Several readers have asked that I share my perspective on Pastor Mark Driscoll’s recent Washington Post piece Why men need marriage. Driscoll opens his contribution to the man up and marry career gal sluts genre with an anecdote about a middle aged career woman who never married:
She was smart, funny, interesting, successful, attractive, kind, in her 40s, and still single.
A man of biblical wisdom would recognize that this woman had squandered her youth chasing a feminist dream of career and/or fornication. Were he a wise man, a story starting this way would be a cautionary tale to young Christian women not to make the same mistakes this woman did. However Pastor Driscoll is steeped in the foolishness of our feminist culture and not biblical wisdom. He finds no fault worth mentioning in this woman’s own choices, and instead looks for a man to blame for her terribly mismanaged life:
After my wife Grace and I spent some time with the woman from our church, we could not fathom why no one had married her.
She has been of marriageable age for over twenty years, yet she never married. Pastor Driscoll seems to think this is because men have failed her. It is far more likely that she followed the feminist advice to delay marriage until at least her 30s, while in all likelihood riding the carousel. As a result she may well have lost the ability to experience love and attraction for a normal man. Note that amongst the marriageable attributes he mentioned about this woman he left two out; he didn’t say she was a virgin, and he overlooked entirely the fact that she is almost certainly no longer able to bear children. In fact, notice that all of the attributes he lists are what one would normally advise a woman to look for in a husband (smart, funny, interesting, successful, attractive, kind). He seems to have gone out of his way to cleanse his mind of traditional views of the sexes in marriage. Why else would he refer to a woman using only terms which would apply to a man?
Driscoll then goes on to badly mangle the available statistics on marriage in the US:
And, she’s not alone. For the first time in the America’s history there are more single adults than married. Statistically, the women are more likely than the men to attend college, be working a career track job, and attend church.
What are the guys doing? Often, they’re acting like boys who can shave, getting drunk, watching porn, attending sporting events, and treating responsibility like Superman does green kryptonite.
Statistics on marriage rates vary widely by race, but the fact is that over 90% of white women currently in their 40s have already married. The decline in the number of adults currently married is driven not by a lack of weddings, but by women following the feminist message to delay marriage as long as possible, by higher divorce rates, and by declining rates of remarriage after divorce.
According to the US Census 2009 SIPP data, 39% of all white women aged 50-59 had divorced at least once. This works out to 42% of all white women that age who ever married. For Hispanic women the figures are 27%&30%, and for Black women the figures are 38%&48%. The problem isn’t a lack of men willing to marry, but a lack of women willing to marry while young and stay married.
But Driscoll is apparently entirely unaware of the trends of the last 40 years. Instead he coins a new euphemism for the carousel (fools parade) and ladles out a healthy serving of the Apex Fallacy.
Eventually, some get tired of the fools parade and settle for some guy who is more likely to act like a baby than help raise a baby. These guys make the worst husbands: gambling away the money, out late with the boys a lot, unfaithful, can’t seem to fit a full-time job in around his hobbies, and eventually trading in their 40-year-old wife for two 20-year-old girlfriends.
He sees women thinking with their genitals and seeking out men with dark triad traits and instead of holding them accountable for the devastation they cause their children he blames men in general. Then he trots out the canard that men are driving the divorce epidemic by divorcing older wives when the data proves that divorce rates plummet as wives age.
He ignores the epidemic of women kicking fathers out of their children’s lives committing frivolous divorce and divorce theft and doesn’t warn men to be extremely careful when choosing a wife. Like any other form of addict, he will do or say anything to get his next fix.
Men are like trucks: they drive straighter with a weighted load. Young men are supposed to load themselves up first by being responsible for themselves and not expecting their mom to fill up their sippy cup with beer and push them in a stroller to the unemployment line. Young men who take responsibility for themselves are then ready to marry and take responsibility for the life and joy of their wife.
Modern churches have turned their backs on biblical marriage. Instead of holding wives to their biblical marriage vows they preach that it is a husband’s obligation submit to his wife and to make his wife love him more than any other man she happens to be pursuing. In the place of biblical marriage they now hold up serial monogamy as the key to sexual morality. Driscoll even touches on this. He finds fault with women who are fornicating. Don’t worry, he doesn’t chastise them for sinning. He just wants them to pressure the men they have sex with into marrying them:
Are you the girlfriend who has allowed one of these guys to be with you although there is no clarity regarding what your relationship is or direction for where it’s going?
Imagine what a real Christian pastor instead of a feminist would say to these women. I’m guessing it would go something like:
Are you squandering your youth and fertility chasing the feminist goals of career and casual sex? Are you making yourself less marriageable by not keeping your virginity? For those who are married, are you refusing to submit to your husband as the Bible commands?
If anyone here knows an actual Christian pastor who is serious about biblical marriage and not a feminist wrapped in faux Christianity, please let me know and we can ask him what he would say. In the meantime I’ll close by posing Driscoll’s own question back at him:
Are you a fool? Was your father a fool? When will the folly stop?