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Published on June 23rd, 2010 | by Elysse Barrett

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Five Reasons My Generation is Not Getting Married…and what can be done about it

I’m single and 25. I’m not a psychologist, statistician or counselor. As girls within Christian, conservative, homeschooling circles go…I am a pretty average one. I’ve got lots of friends (both guys and girls), am well-traveled, love adventure, and am a forward-thinker. I’m the girl who knew at age 8 that I was going to be a wife and momma, and who sat her Dad down when I was 17 just to make sure that if Mr. Right came along before I was 18, we’d still be able to pursue a relationship. Yet as the years have passed and friends who have desired marriage (both guys and girls) remain single, my heart has been burdened for them and the prevalence of this reality.

Because of this, I have become a student of my generation for the past five years – observing my friends, acquaintances and life in our sub-culture. Everything I’m writing stems from this observation, extensive conversations with my friends and peers, as well as folks in both my parents and grandparents’ generation. I’ve read books, statistics, queried leaders of this movement, corresponded with folks, and lent a listening ear to many friends. This writing comprises not only my observations and conclusions, but theirs as well. My purpose is not to vent or point fingers, but to give hope and a challenge. I sincerely believe that these trends continue to be seen because too few of us have spoken our minds.

My generation as a whole is not getting married. Certainly, there are some romances and marriages amongst my friends, but they are too few and far between. No one, it seems, can find “the right one,” and even if they think they have, guys and girls both are too comfortable with waiting around for “something to happen.” Unfortunately, a vigorous pursuit of a spouse is looked down upon, or at the least marginalized, and often rebuffed. Guys aren’t expected to look for a girl until they are “ready,” and girls aren’t expected to have any help in making it clear that they are available. Singleness is viewed as a very blessed gift that one must never seek to change, or at the least as an individual concern not a familial or community concern.

In a generation and sub-culture that has grown up being home-educated, usually in large families, and with an entrepreneurial mindset, and thus more prepared than ever before – at least practically – to be wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, this is a sad situation.

We’ve heard more sermons on the godly role of men and women, seen (and helped) our parents raise children (from diaper-changing to graduation), and are much more knowledgeable about the functioning of families, both internally and as they interact with society at large than the previous two generations combined. We know how to talk about a multi-generational vision, and how to interact with multiple generations. Yet as I see few of my fellow generation-ers actively pursue marriage and get married…and fewer still begin to raise families, I am convinced of two things. First, our parent’s generation deserves respect and kudos many times over for their pursuit of that which is Godly and right, and, second, something has to change…and soon!

When one views this great disparity in light of the emphasis on relationships, marriage, and Godly families that so many of us were raised in – it is even more disheartening and baffling. Now is the time to assess, draw conclusions, and take action. As I stated before, I’m not willing to see a multi-generational vision die with mine, and I don’t think the Lord is either.

Abortion and Birth Control

Abortion in America was decriminalized in 1973 and as this most radical form of birth control became accepted, other forms did as well. Though it might seem ridiculous to credit the state of so many single folks in my generation to the scourge of abortion, the reality is that the science of love and romance starts with facts and statistics. While America is not dealing with horrors on the level of intense sex-selection abortions that have impacted China to the point of importing women into their culture, it has certainly had an impact. Just as our American social security system is failing (much sooner than anticipated) in large part due to a lack of workers to maintain the pool of funds, so the amount of people in our generation today has been greatly reduced by abortion. Simply put, my generation has a smaller pool of people to choose from than my parents’ generation had.

What to do?

This is a permanent, culture-wide state of affairs…and not something that can be fixed. A good place to start is to be mindful of the impact of a few small choices on future generations. Once you are married and a parent, commit to be forward-thinking and embrace ways to leave your children and the upcoming generation in a better place than you found it.

On a practical level, as single people we can look for spouses outside of “our box.” Be open to long-distance relationships, and don’t put strict age restrictions on those you would consider to be “spouse material.” Speaking with a 28-year-old single friend of mine, she remarked that statistically speaking, abortion peaked the year she was born, and that is one of many things which has caused her to realize that God’s best for her might be someone a few years older or younger. Another friend recently mentioned two sisters who are in relationships and marrying men from England – though they never dreamed that God’s best for them would be an entire ocean away from their hometown.

Unbiblical View of Singleness

I don’t agree with everything that Debbie Maken writes in her book, Getting Serious about Getting Married, but I do appreciate the challenge she puts forth about re-thinking the pop-Christianity view of singleness. In an attempt to give singles a place in the Christian community, often times being single is not only normalized, but viewed as the ‘holiest state of existence’. However, from a historical and Biblical perspective, “being single,” especially as an extended state, is not considered healthy or normal. While singleness is certainly not to be despised, and in rare occasions the Lord will even call a person to be single for a short time – or for a lifetime – this calling is few and far between. From Genesis to Revelation, the primary mode of living as unto the Lord and spreading the gospel is in the context of marriage and families. An entire book could be written on this topic alone, but let me mention just a few examples: we are commanded to ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth’ (Gen 1:28); almost every great person in the Bible – man or woman – was married; and God rewarded those who sought marriage actively (ie – Isaac, Ruth, etc.).

Unfortunately, pop-Christianity implies, and sometimes out-right states, that being in the state of singleness allows for knowing and serving God better. I certainly grant that there are opportunities to serve as a single person that one simply cannot do once married, however there is not one shred of Biblical evidence that one should embrace singleness as a holier state than marriage. The issue here is not being single; it is a need to re-think our singleness in light of correct reasoning.

Unfortunately, because it is often viewed as a more holy state, I have seen young people – guys and girls alike – turn away from pursuing marriage, for intensely selfish reasons, and use the “holiness of singleness” as an excuse. It breaks my heart to know that they will regret that decision in years to come.

And for those who view singleness as the time of preparation (which indeed it is), far too often one is expected to remain single until they have “arrived,” whatever that means. For some, they are expected to be debt-free, for others, they must be debt-free AND have a certain amount of money in the bank. For others, it means having all their beliefs and convictions solidified.

While these are great goals and we should strive towards them while single, I see no strong Biblical basis for excluding relationships and marriage until one has ‘arrived.’ Just a quick glance back at my own family heritage demonstrates that both my parents and grandparents supported and encouraged one another financially, emotionally, spiritually, and so forth as they faced the challenges of life together…and they became not only better people, but have had stronger marriages for it. It would be a shame to rob ourselves of the joy of growing together in marriage (and the world of seeing this progression) because one or both parties must reach some ultimate point of completion or wholeness prior to marriage.

What to do?

We ought to recognize, both individually and corporately, that singleness is a no more holy state than marriage, and that marriage should be pursued as the normal state of being for which we have been created.

To that end, I advocate an attitude of pursuing marriage. Young men ought not to be afraid to pursue a girl even if they are not “Mr. Perfect,” for they never will be. Young ladies ought to inspire Biblical Manhood by pursuing Biblical Womanhood. For those who especially have a desire to be married they ought to be good stewards of that desire and not squander it on singleness. As a start, I think it is wise that young men and young ladies both seek out advocates who will help them assess someone who might be a good mate for them, and who will guide them in this pursuit. Often times, this can be parents, already married couples, and spiritual mentors. The bottom line is that marriage ought to be pursued Biblically.

A Culture that is not Marriage-Centric

This goes hand-in-glove with the last point. We live in a culture that punishes marriage as a rule. There are marriage taxes, pressures from the outside world, and very few jobs are marriage and family-friendly. In short, it’s a lot easier to pursue OTHER things in a culture that is not Marriage-centric. These things might not even be BAD things, but if God’s norm for us is marriage, then they certainly aren’t His Best for us.

Unfortunately, even in our sub-culture, when someone has pursued a marriage relationship I’ve heard snide remarks along the lines of “Well, they finally fell…guess we won’t be seeing any more of them…” and “Are you ready for the chain and ball…?” I’m saddened to say that whenever I spoke up to counter this thinking it was not well received.

Add to this the reality that there is a Spiritual component to every marriage. As I’ve mentioned before, there are few things more powerful and representative of God’s love and continuing purposes in this earth than a Godly marriage and family. Satan is never going to be content to sit idly by and watch Godly people get married and have Godly families. He’s going to do his best to thwart that pursuit at every step, and we should expect him to. I’m convinced if we as a generation considered that just maybe Satan was pleased with the low marriage rates, he might have a fight on his hands…and very soon things might look different.

Historically, entire communities recognized that for their community to continue in the future it was incumbent upon them as a whole to see the next generation married. If a person were to remain single the entire community viewed it as their failure. Today, if a person is single, it is viewed as HIS or HER problem, not the community’s. What a radical change in thinking! No wonder they’re known as the “good ol’ days.”

What to do?
The truth is that no matter what our culture embraces in God’s economy, families are the cornerstone of society and marriage is the cornerstone of the family. We must resolve to be counter-cultural, to take the harder path and quit settling for the one of least resistance. Yes, that means taking risks. It means putting ourselves in a position of possible heartbreak. But, we can do this with confidence knowing that our Lord will never leave or forsake us, and He will only allow our heart to be broken if it is within His sovereignty and for His purposes.

Pray. Pray. Pray. Don’t underestimate the efforts of our enemy to keep our culture, churches, and individual lives from being marriage-centric. The only sure defense against spiritual powers is to put on the full armor of God which begins with diligent prayer and continues to an active pursuit of a counter-culture lifestyle – including one that places every institution that God has created in its proper place.

Begin thinking with a community mind-set. Realize that a person’s pursuit (ie – YOUR pursuit) of marriage has a direct impact on the sustainability of the future of your community, belief system, and our culture. If Christianity and Christian culture is to wake up to many more sunrises, it will be because of the choice of individual people to pursue counter-cultural living, even if that means going counter to pop-Christianity.

Easy Accessibility

Another stumbling block is the easy accessibility young people have to each other – particularly young men to young women. This is a double edged sword. Without some measure of accessibility our generation can’t connect, become friends, and develop relationships. On the other hand, the ability our culture provides for easy and instantaneous connection many times serves as a deterrent for serious relationships. With tools like Facebook, cheap texting plans, and Instant Messaging at our fingertips, one can have a host of friends without really BEING a friend, or at least not a good one. For guys, this often provides them easy access to a host of girls who are more than happy to affirm and encourage them (which they should be receiving exclusively from a spouse or girlfriend). To put it bluntly, why would a guy (or girl), want to pursue a deep, meaningful relationship with one person if they can get basically “all they need” (instantaneously) from a myriad of friends who are at their beck and call? Of course, this is a poor substitute, but we are by nature lazy creatures and not prone to change our circumstances unless forced to by necessity or conviction.

For girls, easy accessibility is typically a source of much grief. As they interact with guys through these new technological modes, a girl has no way to measure the type of relationship she has with a young man. In my parent’s generation, the “rules” were much more defined. If a young man called a woman on the phone, it meant something. He was, at the very least, interested. Today, those cultural indicators have been blurred. What does a phone call, text message, e-mail, Facebook message, or any other such communication mean? More often than not it means nothing more than “hey, I’m your friend…,” and unfortunately, many times I’ve seen both guys and girls suffer from reading too much (or too little) into this type of interaction. I wish we lived in a culture where single guys and girls could interact AS FRIENDS, that both parties would understand this. But, one can’t blame a girl for wondering and a guy for being over-cautious.

Too often though, this easy accessibility and lack of understanding works to stifle what could be a healthy friendship between guys and girls. Taking it one step further, once a friendship understanding has been reached, even that has gotten in the way of what would have been Godly pre-marriage relationships. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a guy say “Oh, I couldn’t be interested in her…we grew up together, and she’s like a sister…” Well, what’s a girl to do? We are taught all growing up to treat our fellow male friends as brothers in the Lord, only to wake up single one day, hearing that type of person is not what a guy is looking for.

What to do?

Take your friendships seriously. Be sure that the people you surround yourself and invest your life in are like-minded, healthy, wholesome and edifying people…the kind of person you would want your future spouse to be.

Be a good friend by having boundaries in friendships. There’s something sacred about friendship, as it’s one of the most intimate forms of relating. In the Scriptures it was a high privilege to be known as the friend of God, and friendships of all sorts are something we take far too casually these days.

Don’t be afraid to interact. All solid marriages are built on solid friendships. A Godly marriage is never going to survive without a foundation of friendship, so don’t shy away from it, but also don’t share your deeps thoughts, desires and wishes with someone of the opposite sex.

Cover your friends and friendships in prayer. There’s nothing more powerful, and don’t be afraid to pray towards marriage on behalf of your friends, or towards one of your friends. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – God desires our pursuit of His Will for our lives, and that includes marriage for almost every person.

Divisive Issues

Satan fully recognizes the power of two people yoked together towards a common goal, and he’s not about to see that take place on a regular basis. You know, Satan is tricky. He recognizes that he’s not going to win ultimately, so just like the coward he is, he’s determined to cause as much destruction as possible in his downfall. Each marriage he destroys is another trophy. How much bigger a trophy is it when he’s able to keep two people from ever reaching the marriage altar? And what better way for him to do that than by causing division in relationships over minor issues.

My parents and I have often talked about how much they have grown in their own faith and as individuals through the differences, trials, and challenges the Lord has brought them through as a couple. The truth is that I think more often than not, the Lord brings two people together who do not see eye to eye on secondary issues and causes them to work through that as a couple, forcing their dependence and their relationship as a couple to be on Him.

One famous couple that comes to mind is Martin Luther and his wife, Katherine von Bora. Many times they disagreed on the practical day-to-day aspects of life, but they provided an example of marriage to the entire European continent within a culture that likely had more misconceptions and confusion about it as a Godly institution than we do today.

What to do?

Be discerning. Step back from situations and assess if this “issue” or “difference” you have with a person you may be interested in as a spouse is over a primary issue, or not. Make sure that these issues truly are essential ones. I’m not condoning compromise on essential issues, but neither am I going to watch mountains being made out of molehills. Whether it’s a slight difference in dress or a minor disagreement over a doctrinal issue, the point in pursuing a relationship must always be to seek God’s will, not finding every way in which it may not work. We need only to look at our hearts to find an answer for that.

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About the Author

Elysse joined American Vision in December, 2009, after assisting with two American Vision Worldview Super Conferences. With a background in event planning and coordination, Elysse most recently managed a Pregnancy Resource Center (Medical) she helped start. The oldest of seven children, Elysse enjoyed being homeschooled and grew up with a passion to advance the Kingdom of Christ. She and her father co-authored, "Fathers and Daughters: Raising Polished Cornerstones", and she regularly mentors young ladies. She enjoys hiking, world traveling, reading, spending time with friends and family, and Chai lattes. Originally from Idaho, Elysse is looking forward to serving at American Vision and living in a warmer climate!



147 Responses to Five Reasons My Generation is Not Getting Married…and what can be done about it

  1. Hope4ever says:

    What an insightful article! My husband and I have two in college now. About eleven years ago, we bought into the “courting” philosophy and encouraged our children to only date seriously those they would consider for a spouse and not date others. The problem with this was that it enouraged the boy to look for the “perfect” girl to date and encouraged our daughter to explain to boys who wanted to date her that they had to make it a consideration for marriage…of course after two boyfriends, that was an absolute disaster and she missed opportunities to get to know other young men.

    We now hope things revert to the non-pressured dating my husand and I got to experience. This was almost Thirty years ago. Guys asked girls out. Girls either accepted or declined and no one cared either way. They either hit it off or didn’t and people moved on. Guys didn’t wait for the “perfect Christian looking” girl. They didn’t judge to the extent they do today.

    I’ve even witnessed Christian guys put up facebook posts about why their not asking girls out “they need to wear less or no makeup…girls need to be just like my mom in order for me to ask them out…I need to be single and have everything set in my life before I think about dating…I’m just not in a place in my life where I can date right now…just too busy…and it just wouldn’t be fair.” You know what those are? Excuses. Arrogant excuses.

    Today’s Christian young man likes to make a list and post about the qualities his future wife will have based on his “scriptural knowledge” (usually extrabiblical legalism). They love to blame girls for the way they dress that makes them lust. Jesus didn’t blame girls first. He spoke to guys first and expected them to be HUMBLE and not point fingers. I really think Christian young men *think* they are showing respect to a girl by telling her his ultra-scriptural qualifications for dating when what they are really doing is squelching her spirit and being proud and stuffed up.

    I’m glad my oldest is now asking girls out on a random basis after he befriends them a little bit. They don’t have to be perfect. He hasn’t found a serious girlfriend yet, but at least he isn’t trying to create the “perfect spiritual woman” that simply doesn’t exist.

    Our daughter is still waiting to be asked. She’s beautiful, modest, outspoken for her Lord and her Beliefs, and a sinner…just like all the guys who are simply to “righteous” to date right now.

  2. lolly says:

    I am a Christian. I did a study of the Bible on this. For various reasons couples often are not getting a license from the government and getting officially married. But the Bible indicates that as soon as a couple has consummated a sexual relationship, they are married or united in the eyes of God, The problem is young folks are not taught this. The Church does not teach this especially to the young men. So young men run around having one sexual relationship after another, not realizing that before God they have married in union each one of the gals they bedded. Same with the gals. So there is much polygamy. Licenses are a new thing. The Church needs to step up and teach the young folks and everyone if you have sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex, you are married.
    Even the state recognizes Common Law Marriages. The original meaning of “wife” is” my woman” or “his woman”. I understand in Old Israel, it would be known a woman was becoming a man’s wife, when the woman with her things moved down the main street to her husband’s home. When the union was consummated, they were married. Even the Catholic Church grants a desolution of a marriage if it was never consummated. Even among Kings and Queens, they would sit and watch the first sexual mating of a couple to make sure their union was consummated. The problem is naiveness and lack of proper Bible education. And when a young man or woman decides to break up or divorce one they had sexual relationships with, THEY MUST GIVE THAT PERSON A BILL (PAPER) OF DIVORCEMENT. That is the way of order. Right now everything is confused. The Church(each Christian denomination) must step up and put everything back in order. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

  3. Weesha says:

    I think you need to be careful with the scripture you are using. Marriage is not a commandment by God; He has a plan for every individual’s life and how they can best glorify him (whether single or married). If you look at the New Testament, Jesus states,
    “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.a 7I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

    8To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 9But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    10To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11(but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

    -1 Corinthians 7-10

    • Weesha says:

      Sorry i meant to write Paul not Jesus who said this, as he is the author of Corinthians. :)

  4. Spirit-led says:

    There is no one formula for marrying happily. A person really needs to be Spirit-led. Eg, one young fellow I heard of, felt that he should move to another town for work. When he did so, and attended his usual type of congregation, he soon met and married Miss Right.

    Another fellow was sitting in his car at the lights when a cyclist rode past. “That’s your future wife” he heard in his inner ear. So he made her acquaintance that day, and they were soon married.

    A college girl was dissatisfied with her small Bible study group, so she switched to her friend’s group. There ‘he’ was. Happily married for decades now.

    God really works on behalf of those who truly love Him.

    Since the time is short, make sure Jesus really is your FIRST LOVE.
    That desperate determination to be married COULD be an IDOL.

    And let’s not deceive ourselves – GOD has no grandchildren. Which means that those gorgeous little bundles will likely not follow the Lord Jesus chapter and verse as YOU would like them to, once they reach the stage of freedom.
    In many families, a lot of prayer and heartache goes into getting those children truly ‘born from above’, especially in this day and age.

    Be Spirit-led !

  5. Seriously??? Is the author of this article even married??? As much as I would want to agree, being a Christian and all, I can’t but feel that this is a direct attack those who choose to be single, such as myself. I already know all the cop outs. “You’ll find the right one someday…” “You don’t put yourself out there enough…” and the all time favorite “You’ll make a lucky woman happy someday…” I have had enough heartache to last a lifetime. And seeing how my parents panned out, I won’t be getting married till Christ shows up!!! Regardless, this article in my view is bias and lack any real essence of how “dealing” with those who are single should be done. Maybe if this person suffered any real heartache, maybe they would understand…

  6. Spirit-led says:

    Thank you Elysse. So many interesting comments, too. As in every life decision, there is not one recipe for all, but God uses Scripture, and directs as HE wills, by His Spirit.
    To Wilfrid especially – as you seek God in specific prayer for your situation, He will direct your paths. Society, as a whole, even ‘Christian’ society, will not change.
    I have seen new converts determined to marry only as the Lord leads, but as time went on and no guidance (acceptable to them) came, they have either married unwisely or else taken up with someone in sin. Why ?
    Mostly, they did not know how to be Spirit-led, or, they didn’t like what the Holy Spirit showed them and turned away to an easier, more attractive, selfish way of living.

    God, in His foreknowledge, will lead you to just the right person.
    Be Holy Spirit-led.

  7. TheTruthHurtsTheRight says:

    The reason there are fewer “godly” men and women is because the delusion of god is becoming known. People are waking up to the FACT that god does not exist. Do not hate me, hate the truth, that you cannot accept. so you actually hate the liars that fed you the god delusion. Those people said they love you, but they lied to you. You cannot love a liar. I am not the liar, the people who sell god are. face it.
    when you look in the mirror you will see a person deceived by the god machine. They want to control you mind, and steal your money. I am sorry that you are angry when the truth is brought to light. Prove god exists, you can’t.

  8. Janet Aldrich says:

    I’m concerned when you say there is no Biblical evidence that singleness is intended. What about I Corinthians 7:8? “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.” Or I Corinthians 7:1 – “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” Or do you reject the things Paul taught?

  9. Bad doctrine and the culture war have combined to frustrate many godly Christian women in their desire for a husband. The bad doctrine is not just an inherited thing that is ignorantly perpetuated by well meaning leaders and theologians, it is intellectually protected by these men even when they have been shown the truth, such is the lack of character in our civilization – this a major cause of the crisis we find ourselves in. The culture war is between the culture of Scripture and the culture of baptized feminist humanism.

    Your article highlights the problem of those women who were raised as god-fearing Christians wanting marriage but stuck in singleness. They want to fulfill the normal desire of every young girl to have a husband and a family. But where are the faithful righteous men that are supposed to come calling asking father for their hand, competing to rescue them from a life of barren singleness? Sadly, they cannot look to Scripture because, seemingly, the question is not addressed there.

    Where in Scripture is the role model of the single woman who finds herself without a husband? You would think there would be at least one godly woman somewhere in Scripture who finds herself in an age of apostasy (of which there were plenty in the Israel of Bible times) with few prospects of ever finding a faithful, godly, single man? Even WORLD asks, “But what if there are more Christian women desiring to be married than there are men wanting to be married?”

    It seems God has missed something here. Either that or we have.

    Let’s look at this logically for a moment: God commands us to be fruitful and multiply. God makes you a woman in today’s world. You want to obey God and reap the blessings of that obedience – a husband to obey, serve, and have as a covering protection, and children to raise for God’s kingdom. But there are no godly single men to be had. We then must ask, “Is God providing, as a Provident God, a way to obey Him?”

    Of course. God is a loving God who has provided a way, demonstrated in His Word, shown in creation, practiced by His saints, and provided for in every place and every time in history. What is unusual about our particular view of Scripture is that we have, theologically and culturally, decided that we know better than God how marriage should be defined, what constitutes right and wrong, and who our source of law should be, and what parts of His Word we will and will not take seriously. This all makes it hard for us to look to His Word when looking for answers because we have, a priori, discounted His providential order for marriage as irrelevant to us.

    God is, in fact, very pro-marriage and has provided a godly husband for every godly woman who wants one. Only the one He has provided for you might just not be single. The very best ones are not. They have proved themselves to be godly men by the fruit of their lives. They obey and teach others to obey God’s law. They are faithful to their wives and give them loving leadership, expecting their wives to submit to them as they submit to God’s LawWord. They are Christ like in their faithfulness to God and in their kindness to the needy and strangers, orphans and widows. If they know God’s law and obey it they will also be willing to take more than one woman under their wing.

    Yes, under God’s law, any woman can have any man for a husband, so long as they are equally yoked. All men are available. All women under 60 years of age are expected to be married and serve God by serving a husband. All women who can have children are expected to be married and obey the command to be fruitful and multiply.

    To the unintentionally single girls: Thus for you to find a good husband you must be able to discern which ones are obeying God’s LawWord and which ones just talk a good line, telling you what you want to hear. To discern which is which you must become a student of God’s LawWord. When you have spent a year or two reading and studying Biblical Law let your father know and tell him to contact the man you can then recognize as a godly man.

    To the fathers of unintentionally single girls: You have a part to play in helping your daughters fulfill the command of God to be fruitful and multiply. A godly daughter will remain under your authority until you transfer that authority to a godly man. She should not have to do this alone. You are better equipped to tell a rotter from a godly man. Look around: has God provided a good man for your daughter? And do not rule out a man just because he is already married. And do not waste too much more time. And provide her with a dowry and ask for a bride price (negotiable). A good man will not balk at this.

    To the would be suitors of unintentionally single girls: Its time to exercise your sanctification and get in good spiritual shape for the challenge of being a true believer of YHVH in a apostate age. There is no culture of belief around you to teach you the ongoing validity of God’s LawWord. But you have the Scriptures and there are able teachers available if you search for them.

    This article makes some powerful assertions as to the nature and doctrine of marriage. Are they backed up by Scripture? Dark spiritual forces in our culture have cowed just about every Biblical scholar and teacher for some time on this issue, but not Tom Shipley. That is why I consider him to the most important man alive today. With his book, “Man and Woman in Biblical Law,” Tom has pierced the heart of humanism (feminism) with the LawWord of YHVH. Hallelujah!

  10. 20lady2 says:

    It is true that pre-marital sex is a big problem in this. I have actually talked to Christians who have no problem with pre-marital sex, (they’d prefer to have slept with their significant other before marriage), and some who are even ok with cohabitation. How have we come so far? Why do Christians think that cohabitation is acceptable?

    • TheTruthHurtsTheRight says:

      Because god is not real, and people can chose what to do with their body.

  11. L says:

    Hello, Miss Elyse. I read your article and I have a few questions. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home or come from this sub-culture with which you identify, but I’m learning my Bible, and working on my convictions on things, by God’s grace.

    I’ll just say that I’ve always dreamed of being married and raising children; it’s something I’ve always wanted. But what I have also wondered if God wants me to give up those desires for the sake of furthering the Kingdom in another way. I know that raising your children to follow Christ is certainly important, and a lack of good marriage/family life is a huge problem in this culture. But I also wonder how the Gospel will be preached to those who haven’t heard if we focus on our own desires for marriage and family. .. Just hear me out…

    I look at someone like that Apostle Paul, who, starting out in a strictly Jewish subculture, probably would have had many duties to fulfill in having a family, but he had to give that up, or else we might not even have half of the New Testament.

    I’m not saying that it’s wrong to get married and have a family; those are great things. But to me, those are things I’ve always wanted anyway. Maybe I’ve bought into the pop-Christian idea that singleness does accomplish more for the Kindgom. Anyway, I hope I don’t sound like a fool, and I’d appreciate you input.

  12. MillieSarah says:

    Thank you so much! I wholeheartedly agree with your article!

  13. Cathy says:

    This is a great article. I haven’t really examined it yet, but I like that it is being discussed. I think what helped me was a conversation I had at a bar with a Christian friend when I was 18. I had just become a believer at 17 and had been sexually active in the past. We were talking about relationships and he mentioned that God’s plan was for sex to be for married couples, not single. (This is biblical, although he didn’t mention that at the time – later I researched it). I said to him that I thought that was an old-fashioned idea. He then asked me what I had gotten out of the sexual relationships I had in the past. I thought for a minute and the thougths that came to my mind were: heart ache, broken heart, low self esteem, deep depression, days and months of crying, long nights of sadness and despair. I mentioned, sheepishly, that I had only gotten pain. He said “Well, maybe God knows what he is talking about”. 7 years later I started dating my husband (we had been long distance friends for a while) and we had sex about the same time we got engaged. We got married 3 months later and have been married for 25 years. At age 16 I had been in on the early “Planned Parenthood” visits at my school where they showed a film of a pap-smear, and taught us how to put on a condom. What they didn’t say is that women (much more then men) have oxytocine and other hormones that are released in the brain when she is envolved in physical contact and these hormones BOND her to the person involved, against her will – it is hormonal. I had always had a strong sex drive so I did have some sexual contact with men during those 7 years, but no intercourse, so I very much cut down on the amount of heart ache I had before getting married. I have had plenty of heart ache as a married women, which is a topic for another day and my temperment may not be the best candidate for marriage, but again, that’s for another day. We do have children and in a very expensive, selfish, tourist area on the coast of California it has been hell raising kids. Society used to put family first – if you were the single Uncle or Aunt or neighborhood grocer, etc. you went out of your way to help the families in your life. Now everyone is selfish and uses their money, time for their selfish endevors. The same with the wealthy in the USA. They care nothing about paying their employees a living wage. They are greedy and contine to grab as much as they can. When they get old, and need a young person to take care of them in the hospital or at there favorite restaurant – well, they will be out of luck.

    Keep the discussion going.

  14. Denis Khan says:

    God Did Intend marriage for couples. “It is not good for Man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18).It is also a sad fact that men take advantage of the laissez-faire system of easy dating & companionship to evade marriage.
    However, if some women still prefer spinsterhood, there is an international Church Organization, “Society of Our Lady of the Way”.
    Please contact the undersigned for further particulars.
    Denis Khan

  15. OttoV says:

    Marriage has become a joke with two men or two women marrying. Also too much of a percentage ends in divorce anyway. In civorce actions, the male usually loses everything so it is a huge gamble.

  16. Von says:

    Another issue, indeed I think it is the biggest one is that we have abandoned the Biblical method of getting married: which is neither courtship nor dating. Both of those methods contain anti-Biblical principles which, among other things, help prevent marriages.

    • Josh says:

      Von, I find your comment very intriguing; but just what is that “third way”, since you say that neither “dating” nor “courtship” are the way to go?…

      • TheTruthHurtsTheRight says:

        It is for the woman to be SOLD to the man in slavery. Slavery the biblical way. just read the bible, you have NO argument against my statement. If the women does not cook, and put out sex on command she is to be tortured! That is the bible.

  17. Randolph says:

    I agree for a Christian community and subculture to sustain itself, Christians must be about the business of marriage and reproduction and discipleship of offspring. Otherwise, the community must be proficient in converting large numbers of non-Christians to the Christian worldview. However, I think a more balanced approach would address scriptures that encourage singleness and the examples of singleness in Bible. The comment is made “almost every great person in the Bible – man or woman – was married; and God rewarded those who sought marriage actively (ie – Isaac, Ruth, etc.), ” without even noting that the overarching influence in the New Testament, the apostle Paul, remained single and encouraged Christian believers to remain single. Even Christ Himself, Our Lord and Savior, remained single. I haven’t conducted a study on the disciples of Christ, but other than Peter, do the Scriptures reference a spouse for the remaining eleven disciples? To argue a marriage-centric view of Christianity one must address Paul’s admonitions in 1 Corinthians 7:27: “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.” He continues, “….if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life and I am trying to spare you……But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but the one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit, not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” In verse 38, Paul states, “So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage WILL DO BETTER.” I read these scriptures now and find myself wondering why Paul was not concerned about the continuation and sustainability of the Christian culture and community through marriage and the propagation of family. He does say in verse 29, “the time has been shortened” and I wonder to what he is referencing.
    Also, the current day means of finding a wife is vastly different from Biblical times. I would argue that Isaac did not actively seek marriage. His father, Abraham, sent a servant to find a suitable wife among the family clan. Isaac did not in any way pursue Rebekah. There wasn’t even a courtship. The marriage was arranged, as was the prevalent custom of the day. In early American history, even through the beginning of the twentieth century, courtship was the norm. Although many people met and married within a short period of time without even a courtship. Today, dating is the norm of our culture. One must actively pursue a relationship by expending energy and finances to plan romantic dinners and events. It is not uncommon for Christians to date many men or women in their pursuit of the ‘one’ they want to spend the rest of their life with. In contrast, my friends who are from cultures (and often other religions) that still follow arranged marriages state that “marriage comes first, then love. And you remained committed to the marriage regardless.”

  18. parick stanley says:

    Younger single women today don’t have to seek a male to “take care of them”. Single women look for the government to do that. Look at voting statistics. Young white men are facing an unfair employment, career situation. Jobs are given go women, minorities as required by government policies, etc. TV & movies present white males as bad, abusive, lazy, dumb, etc. No encouragement there. Even the commercials show how cleaver, smart, etc. women are and have to put up with some dumb,lazy husband. Why should young men want to marry? (I am not a young man so I don’t have a dog in this fight.)

  19. HRWG says:

    Actually, there is Biblical evidence for single life being a holier option than married life. St. Paul discussed that he wished all were like he in a state of singleness, but if you cannot bear it a person should marry to keep from being tempted with the sin of fornication.

    However, being wrong on that one point does not negate the rest of her article. I think the main problem with this generation is they have seen too many movies. Guys and girls think that lightening will strike when they fall in love (that is why they discount opposite sex friends as suitable partners). Some cases happen like that, but those are usually cases where the two people are severely incompatible which they find out two years later. The “in-love” phase typically lasts, for all couples, about two years then you begin to see yourself and your significant other in the true light. Friendship is the key to a solid marriage. Sometimes that does not work because marriage is hard. The main thing is to pray for your marriage everyday together.

    One thing she hinted at, but didn’t say out right is that you must marry a Christian, if you are called to marriage. You should never wait for marriage because you have small debt or do not have enough money in the bank because God provides. The same thing is true about the concept of waiting to have children. Do not wait for money or anything else. God is our provider. It is a lie of Satan to believe that you need to wait for money or anything else to get married or have children. If you have prayed, if it has been confirmed this is God’s will, then God will bless you and your spouse.

    It is another lie of Satan that you need to take birthcontrol to be able to financially pay for children. If God gives you 20 children, he will help you pay for them and their college tuition. He knows our needs and we need to start trusting God for everything. Birthcontrol is directly from Satan he wants to control the number of potential Christians in the world and this has been his best lie yet. That is why Christian numbers have been falling in current times world-wide and why Muslims are surpassing us because we have bought Satan’s lie that we must ration the number of children we have to be able to afford a “good life” for them. Christians in the future will suffer extreme persecution, not the minor stuff we deal with daily now, but severe because of this sin. If you disagree look back on the protestant’s original thoughts on birthcontrol. God said be fruitful and multiply and He meant it! It is even more said when a Christian couple aborts their children. So sad because God had a Godly purpose for that child; you may have just snuffed out the life of the next great evangelist. Think about people…God wants Christians to reproduce with other Christians bringing up Godly children to fight for more souls. How can we fight for more souls, if there are not more of us.

  20. jth says:

    How can I get in touch with you? I know someone I would like to introduce to you.

  21. Dennis says:

    Why did it take a young man like Josh Harris, in his early twenties, to write a book that should have been written many decades ago by a clergyman. Dating is not a biblical concept, courtship is. Parents are not getting involved in their children relationships with the opposite gender. Parents are willingly pushing the education of their children off on to the secular State because they are paying such high taxes to do so. Why are so many christian organizations telling their members get your children out of public education. However, of course, more government is the solution to the problem of too much government. Wrong world views, ideas have consequences.

    I did not have greater arguments with women than the women that obtained a secular education from a secular University. The most brain washed women I ever met where christian women who were convinced they were well educated from a liberal University. (Allan Bloom's book ignored.) I ignored any and all secular influences and got a good science education. Parents your children need to be educated not indoctrinated. Real science was discovered for the most part by Christians, not secularists.

  22. Heather G says:

    I truly enjoyed this article. In most cultures throughout time, marriage was something that someone did deliberately – they had a "coming of age" in which everyone in their village or area understood that they were now ready to be married, and people met with one another for the express purpose of finding mates. Nowadays we have spiritualized this process into some weird ambiguous "don't look for the person, God will send them if you just focus on Him and don't look for a mate." We don't tell people to act like that in any other sector of their life – we don't tell people to just focus on God and wait and the right job or career will come along. Why do we tell them this about something so important as finding the person they will start a family with?
    The worst thing in our christian culture is to be perceived as someone who is "looking." We label that behavior and call that person "desperate." So we all have to pretend we're "not looking" so as not to be seen as "desperate" because the opposite sex is turned off by that. It's ridiculous. It's dysfunctional and these ideas need to change.
    Historically, marriage also was something that the community and parents played a role in. Your whole village tried to suggest to you who they thought you might want to meet. Nowadays, no one wants to "get involved." Everyone figures God will do it for you – God will bring you that person. No wonder the muslims are multiplying like mad simply by having children, and christians are a dying breed.

  23. randellmd says:

    i chose to read and study about marriage and family because i came from a very disfunctional one. Although we looked good on the surface as most American families know how to put up a good front. I studied on "family" to get the truth about what a family should be for my own healing and to prepare myself to be the right kind of leader of my home (not to make the same mistakes as my father did.) In my studies and pursuits of truth did indeed bring much revelation/understanding and healing to my life. That was many years ago and now i am still single at 45. Why?? Because of the garbage taught in the church to singles that put them in emotional and even sexual bondage. It all stems from hyperfaith and hyperriligiosity of the "word of faith" and "charismatic" movements. The their teachings (bad opinions) have produced more self centeredness and worse- too many independent women! I think there teachings have had more influence on women and their "emotions" than men have. This "wait on God to bring "the one" or "Mr. Right" sounds like something out of one of those bad romance novels.

  24. Mykl says:

    This is a good article. It explains the problem and urges a solution. It does not, however, address the questions I thought were most burning on the mind of those who agree with the authoress' point of view.
    Why do high quality young men, who want to be married, keep ignoring high quality young women who want to be married? And, even more common from my perspective, why do these same young women keep on TURNING DOWN the offers of young men?
    It's getting past ridiculous.
    Anyone have any ideas?

  25. jaredcave says:

    Elysse,

    Thanks for writing this. It has spurred much conversation in my circle of friends. I think you have articulated many of my own thoughts over the years.

    I have fallen victim to many of the issues you’ve raised. An unbiblical view of singleness I believe is huge in our culture. I found that after enough negative reinforcement I began to embrace my singleness. However when I step back and honestly evaluate why I enjoy being single it’s for entirely selfish reasons. I would justify my singleness with all its “benefits” because I felt guilty having a desire to be married and the frustration from being discarded in several relationships. Your insight has helped me embrace once again my desire to be married, but try to balance that with being diligent in furthering God’s kingdom while single and at the same time refine my vision for a family when God sees fit to bless me with that.

    I think your view on easy accessibility is profound. With the advent “social networking” sites, real relationships have been degraded. I am guilty of having friends that are girls whom I have met in person, but have had more interaction through electronic means. Your thoughts on this subject have pushed me to reevaluate how good these relationships are. I used to view these technologies as a good thing, providing people a way to get to know each other on a platonic level. But I have experienced the challenges associated with this form off communication of misunderstanding ones intentions.

    After thinking about some of the things you gave as issues, if marriage has been raised so high on a pedestal that no one can obtain it and turns in to a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I have often met young marriageable age girls who have idolized marriage and are sitting around waiting for a night in shining armor, or a Mr. Darcy. How can someone like me compete with that? These girls end up in the mid to late twenties and even thirties unmarried because “there is a dearth of good young men out there.” Some of these girls even have had suitors but discard them because they are not “compatible” or have some “character issue.”

    I admire women such as your self who have a good head on their shoulders, not just sitting round waiting to be married, but while still having a strong desire to be married, go out and do what God has put forth for you to do. Sadly at least in the circles I travel, girls like you are few and far between.

    While I can appreciate your view of growing up together and viewing other kids of the opposite sex as brothers or sisters in Christ to be a negative, I think that growing up together and developing close friendships that lead to life long commitment can be a great foundation. You will know as well as anyone can what you are getting in to. For many of us we may not have that luxury and I agree that we will have to look outside the box when it comes to developing relationships that will lead to marriage.

    Thanks again for writing this. God bless

  26. Mrs. M says:

    May I introduce you to a group of people saw the upcoming plight a little sooner and developed a wonderful site called

    http://www.marrywell.org

    The founder is Steve Watters of boundless.org (focus on the family young adult division). Marry Well helps prepare, connect and advise conservative believers who are intentionally pursuing marriage.

    It is full of educational materials, discussions but also, a connection service to find people who are also desiring marriage. It uses safeguards and encourages mentors/friends/accountability thru free memberships for those who are advising and counseling you. Small fee for monthly plans or the best deal, “Member til married”. Hope you will check it out.

  27. shacked up 14 years says:

    when you find your perfect mate – when you are in the " perfect " relationship, remember that marriage will DEFINITELY change that relationship. Things will change. How much ? Depends. Do not let religion confuse the issue. the only real winners in marriage are the divorce lawyers. Remember, marriage ruins relationships.

  28. Violet says:

    I do not mean this unkindly but perhaps you should broaden your circle of friends. I was home-schooled, as were almost all of my friends. And we are almost all married.

  29. Ken Love says:

    I am amazed at the logic of some. To not want to marry a person you've known since childhood because that person is more like a brother or sister is dumb as dirt. The alternative is to try to develop that kind of acquaintance with someone from scratch – either quickly during a courting/dating time – or during a (often trial or failing) marriage. The male ought to be encouraged to run – not walk – run to the girl's father and ask advice on possible marriage to the girl. Sheesh!

  30. Anthony J. Kunz says:

    Dear Elysse:

    Spot on in many ways. Just a few points. You blame the 50K lost to abortion for reducing th pool

    of eligible young from which to choose a mate. As horrible as that fact is, I’m afraid that argument doesn’t hold water; 100 or 200 years ago our population was ever so much smaller and folks didn’t seem to have a problem .

    Second, you put forth that in years past when a guy didn’t marry it was regarded as a failure of society. That may have been true in some cultures – particularly Jewish- but I don’t think universally.My family, and many families we knew had members that remained single and I don’t recall that being attributed to anybody’s failure. My bachelor Uncle Bob devoted his life to scholarly pursuits, among which being mastery of the piano. He imparted this skill to me and my siblings, and today I am a professional pianist and my sister a music critic.

    By the way , you are a gorgeous Christian gal – not just physically – and I still hope to meet someone like you, ten years or so older and Catholic! God bless you.

  31. tridus says:

    Fantastic article, and about time! I've been happily married for going on 8 yrs now, but I can easily recall my extreme frustration in the late 90's when at college. This was the era of "I kissed dating goodbye" – which I'm not necessarily saying is a bad thing – but for a quiet guy, I didn't know how to be a big social butterfly in order to win the hearts of the ladies. I tried to live being single as a "blessing", but it was a burden – especially when longing for a wife to share my life with. I think too of Paul speaking about burning with passion – well, this was a problem I faced also. I met my beautiful wife through work – she was great looking, an active Christian, and attending a protestant church. Yeah, there were "fluff" things we didn't agree on, but we were married six months later and we've had an awesome time of sharing life together. It's tough in today's world to meet other people who are serious about commitment, but don't give up!

  32. pressedpages says:

    4. There is one aspect I am still observing, though, and have not come to a conclusion. If a single woman enters and remains in the ministry full time, she will most likely not marry. I know single women who were involved in ministry, got out, and then got married. On the other hand, I know single women who entered the ministry full time, are still in ministry, and are still single with no prospect of marriage in sight,. Of those in ministry who marry, they only marry someone in the same ministry in which both are already working.

    I believe the reason for the ever expanding glut of sharp singles, Christian and non-Christian alike, is because there is a curse on our land. As you observed in your article, I believe the root cause of the curse is our national sin of abortion and sexual promiscuity. The question is: what do we need to do for God to lift the curse?

  33. pressedpages says:

    3. Many adult single Christians are not marrying because it is not being taught and encouraged from the pulpit to do so. When I ask pastors why they do not preach marriage to the young men in their congregations, they hum and haw and give some lame excuse. If they were honest about it, they would say because they are jaded by all the marriage counseling they do and the problems they see. They cannot, with a clear conscience, encourage another man to subject himself to that yoke. Remember, Elysse, you were raised in a minority home. You have parents with an intact marriage, had many siblings, were homeschooled, and learned how to divide the Word accurately. Therefore, your perspective of so many singles being taught about family, relationships, children, etc. is skewed by your experience. In actuality, the vast majority of young Christian singles today have not been trained in these areas at all.

  34. pressedpages says:

    1. People who got married at 23 or less were all about how they "laid down their desire for marriage" and met their future mate in the next few days or weeks. I have always had trouble with this — waiting well for a few hours for something as tantamount in a person's life as marriage does not, in my mind, constitute "laying something down".

    2. People began calling singleness a "gift" back in the 1990's in order to justify so many stuck in singleness. When I heard Elizabeth Elliot, who was married three times (due to the death of her first two husbands) say, "Singleness is a gift — not one I would want — but a gift for every day you remain single", I wanted to shout to her from the audience: If it is a gift, than why don't you want it?

  35. pressedpages says:

    Elysse — Good attempt in trying to pin-point exactly where the problem lies regarding this ever expanding state of singleness in your generation. However, you have missed a crucial element. The church's (and world's) problem of massive numbers of singles, including many who want to marry but don't for whatever reason, began in your parent's generation, not yours.

    I was single until I was 45 years old when I married a wonderful (divorced) man, and have been grateful to the Lord for this blessing every second since we began our lives together. While on the journey, though, I observed the following:

  36. RJMTr says:

    Shotgun,

    You seem to be open to the belief that the biblical concept of created “kinds” forbids “interracial” marriage. As biblicalconservative pointed out, the Scripture supports no such proposition.

    If you believe Genesis, you should understand that when God created the living creatures, each “according to its kind,” He created two humans. Only two (2); a male and a female. He did not create multiple kinds of humans then, nor did He elsewhere in Scripture. All humans are descended from Adam and Eve, and later from Noah.

    To divide humans into different races is artificial. Certainly, the Bible makes distinctions based on ancestry, recognizing different nations and languages. However, not once does God forbid marriage between two persons based solely on their differing ancestry; much less does He provide any guidelines for discerning what degree of differing ancestry would separate one “race” from another. The idea of different “kinds” of humans (in the Genesis 1 sense of “kind”) is preposterous.

    Also, please don’t equivocate between the concept of “family” as describing the ultimate relatedness of all humans and the familial relationships identified in the incest laws.

    • Shotgun says:

      Mr. RJ,

      If you think the Bible supports the breaking apart of God-ordained distinctions and boundaries, then you should stay consistent with your views, and stop typing. Communication…after all, is nothing more than the systematic appeal to God-ordained distinction among men.

      It takes a real man to stand up against the prevailing whim of miscegenation and humanistic destruction of all meaning.

      If you are interested in defending your socially Marxist views…I wouldn't mind discussing it with you, perhaps in the American Vision Worldview Forums…(which can be accessed by clicking on the "community" tab at the top of the page.

      This blog response area is not the proper place for such a discussion.

      • 20lady2 says:

        I went back and re-read these comments, and I can’t find anything “socially Marxist.”

    • calpurnia says:

      I cant believe a Christian today would say that: about interracial marriages :what about Moses and Zipporah also Ruth and Obed.

  37. Elizabeth Bennett says:

    In the Jewish culture a century or more ago a man had to be married to be eligible to be a rabbi or a teacher. By age 18 a Jewish man was expected to marry and by age 19 he should have an established profession or livelihood. Jewish boys grew up quickly; by age 13 they were declared to be a man and ready to teach and continue the Biblical truths and traditions. Of course, the bride was chosen by the parents or a neighborhood specialist in finding suitable mates for the young Jewish men or women. I believe parents, family and Christian friends should take a greater part in praying for and helping young people find God's choice.

  38. WaNetta says:

    OOps I must add, he either had to be mentored by good men or had a good relationship with his father; his father has to have a good relationship with his mother from a two parent home (rare I know, even among Christians) etc.

  39. WaNetta says:

    I think, though Imay be wrong,that women have lost their 'mystery', and being in positions where men and women are too close together doesn't help it. It used to be that women would work in one place and men would work in another but today that would be too confining. Also, the androgenous (sp) dressing (im guilty of this too) jeans and t-shirts for everyone (started in CA but went everywhere like divorce laws). I remember that girls would only wear jeans if they were riding horses, now its rare to see a woman in a skirt. Little things like this dont make the marriage culture attractive, and lastly, I agree; THE GUY SHOULDNT TEXT YOU UNLESS ITS AN EMERGENCY. If he insists on using too much techno-junk to communicate, hes not worth it. period. you need to see each other in person for the 'body language' angle

  40. Lynn says:

    Great article – addresses an issue I often ponder myself.

    I would have to agree with Dennis – both men and women have unrealistic expectations.
    Yes, today's young men seem to be afraid to make the commitment to marriage. One reason may be that they get many of the benefits of marriage without the commitment in today's casual society – and I'm not even talking about sex! (The section 'Easy Accessibility' is spot on!) BUT…

    The problem cannot be lack of choice. What did young people 200 years ago do when the selection was limited to those in their village?

    I have 2 daughters of marriageable age, who very much want to be married, and they have both turned down several potential suitors. Some of their reasons were good: "He flirts with all the girls on Facebook." "He's lazy." But, what about, "He differs doctrinally." "He hates to read." Or the clincher: "There's just no spark!"
    Too picky? I think so.
    But then what have their father and I have taught them for the last 20 years? To have high standards when it comes to a life partner! "You will have to respect and follow this man. "He must be mature and godly." "He must love kids." "He must be willing to lead." "He must have a vision."
    I don't want them to lower their standards, but where is the balance? Have we as parents contributed to the problem?

  41. RGMosse says:

    I like the way you brag about how much you, and your fellows, know in the first part of your article. I submit that, for all of what you, and your fellow 20 + ers "know", you have left the hard and relevant knowledge unexplored. You have no "feel" or intuition beyond the truly superficial. And that my dear, is why.

  42. Dennis says:

    5) In terms of the article itself, I agree with a lot of it, and some of it has given me food for thought. The abortion comment in particular is interesting, although I'm not sure lack of choices is as large of a problem as having unrealistic expectations in this Disney-fied, extremely consumer-minded, materialistic society (although I do acknowledge that lack of choices can be a problem in certain areas). I will man up and attribute most of the responsibility for the problems (and yes, I do view them as problems) described here to the men. Failure to lead is a huge issue in today's society, and we need more sons, husbands and fathers who are willing to do that.

    Thanks very much for writing this.

  43. Dennis says:

    4) I love Scriptural references as well, but please note that some women are very sensitive about not wanting to teach men within a verbal or written medium that is specifically intended to be a mixed-gender audience, per 1 Tim. 2:11. As for courtship, the fundamental principle is one of the Big Ten, honoring one's father and mother, so I believe there is Scriptural basis (and there are others). That said, I have known great couples coming out of both courtships and dating relationships, and every circumstance is different. I don't believe there is any magic recipe as these things go.

    (cont'd)

  44. Dennis says:

    3) Yes, there are going to be bad marriages, and marriages where one or both are very ill-prepared for marriage, even in Christian circles. I do not believe the answer to that is to abandon marriage! Gen. 2 is very clear that it is not good for man to be alone, again, there are exceptions, but those appear — considering the whole sweep of Scripture — to be exactly that, the exception rather than the rule, for someone who is so sold out for Christ that all they want to do is full-time, demanding, exacting, sacrificial ministry. For the rest of us (and the Body of Christ is composed of many parts, not everyone is called to full-time ministry of the type described in the previous sentence), we should be discerning in who we are looking for in a spouse and purposeful and intentional in our own preparation to be that spouse.

    (cont'd)

  45. Dennis says:

    2) I also see nothing to justify an assumption that the author is saying everyone must be married. It is certainly true that some are not meant to be married, that some are called to singleness for a lifetime. Even so, that state is typically quite rare, and the implication I take from 1 Cor. 7:9 and the surrounding verses is that most people will "burn with passion" and are better off married. And if one has that calling to marriage, move forward toward that calling with purpose and intention rather than loafing around and falling into temptation, rather than seeking God's provision in this area, specifically marriage.

    (cont'd)

  46. Dennis says:

    Based on the number of comments, it seems clear the author has struck a nerve. I will strive to follow Eph. 4:29 (Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear) in my response to some of these comments.

    1) "Missionary dating" is generally considered extremely unwise, given the parable of the soils and the reality of rocky/thorny ground, and the resulting tendency of some to go out from us, as they were never of us, per 1 John 2:19. It would be a perilous thing indeed to yoke oneself to a brand new Christian. Separately, I see absolutely nothing to justify an assumption that the author is neglectful in evangelism!

    (cont'd)

  47. One glaring issue left out of this is pre-martial sexual relations. There is a mention of birth control and abortion in regard to the affect on reducing the population, but it seems that these same thing are most likely a catalyst for promescuity.

    This is something that has become widely accepted among the "Christian" community of singles. Many church singles groups and singles ministries have become so perverse that young men and women would be better off at bar or night club.

    Another thing that seems to be a problem among genuine Christian young men and women is that other genuine Christians are not exciting enough and living on the edge. Much of this can be attributed to immaturity, however there reaches a point when it becomes apparant that these kids have not been taught any better. It is not merely a maturity issued, it is a world view lifestyle issue.

  48. Wilfrid says:

    If you are a Christian and you want to get married, how do you find a willing, compatible, and Godly partner? What changes need to be made to our culture to make this easier and more successful? Give me your answers.

    For instance, we now live in a very informal society. In the past, life was more formal and the great advantage of this was that everyone knew what was expected of them and what they had to do in any particular social situation. Today when you meet someone the rules have to be made up on the fly. And with each new person you meet you have to start again. This leads to great uncertainty, confusion, misunderstanding and hurt. Do we therefore then, need to re-formalise our society?

  49. Michael G says:

    Dear Miss Barrett,

    I applaud you. I am very impressed by your maturity and Godly attitude. I pray that it may be God’s will that you soon find a mate that is worthy of you. My daughters (one your age, one younger) are both single and neither has even been on a date! They each express the opinion that they have no yet met a young man that they would want to go out with. From what I see locally I can understand their complaint.

    May God bless you.

    Mike

  50. Dell says:

    You have some very good points.

    Unfortunately the Christian community today has lost focus. And this includes me. We live like the world and talk like the world and watch what the world likes why would anyone want to be a Christian if they see no difference in us? Christian divorce is on the rise. Jesus said that Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of the heart. True there a a very few instances where divorce is inevitable but pride is a root cause of so much. Someone does not want to accept the fact that they need to change. Marriage is possible if both are willing to work it out and die to self. What it takes is one person not to wait for the other person to submit to their will.

    Now as far as singleness. We need to know what is right. Sex before marriage is wrong and maybe people are not getting married because they are living together or just having sex. So why get married. We need a whole cultural change in attitude toward sex and marriage. I found my wife next door when I gave up looking to serve Him knowing that as Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for Isaac so He had one for me. She lived two house down for 3 years and I did not even know it until a week after I surrendered and acknowledge that I did not know on my own who I was to marry. Singleness is tough, it takes patience and trust and obedience.

    • NickKane says:

      Dell
      On one dating site I allowed myself to be talked into joining (I have not dated in over a year and will not), to my surprise, many women there who consider themselves devout Christians have noted that they will not marry a man until they have slept with them! I'm sure it's also vice-versa. We have confused sex with being the whole of a relationship. I am over forty and have been chastised for my abstinence from sex and dating from fellow believers! I am a man who has been fortunate enough to have dated beautiful woman…but…in every instance, sex becomes this huge issue. So, the best way to resolve this problem was for me to just stop dating and avoid this "integral" aspect of dating. Like Paul Washer once taught, "you spend enough time alone with someone and something is bound to happen." It's our nature and we want to deny it but it is.

  51. john littlefield says:

    i am 65 i have never been married i have not found the right one i came close but no cigar.

  52. Shotgun says:

    Well, I hope God helps you grow in your understanding Mr. Otrmin.

  53. John says:

    Not everyone is meant to be married. (Mathew 19:12)

    By the article and comments here, I think there needs to be a study on 1st Corinthians 7, verse 7 comes to mind.

    I think the draw of some christians to the homosexual lifestyle is due to the church looking down on those that are not lead to get married.They may not have no interest in the opposite sex.

    Paul says that it would be better to remain single and pursue the Kingdom. There focus can be totally on the Kingdom and not have to worry about providing for family.

    Is this the “holier than thou” attitude? I don’t think so.

    • myop says:

      Right on, John!

    • msusapatriot says:

      You can not be Christian and homosexual. You would then be serving two masters and giving into the sins of the flesh at the same time.

      • Amy says:

        May I clarify? I believe that we cannot be living as a true follower of Christ — as a "Christian" in the ideal sense of the word — if we are disobeying the Scriptures' teaching against homosexuality. HOWEVER, salvation is through faith in Christ alone, and each person who is saved comes with a life full of sin. The Apostle Paul, for example, was a murderer! Yet he came to Christ. Sin in our life does not keep us from being saved – it's the reason we need to be saved!! Salvation is based on Christ's perfection, not ours. So homosexuals CAN be saved, and I trust that after they come to Christ, the Holy Spirit will work in their lives as He works in all of our lives to get rid of anything that is displeasing to Him.

    • Leanne says:

      I can't see how frowning on singleness possibly turns people to homosexuality.

  54. NickKane says:

    I am surprised how many people have failed to point out the glaring omission of Scripture references in the author's presentation. Genesis? That's it? Maybe, just maybe, the reason for her omissions is due to the fact that there is NO SCRIPTUAL BASIS for the western philosophy of courtship! A philiosophy that has sown unbliblical principles and has reaped large quantities of divorce and abortion! Besides, how can we Biblically equate a woman's observations, desires and roles with that of a man's? Obviously, God created men and woman with unique differences, desires and roles but if measured by this author's observations, one could argue that our Savior failed to live up to Biblical priciples! We know different but think about this.

    • Leanne says:

      "Besides, how can we Biblically equate a woman's observations, desires and roles with that of a man's? Obviously, God created men and woman with unique differences, desires and roles but if measured by this author's observations, one could argue that our Savior failed to live up to Biblical priciples!"

      Will you explain what you mean by this?

      I will agree that courtship is a western philosophy and seems to be a "Christian" version of dating. But the alternative, arranged marriages, seems to be overboard as well.

      • NickKane says:

        Leanne,
        As far as our Lord is concerned, if you were to use the author's article to gauge one's ability to adhere to a Biblical model of what a single person's priorities should be, we could say that the Lord "failed" because He remained "single". However, we know that Christ married His people. I don't go for the idea of arranged marriages either, however, Godly parents need to play a larger role than many do. Single adults should strive to serve Christ and in the midst of serving, they should meet a potential spouse. And "dating" should never be one on one but should always involve a Christian "chaperone" to protect the Godly integrity of those involved.

  55. otrmin says:

    Shotgun,

    Actually, I am confused now more than ever as to what you are trying to say. You wrote this:

    This is God's will for society, it's keeps everything decentralized and focused on dominion.

    I don't know how to take that statement, other than in the context authoritative sanctions. When you use dominion in the context of decentralization, I guess I [mis]understood you to mean authoritative sanctions.

    I am willing to admit that there may be some equivication going on in what we are saying. I guess I am trying my best to understand, and keep on coming up empty.

  56. aseattleconservative says:

    I know this sounds foreign to the homeschooled crowd, but isn't the gospel of Jesus Christ meant to be shared?

  57. Shotgun says:

    Yes, Mr. Otrmin,

    I think your last comment shows that you understand the equivocation taking place here.

    The author is speaking about covenantal structures, not authoritative sanctions. We all agree that the latter comes from God and accept the hermenuical challenges that result. The question is, what is the foundational structure upon which a Godly society is built?

    It is not the state, even though, as you point out, there are times when the state is allowed to bring sanctions against the family. The "state" is to ensure the continuing validity and safety of the family structure…as well as the structure of the church…(which is itself, an organization composed of family units.)

    So, the author is correct in her statements concerning the family being the foundation of a Godly society.

    Furthermore, the legitimacy of the family structure is under an incredible amount of attack…we need to fight for it with all the Christian honor we can muster!

  58. otrmin says:

    Also, I need to clarify. When I say that I don't believe marriage is foundational to the society, I am speaking in terms of its authority, since it needs to be supplemented and regulated with other authorities. However, I would affirm that families are necessary to the existence of society, and that no society can exist without families.

  59. otrmin says:

    Liz,

    The passages about Iron sharpening Iron and two being better than one have nothing to do with marriage. It has to do with relationships and teamwork of any kind. Also, I know plenty of married people who are selfish, self-centered brats. In fact, I know just as many married people who are selfish and self-centered as single people. Again, it all depends upon what you are using your marriage and singleness for, yourself or service to God.

    In fact, that was my point. Whether you believe God is calling you to marriage or singleness, you need to use your time and oppertunities to serve God, and not yourself no matter which state you are in. Hence, the problem is not one of marital status, but one of whether you are using your skills and time in service to God. One does not need to "get married" but to stop living selfishly.

    • randellmd says:

      This is true Liz, but i think the whole point of the author and what has been mine for years, is that the church cannot make "eunuchs" out of every single. Again, the things being taught (don't date, dating is not in the bible, don't seek a mate, seek ye first.. you can do more for God, etc) are all scripture taken out of context to form a doctrine or opinion on what someone thinks God says about being single and marriage. It all sounds good and practical but it puts people in bondage and confusion when God is not saying any of these things- in context.

  60. otrmin says:

    shotgunwildatheart,

    Actually, the context of the author is the degrading of marriage in our society. Also, there are several instances in the law where the authority of the family is trumped by the authority of the civil magistrates [such as the laws forbidding the offering of one's children to Molech (Leviticus 20:2), or laws against incest]. The family could not just do whatever they wanted; there were controls on what they could do and could not do. The same is true for the civil magistrates, and also for the church. In other words, none of these structures appear to be foundational to the society. They all have certain areas of jurisdiction, and they are all controlled and limited by each other and, ultimately, by the scriptures.

    The problem is that someone would need to impose a certain interpretation of the scriptures on someone else. The level of exegetical knowledge in the church today is terrible. I say that we start studying how to interpret the Bible more seriously, and actually follow the rules of semantics, rather than suggesting that God is less capible of communicating than we are! Interpretations should win out over time because they show themselves to be consistent with the text.

  61. Liz says:

    Otrmin, I don't think the article was suggesting a focus away from God onto marriage – but that as the Bible says Iron sharpens iron, two are better than one, etc. that marriage is one further step unto a God-centric life. I know for a fact that my faith, trust, fear and reverence of God has been tripled in the 3 years I have been married more than 15 years prior to my marriage – because marriage itself lends a mirror image of the relationship we have with Christ. Marriage (as it should be practiced) encourages self-lessness, a practice of intimate devotion in His word, fellowship with another believer, and the ultimate goal to glorify Christ TOGETHER – allowing you to multiply the Kingdom….etc. etc. etc. I can go on and on but won't. Ultimately my point is that acknowledging the God-given directive to be pursuing a Godly relationship (unto marriage) or pursuing a Christ-filled single life should He direct are not mutually exclusive to being Christ-centered. Most of those I know who have purposed not to be pursuing marriage (or pursuable) do so for reasons which are not even close to being Christ-centered. They're not giving up the idea of marriage to be missionaries to cannibals. They're doing it to have more fun. It's the sad truth.

  62. Otrmin,

    It's a little ambiguous to say that our "culture needs to be centered on the Bible."

    No one here would disagree with the primacy of God's word in all things…but, I think …(judging from the context ) … the author meant that marriage should be the foundational covenant structure in society.

    If you say that the "Bible" should be the foundational structure in society, well, there are many problems with that. For instance…what does it mean exactly? Secondly…you would, in essence…be making an appeal to a sort of "might-makes-rightism" where the strongest element in society decides what exactly the Bible says and forces everyone else to agree with them.

    No…far better to stick with the family as the fundamental organization. This is God's will for society, it's keeps everything decentralized and focused on dominion. Contemporary society…in contrast…has descended into a void of meaningless existence where families are simply sub-units living, moving, and having their being within the state.

    Families have basically become a small, state-recognized association of individuals. It could be any group of individuals who have decided to unify themselves for whatever reason. (For example…look at the new Ice Age movie: a sloth comments "We make one weird family…" talking about a tiger, mammoth, and human.)

    God defined covenants are meaningless in a statist society.

  63. otrmin says:

    Also, I think the issue with contraception is not contraception itself, but how it is used. Do people who don't have children do so in order to pile up riches, or to serve God in some way other than having children? It is the same thing with singleness. Are we single so we can be selfish, or are we single so that we can serve God? The issue is not contraception or singleness, but how they are used, to the glory of God [1 Cor. 10:31] or for ourselves.

    That being said, the rest of the article was very good, and very helpful.

  64. otrmin says:

    Interesting article.

    A few things I don't agree with. First, we need to be a culture centered on scripture, not on marriage. While marriage is very important, knowing God's word is infinitely more important, because it tells us where the work is needed in our culture. Hence, I would say that marriage and singleness are parallel, and both are equally legitimate ways of serving God. As far as the passages that have been brought up, Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply" is a command given to entire species of mankind, and not to an individual couple. Genesis 9:1 is a command to the whole covenant community [Notice, Noah didn't have any more sons after the flood even though he was commanded to "Be fruitful and multiply" here]. Also, Malachi 2:15 is an incredibly obscure text, as John Calvin himself said. There are many issues in interpreting that text. Compare the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and ESV, and you will see that the translations are all over the map. [Continued]

    • lmhere says:

      Otrmin – "Genesis 1:28… is a command given to entire species of mankind, and not to an individual couple." It was given to an individual couple & to all mankind. It's a Creation Mandate. It's as much a command as working. They received it in proxy for all humans. *It's possible that you seek godly marriage and children and God denies.* But single service long-term is the exception to the rule. The rule is marry, copulate and procreate. Truly one of our pleasanter duties!
      "Genesis 9:1 is a command to the whole covenant community " Yes, it was a command to every single man on the face of the earth. Again, marriage and procreation is the rule. Long-term singleness is the exception. "Noah and his sons" received the command in proxy for all mankind. Noah is an example of someone to whom God denied more children. But that's God's business, Noah was in the business of working for God.

    • lmhere says:

      Mal 2:15 is not obscure or difficult. I read every translation you suggested and more. The translations were certainly not "all over the map." It's a reiteration of Gen 2:18 with additional insight into Gen 1:28. Even the bit about "the wife of your youth" fits in beautifully – to deal treacherously w/ her, or divorce her, or break faith with her, was an attack on God's command and plan. It's an un-doing of dominion and union. (it's other things too, but I'm trying to deal exclusively with Mal 2:15 and not do a study on marriage as whole throughout the Bible)

      re: Paul's & singleness: http://americanvision.org/910/dont-get-married/

    • SML says:

      I don't think the author is suggesting that we should put marriage in place of God or Scripture. She is pointing out the individual-oriented culture that we live in today, and that our generation grew up with. A look at popular 90s sitcoms shows several that promoted carefree single lifestyles and non-traditional family settings whether overtly or in more subtle ways.

    • Bryan (age 17) says:

      Well, give Noah a break, he was over six hundred years old as I recall…

  65. bzaffini says:

    I think this piece did well in noting a detrimental trend largely ignored, but I am a little unsure of some of the arguments presented. For example, while abortion and birth control present serious challenges to marriage and the family, the explanation presented by this article missed the mark, I think. Abortion and modern contraceptives have certainly lessened the amount of people that would have existed, but in total, the number of young men or women has not diminished over the last generation. The population of the United States has continued to increase (thanks in no small part to our immigration policy).
    A better point might have noted that contraceptives and abortion have devalued marriage, making it primarily about pleasure and personal fulfillment over and above procreation. In other words, pleasure has been divorced from duty, and marriage is perceived as an institution of individual realization rather than an institution imperative to a healthy culture – or encouraged by Scripture.

    • Leanne says:

      That's sort of what my husband said. There are still plenty of people around. Abortion isn't happening (we assume) in the conservative Christian circles. So the lack of good men, Elysse, isn't as much about the numbers as it is the fact that young men aren't taught to stand up and take action. They're sitting around "waiting on God" to dump the right lady in their lap, while the ladies are sitting around "waiting on God" to bring the right man along.

  66. The most amazing thing about this article is that a young single woman has a much better understanding of the issues of marriage than most pastors I know. The article is excellent. My wife's and my observations are exactly the same as those of the author.

  67. Shotgun says:

    Myop…

    No…I'm not buying it.

    There is a major problem today…a "revolt against maturity." People are fleeing their responsibilities before God, and pursuing an atomized existence in cities and suburbs during the day, and drinking (or smoking) away their guilt in the evenings.

    This sort of behavior needs to stop.

  68. Liz says:

    Actually myop there is a valid reason for the statement as God mandated in Genesis that the purpose of man and woman on the earth was to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion over the earth, which was followed by Jesus' mandate in Matthew to go out into all the nations, teach them all He commanded and to disciple them. Christian society today incorrectly views singleness as a more Godly state of being – there is nothing against being a contented single which the author is (I can personally attest to this) but the main issue the article takes is against the apathetic and unBiblical determination to satisfactorily create a paragon of singleness.

  69. myop says:

    People can and should do so much for the Lord when they are single; why can't you just accept that fact and accept those who choose to be single instead of being so negative? You say that being single should be the exception instead of the rule. There's no valid reason for that; it's just your opinion which is fine, but you are so judgmental of those who have a different opinion. I tried to be open minded as I read your article, but the critical spirit which pervaded it definitely did not win me over to your side.

    • lmhere says:

      "You say that being single should be the exception instead of the rule. There's no valid reason for that; it's just your opinion which is fine"

      Actually it's God's opinion.

      " God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." Gen 1:28

      "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Gen 9:1

      "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring." Mal 2:15

      "you are so judgmental of those who have a different opinion"
      - Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? You're the one who has judged her to have a "critical spirit."

      • myop says:

        lmhere, I have not judged her, I have given my opinion. I said that I cannot agree with her article. I did not say that she is a horrible person because she has an opinion which differs from mine; that would be judging. I am not the pot calling the kettle black. I'm simply saying that the author seems to have a judgemental attitude toward single people and those who do not agree that marriage is basically required if you are 'really' a Christian. I'm fine with a difference of opinion, but it's the whole tone of the article which is offensive.

    • 20lady2 says:

      Critical spirit? I didn’t sense a critical spirit at all. I certainly didn’t see any sort of judgment being passed on those who were single.

  70. Liz says:

    "Courting" can be just as bad – there is no perfect method. The unfortunate occurrence seen in many relationships who started courtships was that the couple agreed that the end result of their relationship was to be marriage, and then even when they should have broken apart because of serious theological issues, they did not ending in a marriage as planned, without the foundation of AGREEMENT necessary to have a decent relationship once married. Second, those who did go into it seeing marriage as the end result who DID break it off when they realized they were not compatible was much worse than even a "casual dating" experience, because they had gotten to the point of believing they were dealing with their future mate.

    Unfortunately, relationships are a messy business when not handled properly, and knowing more people who went through a courtship process than a dating one, I can say honestly that courtship holds just as many pains and traumas as a dating relationship. The key is that GOD needs to be the center. The relationship should be patterned after God's heart – through His guidance – with His principles – by HIM. The method of it all is and should be irrelevant. Parents are fallible, and so are methods.

    • Leanne says:

      I agree, Liz, with your assessment of courtship. Most of my friends experienced courtship rather than dating because we all had some fantastic teaching at an early age. But one by one my friends were being deeply hurt by a courtship break-up, much more deeply than my friends who dated. At least the dating friends sort of went in with the understanding that it wasn't necessarily serious. All my courting friends went in with the assumption that he was "the one", and when it didn't work out, they were absolutely devastated. I experienced this myself as well. The two of you immediately talk about all the serious, far-reaching, soul-searching details of life, only to have it all end because of one disagreement that one or both of you might change your mind about later anyway!

  71. myop says:

    Sorry, I can't agree with your article. Perhaps, if you were married to someone who doesnt want to grow up & wants to watch TV all evening/weekend (& thinks you should do the same), you'd understand. Yes, I'm talking about a Christian too. I see frequently that most young people don't have a clue as to what a REAL marriage and relationship are all about. Again, I speak of Christians. When the infatuation wears off in a few years, they wonder what the heck is going on. But by then they've had at least one child so they stay in a bad relationship for that reason. So when the kids are grown, or sooner, they divorce. This pattern is very prevalent throughout the church. All premarital counseling in which I've participated and that of my friends is a total joke. It doesn't even come close to really explaining about the true nature of marriage. And since I, like most others really didn't come from a good familial background when it comes to marriage, I didn't know how lacking my premarital counseling actually was until it was too late. Yes I'm a bit jaded, but it is so easy to observe this problem in every church. Continued…

    • lmhere says:

      "Perhaps, if you were married to someone who doesnt want to grow up & wants to watch TV all evening/weekend (& thinks you should do the same), you'd understand."

      THIS is your beef against your husband? He watches too much tv to suit you, and he has the audiacity of wanting you to join him on the couch? To sit with him in the evenings and weekends? Poor guy.

      • myop says:

        lmhere, I'll ignore your nasty attitude and state that the world doesn't need people who sit around and watch TV (or play on the computer, etc…). They are NOT being salt and light to the world. Satan is certainly happy with those types of Christians and those types of marriages.

        • lmhere says:

          myop, you're quite right, he's avoiding responsibility. I thank you and Shotgun (some ways below) for reminding me of this. I apologize for my attitude. But I do hope you'll also consider checking your (certainly far less than nasty I have to admit) attitude when speaking of marriage, esp of your husband, in public. Yes, it's hard, and people should be honest about that. But what I took from your comment (and I admit, I may have totally misunderstood) was that you are in support of people in my generation (mid 20s to mid 30s) avoiding marriage, not pursuing it. We should not avoid seeking marriage because it is hard. So I overreacted. But I do hope you'll always show your husband the mercy you showed me. Thanks.

    • Liz says:

      Perhaps the first thing to consider when thinking about marriage is the proper attitude towards it and towards one's responsibility to give 100%. I may be off base but what I am gathering from the statements (granted void of intended voice-inflection) is bitterness and looking forward to a child grown so as to begin divorce proceedings. Somehow this is the fault of the church and lack of good premarital counseling – but in fact I think worldview comes into play here. My parents received one hour of premarital counseling, married in their early 20's, had a handicapped daughter die at 5, and celebrated 30 years of happy marriage this year. Did they ever fuss or fight or disagree? Heck yes! Did my mom ever leave (or leave after I was married)? No. Why? Because the worldview and attitude were not set to earthly hedonistic desires but to God's barometer.

  72. jason says:

    I attended a good-sized Christian singles fellowship and that is where I met my wife. We know many married couples who found each other there. But there is definitely an underlying prejudice that kind of says, be spiritual first. If people are actually looking for someone, then it's turning into a "meat market" and that's bad. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say that you need to be perfectly content with God first before he will show you that special someone. There certainly is something to seeking God first, but like this article states, you are often expected to have "arrived" before worrying about marriage.

    Also, I really hated the whole dating culture. I know books have been written about the courtship model. It would be interesting to see more people go that route. Part of my problems in dating was that we would share our deep thoughts and get close, and only then start discussing the future, only to find out that we wanted vastly different things. It would greatly help if two people were to form anything more than a friendship, to start discussing up front what it is they are looking for, and avoid all the emotional turmoil that comes from dating, breaking up, and repeating the cycle. That seems very unnatural because it goes against the prevailing dating culture that relies on emotions first — "falling in love."

  73. Shotgun says:

    Unfortunately Ms. Liz, there are a myriad of church growth enthusiasts who see young, single women as a vital marketing asset in growing the population of their church.

    In addition to overt marketing ploys involving singles ministries and the like…"pimp evangelism" is growing in a number of covert ways, including the promotion of foreign adoption and interracial marriage. "Perhaps"…they may think…"we can turn Haiti into a United States if we just adopt their children, or marry off our daughters to them?"

    The concept is disgusting in my humble, antique-European opinion.

    The article highlights an important point; that the marriage problem among today's Christians is of a worldview nature. After decades of soaking in this acidic and rabidly anti-family culture…it's no wonder that people see unions (or possibly unions) in terms of the state.

    In the end…the same thing that was true in the Garden of Eden is true today…the man and woman who work together, stay together.

    • msusapatriot says:

      God hates interracial marriage. He said each with their own kind which means NO dating out of one's race.

      • biblicalconservative says:

        that is so bigoted.. the very concept of ethnic races didn't exist until a 2.5+/- millennia ago.. If you believe the Bible to true then you'd know that all of us humans are descended from Noah. We are all family. The biblical meaning of 'kind' in the context you used it is all creatures that can through sexual relations generate fertile offspring. I'm sure you'd have a hard time finding someone to affirm that certain humans couldn't produce fertile offspring for ethnic reasons.

        • Shotgun says:

          Mr. B.Conservative,

          I'm happy being called a "bigot" by a rabidly anti-Christian society.

          I'd be interested in hearing you flesh out your view of what a "biblical meaning of kind" is…and how you derive it from the text.

          Additionally, your discussion here lacks clarity. If we're all one family, then the Biblical laws against incest would apply, and all ethical humans would die out. On the other-hand, we could take it to mean that physical distinctions are meaningless, and therefore, men could marry men!

          You seem to be arguing for a middle-position between those two extremes, but give no reason why we should settle there.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          You are those who agree with you are sick!
          The greatest commandment is to love.

      • Concerned reader says:

        I am disgusted by your comment. You are interpreting it the way you would like for it be stated.
        On many of these verses used to disapprove of interracial marriage: We can clearly see that God's concern was that marrying outside the "church" (Israel was the Church of the Old Testament) would cause Israel to turn away from God. The command is similar to what we read in the New Testament in 2 Corinthians 6:14,
        "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." (2Corinthians 6:14, NKJV)

        Who allows these types of comments to appear on this site??

      • MillieSarah says:

        Actually, there are examples of God-blessed interracial marriages in Scripture. Also, I’m not quite sure where God says to only marry into your own kind. You may be thinking about the natural law in Genesis that each animal will produce after it’s own kind, or the laws that command that Christians oughtn’t to be unequally yoked with non-Christians.
        I would not consider for a moment dating a nonbeliever, no matter how close his race was to mine or how nice-looking he was! I would consider someone of a completely foreign ‘race’, if he loved and submitted to God.

      • 20lady2 says:

        I think it was “each reproduce after their own kind.” (the basic idea) Meaning plants produce plants, whales produce whales, birds produce birds, and so on. If we all came from Adam and Eve, then we are all of one blood and one race. Marring inter-racially still produces humans, and still fulfills the command to produce “after their own kind.”

      • jubilee says:

        you are not a PATRIOT . You are a BLACK OR WHITE SUPREMIST infilterating within christian circles—each to his OWN KIND, means SPECIES ONLY….sometimes the KKK or BLT will get within the CHRISTIAN CHURCH and muddy the waters….this may be one of the reasons we have lost some influence within the culture itself within the last 49 years…and just about to lose the country…regarding marriages—I believe, although simplistic, girls/women should dress as feminine as possible wear SKIRTS/DRESSES. pants only on occasion instead of the other way around..men may marry more if they want to fine their ‘better half’

  74. TimR says:

    Wonderful article. Sometimes we can throw out the baby with the bathwater. In our well-intended and conscious emphasis on purity in relationships and courtship in preparation for marriage, we have at times become overly zealous, even religious, in our attitudes about single relationships. I agree with the author that we have overly glorified singleness, or, in our case, just been much too cautious about pressing for marriage as a goal. In a community that is serious about purity, we ought not lose the joy of living; and there is little that brings more joy than nascent love. Let's keep it that way.

  75. Liz says:

    I know people who turned atheist from having done just that, Seattle. I don't think anyone with a biblical worldview would recommend anyone go collecting lost souls to be unequally yoked to through marriage… ?

    • aseattleconservative says:

      I'd say the conversion rate from atheisism to Christianity is much higher than that of Christianity to atheisim

      Be naughty, go out and actually talk to a heathen, it won't kill you.

    • jubilee says:

      It’s usually WOMEN who try to convert by missionary dating…men are too passive in the church or married by 22..which is why many christian girls/women missionary date in the first place

  76. God ordains all that is to come to pass. To ask the author of this article to step out into the cesspool of humanity in order that she might find a fellow who longs for the truth to be shared to them is nonsensical. Before time was created God ordained a number to be saved and if He so wills it will bring this young lady into contact with the individual she will share the rest of her life with. God calls us to a life of obedience. To risk disobedience and temptation for the cause of one's happiness is foolish. She is fine just where she is and obviously has the platform in her daily life to touch the lives and hearts of people, even the lost. The lost, however, have no desire to be saved. That comes only with the quickening of the Holy Spirit. Let us not tempt God and throw caution to the wind. Whatsover He wills will come to pass. There is no need to immerse ourselves into a godless culture. We are called to be salt and light, not vinegar and shadows.

  77. QuiverfulMomof12 says:

    If all these ideas are so effective why are you still single? I think you need a hobby. Go out and find your passion and live it. Someone who has purpose is very attractive.

    • Liz says:

      Quiverful Mom of 12….. …… ……….. letting that one sink in.

      I believe that the first paragraph of this article was a statement as to how the author does not claim to be an expert, but is providing insight gathered from a life that is FULL of purpose.

      Third, the author may not be known to you and I grant that must be why you are unaware that she is one of the most purpose-driven and society-engaging persons I have ever met. She knows people in every state, has authored a book, assists her sister with a start-up non profit dedicated to assisting foster kids leaving the state system, plans national events for another organization, is a modern-day female version of Brother Andrew, taking Bibles at great personal risk into countries where Christianity is illegal, is assisting with the campaign of one of the state's most likely candidates for Governor, and….plans activities for groups like hiking and museum visiting. I think I'm even missing some of her "hobbies"….!

    • Autumn says:

      Elysse was merely trying to point out some issues of this generation to generate some ideas on how to correct a growing problem.

      I am a personal friend of Elysse and I don't know anyone that works harder and with more purpose than she does. Please don't judge her out of hand. This is a very real issue that is faced by Elysse, myself and a vast number of our friends.

  78. Leah says:

    seattle, did you just suggest Elysse to find a good heathen boy to marry? Did I read that right?

    • aseattleconservative says:

      Yes. Finding a man that is hungry for the truth is better than finding a boy who was raised with it.

      I'll take a convert to Christ anyday over someone who hasn't even got a glimpse of what evils the world has to offer.

      • msusapatriot says:

        I would rather have a boy raised with it because my father was raised Christian and he is no boy. The Bible teaches men to take responsibility for their lives where the heathenish man shirks their responsibility.

  79. NickKane says:

    Once I saw what huge distraction the carnal concept of dating was, I laid it aside to serve Christ and my Brother and Sisters in Him. I know of Sisters in the Church who are so consumed with trying to find a mate they go through men like a hooker goes through "johns". Any man or woman who believes that someone other than Christ may "complete" them should not enter into marriage until that understand differently. One depraved human could never "complete" another. Because many have failed to understand this basic concept, the Church is riddled with divorce and remarriage. Seek first the Kingdom of God and God will add a spouse unto you. Marriage is part of God's design but seeking Christ at all times is our main objective. Don't allow being consumed with finding a spouse interfere with that.

    • Paul says:

      There is nothing so rewarding as serving "The Messiah".
      However, the two greatest commands are to Love the LORD G-d with all your mind, heart and soul and your neighbor as you do yourself.

      Nothing short of "marriage" can fulfill that reward.

      Proverbs states a chord of three strands is not easily broken. The reason this is true is that each individual strand touches each other only with a maximum of three.

      Marriage between a man a woman who are joined together in covenant relationship with each other and with the Father will continue to thrive.

      Refusing to marry, is an excuse of fear.

    • randellmd says:

      "seek ye first.." "be complete in Christ" etc. These are all scriptures pulled out to form and opinion (really i lie) about what has just been talked about here.Read the article again. you missed everything she said in it. And i have been saying the same for years and these concepts of "dating is not in the bible" "don't look for a mate" "become 'complete' in Him" are not sound biblical teaching for singles. If you want to talk about complete than let's look at Adam. It wasn't until God made Eve for him that he "became complete." So the argument can go that way as well. the verse "seek first the kingdom…" in context has nothing to do with marriage. it is speaking of pursuing material things for everyday living. the verse, and you are complete in Him." tells us we ARE "comlete" in Him. It has to do with our position in Christ not some level we have to achieve to be "qualified" for marriage. Not saying there is no maturity level we should reach but most of are adults but the teachings are legalistic and putting people in bondage.

  80. lmhere says:

    Apparently I need to have my eyes checked too – I can't beleive what I just read!

    Elysse, you clearly aren't trying hard enough. You just need to go SAVE yourself a husband. Convince him to love Jesus, marry him up real quick before another Christian girl snatches him up, or before he shows evidence of false "conversion" (so you can sidestep the accusation of purposefully seeking to be unequally yoked). Then you can have all the fun trying to submit to a baby Christian who may or may not have overcome his porn (or equally disturbing) addiction. Good luck with that.

    Pardon me while I go puke.

  81. lmhere says:

    Time to get your reading glasses prescription checked, seattle. "We must resolve to be counter-cultural, to take the harder path and quit settling for the one of least resistance. Yes, that means taking risks."

  82. aseattleconservative says:

    I call today's youth the culture of isms: hedonism, nihilism and narcissism. You might do well in finding a mate by wandering out of your comfort zone Elysse. With a generation of lost souls wandering aimlessly, there are secular men that are dying to find a woman that will share the truth with them.

    • Jeramiah says:

      Seattle, You seriously didn't just suggest a Christian specifically look for a non-Christian spouse… did you?

      Sure, there may be plenty of secular men out there… but come on… what fellowship has light with dark? Why seek to be unequally yoked?

      Christian to non-Christian union is not a comfort zone issue.

    • jkvmi says:

      2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (New International Version)
      Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

      This is just about the worst "advice" I have ever heard. And speaking from personal experience, missionary dating is disastrous.

      • aseattleconservative says:

        We were all "unbelievers" at once. You weren't born a Christian, you were taught the gospel by people who loved you and cherished the truth. Share the truth Elysse, God will bless you for it.

        • lmhere says:

          To quote Liz:
          "Third, the author may not be known to you and I grant that must be why you are unaware that she is one of the most purpose-driven and society-engaging persons I have ever met. She…has authored a book, assists her sister with a start-up non profit dedicated to assisting foster kids leaving the state system, … is a modern-day female version of Brother Andrew, taking Bibles at great personal risk into countries where Christianity is illegal"

          So it sounds like "shar(ing) the truth" isn't something that Elysse neglects. Please don't lump her in w/ the lackluster young singles you know of.

        • aSeattleConservative says:

          I've been exposed to lackluster young singles that profess to be Christian on an unmentioned website. I wouldn't suggest Elysse talk to these hypocrites let alone marry one of them.

    • msusapatriot says:

      The Bible tells us not to yolk ourselves with heathens. The secular society reflects a fallen sin nature that can be reversed if wanted bad enough. If anyone is a hypocrite it is you aseattkeconservative.

      • aSeattleConservative says:

        If you were to reread my original post, I made no mention of marrying a heathen. On the contrary, I stated that If Elysse were to share the truth with a lost soul who is aimlessly wandering looking for the truth, then perhaps a friendship (and something even more) would result from it.

        It's amazing the "caste system" that certain people in the Christian community adhere to. For example, look at Imhere's putdown of Born Again Christians, referring to them as "baby Christians" (yet he isn't able to come back with a worthy response when I mention that 50% of Christian men are ADDICTED to pornograhpy).

        There is no hypocrisy in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone and everyone, the hypocrisy is in those who seem to think they have a patent on it.

        • lmhere says:

          "It's amazing the "caste system" that certain people in the Christian community adhere to. For example, look at Imhere's putdown of Born Again Christians, referring to them as "baby Christians" "
          - Sir, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, all true Christians are "Born Again." So there's no caste system and it's not a put-down – it's what we all are.

          If some were re-born more recently, then it's accurate to call them a baby Christian. Those humans who are recently born also called babies. It's not a put-down.

          "yet he isn't able to come back with a worthy response when I mention that 50% of Christian men are ADDICTED to pornograhpy"
          - Having the good sense to avoid a rabbit trail with aseattleconservative hardly suggests inability to address a topic.

        • aSeattleConservative says:

          LOL…ok.

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