Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Christian Men Don't Date or Marry Christian Women

I recently read an article on BlackandMarriedWithKids that highlighted the 12 reasons why christian men don't date or marry christian women.

This particular article derived from an earlier post where the writer questioned why we were seeing several prominent male christians marrying women who wouldn't be considered "church girls" (e.g. Rusell Wilson & Ciara, Israel Houghton & Adrienne Bailon, Noel Jones and Lisa Raye etc)

Here are some of the 12 reasons. Go to the article for the full list.

- They don't feel valued by christian women
- Christian women are too busy
- Christian women are too sanctimonious
- Not feminine enough
- Two-faced
- Always preaching, never listening

There were so many things that bothered me about this premise. I would like to briefly relay them below:

#1 - Why are we presuming that these women aren't christians? Just because "christian" isn't part of their public persona does not mean that they are not christians who are plugged into someone's local congregation off the radar. This may sound like a naive point in the cases of some of the women mentioned in the first article, but I think it is important to make note of nonetheless.

#2 - Reading this article, one would think that the bible presents dating outside the church as an option for christians. In my mind, the BMWK article could have just been a tweet that read:

Professing christians often find ways to justify their sin - especially when it comes to dating and relationships

And that would be it. The bible is clear concerning why christians should only marry other christians. I don't think it is fair or responsible to just quote 2 corinthians 6:14 and say "that settles it -there's your reason why". There is a big picture reason why and it has a lot to do with God's intentions for marriage and what marriage is meant to reflect. If you're looking for a deeper answer, go here for a start.

#3 - From this article, you would think the difficulties mentioned in the list do not exist with women outside the church. "Oh - christian women don't value me, let me go on Tinder and find a woman who values me" Seriously, dude? Take several seats and put your phone down 😒

#4 - You would also think churches aren't FULL OF SINGLE WOMEN. One or two less than ideal attempts at a relationship doesn't mean "give up". If that is the standard, no one would date ever.

#5 - The only people that should get asked a question about why they're dating outside the church
(specifically within christian circles for the purpose of building up and maturation) are christian women. I'm not proposing this as a rule henceforth now and forever - just making a point. 

I would expect the responses to mostly hover around the fact that waiting on God to send a mate is hard and loneliness is a beast.

I don't remember the song, but I heard a female r&b singer sing "I have so much love to give" about herself (her context being "VERY SINGLE"). 
A lot of people have love to give and they want to give that love to another person but they feel like they don't have a chance of encountering that other person to give it to - or they're not sure when or if it will happen. That is a very difficult feeling to deal with. 

There is also a lot to unpack in the previous paragraph about looking to be satisfied in romantic relationships (in an ultimate sense, not in a "within the relationship" sense), but that requires its own post.

From a big picture perspective, I think that this is why it is important for churches to not neglect ministry to singles of all ages. Lots of churches make a huge pivot to focus only on marrieds and families (this is not the case with urban black churches - also another post) and in doing so neglect their singles. This cannot be.