Why Young People Leave the Church

Heartiste has posted a chart of where couples meet their spouses and romantic partners:

Follow the yellow line, it represents the church. In 1940, the church was the third likeliest method of meeting your spouse, after family and friends. Now it is the lowest, practically non-existent, while family is the second lowest.

Some of this could possibly be chalked up to declining church attendence rates, especially among the young, but, church attendence has remained near 40% since 1940.

Church leaders are always asking why young people leave the church. The first graph is all that needs to be said.

Young people are looking to find love. This is natural, this is healthy. If they can not find love in the church, they will find it elsewhere.

The church should be supporting young people in finding love, so healthy, productive marriages will result. Instead, the church has entirely abandoned its responsbility to promote family formation, and has left the process to peers, clubs, and online dating.

Why is the church letting this happen? Why is the church forcing their young people to rely on friends, the club, and online dating to find a family? Are godly marriages going to result from restaurants and bars? Are peers the best means of finding a marriage partner?

If young Christians are forced to look elsewhere to find love and marriage, they will be enticed by the secular world. If a man can’t get a wife at church, that cute non-Christian smiling at him at work may have a stronger pull than his developing faith. If a young woman isn’t being courted at church, resisting the temptation of the attention of dozens of men at the club will be difficult.

If the church doesn’t capture its young people through marriage and love, the secular world will through sex and pleasure, and the church will continue to collapse.

Is the church really going to allow the depersonalized meat market that is online dating to be the most effective way to find a Christian spouse?

Of course, church’s aren’t entirely to blame: where are the parents? Look at that blue line? Why has this generation completely abandoned their children to fend for themselves?

If you want to see the church renewed, if you don’t want your young people to continue abandoning the church, fix this. Bring your young people together and get them married. Don’t abandon them to their own devices and allow the secular world to devour them.

****

Here’s some ideas for churches of where to start fix this:

1) Christian parents need to start talking with other Christian parents and start meeting with each other as families. Bring your children together in casual situations so they can get to know each other.

2) Christian families and churches should work on positive courtship. Courtship should be about bringing compatible Christian young men and young women together. It should not be a negative sorting mechanism to prevent young men from courting young women.

3) Churches need to create a culture where going for casual first dates are not a big deal. Being serious about finding a spouse does not mean that every interaction must be deathly serious. Church culture should accept that early interactions can be both and purposeful; casual dates should not be treated as major decision points equal to buying a wedding ring, because how many men are going to court enough girls to find the right one when young when a date is treated as the equivalent of an engagement.

4) Similarly, casual interactions should not be held against men or women. Men who ask a lot of women in their church out for casual dates for the purposes of getting to know each other, should not be worried about being shamed as players, likewise, women who accept many such casual dates should not be shamed as sluts. (For both 3 & 4, this, obviously, does not mean tge acceptance of casual sex).

5) Don’t discourage young dating, encourage it. There needs to be an elimination of ‘sex is bad’ talks in youth groups, more ‘sex is good, get married as soon as possible so you can have it’. Instead of discouraging dating, start getting your teenagers to take it seriously and setting them up together. If the church doesn’t start getting young people together in marriage, the secular world will bring them together in fornication. In the war between young hormones and chastity, Paul was exceedingly clear on what is to be done. Modern teachings on abstinence need to be destroyed as the near-satanism they are and replaced with the wholesome promotion of marriage. Two teenagers marrying in the church and starting a family should be celebrated as a triumph of the church, then young couples should be supported by the church as they set up their family lives.

6) Large churches should be running regular, casual events for their young adults (including teenagers) so they can get to know each other and pair off. Small churches should be networking together with other churches to create regular casual events so young adults can meet each other and pair off.

41 comments

  1. Agree 100%. Too often Christian children marry off to secular partners, and this does not only erode their religious worldview, but also their political orientation as well. It can turn a potential Reactionary into a Liberal very fast, especially if its a young girl swept off her feet by some Libtard. These people will destroy your children.

    Make it clear to your child you expect them to marry someone explicitly Christian

  2. All good points and hope the Church actually listens for once to what men actually need.

    I was one of the young men that the girls would say “Ewwww…” to, that is I was nerdy and uncool. Even in a Christian crowd, being cool matters and “cool” I was not.

    I left the church in my early 20s and did not return until I was married and had children of my own. I met my wife, who was also a refugee from the church, at a dance club. We hit it off and after many years are still married and will be so until we pass on. Both of us agreed that a return to the church was the right thing to do, for us and for the children

    Back to the point, my daughters never were into the church and as soon as they could they stopped going. My son on the other hand was deeply interested and there was time when I thought he would go into the ministry. In his early 20s however, he stopped cold and left, seemingly never to return. He had met a girl at one of the youth conferences and was quite enthusiastic about her. And then it just stopped. Neither he nor the young lady contacted each other again and he just stopped going to church cold turkey style.

    From my own observations, the church does not teach young boys how to be men. They do an admirable job of teaching the faith, but not about what it takes to maintain that faith, how to lead, and how to take one’s place in the world.

    My father learned faith while in the German Army on the Russian front. I started exploring my faith as a soldier in a Canadian Army infantry regiment. Although I have no wartime experience myself, the sometimes harsh but always masculine world of the soldier were key in my transformation from little lost boy to a committed Christian and father of young children. Of course meeting a beautiful yound lady at a dance club helped in that transformation as well.

    Men need challenges. They do not want to be comfortable. They do not deal well with feelings alone, rather what are the facts, and how do we get ourselves out of this situation? i.e. based on what we know, what’s the plan? Men and young boys in particular want to accomplish great deeds, overcome obstacles and either triumph or “die” trying. This is where the church falls flat on its face and has yet to pick itself up from the gutter.

    Likewise, women do not take well to the book worm or nerd. Believe me, I learned that the hard way. Even Christian ladies want to marry men who have faced daunting challenges and accomplished something in life.

    Allowing men to face challenges and then providing a forum where the young men and women can without pressure,gradually get to know each other is key. Hope the Church listens.

  3. But the church will not protect you from divorce. It won’t be there when the wife isn’t haaaappy to say that marriage needs to be worked out. It will never take the moral high ground of trying to stop divorce so why should they be setting up relationships?

  4. @ Alexander

    You are absolutely correct in your observation. I have several relatives who one would consider “Holy Rollers” and ALL of them are divorced. Some have remarried, and others remain single to this day.

    Like it or not, women are happiest when they can submit to a man, but you have to be a man to begin with, and not the emasculated nerd or metro-sexual. Having said that, a number of my ex-Army buddies are also divorced and these guys were fearsome warriors in their time, so who knows.

    My wife was a child of divorce and when things started to get serious, she told me flat out that if wanted her then it would be for life, i.e. no divorce! Period!

    While we had issues, like all couples, we stuck it out, we both compromised and worked things out. One thing though, my wife did defer to my judgement on major decisions and while it was scary at times, in that I had to decide which road in our life was to take she supported my decision and helped to see it through.

    Another factor is that men need to take some of red pill advice and that is to always be the best man that you can be. You need to maintain some semblance of style and fitness, and not let yourself go to pot. You need to strive in your career and if necessary take some risks to advance yourself.

    It also helps when other women hit on you, even in front of your wife. Nothing keeps things alive more than she knowing that other women would gladly steal you away from her. I was always loyal to my wife, but have to admit that this certainly maintained her interest in keeping me happy.

  5. The way I see it, the youth that do not date Christians are the ones to ignore. One girl (horsey type, first alarm bell) has made some terrible decisions about relationships, dating heathens (bogans no less) and trying to bring them to Church to going all the way to Holland for a guy (from Australia) only to have him dump her while she was there (everyone else laughed). Now this girl is clearly making bad rash decisions and even though she not bad looking, she is out of the question for dating material (funny enough, her parents would LOVE it if someone like me married her, tough luck).
    My point: Perhaps those falling out were always destined to do so. A culling the unbelievers, or at least faulty semi-believers.

  6. This is interesting. I’ve met two young women who married at sixteen and seventeen to men who were about twenty. These marriages seemed to be stable and the women settled, the antithesis of the career and travel woman. The unions, now almost a decade old, may have been legally problematic at their start and started by fornication, but socially, they seem very effective and with children.

  7. Mark Citadel, that attitude is why young men and women end up marrying outside the Church. The proper response is to help your children find spouses.

    A lot of the commenters and bloggers around these parts like to talk about courtship and community, but when it comes down to it, they never take it up themselves. I have asked around, and I have yet to find the single man commenting here who has been contacted by a parent interested in setting up a match. How does that happen? Do they all think that a community will appear from nothing? Yet none of them are willing to put in the work.

    The Shadowed Knight

  8. Churchians are suspicious of early marriage, advocating careerism for girls and women. Go and do a useless degree, they are told. Sell yourself to corporate life is the message

    Older women do not mentor them into marriage, but into deception and casual sex with high value men. Good average men are invisible. There is only so much of that a man can take.

    Young women leave when church men dont make them tingle with desire. Young men leave when it becomes obvious there is little reason to stay, and I don’t blame them. A feminised church is no place for a man, and women are worshipped whilst not being held to account. Just compare the average mothers day message to the fathers day message.

    What difference is there between the world and the church? Increasingly not much at all.

  9. Ive met two young women who married at sixteen and seventeen to men who were about twenty. These marriages seemed to be stable and the women settled, the antithesis of the career and travel woman.

    When i was 25, a young woman of 16 expressed interest. In a diferent world i might have followed up. But in the church that was completely unacceptable, so i politely demurred.

    Sad to say, the girl went on to single motherhood, which was presumably more acceptable to the church than early marriage.

  10. Well said. Alas, I’m beginning to think that churchians of both sexes are as blind to cause and effect as are women in general. The church cannot be indifferent to young peoples’ needs, or to the exigencies of godly family formation if it wants to survive.

  11. women are happiest when they can submit to a man, but you have to be a man to begin with, and not the emasculated nerd or metro-sexual. Having said that, a number of my ex-Army buddies are also divorced and these guys were fearsome warriors in their time, so who knows.

    Associative mating dealt with this by matching people of similar status. Womenare now told not to settle, but to have unrealistic standards, which no man can meet.

    Fwiw, men can self improve but there are two major consequences. Each man has his limitations of improvement, and women easily succumb to the sin of eve, which was dicontent.

    Meanwhile, despite whatever efforts they make men are shamed for not being uber alphas while women are feted for simply having a pulse.

  12. women do not take well to the book worm or nerd. Believe me, I learned that the hard way. Even Christian ladies want to marry men who have faced daunting challenges and accomplished something in life.

    A beta provider fallacy. Chuchian women will hook up wth unemployed musicians over good men, anyday.

    Allowing men to face challenges and then providing a forum where the young men and women can without pressure,gradually get to know each other is key. Hope the Church listens.

    Men need to leave feminised churches. They are a deadweight drain of time and resources, a marxist training camp with a thin veneer of false doctrine.

    “Gradually getting to know each other” is a euphemism. It leads tothe friendzone and unrequited affection. The church isn’t interested in change though, because women are its key stakeholders. Offend them, and the pastor/minister is history.

  13. I have yet to find the single man commenting here who has been contacted by a parent interested in setting up a match.

    And more the pity for the lack. See example cited above.

  14. Keep the young women busy! Churches should be community centers and competively priced nurseries and even parochial schools are potentially large places for this engagement. Before the place gets establish, blend with the homeschooling families that value this sort of thing. I would also like to see women getting the sort of “home economics” cooking and tailoring lessons and activities (not necessarily full-time) at the parishes or congregations.

    Likewise, men should be encouraged towards hunting; hunting fish is popular almost everywhere with artificial lakes nearby most places.

    Separating the sexes for the appropriate activities is very crucial! Retreats are nice and certainly smooth feelings, but they aren’t going to be having sex-specific activities at those retreats, if you follow…

    There is hardly anything better for building character that differentiates each sex which naturally leads to attraction and then marriage.

    A.J.P.

  15. @ TSK, an observer

    A lot of the commenters and bloggers around these parts like to talk about courtship and community, but when it comes down to it, they never take it up themselves. I have asked around, and I have yet to find the single man commenting here who has been contacted by a parent interested in setting up a match. How does that happen? Do they all think that a community will appear from nothing? Yet none of them are willing to put in the work.

    Correct. There have been a few set ups, but not by parents with children. It’s ok if other people meet, but not their children in particular.

  16. One of your best posts, Free Northerner. One would think an organization so focused on families as the American Church would prioritize the formation of stable marriages.

    If any pastors happen to be reading this, a good start is following the Biblical advice on head coverings for women in church. Have the ushers hand out simple circlets or something on Sunday morning the ladies can wear as signs of submission.

    Omega Man @ June 28, 2015 at 3:27 am:
    “Men need challenges. They do not want to be comfortable.”

    Apropos of romance, I must disagree. Churchians seem to emphasize the hardships of marriage as a way to make it attractive. Peculiar marketing, to be sure, but it was my experience and reinforced by every guy I knew who did get married. They all noted how difficult family life was and told me to expect hardship.

    That pushed me away from marriage as effectively as anything else. I’ll take on challenges in the working world, prove myself in college and so on, but I don’t want those hardships following me home. Isn’t a Christian wife supposed to be a support, the happy reason I keep the planet spinning?

    I want a wife who rewards me, not challenges me.

  17. Isn’t a Christian wife supposed to be a support, the happy reason I keep the planet spinning?

    In theory, yes. In practice, no. Churchian girls have their heads stuffed with the goodness of careerism, headstrong ‘you go girlism’ from a very young age.

    As Dalrock has pointed out, the very idea of submitting to a husband by following his leadership is painted as abuse. I think pride is the key error contributing.

    The false doctrine goes deep and is most often unquestioned. If women marry, they are encouraged to speak up, make their opinions known and be strident. Since most of them think only in soundbites spread by liberal media, they spew the very lies and disinformation we dont want to hear again. Global warming, taxes are good for poor people and so on.

    Women are essentially big children that matured early then stopped at age 18. If a woman says ‘I think’, the best way to interpret it is to imagine she is saying ‘what I feel right now is…’

    In the context of raising children, this is a feature, not a bug. But with limited applicability elsewhere.

  18. Deep Strength, take Elspeth as an example. She laments the fact that her daughter is not yet married. Has she contacted you about a meeting? Wintery Knight is black, if that is important to her. The *man*osphere is full of men.

    I hear complaints from the parents, to young single men, that they cannot find good spouses for their children. Of course they cannot; they are not looking. Expecting someone to appear to solve their problems is not actually problem solving. I do not complain about never striking a rich vein of ore as a janitor. If I want gold, I have to prospect for it. They do not prospect, then whine about their lack of gold.

    A few years later, after their daughters see that the only way they will find men is to join the secular crowd, they will be shocked. What gave them that idea? Hiding them away and running off men who are interested. Remember how Free Northerner was treated when he tried to court a woman? The women lose out just as much.

    The Shadowed Knight

  19. Tsk, I suspect that most of parents have little to no idea how much the world has influenced their children through schooling, through media and popular culture. Parents may be projecting that their children have the same values, when they do not.

    Teens know to stfu around the olds so as to keep the peace. When frustrated they may lash out verbally and reveal their true thoughts. But this is rarer than harried parents portray.

    Look, the girls might have all the outward signs of promise. But as herd animals, without submission to a husbands values, any female is fair game for whatever cultural deviancy is on offer. Groomed by discontent and female in-herd competitiveness, they soon degrade to a ‘princess of the flies’ scenario. All plausibly deniable, of course.

    You only have to look at actions, not words, to see the truth of what is going on. The most sweet and innocent of homeschooled girls lamentably morphs into a mindless morass of careerism and hypergamy after a couple terms away at college.

  20. Observer, I am talking about girls who have been raised properly and who have been taught to resist the temptations of the worldly. Just say, for the sake of argument, that it can be done in this age. Now you have good girls who want to get married and raise a family.

    Their parents spend years chasing off any man that comes near. They do not let her go out to meet a man. Meanwhile, she watches other girls getting married after they spend years misbehaving. The parents are horrified to discover that their little girl has started stepping out. How could this happen?

    Teach a girl that her salvation lies in marriage, then implicitly teach her that the only way to get married is to sin. She has forgiveness waiting for her, and sin in order to marry seems like a small price to pay. What do you expect?

    If those homeschooling parents had gotten her married before she went to college, perhaps she would have had a husband to protect her from the degenerates. In the end, these types of parents were just another set of degenerates, and their girls were not protected from them. The poor girls faced threats that were closer than they could have imagined. Their parents left them helpless; easy picking for the cads that are the parents’ counterparts.

    The Shadowed Knight

  21. The parents are horrified to discover that their little girl has started stepping out. How could this hapen? ….. She has forgiveness waiting for her, and sin in order to marry seems like a small price to pay. What do you expect?

    After a quarter century of seeing the outcomes, my expectations are pretty low. Occasionally i feel pity for them, but that rarely lasts long. Unfotunately, most of the girls ftom church choose either hypergamy or or discontent leadingto divorce. Many tried the former before embracing the latter. Most of my friends from then are now divorced. With rare exception, they were all good men.

    As for the parents, their blinkedness does the girl no favours. Treating her as a princess, encouraging her careerism and shushing away the good men is a parenting fail.

    Ideally the teenage girls should have been mentored into a godly, early marriage. But they are not, and we see the results posted as attention whoring on social media. Not pretty, and very temporal.

  22. if those homeschooling parents had gotten her married before she went to college, perhaps she would have had a husband to protect her from the degenerates

    The degenerates with the evil triad that hypergamy predisposes her to? Yes, another argument for limited mora agency, but the point is that early marriage for girls – whch is anything before a college degree and starting a career – is seen as throwing her life away. Thats an incredibly strong perception to come against.

    The other thing is girls themselves who want to marry early faceherd censure. A girl from college days who married at the end of her degree at age22 basically lost all her friends for getting married. Since girls are herd animals, few go against this.

  23. None of the above. Neither courtship nor dating is the answer. On the one hand, courtship gives the impression that the woman is some kind of glorious queen to be won; every traditional culture has regarded her as something of an economic burden who may make a cuckold of her husband, and for whom, assuming she had the domestic skills to make herself useful, fathers still needed to pony up a sufficient bribe (in the form of a dowry), if he hoped to unload her onto some other chump. The traditional wedding rite does not treat the service as “the bride’s big day,” but chiefly sympathizes with the man’s worst fears, joining him in praying that the bride will not turn out to be a cheating, barren nag!

    On the other hand, dating gives the impression that we’re all atomized, “consenting adults” (hence no Patriarchy) and that the casual mixing of the sexes – a certain recipe for promiscuity and consequent liberalization of social mores – is no big deal. Traditional societies have never ever ever ever allowed casual mixing of the sexes. Even in church, men and women – husbands and wives! – sat on separate sides of the room. Traditional societies never mix the sexes casually, and the fact that we find this normal, even in the polite and bourgeoisie relaxation of these norms amongst married couples at dinner parties, etc., is itself a sign of how disconnected we are from tradition and sanity. Sexual clannishness also prevents homosexuality and “gender dysphoria.”

    So: both courtship and dating fail, utterly, as models. At best, any conservative and Christian-ish culture of dating must be a stop-gap measure given the evils of the times. The real answer: overcome atomization and form authentic communities; abandon the puritanical rejection of such social lubricants as dancing and innocent games, so that young men and women have some casual opportunities to interact, albeit in the setting of a community event in full sight of everyone (traditional cultures do not have “couples’ dancing,” but various forms of line or group dancing, in which men and women never touch except at the fingers, which are themselves often covered – Greeks use a cloth, some others use gloves, etc.); it goes without saying that young men will not be impudent enough to make advances towards women even in this setting, without some indication of parental approval; most importantly, have trusted community match-makers and go-betweens, who know how to tally up the score and suggest suitable pairings. Traditional discussion of marriage involves a lot of very blunt concerns – class, money, talent, character, etc. These topics are fraught with the potential for offense: for example, Mr. X may object that Mr. Y should offer a larger dowry, given Miss Y’s distinct homeliness and inability to brew a proper doppelbock. Matchmakers have traditionally provided the invaluable service of preventing such direct exchanges between the interested parties.

  24. Observer, we do not disagree. I am saying that if parents allow secular attitudes to be inculcated in their children, then they have failed. If a girl looks at early marriage as a loss of opportunity or a waste of potential, then her parents are failures. If a girl engages in fornication, her parents are failures. If parents allow their daughter to frequent a social group with those attitudes, they are failures.

    My main problem is that I hear about remnants, courtship, separation, but I do not see it. Parents are talking like they know there is a problem, but they are not behaving like they have a problem. I am pointing this out so that when it goes the way I have predicted, someone can say, “You were warned; I told you so.”

    CuiPertinebit, I do not mean courtship in the sense of courtly love. I mean a supervised form of relationship that either moves intentionally towards marriage, or ends promptly. In whatever form it takes, it is categorized by parental chaperonage of the couple to prevent incidents. Asking a father is not supplicating in the sense that you mean.

    The Shadowed Knight

  25. The feminized church isn’t really a true church, it’s a social club. It failed me and I haven’t been involved with it for many years, nor would I recommend anyone waste their time with it. Turns out that I wasn’t the only one having problems finding a relationship.

    It is interesting to see those women from it who were uninterested in dating me turn out to be old maids past their expiration date who no man in his right mind would desire. Decisions have consequences.

  26. FN,

    I suggest you look up a phenomenon tagged “The Dones.” It’s sort of a GTOW movement. These are NOT casual Christians that are drifting away from church; they are committed Christians who have decided the see no reason to continue to attend church.

    IMHO, one of the main reasons The Dones are leaving church life, is churches today no longer preach the gospel. Walk into any pentecostal, seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, or mega church today and the odds are low that you will hear the gospel. Oh, you’ll hear about ways to improve your life, but repentance and the cross? No.

    While your point is valid, the church should be helping young people, the fact is the modern church is full of ideas to improve your life, find your purpose, and live your best life now. What it’s not full of is the gospel.

    If we’d get back to the basics and focus on the gospel, the other problems will take care of themselves.

  27. Does the church do anything well in the here and now?

    The church single groups I have seen focus on helping women change lanes, or lining up a sucker for some chick who divorced their last beta. Pretty nasty work really.

  28. The father should give his blessing on the union, but also be active in the matching stage as well.

    The proboem is our feminist centric culture has mostly stripped the authority of the father, which he consented to by supporting womens rights. He is complicit in encouraging careerism, shopping around in relationships and in effect endorsing the triumph of feelings over intentionality.

    The church we are loosely associated with has these issues. It lacks intentionality and leadership bemoan the low marriage rate. Why am i not surprised? But noone seems interested in change, so the status quo continues.

    Getting married, having children and staying contentedly married should be promoted within the church. Instead what we have is some bizarre weekly self esteem enhancement talks.

  29. “Does the church do anything well in the here and now?”

    Neighborhood churches usually care for the elderly (and single mothers) and some are actively pro-life. Don’t expect more than that. There are worthy Christian organizations doing practical things like disaster relief and legal advocacy that can be supported directly. You still feel like a paycheck but at least you’re buying something better than an overpriced credential-holder.

  30. If any pastors happen to be reading this, a good start is following the Biblical advice on head coverings for women in church. Have the ushers hand out simple circlets or something on Sunday morning the ladies can wear as signs of submission.

    Too funny. Any pastor that tries this in any congregation in North America that isn’t part of some traditional denomination in which this practice has historical precedent is going to be laughed at mercilessly – before being booted out the door and ordered never to return. Asking women to take off their tops and sit bare-chested during services has a better chance of acceptance and compliance.

    Folks, you really need to stop the delusional thinking that leads you to confuse churchian franchises with actual New Testament churches that take the Gospel of Jesus seriously.

  31. “Feeriker”, who cares about keeping congregants happy if they really do need shepherding?

    I like the advice that T.S.K. gave regarding protecting one’s daughters from the World.
    This is a big thing a lot of people overlook, since they’re guilty of Feminism themselves.

    A.J.P.

  32. The church today is more obsessed with the supposed “gift” of singleness than it is with family formation. The church is impotent, worthless and unavoidably headed to a well-deserved oblivion.

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