Idolatry Refugees in the Church Marriage Market

Re: Sigma Frame’s Coram Mundo vs. Coram Deo

Jack restates a question that appears often in the Christian Manosphere:

Can women who were s1uts in the past, but then had a “born-again” saving experience, really become pure and undefiled?

This is typically attached to discussions of why church men don’t marry those poor, abused single mothers in the church. The question jumps past a wealth of assumptions that deserve a hearing and correction in their own right, and Jack starts with the premise that we need to keep one thing in front us: You cannot judge the issue from the standards of the world, but from the standards of God (thus his Latin title translates roughly as “In the Eyes of the World versus in the Eyes of God”).

Jack then goes on to discuss how he views that question. I’m not responding directly, but paralleling the issue from my own perspective. I have no authority to tell anyone what to think, but this is my testimony. When I married, I did my level best to deny the flesh, and most pointedly to deny the world’s standards. I chose to marry based on my convictions, and that marriage continues today (40+ years) still based on my convictions. Should my Beloved pass from my life at this point, there isn’t going to be another marriage.

More than anything else, that’s a testimony to how irreplaceable she is in my life. Her value to me has risen with age. It would be wiser at this point to do without than it would be to seek a successor for her. I have yet to meet any woman in this world who bears her unique commitment to my mission and calling, and my experience has been that every woman who signaled any interest at all in my attention had zero interest in my mission and calling. In other words, they have all uniformly failed the single most important test of a woman’s biblical worth to a man. I’m not saying such women don’t exist; God hasn’t put them where I have encountered them in the flesh.

This is the basis for all my advice to younger men contemplating marriage: There is no good reason to get married unless it’s for mission support. There are lots of good things that come with the marriage package, but none of them matter if the woman in question isn’t fully committed to your mission. So a man must first be convinced of his mission before he even considers marriage.

And given the context of where we are today versus the biblical model, the only proper way to proceed is if she comes into your life seeking to be the helpmeet Eve was supposed to be for Adam. Whatever else we might make of that term “helpmeet,” the image starts with someone committed to supporting the God-given mission.

The symbolism is that God brought Eve to Adam. Men should not go courting; that is backwards. Whomever is that woman’s covering should seek to marry her off to someone for whom she is well suited. It should always be in pursuit of the shalom of the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s always been the biblical model. In the Bible, one thing seems consistent in all cases: If the guy goes seeking and chooses his own bride, it turns out wrong. He should wait for God to bring her to him. It can still go wrong, but it doesn’t have to. It is almost guaranteed it will go wrong otherwise. By the way, I was friends with my father-in-law before I met his daughter, and he encouraged our romance.

Granted, in today’s Western churches, this dynamic is seldom practiced. It’s part of why I don’t belong to any mainstream church. It should be that, if a woman attends a church without any male family serving as her covering, then it defaults to a male pastor (God has already forbidden female pastors). If her pastor/elder isn’t much help in getting her married, regardless of the reason, then it falls to her to court the man she truly believes she is best fit to support in his mission. In other words, she courts him, not the other way around.

She will have to do her best to discern whose mission feels like her mission.

Side note: He should be too busy pursuing the Lord to have been chasing skirts. Skirt-chasing is equivalent to supplicating the gals, a form of idolatry. Men of God never supplicate a female for anything once they leave their mother’s breast. There’s nothing wrong with a guy being charming and charismatic to the gals, but he should know better than to believe their interest means anything until it comes in the context of the mission. She has to be a mission-minded gal.

And this whole thing assumes she really is spiritually born and oriented on the mission of God. If the single mom is hanging out in the church trying to hook a decent man based on some other internal drive, men should flee her. The church women should pull her aside and begin training her. It’s one thing to welcome her into the church fellowship in hopes she’ll eventually walk in the Spirit. It’s another thing to just assume any verbal announcement of commitment to Christ makes her immediately a prime participant in the marriage market. Rituals point to something important, but mean nothing in themselves. She has to come into the market from the women’s fellowship all primed and ready to serve.

Her primary difficulty is dealing with that sexual background. Sigma Frame blog points out in several posts that every sexual encounter leaves an imprint on the woman. It’s more than a mere memory or emotional association. It alters her body’s wiring; it conditions her. If she had sex with a man who really fired up the tingles, she’ll never be able to wipe that away. She’s spoiled; no subsequent man will ever measure up to that. If she has had multiple sex partners, her wiring becomes even more confused and intractable. Whether she can come to terms with that in marriage to a godly man, especially one who isn’t such a stud, will depend on whether she truly connects with God and His miraculous power.

Even if she does get the full blessing of spiritual healing, God offers no promise to always heal the very natural physical consequences in her wiring. She’ll never be a virgin again. In such cases, she’ll have to bite the bullet and find joy in something other than her own sexual pleasure. That blessing could be forever lost. Yet, while the advantages of bringing sexual purity to a covenant marriage may be long past forfeited, if she perseveres in building a pure faith commitment, that can cover a lot of sins.

We know how she became a mom, but how is it she’s now single? Even if she’s hot stuff, as one comment on Jack’s post suggested, “Once a ho, always a ho.” The church guys who fall for that aren’t worth having. As long as she is still the same woman who had sex and got pregnant outside of a biblical marriage covenant, she’s not a godly mission supporter. She will bring with her that imprint of her previous sexual encounters and all the idolatrous failures, unable to fully submit and commit to a godly mission-driven man. If she still has all those idolatrous expectations and demands, she will be a walking, talking mission destroyer, and unlikely to be faithful. She needs to be remade by God’s miracle power before anyone should trust her.

It has nothing to do with what her kids deserve; she’s already screwed them over. Their blood is on her hands; nobody owes her anything. She is obliged by Biblical Law to work her way into the good reputation of the church body. If they aren’t a genuine covenant body, she’s in the wrong place. If they are, she has a fighting chance, but she’ll have to defeat the demons she’s already allowed into her life. That’s what everyone else there will be doing, with fear and trembling. We know God can work that miracle in her, but she has to want it.

And if she’s simply a career woman who believes she’s finally ready to settle down and have a family, she’s wrong. She got that nonsense from an evil world. She didn’t get it from faith in Christ; His Word says something quite different. While it’s true her body past 30 years is increasingly unsafe for incubating children (especially if she has used any birth-control pharmaceuticals), and she’s not nearly as desirable now, the real problem is that she’s burned those years on the altar serving a false god. That kind of advanced education and career-first choice is flatly contrary to Scripture. She has to restore what little is left of her fading value to the covenant community’s shalom. She’s been quite selfish up to that point.

There’s a place for women married to God alone, but they can’t walk away from that later and expect godly men to pick them up automatically. Some men might do that, but God’s Word says He generally doesn’t work like that. It is hardly the ideal. If she’s a widow, she needs to submit to the guidance of her church elders for their covering. Loneliness is something negotiated with God, not a de jure demand on the people of the faith community.

This applies in principle to the cases out there where women simply ran into bad circumstances and never got to enter the marriage market in a timely manner. If her conscience is clean, she needs to trust the Lord to provide and accept His provision. God does answer prayer, moving mountains for those with faith, so there’s no excuse for sour grapes. He’s not capricious and vindictive; humans are. In the end, it’s on her to become an eager mission supporter at whatever level of participation is possible. Whether God turns that into a marriage is His to choose, not hers. God will gladly tell a listening daughter whom and when to court if that’s in His plans.

She has to make it clear she firmly believes that nothing in this world would be better than to make a servant of the Lord feel like a hero. She can learn to practice such arts socially in the covenant community until she has built a solid offer for a godly man who needs her. The bottom line is that purity of heart is more important than sexual purity, but her future will be crippled without the latter. She must make the most of what’s left.

While I confess this is increasingly rare, I testify that I have seen it happen with my own eyes.

About Ed Hurst

Avid cyclist, Disabled Veteran, Bible History teacher, and wannabe writer; retired.
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1 Response to Idolatry Refugees in the Church Marriage Market

  1. Pingback: Moon Day Review — The Rear View Mirror | Σ Frame

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