Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Women At Odds with the Mandatory Marriage Movement

Just in case people from the mandatory marriage movement think that all women think like they do, I just thought I would post these reviews that I found the other day of Debbie Maken's book [all written by women]:

Dianna, A reviewer, 02/17/2007 Customer Rating for this product is 1 out of 5
Not Scriptural, Very Unfair to Men
I bought the book at a Barnes & Noble store. Maken spends too much time blaming men for the vast numbers of unmarried Christian women. Does she show understanding or offer solutions? Not at all. Maken goes to extraordinary lengths to question the manhood of men who do not embrace marriage. Marriage isn't for everyone and is financially impractical for many Christian men. Maken's ideas of courtship and matchmaking are more in line with her Hindu background than her recently adopted fundamentalist Christianity. The sad part of this is that many single Christian women are shaming and alienating the few Christian men who are left in the church. Women are breaking off relationships with good men because they won't marry within Maken's 3-month guidelines. Men are being denounced as eunuchs and 'completely lacking in manhood'. Maken should be deeply ashamed of this book. It isn't scriptural - Maken takes great liberties with certain verses in the Gospels in order to make her points. Don't buy this book.

Jennifer, A reviewer, 02/10/2007 Customer Rating for this product is 2 out of 5
Using Shame to Promote Marriage
Maken does deconstruct the overused 'gift of singleness' but her heavy emphasis on shaming men into marriage makes this a deeply flawed book. It's good to encourage marriage, but Maken is only encouraging a 'blame men' approach. She suggests churches should shame unmarried men and make them feel as unwelcome as possible. I cannot agree with her approach.

Linda, a teacher, 11/05/2006 Customer Rating for this product is 1 out of 5
One Size Does NOT Fit All
I married later in life. I'm glad I did and I'd do it again. But I wasn't ready earlier, and I enjoyed being single. Yes, there were frustrating times when I felt lonely, but I figured that there's one thing worse than being single -- and that's being married to the wrong person! For me, the hardest part about being single was being asked a lot of personal questions that were, quite frankly, nobody else's business! I can't say that married life is 'superior' or 'inferior' to being single. It is different. It satisfies some needs, but not all. Finding that 'right person' doesn't cure everything.

Not only do all of these reviews testify against the marriage mandators, but also consider this post on the Boundlessline the other day from Suzanne Hadley, and look at some of the comments:

bekah had the following to say on Aug 27 at 5:40 PM:
Thank you so much for this post!

I am so encouraged.

I wonder about this a lot, although; the Lord always brings me back to..
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I do not rejoice in being single, but this is the portion that the Lord has given me TODAY.

And today is a day that the Lord has made.

So today is the day that whether single, or married, I must live for the Lord and seek his face in all things.

And finally, his timing is perfect and his ways are MUCH better than our ways:

Isaiah 55:8
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So, with that, we have rest in His timing and His perfect Grace, knowing that He already sees All of it.


Suzanne (and Denise), this is one of the most awesome posts I have ever read on Boundless. Your honesty is so encouraging! Thanks for sharing such a balanced view, and for the reminder that God is for us, no matter how we feel.


It's really hard to wait on God's timing but, He knows our heart and honors it. He says in Psalms 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." One of them is our desire to be with someone we want to be with for the rest of our life. Just make it known to Him and wait until He gives that person to us. We'll be surprised that what He gave us is more than what we have expected. Remember that God doesn't give the least but only the best...Have joy in waiting...


As a single in my late 20's, I know that I have certainly not always (or ever?) praised God for my single-ness.

I am, however, learning more about myself and dealing with issues (like selfishness, family of origin issues, etc.) that I know would come up in marriage.

I can only hope that maybe God is giving me a head start on getting those things straight before He drags someone else into the mix :)


You see, the reality is that these folks would like us to think that women are generally on their side. They just simply are not. One of my friends, while admitting that there are many immature men in the church, still disagrees with these folks, and, you guessed it, he is getting married in a month! Most of the girls with whom I am acquainted, have not heard of these folks. When I tell them what they believe, they are just shocked that anyone would believe this stuff. So, the reality is that there are plenty of women out there who do not agree with this stuff, and are currently making (and will make) wonderful wives for the single men in the church that oppose this stuff. Conspicuously, the proponents of the mandatory marriage movement seem to be so busy promoting their position that they have not been able to find the time to put out their wedding announcements.


Luke said...

I've been a boundless reader for a couple of years and have read the "Line" almost since its inception. These days, both of them have been relegated to entertainment reading, and most of the time I just find myself getting irritated with them and most comments. While I believe that their heart is in the right place, I believe that they frequently turn their brain off. Their reading of scripture is absolutely terrible in the area of singleness, “manhood”, and/or adulthood. And the fact that they side with Debbie Maken should be criminal. She is one of the most venomous writers that I’ve ever read. You’ve adequately discredited her, so I won’t get more in to it.

I found your blog via a link on a comment that you made and have been a lurker for quite a while. You certainly have more patience in writing that I.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a note of encouragement in your struggle against the teaching of false doctrine and improper interpretation. I’ll be checking in occasionally.

Take care,

PuritanCalvinist said...

Hey luke!

Thanks for the encouragement. It is my hope that I can use my training in Hebrew studies to help people to think exegetically about these issues. As you said, we need to interpret the scriptures with care. It is simply sad to see what I saw from Debbie Maken the other day.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and keep reading!

God Bless,

Songbird said...

hey, thanks for the post. I have always enjoy your post. I fear you are one of the very few that is still worth looking at as well as still remain objective and edifying. Most of critics of Maken and its responders including that certain person's blog I won't mention are bitter now and unChristlike to the point of having a migraine. Forget Debbie. Her blog is a crapshoot from the beginning. I want to say I have enjoy reading your blog even though I came off as a firecracker at times with certain things regarding of Boundless.