Like many upon reading this blog post I was filled with outrage, disgust, and a lot of sorrow. Do people really believe this kind of teaching? According to the comments contained in the original article, some do.
I think the original post has brought up the opportunity to discuss some unbiblical beliefs that we may not have been aware that people believe and in turn to perhaps have the opportunity to reach young women who currently have adopted this way of thinking and infuse some real truth into this topic for them to munch on and be encouraged by. I hope my post and every post in response to the original article does just that.
One of the biggest things that disconcerted me about this article was the emphasis on why we do (or don’t do) certain things. We should never do anything for the purpose of pleasing a man or in the hopes of getting a husband. To remain a virgin or have a personal conviction about tattoos and college should not be for the purpose of getting a so-called godly man. To write a message from that standpoint is merely a scare tactic for a girl who is placing her hopes in marriage.
If you’ll notice, both versions of this post here and here are mostly personal opinions the writer has compiled from a handful of people to back her beliefs. These opinions are just that: opinions. You will find someone to back your personal beliefs no matter what it is.
With those things said let’s move onto each of the things this article states are un-preferred things in a woman.
1 - Not being a virgin.
Truth time: I am not a virgin. I went through a brief season of rebellion and my story is now different than I thought it would be. But like many who have already responded, God is gracious and I have always believed that a truly godly man will have the same grace. I have never wavered in that belief and I never will.
As Christians we should absolutely believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong BUT for those of us who have messed up in that way we have a God of grace and redemption and we are no less attractive to a man who truly understands God’s grace to him even if he himself has remained a virgin.
A long time ago I conceded to the fact that some men may have a personal preference not to marry a woman who isn’t a virgin and that article may speak for those men but I’m going to venture to say that it doesn’t speak for many.
Even if this is supposed to be a warning to young women not to have sex outside of marriage, it should not be for the sake of getting a husband. What if a woman never gets married? If being sought after by a man is the reason a woman is remaining a virgin, it’s the wrong reason.
From a woman’s perspective and as a woman who has experienced God’s radical grace, the issue of virginity is not the question I ask in my preference for what a young man should be. The proper question we should be asking ourselves about a man or woman whom we want to pursue marriage with should be “Are they, right now, living lives of purity as unto the Lord?” And this life of purity does not just include the technical act of sex.
2 - Being in debt.
Nobody likes to be in debt, and yes, there are direct teachings on it in the Bible. Debt should be something we should be striving to be free from if we have incurred it from college, cars, or whatever it may be. We should never enter into debt unwisely (knowing we can’t pay it off) or in order to purchase frivolous things and we shouldn’t be running from debt or evading payment.
But, debt does happen, and again, this article might be speaking for some people who have debt as a non-negotiable in their future spouse, but I would say those are few and far between. It depends on their attitude towards their debt or whether they’re actively paying it off, not just that they have it.
Debt will of course come up as one of the questions you’ll be asking your future spouse but it’s up to each person whether they’re okay with working steadily to pay it off in a future marriage.
3 - Having a tattoo.
The writer of this post actually doesn’t hardly say anything in the body of her post on tattoos even though she included it in her title. This post was in some way “unbiblical clickbait” but let’s address the issue of tattoos anyways.
Let’s acknowledge that many Christians use the passage in the Bible from Leviticus (Leviticus 19:28) to teach against tattoos. But let’s also acknowledge that many awesome Christian people disagree with other awesome Christian people on this issue. It’s not cut and dry or black and white and it remains up to each Christian to be sensitive to how the Lord is leading them on this issue. I personally don’t see anything wrong with tattoos and I actually like them in moderation.
If someone you were interested in was getting inappropriate tattoos then you should definitely question that since it’s a question of what’s going on in their heart. But you’ll never find that to be the case with someone who loves the Lord and wants to honor Him.
Whether or not you prefer a person with tattoos is very much a personal preference and again, making a statement for all men as the writer does in this article is wrong.
4 - Going to college.
There were many statements from people she included in her first article about why college for women is a bad thing. Again, all of these reasons she included were comments from other people with personal opinions on why it’s wrong. These are opinions they hold for themselves but these opinions should not be included in an article as the basis for why college is wrong for all women.
As Christian women we should be doing all things in wisdom, including selecting the college we go to. But should we be making the statement that women shouldn’t go to college, period? Absolutely not. There is nothing in scripture that would ever support that and any teaching you find will be merely personal opinion and I would steer clear of those teachings.
Not going to college is a personal choice that someone makes for themselves for personal reasons God may have laid on their heart. As in all things, we must practice wisdom in the college we select, the people we spend our time with while there, etc, but this goes for all people, not just women.
There were a plethora of reasons that people came up with in her article including choosing a career over having babies, being too old to conceive children naturally, learning to be loud and immodest at college and (this one leaves me stunned) having to have a husband undo the bad way of living she has learned at college, etc. All of these reasons center around fear and legalism.
Simply put, you cannot make a biblical case why women shouldn’t go to college. That remains in the realm of personal conviction and preference and should be decided case by case.
Conclusion: this article should not have been written. The writer (and all of her contributors) are free to have personal opinions or convictions or preferences but those should not ever be stated as a preference for all men.
To the young women who felt hopeless or shamed upon reading this article: the God we serve is not represented in this article. The words written are a woman’s opinion and preference and you will not find that attitude in Scripture.
Do not live for the preference of some men. Live for the Lord. Bring before God every issue you may face including college, debt, and tattoos. To all of us who are virgins or not, pursue lives of purity as unto the Lord. The Lord doesn’t bring us a lesser spouse or a better spouse depending on our pasts.