Who is Safer to Date: Christian Men or Secular Men?

by | Mar 22, 2022 | Preparing for Marriage | 53 comments

Is it Safer to Date Christian or NonChristian Men?
Merchandise is Here!

Do you feel safer in Christian spaces or non-Christian ones?

That can be a hard one to answer because there are so many variables, but yesterday I set off a firestorm with my post that only 33.7% of married, evangelical men meet our four criteria for being sexually safe. 

In the comments here, and all over Twitter and Facebook, woman after woman was saying that she was so glad that she married a non-Christian, or that she has decided she can’t date Christian men anymore because of how they treat her. 

Now, we didn’t compare non-Christian men to Christian men, so I can’t say whether they’d score better or worse. But what I do know is that the obligation sex message, or male entitlement to sex, is explicitly taught in evangelical circles, while it is explicitly taught AGAINST in secular ones. 

And even though sex scandals happen in both churches and in the world, it does appear that most companies, organizations, and academic institutions have better internal policies for dealing with these things than the church does. 

Nevertheless, I did ask on Instagram if women have felt safer dating Christians or non-Christians, and this was the result: 

 

Dating Christians Vs NonChristians

At the point where I’m posting this, around 3000 women have answered (and it’s still live in my Instagram stories if you head over!), but by my calculations that looks like an even split.

  • 50% say Christians were safer or equally safe (29% + 21%)
  • 51% (due to rounding) say non-Christians were safer or just as bad as Christians (22% + 29%)

Obviously–not a scientific finding. But I think it hints at something important: Many, many Christian women have found that Christian men are not safe, or at least are not any safer than non-Christian men.

What is going on?

So just a few thoughts today.

1. It all comes down to respect for women.

The evangelical church is one of the last places that actually teaches that women are less than men. The evangelical church is one of the last places where you are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sex. And in the evangelical church, we explicitly teach that men’s needs when it comes to sex are more important than women (see, for instance, The Great Sex Rescue and our survey of 20,000 women and how teachings in our best-sellers have hurt women).

What if you’re NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the messages that you’ve been taught have messed things up–and what if there’s a way to escape these toxic teachings?

It’s time for a Great Sex Rescue.

This is not to say that there is not sexism in the wider community, or that the wider community necessarily treats women better everywhere. The difference is that in church, telling women that they are restricted in what they can do comes from the top and is the official line; in the world, people may still believe that, but it’s not being taught by the powers that be in academia, in media, in business, etc.

In the secular world consent is also taught widely; in the Christian world, our 13 sex and marriage best-sellers did not even mention the word, and in our books to teen girls, date rape situations were often described as the girl giving up her virginity and purity.

And so even though secular guys may have different views of sex, they did grow up being taught to respect women and that consent was a thing (doesn’t mean they practiced it, but it was taught).

Many women told me that the best thing to do is to marry a guy who became a Christian later in life, and who didn’t grow up with the negative teachings–and indeed, that’s what Rebecca and I both did!

To put this in context, I can’t picture any secular community that would EVER talk about women giving post-partum sexual favors the way that Kevin Leman or Gary Thomas or Ed Wheat did, and still be respected. And yet in evangelicalism, you can say these things and it’s considered normal.

2. Many women say that the place where they’ve experienced the most shame is in the church

Whether it’s being told their clothing is inappropriate and they’re causing men to stumble, or told that they’re not able to do certain things because they’re a woman, many women will say that the church holds their hurts of greatest shame.

I often laugh at the “dress code violation” stories that hit the news from schools, where girls are sent home for violations that weren’t that bad, or when there’s outrage because a teacher said she was being a distraction. This sort of thing happens every single week at many youth groups. It’s normal. And it never hits the news. But in the secular world it’s considered atrocious.

I know personally in the academic and professional world I was always encouraged to pursue my dreams and my best. I had professors, both male and female, mentor me and help me get scholarships or recommend me for different programs, because they saw promise in me. In job situations I was often given more responsibilities because I proved myself.

But in church I had the deacon’s board at one church debate for a year whether I was allowed to actually speak while leading worship, since I was a woman. I had the leader of a missions organization tell me at 16 that God could never use me because I didn’t submit to authority, and as a girl I had to learn to be submissive.

The stark difference in the way I’ve been treated in the world versus in the church is quite awful. And I know my story is just a sliver of what so many women went through.

3. Let’s remember that attitudes exist in pockets

And, in fact, so do habits! For instance, we found that 49.6% of men use porn currently, even if most only do so rarely. But habits tend to be supported by underlying cultures. That’s why people tend to exercise more in certain states, or eat more fried food in certain areas. It isn’t evenly distributed, because the culture impacts what we do and how we frame things.

I think it’s very likely that in some churches, 80% of men use porn (and I’ve been in a church like that), while in other churches, it’s likely 20%. So just because 50% of evangelical men use porn overall does not mean that 50% of men in every church use porn.

Just because most men in your church objectify you does not mean that most men in every church will.

Which leads me to my most important point:

4. If you are in a pocket where non-Christian men are safer than Christian men–you need to get out.

Healthy churches exist. They do. But you have to look for them.

Jesus said that we will know they are Christians by their love. He told us we could judge by the fruit. He said that a good tree can’t bear bad fruit. If the men in your church are no better than the men in the world–and even worse–then your church is bearing bad fruit, and it isn’t a good place to be.

I do not believe that Christian men are worse than secular men.

I believe that men who know Jesus will be kind, and loving, and strong, and authentic, and emotionally mature. I believe they will have integrity. I believe they will demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit.

But I also believe that in these days, God is shaking His church. He is revealing the rot. He is showing that much of what calls itself Christianity has little to do with Jesus. Just because people quote Bible verses does not mean they know Jesus or are acting like Him.

We need to have discernment. And please, please hear me: If you feel like non-Christians are safer to you, I am so, so sorry. I am sorry the church has failed you. I am sorry people who claim the name of Jesus are acting so poorly.

You don’t need to stay there. You can find a new pocket. You can go to safety. This isn’t okay, but it will only change when we stop accepting it as normal that Christian men can’t behave well.

 

is it Safer to Date Christian or Secular Men?

Have you found Christians safer than secular men? Or vice versa? Or if you’re in a place where the Christian men are safe, tell us how to recognize such a place! 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

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53 Comments

  1. Stefanie

    I really appreciate that you don’t shy away from tough topics. I love Jesus and I do sincerely believe that what God has to offer is so much better than anything the world has to offer, and it breaks my heart that so many people are not finding that. I married a Christian man I met at church. He’s wonderful.

    I love how you can honestly talk about what people are feeling and still bring it back to Jesus. Like if we bring these unflattering numbers out into the light we can talk about it and fix it, and not abandon Jesus in the process. And we don’t have to pretend that people aren’t feeling what they’re feeling.

    Reply
  2. CMT

    The headline in the last graphic is a little off… “non-Christian men or secular men” haha.

    Also: I think there may be some truth to the idea that men who convert as adults have different expectations for relationships than men who grew up in evangelical spaces. But, I’ve observed something a bit different in my relationship than what you’re describing here. My husband grew up with few boundaries and no real role models. So he tends to idealize the “church kid” upbringing I had. And, at least early on, he sort of saw “doing things God’s way” as a pass to avoid all relationship pitfalls. But, he’s always seen me as an equal (even when we were halfway confused complementarian) and always wanted to be an involved dad. So there’s that!

    Reply
  3. Laura

    You brought up an excellent and much needed issue in the church and dating world. Even though I was married for 2.5 years during my twenties and broke off an engagement almost four years ago, I really don’t have much dating experience at 45 years. I definitely see a difference in the attitudes of Christian men who were raised in the church and ones who became Christians as adults. My ex-husband was raised in church and definitely had sexist views but his parents never acted that way. In fact, his mother was the dominating one in their marriage and my ex vowed he’d never be a pushover like his father. On the other hand, my ex-fiance (we’re still friends to this day) did not become a Christian until he was an adult. He was mostly raised by an independent single mother and he has great respect for women. In fact, he has a lot of female friends which never bothered me.

    As for dating non-Christian men, I cannot say I felt any different about them. Some of the ones I dated in my early 20’s before I met my ex were only interested in sex, so I cut them off. It’s hard for me to say if non-Christian men are safer or less than Christian men, because I’m in my 40’s and dating is so much different than when I was in my 20’s. That’s a factor I hadn’t considered in safe vs. unsafe men.

    I think age can also play a part in this. I find that men (Christian or non) around my age and older tend to adhere to gender-specific roles than younger men. Maybe that’s why I might feel more drawn to younger men and even feel safer with them. Never even thought about that until I started typing here.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      There is a HUGE generational divide indeed between Millennials and Gen X! It does make me hopeful for the future!

      Reply
      • Laura

        I’m part of Gen X born in the late 70’s. Some of the men around my age who were raised in the church hold on to patriarchal beliefs. My ex-husband was one of those men. My ex-fiance is five years younger than me, but I don’t consider us to be of a different generation. It is interesting how the generation we are part of has an affect on how we view gender roles.

        Reply
  4. Phil

    Awesome! I am very intrigued by the cultural statement and the skewing of numbers based on location/culture/area. We semi were sort of talking about that in our Sunday school class and Grace and I have been talking about this individually. I also have been talking to a guy recently about marriage where we have skirted around this topic…quite interesting

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I really do think there are pockets. I’d love to figure out a way to measure this more, but I really do think this is the case. I certainly have been in churches where I would say 85% of men used porn, but I’ve also been in churches where it really hasn’t been that big of an issue.

      Reply
  5. Kya

    My husband became a Christian while we were dating, in his early 20s. While we were dating, I read For Women Only and For Men Only, and I asked him the male survey questions Shaunti asked in those books, just to gauge his response. It surprised me that his answers didn’t line up (he chooses love over respect when given the choice). After we were married, I handed him a copy of Every Man’s Battle while in a bookstore, and he was so disgusted by the end of the introduction that he had trouble putting his feelings into words. He never read the rest. He took the men’s survey and was appalled by some of the options for lustful reactions that were presented as “normal” in that same book. (He did think you guys were pretty creepy until I told him where those scenarios actually came from!) And I could keep going. The secular culture he was raised in taught him to be horrified by these things that the church teaches are normal parts of masculinity.

    I wonder sometimes if the churches and leaders who teach these things realize just how unattractive and legalistic they make Christianity look to the rest of the world. One of Paul’s biggest concerns in his letters is making the church look respectable to the culture it’s in, and we’ve glossed right past that to focus on details like women being quiet in church. We’re missing the forest for the trees. I know so many good Christian men, though, who embody none of this. It gives me hope.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      YES! That was such a hard part of the men’s survey! We couldn’t TELL people at the time that we were using scenarios from the books, because that would be priming. So we had to say nothing about it. So it was just super awkward because we could just imagine what the men were thinking of us, but at the same time there was no other way to properly measure the Every Man’s Battle scenarios and show that they were totally out in left field.

      Reply
      • Anon

        Honestly, it’s teachings like the crap in “Every Man’s Battle,” “Love and Respect,” and others that I look at and think “No wonder people think Christians are nuts.” I’ve had a few brushes with the legalistic stuff, including the patriarchal nonsense, but I’ve always had reassurance from God that that was not what He wanted for me.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Absolutely–I think that often too. How can so-called Christians be this nuts? (especially about postpartum stuff).

          Reply
  6. Jo R

    That is quite a condemnation of the state of Christendom. Unsafe Christian men ought to be in the very low single digits, and frankly, there ought not to be ANY unsafe Christian men.

    Because think about what that statistic really says. The Holy Spirit is absolutely powerless to help men be decent human beings, let alone grow in sanctification and Christlikeness. The church has nothing to offer compared to the world. Men really are pigs.

    No wonder so many Christian men use porn and otherwise abuse women: they’ve been brainwashed and conditioned into thinking their case is hopeless, that they’re just wired that way, that they’re actually fighting against what God in fact commands.

    “Sad” comes to mind, but really, I think the better word is “blasphemous.”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, indeed. But I also wonder how many guys who say they’re Christian actually are? I think we measure Christianity far more by beliefs today and not enough by the transformation of the Holy Spirit and whether there is fruit in their lives. James said that faith without works is dead. Jesus said we would know them by their fruit. And James also says that even the demons believe. So why do we say that marking off a set of beliefs is what makes you a Christian? I really wonder how many have truly accepted what it means to make Jesus Lord of their lives.

      (and I don’t think that’s a problem just with evangelical men, but with evangelical women as well.)

      Reply
      • Connie

        That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking more and more. My first h (25 yrs) grew up in church. He was a horrible, sneaky, emotional abuser. 25 years later, he still has the children against me. I would not call him a Christian anymore. I sensed it before we married, but I was young and believed that it could change. I was single 8 years, then I married a man who ‘became a Christian’ at around age 40. Same story. It’s been 16 years, and I really don’t believe that he has met Jesus. Mean, sneaky, porn (says he’s stopped but I’m not so sure, he hides lots of things from me and has ‘hidden networks’ on his computer). He read your book, TGSR, recommended it to his ‘accountability group’ but has not done anything different. The Bible talks so much about humility, which is nothing more that being open to take counsel from others, including your spouse, but these guys are anything but humble. Now I say ‘church-going people’ instead of Christians, because I’m not the judge, but I sure wonder. Repeating a little prayer does not necessarily make one a Christian, and it’s really unfortunate that we have been taught that it does. There may be a lot of surprised goats one day.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Yes, I think a lot about the sheep and the goats, and how both didn’t even realize that they were doing these things “unto Christ.” But one group naturally thought of others, without noticing it, and one group naturally ignored others. That should tell us a lot.

          I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through. That sounds very lonely.

          Reply
      • Jo R

        Then, um, Sheila, er, what does that theory say about the men (and women) who are writing and teaching all this anti-biblical, anti-kingdom junk? 😱😱😱

        Reply
        • Anon

          That they care about their power and authority more than God’s, perhaps?

          Reply
          • Jim

            On that day many will say to me,
            ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
            And then I(Jesus) will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers'”

            Matthew 7:21-23

  7. A2bbethany

    When I think about my teen years and feeling safe around men, it’s very different than this conversation about dating. Because I literally only dated 2 guys…and the 1st guy only did 1 date.

    I learned my parents were never going to protect me from anyone, including myself.
    So I made my own list of men that made me feel safe. In any circle of knowing them, if they made me feel safe and never had a red flag moment, they made the list.

    And then there were plenty on the, yellow flag/semi safe list. Serial daters that weren’t interested in me ever, Foul mouthed workers that never bothered me, and were always polite ECT.
    And then a list of ones who made me feel an instant urge to run and avoid at all costs. And I know from mentioning it to brothers, nobody else picked up anything on their radar. Which confirmed that i should never trust someone else’s radar to keep me safe.

    And I had a tiny list of men, that I had studied and felt like I could handle being married to. (I don’t think that list ever went over 5, and I think they were all unrealistically older than me. 12-14yrs+)

    Other than the, “would marry” list, their profession of faith or not, made no difference! It was a mixed bag and I put no weight in anyone’s claim to Christianity. I’ve seen that play out with my verbally abusing sister and how little her profession stopped her. I know that they may genuinely be believers, but that doesn’t make them safe to me.

    I’m thinking about how I met my husband and how I possibly felt at ease so quickly! He had given paragraph answers to the okcupid questions. Which I read all 500+ before ever meeting him. And when I met him, I knew he was completely authentic and even if we didn’t have anything else, we’d be friends. But 3 months later I’d married him.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Wow, I didn’t know you guys had such a quick engagement! I’m so glad you’re in a good place though.

      Reply
      • A2bbethany

        Unicorn love story for sure! We met online and met in person 1 week later. After one month of dating…. counting that first meeting, we were engaged. And then we ended up eloping about a month later. So 3 months total….(my math might be iffy) and within 6 months of all that, I was pregnant. Wouldn’t recommend but it worked out for us. Intense dating, both introverted and so didn’t have fun dates, but serious dates.
        We’re both sorta intense and nothing like my siblings dating!

        Literally every date was sitting on the couch talking about ourselves. And no physical affection beyond basic touching…arm around the shoulder, hold hands, ECT. The risky behavior my mom was worried about? We’d be exhausted and lay down close together, non sexually and just keep talking. The non-sexual was key to a short dating/engagement period working.

        Reply
        • NG

          How wonderful!! Such a blessing to see that someone actually met their husband on-line… Your testimony gives me hope again.
          I agree with that non-sexual, safe connection method, without trying to bend any boundaries. Too many Christian men I have come across, would eventually try and manipulate me to go against my beliefs and my preferences (including those who claim to be ‘conservative’, which of course means nothing)

          Please pray that somehow a man like yours – authentic, genuine, not a serial dater – comes into my life, whether on-line or ‘in real world’..

          Reply
          • Laura

            I have also found that “Christian” men will push boundaries. Other women have told me that as well. So, of course, I don’t know what to think anymore when it comes to dating. I’m in my 40’s and find that men my age and older will try to push boundaries. You’d think by the time they get to a certain age, they’d grow up already and know how to practice self-control.

          • NG

            Laura: I’ve learned that age doesn’t bring maturity, it only tends to cement certain patterns.

            I think it’s a dominance thing. When the man manages to cause the woman to say or do things she wouldn’t normally do, he can feel he got the upper hand.. and can congratulate himself for winning..

  8. Anon

    I can’t answer the ‘safer to date’ question because I never dated any non Christians (my understanding of the Bible is that it’s not right for Christians to marry non Christians). But I did used to wish I could! I met some lovely, kind, considerate unbelieving men and it was really hard turning them down. And not one decent Christian man – I stopped dating completely in my mid 20s because I got tired of feeling unsafe. Not that that stopped Christian guys misbehaving at social events or just in church. And this wasn’t just one church – it was multiple churches in multiple areas.

    I’m so thankful I met my husband in my mid 40s. But at the same time, it’s sad to think that he was the first Christian guy I EVER felt safe going on a date with…

    Reply
    • NG

      Well, thank God, he did come into your life! I’m already past that age, and still, no decent, reliable, single guy in my life..
      I do have married Christian brothers in the Lord who I respect and can have discussions with, but with single men.. nope.. they all tend to be some kind of creeps, OR misogynists at some level, or, have crazy double standards in their moral system.

      Dating world really is a wild jungle, and Christian sites are no better. It’s emotionally exhausting to hope that you’re found someone, just to realize the man only wanted attention, an ego boost, or entertainment, but not a real relationship leading to marriage..

      Reply
      • Laura

        NG,

        I feel you on this. I’m 45 and been single for a long time, even though I have one marriage and a broken engagement under my belt. Right now, I’m too busy with my life to care about dating or relationships. I figure, when or if it’s meant to be it’ll happen. Hang in there.

        Reply
  9. Kristen

    Can absolutely relate to the comment about how Christian organisations can get away with not hiring based on gender. I’ve worked in music and theatre as both a volunteer and actual paid staff, and I can’t tell you how many Christian bands have told me I’m so good at what I do…but they can’t hire me because I’m a woman and they have an all-guy crew. (Funny how nobody cared when that was the case when I worked at Subway…) But I’ve given up on working in Christian music. They just won’t hire me if it means I’m the only female around. My theatre friends? They give me all the chances, recommendations, gigs, etc. They are there for me. Christian industries? Nope

    Reply
  10. Andrea

    I grew up with all the toxic messages (my grandmother’s biggest concern when my uncle’s wife left him was about his “needs” not being met, just to give you an example) and was shocked to find out from secular friends, once I grew up a little, that men can control themselves. One told me how when she first started having sex with her boyfriend, it hurt, so he would stop a lot and didn’t finish inside her until almost a year into the relationship. And I was old enough at that point to know some evangelical women that just grit their teeth and bore the pain cause they couldn’t ask their husbands to stop. Another friend told me how she went home with her now husband after their third date, got into bed with him and told him she wasn’t ready to have sex yet, so they just kissed and cuddled and he didn’t get mad even though she agreed to come to his house and eat the dinner he cooked her. Her husband laughs about it now and says he was totally hoping to have sex (it was the third date, he invited her over to his house to cook her dinner, kinda obvious…), but of course he was going to respect her wishes. So yeah, I learned from the secular world that men weren’t sex-crazed monsters who wouldn’t be able not to rape you if you got into bed with them or could even stop in the middle of sex if you wanted them to without their balls exploding, while my grandmother, who was known in her community as a “prayer warrior,” worried about the health of her newly divorced son’s testicles.

    Reply
    • Angela

      What an explosive comment! How telling! Thank you for this. Can we send it anonymously to all the dumb Christian authors? 🤣🤣

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, dear, Andrea! Isn’t that awful? But I could tell similar stories.

      Reply
    • NG

      This is very sweet there are men like this. That is exactly what I was looking for when I was young – but, the guys tended to be creeps, and complete sexual perverts, ready to do anything to get to fulfill their lusts.
      I have heard other women find that loving, kind, sweet, affectionate man in their teens, and it just breaks my heart…

      Reply
  11. Jane Eyre

    Christian men tend to be far better than secular men about accepting women who don’t have premarital sex.

    However… oh boy does #2 ring true for me. It is just embarrassing how people in the church treat me. I tick all of the expected boxes for “smart, talented, accomplished woman,” but they act like I’m a little bimbo who is there to support her husband. It’s done by both men and women. Part of me wonders if women participate in kneecapping the next generation because they don’t want to face up to what it means to have wasted 50 or 60 or 70 years of their lives and their God-given talent.

    Reply
    • Katydid

      The kneecapping does seem to be a boomer reaction. The GenXers and even older millennials, like me, are cheering on the younger women who are rising above and beyond this, which is why so many are leaving boomer-heavy churches and finding more diverse or younger family oriented churches.

      I completely 180’d and left the more fundie-dabbling politically conservative Piper-esque Bapti-costal background for mainstream Catholicism (because Catholics have crazy radical traditionalists, too). I have never felt so unjudged and welcomed in my life, and, yes, the men feel safe. No creep vibes.

      Reply
      • Anon

        Isn’t that amazing, how the church that is supposed to be SO legalistic and backwards (the Catholic church) actually has a better bead on things than evangelicalism does? It’s one reason among many why I get so angry whenever I hear fundamentalist Christians slam our Catholic brothers and sisters.

        Reply
      • Chris

        Katydid. Cradle Catholic here. I feel very at home in a Catholic church when I walk into one. It is possible to not feel welcome in one though. I was raised in a highly insular Swiss-Italian immigrant parish where everyone knew everyone. Or was related to everyone. Fast forward to adulthood and I attend mass now at a mostly Polish heritage Catholic church. And now I am the stranger. But if you get involved and meet people then they are very welcoming but you sorta have to push your way in. Its not as bad now as it use to be. But ya, each race still has its own parish around here. There’s no rules saying you can’t go to another church but people tend to gravitate towards others like themselves. But a group of us always crashes the Vietnamese parish on certain feast days because the food is incredible! 🤣

        Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I think that’s a part of it. I do feel like I supported some organizations that I shouldn’t have for years because it was the “Christian” thing to do. I won’t do that again.

      Reply
  12. Angela

    I’m so glad you jumped on this topic and did a survey, and another insightful post. I didn’t participate since I have never dated a non-Christian. But the Christians I have dated have all turned out to have serious character problems! (Unfortunately I married an abusive one when I was young!) So at this point your survey results and people’s stories don’t surprise me.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I find that so unbelievably sad! I completely believe you, but it just pains me that the evangelical church is like this, and the powers that be don’t see it as a crisis.

      Reply
  13. Katydid

    Again, too much nuance. I probably feel safest around marginally mainstream Christian men who grew up in decent, typical households with goodwilled parents. They might not be practicing Christians, anymore, but they have a foundation of morals and respect mixed in with modern polite societal norms, and a well-rounded upbringing.

    Otherwise, far too many guys in my area completely and utterly fail the safety test. The first thing I do when a female friend or family member posts a new relationship on Facebook is check the guys’ Facebook likes. If there is porn, smut, or Gungor-like anti-woman joke pages, I predict the relationship won’t last. So far I am 100% correct.

    If something happens to my husband I have no desire to jump back into the dating cesspool. It’s too risky. I know there are good, safe guys out there, but is it worth slogging through all the bad ones? Is it worth the risk?

    I hope my daughter is content with being single and never wants to marry so badly that she’d compromise too much. I’d rather she stay single and content than be married and miserable, or cheated on, or abused, or dealing with his immaturity, or feeling like she has an adult-size bratty child.

    And I don’t want to have such a low opinion of men in general. It hurts and is unfair, but, unfortunately, so many prove the low opinion over and over again. I celebrate every man who reveals himself to not be an unsafe jerk.

    Reply
  14. Ray

    As a guy, I can’t really answer this question. But I would say that growing up in public school with lots of non Christians guys, there is lots of objectification and pornified view of sex very prevalent.

    My experience growing up in the church led me to believe toxic teachings of obligation sex and porn is basically inevitable… thankfully which I’ve worked through now. I feel like my male christian friends that got the same message were very good with boundaries towards woman and their girlfriends…but led them to having to work through those same messages when married.

    Reply
  15. Steven

    This makes me sad to hear that woman don’t feel safe in a lot of churches. I am a Christian guy 31 and I don’t understand how people can justify the mistreatment of women, Jesus said to show love to everyone. We are all made equally by God.
    I pray that women can find a safe church environment that will honor and cherish them as daughters of God, that see them as equals. God bless everyone and stay safe.

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    • Anon

      Now why can’t guys like you be the rule and not the exception? I’ve yet to find a guy who has your mindset in my neck of the woods.

      Reply
      • Steven

        I am sorry to hear that 🙁 , I pray that you will find a guy that is a follower of Jesus that respects and honors you. God bless you

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  16. Kat

    I think for me, it’s not that I feel unsafe around Christian guys. But I have felt like many of them expect me to act out a particular “biblical” role instead of seeing me for who I am, and that is off-putting. Additionally, as someone who grew up overseas, I knew that a lot of what churches here taught to be “Christian womanhood” was actually just conservative culture, which was foreign to me at the time. (Again, very off-putting, but I understand why someone who has not travelled outside of their own culture would not be able to distinguish the two.) I have not experienced the same pressures from guys who do not hold to this culture.

    I have also found that many non-Christian guys I know speak very deeply and thoughtfully about God. In general, I am much more attracted to men who ask genuine and tough questions than people who seem to rely on scripts they heard in church. My non-Christian friends might have been unsure about what they believed, but they grasped the implications of God’s word and took Him seriously. Just claiming to be a Christian is not enough. I am much more attracted to someone who has seriously grappled with God and cares deeply about his kingdom. Sometimes this looks like a guy who comes from a Christian background and sometimes it does not. It’s the direction that matters.

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  17. NG

    It’s so sad it even has to be discussed.
    I guess it depends how ‘Christian’ is defined.. not all claiming to believe in Jesus Christ, His death and Resurrection and His return, are kind, trustworthy human beings.. in any setting.

    Many men say they’re Christian, but still find no trouble with playing around with women (if not with her body, with her feelings at very least)
    .. talking about behaviors like ghosting, rotating multiple girls, benching etc… all of which are found in Christian dating sites, too.

    I have no false expectations about secular men, since I’ve been around many of them, and hear enough of their attitudes towards women. Sleeping around, cheating, group encounters etc… are all common in my liberal country. Plus, when growing up, I faced enough sexual harassment and hatred from men. It was only after I became a believer that I met some wonderful Christian brothers, who loved me as a sister, and treated me well.

    While I know there are good and sincere men outside the Christian faith, dating one of them isn’t an option. How could I build a life together with someone who does not share the same goal? For that connection, trust and intimacy, there needs to be unity of the Spirit..but it’s going to be His intervention and his work, not something that I can force with any Christian guy. That is something precious God will prepare our lives for, before we ever meet, and loving Him is the very core of that foundation.

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  18. Anon

    I never felt “unsafe” around Christian men…because none of them would talk to me! I don’t know if it was “bouncing the eyes” or what, but most Christian guys I knew in my single days became all but mute when in a one mile radius of a female (I did manage to find one who overcame this tendency and married him! 😂).

    Secular men would talk to me and show interest, but I often got the feeling they were looking for me to hop into bed within the first few dates. Once I told them I wasn’t sleeping with them until we’d said the vows and signed the marriage license, these men vanished. I could never bring myself to seriously date non-believers anyway. A man who had no interest in the things of God wasn’t attractive to me.

    Reply
    • NG

      That’s exactly how most single Christian men I’ve come across in churches are… avoiding women like a plague 😀
      Congrats for finding someone, who wasn’t afraid to talk to you – guys like that seem to be more and more like a rare specimen these days…
      Either it’s creeps and serial daters, OR, the ‘good guys’ who are afraid that any attention shown to a woman will lead him into temptation and destruction… Truly, finding someone is a miracle.

      Reply
  19. Sarah

    The evangelical Christians I have dated have been more “unsafe” and disrespectful to me than the non-Christians I’ve dated. Although just to be clearer, I can include the “non-churchgoing” Christians in that “safer” group.

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    • Lisa Leicht

      I don’t feel safe with Christian men because the prevailing Christian view, in my experience, is that women are inferior to men, and required to be submissive. I could never be in a relationship with a Christian man only because of the disrespect they show for for women.

      Reply
  20. Nathan

    Kind of interesting, in my experience, when pursuing a woman of God who wasn’t prone to jealousy and who loved (and still loves) me, all my friendships with other females grew (in nonromantic ways) because I started to grow out of the “perceive women like body parts” mentality and saw them as just people.

    Reply

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