This is the first post that I’m going to try reposting from the defunct Christian Men’s Defense Network blog, as I mentioned before. As I continue to get clicks on my links to these (and have them saved), I figure it might be useful to repost the material, which will not include hyperlinks or comments (unless linked from here). I don’t know what happened to the original author (BSkillet81) after the last two years, so I would have liked to get permission to do this beforehand. If there’s an objection from the author, feel free to contact me and I can take this down.
Christian Men’s Defense Network
The Un-Marriageable Evangelical American Princess by BSkillet81
Posted on May 1, 2012
As a 31 year-old single Christian man, I get many opportunities to observe 25-30 year-old evangelical women in social settings. Many of them want to be married, but they can’t find men who are willing. A small number of them are admittedly not very attractive, and life has always been harsh on such women. Most of them, however, are reasonably good-looking. And many are quite fetching.
So why won’t anyone wife them up?
I can’t speak for everyone. But I can speak for myself: Being raised in the evangelical culture makes many (not all, but many) young women virtually un-marriageable. There are several reasons for this. To name a few, many young evangelical women are:
1. Raised with an extreme sense of entitlement.
2. Raised with a focus on their “self-esteem,” resulting in pride and arrogance.
3. Raised with acutely unrealistic expectations about life, which are clothed in the guise of religion.
The first point can be seen in Governor Sarah Palin’s speech to the Christian Extraordinary Women’s Conference. She told the audience that they need work to defend “the rights we are given as a daughter of God.” Bad theology aside–both male and female Christians are born again as sons of God insomuch as all of us are called to be conformed to the image of the Son of God–Palin’s view is patently un-Christian: When we put our faith in Jesus, we give up all of our rights. We have no rights, but rather a duty of obedience to Christ.
But instead, the average Evangelical American Princess (EAP) is raised to think along Palin’s terms: She is God’s special little princess. Everyone has to treat her with absolute deference because of this.
Worst of all, the EAP is taught that God has a perfect man waiting for her. This alone makes her totally un-marriageable: There is no perfect man, and because she is waiting for that perfect man, she will pass on several very highly marriageable, yet imperfect, young men. The very concept of marrying someone imperfect is an offense to her.
No, she is entitled as God’s little princess to absolute perfection. And she is entitled to have any and every man fall all over himself at the chance to marry her.
On the second point, EAPs are raised to have high self-esteem. The Bible does not hold self-esteem, but rather humility, as a supreme virtue. Paul writes (Romans 12:3):
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
But instead, EAPs are taught to always think extremely highly of themselves. Following from the first point, when any man shows interest in her, the EAP will later tell her friends how gross and creepy she felt that this guy was coming on to her. She feels this way because she honestly believes that the only guy worthy of even thinking of dating her is the one perfect man God has for her. Since the guy who came on to her was imperfect, she was extremely offended: Didn’t he know how great she is? Didn’t he know how far out of his league she was?
Obviously, no Christian man is going to bother asking her on a date if he knows that she will mock him behind his back simply for his effort.
And because of her high “self-esteem,” no EAP is willing to take on the Biblical role of the Christian wife: Submitting to and following the lead of her husband. Such an idea is anathema to the EAP. While the Bible instructs women to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives, she believes he must continually work to earn the her respect. Her respect would never be his by right as her husband. And since she has “grrllll power” and “moxie” and she can “accomplish anything she dreams of,” she will follow his lead only so long as he leads her where she wants to go. And since he can never be the “perfect man God has for her,” respect for him and his leadership is effectively off the table.
On top of that, she has grown up in churches where men are lambasted for their sinfulness from the pulpit, but women are pedestalized and raised to have an inflated self-image. So she honestly believes that men are evil and women are good. To defer to a man’s leadership makes no sense in her mind. Instead, he must defer to her because she is his spiritual superior.
Bottom line: Having too high a view of yourself is called pride. It is a sin. It results in many other sins: Cruelty, dishonesty, and selfishness to name a few. These are not desirable attributes in a wife. In fact, they are dangerous, and many young Christian men know that.
Third, EAPs are raised with completely unrealistic expectations about life. Since I have already dealt with the “God has a perfect man” phenomenon, I won’t belabor the point. But beyond this, to understand the unrealistic world-view taught to the EAP, one only needs to look at the average evangelical worship service: It’s entire purpose is to appeal to the female desire for emotional euphoria.
Contrary to the traditions of the Reformation, the modern praise songs do not usually focus on imparting sound doctrine. This is why the old hymns have been discarded. The music service is organized like a rock concert, replete with 7/11 songs (seven words repeated eleven times). Sermons are primarily designed to make the congregation feel good, not to impart truth. Women are routinely pedestalized, while men are unfairly maligned. Things like discipleship, objective truth claims, and divine justice are down-played or ignored.
And Jesus is described the same way a girl talks about her boyfriend. Rarely will you find references to Jesus as Lord and Master, as one to whom we owe unqualified obedience, as one who is head over us and has the right to command our allegiance. These are masculine terms. They are terms a medieval oath-man might think of as it relates to his feudal lord. They are not boyfriend terms, and so all Biblical texts that speak this way are discarded.
Rather, Jesus is presented as being obsessed with the listener’s emotional happiness. He is presented in erotic terms (in the traditional sense of the word, related to romantic eros). This is not an accident. As I have repeated many times, 2/3rds to 3/4ths of all church attenders are female.
One can see the effects of all this in the way these EAPs talk about their goals in life. Never are their goals focused on the perceived banality of motherhood. No, the prime thing they are obsessed with is travel. I have no problem with travel. I often enjoy it myself.
But this is not travel for its own sake. What you find is that, rather than wanting travel, what they mean is they want excitement. The greatest form of excitement to them is to spend their lives traveling all over the globe. No marriage-minded man would ever think of marrying such a woman: Real life is not excitement, and one cannot find true lasting joy in the pursuit thereof. Married life, especially, is not about excitement. Rather, the desire for excitement is an indicator of selfishness. Not a quality a man wants in a wife.
EAPs view marriage as a means to perpetual emotional ecstasy. This is what they have been taught from the pulpit since childhood. And it is what their false Snake Oil Jesus is most obsessed with: Not their eternal devotion and obedience, but their temporal happiness. EAPs simply cannot countenance a world in which the Christian is called to suffer. They cannot countenance a world in which the believer is not called to seek after emotional euphoria, but to eschew it and its underlying ethic of selfishness and immaturity. Thus, they cannot deal with a life where they are called to be mothers and wives, rather than to travel.
And that is why marriage-minded Christian men–those who have a true understanding of the Biblical view of marriage–will stay away from the EAP. To be sure, most Christian men have not been taught the Biblical view of marriage either. Many of them, however, sense the problem instinctively. Still, there are many schlubs who will end up marrying these EAPs without knowing what they’re getting into. I personally suspect that, as these marriages started in the EAP’s mid-to-late 20s reach the 5 to 10 year mark in the coming years, we will see evangelical divorce rates skyrocket.
I am not here suggesting that all evangelical women are EAPs, but in my experience the majority are. Instead of reflexively blaming young Christian men for not manning up and marrying these EAPs, Christian leaders ought to look at whether the church is raising young women according to the Biblical ideal of Godly femininity (Titus 2:4-5):
[A]dmonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
But that’s like, so boring! She’s God’s little princess, and she wants to travel.