Rethinking Christian Marriage-The Script

In my view, there is something fundamentally wrong with the way Christians and the greater Church approach marriage in the present age. Now, there are plenty of problems with Christian marriage as an institution these days: debates over submission/headship, the way divorce is approached, the consequences of sexual immorality, sexual denial, so on and so forth. I’ve addressed some of those before, and will address others in the future.  The purpose of this post is to examine the way Christians approach marriage, in the form of the “script” or timeline which most Christians seem to follow and in many cases are expected to follow when it comes to Marriage.

The “life script” of Christians these days doesn’t appear to be much, if any different, than the life script of their secular counterparts. There seems to be a general plan:

1) Graduate from High School

2) Go to College

3a) Get a Job

3b) Continue on with Graduate school

4) Move up to a better paying, higher status job

5) Get Married

6) Have Children

There are a number of reasons why this “plan” has been adopted. One reason for this delay is the belief that a man must be able to fully support his family before he can marry. Given the current labor and job market, that can take years. And yet many parents teach their sons just this. Others teach their daughters not to marry a man who can’t immediately support her and children.  Another reason for the delay is the huge emphasis much of the culture places on education and schooling. Four years at college are often followed by even more time spent in a graduate program. Parents tell their children that if they want to succeed in life, they need an education. Furthermore, everything else should, must wait until that education is finished.

All in all, by the time this script has run through its course, most of those following it are in their late twenties or early thirties. Depending on if this process was interrupted in some way, it could be mid to late thirties. Two very significant problems present themselves as a result of this life plan:

1) Fertility Problems

2) Sexual Immorality

Fertility

Male fertility doesn’t decline much with age, but female fertility does. There are plenty of studies out there which show the impact of age on female fertility, enough so that it would be superfluous for me to link any. What is clear from all of them is that women who are sure they want children should start as soon as possible. However, all too many Christian women wait to marry, and then have children, until they already are running a risk of age-related fertility. Even if a Christian woman is able to get pregnant, she might not be able to have as many children as she wants, as the odds of pregnancy during each cycle have become very low. So from the perspective of fertility and family size, the current script is a bad idea, mainly for women.

Sexual Immorality

There is another danger which often results from this delaying of marriage, namely sexual immorality. Humans are sexual beings, starting at puberty we experience primal urges that are amongst the most powerful of instincts.  The male sex drive is especially potent, as it is always active and stays that way for decades. By encouraging a life script that delays marriage until the late twenties or thirties, the Church and Christian parents are forcing young Christians to suppress these urges for a very long period of time. In some instances this means over a decade of adulthood, or to put it in perspective, close to two decades from the start of puberty. Realistically, most individuals will not be able to resist that long. I know how difficult it has been for me to fight back and control my sex drive, especially now that women are finding me attractive. Even for those men who aren’t attractive, the Need is still there, and it is a constant struggle to live with it. Nor is it easy for women,  because even a half-way decent looking female is apt to receive a fair amount of male attention which will serve as a source of temptation.

Madness

To understand the absurdity of the current paradigm, let us examine a hypothetical situation involving two young Christians, Tom and Jane.

Tom and Jane both grew up in a nice suburb, and their parents both go to the same Church. They attend the same school and have known each other for years. Somewhere along the line they “fall in love,” but being sincere Christians they refrain from the sin of fornication. Tom is very smart; he does well in school and scores well on college entrance exams. Jane is also smart, but doesn’t want to become a career woman; she wants to be a mother and homeschool her children. It has been made clear to them that they shouldn’t marry until the husband is capable of supporting his wife and their children, so they don’t marry out of High School. Tom attends a quality university where he discovers that he likes biology and medicine, and decides to become a doctor. After getting his undergraduate degree, he goes to medical school. Eventually he graduates, and after an internship and post-graduate training gets a job as a doctor at a private practice.

At this point 10 years could have passed since Tom and Jane graduated high school. He and Jane are both 28 now. Here are some of the possible ways that Tom and Jane could act based on this situation:

1) Tom and Jane both remain chaste, saving themselves until they get married after Tom finally gets his job as a doctor. Jane willingly gives up the most fertile years of her life out of love for Tom. Also, they are able to refrain from fornication for the ten years they are both adults. If anyone thinks this is likely, they should contact me because I have a couple of real estate deals that I know of in the river crossing field that might interest them.

2) Tom and Jane fail to remain chaste, and engage in premarital sex. Depending on how often and how long this goes on, Jane might become pregnant. This results in several possible outcomes, including the baby being given up for adoption, or Tom is pressured to marry Jane but to do so must leave school and take up whatever job he can find to support them. Perhaps the stress of it all is too much, and they break up at this point, leaving Jane a single mother.

3) Not wanting to wait years for Tom to graduate and get a job, Jane leaves him and finds another man, perhaps an older one, to marry. Tom is heart-broken at this, and is angry at those who kept them apart. During this period is extremely vulnerable to various temptations, whether they be drugs, alcohol or engaging in fornication with other women

4) Either Tom or Jane, or perhaps both, become sexually involved with other people. They both fornicate, although not with each other. Their budding romance probably dies.  If they do marry in the end, the baggage from their sins will negatively impact their marriage.

5) Tom and Jane decide to defy their parents and marry anyways. They elope, and possibly face criticism from within their families for it.

What does it say when the best (realistic) option is one where Tom and Jane defy their parents? It says that Christians have lost their way when approaching the issue of marriage. Think of all the Christian parents out there who are supporting their unmarried adult children. Consider especially single mothers who had children out of wedlock who are being support by their parents. Then think of how many newlyweds don’t receive that same level of support from their parents.

Here is the problem: we live in a world filled with temptation, probably more than ever. For most young Christians, the only practical solution for  avoiding sexual sins to to marry young. Yet the Church, and lay Christians, do a whole lot to dissuade young Christians from doing just that.

Now, I know some people will point out that the median age of marriage in the US was never that low, at least until the 50’s. This is true; in 1910 the median age of men marrying was 25.1, and for women 21.6 (source here). However, it is important for us to realize and accept that prostitution was quite common back then, especially in the cities. A lot of the men who were marrying later, and thus pushing the median age up, were likely visiting prostitutes.  They weren’t “waiting for marriage.” And a lot of the women who did “save themselves for marriage” were kept far away from the wider world. They didn’t have the kind of freedom young women have today.

One of our goals as Christians should be to avoid sin. That should extend to creating a “system” for our children that helps them avoid sin. Fornication is a sin, and a serious one at that, so we should do what we can to curtail it. That means encouraging young marriage. For those who object to this, who point out the financial difficulties and such that might arise, I ask you this: which is a bigger problem: young Christians engaging in sin, or young Christians having to endure several years of financial hardship after marrying? I submit to you that fornication is the greater problem.

Conclusion

Rollo Tomassi often quips that he is surprised that Christians are somehow able to breed these days. Behind his barbs is a poignant observation of the reality of the situation: the current Christian “plan” for courtship and marriage is broken. In my next post  on this subject (hopefully a more coherent one) I intend to go over some ideas on how to fix this problem.

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21 Comments

Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Sex, The Church, Women

21 responses to “Rethinking Christian Marriage-The Script

  1. Nestorius

    There is only one way to deal with Sodom and Gomorrah.

    [Donal: I’m allowing this comment, for the moment. Not sure how it applies to the post, but I will give the commenter a chance to explain.]

  2. For the argument of financial hardship, I think a little financial hardship in the beginning of marriage can be good. It can teach character and when the married couple are finally older, they will be a lot wiser with their money. Both of my parents are in the medical field now, upper middle class or upper class, but they were poor while they were in school. They married young and my mom worked as a baby sister so, she could take me with her to her job while she earned money. My dad worked at a gas station while going to school. They live nicely now, but still below their means. I don’t have to take out any loans for college. In conclusion, financial hardship for the young married couple can serve as financial responsibility, a good skill to learn. Also, like SSM noted, it can make a grateful and non-materialistic wife. 🙂

  3. Joseph of Jackson

    Donal,

    What is your rough age again?

  4. Check your e-mail JoJ.

  5. Nestorius

    I should also add that there is only one way to deal with the money changers.

    You know how Sodom and Gomorrah was dealt with:
    “By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.”

    You also know how Christ dealt with the money changers:
    “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.”

    Since you say that “that should extend to creating a “system” for our children that helps them avoid sin”, what do you expect from your children while they are living in Sodom and Gomorrah? What do you expect while the money changers are in your temples?

  6. Joseph of Jackson

    @Nestorius

    We have run the majority of the money changers out of my church with game. Christ knew all about social dominance and was a master of frame and reframe. He was a Sigma of Biblical proportions. The system is pretty easy to tackle after that.

    Make no mistake, Christ did not come to teach game, and game was used against him by the Sanhedrin at his public condemnation. I simply advocate that we use the tools of the enemy against him. Game being one of his best.

    @donal

    I answered you back.

  7. @ Joseph

    Thanks, I just sent back my reply

    @ Nestorious

    As JoJ alluded to, it will be necessary to chase the hypocrites and money-changers out of the temple. But that is another topic, one which I’ve and others have covered elsewhere. I am just addressing how to fix the way Christians approach marriage.

  8. Nestorius

    Joseph of Jackson,
    Christ did not use game againt the money changers as it is obvious.

    Donal,
    Christians approach marriage this way now because they happen to live in Sodom. In many places Sodom is hidden and you think it is not there but it is there.

    To sum up what I am implying: to fix a certain perverted situation you have to remove the causes of perversion. You have to expell the money changers. You have to destroy Sodom.

  9. Destroy Sodom? That can mean a lot of things. If you are talking about burning most of the West to the ground, then I think this blog isn’t for you. I don’t advocate violence like that here.

    Besides, the West is doing a good enough job burning itself down without the need to pitch in.

  10. Nestorius

    “Besides, the West is doing a good enough job burning itself down without the need to pitch in.”

    First, this is an illusion. That which you think is only happening in the West, is also happening in the rest of the world. The West is not by some act of predestination burning itself, it is being steered into this situation by those who are in control. And so is the rest of the world.

    Second, you seem to think that the West and only the West is Sodom while Sodom is all over the earth.

    If you think that one day this rotten world will destroy itself and that as a result Christians will emerge safe from and go back to the original ways, then you are wrong. This is a dream based on some false premises running on many manosphere blogs such as “the West is in decline”. There is no decline, there is an engineered corruption of humans using fiat money and debt. Sooner or later, most Christians will be corrupted through fiat money.

  11. This has gone far off-topic. So I am going to ask that if you wish to continue this line of thought, you create your own blog or discuss it elsewhere.

  12. Nestorius

    But how are you going to fix the way Christians approach marriage?

  13. That will be in the next post.

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  15. zykos

    Late to the party, but I wanted to mention that the “financial hardship” argument does not hold any water. If at the age of majority, the average young man or young woman is expected to move out, travel across the country and live on their own while they study and somehow manage to survive financially, why is doing so with another person suddenly too difficult? If anything, it should be easier: by specializing in house care, cooking and general support, a young wife would free time for her husband to fully concentrate on his studies, graduate earlier with better grades and better prospects for that high-paying job. Even in the equalist model, where both of them study and try to get a career, isn’t sharing a bedroom and meals going to be cheaper than doing all this individually?

    The financial hardships, or rather financial limitations, are part of the life of every young person save for the very wealthy. It becomes a problem only when your expectations are too high. The biggest one is the Dream Wedding™, complete with the ensuing honeymoon, new house, new car, and readiness for 1.2 kids. Why should it be so? This is the reality our parents know and try to push on the current young generation, but it doesn’t make it right. If you ask their own parents how the start of their marriage looked like, they’ll have a very different perspective.

    The second culprit I’d be inclined to name is the feminization of men and the parallel “shrewification” of their women. The pressure to delay marriage comes from parents who are supposed to be loving, so it no doubt stems from good intentions. The average mom likely thinks “I’m not attracted to this shell of a man, maybe if I had waited longer, I would have snatched a better one. I should make sure Stephanie doesn’t make the same mistake” while her husband remembers the sacrifices he had to make in his youth for his ungrateful wife, and wants to spare his son a similar fate. The won’t give the real reasons though because doing so will expose their unhappiness and the fact they feel their marriage is a failure (if it hasn’t already ended in divorce at that point). But by lying to themselves and their kids, these parents are just making the problem even worse.

  16. Anja

    “It becomes a problem only when your expectations are too high. The biggest one is the Dream Wedding™, complete with the ensuing honeymoon, new house, new car, and readiness for 1.2 kids. Why should it be so? This is the reality our parents know and try to push on the current young generation, but it doesn’t make it right.”

    This. The looks me and my husband got when we announced we were going to get married before either one of us had a job, or even finished college! And when people hear we are “only 27” and already married the first thing they ask is “But isn’t that very expensive?” Luckily, our parents were very understanding about it, even though they were very surprised at the beginning.

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  19. Heidi

    So this post seems to be encouraging people to rush into marriage simply to avoid fornication? Possibly ruining their lives by marrying the wrong person and bringing up children into a bad situation. I do not agree with this at all nor do I find it Biblical.

  20. Heidi, care to back up your statement? You say that people shouldn’t rush into marriage, in order to avoid marrying the wrong person. Perhaps you aren’t aware that the age of first marriage is now later than it has ever been in the US. About 29 for men, and almost 26 for women. And yet, our divorce rate is exceptionally high. As a percentage of total marriages, its almost 50% now. The only reason the absolute number of divorces has dropped is because the total number of marriages has dropped.

    You argue for delaying marriage so that people don’t choose their spouse poorly. Well guess what, people are marrying later and still choosing their spouse poorly. If children are raised properly to discern Godly characteristics in men and women, then that problem won’t occur.

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