The Problem: Hitting “the Wall”, and THEN Considering Marriage
A young lady in our fellowship approached me during the service tonight to inquire about my advice in a previous blog which addressed what a woman can do to attract a man.
This young lady spent her prime years pursuing an advanced education in law, with no thoughts about men. Now she is in her late 20’s, well employed as a barrister, and getting bored (and lonely) with her money. So she’s looking around for the next “achievement” in her life – a husband.
She “loved” a young man in our fellowship, a nerdy doctor of microbiology, but after dating for a few months, he got bored with her and decided he had no interest in her whatsoever. After this rejection, a desperate sense of urgency kicked in, which only made her feel more pressured to make “progress”. She told me that she only wanted to find “true love”, and she seemed very frustrated.
I sympathized with her and replied, “Yes, the goal is really so simple, isn’t it?” But I told her that no one can go straight to the winners circle without first practicing and competing in the race, and perhaps even losing several times. She felt offended that I likened the process to a game, but I told her that the easiest way to lose the game is to refuse to play it – or wait a decade to leave the starting line.
I knew I was presenting a very difficult challenge to her, but I believe it is important to make things clear. I pointed out to her that my blog presents a vivid description of the spiritual ideals that we should all hope to attain, and was describing the ideal marathon – the type of winners who win the race. The few people who can really succeed beyond question in all three points listed in that blog post are spiritual celebrities.
After clarifying several points that were made in the post, she asked me,
“Supposing I do all those things, and I have my own life, and assuming that quality men are pursuing me, and I get to the point where I don’t really NEED a man. Then… why would I WANT a man?”
I laughed, because her question made it clear that she understood what was required of her. I told her that most people who reach this point, ask the very same question, because they realize that marriage is more about GIVING and SERVING than it is about RECEIVING.
In my own mind, I was thinking,
“She has the idea that she loves him, but in reality, she doesn’t love him at all. She’s only thinking of how she can benefit from him, and that is exactly why this guy doesn’t want her. This guy is smart to avoid her, and now after hearing her viewpoints, my respect for him has drastically increased.”
That’s the funny thing about young women like her. They have the idea that love is free and without cost, that it only offers benefits, and no responsibilities or liabilities. If that attitude would not make them rancid enough, they also have no clue about how to treat a man right, which is disgusting to the core. Worse yet, they expect only to receive love, and not just from any man – no, he must be one of those particular men who are at their pinnacle. Furthermore, they always have the notion that marriage is all about this distorted concept of “love”, but it is this exact same notion that makes them unworthy of both love and marriage. These false notions of love displace every consideration of what might be required of them to become loveable.
The Mindset of the Loser
The motivations and purposes in marriage frequently held by the pool of young single eligibles, looks like this.
- They are focused on satisfying a peculiar desire, and have no concern about glorifying God.
- They believe the habit of blessing others, especially those who are unable to respond in like turn, is a waste of time and resources.
- They expect to retain their own private bank account and finances, even after marriage. Some even preselect potential partners based on their economic wealth.
- They consider kindness to be a weakness.
- Sex is recreational, not procreational. They are willing, or actually looking, to indulge in sexual exploration outside of marriage.
- They are unwilling or incapable of shouldering the responsibilities of having children.
- They don’t want to be tied down.
In short, these young people want a marriage which is stripped down to the basics – anything that requires work, time, or resources, and doesn’t fill their immediate desire, is discarded.
For people who think like this, then you need to be informed that marriage is not what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a life of singleness, independence, and sexual freedom. Furthermore, if you choose to hotly pursue the pleasures of the single life, then very soon, the single life will start pursuing you, and this is more true for women, than it is for men.
The Mindset of the Winner
There are several main motivations and purposes for a Christian marriage. Those which are most important, and stand in contrast with the previous list, include the following.
- To glorify the image of God.
- To help and serve each other.
- To merge, preserve and enhance wealth.
- To share companionship.
- To make a provision for the natural inclination of the flesh, in order to avoid fornication – sexual sins which destroy the soul.
- To produce Godly children.
- To obtain the legal right to remain together as a family.
Even if you are someone who doesn’t believe in God, and who doesn’t believe extramarital sex is anything to feel guilty about, then marriage is still not going to bring you much other than what’s on the list above.
The Challenges to be Overcome
You have to also consider that there are also many risks and responsibilities that come with marriage. You might think of these as simply the negative aspects of the points listed above.
- The promise of the man to love and cherish the woman; the promise of the woman to honor and respect the man.
- The possibility that your spouse may not be as faithful, conscientious, honest, or trustworthy as you like.
- The possibility that a failure in this endeavor (divorce) could shatter your family, your financial future, as well as your emotional health and spiritual vitality.
- You are stuck with your spouse for life. You have to deal with whatever kinds of shit they drag you into.
- You are forbidden from having sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse.
- The years of work necessary to provide for children and raise them properly.
- The in-laws…
Too many people error by concentrating too much on seeing marriage as an easy way to obtain the benefits on the second list, without realizing that their spouse pays the costs of providing you with those benefits, which are on the third list. Of course, no one wants to be(come) the spouse of such a naive and selfish person. Being a Christian doesn’t change the fact that you must be responsible for yourself and make appropriate decisions.
Instead, you have to as yourself the following questions.
- Think about who you are and what you really want in life.
- Are you able to provide the necessary quality of character, and the services and resources required by your potential spouse?
- Can you abide by all of the above terms and conditions?
Even provided that you can find a partner who fits you well, if you cannot fulfill the above conditions, then it begs the question, why would ANYONE want to marry YOU?
A lot of young people who do take the time to think things through until they reach these conclusions often decide that they don’t really want a relationship after all, because they realize that what they REALLY WANT cannot be found in marriage. Unfortunately, a lot of people never understand these things until AFTER they get married, and then they suffer bitter, long-lasting disappointments because of their false expectations. So if this is you, please don’t defraud your spouse, degrade your children, and disappoint yourself by getting married.
On the other hand, if/when you decide(d) that marriage is the right move for you, then the big concern becomes whether you can choose (or have chosen) the right person. Here also, a lot of people take the opposite approach, sometimes to their own detriment. They are people who are typically driven by their desires and passions. They choose a person first, and then try to work out all the headaches that come with that choice.
In the same vain (pun intended), the young lady I spoke to had already passionately made her choice, and failed to establish the relationship she desired. But until she talked with me, she hadn’t even determined if marriage is what she really wants. Her desire and wanton carelessness only led her to social contortions and mental rationalizations of unprecedented proportion.
And… she is an intelligent, educated woman, who demands your love and respect!
Nice monkey show. Please pass the popcorn.
A good marriage is only for the select few winners who prepare thoroughly and work hard to win the race.
However, young people are not seeking to build their interpersonal wealth and overall value (e.g. character, dependability, desirability, level of emotional maturity), AND they are not making marriage a priority in their lives. This problem is reaching epidemic proportions in western and westernized societies, and unfortunately, they tend to project their own lack of qualities onto those of the opposite sex and thus, blame them for being the major part of the problem. Women see men as being capricious, fastidious, unwilling to commit. Men see women as selfish, slutty, rude and unkind. They don’t ever consider the condition of their own selves, and the (poor) quality of relationship they could offer a man.
The bottom line is, you need to know what you are doing, whenever you are making life-changing decisions, such as marriage and having sex, so that you don’t get sucked into the damning, comfortable, dreamworld of selfishness, and the confusion that is characteristic of sexual indulgence.