Make it happen

Scott has a post named June Cleaver might be unmarriagable right now. It’s likely the largest discussion in the past few years about the factors that go into finding a spouse that is suitable for marriage from the perspective of a woman (and also the factors that go into it for men).

Generally speaking, ever since the rise of no fault divorce and the decoupling of “sex” and “marriage” — at least in culture — via fornication and promiscuity, anyone looking for marriage has suffered extensively. There’s numerous reasons about why this has happened. I’m going to try to summarize many of the factors (not an exhaustive list).

  • Divorce and courts — young men see that wives can blow up their marriages for cash and prizes and they get to keep the children. Significantly decreases mens’ incentive to pursue marriage.
  • Sex without marriage / hook up culture — this is not a concern to serious Christians, but the fact that many people say they’re Christians but advocate pre-marital sex gives somewhat the illusion of Christian piety. There’s numerous cases of men and women who want to wait until marriage but are receiving interest from non-Christian and pseudo-Christians who want to “sample” before “marriage.”
  • Men are less masculine — men are less manly contributes to being shy in asking out women and taking risks. Men who aren’t masculine also tend to put responsibilities before roles, which is bad.
  • Women are less feminine and more masculine — this is obviously an influence from culture. In general, men do not want to marry a business partner. They want to marry a woman.
  • Feminism — although feminism is encompassed in all of these points, there are some that are not covered. No, you can’t “have it all.” It’s a lie. The Scripture tells wives to prioritize their God, husband, children, and the home.
  • Life Scripts — This is one of the biggest large impediments. Women are now expected to complete college and get a career before marrying. Men are expected to complete college, have a good paying career and job before marrying. This pushes marriage upwards of late 20s and early 30s+. The marriages coming out of late teens and early 20s are few.
  • Breakdown in communication — flaking and standing up people is extremely common. Women started it, men continued it, almost everyone does it.
  • Obesity — no real comments are needed. It’s pretty much universally unattractive, except to the few people with fat fetishes.
  • Husbands and fathers are held with contempt — this needs no explanation. Surprise, what men want to be husbands and fathers if they are held with contempt?
  • Fear of disappearing sex — no one wants a frigid and sexless marriage, despite the fact that it has become a relatively common occurrence. Women tend to change on a dime about sex once they’re married. Stats indicate about 2/3rds of marriage husband have dominant sex drive and 1/3rd wives do. It can go both ways.

Christian sub-culture. There’s quite a few sources of rot in Christian sub-culture as well as logistical issues. Aided by Neguy’s post here.

  • Discipleship — The Church does not disciple men and push men into leadership positions. This tends to lead to men just hanging around in singleness. Likewise, women are not taught to be women.
  • Feminization in the Church — sappy love songs about Jesus, feelings over Truth, not teaching the hard parts of Scripture (headship, submission, women no authority over man, etc.). Men who come under this structure end up with a feminized world view where they should be “nice” to attract a woman. Nice never attracted anything but emotional predators.
  • Women cliques — if you try to ask someone out or date them it gets around. Nuclear rejections and ruining of reputation are not uncommon. If you date one, you basically can’t date anyone else in a Church. This has led men to not date women in their own Church and look outside of it.
  • Introversion / quietness — like it or not, those who are introverted and/or quiet tend to have worse prospects. Generally, they’re not as good with conversational skills and being bold enough to go talk to people.
  • Indicators of interest — men and especially women in Church think flirting is the devil. No indicators of interest are really shown.
  • “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” influence — both dating and courtship are not Biblical concepts. Who even knows what they are anyway. Christians should stop taking these things so seriously and just get to know each other.
  • Christianizing and making things overly serious — sort of IKDG influence, but a bit different. Whenever you hear so and so is going out with someone, there’s the expectation that they’re going to get married. People ask when you’re going to get married. Can we just calm down and let young men and young women figure out if who they’re seeing is a good fit before asking them when they’re going to have babies?
  • Denominational differences — obviously a factor in shrinking the pool of candidates. Orthodox and Catholic generally won’t marry out. Protestants have the issue of various denominations falling into apostasy.
  • Obesity — sadly, obesity needs a re-mention on beating the obesity dead horse. Especially with Christians who think like this. My first ever post on this blog was about Practical ways to improve your attractiveness and desirability for a Christian spouse. It was removed by Boundless (Focus on the Family’s singles ministry). When you have supposedly Christian organizations ignoring reality well…  you get the point. Lest we not forget that feminine beauty is highly controllable.
  • Donal has a post up that overlaps some — market is awful, geographical issues, demographical issues, Christian parents are not teaching their children roles and responsibilities, young men are less interested in marriage (for many of the reasons above), and too many people are doing too little.
  • Christian conservative delusion — Delusion that America was Christian and that 1950s were ideal. “Traditional” is held up as some sort of standard, even on par with the Bible. After all, “if we could just go back to how it was… oh, but we should definitely keep this feminism stuff too”
  • Patriarchy = abuse delusion — Christians often buy the lies that there was abuse in Patriarchy in the Bible and that Jesus changed that. Also, that there was some sort of equality between Adam and Eve before the fall. Nothing changed from the Beginning to the OT to the NT —  Husbands and fathers still have authority over their wives and children.
  • White knighting sin — Dalrock has covered this extensively on how “womens’ sin is blamed on men.” Especially from the pulpit. This covers anything from abortion, to temper tantrums, to breaking china, and other “wake up calls.” It’s easy to blame men and hard to call out women. God forbid a man not want to get into a relationship if he’s going to get blamed for the sins of his wife.
  • Lack of respect — the Church and wives often hold husbands in contempt (see reasons above) and don’t give respect where it is due: for the position of the husband. Headship demands respect and submission because it’s headship. “Feelings” are held above “Truth.”
  • Culture of family distrust of suitors — The notion that “good fathers” are out to get any of the potential son in laws.

Despite all of these challenges, marriage is still good because God has created it.

1 Timothy 4:But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will [a]fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

Several solutions have been posited, especially including Church events. Fat chance, really.

You’re pretty much on your own. Make it happen, if you want to be married.

I’ve posted on this many times before, such as the the detailed timeline. I’ve posted before for women too including some of the above in obesity. Tons of practice advise in the categorized lists of posts.

The real issue is the same as you’ll see in marriage. You can’t expect the other person to change. You can only control you. Therefore, if YOU want to be married, YOU have to make every concerted effort to make it happen. This is true for both the man and the woman and the husband and the wife.

Seriouslyserving posted about how she did it.

Regarding “flirting”, I didn’t spend very long in the dating market, but I can tell you what worked to get my husband’s attention…

We had the advantage of living together at a church based student accommodation, so we saw each other a lot naturally.

But I had heard that he was into computers and a bit of a tech whizz, so I asked if he would mind helping me install my new printer. He was happy to do so, and this provided the opportunity to then talk a bit more one on one. He then saw my guitar sitting there and asked if I could play something for him, which I did so.

He had no idea until after we’d already been dating for a while that the printer and the guitar “lying around” were strategic moves, but they were effective ways of letting him know I was interested, whilst still being able to claim plausible deniability (as someone mentioned earlier) if nothing came of it.

I’ve posted an example of a “Real life Ruth” with the Part 1 and Part 2 followup. There are ways to make it happen. Women have the great ability to leverage social networks and set up situations that are conducive to success for them.

My story

With all of that said I’ll share my story, since I’m now engaged.

About 2.5 years ago, during an overnight Church event, I was talking with a group of people — men and women — about marriage. We talked about what we were looking for and how it was hard to find. I did this on the off chance that anyone there was something that I was looking for in a prospective wife. None of them met my criteria, and I don’t think I met theirs.

I always follow up on my leads regardless of whether they bear fruit or not. One of my habits was asking family, church members, friends, and others if they spot a woman that they think would be a good match for me to let me know. This is one of the things I listed in the detailed timeline and how-to guide. One of the women said they knew of a girl who went to a similar program at that Church last year, and another of the women knew her name so they gave it to me. I kept that in the back of my mind, as I was exploring other potential leads at the moment.

About 4-5 months later, I added her on Facebook and struck up a conversation as we were interested in mutual things. Honestly, I didn’t expect much of it because she lived on the west coast and I lived on the east coast. I had “dealt” with long distance before and was not a fan already, but I figured why not one last time since she seemed to be what I was looking for. Note that I did my homework first before I added her: checked out her FB and other social media to see if there were any red flags.

We struck it up immediately since we had a lot of things in common. This is where being an wise conversationalist comes in. Learning how to lead a conversation is useful to draw out certain responses. I actually went back through our conversations with her a year or so later, and I showed her where I ‘led’ her to certain topics that I wanted to talk about and/or tease her about. It was pretty fun to go back over what we had talked about early on and see how our relationship had changed as we got to know each other better.

As God would have it, I had actually planned before I messaged her to go on a missions trip prior to me talking with her. Our launch point before leaving was the same city that she lived in. Divine providence? You decide. In any case, I went to meet her and her family, and we decided to try the long distance thing a few weeks later. And the rest is history.

Actually, the rest is not history, haha. Just tried to fool you. Basically, like any relationship you have to continue to work at it and grow. I introduced to her several Biblical concepts that I like to go by in relationships. You can find more about that in my 5 step process to maturity in relationships. Indeed, even when a woman knows what she is supposed to do, learning how to do it is still difficult, even with a strong father figure in her life.

I still had to teach her what it means to respect me. I had to tell her when she was disrespecting me. As the [future] head of the relationship, I had to take the reigns and help teach her more about the Scriptures and what God’s roles and responsibilities for us were from. Some of it was easier. Some of it was harder. This is also vice versa with some of her needs on what it means to love her (cherish and nourish her).

The key is building a pattern of good behavior, patience, and lack of anger in conflict. If people understand that conflict is not something to run from, it is much easier to discuss the difficult aspects of the relationship especially when you disagree. This is the major issue that most relationships run into in conflict. If there are patterns of bad behavior, it’s very difficult to break the negative behavioral cycles. It can only be done through the grace of God and consistently walking by the Spirit.

In any case, once you have begun and consistently applied a pattern of good works within a relationship by walking with the Spirit it becomes much easier. Although there are still bumps in the road here and there, the foundation of trust has already been built. It is important to continue nurturing this foundation of trust and grow it as you grow together. The bond of the Scriptural roles and responsibilities is that foundation, as the way a husband and wife are to act toward each other is fulfilled.

It took a while to meet the rest of her family in another part of the state. Unfortunately, a series of miscommunications made it so that her parents were somewhat negatively predisposed to me in the beginning because of a lot of second hand information. Things have been slowly getting better over time as we’ve talked about it. There have definitely been various conflicts at the hands of what I would call an overprotective father-in-law who seemingly wants my relationship to look like his before I had to permission to marry his daughter. I’ve discussed that with my mentor (and any young men should try to find one!), and it helps to have another ear of a wise married man about things like that.

Overall, for me the whole way is that I’ve had to make things happen on my own. My parents didn’t give me any advice or talk to me about relationships while growing up. I definitely learn some of what to do from them, and I’ve learn some of what not to do from them. I’ve learned most of what I should be doing from the Scriptures themselves.

I glean wise advise from other married and unmarried men as necessary. Different perspectives are good, even if they’re giving you some white knight-ized version as there is usually some sort of Truth within what they’re saying (even if it’s to do the opposite). Thankfully, I’ve been at a Church that dwells on what God says about marriage straight up, and the men I’ve discussed it with all have solid experience with it to learn from.

Conclusion

If you want to be married, the odds are against you.

  • You must be extremely proactive about developing your communication and social skills.
  • Study the Scriptures about relationships and marriage. Pray, meditate, and fast on the Word.
  • Be at peace with the season you are in.
  • Look for every opportunity and seize them.
  • Go into everything with eyes wide open. Don’t ignore red or yellow flags. Build your foundation on the Rock.
  • Use the wise advice from blogs such as Dalrock, Scott’s, Donal’s, Cane’s, mine, and so on.
  • It never hurts to ask for help from those who are further along in the journey. You don’t always have to take it, but the perspective of men who have studied the Scriptures and experienced a lot in relationships is useful in most cases. This is community, especially if your real life situation with family, friends, and Church isn’t that great.

May God bless you in your search or marriage!

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37 Responses to Make it happen

  1. donalgraeme says:

    Good, solid post. Will link to it over at my site.

  2. Ame says:

    “I still had to teach her what it means to respect me. I had to tell her when she was disrespecting me.”

    i can’t say enough positive about this. my first husband would often say i was disrespectful but would never tell me how. he would get extremely angry, demean me with his words and attitude, tell me how terrible i was, but not give me any specific information to help me know what to change. when he was calm and i asked him about it, he would *always* say, “I’ts about me, not you.” well, that didn’t help, either.

    the man i’m married to now has no problem telling me the truth. he’s not mean or angry, but he is firm.

  3. Pingback: Deep Strength’s Advice On How To Make It Happen | Donal Graeme

  4. Congrats on your engagement!

  5. @ Ame

    Yep, it’s important to tell the other because they don’t even know sometimes.

    One time my mom and sister were getting on my case for something small, and my fiancee (girlfriend at the time) joined in on it to make fun of me. Later I had to tell her that it was very disrespectful, and that I expected her to have my back.

    She didn’t realize what she was doing at the time, but in hindsight it made sense. I had to repeat this a couple times, especially with her parents as well as they used to tend to assume the worst about me. She’s grown and has my back with my parents and her parents ever since.

  6. Ame says:

    yes! i can’t tell you how many times i begged him to tell me. i would write lists and ask if anything on the list bothered him. i read books, went to retreats, asked older women, and tried everything. it was intensely frustrating. at the end he said things like, “You’ll never change. You always do what you want regardless.” i was so extremely frustrated. then he’d tell me to do one thing. next time i’d do that one thing, and he’d get angry and tell me i should have done the other thing.

    super kudos to you for how you handled that. don’t make her guess. our rampant imaginations are almost always so much worse than the truth.

  7. A post this long, and we still didn’t get to hear how you proposed? 🙂

  8. KPP says:

    Interesting timing on this one. My 21 year-old son came to me this week and asked me to help him find a wife.

    Not that I’m sure yet how I’m going to do so, but I told him I’d do whatever I can. He knows this web site pretty thoroughly and even used material from here to teach a session on relationships in the college group he attends.

    That said, he’s participated in numerous “singles” and “College youth” groups with an eye towards finding a marriage partner. The pickings have been slim – he wants a woman who is feminine and there are just not that many out there. The few that he has gone out to coffee with don’t have similar life goals – he wants a big family, wants to homeschool his kids, is a conservative traditionalist, etc, etc., etc.

    Physically, he is very good-looking – tall and trim. He needs to start lifting to get filled out, I tell him, so he’s started that. Has a great sense of humor, is a kick to be around. Gets attention from girls he’s not attracted to, but his social circles are pretty small.

    Still lives at home, because he wants to build a house on our land, but has an outside job and is also working a side business of his own. He’s a good worker and I’m proud of what he’s accomplished.

    So anyone have any ideas on how to find a wife for this man? Seriously, we’ve talked about renting a billboard.

  9. @ seriouslyserving

    A post this long, and we still didn’t get to hear how you proposed?

    We were sitting down and talking in a prayer room, and that’s when I did it. 🙂

  10. Ame says:

    okay … okay … what we girls are looking for is something like this:

    “I’d decided she was The One sometime back. I knew God had brought us together, and over time she had proven that she was willing to come under me and honor and respect me. I had been carrying the ring around, wondering when would be the right time to ask. One day we ended up in a prayer room. It was … peaceful, spiritual, powerful, intimate. We were so connected to God and each other. Her voice was like a beautiful melody, and our eyes drew us into each other. As I looked at her, I just knew … this was the time. I lifted her hand, looked into her eyes, and told her how much I loved her, valued the way she honored and respected me, how much I cherish her. And I asked her to be my wife. Before I even finished she had tears quietly streaming down her cheeks, and the way she whispered, “Yes,” was … beautiful.”

    🙂

  11. Where are you quoting from, Ame? Is that from DS’s post and my reading comprehension skills are far worse than I thought?

  12. Ame says:

    🙂 … no, Sweetie! i totally made that up! i was just giving an example of what we’d want to hear … more than, ” … and that’s when I did it.” 🙂

  13. Lol, so my reading comprehension skills are far, far worse than I thought.

  14. Ame says:

    ohhh, no! you are a Mum of a baby and two preschoolers! ‘nough said 🙂

  15. Bee says:

    Deep Strength,

    Congratulations on your engagement and a future family together.

  16. Neguy says:

    Congratulations on your engagement!

  17. anonymous_ng says:

    DS, my time for reading blogs has been cut down and I’d forgotten how much value I’ve found in your writings. Congratulations on your engagement.

    Several of the things you’re doing, had I done them, I’d have enjoyed a much better marriage, and likely still be married.

    I want to expand on something you wrote. While it’s vitally important to understand that you can only change yourself. It’s important to consider ahead of time what are the true deal breakers as your potential spouse is unlikely to change.

    For example, the week before my wedding, I was having second thoughts because my ex had what I considered a drinking problem. I thought that after we moved and got around a new crowd, it would change. I was wrong.

    One of the things I tell my son is to look at the mothers. Do they have a butch haircut? Are they disrespectful to their husband? If so, that’s a red flag. It isn’t necessarily disqualifying, but it is a red flag.

    Is she getting a graduate degree? If so, the odds are less that she’s going to be content to stay home and raise kids, or even to take her place in the family hierarchy.

  18. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Congratulations on your engagement, but if you think finding your wife was hard, brace yourself. Marriage in this climate can be even more of a trial. But, do not shrink back from the trial, for trials sanctify the man of God. Many of the factors you mentioned may still affect you and your ability to respond to future situations; it is like dancing in a minefield thanks to the threat of Duluth. Don’t expect help from the church, they have already taken sides against male headship and marriage permanence in favor of “happy wife – happy life” and divorce recovery workshops to facilitate the next round of adultery. My unsolicited advice is stay connected to Christ, that His strength will exhibit it self when yours fades, and when it seems that all the world is against you, in that hour you will know that He is always with you.

  19. Lost Patrol says:

    In general, men do not want to marry a business partner. They want to marry a woman.

    This is going in the one-liners collection. I read something like this that I’ve never been able to find again, because I’ve forgotten everything but the punch line. Seems there was a popular musical artist circa 70’s era that was writing songs about men and women that clashed with the approved feminist views (I am woman hear me roar, etc.) of the time. When he was taken to task his response was something like – all I mean is that when a man says he’s looking for a good woman, he’s not talking about an airline pilot. That probably did not put the controversy to rest.

    We were sitting down and talking in a prayer room, and that’s when I did it

    Thanks for that answer.

    @Ame, Good one. If he had actually used your answer we would all stop reading this blog forthwith.

  20. Bee says:

    “Feminization in the Church — sappy love songs about Jesus, feelings over Truth, not teaching the hard parts of Scripture (headship, submission, women no authority over man, etc.).”

    I see this a lot, young people not taught anything practical or hard from their church regarding marriage, headship and submission, respect, and having children. Here is an example that is unfortunate and all too common:

    Stefan tries to convince a 28 year old, self confessed Christian woman (Lindsey) that she should ditch the school and career and get married and have children. Lindsey has a lot of problems accepting Stefan’s counsel because it is probably the first time she has heard these ideas. Even though she grew up in church with Christian parents, that appear to not be divorced, she was not taught any of these practical, basic marriage goals. Also Lindsey does not appear to be aware of the basic facts about the short window of women’s fertility. It appears that all Lindsey learned from her parents and church was, “don’t marry a non-Christian.” That is good advice but it is very basic and incomplete, “milk but not meat.” Sad but common; most churches in the West are not teaching practical basics.

  21. Ame says:

    Lost Patrol – “@Ame, Good one. If he had actually used your answer we would all stop reading this blog forthwith.”

    🙂

    i have no doubt. i just had a ‘girl-moment’ and giggled at his super-masculine answer to a female question 😉

  22. Ame says:

    Bee – “Stefan tries to convince a 28 year old, self confessed Christian woman (Lindsey) that she should ditch the school and career and get married and have children. Lindsey has a lot of problems accepting Stefan’s counsel because it is probably the first time she has heard these ideas. Even though she grew up in church with Christian parents, that appear to not be divorced, she was not taught any of these practical, basic marriage goals. Also Lindsey does not appear to be aware of the basic facts about the short window of women’s fertility. It appears that all Lindsey learned from her parents and church was, “don’t marry a non-Christian.” That is good advice but it is very basic and incomplete, “milk but not meat.” Sad but common; most churches in the West are not teaching practical basics.”

    this is sooo true. i don’t know of one parent who would encourage their daughter to skip college to marry young and have children. ALL parents encourage (1) college (2) establish career (3) get married.

  23. Jeremy VanGelder says:

    “The key is building a pattern of good behavior, patience, and lack of anger in conflict. If people understand that conflict is not something to run from, it is much easier to discuss the difficult aspects of the relationship especially when you disagree.”

    This has been vital in my four months of marriage.

  24. @ seriouslyserving, ame & other women

    I got the girl version from her point of view:

    We have been talking about marriage for a while now. He asked my father for permission and I told him the exact ring that I wanted, so I knew he would ask soon (DS note: not a diamond, basic ring, solitaire). Unfortunately he told me when he was going to ask me, either on Valentine’s day or on our two year anniversary (February 26th). I explained to him that it needed to be a surprise and that he shouldn’t tell me when we would propose. He told me that it would only leave him with two days to propose. I tried to let it go because I did not want to know when we wanted to or when he decided to ask me. As the days went by, I figured he would ask sooner or later so I just told him I would prefer that he would ask to marry me the next time that I saw him which would be in about a week and a half. He asked if I was sure and I said yes. I knew we were going to be engaged so I decided that I would want to be engaged ASAP. He asked me, “What if I don’t have the ring by then?”, so I figured he didn’t have it since he always tells me things even if I want them to be a surprise haha. I was a little sad when he mentioned that he might not have the ring in time to propose, so I just let it be. Well, a week went by and he came up to visit me. I noticed that he got a new phone, so I decided to take a picture of us on it. As I was scrolling through the pictures we just took, I swiped one too many and saw the ring on the phone and I wish I didn’t (he didn’t know that I saw)! I knew then that he was going to propose that weekend, which was exactly what I wanted but it kinda sucked to know.

    Later that night we went into the prayer room and we were just talking and hanging out. He started saying really sweet things to me, kept looking me in the eye and massaged my feet for me haha (I may have taken advantage of his sweetness there. :p) At this point I became nervous because he usually doesn’t act like this, so I figured he was about to propose. Even though I wanted him to, I was nervous so I decided to distract him by telling him that we should watch a movie or hang out with our friends, haha anything I could think of. He kept telling me to wait and would keep looking me in the eye and saying sweet stuff. I saw him reaching into his bag and figured that he was pulling out the ring and I became more nervous so I decided to distract him again and it worked because his hand came out of the bag empty handed. I told him that we should hang out with our friends again and he finally agreed, but then said, “Before we end this romantic evening, will you marry me?” My heart was beating so fast as he said it, and I wanted to say yes but I just hugged him for almost a minute because I was so happy and I wanted to relax a bit after being so worked up. I finally let go and told him yes! After we kissed and hugged again I told him that I was so nervous because I knew he was going to propose, and I told him that I saw the ring on his phone. Then we told everyone in the house and our family and friends.

    She spoiled herself by looking at my phone, haha.

    Things didn’t exactly go as planned, but that’s half the fun.

  25. @ anonymous_ng

    Thanks.

    Yep, definitely need to keep an eye out for yellow and red flags.

    Obviously, the “key” is to find a genuine believer who wants to become more like Jesus.

    If you encounter yellow and red flags, and she’s willing to change them because she’s a Christ follower and recognizes that they’re sin or not good for her then that’s a good thing. You don’t want someone to be changing their behavior because of you… because that will all go away when they feel like it.

    Some things definitely give much more pause than others and should be evaluated accordingly.

    @ All

    Thanks for the congratulations.

  26. @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    Thanks for the warning.

    It will definitely be tough but rewarding.

    Earthly suffering is transient to the joy of doing what is right, as difficult as it may be. Something to always keep in mind.

  27. Aw, yay! That was beautiful!
    My husband is terrible at keeping surprises too, but he did manage to surprise me with a proposal! He had bought a $2 ring to propose with, and we picked the real one together afterwards. Proposed at sunset one night when we had gone for a walk.

    Will Mrs-DS-To-Be start commenting around here? Or maybe start her own blog? 🙂 A girl can dream!

  28. Bee said:

    “I see this a lot, young people not taught anything practical or hard from their church regarding marriage, headship and submission, respect, and having children.”

    The church we attend has a group of (mostly) females and males who are of marriageable age. There is some fretting about many of them not even being attached or on their way to marriage. Absolutely nothing is being done about this in many aspects of the church’s activities and programmes, or even from the pulpit. But almost every resource, time and effort is poured into evangelism activities (note: I’m not saying that these are bad, but it seems too excessive.)

    And the pastor had to ask me (some time back) why there are so few young men in the congregation.

  29. Ame says:

    OH.MY.GAWASH!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!! everything that makes a story great and wonderful and memorable and that makes you smile and that she will love telling over and over again, especially to your children and grandchildren someday 🙂 🙂 🙂

    thank you to Mrs.To.Be 🙂

  30. Ame says:

    “If you encounter yellow and red flags, and she’s willing to change them because she’s a Christ follower and recognizes that they’re sin or not good for her then that’s a good thing. You don’t want someone to be changing their behavior because of you… because that will all go away when they feel like it.”

    i think that’s critical, too. it’s not perfection b/c none of us are. it’s a knowing of Who God is and who i am not … it’s a willingness to be mold-able in the Hands of God.

    yes, marriage is hard, but so is life.

  31. Ame says:

    chokingonredpills – “And the pastor had to ask me (some time back) why there are so few young men in the congregation.”

    aaand … what did you tell him? how did he respond?

  32. Pingback: It’s Catchier than “Make It More Likely” | Things that We have Heard and Known

  33. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, BROTHER!

  34. Bee says:

    @chokingonredpills,

    “But almost every resource, time and effort is poured into evangelism activities (note: I’m not saying that these are bad, but it seems too excessive.)”

    The best approach to church growth is a two pronged strategy of evangelism and large families. A key enabler of creating large families is encouraging early marriage. Churches which emphasize evangelism and ignore large families are analogous to the boxer which fights with one hand tied behind his back, or the weight lifter who only works his arms and never builds up his back, core, and legs.

    Large families means having 4 children at a minimum. 4, or more, is needed for church growth and advancing the kingdom of God. Having 3 children means you are just treading water, just replacing yourself and your spouse but not growing the church. It is important to understand that the commonly quoted fertility number of 2.1 is an estimate and it is a variable. It varies for each country or group. The variable is greater than 2.0 in order to account for the people in your group that never have children. In our modern western societies the fertility number is now much closer to 2.9 than to 2.1. Since we can’t bear fractional children we need to round up to 3 children just to replace ourselves and our spouse.

    I read that a group that is 10% of a population that has 5 children per couple can become the majority in just 3 generations! I did not believe this so I made a simple spreadsheet to test this thesis. I assigned a fertility of 1.8 to the majority population and assumed everyone in both groups coupled up and had children. It’s true, the third generation supplants and becomes the majority of the country! You could assume that the 90% are secular humanists and the 10% are Christians or you could assume that the 90% are Christians and the 10% are Muslim immigrants.

  35. Novaseeker says:

    First, congratulations to you , DS!

    Second, Bee, the problem with the natalist idea is that all three generations have to follow the same natalist approach. That’s a big assumption spanning a 60-year horizon. In reality, it is unlikely that the 5 kids in generation 2 will all go on to have 5 kids each in generation 3 and so on. In fact, the general trend is toward smaller families overall, and this is a powerful trend overall, which would lead one to expect less than full compliance with a natalist approach by the offspring in downstream generations. Taken against that is also ongoing and continuing immigration which, despite the blip we may get under Trump, will almost certainly continue in the future, even if at a reduced rate. Immigrants start off having larger families per “old country values”, but typically within 1-2 generations they also assimilate into smaller family sizes typical of the “rich” countries, together with similar values as the mainstream.

    I think that there is some impact to a natalist approach, but it’s smaller than many think due to the issue of likely non-compliance with that approach by a significant proportion of downstream descendants.

  36. Bee says:

    @Novaseeker,

    I am promoting a strategy which used to be common in Christian churches but is now ignored and even discouraged by most churches in the West. Non-compliance is not a reason to ignore or downplay a good strategy. Especially when the strategy has support in the Bible and in older Christian teachings.

    The Amish in America are proof that the large family strategy of church growth is effective. The Amish in America have grown from 200 immigrants to now number 200,000 by encouraging a natalist approach. The Amish are now on track to double every 21 years!

    The Amish are well aware of non-compliance. They counter this by having more than 5 children per couple. They currently have 7 children per couple and lose one child to the outside world. The 6 children that remain then have 7 children of their own and lose one per family. Non-compliance has not stopped them.

  37. Pingback: Revisiting the Christian marriage market | Christianity and masculinity

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