Wednesday, May 1, 2013

why do so many young christian men delay marriage?

WOWZA~ Found an excellent article to share! I love when I come across something I almost agree with 100%. Usually Ill find something & then have a hard time deciding if I should hit the publish button or not, but this one I like. Not beating up on the young men here, because I really, really like the part about Ridiculous expectations on the part of a young woman.  

Why Do So Many Young Christian Men Delay Marriage?

This seems to be the burning question all around Christian websites these days, including ones for homeschooling families.

I have noticed this myself and have heard the sad tales of young single women from all sorts of backgrounds and theological persuasions. I have witnessed the self-indulgent lifestyles of guys who like women and seem to like babies well enough, as long as they belong to someone else. I have watched normal, rational moms turn into Mrs. Bennett overnight, sharing their frustrations with the lack of suitable men for their daughters who are prepared for and longing for marriage and children.

Most relationship pundits conclude that the reality of more and more young men delaying marriage is because of a latent adolescence, an inability or lack of desire to be responsible, resulting in 30-something men who are content to play video games and hang out at sports bars with their friends rather than to grow up and invest their time and money in family pursuits. I am not ready to go there and here is why.
While I do not presume to know what is going on in the minds and hearts of all young men who are not interested in marriage when they are old enough and financially prepared enough to be married, I do think the apostle Paul gives us some clues to why the body of Christ may be contributing to this phenomenon. 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 says, “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife.”

It seems to me that there are plenty of things that could cause a young man to be anxious about pleasing a wife, causing him to delay marriage. Here are just some thoughts I have had whirling around in my head of late:
~ Over 50% of Christian couples divorce and most recent statistics show that less than 45% of children grow up in intact families. Just the statistical odds of pleasing a wife aren’t in any young man’s favor and if he has grown up in a broken home, certainly it has tainted his view of marriage and family life. Is the body of Christ really honoring marriage? What messages are we sending, both in word and in deed?

~ Our society has a skewed view of what a woman should look like and I believe many young men are looking for airbrushed perfection. Why would we think Christian men are any different when Christian men attempt to compete in the same arena? One young man expressed his concern that if he were to get involved with a young woman, he might be sorry down the road if a “better one” came along. But, how can these young men think any differently when one popular evangelical pastor made derogatory statements about women’s dress, telling his congregation how he admonished his wife to go shopping for new clothes and to “stop dressing like a wife.?” Or how often is outward appearance emphasized in conservative circles, teaching legalistic standards of femininity? How often, for example, is Queen Esther’s beauty described as her most defining quality? Why wouldn’t a young man set his sights on physical beauty? On the other hand, betrothal advocates are now teaching that young people should deny physical attraction when entering into a relationship headed for marriage though I believe the “sparks” are a very important part of the equation. Is it any wonder young men are confused when they are being given too many mixed signals?
~ Recent teachings in homeschooling circles say that young men 13 years of age and older should only be taught and mentored by their fathers, excluding moms during the most crucial years of a young man’s life when he needs her wisdom and counsel the most. Remember it was King Lemuel’s mom who wrote her concerns to her son, resulting in Proverbs 31!

Ridiculous expectations on the part of a young woman. Sadly, many young homeschooled daughters have been brought up anticipating a Jane Austen novel, where older men win the hearts of young girls. In reality, they will most likely marry boys who will grow up alongside them and I don’t necessarily think that is all bad. Young men know they need to compete with this fantasy and aren’t interested

~ They are being told that women have particular besetting sins as a result of the fall, that women desire to “possess and control” them, that women are ”Jezebels” at heart, that women are more easily deceived. And pastors who believe and teach this nonsense wonder why the young men in their churches find solace in Metal of Honor! How sad it is that young men are being trained to anticipate adversarial relationships in their homes rather than being encouraged to prepare to practice all the one anothers with their wives. Maybe more young men would be interested in being married if they could anticipate a true helpmeet who would come alongside them as a partner, as part of a royal priesthood in God’s economy (1 Peter 2:9)

~ “Godly manhood” is being defined in extra-biblical terms according to the preferences of man rather than by the example of Christ. Having 5 sons and 7 grandsons, I understand the sheer amount of energy and adventure that fuel boys. But I find it interesting that we don’t ever see Jesus exhorting his disciples toward the world’s “manly “ pursuits or read how he took them on perilous adventures to build their manhood. Rather, Jesus told them “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)


  1. How sad that society is teaching our young men these things! I do agree that girls have unrealistic expectations a lot of the time.... And I can't blame it wholly on society, as much as I would like to; probably most of the time it's our own fault.

  2.'s me. :D Really good article.

    Howevahhhhh...(hehe...) there is one minor quibble...the idea that we "don't want to marry boys". I don't want to marry a "boy", and I think that girls who don't have very good reasons. A "boy" has nothing to do with age and everything to do with maturity. A girl wants a man who can LEAD, something that boys many times aren't equipped to do...why they're not will be explained in a minute.

    Like I said, this has nothing to do with brothers are eighteen and twenty-one and are always mistaken for several years older (Jon recently had an employee mistake him for twenty-five!) because they're both very mature. If I were a girl around their age, I would be highly attracted to someone of their maturity level (and no, it's not just 'cuz I'm biased ;)). And thennn I have known guys in their mid-twenties who acted like fifteen-year-olds. So when we say we don't want "boys", we're talking about their maturity...the fact that we're stepping out from our very mature father's authority is quite unnerving, and handing our life and security over to a little boy is...well, very distasteful. ;)

    So. Girls in very conservative circles pine after "men" because unfortunately, many (and I would hazard in my experience of this to say more than less) guys aren't TRAINED to be men because of the stranglehold hyper-conservative parents have over them. I'm not talking godly parental authority over a child/teen, but the kind that extends into micromanaging a grown adult's life and choices. As a result, the guys aren't taught to actually utilize the principles they're been taught for themselves, make their own decisions based on those principles, and aren't given the room to sometimes, unfortunately,learn from their mistakes - the steps that are going to bring a growth in maturity. It's ridiculous to put a young man in these circumstances and then all of a sudden, he's released into the world to fend not only for himself, but a wife (and often in these cases, soon after a baby), with absolutely no experience or practical wisdom whatsoever. Not a good recipe for beginning a family.

    So in short, we're not asking for thirty year olds (Really. Cough. Well...I mean...yeah, really. ;)). But what attracts girls to guys is that strong sense of leadership, that take-charge, I-can-handle-this attitude that too many conservative guys don't have.

    And juuuuuust a thought here that came into my head as I was thinking over the whole girls-and-expectations thing...what if a girl said she wanted a David or a Jim Elliot vs. a Mr. Darcy? I have a feeling that people would be all, "Oooooh, what a spiritual person this girl is!" vs. the bashing girls get over loving Mr. Darcy (in moderation, of course...I don't approve of the over-the-top ridiculousness AND I'm not a fan anyway, just being hypothetical here ;)). So how are they any different from the literary heroes? Is it just that they are "spiritual" and therefore, somehow better? Just a totally unrelated thought. ;)

  3. Very interesting.... I thought the part where the author said " In reality, they will most likely marry boys who will grow up alongside them and I don’t necessarily think that is all bad" was really true.

    A lot of times, girls will look to their dads, or other godly male role models in their life and say " THAT'S the kind of man I want to marry!". Only problem is, we see them now, at 30,40,50+ years old, not in their 20's. Everyone needs to grow in their Christian walk, and many people are in different places spiritually when they are 20 then when they are older ( hopefully they're growing older and wiser!).
    So it's good to look up to these guys, but we shouldn't necessarly expect to find someone at that level of maturity, especially if we want to marry young ( 20's). While we shouldn't fall for silly, immature, un-godly guys, we should also realize that, just like us, they need to grow spiritually, and may not be fully "established" in some area our dads or other role models may be.
    I'd rather marry young (or whatever age God wants me to marry, if that's His plan for me), and just grow with my husband. None of us are ever "done" growing spiritually, it's a continual process. Hope that all made sense. =P

  4. This was a very thought provoking article. I strongly agree with Alexandra though, we do not want to marry men that are still at the boy maturity stage. We want to marry men that are growing in maturity in Christ. I also agree with Samantha that there is no way a guy who is also in their 20s can be as mature and strong in the Lord as our dads and other godly men who are 10,20,30,or even 40 or 50 years older. That is way too high an expectation.

    I also agree that I do not want a Mr. Darcy for a husband. I want a man after Gods own heart like David, but especially I want a man who is striving to be humble and selfless like Jesus. And this means I need to strive to be more like Jesus each day too. This means I need to put that high spiritual expectation up there for myself to work towards. I think so many times I have a high expectation list for guys and not a high expectation list for myself. Now I don't have an actual physical list, but like I said He needs to be growing with the Lord and leading others to do the same.

    Thanks for sharing fellow commentors and for sharing this article!

    In Christ,