Donal’s post on Sympathy and Understanding talks about how married men tend to be insulated once they marry.
Which drives me to the subject of this post- men shouldn’t expect much in the way of understanding from those around them re: the MMP. In fact, the only ones who might understand are men in the same position (or who recently occupied it). I don’t know about most of my readers, but I find this to be a terribly frustrating matter. On more than one occasion I have been asked why I’m not married yet. And no matter how much or well I explain it, I can see in people’s eyes that they don’t understand. I find this quite isolating at times- it creates a climate of being cut off and without aid.
Generally speaking, this is both true and false.
I know quite a few men who work with an on-campus ministry, and they are not insulated from the cultural changes in marriage simply because they mentor and listen to the stories of the young men. On the other hand, as has been stated before, there is definitely a lack of sympathy and understanding from a lot of married men who don’t know what it is like. They are stuck in the 1960s and 1970s prior to “no fault divorce” and “free love.”
The problem is that Christians who don’t step out to actually engage the culture become insulated in their own bubble. Christians are not supposed to remove themselves from the world, but to be in the world but not of the world. This is the theme of Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17.
The major problem(s) of the Church tend to be traced back to these two themes. The Church and Christians try to isolate and insulate themselves from the world in many circumstances. For example, sheltered homeschool children. On the other hand, the Church and Christians also become of the world rather than in the world but not of the world. For instance, feminism and most of the rest of the issues the Church battles with in Revelation 2 and 3.
Men who try to impart knowledge simply based on their knowledge of themselves without taking into account the changing and rapid secularization of culture — not that 1950s America was some bastion of Christianity in the first place — have insulated themselves in their own bubble. Whether this is deliberate, accidental, or both is neither here nor there. But it does happen, often with disastrous results.
Young, unmarried and married Christian men beware and be wise.