A married Christian woman has nothing to offer and nothing to be gained from an association with a single man unless he is someone her husband respects and/or is mentoring.
This conviction began stirring within me while reading Sunshine Mary's blog. I commented a bit eluding to it there. But most of this has come from a real life situation.
We've had him at our home several times. Each time he was respectful and carried on with RLB about sports, politics, and Army life. We no longer live in the same area so most of my contact with him has been through Facebook.
This young man struggles with his faith. He was raised much like I was but questioned and left the church and renounced his salvation after what he said was a realization that the existence of God could not be proven. He's told me that he is comfortable with his rejection of a belief in God yet at every opportunity he would challenge something I would post related to Christianity. RLB would engage him and debate, discuss etc. However the non stop bombardment of my posts got to be too much.
He wasn't hearing RLB, that was clear. So I asked him to read one of Vox Day's books, The Irrational Atheist (RLB had previously suggested it to him). He said he'd read it but first relayed his doubts regarding the book and expressed a typical ad hominem.
Over the course of interacting with this man, it became clear there was nothing I could say or do to affect his faith. We've discussed it all. And I've surrendered to being utterly inept at The Great Commission with regards to this man. And it's not just that. There's nothing I could say or do that would affect his opinion of what is or is not moral.
The comment on SSM's blog that I linked to above had the same results...nothing. The man I was speaking to said he had slept on what I said, had no revelation regarding it and came away feeling even more hopeless. That's the last thing I wanted to have happen.
It all makes perfect sense. There is nothing biblical about a woman teaching a man.
The evidence suggests that 1) what a man could learn from a woman, he should be learning from another man 2) much of what I'd been spending my time doing was what Matthew 7:6 warns of: casting pearls before swine 3) in some instances the very opposite of what I hoped for happened.
It really has nothing to do with the woman either. Her presentation matters little, neither does her sincerity or charity. I've read countless examples of a variety of women, with different temperaments and tone, speaking/writing to single men with no evident impact.
There's more to this that I'm developing an awareness of but don't quite know how to express.
I'd be remiss if I didn't also write about what went on with me. Every debate we'd engage in had to be slow and deliberate on my part. I had to conscientiously overcome my own solipsism and knee jerk defensiveness each and every time before I would respond.
I write this for your amusement and to confess that though a woman might appear stone cold logical, don't be fooled, it does not come naturally to us, at least not to me anyway.
There were times that my thoughts would read like the following: "I Can Not believe he is defending the murder of infants in the womb, he knows how much we, as a family, have grieved this issue. I have three children reading this! Is he really so daft that he can not conceive of how offensive he is?"
"How dare he say, on my personal FB page, that the Bible is bullshit! He can't possibly value me as a friend and willingly offend me so personally. He knows my faith, he knows my relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ, is the most important aspect of my life. What is wrong with him?"
You get the idea.
As I said above there is an exception to this. When a woman's husband respects or is mentoring the single man, she can be of tremendous value. It is not about her alone, however. It is the respect the single man has for her husband that allows him to consider her words. When RLB says to one of his single friends, "ask SD to tell you about ____," it is the regard he has for RLB that allows him to hear what I have to say. It's a very different dynamic. From what I have learned, it's the only dynamic that makes a relationship between a single man and a married, Christian woman acceptable.