Pussy Hat Feminists

Should Christian men consider single mothers for marriage?

Why Christians object to warning men about high-risk relationships?
Why do Christians object to warning men about high-risk relationships?

A while back, I explained my three concerns about attending church. One of them was that male pastors and church leaders have adopted the priorities of radical feminism, and have turned against men who want a traditional marriage in which the man leads and the wife supports. Well, I found something that really illustrates what I mean by that, so that everyone will understand it.

Above, you can see a tweet by Michael Foster, a pastor who hosts a podcast called “It’s Good to be a Man”. His web site states that his goal is: “Extending God’s house & father-rule by helping men to establish their own houses in strength, workmanship & wisdom.”

He explains in subsequent tweets that he is just urging men to ask questions to find out how the woman became a single mother.

Reactions to the tweet

Here are some reactions to the tweet:

The negative reactions are all anti-intellectual and childish, especially trying to refute statistics with “you hurt my feelings” or telling a single personal story as a counterexample.

Here’s a disclaimer. In this post, I am talking about single mothers by choice, and single mothers who initiated divorce. Widows are excluded.

The risks posed by single mothers

Now, let’s improve Foster’s warning, by looking at some evidence – is a marriage to a single mother really more likely to result in a bad outcome?

First of all, women initiate 70% of divorces. If you meet a woman who divorced her husband, she either had a defect in her ability to evaluate and choose a man, or she had a defect in her ability to maintain a commitment to the man she chose. Either way, a woman who divorced her previous husband has red flags. There are two possibilities. She either chose a good man or she chose a bad man. If she chose a bad man, then it shows that she didn’t choose a man with good moral character and spiritual leadership. That means that those things were low priorities for her when deciding who to get naked with. Alternatively, she married a good man, and failed to maintain the commitment. Then she has different problems: problems with male leadership, problems with responsibilities, problems with commitment, problems with contentment, etc. You need to ask questions to get to the bottom of what happened, and more importantly, what she has studied and done to change her worldview. Don’t take her words for it, look at her actions.

Second, the number of premarital sex partners a woman has makes her a higher risk of divorce. The more sex partners, the more risk. The problem with women who engage in sex with men who don’t commit to them is that they necessarily don’t see a man’s willingness and ability to commit as valuable when choosing a man. Women who have premarital sex with men who don’t commit see OTHER THINGS as more valuable. They are rewarding the man for his height, his muscles, his tattoos, his piercings, his entertainment of her, etc. A good man should be very wary when a woman who gave her best youth, beauty and sexual interest to men like that now want to “settle” for a boring, unattractive provider who they see as having lower value than the men they gave sex to without requiring a commitment. What they really wanted was bad boys, and they threw sex at those bad boys without asking for commitment. With the man they perceive as low-level, they are insisting on commitment first, because they don’t want this low-level man as badly as they wanted the bad boy. They are settling for less than they feel they deserve. This is where sex-withholding, feelings of unhappiness, and frivolous divorces come from. And by the way, hollering Jesus doesn’t fix that risk any more than hollering Jesus fixes student loans accumulated for a useless non-STEM degree. Jesus-hollering isn’t evidence that a woman has persuaded herself to change her view of which men are the most attractive. A woman’s lack of respect for men who prepare for commitment and who keep their commitments is dangerous for marital stability. The hysterical reactions to a man’s judging a woman for her past mistakes don’t cancel the damage and risks caused by those mistakes. They simply tell the man that this woman is unrepentant, and therefore unteachable, and likely unsuitable for goal-oriented marriage. She is not qualified for the job of wife: self-sacrificial love for her husband, respect for her husband, and supporting her husband in what he is trying to achieve for God.

Here’s what the Bible says about sex outside of heterosexual marriage and about frivolous divorce. Read the critical replies to Foster’s tweet. The critical responses show the default position of church-attending Christian women and pastors to the Bible in this culture. First, the critics don’t accept the Bible as an authority over women’s choices in any area of life. Second, the critics don’t believe that women should bear any responsibility for their past actions. Nobody believes that women choosing bad men is the woman’s fault in this society. So you should assume that single mothers don’t take responsibility for their own failures. And that means that she will have taken no steps to repent of her mistake, and change her character so that she doesn’t make the same mistake again. It’s up to you to look at what she has been reading, listening to, watching, etc. and to check her actions in order to find out what she really thinks about what the Bible says. You can’t marry a woman who responds to any mention of the moral law and moral obligations with denial of responsibility and insults. If she hasn’t become an active crusader against women who choose bad men, and women who choose premarital sex, and women who choose divorce, then you can’t really believe that there’s been any real repentance. The risks to you are too high to take a chance on someone who is not certain. I’ve only ever met one single mother (Kerri) who blamed her own divorce on her own bad decisions.

The culture opposes male leadership

Foster’s warning is intended to help men to make better decisions, so that their relationships will produce results for God. But his critics aren’t interested in what men are trying to achieve for God. They are only concerned that women get what they want, regardles of their past actions. In their opinion, men exists solely to serve the needs of women. Women don’t have to be good enough for marriage, men just have to give them what they want regardless of the woman’s suitability for wife and mother roles. The role of men in any relationship is not to lead and achieve goals for God. Their role is to let women rule over them, disposing of their earnings as they see fit, for the benefit of the woman.

When women are young and pretty, they are entitled to hot bad boys to entertain them. When they are older, have tons of sexual experience, and children from different fathers, they are entitled to a husband to financially support them. But a husband with no power to lead the home, since their past choices of man showed they have no interest in following a man who has good character. And the churches, pastors, courts, schools, hospitals, etc. are all there to enforce this view of men as clowns / slaves.

This is what women are told about the role of men in every area of society. This society, including the Christian parents, Christian pastors, Christian culture, etc. do not produce women who prefer early marriage to men who are good at moral leadership and spiritual leadership. Therefore, men who are chaste, sober, have good educations, good private sector jobs, good savings, etc. need to be extremely careful. Look at the responses to Foster’s tweet, and think: do these people care about providing you with a good wife? Or is their concern all about how to insult you and shame you, until you are submissive to her needs?

Your marriage is your enterprise for serving God

My advice to men right now is to read over every single critical tweet in that thread that Foster started. Imagine that you are trying to get these women to do something in a marriage that is part of your plan to make the marriage serve God. You’re trying to get her to watch a William Lane Craig debate. You’re trying to get her to stop spending money on 50 Shades of Grey and Harry Potter. You’re trying to get her to stop smoking and drinking. You’re trying to get her to talk about the sermon instead of essential oils. You’re trying to get her to read a Thomas Sowell book. You’re trying to get her to not put the kids in day care or public schools.

You need to assume that her response to male leadership like this will be the exact same as the responses that Foster is getting to his tweet. And then after you have assumed it, then you need to keep your hands off that woman. Keep your distance, and ask her questions to find out what her real views are, and whether she is interested in growing into the kind of person who is safe for you to marry. Don’t forget that chastity and sobriety are important during the evaluation process, so that you aren’t influenced away from your leadership role. Don’t listen to her words, look at her actions.

7 thoughts on “Should Christian men consider single mothers for marriage?”

  1. I’m sure if I made some of the same claims as Mr. Foster, I’d get some of the same attacks — but he makes a good point, one about discernment.

    Widows as you point out, are exempt. Widows do have their own set of issues (not that I know first-hand — I was moderately good friends with various people who have dealt with widows and the most notable one is a pretty high profile sports chaplain who had become acquainted with Lisa Beamer). The latter never remarried.

    However, even when dating, if merely the fact that a woman was divorced, I became very wary and mostly checked out.

    Paul gives a pretty serious injunction in 1Corinthians 7:10-11: “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): gthe wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

    Legitimate, biblical reasons for divorce are (if I’m a minimalist) if the husband was an adulterer. Some extend this to abandonment (e.g., the husband doesn’t want to be together and leaves the family and/or is incarcerated), others extend this to abuse.

    Most would agree that if the biblical reasons for divorce are legitimate, then remarriage is also okay. (Some would still apply 1Cor. 7:10-11.)

    So if a woman became single, i.e., divorcing on non-legitimate grounds — and/or on grounds like “he’s not ambitious enough” or “[mutual] incompatibility” or “I’m not attracted to him anymore” or “I deserve better” or whatever — then no, the Bible is also pretty clear on this: Matthew 5:31-32:

    “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    And WK, you are absolutely correct:
    Women do initiate >70% of all divorces, and this is particularly devastating to the husbands. It should make us men all pause and think hard. While I am married and very much love my wife,

    – I also married “a bit late” (as I mentioned, mid-30’s when I met my wife, late-30’s when we got married) — I was in “no rush” at that time
    – I met others who were interested but practiced discernment. I could have gotten married earlier in life, but chose not to. (Sure, there was some dating cluelessness in my 20’s as well.)

    A woman who chooses men badly — that type of woman has very different values (“I value da FEELZ”, “I need to have the emotional high/tingles/excitement/etc.”) All of these values / factors do NOT lead to marital stability.

    WK is also right that many women feel like they can exercise “sexual freedom” in their youth and then try to land the best specimen when they’re ready to “have a family.” They feel entitled to a hot, rich, ambitious, interesting man who will support them (and any children that occur in the interim) financially.

    As man to my single brethren: do not let desperation take over.
    Remember: it’s MUCH worse to be divorced, quite a bit worse to be married to the wrong woman, than to be single.

    Marriage is one avenue that God uses for sanctification.

    Singleness “done right” — i.e., with Christian fellowship, pursuing God, advancing in the care over creation (which can look like advancing one’s education and/or career and/or work responsibilites), taking leadership in formal and informal ministries, etc. — is another and alternate avenue for sanctification.

    Now, a point of wisdom: don’t announce you won’t date a woman because she’s divorced. Don’t be that blunt. You can say something to the effect of “I’m just not feeling it” or “I’d think I’d be more into someone with whom I’d want to pursue a romantic relationship” or you can stop initiating/getting together and things will fizzle out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your comment! I just wanted to add that I am the rare Christian (I guess?) who takes Mark 10:11-12 completely literally and says that there are no grounds for remarriage following divorce for anyone, unless, perhaps, the divorcee’s husband passes away (not murdered). I also don’t believe in annulments under any circumstances, and the Catholics hate me for it.

      The reason I don’t subscribe to any remaariage after divorce is because the “Biblical reasons” for divorce, especially from women, always morph into nebulous emotional non-Biblical reasons. I’ve been screeched at by many a remarried woman for holding to this line, and it always comes down to non-adulterous reasons – even assuming that adultery by the other ex spouse would be a Biblical reason for remarriage after divorce, which does not seem to be in the text. Hell hath no fury like a woman who is called a Jezebel!

      Anyway, I appreciate your reasoned approach, but I also want to caution against giving women ANY out on remarriage after divorce, because when they get a foot in the door, they can justify anything. (see Eve). I realize that you are explicitly excluding non-Biblical reasons, but, as WK pointed out, women are usually not led by the Bible. Especially women who initiate divorce for non-adulterous reasons. (And note that there is no requirement to commit a divorce in the case of adultery. Since God hates divorce, we should try to reconcile even under those circumstances.)

      Thanks for hearing me out, and thanks for your outstanding comment.

      “He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” – Jesus Christ (Mark 10:11-12)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “And by the way, hollering Jesus doesn’t fix that risk any more than hollering Jesus fixes student loans accumulated for a useless non-STEM degree.”

    BINGO! I’ll save that one for the WK Hall of Fame. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing. This is the most common response – from men and women – to any kind of criteria that men have for a wife and mother of their children.

      I got the same response on Twitter on Tuesday from a man!

      “If God can take back his divorced spouse, in Israel, who left and played the harlot. He then Died on the cross so as to release her from the laws of divorce and remarriage, [marriage to a single moth] at least should be considered..”

      So, God’s forgiveness for sin is seen as a kind of catch all for men’s criteria. He’s not allowed to have any criteria for a wife / mother. Which means he isn’t allowed to have any PLAN for a marriage. Which means he isn’t allowed to be a leader in the home. Every woman has to get all the goodies in the end, regardless of her past decisions that CLEARLY SHOW that she has no interest in GOOD MEN. That’s what single motherhood typically means (excluding widows). It means 1) She chose a good man and could not keep him 2) She chose a bad man (because she’s attracted to bad). Usually it’s 2. And Christianity is only invoked to stop the judging, and get her the respectability and security of marriage.

      Late converts to Christianity, if sincere, do have forgiveness. But potential spouses have a right and a duty to ask them to see their work. What caused the conversion? Where are the reasons and evidence? How was the mind changed? In most cases, there’s just a string of fiction reading, worship songs, essential oils, and other rubbish. Nothing renewed the mind. What caused the (temporary) change was the desire to avoid being judged by potential spouses. There was no work put into it. Nothing good was produced from the repentance. There was no self-sacrifice. There was no change in what they find attractive. It’s just emotional, and the idea is “now I’m going to get the goodies God has planned for me, by landing this person to provide security and respectability”. That’s why it’s so important for authentic Christians to be weary of these claims. Don’t believe the words, believe the actions. The actions tell whether there has been any embrace of self-sacrificial obedience.

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      1. “If God can take back his divorced spouse, in Israel, who left and played the harlot. He then Died on the cross so as to release her from the laws of divorce and remarriage, [marriage to a single moth] at least should be considered..”

        Just look at how he twists Scripture!

        That’s not justification for divorce and remarriage. Justification for divorce and remarriage would be God permanently divorcing Himself from Israel and taking ANOTHER spouse. What that Scripture encourages, and I 100% support, is a man taking back his unfaithful wife AFTER she TRULY repents, and not permanently divorcing himself from her.

        And the reason is that God HATES divorce (see Malachi) – even more than you do, WK. Which means that God HATES divorce a LOT. (Women, beware!) And remember too, that if Mr. Scripture Twister is going to use the OT argument, what was the punishment for a woman caught in adultery? Stoning to death. Jesus set that aside, but He had a very good reason for that law under Israel: adultery leads to death of everyone involved. And the Scripture twister can’t have it both ways.

        Finally, it was Jesus Christ Himself Who gave us Mark 10:11-12, not some OT ceremonial law that can be set aside. Jesus wasn’t joking around, and when He returns, He won’t be joking around.

        Amazing how people rationalize in the face of clear black and white, and red, Scripture from the Mouth of our Lord and Savior Himself! But, don’t you just know that he, or someone close to him, has committed that sin?

        “Late converts to Christianity, if sincere, do have forgiveness.”

        Yes, and I am one of those, having given my life to Christ at age 42. And I KNOW that I have been forgiven and I march into battle with my cross out of love for the One Who forgave me. But, part of my battle IS dealing, in this life, with the consequences of my past sins. God may have forgotten them, but I still live in this world which has not, and of course I expect that a healthy part of my cross is to bear the suffering for those consequences.

        And what is one of the responses to of those consequences? A strong urge, by the Holy Spirit, to speak out against the very sins that I committed and am forgiven of by God. Blasphemy, lust, etc. Do these “forgiven” women who whored around in their 20’s speak out against that? Do they say “Don’t be like I was in my 20’s – don’t be a Jezebel and whore!”??? They should be the ones on the front lines speaking out against feminism and fornication. (I do know some, but not many!)

        But, I don’t see that, WK. I think they missed “To whom much is given, much is required.” I don’t see many “forgiven” post-abortive women speaking out strongly against abortion as murder either. I see some, but they are the ones who should be leading the way. Have they, or the pursuers of hawt bad bays, really repented? I wonder.

        “What caused the (temporary) change was the desire to avoid being judged by potential spouses.”

        BINGO!

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  3. I have a younger, unmarried brother with a steady job (in the “M” of STEM). He is a faithful believer and would consider marriage but only to a faith believing woman who isn’t a political leftist (“too bad of a risk” – his words). When I think about introducing him to women I know, the risks that men bear from the law in the form of no fault divorce always end up in the top of my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that your attitude is just excellent, and I wish more women had this understanding of what men are facing, and knew how to prepare themselves to reassure the man they want to marry that they are not a threat. But I don’t see where (most) women are taught to have accurate views about why men marry, and what is causing men to view marriage as a bad deal.

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