Dina sent me this revealing article from the UK Daily Mail. It tells the story of a woman whose children are fatherless.
My marriage ended, without rancour or argument, 18 months after it had begun. There was no recrimination, just a realisation, as sharp as physical pain, that we would never — could never — agree on one fundamental point.
I wanted children; my husband Anthony did not. You may think we should have resolved this crucial issue long before we bought a house and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, but love had a way of blinding us to the depth of our disagreement.
[...]Today, I am 37 and a single mum to gorgeous three-month-old twin boys Charlie and William. They were conceived through IVF, using my eggs and sperm from an anonymous donor, and the love I feel for them is all-consuming.
[...]Anthony, a policeman, was easy and fun; we chatted comfortably together, and when we started dating I was impressed by his integrity. He had passionate views about fairness and loyalty. He was attractive, too — tall, dark hair, blue eyes — and I felt we could build a loving relationship together.
It seems to me that many women tend to prefer the wrong kind of men these days when it comes to marriage and parenting. Marriage requires a man to have a strong moral compass. That way, he can be expected to behave morally, himself. A man with a strong moral compass fuldills his moral obligations, but he also makes moral judgments. And women need to prefer men who make these moral judgments. The woman’s phrase “Easy and fun” tells me that her choice of man was not a good one. A man who is easy and fun does not make divisive truth claims, does not make moral judgments, and does not set up moral boundaries. He can’t be trusted to honor moral obligations. He can only be trusted to be “easy and fun”. But marriage is not for men who want an easy life, nor a fun life. Marry requires self-sacrificial service. She should not have chosen an “easy and fun” man to have children with. That would be like me choosing a Paris Hilton and expecting her to be frugal and homeschool our kids. It’s not going to happen. But many women these days are so clouded by “tall, dark hair, blue eyes” that they cannot connect what a man can do to what a man is supposed to do in a marriage. So long as he looks good, then he is good.
After a month or so, our physical relationship began, but we did not rush things. It was a couple of years before he moved into my flat in Crawley, West Sussex, and I expected we’d eventually marry and have kids.
Looking back, I suppose I should have heeded the warning signals. When I broached the subject of children, he stalled. His stock reply was: ‘We’ll have them later.’
So although he was non-committal, I loved him and assumed that his paternal instinct would kick in as he grew older. But the years passed and I was not reassured.
She thinks that a man who agrees to recreational sex after a month and then agrees to cohabitation after two years is the kind of man who is capable of making a lifelong commitment to be faithful to her and to raise children. That strikes me as equivalent to saying that a man whose favorite movie is Top Gun would also make a good airline pilot.
And then I reached 30. My friends were marrying; settling into comfortable domesticity, preparing for parenthood, and Anthony and I were still in this limbo.
[...]Then my best friend announced she was pregnant and the joy I felt for her was tainted by Anthony’s absence of commitment to the idea of having children with me. So we had another discussion — this time, it was a passionate one. ‘It’s a deal-breaker,’ I said. ‘Much as I love you, if you don’t want children we can’t carry on.’
But, again, he assured me that it would all happen. I just had to bide my time.
So I waited until Anthony was 30, an age when I felt he was old enough to settle down. We loved each other whole-heartedly; we’d bought two successive homes together and the understanding was implicit: my future was bound up in his.
[...]I wanted so much to believe he would warm to the idea, but Anthony equivocated. He still wasn’t ready, he protested.
[...]But then Anthony demonstrated just how strong his aversion to babies was. We were visiting a friend who’d recently given birth and, when her baby cried, Anthony made his excuses and went home.
‘I just can’t stand the sound of that crying,’ he said testily when I confronted him later. ‘If we had a baby, I’d have to move out for the first six weeks.’
It wasn’t a propitious sign, but eventually he seemed to soften.
‘If we’re going to have children, we’ll have to get married first,’ he said the next time I raised the subject, and for once I agreed absolutely. We should get married; by making a public commitment to stay together for the rest of our lives, we would be taking the first step towards establishing a secure home for our future babies.
[...]After six months as man and wife, there had been no mention from Anthony of children. So one day, as we walked home from town, I broached the subject again.
‘We can’t afford to have children,’ he responded sharply and, rather than discuss the topic further, he marched off ahead of me.
[...]This was not the life I had planned for myself: for the first time I started to feel anger towards Anthony. I felt he had forced this situation onto me.
The woman went on to have fatherless children using taxpayer-funded IVF.
What I find troubling about this story is that the first instinct of women – Christian women – and Christian pastors – is to blame men. Those rotten, no-good men. With their tallness, blue-eyes and dark hair! They are “easy and fun” one minute, and then the next minute they are… easy and fun. Yeah. Good-looking men who are easy and fun cannot be assumed to be good at marriage and parenting. They cannot be assumed to be good providers. They can’t be assumed to be good protectors. They can’t be assumed to be moral leaders. They can’t be assumed to be spiritual leaders. The faster that we learn to judge women who make poor decisions with men, the better it will be for children who need to 1) not be killed in the womb and 2) not grow up fatherless. The loving thing to do is to hold women accountable for making decisions about men with their eyes, instead of with their minds.