Stop telling women that God will give them husbands later if they delay marriage now

Man helping a woman with proper handgun marksmanship
Man helping a woman with proper handgun marksmanship

Dalrock blogged a splendid post about people who claim that there is a shortage of “good men”. He says that if there really were a shortage of good men, then people who want women to actually get married would be telling women not to delay marriage, but to instead get serious about marrying early, when their ability to attract husband candidates is at its peak.

Dalrock writes:

We can see the same pattern in Dr. John Piper’s recent post Why Are Women More Eager Missionaries?*  Piper explains that missionary work has become a pink ghetto:

…the actual situation among most evangelical faith missions is that between 80–85% of all single missionaries are women. It is a rare thing, like two out of every ten, for a single man to make missions his life’s vocation, which results in the overall statistics being that one-third of those in evangelical world missions are married men, one-third are married women, and 80 percent of the last third are single women. Which means that something just less than two-thirds of the total missionary force are women.

Piper’s main concern with the post however is not that there aren’t enough single men doing missionary work, but that women who choose this field aren’t marrying as they would like.  Piper complains that the problem for husband hunting missionary women is really an exacerbated version of the same problem all Christian women have, and that is an overall lack of marriageable Christian men…

I’ll save you the quotation of Piper, but his reason why missionary women struggle to find husbands is – SHOCK! – that Christian men refuse to man up. I.e – Piper believes that women can’t find husbands because men are not ready and willing to marry.

More:

But if Piper actually believed… that there was a severe shortage of husband material men, he would focus his attention on helping the women reading navigate this incredibly difficult situation.  Overseas mission work may feel empowering for young women, but (according to Piper) single women going into the mission field are greatly handicapping their prospects in an already bleak field.  His advice to young women would be to choose which was truly more important to them, being a missionary or finding a husband.

If Piper really believed that there were a shortage of marriage-minded, marriage-capable Christian men, then Piper would be counseling women who genuinely want to marry to make marriage a priority when they are younger, prettier and more fertile. Some women say that they want to get married “some day”. But the hidden truth is often that they just want to delay marriage in order to have fun and thrills, until they get tired of it. And then they just expect a suitable man to show up right when they need one. But do men want to marry a 35-year-old woman when they are 40 as much as they want to marry a 23-year-old woman when they are 25?

More Dalrock:

Piper even tells a story which would be a perfect way to teach this lesson.  He describes a single woman named Gladys Aylward who went to a place where she found no marriageable men, and then blamed single men for not following her and proposing marriage:

“Miss Aylward talked to the Lord about her singleness. She was a no-nonsense woman in very direct and straightforward ways and she asked God to call a man from England, send him straight out to China, straight to where she was, and have him propose to me.” I can’t forget the next line. Elisabeth Elliot said, “With a look of even deeper intensity, she shook her little bony finger in my face and said, ‘Elisabeth, I believe God answers prayer. And he called him.’” And here there was a brief pause of intense whisper. She said, “‘He called him, and he never came.’”

Now, that experience, I would guess, is not unique to Gladys Aylward.

If Piper really believed that Christian husbands were scarce, he would be sharing this anecdote to warn young women of the foolishness of moving away from the pool of men they hope to choose a husband from and then expecting God to send the man of their choosing across the world to propose.  If we were in a culture of scarcity of good men, this would be the obvious lesson from this story.  But we live in an age with unshakable confidence that good men are not only available all around us, but will always be abundant.  If Piper believed that the husband Miss Aylward was praying for was surrounded by real life English women eager to win him as a husband, this story wouldn’t be complaining about why he didn’t drop everything, fly to China, and propose to a woman he had never met.  If Piper believed that the man was sought after as a husband in England, he would be pointing out the foolishness of Miss Aylward flying off to China and then wondering why a man she had never met didn’t show up to propose once she decided she wanted to marry.

Miss Aylward either needed to accept that being a missionary in a secular country meant not marrying, or she needed to focus on marriage first when she was attractive to men as a life partner. Many women are propositioned for sex after they hit their mid-30s, but few of them are asked to marry. This is because men need women more when they are just starting out in their careers than when they are established in their careers.

Many women have no appreciation of how investing in a husband early causes him to be loyal to her when she is older. Women think that a husband will show up when she is ready, and be loyal to her even though she was absent during the hardships of the first decade of his career. A woman can do a lot of good for a man when he is starting out in his career and trying to save money for a house. But when those years have passed, the man’s ability to work and save have been largely set – without anyone’s help. If he went through those years single, then he typically will have earned less and saved less than a married man, because he did it without a wife’s support. Men do better in their careers and finances when they have a wife’s support. Especially in the early career, which is more stressful because of the lack of work experience. If a woman wants a man to be faithful and loyal, then she needs to choose a man who needs her, and invest in him using her youth and beauty to support him during his critical 20s and early 30s. Men respond to support during the critical years with lifelong fidelity and loyalty.

By the way, for an explanation of why men prefer not to be missionaries, read this post on Deeper Strength blog.

38 thoughts on “Stop telling women that God will give them husbands later if they delay marriage now”

  1. “She was a no-nonsense woman in very direct and straightforward ways and she asked God to call a man from England, send him straight out to China, straight to where she was, and have him propose to me.”

    My word. Dare I say that she might he single because God is protecting men like us from women like her.

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  2. The title says it all. They have no Bible verses to back that up, and are putting God to foolish tests. He *might* give them husbands later, but is not obligated to, especially if they reject basic wisdom regarding marriage and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate a lot of the things you say, and you are obviously an articulate, intelligent man. Yet something about your writing often “rubs me the wrong way”, not in a sense that I strongly disagree or feel hostility toward you, but more so that so much of what you say seems to not be coming from a place of life experience. The way you describe marriage seems very husband-centered, as if the wife’s entire purpose of existing is to “invest in him using her youth and beauty to support him during his critical 20s and early 30s”. Marriage is a relationship of mutual support, and I think the weight of that kind of personal responsibility a husband has to his wife as a partner and a person is often lost on him. I do believe husbands can experience a change of heart as they age, that produces deep loyalty and gratitude for the wife of their youth, but it takes a long time, sometimes decades to get there. That’s a long time for a woman to wait for something she thought she had with his marriage vows. She wanted his loyalty, his devotion, his joy from the very beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A wife who supports her husband during difficult times, has his loyalty and everlasting love from the very beginning. When we first got married, the stress on me was often overwhelming, especially when our first child was due. My wife couldn’t work and I was struggling to put food on the table, make the mortgage payments, etc… It was tough on both of us to be sure, but my wife’s love, encouragement and support in those difficult first few years, gave me the fortitude to endure, and in turn I will love and care for her to the end of my days.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I think marriage should be pursued by all women, instead of dating and hook ups! However one can’t rush in too soon to marry the person you will spend your life with. You need to really get to know eachother though thick and thin, and be emotionally mature with to have a married life. It can’t just be about you anymore, especially when children come into the picture. My parents married in their 30’s and have now been married 30 years! True love can wait… Don’t rush in because you’re desperate…
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/woke-or-still-dreaming/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would suggest not waiting too long either. When I first met my wife, there was something different about her, that is I saw things in her that other women just didn’t have. She was very pretty, tall and slim, but what set her apart was that she tried so very hard to show me what a good wife she would make. After only a few dates we decided that we would get married and after 4 children we’re still together. It’s been more than 30 years and we’re still going strong.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I see what you’re saying. I really do. But, as others have pointed out, there are… gaps in your argument, shall we say.

    One of the things you keep stressing is that women should be marriage minded when they are young and fertile (fair enough), but also while they are “prettier.” So… what about the ugly women? Or the not-conventionally attractive women? I guess they don’t count? 😉

    And then I think of the experiences of my own daughters, both of whom are in their early 20’s now. Neither has been asked out on an actual date in their entire lives. One of them hasn’t had a male show interest in her since she was 13 (the guy thought she was his own age; 19). AT work, she was frequently mistaken for a male. How, I’m not sure, considering her generous… assets, shall we say… but there it is. The other worked as a cashier and would get hit on by customers all the time. She was 19-21 at the time. They were 50+ yr old contractors. A co-worker got hit on by much older customers so often, she started wearing an engagement ring, hoping it would dissuade them. It didn’t. And she looks a good 5 years younger than my daughter, which puts it in the creepy as heck category.

    I realize you are posting from a guy’s point of view, but there is an entire world young women are living in that you know nothing about. Not saying there aren’t women as you describe, but perhaps there is more to the issue then you are seeing.

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    1. Part of that might be related to the current climate of false accusations and micro-aggressions.

      When I say prettier I mean the same woman at different ages is more or less pretty. I have to be accurate if the advice is going to be useful.

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      1. At the time this was going on, none of that was the big deal it is, now. In fact, I’m not sure how false accusations or micro-aggressions even applies to the examples I gave.
        The problem with focusing on physical appearance is that “pretty” is very subjective. I think my own husband is much more attractive now, at 50, then he was when we married at 19. And not just because I’m married to him, but because my own ideas of what is or isn’t attractive have changed as I, myself, have gotten older. The point I’m making, though, is that you are focusing on physical appearance as if it were an objective measure, like age or fertility, and it’s not. At the same time, you admonish women for going after the “hot bad boys.” So… women are at fault if they go after physically attractive guys, but they must be physically attractive *to* guys in order to be marriageable material, and it’s their fault if they don’t? How does that work, exactly?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, I think most men would say that the same woman has better looks at 20 than at 50. I didn’t say that men should choose based on looks, of course! I’m saying that men are more likely to risk the responsibility of marriage for a younger woman, for the reasons stated, e.g. more children, early investment on his career, etc.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. And then I think of the experiences of my own daughters, both of whom are in their early 20’s now. Neither has been asked out on an actual date in their entire lives. One of them hasn’t had a male show interest in her since she was 13 (the guy thought she was his own age; 19). AT work, she was frequently mistaken for a male. How, I’m not sure, considering her generous… assets, shall we say… but there it is. The other worked as a cashier and would get hit on by customers all the time. She was 19-21 at the time. They were 50+ yr old contractors. A co-worker got hit on by much older customers so often, she started wearing an engagement ring, hoping it would dissuade them. It didn’t. And she looks a good 5 years younger than my daughter, which puts it in the creepy as heck category.

      It’s very rare for women to get mistaken as a man. There’s usually several reasons involved in this:

      1. She is wearing androgynous clothing like jeans and t-shirts instead of feminine oriented clothing like skirts and dresses
      2. Her hair is cut short
      3. She has masculine facial features
      4. She has masculine mannerisms or speech
      5. She doesn’t wear feminine accessories like earrings
      6. Tasteful feminine makeup

      All these are changeable, except masculine facial features.

      You need to encourage her to dress and be more feminine.

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      1. Or people just assume that an employee in a hardware store is male, even when most of the employees are female. Every time it happened, it was always a male customer, and they always apologized immediately. She was never offended and just laughed it off.

        Why should I encourage her to dress more “feminine”? She dresses appropriately for the need. We’re getting back to blaming women for men’s responses to them.

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        1. “Or people just assume that an employee in a hardware store is male, even when most of the employees are female. Every time it happened, it was always a male customer, and they always apologized immediately. She was never offended and just laughed it off.”

          Hard to do with feminine clothing, long hair, female accessories, etc.

          “Why should I encourage her to dress more “feminine”? She dresses appropriately for the need. We’re getting back to blaming women for men’s responses to them.”

          This is hilarious, honestly.

          You’re the one complaining that your daughters are recognized like men, not me. You’re the one complaining that your daughters haven’t been asked out on dates, not me.

          Perhaps you try something different if the same old same old isn’t working, instead of complaining that we’re now blaming women for men’s responses.

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          1. Actually, no. I wasn’t complaining. I simply made a comment. You’re the one who is making all sorts of assumptions with absolutely zero information about my daughters, instead of addressing the actual point of my comment. Did you even catch what that was?

            My girls are adults now – did you miss the part where I mentioned they are in their 20s? They are not 2 yr olds that need me to tell them how to dress. They do just fine, regardless of what conclusions you have drawn about them out of your own imagination.

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        2. ‘Why should I encourage her to dress more “feminine”?’

          Because you are their mother and therefore 1/2 of their parental authority. We’re just a bunch of anon guys on the internet giving advice on what we like. We like women who look like women.

          Do you want them to dress however they want for the rest of their lives or do you want them to be able to attract a man?

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          1. First of all, you are assuming they *don’t* dress “like women” (now there’sa subjective statement, if ever there was one). Second, you seem to think I should care what some anonymous guys on the internet think, and therefore listen to their advice about my adult daughters, which is being given after inserting their own assumptions about a thing they have no real information about. And third, holy smokes, dude. That last comment. Are you for real?? That has got to be the dumbest thing ever. Lol

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “…now there’s a subjective statement…”

            Not really. My wife, who over the last two decades, varies from a 5 to 9 out of 10 depending on attire, hair style, etc., has never even once been mistaken for a man. If you are an attractive woman, you have to work hard to hide it.

            “…advice about my adult daughters…”

            This is what happens if you use your daughters as talking points to show that this post has “gaps in your argument”. If you can’t bear the scrutiny of people questioning your questionable personal anecdote, you shouldn’t be using a personal anecdote.

            “…assumptions about a thing they have no real information about…”

            Imagine coming here, posting how WK’s argument has gaps, and using this unverifiable story about how amazing your daughters are to support it. But your story is incongruent with your thesis: something doesn’t add up if attractive mid-20’s women don’t attract male attention. You are not telling the whole story. Until such information is provided, the claim that WK’s argument has gaps is not substantiated by the available evidence. Perhaps it is unclear, but on this site, evidence is required to back up claims.

            “…That has got to be the dumbest thing ever…”

            It is the parents’ role to advise their offspring. That responsibility does not magically end at the rather arbitrary age of 18. The primary responsibility ends only when they get married.

            “…did you miss the part where I mentioned they are in their 20s? They are not 2 yr olds that need me to tell them how to dress…”

            Even grandmothers know to tell their daughters and grand-daughters to put some clothing on and dress modestly (historically) or to stop dressing like a man (modernity).

            It is clear from your statement that you don’t feel you have any responsibility to correct them because they are adults. What people have gently been trying to suggest here is that you never gave your responsibility enough seriousness, otherwise those daughters never would have made it to adulthood unprepared for entering marriage. This is the point of WK’s post.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Oh, wow. You guys completely missed the point of my comment, and are digging yourselves in deeper and deeper. As much as I hate the term, THIS is what “mansplaining” is. Honestly, it’s hilarious.

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          4. ‘First of all, you are assuming they *don’t* dress “like women”’

            Well how does a woman with ‘generous assets’ as you claim get mistaken for a guy? I don’t think I’ve ever mistaken a woman with those for a guy.

            The only thing hilarious here is that something in your arc of a story about your dateless daughters doesn’t make sense.

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    3. “So… what about the ugly women?”

      There are no ugly women who are filled by the Holy Spirit. None.

      Their beauty radiates from the inside out, regardless of their physical features. Trumps’ Press Secretary is an excellent example.

      The problem, IMHO, is so few young women raised in the churches are actually Christian, or, if they are, then they are, at best, superficially prepared to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Please forgive my bluntness – not directed toward your daughters specifically.

      Show me a woman who battles for her Lord, and I will show you the most beautiful woman on earth, physical attributes notwithstanding.

      BUT, if she is just a cultural “Christian,” raised in Western Churchianity, then she has to compete with all of the atheist gals with better physical looks, because she is not set apart for Christ and does not have the Holy Spirit to radiate her true beauty.

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      1. Wow.

        Uhm… really? Is the Holy Spirit some sort of magic lamp in women that everyone can see, but if people can’t see this magical spirit fairy dust, it means a women is not a “real” Christian?

        LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. With almost no exceptions, a woman who wants to marry gets married. A woman who puts her mind to it can get married.

        Second, you are correct that women filled with the Spirit do become more attractive, even more sexually attractive. They’re prettier. They’re more engaging, more inviting, friendlier, and more feminine. Those women attract men, and those men and women pair off.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you!

          I actually replied to the sarcastic “magic lamp” comment with some harsh truth, but WK, probably wisely, kept it out.

          Looks like others are doing the job for me. 🙂

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          1. Hahaha!

            Not “mean” – but truth in love! LOL.

            The real reason you didn’t like it was because it was too mystical. I don’t blame you – I had the thought go through my head “I wonder if WK will actually post this?” 🙂

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    4. “And then I think of the experiences of my own daughters, both of whom are in their early 20’s now. Neither has been asked out on an actual date in their entire lives.”

      You have #metoo to thank for that.

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      1. Uhm. No. That wasn’t a thing until after we moved away from the city to the boonies, so I can’t include the past year (we went from the city to the boonies in another province). More likely because they have never had any interest in the bar or party scene their peers were into.

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    5. So… what about the ugly women? Or the not-conventionally attractive women? I guess they don’t count?
      I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or what. But what I can tell you is that even “ugly” women or “not-conventionally attractive” women are STILL attractive enough, and pretty enough, that they can get men interested in them. An “ugly” or “not conventionally attractive” woman is still the prettiest she’s going to be at ages 18 to 25, and that’s when she can get men interested in her. At least, the men interested in her at that point are the best she will ever be able to do, so she might as well pick one at that point.
      Perhaps WK doesn’t speak from experience, but I do. I am 50 years old. I have been married 22 years. I dated. I have watched many, many other men and women over that long trajectory.
      1) Almost everyone marries.
      2) Women are at their most attractive before age 25, and that is when they are best able to secure commitment from the highest value men they can. These are also the women who appear to be the happiest, most satisfied, and most content in their marriages.
      3) A woman who marries before 25 and is dissatisfied and chose poorly, did so because she didn’t grow up and woman up and start acting like a wife. When these women grow up and woman up, they start getting happier and more content.
      4) Women who waited past age 25 had to settle quite deeply, and tend to report the highest dissatisfaction and unhappiness with life and their marriages.
      We had a system that worked to secure the most happiness for the most women. But of course, as it is with all women, it was not enough, or good enough, or fast enough, and so it was discarded.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. People (men and women alike) who are not conventionally attractive in some way will have much more difficulty finding a decent mate. This is not new, but in the world of contemporary dating it is more acute. Generally people who find themselves in this situation and do not like it are best off trying to figure out how to become somewhat more attractive to the people they are interested in attracting — again, this applies to men and women alike. People who remain conventionally unattractive, whether they are men or women, will have a much harder time finding a mate — whether they’re Christian or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it also depends on a woman examining why is she waiting. Is it because they haven’t met someone yet to consider dating or to marry. That is different than a woman that is too busy exploring the world and having fun to even keep their eyes open to the possibility of finding someone

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My biggest question is why does the church accept all of these women going out into “ministry.” They are not to be teachers, but helpers in this respect. We also need to reprioritize our “missions.” Is it really productive to be the welfare office for other countries? Shouldn’t the local believers step up at some point?

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  8. Refarmer said:

    First of all, you are assuming they *don’t* dress “like women” (now there’sa subjective statement, if ever there was one). Second, you seem to think I should care what some anonymous guys on the internet think, and therefore listen to their advice about my adult daughters, which is being given after inserting their own assumptions about a thing they have no real information about. And third, holy smokes, dude. That last comment. Are you for real?? That has got to be the dumbest thing ever. Lol

    My girls are adults now – did you miss the part where I mentioned they are in their 20s? They are not 2 yr olds that need me to tell them how to dress. They do just fine, regardless of what conclusions you have drawn about them out of your own imagination.

    Look, Refarmer. You’re the one who said you have 2 daughters in their 20s who have never been on a date in their entire lives.

    A woman who can’t get ANY man interested in her before she’s 20 is doing it wrong. It’s one or more of the following:

    1) She doesn’t look her best. She’s overweight, she dresses poorly, she doesn’t have a good hairstyle or good makeup.

    2) She’s a b***h.

    3) She’s too busy.

    4) There aren’t enough men there. She needs to go where the men are or you need to help invite men there.

    You just complained that your girls have never been on a date. They are NOT “doing just fine”. If one of your daughters is mistaken as being a man, SHE IS DOING IT WRONG. I don’t care if she works at a hardware store. We can all tell the difference between a man and a woman wherever they are – if the man looks masculine and the woman looks feminine. If people mistook her for a man, she was doing it wrong. No woman should ever be mistaken as a man unless she is deliberately looking and acting like a man.

    All a young woman under 25 has to do to attract men is EXIST. Look good, have a pulse and have a respiration rate. If men are not paying attention to your daughters, they’re doing it wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to know more about their walk with Christ. Are they salt and light to the world?
      If so, I don’t care if they are overweight or wearing men’s clothes, because if there are ANY eligible (and authentic) Christian men in their area, they should be getting noticed. Being in a rural area might make it tougher, and there are plenty of fake “Christian” men too that they need to beware of.
      Are they speaking out on social media or in public against abortion? Are they holding Bible studies for younger girls? Are they handing out Gospel tracts or supporting missions? There are a TON of different things they can be doing to be salt and light, even in a rural area – I would hope?
      If they are, then their “magic lamp” will shine brightly through average looks, masculine clothes, anything. (Isaiah 58 is at least loosely relevant to my point.)

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