I already mentioned the studies that show that marrying a non-virgin is less stable than marrying a virgin. But what about student loans? Are they a risk factor for divorce, too? I was reading over at Captain Capitalism and saw this CNBC article, which discusses data relevant to our recent discussion about whether men ought to prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos.
When it comes to student loan debt, “for richer, for poorer” doesn’t quite cut it.
In general, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a study by SunTrust Bank, but student debt takes a particularly hard toll on a marriage.
More than a third of borrowers said college loans and other money factors contributed to their divorce, according to a recent report from Student Loan Hero, a website for managing education debt.
In fact, 13 percent of divorcees blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship, the report found. Student Loan Hero surveyed more than 800 divorced adults in June.
Now, when deciding whether to marry and who to marry, it does make sense to me to think about what needs to be bought and how much these things cost, and where the money will come from. It just makes sense to me that people who are REALLY interested in marriage will be interested in doing what works to prepare for marriage. You can’t just do whatever you want before marrying, because marriage involves being faithful to your spouse, and buying things that you need for the marriage enterprise, like a home, and baby stuff. It doesn’t make any sense to say “I want to get married” and then not prepare for marriage by being careful about what behavior marriage requires of you.
Examining 46,934 resumes shared on Glassdoor by people who graduated between 2010 and 2017, the researchers looked at each person’s college major and their post-college jobs in the five years after graduation. They then estimated the median pay for each of those jobs (also using Glassdoor data) for employees with five years of experience or less. Their key finding: “Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average.”
Here’s the plot, and you can click it to expand it:
Maybe we can just simplify this whole issue by saying “it’s unwise to marry people who choose not to prepare themselves for marriage”. That goes for men and women, by the way. Basically, you can avoid student loans if you study something that you don’t feel like studying, and work jobs that you don’t feel like working, and don’t buy things that you feel like buying. Don’t marry people who are led by their feelings. Marry someone who demonstrates self-control.
Anyway, I feel obligated to post a relevant Dave Ramsey video, just to remind everyone that stewardship of money is a Christian virtue, and that being forgiven by Jesus for your sins doesn’t make you good with money.
This one from 2014: (H/T Robb)
When I was in high school, I was far more interested in becoming an English teacher than I was in becoming a software engineer. It was my Dad who overruled my choice of college major when I was still in high school. He had me take a first-year English course at a local university. When I saw how politicized and useless it was (they were studying all sorts of politically correct postmodern relativist stuff, instead of the Great Works, and they weren’t trying to learn any wisdom from any of it), I chose computer science. I did what was likely to work, instead of what was easy and fun and made me feel good. I think this makes me a grown-up. And marriage should only be done if there are two grown-ups involved in the enterprise.
Christian writer Lori Alexander recently wrote a blog post (H/T Lindsay) urging Christian women to do 3 things:
be a virgin before marriage
be debt-free before marriage
don’t get any tattoos
She also urged women to be cautious about college, because it often gets them into debt. I disagree with her a little here. I always urge young women to earn a STEM degree in college, then work a few years to pay off their loans (if any) before marrying. This is because women, like men, need to have the experience of doing something hard that they don’t “feel” like doing, in order to grow. STEM degrees teach young people that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and that their feelings don’t matter when trying to solve a problem in the real world. It’s a very useful way for women and men to break themselves out of the desire for free and easy happiness that is so common in our time.
Lori’s article drew enormous opposition from both secular and Christian sources. So far, the only people defending her are men’s rights sites, like Dalrock (Christian) and Spawny (non-Christian). Every other “Christian” blog or news site that I read disagreed her article, and argued that premarital sex was no big deal, that having debt was no big deal, and that having tattoos was no big deal.
Let’s take a look at her three points, then I’ll explain why her article is largely correct, and why she is correct about what she asserts about the criteria that godly men have for women.
Regarding her first point, virginity is commanded by the Bible, it’s in line with peer-reviewed studies on marriage quality and stability. The reason that people find this difficult is that they want the freedom to give in to sexual desires without feeling shame. They want to believe that there is no permanent effect. It doesn’t help that parents and pastors are terrified of telling young people, and young women in particular, that promiscuity harms marital stability. Right now, the culture is drowning in feminism. Feminism tells women that the traditional male roles of provider, protector, and spiritual leader are “sexist”. The “best” men are good-looking pro-abortion bad boys. If a Christian woman is not able to think through the meaning of sex with respect to marriage enough to control herself, it seriously harms the stability of her future marriage.
Regarding her second point, almost everything a serious Christian man might plan to do for Christ with his marriage is impacted by finances. From education, to marriage timing, to number of children, to home ownership, early investment, to the success of children. to age of retirement. Less money means fewer choices, and less ability to counter challenges. Think of how important money for legal defense is to Christian-owned businesses who are being persecuted, for example. The reason that many people find the Bible’s teaching on stewardship difficult is that they don’t want to exercise self-control with money if they don’t feel like it. They want to waste money seeking fun and thrills, and then act like their poverty could not be avoided. Being debt-free is an indicator of practical wisdom and self-control in a woman.
Tattoos are a problem for serious Christian men for several reasons. First, they cost money and for no gain, and can even cause you losses in your career. Second, most people get them because of low self-esteem or vanity or to look rebellious or to look dangerous. None of these motivations should be acted upon by someone with a robust Christian worldview. The money could be better used on charity, or investments, etc. Women show what their priorities really are by how they spend their money and time. Show me a woman’s bookshelf, and I’ll tell you how seriously she has thought about what it means to be a Christian in all areas of life. Instead of showing me your tattoos to demonstrate your “spirituality”, show me your apologetics books, to demonstrate your intellectual engagement. And tell me how you used that information to engage in conversations with educated non-Christians to answer their challenges to your faith. That way I’ll know that you use your money to train do hard things in order to have an influence for Christ in serious, practical, effective ways. A woman who can defend her faith and discuss Christianity with non-Christians is demonstrating her ability to raise Christian children in a secular society.
The goal of marriage is to serve God
Today, young people have been taught to follow their hearts, and to deny that there is any authority or practical wisdom that should govern their decisions. They always imagine themselves to be exempt from moral rules, statistics, cause and effect, etc. They think they know better than everyone else – even though they do almost no research on their own. Every adviser who tells them to study computer science instead of creative writing is wrong. Their same-age friends know more about what causes divorces than peer-reviewed research papers. And money should be spent on skydiving and zip-lining, regardless of what financial experts like Dave Ramsey might say.
A woman who has made many mistakes cannot fix those mistakes with words. Rationalizations, evasions, and blame-shifting do not work to show that there has been real repentance. The man can only assess whether grace has caused any real re-prioritization of goals by evaluating her outward actions over a long period of time. Furthermore, if a woman who has made mistakes attacks those who correct her from Bible’s teachings on chastity, stewardship, etc., then it’s a sign that there is no real repentance.
Choosing a wife wisely doesn’t mean that Christian men treat OTHER Christian women poorly. Christian men love all the Christian women. We care for them and support them. But when a man chooses a wife, he is choosing someone who will have more influence on his ability to serve God than anyone else. In my case, the goals for my marriage involve making a difference with apologetics in the church, having many children who will receive the educations and careers they need to have an influence, influencing government to promote Christian-friendly policies, charitable giving, mentoring young Christians, modeling a good marriage to others, and having a home that can serve to host discussions about issues that matter. These things are not free – they take careful planning and execution to achieve.
Lori’s advice is intended for men who are serious about making their marriage produce a return for God. Men who are chaste themselves. Men who accept the Bible as an authority. Men who earned STEM degrees, instead of easy nonsense degrees that don’t lead to good careers. Men who earn 6-figure salaries, who buy houses for cash, and who are on track have a 7-figure net worth by age 50. Men who made good decisions cannot risk marrying someone who hasn’t prepared for marriage. The wrong woman in the home could ruin the man’s effort to produce a marriage that gives glory to God.
Not every man intends to achieve something for God with his marriage, but those who do need to choose a woman who has demonstrated ability at doing the job. For example, if the job requires marital fidelity, then chastity is a good indicator that the woman has the necessary self-control. If the job requires frugality, and practicality, then being debt-free, having a STEM degree, and having some private sector work experience are good indicators that she’s qualified for the role. Nothing valuable in life is ever been achieved by being lazy, wild and irresponsible. Serious Christian men look for wives who have applied themselves to difficult tasks that they didn’t feel like doing, who achieved success by remaining committed to the plan, in spite of their unhappy feelings and unmet desires.
We have a problem in the church such that we aren’t serious about teaching young people to develop marriage-ready character and to make serious plans for marriage. We are teaching them to follow their hearts, and that their feelings and desires are clues about God’s will for their happiness. We are teaching them to be uncomfortable with responsibilities, expectations and obligations to others. We are teaching them not to do their own research. We are teaching them not to make practical, wise plans. We are teaching them to ATTACK those who try to get them to be serious about doing what is likely to work. This approach is not working.
My own criteria for a wife are more demanding than Lori’s. My advice there is only for serious Christian men who want their marriage to serve God.
Melissa Brunning is a 34-year-old unmarried woman who operates a Facebook page called “Wild and Free“. On that page, she posts inspirational quotes about travel, fun, following your heart, as well as pictures from all her exotic vacations. The “about” section of the (public) page says “My mission is to inspire others to break free from 9-5 & live LIFE on their terms, to be WILD and FREE to follow their dreams, to explore & go on adventure”.
Here is her philosophy in one photo:
Anyway, you can look at all the selfies of her with her cat, her bikinis, etc. on her personal Facebook page. The reason for this post is because Melissa met a new guy on Match.com. He has everything that she wants. He’s tall. He’s strong. He’s smooth. He has really great teeth. And most importantly, he gives the impression that he could really lose his temper at any minute and attack other men violently. Melissa is sure that she can get around that problem somehow, though. Although the man lived 1500 miles away from her, this was no problem, because Melissa loves to travel, and this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime exotic adventure!
Melissa Brunning was on a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip cruising the majestic Kimberley on a friend’s superyacht, so when an opportunity arose to feed a placid shark she was scared, but her adventurous spirit willed her to give it a go.
But it all ended in a freak shark bite incident that left the Perth woman grateful she didn’t lose a finger.
The last of her friends to try feeding the three to four Tawny nurse sharks hanging around the back of the boat, what Ms Brunning didn’t realise until it was too late was that she shouldn’t hand feed the 2m shark, rather place the piece of fish in front of her and watch it go by and suck it up.
With a suction “like a Hoover”, the shark sucked Ms Brunning’s right index finger into its mouth full of rows of razor sharp teeth.
Mobile phone footage filmed by a friend of the incident at the end of May shows Ms Brunning screaming as she’s pulled from the back of the boat into the croc-infested water as the shark swims off.
Oh no! The hot alpha male bad boy ate her food, bit her, and swam away without even leaving his phone number. Typical whale! Er, I mean shark. It wasn’t her fault! There was no way to predict from his appearance that he would become violent and unfaithful. It was the shark’s fault – he lied to her. He presented himself as kind and sweet. The shark’s toxic masculinity was clearly to blame. #Patriarchy #MeToo
Melissa is quoted in the article about the break-up with the sharp-looking thug: “We’re not meant to be in the water, if we were we’d have gills.” It was a love not meant to be. But while in the hospital getting taxpayer-funded health care for the “unexpected” result of her irrational choices, a nurse gave her the phone number of a hot looking crocodile who was just being released from prison. Maybe things will work out with him? At least her friends will be envious if she posts a selfie with him.
You can have a lot of fun reading the inspirational quotes on her Wild and Free page, and even more fun if you insert something about trying to hand feed a shark into each one.
Here are some:
When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life
Take every chance you get in life because some things only happen once
Life is an adventure, dare it
Live in the moment
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try
Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing
Be crazy, be stupid, be silly, be weird, be whatever – because life is too short to be anything but happy
I think the common denominator here is this glorification of thrill seeking and fun, at the expense of having a slow, deliberate plan that achieves a real result. When your sole purpose in life is to have good feelings, it becomes impossible to exercise self-control for the sake of something higher, like serving God. The pattern of always choosing self, self, self becomes impossible to break.
This sort of thrill-seeking lifestyle works when you’re young and pretty, but it doesn’t really set you up for success in the last 50 years of your life. A woman needs to use her pre-marriage time wisely. She needs to train up her wife and mother skills, and develop patience and maturity by doing hard things. She has to train herself to keep commitments if her marriage is to last. A stable marriage requires her to get comfortable with self-sacrifice. She has to train her character to be content with stability. She needs to stop seeking thrills and learn how to delay gratification.
I am seeing this attitude of hers a lot in young Christian women. There doesn’t seem to be much of a vision for marriage and family being taught to women today. Women don’t see Christianity as something that overrides their pleasure-seeking and self-centeredness. Instead, they just sing praise hymns, read devotionals, listen to Joyce Meyer’s prosperity gospel sermons, and focus on themselves. Nutrition, fitness and travel are all good, but they cannot be the main things in life for an authentic Christian.
Christians should be concerned with God’s reputation and God’s goals. Christians are meant to serve God, not themselves. Christians have to do what works for God, like apologetics. There is no such thing as a Christian whose Facebook and Instagram page celebrates “self-love”, thrill-seeking, exotic vacations, etc. A real Christian always does what works to serve God. Jesus was good at self-denial and self-control. He was obedient to God even when it cost him his life. He didn’t go on exotic vacations and do pointless, risky things to get fun and thrills.
If you missed my previous post on radical feminists turning to mermen to get around the problem of “toxic masculinity” in normal men, then be sure to read that.
My friend Bruce posted this article from the the Daily Wire, and I think it’s a good summary of the scientific evidence against global warming alarmism. After we go over this, I’ll take a stab at explaining why so many non-scientists desperately want to believe that global warming is true, and why they try to push everyone else to believe it, too.
First, the list:
Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual.
Satellite temperature data does not support the assumption that temperatures are rising rapidly
Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years
The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980
Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations
There is a natural inverse relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels
The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes
There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution
Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years
“Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming
So, we can’t look at all of these in one post. Obviously, the satellite measurements are the best thing to look at, since they cannot be tampered with as easily as the ground measurements, and they show no warming for 18 years.
But let’s look at number 8 instead:
Even in the 1990 IPCC report a chart appeared that showed the medieval warm period as having had warmer temperatures than those currently being experienced. But it is hard to convince people about global warming with that information, so five years later a new graph was presented, now known as the famous hockey stick graph, which did away with the medieval warm period. Yet the evidence is overwhelming at so many levels that warmer periods existed on Earth during the medieval warm period as well as during Roman Times and other time periods during the last 10,000 years. There is plenty of evidence found in the Dutch archives that shows that over the centuries, parts of the Netherlands disappeared beneath the water during these warm periods, only to appear again when the climate turned colder. The famous Belgian city of Brugge, once known as “Venice of the North,” was a sea port during the warm period that set Europe free from the dark ages (when temperatures were much colder), but when temperatures began to drop with the onset of the little ice age, the ocean receded and now Brugge is ten miles away from the coastline. Consequently, during the medieval warm period the Vikings settled in Iceland and Greenland and even along the coast of Canada, where they enjoyed the warmer temperatures, until the climate turned cold again, after which they perished from Greenland and Iceland became ice-locked again during the bitter cold winters. The camps promoting global warming have been systematically erasing mention of these events in order to bolster the notion that today’s climate is unusual compared to our recent history.
That’s right, the world was much warmer than it is now during the Medieval Warming Period… so warm that you could actually farm on Greenland. But now it’s all frozen over.
Bruce also posted this article from Forbes magazine about the so-called consensus about global warming among scientists.
It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.
[…]Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.
The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.
According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
The authors of the survey report, however, note that the overwhelming majority of scientists fall within four other models, each of which is skeptical of alarmist global warming claims.
[…]Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.
Most people who get excited about the threat of global warming have something to gain financially from the hysteria. For example, Democrat campaign donors who own stock in solar or wind power companies that get fat government subsidies. Solyndra was one example of that.
Why do people believe weird things?
So why do people believe these things? People believe these things for the same reason that primitive people would sacrifice animals in order to get a bountiful harvest or be spared being struck by lightning. They fear the future, and they want to believe that they are doing something in order to save themselves from doom. There is something credulous in us that seeks to know and control the future. When we are told a noble lie by grant-seeking, attention-craving academics, we believe it because we want to believe it. We want to believe that the future is going to be OK, especially when all we have to do to make it OK is recycle cans and turn off our lights when we are not using them.
This is the real psychological motivation behind the desperate desire to believe in the global warming myth. We are scared, and we want someone to save us from the future. And we jump at the chance of controlling the future, especially when it means recycling cans, rather than having to deal with our own sinfulness. We invent a new morality that justifies us rather than having to comply with the old morality. Freedom to commit adultery, as long as we recycle cans to save the planet. Sanctification through purchasing carbon credits, instead of sanctification through chastity, sobriety and self-control.
I have a friend who is now 33 and who has invested all of her relationship time with men who, although they were fun, were never equipped to pull the trigger on marriage. I’ve been investigating her method of choosing men, and it turns out that she basically chooses men based on which one gives her the “tingles”. When pressed, she can’t really explain the pathway forward to marriage from the tingles. And indeed a closer look at the men shows that they are not prepared for marriage responsibilities.
When I look at her, I think “if only women could train themselves to have tingles for men who were actually good at marriage, and interested in getting married”. Is there a way for these women to transfer the tingles from immature boys to marriage-capable men?
Here is a post by super-mom Lindsay, who married young, has three children, and has wisdom beyond her years.
The world has it all backwards when it comes to building romantic relationships. The world says, find someone who is fun to be with and that you’re attracted to, then build a relationship (often built primarily on sex first) and if you don’t break it off and can still stand each other after awhile, maybe start thinking about marriage. Then, once marriage happens, the rest of the world’s advice has to do with how to deal with the various issues that inevitably crop up when you’ve built a relationship on fun and physical attraction and later find out your goals and values are different. The world will also tell you to leave the relationship, even a marriage, as soon as you find attraction waning or problems that aren’t easily solved.
Too often, the church tries to do things the way the world does, except without the sex before marriage. Too many Christian young people were never given guidance on what to look for in a spouse and make the decision based on feeling in love after spending time having fun together. But even where guidance is given, it’s often still focused on finding someone you’re attracted to who happens to have the right qualities rather than learning first to be attracted to the right kind of person. In other words, even Christians usually believe that attraction is fixed and involuntary and try to center relationships around it anyway.
I suggest a better way. My advice is that we learn to be attracted to good character and the types of traits that make a good spouse. Attraction isn’t something that just happens to us. Attraction can be controlled to a large extent. We all have preferences for physical characteristics in the opposite sex, but attraction is more than just noticing someone is good looking, even if that does play a part. These other factors that influence attraction are primarily driven by our mindset and can be modified by our patterns of thought.
In order to control our attraction properly, we should actively think about good character qualities and notice them in others around us and think positive thoughts about those who have them in order to develop a mental pattern of appreciating good character. The opposite should be true of bad character qualities – we should practice seeing them as unattractive. In addition to this, it’s important to actively work to downplay the role of physical traits in our attraction so that character becomes the main factor, not more superficial characteristics like height, hair color, or facial features.
For example, a single woman should learn to appreciate men with a good work ethic, leadership qualities, self-control, and an interest in studying the things of God. She should control her thoughts so as to make character the main thing she evaluates about others and so that she values good character. Thus, she should find her interest in an available man growing when she observes good character while she should find her interest in him waning if she finds bad character such an inability to keep a job, passiveness, sexual immorality, or an anger problem (to name just a few issues).
If we teach our young people to value the kinds of traits that make a good spouse and to actively work to be attracted by their presence and repelled by their absence, they will make better choices when it comes to marriage.
Well, I tried to present this to the 33-year-old, and she assured me that men who are perpetual students are “responsible”, and that men with empty resumes are “hard workers”, and that men with zero earned savings are “good providers”. She said that my concerns about men having good educations, non-empty resumes, and substantial earned savings, etc. are “only valid within a limited scope”. She went on to suggest that a boy in his mid-30s could still be serious about marriage, even if he lives with his parents, has no college degree, has an empty resume, and has zero savings. I am not sure how this would work because marriage requires a certain level of income, and a certain buffer from savings. A standard marriage with 2 children costs hundreds of thousands of dollars – not counting tuition. More if you keep the kids out of public school. Whenever I ask the women in their 30s for the numbers, they haven’t done the analysis. One of them is actually majoring in business (!) but still isn’t able to calculate the cost of marriage enough to know not to marry an unemployed, penniless student. The tingles override all fiscal concerns.
The tragedy is that the youth, beauty and chastity that men find attractive is wasted on men who were chosen because they were free, easy and fun. The tingles must be obeyed, and the solution to criticisms of the tingles is to push the critics away, no matter how accomplished they may be in real life at things that matter: education, career and finances. Only the advisers who agree with the tingles are trustworthy, no matter how much those advisers may have screwed up their own lives. It doesn’t matter how many times the tingles fail to deliver, either, because the alternative to following the tingles (i.e. – growing up) is unthinkable.
It’s sad because men are learning that the easiest way to get a woman to like them is to spiritualize their feelings and intuitions as “God speaking to her”. The 33-year-old woman praised the “spiritual leadership” of a 28-year-old boy who told her that her feelings were God speaking to her. She tried to marry this man, even though he was an unemployed penniless student, before breaking up with him. In other words, you can easily get some crazy young women into a relationship if you tell her that following her heart will work, because God is going to make it all work out. That’s what they want to hear, that’s what they trust. That’s what gives them the tingles.
For some reason, this works on many, many women – it gives them the tingles. But do you know what doesn’t work? Actually being competent at husband roles because you have taken your education, career and investing seriously. That’s really bad, because what you know about practical matters scares many women, making them feel like their feelings and intuitions will not rule over the man’s proven ability. They don’t “trust” men who can demonstrate responsibility and competence, because they know that those men will want to lead, overriding their feelings and intuitions. Demonstrated ability actually causes mistrust.
Marriage-ready men are scary because they have plans for marriage, which may involve obligations for the woman, as she steps into the roles of wife and mother. Obligations such as staying home to homeschool, taking care of the husband’s sexual needs, not wasting money on fun, thrills or travel, having children (which many women do not want because children have needs). Obligations mean that the woman has to care for others, not just be self-centered. Marriage-ready men make the tingles go away, because marriage means obligations, and many women have been taught by feminism to resent the obligations inherent in marriage roles.
In short, some young women want to fly the plane, even if they are going to crash it. The repeated experience of grabbing the controls and crashing over and over does nothing to restrain the desire to let feelings and intuitions rule, either. All a “man” has to do gain her favor is to tell her that this time for sure, she will be able to fly the plane just by following her heart. He just needs to abdicate his duty to protect her by telling her the truth, and she will have the tingles for him. And that’s why many women, under the influence of feminism, have the tingles for the wrong men. Confident promises about an optimistic, easy, fun future mean more to them than the realistic judgment that comes from demonstrated ability as a man.