A few people have asked me about my policy of preferring candidates for wife and mother who have earned STEM degree(s). In this post, I’ll explain 5 goals for my marriage. Then I’ll explain 6 reasons why a STEM degree helps me to execute that plan. Then I’ll answer 3 objections to the STEM degree requirement. Then I’ll explain the relevance of STEM for a woman’s marriage roles.
What is STEM?
So, to start, STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. A STEM degree is a degree in a STEM field. This includes things like petroleum engineering, bioinformatics, and computer science. But it also includes things like economics, accounting and business. Basically, anything with math that involves solving problems in the real world. Anything that encourages logical reasoning and using evidence to sustain an argument.
My goals for marriage
So, here are my goals for marriage:
- influence the church with apologetics
- influence the university campus (students and professors) with apologetics
- be involved in politics, advocate for conservative policy
- open the house to students and neighbors to teach apologetics and demonstrate a loving marriage
- raise 3-4 financially independent and influential children
Everything I want in a wife is related to this plan. I evaluate women according to these goals, because I want my marriage to make a difference for Christ and His Kingdom. I’m flexible on plans and requirements, so long as the proposed changes result in a greater impact for Christ and His Kingdom.
How a STEM degree relates to marriage
The plan is for my wife to earn a STEM degree, marry me, and work full-time until the first child is born. Then, she stops working and becomes a stay at home mom. She could return to work after the each child reaches 5 years old. My preference is that she not return to work, but instead homeschool the children, or at least monitor their education in private evangelical Christian schools as a stay-at-home mother.
So, how does a woman’s having a STEM degree help me to achieve my marriage plan goals?
Here are 6 ways:
1. STEM equips her to homeschool influential and effective children. A wife who has completed high school and college courses in math, science, engineering and/or technology will know how to either homeschool our kids, or monitor their homework and grades so they achieve good academic results. Think of how Asian families raise high-performing children. I want that.
2. STEM teaches her to produce results in the real world, e.g. – working code that solves a problem, lab results, bridges that support a load, etc. In the lab, decisions cannot be made based on feelings or peer approval. The lab doesn’t respect horoscopes, devotions, romance novels, essentual oils, romantic comedies, “The Secret” or “The Law of Attraction”.
3. STEM equips her to argue apologetics from her experience of using reason, evidence, reality-based testing. All Christians need to know how to defend their core beliefs (God exists, etc.) to non-Christians. That means doing what works. And what works is logical argumentation supported by evidence. The best kind of evidence is scientific evidence. Then historical evidence. Confidence comes from competence at practical, real-world disciplines.
4. STEM degrees are a path to high paying jobs. Women who are debt-free are better to marry, because they don’t delay the process of buying a house and having children. Any kind of debt has to be paid off first. I’m not looking for a big spender, I’m looking for someone who can earn and save. The more children we can afford to have, the bigger our influence will be. Also, women who choose STEM demonstrate that they can delay gratification, and not be a slave to FOMO, YOLO, “living in the moment”, etc.
5. STEM equips women to find work easily, so she doesn’t feel pressured to accept a bad marriage proposal. She can move out and start saving money. She can buy apologetics books, lectures and debates. She can buy books on economics, marriage and parenting. She can prepare herself to attract the right man, and she can evaluate men to see if they are prepared for marriage.
6. Both the STEM departments AND the STEM workplaces less likely to be woke than non-STEM departments and workplaces. She will be able to hold to her convictions more easily in an environment where results matter more than having the “right” (left) opinions.
Objections to preferring a wife with a STEM degree
1. A woman with a STEM degree will not want to quit her job and become a stay at home mom during the critical period from birth to age 2, or even better, age 5.
2. A woman who takes years off for child-bearing and early childhood years will not be able to resume her job at the same level of pay.
3. Even in STEM departments, a woman will be exposed to an environment with secular left indoctrination, drunkenness and promiscuity. She is unlikely to come out of college as a virgin.
Responses to objections to the STEM requirement
Points 1) and 2) apply to every kind of degree, not just STEM. Any woman who does 4 years of college in any field will be “wasting” it if she stops working. First, in my plan, her education is to equip her to educate her children, because I trust her more than any teacher or stranger to do that important job. Teachers are not paid to produce results – they are unionized, and not paid based on performance. Second, even women with STEM degrees would generally prefer to work part-time or not at all. They want to stay with their young children. Third, we don’t need the money. That’s why I suffered through my BS and MS to earn 6 figures and have a 7 figure net worth. We don’t need her to work.
For point 3), I’m not saying that EVERY woman who graduates with a STEM degree is perfect for marriage. I’m saying that a STEM degree helps to have a marriage that is influential for Christ and His Kingdom. I’m open to other majors, so long as they address the concerns and goals I specified. I’m even open to a different plan. But the overriding concern is that the marriage count for something for the Boss. Even with a STEM degree, the man still has to ask the woman questions about politics and parenting. He still has to evaluate her sobriety, chastity and frugality. A STEM degree is just a starting point.
The difference STEM makes for apologetics
I think it’s obvious that having a wife who has taken courses and even worked a few years before the first child arrives helps her to be able to educate her kids and / or monitor their performance. But it also allows her use apologetics more persuasively on the university campus, in the church, and if we open up the home to college students and neighbors for movies / meals / discussions.
For example, take the fine-tuning argument. A knowledge of physics and chemistry helps you to explain why changing the fundamental forces results in a universe that does not support complex, embodied life. A knowledge of probability theory (e.g. – product rule) helps you to argue for intelligent design in the origin of life. And what about logic? Even in computer science, we had to study symbolic logic, the rules of inference, conditional proofs, Bayes’ Theorem, etc.
My wife’s job is to make the big picture of education clear to the kids, so they know what they can do in the real-world with what they are learning. So many Christians underperformed in school because they didn’t know the relevance of what they were learning for the task of defending their Christian worldviews. My wife’s job is to know how the material being taught relates to real-world goals, like defending Christianity. This is how parents produce children who grow up to be William Lane Craig, Stephen C. Meyer, Luke Barnes or Michael Licona. Boldness comes from knowledge.
First, I hope this post convinces women to start planning for their marriages early. You need to know things that matter for two reasons: 1) to attract a quality man, 2) to evaluate men and filter out the good ones. That means you need to know things like apologetics, politics, etc. Having money helps to buy learning material.
Second, I hope this post convinces men to stop choosing women based on youth and beauty. Your choice of wife will have a huge effect on your influence. Choose a capable, competent partner who complements your strengths with different strengths. Men spend their days in the workplace, where we cannot say much about religion and politics. If you marry an intelligent conservative Christian woman, she can be your voice to the university, the church, and the public square. Not to mention raising effective children. Therefore, choose wisely.
My wise friend Laura helped me with this post. Please check out her 10-part series for women on how to choose a husband.