Can Christianity survive the decline of males?

An article from Touchstone Magazine.  (H/T Mysterious C)


In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goes up from 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

[…]In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

[…]A mother’s role will always remain primary in terms of intimacy, care, and nurture. (The toughest man may well sport a tattoo dedicated to the love of his mother, without the slightest embarrassment or sentimentality). No father can replace that relationship. But it is equally true that when a child begins to move into that period of differentiation from home and engagement with the world “out there,” he (and she) looks increasingly to the father for his role model. Where the father is indifferent, inadequate, or just plain absent, that task of differentiation and engagement is much harder. When children see that church is a “women and children” thing, they will respond accordingly—by not going to church, or going much less.

I think that women need to really not leave it to chance when it comes to choosing a man to be the father of their children. If women want to serve God by raising godly children, then they’d better use the most effective courting techniques available to put each candidate through his paces. Just looking at wedding pictures, wishing, and hoping, is not really going to work. There may be more work involved in it – because to test a man’s faith and abilities, you have to know what you are looking for in the first place.

My previous post on the feminized church.

6 thoughts on “Can Christianity survive the decline of males?”

  1. Wintery, if men are leaving church, men are leaving church.
    Women can’t pick the right men who go to church if their numbers are dwindling.

    My father’s father did not go to church.
    And my father didn’t for most of my time growing up.
    But my father’s mother prayed for him and his sister and her grandchildren regardless of what her husband did.

    My father had a spiritual awakening during my Jr. year in high school. He went back to church with a vengence.
    We all went with him.
    Sure, he was out of church more than in church during my growing up years.
    But the prayers of his mother, in the end, had more influence on him than the actions of his father.

    Also, I picked a man who went to church every time the doors were open, including prayer meetings where (traditionally) women always outnumber men. He not only went to church, he wanted to go into the ministry. So we got married and went to seminary.

    Guess what?
    He’s not in church today.

    So what am I saying.

    I’m saying your cut and dry, black and white analysis is full of holes and has very little to do with my reality or the reality of many women.

    Things are not as cookie cutter as you want to make it.


  2. I just found your blog, so I don’t know how old you are or if you’re married. I am a lifelong Christian and my supposedly Christian husband of 20 years left me a few years ago. We have two boys, that I now primarily raise. There is no way to know how a marriage is going to fare. It is a gamble, a leap of faith. Be gentle – there are many Christian mothers who are divorced despite their best efforts and despite marrying someone who, by all appearances at the time, was a believer. You can try and put a man “through his paces”, but that is still no guarantee. I knew my former husband for six years and we dated for four of those years and neither, I, nor any of our friends or family, would have guessed that he would turn on God. But he did. For now. And I will die trying to make sure my sons follow Christ. God is bigger than statistics, as bleak as they may be. And for that I am very thankful.


  3. Debbie E. and Mara, WK’s article is not about women like you. WK’s articles like this are aimed at exactly the women he describes: the women who take life advice from shows like Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and philosophies such as: “follow your heart, you can’t go wrong. If it feels good, do it.”

    WK isn’t setting his scopes on smart women, he is setting his scopes on the women he is describing! So, be encouraged, you all are smart and have done everything you can to not be the majority. Debbie E., sounds like you did all you could do and Mara, I’ve read your comments before, you’re not the majority of women WK tries to convert.

    The women he often describes are the majority.


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