Crazy Things Church Leaders Say & Do

What is it like for a single woman over 50 at church? “Rejection is a deep wound.”

Single women, church, rejection, alone, SINK

 

A comment from “Love” came in on an older post and I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. This woman’s voice probably represents many women who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.

6096758500_465ceaa962 single women in church

I wonder if I am the only Christian single, childless, 50-something, woman in the whole world who is not really focused on finding a man to marry. I can relate to other single women who have been made to feel like they have no place of significance in the church. I’ve even being asked not to attend a church that I poured my heart and soul into because the pastor thought “single women are a scourge on the church.”

I am involved in a much more loving church now, but I still feel somewhat isolated not only for being a SINK, but also for being older. Many contemporary churches don’t seem to have a place for older people, especially the very old. There are only a handful of people my age or older (all married), in a large church of 20-30 year olds. I do love the worship services, and take part in women’s bible studies and service projects (because they pretty much have to talk to me then 🙂, but any of the church social activities are just too emotionally painful.  Rejection is a deep wound.


Love’s words show incredible pain: “no place of significance,” isolated, rejection.

She also described spiritual abuse by a pastor who labeled single women as a “scourge on the church.” This makes me sick. That certainly was not a healthy place for anyone!

How can the church do better in this area? Are there any singles over 50 who have some thoughts or ideas to share?

348 thoughts on “What is it like for a single woman over 50 at church? “Rejection is a deep wound.””

  1. Lea said,

    I disagree with you, though, in that I think the overcorrection to an extent was necessary, but should have stopped short of making fun of anyone who didn’t have sex. That’s prevalent enough in popular culture.

    If Christians want to let other Christians who’ve fallen into sexual sin know that God can forgive them of that sin, I can tolerate that.

    But Christians now have taken it too far, where they don’t just say, “God can forgive you of a sexual sin” …

    …but
    (here’s the over-correction, which is, far as I can tell, also un-biblical and not in line with orthodox Christian views on sexuality)…

    “God can forgive you of sexual sin, and, but, virginity is really, really dumb, and it’s nothing but an old-fashioned, out-dated patriarchal construct, so just ignore it. Virginity has no value and doesn’t matter. Do what thou wilt.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep. And don’t forget, “If you’re a virgin and not a liar, you must be arrogant beyond belief, self righteous, making an idol of your celibacy, a frigid ascetic and a godless Roman Catholic as well.”

    I like Roman Catholics and have dated one. Nick was one of the few nice men I dated. My guess is the emotionally healthy Christian singles tend to be Catholic. A lot less virgin shaming where your church leaders are expected to be celibate. And child molesting and adultery occurs with all our “godly married men” ordained to serve the Protestant churches.

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  3. Rachel said, “And child molesting and adultery occurs with all our “godly married men” ordained to serve the Protestant churches”.

    Remember the Catholic Church sex scandals around 15 years ago? As I recall, a lot of them happened in the greater Boston area (where I came from originally, but I’m not living there now). I heard that some Catholic Churches in that area had closed because of the scandals. And, as far as hearing the scandals is concerned, it’s probably only a fraction of how much of it really went on.

    I had been hit on by Catholic Priests. And I have known other guys that it happened to them, too. One guy told me that he was struggling with homosexuality when he was 15 years old. He went to confess it to the Priest. The Priest, at that time being about 50 years old, asked him if he wanted to make out.

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  4. Rachel said,

    Yep. And don’t forget, “If you’re a virgin and not a liar, you must be arrogant beyond belief, self righteous, making an idol of your celibacy, a frigid ascetic and a godless Roman Catholic as well.”

    Yes, that is a nice summary of 95% of Christian bias, insults, and misconceptions about adult virginity that I’ve seen out there.

    I really loathe the Christians who say if you’re a virgin past 25 or 30, you have made virginity into an idol. Let me see if I have this correct. I was told as a kid that sex prior to marriage is a sin. I read the Bible then and now, and yes, it does seem to say that.

    So, because I’ve followed an historic Christian doctrine on sexuality, some Christians automatically deem me an idol-maker?

    Anyway, another common falsehood or two you can add to your list of bogus garbage many Christians say about virginity and celibacy:

    “You must have the gift of singleness!” (or “the gift of celibacy.”) The GOC (gift of celibacy) is so misunderstood.

    I am celibate because I have practiced self-discipline this long, not because God “gifted me” with it.

    Tied in with that is this mistake idea by Christians that celibates do not have a sexual drive, because God wiped it out when he supposedly “gifted us” with life long celibacy, so only “special people” can be virgins past 25 years of age. Wrong-o!

    Anybody can sexually abstain into adulthood.
    It’s not a given or inevitable that anyone who experiences sexual desire will act on it, or has to act on it.

    But anyway, I dare say many to most adult virgins experience sexual desire.

    God does not magically wipe away Libido from celibates, so I do wish Christians would stop this stuff about, “Oh, you’re a virgin over 30 years old? God gave you the gift of celibacy (and must’ve removed your libido.”)

    By the way, it’s not a gift I want, even if it were “a gift.” No thanks. I’d rather be married having sex with a spouse.

    About the idolatry thing. Christians really like to put you in a double bind on many topics, this is another.

    Suppose you’re a single adult like me who says you’re tired of being single and celibate.
    Some Christians will say you are making celibacy or virginity a sin (just by being a celibate or virgin because you’re following Biblical precepts and teachings, I don’t see how that works – any way -).

    The Bible does say it’s better to marry than burn with lust (not that I can make a spouse magically appear).

    So, these Christians say you’re making your celibacy an Idol, but when you confess to very much wanting to be married, they then get you with the list of Single Bingos:

    “You’re making marriage an idol. You should be content in your singleness. Jesus is your boyfriend, the Lord is your husband. As soon as you are content in your single status, that is when God will send you a spouse.”

    You’re supposedly making idols either way – whether you are a celibate single OR a single wanting marriage. You cannot win no matter what you do.

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  5. It certainly happens Tom.

    But marriage is no guarantee that it won’t. A wave of similar scandals is about to hit the Evangelical Protestant churches.

    Maybe they have just done a better job at hiding it. A former youth minister of mine has been found guilty of molesting teenage girls. Married man. If men want to molest little kids how is marrying an adult woman going to help?

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  6. I just remembered something that I saw a day or two before.
    Above, I said:

    …but
    (here’s the over-correction, which is, far as I can tell, also un-biblical and not in line with orthodox Christian views on sexuality)…
    “God can forgive you of sexual sin, and, but, virginity is really, really dumb, and it’s nothing but an old-fashioned, out-dated patriarchal construct, so just ignore it. Virginity has no value and doesn’t matter. Do what thou wilt.”

    From this article (about a priest who preyed on kids):
    Dad ‘undressed daughter and laid her on Catholic altar’ (on New York Post)

    From that page:

    … Ridsdale [the priest] told some of his victims the abuse was “part of God’s work,” the Victorian County Court heard on Tuesday.

    (The 10-year-old’s) father carried her to the confessional booth and took her clothes off her, then carried her to the altar and lay her down,” crown prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams said.

    Ridsdale then indecently assaulted her.

    “Ridsdale told her: ‘Jesus died for our sins so we could be forgiven and if I confess to this sin I might be forgiven.’”
    “Then he kissed her on the cheek.”

    Ridsdale told a nine-year-old altar boy “God will forgive all of your sins” as he raped him, McWilliams said.

    Afterward, he told the sobbing boy to pray for forgiveness.

    There is a mentality held by some that any sort of sexual sin – from a pervert adult preying on kids – to adult- on- adult consensual acts – is, in the end, all fine and dandy, because God will forgive it. Just pray about it, and God is fiiiine with it.

    I think this attitude can make a mockery of the faith and of grace, but it’s become more common in the last several years regarding sexual behavior.

    JA blogged about Tullian T. months ago, how he abused his position as a clergy person to prey on women. Tullian seemed to preach or believe in this type of grace or faith – just go about and live how you want, because God’s grace will make it okay.

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  7. As soon as you are content in your single status, that is when God will send you a spouse

    I have never heard that virginity idol thing. I have heard this, though and think it’s bunk.

    Mostly, this topic around a persons sex life or lack thereof I pretty much never want to discuss, unless with very close friends in real life. I really think preachers should stop talking about it, unless they are in a counseling session and it is relevant.

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  8. One guy told me that he was struggling with homosexuality when he was 15 years old. He went to confess it to the Priest. The Priest, at that time being about 50 years old, asked him if he wanted to make out.

    That is terrible!!! One of the things that jumped out to me in the Keepers is that the priest would listen to confession and then use it against the young girls.

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  9. There is a mentality held by some that any sort of sexual sin – from a pervert adult preying on kids – to adult- on- adult consensual acts – is, in the end, all fine and dandy, because God will forgive it. Just pray about it, and God is fiiiine with it.

    The problem here is that they ignore the issue of consent. Which is important. Kids can’t consent. Rape is a lack of consent. Some other situations have sort of compromised consent.

    Consensual sex IS different.

    I read a great treatment of WHY this is conflated somewhere. Will have to see if I can dig this up.

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  10. You said,
    “Consensual sex IS different.”

    The idea that anything flies (sexually) because God will forgive it if one just asks after the fact is used in either scenario to justify and rationalize.

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  11. I fully agree with you, Daisy. Our sins killed the Son of God! How dare we minimize or justify ANY sin sexual or cruel? It’s all cruel because it hurts our loving Heavenly Father!

    There is a reason rape and child molesting should be illegal though. If I seek out a sex partner at a bar, I have no one but myself to blame if I wind up infected or emotionally messed up. Children and rape victims have no choice.

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  12. An Update (from my post last week; Aug. 13th) – I DID IT. I WENT TO MY OLD CHURCH THIS MORNING!

    I was not as nervous as I thought I would be in going in. I did feel a little bit shaky, but I guess that had to be expected. There didn’t seem to be many cars in the parking lot, but a lot more people inside than I thought there would be. It seemed like nothing’s changed since I left. So I felt like I hadn’t missed much. Mostly very old people there and into their cliques like before.

    I spoke to a couple of people, but that was it. They hoped that I would come back. But for now, I don’t think so. I just happen to find a church recently that I might like. But even if I didn’t find a church, I still would not want to go back there. I met with the Pastor. I had spoken to him over the phone about a couple of months ago. I introduced myself to him and he knew right away. His sermon was alright, but not as good as I thought it would be.

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  13. Another thing that’s been on my mind is that I had a health scare last Thursday night. I had a fever but didn’t have a cold. I felt hot and cold at the same time. And then I had some red coloring on my thigh that was mysterious. I went to the doctor on Friday and the doctor could not pin point what it was. I was given antibiotics. I’m doing better now, but I have a follow up appointment for Monday. My regular doctor was out, so I went to someone else. I will be seeing my regular doctor on Monday.

    After all of this I got thinking a lot about myself and for others who are in the same position in life as I am. I thought I would post it on here because this about being single and feeling rejected at church. I feel like I’m alone in the world. I would hope that a church can be like a family to me; but I have not found one. So what would happen if something serious could happen to me and I’m alone? Is anyone else reading on here feeling like this?

    Of all things, the only good friend I’ve got just left town when all of this happened to me. He’s still gone but will be back by mid-week. I hated to tell him what happened as he had called me on his trip. I didn’t want to ruin his trip.

    Two years ago I had surgery. For a few weeks after being released I couldn’t do much for myself. So I called on the church to see if they could help me. It’s the church where I met my friend. It’s that church I went to today after not going for a while. I didn’t get much help from that church. They did help, but it was not good quality. The food they cooked for me was not that good and no one stayed around to talk to me to see how I was doing. I remembered one time a woman said that she was going to come to clean my place for me. She never showed up and never called me to tell me. Is it any wonder why I didn’t want to stay there?

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  14. I thought I would post it on here because this about being single and feeling rejected at church. I feel like I’m alone in the world.

    I’m sorry, Tom.

    I feel like a huge piece of this single in church problem is that church is being looked at as a place to find deep community and it doesn’t always work. When you are married/kids there are more places to find that, I would think, naturally. (husbands friends/family, kid friends) Your days naturally fill up and you are never really alone, as you have your spouse.

    I have gotten to a place in my church where I feel that I know a lot of people, fit in, and really do feel that peace and communal vibe, but it’s still mostly church based or at church activities. I don’t randomly hang out with people on the weekends, for instance.

    Learning how to make friends as an adult is hard. It’s something I’ve really been working on and part of that is when somebody invites me to something, I need to go. (sometimes I don’t still). And actually inviting people to go and do. For me, I have to make this a conscious thing.

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  15. @Lea – “learning how to make friends as an adult is hard.” Oh boy has it been hard for me! It seems like it’s been hard for me all of my life. Yet I’ve had friends; and then think, “how did I ever do it?”. And it’s gotten harder now that I’m older. I keep on having optimism and hopes that I will someday soon stumble into great friendships and fellowships.

    They say that women have an easier time making friends than men do. I would very much agree with that. From what I’ve observed I’ve seem women be able to make friends. Women that I’ve known had made friends with another woman that they’ve never seen before. It seems like a man just can’t do that. Or if he did, then he’d be thought of as gay or a scoundrel. One time a guy told me, “women seem to blend in with other women while men have to prove themselves worthy in getting a mate or a friend”.

    There had been lots of times I remember when I would turn down an invitation. And I would kick myself for doing that. On the other hand, I had taken up an invitation, even though I preferred not to do it. When I went ahead with the invitation, I ended up feeling worse than if I didn’t do it and kick myself for it.

    Making friends has never been an easy task for me. I am very introverted. I tend to be drawn to outgoing people. Well, that makes sense because the outgoing ones tend to reach out to me. But then I would have some frustrations in being friends with them because we are just different. One time I was friendly with a guy who was a lot like me. I didn’t like him at first. But then in time when I got to know him, he turned out to be the very best friend I ever had.

    Well, I feel like I’ve got to hurry up and do something before it’s too late; that I would end up suffering and dying alone. I have many times relied on God to have Him show me the way. God will know.

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  16. BTW, Kevin deYoung was so annoyed that people watch Game of Thrones, even though he told them not to!, that he wrote a followup.

    quote:

    Don’t like it? Then don’t watch it! That would be a fine point if the argument only concerned taste and preference. But what would you say if your son tried that line in defense of his pornography?

    Did anyone tell him that all of Christianity is not analogous to his ‘child’? He is really obsessed with the fact that people have sex on the tv show. That is on hbo. /sorry didn’t know where to put this.

    Tom, I wish you luck. I would say what I have learned the past few years is that
    1. It takes time to become comfortable with new people, enough to really be yourself.
    2. It is helpful to pick up a sport, hobby or some such thing that puts you in company with others actually doing things
    3. If you can become friends with someone who knows a lot of people and holds social gatherings? Bonus.

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  17. The same thing it feels like for a good man like me that is still single today at the age of 63, even though i had been married at one time before my Ex wife cheated on me which wasn’t my fault at all to begin with. And that is what happened when unfortunately i married this low life pathetic loser that i never knew to begin with since i was very much the faithful and committed one from the very beginning to the very end. The good old days most marriages did last which was a very good thing back then.

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  18. My friend, at where I used to go to church, just found out that I went to the service there three weeks ago. I posted about that; that I was going to go to that church while my friend was out of town. My friend today notified me that someone told him I went to that church. I don’t know why it took two weeks to find out.

    My friend seemed OK with it. I would have like to explain to him why I did what I did. We talked about that over the phone. I didn’t explain myself very well over the phone. But I do plan to go see him on Monday; and perhaps I could explain it better as to why I went when he was gone.

    My friend will be leaving this Tuesday for two weeks. He and his wife will on a cruise in Norway. I will really miss him while he’s gone.

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  19. Wonder why Kevin DeYoung has never just gone TV free. I quit watching TV years ago. I only watch it as a social activity when I’m around my couch potato mother who can’t even talk about anything she doesn’t see on the tube.

    It’s not just the sex and violence, but TV is the go to hobby for idiots and intellectual sluggards. And the reason sex and violence are on TV all the time is simple. It is the perfect medium for conveying mindless emotions and serves as the modern equivalent to the Roman collessium.I recommend Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.

    Surprisingly Christians continue to rot their brains with this wasteful, non-productive activity. They prefer to whine about content, but few of them are willing to turn the darned thing OFF let alone throw it away.

    They refuse to read anything at all, except product brochures and recipes and maybe the frothiest romance novels possible. And most of them don’t read their Bibles regularly either. Rin Tin Tin and Lassie aren’t inherently sinful, but 12 hours a day of either one and you have a problem!

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  20. I thought this article was interesting.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/05/christians-are-part-of-the-same-dating-pool-as-everyone-else-thats-bad-for-the-church/?tid=pm_local_pop&utm_term=.5ea64341e489

    However, exceptions to Farrell’s age effect are apparent among married evangelicals, meaning that under-30 evangelicals who were already married were notably less permissive.

    This sounds like people who are already married judging the ones who aren’t to me.

    All this puts pressure on American pastors, operating as they are in a free religious market. How? Because it signals that they can’t count on the predictable return to organized religious life of late 20-somethings after they marry and begin having children. The return is slowed by delayed marriage.

    I also thought this was an interesting market based point that Daisy often brings up. If churches don’t appeal to single people in general, and there are more single people and they get more out of the habit of going…what happens?

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  21. I left my own comment about Christian “meat markets” and how online dating is really no worse in the selfishness it promotes than the kind you find on religious college campuses.

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  22. I feel the exact same way. Church should not be the loneliest place I go to to but it is. I’m divorced and 56. I don’t really feel there’s a place for me at
    church. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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  23. I have posted on here for quite a while. I’m still looking to find the right place for me. I go alone. It doesn’t help having social anxiety, especially being with strangers. My sister goes to a church and she just loves it. She’s married with two children. I told her that I have been looking for many years. I feel like, when I go to a service on Sunday morning, it’s like going through dirge to pay for my imperfections that I had done from the previous seven days. Or having Chemo treatments.

    Sad to say that, at some denominations (like the Methodists, Presbyterian USA, and other liberal ones), I would be more embraced and accepted if I were there with a guy holding hands and kissing him than with me going by myself. Of course that’s never going to happen. I don’t lean that way.

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  24. Have you considered inventing a girlfriend? Find a nice pic online of a woman, but no one famous. Tell everyone you are having a long distance relationship with her. Then tell them you have given her a ring and will marry soon. One month before the wedding tell them she has come down with some rare, fast-acting disease. (Look up the symptoms on Wikipedia.) Tell everyone,”My Reason for Existing needs me!” Then go on vacation claiming to want to nurse your fictitious sweetie pooh.

    Come back. Rub irritant in your eyes before returning to church so you can shed tears while you tell the pathetic tale of how your beloved sweetie pookums died in your arms. Embellish the tale with details lifted from tear jerkers like Love Story, The English Patient, A Walk to Remember, and crap off the Hallmark channel. It’s doubtful anyone will ask, “Haven’t I seen this in a movie?” due to the mass hypnotic effect of TV and movies that makes folks believe them more than reality.

    Nobody will mock a poor guy who lost his fiance. Even the biggest jerks in church won’t sneer at you for not “manning up” or accuse you of preferring Cocker Spaniels. Any single women will find “poor Tom” irresistible since your tale of woe melts their kind hearts and you aren’t afraid to weep in public (Mr. Sensitivity) and will hold their hair if they get sick and puke.

    Okay.I’m kidding. Don’t do this.

    But this silly shenanigan might work. Not sure if that’s funny or pathetic.

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  25. But this silly shenanigan might work.

    Cracked me up, but very wrong. Did you ever see Christmas in Connecticut? It’s a single woman who is writing stories in a magazine about her married life/kids/recipes and it’s all a lie and then she had to pretend it’s real. Pretty cute. Like a better acted, less annoying, Hallmark movie.

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  26. I know this is an old post, but it felt so good to find someone who feels like I do. I am 54, and single. Sadly, what I have found out, are the churches that do have singles groups are very worldly, and live like today’s culture. There is no way to comfortably hang out with married couples the men are friendly and the wives can barely smile or even barely able talk to me. It is very uncomfortable and I just don’t feel like I belong. and that is the typical people my age in a biblically based Church. Churches that are ran by a younger generation see absolutely no value in me whatsoever and I am ignored even when I wanted to reach out and help. I do not know what to do, so I go to church and sit alone. I have tried to fit in. I have gone to Bible studies, I have gone to outreach projects I have gone to introductions. I never feel like I belong I always feel like I’m on the outskirts of everything and it makes me very very sad. I am not sure if I will ever find a church family.

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  27. I don’t want anyone else’s husband. This sounds weird, but I don’t find married men attractive except in a “sidewalk sexy” way. Once or twice married men have tried to flirt inappropriately. Physically they were far from ugly, but their bad character automatically made them repulsive so I froze them out!

    Sadly I find the men are easier to talk to because we have more in common. The hausfraus are only interested in housekeeping tips, frothy romance novels, having babies, cosmetics, what pigs their husbands are, how to manipulate their husbands into not being pigs, and scandal. Not celebrity but the local community,the schools their kids attend and any church members not there. Often those “pigs” they claim to honor and obey as well.

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  28. I no longer attend church because an over 55 divorced woman has no place there. Church is only for the elderly married people or young married with children.
    In this day and age of divorce there is not one church that tries to gather us lost sheep.
    It’s a shame because this group has a lot to offer in our walk of rejection and loneliness.
    I too was once young, married and had children.
    Would love to explain to smug people it too could happen to them and to be grateful for what they do have.
    God forgives but church does not.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Stellina, some churches have large populations of widows–mostly over 50. Like you they are no longer married or young. Do you think you might find acceptance there? That is–assuming they don’t automatically write you off because you are divorced.

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  30. Got some nasty comment on my expired blog. Not the active one. Calls herself the Truth. Told me I was a failure because I had not done God’s will by becoming a wife and mother. Told me I was a feminist/modernist (She don’t know me very well!)

    Claimed to be a super success as a writer/video maker, but failed to provide links to her awesome, successful sites. She may have snagged a man and popped out some unlucky kids but doesn’t sound that successful to me. I think she has posted here and has resorted to trolling websites of other users.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be feeding Madame Troll. Just warning the rest of you.

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  31. I pity her now that I think about it. I would never mock a housewife for “failing” to finish a college degree or build a career. I admire women who sacrifice to raise kids.

    (But getting a husband and bearing kids depends on factors outside a woman’s control. This smacks of Hagar mocking Sarai and Peppina mocking Hannah.)

    People who feel successful do not say the nasty stuff the Truth did. Not the Truth In Love obviously. Ha ha.

    I hope I didn’t say something unduly harsh to her without realizing it. There was someone posting under that moniker here, I believe.

    I know Lea and others will say, “Who cares? She sounds catty and mean.”

    If she acts catty and mean that’s her problem. If I don’t act like a Christian that’s MINE.

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  32. I know Lea and others will say, “Who cares? She sounds catty and mean.”

    She does sound catty and mean. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be hurtful.

    It does depend on factors outside your control, but then again I know a number of women who got ‘oops’ pregnant and married that way. Would I get extra points if I had done that? I just think it’s judging based on stupid criteria. I want to be married, but I don’t want to be married to just anybody and I’m not going to do the things that would make that happen.

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  33. I sort of failed to master the proper techniques to “land a husband” the way other girls at Indiana Wesleyan did. A lot of these techniques involved flattery, concealing any God-given personality traits that guys find intimidating, and other forms of manipulation and borderline deceit.

    My friends who also “failed” were too smart and didn’t conceal it or play head games with guys they liked. My BFFL complained, “Guys can’t handle the truth!”

    Back in the 90’s when we were still marriageable women weren’t supposed to be “pro-active” like some arrogant married millennial condemns us for. To my knowledge even today you don’t pursue a husband the way you would a job. I’m working on the latter now. It’s MUCH easier and prospective employers don’t get scared if I’m smart.

    Plus, I don’t have to pretend or even say I don’t want the job when in fact I do. Lots of stupid head games with dating if marriage is what you want. Even if you want a Christian guy who also is marriage minded.

    Finding a hubby (especially when there are single men around) requires more dishonesty and pretense than finding a job. That should scare everybody, but it doesn’t.

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  34. Hi Rachel, It’s really hurtful when people come on the blogs and tell you how you’re sinning or put this or that label on you. I honestly think would still be single if my now mother-in-law didn’t strongly hint that I should ask her daughter out. And, yes, the church puts single men and women in a completely different category.

    I got called angry and bitter on my personal blog, and yes, I think I’m still angry and bitter and working through past issues, but this was an excuse to just label me and steer the conversation towards me rather than deal honestly with the issues that my former denomination still has.

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  35. By when there are single men around I mean before you are 22 or 23. (Sorry Tom and other single men–I know you exist, but you’re in the minority.) By the time a Christian woman turns 25 the odds are really stacked against her in a cut-throat marriage market with women outnumbering men by more than 10 to 1. It frequently turns nasty and involves major investments in time and money if you want to stay in the competition.

    The cream doesn’t always rise to the top in winning the beauty contest that precedes every Christian wedding. So does the scum. Catty, manipulative cheerleaders excel at dating/marriage games and win effortlessly.

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  36. Catty, manipulative cheerleaders excel at dating/marriage games and win effortlessly.

    This is not to say that everyone who marries has done anything like this. Some people are lucky. Some people are in the right place, or mindset. Eh.

    Someone asked me why I wasn’t married the other day which is always an awkward question, he asked if I was opposed, which I am not. I just said I supposed I didn’t pursue it actively. I am realizing looking back sometimes things don’t just happen. When I did have a boyfriend who would talk about ‘when we got married’ I was both too young to think it was ‘time’ and thinking he wasn’t the right person, because we fought too much. And sure enough we broke up.

    It’s interesting because I’ve been reading stuff about ‘incels’ and their explanations, which are geared towards sex not marriage, leave out so many things. You have to be around single people. You have to be clear that you’re interested (which is a wee bit more complicated for women then men). That person has to be available and interested back. Etc. If these things don’t just happen, which a lot of Christian thought seems to say will, you have to pursue things. Actively. And I think that’s what I didn’t really do.

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  37. This is a generalization. Just pointing out that being a catty, manipulative cheerleader type will give you a natural edge in the marriage market.

    I have had more success at finding dates–even proposals–online than off. Largely because I feel freer to be myself. Ironic, huh? When you register for dating sites, it’s okay to be upfront about wanting a marriage rather than messing around.

    Till after 40 when guys think they’re doing you a favor by taking you out to McDonalds and requiring pro bono hooker services in return. No thanks! 😛

    I’ll buy my own happy meal. Last I heard, real prostitutes charge a lot more than $3. And my soul is worth more than all the $$$$ in the world.

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  38. Online is easy in a way because you don’t have to determine if someone is single and looking and interested by paying attention, asking around, etc. You can just put it out there!

    Till after 40 when guys think they’re doing you a favor by taking you out to McDonalds and requiring pro bono hooker services in return.

    I’ve just tipped over 40 but have yet to accept a McDonalds date 🙂

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  39. Mark, I think Christian bachelors have a rougher time with discrimination than Christian spinsters. Though the odds are often stacked in their favor in Christian singles groups.

    Single Christian women are viewed as pathetic losers. Christian bachelors are often seen as predators. 😦 Or so I hear.

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  40. Hey Rachel, if you live near a Whataburger, you can convince a date to take you there this week and potentially get free food for a year!

    The #WhataloveContest is looking for ‘Whatacouples’ to share their fine dining experiences at Whataburger with the world by posting photos of themselves on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and using the #WhataloveContest hashtag. If you’re picked, you’ll win free dates to Whataburger for an entire year.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Yes, I think women as seen as potentially being too picky or odd, but I think the view of men who are unmarried >25 or so is that they have some major sin issue that is lurking under the surface.

    I was told that in a not so direct way – “God is still working on something in your life” was the euphemism. Apparently there were a number of these sorts of people who were “shocked” when I got engaged.

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  42. Mark, I am admittedly odd or eccentric and have given up on trying to normalize myself and fit in. I would if I could though. I hate being different! Lonelier than a black hole in outer space.

    Far from picky I border on desperation. Almost married an immature, needy man-child. Then later an abuser. I struggled with breaking off these engagements because I felt a dried up old maid like me was lucky to find anyone at all. Everyone in my church seemed to think so too.

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  43. It’s no better being married. Recently my priest (Orthodox) responded to my thyroid lump with this statement “Everyone has to die of something” and refused to anoint me with oil. 2 weeks later my husband developed a vision problem and the priest immediately raced to get the oil to anoint him. When I told the priest I was hurt by his indifference to my health issue, he accused me of having no compassion for my husband.

    I am also childless. When I was suffering about this, the same priest told me that God was probably sparing me having a evil child.

    It’s been shocking and extremely hurtful, but also enlightening. I believe the Lord is teaching me to be attached only to Him and not to these conflicted shepherds with their own unaddressed ignorance and sinfulness.

    p.s. I had been anointing it myself with oil from a myrrh-streaming icon that was visiting from Russia. I got the biopsy results back a couple days ago. Not just benign, but normal tissue. My doctor told me he would have bet anyone it was going to be malignant. Glory to God and prayers for his callous priest.

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  44. To June R – It’s a very mixed post that you had. That Priest really needs some kind of Spiritual attitude adjustment. I can’t understand why people can be so mean. But it had a happy ending about you applying the oil yourself and being miraculously healed! I’m sorry that I’m not understanding what myrrh-streaming icon visiting from Russia is.

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  45. I am a 55 year old single male, never married heterosexual. I have also received the cold shoulder at the Baptist Church. Celibate until 26 years old. For last 25 years I have gone to churches with no single people involved. Will receive 18 million for sale of family business. I will give tithe the Baptist Church 10 cent on how they have treated me. Thanks for letting me say this.

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  46. I stopped going to church I didn’t need gosup and I felt like I didn’t belong . So I stopped going to church.

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  47. As of now I have not been going to any church in last month or two. Sad to say that I don’t miss going to church. Though I would like to find a place that I can look forward to go to. Just like my sister has found a great place to go (I posted that last January). My sister, lots of times, will skip church because she’s very busy and tired. I think it’s a trick from Satan because the Devil wants you to stay away from good fellowship like what she has (or claims she has).

    I find that searching for churches are very daunting to me. It tires me out. And then I would go to one because it sounds good. It wouldn’t take much time for me to not like it. There are about five or six churches within a mile from where I live. I didn’t like any of them. And now there are so many new churches that crop up and are all alike. They all have to have that “hard rock” with their worship. For someone like me who is upper middle-aged, it’s not very appealing. Perhaps the churches nowadays want to have young people come in, so they try to entertain them. And then push the older people out. That’s a terrible mistake.

    It would seem like in the near future, there’s going to be a lot of “baby boomer” aged people and a little bit younger who are going to be an ideal market to tap for churches because, with the way churches are going these days, lots of them are going to be unchurched. (ATTENTION: TO THOSE WHO ARE WANTING TO PLANT A CHURCH AND HOPE IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL – READ THIS PARAGRAPH!).

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  48. 52 and still single but am a male; and because I fight a losing battle to porn I have come to the conclusion that I maybe the only man God rejected when I turn to Jesus to save me.
    Still a virgin but addicted to porn; God way of saying that i am so worthless I can’t enjoy the real thing. But I will be judge for this lowly sin.
    Not only in this life for all I see is His harsh judgment but in hell eternally.

    I have come to realize that God and the church hate singles.

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  49. LoserEJ,

    God doesn’t hate singles. I do agree that the church does have problems in how it deals with singles. Have you tried any sex addiction support groups? I have heard they have been helpful. Sometimes when you are able to get control over challenging areas of your life, you are better able to have good and healthy relationships. I wish you well. Please keep us posted!

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  50. Tom, “It would seem like in the near future, there’s going to be a lot of “baby boomer” aged people and a little bit younger who are going to be an ideal market to tap for churches”

    Statistically speaking, Baby Boomers are the most into the rock-style worship. My GenX pastor is into it because the dead church he grew up in was hymns and his reaction was to be as far away from that as possible. I think that’s a pretty typical response. Now, though, the late GenX and Millennials are turning the pendulum back towards deeper liturgical-style worship.

    I honestly don’t think this is about entertainment at all. It’s about trying to encourage an experience where people can connect to God on an emotional level, when generations before there was sort of this cold orthodox feel of going through the motions, but not really connecting. I went from a conservative church to a church with a rock band, and initially, it was pretty emotional and at some point, I started checking out of that and it went back to mostly going through the motions again, so I don’t think there is anything uniquely wonderful about different musical experiences.

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  51. Mark: Now, though, the late GenX and Millennials are turning the pendulum back towards deeper liturgical-style worship.

    I am one of those younger genx people and I adore hymns and have switched to a more liturgical style church. They also don’t yammer on about families incessantly in sermons, and people’s kids, and golf games. So that is nice.

    anna:I stopped going to church I didn’t need gossup and I felt like I didn’t belong

    I’m sorry about that. Every once in a while I hear that someone has wondered about something (like a picture with a guy on facebook) but I find it more bemusing than anything. Of course, there is a difference between curiosity and malicious gossip.

    LoserEJ, I’m not sure if you’re seeking advice or venting, but it’s possible the porn is impeding your ability to connect with people in real life. I hope that you are able to work through it.

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  52. LoserEJ, “Still a virgin but addicted to porn; God way of saying that i am so worthless I can’t enjoy the real thing.”

    NO, NO, NO!!!! God is not punishing you for this. There are good people who are married and there are wicked people who are married. If God somehow reserves marriage for those who are worthy, then how could we explain the wife abusers/wife murderers that we’ve seen in history?

    For me, two things that brought me to tears on my knees before God were suicide and porn. Marriage isn’t a magic fix-it for them either. Life wasn’t suddenly worth living once I got married, and neither did sex fix all my urges. I had to recognize when certain thought patterns started and I tried immediately to bring them before God and ask for help. Even after God gave me “victory” over porn, I still struggle with other porn-like attitudes – mostly objectifying women – and still have to check my thoughts.

    We have no idea why God is bringing you through this, but please, please don’t think that marriage is going to solve it, or that God is somehow barring you from marriage because you have unresolved sin in your life.

    Look for other outlets for your energy and try to remove the temptation. Take walks, find activities you can enjoy with others (as an introvert, I know this can be tough). Try putting your computer in a public place. Maybe buy one of the “family” internet blocking services.

    This is such a huge problem in the Christian church that now ministries are faced with either having to take a stand against it and kick employees out left and right, or figure out how to deal with the problem in-house, so you are definitely definitely not alone here.

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  53. @Mark:

    Yes, I think women as seen as potentially being too picky or odd, but I think the view of men who are unmarried >25 or so is that they have some major sin issue that is lurking under the surface.

    “Sin issue lurking under the surface” as in stage whisper: (“HOMOSEXUALITY(TM”))? Their shock at hearing of your engagement would fit that pattern.

    Long ago I came to the conclusion that Christians are just as screwed-up about sex as everyone else, just in a different (and usually opposite) direction.

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  54. Quote from Mark: Statistically speaking, Baby Boomers are the most into the rock-style worship. My GenX pastor is into it because the dead church he grew up in was hymns and his reaction was to be as far away from that as possible. I think that’s a pretty typical response. Now, though, the late GenX and Millennials are turning the pendulum back towards deeper liturgical-style worship.

    Wow! I find that very surprising! I didn’t think that anyone I knew around my age really liked that “rock” style of music in church. However, it seems like the ones around my age and older (I’m 61) didn’t care for it. I guess that I must be of the cut-off age for that kind of music preference.

    As I recall, when I was in my early to mid 20s, it seemed like Christian Rock was very popular. And those around my age, at that time, seemed to prefer churches that would have that as a format. But there were not many of those back then as there is today. I kind of liked it in the beginning when I became born again at 23. After about a couple of years, I didn’t care for the rock music of Christianity. I understand about how the music can be emotional; more so than that Traditional style. Come to think of it, I don’t recall churches trying to go into “Woodstock” style of worship back in the early 1970s. However, the late Chuck Smith founded Calvary Chapel – a place where hippies could worship when they were not accepted at churches (sound familiar about single people today?).

    At the last church I attended (which must have been about three months ago) they had two services – “Classical” & “Contemporary”. I went to the classical and there were older people there. The music was done by the “Praise Band”, so to me it wasn’t much different than Contemporary. It seemed weird to me to have a contemporary style music while singing old hymns.

    As for me, as of now, I have not attended a church in the last three months or so. I don’t miss church that much. But I feel like something’s missing. Yet, I really felt like something was missing when I was going to church. I have been doing a lot of reading lately on “I don’t feel like going to church anymore”, which I have found numerous articles about it on Google.

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  55. @Tom, Here’s a quote from a Masters’ Thesis on predicting the worship styles that a specific member would prefer:

    Since the late 1950s and early 1960s popular music has become an important way for many people to distinguish themselves from others (Frith, 1981, 1987a). Specifically, the boomer generation believed their music is what set them apart from previous generations and allowed them to view themselves in a positive manner (Hamilton, 1999). A generation that found its youthful identity in music would look for religious identity in music as well, and it was quite clear that if those from the boomer generation were to come back to the churches and religion they had previously shunned, this identity (i.e., their music) would need to come with them. And so began the Jesus Movement.

    Rock-n-roll was simple and it allowed for the expression of deep emotions. Most of all, it gave voice to values and ideas, as well as longings and anxieties. This music was, for the baby boom generation, their means for articulating their identity, marking their place in society (Hamilton, 1999) and communicating what they believed. Since music was extremely important to baby boomers and the vehicle they used to communicate, it was apparent that if they were to become involved in the church, the church needed to use music as a means of communication. Thus, Jesus Rock was born (Romanowski, 1992). Since its inception, Jesus Rock (which is better known as Contemporary Christian Music) has continued to change and reflect our society and culture.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiRwrf3ydvbAhUD4IMKHfpbDLcQFghiMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fengagedscholarship.csuohio.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1653%26context%3Detdarchive&usg=AOvVaw127fbjWx–cnm18iOCRVc1

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  56. @HUG, I never heard hints like that, but I was also being looked at as a leader at that point.

    @Tom, I think that each generation has a character that is based on societal influences and technology. I am officially X, but as far as societal influences and technology are concerned, I’m probably closer to a millennial, because my area got hit with the GenX economic downtown years earlier than the rest of the US, and I had access to technology around the same age as millennials because my dad was into tech.

    I feel like God pushed me into a new church and then let me read stuff about why people don’t attend church and I realized in retrospect that I probably was a good candidate for walking out of organized religion.

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  57. God does not hate you! He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, Whom He loved to set us all free from sin. Even the sins that latch onto us.

    Your message made me want to cry. I’m praying for you, Jonny.

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  58. Ya’ll Desiring God has a ridiculous tweet out today;

    “The best newlyweds are not people who have been chasing marriage for years, but people who have been chasing Jesus and found a spouse along the way.”

    From the same people who will tell you you’re not a real adult if not married eyeroll

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  59. Desiring God site said,

    “The best newlyweds are not people who have been chasing marriage for years, but people who have been chasing Jesus and found a spouse along the way.”

    Lea said,

    From the same people who will tell you you’re not a real adult if not married eyeroll

    They’re complementarian, I believe.

    Yes, not only do most Christians (wrongly) associate being an adult with being married (as if single adults over the age of 30 are children), but, they seem to try to define “biblical womanhood” to mean “married woman.”

    They leave no room for women who never marry or who divorce or who are widowed.

    I don’t need to be married to a man to be a woman. I’m already a woman on my own. I already reflect God on my own, sans a human man on my arm.

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  60. I have been chasing Jesus. But what if God knows i can serve Him better without a husband? I’ll just focus on pleasing Him instead of those legalistic weirdos. He knows more than John Piper and Al Mohler I guess.

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  61. I am a single man 52 years old I am single because my wife ran off with another man I try going to church but I feel like I am out of place because every one is married are 80 years old. I give up trying to find a Christian woman because I Iive in a small town and it is hard to find a women who shares the same values as I do when it comes to Religion.

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  62. Hi Bobby, You are definitely not alone! Being single in church is very very hard, I was only single until 28 and I got enough stupid comments, so can’t imagine being newly single at 52.

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  63. Hello Bobby. Sorry for your loss. Worse than widowhood.

    I had an uncle in a situation like yours. At least Uncle Ken was still in his twenties. Before he was 30 he found a wonderful Christian ed director–my Aunt Bev. They married and have 3 kids.

    I’m too old for kids and was called when unmarried. A literal interpretation of scripture seems to imply i shouldn’t work to become married. And at 45 I’m too old to burn. Lol.

    I finally am making friends at my new church. That makes a big difference. I’m fine without a husband.

    Is there a singles’ group nearby? In a larger city maybe? Maybe you could get a dozen local churches together and start one.

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  64. Try being an unmarried over-50 woman in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church: I’ve given up. One 30-something pastor was clearly afraid of me as a sexual threat, even though I dress modestly. In the other Orthodox Presbyterian Church I attempted to attend, I was treated as an object of charity, and the pastor seemed to believe that my role was naturally either to accept being the romantic interest of the fat, dumpy, needy, unmarried man who glommed on to me or else his de facto surrogate mommy. I don’t see how a middle-aged unmarried woman who has failed to marry can integrate comfortably in the Reformed church. The church meant everything to me as an unmarried woman from a non-Christian family, but I came to appreciate that it’s just as dysfunctional, superficial, artificial, and worldly as the world; I can spend the Lord’s Day more meaningfully alone than by being used by people vying for “hospitality” points. The 30-something “pastor,” a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary, whom I’ve come to dub Little Boy Brandon, never pointed me toward Christ and the Gospel but encouraged me to busy and to distract myself with “volunteer service,” as he said that he wished he could do more of himself if he weren’t burdened with family. I’ve come to the conclusion that without a husband, I have no place in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Now I know why the Samaritan woman at the well went to draw her water alone during the hottest part of the day; I’ve yet to meet Christ at the well of the church. It doesn’t matter if you’ve repented of a shameful sexual past; the 30-something Pharisaical Reformed “pastor” of my experience is no genuine pastor but a mere moralistic lecturer.

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  65. Virgin, deserted wife, or repentant Magdalene seems to make little difference. We make the church uncomfortable. 1. We don’t fit into a tidy cliche. 2. We prove you can serve God faithfully and still not “win.” Celibacy is seen as the ultimate failure in the churches just like the world. 3. We prove earthly families aren’t everything and you can serve Christ without one. 4. Our fringe lifestyles give us different perspectives which threaten the status quo in a system now notorious for conformity and mindless observance of traditions.

    What’s truly sad is the Church could and should be the ultimate “family of friends” but we need to assume proactive roles in gaining a place. In my current church the people are nice but I have to be almost aggressive if I want to volunteer in any capacity. “But Rachel you don’t have kids? Why do you want to work in VBS or teach Sunday school? What could you teach in women’s study since you aren’t doing womanly stuff?”

    Plus the women who run everything–VBS or benevolence committees–derive their positions by who they are married to. Unwed women are the lowest of the low.

    Unwed women had some things better in the middle ages. Some of the earliest female scholars and writers were nuns, not wives and moms. Hildegarde of Bingen and Theresa of Avila for example.

    Ironically the women allowed to serve in the churches I have attended are all married with kids/grandkids. Often they work too. Yet despite the lack of time it’s assumed they are the only ones fit to do anything. The couple of aging spinsters are allowed to attend and sit passively.

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  66. I’ve come to the conclusion that without a husband, I have no place in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

    I’m not familiar with that church except that it seems to be a conservative/patriarchal type? In which case you are probably right. I switched denominations to one that is more accepting of women in general and have been happy with their behavior on this issue, but churches are also very individual. I wish you the best in finding some place that suits you, if you decide to continue attending. I took a very long break before I switched denoms, personally.

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  67. Yes. Some churches take the attitude that singles should do all the work–except the plum leadership jobs. Bachelors are considered no better than women for these roles. (Plus everyone suspects them of sexual deviancy. They have it worse that way.)

    Those I have attended seem to lean the other way. Pretty frustrating.

    I have had a Catholic friend tell me they respect unmarried women. Conservative as they are, a woman does not have to marry to do things as a Roman Catholic. The second order ones–the nuns–are accepted as an essential part of the church body in their own right. Not appendages merely to some man. Except–of course–Jesus Himself.

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  68. As of now, I have not been to a church in about 4-5 months. I feel like I’m not missing anything. In fact, I feel like I have an extended weekend every week. I thought that by not going to church, I would have all kinds of time on my hands on Sunday mornings. It turns out that I am much busier on Sunday mornings than I thought I would be.

    I did go to a church one time seven weeks ago. I went to a church when I went on vacation about 2000 miles from home in a different kind of place than where I live. A much smaller town than a big city that I live in. No difference! Still felt unwelcomed. It seems like they hadn’t noticed that I have never been to that church before. No asking me questions like: are you new here, are you looking for a home church, what part of town do you live in, etc.

    As far as denominations go, I don’t see any difference in any of them. All alike.

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  69. I know how you feel. Your story is my story. I will like us to communicate. I feel I am at a death end if not the overwhelming grace of God in my life

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  70. As far as denominations go, I don’t see any difference in any of them. All alike.

    Respectfully Tom, this is probably because you are male. I find them radically different by denomination as a woman. I suspect LGBT friends would have similar comments.

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  71. It’s been validating but also heartbreaking to read some of the comments here about the life of singles in the church. As someone over 40 never married woman, I am also seen as a threat to the ‘good Christian men’ and treated as invisible.. mostly by happily married people. Since the church is supposed to be a palce for fellowship and connection, I don’t get how they can justify that – I do understand that families are busy with their own activities and ministry opportunities, but singles should be invited along as well.

    My experience sadly is that married folks as seen as the super mature Christians, who are allowed and encouraged to be active in the churches – (singles are often expected to do what married folks don’t have the time for..).. .. as if marriage itseöf would bring some state of maturity. Often, quite the contrary, at least when it comes to compassion: Those happily married and surrouned by loved ones can so easily tell us singles ‘Just look to Jesus and think of how He is your Bridegroom and fills all your needs!’ Sure, He is the Source of life to all of us who believe, but that does not negate the need for deep human fellowship and friendships.
    Those admonishments of ‘Jesus is enough’ were a bit more credible, if those ‘blind leaders to the blind’ would voluntarily try out the life of singleness for some weeks or months, including celibacy and total lack of any spousal love.. I suppose their well meaning catch phrases might be a bit quieter after such an experience.
    Personally, I believe that married folks should actively include and encourage singles – and introduce potential friendships. Not as a forced act, but as the Lord leads and opens doors. yes, God is the One who gives spouses and friendships, but I believe the Body of Christ is also supposed to do their part as a tool of His love, to reach out in support towards the lonely and rejected.

    (What is paradoxical is that in my country there is LOTS of support and love for the divorced folks, and it is not a taboo to be divorced… Re-marriage is not seen problematic at all, because, hey ‘God is gracious’. Yes, God has grace, But I would like to see some of that grace and love extended and applied to use single-never-married people as well. Instead, I see divorced Christian women openly flaunt their divorced status, and sexual prowess – ‘I have children, nyah nyah nyah you don’t …So wrong! When you are divorced, you have all the support and love, and invitations to events, introductions and support groups where you can meet new potential partners… as a single never married one, you are forgotten..)

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  72. @Lea Could you elaborate more on your comment “this is probably because you are male. I find them radically different by denomination as a woman”. I think that you may be correct but I like to hear a little more about this. Thanks.

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  73. I have decided it’s not about holiness, maturity, or virtue at all.

    It’s about proving Christians are hot, awesome superstars. Totally cool folks with enough sexual magnetism to get the girl/guy and pop out babies. It’s all about being winners.

    Christians have become comfortably complacent and get offended at insults. According to the Beatitudes unjust insults for Christ’s sake are a privilege. A lot of the New Testament speaks of contentment with the basics–food and clothes. Marriage is okay and you shouldn’t walk out for trivial reasons, but it’s not needed for holy living.

    Wretched radio actually said in one episode that in order to fulfill God’s will Christians should own land. Where in the Bible does it say that? Probably the part where Jesus says in order to be a disciple of His we must take up our wedding veils and get married before 22. (With men it’s tuxedos.)

    The Kingdom of Heaven is for Winners!

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  74. Re:

    “Those happily married and surrouned by loved ones can so easily tell us singles ‘Just look to Jesus and think of how He is your Bridegroom and fills all your needs!’”

    …. I see divorced Christian women openly flaunt their divorced status, and sexual prowess – ‘I have children, nyah nyah nyah you don’t …So wrong! When you are divorced, you have all the support and love, and invitations to events, introductions and support groups where you can meet new potential partners… as a single never married one, you are forgotten..

    (Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

    (Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

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  75. NG Re-marriage is not seen problematic at all, because, hey ‘God is gracious’.

    That’s a very dangerous way of thinking as far as I am concerned, especially in the light of what Jesus himself said.

    Abusers of various shapes and sizes could say the same thing, presuming on the grace of God and thinking that whatever they do God will never stop loving them, that their behaviour could never jeopardise their salvation, whether as evidence they never had it in the first place (Calvinists) or that they may be in danger of forfeiting it (Arminians). … ‘ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness’ … is how Jude phrased it.

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  76. Amen KAS! As James said, “Faith without works is dead.” And John the Baptist told Jesus’ future followers to bring forth fruits of repentance.

    The early American Calvinists–the Puritans–believed in perseverance of the saints but urged godly behavior as proof of salvation. Radically different from the abominable doctrines of hyper grace and “easy believism.”

    We are saved by God’s grace, through faith, for good works. Jesus has paid our ransom. Satan has no choice but to set us free. (Too many have spiritual Stockholm Syndrome.)

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  77. Abusers of various shapes and sizes could say the same thing

    I’m more worried about people trying to force a spouse to stay with an abuser than the abuser lying and asking for ‘grace’ afterwards, because they are going to lie anyway. They are going to manipulate and it appear 9 times out of 10 they will get people on their side at church.

    The danger of staying with an abuser for fear that you cannot divorce or get remarried is far more dire.

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  78. Tom, primarily talking about the patriarchal type churches. Because women are second class citizens in some churches, they always derive their status from a male in their life – the same is not true for men.

    They are also treated more suspect as ‘temptresses’, imo, in some churches.

    The treatment of singles is an issue in many churches, particularly older singles because there may only be so many and they don’t really know where to ‘fit’ you. My preference is for churches with more groups there are not differentiated by age/marital status and that seems to work for me. But there are huge difference in the way women are treated across denominations in general, and particularly as singles.

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  79. Of course we know that sometimes divorce is the only life-saving option. No one wants to go back to those days when divorced women were stigmatized. (yes I understand that in many circles they still are stigmatized..)
    I do not deny the reality of God’s grace for any life situation, and yes, it is wonderful that so many Christians have been blessed with truly godly marriages after a horrible divorce.
    My issue is that us singles are marginalized and ignored, often accused as ‘picky’ and ‘arrogant’ – unwilling to commit -, although this singleness is hardly always voluntary.
    We women are often warned and told to be careful and not marry anyone with obvious red flags – but when we have avoided those pitfalls and ‘dodged the bullet’ so to speak, there does not seem to be any validation, quite the opposite. WOmen who married abusers and divorced, are helped and supported (and yes that should be the case..)
    What about emotional support for those who had disappointments and heartbreaks, and no marriage/divorce to ‘prove’ our willingness to commit?

    My fave gripe these days: Please, chuches, please, Christians, do not forget singles. We are striving to live a clean, godly life, and are not tempresses or seductresses. We are God’s daughters who need fellowship and love just like the married / divorced people do.
    Of course, the Lord is our Father and the Defencer of orphans and widows.. which is what many of indeed feel like: orphaned and widowed, very much alone.

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  80. Not all divorces come from abuse. Some do. But two men close to me–my uncle and my youth minister had cheating wives who left simply because they weren’t 100% happy and ecstatic all the time. There were no charges of abuse and no evidence. Just, “John’s nice, but I’ve fallen out of love with him. He doesn’t give me butterflies in the stomach anymore like Bob does.”

    John probably noticed the marriage was meh and wondered why. Till Barb announced she thought he was boring, was tired of being married to him, and wanted to leave him for Bob. Cause butterflies in the stomach=twu wuv.

    If a woman is fleeing an abuser she really shouldn’t be worried about remarriage since keeping herself and her kids alive should be her priority. Once out of danger, if lucky enough to find a good man and learn to trust again remarriage may be lawful.

    Good luck finding a decent single man between 25 and 80 anywhere in Indiana. If you leave your husband you’ll live like a nun whether you prefer it or not. Might as well go unicorn hunting. Lol.

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  81. Sick of folks calling me picky. Few guys in high school or college said anything to me but insults. If any said Hi to me my head would swim with joy.

    All my friends married guys they met in high school or college. Or wound up bitter, lonely old maids too. No one asked me out either place.

    A guy I liked called me “deep.” Then he went steady with this giggly girl who wore short skirts to show off her slender legs. Christian school, but guys liked girls who showed just enough thigh or cleavage–but not too much. And they couldn’t touch it till they married you.

    Am i single because I’m picky? Maybe no man ever wanted me because I’m too deep. And my skirts were too long. The best way to land a man by 22? Become a minx, a moron, and a parasite.

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  82. Rachel, LOL. I am sure many guys have considered me a moron and all those other expressions as well.. not good enough for a real marriage relationship.
    Thankfully, during the years God has blessed me with many deep and genuine friendships with some lovely Christian brothers – just as sisters and brothers. That is the aspect I see so badly lacking in churches: Instead of dividing people into groups and categories (single / married etc), there should be the vision and understanding to see everyone as a sbling in Christ. If we cannot have that safety in the church, where can we have that and meet others in a safe, accepting enviroment?

    Funnily, I tend to see the exact opposite of your college experiences.. So many men seem to prefer very ‘plain’ (it is not a nice way to say it, but..), safe, non-threatening women.. and I know cases where the people involved even boast that they weren’t even slightly in love. Just a convenient buddy marriage.. (and then trying to function sexually with the help of books etc..) of course, folks have many different priorities. But sadly what often happens, these men begin to look around at other women when they realize there never was any sexual attraction in the first place – and at worst cases have affairs..
    While there are so many femineine, strong, sexual (no need for endless games or instruction manuals as to how to function!), passionate, loyal women in churches, praying for a husband .. and they are overlooked, seen as ‘dangerous’. ‘over spiritual’ , too difficult’ ‘overly emotional’ etc etc… shame on Christian men!

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  83. .. The stereotype seems to often be that ‘too feminine’ looking woman cannot be good ‘wife material’, as if she was to blame for her ample figure (causing the good men to ‘stumble’).. As if the ‘less generously endowed’ girls automatically were some super saints and had more spiritual depth and Christ-like character than the ‘too sexy looking’ ones… (Guess what? Many women who look ‘too sexy’ love the Lord and lead clean lives, no fooling around!)
    It has crossed my mind sometimes that in order to land a man, I should go to plastic surgery to make myself less feminine looking, more androgynic and thus somehow palatable to these easily intimidated Christian men. But nope, I quite enjoy being a woman and looking like one, thank you very much :))

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  84. All my friends married guys they met in high school or college.

    It is much easier to meet men in college or high school because there are so many around and everybody is single. You have to work a little harder when you get older I think.

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  85. Yeah. Back in the 80’s, 90’s I was curvy but NOT FAT. There’s a difference. Unfortunately Calista Flockhart and Kate Moss were the sex icons. Prairie romance novels had heroines shaped like these two. Small (but perky) breasts and narrow hips. I knew a girl who measured 32-27-34 and every guy on campus wanted her it seemed.

    I was 36-27-39. Barely noticed. So desperate for love/acceptance I tried to go anorexic at one point.

    This was a sub culture, but all the guys wanted cute but not TOO sexy. And you better look hungry. That was my last chance to find a Christian husband. Graduate without an engagement ring and you’ll be alone forever.

    Tried “internet dating” and it made me nauseated. Just a cheap alternative to prostitution. Not a man hater, just a date hater. Late life dating is pointless, stupid, immature, and dehumanizing for both sexes. Tried to read dating advice and they assume single women of 45 or 50 should be happy carousing like drunken teenagers. Weirdly I still have “indecent propositions” by attractive younger men wanting a quick bang. The whole thing makes me feel cheap.

    “You’re not good enough for love/marriage but I’ll make you my hoe for the evening. It’s your lucky night.” Don’t do me any favors, loser!

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  86. Prairie romance novels

    Snort.

    Late life dating is pointless, stupid, immature, and dehumanizing for both sexes.

    My experiences have been varied and I think the man I’m dating now (who I met in real life) is one of the nicest men I’ve ever dated! But I had to take breaks periodically online dating because it’s exhausting.

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  87. Indeed. ‘Cute but not TOO SEXY’..

    It’s so inconceivable to me that many women pay large sums of money for a breats augmentation operation.. when most guys obviously prefer the ‘small and perky’ type. This seems to be the dream wife for many men, err, little boys 😉
    It does take a real man (comfortable in his own skin and identity as a man, created by God) to appreciate a womanly sexy woman. Men at church may like to stare at my natural DD / E size bosom, but they cannot bother to make eye contact or greet me, it is as if they are afraid that I am a porn star or something similar, a questionable woman (no amount of conservative, modest clothing can hide the fact that I am a woman with large breasts) not good enough to build a relationship with.
    (they may fantasize about someone like that, but at the end of the day, choose the ‘nice and safe’..)

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  88. Maybe a “Madonna-Whore” thing? The smaller woman is the ideal wife and they can only desire curvy women brutally. To be fair men aren’t all this way. Often they stay with the Madonna when she gets fuller or even fat.

    I read women prefer ripped men. But only for one night stands and short affairs. For husbands they prefer guys just pudgy enough to look real. Looks are not a deal breaker for me, but I find the latter attractive myself. When I did the online thing I never dated a guy who posted a shirtless pic. That’s my deal breaker.

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