A Christian Young Man’s Guide to Life and Finding A Wife in a Post-Feminist World

Recently I received the following email from a young Christian man which ended in a challenge from him to me.

“Dear BGR, I am a 17-year-old male who will be graduating high school in this next year.  I have attended a Bible preaching Baptist church for all of my life. I was taught both at my church and in the public schools I have attended that women being given equal rights with men was and still continues to be a good thing for society.   My parents are conservatives and I have considered myself a conservative for a long as I can remember.  Like many conservatives, I believed that equal rights for women was good thing.  But this is no longer the case for me.

Because of your blog I have had my “cultural blinders” as you call them removed.   

I did not make the connection between the rise of feminism in the mid-1800s and the rampant sexual immorality, divorce, abortion and problems with LGBTQ that we face today until I read your blog.  I cannot believe how blind I was and how blind the adults around me still are to this connection.

I love how deep you dive into the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and how you base everything you believe on the Bible, the whole Bible and not just the parts people like.  I also love how you dissect and tear apart liberal, socialist and secularist arguments against the Bible.   With that said I have a favor to ask you or maybe more of a challenge for you.

Can you write a simple list, like a step by step list, of how young Christian men like me who have had our eyes opened to the evils that feminism has brought on our society can navigate this Post-Feminist world and live in a way that honors God and his design of gender roles?  And here will be the hardest part for you – can you do it in 1000 words or less? I just know that a lot people my age don’t have the attention span that I do and I think if you made it short, they might just listen.

Jonathan”

Jonathan – challenge excepted.

Step 1 – Know Your Purpose in Life

God created you to be “the image and glory of God” and he created woman to be “the glory of man” (I Corinthians 11:7).  This means you were created as a man to display or live out God’s attributes in your life’s work outside the home and as a husband and father in your home.

Companionship, sex and having children are all benefits of marriage and commanded by God in marriage but they are not the reason for marriage.

Ephesians 5:23-24 tell us “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” and “as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”. It also tells us in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church”.  It is “for this cause” (Ephesians 5:31), the cause of picturing the relationship between God and his people, that we are to seek and enter into marriage.

Step 2 – Read Your Bible from Genesis to Revelation

You cannot be the kind of spiritual leader and teacher to your future home that God has called you to be without becoming a student of his Word (2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Corinthians 14:35, Ephesians 6:4).

Step 3 – Keep Sexual Relations for Marriage

The only sexual relations that God calls “honorable” (Hebrews 13:4) is that which occurs within marriage between a man and woman. When you have sex with a woman before entering into a covenant of marriage with her you pervert God’s design for man, woman, marriage and sex.

Step 4 – Build Your Career First, Then Seek A Wife

In Proverbs 24:27 we read “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house”.  Build your career first, then get build a home and family.  In Ephesians 5:29 we read that husbands have a responsibility to nourish or provide for the physical needs of their wives “even as the Lord the church”.  A man’s ability to provide for his future wife and children is a critical aspect of him picturing the relationship of God to his people in marriage. No man should ever even begin to seek marriage until he is fully prepared to be a provider for his future wife and children.

Step 5 – Look for A Woman Who Knows Her Purpose

Just as you must know your purpose in God’s creation as a man, so too you should seek out a woman who fully embraces her purpose in God’s creation as well.

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

The women you seek should fully embrace the teaching found in the passage above.  No part of it should be uncomfortable for them.

Step 6 – Avoid Sexual Temptation While Waiting on Marriage

Some men may be able to provide for a family and therefore can marry in their late teens or early twenties because they enter a lucrative skilled trade or family business.  Others may have to wait till their late twenties or early thirties after they finish college and then spend several years in their career before making enough to be the provider God has called them to be.  A good example of those who would have to wait much longer are doctors and lawyers as it takes them almost a full decade to be firmly established in their careers.

So how does God want you to handle your unmet, yet God given sexual desires during this waiting phase of your life?  The answer is one word and it is an uncomfortable word for some while others have been taught it is a sin.  And that word is masturbation.

The scriptures condemn lust, not masturbation.  And then we must understand how the Bible defines lust verses how we define it today.  Romans 7:7 teaches us that lust is not mere sexual arousal or sexual fantasy, but it is in fact covetousness as defined in the 10th commandment. It is not a sin for you as a young man to be sexually aroused by or even have sexual fantasies about women.  It is not even a sin for you to masturbate to such thoughts or images.

Lust, in the Biblical sense, is when you think about or desire to entice a woman into having sex with you outside of marriage.  So, you don’t have to suppress your sexual nature until you are married, but rather you must exercise it within the bounds of God’s law.  And a big part of avoiding sexual temptation before marriage is to set a boundary for yourself that you will never be alone with a woman that is not your wife or your blood relative.

Step 7 – Be Diligent in Your Search for A Wife

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 “seek, and ye shall find”.  You cannot hope to find a wife by simply sitting around and waiting for one to fall from the sky.  40 percent of couples who married in 2017 met online.  Use all resources at your disposal and do not limit your search to only your local area, but look nationally and globally. And yes, if you look outside your local area it will require a lot more money for travel. So, start saving.  Concentrate your efforts on rural areas as urban areas are often filled with women who don’t follow God’s purpose for their lives.

Step 8 – Do not Date but Instead Court

Dating leads to relationships based on emotion rather than compatibility.  The Courtship process helps protect a couple from the temptation to have premarital sex while at the same time allowing parents the ability to offer an objective analysis of the compatibility of the couple.

Is Marriage Worth Bothering With?

“Is marriage worth bothering with? I’m surrounded by mediocre marriages; I don’t see anyone or at best very few who have a marriage that I would want to have. My sister has been married a short time and she tells me how hard it is and it seems like so much difficulty with so little reward.”

The preceding statement comes from a comment I recently received from a man calling himself AngloSaxon.

And to be honest a great majority of men in our modern western countries find themselves asking this same question for the same reasons that AngloSaxon has.

Men sought out marriage throughout the history of world to be able to have a companion with which they could share their lives.  But the companionship that men sought with women was not the same as the companionship they sought with other men.   They did not seek out women as equal partners, but rather they sought out women for things male companionship could not offer them.

They sought out things in women they could not find in men.  They sought out women so that they could be looked up to, respected and needed for their ability to provide and protect.

They sought out female companionship for the visual and physical pleasure women could give them and the fact that women could bear and care for their children and thus help them continue their family lines.  They sought female companionship to have someone to care for the domestic needs of their homes to free them to go out into the world and make their mark on it knowing their female companion had everything in order back at their home.

But this entire dynamic of marriage with women desiring men for their provision and protection was totally upended by feminist movements in America and other western nations which began in the 19th century.

Many women in our post-feminist culture do not seek out men in marriage for their provision and their protection.  Rather they seek out men simply for “friendship” and to have someone to “that makes me laugh”.

And many women today do not enter marriage in order to give their husbands sexual pleasure or bear their children or to serve the needs of their husband’s home.  But rather they come into marriage to be served by men.

So the modern state of male/female relationships is that many men have been robbed of their purpose and their desires in marriage and they have come under what one of America’s founding fathers, John Adams, warned of if women were ever given equal rights with men and that is the “despotism of the petticoat” or in other words the “despotism of women”.

And since women came to dominate male/female relationships with the abandonment of courtship and the embrace of the new concept of “dating” in late 19th and early 20th centuries marriage as an institution has been severely decimated.

Before the political feminist movements of the mid 19th century divorce rates were three percent.  As men gave more and more control to women over dating and marriage divorce rates began to skyrocket and eventually peak at over fifty percent by the mid 1980s (with women being the initiators in seventy percent of divorces).

Everything I have just stated may seem like a dark and dreary outlook of marriage and male/female relationships in our Postfeminist culture.  But we as Christians do not have the option of loosing hope in God’s institution of marriage.  God does not give us the right to give up on the very first human relationship he ever established which was marriage.

Why Marriage is Worth Bothering With

Marriage is absolutely “worth bothering with” because God has commanded it. And why has he commanded it? He has commanded it as part of his larger reason for making man and woman in the Garden of Eden.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9 in its divine commentary on the creation account states:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

Men and women were given life and given their shared human traits for different reasons. God gave man his human traits along with additional masculine traits so that man bring glory to God by imaging him with his life. Literally man was created to live out God’s attributes. That is why men are called to be leaders, providers and protectors to their wives and children and to image God as husband to their wives and image God as a father to their children.

Women were not given their common human traits with men for this same purpose. They were given their humanity in order to be a helper and companion to man they were purposefully made as “the weaker vessel” as 1 Peter 3:7 states so that they would need man’s leadership, provision and protection as all mankind needs God’s leadership, provision and protection.

So it is for this reason that marriage is SO MUCH MORE than about our personal happiness or having fun. Marriage was designed by God as an extension of his purpose for creating male human beings so that they could full image him in all his attributes – and to do this they need someone to lovingly lead, provide for and protect and thus he made woman.

So its not about what you or I want or what sounds like fun or if it sounds difficult. It is about obeying God’s first command to mankind:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

God has never rescinded his first command and even in the New Testament the Bible states Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). Marriage is God’s rule for our lives and celibacy is his exception to that rule that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction (1 Corinthians 7:35). In other words, if your reason for not marrying is to serve God in an undivided fashion than your reason for celibacy is honorable and holy before God. If however your reason for celibacy is based in fear or selfishness that you want to just have more money or not risk being hurt by a spouse in marriage than your reason for celibacy is not honored before God.

Another indicator that celibacy is not for most people is that the vast majority of people have God given desire for intimate companion ship that only marriage can fulfill(whether it be for sex or having children or other reasons) and therefore we can rightly say based upon the Scriptures that it is better to marry than to burn (1 Corinthians 7:9).

The Facts Don’t Lie – Marriage is Better for Men and Society

Occasionally I will check out various atheist blogs and YouTube channels that critique this blog.  What I often find interesting is that they admit something many Christian feminist bloggers will not admit.  Some atheist bloggers admit that feminism and women’s equality has been a major blow to this historic institution of marriage.  But you know what their response is? We don’t need marriage anymore.  Sure, it is fine if you want to, they say, but marriage is no longer needed for a strong and stable society in their view.

But multiple studies call into question the contention of some atheists that marriage is an outdated societal institution that is no longer needed.

Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger in their article for National Review entitled “Hey Guys, Put a Ring on It”  demonstrate through the results of many studies the positive impact marriage has on men and thus society at large:

“First, let’s consider money. Marriage has a transformative effect on men’s finances. After marrying, men typically work harder, smarter, and more successfully. They are less likely to be fired. And they make about $16,000 more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds. In general, marriage seems to increase the earning power of men on the order of 10 to 24 percent…

Men don’t just enjoy a better sex life when married; they are also more likely to enjoy better health. Research suggests that men who get and stay married live almost ten years longer than their unmarried peers. And a recent Harvard study found that even among men diagnosed with cancer, the married ones live longer…

We’ve seen that for the average guy, when it comes to money, sex, and health, marriage offers significant returns on the sacrifices it requires. It’s all of a piece with what one major research project, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, found about what makes men healthy and happy over the course of their lives, including their retirement years. Indeed, elderly men who enjoyed good marriages reported significantly less depression, better moods, and more satisfaction with life.”

Robert Rector wrote an article for the Heritage.org entitled “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty” where he made the following conclusion from looking at government statistics on the demographics of those most likely to fall into poverty:

“Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware of its principal cause: the absence of married fathers in the home. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate for single parents with children in the United States in 2008 was 36.5 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.4 percent. Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]

Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]

Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and

A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]”

The facts above clearly show that married men make more money and are more successful in their careers.  They lead healthier and more fulfilled lives.  Children raised by fathers married to their mothers do better in their education and are less likely to fall into poverty or get involved with crime.

So, both the Christian feminists and atheists are wrong.  Christian feminists are wrong in denying that feminism has decimated the institution of marriage and atheists are wrong in saying it is OK for marriage to go away and that society no longer needs it.

Conclusion

Marriage is definitely “worth bothering with” because God commands it and it is part of the very reason, we as both men and women were created.

Now does this mean young men must take the first woman that expresses interest in them as a potential husband? Absolutely not!  And far too many young men who are insecure with themselves marry the first woman who expresses interest in them.  A lot of Christian men marry because they are desperate to have sex and they fail to look closely at the character of the woman they are marrying.

Christian men can and should approach women and dating (really it should be courting) with a great deal of Scriptural knowledge of what marriage is about and also prayer as well as discretion.  They also should lean on their parents and other wise counsel to know if a woman is of good character and one who would make a good wife to them and a good mother to their children.

But the main point is Christian men cannot give up on marriage even it takes many years to find the right woman.  The search should be continual even if it means a man saving money for many years and seeking a wife overseas from a less westernized country or more conservative (mostly rural areas) of western countries.

Related Articles:

For What Reasons Does God Allow Celibacy?

Why MGTOW Is an Unbiblical Philosphy

What is the Difference Between Courting and Dating

Can Christian Man Marry A Woman Intending to Tame Her?

Can a Christian man marry a feminist Christian woman with the intent of taming her like Petruchio did with Katherine in Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”? Or must a Christian husband always seek a woman who is submissive and believes in and follows Biblical gender roles?

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Here are some excerpts from synopsis of Taming of the Shrew by www.sparknotes.com:

“In the Italian city of Padua, a rich young man named Lucentio arrives with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to attend the local university. Lucentio is excited to begin his studies, but his priorities change when he sees Bianca, a beautiful, mild young woman with whom Lucentio instantly falls in love. There are two problems: first, Bianca already has two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; second, Bianca’s father, a wealthy old man named Baptista Minola, has declared that no one may court Bianca until first her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, is married…

The Katherine problem is solved for Bianca’s suitors when Hortensio’s friend Petruchio, a brash young man from Verona, arrives in Padua to find a wife. He intends to marry a rich woman, and does not care what she is like as long as she will bring him a fortune. He agrees to marry Katherine sight unseen. The next day, he goes to Baptista’s house to meet her, and they have a tremendous duel of words. As Katherine insults Petruchio repeatedly, Petruchio tells her that he will marry her whether she agrees or not. He tells Baptista, falsely, that Katherine has consented to marry him on Sunday. Hearing this claim, Katherine is strangely silent, and the wedding is set.

On Sunday, Petruchio is late to his own wedding, leaving Katherine to fear she will become an old maid. When Petruchio arrives, he is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and rides on a broken-down horse. After the wedding, Petruchio forces Katherine to leave for his country house before the feast, telling all in earshot that she is now his property and that he may do with her as he pleases. Once they reach his country house, Petruchio continues the process of “taming” Katherine by keeping her from eating or sleeping for several days—he pretends that he loves her so much he cannot allow her to eat his inferior food or to sleep in his poorly made bed

Katherine and Petruchio soon return to Padua to visit Baptista. On the way, Petruchio forces Katherine to say that the sun is the moon and that an old man is really a beautiful young maiden. Since Katherine’s willfulness is dissipating, she agrees that all is as her husband says

At the banquet following Hortensio’s wedding to the widow, the other characters are shocked to see that Katherine seems to have been “tamed”—she obeys everything that Petruchio says and gives a long speech advocating the loyalty of wives to their husbands. When the three new husbands stage a contest to see which of their wives will obey first when summoned, everyone expects Lucentio to win. Bianca, however, sends a message back refusing to obey, while Katherine comes immediately. The others acknowledge that Petruchio has won an astonishing victory, and the happy Katherine and Petruchio leave the banquet to go to bed.”

A lot of Christians who are ignorant of history and even the Bible would say a person is wrong for marrying for economic reasons. If you believe that, I would invite you to read the story of Ruth in the Bible.  She married Boaz to redeem her mother-in-law’s husband’s family land.  We falsely have been taught today that a person must marry because they first “fall in love with a person” – that command is found nowhere in the Bible. It is wishful thinking, mostly on the part of women.   Some will say – what about Jacob? He loved Rachel so much he served seven years for her.  But again, this is not a command, it is an example. And why did he love her? Check the story – it was because of how beautiful she was.

And let’s not forget Jacob’s mother and father. What a whirlwind romance they had right? They just met each other and went into his mother’s tent had sex and became man and wife.  No long courtship, no discussion.   Isaac followed his father’s advice for him in finding a wife and Rebekah followed her father’s command for her to go back and marry Isaac.  It was that simple.

But the most important question the Taming of the Shrew presents us with is whether or not it is sinful or immoral for a Christian man to marry a rebellious woman with the intention of taming her into submission?

However, before we can answer this question, we must first answer another very important question for Christians.

Can a Christian Marry an Unbeliever?

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 the Apostle Paul gives the following command regarding Christians entering into relationships with non-believers:

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

As we can see from the above Scriptures, it is clear that believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

This is why a Christian church has no business having an inter-faith conference with the Muslim church down the street. And it is also why a Christian man or woman can never enter into the most intimate of human relationships God ever designed which is marriage, with a non-believer.

Some Christians have falsely used 1 Corinthians 7:13-16 to say that the Apostle Paul was ok with Christians marrying non-Christians:

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

However, such an interpretation betrays the entire context of the passage which Paul states in verse 20 of this same chapter:

“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”

Paul is saying that if you become a believer and your spouses does not come to the faith as you have that you are to remain with them if they want to stay.  He is not saying it is ok for a Christian to purposefully marry a non-believer which would then conflict with what he said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

Now that we have established this important principle of the Scriptures, we can go on to answer the question at the center of this article.

Can a Christian Man Marry a Christian Feminist Woman with the Intent to Tame Her?

Throughout the Bible God’s relationship with humanity is pictured in two different ways.  As individuals our relationship with God is pictured as a father and child relationship.  But God’s relationship with his people in the collective sense is always pictured as that of a husband to his wife.

We can see this concept shown where God pictures the nation of Israel as a treacherous wife in Jeremiah 3:20:

“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Notice how he refers to his wife – “O house of Israel”.

Now let’s look further in this book to Jeremiah 18:1-6:

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

What do we see here? God presents the picture of a potter who had a marred, meaning it had defects.  So, he reshaped it against as a whole new vessel.  God tells Israel, his wife, that she is like that clay.  He saw defects in her and wanted to reshape her in another vessel but she would not allow him to do so.

Now let’s look to the New Testament in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

There is an important parallel here between God as a husband to Israel and Christ as a husband to the Church.  How does a potter shape his clay into the form he wishes it to be? He uses water.  In the same way we as Christian husbands are told to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her so he could wash her with “water by the word”, so she would not have “spot, or wrinkle”, so he could present her to “himself a glorious church”.

Why did God want to reshape Israel as his wife? Because she was “marred” which parallels the “spot or wrinkle” shown to us here with Christ and his wife, the Church, in the New Testament.

The point is that God is a consistent husband.  Christ is not a different kind of husband to the Church than God was to Israel.  We as Christian husbands can learn just a much from God’s example as a husband to Israel as we can learn from Christ’s example as a husband to the Church.  This is a fundamental truth that all Christian husbands must embrace.

With that being said can a Christian man marry a Christian woman whom he perceives is marred by feminist tendencies with the intention that he is going to attempt to wash her of those tendencies?

The answer based on God’s own example with both Israel and the Church is a resounding YES!

Am I recommending Men Marry Feminist Women with the Intent to Tame Them?

I have proven the case from the Scriptures that nothing in the Scriptures stops a man from marrying a woman whom he genuinely believes to be a Christian but is marred by feminism.

I made the following statement about my second wife in a post I wrote a few years ago that include my story about how I met my second wife and married her:

“While we were dating, I detected feminist tendencies in her that she had from her upbringing (her mom was a career woman as well).  Her mom even told me on one occasion that she taught her daughters to “be independent and not need a man”.  So even though my wife had become a Christian a few years before she met me, the feminism ran deep in her.  I also detected that her job as a manager might cause some friction in her commitment to our marriage and our home.

But she was so different from my first wife, and such a good Christian woman with great character that I chose to overlook some of these areas that would later come back to haunt me, naively thinking I could help her to see what God says a Christian woman’s priorities should be in regard to her husband, her children and her home.

I mentioned in that same post that my wife displayed many marks of a true believer in Christ.  She was so dedicated to seeing people saved.  She witnessed to her friends at work and relatives and she was concerned for her lost loved ones.  She went on missions’ trips with her church.  I spoke with her Pastor and some deacons at her church and saw in her a woman that had many great character traits and a passion for God.  But she was a new Christian, saved only few years before I met her.

So, I believed when I saw the feminist tendencies in her that I could just teach her and help her to learn those ways were not right.  She told me she believed the passages about submission that I showed her. But she also believed that men and women were equal and she was trying to square that with what the Bible said about submission.

I thought I could wash this feminism from her, but alas after almost 9 years of marriage much of it remains.  There has been some progress and some change but not nearly as much as I had hoped.

The question though is this – does my failure to be able to wash away my wife’s feminism with the Word of God mean that no man could do this with another woman?

The answer is no.  It is in fact possible.

In the three years since I wrote about my story with my failure to completely wash away my wife’s feminism, I have had many men write me telling they had success with their wives in this.  I have actually even had many young women write me telling me that my writings helped to convince them that feminism was wrong and they came out of it on their own before marriage.

So, what is the variable that makes for success in the taming of a feminist Christian wife?  The answer is it comes down to whether the woman will recognize this sinful thought process in her own life and then allow her husband in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to wash it from her.

In James 1:23-24 the Bible tells us about a man looking in a glass seeing his reflection:

“23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

Now let’s apply what James is saying to a feminist Christian wife.  A man can take his wife to the spiritual mirror which is the Word of God.  He can show her the reflection of herself.  He can show her the sin of feminism all over her face.  But she must choose to humble herself before God and accept what she sees right there in the mirror.  She must then submit herself to her husband’s washing and see him as a God given instrument for sanctification in her life.

Some may argue “Well I am fine with trying to tame her before marriage, but you should not marry her until she is completely tamed of feminism”.  And I understand where that thinking comes from.   But just because something presents a lot more risk does not make it wrong.  Marriage itself is a risk.  Even marriage to a woman who seems to be a good Christian and one who fully embraces Biblical gender roles. It is simply a matter of how much risk is involved.

Is This a Change in My Position on Christian Men Marrying Feminist Women?

The answer is Yes. Throughout this ministry over the last four years I have made changes on several positions.  Really – over my entire Christian life I have made changes in my beliefs as the Lord has led me to do so.  We must never be so rigid or get to the point where God cannot change our position on something and teach us new things.

Up until now I have taught people on this blog as well as my own sons that I made a grave mistake in marrying their step mother with the intent to help her understand the errors of her feminist thinking.  I have taught young men on this blog and elsewhere that they should avoid interactions with feminist Christian women and at the first sign of feminist tendencies when dating or courting they should abandon such a woman.

If you or my sons want to follow the advice I have previously given there is no sin in following it still.  If you decide that the potential costs in this spiritual warfare to attempt to tame a feminist Christian wife is too much I completely understand and there is no sin in avoiding feminist women like the plague.

So here is my change. 

I have thought back to when I met my second wife and after I talked to all the people that knew her from her church as well as her family.  My intentions were noble.  I saw the potential in her for change.  I went into this marriage fully intent on washing her feminism away and believing she would allow me over time to do it. I believed her passion to see souls saved would result in a similar passion to conform herself as a wife to the will of God for her life. The problem was not in my intent, but in her continued unwillingness to fully yield to the Holy Spirit on this issue, so in turn she could not fully yield to me either.

If you find a woman who has the markings of a true believer in Christ as my second wife had, but this appears to be a blind spot in her life and you are intent on doing spiritual battle, even if takes the rest of your life married to her, to wash the spiritual wrinkles and spots of feminism from her then this is a noble cause. But be forewarned, this is not for the faint of heart. It could greatly affect your future children and in some cases the battle could even lead to divorce.

However, if you are marrying a feminist Christian woman with the intent that you are going to tolerate her feminism and will just give up your headship role over her then you are wrong.  As a Christian God does not allow you to surrender your position as head to your wife. So, if you know you are not willing to do battle to attempt to wash the feminism from a woman then you should not marry her.  You should only marry a woman who fully embraces Biblical gender roles before you marry her.

So here is the conclusion of the matter.  Is it a sin before God for a man to marry a Christian woman with the intent of taming her of her feminist tendencies and beliefs? The answer is no it is not a sin.

But I would leave any Christian man who intends to go into such a spiritual battle with this admonition from Christ found in Luke 14:31:

“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” 

Be sure before you go to war, that you count the costs that may be incurred on you in the process of that war.

A Teenage Girl’s Courtship Covenant

Today I make the following covenant before God.

I will only seek to court a man when my father gives his permission to court that man and I will honor his rules for courting . (Genesis 29:15-20, Exodus 22:16-17)

I will not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof by allowing myself to be alone with any man that I am not married to unless he is my close blood relative. (Romans 13:14)

I will guard my heart and save not only physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well for marriage and I will not awaken the type of love God meant only for marriage until I am married. (Proverbs 4:23, Song of Solomon 2:7)

I will not follow my heart or feelings in seeking my future husband as it may deceive me.  Instead I will seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance  as well as the guidance of my parents and other Christian elders as they follow Christ. (Proverbs 1:8,Proverbs 11:14,John 16:13)

I will not date because dating is led by the heart, not the spirit, it can often awaken the kind of love only meant for marriage and it makes provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

What is the difference between courting and dating?

Both dating and courting will involve couples doing things together.  A dating couple and a courting couple might go out to dinner, a movie theater, a sporting event or church event together.  A dating and a courting couple might spend time together with their various friends and family members.  A dating and a courting couple may be physically attracted to one another.

With all these similarities it understandable how some people might confuse dating with courting.  But the differences between these two activities are a matter of WHY, WHEN and HOW.

WHY Dating and Courting Occur Is Different

The reason why men and women date is to enjoy one another’s company.  For instance, if a couple goes on a date and either one or both do not enjoy the other’s company then they will not see each other again.  Even if a couple has been dating for some time, if they cease to enjoy one another’s company then they simply “break up”.

The reason why men and women court is for the purpose of discovering if they are compatible for marriage.  While courting couples may enjoy their time spent together as dating couples do they understand that this is only a happy byproduct of the courting process and not it’s core purpose.  When one courts they are interviewed by the other’s parents, family and friends and they also interview their prospective spouse’s family and friends.

Courting is not about having fun, it is a fact-finding mission about a prospective spouse.

The purpose of courting is to find out the character of a potential spouse by asking them about what they believe about God and about life and then finding out from their family and friends if their life matches their beliefs.

While courtships are sometimes terminated like dating relationships are, the termination of a courtship does not happen easily and it a serious event for both families.  Only if a serious incompatibly was found or if unfaithfulness was found on the part of either person would a courtship process be terminated.  Another important reason why courtships are terminated far less often than dating relationships is because both families do a preliminary investigation of the potential spouse before a courtship arrangement is agreed upon.

WHEN Dating and Courting Happens is Different

In dating a man typically approaches a woman and “asks her out”.  It might be to dinner, a school event, a church event or some other event.  With courting a man does not ask the woman out.  He asks her father’s permission to court his daughter.

And this brings us to another key difference between courting and dating.  The man does not ask permission to court another man’s daughter until he is prepared to support a wife and family.  Courtships unlike dating are not meant to be conducted over many years.  They are meant to be a short time to see of the couple are compatible for marriage and then they marry.  Typically, this process takes only a few months but usually does not go beyond a year.

From a courting perspective, it would be highly inappropriate for a young 16-year-old man in high school who is totally unprepared for marriage or unprepared to support a family to ask a young woman’s father if he may court her.  But with the practice of dating, a man need not be mature enough for marriage or able to provide for a family to enter into an intimate relationship with a young woman.

One last thing about WHEN courting occurs.  We have spoken about the prerequisites for a young man to be able to court someone’s daughter. So the next logical question would then be what about the young woman? What is the age for courtship for her?  The age is when her father deems her ready.  This may be before the legal age of adulthood which is 18 or after the legal age of adulthood. His primary concern would be to make the determination as to whether his daughter is spiritually and emotionally mature enough for marriage.

HOW Dating and Courting is Conducted is Different

When young men and women date they may kiss and hold hands on the very first date.  In fact, some couples even have sex on the first date.  Still for many teens they may not have sex for some time but they still become very intimate with each other in other emotional and physical ways.

For many young men and women dating is sort of like taking a drug.  They experience the dopamine rush in their brains of being with a new person.  Every text they receive from the other person gives them a rush. Every touch from that person gives them a rush.  Then they need to go further and further with the touching.  Even if some teens do not engage in full sexual intercourse, many dating teens are touching one another in other sexual ways.  It is all about the rush, the thrill of being with that person.

And then for many teens when the rush and the thrill of the new relationship goes away they breakup and move on to the next teen to experience new thrills with that new person.  And this cycle goes on and on throughout high school or college until they finally decide to settle down, get serious and get married.

When young men and women court they do NOT touch.  Some courting couples may be allowed to hold hands when the wedding is very close. But beyond that there is no kissing or hugging or cuddling during courting. And while they definitely investigate one another for compatibility they are not as emotionally intimate as dating couples.  The goal of courtship is to make sure a couple is compatible but at the same time not engage in the emotional and physical intimacy God meant for marriage.  Courting couples experience that dopamine rush too, but they do not allow it to control their actions.  They can finally and fully let go once they are married.  And on their wedding night and during their honeymoon – physical and emotional intimacy is all new for them and as beautiful as God intended it to be.

To help courting couples avoid the temptation to touch or talk in ways that are reserved for marriage they are never allowed to be alone.  They always have parents or siblings or other Christian elders with them at all times. Courting couples might go out to dinner, a movie theater, a sporting event or church event together but often they don’t even sit next to one another. Someone else is in-between whether it is a sibling or a parent.  So, they experience the events together but they do not touch. This is a major difference between dating couples and courting couples.

Conclusion

Some people wrongly think that courting is just “dating for marriage”.  But as we have shown here it is so much more than that. A core component of dating is physical intimacy even if the couple does not go all the way to intercourse.  Another critical difference between dating and courting is the parental involvement.  In dating the man asks the woman out, in courting the man asks the girl’s father for permission to court his daughter.  With dating the ability of the young man to provide for a family and his overall readiness for marriage is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if the young woman finds him attractive and fun to be around.  In courting, the young man’s ability to provide for a family as well as his faith and overall maturity are critical prerequisites to him asking to court a man’s daughter.

Can You Follow the Courtship Model Without the Support of Christian Parents?

While Christian churches and civil governments have usurped authority over marriage for many centuries, the fact is God did not give either of these spheres any authority over people entering into marriage.  You will not find one passage of the Scriptures granting authority over marriage to either civil or church leaders. Not one.

You will however, find passages like the Exodus 22:16-17, giving fathers authority over their daughters in marriage:

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 proves that God gave authority over marriage not to the civil government or the Church but to the family, and specifically to fathers.

God instituted the family as his first human authority structure.  And he never ever took away any authority he gave to husbands and fathers when he later instituted the spheres of civil government and church government.

While the Bible does not require men to have the approval of their parents for marriage the Scriptures do tell sons this regarding their parents:

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother”

Proverbs 1:8 (KJV)

“A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”

Proverbs 15:20 (KJV)

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)

So, I think it is Biblical to say that men should also seek the advice of their parents in seeking the spouse God has for them in the courtship process.

My point thus far in all the Scriptures I have shown is this.  God meant for the courtship process to be a family affair on both sides.  He wants the parents of the man and woman who are courting to be on the same page and comparing notes about their children.  This is not just a man and woman coming together in marriage, but it is also two families coming together.

Sin Sometimes Poisons the Courtship Process

Sin has infected every part of this world.  It has infected our bodies and natures as individuals.  It has also infected God’s institutions of marriage, family, civil government and even his institution of the Church.  Husbands physically abuse or abandon their wives.  Parents sometimes horribly abuse their children through physical abuse or neglect.  Civil authorities abuse their God given power, usurp authority over areas God did not give them and violate the natural property rights of individuals.  And church authorities are no less guilty of allowing sin to run rampant and abandoning the Word of God.

So, there will be times when a young person will not have the support in the courtship process God meant for them to have from their parents.

What happened with my grandparents is a prime example.

My paternal grandmother came from a home where her mother did not have a normal relationship with her children.  She was one of three children.  She had two brothers.  My paternal great grandmother was the matriarch of her family.   Her husband did whatever she said without question.

While it is not unheard of for wives to dominate their husbands and children (although it is sinful for them to do so) it is rare for a parent to forbid their children from ever marrying. That is what my paternal great grandmother did with her three children.  She expressly forbade them from seeking out marriage and insisted that her three children live with her and their father for the remainder of their lives.

She made her children feel that if they loved anyone other than her, their father or their siblings that they would be betraying their family in doing so.

We know when looking at the Bible that such parenting is against God’s design. God gave this command to parents regarding their children:

“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

And this command from Jeremiah is based on God’s first command to mankind when he created man and woman:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Well you can probably guess that my grandmother went against her mother’s wishes for her to remain unmarried and live with her mother for life, else I would not be here.

Unfortunately, her brothers did not seek out marriage and they remained with their mother for the remainder of her life.  One son died in his thirties before his mother died and the other died single many decades after his mother died.  It is interesting to note that while these men never married they were both extremely sexually immoral and had sex with many women.  But they hid it from their mother, never brought any of these women home and never married so they kept their mother happy.

My grandmother was the polar opposite of her brothers.  She was not a loose girl.  She was a strong believing Catholic and she believed sex was strictly reserved for marriage.

No, my grandmother and grandfather did not court. This new “dating” thing was all the rage and that is what my grandparents did.  They dated in secret in the mid 1930’s a little more than a decade after woman’s suffrage was passed.

And just as I have warned people here about dating, my grandfather was trying to entice my grandmother into premarital sex while they were secretly dating.  But my grandmother held to her Christian faith and she insisted that my grandfather convert to Catholicism and marry her before he could have sex with her.

My grandmother not only insisted that they be married first before sex, but that they also be married by a Catholic priest.  They could not go to her Catholic church as her priest would have told her parents.  So they went further away from where she lived to a different Catholic church and even used different names and were married by the priest under different names as the church would report the marriage to local newspapers.

My father told me that when his father died when he was eleven his mother had a horrible time getting social security because her and my grandfathers’s names did not match on the wedding certificate.  She had to prove through the birth records of my father and his three older siblings and other church records that they had in fact married and she finally got her social security.

After they were married my grandmother let my grandfather start having sex with her but no one knew they were married.  She stayed with her mother and would secretly meet with my grandfather.  She asked my grandfather for time to break the news to her mother as she was still scared to death of her mother.  Eventually my grandmother and grandfather were overheard on a party line (people shared phone lines with their neighbors back then) and the secret was out and she left to live my grandfather as husband and wife.

Did my grandmother do everything right? No.  She dated a non-Christian man (He was actually raised Mormon). Also she did not immediately move in with her husband after they consummated their marriage.

But from a Biblical perspective, my grandmother was not sinning by seeking out a husband in direct disobedience to her mother.

Her father and mother were derelict in their duty as parents to encourage their children to marry and prepare them for marriage.   It would have been disobedience on my grandmother’s part to God’s marriage mandate if she did not seek marriage unless God had providentially call her to a life of celibacy in his service.

Conclusion

God’s ideal is that the seeking out of one’s spouse should be family affair. The courtship model reflects God’s ideal.  Ideally a man should seek out the approval and permission of a woman’s father to court her.  And ideally a woman should follow her father’s advice in whom she marries.  She sould seek out his blessing and approval.  But due to sin’s corruption in this world not everyone can fully follow all the aspects of the courtship model.

Father’s die leaving fatherless daughters.  Fathers or mothers refuse to allow their children to marry.  Some parents may not discourage their children from marriage, but they refuse to participate in the courtship process.

So, what is a young person to do in these situations where parents are derelict in their duties in the courtship process?  The answer is that you are only responsible for your own behavior.  You are not responsible for your parent’s bad behavior.

That means if you have no father or mother or you have parents but they want nothing to do with the courtship process then you do what you can.

As a man that means even if your parents think otherwise – you do not court until you are financially prepared to provide for a family.  And when you do court, you never allow yourself to be alone with the women you court.  If her father wants to participate in the courtship process then ask his permission.  And ask for his wisdom in knowing and understanding his daughter.  Guard your heart and keep physical and emotional intimacy for marriage.  Yes, it will be harder without parents to support you, but you can still do it with God’s strength and help.  It is a vast understatement that this entire courtship process, with or without parental participation, should be bathed in prayer.

As a woman that means when you are an adult even if you have parents that were derelict in their duty like my maternal grandparents you should seek out marriage.  It will be a must greater challenge for you as a woman than it is for a man as it was for my grandmother.  But you still need to have high standards.  Don’t just look for the first man who comes along.  Pray hard as you seek the man God would have for you.  It is sad that you as a woman are in this position, but you are here.

In a way this is similar to when a woman’s husband dies. A widow is the position of having to lead her children and provide for them as her husband did.  She has to carry a load God never designed women to carry.  But death in this world occurs because of sin in this world.

So, what does a widow have to do? She has to go out and get a job to support herself and her children.  In the same way if a young woman has parents who are sinning against God’s calling for parents to encourage and prepare their children for marriage then she should attempt to get a job and then leave their home.  Another option would be for her to move out of her parent’s house as an adult and move in with another Christian family.  Perhaps she can even see if another Christian father will stand in as her spiritual father and help her in the courtship process.

I do think though that Christian young men and women as a general rule should commit to honoring the wishes of the woman’s father in courtship.  Yes there will be exceptions like the one I have painted here and others.  But whenever possible, the father’s wishes regarding his daughter should be honored – especially if he is a Christian man who is fully engaged in helping his daughter to find the man God has for her.

Update 9/30/2018 – I let my Dad read this since a I published this a few days ago and he wanted to me to correct and add a few details of his mother and father’s dating and marriage story.  My great grandmother did not know about her two son’s whoring around – only my grandmother(their sister) knew.  Also I did not know the details of how they were married whether by a judge or a priest.  They were married by a priest at my grandmother’s insistence but they went to a different Catholic church than my grandmother attended regularly and they change their names so when the wedding announcements went out to news papers. 

A Teenage Boy’s Courtship Covenant

Today I make the following covenant before God.

I will only seek to court a woman when I am ready to be her head as Christ is the head of the Church and when I am ready to provide for her and protect her as I do my own body as Christ does his Church. (Ephesians 5:23-24 & 29).

I will seek, whenever it is possible, the permission of a woman’s father before attempting to court her and honor his rules for courting his daughter. (Genesis 29:15-20, Exodus 22:16-17)

I will not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof by allowing myself to be alone with any woman that I am not married to unless she is my close blood relative. (Romans 13:14)

I will guard my heart and save not only physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well for marriage and I will not awaken the type of love God meant only for marriage until I am married. (Proverbs 4:23, Song of Solomon 2:7)

I will not follow my heart or feelings in seeking my future wife as it may deceive me.  Instead I will seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance  as well as the guidance of my parents and other Christian elders as they follow Christ. (Proverbs 1:8,Proverbs 11:14,John 16:13)

I will not date because dating is led by the heart, not the spirit, it can often awaken the kind of love only meant for marriage and it makes provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.