A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Marriage Makes Men Healthier ... Not.

Another myth about the so-called "benefits of marriage" for men bites the dust. Click here for the smoking gun.

55 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

"Never-married men have steadily reported better health and now report health approaching that of their married peers."

Well, lessee. Why would this be? Let me speculate on the ways:

-- Singletons don't have to slave away all those extra hours to support a parasitic wife*. Barring a hidden alimo--er, child support order, they keep their moneys for themselves
-- Single men have access to equivalent amounts of sex and relationships on their terms (thanks Feminism!) without need to get married. Also, how many men live in sexless marriages?
-- Single men live the way they want to, not what some emasculating betty wants

-- There are probably more ways, I just can't think of them right now

"The self-rated health of the widowed, divorced, and separated worsened over time relative to the married."

This tells me one thing. Men need to choose mates wisely. Your longevity may depend on it, and you'll be worse off as a divorcee on many levels than if you never got married in the first place.

* "parasite wife": a woman who demands that her husband provide her with a life of relative leisure. If she's not working as hard as he is to contribute to the home, she's by definition parasitic.

Amir Larijani said...

From a health and fitness standpoint, I understand where singleness can be an advantage. With the time on my hands, I'm a bona fide gym rat, and my nutritional regimen--microwave cuisine--would probably drive most women up the wall. As a result, I'm VERY fit.

On the other hand, Wapiti is right. The effects of divorce or widowhood on health cannot be negated as an element of risk.

In this respect, while the physical fitness of one's potential mate is to be considered--how one takes care of one's self in singleness is an indicator of how he or he will do so in marriage--spiritual fitness is even more paramount.

SavvyD said...

Most people don't seem to be very happy either single or married. Some people who had a bad marriage are determined to try again, fools though they are believed to be.

Choosing a mate wisely is part love, part compatibility. Most people I have talked to said they thought love could conquer everything. Christians are especially devasted when things don't work out.

I've got an idea--let's try treating each other well, with respect and talking about our issues without bringing up every wrong and actually respecting marriage vows by being faithful. How revoluionary would that be??

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy says: I've got an idea--let's try treating each other well, with respect and talking about our issues without bringing up every wrong and actually respecting marriage vows by being faithful. How revoluionary would that be??

Well, Savvy, here's a news flash: women are a lot more likely to divorce men than the other way around.

That's not to say that men don't do the same--they certainly do--but the filers of divorce are overwhelmingly women.

And yes...it goes on in the churches, and--no matter what the circumstances--the men are the ones who get blamed and ostracized.

And if they have children they are likely to lose custody, get accused of all manner of evil in court, all while the church pats the woman on the butt and coddles her for the "abusive" relationship she was in.

Then, when she remarries, they will put all the nice spiritual window-dressing on it, all while kicking the ex-husband when he is down.

Christina said...

Ok...

I have my own opinions on this...

Anything I present can be one, another, or some combination of all of the above.

AND - I'm not gonna label all women as "parasitic wives", but I'm not gonna leave that general variety out, either.

Things that typically contributed to better health in the past:
- Home cooked meals (vs eating out)
- Through a combination of well-thought out and sacrificial roles, less stress in the home
- Cleaner home environment
- Someone nagging you to stay home and rest if you are sick
- Someone nagging you to go to the Doctor when you're too sick for home remedies

Things that have utterly destroyed the above:
- Both spouses working - which miraculously leads to the vast majority of what follows
- High stress home environments
- Unclean homes
- Eating Out, and as # of family members increase and income remains constant, amount spendable income decreases, and available food sources are limited to more fast food.
- Processed "ready-to-eat-throw-in-microwave" meals with high amounts of preservatives that have an adverse affect on health

How bout families where one stays home and the other works? Lets look at men staying home:
- Men who would rather stay home than work tend to be gamers and addicts (in the majority)

(I am not outruling exceptions to this)

How about women staying at home?
- Women with no education on how to keep a clean home, how to cook, and would rather watch soap operas all day (parasitic...)

(I am not outruling exceptions to this)

HOWEVER, I still think that for the marriage that actually WORKS (like my parents, my best friend's parents, her fiance's parents, my boyfriend's parents, and a whole bunch of others with marriages that have gone on for 20+ years) - AND THEY EXIST!!! - the reason why men remain healthier is because for the most part, they actually have the TIME to do it. One thing that all of those families have in common is that the wife was well educated in home economics and care and IF she worked, she worked part time or from home.

Unless your my dad, in which case he spent the 10 years that my mother was having kids trying to learn a trade that would support his growing family (because he didn't have one before that) and that cut out much of the time he had available to bum it at the beach...so that by the time he had time again (which he does now), he is so out of shape that its phenomenally more difficult to get the weight back off.

But by golly, he is the happiest man I've ever met.

Also, something that hasn't been taken into consideration is that health education and home education is not what it used to be. Home education doesn't exist and health education is limited to sex-ed. Now, this stuff should be taught in the home anyway, but how many of the last generation do you think actually cared to teach their kids how to clean their room and the bathroom - and paid enough attention to ensure it was done RIGHT?

SavvyD said...

What if the ex didn't realize what an asshole he was? I went out with a guy who had filed for divorce who checked out the waitress up and down obviously, guessed my bra size and tried to get me to go with him to sex shop. Um, yeah. working hard to convince me what a great guy he was. He actually texted me the next night. Yeah, really, what a great guy. What a fine example if manhood at it's best. And guess what, he used to go to church!

In any case, if my husband and I had issues that were fixable *I* would work them out. However, my husband and I clearly have a problem because he is MIA--I haven't met him yet. And OH, THE NAGGING HE WILL GET TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THOSE YEARS I WAITED.

I still hold to my initial suggestion which I think was a very good one:

I've got an idea--let's try treating each other well, with respect and talking about our issues without bringing up every wrong and actually respecting marriage vows by being faithful. How revoluionary would that be??

SavvyD said...

And Amir, that applies to women.

Amir Larijani said...

What if the ex didn't realize what an asshole he was?

Assholery alone does not a case for divorce make. After all, if two people are married long enough, they will have enough ammo to use against each other if they so desire.

Reminds me of the pastor who celebrated his 35th anniversary. "In my 35 years of marriage to my lovely wife, NEVER ONCE have we ever considered divorce. Murder? YES! But never divorce!"

I went out with a guy who had filed for divorce who checked out the waitress up and down obviously, guessed my bra size and tried to get me to go with him to sex shop. Um, yeah. working hard to convince me what a great guy he was. He actually texted me the next night. Yeah, really, what a great guy. What a fine example if manhood at it's best. And guess what, he used to go to church!

He USED to go to church!

While church attendance alone tells you nothing of his character or values, NOT GOING TO CHURCH tells you EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW. (Or ought to.)

So the real issue, Savvy, is why did you date him when you knew he only USED to go to church?

Or--assuming you didn't know that before the date--why did you not screen that out beforehand?

It seems to me that such a level of commonality ought to be established before there can even be a first date, but then again that's just me.

Ken said...

Another round of great comments. Thanks for this blog and the comments!

Something else to consider: correlation vs. causation.

In the "olden days", perhaps women were more choosey about accepting marriage proposals, and part of that was only marrying a man who was in good health. So of COURSE married men were healthier than single men - but it was their health that made them more likely to get married in the first place!

And yes, I do believe that a good wife can help her man stay healthy (cooking, cleaning, lovemaking, noticing changing spots on his skin, etc.) - but I also believe that a healthy man was more likely in the past to find a good wife. Now, a man can be a recreational drug abuser or an active addict and many women will marry him knowing this.

Finally, with studies like this, you never really know what these married men would be like if they were single, and vice-versa. Perhaps many of these "healthy" married men would have been even healthier if they had never married, for example.

Amir Larijani said...

Christina says:
Things that typically contributed to better health in the past:
- Home cooked meals (vs eating out)
- Through a combination of well-thought out and sacrificial roles, less stress in the home
- Cleaner home environment
- Someone nagging you to stay home and rest if you are sick
- Someone nagging you to go to the Doctor when you're too sick for home remedies


No argument here. What you are describing here is the help-meet model, which is possible when both husband and wife take their marital roles seriously.

Things that have utterly destroyed the above:
- Both spouses working - which miraculously leads to the vast majority of what follows
- High stress home environments
- Unclean homes
- Eating Out, and as # of family members increase and income remains constant, amount spendable income decreases, and available food sources are limited to more fast food.
- Processed "ready-to-eat-throw-in-microwave" meals with high amounts of preservatives that have an adverse affect on health


When both have to work, the dynamics get pretty hairy. As Tyagi and Warren effectively point out in The Two Income Trap, the dual-income family is taking on more risk than the single-income family, and likely has less disposable income.

It can work, but it gets tougher.

Still, I've seen two-income couples maintain otherwise good health. At the end of the day, that comes down to making responsible choices--proper diet, exercise, staying on top of health issues.

But, as Tony Snow's case illustrates, you can do everything right and still die young. When your number is up, it's up.

SavvyD said...

Amir--1 date is not "dating him". I found out these spectacular details on our actual date--in a public place where I met him after driving myself and making sure I watched him got on the freeway in his direction as I went to mine. I accepted 1 date and through that discovered that I wouldn't like another under any circumstances, say, even if he were the last man on earth.

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy says:
Amir--1 date is not "dating him". I found out these spectacular details on our actual date--in a public place where I met him after driving myself and making sure I watched him got on the freeway in his direction as I went to mine. I accepted 1 date and through that discovered that I wouldn't like another under any circumstances, say, even if he were the last man on earth.

Savvy, you're still ducking the issue. (a) How did you arrange the date in the first place and (b) Why did you not seek key details--such as whether he was a Christian, what church he goes to, how often, etc.--before the date?

It seems that you are keeping your standards low in order to find a date, then--when you find one--it turns out to be the lowest common denominator, then you come back bitching about what assholes men are.

I could tell you of the Christian women I've met in church and also online, and even via eHarmony.

Even with proper vetting beforehand--establishing that they are Christians, regular church attendees, etc.--I've experienced no small amount of deception.

Some turn out to be real head cases. Some were bipolar. Some pretended to be interested in marriage while playing footsie with other men on the side.

Others even had good references while suffering from addictions such as drugs and even bulimia.

Others were financially in the soup and hoping for a man to bail them out, others were morbidly obese, some were even looking for sex (and I'm not talking the marital variety).

Would it be fair for me to reduce the Christian women to the lowest common denominator, telling the world what assholes women are?

Or would it be more fair to say, "Ya know...I'm sure there are plenty of fine Christian single gals out there; trouble is they are scattered all over the daggone place!"

And back to the point: the women are overwhelmingly more likely to divorce men than the other way around. Simply chalking that up to male assholery is not an intellectually honest response, given the preponderance of women who marry nonbelievers.

I've seen no small number of such marriages, and I've seen them happen in spite of the fact that there are eligible Christian men in the church, and in spite of counsel regarding the consequences of unequal yokes.

Then, when--not if--those marriages end up in divorce, the women end up going back to those singles classes, strutting around like peacocks who were "Biblically divorced", throwing themselves at the Christian men with whom they would have nothing to do when they were single.

I'll have nothing to do with them. This is because they refuse to take ownership of their junk.

Christina said...

And back to the point: the women are overwhelmingly more likely to divorce men than the other way around.

Booo for PMS.

My mom tells me I'm not allowed to make any serious/life-altering decisions when I'm PMSing.

Good thing she taught me this, cuz seriously, that's when I think my boyfriend is cheating on me, doesn't love me anymore, and when I'm more likely to think he's abusive and not the right guy for me.

So glad I know my brain isn't ok during that time.

I wonder how many other women realize how much an impact changing hormones can have on their decisions?

SavvyD said...

The main issue was that this guy did little to show me that he wasn't the main source of the problems. But I avoid divorce by not going out with him again.

I accept a date, find out what the guy is like and refuse further contact if he's not worth my time. In any case, you never read about me dumping pretzel. Like you said, you can prescreen some things and never find out other things until you are actually there in the mix. When I met that guy, we talked about his children.

What you call "bitching" I call fine story telling and people exposing themselves for who they really are when you listen carefully and don't fool yourself. I'm going to address this date as an actual post on my blog. I haven't actually accepted any dates since then.

SavvyD said...

Considering murder is somehow better than considering divorce...umm...right... After reading about people who DO murder their spouses when they could have divorced them and left them alive makes me wonder how funny of a joke that really is.

Amir Larijani said...

The main issue was that this guy did little to show me that he wasn't the main source of the problems. But I avoid divorce by not going out with him again.

No, Savvy, the main issue is the one you ducked: when I pointed out that women are overwhelmingly more likely to file for divorce than are the men, you asserted that it was due to male assholery. ("What if the ex didn't realize what an asshole he was?")

While there is a case for assholery among both sexes, that alone does not form an acceptable reason for (a) the overwhelming percentage of women who divorce their husbands, (b) the preponderance of Christian women who marry non-believers, or (c) the Church's blaming of men who are divorced.

Respect for the marital covenant requires both parties to be faithful; on the other hand, perfect leadership by the husband does not guarantee perfect response by the wife any more than perfect submission by the wife guarantees perfect leadership by the husband.

Either party can do everything right and that guarantees nothing. And I have seen enough wives--and husbands--abandon marriages for no acceptable reason.

As for the "murder is better than divorce" line goes, don't bitch at me.

In fact, a Tennessee court has established that a woman can kill her husband in cold blood, claim abuse (and not even have tangible evidence), cry a river in court while blaming a dead man who can no longer defend himself, and she gets to serve less than a year and then go free and even get full custody of her kids.

SavvyD said...

"Bitching?"

Having neither divorced, married, or murdered a spouse, I don't feel qualified to answer the question. I do find all facets of it incredibly disturbing.

SavvyD said...

I still hold to my initial suggestion which I think was a very good one--you basically said the same thing but with the words rearranged:

I've got an idea--let's try treating each other well, with respect and talking about our issues without bringing up every wrong and actually respecting marriage vows by being faithful. How revoluionary would that be??

SavvyD said...

Seriously though--I'll answer the other question on my blog on my time. You have to wait for that. Since I'm single I have to worry about ridiculous things like working to support myself--I'm looking for another teaching job while baking the angle for the story. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't bitch?? You're one to talk, Amir! Do you have any idea how much we hear you bitching about gold-digging, parasitic wives, radical feminists, etc, etc...the worst of the worst, despite the fact that the women here are probably the farthest away you can get from that. Do these worst case scenarios REALLY deserve that much sensational airtime? Especially considering the audience you're speaking to?

Oh and the HORRORS of divorce! This from a man who has never himself been married and divorced:

"it goes on in the churches, and--no matter what the circumstances--the men are the ones who get blamed and ostracized...And if they have children they are likely to lose custody, get accused of all manner of evil in court, all while the church pats the woman on the butt and coddles her for the "abusive" relationship she was in...Then, when she remarries, they will put all the nice spiritual window-dressing on it, all while kicking the ex-husband when he is down."

All in response to a reasonable suggestion by savvyd "let's try treating each other well, with respect and talking about our issues without bringing up every wrong and actually respecting marriage vows by being faithful"!

Why don't you just speak from your own experience? Which is clearly about being a short single guy?

Amir Larijani said...

Hey Anonymous:

Perhaps you don't know how to read. Or maybe you are too lazy. Which is it?

Anakin and myself have blogged extensively regarding the evangelical leadership, which is predisposed against men at all costs. Examples include headship theology, marriage mandaters, and high-profile counselors who insist that when marriages fail, men are always completely at fault.

That is the backdrop from which we are speaking.

We also address the legal climate, which is predisposed against men. I also pointed out that women are overwhelmingly more likely to file divorce against men than the other way around.

That is fact, not opinion.

Those may be inconvenient truths, but chalking those up to male assholery--as Savvy did--falls short of any reasonable standard of intellectual honesty.

As for the church treatment of divorced men, it is for real, and no amount of denial on your part will change that fact.

When leaders start acknowledging that TOTAL DEPRAVITY is no respecter of sexes, then you might see some progress in the discourse.

Moreover, Savvy's dating exploits convey respect neither for men NOR for women.

Anonymous said...

amir larijani wrote,

"NOT GOING TO CHURCH tells you EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW."

Not so fast. Without endorsing non- attendance, let's not be so hasty to judge the man on that factor alone. There are some real losers who are in the pew every Sunday morning, and there are some decent and honorable men (Christian or otherwise) who may not attend church (regularly) for any number of reasons.

Anonymous said...

"Anakin and myself have blogged extensively regarding the evangelical leadership, which is predisposed against men at all costs. Examples include headship theology, marriage mandaters, and high-profile counselors who insist that when marriages fail, men are always completely at fault."

Worst case scenarios, all of them.


"We also address the legal climate, which is predisposed against men. I also pointed out that women are overwhelmingly more likely to file divorce against men than the other way around. "

Whatever. This doesn't seem to daunt most of the guys who marry the worst case bimbos in the first place.


"Those may be inconvenient truths, but chalking those up to male assholery--as Savvy did--falls short of any reasonable standard of intellectual honesty."

Actually, she went out on a limb to state that what she said applies to women also. You were quite ready to read into what she said as "chalking it up to male assholery". Although, even if that were her point, would there be no value in looking at those male worst case scenarios, given that the "female worst case scenario" theme had already been introduced by elusive wapiti?? Please don't soap box about intellectual honesty when you've applied such an obvious double standard to the discussion.

And to answer my own question, yes, there would be value in looking at the male contribution to the 2/3 women to male ratio in filing for divorce rather than simply chalk it up to female greed, irresponsibility, sluttishness as has been done here repeatedly. Who files for the divorce says nothing about which party is more culpable for the failure of the marriage.

Divorced women ("divorcees") are often regarded as damaged goods and their trustworthiness suspect by the church, probably as much as men. I get sick of never-married believers like you pontificating about people who make the wrong marital choice. Man, you judge even savvyd for going on one bad date! What do you know??

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, Amir, I could enter into a lengthy discussion of the 2/3rds ratio, looking at the male and female contribution respectively. But why would I even bother? You guys are quite happy to discuss the latter, but not the former. Even when we agree with the guys here about the female contribution, you guys pile on us when any of us even slightly point to any male contribution. There have been some very reasonable women here who shared a lot of concerns with the men on this blog, but they may be turning away from the one-way rants that typically come from the men here. Any woman who rants like that now would be called a feminazi.

Ingulge, if you must, but in the end, all you'll be left with is a bunch of boring bachelor conspiracy theorists.

SavvyD said...

Amir--why are you so obsessesed with telling everyone about my dating? And calling it "exploits" which I never did. In fact, you don't read my blog very carefully at all. So I go out with a guy for coffee or a drink and see what's up...what's it to you?

I have also mentioned guys that I enjoyed going out with. Some I enjoyed going out with initially and they proved that they were not trustworthy. these things happen all the time. In my writing I rarely say some is this, that, or the other. I do let them hang themselves by their actions and words. Read few posts again. I consider myself to be a sort of witness as a petite drama unfolds.

I was being reasonable about my prescription for romance.

So more women file for divorce--and you are dismissing women's stories of abuse. (You meaning lots of readers here.) Wow, so I shouldn't leave and divorce a man who might try to kill me? So Astro who went to church every Sunday yet in the end pressured me to have sex is suddenly a great guy. You yourself said you found out some not too savory things about some Christian you went out with.

I heard a few divorce horror stories tonight:

A guy said one of his friends called everyone and asked them for help moving out in 4 hours because her husband began hitting her and she needed to get the hell away from him. He actually worked with her father and every day went to work and looked him in the eye after hitting her. In any case she moved her stuff out and served him the divorce papers with the aid of a community and her father who called to let her know he had been served and she needed to get out of the house.

Another woman told me her husband made some trips to Asia and brought souvenir back in the form of a subservient Asian girlfriend. He told his wife he thought he should have them both. She filed for divorce. No he doesn't pay alimony--her job pays better than his. Now he complains to her about having to take his subserviant girl everywhere, that she had children he didn't really want and brought her son over here--which he also didn't want. We agreed that subservience is a front for some women.

Last but not least a man left his wife because she didn't want to have sex anymore. The first 14 years were happy the last 10 years he endured it and now divorce proceedings are in process. Canadian law is different, though. She was the one who probably filed the papers.

Maybe women just do the filing, but men have committed the wrong in the form of the first two examples.



The Bible does not address domestic violence that I know of. But the last two cases have very solid grounds for divorce.

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy, Anon:

The 2/3 ratio is--at best--a red herring, because it provides no breakdown among single Christians who have never married.

In fact, the most reliable study on that demographic--and it has issues--shows the men outnumbering the women in all the younger age brackets.

And if you mention the fact that married women are more likely to attend without their husbands, that works against the women, because it represents a prima facie case of the tendency of women to date and marry non-believers. (I've witnessed no small amount of this firsthand.)

Try again, Anon.

As for headship theology, marriage mandaters, and counselors who blame men for all divorces, you call them worst-case scenarios but they are in fact the high-profile voices of the evangelical world. (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Focus on the Family; Steve Farrar has spoken at many a Promuise Keepers event).

Ergo, their voices tend to impact far more than just a few pastors, teachers, and counselors.

Savvy: I only mention your dating exploits to point out why your call for more respect rings hollow with some of us guys.

Oh, and one more thing, Anon: I have been blogging about my experiences. Those cases where churches piled it onto the men? I saw it firsthand. Those cases where divorced women strut around like peacocks? I taught the classes they frequented.

Delta Papa--his phonetic initials--was married to Romeo Papa, the church pianist. She and he were having marital problems. She said he was cheating on her; he said the same about her. She filed for divorce.

The ink had barely dried from the divorce papers when she married the music minister. She would later go on to complain about how "abusive" her ex was. And of course, the church cross-dressed it in all the right spiritual window-dressing.

I've also seen--firsthand--a cell group co-leader have an affair, refuse to reconcile with her hubby, then--when her hubby decided to date the wife of the man with whom his wife was sleeping--his wife decided she had "Biblical grounds" for divorce, married the man with whom she was having the affair, and the two are now medical missionaries in Africa.

What about the folks at the church? How did they reconcile this? Oh...she said he was abusive.

So all she has to do is claim he was abusive, and that just sanctifies all sin.

Again, Anon, Savvy: the issue is less about the people having the affairs and doing the divorcing, and more about the evangelical culture that foments its prevalence.

Amir Larijani said...

Anon says:

Divorced women ("divorcees") are often regarded as damaged goods and their trustworthiness suspect by the church, probably as much as men. I get sick of never-married believers like you pontificating about people who make the wrong marital choice. Man, you judge even savvyd for going on one bad date! What do you know??

With savvy, it was part of a pattern, and she knows what I am talking about. This wasn't about one bad date.

While I have great empathy for her struggle, and for the way her own church has treated her, that still does not give her license to treat men like toys and then complain about what sexed-up jerks they are.

And Savvy: with all due respect, that is how you come across on your blog, and it is not just myself who has made that observation.

Anon: As for women who "make the wrong marital choice", what do you mean by that? If I gripe about women who marry non-believers, I have room to do so.

How many books are there in print in which the author castigates women who do that? I can, however, point to a very prominent author who rails at men for offenses both real and imagined.

As for divorced women, I have no stew with them, provided they are honest about their pasts.

I have a lady who blogs in my space--Ame--whose ex was a sex addict who cavorted with prostitutes. I have blasted him as much as anyone on my pages, and have shown nothing but grace to her.

On the other hand, when a gal--who knowingly married a non-believer--struts around about how she is "Biblically divorced" when in fact she knowingly married a non-believer in the first place, that does not tell me she learned her lesson, and it also tells me that no matter what she does wrong, it will always be someone else's fault.

I simply refuse to be her next victim.

That I don't give blanket approval to everyone hardly constitutes being judgmental.

As for Savvy, I deeply empathize with her struggles. I just wish she would not let her past experiences drive her to act according to the lowest common denominator. The latter will only guarantee more hardships.

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy says:
So more women file for divorce--and you are dismissing women's stories of abuse. (You meaning lots of readers here.) Wow, so I shouldn't leave and divorce a man who might try to kill me?

No one is dismissing all claims of divorce, only the unwarranted ones in which "abuse" is so broadly-defined that it constitutes any argument that exceeds 50 decibels.

I lived with a married couple during my final year of college. They were really a cool couple.

Turned out she'd been married before. Lived with him for 6 months before they got married and he was a nice guy. Then, after she married him, he beat the snot out of her. Put her in the hospital twice.

She divorced him.

One could argue that she was wrong for living with him beforehand--and she was--but keep in mind that neither were believers. Even then, she didn't deserve to be abused.

I have other horror stories of real abuse, not ones manufactured after-the-fact wherein no real abuse was going on.

(And yes, I know more than my share of the latter.)

Oh, and one more thing, there are abusive wives, just as there are abusive husbands.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:

Ingulge, if you must, but in the end, all you'll be left with is a bunch of boring bachelor conspiracy theorist

Well, what you call boring others might call exciting. That's all about personal preference.

As for "conspiracy theorists", you must have some misunderstanding, or simply have been selective in your reading of my blog space.

In fact, on my very blog space, I say the following: "While I do not subscribe to [the John Birch Society's] conspiracy theories, I do support their principled pro-Constitution, anti-tyranny stance"

And on the Anthrax case, all I've said is that a conspiracy is possible. Given that our government has lied to us before, the burden of proof is on them to make their case. At the time I commented, I was not convinced that the case had been made.

I do, however, believe that they seem to be doing a better job; however, we probably won't get total closure on this in our lifetimes.

As for "feminazis", who is throwing that word around? All I am saying is that the "gains" of feminism do not justify the price that has been paid.

If you would like to make the case that 50 million dead children is justified by "equal job/equal pay", you are welcome to make your case.

You have equated attacks against feminism with attacks against women. I would disagree with that presupposition.

Amir Larijani said...

One more thing, Anonymous:

If you wish to assert that men are more culpable in marital failures than are women, then you don't understand Scripture. Last time I checked, the problem of sin was a two-way street.

And in fact, talking to the best pastors I know, about 9 in 10 marital failures are the result of BOTH parties being at fault. We can talk about the five percent where women are solely at fault, and the five percent where men are solely at fault, but--based on my observations--I'll stick by the 90% figure until you show a more credible study.

As for why women are more likely to file divorce than men, there are no easy answers, and that was my point. I could give you some horror stories, just as you could provide me some. At the end of the day, that's anecdotal evidence, not statistical.

On the other hand, there is a prima facie case for my contention that Christian women are more likely than men to marry nonbelievers. I'd suggest that dynamic has something to do with the divorce filings.

And if you wish to pass judgment on folks like myself who might have reservations about marrying a divorced woman, then you also are reflecting a lack of understanding of Scripture. Jesus Himself said that a man who marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Pardon me, but if that doesn't give a man at least some base-level reservations, then maybe there's something wrong with him.

It's not about what I think of the women in question; as far as I'm concerned, she is no better or worse than I am.

While others may think in terms of "damaged goods", I look at it in terms of one of the clearest admonitions expressed by Jesus Himself.

Call me any name in the book, Anonymous, but I didn't write the Bible, nor is it my place to negate clear text when it benefits me.

My view, for the record: we need to let the words of Jesus stand as written, and accept the premise that remarriage is adultery, and that--by the word of Jesus--we would otherwise stand condemned. On the other hand, as Christians, we accept that remarriage is a statement of both our fallenness and a hope for God's grace, realizing that it is a covenant that carries covenant expectations.

Amir Larijani said...

Not so fast. Without endorsing non- attendance, let's not be so hasty to judge the man on that factor alone. There are some real losers who are in the pew every Sunday morning, and there are some decent and honorable men (Christian or otherwise) who may not attend church (regularly) for any number of reasons.

While there are losers in the pews on Sunday, it seems that not being churched does speak to one's lack of groundedness. Ya might wanna read Hebrews on that one.

If a man or a woman does not go to church--assuming no exigent circumstances--that is telling me that he or she is not taking their role in the Body seriously, or that they simply lack maturity.

I wouldn't--as a rule--date a gal who doesn't go to church. While church attendance is not the whole picture, resolute non-attendance is a deal-breaker.

I can understand if she is having problems and readily acknowledges those shortcomings, and accepting that she needs to get back into church, but if she insists on non-attendance, it's a no-go.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous: You remind me of a friend I have from my seminary days (Bravo Charlie). In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were her. And I say that in complementary terms.

I remember those days. Mohler had been freshly-inaugurated. The fundies were drinking the Kool-Aid, and conservatives like myself were cautious but hopeful that we would see more parity.

On the other side, the moderates and liberals were screaming bloody murder. There was a lot of angst--some of it deserved--against Mohler because of his larger agenda. Some of those concerns, sadly, came to pass.

One of the big issues in question was women in ministry, in particular women pastors.

On one side, you had the folks like Mohler who insisted that any such premise is completely outside the will of God and women ought to just shut the hell up and listen to their husbands.

On the other hand, the other extreme was not only for women pastors, but also promoted feminist theology, and ridiculed conservatives like myself who raised legitimate objections.

In the middle, you had folks like myself who saw a case for women pastors (I see it as the exception to the rule) while expressing concern that we did not want the SBC going the way of the ELCA and PCUSA and ECUSA.

Anyone who objected to the far-left was either sexist, misogynist, or downright stupid. If you didn't accept the pro-abortion, God-is-mother, women-are-better-preachers-than-men agenda, you were a sexist or worse.

Similarly, the folks on the far right would not entertain any reasonable discussion of the matter. Whether it was young-earth creationism, women pastors, double predestination, the folks on the far right were class-A pricks.

(For the record: I see it as a tension between those who clamor for truth and those who clamor for freedom. Both are speaking different languages, and neither wants to understand the other. Trouble is, you need both: freedom without truth is anarchy while truth without freedom is old-school Phariseeism in new wineskins.)
As for Bravo Charlie, she was on the far-left, but I looked at her as the big sister I never had, and enjoyed pushing her buttons. We worked at the same place of employment, fought some of the same battles in life, and won more often than we lost.

Recently, her husband--Delta Charlie, also a pastor--died of cancer. While I always had a substantial level of respect for him--we sparred on several issues, and I always felt that I was doing something right because I could hold my own with him most of the time--I was awed by the testimonies of folks who knew him at his funeral.

There were Pagans who came into the Kingdom because of him and his wife.

My point: you are walking into this discussion, which is part of a larger discussion. Until both sides start conceding that each has legitimate concerns, there will probably not be much reasonable discussion on the matter.

Christina said...

Until both sides start conceding that each has legitimate concerns, there will probably not be much reasonable discussion on the matter.

What has frustrated me since learning about this "Male Rights" movement is that when a woman DOES come in trying to understand the other side, she remains lambasted and labeled a Feminist because she concedes and tries to point out that there WAS/IS abuse at the hands of (enough) men to have made a need for some changes, trying to make another side understood - one that's been acknowledged by political systems, but one that has not been acknowledged by many of the men that comment in forums around here.

If you don't know what I'm referring to, then your not ready to actually listen and try to understand the other side.

There are women out there who are TRYING to understand and are trying to raise a FEMALE voice that teaches a woman's responsibilities to countless young woman who have never heard anything but the world's way of doing things.

And yet they are still treated like any common "Feminazi".

Problem is, both sides are waiting til the other concedes. That isn't going to happen. If you want the other side to concede, then you need to. If the other side still refuses, then move on. But take them on as individuals - not as a part of some evil, collective group.

Amir Larijani said...

Christina: Here is the problem....

(1) Anonymous (who is, in my opinion, my good friend Bravo Charlie :::hugs if it's you; if not, 40 lashes with a wet noodle:::), is walking into the middle of a movie. Ya know what happens when you do that? You miss all the plot line that leads up to the point where you walked in.

(2) Savvy had some good points, which, unfortunately, were undermined by some of her own blog stories. While I empathize with her struggles, I--and others--were offended at what appeared to be callous games.

She called for more respect--a laudable call--while some of her stories were patently disrespectful to the guys.

As a personal note, Savvy: We love you over at Singlemind.net. We just want for you to be able--20 years from now--to celebrate a good, happy Christian marriage.

(3) With the issue of divorce, there are no simple answers, anyone who thinks otherwise is smoking something I would legalize.

While Anonymous is right in that many men (wrongly) treat divorced women as "damaged goods", I am also correct about those who would dismiss or minimize what Jesus said on the matter of divorce and remarriage.

(My point is that we need to do a better job affirming the gravity of what Jesus had to say, while extending grace to those who do remarry and--even then--emphasizing the covenant nature and covenant expectations of marriage. Like Anonymous, I also reject the "damaged goods" line of reasoning.)

On the other hand, one can do everything right and still get handed a divorce. I've seen it happen to both sexes.

(4) As for the point of the original blog post, one's choice in mates--given the ramifications of separation and/or divorce--is is very important, arguably as much so as good diet and exercise.

And spiritual fitness is every bit as important--and even more so--than physical fitness.

Some of us have a lot of the former. All of us--men and women--could use more of the latter.

Christina said...

And you know Amir,

If you wrote all your responses like your last one, you might have a lot easier of a time communicating with the women you get into arguments with.

Maybe you should take a lesson from Ted and start "Sandwiching" your responses to get into a good habit.

Anonymous said...

Amir, you've misread almost everything that I said. Kind of ironic after your "don't you know how to read" admonishments to both myself and savvyd. Here we go:

T"he 2/3 ratio is--at best--a red herring, because it provides no breakdown among single Christians who have never married."

I wasn't talking about the man shortage in the church, I was talking about the 2/3 women to male ratio in filing for divorce. But as far as the man shortage in the church, I won't even go there with you because you won't even acknowledge that it exists -- in every age group and demographic, young single men being the most underrepresented men in church according to the churchformen website, which you guys are always pointing to. Practically everyone here acknowledges it but you -- and that's why you'll never understand the issues faced by single women in the church and there's no point in even talking with you about them. Besides, given your dismissal of what constitutes the biggest issue faced by single women in the church, why should any of us care about all your angst about headship theology, marriage mandaters, and counselors who blame men for all divorces, etc., etc.?


"As for women who "make the wrong marital choice", what do you mean by that? If I gripe about women who marry non-believers, I have room to do so...How many books are there in print in which the author castigates women who do that?"

Amir, it was clear that I was talking about either men or women who make the wrong marital choice -- and no you don't have room to gripe about women who marry non-believers, especially when you won't acknowledge the shortage of marriagable men in the church. And btw - every book to single Christian women thumps them on the head with the equally yoked sermon.



"You have equated attacks against feminism with attacks against women."

WHAA? I equated the attack against women's right to vote with an attack against women! Nowhere do I equate feminism as a voice for all women.


"While Anonymous is right in that many men (wrongly) treat divorced women as "damaged goods"...And if you wish to pass judgment on folks like myself who might have reservations about marrying a divorced woman"

HUH??? I said that the CHURCH often treats divorced women as damaged goods. I said nothing about men. And did I pass judgement on anyone with reservations about marrying anyone who's divorced?


"If you wish to assert that men are more culpable in marital failures than are women"

EXCUSE ME?? Did I do that?? So I am suspect of this sentiment merely for suggesting that more women who file for divorce doesn't necessarily mean that more women are culpable in what led up to the failure of the marriage.


***WITH ALL THESE ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTIONS YOU'VE MADE NO WONDER YOU'D COMPARE ME TO SOME LEFT-WING CHRISTIAN, when I'm far from it.


"On the other hand, there is a prima facie case for my contention that Christian women are more likely than men to marry nonbelievers. I'd suggest that dynamic has something to do with the divorce filings."

Those Christian women who marry non-believing men hardly have any impact on the proportion of women who file for divorce as opposed to men -- but what a convenient conclusion for you to draw to justify your irresistable urge to judge the "bad girls"-- especially the attractive ones, right?? And judging the bad boys enough to make it acceptable, like "I give both sexes equal time, when really you don't. And since you deny the shortage of CHURCH ATTENDING (cuz, as you say non-attendance is a "deal breaker") single men to women, you fail to consider the possibility that the shortage of single men in the church may have an impact on why some of those women eventually go outside the church to find husbands -- not that I'm saying that you owe them approval, but really, Amir, you are far to quick to judge them.


"That I don't give blanket approval to everyone hardly constitutes being judgmental..." It's how YOU come across on your blog and elsewhere. Ever the single armchair critic, patting yourself on the back for all the mistakes you haven't made and the grace you so nobly give, like you're the defender of all that's righteous. Whatever. People like you give Christians such a bad name.

Amir Larijani said...

I wasn't talking about the man shortage in the church, I was talking about the 2/3 women to male ratio in filing for divorce.

Fair enough.

But as far as the man shortage in the church, I won't even go there with you because you won't even acknowledge that it exists -- in every age group and demographic, young single men being the most underrepresented men in church according to the churchformen website, which you guys are always pointing to.

Actually, the most credible study regarding Christian singles--who are never married--shows the men outnumbering women in almost every age bracket. I will not suggest that the study is perfect--as I said, it has issues--but I can say that in my experiences, the single men are outnumbering the women.


Practically everyone here acknowledges it but you -- and that's why you'll never understand the issues faced by single women in the church and there's no point in even talking with you about them. Besides, given your dismissal of what constitutes the biggest issue faced by single women in the church, why should any of us care about all your angst about headship theology, marriage mandaters, and counselors who blame men for all divorces, etc., etc.?

So that's how it goes? When I point out studies that cast aspersion on your assertions, you are dismissive of me, and yet you insist that I respect you?

With all due respect, that is a two-way street.

Amir, it was clear that I was talking about either men or women who make the wrong marital choice -- and no you don't have room to gripe about women who marry non-believers, especially when you won't acknowledge the shortage of marriagable men in the church. And btw - every book to single Christian women thumps them on the head with the equally yoked sermon.

I certainly do have room to gripe, given that in my experience the men have outnumbered the women in my age bracket.

I promise not to dismiss your experience if you promise not to dismiss mine.

On the other hand, when a certain individual dismisses me by describing the extent of my Christian experience "Which is clearly about being a short single guy?", why should I take anything you have to say seriously?

Respect is a two-way street.

WHAA? I equated the attack against women's right to vote with an attack against women! Nowhere do I equate feminism as a voice for all women.

And please don't lump me in with that group. I never argued against suffrage or equal job/equal pay. I did, however, ask the pointed question of whether the gains of feminism--modern feminism in particular--were worth the 50 million dead children.

My answer is no. Your answer?

Those Christian women who marry non-believing men hardly have any impact on the proportion of women who file for divorce as opposed to men

How do you know that? Do you have objective facts to back that up?

I can tell you, as one who has taught no small number of singles classes, and even young adult classes (that included both married couples and divorcees) that the majority of the divorces were largely unequal-yoke marriages. And yes the women were the ones who filed.

-- but what a convenient conclusion for you to draw to justify your irresistable urge to judge the "bad girls"-- especially the attractive ones, right??

Who's saying anything about attraction here? Please don't put words in my mouth.

And judging the bad boys enough to make it acceptable, like "I give both sexes equal time, when really you don't.

Now you obviously haven't read closely enough. The women who blog at my site would not agree with your assessment, and I have even jousted with Anakin and Triton on my site. I even slapped down a divorced man who was saying disrespectful things about women on my site.

Would that be the mark of a person who is judgmental?

And since you deny the shortage of CHURCH ATTENDING (cuz, as you say non-attendance is a "deal breaker") single men to women, you fail to consider the possibility that the shortage of single men in the church may have an impact on why some of those women eventually go outside the church to find husbands -- not that I'm saying that you owe them approval, but really, Amir, you are far to quick to judge them.

In my experience, it is not the single men in my age bracket who are out of church; it is the single women. I cannot begin to tell you of the number of times where I've been the only single person in a given church. My college homework partner--a year older than myself--had the same experience. He finally met a gal and got married this year.

My gripe with you, Anonymous, is that you are not acknowledging what other single men are experiencing. We haven't been out of church. We've even been quite active. We've had very few women to chase, and the ones we've had have not worked out.

I guess that's all our fault, eh?

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:

It's how YOU come across on your blog and elsewhere. Ever the single armchair critic, patting yourself on the back for all the mistakes you haven't made and the grace you so nobly give, like you're the defender of all that's righteous. Whatever. People like you give Christians such a bad name.

Now you're being funny. When have I ever patted myself on the back?

You have yet to provide a kind word about men, and yet you demand respect from me?

I have yet to call you any names, but so far you have called me a "gun toting conspiracy theorist" and suggested that the extent of my experience is "being short single guy".

And you want respect?

(So far, the only two people who have invoked the "feminazi" epithet are you and Christina.)

I threw the comment about divorce to provoke a discussion, and all I get in return are accusations of being judgmental, and "men are assholes" and "men are abusive".

While there are legitimate cases of abuse--we've all seen them firsthand--I can also point to no small number of cases where the charge of "abuse" was made up after the fact, and defined down to include petty matters that fell short of any reasonable standard of abuse.

Why are you so dismissive of that? It's fact; every pastor I know has encountered that.

My point is that total depravity is no respecter of sexes. It is not my intent to portray men as innocent victims of those evil women who won't give them the time of day, or portray women as poor downtrodden souls who would be married, happy, and have quiversful of children if not for those evil men.

That's not to say that there aren't men and women who fall into both groups--there are--but, in reality, you've also got no small number of singles (men and women) who need to grow up, get better-grounded in the things of God, and aspire to a Christian marriage.

Amir Larijani said...

Oh, and one more thing, Anonymous...

You say: Don't bitch?? You're one to talk, Amir! Do you have any idea how much we hear you bitching about gold-digging, parasitic wives, radical feminists, etc, etc...the worst of the worst, despite the fact that the women here are probably the farthest away you can get from that.

I never used those terms: "gold-digging, parasitic wives."

Please do not put words in my mouth, or that will be 40 more lashes with a wet noodle.

(Well...I think I'll stick to 40 lashes minus one, with a wet noodle of course.)

I have used the term "radical feminists" to describe modern feminists. If you feel that you were being lumped into that group, I apologize.

On the other hand, I make no bones about my contention that the gains of modern feminism aren't worth the price that has been paid. You are more than welcome to make the contrarian case.

Do these worst case scenarios REALLY deserve that much sensational airtime? Especially considering the audience you're speaking to?

Which "worst case scenarios" are you referring to? If you are referring to the Al Mohler's of the world, the occasional strayings of Motte Brown and our friends at Boundless, Debbie Maken, Steve Farrar and our friends at Promise Keepers, then yes.

And...by the way...the targets here are PARTICULAR men and women, who are promoting a PARTICULAR cultural paradigm.

So this is not about busting the women, or busting the men in blanket fashion.

There are PARTICULAR aspects of evangelical culture that are the target, and--speaking for myself here--this is not a blanket attack on women.

I apologize if it comes across that way.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, the most credible study regarding Christian singles--who are never married--shows the men outnumbering women in almost every age bracket. I will not suggest that the study is perfect--as I said, it has issues--but I can say that in my experiences, the single men are outnumbering the women."

You're just bullshitting here, Amir. You have not produced ANY study that proves there are more men in church than women, such that it outweights the many others produced that say the opposite. All you have is your own experience, which is so different than everyone else's that you stand alone on this one. Without this fact understood, there's no point in having any dialogue with you about the church singles experience, as long as you bill yourself as being as some kind of defender of single Christian women while you deny such a key fact about their predicament.


So I'm outta here, but lastly, I couldn't resist cutting and pasting this:

"Now you're being funny. When have I ever patted myself on the back?...The women who blog at my site would not agree with your assessment, and I have even jousted with Anakin and Triton on my site. I even slapped down a divorced man who was saying disrespectful things about women on my site...Would that be the mark of a person who is judgmental?"

Now THAT'S funny!

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous:

You have shown exactly why the men on this blog don't respect you. I've provided substantive answers, and all you can provide in return is hysteria and insult, accusing me of "bullshitting".

You have yet to provide a credible study that breaks down single Christians--never married--who are in church, and by age bracket. There isn't one and you know it.

All you have is personal experience.

In fact, the most credible study out there suggests otherwise.

I realize you'll try to make the argument that it doesn't take into account regular church attendees; on the other hand, it is the closest thing you will get to an objective study regarding Christian singles. If you feel you have a better study, please feel free to list it on these pages.

It is actually the only one that breaks it down by age bracket, and lists the never-marrieds.

While I can certainly understand Triton--and even Wapiti--driving you up the wall, I've made a concerted effort to reach out to you.

Just remember one thing: respect is a two-way street.

Amir Larijani said...

Oh, and one more thing, Anonymous....

The issue isn't the number of men versus the number of women; the issue here is the number of single men versus single women.

And, as I said, the best study out there--which has problems--reveals a truth that you do not want to accept.

All I am saying in this is that there are plenty of men out there who have shared my experience, and there is a body of statistical evidence that the single, never-married men in my age bracket might be experiencing a larger dynamic than the mere particular.

Call it bullshit if you wish, but you are welcome to present a better case if you have one.

Otherwise, who are you to suggest that your experience trumps mine?

Triton said...

"Now you're being funny. When have I ever patted myself on the back?...The women who blog at my site would not agree with your assessment, and I have even jousted with Anakin and Triton on my site. I even slapped down a divorced man who was saying disrespectful things about women on my site...Would that be the mark of a person who is judgmental?"

Now THAT'S funny!


No, it's true. I like and respect Amir, but there are definitely some topics on which we disagree.

Amir Larijani said...

Triton: She's in orbit right now. I feel terrible for her.

Anonymous said...

That you would call that hoky Boundless spin "the most credible study" out there is yet another joke, for the reason you (and Watters who wrote it) admit: that it does not take into account church attendance, which is held up as such a "deal breaker" by you and them.

"If you feel you have a better study, please feel free to list it on these pages....The issue isn't the number of men versus the number of women; the issue here is the number of single men versus single women."

Gladly, by David Murrow on one of his websites:

Why is it so Hard to Find a Christian Guy? By David Murrow
You're not imagining it: there's a severe shortage of single men in the church. Not just here in the U.S., but also around the world.

When I was writing my first book, I spoke to a Christian woman from France. "Once a woman receives Jesus here, she is unmarriagable," the woman said. "There are almost no men in my country who are following Christ. And French men will not marry a woman whose faith in Jesus is so strong. She is a leper in their eyes."

Christian colleges are becoming convents. I recently visited a Christian college in the Pacific Northwest, whose student body is 66% female. Camerin Courtney writes, “I often joke with a single male friend of mine that because of his gender, he's got a buffet of dating/mate choices stretched out before him. I, on the other hand...am starving in the desert."

Christian writers like Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) have have given men permission ignore the opposite sex — and appear godlier for it. So even the guys who go to church seem afraid to date. They may feel pressure since there are so many women to choose from. One man said that going to a singles meeting feels like “walking into a room full of bees with honey smeared on your face.”

There's even a joke about the gender imbalance. It goes like this: Men in the church are like parking spaces. All the good ones are either already taken, or they're handicapped."

So where are all the single Christian men? How can you meet one?

Research shows that single men are more likely to attend churches that fit the following profile:

Large (thousands of attendees on a weekend)
Headed by a male pastor who's bold and outspoken
Non-denominational
Contemporary worship style
Conservative theology
Risk-taking culture
Offers intentional male discipleship
Worship service done in under 90 minutes
I'm not suggesting you switch churches over this issue. You need to grow where God has planted you. But it probably wouldn't hurt to visit such a church - especially if your church offers nothing for singles.

A columnist for Christianity Today writes, "I have great single female friends who want godly husbands—as do I. We want to build strong Christian marriages and raise good godly children. And we simply have no idea where to find these great men, if they even exist." Yes, they exist, but they're hard to find because demand is outstripping supply.

***

Now, if you guys tear this apart, just forget about quoting Murrow again. Especially when you all use it to support your "shortage-of-men-in-the-church-due-to-feminism" canard. Either there's a shortage of men in the church or not -- as if never-married men are some kind of exception! lol

Amir, the shortage of single men in the church may not be everyone's experience, but for those from whom it is not, they won't get their case heard by denying a reality acknowledged not only by women (making it only partially credible, right?), but by men too (case closed then, huh?). Again, you stand alone with the limitations of your good will exposed.

Anyways, Amir you admitted that you brought up the divorce issue to provoke discussion and on that, you've succeeded. But I hope that you see that this kind of negative attention seeking eventually will burn out the reasonable women you apparently wish to engage.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous, a couple things...

(1) that was not a Boundless study; it was, in fact, a Barna study. It broke down the singles--never married--by age bracket. And that Candice Watters--who is often in my (and Anakin's) doghouse--used this study does say something. Especially given the audience Boundless has been known to give to marriage mandaters.

Remember: this is not about total men versus women, but rather the total SINGLE men versus SINGLE women, BY AGE BRACKET.

And there is no reason to believe that--breaking it down by actual church attendance--the numbers are that far off the mark. I've been on no small number of visitation surveys--in cities and suburbs--and I'm not finding any deluge of single men who are Christians but hiding out from the church.

I am, however, finding lots of single women--often with children--who are unchurched. In spite of many attempts to reach them, and by many members of the church, they stay home.

(Oh...by the way...I don't rule out single moms either. But if they're not in church, there's a huge red flag.)

(2) Having read Murrow's book--Why Men Hate Going to Church, he fails to provide substantive stats on Christian singles. That may be due to the fact that this is the most difficult demographic group to break down. (Oh, and by the way, I'm not knocking Murrow, and in fact really liked Murrow's book.)

(3) I've been to many different types of churches in my area, Anonymous. Most of the single women are either (a) old enough to be my mom, (b) have serious stability issues, (c) divorced, (d) drug addicts.

Of that breakdown, I don't totally rule out divorced women, but--due to past experiences--I am very skittish and on the lookout for stability issues.

(When you damn-near go broke trying to help a gal who is bulimic, you tend to be a bit skittish and on the lookout for stability issues.)

And that brings me to another issue. The people who chide me for having the standards I have would be the first ones to tell the world what horrible judgment I have for "not knowing how to pick 'em" if I married such a one and it did not work out.

As I've articulated many times, both sexes have embraced a certain--arguably necessary--level of risk aversion because of the increased risk of divorce.

This is because the consequences of divorce are higher today than they were 40 years ago.

This is not about blaming one party or another; it simply is what it is.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous: Here is what it would take to settle the matter: a study that breaks down the single--never married--men and women and includes regular church attendees

(1) by age bracket
(2) by denomination
(3) by geographic region

So far, the best study on the matter does two of 3, but doesn't specify regular attendees.

As for Dave Murrow, his fundamental premise is that men aren't going to church because church isn't designed to attract men. He makes many good points, but I have my doubts as to whether that is the whole picture, given that the overall male shortage (including all demographics) is nothing new.

Even then, breaking down the singles is perhaps the most difficult of tasks, as that demographic is the most inconsistent. Especially given the number of young people who bolt the church when they reach adulthood.

Amir Larijani said...

Oh, and Anonymous, a couple more things:

(1) I really wish you would quit putting words in my mouth, as I've never suggested that feminism keeps men out of church.

Others may have done this, but don't paint me with their brush.

(2) I'm still waiting for you to answer my question: are the gains of modern feminism worth the price we have paid in human life?

Can we have a straight answer for the record? I promise I have no special agenda behind the question.

My answer is no. Your answer?

SavvyD said...

Well, Boundless saying that there are more never married men than women is a plus--especially since they also said in "The Cost of Delaying Marriage" that women in the late 20s and 30s were doomed and had missed the boat. I think Jesus has better plans for us than that. On the other hand, how many of those men read IKDG? How many are "striking"? How many of them are actually worldly? How many are truly marriable? I've gone on dates with some of these guys and some of them I would have dated, but they were too picky. I ran into one again line dancing. Let's just say I was having a much better time than he was because I was hanging out in a group. And he could only ask the prettiest girls to dance. I find Boundless to be boundlessly confusing!

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy says:
On the other hand, how many of those men read IKDG? How many are "striking"? How many of them are actually worldly? How many are truly marriable?

I understand your sentiments. And, as Kiesling points out, men are asking the same questions regarding the women.

I've gone on dates with some of these guys and some of them I would have dated, but they were too picky.

I understand that sentiment, too, as I've met some very perfectionist women.

I ran into one again line dancing. Let's just say I was having a much better time than he was because I was hanging out in a group. And he could only ask the prettiest girls to dance.

With my back problems, I tend to prefer the gym--especially the elliptical cross trainer--over line dancing.

Seriously...that's pretty shallow of him to do that. On the other hand, I can also point to women who insist only on taller men (just as my good buddy sc--who is quite tall--can point to tall men who insist on short women).

The issue is at what point does a person's preferences--and we all have 'em--become a hindrance to having a better life.

We all have our preferences, and it is on us to resolve with God whether those preferences are reasonable.

Christina said...

Amir,

My mention of the "Feminazi" reference was because I have been called such by a man who linked from one of these blogs...

And I'm still a little burned by MLV.

You keep referencing your age group as being one where men outnumber women. I remember another survey by Boundless that showed that women outnumber men in the churches in larger cities, while the men outnumber the women in industrial/rural areas. There was a lot of mention that if you want to find someone, go somewhere where your the minority.

I kinda remember a man sending a servant to another land to find a wife for his son...

Anyway, that's neither here nor there...if it WAS broken down into age brackets, how would it turn out?

Would the YOUNG women outnumber the YOUNG men?

Amir Larijani said...

Christina:

I only used your name as having invoked the "feminazi" epithet for reasons of accuracy, not that you were using it in the same context that Anonymous was.

And yes, MLV was way over the top in your case. I wouldn't sweat it, though.

And yes, the study I cite DOES break it down by age bracket. And any reasonable study that assesses Christian singles must do so to achieve any semblance of relevance to the issues.

In one of my recent churches, for example, there were plenty of single women...who were 20 years my senior.

I kinda remember a man sending a servant to another land to find a wife for his son...

We've had this discussion before, so I have a serious problem understanding why you are choosing to make private discussions public. I will--in the future--remember that when discussing private matters.

Now that you have decided to go there, however, I will give my reasons:

(1) While my Iranian heritage does have roots in arranged marriages--and I would otherwise be amenable to it--I am the only Christian in my family.

How did my brother get married? He got a girl pregnant, had to go through a custody battle from hell after she gave birth--she sought to deny him custody--and nearly went broke, then she finally started warming up to him and they got together and got married.

My sister? Got pregnant, married him, got divorced. Got married again to a guy who she met from the I-Net, then found out he was a non-criminal version of Clark Rockefeller, then got an anullment.

I hope we would agree that those are good case studies on how NOT to find a mate. My sister is still recovering; my brother has had some good financial breaks, and--depending on who you talk to--those may have had everything to do with him and his estranged g/f getting together, but I digress...

Ergo, having them set me up with a Christian mate is not realistic.

(2) I have been in other locales; on the other hand, uprooting myself to move to another state, in a bad job market and in a real estate market that is not good--would not be terribly prudent.

When you're older, you might appreciate what I am saying. Hopefully, your boyfriend will get on a knee in short order, however...

(3) I have attended churches in metro areas in my state. And no...I did not find anyone in my age bracket who was single and wanted to marry.

(4) I have used online services (AOL Christian singles, [mis]Match.com, eHarmony.com. They have been largely disappointing.

Fact is, the eligible singles are scattered all over the place, and likely there are pockets where there are more than others.

You have demographic issues that no generation before ours has faced, and we have had to resort to methods that prior generations have had to use, largely because the Church is a day late and a dollar short in the networking department (unlike Jews, who are legendary at it).

In fact, I once made the latter suggestion to Debbie Maken, who thought that would be a good model for networking.

Christina said...

Amir,

My use of that story was not directed at you, necessarily, and was not meant to egg you on.

Its just notable that some people may actually have to take mobility into consideration.

I was not trying to imply that you haven't done enough, as I remember you have solid reasons for refraining from that any longer.

You made that private conversation (which took place on your blog) public.

Amir Larijani said...

You made that private conversation (which took place on your blog) public.

Fair enough. Given that we've been down that road multiple times, it seemed odd that you would bring it up again.

And yes...as we get older, we tend to settle down more, doing things like, ya know, buying a house and getting established in a job that might be conducive to settling down for the long haul.

I hope we all agree there is no crime in doing that. LOL

Erik said...

This may have been mentioned already but...

"In fact, getting married increases one's risk for eventual marital dissolution,"

Can we give this guy an award for stating the obvious?