10 years is a long time to wait!
Length: 1,250 words
Reading Time: 5-8 minutes
What have we done to the Institution of Marriage?
The Feminist Life Script (2020 December 17) received some rave reviews in the comments. There was some discussion about the historical average age of marriage, and other discussion about the age of marriage in a Biblical context or the Hebrew culture of antiquity. Others very strongly objected to 14-15 year old girls getting married, especially to 30+ year old men.
But all these arguments, though valid, cling to principles, rules, historical trends, or cultural norms, and therefore sidestep the core issue.
So what is the core issue?
What is it that we are most concerned about?
Here’s a list of the possibilities. (Feel free to add to this list in the comments.)
- We don’t want our daughters to have sex at “too young” an age. (Define what is “too young” and why.)
- We don’t want our daughters to become slores. (At what point does this happen?)
- We don’t want our daughters to debase their marriages.
- We don’t want our daughters to defraud their future husbands.
- We don’t want our daughters to have an unhappy marriage. (Does marriage at a certain age determine happiness?)
- We don’t want our daughters to get pregnant out of wedlock.
- We don’t want our daughters to undergo a divorce in the future.
- We are most concerned about not having to worry about what will happen to our daughters.
- We don’t want to feel shame or embarrassment as a parent.
- We want to control our daughter’s sexual interests and activities so that they don’t become a statistic.
So how does postponing marriage past the age of 25 provide a solution to any of these concerns?
Yet, that is exactly what is happening.
Another important question (which, sadly, no one brought up) is this:
What is it that God is most concerned about?
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.1st Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NKJV)
There’s more. Here’s a short list to consider.
- Our emotional maturity and spiritual growth. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 3:12-15; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 2:8; 2nd Timothy 2:26; 1st John 2:5)
- Our faith walk with the Lord. (Colossians 1:9-11; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:16)
- Our sanctification. (Matthew 6:33; 1st Thessalonians 4:3)
- Our self-control towards possessing our bodies with holiness and honor. (Romans 12:1; Philippians 2:15; 2nd Corinthians 7:1; 1st Thessalonians 4:4)
- That we should not defraud one another. (Mark 10:19; 1st Thessalonians 4:6)
- To glorify the Lord. (2nd Corinthians 5:21; 1st John 3:1-2)
- To live in Shalom. (Psalm 34:14; John 16:33; 2nd Timothy 2:22; Romans 12:18; Romans 14:19; 2nd Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 12:14)
- To produce godly offspring. (Psalm 127:3-5; Romans 4:18-21; Malachi 2:15)
I dare say, and I cannot emphasize it enough, we will not see any improvements in our social conditions (i.e. the MMP) until we begin to prioritize that which is most important to God!
We should be openly and frequently talking to our daughters about the SMP and marriage as soon as they begin to take an interest in such things.
Let’s very briefly review why it’s important for a woman to retain her virginity until marriage. I’d like to shy people away from only considering this as a “rule”, in favor of taking a hard look at the actual real world consequences of illicit/premarital sex.
The above graph says it all. For an explanation of this phenomenon, here are a few posts of relevance.
- Christianity and Masculinity: Review of vetting, virgins and new info on virginity pledges (2018 January 7)
- Σ Frame: Can You Trust A Dancing Skeleton? (2018 September 21)
- Σ Frame: A cord of many strands is not easily broken, but here’s how to do it. (2018 September 24)
- Σ Frame: Time Frames for various forms of sexual bonding and maturation (2019 February 5)
- Σ Frame: On the Concept of Sin and the need for Marriage (2020 April 24)
- Σ Frame: Why is premarital sex a sin? (2020 August 14)
You see, it’s not just about “rules”, or even ethics or morality. There are very good practical reasons why God told us to refrain from sexual immorality!
Let’s think about it…
Wisdom requires us to take an honest look at the facts.
According to the above graph, we are looking at about 2 years of leeway. I interpret this to mean that the average person can only wait about 2 years to have sex. Also of note, Republicans have it easier than Democrats for some reason.
Some reports claim that the average male has sex for the first time at age 16.9, and females lose their virginity slightly older, at 17.4 on the average. Since these are self-reported statistics, I suspect that these numbers are probably a lot older for males, and younger for females. I would guess the real numbers are about 15-16 for girls, and 18-19 for guys. This actually shows up in the graphs shown above. Of course, race, region, genetics, home environment, and socioeconomic background play into that. But for now, let’s use that original statistic for the sake of discussion.
According to the estimates from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of first marriage for women was 27.4 years. For men, it’s slightly older at 29.5 years. That’s the longest Americans have ever waited to get married.
Now think about that…
27.4 – 17.4 = 10
Exactly 10 years between women’s first sexual experience, and getting married – and that’s on the average!
Pray tell, just exactly what are young women doing during those 10 years???
As the average age of marriage is postponed, that leaves more time for postporniscuity. I doubt that it is a coincidence.
They’ll be doing all the things that we hoped they wouldn’t do, as given in the first bulleted list above.
More important than this, they’ll be destroying all the things that God desires of them, as given in the second bulleted list above.
We like to think that Christianity can somehow eliminate human nature. But that’s not how Christianity works, especially not for hormone ridden adolescents. We must begin to get serious about the purpose of our faith, and not just dawdle with idle rules and pompous decorum.
It is irresponsible for us as parents to put our daughters into a circumstance where they will be tempted beyond measure to have sex outside of marriage. In light of the above information, it is entirely reasonable that we should encourage young women to marry, rather than follow the Feminist Life Script, especially those who are at the age where they are about to let the cat out of the bag.
Now as parents, we are tempted to tell ourselves, “No, that won’t happen to MY daughter. I raised her right. She won’t be like that!” Please! Let’s have pity on our daughters. Let’s help them find a fitting way to satisfy their desires.
What is a realistic expectation for our daughters?
Can we honestly tell them to wait until marriage to have sex, and at the same time, make marriage an unrealistic, and even an unpreferred option during TEN of their prime SMV/MMV years?
Are there any other alternatives that would be pleasing to God?
Yes, there’s celibacy! How would your daughter feel about that option?
- Do What’s Right: Panic Is Not a Strategy (2020 December 17)