Lori Alexander is right: serious Christian men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos

Marriage stability vs sexual partners,(Teachman et al. JAMF, August 2010)
Marriage stability vs sexual partners,(Teachman et al. JAMF, August 2010)

Christian writer Lori Alexander recently wrote a blog post (H/T Lindsay) urging Christian women to do 3 things:

  1. be a virgin before marriage
  2. be debt-free before marriage
  3. don’t get any tattoos

She also urged women to be cautious about college, because it often gets them into debt. I disagree with her a little here. I always urge young women to earn a STEM degree in college, then work a few years to pay off their loans (if any) before marrying. This is because women, like men, need to have the experience of doing something hard that they don’t “feel” like doing, in order to grow. STEM degrees teach young people that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and that their feelings don’t matter when trying to solve a problem in the real world. It’s a very useful way for women and men to break themselves out of the desire for free and easy happiness that is so common in our time.

Lori’s article drew enormous opposition from both secular and Christian sources. So far, the only people defending her are men’s rights sites, like Dalrock (Christian) and Spawny (non-Christian). Every other “Christian” blog or news site that I read disagreed her article, and argued that premarital sex was no big deal, that having debt was no big deal, and that having tattoos was no big deal.

Let’s take a look at her three points, then I’ll explain why her article is largely correct, and why she is correct about what she asserts about the criteria that godly men have for women.

Even one non-husband premarital sex partner raises risk of divorce
Even one non-husband premarital sex partner raises risk of divorce

Virginity

Regarding her first point, virginity is commanded by the Bible, it’s in line with peer-reviewed studies on marriage quality and stability. The reason that people find this difficult is that they want the freedom to give in to sexual desires without feeling shame. They want to believe that there is no permanent effect. It doesn’t help that parents and pastors are terrified of telling young people, and young women in particular, that promiscuity harms marital stability. Right now, the culture is drowning in feminism. Feminism tells women that the traditional male roles of provider, protector, and spiritual leader are “sexist”. The “best” men are good-looking pro-abortion bad boys. If a Christian woman is not able to think through the meaning of sex with respect to marriage enough to control herself, it seriously harms the stability of her future marriage.

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)

Debt-free

Regarding her second point, almost everything a serious Christian man might plan to do for Christ with his marriage is impacted by finances. From education, to marriage timing, to number of children, to home ownership, early investment, to the success of children. to age of retirement. Less money means fewer choices, and less ability to counter challenges. Think of how important money for legal defense is to Christian-owned businesses who are being persecuted, for example. The reason that many people find the Bible’s teaching on stewardship difficult is that they don’t want to exercise self-control with money if they don’t feel like it. They want to waste money seeking fun and thrills, and then act like their poverty could not be avoided. Being debt-free is an indicator of practical wisdom and self-control in a woman.

Hugh Hewitt's "In, But Not Of", Chapter 9: Tattoos, Don't
Chapter 9 of Hugh Hewitt’s “In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition”

Tattoos

Tattoos are a problem for serious Christian men for several reasons. First, they cost money and for no gain, and can even cause you losses in your career. Second, most people get them because of low self-esteem or vanity or to look rebellious or to look dangerous. None of these motivations should be acted upon by someone with a robust Christian worldview. The money could be better used on charity, or investments, etc. Women show what their priorities really are by how they spend their money and time. Show me a woman’s bookshelf, and I’ll tell you how seriously she has thought about what it means to be a Christian in all areas of life. Instead of showing me your tattoos to demonstrate your “spirituality”, show me your apologetics books, to demonstrate your intellectual engagement. And tell me how you used that information to engage in conversations with educated non-Christians to answer their challenges to your faith. That way I’ll know that you use your money to train do hard things in order to have an influence for Christ in serious, practical, effective ways. A woman who can defend her faith and discuss Christianity with non-Christians is demonstrating her ability to raise Christian children in a secular society.

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

The goal of marriage is to serve God

Today, young people have been taught to follow their hearts, and to deny that there is any authority or practical wisdom that should govern their decisions. They always imagine themselves to be exempt from moral rules, statistics, cause and effect, etc. They think they know better than everyone else – even though they do almost no research on their own. Every adviser who tells them to study computer science instead of creative writing is wrong. Their same-age friends know more about what causes divorces than peer-reviewed research papers. And money should be spent on skydiving and zip-lining, regardless of what financial experts like Dave Ramsey might say.

A woman who has made many mistakes cannot fix those mistakes with words. Rationalizations, evasions, and blame-shifting do not work to show that there has been real repentance. The man can only assess whether grace has caused any real re-prioritization of goals by evaluating her outward actions over a long period of time. Furthermore, if a woman who has made mistakes attacks those who correct her from Bible’s teachings on chastity, stewardship, etc., then it’s a sign that there is no real repentance.

Choosing a wife wisely doesn’t mean that Christian men treat OTHER Christian women poorly. Christian men love all the Christian women. We care for them and support them. But when a man chooses a wife, he is choosing someone who will have more influence on his ability to serve God than anyone else. In my case, the goals for my marriage involve making a difference with apologetics in the church, having many children who will receive the educations and careers they need to have an influence, influencing government to promote Christian-friendly policies, charitable giving, mentoring young Christians, modeling a good marriage to others, and having a home that can serve to host discussions about issues that matter. These things are not free – they take careful planning and execution to achieve.

Lori’s advice is  intended for men who are serious about making their marriage produce a return for God. Men who are chaste themselves. Men who accept the Bible as an authority. Men who earned STEM degrees, instead of easy nonsense degrees that don’t lead to good careers. Men who earn 6-figure salaries, who buy houses for cash, and who are on track have a 7-figure net worth by age 50. Men who made good decisions cannot risk marrying someone who hasn’t prepared for marriage. The wrong woman in the home could ruin the man’s effort to produce a marriage that gives glory to God.

Not every man intends to achieve something for God with his marriage, but those who do need to choose a woman who has demonstrated ability at doing the job. For example, if the job requires marital fidelity, then chastity is a good indicator that the woman has the necessary self-control. If the job requires frugality, and practicality, then being debt-free, having a STEM degree, and having some private sector work experience are good indicators that she’s qualified for the role. Nothing valuable in life is ever been achieved by being lazy, wild and irresponsible. Serious Christian men look for wives who have applied themselves to difficult tasks that they didn’t feel like doing, who achieved success by remaining committed to the plan, in spite of their unhappy feelings and unmet desires.

We have a problem in the church such that we aren’t serious about teaching young people to develop marriage-ready character and to make serious plans for marriage. We are teaching them to follow their hearts, and that their feelings and desires are clues about God’s will for their happiness. We are teaching them to be uncomfortable with responsibilities, expectations and obligations to others. We are teaching them not to do their own research. We are teaching them not to make practical, wise plans. We are teaching them to ATTACK those who try to get them to be serious about doing what is likely to work. This approach is not working.

My own criteria for a wife are more demanding than Lori’s. My advice there is only for serious Christian men who want their marriage to serve God.

49 thoughts on “Lori Alexander is right: serious Christian men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos”

  1. I think the article is great advice for young women. They can greatly enhance their suitability for marriage by staying out of debt, not getting tattoos, and remaining chaste.

    This is just good general advice for anyone when you think about it. Getting into debt, getting tattoos, and being sexually loose are all stupid and self-destructive behaviors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A spot on article. These ladies act as though, for the majority of history, tattooed, in-debt, whores were all the rage and now this article is going against the grain! Quite the opposite! Its a sad view on where our society, and modern Christianity, have ended up.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t read the whole thing, its awful. I skimmed through it. She is grieved? Over what? That another woman is shedding light on a biblical standard? GOD IS GRIEVED! Are we not warned against those who call evil good and good evil? How could God Himself be grieved that a woman would keep his commandments? HELLO! VIRGINITY IS NOT MEANINGLESS! THE BIBLE TELLS US ITS A STATUS THAT ONCE MEANT LIFE OR DEATH AND STILL MEANS HEAVEN OR HELL! Ladies! The OT tells us that a woman who fakes being a virgin and takes on a husband would be stoned to death on her fathers doorstep! That may not be the case today, but a non-virgin is a married woman unless certain, well spelled out circumstances are met! IF A MAN IS SLEEPING WITH A MARRIED WOMAN HE AND SHE ARE BOTH ADULTERERS AND WILL NOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD! It says right there! In black and white and red! FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THIS PUTS YOUR ETERNAL SOUL AT RISK!

        To me this is why Paul made it clear that women should be silent in the church and learn from their husbands and not from other men or other women! This woman and her grieved heart will lead how many other women astray?

        Debt can greatly hinder your service to Christ! How can you help others if you are so busy scrambling to pay your debts! Debt may not be a sin in and of itself, but again SCRIPTURE ADVISES AGAINST IT!

        These “Christian ladies” are driving me crazy. The internet is definitely a two edged sword. Tons of great information, tons of horrible misinformation, and anyone can spout off whatever they want – SOMEONE will listen!

        (Sorry about the glut of caps, I just cant take it anymore.)

        Liked by 4 people

      2. WK, that article is fascinating in its cluelessness. It just goes to show you that the hamster runs strong in all women, regardless of how religious. The biggest straw man is her saying “God doesn’t want this or God doesn’t want that”. The original article she’s criticizing doesn’t say what God prefers. It says what men prefer and it is spot on. And she shouldn’t kid herself that her husband didn’t marry her because she was a debt free virgin. Would he still have married her if she was a debt laden slut?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just about every article I’ve seen that takes issue with her comments are attacking straw men and not the argument itself. Or addressing one of the comments she was responding to and not her response.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The Babylon Bee posted a weak satire attempt about it on Facebook and women started posting Lori’s article and giving hysterical responses to it. I started responding to them and was accused of not being a Christian, of misrepresenting the Gospel, and of hating women. The sorts of things I’d expect secular, leftist, feminists or very liberal Christians to say.
    Two articles were linked in response to Lori’s original article, with the implication that she had grieved God by suggesting men prefer certain things.
    Pay close attention to the ridiculous titles.
    Here’s the first: https://phyliciamasonheimer.com/debt-free-virgin-without-tattoos/
    And the second: https://imitatingee.blogspot.com/2018/07/why-bride-of-christ-is-not-debt-free.html?m=1

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Modern day Christians cant’ be judgmental of someone’s behavior, especially other Christians. Biblical Christians are supposed to make judgements on others behavior, ESPECIALLY other Christians.

      Like

      1. What’s annoying to me is that so many christian women don’t want to prepare for marriage, but they complain that no one will marry them. Well yes, men don’t marry women who dismiss the Bible’s teachings and who have no practical wisdom with education, career and finances. Men get a vote about who to marry.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Why would they want to prepare for marriage when the church, their moms, their sisters, their friends and their fathers all tell them that God “has someone for them”. I do not believe this to be true or proven in scripture. God does not pre-select your spouse, but works with you and the spouse you choose. When we tell women that God has picked someone out for them it removes the impetus to build attributes that will attract a husband because, well, God has someone assigned to you whether you are attractive or not! My wife has a friend (had a friend), and older lady, who was constantly lamenting that she was not married! She was pretty for her age, not overweight, not inked up, a strong believer and financially responsible, but she insisted on sitting on her butt and waiting for God to deliver her a husband! Instead she should have been using that butt to get a man interested in talking to her!
          The church is doing tons of damage to the institution of marriage! They strip any impetus for women to make themselves into marriage material, the push for young girls to waste their prime child-bearing, child-raising years on worthless degrees, the pressure on young Christian men to stay chaste for half their lives and then to marry women who have already had multiple sex partners while turning a blind eye to past “mistakes”. The rot spreads and it will continue to spread until steps are made to quash the female imperative and re-establish rightful, biblical patriarchy.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been observing this phenomenon among so-called “Christians” for well over a decade. Concepts like “tolerance” and not being “judgmental” took hold in our culture and many Christians absorbed the mindset completely. If you point out that what someone is doing is sinful or might potentially lead to sinful behavior, they act defensive or turn the tables on you and say “well, you’re not perfect either!” Some even say that they do certain things for the express purpose of not being “legalistic,” because clearly, legalism is far worse than compromising one’s witness. Jesus has become a postmodern hippie whose primary message is “let’s all be cool to each other.” The only sins left are transgressions against the belief that everyone is equal and worthy of acceptance.

    In reading the responses to Lori Alexander’s article, my greatest takeaway is that people are rationalization machines. If they’ve made mistakes, they won’t humbly acknowledge them and use the wisdom of their experience to guide others in the right direction. Instead, they’ll try to find a way to argue that their mistakes weren’t mistakes at all, and that the real sinner is the person who’s judging them for what they did. It’s a deceitful, selfish game, and anyone who plays it is an enemy of the Gospel. Their argument essentially boils down to “every woman, regardless of whatever bad decisions she’s made in life, is entitled to a loving husband who’ll provide for her.” Same way everyone’s entitled to free health care, regardless of whether sufficient medical resources exist, I suppose. It doesn’t work that way, ladies.

    And they use this feminist scare word “shaming.” How dare you “shame” me? I would go so far as to say that shaming is a good thing, because it incentivizes proper behavior. Men have good reasons for wanting their wives to be virgins, and if you remove the stigma against premarital sex, a lot of women are going to take Biblical teaching on the subject less seriously. If Christian men as a whole agreed that they would only marry virgins, I guarantee you that a lot of women would think twice about what kind of men they associated with. If you feel “shamed,” it’s probably a sign that you haven’t truly repented of your sins. Sin separates us from God, and if you see your sins for what they are, you should have no problem condemning the sins that you yourself have committed and discouraging them in others.

    I’m sorry for this long-winded ramble, but it disgusts me how much politically correct rot has infested the churches, and this entire incident just confirms that Paul was correct to forbid women teaching. When everyone is afraid of upsetting women, we get false teachers popping up everywhere spreading a destructive message with nothing but rhetoric behind it. The end result? Fewer marriages, fewer children, fewer people taking Christian teachings seriously, and more people being miserable and lonely. Once you start ceding ground to liberalism, the whole thing eventually unravels. Lots of good Christian men and women can’t find a spouse anymore, because their society has lied to them and they don’t realize it until it’s too late. Did their churches stand against the world? Did their churches provide them the guidance they needed? Or were their churches too afraid to be seen as “out of touch,” and did they prioritize numbers over holiness and correct teaching? If we are sincere believers, it should be obvious which is more important.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for this insightful comment. I could not agree more.

      What I am noticing in the reactions to Lori’s post is that many Christian women are more concerned that the Bible teaching on chastity and stewardship will make women feel bad than that the women will be left without guidance about how be wise and moral. Unreal. That’s how high we’ve elevated feelings in the church. We’re so terrified of offending women that we can’t even say what the Bible says about important topics.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Funny thing about the hippie Jesus reference, I have been planning on doing some research into “The Jesus Movement” of the 60’s and 70’s, and the impact of hippie culture on it. My parents both grew up during the “Ben Born Again”, “Rez Band” resurgence of Christianity of the late 60’s, as did the popular evangelist Greg Laurie (whom actually married my parents, as they were good friends at the time). The peace, equality and free love mentality of the hippie movement seems to have leaked into Christianity, and I suspect that we see a lot of the issues we have today because of it. The problems with the modern church and the teachings of the hippies seem to mirror one another, but I dont know for sure yet. I will do a bit more research and ask some of my relatives, who also became Christians around that time. The men in our family seem pretty strong in the faith, though their views on women teaching and equality are skewed towards the non-scriptural, but the women in our family, with a few exceptions, are all about Christo-feminism equality, anti-patriarchy garbage. My aunt has told me all kinds of wacky things like “if a man has sex with his wife for his pleasure that is fornication”, or that women need to be treated juuuuuuust right in order for them to release the lock on their submission to their husbands. Doesn’t jibe with me at all, nor does it with the bible.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll take this in different order:

    DEBT
    In my first systematic theology class in seminary, we learned there are five different levels in the Bible, ranging from:
    1. Forbidden – no Christian can do this (e.g., idolatry, 10 Commandments, etc.)
    2. Unwise – interestingly, debt is considered unwise. (More later.)
    3. The Bible is neutral over the matter. (Should I eat chicken or arugula tonight or maybe tomorrow for lunch?)
    4. Advised / Suggested / it is wise to do … (1Corinthians 7)
    5. Commanded (i.e., not optional)

    In any case, first, let’s take on debt: as mentioned, debt is unwise — meaning that there should be a lot of discernment, thought, and prayer. Something that is unwise to do should generally be avoided unless there are significant reasons for the exception to the rule.

    There are times where debt is unavoidable — for instance, most people don’t have cash on hand to outright buyout a property, so they get some kind of mortgage.

    If a person has done careful analysis in terms of figuring out maintenance, repairs, cost of ownership, run all your calculations for mortgage payments including taxes, what you need vs. what you want, that you plan to stay in that property and/or rent it out beyond the break-even point (usually about 7 years, depending on broker/realtor fees, downpayment, tax benefits, cost of rent vs. ownership, and so on), etc. and everything points to this being a good idea, then yes, go ahead. (Yeah yeah, so I’m a seminary-trained engineer who is in finance. Go figure.)

    Similarly, college debt/college loans can be unwise. If there are no jobs, no way to pay them or even low-paying jobs, if the amount of debt is significant — the debt can be crushing and definitely hampers any ability to get married and to have a family as well as hampers what you can do in terms of buying a house. E.g., if you have $100,000 worth of debt even with an unsubsidized Stafford loan and simple interest rates and thus roughly $1000/month of student loan payments, it is very hard to save enough to buy a house or even afford mortgage payments (let alone having a family, which the US Department of Agriculture thinks that it will cost approximately a quarter million dollars to raise one child until he or she is 18).

    I’ve known of people who got hobby majors and the chances of getting well-paying jobs, well, they’re in the order of winning the lottery.

    (Right after I graduated from college, one technical recruiter said to me, “Everyone wants to be a musician. It’s fun, seen as creative, girls like musicians. But they’re a dime a dozen. You’re not going to get gigs unless you are really good, and you’re not going to be paid much unless you are the best of the best.”)

    On the other hand, as you mentioned, STEM — STEM jobs are in demand. It’s seen as challenging or difficult. But you have some solid skills if you go through the STEM route. I realize not everyone is interested or equally gifted in STEM.

    As a Christian, our activity of ordering chaos and contributing towards the well-ordering of society: work — mirrors what God did and continues to do. Thus there is dignity in work. We also know that since the Fall, work may be challenging and hard. We should expect it — it was promised in Genesis 3.

    There are actually many routes not to incur significant student debt:
    – many well-paying jobs don’t need a four-year degree: appliance repairs, HVAC specialist, plumbers, electricians, being an automotive technician for Honda or Toyota. Some only need two-year degrees or trade school classes or even specialized training/on-the-job training.
    – if you’re good at academics (like in the top 10-15%), you’ll probably get scholarships to study at the state’s flagship public university. One lady I know did her undergrad at UMass. Because she was an honor roll (~top 10%) student, she paid less than 10% of the cost of going to UMass.
    – community college: can be a way to cheap way to get some classes under your belt. Bunker Hill Community College (think of Good Will Hunting), for in-state residents, costs $186 per credit (tuition+general course fee+technology fee). It’s a bit more if you need Health insurance, but not too bad. Books are another cost.
    – serve in the military
    – if you are an amazing athlete, somewhere around the top 500-1000 in the United States in terms of basketball, American football, soccer/International football, etc., you will likely get recruited as an athlete and you’ll be on an athletic competition. For instance, if LeBron James had decided to go to college instead of directly going into the NBA, numerous (if not every) NCAA Division I school would have happily given him full scholarships.
    – if you are really amazingly good, and are the right match for Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and Yale, these schools practice need-blind admission and families that make less than $75,000 per year usually pay merely the self-help portion (about $6000 per year). And usually students can make enough over the summer to cover that.

    In any case, many people have said that “if you can’t figure out how to assess ROI [Return on Investment] and also make college affordable,” like one has to rack up 6-figures for college debt, “you are doing something wrong.”

    College education does not guarantee good jobs nor is it meant (for Christians) to do status signaling. College education is not meant to the new ‘country club.’

    (I understand many students believe they want this … semi-party/fun, semi-serious life at college. College has become the new country club, where an astronomical tuition price is the annual fee and guarantees a certain … pedigree. In the 19th and even early 20th century, especially in New England, in the top four deciles [upper-middle and upper classes], they didn’t just happen to meet their spouses, date, etc. They conducted business, networked, met other well-to-do families — even arranged introductions of eligible single people from well-heeled families — at country clubs.)

    I do agree with Lori’s sentiment that one does have to count the cost for college as well as graduate education.

    And, if I weren’t living in New England (where people knowledgeable about elite college admissions abound), I could easily have a second career as a college applications consultant.

    VIRGINS
    Serious Christian men who are virgins do generally prefer serious Christian women who are virgins. There’s kind of some equality there, right?

    Yes, I understand there are complicating factors like rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse/molestation, coming to the Lord later in life. I did factor that when I was dating. Like anything, I was interested in the narrative, because the narrative tells a more interesting story — one that indicates “Who’s the boss of your life?” and “What motivates you?”

    People don’t accidentally fall into consensual sex, like, “Oops, we were just talking and it got out of hand.” People make choices and actively participate in this behavior — or they can follow the Bible’s wisdom and flee from immorality. This is a hard line that one chooses to cross, or not to cross.

    It’s not that I had zero temptations. I went to a non-Christian college and I lived in a coed dormitory. I had a few non-Christian women bluntly tell me that if I wanted to mess around, explore, lower my purity score, and/or if I could come over at night (or offer to come over) and/or enter into relationships with them, they would be willing. One friend (not even girlfriend) had two sisters who had lost their V-cards and she was trying to lose her V-card with me. Even when I worked for a couple of startups (one of which had a fast-and-loose culture), opportunities presented themselves but I found ways of stating that “I choose not to sleep around because I believe that this is one thing that is I believe is special, reserved for myself and for my future wife.”

    Okay, I admit, to help them save face, I ‘pretended’ to be a little clueless with one or two instead of being extremely forthright.

    Sure, some serious Christian men who are virgins don’t care as much about their spouses being virgins, and some Christian men who are non-virgins also don’t care as much about their spouses being virgins. And to be sure, I had friends at seminary who told of the “technical virginity plus lots of messing around, doing everything except sexual intercourse” that can occur. (One friend who had gone to a Christian college had a boyfriend who had messed around in previous relationships, including doing everything up to penetrative intercourse.) Or we could reduce this to a different question that is sometimes asked, “How far is too far?” And the answer is still: our motivation as Christians is to glorify God, and part of that is to joyfully obey His commands and to refrain from things that would rob us of the best life that He intends. Moreover, I don’t want to exercise my Christian freedoms to cause a sister to stumble. If making out causes a person to stumble, the couple should refrain from making out. See for instance: https://www.parkstreet.org/teaching-training/articles/qa-marriage-series#ten

    It’s not that we reduce women to price of their virginity. As a serious Christian man, I was willing to make allowances for extenuating circumstances as above as well as a singular accident. Indeed, I married a virgin. However, suffice it to say, there are many narratives which demonstrate that Jesus is not Lord of someone’s life. Regardless of gender, a hedonist does not have Jesus as his (or her) Lord.

    There’s a big difference between fellowshipping or befriending someone and choosing someone as a life partner. (There’s a few commentators who have demonstrated that logical fail.)

    TATTOOS
    Okay, sensitive subject. Pun intended.

    We could start off with a quote: Owen Wilson’s and Vince Vaughn’s characters in the 2005 comedy “Wedding Crashes” were targeting single women at weddings for sex. “Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bull’s eye.” And as some commentators have noted on Lori’s blog, to avoid troublesome/wayward women.

    I remember studying tattoos for a psychopathology class although tattoos (tattoos are invariably tied with body image) although they are now becoming more mainstream and “an individual creative expression.”

    Body image: do we Christian men prefer to be with women with or without body issues? (Duh, that should be obvious.)

    Not to mention various scientific articles on the tattoo ink:
    https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/web/2017/09/Tattoo-inks-skin-deep.html
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tattoo-ink-mercury-and-other-toxins/

    Moreover, tattooing is painful. (I have a younger non-Christian brother as I mentioned who has tats.)

    We might find a parallel between Paul’s writing to Corinth in 1Corinthians: https://blogs.bible.org/engage/sandra_glahn/who_were_the_women_with_shaved_hair_1_cor._115

    “…, Paul is focusing on what the believers’ behaviors/styles were communicating to their respective cultures about who they worship.”

    Or in short, are we following the milieu / popular culture in getting tattoos or are we being deliberately counter-cultural so as not to be confused about our priorities and what we worship and so on?

    If you really want to witness about God, even at work, why not leave books like Wintery Knight does out in the open, or put up verses of the Bible in Greek and/or in Hebrew beside your desk? (At one startup, while I was in seminary and taking Intermediate Greek but also functioning as a technical manager, I had a certain number of verses and not John 3:16 to memorize in Greek, so I put them up in my cube. Every person in the company and I had a conversation about spirituality and I knew where they stood.)

    I’ve written long enough and don’t really want to cover where the tattoo is (like abdomen or various salient parts of the body).

    If we summarized everything I’ve written:

    Do serious Christian men prefer to have partners who are wise in their choices (mentioned in Proverbs 31), that Jesus is demonstrably Lord of their lives, and don’t have body issues and aren’t confused for wayward women?

    (And I fully second Ian T. D. Wilson’s comment.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When it comes to virginity, Lori is clearly talking to younger girls who haven’t had the opportunity. So the fact that grown Christian women condemn the advice is insane. It might be true that adults who become Christians later in life might not be expected to have always held to Christian standards, such people aren’t the target of her article.

      But try telling the hysterical responders this, and it goes straight over their heads.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I think the trouble with the debt is that it sets back home ownership, which means wasting more money on rent to save for a down payment. So it has a snowball effect that can delay marriage and children.
    Regarding what you said, I know lots of Christian women with past sexual experiences, and I even pursued some for marriage. Like you said, what we’re looking for then is some good explanation for what happened (e.g. “I was a late convert and wasn’t raised Christian”) and some period of abstinence that shows that Jesus is the boss now.
    What will not do is the near universal cry from Christian women that citing the Bible’s prohibition on premarital sex is “horribly damaging” because it’s makes women feel bad. Well. If we clearly communicate boundaries to women who haven’t made mistakes then that’s a way of protecting them. Who could be against that? Apparently, everyone is against it because Christianity is apparently about making everyone feel good regardless of their choices, and not telling them what they must do right in order to succeed at things like marriage.
    Apparently, Christians would rather lie to young people in order to be seen as tolerant than tell them hard truths that help young people to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m stealing this comment by Deti from SpawnySpace blog:
    https://spawnyspace.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/missing-the-point-deliberately/#comment-106259

    It’s alarming how Sheila’s offense to men’s preferences for tattoofree, debtfree virgins gives rise to an entirely new theology that virginity is ultimately garbage.

    No, God isn’t just “making up a rule” in forbidding premarital sex. He instituted the rule for humans’ own good. So it’s not “garbage”. It’s not about righteousness per se; it’s about protection of self and future spouse; and putting up a wall between the marriage and the rest of the world; and not bonding yourself to others you’re not going to spend your life with.

    “Virginity is ultimately garbage” and “virginity is righteousness” is not what the Bible teaches. What the bible does teach is “no premarital sex, because marriage is the only appropriate place for sex.”

    The bible also teaches repentance is the way to salvation. But repentance does not mean you no longer bear the scars of your past sins in body and mind. You do. Oh yes you do. The effects can be minimized, even overcome. But they’re still there.

    And more to the point, what’s really being complained about here is a Christian woman acknowledging that men have preferences and that men are entitled to have preferences. If women want men, then they have to satisfy those preferences or lower their standards until they find men whose preferences they can satisfy.

    This can’t be overemphasized – it’s the idea that men have preferences. Its’ the idea that there’s a man that’s one-half of that relationship, and there are things HE wants, and HE needs, and HE desires. Why does it matter what HE wants? Why do we care about him?

    Men don’t want to marry high N women. Men don’t want to take on debt and they don’t prefer markedup tatted up women who look and act like men.

    What this gets down to is women objecting to men having standards. Because that leads to men judging women. And that leads to men evaluating women. And that leads to men rejecting some women and accepting others. And women hate judgment and rejection, especially when it’s “less than” men who are doing the judging and rejecting.

    Protip to Sheila and others: Know why the men around you are nodding “yes dear” and agreeing with you that these are bad bad men who want tattooless, debtless virgins? because they’re terrified of you. They’re deathly afraid Mommy will get mad at them. They’re deathly afraid you’ll stop having sex with them. If I get them alone, and drill down deeply enough, I’m pretty sure they’ll confide in me that they, too, don’t want to wife up women with “USMC” tattooed on their biceps, owing $100k in college and other debt, and have high Ns. But they’ll never admit that to you, because they want to get their once every three months nookie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And stealing another one from Deti:
      https://spawnyspace.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/missing-the-point-deliberately/#comment-106262

      Not one person – NOT ONE PERSON – said that nonvirgins with tattoos and debt are bad people; that they are irredeemable, that they’re bad Christians; that they cannot be Christians; that they’re unsalvageable; that they’re ugly; or that they couldn’t and shouldn’t marry. That is NOT what was said.

      All that was said was that men prefer tattooless, debtfree virgins for marriage. That’s all.

      I’ve known plenty of sluts. I’ve known plenty of women with tats and with debt. Lots of them are pretty. They’re good people. They’re cool. They’re even pretty good Christians. They’re saved. They’re not ugly. And lots of them get married (despite the fact that they’re not prepared for it and continue to make poor choices in that regard).

      But they’re probably not the best choices for marriage. And a lot of men didn’t PREFER them. If high value men preferred them, every one of them would have been yanked off the lot and out of the market at lightning speed. If they had been preferred, i.e. first choice instead of akin to the nerd picked last for flag football, their slut days would have been few, instead of many.

      This is just reality: Men don’t prefer sluts with tats and debt. They just don’t. Will men have sex with them? Sure, all day long. Will men marry them? Yes. Debt laden tatted up sluts marry every day. Are they preferred by most men, including most Christian men? No, they’re not.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I might add freak-show piercings and pink hair to the equation, but you already get the idea.

    There is some research that women with tattoos, much less body piercings, are broken, as in severely. I am too lazy to look it up.

    There is a phenomena we see on our sidewalk called NYWG: Nasty Young White Girls. I’m not sure if it is hormonal contraception or a greater propensity toward radical faux-men-ism or what, but this demographic is openly demonstrating their love for child sacrifice and all things disgusting.

    Like

  10. The absurd reaction to this is unsurprising to anyone that is familiar with how the ‘church’ deals with the wife described in Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31:10 states: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” One of the basic principles of economics is that quality is inversely proportionate to quantity, thus finding a high quality woman to marry is going to be difficult at the best of times. What the ‘church’ does however is somehow translate that verse to mean that any wife is automatically deemed “far above rubies” regards of her character. If you look up any given sermon on the wife of Proverbs 31 odds are they will be irrationally hostile to the idea of comparing a Christian woman to the ideal described here.

    One other thing to note is the idea of ‘serious Christian MEN’. We’re all aware that the western church has about a much testosterone as a eunuch. A man however is not afraid to hold a woman accountable for her actions. He is more than willing to have strict standards for the woman he chooses to marry, for the sake of his future family. The reaction to Lori’s post only exemplifies this fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spend some time talking to a couple of mature capable Christian apologist women about this Lori Alexander Post. And they had two concerns.
      One is that Lori was discouraging women from going to college because of debt. And I agree with that as long as they study stem subjects then they should be able to graduate and be debt free quickly.
      But the other problem they had was how bad women would feel if they were told that anything that they did would affect their future likelihood of getting married to a godly man. I think the second point is the real key point. Women do not want to be constrained to act morally by future goals. They want to believe that they can do whatever they want and it will not affect anything in the long-term. It will not rule out any positive outcome in the long term if they do something selfish right now in order to feel good right now.

      Like

      1. I didn’t read her post like that at all regarding college. I think it was offered mainly in the way of thinking before you do something. This society as a whole has fetishized a college education and women, particularly mothers, are the worst about this. Here’s a woman saying think about why you’re going to go to college and the potential negative ramifications as well as the potential positives. And honestly, if a woman is going to be a housewife, an expensive college degree isn’t required, though I don’t think a reasonable college education is a bad thing even then.

        As far as the second point, give me a break. Who knew that decisions have consequences. Men want a positive outcome even when they screw up just as much as any woman does. But the thing is that there’s no way to guarantee a positive outcome in this existence even if you do everything right.

        Like

  11. The odd extension of love is that for the rest of your life you should be immune to things like unattractive tattoos on a wife or the burden of debt etc.

    Some how the magic of love will sustain you both till you manage to die. At least it is the story they sell. And when it doesn’t work well luckily they don’t have a permanent belief in marriage.

    Thinking about future things are just not considered.

    And a person is judgemental to not like tatoos that are from am aesthetic value horrible art. Take almost all tatoos you see put them on paper and on a frame and try to sell it and it would likely be called tacky by owners of the cheapest motel you see. Buy when it is on skin you can’t point out how horrible the colour is and thst the artwork isn’t really that good at all

    But now they have it for life.

    I say if you really have something like thst put it on a note on the fridge. Get a shirt or pendant you wear with it on. Then when you tire of it you can dispose of it easily

    Like

  12. I read or heard reactions to this article before I read it. And while I was concerned going in about potential legalism (over the college aspect, given one can go for STEM and not become a Socialist Activist), I read it and could not fathom the intense reaction to it. Sure, if you wanted to get into nitty-gritty details and nuances of particular parts there is room for some discussion. I mean, the main portion was QUOTED from another woman, and Lori offered some disagreement to it, “(I’m not sure about men only preferring women who still live at their parent’s house…)” etc.

    It did not strike me as a Monolithic Hegemony of Control, with an absolute statement that you shouldn’t go to college and such. Just be economically wise. (I was honestly hoping for some statement like, “Be cautious about college because of the insane leftist politics zooming around in them.”)

    But in general looking over Lori’s writings, I see a certain sensibility to them despite sensing a strong personality difference (I would word things differently, etc.)

    Maybe I should write a post about this, cuz it keeps being stuck on my mind and I can’t stand it when people react this strongly and don’t get the point and don’t slow down for nuance!

    Also, given the reactions of “Virginity is no big deal.”
    o.0 WHY?! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?!
    Can I just say that I, as a woman (but actually as a Christian, and as a Romantic), FEEL Mightily OFFENDED at that?! XD Do opposite feelings of women cancel each other out in the social/tolerance arena? 😛

    I also find this all quite interesting because I’ve started to notice better when I disagree with an article I can tell, “This was written for a specific kind of audience, and I’m not that kind of audience.” It’s easier to notice the bias in myself or other writers. But other people need to slow down and develop that it seems…Because, this was not about just ANY kind of non-virgin, but only sexually promiscuous “Christian” ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The problem with Lori’s article and her message in its entirety is there’s no grace.

    One of my children will say something to another. There will be hurt feelings and the child who said it will say, “But it’s true”

    Just because something may be true statistically does not mean it’s wise or has been communicated in an edifying way. Lori’s message was hurtful to many for several reasons.

    It was discussed here:
    http://theology-gals.blubrry.net/2018/03/15/107/

    Like

    1. Hurt feelings for a moment are hardly a price to pay for years of torment, agony and anguish. Marriages are (supposed to be) til death. Imagine, for a man, marrying a woman who you know isn’t a virgin but has a “low N count” only to find out later that she lied and had actually slept with dozens of guys before marrying you. Not only that, but imagine finding out that she has an STI that you now get to partake of.

      Jesus delivered a lot of messages that did, would and still do hurt feelings. You want to know harsh? How about liars, thieves, adulterers, homosexuals and fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven? Or how about “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but by me.”

      If we as Christians are salt, then where is the sting? You ask that Christians lose their savour, where we are then made no good!

      The nice thing about feeling uncomfortable is that it typically means SOMETHING IS WRONG! Something that requires investigation, and THAT is what Lori’s article did. It pricked something in modern Christian women that made them uncomfortable and they can’t stand it. They can’t stand that God has standards that they, at some point, failed to live up to or are failing to live up to now and so they have to find ways to make themselves feel better by saying her post “contains no grace”.

      You know where the grace is? That ladies can repent and sin no more and God will forgive them their sins. Then, they can do as the bible instructs and teach the younger women not to fall into the same sins and mistakes they themselves made. THAT is where the grace is. GOD HAS GRACE, LORI DOES NOT HAVE TO. Her message was delivered in love, just not touchy, feely, everyone sing along love, but real, hard, “I dont want you go to hell” love. The kind of love the modern church HATES now days.

      There’s a difference between walking up to someone and quietly telling them, “Um, you know what, I hate to bother you, but, the building is on fire. Yeah. You may want to consider getting off your phone call and leaving”, and screaming “FIRE! GET OUT!” at the top of your lungs. Both are delivered with the intent of saving someone from danger, but one is a statement of urgency! Jesus said “The end is near”, and that was two-thousand years ago. Do we really have time for touchy-feely games?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, love this comment of yours – thanks for writing it.
        And there is a famous saying that captures much of the truth and spirit of what you said:
        “We hear complaints that the minister speaks too harshly and talks too much of Judgment. Saved sinners never make that complaint.” – Charles Spurgeon

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Coleen:

      In the interest of fairness, I listened to your podcast where you responded to Lori Alexander. While your response was much better than posting yourself having a meltdown on YouTube, I was ultimately disappointed.

      You spent most of your time criticizing Mrs. Alexander’s positions on various other issues, but very little addressing the issues in her viral blog post. Certainly, if she is making theological errors in other departments, that’s a valid discussion to have, but you didn’t refute the idea that men do in fact prefer tattoo-free, debt-free virgins, and that it’s good to steer young women toward that path.

      I disagreed with other things you said. For instance, you said that tattoos aren’t a problem because they aren’t technically a sin. Well, my only response is that not all which is lawful is profitable. I have always hated tattoos. I refuse to marry a woman who took her body, a masterful work of art created by God’s hand, and turned it into a piece of kitsch. The female body is glorious, and few things bring a man greater joy than a woman’s beauty. As a man who’s been saving himself for marriage a long time, I don’t want the ultimate reward of this wait to be a woman whose body I can’t enjoy the beauty of. I don’t expect her to be a supermodel; I only ask that she refrain from putting indelible markings on her beautiful skin that will ruin the aesthetics of God’s work. Is not getting a tattoo really such an unreasonable standard to hold someone to?

      You also talked about how Mrs. Alexander’s teaching is rooted in legalism and how being a tattoo-free, debt-free virgin is a false identity, since our identities should only be in Christ. I agree that you shouldn’t make that the fundamental basis of your identity, but I don’t think Mrs. Alexander ever suggested such a thing, so that’s really a straw man. A woman who loves the Lord though, should save herself for her husband, honor her body by not marking it up, and be a good steward of her finances, not because that’s her ticket to heaven, but because she delights in the Lord’s ways and her life reflects it.

      Another common argument here is “what about women who’ve been sexually abused, or who did things before they became Christians?” Look, my heart goes out to them. I’m sure that’s a tough situation to be in. But the bottom line is that no one is obligated to marry anyone else, and we have to choose wisely when making a lifelong commitment. I might sympathize with a sister in Christ who’s been sexually abused, but the decision to marry a woman like that would be a very difficult one, because baggage like that is not something every man is equipped to deal with. By the same token, if a woman doesn’t like my baggage, she’s under no obligation to marry me and take it upon herself.

      As to the second point, accepting Christ saves your soul, but it doesn’t eliminate earthly consequences. I once heard a man speak about his brother who lived a homosexual lifestyle and died of AIDS. The good news was that his brother came to Christ before he died, and spent the final year of his life serving the Lord. It’s a great story, but getting saved didn’t change the fact that he had AIDS. He still had to live with the consequences of the sinful life he’d led. Same with people who convert while on death row. Their souls may be saved, but they still have to pay the price for their crimes.

      I would like to second Snapper’s comment, that sometimes you need to state things bluntly in order to get the point across. People who make polite “Um, maybe you should rethink that” suggestions tend not to be very persuasive. Whatever problems Lori Alexander might have elsewhere, she is absolutely correct in what she said in her post, and the problem today is that too many people are so afraid of hurting women’s feelings that they refrain from giving good counsel. Women need to know that certain things will harm their marriage prospects, and that if they’re serious about getting married, they need to make wise choices. It helps no one to tell women: “Sex outside of marriage is a sin, a lot of men are turned off by tattoos, and getting yourself into debt is a tremendous burden, but none of those things has any bearing on your chances of finding a Godly husband.”

      Christian men in recent years have had to face some uncomfortable truths about the state of our society and culture, things which the churches are unfortunately not addressing. It’s time for women to face some uncomfortable truths as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t want to hear or read one more complaint from Christian women until they address this and acknowledge it:

    what’s really being complained about here is a Christian woman acknowledging that men have preferences and that men are entitled to have preferences. If women want men, then they have to satisfy those preferences or lower their standards until they find men whose preferences they can satisfy.

    This can’t be overemphasized – it’s the idea that men have preferences. Its’ the idea that there’s a man that’s one-half of that relationship, and there are things HE wants, and HE needs, and HE desires. Why does it matter what HE wants? Why do we care about him?

    Men don’t want to marry high N women. Men don’t want to take on debt and they don’t prefer markedup tatted up women who look and act like men.

    What this gets down to is women objecting to men having standards. Because that leads to men judging women. And that leads to men evaluating women. And that leads to men rejecting some women and accepting others. And women hate judgment and rejection, especially when it’s “less than” men who are doing the judging and rejecting.

    Until women are willing to address this HEAD ON without their hysterical pearl clutching and name calling, they need to SHUT THE HELL UP.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. More to the point, dear Christofeminists:

      1) Do you have a problem with men having standards for the women they date, have sex with, and marry? Yes or no?

      2) If so, why? What problem do you have with that?

      3) Do you accept that men have the absolute right to decide what criteria they judge you on for marriage, relationships and sex? If not, why not?

      4) Isn’t this really about you being angry that you don’t get to decide what preferences men have for the women they have sex with, date and marry? Isn’t this hysterical reaction from you just your raging that men, not you, get to decide this?

      5) Isn’t this reaction really about you all feeling some guilt about your own promiscuous histories?

      This, ladies, is about men judging and evaluating you, and you not being in control over how you are judged and evaluated.

      Right?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. This is men saying

          “Men prefer virgins with no tattoos and no debt for marriage”

          and women hearing

          “If you are a debt laden tatted up nonvirgin, you are a horrible person who deserves never ever ever to get married and you are a terrible Christian condemned to hell and a lonely solitary life.”

          I do not get to decide whether you are saved and the quality of your Christian walk. I do not get to decide whether you’re worthy of Heaven. I do not get to decide whether you meet God’s standards. That’s between you and God.

          I DO, however, get to decide whether you are worthy of my commitment, my time, money, labor and resources. I DO, however, get to decide whether you meet MY standards for dating, sex and marriage. I DO, however, get to decide who will I will date and marry, and who I will not date and marry.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And whether you are worthy, and meet my standards, is between you and me, and is ultimately MY decision. In that respect, I DO get to judge and evaluate you, I do get to put you in the scales, and I DO get to make the final call.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. And I am under no illusions about the fact that you are judging and evaluating me, using criteria known only to you. I know you are judging and evaluating me, all the time. I know that you get to make the final call of whether you believe I am worthy of sexual access to your body and marriage to you. I know that you get to make the final call of whether you will join your life (and your body) to mine. That’s between you and me, you are putting me in the scales, and you get to make that final call based on your own individual criteria.

            You, therefore, do not get to complain that I do the same thing.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Actually, anyone who reacts hysterically to Lori’s article is likely to have a double standard that disqualifies her for marriage, in my opinion. No man needs to dealing with that double standard, which is so well known that Dr. Laura Schlesinger talks about it in her book that teaches women how to be good wives to their husbands.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. WK

            I think women know men don’t want to marry debt encumbered tatted up nonvirgins. Women know this. I think Sheila Gregoire knows it. I think the women who object to this know it.

            Women are screaming like stuck pigs because they know in their hearts what it says about them.

            And it says

            You don’t meet high value men’s standards. You’re not good enough for marriage to high value attractive men. And you are not good enough because of your own actions. You are in this situation solely because of your conduct and your poor decisions and poor choices.

            You will have to settle for less attractive, lower value men who will accept you. You can’t date and marry the high value men you want, because of YOU.

            You did this to yourselves. You have no one to blame but yourselves. You are responsible for this situation.

            And they KNOW it.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. We need to get back to some harsh words. I tend to say things in nice ways but with the way society is trending the time to be so nice an avoid controversy is past.
    Christians don’t have to accept a pc world that denies reality and doesn’t want to defend. I know now few people Christian or non that actually like being politically correct so why change our message to accommodate no Christian ideas and to be non controversial.

    Like

    1. Totally hilarious!
      “See you at the altar ladies.” 🙂
      You need to incorporate this rebuttal into your post, WK – in my opinion. That was brilliantly written!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll fix. I was literally going through his blog last night looking for comments by you and Earl. That’s how much I miss your comments. I sent you and Earl emails about what Christian men’s blogs I should be reading. Please reply!

      Like

  16. Telling people to not make choices that will limit them later in life is no bad. The book of proverbs of it didn’t bore people today and become ignored is also be for believing in wisdom in living.

    The choices for women on means don’t complain in the future if you spot a great Christian thr one marry you due to debt, body marks etc. These things may not send you to hell for it and he forgives, the church forgives.

    But anyone planning to make a life commitment to a person has a right to find them attractive, or to believe that the person is capable to follow through on their commitment

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good post.
    One of the reasons I would caution young women ( and for that matter young men) about attending university besides the debt issue is the drinking and sexual promiscuity that is too often pervasive at these institutions.

    Like

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