Why Marriage is Good for Women

I am pleasantly surprised at the rise of responsible young men taking accountability for their actions.  Last year one of my good friends told me about her friend who had a terrible family history, escaped home to live with her boyfriend, and then got pregnant.  I was expecting the usual story, that the young man either pushes her to get an abortion or leaves, but this guy was different, he was thrilled that they were having a baby and wanted them to get married.  He got a decent-paying job and they’re looking to pay down a small house now, while she’s staying at home (by choice) to care for their baby.  The girl has never been happier and she’s eager to give her child the family life she never got to experience herself.  But this wouldn’t have happened without the young man’s sense of responsibility and genuine love.

Another story I stumbled across just this morning on Facebook.  A guy I went to high school with but never really talked to also admitted to getting his girlfriend pregnant, and he wrote a sweet long paragraph about how he didn’t care what people thought, that he was going to work hard to make a living to provide for his new family, that he was determined to make them happy.  It almost brought me to tears to read about a guy his age actually taking on so much responsibility all at once, but it seemed to be a no-brainer for him, effortless even.

Now, I know these aren’t the situations that many Christians would smile upon, getting pregnant out of wedlock.  And I actually do understand why, but not from an unreasonably judgmental perspective as many non-Christians may think – actually the opposite.  I’ve set out to demonstrate why adhering to Christian ideals for male-female relationships is actually beneficial in the long run, especially for women.  That’s because even though I see evidence of more young men taking a stand, there are still tales of abandonment, of poor young girls desperately trying to extract child support from the disinterested fathers of their babies, of being pressured into an abortion that the girl didn’t necessarily want, of single mothers struggling to make ends meet just out of high school.  The fact is that without the clear intent of marriage, women unfortunately have very little bargaining power when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.  Often times women have no idea how much their men are willing to sacrifice for them until they tell them they’re pregnant and everything falls apart.  So, you might be lucky like the girls I have written about above, or you might be one of the unlucky ones.  It all hinges on what the man actually wants – an easy sexual relationship or a genuine loving life-long commitment, and that’s not usually clear until things get difficult.

In my view, backed by my faith, marriage actually protects women.  When done right, a woman can be courted by a man, but she doesn’t have to give in to his desires unless she has some proof that he will stay with her when life gets rough – that proof is that he is courting her to marry her.  With that protective barrier, a woman can learn about what kind of man he is by talking to him and having dates without the fog of a sexual relationship clouding their judgment on whether or not they should be together for the long haul.  It is in both their best interests to be honest with each other because they are looking for life partners, not a one-time fling or a relationship in which neither of them know where it’s progressing, and thus should bring different standards to the table.

Once they’re married, the woman has the security of knowing she will not be easily abandoned.  She knows because before getting married they should have already discussed the important things, like how they will work together, how they will prepare when they have a baby, etc.  This peace of mind is very healthy for both of them, but especially for the woman, since we value stability, safety, and certainty.

Now, I know marriage is not perfect.  I know that people screw it up, that even though promises are made for a lifelong commitment, they are not always honored.  But I think that has more to do with the state of our culture, our lack of accountability, than it has to do with marriage being a supposedly flawed “institution.”  It has to do with the fact that marriage is scorned, even if only implicitly, in the media.  It has to do with the fact that people see marriage as a death sentence to romance.  It has to do with the fact that people think they have to “test their chemistry” before they get married, to have sex, to move in together, that people think they need to sample other people before they decide what they want.  It has to do with the fact that we have taken God out of the equation of marriage.

It may make people uncomfortable, but part of the reason marriage is so screwed up right now is because we’ve decided that our way is better than God’s way, that marriage is oppressive to women rather than protective, that sexual desires are uncontrollable and must always be satisfied for the sake of not being “repressed,” that we do not want to make sacrifices anymore because we are not submitting ourselves to a Higher Authority.  And look how that’s turned out for us!  Teenage pregnancies, poor single mothers and fatherless kids, divorce, depression, STDs, trust issues, kids having to navigate the complexities of step-families, and the list goes on.  So much for empowerment.

It’s funny, because when I talk to fellow young people, life-long marriage is still a dream that most of us have, but we have lost sight of the recipe for it.  If you ask someone whether they would rather spend their life going through multiple partners or find “the one” that they will be married to for the rest of their lives, most of them will say the latter, but their behaviors will match the former.  We’re all confused; clueless.  Marriage seems more like an illusory ideal that nobody can live up to, when that is so not true.  All we have to do is go back to the Creator of marriage, lay down our pride, and turn to Christ.  It seems hard, but it’s actually simple.  Only in Christ can you learn truly how to love another person and make sacrifices for them, how to stay loyal to them, how to communicate.  If you make a mistake, you just keep turning back to Him, modelling your relationship off of His relationship with the Church.  At least I’ve seen more success coming out of that model than I’ve seen in the world.

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Why Marriage is Good for Women

  1. Ahhh, that’s the sweetest thing ever! Guys stepping up to the plate, I mean. They’re out there, they’re everywhere, but hard to see sometimes because as a culture we tend to focus on the negative. Marriage really is awesome,wonderful, painful and challenging sometimes, but there are things I’ve gotten from it that I would not have gained from education or even winning the lottery. Insights,spiritual growth, a powerful relationship with my heavenly Father. It’s really hard to put my finger on all those fruits but there are fruits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do have a problem with seeing the negatives, don’t we? But for every terrible tale God spins thousands of miracles. 🙂

      I’m glad you’re here telling your story. I remember you mentioned that happy people don’t feel the need to tell their stories, but I so wish that more would. People always need to hear the message of hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just watched an episode of Pure Genius, the pilot in which it’s revealed the Very Christian couple have a dark secret – domestic violence / abuse. I was glad that they went there because the truth of it is that scenario is far too common; but Christianity’s idol-like devotion to marriage blinds it to the truth that marriage isn’t as easy as husbands lead, wives submit and obey. Some men cannot stop themselves from abusing their own authority and abusing the women they love and their children as well. Christianity tends to tell wives to “not do what you did to make him angry” or “just submit more” that is most definitely not a good marriage. I watched a video some time ago of a deacon who was abusive to his wife; something that would ordinarily disqualify him from the ministry, but he was too important to his church, so the other elders, deacons, and the pastor just brushed it under the rug. It was only when they left that church and went to one where he was held accountable and gave up his “headship” and one where his wife was empowered with her own authority did the scars in their relationship begin to heal. I know it might be blasphemy for you to hear this, but marriage isn’t everything – and if you think that it is, that tells you how far off the mark your Christianity is from Jesus Christ and how your religion is one of marriage.

    Like

    • I don’t think that marriage is everything, James. I thought I made it quite clear at the end there that Jesus comes first. But that’s not to say that marriage isn’t important and doesn’t have a profound impact on society. The closest person to you is generally your spouse. My post was made to address that importance.

      I understand that there is abuse in the church. But what I have to say to that is that’s not because of Jesus, that doesn’t reflect His Word. Lots of people pretend to follow Him to cover their tracks, and His Word warns us about them. I do my best to stand up to those people when it’s needed. What I’m saying is that those who genuinely do follow Christ genuinely tend to have the best marriages I’ve ever seen. My best friend has wonderful Christian parents who really love each other. The bloggers I talk to on here also attest to the success of their own marriages.

      Also, Christian marriages don’t hold the majority on marriage abuse, mind you. Actually, I tend to see less of it in genuine Christians. There’s a difference between adhering to a religious code and being a follower of Christ.

      Like

      • But neither you nor me can say that we know a lot of Christians. I’ve attended – what, six or seven churches? And you, just as many? That’s only a drop in the bucket, which leaves plenty of room for other churches with bad teachings and bad marriages. Like the time a messy divorce was going on and our pastor disfellowshipped the guy and his wife because they had brought their fighting with them to church. Most people who don’t have that great of marriages aren’t the type who would air out their dirty laundry and be totally honest about their spouses’ shortcommings, so of course everything you read on the internet will be nothing but rainbows and sunshine and never hint at the darker storms of married life.
        Even so, Jesus was the bridegroom, all the imagery and parables of the church lead to marriage. Since the church is to obey her head as a bride is to obey her husband / head; then of course marriage is supremely important. Without that picture, then single people would be Christ without a church or a church without Christ. Which is why Christianity pushes marriage on everyone as if it were a cure-all.

        Like

      • Whoa whoa whoa, where would you get the idea that Christianity pushes marriage on everybody? There is certainly recognition of singles in the Bible. In Ruth you have a widowed woman cared for by her daughter-in-law, and although her daughter-in-law gets married, the story is centered around their relationship and how Ruth cares for her mother-in-law. Another example is that the Apostle Paul was single and he even suggested that it’s the better way in some cases. Even Jesus said this in Matthew:

        “The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
        Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
        For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:10-12

        Wherever you’re getting the idea that marriage and Christianity are mutually exclusive, that’s a false message from a church, not from the Bible. God loves singles just as much as He loves marriage. He looks at the individual first. Jesus being the bridegroom is just one of many parables. It’s important, yes, but it’s not the be all end all.

        Do you expect all churches never ever distort Scripture, or that all churches should be perfect in order to represent Christianity? I wish it were as good as that! I so wish that we could better represent Christ. That’s why Christians are called to read the Word themselves, not just listen to what is said in church. A pastor may preach the gospel, but not every word he says IS gospel.

        I’m very sorry if you have been hurt by a certain church culture. I would go out to all the churches that preach harmful doctrine and stand up to them if I could, but I only do what I can. But I stand by my statement that harmful messages about marriage are not of God. That’s a human problem, not a problem with God.

        Like

      • From church, where else? I remember the time my elder decided to lead the singles through a marriage Bible study. Apparently he thought he’d help God to get us married by making sure we were fully prepared to be responsible heads or joyfully obedient and submissive wives. He was going to pair up all the single guys with all the single girls and cross his fingers and hope that over the course of the marriage bible study we’d realize we were compatible and start dating each other.
        Then there was this other time when I had raised up some brilliant point about the history of early Christianity did one of the elders lean over and whisper: “You and that one got to marry, you’d make a sublime couple because you both know a whole lot about the Bible.”
        Or the other time when I ran into the matriarch of my former church whom I hadn’t seen in over a year whose first questions were (in this order): Are you married? Is your brother married? Is your sister married? You mean, NONE of you are married? She didn’t even bother to say hi or ask how I was doing.
        These three incidents represent three different churches and two different denominations which represent over 80% of the churches in this region – all of them obsessed with marriage as a picture of the gospel, as far as they’re concerned, if you’re not married, then you’re not a fully mature, unselfish believer and might not possibly be a true believer.

        Like

      • Like I said, there are some toxic churches out there, just like there are some communities that have nothing to do with church that are toxic. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience, and I’m not trying to dismiss it, but it doesn’t at all reflect my own experience and that of most of my Christian friends who are from a variety of churches in my own community, so it seems to be more of a certain church community problem. But you know shaming singles is not part of the Gospel. Jesus never shamed anyone for being single, and like I pointed out He actually encouraged them in their own path. It’s very clear in the Bible. If a church misinterprets that, then you point that out and try to correct them. If they reject you, you dust off your shoes, pray for them and move on. It’s on them that they’re not accepting of a path that is clearly respected by God.

        Once again, it’s a human problem, not a problem with God. Since Jesus Christ is the figurehead of Christianity, that’s who I look to as the main model of Christianity. I wish all churches could be more like Christ, but you know that all human beings are flawed, even when they’re Christians. It’s just life. I’m sorry and I try to do my best to improve where I can, I pray, but there’s always going to be bad people falsely representing Christ. It’s the job of other Christians to try to correct that.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s