Great Husbands Wanted for Christian Girls

Back when I wrote The Way Home, 25 years ago, one of the benefits I saw to a biblical family life was the way it would literally “grow” God’s kingdom.

I envisioned godly young men and women getting married, having large families if God so blessed them, and quickly increasing the number of serious Christians in America in just a few generations.

But now that my beautiful daughters are all high-school graduates, and two of them are college grads, I have to ask . . . where are all the future Christian husbands?

It’s not that young men aren’t interested in my daughters. In the case of one in particular, we’ve practically had to beat them off with a stick! But with one notable exception (who sadly has gone to be with the Lord), the young men in question have either been

• Frankly non-Christian, including a smattering of Muslims
• So weakly “Christian” they have no idea of basic doctrines, or
• Talking the Christian talk and doing just the opposite

To this add, in the vast majority of cases

• Not headed in a direction that would provide for a family

BTW, my daughters are church-goers, and three have attended Christian colleges.

I don’t want to give the impression that my daughters spend their days crying into their pillows about their romantic prospects. But judging by what I’m seeing and reading, there are legions of well-trained Christian girls who naturally expected to be married to fine Christian husbands by now . . . and aren’t.

Any thoughts?

16 Responses

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  • margie gray says:

    Mary my husband and I often wonder the same thing. After the civil war there was a shortage of men in the south. None of Robert E Lee’s daughters married. This reminds me of that time. We have five daughters and only one is still in high school. People in our area have thought us odd to not want our girls to date just for fun. Asking a young man if he has honorable intentions scares many away. So far the few real Christian men out there my daughter’s age have not been interested in my daughters, but they give me a glimmer of hope that they still exist. As our pastor said there only needs to be one. I am hoping he is hiding these godly men until the right time.

  • sarah says:

    I would like to note that I know a great number of solid Christian single men, and none of them have any obligation to marry me or my sisters. :) I want the men around me to pursue God and marry whomever He has for them. If that is not me, then God has other jobs for me to do than to serve as a wife right now.

    I was just concerned that my mother’s post makes it sound as though all the Christian girls are little angels and the men are clueless clods.

    • Mary Pride says:

      To clarify, I wasn’t saying all men are clueless clods – just that the majority who have expressed interest in my daughters aren’t biblically equipped.

      I wonder if any of this has to do with my daughters being well educated. In one family I know where the sons were brought up with great care to be strong Christians, though the sons have gone on to grad school, they both married “bonnet babes” (my tongue-in-cheek term for girls who never went to college and always wear long dresses).

      I have read that there is a wider social trend of well-educated men marrying girls who are nannies, personal trainers, etc. Is this trend – of men who can afford to provide for a family marrying women with small educational attainments – affecting the church as well?

      • caitlin Stokes says:

        LOL with Mary:
        My husband married me when I was an 18 year old Nanny still being home schooled by my mother! (And he is a high level professional!) haha I would love to read that article you spoke of.

        I think in many situations, Christians girls are very “good”. They don’t drink, smoke, swear-they pursue the Lord, an education, act feminine.
        I think gender-wise girls are very compliant, people pleasers and they like to be led (by parents or a husband) (Or at least my 2 girls are this way)
        In all truth the Christian men I know (including my brothers) own a home, go to church,have a job- but they curse a bit, drink a bit more than they should, some smoke regularly, (or smoke hookah at parties etc)

        I think these men are intimidated by the cross they would have to bear as a husband/father. They would have to clean up their act, pursue God more than they pursue any video game: And this realization scares them and keeps them single.
        Truly they are only lazy, selfish & shirking their responsibility as a man created by God.

        Don’t get me wrong, There are a handful of good ones, but they are mostly married, or pursuing a Godly lady in the community to share their love for the Lord with.

        • Mary Pride says:

          Here’s an interesting article on the phenomenon, from a secular viewpoint: “Men Just Want Mommy”. Written in 2005, it makes the point, based on anecdotal experience and two studies, that “Powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less-accomplished women” and “smart men with demanding jobs would rather have old-fashioned wives, like their mums, than equals.”

          Meanwhile, on my Facebook page, moms are posting that they see Christian homeschooled young men who are “very immature boy-men” and that guys seem to want “someone to play with and take care of them.”

          BTW, none of the above is meant to imply there is anything wrong with being a nanny or personal trainer, or getting married and having kids rather than earning a college degree. (For one thing, nowadays once you decide you could use a college degree, it is possible to earn it online at your own pace, so it’s not a permanent choice.)

          • margie gray says:

            Men from your post it almost appears that men may be intimidated by educated women and education is viewed as a liability. First because women raise the children the education of the woman promotes education of the family. Men should be raise the bar for them self and not allow a degree to discourage them.

  • Paul says:

    In the minds of single men, right or wrong, there may be doubt that a prospective wife will be interested or capable of being a good mother if she has a college degree. Especially if a young female has an advanced degree, will she object to doing motherly tasks such as changing diapers? Even if she may be completely motivated to take care of children, her prospective husband won’t know this initially; he may unfairly view her college degree is a big sign saying “I don’t want to be a mother”. I suppose women will have to be more straightforward and blunt by saying, “Yes, I went to college but I also want to be a wife and mother some day”.

    Secondly, a college degree can be a liability because of debt incurred. There are many female college graduates saddled with student loans. Are they looking for a husband for the purpose of paying off that debt? With a poor job market and taxes likely to rise, this is a perfectly legitimate question for a young male to ask especially when he has his own debt to service. My advice is to avoid debt in the first place, and to get your money’s worth out of college. Practical Homeschooling #98 page 11 discusses this a bit.

    Finally, why stay within a limited crowd? Why not attend social functions at other churches within the same denomination? Single women will be more likely to find someone who “walks the talk” if they widen their geographical area. I’m not talking about aggressively pursuing a husband, just being more available. After all, there are some males who overlook available women within the same church because they view them as sisters (kin), having grown up together attending the same church every Sunday.

    On a side note, I helped my wife change diapers and perform other “motherly” tasks, except for breast feeding of course, when I was available at home. My wife got a break, I grew closer to our children, and I was gratified to know that God gave them normal bodily functions!

  • Susan Marlow says:

    This post reminds me of a post I wrote a few years ago over on HSB (homeschoolblogger) on this same subject. I was putting my DS3 “up for auction.” (It was a humorous post). The responses were overwhelming. LOL

    Here it is. Enjoy!

    http://homeschoolblogger.com/suzyscribbles/481236/

    Susan

    • sarah says:

      Ha! That’s pretty funny. My own mom has it a little tougher getting away with that sort of thing, since we are sharing this blog. On the other hand, I can’t say too much, since last summer I was advertising for my younger sisters in a Facebook photo album.

  • Lesly McD says:

    I’m an older homeschooling mom of 7 (six have graduated). [As an aside Mary, your book TWH expressed my views wonderfully and I shared it with friends in the late '80s.] We attended an elder-run church & kept our kids with us, rejected “dating”, etc – yet living near a metropolitan area, they still absorb the prevailing culture like sponges. These are some of the young men Cati spoke of (literally – they grew up as neighbors): nice, hilarious senses of humor, friendly, conservative/libertarian, church-going young men – but sadly not focused on shunning all worldly pleasures to pursue Jesus. (Some of this can be attributed to an uninvolved father.)
    HOWEVER – these boys have a different view of the marriage issue. They are VERY interested in finding a Christian wife, marrying, raising children & homeschooling them – but they meet mostly flighty young Christian women who do NOT want to settle down yet (and often play mind-games until that comes out). It is so hard to watch! *sigh*

  • Brad says:

    On the educated men marrying the less-educated thought…

    One of the things that may be happening is that those women who don’t pursue education beyond high school basically never try to compete with educated men in their field. Many of them, particularly Christians, just want to be a mom, and are quite flexible in respecting skills they don’t have.

    I know of one marriage that started where the two began competing with each other fiercely in college…in Biology. And indeed the challenged each other and, quite frankly, left all their peers in the dust. They both originally intended to be doctors…but neither got into medical school because they weren’t residents of states with medical schools.

    Today, he is a banker and she is a hospice nurse, working part time and raising their kids. They don’t compete at all in the same field. And they stopped trying to compete with each other long ago.

    Many women in MBA programs could learn from them. Then again, many children of divorce and those with education are adamant that 30 is still too young to be thinking about marriage. Better to get the career stabilized first so that there is “something to fall back on.” That of course means that people are not putting their trust in Christ for provision. But it is nevertheless a widespread belief even within Christian churches.

    • sarah says:

      Hello, Mr. Brad! Nice to see you on here.

      I think it makes a lot of sense not to compete. It might work well to have some crossover in areas of interest, but for each person to have different specializations that left each unthreatened.

  • Jared says:

    As a young, single Christian man, I find Paul’s comment about ‘big signs’ describes well how I’ve thought of women! My thinking tendend to follow the logic that for someone to go to the trouble of getting a degree in accounting (for example), It means that they intend to pursue a career in accounting. On the surface, it seems quite a straightforward way of thinking. But it is not so simple in practice. My own mother went to teacher’s college and worked as a teacher, but later (after marrying Dad) became a homeschooling SAHM (something for which I am greatly in her debt). My eldest sister, now married with two children, has a degree in criminology and criminal justice, and is determined to be a homeschooling SAHM.
    It is a more recent realization I’ve had that a degree does not mean that a girl is a card carrying, power-hungry feminist. I think Paul is right in saying that women should make known what they think. Subtlety is very much lost on the likes of me.

    Mrs Stokes also makes a cutting comment regarding singleness, It’s not a hard way to live as a twenty-something! There are practical freedoms afforded a single man that my married christian brothers don’t have. I don’t have to provide for anyone (not counting contributions to charities and gospel work), I can volunteer much of my time and unlike those with young babies I have fair chances of an uninterrupted night’s sleep!

    That being said, In the beginning, amongst all the Good things that God had made, it was not good for the Man to be alone. There is sometimes, I think, a sense of “not good” is to be felt in singleness. I want to marry and raise a family (Lord willing!), but I do worry about my ability to provide – in fact this very worry keeps most of my amorous notions in check – As a tertiary music student, fiscal affluence does not feature prominently in my future prospects, nevertheless, see above comment about the Lord willing things!. As a ‘clueless clod’, however…. see earlier comment regarding subtlety.

    I reckon Miss Pride makes the best comment about what she wants men to pursue! Whom God intends for me to marry (if at all) is largely irrelevant next to what I do know about what he intends for me, which is to follow him all the days of my life. Being here on earth is a temporary arrangement!

    To finish, I’ll share my latest thought on Psalm 127, verse 1: “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”

    I guess I won’t find out if the Lord will build me a marriage unless I start laying bricks!

    - Jared Killey

  • Matthew says:

    It is hard as a single Christian guy to figure out how things are supposed to work. I have been reading up on the issue of why Christians aren’t getting married and the general complaint seems to be that the young men have no ambition and are not willing to risk rejection.
    I think I am in the wrong circles. I am know as the wife hunter in at least two Anabaptist congregations. I have also been scolded for showing an interest in being married. Whenever I express an interest in getting married I am basically always told that I need to wait on God to bring the right one around.
    I do not think I am that ineligible. I have been taking Bible college classes to give myself some structured at least slightly systematic way of learning doctrine. I was working a job which I did not enjoy making $75,000 per year with 5 weeks of vacation time at the end of my time there. I have changed direction and am pursuing training for Bible translation because I believe that this is the work God has for me.

  • Notmyrealname says:

    I would be interested in you guys’ take on an article I read that addresses this question:
    “Why Courtship Fails: A Male Perspective”.
    The article starts out like this:

    “As a young man in my early twenties who grew up in conservative homeschool circles, I was excited to return home after spending four years in a Christian college… My parents were excited too, because they hoped that I would be able to easily find a bride among the many single homeschool girls my family knew. I was a willing participant to their plans…

    If you want to google it, this post was authored by someone who identifies himself as “The Graduate”.

    • Mary Pride says:

      We never were involved with Bill Gothhard, ATI, or Doug Phillips et. al., so had no idea how they were handling “courtship.” The article you mentioned painted a pretty dire picture! This other article I found has some interesting ideas to suggest a way out of “I have to be practically willing to marry you before we go out.”

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