Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spiritual Abuse of Single Christian Women Still Going On - And It Must Stop

"...when I asked some of the older women at church to pray for a husband for me and to support me when it sometimes gets lonely as a single living in a city away from my family, they told me that I was needy for wanting a relationship. That I needed to be a well adjusted women in order to be in a relationship. They told me that I needed to learn to be content. I am fairly content, but was left with compounded feelings of guilt for those moments when it does get a bit lonely. I felt enormously guilty for wanting a relationship, prayed earnestly for God to take away the desires for a relationship, and wished those desires would just go away. I really try very hard to not want a relationship, but find it very hard.

"It's so easy to forget that God wants us Christian women married and forming Christian families when we are told that God wants us single, and where it is stressed that we should prioritize praying for contentment over praying for spouses.

"...And at least I don't feel so guilty for praying for a husband now...

" rarely we single women hear words of encouragement, even from the church, that makes us feel anything other than very guilty for not being able to rid ourselves of a God-given desire for a husband."

(Comment left on A.N.Other blog)

Captain Sensible writes: When is this spiritual abuse of single Christian women going to stop? Let me re-phrase that, we need to get very serious about fighting this abuse before we do even more damage to Christian women and the entire Body of Christ. The battle is on...


Anonymous Vincenzo said...

Captain, I really feel for the women who have to endure such trite and hyper-spiritual comebacks after baring their souls in such a manner. Keep in mind, however, that many men are on the receiving end of such platitudes too. I've heard every "be content" speech known to man, from the pulpit, books and in one on one conversation. After having discussions with some church people about my desire to marry, I would walk away with a whole new understanding of the verse "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." Many of the above mentioned platitudes do have that effect, which could make it a form of spiritual abuse, especially when it is heavily promoted in a ministry. Not only that, but it portrays a God who is indifferent, uninterested and self-absorbed, caring not about matters of the heart, but how much of a useful spiritual John Wayne and Wonder Woman we can become.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I agree that telling marriage-minded singles to be content, or they're sinning, can be a form of spiritual abuse, and it's what turned me against the GOS advocates. GOS has become almost a religion itself, or worse, a cult. For example:

(1) The GOS movement is based on selective interpretation (and maybe one translation), of a few verses in the Bible, but often misinterprets other teachings as well (read and you’ll see what I mean).

(2) There’s no organized “Church of Singleness” but message boards, books, seminars, Sunday school lessons and sermons can be seen as substitutes.

(3) GOS’ers often tell singles that they must be content with their singleness before God will provide them a spouse. (Performing for God so He'll our needs is inconsistent with the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and also the fact that God is not dependent on our action, or inaction, for His will to be done.) Many GOS’ers hold singleness above marriage (a philosophy usually based on a single verse) and guilt anyone that disagrees. GOS theology is, IMHO, too close to the special knowledge, self-denial beliefs of Gnostics.

(4) Some anti-GOS'ers get banned from pro-GOS message boards :)

(5) Some marriage-minded singles attending pro-GOS churches may leave after realizing the psychological and emotional harm caused by GOS cult-like beliefs. GOS'ers accuse Marriage-minded singles of "idolatry" when they spend time dating prospective spouses, yet fail to realize that their spiritual pride about and promotion of the single lifestyle can be idolatrous. Christians are supposed to represent Christ but misrepresentation leads many to become angry at God, thus there is spiritual harm.

(6) GOS’ers put on a happy face when espousing buzzwords such as “embrace your singleness” and “single for a season,” but become angry when you challenge their thinking.

If not a cult, GOS has at a minimum led to bad theology, loneliness, disappointment, regret and an aging church (especially in the UK - I fear that because of GOS, the latter will leap across the Atlantic in time).

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Lucie said...

There is indeed going to be a bitter harvest reaped from the GOS sowing, one of these days.

I felt outraged at those women who spoke such nonsense to the gal praying for a spouse. I wondered - as I often have - how content THEY were before they married, how "needy" they were for wanting a spouse themselves, etc. Or had they reached a state of super-spiritual perfection, and that is why God blessed them with a spouse?

I doubt it. I've never met such a person yet.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous shazia said...

I'm so enraged over this that I don't even want to go to most Churches. Sorry. But if this is the attitude among so many people there, I don't know. I'm sick of it. Besides, God blesses non-Christians with spouses everyday. How do we explain that? There is nothing in the Bible that states that we will not get a spouse unless we do such and such. And for the love of God, someone just ban the New Living Translation (like that is going to happen). That's the place where this GOS rubbish is coming from.

5:18 PM  

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