Monday, December 5, 2005

All I Want For Christmas – Part 2

For many people, the holiday season is a time to reflect on how lonely they are. This is especially true for Christians. While it is never stated explicitly in any of the church creeds, it is generally understood among Christians that being unmarried makes you less human.

“What about Jesus, or the Apostle Paul, they were never married?” you counter. “Does that make them less human?" Why, yes it does. Being a single Christian is like being a retarded kitten. You’re cute, and people generally dote on you out of pity. But for your own good, they eventually tie you in a burlap sack and throw you in a river. It’s better to be dead than to be a retarded kitten (or 30 and single).

I’m being facetious, or course, but that is how the church treats single people. We convince them that being 26 and single means you will never find someone. We convince them that any pathetic loser who attends church is better than nothing. And we wonder why Christian divorce rates are not that different than divorce rates for those outside the church.

Never fear, a new book has arrived to help you cure your singleness disease.

Marriable: Taking the Desperate Out of Dating is an attempt to help single people get out of their own way and land that perfect mate. I doubt this book will help you find “Mr./Miss Right”, but it might help you find “Mr./Miss Good Enough So That You Can Get Married And Have Your Mom Stop Insinuating That You’re Gay.”


amazedlife said...

TRUST ME, I know what you are saying. There needs to be a club for people whose churches and families look at them pityingly at Christmas and so they never want to go home again :-)

Abigail said...

You've perfectly captured what it means to be a single Christian, Ben, which is quite a feat for an old married man like yourself.

I must add for any Catholics who may be reading that those of us who are at or near 30 and still single in the Catholic church have an additional hurdle -- people assume you want to be a priest or a nun. When I converted, I got this on more than one occasion from both my priest and the nun who headed up our confirmation class. When I'd tell them that I knew God was not calling me in that direction, I'd get the patronizing "You just wait, honey, you'll figure it out eventually" nod.

Wasp Jerky said...

Part of the problem, I think, is that a lot of Christians have this view that God has created a mate for you, that there is a specific mate out there designed specifically for you. So if you can't find that mate, perhaps you aren't following God's will. Perhaps you just aren't as spiritual as those who are married.

Eric Davis said...

I just know I'm not mature enough to be the spiritual leader in a home. I does get old to have people continually saying, "Hey, Eric, I know who would be perfect for you....."

Jenny said...

From the Amazon book description:

With creative chapter titles like "They Just Might Be Out of Your League" and "How Being 'Just Friends' is a Waste of Time,".

Those are ironic chapter titles, right? Seriously, they might be. Right?

One of the highlights of my year was when a 28-year-old (frightfully over-the-hill, see) friend from bible college married a ex-con. True story.

Devin said...

I'm guessing that this is the sequel to the equally-execrable Dateable by the same authors, so you can begin your loneliness angst as soon as possible, kids!

When I was a teen, I used to lament that there was so little literature that dealt with the difficulties of being single (I was a romantic, which didn't help). Relatively recently the Christian publishing market has seen a slew of books on the topic.

I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

Suzanne said...

Ha! This made me laugh so hard. You hit the nail on the head, Ben. We had many retarded kittens growing up, so I know exactly what you mean. And last Christmas my sister-in-law made the dreaded statement: "Are you ever afraid people might start thinking you're a lesbian?" What? No. Well...not until you just said that.

Thanks for your critique of this book. I think I'll pass.

promd8 said...

What a curious and twisted insights. I laughed out loud, which is an amusing visual when you consider that I am sitting by myself in front of a monitor. Then again I could otherwise be stuffed into a burlap sack and tossed off a bridge into a river...

Ryan said...

Hey Ben,

I agree with most of the things that have been said here. I'm 24 and unmarried. Hell, I'm not even dating. I haven't had time for it. Between seminary and the ordination process (Episcopal) it leaves little time for beginning and nurturing a relationship. But I hope to do that one day. I think it'll be hard as a single priest, but I trust in God. And trust me, in the climate of the Episcopal church today, I've had to put up with my fair share of remarks like, "Are you sure you're not gay?" It gets tiring.


Neville said...

Ah Ben. You are the voice all us retarded kittens out there have been waiting for. Thank you for being bold enough to tell it like it is.

In all honesty, I've been wondering these past few months in China if the Christian community would ever really be "okay" or even (God-help me) "supportive" of Christian single, celebate bastards?

Maybe that's just me thinking of heaven on Earth. Who knows.

Miss you and Nikki both.

Rachel said...

Sorry I'm late to the party. This book bugs me because of the title. Isn't the word "marriageable"? Too many letters?

Julie said...

Great blog post.

Horrible book.