Sex in last place.

25 Oct

As far as I can tell, most Christian advice about picking a spouse puts sex, or sexual spark, or whatever you want to call it, in last place.  It may be because a lot of Christians have mediocre sex lives (just hypothesizing), or because traditionally it was more important for a woman to find a good provider than it was to find a good lover, or because Christians just assume that sexual attraction will be there in some form whenever you put a man and a woman together, but whatever the case may be, at least when I was growing up, sexual attraction was, like, the last thing to consider when checking off the list for husbandly attributes.

Things that are more important than sex:

  • Loving Jesus
  • Attending church regularly
  • Submitting oneself to God’s will
  • Reading the Bible and praying
  • Having a good job and being a provider
  • Not a smoker
  • Not a drinker
  • Not a gambler
  • Not a swearer
  • Not an abuser
  • Not a porn-watcher
  • Loves kids
  • Would be a good father
  • Gets along with his own family
  • Gets along with your family
  • Sexually pure
  • Sexually faithful
  • Completely loyal
  • Kind
  • Compassionate
  • Gentle
  • Responsible

(The female version just has opposite genders, and women aren’t required to be providers.)

So, once you have all of these items checked off, THEN you can consider if the other person is at least somewhat sexually attractive to you, and if the person ISN’T at least somewhat sexually attractive to you, then maybe it’s time to start praying and then God may enable you to become sexually attracted to that person.

And, in the churchly way of thinking, the reason this kind of advice works is because it’s “the world” that puts inordinate importance on sexual attraction, and Christians are not to be of “the world,” and that appeals to the whole counter-cultural instinct.  Additionally, a lot of people ruin their lives by letting their sex drives do all the thinking, so there’s a precautionary aspect as well.  Churches are in the business of fixing people, but it’s even better not to have to fix people.  Also, nobody wants to think of all of the senior citizens at church ever having randy feelings.

The other thought that I had was that a lot of single Christians are not beautiful women or top-drawer men, and if churches can get singles to get past the requirement of throbbing physical attraction, more Christians will get married.  And since marriage is good for society and the church and people, then everyone wins.

Take, for example, Candice Watters’ advice from this article from Marry Well:

If what he’s looking to hold his marriage together for “many, many, many years” is sexual attraction, he’s setting himself up for disappointment. The only way to keep the high-jinks of new love going is to keep starting over with new lovers.

But that’s the message we’re bombarded with in our culture. In Hollywood especially, the end of the emotional high signals the need to move on to a new relationship where the high-octane meter gets to start over. Sometimes that means serial dating. More often it means divorce and remarriage. Tragically one in five married couples won’t reach their 5th anniversary.

But it need not end this way. When two believers come together in marriage, they have the potential, when the giddy feelings ebb, to leave what C.S. Lewis calls the “thrill” phase of romance for the “quieter and more lasting kind of interest … and happiness that follows.” He encourages this process, noting it is “one little part of what Christ meant by saying a thing will not really live unless it first dies.”

But in order for that to happen, we need to have realistic expectations, and the awareness that those giddy feelings will ebb.

….

I suspect your friend would say his desire for a “zing-pop” connection is consistent with Song of Solomon. There certainly was chemistry between Solomon and his bride. But nowhere in Scripture is that given as a condition for a God-glorifying marriage. You can build a strong, godly, world changing marriage on many things. But you can never build that simply on looks. Good looks are a bonus.

….

I worry for men like your friend who may miss out on highly productive marriages and families that are fruitful for the kingdom, simply because the women God brings to them don’t, at first, cause a chemical reaction.

The problem with Watters’ argument is that she is jumping to the apex fallacy of sexual attraction being the sole reason to marry.  Physical attraction is important to men, but only the most foolish men marry strictly for physical attraction.  (And they really would be idiots, because everyone knows that senior citizens don’t pose for centerfolds.)  But it’s amply evident from reading manosphere blogs that sexual attraction does help to keep marriages together in times when it would be easy to give up, because sex bonds people together.  Just remove sex from a marriage and see how long it lasts with any degree of happiness on either side.

This kind of advice completely misunderstands (at best) and disregards (at worst) male sexuality and what motivates men to pursue women.  When a man is sexually attracted to his wife in a functional marriage, he will be more productive, more open to her counsel, and all-around more content and happy.  I think what Watters is really doing is projecting her desire for young women not to fall prey to alpha players (“he’s so hot that I have to be with him even though he’s a loser”) onto men and their interest in attractive women (“she’s an idiot who hates kids, is in credit card debt up to her eyeballs, and is an alcoholic, but man, I’ve gotta spend the rest of my life legally bound to those jugs!”).

Is society so broken that every piece of advice or persuasive argument must be presented using extreme examples as rationales?  Can’t there be a happy medium where sex appeal is given its due while also encouraging the value of character?  Sheesh.

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38 Responses to “Sex in last place.”

  1. Jennifer October 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Dangerous assertion, all right. If there’s no spark, there’s no spark.

  2. Toz October 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Like most agenda-driven advice, it’s well-intentioned, but harmful in so many ways. It’s telling women, “hey, you don’t have to worry about your looks” and men “you’re so shallow”. Thankfully, most of this advice goes out the window the minute a single alpha-male shows up in the singles group.

    Church guys need game really bad.

  3. John October 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    When exercised properly physical attraction is intended to be good and beneficial for both marriage partners. Yes, Christian women shouldn’t need to look like popstar wannabes to get a decent guy’s attention, but even the capable wife in Proverbs knew how to dress for success. Fine linens and purple, she was selling clothes she made… she was basically a fashion designer.

  4. Jennifer October 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Perfectly said, John.

  5. van Rooinek October 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Good looks are a bonus.

    So wrong.

    The subjective perception of “good looks” — which is a shorthand way of saying, instinctive biological attraction, and which is somewhat inaccurate as smell/pheromones/MHC compatiblity also enter the atrraction equation in addition to the visual cues — is FUNDAMENTAL to human mating. The basic biological chemistry just HAS TO be there.

    Particularly for a male: A women, a gold digger with no attraction for her husband, can in theory just lie there and let things happen. If a man isn’t attracted, consummation doesn’t occur and the marriage is void.

    I have no use at all for Joshua HArris and his harmful books, but one thing his father said to him (IIRC) rings true; Don’t try to get more spiritual than God — don’t marry someone you’re not excited about going to bed with.

  6. Random Angeleno October 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    She takes care of herself like the woman in Proverbs 31, she maximizes what physical attributes she has and she sees something in the guy and responds to him. That gives her a better chance of getting a man to feel attraction for her. Without that attraction, the marriage will be in trouble.

  7. lemmiwinks October 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Damn, after reading that list I realize would make the worst husband ever.

  8. Ceer October 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Yes, there can be. Sexuality is part of our humanity. We’re allowed by God to enjoy our sexuality within the context of our marriage. In days past, there wasn’t really 2 distinct groups of “Christians” and “everyone else”. Church teachings were that having a solid marriage foundation was important. Individual people, eager to get whatever pleasure they could, didn’t need any prodding to go for as much sexy as they could get. A while ago, those most interested in personal enjoyment left the church and started making their own rules. This divorce led to two extremes, one super practicality, the other super hedonism. The best of both worlds seems to be lacking in many relationships.

    Personally, I blame the fact that the leavers changed their view of sex. They want it for their own personal enjoyment, rather than something for the good of the marriage, for the man AND woman in the relationship, and by a happy relationship’s extension…the kids.

  9. lifeinlonglegs October 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Sexual attraction should not be the SOLE reason to marry.

    However, if it is not one of the SIGNIFICANT reasons you are marrying, you might as well just work together and call it a ‘partnership’ or ‘ministry’ …rather than marrying the wrong person. Just because you are great together, doesn’t mean you will be great together in the ways you need to be to be happily married.

    No attraction = no go.

    The danger zone is expecting there to be a ton of attraction immediately. You should confidently be able to say that when you first saw the person, you mentally put them on your ‘more than friends because I am attracted to them’ list, and not the ‘i’m not attracted to you at all so we’re only ever going to be friends’ list. It is my assertion that nearly everyone has such a mental list. It is an automatic assessment. Horn dogs and desperate people put almost everyone on their ‘more than friends’ list and by being un-selective, make themselves un-selectable.

    I also assert that any marriage without attraction and decent sex is one that may be more vulnerable to infidelity.

  10. Chris October 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Haley, you realise that those comments from whoever wrote that list has an underlying seed of Gnosticism?

    The authors are denying that we have bodies. The list is passionless. Now attraction includes the body. Sex definitely includes the body. Nothing new here. Eating involves the body. Singing involves the body.

    We are resurrected with a body.

    So, yes sexual attraction is normal. In fact, there is a long romantic poem in the Bible about it. Keeping this within the bounds of marriage will involve at least three things.

    1. Stop being Churchian and read some decent theology. I’d suggest you start with Andrew Marlowe.
    2. Use older women, preferably married and happy in it, to vet your beaux, ladies.
    3. Cut the list to three things — is he of Christ? can he provide for me? can I desire him? The rest is just dross.

  11. Mark Slater October 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Seems like there is general agreement here: Find someone you really like and have an intense desire to be with and love and touch, etc, and ALSO make darn sure that person is of good character, with common beliefs and values and similar life goals.

    I’m sure one’s parents and friends can help one on the latter concerns, inasmuch as a young person in the ninth cloud of love will tend to “perfect image” the object of their beloved.

    So, what are you all waiting for? Get out there and do it!

    “The danger zone is expecting there to be a ton of attraction immediately.”
    Once again the most wise Life in Long Legs is onto something. I’m sure that most of you, having known a person for some time, started thinking about him or her with increased frequency (perhaps without consciously realising it); and then, all of a sudden…[SIGH]

  12. Blair October 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    I accidently pushed some button so if my first attempt at posting went through I apologize. I have read other articles by Candice Watters and I know she does not disregard physicall attraction. I remember one article where she recalls her mentor telling her that if she lost some weight and grew her hair out she would have a better chance of attracting a man. She did both and shortly later married her now husband. I do agree that oveall boundless and marry well can put too little emphasis on attraction, but I also think a lot of those who comment on this blog can put too much.
    Just as much as a man wants to be attracted to the woman he pursues and marries and woman wants to be attractive to the the man who pursues and marries her. I would be horrified if I was dating a man and when asked by his friends what I looked like he answered, “well she has a great relationship with Jesus”. I wonder where the balance is?

  13. Blair October 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    When I read a lot of the comments by men on this blog I wonder if they think men contribute to the problem of undesired singleness at all. I read comments that blame over weight women,women who have too many opinions and women who’s standards are too high when it comes to money and social grace; but if someone suggest that maybe part of the problem is that men have become too picky in the looks department then the shit hits the fan. The author of such an article must be unbiblical and disregard the way a man was made. I agree with a lot of what is said, it has actually motivated me to work harder at losing my extra weight, but seriously women are not the only problem.

  14. PT Barnum October 26, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    2. Use older women, preferably married and happy in it, to vet your beaux, ladies.

    I would agree without qualification that giving as much power to older witches is KEY.

    That’s cause most oldsters in America today aren’t weighed down by ideals. Fear(mostly) and greed(the rest) motivate their actions. You can’t trick em. That’s why the “Christian” list has so many things that are good for oldsters. Cause oldsters got smarts and always ask “What’s in it for me?”.

    And don’t forget envy while we are at it. If the oldster can’t have sex with an attractive member of the opposite sex at this point in their life… even if they did for more than a decade, why should the younger animal ever have it?

    What’s he/she done to deserve that?

    NOTHING, that’s what. You going to have to sweeten that oldster up good before he/she will let you have what he/she had.

    Still, no promises.

  15. PT Barnum October 26, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    but if someone suggest that maybe part of the problem is that men have become too picky in the looks department then the shit hits the fan.

    That’s cause you know it’s wrong. You just triumphantly refuse to accept the obvious.

    As men, we know we aren’t to picky. Which is pretty much what all women say until the time comes to force a man into a lifetime commitment bases solely on her now failing looks.

    At that point, all women agree that a hit-the-wall, not-taking-care-of-herself, nothing-else-to-offer woman’s LOOKS, and ONLY HER LOOKS, are good enough for a lifetime commitment from a man.

    When a man questions that, well, he is just a meanie, isn’t he?

    Why should a man ask for anything more than a never-was-that-attractive woman’s fading looks? I mean, shouldn’t that be enough for a lifetime commitment?

    Some is a little prideful, and someone is going to be disappointed.

    We just disagree on who that is.

  16. jack October 26, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I have noticed a tendency, though it is by no means an absolute one:

    Women seem to say “hot or not”, whereas men appear to have a bit more of a grey area with regard to attraction.

    This tendency also sometimes creeps into discussion from women like Candace, who see choice as having polarity.

    For instance, some women, when told they need to compromise on wanting a 6’2″ guy:

    “But I don’t want to date some 5’2″ dweeb…”

    This is a subspecies of the Straw Man argument, and I notice that it is common among the women I know more than the men.

    Perhaps, for these women, any guy that does not meet their “dream guy” 6’2″ threshold might just as well e 5’2″ for all they care.

    The apex of men is a plateau, and the cliff drops off steeply from there. You are either “hot” or creepy.

  17. y81 October 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    “when I was growing up, sexual attraction was, like, the last thing to consider when checking off the list for husbandly attributes.”

    The problem is that, as that this blog makes clear, Haley has a relatively low sex drive. We all know what boy-crazy girls are like, and they don’t go around complaining that they can’t scare up 12 dates in 12 weeks. The advice Haley is deriding is meant for girls who can’t help falling in love, and who need to be reminded that just because you find someone sexually attractive, that person isn’t necessarily suitable as a husband.

    If your problem is that you don’t find anyone you know attractive, this advice is simply inapplicable. There is no danger of your marryihg someone inappropriate. You need to concentrate on meeting lots more guys, not pruning the list of prospects.

  18. lifeinlonglegs October 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Thanks Blair.

  19. Random Angeleno October 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    In addition to the usual Christian/Catholic platitudes, I need to be attracted to her and she needs to have a sex drive that won’t be left at the altar. Almost forgot, it will help a lot if she is not bat**** crazy.

    Haha, jack has a great point that I’ll paraphrase: I might as well be 5’2″ to most women…

  20. Chris October 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Blair… you twit:

    I’m 51, solo, raising two kids, worrying about the daugther and her three kids… and I’m trying to lose weight and stay in shape. Not for any romantic reasons. For my family. I need to be around long enough to guide the three month old grandson.

    Being fit (which is in part weight control, in part aerobic fitness, in part dealing with the medical problems you will get my age) is something i look for (yes, because it is pretty) because i don’t want someone who feeds be twinkies and encourages me to be fat. i want someone who understands these goals.

    It used to be called caring for yourself. Letting yourself go was seen as a sign of moral weakness.

    You are calling it shaming language. You are missing the fact that gluttony is as much a sin as lust…

    I praise God I live in a hilly part of NZ, where most women walk, and remain fit. Into their eighties.

  21. jkc October 27, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    I know that there are some girls who I am just not attracted to. They’re nice, they’re in decent shape. I just get a sort of neutral meh when I see their face. I would never think about them otherwise.

    I will say that rejection will temper even the most refined tastes. However, if a man has experienced a certain level of success in the past, then almost nothing will cause him to accept anything too below that. And really there’s not really anything a girl can do about that. That’s just how things are. It has nothing to do with a conscious evaluation of health and how it will affect one’s lifestyle.

    Honestly I’ve met girls who would be considered overweight that I would consider much more attractive than a lot of skinnier girls. Unfortunately overweight + good waist hip ratio + attractive face = slut. I have a friend whose like this, she jokes about how many v-cards she has. While this negatively reflects on her market value, she still gets way more male attention than the few skinnier, not really attractive, nerdy girls that give IOIs to beta guys all the time just wishing for a relationship. They’re the girls that get friend zoned by the guys, until a beta used to rejection comes along anyway.

  22. Blair October 27, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Chris- I agree 100% that gluttony is a sin and needs to be a addressed. The most important reason for me or anyone to lose my weight is because as a follower of Jesus Christ I should be self controlled. Are flesh must be submitted to The Spirit in all things, including food and excercise. I am not arguing that men should force themselves to be attracted to women who have no control over what they eat or are lazy. There is actually a good article on gluttony from boundless, ironic I know.
    http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0002455.cfm
    The point I was trying to make was women are not the only ones to blame for our current eppidemic of protracted singelness or issues with christian marriage in general.

  23. Blair October 27, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I also doubt that most men don’t want to be with a fat chick because they are tuned off my her gluttony, they just don’t want to have sex with someone who is fat. I have a good friend who is beautiful and is asked out frequently. She is also gluttoness and rarely works out but still is a size six. When she was in highschool she was voted most beautiful and biggest appetite. We actaully did a Bible study about the issue of food and excercise and she struggled with the same issues a lot of other women in the group did but just did not show it. Now if she eats a cheeseburger a lot of men would find it sexy if an overweight woman ate the same cheeseburger it would be disgusting. Lets say I continue to lose weight and half way through my weight loss I am selfcontrolled with my food and excercise regularly. A lot of men still will not date me because it will take time for my body
    to show my freedom in this area. That is fine I have no problem with that, I just wish more guys would come out and say “I want someone skinny” not “I want someone who is healthy and cares about themselves”. That is one of the most annoying things to read on dating profiles.

  24. lifeinlonglegs October 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    overweight + good waist hip ratio + attractive face does not always = slut, though it may.

    It does OFTEN, almost always = unscrupulous jealous often quite plain women telling people that the curvy woman is a ‘slut’ to decrease the “competition”, and often also = a few classless ego-maniac liars telling people stuff happened with this woman that flat out did not, and would never happen in a million years.

    Further to this, friendly behavior or conversation from such a woman is often mistaken for ‘interested’, ‘slutty’, or ‘desperate’. It’s not like you can de-emphasize much of the “body language’ without wearing a paper bag every day. [She’s not emphasizing her chest for you. She’s just standing up straight.]

    People who take the time to know that woman know the truth, and God certainly knows. Unless you saw it with your own eyes, don’t believe it. Faith is for the gospel, not for gossip.

  25. ASDF October 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Blair:

    I just wish more guys would come out and say “I want someone skinny” not “I want someone who is healthy and cares about themselves”. That is one of the most annoying things to read on dating profiles.

    Unless you have specifically been rejected for being fat, you might just be projecting, and there is something else about you that guys don’t like.

    I don’t mind a bit of chub (a bit!), but there is definitely something more off-putting about a gluttonous, lazy fat girl than a gluttonous, lazy slim girl.

  26. OffTheCuff October 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    If someone can eat more than you and not gain weight, then it’s either high metabolism, or they exercise a lot, or barf it all up… the first two are not gluttony.

  27. Blissex October 30, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    The usual explainer for the difference between sexual attraction among men and women, religious or not, is simple:

    #1 Most women find a small minority of men attractive; the vast majority is considered below average. They select men on positive, narrow attributes (tall, handsome, mysterious, commanding, …). If they are making do with a merely sexy guy, they will switch without much thought to a sexier one (because they are worth it!).

    #2 Most men find most women attractive; a significant majority is considered “doable”. They select women on non-negative, narrow, attributes (she isn’t too plain, she ain’t that slutty, she does not seem that crazy). They may *prefer* someone cuter to someone less cute, but the latter will do and if they have a good time with someone less cute most men won’t risk throwing that away for a chance with someone cuter. Except a small minority who only care about notches.

    As to #1 there is this interesting statistic from OKCupid:

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/
    «As you can see from the gray line, women rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium.»

    The reason for this is also clear from a different idea of “average looks”. For most men an average-look is the look of an average woman, a statistical average; but for most women is it average as to looks, an arithmetic average.

    Put another way men calibrate look grades 1-10 on actual women they see, where an average woman is a 5, women grade 1-10 on an absolute scale, where 10 is theoretical perfection, and Clooney is an 8 and an average guy is a 3-4.

  28. Jennifer October 30, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    “Most women find a small minority of men attractive; the vast majority is considered below average”

    Good grief. That’s mostly excess pickiness to me, but I almost wonder if that’s partly biological programming.

  29. Jennifer October 30, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Good points, Blair.

  30. y81 October 31, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I don’t think that’s what the OKCupid study is saying. The study says that most women rate most men below average in “looks” not that they rate them below average in overall “attractiveness.” Looks play a smaller part in attractiveness for most women than for most men. It’s easy to imagine a woman saying, of a new flame, “He’s not super good-looking, but he’s really funny and he treats me well and he has a good job.” It’s difficult to imagine a man saying something similar. Because humor, good behavior, and a good job (or FEP, depending on age) are big components of male attractiveness to women, less so the other way around.

  31. Will S. October 31, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Exactly, y81.

  32. Jennifer October 31, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Yup. But nevertheless, women need good personalities big time. Debi Pearl wrote in her book for wives how she knew a woman who was “hillbilly ugly”, as she put it, yet her husband and other men adored her because she always, always had a happy and open demeanor and was smiling.

  33. Foo November 9, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Is this a retraction of your previous “Companionship vs. Sexual Attraction” post? Your view seems to have moderately altered since you wrote that a successful marriage could be built on a “not repulsed by him” level of attraction.

    Or perhaps you are still of the opinion that in a healthy marriage the woman need not feel any positive sexual attraction towards her husband, but it is necessary for the man to feel a positive sexual attraction towards his wife.

  34. A November 9, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Foo:

    There is no contradiction.

    All things being equal, more sexual attraction is better, and sexual attractiveness is not a minor consideration in a marriage.

    However, marriage to someone you are really attracted to may not be an option, especially for women. Due to the dearth of alpha males (SMV), most women are either going to have to settle for men that they are only mildly attracted to or go without. The question then becomes which of those alternatives is better? But even there it is extremely important that there be at least a little bit of sexual attraction.

  35. Jennifer November 9, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    A, men don’t need to be alphas, they need certain alpha QUALITIES. And I don’t think those are as rare as you think.

  36. imnobody November 14, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    OK. So let’s think this through. Let’s suppose a Christian man who is looking for a wife to marry her and build a godly family. What percentage of women would apply?

    1. She must be Christian. Since there are non-Christians, let’s suppose that 80% of women apply.

    2. She must be a REAL Christian. This means to really internalize the teachings of Christ and to live according to Christian principles as opposed to the women they are talking about Christ all the time and then fuck the first alpha they meet.

    This means the woman has to be virgin, has to be non-aggressive, study the Bible, be submissive to his man, pray daily, forgive and love her enemies and lots of additional things . Or, at least, try every time to do so (as opposed to singing some kumbaya songs and think she is saved).

    Let’s be optimistic and say that 50% of the women (or men) who tell themselves “Christian” are this way. So we have 80% x 50% = 40% of the population.

    3. She must have character. Character is a combination of genetic and learned traits. Let’s suppose there are 90% of women whose genetics does not preclude them to learning character. Of them, let’s suppose that 80% are willing to learn (yes, I am being very generous with the figures). So this is a 72% of the population. So, so far, we have 80% x 50% x 72% = 28% of the population.

    4. She must be hot for this man, because sex is important for the welfare of the couple. I don’t mean “hot enough to bang her” but “hot enough to marry her”. Let’s be very optimistic and pretend that 50% of the womankind apply.

    This means that women who meet these four expectations are 89% x 50% x 72% x 50% = 14%.

    OK. So we have that for a given Christian man, 14% of the female population applies to the “wife candidate” category.

    Let’s see about the female point of view. Women are much pickier than man and have one more requirement: good provider (when they don’t have a 50 bullet list). OK. Let’s be generous and suppose that women are not pickier than man so all the percentages are the same and pigs fly. So we have 14% of men who are “husband material” for a Christian girl.

    Now, it comes the tricky part. For a marriage to happen, the woman has to be in the 14% for the man and the man has to be in the 14% of the woman. So the number of marriages is the intersection of these two subsets

    How likely is this coincidence? Let’s be extremely generous and suppose this happens ALWAYS. This means there are 14% of marriages.

    OK. So, IN THE BEST CIRCUMSTANCES, we have 14% of godly marriages. What about the remaining 86% of people. They cannot have sinful sexual relationships without marriage. So they must become monks and nuns.

    This is even truer, because the figure is much smaller than 14%. As I have said, my assumptions are extremely generous. And I have considered only four traits but the Haley’s list has 22 items. With this list, the number of possible godly marriages is smaller than 1%.

    SOMETHING DOES NOT ADD UP. There are three alternatives:

    1 – Most people settle A BIG DEAL. I mean they end up married to people they like but they are not that into them.
    2 – People have sex without marriage (possibly for the rest of their lives), even in Christian circles.
    3 – You end up with a society of virgin bachelors and spinsters.

    So all this advice about “she has to be a woman of character, Christian and be sexually attractive for you to marry her” (or the 50 bullet list for women) is only to say that 1 is not an option. Only 2 and 3 remain possible.

    What do you think? I am the only seeing that Christian advice about relationship is not applicable to reality (by the way, I am a male Christian). How do you solve that?

  37. Foo November 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    A,

    Earlier Haley posited that a successful marriage can be built where the wife is sexually “neutral” towards her husband. In the discussion that followed, she elucidated that by “neutral” she meant that the wife was “not repulsed” by her husband.

    Neutral seems a tad shy of “at least a little bit of sexual attraction.” In fact the very definition of neutral insists that she is neither repulsed nor attracted to him. That is why I was surprised by this post. It seems she has changed her mind a bit.

  38. Andre February 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Aunt,

    You are a lot more attuned than the average evangelical church goer about worldly wisdom or, at least, unashamed to admit it. I like your objective perspective and how you don’t come off as the typical holy-roller. What and when was your “a-ha” moment? Or did you always have an outsider’s perspective?

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