Why should a woman marry a man while she’s still under 25?

Married men seem to enjoy a boost in earnings from age 23-43
Married men seem to enjoy a boost in earnings between age 22-45

I saw a bunch of pro-marriage friends were tweeting about this article from the St. Louis Federal Reserve which talks about how well married men do financially compared to single men, and using it as a reason to argue that men should get married. The article from the St. Louis Reserve doesn’t have much commentary, but this article from the far-left Washington Post by Brad Wilcox has a lot to say.


Marriage has a transformative effect on adult behavior, emotional health, and financial well-being—particularly for men.

[…]Men who get married work harder and more strategically, and earn more money than their single peers from similar backgrounds. Marriage also transforms men’s social worlds; they spend less time with friends and more time with family; they also go to bars less and to church more.

[…]Our research, featured in a recent report, “For Richer, For Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success in America,” indicates that men who are married work about 400 hours more per year  than their single peers with equivalent backgrounds. They also work more strategically: one Harvard study found that married men were much less likely than their single peers to quit their current job unless they had lined up another job.

This translates into a substantial marriage premium for men. On average, young married men, aged 28-30, make $15,900 more than their single peers, and married men aged 44-46 make $18,800 more than their single peers.

That’s even after controlling for differences in education, race, ethnicity, regional unemployment, and scores on a test of general knowledge. What’s more: the marriage premium operates for black, Hispanic, and less-educated men in much the same way as it does for men in general.

For instance, men with a high-school degree or less make at least $17,000 more than their single peers.

So, what about these differences between married men and single men? Are men able to earn more if they have a wife to support them and care for their needs? Or is it just that women prefer men who are already able to take care of themselves?

Well, in most cases, it’s the former:

2. Married men are motivated to maximize their income. For many men, this responsibility ethic translates into a different orientation toward work, more hours, and more strategic work choices. Sociologist Elizabeth Gorman finds that married men are more likely to value higher-paying jobs than their single peers.

This is partly why studies find that men increase their work hours after marrying and reduce their hours after divorcing. It’s also why married men are less likely to quit a current job without finding a new job. Indeed, they are also less likely to be fired than their single peers.

3. Married men benefit from the advice and encouragement of their wives. Although there is less research on this, we suspect that men also work harder and more strategically because they are encouraged to do so by their wives, who have an obvious interest in their success. One study appears to buttress this point, finding that men with better-educated wives earn more, even after controlling for their own education.

4. Employers like married men with children.  There is evidence that employers  prefer and promote men who are married with children, especially compared to their childless male peers and to mothers. Married men are often seen as more responsible and dedicated workers and are rewarded with more opportunities by employers. While illegal bias and long-held stereotypes appear to play a role in this historic preference, it nonetheless helps explain why married family men get paid more.

Now what’s the purpose of me writing this? Well, I’m actually NOT writing this to pressure men to get married. Why not? Because although marriage was a pretty good deal 100 years ago, it’s not as good of a deal under the current laws and policies, e.g. – no-fault divorce, the threats of false accusations, the Sexual Revolution, etc. So I wouldn’t advise a man to rush into marriage to just anybody in order to get the financial (and health) benefits of having a wife. Marriage is only safe when you choose a woman carefully.

But I am writing this to women who are being told by the culture to delay marriage, and especially to delay marriage to use your youth and beauty to “have fun” with boys who won’t commit to marriage. If a woman loves a marriage-focused man and really wants to take care of him and support him, then early marriage is one of the very best ways to really help him during the years (22-45) when it really makes a difference. Marrying a man who wants marriage when you’re still young means that he will have many, many measurable benefits.

It’s important to marry a man when the marriage has the potential to do the most good for him in areas like health, career, finances and children. Men typically don’t want to marry women who are older, because they have more sexual experience and because they get used to giving a man sex in order to get him to do what she wants. Once a woman gets used to doing this, it becomes much harder to trust a good man to lead, and to give a man respect as a leader.

In addition, men know that women never change who they are really attracted to. If a woman chooses superficially attractive men who won’t commit over and over, then even if she “settles” for a man later on, she probably won’t be able to be attracted him. Men know not to choose women who won’t value them for their traditional moral values, conservative politics and ability to perform traditional male roles like providing. Men know that a woman who feels that she is “settling” for less than she deserves is more likely to disrespect him, and to withhold sex from him.

Now pro-marriage parents and pro-marriage pastors will typically tell you that they want to let their daughters decide when to marry, so that they will be happy having “fun” before marriage, and happy being provided for after marriage. But when those women are done playing the field and in their mid-thirties, their relatives and pastors are not thinking about what men’s interests are. They’re thinking about how to get this woman married, regardless of the man’s interests. And men know that. So they aren’t going to be bullied or shamed into a marriage after the window when it benefits them has closed. If parents and pastors want their daughters married AT ALL, then they need to encourage women to be self-controlled and marriage-focused EARLY.

19 thoughts on “Why should a woman marry a man while she’s still under 25?”

  1. Brad Wilcucks said all of this in a Prager U video a few years ago. To say that there was a backlash would be a grave understatement.

    To paraphrase Bill Maher, married men may live longer, but so do indoor cats.


    1. I think you’re referring to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtvfHnZMcOY

      The vast majority of Christians who go to Bible colleges, Bible schools, Christian universities, etc. do marry within 2 years of graduation. (There are some warnings we might want to throw in for this group, like, be discerning and talk about what are reasonable [read: biblical] reasons for divorce and stick to them. The divorce rate among Christians was equal or higher than among non-Christians or the national average — but of course, we could note that non-Christians are more likely to cohabitate (= de facto or common-law marriage) and we could also observe that everyone who says he (or she) is a Christian is not necessarily a Christian. Thus the convention of talking about those who are roughly weekly (i.e., minus sickness and/or travel etc.) plus some other activity during the week — engaged in service, formal or informal ministry, Bible study — are much less likely to divorce.

      So regarding Wintery’s original thought, we’re primarily talking about women who delay marriage.

      This is compounded with female hypergamy: women prefer men who are as tall as they are or more tall, women prefer men who are as successful and/or ambitious as they are or more, women prefer men who are generally older than they are.

      I will carefully note here:

      1. I’m not saying “don’t develop your God-given talent and abilities.” I am saying that being at the top makes it more difficult to find someone higher than you. It has been duly noted multiple places that people also gravitate towards those who are roughly as intelligent as they are.

      2. I’m not saying “don’t be picky.” Everyone should be selective (and every Christian should try especially to match on what the Bible emphasizes) — as long as it’s reasonable and you know what to do if you find that needle in a haystack.

      This also means that women near the top will have less choices and men near the bottom also have less choices.

      There are plenty of men who saw the Wilcox 4-minute video who expressed, “If ONLY I could find a good/sane/devout/godly woman to marry!” and there are plenty of women who expressed perhaps a similar sentiment, but more like, “If ONLY I could find a guy that I like that would marry me!”

      Quick additional thought: Sure, there are many [different] advantages to both sides getting married.

      And what happens to men when they get divorced? Yeah, all those advantages go away and Much Worse Things Happen ™. Children can get weaponized. It is terrible to how tough it is for divorced dads, how depressed they get, how the court system is stacked against them. The American Heart Association observed that the increase of cardivascular death or myocardial infarction was similar for participants who were divorced or separated or never married as compared to married participants — and that findings persisted after adjustment for medications and other socioeconomic factors. (Ref: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/JAHA.117.005890 )

      I have said this for over two decades: It’s not that men fear commitment.

      It’s that men fear DIVORCE. They fear committing to the wrong woman.

      In any case, let’s also throw in a different dynamic: dating.

      Christians have largely jettisoned Ms. Elisabeth Elliot’s advice-as-Gospel (fortunately) — bad dating advice just makes getting married that much harder.

      The times have changed. The rules have changed. The system is also changing.

      Here’s a Christian man’s analysis (not mine) talking about why men don’t ask out more often, responding largely to non-Christians:

      I’ll quickly summarize:
      Men can only reasonably ask women out in social settings or online,
      However, online dating MAKES women think they are high-demand, low-supply,
      Women think they have more options than they actually do,
      Dating is high risk for men, since women initiate 80% of divorces, the average woman finds 80% of men below average, men still pay for dates, men still pay the majority of child support and alimony.
      Women are 2.5x more likely to ghost men than vice versa.
      Dating/marriage as currently stands is low reward for some men.
      Yet men are five times more likely to initiate relationships than women are.

      Here’s Kevin’s takeaway:
      The problem isn’t that men aren’t asking women anymore.

      It’s that we as a collective society have changed the rules. In today’s world, women have the right to be players in the game, rather than the objects of it. You know what separates a player from an object?

      An object is acted upon. A player acts.

      The players don’t get to sit there and just wait for all the action to come to them. They don’t wait for things to happen to them. They act. They have a responsibility to themselves to act. And when they don’t, they have to own the consequences of their own inaction.

      And above all, they especially don’t get to be in the group who is receiving FIVE TIMES as much attention and say “why aren’t you giving me more?”

      Because the major factor for the decreasing number of relationships isn’t society’s men. It’s society’s women.

      — end article

      As is reasonable, if men don’t want to commit to the WRONG type of women (duh), they’re going to figure out some weed out processes.

      And to boot, surely there are some tests that are more likely to be predictive to have less false positives and less false negatives. Or figuring out behaviors that highly correlate to other positive or negative behaviors. (Sorry, reading too much on Bayes Theorem in my free time.)

      We’ve talked a bit on this one: the number of sexual partners is highly correlated to the chance of the spouse cheating. The absolute minimum? No other sexual partners — virgins.

      Translation: Lori Alexander is correct, if a man is looking for a faithful wife.

      And “figuring out tests that are more likely to … have less false positives and less false negatives”, in short, we could call that “develop discernment.”


  2. I want to marry my one and only, and not dally around! I think this anti-marriage attitude is the doing of the radical feminists who resent men and hate the idea of being dependent on a man to provide for her. Sad isn’t it when the traditional man providing is seen as “toxic” rather than a blessing and an honor! Conversely, young men too must be cautioned not to dally around and have his eyes set on one girl too!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was 24 and my wife 20 when we married; we would have married a year earlier but her father wanted her to finish her 2nd year of college. My son married when he was 20 and his wife 18.
    Marrying young is the best way to do it, and the man doesn’t have to have all his ducks in a row with career and money. People do well to work together.
    When we married my wife wanted to just be a wife and mother (although when our children were in school, prior to home-schooling, she worked for the school). At the time I had been out of the army for 1 1/2 years, working for the USPS – and was laid off working another part-time job as I continued to pursue my desired career in aviation. Guess what, I retired from 30 years as an Air Traffic Controller.
    My son is a woodworker, now self-employed (he loved woodworking since he was 12) and his wife is a stay-at-home mom and home-schools their six children (soon to be 7).
    I think you spend too much time telling women to be super-educated to be viable for marriage, and that is just plain baloney. The ideal wife is one who wants to be a mother and homemaker. Money isn’t everything.
    Oh, and we’ve been married now for 42 1/2 years. A successful marriage is one in which the couple is a team regardless of educational level or wealth.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, money is only important for people with a specific plan for their marriage to achieve influence and effectiveness. If you have no goals, and no plan to achieve anything, then money isn’t important.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While it is certainly important to have at least a decent income to pay for a home, food, car, and other necessities, it is not necessary to pursue upper class status in order to have enough for a family. Most men are not going to fall into the top 25% of earners, but many of those who don’t are still good husband material. If only the top few were good potential husbands, marriage would be nearly obsolete. Being satisfied with fewer material possessions and learning to value the intangible benefits of married life is a worthy life skill. The things most important to achieve in life do not require a lot of money. It requires some money to raise children to know and serve God effectively, but not a lot of money.


        1. I think my view of marriage is different from most people in that I believe that the goal is not to have fun and be happy. I would only get married if I thought that there was a benefit to the Kingdom in terms of influence, witness, etc.


  4. When my wife and I married 56+ years ago she had just turned 23, I was 22. We had both graduated from college, though we met in high school. Since then she worked full-time till we started our family and part-time most years after that. I have taught high school 3 years, college and seminary 33 years (some internationally), completed a PhD and 40 years of senior administration, plus several part-time adjunct teaching and consulting roles internationally. Our kids and grandkids all love Jesus and serve in their churches. God is good!


  5. Some very good points here. I was just curious about these parts;

    “Now pro-marriage parents and pro-marriage pastors will typically tell you that they want to let their daughters decide when to marry, so that they will be happy having “fun” before marriage, and happy being provided for after marriage.”

    Is that really your experience? Because I have not seen that. Most people I know who are pro-marriage would rather their daughters married young, but wisely – not just marry the first guy that catches their attention. If there is any recommendation to delay, it is to finish post-secondary education. Certainly not to delay marriage so they could have “fun” first. I have honestly never encountered that attitude except from people who are “pro-marriage” only in the sense that they think everyone who wants to get married, should get married. Then get divorced just as easily. Over and over, if they feel like it.

    “They’re not thinking about men’s interests. ”

    Well, to be fair, parents *should* be thinking of their own daughters’ interests first, not some guy they might marry. It would be very strange indeed for parents to hold the interests of men above those of their own daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “… people who are “pro-marriage” only in the sense that they think everyone who wants to get married, should get married. Then get divorced just as easily. Over and over, if they feel like it.”

      That describes most people well. And the unstated addendum is that it’s also okay if you cohabit, or even have sex as long as “you love each other”.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, that’s my personal experience with real women. I should have included brother and aunt too, because they both said the same thing as the parent and pastor, in one case.

      What I meant by the second part is that when a woman is 35 and has been selfish, the tone that parents and pastors take is “you didn’t do anything wrong, let’s just bully a man into marrying you, and ignore his needs and risks”. Men need to tune that bullying out, because it’s not objective.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I didn’t want my daughter slutting it up with bikers and drummers for “fun” and encouraged her to find a decent guy and marry him or stay out of the dating market. she is engaged to the second guy she dated.
      I do not understand fathers wanting their daughters to ” delay marriage to have fun” . when be all know that ” fun is an euphemism for bedding bad boys and running up the notch count.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m gonna just leave this here:
    This, and the article WK posted, look like an argument that men should marry because they get all these benefits. That marriage actually causes these benefits.
    But Wilcox isn’t arguing men should marry because they get benefits, because marriage is good for men. They’re arguing men should marry because marriage is good for society, and for women. Because, after all, if he earns more money because he’s a married man, that’s more money to which the wife has access, and can steal when she frivorces him.
    And if more and more men get ground up in the divorce gears, who cares?
    When will folks like Wilcox start talking about what work WOMEN should be doing for their marriages? When will we start telling WOMEN what THEY need to do?


  7. I like the following: There are 3 purposes for marriage:
    1. To civilize men
    2. To protect women
    3. To nurture children.
    My wife and I were 19 and 24, respectively, when we met at a Christian singles group (!). That first night, we talked all night. The next night, we talked all night. Two-and-a-half months later, having kept our hands off each other the entire time, we were married. We celebrated our 35th anniversary last November, and I love her more than ever. For my money, the biblical model of marriage is the ONLY game in town. We have had some tremendously hard times (numerous deployments, miscarriages, my wife in chronic pain, and hardest of all, the loss of two children, one stillborn and the other at 20 years old, but through it all GOD HAS BEEN GOOD. He has never left us and never will, and yes, we are much better off financially than the average American, married or single. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. His promise is true:
    “God works all things together for good to them that love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28).


  8. I’m 24, and my family pushes marriage in a big way. Dating is encouraged as a way of finding out if we would be compatible in marriage, not as a “just go have fun” sort of thing. My mom was 19, and my dad was 21 when they got married, and they are definitely for marrying early in order to support each other in what they refer to as the the critical stage of life. It’s been my experience that ones that are just out to have fun have been the young men I’ve been around. FH has been a serious matter of prayer with my parents and I, but men of character and integrity are few and far between now days.

    Liked by 2 people

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