McDonalds surrounded by haute cuisine...
(Tim: Under the post, What godly eldership looks like with a 30something single man..., PCA teaching elder and church planter in Taiwan, Joel Linton, made this comment. It's so good, I'm promoting it to the main page.)
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If men pick godly, mature Christian young women, these women would not be turned off by lack of money.
The question I think for the women (if they are mature and secure in the Lord) is are these men "with it" in the sense of being responsible for their personal lives and for others -- or are they barely getting by as single men. I think women do not want to have to be "moms" to these men. Women want to find men to whom they can willingly submit and follow.
I meet so many single 30's men who are passive, do not take the initiative or responsibility, and just seem lost as far as what their life is all about. They might hold a steady job (some do not), but they are just working to work. They might have a decent car and a decent house and lots of videos, video games, sound systems, etc. installed in their homes, but they do not really know what to do with each day...
They come home and watch TV, or they go out, but they do not seem to have a vision. The marriages that happen with these kinds of men are usually where the woman takes the initiative and rules the home.)
I think much of this derives from sin and compromises in these men's lives -- bondage to e.g. pornography, or ways of related to women - ways they have dealt with girls in the past, ways they keep girlfriends, coarse innuendo in their conversations, etc. They have given themselves over to short thrills of the moments. And they go from one to the next.
They do not know about hardship and suffering and persevering.
They do not know about laying down their lives for someone else.
If a man cannot lay down his life -- even to take the initiative of making a decision about a life-mate, then how can a woman feel loved?
Basically, I think so many men were never taught how to be men. And through their young years, they gradual event by event, decision by decision, action by action, took steps away from godly manliness.
Some men are walking around fearing rejection, failure, etc. They fear to make mistakes. They fear to decide. They do not have their identity in the eternal and unshakeable fact of their sonship in Christ. They cannot face shame or ridicule from others. If they feel outside the cool and popular, yet they still yearn for it and follow its way. They have picked up these things over the years in the movies and television they have watched and in the schools where they little by little made decisions to take the paths of self-protection.
As an alternative to the feminized man, the main model presented by the world is a drinking-jock stereotype of a man which really in many ways is a sissy -- especially when it comes to responsibility as a husband and father. This man, may try to be manly by working out. He actually derives comfort and identity in his fitness. He reads books and thinks he is manly by keep up on man-issues. But he is afraid of commitment. He also is sold out to indulge in pleasure and is afraid of hardship. He does not want to risk rejection. He tries to be a suave player -- cool. He wants to have some young pretty thing around him, but he does not think much beyond that.
If he has taken in any Christian morals, he will somehow know that sex before marriage is perhaps wrong, but that really depends upon the girl -- he'll give in to a girl's seduction. He also will be seeking to go as far as possible without crossing the line of some act that gets her pregnant. He will have sex with her in all but the final act. And after getting into that habit, he will one day go all the way. With guilty slight regret that gradually hardens away, he partakes with his girlfriend of all the foreplay that preps the hormones and physiology and gives the heightened pleasure leading up to and ready for the conception of a child.
So these men in the thirties have a mixture of guilt, hardened hearts, unsatisfied lives, and feel rudderless and timid, but also stuck and have no practice in resisting the old habits.
In all that turmoil, it seems beyond this kind of man to take a new direction and to truly be a man of God who takes responsibility to embrace fatherhood and self-sacrifice as a husband.
Some even say they wish to get married and go to single groups and ask for prayers and long for a wife. But their past dalliances in pornography or in that which is held up as beauty for the world mean that their taste is very limited. Most women they cannot appreciate. The women they feel attracted to are the ones who are most unsuitable and unready to be wives. No matter how pretty a woman is in truth, if she is mature, maturity casts a pall around the women in their eyes; it scares these men away and makes them think of the woman not being sexy but plain. Part of sexual attraction has been reduced by the world to young women who are overly, unnaturally thin, insecure, dress immodestly in order to get praise from the world, a bit lost, a bit unsure of themselves, and basically easily led by single men into pre-marital sexual relationships. Or the other type of women the world shows is the "hot" woman of the world who has known many men and knows how to flirt and excite them.
So these single men cannot feel an attraction for the most beautiful women inwardly and outwardly in the church. They cannot feel any romance spark. As someone who visits a big city but only can enjoy McDonalds when all around him are the riches of the cuisine of other cultures -- Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian, Romanian -- but he just wants a big-mac and fries with ketchup. His taste in women are likewise narrowed to the limited stirring of the taste buds that coarse fat and sugar and salt can provide.
Marriage when it comes, is by accident, a spur of the moment. The motive force is the circumstance, not a conviction of principle.
There are so many different issues where these men need to be "reprogrammed" from the brainwashing of the world, and of sinful habits and indulgences of their past.
It is with added hope and joy that I have witnessed that the message of the Gospel applied in their lives really can change them.