What do men want from a marriage?

A man leading a woman upward
A man leading a woman upward

Well, my friend Curby sent me this article from a very conservative Calvinist blog. It talks about one of the things that men want from a marriage. I thought I would post it here, and affirm its truth.


Men are created different than women. And man’s priorities, deep in his very being, are very different from the woman’s priorities.

[…]The family was created to be an institution, and that institution has a purpose and function in God’s order for the things: to expand the dominion of God’s people over the whole world (Gen. 1:27-28). The purpose and function were first given to the man, and he is supposed to be the chief carrier and executive of that function. And just as the woman was uniquely designed and gifted to discern and understand the issues of relationships, the man was uniquely designed and gifted to fulfill the purpose of taking dominion over the earth. The father’s and the husband’s position of the man is not primarily focused on relationships – that’s what he was given a wife for. That responsibility is given to man to ensure that his family fulfills its purpose in the plan of God in conquering the earth. Man’s very being is outward-oriented, not inward-oriented. His interests would be in work and war, not in feelings and relationships. While women also have their part in business (Prov. 31) and war (Judges 4), by creation ordinance it is man’s realm and sphere of responsibility and authority.

And therefore a church that preaches only relationships and no purpose, will tend to attract mostly women, not men. And when the family is preached as mostly relationships but the purpose and the functions of the family are not preached, men influenced by that preaching won’t be interested in having families. That’s just the created nature of things.

Men feel obligated to do something that is going to please God. And relationships and feelings are not the something they are trying to do:

The Bible has little to say about a “relationship with Jesus.” In fact, Jesus Himself speaks about a personal relationship between Him and His disciples only in two places, and He gives a very simple explanation of what a personal relationship with Him is: obedience to His will. In Matt. 12:46-50 He explains how one gets to be a member of Jesus’s family: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” And then again, in John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” There is no special theology of “personal relationship with Jesus” in the Bible; that personal relationship is very simple: do what He commands. It is not based on emotions or feelings. It is based on the self-conscious commitment to do what He commands.

But what He commands is given in the whole Bible. And it starts with the Dominion Mandate for man and his family to fill the earth, and subdue it. And this means that there is purpose and calling to man as a father and husband to work, fight, educate, care, build, lay foundations, protect, conquer, establish. There is a purpose to man’s life. And that purpose is matched by the inclination in the heart of man to do these things. A man’s heart is thrilled by the possibility to work and conquer. And when the family is presented to him not as an institution of dominion – that is, an institution for work and conquering – but only as a place for “relationships,” he won’t get excited about it. He will leave the church and find another place to work and conquer.

So let me say something about this, and please don’t be offended. My views do go against the popular view of marriage today.

If I were to get married it would be to a woman who understood that my purpose in working from age 20 to age 60 is not primarily to provide a her with feelings and relationships and peer approval.

My purpose in marrying is to make the marriage promote the things that God likes, and oppose the things that God doesn’t like.

In my case that means:

  • impacting the university with apologetics and conservatism
  • impacting the church with apologetics and conservatism
  • impacting the public square to promote policies that enable Christian living
  • producing as many effective, influential children as I can afford to raise

So if I were courting a woman interested in marrying me, then that would be my time to persuade her that the areas I want to work on are important and suited to our skills. I would not be trying to put God on hold so that I could focus on giving her fun, thrills and happiness. Instead, I would be trying to convince her that we could do better for God as a pair than as two singles. And she would have the opportunity to listen to and improve our plans to serve God and decide whether to sign with me or not. No one is forcing her to marry me, she gets to choose if she thinks that my plan to make the marriage serve God is acceptable to her.

So, during the courting, we would look in the Bible together and then look at the culture and decide what areas needed our efforts and what would be the best way for us to impact those areas. But always with the goal of being effective on the things that God cares about. So, no expensive vacations to foreign countries every year just because she wants to travel, that money can be used to organize apologetics events. We have to agree that the purpose of the marriage is not to go have adventures abroad when there is a culture perishing right here at home.

That’s what I mean when I say that men ought to lead in a marriage. I mean that men should have a plan for making the marriage serve God in a practical way. A man needs a wife in order to help him execute his plan to serve God, especially if the plan involves children and other relationships with people outside the home. I do think it is a good idea for a woman to get a degree and have some experience in the workplace before she marries, although she should stay home once children arrive. She should certainly make every effort to be debt free, moved out of her parents’ house, and investing in a retirement fund. There should not be any fun-pursuing, or thrill-seeking going on unless the financial and professional situation is under control.

Now what shall I do if no woman accepts this idea that marriage is about negotiating a plan and then achieving it for God’s benefit?

Well, that is fine with me. Although I budgeted for a stay-at-home wife and tuition for four PhD-credentialed children, if I cannot find such a woman, then I should take my earnings (after taxes) and spend them on Christian scholars instead. And I should use some of that money on blogging and other related activities that I can do myself. At least that way, I am going to get some sort of a return on my earnings for my client (God). So far, I’ve run into a lot of kickback from the single women I’ve approached because they want to sort of wing it, and make their feelings and their relationships the goal of the marriage. Very often, they consider their feelings God speaking to them. But what God is telling them is never good for God, and always for making themselves happy. But I want a wife who puts serving God above her feelings, and empowers me to serve him instead of trying to serve herself first and foremost.

Moreover, I would just add that any woman who accepts her husband’s plan as her own, and develops the skills necessary to help him, is going to have more love than she can handle. The experience of being listened to, understood, respected and assisted by a woman produces lots of affection, devotion, protectiveness and desire from a man. Think of it this way. Very few people in this world care about what we are trying to do for God, except potentially our wives, if we choose wisely. Right now, the environment is very much against the plans of Christian men. The experience of having a woman help a Christian man to execute his plan is Earth-shaking for him. After so many years of struggling to do everything himself for God, suddenly another human being comes along who can understand what he is trying to achieve and can freely choose help him to achieve the things he cares so much about. That is what a man really needs from a woman. Respect for his deepest aspiration – to serve God and to make his life count for the Kingdom. And when a woman gives a man that respect, she will have something much better than fun, thrills, and freedom from responsibilities and obligations. She will have love from a husband – love that lasts a lifetime.

14 thoughts on “What do men want from a marriage?”

  1. “Moreover, I would just add that any woman who accepts her husband’s plan as her own, and develops the skills necessary to help him, is going to have more love than she can handle. The experience of being listened to, understood, respected and assisted by a woman produces lots of affection, devotion, protectiveness and desire from a man. ”

    This is so true!

  2. Okay, I have the first half of the psot and skim the rest cause I have to return to work but this is a serious question, I have asked another christian male this wuestion as well on a different blog.

    Okay my question, what if you don’t find a woman suitable to marry? Will you continue on working for God.

    I hope that made sense

    1. The answer is yes. If I don’t find a woman suitable to marry, I will continue working for God. Although finding a woman to marry was the most important thing I wanted and needed, I am not going to dump God if I don’t get it.

  3. Wintery, I loved the “In your face” and “Just how it is with me!” view of marriage and the role of the Man and the Woman in a real marriage. Thank You.
    How long have you been searching for such a woman?

    1. Two decades, but I find lots of them, just never in the same geographic area as me! Grrr. I live in a very liberal part of the country. Married women tend to agree with me on this, and single women in the more conservative parts of the country. But here in this very blue city, it’s impossible to find any.

  4. Yes. I can’t agree more that “marriage is about negotiating a plan and then achieving it for God’s benefit.”

    I would love nothing more than to support a man in his ministry, or have a joint ministry. In the meantime, I’m getting on with the job in the ministry God has called me to.

    I’ve met many men who are focused on their feelings! They seem to prioritise fun-loving activities, materialism and want a woman to provide “feelings and relationships and peer approval.” Most seem to be content with a day job that pays the bills, doing things around the house on a Saturday, going to church on a Sunday and then repeating the cycle. I have met very few Christian men whose main ambition is to serve God and conquer for Him, no matter what it takes…

    I believe these distinctions are mainly personality-based, not gender-based. Have you explored the Myers-Briggs personality types? Granted that they are generalisations and that individuals are complex, I reckon this model does describe what motivates people. According to this model the majority are ‘sensing’ types, focused on physical experiences and the present. Others, especially INFJs, have a cause as their primary focus.

    Maybe you are looking for a particular personality type?

  5. Wintery, it’s refreshing to read you blogs…Thanks. I first heard of you in the on-line groups discussions of, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, in which I have learned a lot about myself and my closet Liberal, wife of 29yrs.

  6. Great post, great link. I wish I had heard sermons like this on the purpose of family and children when I was a young man.

  7. @WK,

    Just a friendly suggestion, extreme liberals assume and write like they are middle of the road while branding others as extremists. We can combat that by leaving out the “very conservative” from the phrase, “…from a very conservative Calvinist website.” Saying it is a Calvinist website is enough, or even better, a Christian website.

    Ignore those who assume you agree with everything on every link and every commenter.

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