David Platt’s One Sided Sermon on Marrying

Coincidentally after I wrote my Proverbs 18:22 post, David Platt, popular pastor of a megachurch in the south had just given a sermon on the same subject a day before:

I can’t help but notice the irony of a dude who looks like he’s 14 years old telling men to grow up.  Far from being a “radical” message, this is a familiar tune in many churches today, where pastors constantly berate and rebuke the men of the congregation to stop being little boys and start marrying up.

For balance though, Platt does offer this particularly sound advice to the women:


Profound.  Apparently women don’t need to do anything after all.  Odd considering I had previously written a post pointing out that women themselves were also putting off marriage for as long as they could.  So David, what’s a guy to do when he does want to get married, but gets nuclearly rejected by women who are still trying to “find themselves?”

Ever consider maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t only with the men?

I find it intriguing that Platt appears to use Proverbs 18:22 precisely the same way I was reading it until I realized  I had been misinterpreting the verse the whole time.  Apparently 3 theology degrees still isn’t enough to give one the skills to properly exegete Scripture.  Go figure.

Platt also has this insightful advice for handling rejection:

“If she rejects you, then make that as easy as possible for her, humbly bow out and seek somewhere else.”

Make that as easy as possible for her, because only her feelings matter.  *face palm*

Nothing about prayer, nothing about seeking the Lord’s will FIRST in everything, no suggestions on where and how to meet women, no effort to create ministries for singles looking to get married, no admonishment to the women for putting off marriage themselves or rejecting men for flighty reasons such as him not having blue eyes, nope, nothing of the sort.

The unspoken assertion here is that the only thing, literally the ONLY ISSUE involving dating, courtship and getting married for Christians today is that men play videos games too much.  I’m sure every woman in Platt’s church tithed a bit more than usual due to their itching ears being tickled silly after that service.

I find it a bit taxing to believe the Holy Spirit would have inspired Platt here to give such a one-sided sermon, especially one that involved poor exegesis of Scripture and a baffling lack of discernment.  And this guy pastors a huge church?

Hey Platt, since you’re so big on giving, how about you give away your pastorship to someone who actually knows what he’s talking about?  Now THAT would be radical.

Author: Frank

One man journeys through history and the world in an epic search for truth, justice... and great pizza.

48 thoughts on “David Platt’s One Sided Sermon on Marrying”

  1. Followed your shameless link. Good work and the point about berating the guys without offering sound advice to succeed is spot on. Have to wonder what this guy will follow up with for Father’s Day.

  2. Frank, I just saw your comment over at SSM: “Except now I’m just a creepy old dude whose only realistic prospect is to date single moms, as most women like to tell me”

    Aristotle is on record as saying that the best ages for men and women to marry are 37 and 18, respectively. The world’s not going to get better until we eradicate the shrieky feminist faux-taboo against middle-aged men and young women. And when that lie dies, a whole cohort of twentysomething women will disappear from the marriage marketplace.

    Smells like victory.

      1. I married at 32; my husband was 34. Dating within 10 years of your age is pretty normal. It’s when you get into the 15, 20, and larger differences that things are kinda sketchy.

      2. Yeah, not that it couldn’t happen, but social circles are generally tight in age range. I think that’s why in other countries older men regularly date much younger women without much taboo, because the social circles are not as cliqueish and segmented as they are here. Just a theory though.

      3. I know your friends here will probably scream I’m a feminist harpy, but an honest question: Besides bang-a-bility, what is the great appeal of dating a much younger woman? You can’t be in bed all the time; I presume you’d want some social companionship from a girlfriend as well.

        I was certainly very pretty at 20 but I was also a moron with moronic interests. Since I was dating other 20 year olds with equally moronic viewpoints, it was no big deal at the time. But I look back at the stuff I said and did and I cringe.

      4. wkhg, ironically I used to rule out dating much younger women because of a disparity in maturity and life experience, but I’m finding difficulties with dating older women that’s made me reconsider. The problem starts first with the preference to not date single moms. This leaves a demographic of women who are single for less than ideal reasons (they don’t have a strong desire to be married, they’re too focused on their careers, they’re high maintenance or have a generally unpleasant and bad attitude), or they feel time is running out so they relax their standards, (this type would date me not because they find me attractive but because they’re getting desperate)

        The only compatible woman my age would be one who’s had a very similar life experience, as in, her single status was based on an event that derailed her life for an extended period of time, where if such an event had not occurred she would have normally married in her twenties.

        There’s one guy I know who married a woman well over 30 I believe, and the reason she was still single was because of a critical injury that took years of physical therapy for her to recover from. This would be the kind of women within my age range that I could relate to, but again, they’re generally rare. Younger women tend to have less baggage, more eager to date or marry, with an excitement about life and enthusiasm to see the world that appeals to me.

        So while I have my preferences and dealbreakers, I’m learning not to rule anyone in particular due to age or lifestyle differences.

        Finally, I imagine you are quite gorgeous. You are from California after all. 😉

      5. Also, in full disclosure, I am 42 years old and people regularly mistake me for much younger. It is possible to find a woman who will age quite well and remain sexually attractive. I always suggest looking for a vain chick. We vain women fight aging hard and are too proud to let the pounds creep on. There’s a lot of us out there!

      6. How old are you? 35? I consider 30-35 to be pretty young still. Coast/big-city mentality I guess.

        My suggestion would be, if you wanted to date someone your age, find a girl who does like to work and has been focused on her career. Nine times out of 10, once the working woman gets knocked up and has a baby, she’ll be happy to stay home. She did her career thing so she doesn’t feel all itchy; she’s ready to be homemaker mom. Hormones are very powerful in this arena. You should have this discussion earlier than later with her, though.

        The biggest disadvantage to younger women is, they inevitably grow up a little in 10 years and they typically become different people. As I mentioned, I was a complete tool at 20 and my viewpoints on life and what I want to do with it have changed quite a bit.

      7. I was a complete tool at 20 and my viewpoints on life and what I want to do with it have changed quite a bit.

        This is basically what governed my aversion to dating younger women fresh out of their teens. Not everyone is the same though, so if I saw a 20-21 year old attracted to me and shares the same faith and life perspective I do) I’d definitely pursue it further, whereas before I would have been “OMG OMG jail bait, run away run away!!!” *screams and flails*

        I had another comment thread here with the discussion of careers, and the concern is whether a woman can easily switch their priorities from career to homemaker. If she could, and she was of the sort that went, “I hate this career crap, I wanna stay home and make quilts!” I’d be like, How YOU doin’?

        Again it depends on the girl. For now all I can do is use imperfect criterion to weed out the worst prospects with red flags all over the place, but where it’s more of a gray area, then as a Christian I place faith in God’s desire to present a suitable wife whose life I can enrich and bring happiness to (and vice versa.)

      8. Trust me, I know a bazillion women who thought they’d never quit their jobs, and then boom, baby arrived. There’s all sorts of books about the “opt-out” syndrome these days–educated, highly advanced career women who toss it to stay home with the kids. I myself was one, but I went back to work when my kid started school because it is expensive to live in CA and keep up with all these beauties 😉

      9. You made the right decision, if a wife can stay home and the money isn’t tight, that’s ideal. 🙂

        We New Yawwwkers are teh sexies ourselves if I do say so myself. Well… after 4 or 5 drinks that is.

    1. I am way over the hill then! Sounds like Regency standards – by 22 (after maybe 3 seasons) if you remained unmarried you were a spinster to be pitied. Unless you had a substantial dowry!

      I don’t know that age is all that important. Surely shared faith, values, and similar goals in life would matter more.

      1. Shared faith is vital and, I think, that would make it more likely that there would be shared values and views on marriage and roles and children. It is something to be discussed before marriage though – a marriage would be tricky if both partners wanted totally different things. Faith is the foundation and checking that both parties agree on things like the wife staying home with the children early on would save a lot of difficulty later on.

      2. Jenny, exactly, and the earlier it’s discussed the better. It does tend to stop dating/relationships dead in its tracks, but why waste each other’s time if our faith is wholly incompatible?

      3. Exactly – it is better to be up front about your beliefs right from the start. It should be an early conversation otherwise you could be wasting your time. Things like faith and values are important enough to be deal breakers!

      4. Indeed, I’ve had opportunities with women before who might have been perfect in every other respect, except our faith were at complete odds with each other. It’s one thing to be lonely, it’s quite another to be lonely in a marriage with someone you can’t even share your deepest held convictions and spiritual beliefs with. Sometimes makes me wish I was just a relapsed/nominal catholic, then I’d be swimming with prospects. 😀

    2. It is true that 18-year-olds by and large don’t want to date someone old enough to be their dad (a very YOUNG dad, but still). However, mid-20s are probably OK with it for the most part given that the guy is overall attractive/etc. The 10-year rule. Don’t go above or below.

      37 is so not old at all, btw! It’s old in relation to a college freshman, but it’s pretty young in the grand scale.

      I’m married to a 44-year-old who has all his hair and is in great shape (flat stomach–very key). I imagine he could probably get some younger chicks if he put his mind to it. We Californians, we are sexy beasts.

  3. Its like every fathers day message i ever heard.

    Guys: get your sh1t together.
    Gurls:you are awesome!

    One of the things i told my best man, now a 46 year old virgin single, was to look for axwoman that kept herself occupied. One such specimen eluded him, because he didnt feel instant chemistry, and protested that she was too ‘busy.’

    The double standard is alive and well, it seems. Men have all the obligations and responsibility, whilst women just need a pulse.

    1. Intriguing, I think you don’t see more examples of these age differences because one’s social circles tend to be in the same age range, which is usually how people date anyway.

  4. Hypergamous women hate men that recognise the age difference fallacy. The woman that matchmade my wife and i was extremely hypergamous. She went ballistic when a beta male doctor she knew married a woman ten years his junior. He is now happily married with several kiddies.

    Hypergamous girl eventually settled for a beta, had the requisite two children and is now at the ‘i’m not happy’ stage.

  5. Wifey is five years younger than i. Without hypergamous matchmaker girl, we never would have met.

  6. I’ve seen boys like that, and don’t think it’s entirely out in left field. What I think is unfair is the blanket statement part of the equation. It is a problem in some areas, it’s just hardly -all- of the problem.

    For the things he left out I’m just going to copy and paste, because you said it quite well: Nothing about prayer, nothing about seeking the Lord’s will FIRST in everything, no suggestions on where and how to meet women, no effort to create ministries for singles looking to get married, no admonishment to the women for putting off marriage themselves.

    1. I’ve seen boys like that, and don’t think it’s entirely out in left field.

      That’s the thing, it’s a multi-faceted problem and he only addresses one facet of it, and like you said, he doesn’t temper his remarks by saying, “SOME of you need to put the game controller down.” Bad pastoring there.

      I suspect if he dug even deeper, he’d find some of those guys playing the video games may not be lazy after all, but simply gave up hope. Rejection is painful, and while some can brush it off their shoulders, others take it very hard, to the extent that after so many rejections they go “frick this” and basically check out altogether.

      This is why I can’t stand megachurches. A good shepherd would be consciously aware of what each of his sheep is going through and prayerfully develop sermons that would edify the whole congregation.

      1. I like video games too. <,_O I know I didn’t enjoy it in my younger, high school days and it stuck a few of the last blows to my ego. Anyway, back to seeing it on a large scale? I’m at a loss, honestly.

        I’ve never been to a megachurch to know, really. I live in a small town of 21,500 ish? It’s always been small churches for me.

  7. Churches teach men to be unappealing. PUA insights about game apply just as much to Christians seeking wives as they do to alley cats seeking hook-ups, because to get to “marriage,” you’ve got to pass by the “dating” gateway first. Learn to be charming and interesting, or you’ll go nowhere.

    If you can’t go to a party or a bar and get a girl’s phone number, you won’t find a wife in a church, either.

    1. That’s true, one needs to be assertive enough to brave rejection to at least get a phone number to experience some level of success with church girls too.

  8. Women are herd animals. If one takes a strong dislike, she can poison the entire herd.

    This happened to me. I could have slept my way through college (i had offers), and it would have enhanced my status. Silly me, i stayed obedient and chaste. This was despite a church sixteen year old that expressed strong interest, whilst i was mid twenties.

    1. I kinda like Frank. If I weren’t a dried up old crone and already married, I might go on a date w/ him 🙂

  9. Hello there, again! 🙂

    First off, that guy is an actual pastor? And *that* is an actual sermon? It looks like a talk show to me! O_o

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I see why you would feel the sermon lacks substance. Regardless, I think Mr. Platt is right and that many young men really should rethink their priorities. That does not mean women are blameless, of course. I simply think one can not possibly cover all the problems in the world in a single sermon; every sermon probably tackles a specific sub-problem. I do not see the lack of advice for women as a problem, as long as Mr. Platt has given (or is planning to give) another sermon which targets young women.

    Bearing that in mind, I do not see his advice problematic, either. He speaks directly to very young single men. A considerable portion of those really do spend a lot of time playing video-games. This does not mean that every young man, or every single man plays video-games, nor that video-games are always the reason young men do not get married. Why would you feel so targeted if this obviously does not apply to you? (Maybe it does, I do not know you; but you know yourself; if you do not fall into this category, you simply ignore the advice, right?)

    He urges young men to do their best to find a wife (in whichever interpretations of Proverbs 18:22 you subscribe to) and offers advice that will actually benefit a considerable part of his target demographic. You say you are not a part of this particular demographic, and while this makes his advice useless to you, it does not make it bad advice. Not everyone is the same and not many people (men, in this particular case) have reached such an advanced degree of religious understanding as you have. This makes them no less christian, however. They, too, deserve advice, and let’s hope it benefits them.

    On a similar note, every christian is responsible for him/herself first and foremost. When Mr. Platt says that you should make a refusal “as easy as possible for [the woman]” I see it as excellent advice. To me, it does not mean that “only her feelings matter” but rather that you are only responsible for your own reaction; she is responsible for hers. It is not your place, therefore, to judge her because she refused your advances. It *is* your place, however, to remain respectful, merciful and understanding towards your fellow man (or in this case, woman 🙂 ). You should not see a woman’s refusal as an affront – God has your best interests at heart, after all, and He will lead you right. If tht girl is not meant for you, God knows it, and you are refused. At least that’s my humble opinion.

    That being said, I agree that this sermon is not very in-depth. I actually see why Mr. Platt is a pastor of a megachurch; it looks like he is capable of appealing to a very wide demographic because this sermon is easy-breezy, simple, practical, to the point and showy. Many people love that.

    I suggest you (as a person more attuned with God and in search of a more in-depth, less simplistic approach) simply find a better spiritual teacher and leave Mr. Platt to those who can actually profit from his advice.

    I would like to offer some suggestions on where and how to meet women or tackle some of the other (excellent!) points you raise at the end, but I’m afraid this post has been too long as it is. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and for providing food for thought!



    1. Hi Anja,

      That’s the problem, not that the advice didn’t have merit, but it only addresses one facet of a multifaceted problem to a specific subgroup. It’s an issue that could have been avoided simply by saying “this message is for SOME of the young men here.” He made no acknowledgment that there are many other single men who are struggling to find work, or have ambitions, or are trying to find a wife but having no success. Imagine them hearing this message with the subtle dig that if they haven’t found a wife, they’re STILL somehow at fault. Like I pointed out earlier, we also have women prioritizing their careers/self-growth over marriage, plus there’s the issue in which the standards they use are beyond shallow, such that a man needs to be of a certain height or certain eye color. I’ve been rejected once before because my eye color was wrong. Now I believe women should have high standards, but really, eye color? (I didn’t have blue eyes, and the man of her dreams is supposed to have blue eyes.) O_O What it is, is that women have this image of the PERFECT man in their minds, and they absolutely refuse to deviate from accepting less than what they feel is the perfect man. The church though never addresses this. If a woman rejects a guy, it’s automatically the man’s fault, and he has to accept it with grace and move on. They don’t consider that the rejection itself may have been without merit, and admonish women by saying, “Don’t rule out a guy just because he doesn’t fit your perfect standard. Give him a chance, and you might find there’s more chemistry than you would have ever thought possible.”

      Men are constantly derided for being shallow or lazy or whatever, yet I don’t see women being held to a similar standard. So yes, while I need to accept the rejection from “Girl who Wants Blue Eyed Man” with grace, with the understanding such a girl wouldn’t be right for me anyway, it still grates on me that she will never hear a sermon that calls her out for using such shallow standards. A part of me wonders how many women in church would learn to be wiser in how they evaluate men if they were held accountable for their actions the same way men are.

      1. Don’t rule out a guy just because he doesn’t fit your perfect standard. Give him a chance, and you might find there’s more chemistry than you would have ever thought possible.”

        This. You do need attraction, but it should at least have a change to develop. There also needs to be more, if you want to have a successful life with another person.

        Sexual attraction is not remotely enough to make a marriage, just an affair.

      2. Well, then I agree wholeheartedly! Every subgroup should be targeted. In my experience they usually are, but I’m from abroad so I do not really know your situation that well.

        As to the shallow standards of women, I often notice that, as well. I’ve often wondered how they manage to keep those standards; it’s understandable enough when they are very young (as in their early teens) but as they actually mature?

        Btw, it’s funny that you stress eye colour: I always had a soft spot for very dark eyes, but now I’m married to a green-eyed man and of course think his eyes are the most beautiful in the world 🙂

      3. Anja, glad we see eye to eye! (no pun intended)

        I think that’s part of what drives my irritation. A lot of people see my past posts on the kind of traits I’d like to see in a girl as immovable demands, when really they are preferences. Seems to be some projection going on there, whereas I’m willing to make exceptions depending on the kind of girl I meet, many women refuse to bend on criterion men may have no control over (such as height.) Ah well, it is what it is. 🙂

      4. @ Frank

        While I understand some people find your candidness offensive, I think this is hypocritical. I do not know a single man (or woman, for that matter) who wants a partner who is not attractive, not smart, not stylish, or who cannot cook at all. When you love someone none of these things really matter, but having high standards is natural and I’m quite certain whoever says otherwise is lying or pretending.

  10. The person who wrote this post needs to focus more on loving Christ & not looking at this pastor under a judgemental microscope. David Platt is our brother! Love him. You & no one else on this earth is perfect. It would be best to make posts on getting disciples & your experimences on helping others. Whoever wrote this needs to spend more time in the word & less time downing pastors on the internet. I pray for you.

    1. This is why false teachings run rampant without challenge. Every critical look at what pastors teach is met with the same old tired canard of “judging.” Apparently very few Christians are interested in the truth and would prefer to follow a more apostate brand of Christianity that welcomes all kinds of heretical teachings for the sake of false “unity.”

  11. Greetings from California everyone! Greetings In Christ!

    It’s just going to get worse…….Christian dating that is; and many shaky “christian” marriages will soon be in divorce. Hate to break it to you all; but it is indeed true.

    I am a single Christian man in my forties. No children. Not a loser. Not bald. Not overweight. Not a ‘girly-man’ as many Christian pundits call the single men in church today. None of that.

    I for a long time was optimistic (as a younger man). I just felt that “my time would come, and I would meet someone”….then I became jaded, then jealous, then angry about my ‘singleness’ in my faith. I was made to feel as if I was not a ‘real’ man because I was not married. I had not fathered children. I wasn’t the ‘envy’ and ‘desire’ of every Christian woman in the church. I was made to feel sad, cheap, and have my manhood threatened by people who supposedly “loved” me so very much (yeah, the people in the pulpit)

    Praise Christ I got over that.

    I am not going to drone on about what a “catch” I am. I am not going to say how educated, talented, smart, well-traveled, groomed I am. I am not to talk about my Holiness Before The Lord. He knows my works. He knows my abilities, and with His strength He has led me to overcome some serious pain in my life about singleness.

    Something I NEVER got from a pastor, a church, or my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ I may add.

    And I am still not getting that from “the rock” for that matter! Even now 🙂

    Instead of women praying, uplifting their brothers in Christ in a very heartfelt way; we get belittling. Men have to “man up” and women just have to “show up”

    Instead of a pastor educating, teaching and helping the ‘bumbling men of their flocks’ we get more sermons like this from David Platt, Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, and others.

    Instead of viewing marriage as a sacrament before God, and His plan…..we in the church have let the secular world rule, run, and dictate to us what marriage is; and what it is supposed to look like.

    Instead of looking to Christ; we now look at the “celebrity” of the church leader. We look at how cool, how bold, how daring they are. It was about Christ. Today it’s about “the pastor”

    Did the Disciples own flocks? Were they “rich merchants”? Did they tell Christ when He said “Come, follow me!”

    “…………..yeah, I will but first I have to make sure I have enough savings for my wife in order to follow you”

    “Jesus, I will follow as soon as I have a few children, a better house, and a better job. I am supposed to be a provider”

    “You know…..Jesus I want to learn a better trade first so I can send money home to my wife while I follow you”

    “Jesus, I can’t follow you right now because it’s my anniversary next week…..let me follow you AFTER that.”

    You all get my drift here. Our biggest misconception today in the church is that ANY single Christian guy must be: a porn addict. closeted gay. is a player. is a loser. is ugly. has no confidence. plays video games. lives in his mommy’s basement. can’t hold a job. doesn’t have what it takes to handle a ‘real woman of God’

    And everyone is SO surprised to why men don’t come to church? People are shocked that even if a guy out there who may want some answers to why the job failed, why he is single, what is life, what is faith, what is hope, what is LOVE…………….

    And seeing nonstop commentary like above….why would they want to come? The problem is the church; and handling it will actually take work…..something no one wants to do. It’s easier to blame men, especially the ones who are there right now.

    I skip church on the Sundays closest to “Mothers Day” and “Fathers Day” because all I hear on Mothers Day is: you strong, independent, bold, brave single mothers have to do everything on your own……..

    and on Fathers Day????

    You men need to beg and ask forgiveness of your wives, and be real leaders; or some variation of this. In many churches now, they are honoring single mothers on Father’s Day because they have to be the “dad” as well…………

    Christian divorce rates are only a few mild ticks lower than the secular world, and over 75% of Christian divorces are filed by Christian women……and the BIGGEST reason “I’m not happy”


    So when I see some serious Godly sorrow for sins and heartfelt repentance of most of my Christian sisters who just warm pews. When I see some fruit of spirit. When I see love, instead of entitlement. When I see women who actually have some modesty and humility in church….MAYBE I’ll start asking a few on dates. Maybe!

    In truth!

    1. Thanks for your comments, hard to disagree with anything you said. In the end, real men simply aren’t going to go where they’re not wanted, or where they will constantly be talked down to while the women in the churches get a pass on literally everything. We should all equally be responsible for the decisions we make in life, but the churches are too lopsidedly biased, and will eventually fall to ruin because of it. I live a much happier life as a single by simply removing myself from churches, groups and communities that obsessively revolve around families and marriage while shunning people who remain single. You don’t need to be married to enjoy the company of women either. I think that’s part of why you see married couples revile people who remain single, accusing them of living selfish, self-absorbed lives, and the only way you can prove you are not a backslidden, petulant little man-child is to go marry a single mom who has 4 kids from 3 failed marriages. I wish more people would stop and think long and hard about what’s wrong with that mentality. The things men are “required” to do to prove they’re men according to what church leaders teach and promote are beyond insane. There is no reason why any man should have to subject himself to that madness.

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