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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Wanted: Christian men worth waiting for
Finding Mr. Right may take longer for some Christian women
 
Published Thursday, May 2, 2013
by Thomas Hardesty

ASHEVILLE – With college graduation not too far away and no prospects for a husband in sight, four Christian women joke about adopting

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Christian women looking for a mate of similar faith are haviging a difficult time landing a husband.

50 cats at the local shelter to ensure they won’t die alone. They’re young, pretty and socially active, yet they wonder why they are all still single.

Behind the jokes and smiles lies a serious, and sad, situation many Christian women face today. They must either lower their standards for a mate so they can settle down now or hold to their faith as they pine for what is becoming an endangered species: Christian men worth waiting for.

In 1991, the average marrying age for women was 24. Today, it’s 26.5. Although those numbers cover the entire population, evangelical leaders say the trend isn’t much different among young Christians.

Some of the blame for delaying marriage falls on women. Many want to spend their time working and living a life of independence before settling down –choices encouraged by the secular culture. But Christian women who want to marry young say men stuck in perpetual adolescence are a bigger part of the problem.

These four Christian women have a list of ideal traits they want to see in Mr. Right. One is non-negotiable. He must have a close relationship with Christ and a life that shows it.

Besides that, leadership, responsibility and initiative top the list. Often times, guys don’t even get to the first date before revealing a lack of leadership and initiative, the women say. Instead of showing up at the doorstep with flowers, men often default to an ambiguous, impersonal text or Facebook message to make an equally ambiguous offer: “Let’s hang out in the next couple of weeks.”

“What does that even mean?” asks one of the women.

Mark Gallagher, senior campus minister at Indiana State University’s Christian Student Fellowship since 1978, sees fewer students pairing up in college than when he first started in student ministry. Of the CSF’s 90-plus active members, Gallagher said only a handful are in serious relationships with someone inside or outside the organization.

While part of the lack of marriage-ready graduates can be attributed to social changes, including less pressure on women to marry young, Gallagher said it’s not exactly an even playing field for Christian singles. Women open to relationships are at a disadvantage because they simply outnumber and often outperform men in ministry. Regular attendance, volunteer events and small groups all serve as testimony to the overwhelmingly female majority in ministry.

While it’s easy to assume men would rather stay home and watch football than drag themselves to church, Greg Belcher, singles pastor at Hope Community Church in Raleigh, said the church could do more to meet young men where they are and encourage them.

Perpetual adolescence – men failing to step up – “is exactly the problem, but are we doing anything to help these guys out?” Belcher asks.

He said the slow economy and lack of job prospects leaves many recent college graduates feeling shaken and unable to fulfill the role of provider. Until their financial situation stabilizes, “these guys know they’re just playing a game until they get there. It’s unfortunate,” Belcher said.

The soon-to-be female graduates sympathize with the tough job market facing men who desire to provide for a family after college. But when job applications go unanswered, too many Christian men throw in the towel and revert to the carefree teenage years of living in their parents’ basement, replacing independence and responsibility with a live-in-maid (their mother) and video games, the women say.

One of the women asks of these men, “Why aren’t you doing anything? Find a job, do some work, do something.”

These women and those in Belcher’s and Gallagher’s ministries seem to have reached a consensus: All the good Christian men are taken.

But that mindset, no matter how accurate, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, Belcher said. Christian women who are exhausted and exasperated with the current lack of eligible men risk becoming so independent and self-reliant they scare men off or give the wrong impression. And being single for years can leave women jaded, prompting them to post disparaging Facebook updates decrying everything related to men.

Fear and faith cannot coexist, but imperfect humans still struggle with the truths of an almighty God. Deep in their hearts, these four women know God wants to give them a faithful husband while they walk this earth, but that doesn’t change the fact that another weekend is rolling around without the prospect of someone to share it with.

Comments

Good Chrisitan men are hard to find, b/c good, smart men are leaving Christianity! To be black and Christian in 2013 is literally insane. Why? The father of the Christian/Catholic Church(don't try to separate it) sits in Rome, Italy. You, nor your people are from Rome, Italy. Most of the languages you speak are English, French, Spanish or Portuguese... You, nor your people are from Europe! Research your lastname... It's European in origin, not from the Motherland, where your ancestors were kidnapped from. Yes, yes, you're insane, and running around looking for a man to be insane with. You're literally white minded people, in a white lastname, speaking white languages, with a white religion of which the origin was stolen from Egypt, Africa. You're white minded people in black peoples bodies, and that's why your prayers for a man are not being answered. Become Sane, and the God & Originator of the Heavens & Earth will answer your prayers, but you don't hear me though...
Posted on May 2, 2013
 

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