***Because it has been misunderstood by several, I feel I need to make a disclaimer and stress that the statements below are NOT MY OPINIONS - just my attempt to regurgitate several of the statements that have been printed within the books I have read on the subject. Please stay tuned for my reflections.***
For quite some time, I have been reading a group of books about single Christian adults, pondering the question of why so many of them remain single. The writers (men and women) put the responsibility on the shoulders of both men and women. (In short, women have held on to women's lib, have put career before godly womanhood, and have unknowingly (and sometimes knowingly) sent the message that they don't need or want men. Men have shrugged off the responsibilities of initiating and taking the lead while favoring their "single time" compared to marriage.) These are, of course, generalizations.
Almost all of these particular books place more "blame" for this delay on the men, however... and specifically cite the changes within church culture as one of the main reasons. Many claim that the current elder men of the church were better instructed (in their youth, by the elder men of the church of their time) to follow the biblical commandment of marriage - unless they were one of the very few who were given the gift of singleness. It seems men of the past were almost made fun of (instead of praised, which is common in current times) for placing their love of guy vacations and expensive toys as a higher priority than dealing with the marriage obstacles in their lives. In addition, the men have become hesitant in accepting their roles and initiating interactions with women in many arenas of life.
Beyond these, there are so many other "reasons" that are often cited: the invention of the group date, the church's acceptance of the worldview on gender rules, applying the reason of "gift of singleness" to a much larger group than God intended (or Paul described), super-fast changes within the cultures of generations (that usually took multiple generations to occur), women's confusion over pressure "to be all that life can offer", etc.
One man who is continually cited in these books is Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural and theological issues. (I just want to point out that Mr. Mohler does not necessarily believe all of the ideas stated above. He is, however, quoted often for his strong concern about singles abandoning the biblical commandment to be married and "be fruitful and multiply.") For those who have time, I would like you to consider reading this transcript from a radio program that featured Dr. Mohler's address to a Christian singles conference.
(Ed. The transcript (or media presentation) link has been corrected. Sorry for the confusion.)
Christian friends and family, what do you think about the comments posted above or the radio show transcript?
(P.S. If you are reading this blog and you are hesitant to comment because you think I don't know who you are, please do comment and join in the discussions. It is very likely that I DO know exactly who you are...or that we have many mutual friends...or - most likely- that I read YOUR blog each day. If none of these apply, I am always happy to make a new friend!)