(If you still like me at the end of reading this, it’ll be a miracle. As an INTJ, I pull no punches and have never been a big fan of blaming the opposite sex for everything wrong in life.)

Recently I read Where Have All the Good Men Gone by A.J. Keisling. The book addresses the single status occurring in our nation; the influx of Christian men who are not dating and the resulting situation Christian women find themselves in – potentially single for the rest of their lives. The author conducted a survey among Christian singles to find out why they are still single. Each sex responded with many of the same excuses, and a pattern emerged – it’s all the other sex’s fault. Christian men are “not stepping up to the plate and asking girls out,” “not being willing to pursue marriage,” and “never growing out of their prolonged adolescence.” Christian women “assume one date means I’m going to marry you,” “just want to be friends,” or “don’t take enough care with their appearance.”

Both sides have a few points and some of it is true. It IS the man’s job to pursue the women. It IS his responsibility to seek out a wife, for in doing so, as scripture tells him, his life will be blessed. It IS his job to mature into a man. And in our society of HD programming and video games, some men are not doing that. Girls, meanwhile, need to calm down, realize that men don’t like being pressured or chased, give every guy a chance whether or not there’s a romantic spark right off the bat, and yeah, some girls need to wear a little more makeup and take off a few pounds.

Mostly, what I read in this book was utter selfishness and denial of personal responsibility. It was all about accusations and pointing fingers and saying, “If THE OPPOSITE SEX WOULD JUST…”

God wants us to tend to our own fields before poking our nose over the hedge. He’s a lot more interested in our faith, and the state of our submissive heart, than He is in whether or not we ever get married. What this current epidemic of unwanted singlehood tells us is that our selfish-driven culture has crept into the church. It has become more about “me” than “us.” Maybe instead of the questions running along the lines of “why are you still single?” they should have asked, “What are you doing in this time of prolonged singleness to prepare your heart for marriage? How is God changing you? Are you working on becoming more responsible? Physically fit? Putting your best foot forward?”

Stop making this about blaming them, and start working on yourself.

For those interested, among the men surveyed, these answers were given for why they aren’t dating Christian women:

Christian women expect too much from us spiritually.

Christian women have every right to expect much from a guy, spiritually. He is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the household, and set the religious tone in the home. This means he MUST have a strong relationship with Christ, he MUST be dedicated in that role, and he MUST be willing to learn, grow, and expand his knowledge. Women do not expect spiritual giants; they expect a heart for Christ and a husband in church every week. With the fear of the Lord comes wisdom. We don’t expect you to be perfect; we expect you to be humble before the throne of God, so you can lead us spiritually. If you don’t want that responsibility, it’s too bad – God gave it to you whether or not you want it. So… get over it, and get with it.

Christian women put too much pressure on us in the first date.

This tends to be true, and something women need to be aware of. Don’t chase him… let him chase you — unless it goes on without any progress for four years, then you might want to let him know, “Put up or lose it.”

Too many nice women bypass nice guys for “bad boys.”

Many of us do have a bad boy complex, which is really prideful, because we believe that “we” can “save” the bad boy (only God can save Him, and usually He doesn’t use a Christian girl). Sometimes we overlook the warnings God gives us about not becoming involved with unbelievers in a romantic sense. It rarely ends well.

We have a very real fear of divorce.

Girls do too. We can let that cripple us and remove our joy, or we can promise “until death do we part” and mean it. Do you trust God with your love life or not?

Christian women are too shallow or self absorbed.

Some are. Some aren’t. As a guy, realize that many women are romantics. If you are a woman, read something more than romance novels once in awhile. Know something about politics – and have an opinion. There’s nothing less attractive than a girl who doesn’t know anything other than the title of the latest romantic comedy.

Christian women just want to be friends.

Do they? I don’t know any. =P

It’s hard to tell Christian women from non-Christian women these days.

Sadly, they have a point there. How are we different? Are we different? Or do some of us still sleep around, wear slutty clothes, flirt outrageously, and have no personal standards?

Christian girls let themselves go.

Ouch. But this may be true… each of us has something that could be improved on. Maybe we’re packing on a few extra pounds (or a whole lot). Maybe we never exercise. Maybe we have split ends, or never wear make-up, or just wash our hair and go (that’s my biggest fault). We should learn something from Grace Kelly – be beautiful, be well put together, take a little time with your appearance, and everyone will treat you with more respect, not just men.

Lest you think I am being too hard on the guys, let’s move on to the common accusations against men:

We want to be pursued, and men won’t step up to the plate!

This may be true, but… are you worth pursuing? Are there areas in your spiritual life that need work? Are you well-rounded? Have you learned how to be a wife and mother?

Guys are looking for a supermodel with a Mother Theresa personality.

Maybe, or maybe that is just what we think based on a lack of communication between the sexes. Most guys would probably be content with a woman who doesn’t nag him, doesn’t try to monopolize him or take him away from his guy friends, and makes an effort to look pretty for him at the end of the day. (Sexist? Nah, get over yourself. If you expect him not to be a fat slob and shave once in awhile after you get married, he expects the same of you. Start these good habits NOW, so they’re second nature later.)

All the good ones are taken!

Maybe a “good one” is right under your nose and you haven’t noticed, because he doesn’t look like a young Christopher Plummer or have Edward Cullen’s money. Maybe a “good one” is off working hard so that he can be a stable financial provider for his future wife. Maybe you just haven’t met him yet.

Men today are emotionally and spiritually immature and take too long to grow up.

Yes, and we have forty year old women gushing over how amazing and perfect and wonderful Twilight is. I don’t think men have a monopoly on immaturity.

Men just want to play the field.

Secular men do (and not even all of them, at that). Christian men shouldn’t. If they are, or if they do, they need to take a long look at their relationship with Christ and their views on women.

Too many Christian men try to push sexual boundaries.

There are men out there who say they are Christian, but aren’t. Our actions show us for the person we really are. There’s a difference between momentary temptation and aggressive sexual pursuits. Real Christian men (as in, born-again, saved-by-grace, God-fearing men) won’t push your sexual boundaries, because they respect you.

That was kind of brutal, wasn’t it? Sorry, but I state the facts. I’m not pointing fingers; I’m as much a part of the problem as the rest of you are. I slack off on learning to cook. I should fix my hair more often. My own Christian walk isn’t as strong as it could be… so I have no right to complain if God hasn’t brought The One into my life yet.

So what do we do from here? Take heart, ladies… we assume that because we haven’t seen a single man in months, there are none. Surveys actually tell us there are more Christian single men than women, which means each and every girl in the church COULD have a chance to get married.

I’m a firm believer in both personal responsibility and God. I think if you prepare your heart and spiritual walk for marriage, if you are dedicated to becoming a more godly woman, if you pray for your future husband (whomever he may be), AND take a leap of faith every once in awhile… maybe he will come. What does this mean? Put your best foot forward. If you have problem areas in your appearance, work at it. Don’t be lazy, or slothful, or assume that he should love you “just as you are.” One day, he will. But in the meantime, cover up that zit! Lose those ten pounds! Lay off the coffee for awhile! Make an effort. Get out there socially. Don’t be afraid to try online dating sites (with caution and wisdom). Don’t be afraid to go out on a date even if there isn’t an immediate spark, or he’s not your usual type. Don’t get stuck in one age bracket.

It is very tempting to give up, to assume you will be alone forever because you look around and there aren’t many men to choose from. But here’s the thing – you only need one. God never promised all of us would get husbands (or wives), but He does tend to reward our efforts. So pray about it, improve yourself, realize that it’s not all “the other person’s fault,” and take chances. Will it get you a man? I don’t know. But it’s better than sitting home alone.