On the Internet I have found several discussions on the type of women men should avoid dating or marrying. One noteworthy list of personality types to avoid can be found at BusterB’s website, for example (see part 1 and part 2). I grant that personality lists are often too generalized and probably reflect the pop psychology found on talk radio, in fashion magazines, etc. Having said that, I have decided to go against my better judgement and come up with my own list with a religious twist.
When it comes to romance, Christian men face a somewhat peculiar set of circumstances due to the dynamic of faith involved. So, here, in no particular order, is my list of Christian women one should not date or marry. Keep in mind that you may find a woman that fits more than one category. It doesn’t matter, though. Strike one and she’s out …
This one is self-explanatory. Perhaps she is not as common as in a previous age where taboos were more strict, but she is still out there. Avoid her. If talk of marriage comes up between you and a Christian woman, you and her will eventually have to deal with the Bogeyman (SEX).
How does she see sex? Evil? Defiling? Maybe not evil or defiling, but perhaps just a means to have children? A chore? Something she does merely in exchange for favors, as if bodily contact were a form of currency? Maybe she thinks sex is no more enjoyable than eating overcooked broccoli. Maybe she thinks it ought to be that way. No matter. Exit stage left, Romeo.
Telltale signs: Has positive things to say about romance, married life, etc. but has nothing positive to say about sex in general.
Scriptures: Proverbs 5:18-19; Song of Solomon; 1 Corinthians 7:1-7
You are the stand-in to make her dreams happen. There are plenty of men she could have substituted for you, especially the ones that she always fantasizes about. It just so happens that your number was up and no one else better was available.
Ok, you are ready to provide one suburban house, two cars, and three kids, right? You know she found mention of those things right next to the verse in the Bible that says men are the “Providers.” Yep! Don’t deny her the sacraments by which she can be become one of the in-crowd at the big suburban church! What? You want her to love you for your character? Do you think it’s basically about companionship? Simpleton! Those are good things but it’s more than that, dontcha’ know. Her man must be ambitious! Must have dreams! What kind of dreams? Well, the kind that are consonant with white, middle-class, suburban values! Don’t you know she wants to be known as the wife of an affluent man who just also happens to be one of the elders of the local church?
But hey, you may actually want what she wants. Both of you are doomed to failure because your happiness is based on externals, though. You think if you check off a list of to-dos, you’ll both arrive spiritually; however, you’ll be miserable busting your tails to keep up with the Joneses at church. And then when you do “arrive,” you’ll feel empty because there is nothing left to look forward to. If you allow this woman in your life and she objectifies you as a success object, you’ll have no one but yourself to blame. Look at the old men in your congregation sitting next to their scowling, discontent, blue-haired wives. That’s your future, buddy.
Telltale signs: Confuses future tense with present tense (e.g., “I want a man who will teach our children [as if she assumes she’ll have children] …”). Also, there is a detectible change in her demeanor when you tell her your what your occupation is.
Scriptures: Luke 12:15; James 4:13-17; Hebrews 13:5
She’s made some stupid choices in her youth, especially passing up responsible (yet boring) guys like you for more exciting prospects. But now that she’s divorced, broke, has 2+ children, and/or has a body that doesn’t turn as many heads as it used to, she graciously says “hi” to you. Here’s your project, Mr. Fix-it. She has the problems; you are the solution. Make the pieces fit, if you can. Can you handle the baggage? The children? The ex-spouse? Oh, she’s “got religion,” all right. Does that mean she should get you as well? If she really likes you for who you are, why hasn’t she considered you up until now? A woman like this needs to learn to take responsibility for her own life before asking someone else to do so. If you pursue a relationship with her, do so with extreme caution.
Telltale signs: The woman in question is usually over thirty years old and often accompanied by small people that share her genes (but obviously not yours).
Scriptures: Galatians 6:7-8
The Warm-Fuzzy Pietist
She’s not deep into theology or actually figuring out what the Bible teaches. The word “exegesis” is about as meaningful to her as the word “triskaidekaphobia.” Religion is more of a “personal,” “experiential,” thing for her. Run from her. Sooner or later, she might think the Spirit led her to ignore Matthew 5:32 and dump you for the Bigger Better Deal.
Telltale signs: 1) She says, “I feel God is leading me to [do whatever seems pleasing to her at the moment] …” 2)Her eyes glaze over in Bible study. 3) She thinks you are legalistic when you draw the line in the sand against false doctrine and sin.
Scriptures: Matthew 7:21-27; James 1:22-25
The extreme opposite of the Pietist. This chick can quote scriptures and actually put up an argument over doctrine. But she is backstabbing, controlling, hateful, derisive of other people’s weaknesses and struggles, and unconcerned about those less fortunate than her. Remember, even the devil can quote scriptures, and you might end up living with her.
Telltale signs: She sounds like she could written one of the articles for those “brotherhood” magazines that nobody reads except for the writers themselves.
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Romans 12:9
She’s not a bra-burning feminist, but …. But what? Who cares? If she says anything demeaning about men and/or plays the Sisterhood Victim Card then run.
Telltale signs: (1) She’ll show her colors early on when she gets you involved in a pseudo-intellectual discussion on the evils men have perpetuated against women. (2) She says, “I’m not a feminist, but …”
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:8-9; 1 Peter 3:1-6
Xenia (Warrior Princess)
The warrior princess makes it known publicly that she strong, independent and doesn’t need a man in order to be happy (as if anyone was truly concerned about that). She has a mile-long list of qualifications for any man who dares to take her on. She won’t compromise. Period. Since “compromise” is not in her vocabulary, marriage would obviously be a great inconvenience to her. Don’t make her a martyr. Make her happy. Oblige her by running the other way. (Try not to snicker when she then complains about “not being able to find a good man.”)
Telltale signs: Don’t worry about the signs. She’ll let you know up front what kind of woman she is.
Scriptures: Proverbs 26:5; Matthew 7:2
The Lady from the Movie “Fatal Attraction”
Unfortunately, religion attracts some really unsavory types. Yes, the previous categories are not relationship material, but the women in this last category are positively dangerous. We are talking about serious emotional and mental problems, here. If you detect any screws loose in your beloved, realize that she does not need a relationship as much as she needs professional help.
Telltale signs: Disturbing anti-social or deviant behavior.
Scriptures: Do I really need to give you scriptures to keep you from getting yourself hacked to pieces?
If you manage to avoid these women, you will be happy or at, the very least, you will be less miserable than otherwise. Yes, I am aware that if you follow this list, you will probably eliminate 99.9% of the women in your church community from consideration for a long-term relationship. Come, my friend, sit with Solomon and declare:
“I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.
“‘Look,’ says the Teacher, ‘this is what I have discovered: Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things — while I was still searching but not finding — I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all.'” (Ecclesiastes 7:26-28, NIV)