Worshipping At the Altar of "Traditional Marriage"
The name in this post has been changed to protect the reader from being tempted to look this person up.
“Not all of us get husbands” –a Thrive Reader
This is the one-sentence response I got from my Thanksgiving post—nothing horrible and still true in the essential meaning of the statement. I did engage the person in a private message. I know how bitter loneliness was in my previous life and from time to time still experience it today.
All of my posts are about personal experiences or opinions. Unlike many in today’s world, I am not holding my life up as an example of what people should strive for to find contentment. My Thanksgiving post was from a deep well of gratitude, and I wanted to share the joy.
That said, I was single for a very long time. I know the majority of couples in Christianity have a systemic bias of believing those who aren’t married aren’t as fulfilled or as relationally mature as married couples are.
Many Christians worship “traditional” marriage and what it should look like. This is the case with Ms. Martha Bitter:
“…as is singleness.” Notice that the title says “On Marriage and Singleness” when only three words in the paragraph mention singleness. That’s telling.
My opinion is that while Martha considers singleness a spiritual gift, she does not hold it in the same esteem as opposite-sex marriage. To be single in the evangelical and ex-gay worlds will always be seen as problematic, whereas being married is the evidence, or proof, of some level of “healing.”
Get “healing.” Get in line with gender bias that stigmatizes all things gay and trans. Shove your core relational sense of being and identity into the very back of the closet. Then and only then, you might get the “privilege” of what she feels is a god-ordained opposite-sex marriage. But hey, if you can’t follow that formula or don’t get that “privilege,” you are still a full member of the body of Christ.
Well, one caveat: as long as you continue to believe the myth that you are sexually/relationally broken and stay celibate.
Did you notice what Martha didn’t say? She didn’t say that she and tens of millions of other evangelical Christians in the United States do not believe the Divine’s LGBTQ+ children truly are “full-fledged members” of the body of Christ (church).
Not at all.
Note: Christ’s love is a free gift without a sign-up form asking for marital status or a summary of your sex life. He doesn’t consult Martha or your local pastor on these matters either.
Regardless of who you are, what you do, who you do, what you believe, if you have a partner or not, if you claim Christ, you are as much a Christ-follower as Martha could ever hope to be. It’s time to stop The Gospel of Heteronormative Behavior from being a barometer of healing.
There are a myriad of LGBTQ+ people in the church closet hurting themselves and their opposite-sex spouses because of the underlying fearful consequences this type of statement by Martha instills. It is even more dangerous when they realize they haven’t changed and will never do so and continue the facade of having converted from gay to straight.
Unlike Martha’s need to declare what godly lives look and act like, I don’t want or need to convert you to my way of life or way of thinking. I care about people, not what they do or don’t do with romantic/intimate concerns.
Please be free of religious stigma against single people of any kind. Be aware of statements like Martha’s because that’s what I consider bigotry delivered with a smile.