I’ve written about these before, but let me address them more directly.
I was reading across one of Dalrock’s recent posts and there were a couple of links posted:
- The 35 year old’s just in time marriage
- It’s okay to grieve & Singles and the Church: Why It Sucks to be Unintentionally Overlooked
In both articles there are a bunch of reasons given why this is the case including:
There are a lot of things this epidemic can be blamed on:
* the ratio of males to females in the body of Christ is one reason;
* the small size of the generation born in the late seventies compared to the baby boom of the early 80’s is another
* and the “kiss dating goodbye” teachings of the 90s and early 2000’s where women were taught to never pursue or show interest in a man but just wait patiently is another.
Reason #1- People underestimate the difficulties that singles face.
Reason #2- Influencers in the church are not often single.
Anyway, I don’t really know these particular ladies, so what I say may not necessarily apply to them. However, these are the three main issues:
The first elephant in the room is attraction. For those of you who haven’t read this blog from the beginning, when I posted Practical ways to improve your desirability and attractiveness to a prospective spouse to boundless nearly 2 years ago it was promptly deleted as too offense.
Scary, right? Apparently attraction is not deemed important enough to be talked about by Focus on the Family’s Singles blog for dating and marriage to the point where it is instead deemed offensive. This ignores the blatant reality that no one wants to marry someone that they aren’t attracted to.
Now, I’m probably not the best example of talking about which people are undatable due to attraction issues as I have high standards, but the sad fact is that 67-70% of people in the USA are overweight or obese. Let’s be real. No one wants to marry someone that is overweight or obese. Sure, some overweight and obese people do get married, but the simple reality is that both men and women want someone who is aesthetically attractive to look at.
It is extremely perilous for Christian women to ignore the fact that the nature of men that God created is to be attracted almost solely to physical appearance. If a woman wants to be married and she is not actively seeking to improve her chances through good sleep, nutrition, and exercise she is only sinking her own chances. It’s no secret that men tend to congregate around attractive women vastly upper her chances of being asked out by the few attractive men in the Church.
Sure, a woman may not be able to improve her facial genetics, but a nice toned body indicates to a man that she cares about her physical appearance and that it is attractive.
There is an interesting chart from the rules revisited on the modifiable aspects of feminine beauty. I disagree with some of them categorizations as I probably know more about the human body than the author; however, the vast extent of physical appearance is changeable and can be attractive.
Obviously, the same goes for men as well.
The general theme that I always talk about is based on the law of the reciprocal. In other words, become the ideal spouse of your ideal spouse. However, it never hurts to be more attractive than required as that opens up more possibilities.
I am not discounting developing a godly personality… but it is attraction that gets your foot in the door for women. You need your foot in the door to even have a shot at becoming a keeper to a man. Most men don’t like women who are overweight or obese. That’s the cold hard truth.
Feminization of the Church
The second issue has to do with the feminization of the church. This issue is actually extremely multi-faceted and the statistics about 40:60 or 45:55 women to men in the church only begins to describe.
Essentially, the feminization of the church creates an atmosphere to where men are unwelcome. This can be due to any number of factors including:
- I love Jesus worship songs, especially about feelings (as if most men want to declare their love and their feelings about Jesus publically).
- Preaching about how men fail (as if men need another beatdown about how they fail aside from the one they get from culture)
- Women = good. Men = bad. (as if only men are the only ones failing their roles and responsibilities in marriage… whens the last time you heard a sermon telling women to respect their men in all things and submit to him in all things?)
- Women being promoted for ministry positions in the church not necessarily “pastor.” Not so prevalent in the Catholic or Orthodox but very in Protestant Churches.
- Bible studies geared more towards talking than about studying the Word. Varies upon Church.
- No grounding in apologetics study (men like concrete information about their faith and why it’s true).
- Destructive information is propagated about men being attracted to physical appearance.
- Destructive information is propagated about men’s sexual drive.
- Women are more spiritual because they… buy more Christian books (as if that determines spirituality)… or they are more likely to show up at church (ignoring that it’s a hostile atmosphere for men)… or the are more likely to attend Bible studies (again, feminized teaching).
There are obviously many other factors, but in many cases the Church has become a place that is extremely unwelcoming for men. There are many topics that discuss this but no one wants to do anything about it.
The two main areas that I always suggest to women who do want men to “step up and lead” are:
- Step down from ministry positions and instead have men fill them. Men only learn to become leaders by taking a position of leadership and then learning through trial and error perhaps failing in places along the way. This is the biggest issue, and the sad fact of the matter is that most women don’t want to step out of the way and follow men’s lead.
- Encouragement, respect, and enthusiasm. It’s easy to tear down but it’s very hard to build up. Yet, all you hear are women complaining about the lack of men even in the Church. Yet, none of these women actually encourage men who are trying to become men… even though that encouragement and admiration is exactly what she is supposed to do if she is a wife.
You really want to know why there are no eligible Christian masculine men?
The atmosphere in the church is hostile to such men. The atmosphere of worship, teaching, Bible study, and even fellowship is not one that men want to hang out in most of the time. Women are clogging up all of the leadership positions that men would otherwise use to learn and grow as leaders. The women don’t encourage men as they are growing and learning to be men. They only complain. How would it be if you’re a single woman and the men are complaining that there are no good Christian single women in the Church?
This leads me into another reason which is…
Mentors and discipleship is lacking
This should be pretty clear given many of my posts geared toward teaching men how to be men and giving examples of what they need to do to find a godly wife. The two main examples being: my 5 step process to maturity in relationships, and my detailed timeline and how-to guide to finding a wife.
Simply put, most men’s ministries are sad shells of what they could be. Most of the time it’s men getting together maybe once a month to talk to each other about their failings. Or have a preacher preach to them about their failings. The marriage ministries aren’t much better. These could be fruitful times that men could use to pair up with men who are farther along in the faith than them and who have walked through a similar journey in marriage. The older men could give advice, mentor, and disciple these younger men. Likewise, the same can be true of the women’s ministries. This would fulfill the passages of Titus 2 among other discipleship and mentoring passages which are from older men to younger men and older women to younger women.
However, the sad case is that no one really cares about the young men in the Church. They are allowed to drift along by their own feelings. They are carried every which way because they are not grounded in the faith. They are preached at by their failings, yet not instructed with concrete examples of what they should be doing or the road they should be walking. Only vague garbage like “don’t look at porn” or “don’t treat women this way.” This being the reason that I consistently harp on the fact that if you are eliminating something it must be replaced by something else.
However, men tend to be best when someone gets down in the dirt with them and walks life with them. We build a camaraderie with each other where we experience and go through things together, and that makes us stronger because we have been there through the pain and the hurt. As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. There are very few older men who are willing to take young men under their wings now. This is the sad indictment of the Church at large.
All of these are tied together by lack of authenticity and truth.
Yes, it may hurt someone’s feelings to tell someone that they are overweight. Yet, in the long run the truth is more important. It illuminates blind spots, and allows someone to stop seeking comfort for their feelings over reality.
Yes, being overweight and sedentary can and will hurt most people’s chances on dating and marrying someone they are attracted to. That’s a simple fact of life.
Yes, the feminization of the Church drives men away. The lack of leadership positions that goes to women drives men away. Yet, no one wants to change their church to be more affirming and receptive to men all the while complaining about the lack of Christian masculine men. Don’t make me laugh.
Yes, the dearth of mentoring and discipleship in churches means that most men will still be boys instead of learning how to become men. Boys need to be taught by fathers or father-figures in order to be men. How many boys in the Church have father figures doing that? 20? 10%? Less?
Yeah, you may have been sold a crappy pile of goods. So what? We all were. The real question is: What are you going to do about it? Sit there and go woe is me? Or are you willing to make changes in your own life that will help you get toward the goal you want?
For the women
Christian feminine passivity has always bothered me. Yeah, sure, maybe it’s not a good idea to ask a man out. But you should be doing everything you can behind the scenes in order to find a husband.
I’ve used the college or job analogy before. It’s been criticized but it generally fits: you don’t sit on your application or resume and wait for acceptance or jobs to come to you. Sure, you could get some, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get many offers unless you are an exceptionally attractive candidate if you get my drift. You write essays, you study, you get tutors if you need to, you jump at every and any opportunity to make yourself more attractive to prospective colleges or employers in hopes that you get interviews.
I talked about my own journey in the timelines post, and I used every available resource to me to find my current girl. Tried the online dating. Asked women out at church and multiple fellowships. Leveraged all of my social networks including friends, some trustworthy family, and others to see if there were single Christian women meeting my criteria. I did not go on any blind dates, but I would have.
In my particular case, it ended up being the case that a couple friends, at a worship service in the middle of the night, told me about a girl who they had met a year prior who fit my criteria. It was another 6 months before I connected with her, online first, and we hit it off. I took my search seriously by being bold and not afraid to ask friends — Christian AND non-Christian — if they knew of anyone serious about their faith and attractive.
Yeah, it’s nice to be passive and hope you meet someone, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask your social networks to find someone. If you’re serious about your search and marriage then be serious about it. You may not be doing the leading in the relationship or the asking on a date-ing, but since you have strong social networks you should be leveraging them as much as you can. Online dating is a much better place for women too. Just go on first dates before you dismiss people.
The ratios of women:men in the Church now are such that a large percentage of Christian women simply will not find a spouse. If 60:40 is the ratio of women to men in the Church, then 20% of 60% or 1/3 of women will not find a spouse. In fact, since the vast majority of men aren’t that attractive — let’s say 50% — that leaves 50% of Christian men that will marry. If 20% of the men marry 20% of the women then that means 40% of 60% of Christian women won’t marry which is 2/3rds or 67% of Christian women won’t marry.
That approximately describes the ratios that I see in many churches: there’s at least 2 single women for every young married couple.
Although the long term data on Dalrock’s doesn’t back it up yet, the Church is probably in a worse state than the world in terms of marriage because of lots of other “requirements” on top of being attractive and compatible.
That’s something the women are going to have to deal with, and it won’t be pretty. The two blogs I linked, and one of my first introductions to this place by Haley as well. At the end of the day you have to decide for yourself whether you want to be passive or not. I would personally feel better about my singleness if I did everything I could to meet attractive Christian men rather than hoping and praying that one comes to me. Then again, Wayne Gretzkey’s “you miss all of the shots you don’t take” may resonate more with me than you.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking solely about passivity in the sense of getting dates although that will help. I’m talking about passivity in terms of your physical appearance/attractiveness, and developing a strong feminine personality and desire to be a wife.