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.
12 thoughts on “Should men prefer women who have earned STEM degrees?”
Objection 4: When Jesus wanted people who would “make a greater impact for Christ and his Kingdom,” he went with illiterate fishermen. The idea that what God really needs is more women who have studied engineering or pharmaceutical sciences strikes me as borderline delusional.
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I generally like what Wintery has to say here, but I agree with Wm Jas.
I think most people in the church would agree with you. But then most people have never defended against atheism,and most people in the church have never heard of a Christian scholar. So it’s entirely understandable to me that most people in the church would meet atheism with illiterate fishermen instead of the Big Bang, fine-tuning, etc.
Atheist: give me a reason why God exists
Christian: I have some fishes instead
Atheist: what about William Lane Craig or Stephen C. Meyer?
Christian: who are they?
I think we should prefer scholars to fishermen, unless the fishermen have seen the risen Jesus. By all means you guys stick with your fishermen, though. I’ll keep reading scholars and using evidence, like the Bible suggests I do.
Hmm… maybe I haven’t read the Bible enough. But could you share examples where Jesus, Apostles, or Prophets used science/evidence to debate with non-believers? Thanks.
What I infer from your comment is that you would prefer to be lazy with Christianity, then couch it in pious terms so that you sound superior in your laziness.
And that’s how most Christians are today. Go to the university or workplace, and show the typical Christian an atheist with specific objections to God’s existence or to the resurrection. Their ambition is to think “how can I avoid having to do any work to deal with this objection?” So they come up with a pious sounding reason why they can keep watching football, instead of reading a book. E.g. – “God used illiterate fisherman like Paul to spread the gospel”.
As far as raising influential children, you are welcome to raise illiterate fishermen instead. You can raise all the illiterate fishermen you want, if that is what is easy for you. And then you can see what your illiterate fishermen children can do against the powerful, influential opponents of the Christian worldview: atheism, feminism, socialism, etc. I’m sure that your illiterate fishermen will be seen debating atheists, feminists and socialists on the university campuses where young people are forming their worldviews.
The difference between God choosing illiterate fishermen and you raising illiterate fishermen is that God’s fishermen saw the risen Christ. Your children will not have that. Also, the illiterate fishermen were not living in our time, where the enemies are ideologies like atheism. But so long as you are fine with the easy (lazy) road, you go with that. I prefer to learn evidence and use evidence, which is what people in the Bible did when confronting unbelief.
Paul was not an illiterate fisherman but an extremely literate Pharisee who could quote Aratus and Epimenides as readily as the Old Testament. You’re thinking of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. The author of the Fourth Gospel was also clearly extremely well-read in both the Bible and Greek philosophy. (One suspects his mother must have been a pharmacist or a civil engineer!) Learning is obviously a good thing, but it is not the one thing needful.
It wasn’t “illterate fishermen.”
The word (agrammatos) is better translated “untrained in the rabbinic schools” (like Hillel the Elder) and thus the NIV “unschooled.” Very specifically of Peter and John.
But then if we think of those who have had the greatest impact, the New Testament records:
13 Epistles by Paul
2 major books by Luke
Whoever wrote Hebrews
The Gospel of John is composed by someone who is very familiar with Greek philosophy and thoroughly with the Old Testament
Matthew was a Jewish tax collector
etc. (not to mention secretaries or amenuenses)
Of course, I think that any marriage is … “a package.” I had several women seminary friends who were interested, but I married a STEM graduate. Our marriage looks different and has a different balance point than other marriages. (I have both a STEM degree and a graduate-level seminary degree, my wife has both a Bachelor’s and graduate-level STEM degree.)
I know in the past people have suggested that we homeschool: and the honest thing is we earn a lot. For the area, we are middle-class to upper-middle class. When my wife works half-time or part-time, the least her AGI was $65000 (that’s after 401k). I think we are more thinking and praying about how we are to serve, to use our gifts, and how best to split our time, what are the trade-offs (e.g., less opportunities or not being able to support various missionaries / staff workers or whatever). And yes, we think about “how we best impact the world,” including through our kids.
We’re still thinking about sending our kids to private Christian school next year (and that is more likely in my mind than keeping the kids in public school).
I have made trade-offs with which I’m happy. I used to be the vice president of engineering in high tech and traveled some for work. I’m happy NOT to do that so I am more around for my kids, taking them for soccer practice or for games or for other stuff. (We’re about to launch into Destination Imagination.)
I definitely preferred STEM women for many reasons, including similarity.
Happy I married my wife. :)
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I think Objection 1 makes sense. I have female friends who majored in Accounting, medicine, etc, and they are ambitious and don’t want to quit their jobs to stay at home with their kids. Some of the Christian women I know who are stay at home moms majored in non-STEM fields, like Social Work, Fashion Design, etc. Maybe they chose more “feminine” majors because they are more “traditional”?
What about if the woman went to seminary or majored in child education or something like that? Elisabeth Elliot, the missionary and writer majored in Classical Greek I believe, so she could better translate the Bible for natives in other countries.
This was an interest post to read. I am a christian woman myself in STEM. I understand the pros and cons, I agree with some of your views and disagree with some others.
In today’s world its hard to sustain a family with only one stream of income, plus, a woman’s life does not revolve around a man anymore, at least in the western and european countries, so if or when I get married, I do not think I would leave my job temporarily ( 3 years or so) or permanently to raise children and attend to my husband all the time, its not financially sustainable in the middle and long term for a household unless the man I marry is earning more than enough for all of us. Yes, I will do my very best to spend good quality time with my family. I believe also that most of the education load should not go into the woman, at least not in modern days, fathers play an equally important role as mothers in their children’s education and science has proved this.
Regarding literacy, I liked the comment above relating to how the disciples were fishermen and I agree. Jesus picked some illiterate men to follow him just as the word says in 1 Corinthians 1:28, and I paraphrase, that from the ‘weak, base and despised, God chose people to bring shame to the wise’. The disciples, the educated ones and the not so educated ones, stood up to the Pharisees with knowledge of spiritual revelation not their background careers.
No matter how much worldly preparation you or your spouse have in science, children must be trained in the word of God, remember that most of the ideologies that we have are ‘based in science’ (erratically obviously) but NO matter how much scientific evidence on the knowledge of God we have, these people will not accept it because of their hardened hearts. Instead we’ve got to teach children to stay strong in their faith so they don’t fall into the mainstream movements while standing their ground in their convictions.
On the other hand, something that sticks to my mind is how you mentioned that most likely women in STEM would probably not finish college as virgins due to the environment that is found there. I would like to give you some advice in that: virginity is not a virtue in women, nor will make a woman a better or a worse wife, it only shows that either she made the decision/commitment (religion related or not) to remain that way or didn’t have the opportunity to engage in that activity, and yes, it happens. Remember sexual sin is as every other sin that anyone can fall into and forgiveness is available, the Bible puts it in par it with the liars and witchcraft in Revelations. Remember we are in front of a Holy God and even for the little everyday lies that we tell, Jesus had to die on the cross. Something I learned was not to categorise sin because all of them are equal in the eyes of God even if they bring different human or spiritual consequences to us. If you meet a woman who ticks all your wifey prospect boxes that previously felt into that trap and she asked for forgiveness and is walking on a new journey of sanctification, it would be very unwise of you to say no to her just because she didn’t remain a virgin.
Otherwise kudos to you for wanting to have a family that is Christ-centerd, very important specially now in the times we live, drowned in confusion and self absorbency! God bless you!
Thank you for this thoughtful comment, thoughtful lady.
So, the first thing to say is that the reason that it is hard to sustain a family on one income is because we have a massive welfare state that has been put in place to support women making decisions according to the Sexual Revolution worldview, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Many of the social programs now in effect, e.g. – taxpayer-funded contraceptives, taxpayer-funded abortions, taxpayer-funded daycare, taxpayer-funded public schools, anti-male divorce courts, taxpayer-funded health care, etc. were put in place in order to make choosing a good man “optional” for a woman. Basically, following the introduction of birth control and abortion, feminists decided to embark on a course of pursuing hot bad boys – even if those hot bad boys would not commit to them before sex. They focused entirely on the man’s appearance, and spurned men with exclusive convictions on religion and morality. These feminists delayed marriage, because they wanted validation from the bad boys. They wanted to pursue careers and buy shiny junk, rather than to build up a husband and produce influential children. That’s why we have a hook-up culture today. Feminists wanted to be free to pursue men based on their appearance, in order to get validation through sex. The welfare state – along with affirmative action, no-fault divorce, etc. – are just what feminists vote for in order to make their plan “work out”.
A good paper on how women’s suffrage led to a massive expansion in government:
Here is a good example of an ex-Christian woman following the sex with bad boys validation plan:
Well, if a woman outsources the raising of her children to daycares, public schools, etc. then family isn’t a priority for her. And men know that. Men who are interested in having children raised with a Christian worldview will pass career women by, since this is important to us. I’m not interested in what a woman says about things. Her actions tell me what her priorities are. If a woman values career, then secular leftists will be raising her kids. Expressing hopes and desires and wishes won’t save her children from apostasy. I am seeing children getting sexually assaulted, indoctrinated, bullied, transed, etc. in the facilities provided by the secular left welfare state. If a woman goes to work, then she is leaving her kids to that.
My job is to earn the money so that my wife can stay home and teach the children. I cannot teach the children while I am working full time. And neither can the woman. What men understand from women who want full-time careers after having children is that the children will be raised by people in daycares and schools who don’t have the worldview of the parents. I’m not marrying anyone to let someone else raise my kids. Raising children is an important part of marriage plan, and I want someone competent to do it. If I could do it, I would. That’s one reason why I need a wife – to do this important job.
Today, effective defending of the faith begins with evidence: science and history. The first question that comes up when discussing Christianity with a non-Christian is “how do you know that God even exists?” If the woman’s answer is “the word of God”, just know that this is not going to work on an atheist. There is no word of God without God, and she cannot derive God from appealing to the word of God, since God must exist before communicating through the Bible. I want my children to be the ones who make advances in philosophy, science and history, so people learn from them how to defend God’s existence and character. Illiterate fishermen who saw Jesus were good enough witnesses 2000 years ago. There are no people today who saw Jesus. Illiterate fishermen will not be able to have an influence in the university or the workplace or the public square. When feminists elevate illiterate fishermen over children who are educated and trained in logic and scientific evidence, it just means that her children will have no influence for Christ. And no Christian man takes on the costs and risks of marriage for that outcome. We are interested in serving God, and if we can’t have a marriage and children that serve God effectively, we will settle for less influence for God as single men.
See this recent study:
I think most women who accept feminism and the Sexual Revolution denigrate virginity, even though the Bible says that sex before marriage is morally wrong. Christian men infer from this denigration of virginity that the woman doesn’t accept the Bible. We understand that she forms her beliefs about relationships, marriage, and parenting from feelings and peer approval – from the secular left culture. Men understand that she does not read any scientific papers about sex, marriage, parenting and divorce to confirm what the Bible teaches. Men like me know the effect that premarital sex has on the future stability of a marriage. We read books and scientific papers about what children need from mothers and fathers in order to develop properly. And we know how that the instability caused by promiscuity costs us (in divorce courts) and costs the children (effects of divorce on children). It is extremely inadvisable for a Christian man to make a legal commitment of his time and resources to a non-virgin. We have to make sure that our choice of mate is suitable for the plan to make the marriage serve God. It’s called “equal yoking”.
See these recent studies:
Most women today who follow the Sexual Revolution instead of the Bible say that all sins are equal. They say “if God forgives me for this minor, minor sin, then what right does a man have to withhold marriage from me?”. Here is how marriage-minded men like me respond to this. First, most women who ask for forgiveness do it to feel good and to escape judgment by their peers. They don’t believe any harm has been done to the husband, despite the studies falsifying that. There is no genuine forgiveness for someone who thinks they have done nothing wrong. The goal of women mentioning forgiveness is to avoid being judged, and avoid missing out on marriage because men hold them accountable for their past actions. A woman’s past actions define her present character. She cannot make a new character in a split second, without having read anything to change her mind about her past views, and put her new views on display in new actions that honor chastity and marriage. Second, even if she sincerely repents, and God forgives her, that means nothing to a man with respect to marriage. Suppose a woman wastes all of her 20s and 30s partying and having recreational sex with hot, no-commitment bad boys. Suppose she sincerely repents of that, and ask God for forgiveness, and she gets forgiven by him. That does not make her attractive to a man who is looking for a helper to support him in his marriage plan. Marriage plans start at age 20, not age 40. Her repentance at age 40 does not help him in any way, since she was not there during those early years of his life to support him and raise his children and impact the world for Christ. He will also have to deal with the effects of her promiscuity even if God forgives her. The damage from promiscuity can be fixed, but not without a lot of time and effort on books and studies. Time and effort he could be putting into more important Kingdom work. In my experience, most women today have no interest in reforming their minds about their previous mistakes using books and studies. Their idea of forgiveness is just demanding it in order to escape judgment, and to avoid being held accountable for their actions. They hate the idea that they are losing out on something now, because of selfish, irresponsible behavior in the past. That has to be worked through or she’s not safe to marry.
For more on the motivation to call all sins equal:
For more on how men are right to reject non-virgins for marriage:
I hope this comment is helpful for you, and I really hope that the next generation of women rejects feminism, careerism, and sexual promiscuity so that men will be interested in marrying them.
I am definitely not a feminist, it’s toxic and denigrating. And nothing wrong with careerism. We live in the 21st century where things are easier in one sense but more difficult in other senses. To think that we can live as Bible times where men did all the work and women dedicated 100% of their time to the household is delusional, plus most of the reason on why women have to work is because men have failed in their role, but that’s not the topic haha.
I firmly believe all sins are equal biblically, with different consequences, but doesn’t represent an excuse to sin one way or another or stay in sin. And no one is to judge if repentment is genuine or not because that would be taking the Holy Spirit’s job of convincing of sin and repentment as a joke.
Each person has their time and their walk with God in order to establish their relationship with Him and sometimes people go through sin and very low times in their life in order to know God and realise how wrong they were. We all know that. Even king David, described in the Bible as a man that was after God’s heart, sinned and God used that as a reformation tool for him and a lesson. The fact that I sense in the comment that women’s preparation of marriage or mistakes will affect and kind of evolves around men gives a sense of male superiority that is in fact not biblical at all and has been taught in churches erroneously. Many but maaany Christian women who have not engaged in sexual sin are still in their late 30s and early 40s still waiting for a partner and wondering when and if. There is no timeline for marriage, only God knows that no matter how much you have preserved yourself in your youth, that is the reality.
Past behaviour does affect the present as you mentioned but in no matter it means that you’re prone or set up to fail. Many non-Christian couples have succeeded in marriage even having premarital sex because in the end of the day is a decision of love, fidelity, honor, etc., that is the reality, it’s wrong yes, but its the reality, and some Christian couples have separated or recurred to divorce for forgetting about why they married in the first place or fall into sin. In the end of the day is a sinner marrying another sinner. The fact that a christian man is too egotistical to see a woman as less of a wife because she sexually sinned is also not biblical: “He who is free of sin, let him cast the first stone”, but men and women have the right to feel picky about their spouses, why not!
Men and women are equal in value. Women are supposed to be the idoneous help and respect their husband and not to do everything as they’re told, we’re not our husbands’ or kids’ servants, that is a solely male wrongly oriented theology and pushes aside the value of women and its other roles in society and church. Roles of women besides maternity and church are described in the Bible as well.
The role in educating children and sustainment is equal. A father’s job is not only to work full time, the presence that mom’s have is as influential as the father’s. Mom’s lives do not evolve around husband and kids though its a big part of its life. Male influence in education (academics and all else) makes children excel more in life in those households than in the ones we’re women are the only ones there for them 100% of the time.
I would never allow my kids to be raised in a leftist environment cause there are plenty of options for them to not be (semi home schooling, online learning with tutors, etc). The fact you are working full time does not mean you wont be able to influence in your children’s education. I say it from experience and how I’ve been raised. Education in biblical principles is more important than in science when it comes to faith. Though science proves the existence of God, mainstream science will be against it, because as you mentioned we are developing in a greatly influenced leftist environment
I, as you, wish the same as your last comment, but that’s how things are supposed to be according to the Bible. The books of Daniel, Matthew, Revelation and Isaiah talk abundantly about these times. All we can do is resist and walk in obedience as much as we can as we await our savior! God bless
Been following this Blog a while.. finally feel compelled to comment on this one.. Married 25+ years, Engineer, a Catholic and becomingly increasingly appreciative of traditional Church and looking back at how many times I thought this exact point as I struggled in my marriage with my very non-STEM wife.. Most non STEM people are just too detached from REALITY and pursuit of truth – and do not value it in the way many STEM-focused people do. It’s certainly not a universal situation but it has rung true in my decades of experience and observation of other’s marriages. Everything seems to be more difficult (esp. communication) with a non-STEM wife. STEM wives are more down-to-earth and practical and even engage in philosophical talk more effectively. When they apply that knowledge and worldview to the Home and Family and push away modernism/feminism, great Christian families are the result. However, Engineer / STEM women who are careerists and feminists are still terrible mates and terrible in the worklpace IMO too. .
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