Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What do men want from a marriage?

Well, my friend Curby sent me this article from a very conservative Calvinist blog. It talks about one of the things that men want from a marriage. I thought I would post it here, and affirm its truth, so that all my feminist readers can have steam shoot out of their ears.

Excerpt:

Men are created different than women. And man’s priorities, deep in his very being, are very different from the woman’s priorities.

[...]The family was created to be an institution, and that institution has a purpose and function in God’s order for the things: to expand the dominion of God’s people over the whole world (Gen. 1:27-28). The purpose and function were first given to the man, and he is supposed to be the chief carrier and executive of that function. And just as the woman was uniquely designed and gifted to discern and understand the issues of relationships, the man was uniquely designed and gifted to fulfill the purpose of taking dominion over the earth. The father’s and the husband’s position of the man is not primarily focused on relationships – that’s what he was given a wife for. That responsibility is given to man to ensure that his family fulfills its purpose in the plan of God in conquering the earth. Man’s very being is outward-oriented, not inward-oriented. His interests would be in work and war, not in feelings and relationships. While women also have their part in business (Prov. 31) and war (Judges 4), by creation ordinance it is man’s realm and sphere of responsibility and authority.

And therefore a church that preaches only relationships and no purpose, will tend to attract mostly women, not men. And when the family is preached as mostly relationships but the purpose and the functions of the family are not preached, men influenced by that preaching won’t be interested in having families. That’s just the created nature of things.

Men feel obligated to do something that is going to please God. And relationships and feelings are not the something they are trying to do:

The Bible has little to say about a “relationship with Jesus.” In fact, Jesus Himself speaks about a personal relationship between Him and His disciples only in two places, and He gives a very simple explanation of what a personal relationship with Him is: obedience to His will. In Matt. 12:46-50 He explains how one gets to be a member of Jesus’s family: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” And then again, in John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” There is no special theology of “personal relationship with Jesus” in the Bible; that personal relationship is very simple: do what He commands. It is not based on emotions or feelings. It is based on the self-conscious commitment to do what He commands.

But what He commands is given in the whole Bible. And it starts with the Dominion Mandate for man and his family to fill the earth, and subdue it. And this means that there is purpose and calling to man as a father and husband to work, fight, educate, care, build, lay foundations, protect, conquer, establish. There is a purpose to man’s life. And that purpose is matched by the inclination in the heart of man to do these things. A man’s heart is thrilled by the possibility to work and conquer. And when the family is presented to him not as an institution of dominion – that is, an institution for work and conquering – but only as a place for “relationships,” he won’t get excited about it. He will leave the church and find another place to work and conquer.

So let me say something about this, and please don’t be offended. My views do go against the popular view of marriage today.

If I were to get married it would be to a woman who understood that my purpose in working from age 20 to age 60 is not primarily to provide a her with feelings and relationships and peer approval.

My purpose in marrying is to make the marriage promote the things that God likes, and oppose the things that God doesn’t like.

In my case that means:

  • impacting the university with apologetics and conservatism
  • impacting the church with apologetics and conservatism
  • impacting the public square to promote policies that enable Christian living
  • producing as many effective, influential children as I can afford to raise

So if I were courting a woman interested in marrying me, then that would be my time to persuade her that the areas I want to work on are important and suited to our skills. I would not be trying to impress her with my ability to please her, but I would be trying to convince her that we could do better for God as a pair than as two singles. And she would have the opportunity to listen to and improve our plans and decide whether to sign with me or not. No one is forcing her to marry me, she gets to choose if she thinks that my plan to make the marriage serve God is acceptable to her. We would look in the Bible together and then look at the culture and decide what areas needed our efforts and what would be the best way for us to impact those areas.

That’s what I mean when I say that men ought to lead in a marriage. I mean that men should have a plan for making the marriage serve God in a practical way. He needs a wife in order to help him man execute his plan to serve God, especially if the plan involves children and other relationships with people outside the home. I do think it is a good idea for a woman to get a degree and have some experience in the workplace before she marries.

Now what shall I do if no woman accepts this idea that marriage is about negotiating a plan and then achieving it for God’s benefit?

Well, that is fine with me. Although I budgeted for a stay-at-home wife and tuition for four PhD-credentialed children, if I cannot find such a woman, then I should take my earnings (after taxes) and spend them on Christian scholars instead. And I should use some of that money on blogging and other related activities that I can do myself. At least that way, I am going to get some sort of a return on my earnings for my client (God). So far, I’ve run into a lot of kickback because the single women I’ve approached want to sort of wing it, and make their feelings and their relationships the goal of the marriage. But that’s not my plan, and that’s not what I’m prepared to sacrifice for. 

Moreover, I would just add that any woman who accepts her husband’s plan as her own, and develops the skills necessary to help him, is going to have more love than she can handle. The experience of being listened to, understood, respected and assisted by a woman produces lots of affection, devotion, protectiveness and desire from a man. Think of it this way. Very few people in this world care about what we are trying to do for God, except potentially our wives, if we choose wisely. Right now, the environment is very much against the plans of Christian men. The experience of having a woman help a Christian man to execute his plan is Earth-shaking for him. After so many years of struggling to do everything himself for God, suddenly another human being comes along who can understand what he is trying to achieve and can freely choose help him to achieve the things he cares so much about. That is what a man really needs from a woman. Respect for his deepest aspiration – to serve God and to make his life count for the Kingdom.

Filed under: Commentary, , , ,

13 Responses

  1. Legion says:

    There are a couple of typos in here, Wintery, but this is brilliant.

  2. You’re right. The church needs to be spreading this vision of marriage, not the touchy-feely version about making people happy.

    One small item I would change is your statement: “The authority to be the leader comes from the man’s ability to provide for the family as the primary earner and saver.”

    That is not correct. Both the man’s responsibility to be the provider and his authority to be the leader come from God and His authority structure for the family. If leadership authority came from being the main provider, then marriages where the woman makes more money should have the woman as the leader. This isn’t Biblical. The Bible makes no indication that making money gives the right to make decisions. The Bible’s authority structure always has the husband as the authority for the home. How much he and his wife make is irrelevant. Obviously, it is the husband’s responsibility to be the provider and it generally works better if he makes more money than his wife. But his authority to lead his family does not rest on the dollar amount he brings home. That authority is God-given and even if his wife makes more money, she doesn’t have the right to usurp that God-given authority and take charge of the family.

    The rest of the post was really good. I hope you find such a woman to help you in your calling.

  3. WorldGoneCrazy says:

    “so that all my feminist readers can have steam shoot out of their ears.” LOL You mean there are STILL feminist readers of your blog, WK?!? Wouldn’t reading your blog contradict with their overwhelming desire for autonomy? :-)
    I agree with your post wholeheartedly. Biblical love and marriage are not feelings: they are commitments. That being said, what do you say to the woman who agrees with your post here but can’t find a man of God because most of the men are being feminized themselves in the West, especially in the churches – Protestant and Catholic alike? (I guess they could look in Russia? :-))

  4. DrewJ says:

    I cannot believe that out of all the people who view your site, you haven’t gotten any proposals by now from people who agree with you. Just marry someone already.

    • I can’t believe it either! But even though most married women agree with me, most young Christian women DON’T. There are a few who do, but they are in their early 20s – too young for me. If I were a decade younger, I would try to marry one of them.

  5. J.W. Wartick says:

    As a feminist who reads this site, I have to say that although we disagree on specifics, I greatly esteem and admire your motivation and intent for family:

    “My purpose in marrying is to make the marriage promote the things that God likes, and oppose the things that God doesn’t like.”

    We can agree on that wholeheartedly. Marriage is something instituted by God and as such should be God-directed. I really do admire your commitment to pursue this with all your heart, mind, and strength. It should be the way that all Christians view their marriage: pursuit of that which God loves; opposition to the things God hates.

    We disagree on how this hashes out, but I just really wanted to commend you for this God-oriented purpose.

  6. “… my purpose in working from age 20 to age 60 is not primarily to provide a her with [happy] feelings …”
    WHAT?? HOW SELFISH CAN YOU BE, WINTERY? YOU’RE NO SORT OF MAN.

    (Excellent writing, my friend. God bless you.)

  7. Thanks for encouraging me. I guess I’ll consider it! The younger women I know are really, really nothing like what I saw when I was in my 20s.

  8. Doug and I are 16 years apart. When we got married, he was 40 and I was 24. So it can work to marry a younger woman.

  9. OH WOW! That’s great news!

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