Tag Archives: Choosing a Mate

Is Mark Driscoll afraid to hold women accountable for their own choices?

Watch this video.

Who is to blame for this woman’s troubles? Well, I agree with Driscoll that her family, the church and other Christians were to blame for not telling her the truth about sex. On that we all agree. Christians do a lousy job of explaining sex to young people, because they don’t want to talk about “dirty” stuff, and they don’t want to use arguments and evidence, and they don’t want to go outside the Bible to give real reasons and evidence. But thumping the Bible is a poor response to peer pressure and pop culture.

But she and Mark Driscoll also seem to think the man is to blame. Is the man to blame?

Well, the man certainly did bad things, but I think that none of these bad things could have happened to this woman in particular if this woman had not first chosen this man from all the other men that she knew, and then given him the opportunity to do these bad things. Without her own free choices, she would never have been harmed. So her own bad choices played a part in her suffering but she didn’t mention her own choices at all. So, let me take a look at how she could have made better choices below.

Can women expect a non-Christian man to act like a Christian man?

Women need to be careful to realize that they should avoid being alone with non-Christian men, especially when they are not even old enough to be dating men at all. That’s what courting is designed to prevent, by the way – the man has to go through the father to get to the woman, and they need to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. And in any case, a woman can get love without touching a man just by listening to the man’s words, reading his writings, letting him serve her, washing a car together, and accepting gifts from him.

Women: you don’t go to a deserted beach with a non-Christian man. Don’t take risks like that. Especially when you have probably already done a lot with the guy. And don’t drink alcohol, it impairs your judgment. The purpose of men is to marry them, not to have a good time with them. No alcohol is allowed!

Paul says that you cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians, which is exactly what many Christian women do.

1 Cor 5:9-13:

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

And, 2 Cor 6:14-16:

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Christians should not pursue non-Christians romantically – it’s disrespectful to God to leave him out of your romantic operations.

Women can stop a lot of the bad behavior of men just by choosing authentic Christian men by using rigorous objective criteria to evaluate men. If a woman chooses a non-Christian man, then she cannot complain if he acts like a non-Christian man. And there is more to a man being a Christian than just saying that he is, memorizing Bible verses and singing praise hymns in church. Christianity is a worldview. It has to be applied across the board. Christian women need to study to develop a Christian worldview of their own so they know how to evaluate the worldviews of candidate men.

What else can we learn from the video?

Here are a few more things that stood out to me in the video:

  • She should take more responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others
  • She should study these things (not just the Bible!) on her own before she starts dating, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • Her parents should have studied these things (not just the Bible!) more, and helped her more by being more convincing, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • The church she grew up in should provide her with extra-biblical arguments and evidence from the objective external world so that she could resist ideologies like atheism, postmodernism, liberalism, feminism, etc. – she can’t act morally unless she believes that God exists and that morality is real

Women should also know that the decision to have sex before marriage with a man who isn’t a Christian doesn’t magically change him into a Christian. Sex isn’t magic. It doesn’t cause a man to like a woman, or to fall under her control.

Women go to school for 4 years to learn a trade and they need to put some effort into studying courtship rules so they can be wise about their own choices with men. Jumping into a car and trying to drive it without lessons is a good way to get killed. And emotions, intuitions, peer-pressure and pop-culture don’t help you to know how to drive a car. Be careful, think for yourself.

I also recommend that young, unmarried women  become informed about anti-family, anti-father policies. If women don’t want to be hurt by men, then vote for stronger families, lower taxes, and policies that promote good husbands and good fathers. Girls need to see love modeled between a husband and wife as they grow up, and they need to have fathers in the home. Good public policies encourage men to marry and stay married.

Women need to get better criteria for choosing men

A while back, I posted on some of the criteria women have for choosing men, and here are a few:

  • Being tall
  • Being aloof and disinterested
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Well-dressed
  • Stylish shoes
  • A deep voice
  • Handsome face

What do women expect when they choose men based on criteria like that? It makes no sense to blame a bad man for being bad. He’s BAD! Don’t go near him, he’ll be bad to you, too!

Shouldn’t women judge themselves first, before judging a man?

Shouldn’t women begin by removing the plank in their own eye before removing the speck from the man’s eye?

I think an excellent first step would be for Christian women to take a good look at the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and also what they read. Are they listening to Melissa Etheridge, watching “Thelma & Louise”, and reading Margaret Atwood? Are they informing themselves about truth in many areas, like economics and cosmology, so that they can make informed choices of men? Are they building resistance to cultural trends?

What is wrong with the woman in that video?

Shouldn’t this woman have put some effort into testing out the claims of her parents and the church by reading the Bible itself? I mentioned reading extra-biblical stuff but even the Bible doesn’t ground anything that she was doing or anything the church was telling her to do that was wrong. Driscoll seems to think that women are not obligated to read the Bible, and that if someone in the church tells them a lie, then the church is to blame. But shouldn’t we expect people who attend church to test these things out for themselves? I realize that she wasn’t a Christian, but in order to take responsibility, she could have said “I should have checked things in my Bible and so I share the blame”. She doesn’t say that because she doesn’t blame herself at all for anything that happened. Well, probably she went to church for the singing and never read what the Bible had to say – or didn’t take it as an authority. But she never blames herself for either one of those.

I noticed that she claims that if the church tells her something and she does it, then the church is to blame. Well, the church (or at least her parents) undoubtedly told her not to have sex before she was married, but she didn’t mention that in the video. Why not? Well, she only mentions things that other people tell her to blame them. When they tell her the right thing and she doesn’t do it, she doesn’t mention what they told her. Because she won’t blame herself for any reason. And Driscoll has nothing to say about that, either.  Any time the church tells her something bad and she does it… it’s the church’s fault. Any time the church tells her something good and she DOESN’T do it… she just doesn’t mention it because she isn’t responsible for anything she does – it’s always the fault of someone else.

I don’t mind if she explains the circumstances surrounding WHY she made bad choices. I don’t even mind the bad choices, because I make bad choices. I just don’t like her blaming other people, I especially don’t like her blaming bad men. Bad men are bad. Don’t blame them for not being good – it’s your fault for choosing them. There are other men who are good who get no attention from women at all.

We need to learn from Theodore Dalrymple

Remember this post?

Excerpt:

With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments.

And again:

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Read the whole thing, you young women. And judge men hard. It’s good to judge them beforehand so that you don’t have to condemn them for being bad later.

Related posts

Is Mark Driscoll afraid to hold a woman accountable for her own choices?

Watch this video.

Who is to blame for this woman’s troubles? Well, I agree with Driscoll that her family, the church and other Christians were to blame for not telling her the truth about sex. On that we all agree. Christians do a lousy job of explaining sex to young people, because they don’t want to talk about “dirty” stuff, and they don’t want to use arguments and evidence, and they don’t want to go outside the Bible to give real reasons and evidence. But thumping the Bible is a poor response to peer pressure and pop culture.

But she and Mark Driscoll also seem to think the man is to blame. Is the man to blame?

Well, the man certainly did bad things, but I think that none of these bad things could have happened to this woman in particular if this woman had not first chosen this man from all the other men that she knew, and then given him the opportunity to do these bad things. Without her own free choices, she would never have been harmed. So her own bad choices played a part in her suffering but she didn’t mention her own choices at all. So, let me take a look at how she could have made better choices below.

Can women expect a non-Christian man to act like a Christian man?

Women need to be careful to realize that they should avoid being alone with non-Christian men, especially when they are not even old enough to be dating men at all. That’s what courting is designed to prevent, by the way – the man has to go through the father to get to the woman, and they need to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. And in any case, a woman can get love without touching a man just by listening to the man’s words, reading his writings, letting him serve her, washing a car together, and accepting gifts from him.

Women: you don’t go to a deserted beach with a non-Christian man. Don’t take risks like that. Especially when you have probably already done a lot with the guy. And don’t drink alcohol, it impairs your judgment. The purpose of men is to marry them, not to have a good time with them. No alcohol is allowed!

Paul says that you cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians, which is exactly what many Christian women do.

1 Cor 5:9-13:

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

And, 2 Cor 6:14-16:

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Christians should not pursue non-Christians romantically – it’s disrespectful to God to leave him out of your romantic operations.

Women can stop a lot of the bad behavior of men just by choosing authentic Christian men by using rigorous objective criteria to evaluate men. If a woman chooses a non-Christian man, then she cannot complain if he acts like a non-Christian man. And there is more to a man being a Christian than just saying that he is, memorizing Bible verses and singing praise hymns in church. Christianity is a worldview. It has to be applied across the board. Christian women need to study to develop a Christian worldview of their own so they know how to evaluate the worldviews of candidate men.

What else can we learn from the video?

Here are a few more things that stood out to me in the video:

  • She should take more responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others
  • She should study these things (not just the Bible!) on her own before she starts dating, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • Her parents should have studied these things (not just the Bible!) more, and helped her more by being more convincing, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • The church she grew up in should provide her with extra-biblical arguments and evidence from the objective external world so that she could resist ideologies like atheism, postmodernism, liberalism, feminism, etc. – she can’t act morally unless she believes that God exists and that morality is real

Women should also know that the decision to have sex before marriage with a man who isn’t a Christian doesn’t magically change him into a Christian. Sex isn’t magic. It doesn’t cause a man to like a woman, or to fall under her control.

Women go to school for 4 years to learn a trade and they need to put some effort into studying courtship rules so they can be wise about their own choices with men. Jumping into a car and trying to drive it without lessons is a good way to get killed. And emotions, intuitions, peer-pressure and pop-culture don’t help you to know how to drive a car. Be careful, think for yourself.

I also recommend that young, unmarried women  become informed about anti-family, anti-father policies. If women don’t want to be hurt by men, then vote for stronger families, lower taxes, and policies that promote good husbands and good fathers. Girls need to see love modeled between a husband and wife as they grow up, and they need to have fathers in the home. Good public policies encourage men to marry and stay married.

Women need to get better criteria for choosing men

A while back, I posted on some of the criteria women have for choosing men, and here are a few:

  • Being tall
  • Being aloof and disinterested
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Well-dressed
  • Stylish shoes
  • A deep voice
  • Handsome face

What do women expect when they choose men based on criteria like that? It makes no sense to blame a bad man for being bad. He’s BAD! Don’t go near him, he’ll be bad to you, too!

Shouldn’t women judge themselves first, before judging a man?

Shouldn’t women begin by removing the plank in their own eye before removing the speck from the man’s eye?

I think an excellent first step would be for Christian women to take a good look at the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and also what they read. Are they listening to Melissa Etheridge, watching “Thelma & Louise”, and reading Margaret Atwood? Are they informing themselves about truth in many areas, like economics and cosmology, so that they can make informed choices of men? Are they building resistance to cultural trends?

UPDATE: Two more things I thought of.

1) Shouldn’t this woman have put some effort into testing out the claims of her parents and the church by reading the Bible itself? I mentioned reading extra-biblical stuff but even the Bible doesn’t ground anything that she was doing or anything the church was telling her to do that was wrong. Driscoll seems to think that women are not obligated to read the Bible, and that if someone in the church tells them a lie, then the church is to blame. But shouldn’t we expect people who attend church to test these things out for themselves? I realize that she wasn’t a Christian, but in order to take responsibility, she could have said “I should have checked things in my Bible and so I share the blame”. She doesn’t say that because she doesn’t blame herself at all for anything that happened. Well, probably she went to church for the singing and never read what the Bible had to say – or didn’t take it as an authority. But she never blames herself for either one of those.

2) I noticed that she claims that if the church tells her something and she does it, then the church is to blame. Well, the church (or at least her parents) undoubtedly told her not to have sex before she was married, but she didn’t mention that in the video. Why not? Well, she only mentions things that other people tell her to blame them. When they tell her the right thing and she doesn’t do it, she doesn’t mention what they told her. Because she won’t blame herself for any reason. And Driscoll has nothing to say about that, either.  Any time the church tells her something bad and she does it… it’s the church’s fault. Any time the church tells her something good and she DOESN’T do it… she just doesn’t mention it because she isn’t responsible for anything she does – it’s always the fault of someone else.

I don’t mind if she explains the circumstances surrounding WHY she made bad choices. I don’t even mind the bad choices, because I make bad choices. I just don’t like her blaming other people, I especially don’t like her blaming bad men. Bad men are bad. Don’t blame them for not being good – it’s your fault for choosing them. There are other men who are good who get no attention from women at all.

We need to learn from Theodore Dalrymple

Remember this post?

Excerpt:

With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments.

And again:

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Read the whole thing, you young women. And judge men hard. It’s good to judge them beforehand so that you don’t have to condemn them for being bad later.

Related posts

In which I blame the coffee manufacturer for making bad coffee

This morning, I was contemplating whether to go downstairs and buy a cup of coffee for $1.25 from the coffee shop on the first floor, or whether to take a cup of free coffee from the kitchen on the 4th floor where I work. I like to have things that are free because then I do not have to work for them. Besides, I can spend more time watching TV if I don’t work as hard to buy the pay-coffee.

I was pretty sure that coffee that is sold by the small business on the first floor for profit would taste the same as coffee that is based on a community of coffee drinkers on our floor who just contribute whatever they want to out of the goodness of their hearts. To tell you the truth, it’s not something I really want to put that much thought into, I just expected that the world would conform to my intuitions and emotions.

So I snuck into the kitchen and poured myself a cup of the free coffee and snuck out again. I skulked back to my desk and sat down to drink the free coffee.

Imagine my horror at finding out that free coffee tastes like raw sewage!

Imagine! Free coffee doesn’t taste as good as coffee you have to pay for! How unfair! I hate this coffee! It’s weak! It’s cowardly! It’s lazy! It isn’t meeting my needs and expectations! It isn’t making me happy! It’s to blame for all of my problems! I want to sue this coffee manufacturer in court! I want everyone to condemn them! I demand justice! This coffee is to blame for my tires being underinflated! This coffee is to blame for me not going to the gym! Why is this coffee judging me? Why am I being marginalized and excluded?

Why, oh, why did God make coffee that is so bad? How could a loving God allow me to suffer from this bad coffee that I freely chose instead of pay-coffee? Shouldn’t God give me free coffee that doesn’t taste like sewage? Oh, woe is me! Why doesn’t anyone care about my needs? Why do other rich people have coffee that tastes good, and not me? Why are all my friends drinking good coffee, while I am forced by evil corporations to settle for sewage coffee? We should have a government-run social program to provide me with good coffee for free!

Do you know what I should do? I’ll tell you. I should take control of this coffee corporation. I should force them to give me free coffee for the rest of my life! After all, they are to blame for making the bad coffee. I shouldn’t have to pay for coffee! It’s my right! I have a right to the same coffee as people who go further away and who work hard and who pay for their coffee! I’m being discriminated against! There is no way that I should have to be. There is nothing that I should have to do. I should just get all the goodies in life and never have to give anything back to anyone, if I don’t feel like it.

Do you know what would be really good? A faucet that poured hot coffee with Splenda and cream. I think i’ll go see if we have that in the kitchen. I know we have water, so how hard can it be to get hot coffee with cream and Splenda, too?

Hey, I wonder if I could also get free back rubs? And free candy? I like candy! So I should get candy, too, right?

Does a man’s decision to marry negatively impact his service to God?

I found this post while browsing on Parchment and Pen, by C. Michael Patton. In it he discusses how his wife Kristie responded to his interest in making sacrifices to become a missionary in Europe. First, let’s take a look at what he wrote, then I’ll comment. This post is the meanest thing I have ever written on the blog. Please don’t read it, especially if you are a woman.

Now I don’t know any of the details of Mike’s life, so I am just using his words as a springboard to make some points of my own. Nothing mean I say applies to Mike or his family. I am trying to talk about my own experiences trying to reconcile my faith with women.

Mike starts admirably by explaining how, as a married man with two children, he became excited about a plan for preaching and defending the gospel in places like Europe, where there are very few Christians evangelizing.

He writes:

When I got home, Kristie attempted to probe for the passion and the source of my excitement. I held back some naively thinking it was going to be a surprise. I wanted to walk her through all I had learned and let the excitement build in her as it had in me. I told her everything we had been learning doing my best to work without the pins. I explained to her how much of a famine for the Gospel existed in other parts of the world. Then, when the time was just right, I gave her the “good” news: “We are going to be missionaries!!!”

I don’t think Mike’s expectations on his wife are realistic given my experiences with Christian women. And his wife did end up rejecting his plan to become missionaries in Europe.

Now I’ll talk about my experience, not about Mike’s story. In my experience, women often (70%) approach Christianity as a subjective experience, not as objective knowledge. So that means that they are not going to find what is written in the Bible as more authoritative than their own feelings, which they may be projecting onto “God” without the benefit of logic or evidence. That is why most women are usually not very interested in Christian knowledge, like theology or church history, and especially apologetics. In my experience, what this means is that they are less interested trying to convince people that Christianity is TRUE.

Most women in the churches prefer subjective experiences like singing, community, prayer, rituals, etc. Many women resent the idea that Christianity might be objectively true, because the truth of Christianity would limit their ability to invent their own version of Christianity based on their intuition. Many are certainly not interested in learning about God as he is, and then in shaping their lives to serve him in the most effective ways, regardless of the cost. Many prefer to spend their time reading fiction, like Stephanie Meyer instead of evidential stuff, like Stephen Meyer. Dan Brown stuff is also popular because it allows them to doubt the Bible when the Bible disagrees with their intuitions.

So the problem is that the Bible seems to be calling for bold action to evangelize and persuade others, but women seem to be more interested in more subjective, inward-focused activities that make them happy.

Note: there are exceptions of course. I know one women who read Signature in the Cell (!). Another woman I know read FOUR Tom Sowell books in two months. Actually some of the strongest denunciations of Christian women comes from other Christian women. One woman once told me that she never attended all-women Bible studies, and another told me angrily that her women’s group spent more time on arranging the table settings than in choosing the speaker for an event! As well, the best book on the Christian worldview is written by Nancy Pearcey. Etc. And of course, there’s Michele Bachmann, who asks her husband to take her to hear Ravi Zacharias for her BIRTHDAY PRESENT.

Mike continues:

Since then I have seen this situation more times than I can count. It is usually always the same: a zealous husband who has become embittered against his wife because she will not follow him in his zealousness. One good friend just got a divorce because his wife did not want to become a missionary. He thought it was the Lord’s will and he believed her unwillingness was keeping him from a “greater good.” Now, after the divorce, his immaturity has disqualified him from taking that step even by himself. Another friend is becoming embittered toward his wife because her focus is elsewhere. Their marriage is suffering. I could tell many more stories, but I don’t want to betray anyone’s confidence.

Friends (and especially young zealous husbands or soon to be husbands), don’t make the mistake of having your passion for ministry end your marriage. You first ministry is your marriage. If you don’t get that, you are not qualified for ministry. In the spirit of Priscilla: Do you not think that God is powerful enough to call you both into ministry or do you think he only has enough power to call one of you? If so, then he is not a God worth your time anyway. In short, if God does not call your wife, he is not calling you. Period.

Well, I agree with Mike that once you get married, unless you’re married to Jan Craig, then you can pretty much kiss your ministry good-bye. You have to uphold your marriage first, and God comes second. If your wife blocks your ministry, then you’re stuck with no ministry. He’s right about that. Which is why I don’t get married. What many women want, in my experience, is to make you like them so much that they can control you. But if they see that you are resisting and evaluating them critically, they give up and move on to easier prey. Many women have no intention of trying to help you to achieve your vision. You are just a tool in their toolbox for pursuing happiness.

What does the Bible say in 1 Cor 7:1-28?

1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.

8Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.

9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion

25Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

26Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are.

27Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.

28But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

And in Matthew 19:12, Jesus says:

12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

I have seen theologian after theologian explain these verses away, rather than incur the wrath of women in the audience. But it seems to me the verses are pretty clear. Don’t marry. (Note: there are exceptions – I think a marriage to Michele Bachmann would be an ennobling experience).

The only virtuous reason for a man to get married is when he is convinced that he can do better for God with that woman by his side than they can do as singles. Once a man gets married to someone who wants to live a secular life of pleasure, he’s stuck – he can’t break up the marriage to save his ministry. Mike is right about that. So that’s why I say again to men – DON’T MARRY! Marriage gets in the way of your commitment to God, unless you are very careful to find a wife who will support you in your ministry.

Look at Mike’s bio page:

I am Michael Patton, the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen blog. I do a lot of stuff and love teaching theology. In fact, I have been blessed enough to be able to make my living doing so. I am married, have four kids (two girls and two boys). Got married to the most beautiful gal in the world.

If you click through, you will see a picture of his wife in some sort of beauty pageant. But right away I am concerned because I am suspicious of women who enter beauty pageants.

Now forget Mike’s pretty wife, and let me make a comment about men and sexual attraction.

Most Christian men become interested in women because of sexual attraction (unless you’re me, and you have visions of little homeschooled William Lane Craig and Michele Bachmann clones dancing in your head). I think that many men today rely far too much on physical attraction, they start the physical contact way too early which destroys their objectivity. And most men don’t take the time to screen women to see whether their stated beliefs are grounded. They just take the women, and their stated beliefs, at face value. And what this means is that God is being left out of the relationship – his needs don’t matter. What matters is the physical attraction.

I have a friend with a PhD in physics who is an elder in his Calvinist church. His wife has never read an apologetics book. Not even The Screwtape Letters. She says that logic and evidence don’t apply to Christianity. She knows God through her intuition, not through the Bible, because the Bible was written by men. And Christianity is really about doing whatever she wants to be happy. She reads Dan Brown and she gave him Dan Brown to read, too. She doesn’t believe in Hell, and she thinks Jesus was married. She views her husband as a tool for serving her. She has a pretty appearance, so  he never screened her statements of faith. His eyes were blinded by a sexual attraction.

One of my friends has married well, and his wife is 100% perfect in every way. They had a good long courtship, with pre-marriage counseling, and were very strict about physical contact. (They were both virgins when they married in their late 20s). And that is the only way to do a courtship – they put God’s needs first and they knew exactly what vision they were pursuing. I think that men need to look for women who treat God as a real person, with a distinct character of his own. (She was a missionary for a year in a very nasty part of the world). On her evening off from being a stay-at-home mom, she answers apologetics questions for unbelieving seekers. This woman was screened very well.

More Mike stuff is here.

UPDATE: When I say DON’T MARRY, I really meant “don’t marry without sharing your vision with your prospective mate first, and make sure that she is on board with it”.

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