Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

7 Myths Single Women Believe


Sarah wrestled with God. For five years she had served as a resident director at a small Bible college. Each day, young women would knock on the door of Sarah’s small dorm apartment. The petite, soft-spoken brunette would fix them tea and listen as they poured out their hearts.

“If I could just get my life on track,” a 19-year-old would moan. “Then God would bring a godly man into my life.”

Sarah spoke encouraging words, but inside she felt annoyed. I’m in my late 20s and unmarried. What issue do you think I need to work on?

My article "7 Myths Single Women Believe" (fresh on Boundless) considers a few of the major lies Satan uses to trip up single women and leave them feeling defeated.

I began by collecting and considering some 15 myths and ended up including the ones I felt were most prevalent:

Myth No. 1: God will give me a husband when I’m ready.

Myth No. 2: God views me more as a useful tool than a beloved child.

Myth No. 3: When it’s the right guy, I’ll just know.

Myth No. 4: When I get married, then my life will begin.

Myth No. 5: Marriage will/will not meet my deepest needs.

Myth No. 6: There must be something wrong with me. If I could just figure out what it is, I could fix it and guys would start showing interest.

Myth No. 7: The older I get, the less likely it is that I will find someone.



Others?

10 Comments:

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Mike Theemling said...

I'd like to dispute #7. Although it is true that God can work "despite the odds" we would be rather presumptuous that God WILL do those things for us.

As pointed out in Danielle Crittenden's article snippet "The Cost of Delaying Marriage" women have 2 distinct disadvantages by waiting: Disparity in sexual staying power, and biology in childbearing.

The fact is that a 35 year old man (even a Christian man) even if they don't admit it would rather choose a 25 year old woman over a 35 year old woman with similar "qualities" (interests, intellectual level, etc). This is a worldwide phenomenon. In every country, the difference between men and women couples are on average 3+ years with the man being older.

What may be more accurate to say is, "The older I get, the less likely it is what I will find someone who is my ideal" as there will always be that handful of guys who will go out with anyone regardless (this applies to women too).

So I would definitely be wary of sending the message that women can just sit back and not be proactive about finding a spouse, because the facts do not match up with it.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Thanks for the comment, Mike. I do find your view of God troubling, however. He says He WILL give good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11), and I choose to believe that. If a person is abiding in Christ (John 15:7), she will not miss the things God wishes to give her. True, part of the equation is being open to these gifts (perhaps giving up part of one's "ideal," which I touched on in Myth No. 3). But it's entirely possible that in the Lord's wisdom, He would give a woman a husband at a later age than she had hoped. Think about Hannah and Elizabeth and Sarah; God gave them children long after the "ideal" time. And yet His plan was perfectly worked out.

Also, nowhere in the article did I encourage women not to "sit back and not be proactive." Its message is aimed at women who wish to be married and struggle to understand why the Lord has not brought a godly man into their lives yet. Like Hannah and Sarah, these women need encouragement that all the statistics in the world do not stand in the way of a powerful God. I hope you believe that.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Mike Theemling said...

Suzanne,

Thanks for the reply. I know that God (our Father) does desire the best for us ("if a son asks for bread will he give him a stone?"), and I do believe in the power of faith and prayer.

However, I believe we must always tinge this with God's sovereignty. There have been countless times where prayers by godly people have been answered "No" (most notably when healing someone who is ill. Some might argue that they lacked sufficient faith per James, but I believe that is a false representation. After all, the Father said 'No' to the Son and He's about as faithful as you can get).

And part of that sovereignty I believe involves decisions we make as beings with free will. You've read the examples I gave regarding finding a job or doing well on a test. If someone wants to find a job or do well on a test yet not take any effort to get his/her resume out or study, it doesn't matter how much faith that person has or how devoted the prayer; chances are God will NOT fulfill their desires. Most would agree with that doing this is misrepresenting how God works. Yet for some reason in regards to relationships many assume that they don't need to pursue marriage or make it a priority and somehow God will "bring" them a spouse.

You state that is "Its message is aimed at women who wish to be married and struggle to understand why the Lord has not brought a godly man into their lives yet." I can sympathize as I'm a guy in the same situation (pursuing and getting turned down a lot). Yet I can't help but wonder how many women REALLY are in that boat.

Just yesterday I talked to two women in passing at a single's Easter luncheon. They were both in their mid-20's. The moment that the subject of marriage came up both immediately jumped to the "I'll wait for God's timing", "Focus on Him", etc. soundbites. The vibe they gave off were just as Candice wrote in _Defending The Cost of Delaying Marriage_ was that it was "Jesus is enough". Or the laments of women who say "No one is asking me out" when the real truth may be "No one I AM INTERESTED IN is asking me out".

You look at the dating sites and those really eager to get married are in the 30's and older range. The 20's may be open to it, but "are in no hurries". This is exactly what Danielle was addressing. They coast through that time not seriously thinking about marriage and then when they hit 30+ they scramble and find (unfortunately) that many guys aren't interested in them anymore.

"As you cultivate godly attitudes and avoid damaging lies, you allow the Lord to pour out the things He has for you. That way, when the right guy comes along, you'll be ready."

My concern here is how women define "the right guy". Honestly, I see women pass up a lot of "right guys" (to be fair, I see the same of guys passing up "the right woman" too). But by adding this final sentence to the article, in my opinion (which is just that, an opinion), you are in a way saying that women don't need to be proactive because the "right guy" will just waltz by you in broad daylight.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Maybe he will. ;)

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Suzanne -- ;)

I talked to Anna tonight...

"Had Elizabeth been able to encounter his eye, she might have seen how well the expression of heartfelt delight, diffused over his face, became him; but, though she could not look, she could listen, and he told her of feelings, which, in proving of what importance she was to him, made his affection every moment more valuable.

They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects."

God's timing often varies quite widely from our ideal timing, but His timing is always perfect... it's good to wait on the Lord!

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Sarah, I love that quotation! What is is from? That is exactly how I have felt in my 20s. God is good!

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

It's from "Pride and Prejudice" -- as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are just discovering/revealing their feelings for each other. He was someone she least expected to fall in love with!

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I should know that! Pride and Prejudice is the theme of my week. :)

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Becky said...

That's a great quote! I definitely need to read that book.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

I would like to say to Mike:
You may be getting turned down a lot because you're asking a lot(translation-if you're asking out every Christian woman with a heartbeat and not according to a clear list of standards and expectations for a godly spouse, then you come off as desperate, even though that may not be your intent. As far as sovereingty goes, I would like to say that your argument sounds very close to the old school way of thinking that God is the author of everything good and bad in the world.

As far as women not being proactive, I believe that when women are going hard after God and doing what he has called them to do and ready in whatever season they face in life on all levels(financially,emotionally,socially, but most DEFINITELY SPIRITUALLY)the issue takes care of itself. And as far as the complaint leveled against Ms. Hadley's article that it allows women to be passive...well, to be real with you, our responsibility as women is not to chase after a man or to try to get his attention. I am not advocating playing hard to get, or any variation of mind games as far as interest is concerned. But what I am advocating is for young men to deal with their rejection issues and to pursue the woman that God is leading you to. Yes, there may be several rejections that you experience, but that doesn't mean that you stop trying. What it could mean is that you may have to look at your criteria, your focus, and your attitude to understand why you keep banging your head against the wall, so to speak.

You also posted:

You look at the dating sites and those really eager to get married are in the 30's and older range. The 20's may be open to it, but "are in no hurries". This is exactly what Danielle was addressing. They coast through that time not seriously thinking about marriage and then when they hit 30+ they scramble and find (unfortunately) that many guys aren't interested in them anymore.

When it comes to that issue, I think it has more to do with the type of guys we're talking about. I have always taken marriage and children seriously since I was a teen. However, when a woman in her 20's says that's she's marriage and famiy minded, men in their twenties also don't want to settle down around that time. So by the time that men actually are ready to settle down, the twentysomething woman has done the unthinkable----gasp! she has aged and therefore is no longer eligible for the older man in his twenties.Since men are known for chasing after younger women and ignoring the women in their own age group, twentysomething women are left with several options:

1.)Trust God and wait for the right guy, not settling on godly standards even if she dies alone
2.)marry someone older(since men her age don't seem to be interested, she could always allow herself to be pursued by someone who is outside her age group
3.)focus on her career and take on the attitude of being a single Christian woman for life. Better to be single and know your worth in Jesus than to define your worth and value as a person on a marriage relationship.

I know in my life right now that I want to be able to confidently say that my worth and value as a person comes from God and not from a relationship. I also know that He is a jealous God, and that what has your attention masters you. Because of this, I firmly believe that until I am secure enough personally to not expect a marriage to be the coup de gras of fulfillment and happiness. The problem that I struggle with is a common conception that marriage will somehow complete us as people, when truthfully our wholeness comes from Him and not others. Because if we based our worth and attitude on our relationships, then our confidence is not in God but in men. And everyone knows that even the best of men are men at best.

 

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