact that the cultural context has changed.  Not only that but some are even beginning to see that they are part of the problem because of the ways they’ve handled that.  I myself have admitted many times here that I’ve taught many things wrong through the years – and I was teaching it as a single person.

Now the majority of the church has yet to even roll over, let alone wake up.  But it is encouraging to see some movement.  Over a couple of blog posts I want to sort of encourage (read challenge, push, bother, implore) them to not just offer band aids or think that a few simple thoughts are going to solve this.  If you are a pastor/elder/leader type person, you need to know that it’s going to be slower and more all encompassing than you think.

My fear for this discussion is that churches who are starting to see the problem of having family as an idol or not doing well with singles will only look to give simple answers that won’t actually unmask the deeper assumptions and mistakes that we have made and/or are making with this topic.  Changing what we say won’t be enough. We have to go back and rethink the whole thing to have a chance.

As an example of this I want to respond to parts of an article written by Scott Sauls for Relevant.  Let me be clear – I’m not coming at Scott.  I don’t know him personally but know folks who do and I’ve heard only great things about him.  I also want to give him a lot of credit for writing about this.  He is obviously way ahead of the curve which is apparent in much of what he writes.

I’m simply using his post as a launching pad to challenge some of the things that I believe the leaders in his, and similar circles, seem to assume.

So let’s look at the first part today.  While talking about the family Scott writes:

The Bible does have a lot to say about the significance of the family structure.

Family is the chief biblical metaphor to describe how God relates to us. God is our Father and we are His children. Jesus is husband and we are His Bride, the Church. “We are our Beloved’s, and our Beloved is ours,” says Solomon’s Song.

The marriage between a man and a woman, in the purest sense, is a pointer to and picture of the love between Christ and the Church. In our shared union with Christ, we are also sisters and brothers to each other.

God established three structures to advance His Kingdom and support the flourishing of societies and persons: the Church, government and the nuclear family. As the family goes, so goes a society.

But like any good thing, when family becomes the main thing, it can cause more harm than good.

It is true that the Bible does indeed have a lot to say about the significance of the family structure.  This is true in the sense that there are many direct instructions for families and without doubt it is used as a picture of the Kingdom in many different ways.

I’m not sure that we can call the family the “chief” biblical metaphor for describing how God relates to us.  It is certainly one of them.  But, the problem here is that Jesus changes so much of what the family has to do with the Kingdom.

In the Old Testament, marriage and offspring were basically THE way that the kingdom was advanced. God chose the Israelites as His people.  They were His family so to speak. They needed to continue the line from Abraham to Jesus. After all, this was the promise that God made to Abraham.  His descendants (blood family) were to represent God to the world and advance the Kingdom.  Basically if you think being single now is tough, being single in the Israelite family was by far worse.  If you had no physical lineage, then you had no way to advance the Kingdom.  You had no children in the Kingdom.

But that is not true after Jesus.  Jesus throws open the Kingdom to everybody.  Not only do you not have to be physically born into it, you CAN’T be physically born into it.  You must be born again into it.  What this means is that the nuclear family is NOT the way that the Kingdom advances.  Read that again friends.

For a great message on this take some time and listen to what Hunter Beaumont has to say here.  I was fortunate enough to hear him share a similar message a few months ago. His main point, as I took it, was that we must have a theology of singleness (and marriage frankly) that stems from this new idea that Jesus started.  While important in many ways, the nuclear family is not the way that God’s family is built.

All this to say, that while the family is a metaphor for the way that God interacts with us, it is not the only one and certainly not the way that God is bringing in His Kingdom.

Setting aside whether the Song of Solomon is a metaphor or not (which is open for debate at the least) Scott is right to suggest that marriage is a picture of the love between Christ and the Church.  I’ve said as much many times.  However, it is not the only picture of the Kingdom. What gets left out is that the celibate life is also a picture of the the Kingdom.  It is a picture of what it will look like in the end (which Scott mentions but doesn’t name).  That is a picture of pure and total devotion between us and God.  A person who is called to this is a demonstration of what is to come every bit as much as marriage.

The bottom line is that while the nuclear family is indeed a structure that God created and does indeed present a picture of the Kingdom, the Church family is THE picture and it trumps the nuclear family.  The nuclear family is not the the structure that advances the Kingdom.  The Church family is.

This is why focusing on the nuclear family is wrong.  In fact,  Jesus says that unless you love Him more than your family you are not worthy of the Kingdom.  In my opinion simply saying as the family goes, there goes society, ultimately (even if unintentionally) leaves the unmarried out.  It’s still focusing on the nuclear family. God’s family has to be the focus.  As God’s family goes there goes the society.

This is not merely semantics.  I wish it was, because that would be much easier.  But this baseline, that the Church family must be the focus, is the only way to avoid the traps that Scott mentions at the end of the quote – that is making too much of the nuclear family.

What I’m suggesting here is not that we stop teaching on how a family should operate (we probably need more of this) or that we stop saying that the family or marriage is a picture of the Kingdom.  But we need a sort of clean slate.  In other words we need to repent of how we’ve idolized the nuclear family –  not just offer excuses, justifications and rationalizations for it. We need to put God’s family first.  Then, and really only then, can we begin to paint the whole picture and include everybody.

 

 

A “Big” Christian Singles Problem We’re Ignoring

In the late 1960’s 60% of those 19-29 were married.  That number now is only 20%. That’s a whole different ballgame.  Half of America is unmarried.

There are a whole lot of reasons for this.  We’ve talked about it many times here in one way or another.  Lack of ability to interact with the opposite sex, fulfilling sexual desire outside of marriage, creating false spiritual platitudes, and over spiritualizing the whole thing, just to name a few.

But there is one thing that I haven’t talked about here.  And this is going to probably make some people uncomfortable and possibly even mad.  But to not talk about it at all, seems to me to be a cop out and if you read here at all, you know I’m not usually willing to do that.  So here goes.

I think one of the unnamed reasons we have less marriage comes from one of the sins and addictions that we don’t like to talk about in the Church.  That is our bad relationship with food and the sin of gluttony.

I’ve mentioned before that attraction is not a choice. Ok I’ve mentioned that about a hundred times.  Now to be fair, I’ve also talked about how our attraction scale is jacked up, and how there is no one who is perfectly attractive or attracted.  I’ve clearly stated that there will always be someone “hotter” and that we need to be careful as to what we “require” for attraction.

But again, attraction matters and we don’t get to sidestep this fact.  From a physical standpoint this is especially true when it comes to how we deal with women and their attractiveness to men.  Again, we correctly point out that our standard of beauty is warped.  We have created an airbrushed world that no woman can live up to.  That is absolutely right to point out and fight against.  But that doesn’t give us a pass on dealing with gluttony (for men or women).

To ignore this issue is a mistake.  According to the CDC 69% of Americans age 20 and older are overweight.  35% are obese.  Now we can argue over what counts as overweight and BMI and all of that.  That’s fine.  But bottom line there are a lot of people struggling here.  In case you are wondering, Christians are doing worse here, not better.

My point here today is not to “fat shame” anyone.  I don’t want to shame anyone, for any reason.  It’s also not to put more pressure on anyone to look perfect.  But I think that the fear implying those things or of dealing with this issue in the wrong way, has pushed us into not dealing with issue at all which is not ok.  It’s as if due to our fear of being politically incorrect we have stopped being honest and this is not helping us as singles or marrieds.

Food, just like alcohol, porn, and many other things can be an addiction.  Just like we have a broken relationship with sex in our culture, we also have a broken relationship with food.  In fact, I’d say that they often sort of play on each other.  Just like there are people in bondage to sexual addiction and drug addiction, there are people in bondage to food in one way or another.  It can for sure be a coping mechanism and one that leads excuses, lack of self control, and rationalizations just like all the afore mentioned vices.

This is important for many many reasons.  There are the obvious heath issues.  But as a single person, it matters in specific ways because you are sending a message with your appearance.  All of us are.  If we are overweight – especially if we are considerably overweight – we could be sending a message that we are out of control, are undisciplined, aren’t good at taking care of important stuff, or just don’t care.

It also affects how we feel about ourselves in two very important ways.  First, if we are unhealthy we don’t feel good.  I mean this is sort of obvious, but if we don’t feel healthy it’s hard to engage with life the way we want to.  It also affects our confidence and how we carry ourselves.  If we see ourselves as unattractive it’s infinitely more likely that others will as well.  It for sure affects our confidence when it comes to how we interact with the opposite sex.

I think that in the Christian culture we often like to pretend that none of this should matter. After all we should just love people where they are at.  I agree.  But part of loving someone is helping therm deal with reality.  If we tell people that it doesn’t matter and shouldn’t have anything to do with them attracting a spouse, to me, that’s lying.

Now in the same way we can’t just stand in the pulpit and tell men to “man up“, we can’t just stand up in the pulpit and say “lose weight”.  We have to actually walk with people. We have to do the hard work.  That starts with honest assessment.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it now.  One of the things about my 20+ years as a single is that I wish more people would have given me more practical help and less spiritual platitudes.  We don’t control a lot about our appearance.  But we do control some things. We should work on those.

The Ever Important Second Date

If you are not called to celibacy and you desire and feel called to marry, as I see it we often struggle in at least one of three ways.  Some can’t get a date, some can’t get from a date to more, and some can’t make a commitment to marriage.  I’ve been all three of those guys at one time or another in my 20+ years of singleness.

Here at this blog we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the first one.  We’ve talked about attraction,  what do we do when we are attracted and how do we approach women etc.  We’ve talked a little about the third group.  The idea that men can’t make a commitment is sort of an overblown sentiment. True there are some fears, habits, and various other things that can create that situation. But it’s not as many men as people make it out to be.  At least not men that are following Jesus and living purely.  I’ll have some more to say about this group later.

But today I want to focus on the second group.  In one way or another, I think there are a lot of people stuck here.

One of the problems we need to address is the second (third, fourth) date.  I know for me, there were many times where I could get the first date.  Not only that, but I could do a great first date.  And I don’t just mean put on a show for the night.  I mean be me, and create chemistry.

But after the first date is where things always seemed to get stuck.  There are several different reasons for this.  Let me address a few.

First of all, in our evangelical dating world there is a misplaced pressure that says essentially that if you start “dating” then you need to be pretty sure this is going toward marriage.  I mean we want to be sure to not lead anyone on and of course guard their heart.  As completely insane as this idea is, I for sure often fell victim to it.  If I wasn’t sure that I wanted it to go a long way, I would be hesitant to take it to the next step.  My encouragement would be to almost reverse it.  I think you can go out several times without knowing anything about where it is going.  Now I’m not saying string her along.  And for sure don’t tell her how you feel or even promise exclusivity until you’re ready. But you don’t have to figure it all out right away.  That’s unrealistic.

Ok with that out of the way, let’s get practical.  One of the problems is that anyone can come up with a great first date or two.  Good chemistry is often easy to create on the front end.  Especially if you keep it somewhat brief.  Things are new and you’re getting to know about each other.  You’re both somewhat attracted or you wouldn’t be there.

But the next couple of dates are key.  Let me offer a couple of helpful ideas.  Perhaps our commenters will have others.

For starters I think it’s a good idea, when possible to not make the first few dates super long.  In other words early on, less can often be more.  Secondly, and I often failed here, I think you are better off early on figuring out something to go do, not just talking.  You need to create some shared experience.  You don’t have as much to talk about if you don’t know each other yet.  Just go spend time together.

You go out for a drink or dinner on the first date that’s fine.  You get the initial questions out of the way and see if there is connection.  But doing that on date two and heaven forbid date three begins to get tedious because you don’t have enough to talk about yet. Go play together or go to a play together.  Something.  This does several things.  It creates an “us” because you are doing it together.  If you lead well here, it also shows that you are a person that does things and you are inviting her along rather than just sitting there at the third restaurant in as many weeks.

In other words as simple as this sounds, go have fun together.  Don’t turn every date into an interview or theological conversation.  Do what you do and invite her.  Then as you find out more about what she likes to do, work that in as well.  The goal here is to turn down the pressure and turn up the fun.  Then figure out after a few times together if you both want to move into an exclusive relationship.

I want to say something to the ladies here as well.  I was recently talking with a friend who had gone out with a guy who she knew was a good Christian guy.  It’s not that she didn’t have a good time, but she wasn’t blown away or excited.  She sort of wanted to like him, but didn’t feel instant attraction.  I asked her if she thought he was a good man and potentially a good husband.  She said yes.  I then told her that there are a lot of guys who don’t quite know how to create attraction or aren’t so sure of themselves early on in dating, but once they get going, they actually are really good leaders and will be good husbands.  She said she’d give him another date or two.  That was several months ago.  She is now super into him and they are in a relationship.  Bottom line, if you see a guy who is a good leader at work, church, and other such things, has good character and is a solid man, give him an extra date or two before you jump ship.

Here are a few questions to think about.  Where do you get stuck?  First date?  Second or third?  What have you found to be helpful here?

Spouse or Robot?

This last weekend I was leading a discussion that centered around the idea of that we are not to be OF the world.  In the world yes, but not of it.  We were discussing 1 John 2:15-17 which tells us not to love the world.  But if we are not to love the world, then we have to know what the world or “Spirit of the Age” is.  If we don’t name it, then it is very easy to get lulled to sleep and passively get sucked into being a part of it.  We came up with three Spirits of the Age: Busyness, Tolerance (which really means accepting anything as truth) and Consumerism.

As I’m sure you can figure out, these worldly trends have a huge impact on us when it comes to singleness, dating and marriage.  Now I’ll spend some time on each of these in different ways in the following weeks but for today, I just want to mess with us a little in case you think these things aren’t impacting where we are going.

I’ve written before about the idea of consumer dating.  The idea of thinking of the next person as some sort of product to obtain, going with it until we get bored and then looking for the new one.  While on the one hand it’s good to know there will always be another person I could date so I don’t end up over pressuring a situation, I also need to recognize that I can get addicted to the search.

But more than just needing the next one, we are also often looking for the perfect one. The one that meets my needs does what I want, shares all my interests, will never let me down, will do things my way, and of course it would be bonus if they would always look hot.  I don’t want to commit unless I can find the perfect product right?

Now if you combine that with the fact that we have taken sex outside of marriage it begins to get really interesting.  Stay with me here.  If we have taken sex out of marriage, and then really even the orgasm out of sex, and we think all of this is sort of ok somehow, then why not change the game completely.  What we need is not another person with all of their flaws, idiosyncrasies, demands and desires.  What we need is some sort of perfect for us partner.

Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Driscoll a “leading authority on sex tech”.  I can’t believe I just typed that.  In this article she discusses that we are well on our way to this future. Why look for a person, when you can just buy what you want.

Yeah, it’s sounds sort of crazy but as she points out, “We tend to think about issues such as virtual reality and robotic sex within the context of current norms. But if we think back to the social norms about sex that existed just 100 years ago, it is obvious that they have changed rapidly and radically.”

She adds: “Currently the lack of human contact could be harmful. Humans are naturally sociable and a lack of human contact could lead to loneliness which is linked to various mental and physical health problems.But, in the long term, technology may overcome these problems.

“When eventually there are intelligent robots indistinguishable from humans – apart from their lack of bad habits, imperfections and need for investment – not only are we likely to choose them over ‘real’ humans but psychologically we will not suffer if we are not able to tell the difference.”

Now you may be thinking, but what about children?  Not a problem.  Way ahead of you.  Already in Denmark 50% of the women coming in to the sperm bank are single women. Most of them are highly educated and just haven’t met the one.  But of course they want to be moms.  So they just head on in to the bank and make it happen.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t ever want to have a husband or more importantly a father for their kids.  As Signe, a 41 year old therapist says,“I’d still love to meet someone and give my little girl a dad. For me, a father is so much more than a blob of sperm. A father is someone who makes the lunch boxes, says, ‘Good morning,’ and kisses good night. He’s the one who is always there for the child during its upbringing. I just haven’t met him yet.”

But a real actual man might be more trouble than it’s worth.  Maybe she could go the Sarah Connor route.  After quality Terminators may soon be easy enough to find.

You may at this point be wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end.  Fair question.  But let me ask you two questions.  Do you really believe that this can’t happen?  Or even that it isn’t happening?  And do you really believe that each of us isn’t in some way affected by it?

There is a flow, a current if you will, heading in a direction.  Its not a new problem, just a new context.  But we need to understand that we are in it if we are going to decide to swim against it.  Where are you just floating along?  Are you looking for the perfect person, the perfect sex, the perfect match, or the perfect companion?  What are you ok with that maybe you shouldn’t be?  Do you want your needs met or do you want something more?