It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good theology, must be in want of a wife. And for some time now the standard understanding of why they were not getting married was that the young men were the problem. This was Mark Driscoll’s bread and butter teaching. They were passive, not taking responsibility, living in their moms basement playing video games, eating Doritos, afflicted with Peter Pan syndrome. And there has been some truth to that. Those man children have and do exist. And I agree with an aggressive rebuke of them. That being said. It is becoming increasingly obvious that this is not the only part of this issue. I know many Godly young men, who are very much taking responsibility and yet can not find a date much less a wife. And it is not for lack of trying. The problem is their standards are too Biblical, I had almost said too high. These young men are not stupid, and they do not want to marry a modern 21 century girl claiming the name of Christ but by their public displays are minx a fool or a wanton.
Shortage of Godly women
In my immediate vicinity if I survey the women around me, I see one who is arrogant, one who is rebellious, a fool, a liar, a flirt, a drunk, another rebel, one who lacks self control… In fact the only woman I could recommend as Godly is Eastern Orthodox and has that pesky idolatry problem. And I am not the only one who has noticed this problem. For years Doug Wilson has loved quoting his father Jim to single young men who asked how to find a wife, “Find out her name and ask her out.” And even he of the quippy comeback has begun to address the issue of Godly young find finding a dearth of Godly young women.
When I was coming up my biggest fear was just talking to a girl. Screwing up my courage was the hurdle to clear. But there was no shortage of young women who were almost painfully godly and beautiful. I know of three that I could have married and any of those marriages would have been rock solid, due in no small part to them. But now as I look at what my single male friends are up against it truly does feel as though some seismic shift has occurred. This is compounded by the insistence from decidedly ungodly women that they are in fact practically dating Jesus. And if they named their vodka bottle Jesus then I could agree with them. It seems like a perverse twist on the whole dress immodestly but then rage when someone notices the immodesty. Say you are Godly and then pout when your instagrammed hedonism scares the hell out of Godly single men.
Rebellious in some way
I think this shortage is the result of death by paper cuts. The obvious culprit is feminism in all its forms. And like the serpent it can appear as an angel of light. It brought the knowledge of suffrage and evil. It changes form hence why it can appear in churches under the theological sounding egalitarianism, and in the world as trans rights. but the rod of steel running down its spine is the same grasping for the thing God has forbidden.
What is seen in the modern evangelical girl is her belief in the lie of the serpent, that she can be like God deciding good and evil. She wants to declare the order of God to be patriarchal and repressive. And she has no shortage of women in evangelical leadership backing her up. She wants a leader, but blanches at the thought of him actually leading. It is all rebellion in some form or another. And these lies are pernicious, I know more than one truly great married women who are completely on board with a Biblical approach to gender roles, until it is articulated. Suddenly they bring up examples of hypothetical abusive husbands to deny the way in which they live in their own marriages. An apparent lie is not an effective one. Rebellion, lurks in every heart, and will defend itself when necessary.
How is that working out for you (girls)?
The deep irony is that I sit down with many of these young women only to hear them lament that Godly young men will not ask them out. And the indecorous part of me wants to reply, “look at yourself, can you blame them.” The Gospel Coalition published an article where a man was counseling his friend who had absurd physical requirements for a wife, and the author to of the article just cut in with, “You are describing a ten, dude you are like a six at best!” Unfortunately it is simply true that a woman can not be all in as a feminist and attract a Godly husband at the same time. Or more accurately be a feminist when it suits them and expect a wise man to tolerate a rigged game. To get a Godly spouse you must yourself be Godly. Or as Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it, “When Christ calls a man (woman) he bids him come and die.” Christians are put to death in Christ and raised in him, anything that has no part in him must fall away. Why would a man want to make the commitment to sacrifice his life for a woman who won’t let go of anything for him?
This mindset comes from two very recent trains of thought. 1. To be true to yourself, aka. feelings 2. Compromise is a bad thing. Both of these are from the pit of hell. Any humans true self is only evil always and was marinating in sin from their mothers womb. Feelings are simply the lowest hanging fruit of justification for bad behavior. The newer idea that compromise in any form is some kind of evil is, kindly put, immature, plainly put, stupid. My wife and I compromise all the time. We do it because we each love the other, and want the other. Robert Farar Capon called this the dance Vs. the march. And unfortunately for many of these young women the things that they are refusing to compromise or change on are exactly the things that while society applauds and Godly young man will run from faster than a Picard from the Borg.
Ultimately these things are self created problems. Submission has been made a dirty word, first to husbands and now to God. If a young woman’s conception of what makes for a strong female comes into conflict with Scripture then it is clearly the timeless, inerrant text breathed out by God that must be wrong, not her recently assembled, internet informed opinions. And notice that in this current situation the only winner is Satan.
I enjoyed my man up days. They were fun, they were simple. I could get all angry and channel a little Driscoll, guys loved it and I did too. And then it happened. A bunch of the guys manned up, they declared their theology, married godly women, worked hard, fought well in their marriages. And then suddenly I found myself surrounded by all these great men and no one to recommend them to. And it makes me kind of wonder, what would a female version of Driscoll look like? An older woman who teaches the younger in a compelling way that shifts the cultural Christian mindset in a Biblical direction by storm. And will we ever see a ministry like that? I’d be curious to find out her name.