Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Prideful Women Dismiss Good Men'



And let the Church say "Ouch." A straight copy and paste:

This one is for single evangelical princesses and those raising them. It was inspired by an…um spirited debate my husband and I had quite recently. We do have spirited debates. One can be a radically submissive wife without being a terrible bore of a woman that her man can’t have honest in-depth discussion with. But I digress.

Y’all know me and there is always a back story so this is it. There is a man in our family whom we love dearly, but his life is a mess. He’s handsome, personable, and charming, but he is in no way the sort of man a serious woman looking for something serious would be bothered with once she scratched the surface.

Nevertheless, he is presently dating a considerably attractive younger woman with every thing going for her, and she seems to be ready to commit to him for the long haul. Reactions are mixed, but most members of our family think she’ll be good for him, help him get his ducks in a row. We however, had other thoughts.

My husband’s first reaction when we discussed it was, “I wonder what you find when you scratch beneath her surface. Something’s up. Otherwise why is she with him?”

My response was the standard response in defense of black women looking for love in all the wrong places: “They take whomever they can find who is willing to commit to them. I feel sympathy for her. You don’t know what it’s like to be a black woman who worked and got her stuff together yet still can’t find a man to commit.”

“You don’t either,"  he told me. Ouch. “And a girl like that isn’t limited to black men anyway.” 

Still, I needed him to go further, to explain himself. Surely he isn’t blind and can see all the women around us who want to be married to good men but can’t find one. This is where things get interesting.

“There is no way you’ll get me to believe that even a decent looking woman hasn’t had good employed men hanging around her, probably a ‘friend’, who showed interest. One of those men could have been the right one, but she just didn’t see him that way.  Not until her life is a wreck, she’s been rode hard and put up wet, and has a kid in tow. Then she suddenly is able to see him ‘like that’. No man wants to be bothered with that.”

I actually agreed with that, but it doesn’t speak to the issue of Christian women, doing everything right, who still don’t meet a man to marry. I pulled out the big guns: “What if our daughters are 27 or 28 and they haven’t settled into a marriage, even with no immorality on their records?”

“They more than likely passed up good men too, because they ‘didn’t see them that way’. They’re my daughters and I love ‘em, but the truth is the truth.” Which brings me to the point of all this.

Why are large percentages of young women seemingly incapable of seeing good men as attractive, potential husband material? I am assuming serious Christian faith here on the part of both the men and the women and am not particularly interested in diverging off into what is commonly characterized as the sexual market place, or SMP. It has no place in the lives of  believers.

That said, even in the church, lifelong Christian women are more inclined to give attention to the charming new convert over lifelong Christian men in their midst, or to choose men who are marginal believers or occasionally unbelievers.

In this neck of the Internet, there are a lot of women who would “never!” and their children would “never!” either. I get all that. But not only was I one of the ones who did, I see Christian women doing it in increasing numbers, so we have to address it. Not all such women are “Churchian” either.

I am beginning to address it more with my own daughters as well, because I’ve given this a lot of thought over the past week and at its heart is the lack of humility. We have raised a generation of women who have a very hard time looking up to men as leaders.

I am a firm believer that if a woman doesn’t marry a man she can look up to, she will have a much harder time obeying God’s command to submit to him. It doesn’t excuse her from obedience, but it will be markedly more difficult because pride will always be there to infect her thoughts of him. It is this  same pride that keeps women from seeing good men as attractive in the first place.

We are raising a generation of young women who have been told from the crib that they are wonderful, beautiful, fabulous creatures, daughters of the King who can do and be whatever they desire to do and be. It’s a bald-faced lie, but they’ve been hearing it all their lives so to them it’s Truth. As a result, they only notice men whom they perceive as wonderful, handsome, fabulous creatures who do and be whatever they desire to do and be. Anything less and they are incapable of seeing him “that way”, and into the friend zone he goes no matter how many times he indicates that he sees her as a potential wife.

They don’t look up to them because they have been taught to look up the the wrong things. Style over substance, as it were. Now that marriage is more hedonic than sacramental and grounded in family, it is much more difficult for young women to value things such as  integrity, faith and a strong work ethic.

Those are just two of the things I look up to my husband for, but there are many more. He’s not just an appendage. He adds value to my life and calls me to a higher standard. I look at him and see things I desire to be. I am not so fabulously complete that he is lucky he *gets to* be with me, which is something I sense from so many young brides today.

Most young women today are being raised to believe that men are not worth looking up to at all. Women are strong, independent, and have worked hard to achieve everything they have- without men. Many even without a father. There is nothing a man can add to their lives worth looking up to but excitement and the ability to implant the seed required to fulfill her dreams of motherhood. Most good Christian men offer only the latter, and we see what happens to most marriages after the children reach a certain age.

Where I diverge here from many who write on this topic is that I refuse to lay the blame for this on the shoulders of young single Christian women, at least not completely. A lot of them are genuinely confused that they haven’t met a man they look up to admire so deeply that they want to join their life to his and be his helper and build a family.

They don’t see the connection between the denigration of men in popular culture, the near ceaseless indoctrination of the idea that they are capable of accomplishing all of their hopes and dreams whether they have a man or not. The Kool-Aid was in their sippy cups from the time they weaned off their mamas. It’s ll they know.

No, I blame parents for neglecting to teach their daughters the beauty of the interdependent relationship God designed to exist between men and women. For teaching them that there is nothing of value besides his seed (and possibly his paycheck) that a man will add to their lives. For giving them such an overinflated sense of self-worth that in combination with the cultural cues and false teaching in the church that they only see the man that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

I am reminded of how the Israelites gazed in admiration upon Saul while David waited on the sidelines for his chance to show what God has placed in him. It seems wholly irrelevant to the topic but I can’t shake the image. So you get to share it with me.

*Definitely* something to ponder. Long and hard.



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