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5 Reasons Why Christian Men Are Not Pursuing Women

single christian men, dating, marriage, church
1

Given my experience with starting small groups and leading in a young adults ministry, the hottest topic of discussion and one of the biggest questions I have been asked is, “Why are single men in the church not pursuing?” There are two advantages that helped me shed a light on the topic. The first one is that; I myself, am a single Christian male and writing this required some vulnerability. Secondly, I have had hundreds of conversations with guys and girls in the church on the topic. Though there may be hundreds of reasons, I believe these are the 5 most common ones:

1- Fear Of Commitment.

50 years ago, the “American Dream” was all about commitment. It was what families, television, and the culture as a whole looked up to. Men were encouraged to find a career and grow in it, to plant roots, to buy the house with the white picket fence, and to start a family. Nowadays, things are exactly the opposite. Our culture romanticizes the idea of not committing to anything and getting lost following dreams rather than making them; Quotes like “Not all who wander are lost” and “Follow your dreams, they know the way” are becoming a motto of a whole generation. We are encouraged to try different jobs, live in different places, and even try different partners. We associate commitment with the last chapter of freedom. One of the scariest things about commitment is vulnerability. Unfortunately, for many guys, vulnerability is one of the scariest things they try to run away from.

2- Unrealistic Expectations.

This is probably the most common issue I find when I discuss the matter with other guys. Every guy is fantasizing after the perfect girl with the perfect face, body, personality, faith, humor, etc. The problem is that this fantasy doesn’t exist. Finding a “hot model” who “isn’t crazy,” shares the same interests as you, and loves vacuuming with her high heels and lipstick, do not exist because perfection doesn’t exist either. We think of our friend Freddy who is not the brightest or the best looking yet Freddy somehow married a super hot model. We think to ourselves, “If he can get this beautiful girl, I can too. I will wait until she comes.” Sadly, I have had a few friends who ended up marrying the “hot model” but little did they know that not only is she a bad fit for them, but she has made their lives so much more challenging and painful. I have had other male friends who are getting old and they are still single and waiting.

3- Over Analyzing

I have had guys that were concerned because their favorite genres of movies are different than the girl they are talking to. We are over analyzing and complicating things. The important questions a guy should ask are “Am I attracted to her? Do I enjoy spending time with her? Do our overall values and life visions heading the same direction?” rather than “I always imagined my wife to be a singer” or “I always imagined us liking the same type of movies and wanting to travel to the same places”, etc. etc.

4- Believing In “The One”

One of the most common lines I hear guys say, “Marriage is a really big deal, I have to make sure that she is the perfect fit”. The idea of believing that there is only one perfect person for you and if you don’t find that one perfect fit, you end up marrying the wrong person has caused men to over analyze every aspect of a woman. Men, unintentionally, try to find flaws with the girl they are considering so that they don’t end up with a girl that’s not “the one”.

5- Fear of Rejection

I have had guys that crushed on girls but their fear of getting turned down was greater than the courage they had. I have also been told by several girls that they turned down guys they had been interested in because it took the guy a long time to finally do the pursuing. When I asked those guys why it took them so long, their simple answer was that they were afraid and it took them time to finally go for it.

***Added: 3/19 at 12:40am PT (in blue): Based on an overwhelming response and being asked why porn was not mentioned as one of the points, I decided to share my thoughts on the matter: Porn is definitely one of the biggest issues that many single Christian men struggle with. Porn can be the fuel to the fire. Porn leads men to have more unrealistic expectations of what a woman should look like. Porn can cause fear of rejection, given that many guys feel intimidated and unfit by what they watch. Porn can make commitment less appealing given the fantasy they watch on the screen of a man being free to do whatever, whenever. However, it is very important for other Christians to not put single men in the box of “they must be watching porn”. Many guys still pursue and fight for holiness in the midst of singleness and having this kind of pressure can lead the guy to feeling judged or pressured to marry quick.

BONUS: There Are Less Single Men In The Church

One big problem people seem to miss when they start talking about the issue is the fact that the ratio of men above 30-years-old is a lot smaller than women with the same age.

SOLUTION: Honestly, I am not sure. Given the fact that I myself am single, gives me little room to speak (though I would like to think I pursue more than most of the single guys I know, I just don’t announce it on social media). Here are my thoughts based on the story of Isaac and Rebekah found in Genesis 24. They were deeply in love with each other though it was an arranged marriage. When Isaac’s servant was looking for a wife for him, these are the qualities he was looking at:

1- A woman that was an from the same household with the same faith values (in our modern interpretation, it’s a woman that follows Christ.)
2- A woman who had a servant heart (not only did she offer water for the servant but she offered water for all of his camels as well.)
3- A woman who was willing to say “yes” to God’s will even when it’s sudden. (She agreed to leave her family and home and go back with the servant the following day.)
4- A woman that was beautiful (she was a woman that the servant knew that Isaac would be attracted to – NOT find her ‘perfect’.)

So maybe the only input I can give is to say that it’s important to encourage guys to pursue any Christian girl they find attractive who has a servant’s heart and is willing to say “yes!” to God’s plan no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Below is part of an interview I had with Kris Wolfe, author of “10 Ways To Win A Girl’s Heart” where he shares practical tips on how he pursued the woman of his dreams.

 

 

What other reasons do you think men are not pursuing? What do you think needs to change? Why do we see less single men in their 30’s still in the church? Comment Below.

Johnny Youssef

 

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17 Comments
  • Helen Schirmer Jul 25,2016 at 11:02 pm

    You have really identified the symptoms of a much bigger problem. My assessment is that it is the heavy use of Porn and the addiction to causes. The secret use among many Christian men is causing them to not commit as porn tells them to not restrict or limit who they watch having sex, it gives them unrealistic expectations about women’s looks as they are constantly watching airbrushed actresses and they pretend these women want them and are always ready for sex. Not like real women in the real world. They begin to over analyze real women and see they do not measure up to what they see on porn sites, they falsely think there is a perfect woman out there, so why settle on any one? Men have always had the fear of rejection, but porn intensifies that fear exponentially. After they finish pleasuring themselves, reality set in and men realize this activity makes them less of a man, not more, as they have reduced themselves as strong men to weaklings involved in a dark, disgusting activity they hide. They know it is wrong which that is why they hide their secret use. They feel ashamed and should. They become more afraid they will be found out too. Regular porn use would be a deal breaker with most Christian women. They consider this emotional cheating and demeaning to women. They know it make men stop desiring them. Their brain chemicals change as has been found out in scientific studies. They become deceitful and unable to find real women sexually attractive. Men control Church authority and rarely if ever speak about it forcefully from the pulpit. They want to keep it hidden. This is the biggest reason single men don’t pursue. Most stopped attending church as well. It is a very discouraging situation to

  • Alexander Mar 22,2016 at 5:05 pm

    You forgot one reason, Actually being content with being single with your current life circumstances. I’m a full time student and work Part time. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have time for a girlfriend, obviously I could make it work. I just haven’t found anyone that intrigues me enough to try and make something happen in the two hours a week of free time I have. 🙂

    • Alexander Mar 22,2016 at 5:10 pm

      There should be a yet in there somewhere.

  • Brian Mar 21,2016 at 10:13 pm

    Honestly, it’s none of these things.

    Men don’t ask Christian women about because they’re been taught that it’s TOO MUCH WORK.

    Listen, the over-thinking, over-analysis, and over-talking that characterizes modern Christian dating is absolutely ridiculous and EXHAUSTING.

    Seriously. Who wants to be constantly worried about how “intentional” they are being in their “pursuit” of someone?

    Everyone just seems so friggin scared out of their minds that it is 1,000 times easier asking a non-Christian girl out. And that sucks. Because it might be fun in the beginning but then you just don’t have similar fundamental beliefs about the world. And that’s kind of important. Ugh.

    • Johnny Youssef Mar 21,2016 at 11:29 pm

      I have never met a man that wants to be married one day but is not making moves because “it’s too much work”. Why is it “too much work”? May be that person is using excuses because they are afraid of rejection, afraid of commitment, or are tired of over analyzing so they just say it’s too much work? Maybe with your experience you found that the church makes you feel it’s so much work or/and it’s easier to date non-Christians but this is the first time I have ever heard that from hundreds of talks so though it maybe true for you, I think it’s pushing it to say that “that is why”.

      • Brian Mar 22,2016 at 10:12 am

        Maybe we’ve run in different Christians circles 🙂

      • LEONARD Jun 10,2016 at 8:51 am

        Maybe the term “too much work” is a little inaccurate. From what I have seen, guys do not appreciate that women are prizes ( trophies? ) to be chased after and won, as if men were worth “not so much”. Does that sound more appropriate?

  • Natalie Ballinger Mar 19,2016 at 10:16 am

    (Part 1) I’m so glad you said that, Johnny – about putting the ‘secret sin’ doubt on men in the church. When there are sermons about godly manhood, I hear ‘get free from porn’ almost every time, but not a lot of “You are SO VALUABLE as a man who loves Jesus!! The world needs you, and we as your church family are committed to building you up and reminding you of your identity!” I wonder how things would be different (for men, and for the sisters, mothers, wives, and wives-in-waiting) if that was the message men were getting from the Church.
    I believe the enemy attacks men and women in different, insidious ways, but I think there is a special attack on men. God has given men the role of coverer, protector and leader. Women have authority too, in our own spheres, but it’s got a different flavor; our authority works best when the men in our lives are stepping into their God-given authority as fathers. God has set it up so that when guys simply say ‘yes’ to their role as a leader – in Whatever sphere God has given them, God shows up in huge ways. There are lots of ways to be a leader and only 1% of them involve a microphone. When you call forth identity in others by including people in conversations, covering people’s awkwardness, treating those around you with dignity and respect (i.e. fight for the weak) you are stepping into a realm of God-given authority empowered by the Holy Spirit, and really big things happen. In a world of fatherlessness, you are being a ‘father’ to those around you. You don’t have to do it ‘well’. God’s job is to show up. Your job is to put your feet in the authority square and offer your yes, weak or strong. God will do the rest!

  • Natalie Ballinger Mar 19,2016 at 10:13 am

    (This is Part 2 of my comment above. Sorry for the wordiness. I’m a stereotypical ‘girl’ in that way; I appreciate the stereotypical male gift of clarity and simplicity.)

    I want to encourage men reading this that you guys are so important. The world doesn’t work right when you’re not present – I think the scary things happening in society right now, are directly related to the low numbers of men in the church. There are some gifted leaders who are women, but I’m not talking about a job title, I’m talking about Identity. Does that make sense?

    So this is what I think needs to change, and I’d like to be part of this change: men need to be encouraged, honored, and built up. That’s what we women can do. Then, men need to hang on to that courage and keep keepin’ on that journey of knowing your identity as a son of God (I think we stay on this journey our whole lives, so don’t feel like a failure if you struggle here). That’s what men need to do for themselves.

    Then, men who have stewarded the truth of their identity, and stewarded whatever honor this broken culture Has managed to give them, need to Go Out and Resuce Their Brothers. That’s what men can do for each other, their sisters, mothers, wives, and wives-in-waiting, who are doing what they can to fill the void left in society by the men the enemy has taken out. God allows us women to keep things afloat when the men aren’t there, but things would go so much better if men met Jesus and came back.

    This might be a bit controversial, but I think there are a lot of godly families not forming because of this attack on men. Personally I think about the husband and marriage part of life before considering kids, but that being said, I think there are lots of kids not being born b/c there are so many more women than men in the church (Bill Johnson had a word on this in recent years). We actually need men to fight for us by bringing more men into the Body of Christ! …And as far as the whole dating thing goes, a more even ratio might take some pressure off you, too 😉

    There is so much to say about these topics. Johnny, thank you so much for giving space for dialogue. My prayer is that as these things are brought up, Christian men and women can grow to be less afraid of each other. By bringing a few things into the light, I believe healing will come for hearts that have been broken by silence and fear.

  • Christina Mar 18,2016 at 3:26 pm

    Great post Johnny, I always appreciate your thoughts!

    • Johnny Youssef Mar 19,2016 at 2:29 am

      Thank you Christina! It’s always good to hear your feedback 🙂

  • Lauren Mar 18,2016 at 8:40 am

    I definitely agree with all of these reasons…and I would like you to consider one more. Before I give that one, though, it must be said that all of these can and do apply to many single young women out there as well. I myself have struggled with the first one, because vulnerability can be just as difficult for women as for men.

    The other reason to consider is the pervasiveness of sexual sin amongst young men (& increasingly young women), specifically in pornography usage. This millennial generation is seeing an unprecedented percentage of young men who are addicted to or at the very least affected by pornography. It is quite devastating. Thankfully, websites like churchxxx and fightthenewdrug are gaining momentum in addressing the issue and providing resources for deliverance and freedom. However, this is something our generation has been exposed to everywhere from a young age. I think many young men are not pursuing women because they can live in a fantasy world and occasionally have friendships with women that satisfy and relational desires. I realize this does not apply to many young men, but it is one to consider.

    A solution to the problem of few men pursuing? At this point, prayer and reading God’s Word are the most important things a young woman “in waiting” can do. She can also pursue what God has called her to do and go wherever He calls her. I personally have found that the three qualifications you mentioned to look for in a young woman are some of the ones I look for in a young man. The willingness to serve and to be ready to obey God at any time are both very important. Young men can be encouraged by older men to pursue. Mentors and accountability partners in the church are wonderful resources. Discipleship is a lost art in many American churches today. I think the life-on-life training and mentoring methods are helpful. If a young man is seriously pursuit Christ, I believe he will be serious about pursuing a young woman with clarity, purity, patience, and courage.

    • Johnny Youssef Mar 19,2016 at 2:31 am

      Yes, I agree that porn has to do with it. I definitely do. However, One thing that I know is difficult for single guys is when they feel the tension of people looking at them differently and wondering if they have a “major hidden problem” i.e. porn, double life, etc. So, while it’s important to recognize that porn is a major part of the problem, it’s important to make sure we don’t put every single guy over the age of 25 in this category. Thanks so much for your input and I agree with everything 🙂

      • Lauren Mar 19,2016 at 7:27 am

        Yes, it is definitely important to not generalize and pre-judge. 🙂 Thanks for writing this post!

      • Natalie Ballinger Mar 19,2016 at 10:04 am

        I’m so glad you said that, Johnny – about putting the ‘secret sin’ doubt on men in the church. When there are sermons about godly manhood, I hear ‘get free from porn’ almost every time, but not a lot of “You are SO VALUABLE as a man who loves Jesus!! The world needs you, and we as your church family are committed to building you up and reminding you of your identity!” I wonder how things would be different (for men, and for the sisters, mothers, wives, and wives-in-waiting) if that was the message men were getting from the Church.

        I believe the enemy attacks men and women in different, insidious ways, but I think there is a special attack on men. God has given men the role of coverer, protector and leader. Women have authority too, in our own spheres, but it’s got a different flavor; our authority works best when the men in our lives are stepping into their God-given authority as fathers. God has set it up so that when guys simply say ‘yes’ to their role as a leader – in Whatever sphere God has given them, God shows up in huge ways. There are lots of ways to be a leader and only 1% of them involve a microphone. When you call forth identity in others by including people in conversations, covering people’s awkwardness, treating those around you with dignity and respect (i.e. fight for the weak) you are stepping into a realm of God-given authority empowered by the Holy Spirit, and really big things happen. In a world of fatherlessness, you are being a ‘father’ to those around you. You don’t have to do it ‘well’. God’s job is to show up. Your job is to put your feet in the authority square and offer your yes, weak or strong. God will do the rest!

      • Helen Schirmer Aug 11,2016 at 10:52 pm

        From surveys and studies, there is very high porn participation by single and yes, Christian men very high too. It brought on my divorce. Men should understand it is a dealbreaker with Christian women. If you are successful hiding your use from her, once you are married, she will find out. It will kill her sexual desire, love and respectful for you as a man. She won’t put up with it very long. Someone that selfish should not be married. If you don’t get the help you need to stop it, do not date anyone. You have made yourself unworthy and unable to make her your number one sexual and exclusive priority with her. Godly women want strong men with self control. If you fo not provide these things she will turn away from you and you will have destroyed your relationship. Just watch it happen.

      • Helen Schirmer Mar 27,2017 at 3:16 pm

        While not all Christian men view porn, the majority do struggle with it. They always keep it secret too as it would be a dealbreaker for many women finding out about their use. Yes, it does have direct bearing on their pursuit of women in very negative and harmful ways. As long as they continue, one women will never enough for them. It dulls their attraction and arousal to real women too. This is what the porn industry wants as they make millions from it. Lambs to the slaughter. That is why men users jusrify and approve of each others use of it. Misery
        loves company so no one has to feel guilty about it.

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