To: Single Men

I’m sitting here watching a man my age (29 years old) play video games for 2 hours straight.  I’m suddenly inspired to write a post.

Lemme’ speak to the fellas who are single and of marriageable age (roughly 20 and up):

You go to work or class (maybe).

You come home.  First thing you do: nap.

Then: Tivos of The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

Dinner: whatever you can throw together…usually pizza, takeout, or natchos from the microwave.  Perhaps a frozen burrito or two.

XBox for a few hours.

Watch Spike TV…then Tivo of Family Guy…then Tivo of The Simpsons.

courtesy of jokesy.com

courtesy of jokesy.com

On the weekends: video games.  Napping.  Poker with the guys.  Watch football/basketball/baseball on TV…or, if you are where I’m from, Nascar (Get r’ done!).  Maybe take a trip to Vegas.  Spend extra income on things you desire to have (the aforementioned XBox was a wise investment, you surmise.).  Go to a Sunday service.

Any women you got your eye on?  “Oh, not really.  Whenever God chooses to bring me a wife, I’ll let it happen then.  Until then, I’m just trying to focus on my relationship with God and serve Christ in my singleness.”

Yeah…right.

Just call a spade a spade, dude.  Don’t spiritualize it.

I’m not exaggerating.  Well, maybe a little, but not much.  If I was a bettin’ man, I’d bet this is a decent picture of the lives of many, many single males, even in the church…and I’m not just talking those in their early 20′s.  I’m talking 28, 30, 35, etc.

Does this describe all single men of marriageable age?  No.  Some are go getters, for sure, and some are single not for lack of trying.  Still others choose to be celibate for life as a calling in order to serve the Lord more fully.  A noble call for sure, but this is a very, very small minority.  A wider and wider swath of American single men are beginning to needlessly put off adulthood, responsibility, and marriage intentionally, with the purpose of just, well, hangin” around.

Back to talking to the dudes: let’s say you do, eventually, at some unspecified time in the distant future, settle down when you want.  Are you gonna tell me that all the years you spent as a single guy in the lifestyle above won’t affect your marriage?  Is she to suppose you’ll just be able to “flip a husband switch” or something?  Do you actually think your wife will be pleased with the habits you bring into the marriage?

Get off your duff.  Peter Griffin ain’t your hero.  Don’t waste your youth, and don’t waste your life.

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16 responses to “To: Single Men

  1. amen.

    way to go! Godbless.
    :)

  2. Pugnacious, I like your blog and I link to you, but this is the most ridiculous post I have ever read. I am not offended, but I am sure you could do better to understand why men are opting out of responsibility all of a sudden.

    I can think of at least a half-dozen public policies that discriminate against men, each of which would be sufficient to rationally justify a total withdrawal. To name just one, consider no-fault divorce. Also, if you think that the feminized schools are suitable for cultivating male ambition, think again. I could go on and on and on.

    I don’t mean to be mean. I admire your decision to get married, although chastity is superior to marriage according to 1 Cor 7, which is why I am chaste.

    You lack facts to understand why the traditional male choice to marry and have children has now become irrational. Especially for Christian men, who would have their marriage and parenting run by the feminist-marxist government bureaucracy.

    WK

    P.S. – I don’t fir the caricature of masculinity that you have drawn here, but in any case, the causes for the trends you note are systemic.

  3. “God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display His supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion.” John Piper (from his book, Don’t Waste Your Life)

    Single or not, don’t waste your life. Use your time, talents, and treasures wisely for God’s glory…for the furtherance of His Kingdom!

  4. Wintery,

    I appreciate your perspective. You’re a hoss.

    That being said, I’m gonna stand my ground here.

    I wasn’t intending to write a hefty post thick with analyzation of trends and data…it was a *rant,* nothing more. I’d like to write heavy posts like that every time, but I can’t. I’m not a machine. Sometimes I just gotta get it off my chest, you know?

    Also, sometimes the best tonic to a problem is not heavy analyzation, but confrontation. Sometimes you just gotta jump in, grab a guy by the lapels, and get in his face. Both approaches have their merits at different times, and I chose the latter in this case.

    I simply see a trend, and many others who are higher on the cultural perch than I see the same trend, and it frustrates me.

    I chose the items of the “caricature” carefully, believe it or not. Each one represents a facet of the trend I and others have observed. Two examples: Family Guy–glorifying crass bufoonery. Daily Show–irreverance.

    At any rate, it’s not a “caricature.” It would be if I was painting every man with that broad brush, but I noted in the post that there are a considerable number of exceptions. There is an increasing trend, though, in the direction *not* of single minded devotion to the Lord, but of postponing responsibility, delaying adulthood (hence the popular term “adultolescence”), and delaying marriage. Many baptize it with spiritual language, and the Church enables it with the “singleness is better” messages, but like I said in the post, ya..right.

    This trend is noticeable and can’t be written off as a caricature. I don’t want to get into causes right now….I’m just noting the trend. If my post doesn’t apply to you, then it doesn’t apply to you. Simple as that.

    As to 1 Cor 7 and chastity being superior to marriage in the Bible, I disagree. Any biblical view of marriage must start in Genesis, not 1 Cor 7. 1 Cor 7 needs to be interpreted in light of Genesis, not the other way around. Moreover, as to interpreting 1 Cor 7 alone, v26 is a key verse that colors the whole thing. I don’t think Paul is arguing there that celibacy is superior to marriage. It just doesn’t make sense in light of all his writings and Scripture as a whole.

    Lastly: really, the most important part of the post was the next to last paragraph. Habits don’t change overnight, and the habits and ways of thinking many men are engraining in themselves in their delayed single years will wreak havoc in their marriages. If they think they can just put off marriage indefinitely (“oh, I’ll get married some time in the future, whenever”), not actively prepare for it now, then change suddenly once they put on a ring, they are fooling themselves. Their future wives will feel that most acutely.

  5. OK, I’ll give ground on the caricature. It’s true. Men are like that. It’s not a caricature. When I said that I was furious and not thinking clearly.

    But I think it’s due to systemic factors, such as the ones I mentioned, and more. Feminism, Secularism, Socialism, etc. E.g. – Men were responsible when they had to earn the love of women. That ended with feminism and birth control. Read George Gilder’s “Men and Marriage” and Christina Hoff Sommers “The War Against Boys”.

    On 1 Cor 7, you’re wrong. Paul says that wives dilute your service, that’s what usually happens. And I mean 99.9%. I agree that Bill and Jan Craig are the exception, and wrote about them here:

    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/is-it-ok-for-christians-to-marry-non-christians/

    On the habits, you’re right. This is why I am chaste and alcohol free, I didn’t want to have to hide anything if I got married. I wanted radical intimacy. But I won’t marry now! Girls don’t like apologetics and they would interfere with my plans.

    Did you see my series on Democrat policies that discourage men from marrying? 1) Socialism, 2) Same-sex marriage / cohabitation, 3) No-fault divorce.

    Here’s part 3:

    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/why-democrat-policies-discourage-men-from-marrying-part-3/

    It has links to the first two. It’s not something you can solve by appealing to men to “man up”. There are real problems here – policy problems. The left has incentivized irresponsibility in men.

    WK

    P.S. – I am putting up my testimony tomorrow as part of the who atheist-survey thing. I’m answering my own survey questions.

  6. Society tends to encourage boys from becoming men. Women take on more career-orientated roles, marry later – as a result, they mature faster. Their male counterparts find themselves with an expendable income when they hit the workforce – as they’re unhitched, or the women are too busy working away in the corporate world, they kick back and spend that cash on stuff they wish they had when they were younger.

    This is all generalisations, to be sure … but there’s often truth in generalisations.

    I agree: get off your duff, boys.

  7. Very good post, and a great wake up call.

  8. Men need to man up.

    Just learned that a “good” friend of a colleague just left his fiance of four years (what is it with long engagements these days?!) who was one week away from giving birth to their fourth child!

    Turns out this fellow ran away with another woman, who herself had just separated from her husband. They’d having an adulterous affair for some time, it seems.

    This is what happens when you follow your passions at the expense of your accountabilities, responsibilities, commitments and obligations – you screw up not only your life but also those lives in your immediate circle.

    My colleague would like nothing more than to give his “friend” a “good talking to” (involving fists, preferably).

    Seriously – in this crazy hookup world, does this guy and this divorced woman really, really think their relationship will work out?

    Give me a break.

    You work at love – you don’t go looking for it elsewhere when it doesn’t come easily for you.

    /rant

  9. I know many men like this, well said. Its sad when people women included do nothing at all. I’m thankful that the only habit my husband had & still has are videos games. But since I like playing them with him that’s not necessarily a bad thing. :)

  10. To all: thanks for weighing in. I appreciate your thoughts.

    Wintery: I’ve read Summers. Great book. Her book has influenced my thinking a lot.

    I agree with your thoughts on policy. As always, you are right on que with some powerful analyzation in those posts.

    Still, on 1 Cor 7, I part company with you. Like I said earlier, v26 is a key but often overlooked verse. What’s more, Genesis is the more foundational verse. All Scripture is God breathed and equally inspired, but that doesn’t mean we can just start anywhere in Scripture when trying to find out the Bible’s view on a certain topic.

    Thirdly, if marriage does dilute one’s service to the degree you indicate, why does God call so many (around 90%) to marriage? Why would he make an institution so widespread that draws men and women away from Him so much? Also, if marriage does dilute one’s service so much, how do you explain Genesis? Not only do you not start there, but you leave it totally out of the picture.

    Lastly, at any rate, I respect your personal decision to stay celibate. I don’t want to call that into question at all, since I don’t know your personal circumstances enough and I have no reason to distrust what you’ve said so far. Like I said earlier, celibacy is an honorable calling, and what I’m taking aim at is temporary, delayed singleness, not celibacy. 1 Cor 7 is talking about lifelong celibacy, I think, and even though we disagree on the particulars of that passage, I think we can agree that it’s not talking about a temporary state of singleness, and many well-meaning pastors miss that. They end up using that passage to advocate for the temporary state and therefore enable the sort of things we’ve been talking about (delayed responsibility, etc etc) by baptizing them with spiritual language and a Bible passage.

    Is singleness better than marriage? No. Is celibacy? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong on that one. If any state is better than marriage, it’s the latter, definitely not the former. You can at least make a case for celibacy, but someone has absolutely no biblical justification for claiming singleness is better.

    PS–I marvel at the pace of your blog! I can’t wait until summer–I get to wade through all the stuff you’ve written. Can’t wait.

  11. In the discussion of 1 Cor 7, you’ve both chosen not to make mention of Paul’s other writings involving marriage.

    In Ephesians he describes Christ’s relationship with the church as a type of marriage. He tells Timothy that deacons and elders must be married and have children.

    He also warns Timothy about false teachers who “forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”

    He does, of course, say plainly that chastity is a higher calling. Jesus says something similar when discussing eunuchs. “For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    The emphasis is mine. I think chastity is a calling in the same sense as full-time ministry. Some are called to it, but most aren’t, and there’s no real place for attitudes that say, “This is better, that’s why I did it.”

    Does anyone say that about any other calling? Imagine working at the Y or Boys & Girls Club and having a youth minister walk up and say, “Youth ministry is better than this, that’s why I do it.”

    It’s also important to remember that the apostles lived and tended to teach with the expectation that Jesus was coming back within a generation. Which is why he speaks of “the present crisis” and says that “time is short”. You have to wonder what it means, in view of the eschatological timeline, for men with wives to “live as if they had none.”

    WK, I respect your calling. But the “traditional male choice to marry and have children” is no more irrational than any other choice we make in a day. Why do we even get up in the morning?

    Marriage & children are gifts from God that show us his grace, and allow us to serve him. Service to your spouse is service to Christ. The same is true with your children, and all of the people they bring into your life.

  12. Charles,

    Good points on those other Scriptures. I was not thinking of them. Your last paragraph is right on target as well.

    In regards to some callings being better than others, Perhaps all callings are equal in the end, but I don’t think the opposite is a stretch at all. Paul tells us to “desire the *greater* gifts, so it doesn’t seem outlandish to think the same could be true of general callings. Of course, this leaves the question of whether marriage or celibacy is better (or neither) open.

    RE: the apostles belief that Jesus was coming back within–don’t know about that either. The arguments seem pretty inconclusive to me, and there are plausible alternative interpretations of the passages that people normally use to prove that.

  13. Pingback: One of the best things about being a Christian is other Christians « Wintery Knight Blog

  14. You know, how IRONIC that this very quote is used by me…the lyrics from an old DC TALK song – “God will bring {him} to me so I don’t have to search”. And I’m talking just this past week.

    But I SHOULD use them…I’m a chick. I’m the one that is supposed to be patient, quiet, submissive – heck, even my “lady parts” are internal!

    So, yes, guys – get off your duff – and don’t think that a wife being submissive means bringing you a ham sandwich and sucking you off whilst eating it…we require pretty dresses and sweet shoes before all that.

    ~Sarah

  15. Sarah,

    I can sympathize with some things in your comment, but realize you still can do some things to be active in the search for a mate as a female. While you might not want to actually go ask a guy out, you can, for example, hang out with marriage minded people, or learn a hobby/skill that the right man would find attractive (I’ve done this myself, btw…for quite a while, I took up swing dancing. It developed my personality and confidence since I was mingling with the opposite gender, and dancing is a skill that many females find attractive. What’s more, I was meeting very many attractive, Christian females that were dateable.)

  16. Pingback: Blog Wars: Does Marriage Negatively Impact a Man’s Service to God? « The Pugnacious Irishman

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