What Some Christian Single Guys Said About What Kind of Girls They Are NOT Looking For

What Some Christian Single Guys Said about What Kind of Girls They are NOT looking for.

Last week the college and career Sunday School teacher at our church (who has been teaching this age group for most of his adult life) invited the parents of these young people to his home to talk about boy-girl relationships, dating, courting, and marriage. He is gearing up to do a series on this subject in the next few months.

We had a great discussion, and I think we all agreed on a few things:

1. We care about the purity of our children.

2. Dating casually – just for fun and “physical sampling” as one mother put it – isn’t something any of us get super excited about. And our daughters aren’t necessarily looking to be physically sampled and discarded “just for fun” either.

3. Our daughters are looking for, and in many cases, are ready for—a “godly man” to nab them up and marry them.

4. Our sons are trying to figure out school, career, and whether or not to even talk to a girl lest she assume the wrong things about his intentions.

5. The most ideal way to get to know a future life partner is to become friends with that person first. Friendship that blossoms into love is a beautiful thing.

6. Guys and girls should be together in groups. A lot. Doing lots of things together. Talking. Mingling. Ministry. Building those friendships that lead to love.

It was a lot more involved than that, but there’s a summary for you. Here’s the interesting thing though…

Today I was talking to—someone (I promised not to give any names away because we have church members who read this blog), and he had been discussing this whole thing with some single Christian guys over the week end. These are your average, nice Christian guys, trying to live right and looking to get married someday.

But not to the nice girls at church.

Want to know why? I’ll give you a few very rough paraphrases, and you can draw your own conclusions.

“So many Christian girls want a “godly man.” I can never measure up to that. I will never be that perfect guy. I’m not even sure what that is.”

“I don’t want to feel judged all the time.”

“I stay away from anyone with a prairie skirt mentality – whether they are wearing one or not. I don’t live in that world. It’s prudish and unreal.”

“Most of the guys won’t go near most of the girls with a ten foot pole because they and their families are expecting someone amazing. We’re just average guys. None of those girls want us anyway.”

“So many of the home schooled girls have no real life experience. When they are finally exposed to different things in the real world, their reactions are not normal.”

It made me wonder. It made me wonder a lot. Because there are a lot of really incredible Christian single girls in churches all over this country getting older and older and older with no prospects in sight. And while it would be totally and utterly naive to pin any blame for that (if there is blame to be pinning) on this single reason, I do think it’s foolish not to consider that it could be one of the reasons.

You could react to this (as I most definitely would have three short years ago) by going, “WELL! I wouldn’t want my precious treasure marrying one of those nasty beasts anyway! So there!”

I don’t have an analysis of this right now. I’m just musing – remembering my own highfaluting attitudes hidden behind warm, pious smiles. I’m still prone to sneer, God help me in my depravity.

I’m not saying I want my daughter to marry the first male who wants her. We don’t have to be moronic. (Can you hear the sneer? Sigh.)

And yet.

In light of the fact that at least two larger-than-life conservative Christian leaders in the past year have stepped down from ministry due to impropriety (to spin it kindly), I find it interesting that the belief system they perpetuated has left in its wake a lot of unmarried young people scared spitless to live imperfect lives.

Afraid to need Christ more than is necessary. Afraid to be real. Afraid to get messy. Afraid to be honest.  Afraid to fail.

Afraid to love.

For more on this discussion, check out How to Silence Immature Young Men in Our Churches.

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Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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61 thoughts on “What Some Christian Single Guys Said About What Kind of Girls They Are NOT Looking For

  1. I know a man who tends to cry out loud for Jesus whenever he is facing challenges like changing a light bulb or fixing a computer glitch, you know, just your normal daily stuff. I used to be embarrassed by it and think “Can’t the man control himself?” It finally dawned on me that he is doing exactly what as Christians we are “taught” to do: turn to God in our helplessness or inadequacies. It’s a shame that we are “too good” to show our flaws. God loves us and accepts us just the way we are and He is not ashamed of us.

  2. Interesting. Parenting the teens and young adults can be very complicated at times. Did our ‘guys’ think that way back when? I do not think so,but maybe they did? Maybe it was because we were older? Or maybe we are now the parents and are seeing things from a different seat on the bleachers? Things seemed much easier when we were that age. I do find that my oldest few kids have always been more accepting of our views on dating, etc… but now our newer teens see things very different. It has been very stressful. Haha…The trickle down theory thing got stuck somewhere over here. In truth, It is I who is “Afraid to need Christ more than is necessary. Afraid to be real. Afraid to get messy. Afraid to be honest. Afraid to fail” as I run around with my duct tap trying to keep together my self built Frye house of cards. Yikes! This is all very unnerving, this new season in my life. Looking forward to reading more, Natalie!!

  3. I appreciated this article today Natalie. May we have standards but not set them so high that only Christ can meet them. What happened to growing together in the grace and knowledge of Jesus within a marriage. I may be getting too simple here but just asking – does he love Jesus? Does he desire to grow spiritually? Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in his life? Not, “Does he have Grudem’s Systematic Theology memorized?” I have been thankful to watch my own husband grow over the years as it has deepened our relationship with the Lord and with each other. Marriage is such a tool the Lord uses of sanctification in our lives. I’m rambling now but just wanted you to know I was thankful for this today and looking forward to any further thoughts you share on it.

    • Good thoughts. This is a complicated thing, and because lives are at stake, it scares us. (And we’ve all heard the horror stories.) But hearing what these young men were saying opened my eyes to think about this from another perspective.

  4. Thanks, Natalie. This is good food for thought. Our oldest daughter is 13, so we are not quite there yet, but thinking on the future and how to adequately prepare her for it. I guess if we are looking for a “godly man” we will need to be okay with our 18 year old marrying a 40+ year old man….lol! I think if a young man loves Jesus, is kind and willing to work hard that should probably be enough. The rest is a matter of maturity and will develop over time. These are just my initial thoughts on the matter. It also leads me to think about what we are teaching our son to value in a potential mate.

  5. There are thousands of godly young men and women who want to get married, who are ready to get married, and who, in fact, should already be married. Indeed, they should have been married long ago. But despite many years spent “waiting”, they remain unmarried. Their families, their friends, and their church have all prepared them for marriage. They have been prepared for early marriage, even, for early, fruitful marriage … and they are not married.
    There is no persecution, no law, no physical infirmities preventing them from being married. But they are not married. And, not being married, they are failing to serve Christ and the Church in all of the purposes for marriage: to avoid fornication, to raise up a Godly seed, to be a living metaphor of the faith itself.
    This is not a ‘panic’, it is a crisis. We have from among the very best and brightest of our Christian young people, from the finest families, the best taught men and women who are already well past the flower of their age, and they are not married. That is beyond a crisis, it is a catastrophe.
    http://truelovedoesntwait.com/

    • “And, not being married, they are failing to serve Christ and the Church in all of the purposes for marriage . . .” I can’t think advice more unbiblical than that. Marriage is required for singles to avoid fornication? That kind of pessimism is precisely why a lot of men don’t get married.

      • >>“And, not being married, they are failing to serve Christ and the Church in all of the purposes for marriage . . .” I can’t think advice more unbiblical than that.

        Oh? Let’s see… if God has purposes for marriage, and I think we have shown that He does, then unmarried, barren, celibate people literally cannot fulfill those purposes, no? When God says to be fruitful and multiply, or for a woman to obey her husband and love her children, an unmarried barren woman cannot fulfill that, no?

        >>Marriage is required for singles to avoid fornication? That kind of pessimism is precisely why a lot of men don’t get married.

        Not real clear on the logic here (if marriage is needed to avoid fornication most of the people I have talked to have said that would be a driving force *toward* marriage) but sad you find the Apostle Paul pessimistic:

        7 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

        2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

        3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

        4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

        5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

  6. This is an amazing article. I think it is very timely that you are addressing this, and much needed food for thought within the Christian community. What Marci said resonates with me. My husband was a bit newer in truly saving faith when we met (after breaking his neck diving, God drew him to Himself). As I look back over the last 18 plus years I weep with joy at how God has shown grace upon grace in his life and he has become a man so sold our for Jesus, committed fully to God and His Word. If I had adhered to some of the standards I know some have, I would have never married him. And he is truly a gift from God to me. God made it very clear to me very early on that he was the one for me. In addition, God worked through my parents in them being wholeheartedly behind our marriage. (I was 24 and he was 29 and he still called my dad to ask me out on a date, as I had committed to always do). I found the book Sacred Marriage helpful to me many years ago…God has designed marriage for our holiness, not our happiness. No one can ever hope to marry the “perfect” person. We can indeed marry the right person in God’s will – but that person still needs to grow in grace, just like we do!

    • Sara, I LOVE your line, “God has designed marriage for our holiness, not our happiness.” That sounds very similar to what my husband says, “We are constantly being perfected into the image of Christ”; and that applies to marriage, too!
      My husband was in a similar place (pulled back to Christ after a rough patch in his life) and I began courting him when he was at the tail-end of sorting his priorities out. Friends and some of my family members frowned upon our relationship, but I knew without a doubt that he was the one for me. As I look over the past (nearly) three years of marriage and our beautiful five month old son, I thank God every day for my wonderful life! He truly has worked everything according to his purpose.

      Great article, as always!

  7. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now and it never fails to impress me by the way you show so many different sides to a subject.

    As a Christian lady who grew up in the church and who is happily married to a wonderful man of God here is what I sometimes see in my unmarried girlfriends. They have put there life on hold waiting for that man of God to come marry them so their real life can begin.

    I wouldn’t want to date a guy who had such expectations of me. Why do we expect Christian guys to be the ones who have a direction in life?

    I was very fortunate going into my marriage that I knew myself, I was grounded in my relationship with God and so was my husband. We weren’t pretending to be someone else till we got married.

    Just some thoughts.

  8. Wow. What a sad predicament, and yet, I can understand some of their sentiments- especially about not measuring up. I think so many people are so enamored with people who seem to be doing big things for God that they overlook those who are doing the less noticeable- but equally important- things.

  9. Good thing I didn’t wear long skirts until after I got married! Ha! All joking aside this really challenges my thinking. Thanks!

  10. My wife brought this article to my attention after seeing it shared on Facebook.

    I am the father of daughters and my first response as I look at the guys’ responses is that they are excuses for inaction.

    In the first one, “godly man” and “perfect guy” are not synonyms. The man who my daughter marries should be a godly man, but if he’s a perfect guy, then there is a problem because the perfect guy doesn’t exist.

    In the second one, he doesn’t want to feel judged. Really? Does that mean he doesn’t want the girl’s family to be considering his character if he is serious about their daughter? That is an immature thought.

    In the third, the comment about “prairie skirt mentality” is just rude. There are plenty of girls with all types of “mentalities”. If you don’t like one type, then look at the others. But don’t denigrate one with labels.

    The fourth is the “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I might as well go eat worms” excuse. How does the guy know the girls don’t like him if he doesn’t try.

    The fifth indicates that the guy may be playing footsie with the world. That a “homeschooled” girl isn’t familiar with popular culture is definitely not a bad thing, and if he is spending that much time appreciating popular culture, there is a problem anyway.

    One last thought. Years ago I read a book on marriage by Deb Menkin (I think?!) where she chronicled the Biblical expectation of marriage and then discussed her own journey. At one point she told a story of John MacArthur’s church’s college group. The leadership came under conviction that marriage at a young age (provided the maturity was there) was the norm. From MacArthur on down, preaching and teaching included the expectation that the guys were to put down the video games, do what was necessary to prepare for marriage, and then step up to the plate! And guess what?! They did.

    Maybe our churches ought to preach less about “Don’t Waste Your Singleness” and more about the expectations for the guys to step up.

    • Mr. Adams,
      I believe we have a massive process failure in the path to marriage. We have, overall, totally misread what Scripture says about how to get married, why to get married, who to get married to, and the like.
      I don’t believe we will solve this crisis until we go back to the Scriptures and chuck away the assumptions we grew up with.

    • C Adams–I was going to comment that I’m glad Natalie brought up this conversation. It’s one we need to be having. But like you, C, some of the things in the list bothered me too. Especially the first one, for the same reason you said.

      He’s using the term “godly” in a negative/dishonest way. We want all our children, male and female both, to marry godly spouses. Godly is a directive from Scripture and it doesn’t help the marriage conversation to disparage the word.

      I would also add, from our view, that it seems the young men are stuck in a pattern of fear, perhaps from their own imaginations, not from real experience. Our “criteria” for a guy, spiritually, is basically, “Do you love the Lord, are you humble and do you desire to grow?” That’s not an impossible standard. But the guys around who should be seeking marriage are still playing around and do not seem to have an urgency. What to do?

      Just like the statement about not looking for girls in their own church, I’m finding this more and more from our girls. They are tired of waiting on boys to grow up, so they’re looking in other places, even places like E Harmony. Surprisingly, there are a few men out there in surprising places. But I’m burdened for those closer to home. We’ve got to raise men. (Way to go, Natalie, for your diligence to do that!)

      • I don’t think they were using the word “godly” in a negative way. I put it in quotes to reflect that they were using a word they were hearing others saying. In other words, they were quoting a term used by many people, and unfortunately this term means different things to different people. Biblical godliness is one thing – and something I think they respect, because it is the real thing. Pretentious godliness is quite another. In both cases, the term “godliness” is used. I hope that makes sense.

        Your criteria sounds healthy and biblical. I don’t think everyone’s criteria for godliness is quite that healthy.

        • That makes sense. I think you’re right–so many have set impossible standards, looking for wisdom in a young man that can only come with age and experience.

          As the parent of a marriageable girl, and friends with older, single girls still waiting, I see the other side of the coin, young women (and their parents) who truly don’t have impossible (or even close) standards; they would just be happy if the young men were acting as if they were interested in marriage. I’m personally frustrated right now (not with my own daughter but others around me) at the number of twenty-something men who don’t seem to be moving forward.

          My husband and I have talked many times, though, that there seems to be this fear put in motion, maybe early on in this process, that makes guys feel like they much reach the moon before they are suitable. We’ve GOT to be realistic. Financially, spiritually, and in every other way, we must urge our young adults to look for potential more than the presence of all things they hope for in a spouse.

          • Yes, and I get that side (these girls waiting – I know many of them and love them and pray for them) WAY more easily than I get this side (the boy side). That was why it was so startling – and, I thought, important to share. :)

            • My adult sons have spoken these very same thoughts. I don’t think that these statements are unique to this group of young men.

              One of my sons was severely criticized in front of a group of men for a decision that he made with the help of my husband and I. My son held his own defense in a very respectful way and was later encouraged by the private comments of the other men. Needless to say, he is no longer interested in pursuing that man’s daughter.

              Are we encouraging these young men or being a stumbling block in their lives? Please take time to love them and understand what they are saying and where they are coming from. They may have some very valid concerns.

    • C Adams, I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly agree with you that too many young men are dinging around, and that’s a major factor contributing to the dearth of marriages in our church. AND I love the example of John MacArthur’s church and wish that could be a focus in our own church. Oh, how I wish it.

      I do wonder if you’ve not done precisely what they’ve done? They made some sweeping generalizations about girls at church based on their observations and conversations.

      You’ve made some sweeping generalizations about the young men at church based on your observations and conversations.

      The only difference is that they have limited life experience, and you don’t.

      • This has been so interesting to read, as I literally sit here and watch the umpteenth preview copy of our film. What seems to be common is many guys who don’t want the responsibility of marriage, (I’m generalizing). And on the other side of the coin there are many ladies in waiting who keep their feelings hidden from guys who may be interested.

        It’s a catch 22, parents and daughters read the books, but the guys didn’t. Girls wait for the guy to pursue, but the majority of the guys don’t know her rules and won’t pursue a girl that treats him like a friend. ya know?

  11. I like what Marci said. May more of our young people seek the Lord first and be content with the gift of singleness while they have it, leaving the “finding” of a mate to the One who created them. God has His perfect timing and I am so sad to see so many Christians so absorbed in looking for their spouse, spending so much mental energy on compatibility, and other worldly psychology. I think if more of our young people would seek Jesus first and leave marriage up to Him, I don’t think we would be so side-tracked by who’s expecting what.

    I get the point of your thoughts, but I think godly women *should* expect someone amazing; if your life is centered on the Gospel, it’s a common occurrence to be reminded of your short-comings and therefore be realistic in your view of other people (especially when you are verbally sharing that amazing message with people on a regular basis). I hope that doesn’t seem too simplistic… Yet if young wo/men leave the choice of a spouse in God’s very capable hands, they can trust this person has been made specifically for them, “warts” and all. :)

    I know you had an article on dating a while ago and in spite of the danger of stepping on toes, I really believe the Scriptures are against this practice. I say this in love because I dated and learned the hard way; I didn’t seek answers in the Word of God first, which is a sad failing on my part. In my 20s, I spent a considerable amount of time studying what the Bible says about engagement and marriage in seeking what to do because I was so burned out on getting my heart crushed as well as hurting men who were looking for the right marriage partner. It was very eye-opening and I wish our American pastors would teach more on this topic.

    Sorry for writing a book. :) This is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart. Maybe soon I will re-work my essay on Biblical “dating” and publish it to see if it helps anyone. :)

    ~christine

  12. Hmmm…I have thought about this in recent days. Thanks for making the effort to talk to young men and write about this topic. I must say that I did sense some attitudes in the words/tone from the young men. They came across very rude and immature. I think some of their concerns are okay but should be addressed in a more polite manner. As for the “prairie skirt girls,” I happen to know several girls that would fall into that category and I find them to be pretty amazing, godly gals whom I think would make great wives. While I agree that some families seem to have too high of expectations, seemingly looking for faultless young men, I think there is a greater lack of maturity in young men these days that needs to be addressed and not glossed over. They should want to know what a godly man is and desire to be that. Not just say, “I don’t know what that is and I’m just a mediocre guy and don’t really want to put the effort into becoming a godly man.” That’s how it came across to me and that’s a red flag in my opinion. I basically want to say yes, we need to be careful not to expect perfection and look at the heart and character of a person, but the tone that came across in those young men’s comments didn’t sit well with me. And marriage really is a huge decision that changes lives forever. There IS much growth that can happen through marriage, but the reality is that it doesn’t always and many can end in disaster or be miserable forever and we need to be careful of that.

  13. Great article. I look forward to reading more of your articles on this topic. I think there is a fine balance between being realistic with standards vs. lowering them to just get anyone. There is alot of fear out there now because of the divorce culture and the internet pornography, etc. There is reason to take all of this seriously. And yet we need to encourage our young people to marry and to trust God in that process as well.

  14. If you go beyond the actual words/paraphrases to the heart of what was being said, it seems their church culture has created an environment that makes them think the expectation IS perfection in the form of a set of standards instead of their desiring God being enough. They don’t feel the freedom to walk on the journey of growing in godliness starting from where they are right now. This is what has been communicated to them whether it has been expressly spoken or not. I’m sure their perceptions are mixed with human insecurities because none of us are immune to that, and it is certainly easy for ALL of us to feel judged in whatever sub-culture we value even as we mature (because each one is full of sinners and some ARE judging). It all comes down to considering each individual and compassionately coming alongside him and listening and relying on God to help us respond in ways that point his view AND the flawed church culture to Christ.

  15. I think this is such an interesting topic, and a great article. I think its time has come, too, as we in the homeschool community are nearing a “third wave” generation, as it were. It seems to me that there was a generation of homeschoolers (and, though you’re not necessarily addressing a hs audience per se, this topic does sort of lead in that direction!) who went off to college and did career/dating/marriage the way the rest of the world did; a subsequent generation began to focus heavily on changing the way their daughters did education/early adulthood with the aim of preventing lots of the garbage that an anti-family, anti-male culture throws in their direction during a typical secular college education. I hope that, as a mother of three boys (at least, at this point!) that we will be a part of a generation that brings that focus around to steering boys toward being MEN, who see marriage as not just the necessary obligation that comes with physical relationships but as a way to glorify God and show a suffering world what I believe we can only reveal in a Christ-centered family involving marriage and children.
    HOWEVER…one of those commenters is being a little misquoted in these comments. I believe he said, he avoided girls with a “prairie skirt mentality, whether or not she was wearing one”. It’s immature to judge folks based on their appearances alone–that’s a stereotype. But as a mother of sons (whom I encourage to marry young! to women who will mother their children! and homeschool them!!), I honestly wonder: do we need to acknowledge that preparing for Godly wife/motherhood requires development in areas in addition to caring for babies and modesty? I realize I’m painting with a broad brush here, which is dangerous, but as I browse so many blogs I wonder, what if the Lord intends for you to be a help-meet to a man who is going to need someone to compliment his work with a business management-type skill set…and you’ve spent the past two years throwing Victorian themed tea parties with your mostly unmarried female friends? Again, I don’t mean to make a negative stereotype either (and I have nothing against theme tea parties!). We may need to consider that while we’ve wisely stepped out of the go-to-college-and-build-your-career box, we’ve possibly forgotten that we can still be “of the world, but not in the world” when it comes to preparing our children of both genders for marriage.

    • Amanda, I was home schooled, and I graduated from a public university (while living at home), in an extremely carnal city, where it’s never cold, near beaches, you understand (although in a godly, loving home). I married a European, son of missionaries. Our two backgrounds are extremely different, and yet so similar, in that our parents had very similar perspectives on life, and most importantly– they feared God and submitted to His Word above all else (including man-made traditions!). My point is this- you’d think that my husband would have chosen someone from his circle, but he chose someone really from “the outside” in a lot of ways, simply because he had the conviction before God that I should be his life helper. I’m eternally grateful that his parents were not like “WHO IN THE WORLD IS THIS GIRL?!” (and that my parents let me marry a man they barely knew!) Both sets of parents awesome in-laws. All this to say, I believe you are right when you pose the question “do we need to acknowledge that preparing for Godly wife/motherhood requires development in areas in addition to caring for babies and modesty?” I did learn about babies and modesty before marrying, but I certainly wasn’t limited to that. And my education and life experiences have been used by God to bless my husband, in ways we never would have imagined. So I’m grateful that my parents encouraged me to study, to work, to travel, to explore my skills, in the right time and in the right spheres, in the fear and knowledge of the Lord, and always with the purpose of glorifying Him and sharing the Good News. I did spend a lot of time at home, because I loved being there, and my parents were very involved in my life, relationships with friends; they didn’t let boys mess with me, etc. But I know that by the standards of many home school families we were too liberal (although in our circle we were among the most conservative!). So thank you for your comment, and I hope my little perspective from the kid’s side is useful!

      • That’s encouraging. Our son is marrying a girl “outside” our circles too. Public schooled. Working mom. Small family. Yet – I believe they are meant to be. God is using that – and many other things in my life – to encourage me to be more flexible and open to His various ways of doing things in people’s lives.

  16. We just experienced this the other way around. Our girl didn’t meet one of this man’s many “expectations”…something we saw as an unbiblical and superficial demand. No wonder he’s still unmarried in his 30′s! Godly and mature in many ways but with over-the-top requirements that may never be fulfilled…sad.

    I like those short lists: Are they humble? Teachable? Growing? Repentant? Much can be accomplished in a man or woman with those traits and a marriage can thrive while two such people allow God to complete the good work He started in them. My husband and I don’t look or think anything like we did when we married many years ago (thank goodness)!!

  17. Natalie,
    This is perfect, I have been waiting for twenty years for somebody to begin this conversation, with this tone! The comments are thoughtful, I would add two things, maybe worthwhile. A long time ago, I was reading the diaries of Jim Elliot, with the thought of handing it to my then teen aged son, when I came to a comment he made about being afraid of Elizabeth. I asked my husband, “is this really the way boys think?” He said “yes, most young men, despite appearances, feel horribly inadequate, and the last thing they want is to be near someone who makes them feel more inadequate.” We really need to take that into consideration when we are homeschooling, our sons are surrounded by super moms, capable daughters. Tea parties and dresses just add to the feeling that “I don’t really belong to this world.”
    Second, God created man with a need for a companion. We need to raise our girls with the idea that they will be coming alongside a young man, as his friend and helper. Thus, helping daddy, climbing trees, and being brother’s confidant are far more important than making an excellent quiche. College ought to be an option, but only one option, again not for the purpose of catching a fellow, or to prove worth, but to be of service to Christ wherever He leads.
    Amanda’s hope for a third wave of homeschoolers creating an atmosphere where boys become men of God, is my wholehearted prayer, and as I watch my grandchildren working alongside their dads, I begin to think we will get there.

  18. I remember seeing something somewhere that said “run towards Jesus with all your might and if you see someone of the opposite gender running beside you, ask his/her name!”

    • I think the boys were getting at the idea some folks have – that in order to be a spiritually mature person one has to follow man-made rules, like dress codes, for example. They are any outward signs that someone might pin on others in order to make a judgement of their spiritual maturity. I’ve heard – with my own ears – women criticize women wearing pants, for example (just to keep to the idea of the “skirt” issue). They’ve made disparaging comments indicating that it is their belief that Christian women who wear pants are not very mature spiritually. So in their belief system, females who wear skirts are mature – those who don’t aren’t. These sorts of shaming and superior attitudes built around man’s ideas are what the boys are reacting to. This false “godliness” is what they have a problem with (and frankly, so do I). It isn’t real. It isn’t biblical. And they worry that if a girl feels it is necessary to not talk to boys (in order to avoid the appearance of evil), never watch movies, only listen to hymns, and always wear a dress (just to give a few examples) – what sorts of extra-biblical rules will she impose on a future husband? They want to be able to build convictions based solely on God’s Word. They are looking for a woman who wants the same. Not a woman merely copying the Christian crowd around her.

      • And allow me to clarify too – if a woman has her own personal conviction about exactly what to wear – she will bear that conviction graciously, knowing it is between her and the Lord. I know many more women like this – beautiful women who do NOT condemn or criticize others for doing things differently than they do.

        God may bring a man into her life who has the same conviction and supports her in that. But He may not. He may change her convictions. I’ve changed many of mine as I’ve grown older and evaluated my motives for some of my “convictions.” I’ve realized they were actually motivated by fear of what others would think (and pressure from others) if I didn’t follow THEIR convictions.

        There is a lot of reaction to this kind of “conviction building” right now in the Christian community, and I believe it will ultimately drive more of us to Christ and His Word for answers rather than to other humans. That will be a beautiful thing, I think.

        • Yes! Especially to this last paragraph because this issue is not just a matter of parenting but reveals some lack of understanding the truth of the gospel and who we are in Christ.

  19. I have a college aged son and I am broken-hearted for him. He is a strong christian young man, yet has never dated because girls are immature, immodest, and not seeking God. He has run in to girls that want to date every guy in the church just to “try them all out” and they don’t want to get serious. Now he is in a Christian college and is finding the same thing. Girls aren’t running to Christ! They are running to things in the world. It seems they want to hold on to Christ with one hand and the world with the other.

    He has also seen the girls that no one is good enough for them. They want the guys to have the experience and knowledge of their fathers, but they want that from guys that are 19 and 20. The girls expect the guys to have a job making $100,000 a year so they can “take care” of their expensive tastes/lifestyle.

    I am praying for the right girl for him. I am praying for her and for him. I even started a journal for my son’s future wife where I write my prayers for her. She doesn’t have to have it all together, she doesn’t have to be perfect, but is it too much to ask that she be totally in love with Christ?

    This is such a tough subject. We just need to be covering our sons and daughters in prayer and continue to keep communication open and on-going with them about their expectations and how they can be preparing themselves for marriage. Just keep guiding them to the Scriptures!!!

    • “…but is it too much to ask that she be totally in love with Christ?”

      Absolutely not! That should be the single most important criteria. Stick to it.

      He should come visit! Most of the gals in our church are nothing like the girls you are describing – and they will make fabulous wives! Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery. heh heh. ;)

  20. Thank you, Natalie! This article hit home for me. I have several daughters, all of whom love wearing skirts. But they also know when to throw on a pair
    of jeans! I do have one daughter who personally hates wearing pants,
    and only wears them as a last resort. We have talked about being sure not
    to hold others to the same practice, because God sees our hearts. I want
    my girls to be modest, but not man-made! And I can totally relate to what you
    said about doing things out of fear of what other pious people will think! I’ve decided that if other women can’t handle that I love jeans, maybe they aren’t the friends for me!

    • I think this is a healthy way to look at the whole issue. And actually, it brings up another one – the idea of letting one another be who God made us to be – with our preferences/differences intact and accepted. I believe God’s Word leaves a lot of room for human beings to run free. The fences are there – but the yard is much bigger than we might think.

  21. Maybe the guys are perceiving a similar attitude to one that my husband describes some girls had at the Bible Institute he attended. These girls wanted and “were waiting” for this super “godly” man who would be a pastor, or have some amazing missionary calling, etc. The root issue is pride, in thinking that they are the right girl for that superman. Well, most of those girls are still single–and getting kinda old. Other girls were willing to marry guys with good hearts– you know, really sincere, Bible-reading, God-fearing, fun guys who had made good choices and would work hard at whatever task God gave them. Maybe still a bit rough around the edges, probably not financially stable, possibly unsure of where exactly God wanted them to be for the rest of their lives. But- they were sold out for Christ, and not showing off about it, just quietly living it out. Well, those girls married those guys and grew together with them, and NOW those guys are pastors, directors of ministries, missionaries, professors, etc.! The ones who before seemed a bit insecure, or didn’t have it all perfectly together in their 20′s. So if the girls that your guys are describing are communicating that they want that superman, then I don’t blame the guys for avoiding them, because the husband is supposed to help from the wife spiritually, but if the woman is expecting this unrealistically mature man then she’ll never admire him enough to learn from him. But if the girls learn to see guys’ hearts and their potential, and if they allow God to guide their discernment and judgment of their guy friends, that’s when really great couples can come together, to grow together.

    I didn’t marry someone from my home church, but not because I didn’t think they were good guys, I just saw that their life direction wasn’t the direction I wanted (that I believed God too desired for me). But my guy friends would tell me the reason they didn’t like most girls at church was that most were overweight. I asked them if they ever kindly shared their opinion with some girls, to encourage them to exercise, etc. (we’re talking about childhood friends, lots of openness to talk about these things, like with a sister). They said, “Yes! We have, and they just got offended and proudly rejected the help.” So is it any wonder guys shudder at the thought of marrying girls close to them? We have had some matches from our church’s circle of friends, but it seems to be the exception now (whereas before it was the norm?).

  22. Natalie…
    I LOVE this… keep it coming…

    Not to hijack… I was thinking of emailing this to you…. My oldest is 13 and is struggling with this first crush… which he’s had for 3 years. I am trying to direct him to the ” no dating until you are ready for marriage” mentality… He’s struggling with *what* to do with his feelings for this girl… I am a bit perplexed myself because I was allowed to date and I think it was a train-wreck. I have explained all of this to him, and told him to take his feelings to God on a regular basis… but I feel like I need more practical ideas… Has anyone written a book or something to help guide the younger ones?

    Thanks for listening and letting me hijack!

    • We’ve always told our boys if they aren’t ready to support a wife, they aren’t ready to date. Dating for fun and physical sampling as a young teen not ready for marriage is asking for trouble. Young teens will function better if they can focus on school, healthy friendships with both sexes, and their relationship with God. When they are ready to support a woman for life – that’s the time to start moving into the next phase.

  23. Plain and simple, I loved this article. I got married very young, and I KNOW that I had totally unrealistic expectations of my young, Christian husband. And I’m positive that I made him miserable for many years. And now as a mother of 4 boys and 2 girls (plus another baby on the way) I am beginning to realize more and more how God can use my children to glorify Him, even if that means taking them out of MY comfort zone. Frankly, I’m very tired of the expectations placed on families involved in certain homeschool “movements.”

    I listened to my favorite bible teacher recently and he very well summed up the truth of it: The only biblical *requirements* for a Christian to marry, is that they marry another believer. How freeing was that? For this mom, Incredibly.

  24. Great post. I am 29 years old and have been married for 8 years this year. Many of my friends who are still single are single because they are waiting for God to make a husband magically appear at their doorstep. They won’t GO TO WHERE THE MEN ARE! Whether online, at concerts, at conventions, at a larger church with a college group, in a professional environment, etc… You USUALLY don’t meet a man when there aren’t any around.

    They expect him to have the relationship with God that a 50 year Christian would have and be the whole package. They simply expect too much. It’s a bummer.
    I married a “younger” Christian than myself (as in salvation wise) and I married him knowing he loved God and tried to live right, but had a lot of growing to do… we BOTH did and do! He wasn’t this big leader of the family BECAUSE WE HAD NO FAMILY YET! It’s a role he has grown into (as have I in motherhood and wifehood) and his personality is one that is more steadfast and he will never be a pastor-type leader. It’s not who he is. To expect that of him would be mean.

    So anyway, I’m glad to hear the thoughts of Christian men… and thankful to have found (yes, I searched! ONLINE even! haha) my husband. :)

  25. I suspect that some young men are put off by the idea of having huge families that many devoutly Christian families encourage.

  26. Stumbled on this post through Keeper of the Home. I am NOT what you’d call an uber Christian. I’m Catholic…but I often show too much cleavage, my husband wasn’t my first, and I drink more than one beer in a sitting – and I don’t feel bad about any of that.

    I also didn’t marry until age 36. I just want to put it out there that the comments in this post aren’t unique to the devoutly Christian set. I think my generation in general and the Millenials have this horrible mindset of setting our expectations way too high, being too picky about things that really don’t matter and then, oddly, having a fear that we can’t meet the expectations set by the opposite sex (whose expectations and pickyness are equally unrealistic).

    It took me a long time to get over that and when I did, my husband appeared. Just wanted to reassure devoutly Christan young people that this is not unique to your demographic!

  27. More of the same……..

    Somehow all the Christian men are at fault because every single woman in church today who wants to get married has been let down by all the “men” in their respected church. Her expectations are evidently minimal but as a Christian man IN church, and conforming daily to the image of God’s Son……I am still not “good enough” for ANY of them, and this is a problem in all churches today.

    All I hear is this: None of the men want to “Man-Up” evidently. All of them just want to play video-games. They are not as spiritually mature as all the women. They’re no good. They only want sex. They need to get an education, a good job, be nice….but not too nice, be strong, attractive in the view of “the world” and have boundless confidence, be ready to support a large family, be a “leader” in the church, fulfill all the fantasies of the “love letters” that were written to him while “I” waited for God to bring him to me. Be funny, be everything I need, be a solid provider (fulfill the whole American Dream of a new house, suburban living, a vacation at a nice place that will cause envy, good benefits), enjoy long walks on the beach, be my hero, solve my problems for me, be a leader…..but only if I agree with what he wants to do……

    Want more?

    Every woman I have met in church says they want a man who “Loves Jesus” but yet; ask any of these women out in church and men get the following:

    *I just don’t feel a spark
    *I think we’re gonna be great friends
    *You need to let God lead you
    *Someday a great, awesome gal is gonna come into your life
    *I prayed about it, and God told me that I can’t go on a date with you
    *Jesus is my boyfriend now, I was hurt so, so, so badly by my last relationship

    It’s not easy being a Christian man in church who wants to marry. The church has created this “marriage idol” and it’s not healthy. Men are allowed to be belittled (that drives men AWAY from Christ, and the church). They ask too many women out, and they get labeled as “that guy” who is coming off as creepy, even though he may not be. He shuts down, finds it’s just easier to “love God and Serve the people” than to date. Divorce is ONLY a paltry few percentage points lower for Christians today than for the secular world….why pursue, and try for marriage when your “wife” in 7-12 years may divorce you, because “he didn’t make me happy”?

    Growth is not allowed today. The man must have it “all together” now.

    The single men in my situation in church are pretty much done. We have tried, and tried, and tried….and still…….we’re not “good” enough or viewed as “just friends”

    Try to flirt and now “we’re dealing with sexual sin” or since we are single we “must” have a problem with pornography.

    Myself, and many like myself like church. We have a heart to Christ and a hand-to-man….and most of us live like Jesus by not sounding “trumpets” about the work we do for His kingdom. We do understand the fellowship in church, but “finding a wife” is just about impossible, and women refuse to look in the “proverbial mirror” and look at themselves once in awhile.

    Many can’t even view a date for what it is: Just a date. Not a marriage proposal. How do you know if you like someone from looking at them for two seconds? You go out on a date. Well lighted, a public place. If he is a man of God, he will show this to you.

    The disciples were not rich men. The Savior himself was “homeless” during His whole earthly ministry.

    When did we all allow everything about “the world” into the church concerning dating, marriage and love??????

    Have any of you ever thought of this?

    • Well, there are two sides to this issue. Coming from the perspective of a woman as well as a mom of older boys, I think there is some pain for both the girls and the boys involved. The blame doesn’t lie on one side or the other, in a general sense, although there may be specific girls who create problems and specific boys who create problems because of the brokenness inside them. The bottom line is that we won’t find our happiness in a person, regardless. We only find fulfillment in Christ.

      I do know that anger over the problem won’t solve it. Women being angry at men. Men being angry at women. Selfless love will solve it on both sides. Not one side. Both sides. And that’s something that only Christ can do in a person over the course of a lifetime. But it begins today.

      P.S. I’m not sure how this related to the rest of your comment, but for the sake of others who may be reading this, you need to know that Jesus’s homelessness is not a solid argument for a man not being able to provide for a family (is that what you were getting at?) (I Tim. 5:8) Jesus wasn’t married, for one thing, and the fact that he was “homeless” refers to his being on planet earth instead of his real home as well as the fact that while he was in ministry he was traveling rather than settling down.

      • No, I wasn’t getting at that. I was trying to convey that Jesus wasn’t of the priestly-class, or a Levite. He was not given to the Temple to be educated by the Rabbis. His trade was of that of a carpenter. He left that because He obeyed His Father. He trusted His Father. He knew His calling. Jesus during his whole ministry was provided for by the people He spoke to. He didn’t have a “house” in every town to live in. He didn’t have guarantees of a meal every night. He dined with “tax collectors” and other “wicked” people and viewed that as an opportunity to tell of The Good News, plant seeds and to tell The Truth.

        In today’s world of church, we have a good number of folks from the pulpit downward taking the word “provider” and have that exclusively means: a good job, a comfortable standard of living, a good education or training to “provide” for a wife and family.

        Did Jesus tell his disciples to “follow me, but only on the Sabbath? When you marry make sure you have enough saved, own a few flocks of goats, and make sure you are 100% ready to make the other persons’ dreams come true?”

        No. He said to store “treasures in heaven”

        If the church has done a poor job with curbing materialism today, it has done a worse job with men concerning careerism. Not every Christian man is going to be “software engineer” or “programmer for IBM” or have everything ready and be “prefect” for a wife. Not every man is going to be a pastor at some well-endowed church giving him a comfortable living.

        What if it pleases the Lord that a man may have to work a job that many consider unimportant? Or with prestige? Or pays a wage that can’t give a standard of living that the world (or even church for that matter) says you must have?

        What about the fruit of the spirit? Demonstrative action that is pure and genuine and is being done not in the presence of the eyes of those watching (men or women).

        If our Lord and Savior Jesus was walking around today too many blogs, too many writers, pundits and fellow “church” folk would be saying:

        “He needs to grow up and find a wife”

        “He should let the church leaders handle the pastoral care, where is his degree? What Bible college did he go to?”

        “Jesus, I love what you are doing, and saying….but you should have been saving up money for a few years before you decided to do this ministry.”

        “He’s just being a show off with this signs, and miracles. He thinks he is better than the rest of us”

        “Well, no wonder he’s single. He hangs out with a bunch of guys, mooches off of people. He won’t grow up and provide for a family”

        I mean, in our Christian culture today, men are expected to have it all together. I for one won’t participate…marriage in the church today is made into something that doesn’t glorify God. It glories a wedding industry :-)