Now that I have your attention, no, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.
I’ve been reading my way around traditional-minded blogs and around the manosphere, and I find it remarkable how hugely important becoming “marriageable” seems, even to the Christians.
A woman who calls herself Elspeth wrote this post for her very nice blog “Loving in the Ruins”, which is fine as far as it goes. But check out the comments section. People are desperate to get married. Parents are worrying themselves sick because their children have told them that marriage might not be in the cards. Post after post after post is written all about how to turn yourself into marriageable material. Indeed, that is the whole point of the endeavor of some Christians to “Christianize” game.
But really, who cares if you don’t get married? I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Here’s a comment from Elspeth’s post, a woman named Maeve:
My older daughter is somewhat covertly communicating to me that she doesn’t think marriage is in the cards for her – and part of it is she has no idea how to go about meeting someone she would consider marriage material…I don’t know – I really don’t.
St. Paul said it is better not to marry. So if one of your children says marriage probably isn’t in the cards for them shouldn’t your reaction be “Sounds fine! No reason it has to be”?
I am not anywhere close to courting or anything right now (for a lot of reasons), and so what? If I don’t marry, it’s better than fine. It’s actually better than if I was married, provided I don’t fornicate.
And no, the “state” of marriage or society does not change Scripture. It doesn’t matter that marriage is the foundation of society or that divorce is up or that same-sex marriage is a thing. We are in the end times, and it is better to be celibate like Paul.
I think that’s another reason I feel so uncomfortable with the Christianization of something like game. Any philosophy that centers around attraction or making yourself marriage material has something seriously off about it right off the bat, at least from a Christian perspective.
A woman who calls herself Elspeth wrote this post for her very nice blog “Loving in the Ruins”
Props for the Walker Percy reference.
You’re right that we often brush right over what the Apostle Paul had to say about the advantageous state of singleness.
And so long as the believer who chooses singleness does so with the full understanding that chastity is the standard, and will be happy with it, then marriage is not necessary. I’ve heard on several occasions recently the interpretation that Paul was referring to a couple burning for each other in 1 Cor. 7:9, but only quite recently have I heard it put quite this way.
Most people who insist young women MUST marry insist it because they genuinely don’t believe that young women (including their own daughters) are capable of living a spirit led, chaste life outside of marriage.
And so they insist that almost every young woman was created for marriage. And since she has to marry someone…
Thank you for replying Elspeth.
See, that mindset is something I really just don’t buy. I mentioned my Aunt earlier. It’s not as if she’s a perfect Saint, but there she is.
They typically aren’t saying ‘I plan on living a celibate life of solitude, hard work, and prayer.’
Let me add – that said, I think a real problem in this case is that people look at their therapeutic deistic, Christianity-apathetic children and then hear something like ‘I don’t plan on getting married’ and then the worry is, by gosh, how do we change that?
The priorities may be ‘off’ in that case. I somehow suspect some of those parents would also react with dread if their child planned on being a celibate priest or the like.
Not only that, it’s certainly not only parents. All sorts of posts are written directly for young men and women looking for marriage. A lot of them seem very insistent especially on young women being married, the assumption (and not an incorrect one, by the by) being that a woman will have a harder time taking care of herself on her own. And yet, we have my Aunt, my Godmother, who is a devout Christian that does charitable work and evangelizes with great gusto. And she has been single her entire life.
What I’m saying is, why be insistent about it? The New Testament does not emphasize the importance of marriage – in fact, it goes to lengths to tell people NOT to get married unless they’re going to have sex otherwise.
Wasn’t the context of Paul’s advice on marriage related to the fact that they thought there was some imminent and considerable turmoil due?
I’ll look it up specifically soon, but the way I always read it was that we’re ALL already within the end times. A few thousand years difference isn’t much in the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps, but then those same people probably aren’t going to be particularly moral within marriage either. There’s lots of ways to sin in a marriage.
Anyway, one example – my old Catholic High School Principal is unmarried. He’s not a Priest, but I remember him being asked about his marital status once. He responded that being the principal was his calling, and that he was being, basically (now I’m putting it in my own words somewhat) a shepherd for the school. And he was/is a very good principal.
The point – there’s a lot of good you can do without marriage, and going by the fears of the parents and others who aren’t planning on being married they’re probably not going to be sleeping around either.
Good post. Marriage frenzy is a symptom of incontinent men, the Christian ones frequently citing St Paul that they should marry if they burn with passion. I think St Paul is talking about a couple that burns with passion for each other, though, not incontinent unattached men. If a man is incontinent he needs to fix that before he even considers getting married.
A very good point.
The big deal is that our society worships sex. Or, to be more precise, it despises sex, but worships Orgasm — a virgin of either sex isn’t a *real* person.
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