Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Two things you can do to make your marriage last a lifetime

The first thing is obvious: don’t have sex before you’re married.

Life Site News explains.

Excerpt:

Couples who reserve sex for marriage enjoy greater stability and communication in their relationships, say researchers at Brigham Young University.

A new study from the Mormon college found that those couples who waited until marriage rated their relationship stability 22 percent higher than those who started having sex in the early part of their relationship. The relationship satisfaction was 20 percent higher for those who waited, the sexual quality of the relationship was 5 percent better, and communication was 12 percent better.

The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology, involved 2,035 married individuals who participated in a popular online marital assessment called “RELATE.” From the assessment’s database, researchers selected a sample designed to match the demographics of the married American population. The extensive questionnaire included the question “When did you become sexual in this relationship?”

Couples that became sexually involved later in their relationship – but prior to marriage – reported benefits that were about half as strong as those who waited for marriage.

[...]Sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the study, responded to its findings, saying that “couples who hit the honeymoon too early – that is, prioritize sex promptly at the outset of a relationship – often find their relationships underdeveloped when it comes to the qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy.” Regnerus is the author of Premarital Sex in America, a book forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Because religious belief often plays a role for couples who choose to wait, Busby and his co-authors controlled for the influence of religious involvement in their analysis.

“Regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction,” Busby said.

Second, make sure you attend church regularly after you’re married.

From Citizen Link.

Excerpt:

It’s a number that is trumpeted from the rooftops — and the pulpit: Half of marriages among Christians and non-Christians alike end in divorce.

But the reality is that Christians who attend church regularly get divorced at a much lower rate.

Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, found that among people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, 60 percent have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.

W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, found a nearly identical spread between “active conservative Protestants” who regularly attend church and people with no religious affiliation.

Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, who is working on the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, said couples with a vibrant religious faith have more and higher levels of the qualities that marriages need to avoid divorce.

“Whether young or old, male or female, low-income or not, those who said that they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce and lower levels of negative interaction,” he said. “These patterns held true when controlling for such important variables as income, education and age at first marriage.”

I think that young people who are serious about having a successful marriage also need to study research to find out what how to make a marraige that lasts (chastity, pre-marital counseling, church attendance, etc.). Being marriage-minded means developing those skills before the marriage, and working with your partner to the develop the skills that they will need when they take on their role in the marriage.

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Can recreational sex turn a selfish, irresponsible man into a marriage-minded provider?

An article from the American Thinker answers the question that vexes many men. As you read this excerpt below, ask yourself if it is a man or a woman writing this.

First of all, liberal women seem to be having an awful lot of sex these days. They are losing their virginity early, and working their way through as many “alpha males” as possible, but all the while they insist that a stream of recreational-sex relationships is somehow a path to lifelong married love. Can you turn a man who wants nothing more than recreational sex into the perfect husband, simply by invoking the magical power of sex?

Liberal women think that you can:

On the one hand, liberal women believe wholeheartedly in the idiotic social construct they call, “sexual liberation.”  They pride themselves on losing their virginity, as though that “accomplishment” had ever been above the challenge-scale of an alley cat in heat.

These liberal women I’ve known, having given away their female V-card over and over and over again, all the while scour their host of intimate “trial runs” searching for that mythical, Hollywood-construct, Mr. Right.  This Mr. Right guy, for whom they are searching, is known to them up front as even more sexually-liberated than they, but this little factoid seems not to register in their liberated little heads as they frantically search for the equally mythical family home with the white picket fence, which somehow never gets hit by any of life’s roving tornadoes.  One can almost hear them say in unison, “And they all lived happily ever after.”

I think it’s one of the deepest mysteries of the world why women think that a man who has lots and lots of recreational sex is somehow marriage material. When I think of men who are qualified for marriage, I think of men who have studied hard subjects, gotten marketable skills, worked and worked, saved and saved, and shown that they can be faithful in marriage by exhibiting self-control in the courtship. But liberal women think that all of this reasoning is junk, and you must just jump right into sex to see if the relationship will “work out” or to find out what you “like”. Recreational sex, they insist, is a superior way of finding a husband. Discussing who will do what in an actual marriage and what the actual marriage is for is apparently ineffective.

More:

Evidently, the liberal woman is capable of the most severe form of psychological denial known to humankind.  Certain that one of the men with whom she has copulated without strings will suddenly morph into a faithfully monogamous creature the minute she can convince one of them to say “I do” in front of a few witnesses, the liberal woman marches blindly down the aisle towards near-certain, adulterous doom.  Yet, no amount of honest reason can dissuade liberal women from this self-destructive, moral myopia.

What other term but “morally schizoid” could possibly describe this blatantly contradictory tendency among liberal women?

Having spent their youth casually throwing their own sexual morality to the winds of fairytale “liberation,” these liberal women still steadfastly cling to the faithfully monogamous ideal for that sometime-later moment when they actually do desire all the traditional things — the husband, the kids, the white picket fence — those pesky female-nature embedded longings, which coincidentally ensure the continuation of the human race.

But these liberal women somehow — in perfect schizoid manner — convince themselves that once married, they will be the gratuitous beneficiaries of the monogamous respect they still desire, but have never once demanded or deserved.  Intuitively, women know that strict monogamy provides the only real security for themselves and their own offspring.  Yet, they continue themselves to spurn the demands of monogamy until the very last minute, believing that fidelity springs forth naturally in miraculous profusion among all “married” humans.  Such pure poppycock can only be explained as a mental disorder.

I think women need to ask themselves questions honestly and rationally:

  • can recreational sex make an unemployed man get a job?
  • can recreational sex make a violent man be courteous and respectful?
  • can recreational sex make an atheist turn into a Christian?
  • can recreational sex make a male slut stay faithful?
  • can recreational sex make wastefulness turn into frugality?
  • can recreational sex make laziness turn into diligence?
  • can recreational sex make irresponsibility turn into commitment?

Marriages last because both partners have prepared themselves for self-sacrifice, rational discussions, problem solving and cooperation.

Previously, I provided the male perspective on liberal women’s poor decision-making about men and marriage. Read the article from the American Thinker (written by a woman), then read mine.

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New study finds that egalitarian marriage doesn’t make women happier

Elusive Wapiti writes about in this blog post.

Excerpt:

Norwegian researchers confirm and extend Brad Wilcox and Steven Nock’s research suggesting that egalitarianism sets couples up to fail:

“What we’ve seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn’t necessarily contribute to contentment,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home”.

The lack of correlation between equality at home and quality of life was surprising, the researcher said. “One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite,” he said.

The figures clearly show that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” he went on. The reasons, Mr Hansen said, lay only partially with the chores themselves. “Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity … where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” he suggested. “There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight.”

See, Wilcox’s view is this:

The companionate theory of marriage suggests that egalitarianism in practice and belief leads to higher marital quality for wives and higher levels of positive emotion work on the part of husbands. Our analysis of women’s marital quality and men’s marital emotion work provides little evidence in support of this theory. Rather, in examining women’s marital quality and men’s emotional investments in marriage, we find that dyadic commitment to institutional ideals about marriage and women’s contentment with the division of household tasks are more critical. We also show that men’s marital emotion work is a very important determinant of women’s marital quality. We conclude by noting that her marriage is happiest when it combines elements of the new and old: that is, gender equity and normative commitment to the institution of marriage.

His full study from 2006 is here.

And more again from Elusive Wapiti’s post about the new Norwegian study:

Men’s emotion work (and women’s assessments of that work) is the most crucial determinant of women’s marital quality. It is more important than patterns of household labor, perceptions of housework equity, female labor force participation, childbearing, education and a host of other traditional predictors of global marital quality. This finding suggests that the functions, character, and stability of contemporary marriages are intimately tied to [women's] emotional well-being.

…our findings suggest that increased departures from a male-breadwinning/female-homemaking model may also account for declines in marital quality, insofar as men and women continue to tacitly value gendered patterns of behavior in marriage. Specifically, we find that the gendered character of marriage seems to remain sufficiently powerful as a tacit ideal among women to impact women’s marital quality, even apart from the effects of the continuing mismatch between female gender role attitudes and male practices.

[W]omen are not happier in marriages marked by egalitarian practices and beliefs…For the most part, marriages that are more egalitarian in belief and practice are not marked by higher levels of men’s positive emotion work [EW: love, affection, and understanding] or by women’s happiness with such emotion work…women who are more egalitarian-minded and more upset with the division of household labor receive lower levels of positive emotion work from their husbands, perhaps because they are more likely to initiate conflict with their husbands. Thus, rising expectations among women for marital equality may also have the unintended effect of lowering investments in marital emotion work on the part of men. [N]o measure of egalitarianism in practice or belief is associated with higher levels of men spending quality time with their wives. Indeed, in keeping with the gender model of marriage, wives’ gender egalitarianism and work outside of the home leads to less positive emotion work on the part of husbands.

Instead, we find modest evidence that wives’ gender traditionalism is independently related to higher levels of men’s positive emotion work in marriage. We also find evidence that homemaking wives report greater happiness with their husband’s emotion work, and may be more likely to receive such work from their husbands. In other words, adherence to traditional beliefs and practices regarding gender seems to be tied not only to global marital happiness but also – surprisingly enough – to expressive patterns of marriage.

[S]hared church attendance and normative support for the institution of marriage are associated with higher levels of women’s marital happiness. Thus, declines in religious attendance over the past four decades (Steensland, Park, Regnerus, Robinson, Wilcox and Woodberry 2000), along with the liberalization of attitudes to divorce and extramarital sex (Thornton and Young-DeMarco 2001), may also account for recent shifts in marital quality insofar as they reduce the social and normative supports that foster higher investments in marriage.

Wives who share high levels of church attendance are more likely to report happiness with their husband’s emotion work in marriage. Moreover, wives who share a normative commitment to marriage with their husbands are more likely to report happiness with the emotion work done by their husbands…socially conservative practices and (possibly) beliefs appear to be linked to lower expectations of marital emotion work on the part of women. But it is also possible that they are associated with more expressive marriages. In any case, women who share a commitment to the institution of marriage with their husbands express greater happiness. [2]

He has an interesting graph there of what women want from marriage, and what men want. Who knew that women wanted gardening?

In any case, I really do think that this is important to understand, because I see a lot of pastors and evangelical leaders embracing egalitarianism, because they can’t make the case for complementarianism using anything except the Bible. Well, the Bible does support complementarianism. But when you are debating it with an egalitarian, it helps to have the evidence.

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Are young people really leaving Christianity?

J Warner Wallace of Please Convince Me summarizes the research by citing a number of sources.

Here’s one:

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, Oxford University Press, 2005
Book Findings: The majority of teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about their faith, religious beliefs and practices, and its place in their lives. The de facto dominant religion among contemporary U.S. teenagers is what they call ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’: A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth; God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions; the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself; God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem; and good people go to heaven when they die.

And another:

Southern Baptist Convention Data
Pinkney, T.C., Remarks to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Nashville, Tennessee (2001)
Study Findings: Data from the Southern Baptist Convention indicates that they are currently losing 70-88% of their youth after their freshman year in college. 70% of teenagers involved in church youth groups stop attending church within two years of their high school graduation.

And another:

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, Oxford University Press (2005)
Book Findings: Students leave faith behind primarily because of intellectual doubt and skepticism (page 89). “Why did they fall away from the faith in which they were raised?” This was an open-ended question there were no multiple-choice answers. 32% said they left faith behind because of intellectual skepticism or doubt. (“It didn’t make any sense anymore.” “Some stuff is too far-fetched for me to believe.” “I think scientifically and there is no real proof.” “Too many questions that can’t be answered.”)

And one more:

Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood
Christian Smith with Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson and Patricia Snell Herzog
Oxford University Press (2011)
Book Findings: Young adults are unable to think coherently about moral beliefs and problems. Young adults have an excessive focus on consumption and materialism as the good life. The prevalent lifestyle of young adults includes routine intoxication and drug usage. The sexual encounters of young adults are not practiced in an environment of physical, mental, or emotional health. Young adults appear to have an inability to care about, invest in, and hope for the larger world through civic and political participation.

He concludes:

There you have it; a short summary of some of the research being done on the exodus of young people from the Church and some of the reasons they give for their departure. Can a case be made that young Christians are leaving the Church in record numbers? Yes. Can a case be made that many of these young people are leaving because the culture around them has impacted them deeply and caused them to question the truth claims of Christianity? Yes, again.

He finishes the post with a cliff-hanger ending, in which he promises to give us a plan for dealing with this problem. Stay tuned!

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After legalizing gay marriage, France set to ban ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from official documents

From the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

France is set to ban the words “mother” and “father” from all official documents under controversial plans to legalise gay marriage.

The move… means only the word “parents” would be used in identical marriage ceremonies for all heterosexual and same-sex couples.

The draft law states that “marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender”.

It says all references to “mothers and fathers” in the civil code – which enshrines French law – will be swapped for simply “parents”.

The law would also give equal adoption rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples.

[...]President Francois Hollande pledged in his manifesto to legalise gay marriage. The draft law will be presented to his cabinet for approval on October 31.

Hollande is a socialist, just like Barack Obama, who also favors gay marriage, and infanticide, too. Not just abortion, infanticide.

This is not surprising – the same thing has been done in other countries, like Spain:

Ironically, the Socialist government claims that although it pushed through legislation to benefit a small minority of the population – and in the process changed the definition of marriage – that this could in no way be construed as an attack on the traditional family. Indeed, the government claims that it is in truth pro-family.

So now, jump fast forward to last Friday.

That’s when the Spanish government announced a ministerial order that new births would have to be registered at the State Civil Registries in the Family Book under the headings of Parent (progenitor) A, and Parent (progenitor) B.

In other words, the terms “Father” and “Mother” were to be no longer used.

In Spain, marriages, births and deaths are all recorded at Civil Registries, with most of those actions being noted in a Family Book (Libro de Familia). While the example isn’t perfect, think of the Family Book as an extended birth certificate.

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Spanish Minister of Justice, excused the ministerial order by claiming since the government modified “the status of civil marriages, to allow the union of same-sex couples, it was necessary for a new format for the Family Book (Libro de Familia) and one that used terms such as “Parent A” and “Parent B” instead of “Father” and “Mother.”

That’s right. To match up it’s same-sex marriage legislation to the Civil Registry, the government deemed that Spaniards could no longer qualify themselves as either “Fathers” or “Mothers” of their children.

Canada does the same thing:

In Canada, they’ve already done this. Following the passing of the Civil Marriage Act, all official documentation and legislation was amended, erasing “husbands” and “wives”. And because same-sex couples primarily use reproductive technology to procreate, some Canadian legislation has been amended to replace the term “natural parent” with “legal parent”. As one report describes it: “In short, the adoption exception – that who is a child’s parent is established by legal fiat, not biological connection – becomes the norm for all children.” Most strikingly, on birth certificates some Canadian provinces have replaced the term “father” and “mother” with “Parent 1″ and “Parent 2″.

That policy was put in place by the Liberal party, which is the socialist party in Canada, and with the full support of the communist party of Canada, the New Democrat Party.

It’s important to understand what effects these leftist, anti-family, anti-marriage policies have, especially on children. This is what Barack Obama and his socialist friends in other countries want. Leftists are anti-marriage and anti-family. They don’t like mothers and fathers raising children. They want the children to be alone in the world, and shuffled around to various people, and eventually raised by the state and brainwashed to serve the state. Feminism has so poisoned people against the traditional family – and especially the traditional male roles of protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader – that no one is willing to resist the push by socialists to destroy marriage and family.

Imagine being a child and growing up with no access to your biological mother or your biological father, or both of them. This is the horror that the left unleashes on little children, assuming they don’t murder you in the womb. As if it isn’t bad enough to push feminist policies like no-fault divorce and subsidized single motherhood, now they have to go even further. Let me be clear. We should be putting into place policies that promote the nuclear family – a mother and a father being chaste, marrying once for life, and having children who grow up in a loving, stable environment. We should not be promoting recreational sex and promiscuity as equivalent to marriage. Children deserve better.

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