Princess fantasies from both sides.

6 Feb

First:  a moment of mourning for the Pats since my dad was from Massachusetts.

Second:  It struck me over the weekend that Christian media is often accusing mainstream media of peddling an unrealistic romantic fantasy for women that causes women to become dissatisfied with the men available to them in real life and to not look for godly standards.  But doesn’t Christian media peddle the exact same unrealistic romantic fantasies (while looking for overly godly standards)?

I mean, you’ve got Christian media on the one hand warning that (essentially) Titanic is bad for you, Reese Witherspoon romcoms are bad for you, romance novels are bad for you, etc.  Unrealistic expectations of beauty, don’t you know that life isn’t a never-ending date?, and (DUN DUN DUN) these people have sex outside of marriage!  Okay, fair enough.

But then that same Christian media turns around and foists Rebecca St. James’s “purity advice,” True Love Waits, Joshua Harris and kissing dating goodbye, and Stasi Eldredge’s Captivating (which includes chapters titled stuff like “Romanced,” “Beauty to Unveil,” “Arousing Adam,” and “Warrior Princesses”) on readers, and we’re supposed to believe that Christian media is peddling wisdom because it’s, like, Christian and stuff.  How is the “Daughter of the King!” industry not setting up women for the exact same problem of an unrealistic romantic fantasy?  You’ve got Rebecca St. James, whose entire adult life has been spent in the entertainment industry where the vast majority of males (and therefore the guys in her social circle) are well above average in looks and have success in a way that the average man will never attain, advising young Christian women on how to find her male peers lacking in romantic worthiness staying pure until they marry The One.  You’ve got True Love Waits telling horny teenagers not to have sex until they’re married, which in this culture may not be for another 15 to 20 years, and expecting that signing a card is going to be a meaningful deterrence in the heat of the moment.  Joshua Harris scared a generation away from dating because some guys in dating didn’t have lofty enough goals.  And then you have people like Stasi Eldredge writing dreamy prose about how God can romantically and emotionally satisfy women.  Here is a quote from Eldredge’s book Captivating:

We long for romance.  We are wired for it; it’s what makes our hearts come alive.  You know that.  Somewhere, deep down inside, you know this.  But what you might never have known is this…

This doesn’t need to wait for a man.

God longs to bring this into your life himself.  … He wants to heal us through his love to become mature women who actually know him.  He wants us to experience verses like, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her” (Hos. 2:14).  And “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride” (Song 4:9).  Our hearts are desperate for this.  What would it be like to experience for yourself that the truest thing about his heart toward yours is not disappointment or disapproval but deep, fiery, passionate love?  This is, after all, what a woman was made for.

HOW CAN A NORMAL, FLESH-AND-BLOOD MAN COMPETE WITH GOD FOR A WOMAN’S SWOONS?

[Insert obligatory Fireproof mention here.]

And yet it’s the mainstream media that’s to blame for setting up unrealistic expectations, tsk tsk.

It seems to me that Christian media sets just as high a bar a fantasy for Christian women as the mainstream media does, if not higher just due to the fact that a staunch Christian woman is far more likely to hold out for “God’s best.”  I feel like we are constantly assured that God is going to give us his Best if we just have faith and wait for it.  This especially includes marriage.  Don’t settle for less than God’s Best.  Do you want to have a good, God-honoring marriage?  Then hold out for His Best.  You’re 25?  You have time.  You’re 30?  Keep praying for God’s Best.  35?  Keep trusting God to bring you his Best.  40?  God’s Best doesn’t have a timetable.  45?  Nothing is impossible for God, who is writing your love story.  God will bring his Best to you in his perfect timing.  50?  Sometimes God’s Best doesn’t include a husband, but that doesn’t mean it’s not God’s Best for you.

The main difference I can see between Christian and mainstream romantic fantasies is that the former causes people not to get married at all, and the latter causes break-ups after the wedding.  In Christian terms, it’s better to be forever alone than to get married and then divorce because you’re not happy.  But for every woman who can’t find someone to meet her expectations, another guy has to remain single, so…..

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93 Responses to “Princess fantasies from both sides.”

  1. Tom February 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    While I think that relying on God to satisfy your emotional needs during singleness is Biblical and appropriate, it’s true that too many men and women (though women in particular) take this to the (il)logical extreme. Couple this with the misapplication of Psalm 34:7, and you get 45 year old spinsters who just don’t understand why the local news guy they met once didn’t fall head over heels for them. Or they demand a good looking, rich guy with all the hairs on his head still intact, despite the fact that they themselves are no prize pig.

  2. Toz February 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Well said. As implied, the big thing is that it’s almost all expectations for the man, very little relative expectations for the woman. It’s fine to pray for the hunk missionary Godly husband but totally fine to be overweight, gossip and unforgiving.

    The church has been horribly guilty of indulging women in this regard. Some fire and brimstone about not getting married wouldn’t hurt here.

  3. Silas Reinagel February 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    While I don’t disagree with the basic point of your post, it does seeems that your criticism of John & Stasi Eldredge is a bit misplaced.

    John & Stasi Eldredge are Christian mystics who are focused on ideals. You make a category error when suggesting that the quoted section is supposed to be an alternative to a human male-female relationship. Instead, it’s a focus on the mystical aspects of Christianity and, in this case, how a woman can explore and enjoy her femininity. Since masculinity and femininity are hard-wired into men and women, their writings are a call to embrace and understanding one’s own polarity—it is a response and rebuttal to the modern culture’s teachings that gender is just a social construct and the androgenous values that are espoused today.

  4. noelleflowers February 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I actually just got back from John and Stasi’s “Captivating Retreat,” and I think you may have misinterpreted the message they are sending when they speak of the great romance that comes from an intimate relationship with God and Jesus. You are right in recognizing that a mortal man can never live up to the “romance” provided by God, but that is the point. No man can live up to that and as women we have been wrong to expect this from them. We all too often take these question of am I worth it? am I beautiful? am I captivating? to the men in our life and they are not designed, prepared or capable of answering it for us. So we are repeatedly disappointed in these men who don’t “live up” to the dream. We fail to remember that men are asking their own questions of God (am I enough? see Wild at Heart). These are questions we should be taking to our heavenly father, for only he is prepared to answer them. Allowing God to answer these questions then frees us to love a man or woman with integrity and honesty, for in our utter devotion and worship of God and Christ we are then free to love and worship God and Christ as he lives in our partner. It also empowers us to not settle for a love that is less than what God has intended for us, nor to demand a love that is based in societal values or shallowness. In Sex God, Rob Bell does a wonderful job of illustrating what an earthly relationship between a man and woman should be like. A woman should be devoted to her husband or the man in her life just as the women of the bible are devoted to Jesus (think Mary of Bethany anointing Christ with perfume and washing his feet with her hair). In the same way men should love their wife in the same way that Christ loved the church. He loved with such devotion, desire and passion that he laid down his life for her. I don’t think any man or woman would feel that is a type of love not worth waiting for. It is incredibly difficult and trying, but part of faith is trusting that God will fulfill these desires of our heart.

  5. van Rooinek February 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    It seems to me that Christian media sets just as high a bar a fantasy for Christian women as the mainstream media does, if not higher just due to the fact that a staunch Christian woman is far more likely to hold out for “God’s best….”

    …and to “kiss dating goodbye” while waiting for it, thereby cutting off all possibility that she’ll have a chance to correct her error. Afer all, if she dated, she might (gasp) go out a few times with some ordinary guy she met at Bible study, get to know him, and suddenly realize that he’s a good catch after all. And we can’t have that, because 1st Hypocrites 24:7 says that only rich Alphas are permissible husbands for Christian women, since every woman who has ever been smiled at by an Alpha is herself an Alpha, and to marry a normal man would be “unequally yoked.”

    But for every woman who can’t find someone to meet her expectations, another guy has to remain single, so…..

    … pornography and Game theory become unstoppable juggernauts, no matter how many sermons are preached against them.

  6. van Rooinek February 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    sorry, muffed a close-italic tag

    should be hold out for “God’s best….”

  7. van Rooinek February 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    ““

  8. Hana February 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    It seems to me that where the Bible portrays God as a lover, he is the lover of a collective body of people, like Israel or the church, not individual women. So I don’t agree with writers like Stasi Eldridge who portray God as an intimate lover of women…I feel like it gives women an unBiblical understanding of their relationship with God. Relationship with God is not meant to fulfill human cravings for romance.

    But is it really wrong to tell women to wait for God’s best? I think it depends on how people are interpreting “God’s best”. If women are interpreting “God’s best” as a modern-day Mr. Darcy, then most women will be waiting a long time, especially since not every woman is Rebecca St. James.

    But I don’t know – is it really that common for normal women over the age of 25 to have totally unrealistic expectations? I just happened to notice on Facebook that a girl from my hometown, who’s in her mid-twenties, is “in a relationship” and has been for months. The girl isn’t very attractive, and although I don’t know the boyfriend, he has a kind of “beta” look about him that I can’t describe…plus, he was raving about her in a very beta way…but she was raving about him too! The exchanges on Facebook went something like this: (Name of girl) has the most amazing boyfriend! (Name of boy) is praising God for this AMAZING woman of God! (Friends and family on both sides): Yay! See what great gifts God gives to people who wait?

    I think this couple is an example of two people who were holding out for “God’s best” and found what seemed to be “God’s best” in their eyes. Neither of them are attractive by worldly standards, but it looks like they found someone within their leagues and are pretty happy about it. I don’t think unrealistic expectations prevent that many women from getting married…if women really want to get married, they just adjust their expectations of “God’s best” to what’s available in real life.

  9. balderdash February 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I agree with Haley in this matter.

    What is forgotten in this matter is ideally you shouldn’t want to have sex since it is you not in control of your emotions, lust. It says in the Bible that if you can’t control yourself (i can’t remember who said it, I believe Paul) from having sex at least get married first. Therefore marriage should be a non issue if we are talking about people who genuinely want to be “holy.”

    Taking advice from people who married in regards to what is best in the matters of holy concerning Christianity is nearly foolish considering they admitted defeat in this task. Marriage is a nice silver medal and should be remembered as such.

  10. Hermit February 7, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    “Marriage is a nice silver medal and should be remembered as such.”

    Could you please elaborate?

  11. Frank Norman February 7, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Didn’t Paul warn against false teaching that would oppose marriage?

  12. Mike T February 7, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    It might help if more mainstream churches actually taught that Christian love is self-sacrificial and that we are supposed to accept the imperfection of others even as we seek mercy for our imperfections. If more Christians understood that God’s mercy toward us is partly determined by our mercy toward others, they might understand marriage a little better and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  13. MarkMark February 7, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    The main error with “waiting for ‘God’s best'” is that no earthly man is God’s best. His best is Christ but Christ is not going to be any woman’s husband.

    The concept of “the one” is a ruse, a fairy tale created by Hollywood and imbibed by women. A woman can love many men and should a mate unfortunately die, she can well love another. We have seen this throughout history and it remains true today.

    The notion that God is going to bring to a female her prince on a steed is not to be found in Scripture. It is a falsehood.

    So what is a young woman left with? A bunch of less-than-best human males, more than a few of whom can be a godly, loving, excellent husband to her, and who are, incidentally, exactly the men called by God to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave himself up for her.

  14. tz February 7, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    It depends on what your definition of Marriage is. Today, it means recreational sex. To your grandparents – backed when every church condemned contraception – it meant children and family. Looking forward to decades of romance or sex is very different than children around the dinner table, going off to college, and grandchildren.

    Except for a tiny number of faithful Catholics – including what the Bishops are fighting over now, and a few traditional protestants, the Christian media believes in the same sterile use-each-other for pleasure as anyone in the secular media, only limits it to within marriage. Yet the same christians accept divorce (what God has put together?).

    If you accept contraception and divorce, marriage is a different thing, has a different goal.

    Your grandparents generation often married young, had large families, and were still happy and married decades later despite trials. There were a few tragedies. But now tragedy is common since are more acceptable options and the persons are in control.

  15. balderdash February 7, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Hermit:

    There isn’t any elaboration, so I will simplify my previous statement. You shouldn’t want sex, but this is an incredibly hard task. If you can’t control yourself God approves of you having sex while married. It is a silver medal because the gold medal is to not have desires of the mortal world. Once you die you aren’t going to take your spouse with you, your money doesn’t follow you to heaven, and you won’t be driving there in the nice car you earned.

    Frank Norman:

    You seem misguided by context. I’m talking about not wanting mortal desires while you are talking about opposing marriage. A silver medal is pretty dang good.

  16. Jimbo February 7, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    It is true that many women and men at the churches are not meeting and marrying. It is true in my case. I didn’t meet anyone to marry at church. I went outside of church to find the right one. I do think it is proper to hold out until you meet the right one, which means no girlfriends/boyfriends and sex until there is some semblance of a commitment. The difference is how long to hold out.

    This talk of “The One” is a secular notion. It reeks of the concept of soul mates like there is only one person in the world that is a fit for you. I completely disagree with this sentiment. No one is perfect. We have all fallen. To suggest there is perfection betrays the tenets of Christianity.

    As for the Christian media, I won’t go there.

  17. Jack February 7, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Haley-

    Whether directed to men or women, the problem is that such messages are all about a person GETTING. What they want rather than seeing relationships and marriage as opportunities for being of SERVICE to another person.

    Jesus tells us that have not because we ask not, OR because we ask amiss, that we may consume it upon our lust. The recharacterization of lust and the Christian-ification of lust.

    Christian-think has whitewashed womens’ sexual attraction triggers while remaining brutally honest about mens’.

  18. Gorbachev February 7, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Weirdly, I’ve found religious women more susceptible to general game.

  19. van Rooinek February 7, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    You shouldn’t want sex, but this is an incredibly hard task. If you can’t control yourself God approves of you having sex while married. It is a silver medal because the gold medal is to not have desires of the mortal world.

    “Not all men can accept this saying, but only to those whom it is given.” — JC

    Anyone can be celibate with great effort, but only a few people are given the gift of being able to stay celibate without endless inner conflict (“burn with passion”). GOD DECIDES who gets the gift, not you. And for those who weren’t given this gift, the issue of marriage is hugely important.

  20. Cane Caldo February 7, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Oops! You missed a spot

    It might help if more mainstream churches actually taught womenthat Christian love is self-sacrificial and that we are supposed to accept the imperfection of others even as we seek mercy for our imperfections. If more femaleChristians understood that God’s mercy toward us is partly determined by our mercy toward others, they might understand marriage a little better and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    There!

    The few of us men who make it to church regularly get heavy doses of this. The same message–when directed towards women–are caveated to a cadaverous state.

  21. anonymous x February 7, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Just another Catholic man here who searches for his dates and girlfriends from outside the Church… I’ve long since given up hope of meeting a Catholic woman within my parish, the women there do not pay attention to me. At all. Just another beta boy serving communion to the attendees. So I have my fun outside and with mostly non-Catholic, non-Christian women.

    A shame, IMO, but involuntary celibacy is not a good thing, there are really very few men who can tolerate celibacy well. Which is why Paul said be married if you can’t be celibate. Involuntary celibacy could prey on my mind if I allowed it. For many involuntarily celibate men, it does get to them, it does mess with their heads and it can grind their spirits into the dirt. Hence the bitterness displayed in many corners of the manosphere. A bitterness that feeds on itself and takes on a life of its own.

  22. jack February 7, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Anonymousx

    So you’re approving of premarital sex? Not criticizing, just asking.

  23. Mike T February 7, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    You shouldn’t want sex, but this is an incredibly hard task. If you can’t control yourself God approves of you having sex while married. It is a silver medal because the gold medal is to not have desires of the mortal world.

    Our sexual desires were created for the purpose of God in marriage and populating the Earth. They are no more innately sinful or unholy than appetite for food is sinful or unholy. You seem to have missed the part where Paul makes it clear that he is speaking his personal preference and tells us that there is nothing wrong with marriage (which is primarily a sexual union of two Christians for the purpose of building a family).

  24. Elspeth February 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    It depends on what your definition of Marriage is. Today, it means recreational sex. To your grandparents – backed when every church condemned contraception – it meant children and family. Looking forward to decades of romance or sex is very different than children around the dinner table, going off to college, and grandchildren.

    Agreed.

  25. The Aardvark February 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    So “Captivating” = “Jesus is My Boyfriend”? Charming.

    Just cannot find any NT teaching that approaches the warm-fuzzy, “mystical” teaching being sold (sold!) today. Dorcas was apparently too busy helping people by clothing them to angst over this kind of stuff. That or the Holy Spirit missed a spot.

  26. an observer February 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    The princess fantasy is a predictable outcome of feminism. Wildly overrating their smv, they use sex to pursue alphas, contibuting to informal harems and large numbers of deltas that now fail to make the cut.

    Normal men who previously would have had little trouble in attracting female company, whether for short or ltrs, are now less likely to. Hence the growth industries of puas, porn and the use of game to improve the odds.

    Christian women seem little different to their secular sisters. Christian men who practise celibacy just get shamed because its somehow their fault the hypergamous daughters of the King are still single.

    As more men wise up to the scam, and with the divorce industry in full flight, most christians i talk to are clueless of the marriage risks and portray my views as misogny, even my own misguided family members and outlaws.

    Great time to be alive, hey. . .

  27. Abides February 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I feel like we are constantly assured that God is going to give us his Best if we just have faith and wait for it. This especially includes marriage. Don’t settle for less than God’s Best. Do you want to have a good, God-honoring marriage? Then hold out for His Best.

    I guess that Haley usually tries to be non-denominational, but the attitude caricatured above is really based on a very specific type of theology, which is prosperity theology common in several evangelical USA denominations, but which sounds scary to denominations with a different theological basis.

    Other denominations have pithy sayings like “Don’t ask what God can do for you, but what you can do for God” or “God assists those who help themselves first”.

    «we are supposed to accept the imperfection of others even as we seek mercy for our imperfections. If more Christians understood that God’s mercy toward us is partly determined by our mercy toward others,»

    That’s another specific type of theology, probably far less objectionable to many than prosperity theology.

    Theology, even informal/folk theologies, has a very big influence on attitudes and culture, and I guess that includes about dating, but I think that Haley’s blog is mostly about dating for “churchy” or somewhat conservative/moralizing types (which might include Muslims, even if she says it is generally just about “Christians”).

  28. Gabriella February 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Why does the “Jesus is my boyfriend” type of spirituality have to spill into unrealistic expectations from men? I manage to keep the two very distinct in my mind. I don’t expect any romance from my husband. Marriage is more like a job than the fulfillment to all my longings. It is my particular path to holiness and sanctification. It dictates my roles and responsibilities. I don’t expect anything out of my marriage except the most basic respect and courtesy.

    It also doesn’t make sense that God would put a longing for intimacy in my heart if it can’t be fulfilled by Him. Why would something exist for no other purpose than to cause frustration?

  29. anonymous x February 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    jack, I would strongly prefer my sex within marriage. But in today’s cultural setting, the marriage ain’t happening any time soon and it’s a financial risk if it does happen. I’ve already been through that wringer once and I will not get married again without a thorough vetting (see Dalrock about that topic) and a prenup. So I balance my need for sex against my desire to maintain a proper moral state. If I fall off the celibacy wagon now and then, I refuse to beat myself up about it anymore.

    The culture is what it is, I’ve taken the red pill, but I refuse the bitterness that permeates the manosphere. No one will say it to me, but I know in my parish they think there has to be something wrong with an older single man who attends Mass and serves communion. The heck with them, I will not beat my head against that wall when I’m having more success outside the Church.

  30. noelleflowers February 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    @ the Aardvark Captivating does not equal Jesus is my boyfriend. Captivating promotes an intimate relationship with God and Jesus. The very relationship He desires to have with all of his children. It tells women to stop taking their questions of self-worth to men, and start taking them to God. Similarly Wild at Heart encourages men to have an intimate relationship with Christ and to understand his purpose for them in His greater plan.
    God created Adam and Eve to serve as partners for each other and as His most treasured creations. I think it is a misinterpretation of Paul’s teaching to say that, marriage is a silver medal? And it is a misinterpretation of God’s desires for us to think he wants us to be holy. He wants us to have a relationship with Him and to love Him. Then because of our love for him we will want to obey, we will want to do those things that are pleasing to Him. It is not good works or holiness that determine our connection with God (Peter denied Christ three times!), but it is our desire to have a relationship with God and to seek him with all our heart.

  31. Priscilla February 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I tried to read Captivating, but it just got to be a little too much for me. I have often been accused of having too high standards when it comes to guys because I’ve never been interested in dating someone who wasn’t a Christian. I had always hoped that I would meet someone at church. The problem that I face, and that I hear from other single girls, is that there aren’t really a lot of single guys that come to church. I’m at a loss as to where you are supposed to meet these guys.

  32. Hermit February 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    @ Balderdash:

    There is nothing biblical about not desiring sex. God doesn’t expect us to constantly be at odds with our biological nature. He gives us a framework of rules to use our natural human desires to ours and His advantage. He may ask us to deny our base desires for a short time. But for our base desires to be completely missing doesn’t make us more Godly, but it does make us less human.

  33. The Aardvark February 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    @noelleflowers – Thank you for your gentle correction. I was going by what I read from others. But to apply “romance” to our relationship with God our Heavenly Father is to call upon a false concept from the Middle Ages, wherein lies danger. I am trying to imagine Paul or Peter, or James-the-Less teaching the Gospel in such terms. It smacks of the Gospel bowing to our empty imaginings and feelings, rather than our bowing the knee ourselves. This invites a Scrooge-ish response from me, whereby if I could work my will, I would close the mills that churn out this sort of teaching. I will sign up for “Be ye holy as I am holy.” before I sign up for “And it is a misinterpretation of God’s desires for us to think he wants us to be holy.” I’ll take His word for it. I believe this is correct for both men and women. One more bleat: Why this Balkanization of believers? Gospel for men, gospel for women, books and Bibles for every imaginable sub group. I await “The Left-Handed Glockenspieler’s New Testament”. It seems that religious media and publishers are doing their level best to promote dis-unity along with a big black bottom-line.

  34. noelleflowers February 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    @aardvark I didn’t mean to say that God doesn’t want us to be holy. I should have been more clear. I only meant that our relationship with him is not dependent on perceived holiness or good works (this was more in response to certain other comments I had read) but rather our constant seeking of Him, which should- as you pointed out- lead to a life that attempts to be holy as He was. I feel the rest of my comment puts that initial statement in context, but I see how on it’s own it can be interpreted to mean something different.
    I still stand by the idea of romance with God. I understand some people may have a hard time of separating a sexual connotation with romance and that is not the message of Captivating or Wild at Heart, but rather a heroic or fantastic romance, one of purity and integrity. The disciples laid down their life to follow Christ, and gave up their earthly lives in defense of Him and his message. That sort of devotion isn’t motivated strictly by a desire to be holy (though part of it), those are the actions of men who very much loved Christ and God. I think there is a thread of romance that weaves throughout those stories.
    Standing in the middle of the mountains or on a beach at sunset, these vistas are/can be very romantic settings whether you are by yourself or with a friend or gf/bf or wife/husband. God created those for us. So again I see a thread of romance that God has built into the world specifically for us, but I completely understand if that is not the connection you make.
    As far as the comments about books directed at men vs women, I disagree with you there. I don’t see how that is hurting us or God’s message as long as people ultimately stay in scripture and the gospel. The way children relate to God is different than how an adult relates to Him. Having a Bible that is tailored to them can be very helpful in spreading the Word. I remember growing up I had a Bible that highlighted certain verses or had sections that explained the social context of certain passages to make it easier to understand. Similarly I think Men and Women are very different in how they relate to each other and also to God. I don’t see the harm in ministries that may address some of these differences, again as long as it is in the context of the Gospel.

  35. balderdash February 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    To the married I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord) A wife should not separate from her husband. A husband should not divorce his wife…Because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife and every woman her own husband…Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time to be free for prayer, but then return to one another so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. Now to the unmarried and widows, I say it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do but if they cannot exercise self control they should marry for it is better to marry than to be on fire. Now in regards to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord but I give my opinion as one who is trustworthy. Time is running out. For the world in its present form is passing away…I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband. This I say for your own profit; not that I may ensnare you, but for that which is appropriate, and that you may attend to the Lord without distraction.

    I was referring to people that are living in a manner pleasing to God, the definition of holy.

    Being celibate is not a gift. A gift would be walking on water, being incredibly smart, or being able to fly. Celibacy involves will power that is achieved through the free will God gave you. Temptation was created by God and it is our duty to resist it. Life is a short time period compared with the rest of eternity in the afterlife; it wasn’t supposed to be easy you should earn it.

    Again, I didn’t say there was anything wrong with marriage. I repeat, silver medals are really good. It seems this is on the verge of idolatry with waiting for the “perfect” one. This was my whole point of why as a church the frame of reference should be changed from waiting for the one.

    I imagine involuntary celibacy would be hard (I thank you), along with most everything else that is involuntary. Historically the environment we are in will account for a significant number of misdeeds. During Roman times when the emperors were very naughty the society as a whole became very naughty, but when a Roman emperor that was good became emperor the rest of society became better. This is why monasteries are one sex in the middle of nowhere, to get rid of temptation. Further, nothing is hard if you truly believe without doubt.

    To each his own. As it says in the Bible if you have slightly differing views on what it is to be Holy, like being vegan, it is better to not cast doubt on another than to be “correct.” All that matters is if we truly believe we are doing what God want us to do we will be ok.

  36. reneamac February 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Don’t forget about the christian romance novels. They’re a major factor in this narrative too.

    I’m also reminded of Lauren Winner’s honest and insightful book Real Sex; particularly:

    “Too often we assume that contemporary American sexual life is a one-dimensional world of licentious prurience. Yet it may be more important for contemporary Christian ethics to constructively engage secular romanticism [as opposed to dishing out our own, more dangerous version of it] than to righteously denounce sexual libertinism.”

    Loved this, Haley. Thanks for posting it.

  37. deti February 9, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Gabriella: It’s unfortunate for you to take such a utilitarian approach to marriage. Your husband is supposed to represent Christ to you — leadership, covering, protection, provision, lover, friend. Surely you derive intimacy, trust, and love from him and provide those to him? Marriage is not decades of romance and flowers, but it’s not all drudgery and work, either.

    Priscilla: The men of whom you speak were driven from church years ago. They heard pastors preach and yell at them to “MAN UP and stop playing those video games!” They heard pastors like Mark Driscoll yelling at themt to wife up the “reformed sluts” who would simply divorce them at the drop of a hat. They heard pastors preaching Mother’sDay sermons extolling the virtues of mothers; and Father’s Day sermons deriding and excoriating men for failing as fathers and as men. They attended church with girls of their age who would not give them the time of day and openly laughed at them when those men meekly approached them for dates. They attended church as young men with single women who are so ultrahypergamous that no man alive could possibly meet their expectations. They asked out these women, only to be shot down with publicly humiliating nuclear rejections. These women made crystal clear that the church men they knew were never going to be good for anything. Too old. Too bald. Too fat. Creepy.

    That’s why you can’t meet any men at church, Priscilla. Your pastors, mothers and sisters drove them out.

  38. van Rooinek February 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Being celibate is not a gift

    The Bible plainly states that it IS a gift. And that not all are given it.

  39. van Rooinek February 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Priscilla — I have often been accused of having too high standards when it comes to guys because I’ve never been interested in dating someone who wasn’t a Christian. I had always hoped that I would meet someone at church. The problem that I face, and tha

    That’s the RIGHT kind of high standard. That, and no sex til marriage. (The latter actualy got me rejected by some “Christian” girls back in my single days.

    t I hear from other single girls, is that there aren’t really a lot of single guys that come to church. I’m at a loss as to where you are supposed to meet these guys.

    Maybe it’s geoographical, but here in California, my experience was nearly always that there were vast excesses of single guys. It always amazes me to hear people from other regions saying the reverse. Come to California.. or Alaska, which I hear also has a big man excess.

    Or get on the internet. I met my wife on the internet. 10 years, goin’ strong.

  40. van Rooinek February 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    PS…Priscilla, another thought…. Maybe in the Bible belt, there’s a certain degree of social pressure to go to church, and church is the glue that holds civil society together, So perhaps a lot of the women at Bible belt churches are there out of social conformity?

    Here on the west coast, it’s the opposite. There’s no social pressure to go to church at all., and if anything, the pressure is the other way: NOT to attend church. So it requires a certain degree of either antisocial defiance, or aspergerish indifference, o be a Christian here. Since men excel at these things, perhaps that’s why the west coast churches attract more men? At any rate, the best sex-ratios I’ve ever seen here were about even, and more often, there was an excess of single men. (That is, among the TRULY single. Divorced women are another matter…the churches are overflowing with those.)

    I once organized a singles event (sushi night) for the 30+ set at my old church. ALL the men who showed up, were never married, no kids yet, had decent jobs, and were in reasonable physical shape. ALL the women, were either divorced/separated mothers, or hopeless fatties. As for the divorced mothers, such women usually don’t want any more kids — whereas the never married guys want kids of their own — so even disregarding the theological problems of remarriage, from a purely pragmatic perspective that match isn’t going to work.

  41. LibertyBelle February 10, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Random thought since Driscoll was brought up in connection with the dearth of men in churches. It is my understanding that the highest demographic at Mars Hill is single men. At least that’s what I remember hearing him say in a sermon some time ago.

  42. helvetica February 10, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    “So I have my fun outside and with mostly non-Catholic, non-Christian women.” etc.

    Comments like this make me hate, hate, hate the “christian” manosphere men and unfortunately it’s all too common, along with lamenting the lack of female virgins to marry. Let’s break down the (il)logic for a second:

    -Feminism is bad, and has corrupted a whole generation of women (agreed)
    -leading to the problem of involuntary celibacy (um, if you’re not married you’re supposed to be involuntarily celibate)
    -So to fight that I’m going to have sex outside of marriage (what? since when does anyone else’s behavior justify disobeying your religion?)
    -I can’t find a virgin (maybe they don’t want you, ever think of that?)

    Anonymous x lists Dalrock as a sycophant/rationalization for his behavior, and I think Dalrock is way off base in telling young Christian men to “get some experience” and then hold out for a virgin (I’ve actually gotten in fights with Dalrock about this before). Although, to be fair, if Dalrock weren’t there, they would have found another sycophant/rationalization.

    There are still virgin women around, and they probably fall into one of three categories:
    1) a sheltered woman (hasn’t had the opportunity yet)
    2) an unattractive woman (no one wants to)
    3) an intentional virgin (a NAWALT).

    Staying a virgin is tough, and by definition, a NAWALT is going to have to take significant steps to remain so, which includes:
    -not snuggling alone with boyfriends
    -keeping the physical affection brakes on
    -not consuming media intended to arouse
    -turning down lots of dates with guys that won’t respect her sexual wishes to remain chaste, basically resigning from the standard sexual marketplace
    -going through a strict vetting process of potential boyfriends

    In this vetting process, she is going to determine whether she and the man have similar values, which includes values about chastity and sex.

    Men, especially “christian” men who “have fun” with nonchristians, are going to the trash bin because they don’t have shared values.

    So, boys, in following Dalrock’s advice, you have just made yourselves terminally unattractive to the very women that you want and think that you deserve. Have fun cleaning up that mess.

  43. deti February 10, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Helvetica:

    “I think Dalrock is way off base in telling young Christian men to “get some experience” and then hold out for a virgin”

    I don’t think that’s Dalrock’s position. What I’ve read from him is that the moral Christian position for men and women is to be chaste. But in this SMP, if a young man wants sex, pragmatically speaking, his being unmarried should not impede or restrain him. From a pragmatic, practical standpoint, he need not restrain himself if the women around him don’t restrain themselves. “No sex before monogamy” from a woman’s standpoint is pragmatic, not moral — because in this SMP no sex before monogamy provides the best chance for her comfort and sexual success. No sex before monogamy has no moral component.

    The only MORAL position is no sex before marriage.

  44. deti February 10, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Helvetica:

    And I’ve never seen Dalrock explicitly tell young Christian men that they should sex up women and then when they want to get married, hold out for a virgin. (

    BTW, your statement above is the functional equivalent to what we see from so many women, including nominally Christian women: sex up the badboy alphas, then when she wants to marry, hold out for a beta provider she laughed at years before when he asked her out. When so many women, including nominally Christian women, are following this strategy, how can you fault men for following its natural complement?

  45. deti February 10, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Van R:

    I live in the Midwest in a small metro area. The single men in church are considered misfits. The single women don’t want “good Christian men”. To a single Christian woman, single Christian men are boring, unattractive mama’s boys. To a single nonChristian woman, unmarried Christian men are either invisible or Bible thumping judgmental prigs.

    I tried it Helvetica’s way. I tried dating single Christian women. Today’s young single Christian women are so incredibly ultrahypergamous that no man alive could possibly meet their expectations. Here were their responses:

    1. Public nuclear rejections. I have been laughed at when approaching Christian women.
    2. Blunt rejections: too old, too bald, too fat, not good looking enough, creepy, boring.
    3. LJBF.

    So I’m not too sympathetic to Christian women who lament the lack of good Christian men to date. Yound single women in church are the reason most young men aren’t there –that and the incessant shouting at ment to MAN UP!!! My response — Man up for what? For whom?

  46. deti February 10, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    If single Christian women are serious about their faith and about finding Christian men to date and marry, they might try:

    1. NOT turning down dates with men who DO respect her sexual wishes to remain chaste
    2. NOT laughing in men’s faces when asked out
    3. NOT publicly nuclear rejecting Christian men
    4. NOT breaking bad on the men they reject
    5. NOT responding after a date with a lame “LJBF”
    6. giving Christian men a chance

    I’m frankly growing weary of the complaining from Christian women about how there are no men to date. Um, yes there are. It’s just that single Christian women don’t want them. They want the men all the other women want. Then when a Christian man tries to bump up his attractiveness, to the Christian women he’s a cad, a jerk, “not a REAL Christian”. I call BS.

  47. helvetica February 10, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    ” how can you fault men for following its natural complement?”

    Because everyone is responsible for their own behavior?

    “From a pragmatic, practical standpoint, he need not restrain himself if the women around him don’t restrain themselves.”

    The Bible is clear that it is correct to follow MORAL principles, not pragmatic principles, and there is no excuse for doing otherwise if you want to be a christian. It’s completely ok to do what you are doing as long as you don’t wear the label of Christian because then it just makes the rest of us look bad.

    “I tried it Helvetica’s way.”

    What do you think “my way” is? Do you mean the Bible’s way? So you tried it and it didn’t work huh? So you are saying that God is wrong and his way doesn’t work then?

    “So I’m not too sympathetic to Christian women who lament the lack of good Christian men to date. ”

    I wasn’t, I was pointing out that YOU AREN’T ONE.

    “I’m frankly growing weary of the complaining from Christian women about how there are no men to date.”

    I wasn’t doing that. There are some. You and your ilk have disqualified themselves.

    Deti, you are reading into my comment a lot of things that aren’t there. Your comments about Christian women are all true, I don’t disagree with them at all. My point is that men like you are part of the problem and blind to the negative effects of their own behavior. You got your defenses up for an attack that didn’t happen, which tells me a lot about you.

    I realize that around these parts it is taboo to criticize the choices of the almighty MGTOW and that when you try to talk sense into them they scream “Hamster, Team Woman, B*TCH” etc.

  48. The Aardvark February 10, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    “HOW CAN A NORMAL, FLESH-AND-BLOOD MAN COMPETE WITH GOD FOR A WOMAN’S SWOONS?”

    If this is a quote from the book, it completely invalidates anything else the author has to teach, because it ignores God’s reasons for creating us male and female, to complete one another. If God is my rival for my wife’s affections (and I recognise this situation comes up in dysfunctional religious families), I’m not gonna be very happy with Him. He may be a jealous God, but he wired me to be jealous as well. This will not bode well for my future Christian relationship with Him.

    This also smacks of the cultic teaching that the Father actually visited Mary and had sex with her to produce Jesus. “Virgin Birth”?” I do not think that means what you think it means….”

  49. deti February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Helvetica:

    “Because everyone is responsible for their own behavior?”

    Exactly. The problem is that too many Christian women want to be absolved of the consequences for their misbehavior, including rejecting good Christian men.

    “The Bible is clear that it is correct to follow MORAL principles, not pragmatic principles”

    Agreed. And those moral principles include treating Christian brothers with love, not with the hatred and contempt so evident in your comments.

    “Do you mean the Bible’s way? So you tried it and it didn’t work huh? So you are saying that God is wrong and his way doesn’t work then?”

    I’m saying I respected Christian women’s STATED intentions to remain chaste, and got jack squat for it. That says more about supposedly Christian women and about me than it says about God or His Word.

    I don’t think you are in any position to say whether I was or am a good Christian. Glass houses, stones, and all that.

    Nor are you in any position to qualify or disqualify me or other men.

    Have you ever wondered why there are so few men in the churches? Have you ever considered what women could do to improve their lots? Have you ever considered kindness and charity toward your Christian borthers?

  50. deti February 10, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Helvetica:

    “My point is that men like you are part of the problem and blind to the negative effects of their own behavior.”

    What do you mean “men like you are part of the problem”? Men who try to be obedient to the Lord and try to find a wife in the Church because that’s what we are told to do so as to be “equally yoked”? That makes me “part of the problem”? Men who get laughed at for sincerely wanting to date someone who is (mis)represented to me as a “Christian woman”? That makes me part of the problem? Men who marry and provide for a wife and children for 15 years and try to teach Biblical principles? That makes me part of the problem? Men who take the red pill and look with clear eyes upon the mating and dating situation at churches? That makes me part of the problem? Men who point out the folly of the current “reformed slut” phenomenon ? That makes me part of the problem?

  51. The Aardvark February 10, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    “As far as the comments about books directed at men vs women, I disagree with you there. I don’t see how that is hurting us or God’s message as long as people ultimately stay in scripture and the gospel.” — noelleflowers

    That is the real point: IF people are staying in the scripture and the gospel. That the church is being increasingly divided into sub-groups, with special teachings and books aimed at their specialness, appears to fly in the face of the scriptural call for UNITY (note that I did not say “uniformity”) Peter producing a “Fishermen” series, or Paul a “Tentmaking for the Kingdom” seminar appears just as reasonable, yet they did not do this. The Gospel brings all different people, Jew, Gentile, bond, free, male and female into one tent, as it were. So in the things we accept as “Christian teaching”, we must weigh that teaching against the whole counsel of God’s Word (not just some pithy quotes here or there) to see if it is found wanting. It is not fun, or sexy, or exciting, or whatever current spins of the Gospel message are supposed to be. It is necessary, otherwise we wind up just like the culture that we are to stand against, that threatens to subsume us. From what I am reading here and elsewhere, it appears the culture has a head start.

    I must go work on my “Christian Screen Printers” series, now…

    (Haley or whomever, you may find my current blog post more what you were expecting. The Carmen Miranda thing was just…different.)

  52. deti February 10, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Helvetica:

    “when you try to talk sense into them they scream “Hamster, Team Woman, B*TCH” etc.”

    Where did I say anything about hamsters or “Team Woman”? Where did I call you or anyone else a b*tch? You’re the one who screamed in here blasting away with rhetorical automatic rifles in both hands.

  53. The Aardvark February 10, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I was re-reading the comments to be sure that I am “getting” all this. I ran across this gem:

    “Except for a tiny number of faithful Catholics – including what the Bishops are fighting over now, and a few traditional protestants, the Christian media believes in the same sterile use-each-other for pleasure as anyone in the secular media, only limits it to within marriage. Yet the same christians accept divorce (what God has put together?).” — tz

    I recommend C.S.Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”. He deals with this pointedly and well.
    (Actually, I recommend the whole trilogy! Audiobook reading is excellent, too.)

  54. anonymous x February 10, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    @van Rooinek: I must caution you that not all churches in California are teeming with single men. I have lived there and I can tell you there are not so many as you think. Further, most of them are the leftovers after the rest have been driven out. Definitely YMMV.

    Such are the “assumed” qualities of those remaining single men that many Catholic and Christian women are left asking where are the single men? As if we were invisible. Well I can tell you some of us still attend … but the single women don’t pay attention to the single men in their midst, that is my experience so I date outside. Those Christian women who think I’m part of the problem, hey I’m just responding to the treatment I’ve received at the hands of your sisters… you might try looking in the mirror.

  55. noelleflowers February 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    @aardvark “HOW CAN A NORMAL, FLESH-AND-BLOOD MAN COMPETE WITH GOD FOR A WOMAN’S SWOONS?” This isn’t from the book. Again I think you are turning it into something that it very much is not. As I said before, there is nothing impure about the romance the book talks of. It simply is encouraging a deep and intimate relationship with God and Christ. I think you should try reading the book or even Wild at Heart, before you continue to make assumptions about it that aren’t there. You may read it and still feel the same way, but I’m pretty confident you won’t.
    And as far as the other discussion. Does your church have a men’s ministry and a women’s ministry? A children’s ministry and perhaps a High School ministry? Mine does. I have not seen this negatively affect unity within the church.
    While Peter didn’t create a fisherman series nor Paul a tentmaking series, I do remember Paul writing a number of different “letters” which are pretty prominent in the New Testament directed at different groups of people. His messages to them were different enough and specific enough that each has found an important place in the Bible. These letters and teachings didn’t create disunity, they created unity. Writing books in an attempt to guide women and men to better understand God and Christ and his desire to love us and us Him I don’t see how that leads to disunity.
    Pastors across the country give varying sermons each Sunday, these are based around some passage or teaching pulled from scripture, but depending on the pastor the way the message is told is going to be different. The way that each member hears the story and what he/she pulls from the message will also differ in varying degrees depending on where they are in their walk with God or what struggles they are enduring at the time. Should we have Pastors and ministers read strictly from the Word and not include any sort of explanation or message along with it?
    And C.S. Lewis (an author I also highly recommend) is okay but John and Stasi Eldredge are not?
    I want you to know I am asking these questions earnestly and I hope they don’t come across as snotty or bratty. I’m genuinely trying to understand your point of view.

  56. The Aardvark February 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    I will eventually need to get some work done.

    “HOW CAN A NORMAL, FLESH-AND-BLOOD MAN COMPETE WITH GOD FOR A WOMAN’S SWOONS?” This isn’t from the book

    Thank God. I am endlessly comforted. (really.)

    there is nothing impure about the romance the book talks of.

    The issue is not purity vs. impurity. It is one of pedigree. “Romance” as we think of it today derives from quasi-adulterous dalliances in the courts of the Middle Ages. Not altogether certain that this is the wisest model to use. (Yes, I know that the authors are not advocating adultery. My concern is that we are dealing with a very special Biblical topic, and using a quite profane medieval game may not be the best course.

    It simply is encouraging a deep and intimate relationship with God and Christ. I think you should try reading the book or even Wild at Heart, before you continue to make assumptions about it that aren’t there. You may read it and still feel the same way, but I’m pretty confident you won’t.

    I am doing what I can. My wife and I have been reading what excerpts we can to get a feel for the work. I am not disposed to make the investment in a book that I have no real interest in itself. Perhaps it is my Scottish and Presbyterian programming asserting itself.

    The author’s assessment of Eve was sufficient to make me very…uncomfortable.

    I am also wondering at the “deep and intimate relationship with God and Christ” business. I am in my fortieth-or-so year of my walk with Jesus, as is my wife. We neither of us have found anything lacking in our relationship with Him, walking as we have by faith in His Word, and trust in His promises. I do not find the canon speaking in these terms, and this, too, makes me nervous about the whole idea. The Gnostics taught “deep secrets” in the first century. The whole flavor of this issue tastes Gnostic to me.
    AHA! I just discovered my root problem with the teachings.

    And as far as the other discussion. Does your church have a men’s ministry and a women’s ministry? A children’s ministry and perhaps a High School ministry?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, no.

    While Peter didn’t create a fisherman series nor Paul a tentmaking series, I do remember Paul writing a number of different “letters” which are pretty prominent in the New Testament directed at different groups of people.

    I’m sorry, but this made my head hurt. Paul’s “letters” did not subdivide the church into odd little groups and subcultures. They were directed to Christians living in different geographic areas. All Christians, having different problems in their congregations. This has no bearing on my point at all.

    Should we have Pastors and ministers read strictly from the Word and not include any sort of explanation or message along with it?

    I am just quoting this sentence to represent your preceding thoughts. You are using a reductio ad absurdum argument here, caricaturing my ideas with a ridiculous extreme..
    Of course not. My problem is with the teachings by Stasi Eldredge as presented on this forum. If they are in fact solidly Biblical, and as pure as the wind-driven snow, then I shall repent in dust and ashes.

    OTOH, maybe our churches could use a good dose of men of God reading God’s Word at length from the pulpit, and eschewing overmuch comment on it. Perhaps there would be a few less of Man’s Real Good Ideas bollixing up the works. I have this ca-RAZY idea that if we read the Word, then strive to do it (we who are in Christ) we will be further along towards pleasing our Father in Heaven.

    And C.S. Lewis (an author I also highly recommend) is okay but John and Stasi Eldredge are not?

    Yes. He is. Because I say so. (I kid, I KID!) He made comments in a book that were congruent with sound biblical teaching. The congruency of the Eldredge books are what is open for debate. The Bible is our manual for matters of faith and practice. It says itself that “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2Pet.1:3-4 How do we have knowledge of God? That which lines up with God’s Word is acceptable, that which does not, is not. (And I am not talking about “The Bible doesn’t mention cars, so we should all walk or ride donkeys” foolishness.) What the Scriptures address, we should agree with in its teaching. If we teach something OTHER than what the Word teaches, we are in peril. So, too, when we go beyond what the Scriptures teach or require.

    I too, am in earnest, and not being snarky. Just winsomely humorous.Or jerky. I never can tell.

    Bottom line. I am not some sword-and-sandal Bible Luddite insisting that we walk around with sheaves of Scripture papyri clutched in our sweaty palms, railing at passers-by on the corner. It is just that when “some new thing” pokes its head up, something that does not immediately square with biblical, historical doctrine, the little robot in my head starts flailing its arms, shouting “Danger, Danger!”

    Perhaps medication would help…;^)

  57. noelleflowers February 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Fair enough. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t think the Eldredges stray from scripture or infer something other than what is written. But I understand where you are coming from with the medieval references (though this is not the connotation I have when I think of romance, I think the term has evolved to mean something more along the lines of a deep desire to connect with a person emotionally and I also associate it with beautiful and wonderful things) and the negative association you make with Gnostic teachings. There are a lot of people in the church that can go to church on Sundays for years and never really know God, never quite get what it means to have a relationship with Him. For me the Eldredge book is simply encouraging others to seek Him with all their hearts.
    And as far as the rest of the discussion. Again we’ll have to agree to disagree. I have always gone to churches that have men’s and women’s ministries (as well as general bible study groups) and special programming for kids (Vacation Bible School) and weekly fellowship activities for high school students. So for me it seems a very natural organization, rather than a division of sub-cultures.
    I just want to assure that I am aware that Paul’s “letters” were to people in different geographic areas “and did not subdivide the church into odd little groups and subcultures.” Though at that time in history the mere fact that the “people” were in different geographic areas would have meant they would be different culturally. They may have been part of the Roman empire but there would still be major cultural differences that existed among them. I was just pointing out that Paul took the time to address each of these people separately and while he still is based in scripture and the teachings of Christ, his messages to each were unique enough unto themselves to warrant separate books in the bible, rather than just writing one letter and sending it out copies to all the different churches. I don’t think we should pander to different “groups and subcultures” but I can see the benefit of sometimes addressing differences amongst the masses. With the Eldredge books, though each is directed at Men or Women they are actually meant to be read by both genders. The point of both is to bring people further along in his/her walk with God. Which at the end of the day, I think, promotes unity as brothers, sisters, and followers of Christ.
    I hope your head stops hurting (or I just might have made it hurt more, though unintentionally). :)

  58. van Rooinek February 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    NOT publicly nuclear rejecting Christian men

    Indeed… because the guy you DO want, might just well witness the putdown, and decide never to even try with you.

  59. The Aardvark February 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    O.K.

    The pain went quickly enough, thanks. I made hot and sour soup for supper. When it’s home-made, it fixes anything. (Note to self. Send batch to Middle East. Other note to self. Use beef instead of pork.)

  60. jack February 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Helvetica demonstrates Deti’s point, and in the most satisfying way possible, by descending into shrieking caricature of the very type of woman she denies the existence of.

    Thank you, pumpkin, from the bottom of my heart, for being – well, exactly what you are.

  61. jack February 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    By the way, HellVetica,

    Your post is teeming with typical shaming language, which means that you feel that your points are so weak that you had to go after Deti personally.

    Strengthen that weak mind of yours, girl, lots of men left to argue with. Learn to argue like a man, maybe you’d be taken seriously.

  62. Aunt Haley February 11, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    jack,
    I’m getting tired of getting your childish, antagonistic responses to others in my inbox. Start responding like an adult, or I’m sticking you in moderation.

  63. helvetica February 11, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    “Men who try to be obedient to the Lord and try to find a wife in the Church because that’s what we are told to do so as to be “equally yoked”?”

    You aren’t doing that. You aren’t being obedient. That is the point.

    “I don’t think you are in any position to say whether I was or am a good Christian. Glass houses, stones, and all that.”

    Um, all I did was take your own statements and compare it to what the Bible says, and found no match. You aren’t a good Christian if you are banging girls before marriage, end of story.

    You said that because of the current situation with men/women in the church, that bad womens’ behavior somehow makes it ok for you to disobey the bible. So basically you think that certain hard-and-fast biblical principles are null depending upon certain socio-temporal norms? Like, it’s ok to be loose now because the bible is outdated? If that is the case then heck just ditch Christianity completely since it’s obviously “not working for you”. Do us all a favor already.

    Look, even if the world went to crap tomorrow (which it may well), you would still be required to follow biblical mores. I don’t care what slutty women in the church are doing. I don’t care if the modern church goes down in flames with the rest of the world, that doesn’t change the rules for you.

    And kindness, compassion my butt. Maybe you need the ugly truth shoved in your face for a change. Conviction much?

  64. van Rooinek February 11, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    “Men who try to be obedient to the Lord and try to find a wife in the Church because that’s what we are told to do so as to be “equally yoked”?”

    You aren’t doing that. You aren’t being obedient. That is the point.

    Indeed, he’s not being obedient, and your criticisms of him are 100% deserved.

    However… I must tell you, in my single days I WAS obedient in this area, and so were a lot of other Christian guys I knew, and we STILL got treated like garbage by the Christian women single women we wanted to date/marry. Pretty much every complaint made on this thread, is 100% accurate.

    And although I in no way excuse his sin, the Bible also teaches that we can be stumbling blocks to others, assisting them in their sin. There’s no sin in rejecting a man because you’re honestly not interested, but patronizing/shaming/publicly humiliating rejections of men who politely ask you out, certainly ARE sinful and have inspired a lot of good men to give up on church women.

    Also…. extreme hypergamy, holding out for a guy with the looks of Brad Pitt and the money of Bill Gates, is arguably a sin not only against the normal guy you should be marrying, but against YOURSELF. Some Christian women really need to rethink their “lists”.

  65. van Rooinek February 11, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    sorry for the copy paste error… ,that can happen when a 6 year old is climbing on you, begging you to play youtube dinosaur videos…

    bye for now

  66. Priscilla February 11, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Wow…this turned so ugly. I was just saying how things are at the church I attend. I go to a smaller church and for a while now there have not been any single guys come. I’ve thought about visiting some of the larger churches in the area, but I love the church I attend.

    I think it’s sad that people have such bitter experiences with trying to date other Christians. I can only speak about my own experiences. Like I said, I have only ever been interested in guys who were Christians and sincere about their faith. My dad never attended church with us, so it is important to me to marry someone who would be the religious head of the household.

    For whatever reason, I’ve never been in a position to meet a lot of guys. On the off chance that I would, they were usually already dating someone. Things start to look rather grim when I think about the fact that because of my major I mostly go to school with women and will work with mostly women when I graduate. I don’t think that I would consider myself as being extremely picky when it comes to who I would date. Of course I would want to be physically attracted to the person, but I think their personality plays a pretty large part in their overall attractiveness. The person I hope to date is someone who shares my beliefs, makes me laugh, can provide for his family, and who I enjoy spending time with.

    One of the reasons I love reading the responses on this site is getting to read proof that there are still Christian guys out there who are looking for girls with morals. I’ve been labeled as too sweet and innocent for most of my life, so it’s nice to see that there are guys out there who would find that quality attractive.

  67. Laramie Hirsch February 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    @ anonymous x

    I hear you about the difficulties of trying to date within the Catholic Church. I’m a 12-year convert. For a decade, I tried to meet fellow Catholic girls, but there’s always this subtle aloofness about them. Perhaps they’ve decided to only marry doctors. Either way, American Catholic women likely have no interest in you whatsoever. If you can’t fit into the clique, then you’re stuck holding your…

    Too easy, that one.

    But seriously. I, too, desired to only date a woman who was Catholic. But there’s just this strange phenomenon with American girls (particularly in my neck of the woods) which puts the odds against you. And like you, I ended up dating outside the Faith for all that time.

    Vox Day was discussing this blog post on his site, and I decided to give it mentions over on a forum that I frequent. Anonymous x, if yer interested in perpetuating a dialogue, I’ve over at this thread here (with Haley’s permission [good post, btw]):

    http://www.cathinfo.com/catholic.php/Womans-perspective-on-being-single-in-your-30s

    Take care.

    -L.H.

  68. jack February 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Responding to like with like.

    Besides, antagonism is so often viewed as a pejorative term. Kind of a pity, really.

  69. deti February 13, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Helvetica:

    “You aren’t doing that. You aren’t being obedient.”

    “You aren’t a good Christian if you are banging girls before marriage, end of story.”

    “And kindness, compassion my butt. Maybe you need the ugly truth shoved in your face for a change. Conviction much?”

    All I did was point out how men are treated by women in Church who claim Christ. Look at the nasty, vitriolic personal attacks from Helvetica here.

    Is this “speak[ing] the truth in love”? Is this encouraging one another and building each other up?

    And people wonder why good Christian men look for women outside the Church. And people wring their hands over men leaving the Church in droves.

    Helvetica, the rules are the same for you too. “Speak the truth in love.” “Wives, submit to your husbands, and respect them.”

  70. van Rooinek February 13, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    For a decade, I tried to meet fellow Catholic girls, but there’s always this subtle aloofness about them. Perhaps they’ve decided to only marry doctors. Either way, American Catholic women likely have no interest in you whatsoever.

    x 1000000000. In Evangelical churches too….

    Just remembered, an incident from my single days. A bunch of us singles, who all knew each other from church, were hanging out at a Denny’s one night. In the course of the evening, one particular girl piped up with the usual mantra: “There aren’t any Christian men out there…”….and I almost burst out laughing because I happened to know for a fact, that there were THREE (3) sitting right at the same table, who would have jumped at the chance to be with her — but she wasn’t interested in any of them. Yet somehow the fact that she was surrounded by solid Christian men who wanted her — but whom she didn’t want — didn’t translate into, “I haven’t found the right one”, but instead, “Good Christian men don’t exist”. I have encountered this phenomenon on other occasions but this was the most egregious. The women literally do not see the men they don’t want, and so imagine that there are “no men”. They claim they are not asked out by Christian men, but they ARE…. yet, they say, “Nobody’s asking”, or ” Only nonbelievers are asking – what am I supposed to do, sit at home and be lonely on Friday nights?” (Um, yes, that’s what the Christian men you rejected,are doing.)

    This selective female blindness, plus the fact that in my experience, there are always plenty of lonely single men around church circles, makes me highly skeptical of Christian women’s claims that there are “no good Christian men” around. Unless the demographics are radically different in other places, there are LOTS of good solid Christian men around. You just PREFER to hold out for Brad Pitt with Bill Gates’ credit card. But at the end of the day, you’re single by choice. So STOP this “no good Christan men” nonsense. If you’re tired of being alone, marry one of your beta orbiters. He’ll treat you like gold.

    Truly, truly saith the old Spanish proverb: The best is the enemy of the better. The “God’s best” meme, prevents a lot of good men from even gettting onto the girl’s radar screen.

    Also… holding out can backfire in another way. When “God’s best” (Brad Pitt with Bill Gates’ credit card) fails to appear, or fails to find her interesting, or is so besieged with excess female attention that he falls into sin….. then, in frustration, anger, or loneliness a Christian woman may break down and start dating…. nonbelievers, or marginal believers who are sexual hypocrites. Badboys in other words, The “Denny’s girl” did exactly that, and eventually moved in with the guy and dropped out of church. Feeling that “God”, or “Christian men” have let her down, because “God’s best” has not appeared, the girl falls all the way to the other extreme. So she swings like a pendulum between the unattainable, and the sinful….and concludes that all men are bad. Then she complains to Pastor Driscoll, who ends up scolding the wrong men.

  71. Smithborough February 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    “…….Then she complains to Pastor Driscoll, who ends up scolding the wrong men.”

    You saved the best line to last. :)

  72. Jennifer February 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    “HOW CAN A NORMAL, FLESH-AND-BLOOD MAN COMPETE WITH GOD FOR A WOMAN’S SWOONS?”

    Good Lord, Haley, that was never her point. You chose a few lines out of her book, which deals greatly with how women relate with men, and woman’s UNIQUE relationship with God. Give me a break.

  73. Jennifer February 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Deti, a husband cannot be his wife’s spiritual covering, nor is he told to emulate Christ in all ways to her. In fact, that brings us back to the whole husband-as-Christ thing. In fact, some of the most hardcore traditionalists have the most unrealistic pictures of men, presenting them as God’s mouthpieces, and sometimes the prophet of the family. Some of them have even appointed husbands as disciplinarians of their wives, as well as spiritual saviors, of course. Too much of a load on men too, actually; it’s not just the seculars who have bad expectations.

  74. Jennifer February 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Altogether, Haley, I do agree with your general points. I don’t want a prince, just a normal person, like me.

    “when you try to talk sense into them they scream “Hamster, Team Woman, B*TCH” etc.”

    True, but Deti wasn’t doing that; he was speaking of people who treat good men nastily. And those women are rotten eggs, fouling the area up for everyone. And they don’t just do this to men: I’ve been watching a YA show, “Make It or Break It”, about female gymnasts. One girl, Lauren, was spoiled and rich, with personality problems and a mother who abandoned her, then died shortly after trying to reconcile with her. Lauren, however, becomes so ridiculously villainous that by the end of the 2nd season, you couldn’t care less about her personal conflicts, because she’s stabbed every person near her in the back at least once. Including her father’s Christian girlfriend, Summer, who took a lot of crap from her in the hopes of helping her be saved from herself. Lauren finally opened to her, after insulting, snubbing, and mocking her, then decided she wanted her so badly that she hurt others to keep them from “taking Summer away from her”. Summer almost left her behind for good, but then at the end of the season, Lauren weepily confessed her latest backstab to the last person she hurt, he immediately forgave her, and Summer was thrilled, because Lauren appeared to have received repentence after once again getting NO punishment. I was furious; I sympathize with people from hurt pasts, but I didn’t want one more darn person turning the other cheek to this brat; she’s exactly the type who screws people over then runs back crying later, especially if she needs them for some reason. All I wanted for her was a good, hard, SLAP in the face.

  75. kimbo81 February 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    van Rooinek… Your story may as well be mine – in reverse. I’m in an evangelical ‘circle’ where several of us are single. It’s the men in my world who whine about there being ‘no good Christian girls around’. There are plenty of us, myself included who would go out with them if given the chance, but their eyes… and I mean all of them are focussed on one girl in particular. With whom many have tried, and thus far all have failed (yes, one who says she will never ‘settle’ because she’s waiting for God’s best).

    So as much as I agree that women historically (especially in the church it seems) have held on to unrealistic expectations, so do the men. Maybe a shift has happened, maybe not. All I know is I’m walking this story out. And it bites to be on this side of the conversation.

    As far as Captivating and the like is concerned… I tried to to read it when it came out. I got halfway through chapter 1 and never picked it up again. I put aside my princess ideals a long time ago.

    But stil… apparently a regular Joe is too much to ask for so long as the [actually] unattainable is [seemingly] still available.

    Relationships and the way it’s viewed in the church has a long way to go.

  76. van Rooinek February 14, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Your story may as well be mine – in reverse. I’m in an evangelical ‘circle’ where several of us are single. It’s the men in my world who whine about there being ‘no good Christian girls around’.

    Back in my single days, i might have asked for your email address, LOL!

    There are plenty of us, myself included who would go out with them if given the chance, but their eyes… and I mean all of them are focussed on one girl in particular.

    Saw this with a guy I went to church with. Normal physique, normal looking, decent guy, smart and hardworking…but so were a lot of other guys there, yet ALL the girls wanted him. A grand total of nineteen (19) women had such powerful unrequited crushes on the guy that they actually sought ***counselling*** over it! (One of the church counsellors, turned out to be the girl he eventually married, which is how we found this out.) There must have been many more who felt the same but didn’t go to the counsellors about it.

    As long as I live, I’ll never understand it. He was a great guy, to be sure, but there were a lot of others of his caliber. Why all the focus on him? It makes no sense. Til better evidence is discovered, I willl chalk it up to pheromones.

    Nobody got married at that church for years. As soon as he got engaged, there was a sudden rash of dating, and then the wedding bells started to chime.

    With whom many have tried, and thus far all have failed (yes, one who says she will never ‘settle’ because she’s waiting for God’s best).

    Betcha she’s really, really good looking. Now imagine a church FULL of women like her, Malibu beach babes and aspiring actresses. And ALL the girls are getting pursued like that, and ALL of them are turning the guys down. Add the vile IKDG madness (which I dissect in a post here: http://ikdg.wordpress.com/, scroll down to van Rooinek) and you’ve got a recipe for really toxic singleness..

    So as much as I agree that women historically (especially in the church it seems) have held on to unrealistic expectations, so do the men.

    For men it’s purely sexual: “If I only ever get to have sex with ONE woman… she’d bettter be worth it.” Especially if the guy is still a virgin. Saying nothing personal about you, since I don’t know you, but for MANY Christian women, the best possible romantic advice I can give, is “cut carbs and hit the gym.” And dress just a little bit sexier (Alte’s blog can help you there.)

    [AH: This message got caught in the spam filter. Use a legit email address next time.]

  77. Blair February 14, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Kimbo81 and others who have experienced cruelty from girls they have tried to pursue I am sorry. I myself have never seen that level of bitchiness from my friends. I have only had two guys pursue me in the last ten years and I gave both of them shots. One guy who saw me at work and asked me out asked me if he could take me out to coffee. I went out with him but found out he was in the middle of a divorce and I did not want to get in the middle of that not to mention I am very much against divorce. The other guy was a good friend of mine for years. He started to pursue me and at first I told him I was not interested but not because he was too beta it was because he was a HUGE flirt. After several months of seeing change for the better I became his girlfriend. I broke things off after about month for several reasons. The first reason was that he had lost his job and was not making any serious effort in finding a new one. Second reason was that he was growing in affection for me but I was not growing in affection for him. He is now with a great girl who is crazy about him and I am happy to see him happy. Most of my friends give most guys that ask them out a chance. The one exception is my friend who is at least an eight. She gets asked out all the time and turns down almost everyone, but even she does so gracefully. I could tell you stories of how many times I have been flat out ignored by men, not even worth a hello. I made the choice not to become bitter because that solves nothing. Nobody wants to be with someone who is bitter. I would also suggest guys getting turned down all the time ask themselves these questions. Are the girls your asking out out of your league? You always say we women are waiting for the “perfect” guy, are you looking for the perfect woman? Also are there legitimate reasons why women should turn you down? I am overweight and am working to lose the weight. First to honor God, but also to be more attractive. Are there things that you need to work on? I am writing this to try and encourage and help I do pray that God brings you guys wonderful, godly wives.

  78. samsonsjawbone February 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    I am overweight and am working to lose the weight. First to honor God, but also to be more attractive. Are there things that you need to work on? I am writing this to try and encourage and help I do pray that God brings you guys wonderful, godly wives.

    More of this, please, folks.

    Also, I recently found out that Jacob Fink’s stage name is “Cubbie”, which I think helps clear things up.

  79. Jennifer February 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    We already knew that Samson, and what does it clear up?

  80. Aunt Haley February 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    van Roo–
    You just PREFER to hold out for Brad Pitt with Bill Gates’ credit card.

    Now, now, now…Brad Pitt with Brad Pitt’s credit card is going to be perfectly acceptable for most women.

    Jennifer–
    If you’re going to disagree, you can quit the condescending, eye-rolling scolding.

    van Roo–
    What do you recommend for “dressing sexier” for Christian women? Due to all the modesty admonitions to church girls growing up, it can be difficult for them to de-frump.

    Blair–
    Rooting for you. :)

    samsonsjawbone–
    Also, I recently found out that Jacob Fink’s stage name is “Cubbie”, which I think helps clear things up.

    RECENTLY? Someone hasn’t been reading the comments at the thread that will never die.

  81. jack February 21, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Key to the discussion is for women to realize the following:

    1) Men and women are equally sinful

    2) Culture, throughout human existence does not universally accept that truth

    Look at Muslim cultures. They have a somewhat inverted, although entirely more intense reversal of Western cultures.

    In Muslim nations, it is womens’ nature that is regarded as base and in need on being tightly controlled. In their cultures, men are seen as higher-level beings.

    In feminized Western cultures, men are seen as dirty and lowly. Women are angels who occasionally fall, but whose motivations are always honest.

    This is one reason why radical feminists do not routinely criticize hard-core Islamists: just showing professional courtesy.

  82. Canadian Reader March 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
    This saved my sanity! THANK YOU!

    Seriously, I was nodding and cheering the whole entire way. This was the one issue I had with Shannon Ethridge’s “Every Young Woman’s Battle”. Can God provide for your emotional needs? Yes, but not to an extreme. He is NOT going to be your boyfriend, He is a FATHER and KING, and and since emotional needs can so easily segue into sexual needs, if taken too far this could lead into some very dangerous and erroneous beliefs that at worst are sheer blasphemy (just look at Mike Bickle from IHOP’s “He is Jealous for Me” and try not to barf at the sexual terms used to describe our relationship with God). That makes God sounlimits like the Bacceneli (sp) than God, an the thought of that makes me ill. As someone who used to eat up all this stuff like Eldredge’s, and subsequently caused so much damage to her first real boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that she (yes, I’m a woman) shipwrecked it, I totally agree with this, especially with the whole “late until the late 20’s” thing (my number one beef).

    Don’t get me wrong, God will provide for your emotional needs, and He’ll provide for your sexual needs too…BY SENDING A HUSBAND/WIFE. After all, when Adam needed his emotional needs met (he wa lonely), God didn’t step in and try to fill the gap Himself. Rather, he created Eve for that purpose. ‘Nuff said.

    P.S. Not going to lie, the fact that not two replies down somebody described Staci and John Eldridge as “Christian Mystics” I wanted to laugh out loud. That’s got to be the biggest oxymoron since “painless dental food”. The moment someone is described as a “mystic”, it’s the first big indicator that Christians they ain’t.

  83. Canadian Reader March 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    *painless dental work. Aargh, the typos. XD hopefully you can still see where I’m getting at.

  84. Silas Reinagel March 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    @Canadian Reader:

    I don’t know what particular brand of heresy you happen to subscribe to, but I don’t see how anyone who considers themselves a Christian or even human can possibly believe that there isn’t a certain amount of mystery and wonder in Christianity. Perhaps you should consult a dictionary or utilize a little humility before you spout off ignorant and factually flawed opinions.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mystic

  85. Canadian Reader March 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    @ Silas Reinagal:

    I do apologize if the tone of my post came across as crass. :( Sorry. That being said, when I see the words “Christian Mystic”, you have to realize that the term “mystic” itself comes from the New Age (as your link states the first two definitions are) so when the phrase “Christian Mystic” comes into play, for me, the term is synonymous with “Christian New Ager”, and that simply cannot be. God will not take such a mixture.

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 KJV)

    From the sample of Staci Elridge’s book that Haley’s shown in the post (thank you Haley), the Eldridge’s use of scriptures make me think that they are this type of mystic, one which the Bible warns of many times.

    Now, as for there being some sort of mystery in the Bible, we will never be able to fully know God on this side of glory, I agree with that. To say, however, that God is mystical is false, for it states in the Bible that “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”(2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV). What is more, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV) There is no mystery of God that is not revealed in Scriptures (though we may not understand those scriptures, being only humans. I know I always don’t.)

    Does that clarify my statement a little bit? :)

  86. Canadian Reader March 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    *using scripture out of context. Sorry again. :(

  87. Silas Reinagel March 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    @Canadian Reader:

    Fair enough, I would concur that New Age beliefs don’t seem to coincide with what Christianity teaches.

    Concerning what the Eldredges write, I wouldn’t say that they are perfect (no human is perfect), but they (John in particular) offer some excellent insights about Biblical masculinity and femininity which seem to be lost by the church.

    In general, I find that most of what passes for “christian” teaching on the topic of dating and romance is absolutely atrocious and far from Biblical.

    That said, I would challenge you to consider what you actually know about God, either from the Bible or from other sources. While I would grant that the Bible speaks truly concerning God, it certainly doesn’t tell us much. Therefore, the rational and humble stance is to recognize that we know very little about God and that there is more that we do not know concerning God and spiritual aspects of life than that we do know. There are many mysteries concerning God that are neither explained by the Bible nor comprehended by human minds. For example, I doubt you could even give a solid and complete answer to the question, “What kind of being is God?” We simply don’t know. Therefore, someone who truly believe in God must also recognize that Christianity and true religion is irrefutably a mystic experience, in at least some dimensions.

  88. Andrea July 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Going back to the “where are all the godly guys/girls” subthread, I go to a graduate student Bible study with a bunch of engineering guys and a few female scientists, social scientists, and female physicists/engineers. One of the girls had done a Masters in Communication and is now going to Physical Therapy school. Someone asked why she’d done a Masters in Communication initially, and I said that a lot of Christian girls (meaning conservative Christian) go to grad school hoping to get married and not need to use the degree. One of the guys goes “Where are these girls?”
    Cue awkward silence.
    Every girl I know in the group wants to get married. I don’t know of any of us who would ultimately put career in front of marriage to a good man. None of us are riding the carousal or expect to marry the Christian Brad Pitt with Bill Gates’ money (to my knowledge)…
    If the guys are unaware that we’re interested in marriage, it’s because it’s just awkward to admit that to a group of guys. Not to mention most of the guys in the group say very little about being interested in getting married. As my grandmother pointed out, there doesn’t seem to be much marriage potential in that group–which is a pity, as there are a number of very good, smart, and fun guys in it.

  89. Samson J. July 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    @Andrea: Great comment. Your “awkward silence” story is funny, but totally unsurprising.

    If the guys are unaware that we’re interested in marriage, it’s because it’s just awkward to admit that to a group of guys.

    Of course it’s awkward. You’re in a tough position, really. As hard as it is for girls to believe, young men are really, really, really oblivious about these things unless you spell it out for them… but of course you don’t want to have to do that.

    I remember in my final year of undergrad, there was a girl at my church that I was interested in – until I talked to her for a few minutes at a church barbecue and she told me her plan for the next few months was to “look for a job” in her field. That’s right, I gave up on her and figured her for a “career chick” because she didn’t get all romantic with someone she hardly knew and tell me she was looking for a guy to make babies with. I Didn’t Get It.

    So rest assured, when a young woman goes to physical therapy school, after already completing a Master’s Degree(!), that is an ear-splittingly loud signal to the young men that she’s not too interested in marriage right now – even if she is interested. Young men Don’t Get It that you’re only in school to meet someone.

    Not to mention most of the guys in the group say very little about being interested in getting married.

    That’s because they don’t think you’re interested, because they see you pursuing all these graduate degrees. It’s a terrible situation all round, which is why, whatever else might be true about Boundless, I do think they are at least doing a service in promoting the “marriage is good and should actively be pursued” message.

  90. Andrea July 31, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    For the uninitiated, here’s a primer on conservative Christian girls and grad school:

    -If she’s working on any Masters degree (including science), she probably wants to get married in the near future. She’s getting a little more education so she can have a decent and interesting job. After all, marriage is not guaranteed, and most intelligent women would rather not work at Walmart/McDonalds/Starbucks for the rest of their lives.

    -If she’s working on a Masters in something not-very-lucrative (communications, TESOL, sociology, theology), she almost certainly is hoping to get married and not have to have a big career. She simply is trying to fill her single years and defer paying student loans, while perhaps qualifying for a better job if she doesn’t get married.

    -If she’s working on a PhD, she probably wants to get married. Perhaps not in the next year, but certainly within the next 2-5 years. She also probably would like to have children eventually. For guys who are looking for a SAHM, Miss PhD will probably want to work some, but she _is not necessarily tied to having a big career_. She IS very likely willing to compromise on work in order to have a family.

    -Real-life data: Out of about eight girls in my conservative Christian graduate school acquaintance, only one definitely doesn’t want to have children. .I only know of one girl who is thinking of becoming a professor (and she’s married). All of us want to get married.

    Sources:
    Boundless articles/comment threads.
    My acquaintances and friends in the Purdue chapter of Graduate InterVarsity

  91. Samson J. July 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    For the uninitiated, here’s a primer on conservative Christian girls and grad school:

    This is great stuff, but I confess I don’t know how to get it out there in the broader Christian culture (which is what needs to happen). It’s the sort of guidance that parents should be giving to their children, but aren’t.

    And, it is absolutely the kind of stuff that young men don’t realize; the kind of stuff that I realize now, but didn’t until I was, say, thirty years old or so. We used to have a female friend who was pursuing a Master’s degree, and my understanding of this girl underwent an evolution over the course of our friendship. By the time she was ready to move to a different city, I fully grasped that she was “putting in time” until she could find a husband… but I didn’t understand that when I first knew her. If I had known, I could have made a better effort to introduce her to people.

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    […] summarizes the Churchian summary about marriage: It seems to me that Christian media sets only as high a bar a anticipation for Christian women as […]

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