One of my female Facebook friends was concerned about the way that some men seem to be able to cheat on their wives so easily, and she asked me for a piece of advice on how to avoid being the victim of adultery.
My advice for her was to choose a man who is interested in her for the right reasons – reasons that go beyond 1) her appearance and 2) her ability to be fun. The first thing to know is that a good man understands the value of women beyond superficial things. And the second thing is that a woman has to understand what men need from women in their roles as wives and mothers and then 1) take steps to prepare for those roles, and 2) be willing to improve in their abilities to perform those roles.
Choose a man who wants a woman for the right reasons
Let’s talk about the first point – finding a man who needs a woman for more than beauty and entertainment. Think of going for a job interview. Let’s say that a woman was interviewed by a man for a job as a combination of 1) housekeeper, 2) therapist, 3) investment manager, and 4) teacher. There’s more that wives do than that, but let’s leave it at those 4. Now, suppose that the man hires that woman and she is able to perform all 4 of those duties well – so well that the man really really appreciates her. Does it matter if she gets a little older? Of course not! That just means that she is even better now than she was when she started, and her value has gone up! So if the job is based on the right criteria, getting older actually makes the woman a better employee.
But what if the job description is 1) look sexy, 2) go out to nightclubs, 3) play ice hockey, 4) go parachuting. Well, now we have a problem… because getting older usually means that those things are less likely to happen well – or happen at all. And what happens with workers that don’t perform? They get unappreciated and their work gets handed off to someone else who can do the job. The thing to realize here is that there is nothing wrong with a woman who is rejected because she isn’t sexy or fun. The problem is with the man – with his wrong desires. A man who wants sexy looks isn’t really a candidate for marriage – marriage isn’t for people who want recreational sex and thrills. Marriage is for life-long love and parenting.
So the first thing that a woman needs to do is to choose a man who needs her to perform tasks that she can still perform when she is older. It’s even better if you choose a man who values you for things that you can do even better as you get older.
How to do it
So how are we going to find a man who has a requirement for a woman who will get better and better at over time?
1. How does he treat his previous girlfriends?
It’s a good idea to interview his previous girlfriends and ask them what it was like for them with this guy. Can those ex-girlfriends explain his long-term plan? Where did the ex-GF fit into that plan? What did he do to prepare her to fit into his plan? How much emphasis did he place on appearance and entertainment as opposed to talking about finances, parenting, education and moral values? What kinds of activities did he choose – fun things (ballroom dancing and yoga) or things that would prepare the couple for marriage (talking to the woman’s father)? What did he talk about – silly stuff like sports and beer, or apologetics and public policy? How did he lead on moral issues – did he just assert his view, or did he try to persuade? How was he on spiritual questions – had he thought about his religion or was it just what he grew up with? How did he evaluate ex-GF for his plan? How did he lead – did he just give her orders or did he try to persuade her? How did he try to explain to her what men are like and what men need from women, practically and emotionally? What was his plan for having children? How did a woman fit into that plan to have children? What was the goal for having children at all?
If we are specifically worried about not getting cheated on, then the only way to judge that IS by having each of his previous girlfriends come forward and tell you that he was opposed to sex outside of marriage. I think absolute chastity is required, because what it says to you is 1) the man can control himself, 2) the man wants to retain his judgment during courting, 3) the man does not think that relationships are for recreation but for commitment, 4) the man is child-focused – he thinks that marriage is the safest place for raising babies. If a man does not believe that the place for sex is in a marriage, then he is basically going to have affairs whenever he thinks he can get away with it. Either he knows what sex is for, or he doesn’t. Either he is serious about having a stable, loving marriage, or he isn’t. Either he has a purpose for women that is not just for recreation, or he doesn’t. Either he can control himself or he can’t.
2. What decisions has he made to prepare for marriage?
The best thing to do here is to make a list of the roles that men play in marriage and just ask the man point blank – what have you done to prepare for these roles? The roles are 1) provider, 2) protector and 3) moral/spiritual leader.
For 1) just ask him what he studied in school, what his resume looks like, and what his balance sheet looks like. Don’t ask him about the future – ask him about the past. A man can make up any lies about the future he wants. Remember: only money he earned counts as “provider” evidence. Beware of men who take out loans or spend a lot. Beware of men who study political science or psychology. Beware of men who drive their parents’ cars or live in their parents’ homes. Beware of men with expensive addictions to alcohol or cigarettes. Beware of men who spend a lot of money trying to appear trendy and macho.
For 2) we care more about ideas than physical brawn or weapons training. A man is far more likely to have to go to bat for his family armed with his mind than with his fists or weapons in this day and age. And that means understanding logic and evidence and having studied issues like economics, education, science and so on. It’s easy enough to spring secular leftist friends on him and see if he can handle debating them.
For 3) we are looking for a man who holds to Biblical values, whether they are popular or not. A man who can lead morally should be able to argue for Bible-based moral values using secular arguments and public evidence – preferably peer-reviewed. He needs to have a record of being to be persuasive on moral issues with non-Christians. It’s not enough to express opinions. He has to accept the Bible’s teaching on moral issues and then be able to be convincing to people who don’t accept the Bible. That’s the requirement.
The example I like to use is that he needs to be able to explain why premarital sex is morally wrong by showing the evidence that it reduces the stability and quality of the marriage, and this is unacceptable because his goals for the marriage require that the children be developed in a stable, loving marriage. Don’t listen to his opinions – demand the evidence. Why does morality matter to him? How do we know he is telling the truth? For spiritual leadership, it’s the same thing. He needs to be convincing – not just give his opinion. He needs to explain the alternative views and then refute the false ones and prove the true ones. He needs to appeal to logic and observable, testable evidence. Church attendance is not a good way to test a man for being a spiritual leader, since you learn almost nothing of value in most churches.
I think this is important because today there is a lot of pressure from people to just be nice – to back away from unpopular moral values and from exclusive theological statements. If a man cannot defend his views using public, testable evidence, then he is not safe to marry. A man who can only state his opinions and say “the Bible says” is not reliable. To make the right choices, he needs to know why. He needs to not be twisting what the Bible says just because he wants people to like him.
3. Fathers know best
It is very, very important to get to know that man’s father before you marry him. Make sure his parents are still married, then sit down and talk to the father to find out how he treats his wife. It’s also a good idea to just talk about the man’s character with the father. He will be able to think of anecdotes to show what the man is really like. Test the man’s father for his ability to provide, his ability to protect, and his ability to lead on moral and spiritual issues.
But most important of all is to let your father (the woman’s father) have all the time in the world to ask the man questions, to see his resume, financial statements, and letters of reference from past girlfriends (and past girlfriend’s fathers). The father of a woman is the one who cares the most about her – he is her protector. So he has to be given complete carte blanche to perform investigations and interviews. In my experience, the mothers of young women are not as reliable as the fathers.
4. Make him work for it
The man’s job during courting is to evaluate the woman by asking her difficult questions. But the woman also has a job – her job is to make the man prove that he is worthy by making him invest in her life. That means giving him plenty of tasks to do – tasks related to his roles. Not stupid things like being a good dancer, but important things like scheduling time with her to talk and listen about specific topics related to the relationship. And he has to do work, like solving her problems and performing tasks for her, and bringing her gifts. A man should keep a woman supplied with books and build her up so that she has confidence and strength to put forward her views convincingly.
He also needs to understand the role of emotions and do what it takes to keep her spirits up – frequent flowers, notes, poems, essays, etc. A man should know how to make a bad woman into a good woman – so that he can compliment her when he is finished building her up. That’s what men do. That could involve careful use of praise and blame to point in the right direction, or it might involve correcting her false beliefs and confirming her true beliefs with evidence. Men are supposed to make women more moral and more effective – that way the man has someone he can trust and rely on to turn to for care and help.
A woman has to make sure that the man has the habit of making commitments and following through on them when things get hard. A woman should look for evidence of long-term friendships, long-term ownership of pets or property, long-term stability in career or housing. No quitting or dropping out.
I hope that those ideas will at least provide some food for thought. The main point I want to make is that there are some men who are capable of love and marriage and some who aren’t. A woman cannot pick a man who is handsome and fun and penniless and non-judgmental and then nag him into making more money, being interested in religion, being able to set moral boundaries for kids, being faithful, etc. The only sure way to get a man to love you for life is to choose a man for that specific purpose, and for no other purpose.
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