PART EIGHT IN THIS SERIES-- THE COST OF DELAYING MARRIAGE FOR MOST WOMEN--
There are many women today, who find themselves conflicted when it comes to the issue of marriage, parenthood, domestics, and a career. Some feel that they are faced with a either or, but a nearly impossibility when it comes to all of the above.
There are some women who have chosen to pursue their careers, while postponing marriage, motherhood, and the so called “domestics that comes with it. There has been much debate in regards to how today’s women are to function in our society at large.
In times past it was generally understood and implied that a woman’s most critical role, was that of a homemaker. Her call in life and “duty” was mainly limited to the domestic arena. In fact some even quoted the words of Paul as confirmation. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” 1st Tim 5:14. Of course many women take offense, at the notion of being assigned a role that they deem too be both constrictive and demeaning.
On the other hand, in Proverbs 31, we are given another description of the role of the woman. In this role she is depicted as being a wife, mother, and business woman. In proverbs 31, the Bible speaks of a highly intelligent, well organized, business savvy women. This woman both guides the affairs of her home, while also using these skills without, for the betterment of her overall family condition.
“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.“ Prov 31.
"Their has been much discussion, in regards to who is this virtuous woman. In recent years, she’s been touted as the woman who does it all: runs a thriving business from home, parents her kids, keeps up with their schooling, and has a very satisfied husband to boot.
A decade or so ago, she was often described as the woman who baked bread (very possibly with her freshly milled flour!), had a clean home, raised kids familiar with chore charts, and her husband was blessed by a hot meal each night.
Go back another generation or two and you’ll find women who describe her as growing and canning food for lean times, patching up clothes so as not to be wasteful, and hanging clothes on the line while she sang.
But here’s the thing: Scripture doesn't’t change just because the times do. And while this iconic passage of Scripture does dive into the activities of the virtuous woman, its focus isn’t so much on what the Proverbs woman did, but who she was. Those virtues are timeless and will manifest differently, not just based on the current culture of the day, but on the individual through whom they come to life.” (by https://www.gracefulabandon.com/).
Unfortunately there are women today who are forgoing functioning in this capacity. In their mindset, marriage and family can wait, while their career and the benefits that comes with it, are pursued, first and foremost. Women who choose to put off, marriage and family should carefully consider the cost.
In her column Loren (who writes for “answersfromthe book.org) tells us, “Marriage is the very first institution that God gave to mankind. God first showed Adam his need for a wife (for companionship), and then He Himself provided for that need. What a beautiful picture of the providence of God! We should notice the process that God undertook in providing a mate for Adam.
In Genesis 2:18, God sees the man’s need and declares that it is not good for him to be alone. In verses 19-20, God presents the animals that He has created and bestows the privilege to Adam of naming them. But there was no helper fit for the man.
The idea here is not that God presented all of these animals for Adam to choose a “pet” from. God already said in verse 18 that He was going to make a helper for the man. This process of observing all of God’s creatures with their own mates would doubtlessly have made Adam aware that he himself had no mate of his own. So, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man.
What an awesome thing to know that we can sleep deeply as God provides for our needs! As Adam slept, God took from the man’s own body and formed the woman from his side. God then presented the woman to her new husband and He joined the two together. Thus we are told, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Heb 13:4.
There are many women today today who are choosing to postpone marriage, for a number of reason. For those who do so, we suggest you read the following.
The cost of delaying marriage, especially for women-- It has onlyybeeninthelastfewdecadesthat a major shift took place, in the way many women functioned in their singleness. The same holds true when it comes to how many women now view marriage. It was not until the late 60s and early 70s, that women begin to break out of the old mold and what was normally expected. Starting in the 60s on into the 70s, the cry for women’s rights grew louder and louder. This eventually led to a movement known as “second wave feminism.”
As Dana Bisignani explains, “Second wave feminism was a reaction to this post-war obsession with the ideal of the contented housewife and suburban domesticity, a lifestyle that many women now say, often-isolated women and severely limited their choices and opportunities. Feminism’s second wave began in the early 1960s; Betty Friedan is often credited with starting this wave of the feminist movement with the publication of her book The Feminine Mystique in 1963.
When the movement began, it was first called Women’s Liberation (or, derogatorily, Women’s Lib) and its participants were sometimes referred to patronizingly as Women’s Libbers or, later, bra burners. (Contrary to popular belief, second wave feminist activists did not protest patriarchy by burning their bras.) In general, the second wave and their activist efforts focused not just on legal barriers to civil equality, as the first wave had largely done, but they also examined social inequalities.”
Once this second wave feminist movement gained stemmed, it quickly became evident, that there was no going back. There is much confusion on the part of many when it comes to understanding the difference between woman rights advocates, and those who promote the concept of radical feminism. The advent of the #MeToo movement, has only added another level of perplexities, to this issue. In the case of women rights advocates, this could be a woman who generally seek the fair and equitable treatment of women, when it comes to the workplace, in the judicial system, and regarding wages and salaries.
When it come to radical feminism, this tends to involve more than fair and equal treatment. For many the concept of radical feminism in its truest sense, says I can do anything a man can either just as good or better. So much so that necessity for a man is all but eliminated. The song released in 1971 by Helen Reddy, is said to best voice the emerging feminist mindset.
“I am woman, hear me roar, In numbers too big to ignore, And I know too much to go back an' pretend ‘cause I've heard it all before, And I've been down there on the floor. No one's ever gonna keep me down again. Oh yes, I am wise. But it's wisdom born of pain. Yes, I've paid the price. But look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything, I am strong,I am invincible. I am woman.”
There are many women today, who feel no pressure at all to get married, They view their singleness as an advantage, when it comes to advancing their careers. It was during this time frame that many women did began to feel invincible, and totally independent
Because woman now feel more empowered, and independant, the entire dating landscape has changed. When it comes to singleness dating and marriage, the entire landscape of a woman’s participation, (or the lack thereof) has dramatically changed. Women were once mainly viewed as "the pursued", but with the explosion of online dating sights, this has changed. Many women today have no shame in being classed as the piursuer. As a young man by the name of Alex explains, There was a time when you would go to a club or a party. In hopes of meting two or three girls.
The hope being you would perhaps connect with one, now days I can swipe hundreds of girls a day. And it’s often obvious that they are aggressively interested. It’s now the common thing to set up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them. Alex refers to these young women as being “Tinderellas.”
Alex’s friend Nick joins in, and explains that neither of them have a a serious girlfriend for a long time. He notes that many of these young woman are aware of the fact that they are basically in a brief sexual hookup situation, with no real chance of a long term relationship. There was once a time, when most women would have found arraignments such as these as being unacceptable. But not anymore.
Sadly, what we are witnessing to on the part of many millennials, by way of relationships, bares little any resemblance to what God had in mind when He gifted us with us with our sexuality. Many singles today are more geared up for the casual hookups, as opposed to looking for a lifelong mate, via the marriage bond. . One young college student put it this way, “Why worry about being happily married, when you can be happily dating.”
There are many women today, who see no relevance in getting married early on in life. They view and fully embrace the notion that their singleness is a big advantage, when it comes to advancing their carriers. These women are marrying their careers, and not marrying and having children. And If they do decide that they are going to get eventually get married, the plan is to do it much latter in life.
One woman who has placed carrier advancement over marriage put it this way, “It’s easy to get caught up, promising you’ll be content after the next raise, after the new beautiful car you’ll be able to get next month. When you’ve made your career your husband and child: It’s easy to push back more important life choices until next year. Such as marriage having a family.” There are women who are discovering that as they began to age, that things don’t always turn out as advertised.
Best selling author Danielle Crittenden explains. “My late mother-in-law, who married at 20, told me that in her college circles in the mid-1950s, a man who took a woman out for more than three dates without intending marriage was considered a cad. Today, the man who considered marriage so rashly would be thought a fool. Likewise, a woman.
Instead, like lords or sailors of yore, a young woman is encouraged to embark upon the world, seek her fortune and sow her oats, and only much later — closer to 30 than 20 — consider the possibility of settling down. Even religious conservatives, who disapprove of sex outside of marriage, accept the now-common wisdom that it is better to put off marriage than do it too early. Indeed, the more educated and ambitious a woman is the more likely she is to delay marriage and children, the Census Bureau reports.
In a 1997 article written by Katie Roiphe for Esquire entitled “The Independent Woman (and Other Lies).” she states, “I live alone, pay my own bills, and fix my stereo when it breaks down. But it sometimes seems like my independence is in part an elaborately constructed façade that hides a more traditional feminine desire to be protected and provided for: I admitted this once to my mother, an ardent 70s feminist … and she was shocked …. I rushed to reassure her that I wouldn’t dream of giving up my career, and it’s true that I wouldn’t.
The drawbacks of the independent life, which dawned upon Roiphe in her late 20s, are not so readily apparent to a woman in her early 20s. And how can they be? When a woman is young and reasonably attractive, men will pass through her life with the regularity of subway trains; even when the platform is empty, she’ll expect another to be coming along soon. No woman in her right mind would want to commit herself to marriage so early.
Time stretches luxuriously out before her. Her body is still silent on the question of children. She’ll be aware, too, of the risk of divorce today, and may tell herself how important it is to be exposed to a wide variety of men before deciding upon just one.
When dating a man, she’ll be constantly alert to the possibilities of others. Even if she falls in love with someone, she may ultimately put him off because she feels just “too young” for anything “serious.” Mentally, she has postponed all these critical questions to some arbitrary, older age.
But if a woman remains single until her age creeps up past 30, she may find herself tapping at her watch and staring down the now mysteriously empty tunnel, wondering if there hasn’t been a derailment or accident somewhere along the line. When a train does finally pull in, it is filled with misfits and crazy men — like a New York City subway car after hours; immature, elusive Peter Pans who won’t commit themselves to a second cup of coffee, let along a second date.
Neurotic bachelors with strange habits; sexual predators who hit on every woman they meet; newly divorced men taking pleasure wherever they can; embittered, scorned men who still feel vengeful toward their last girlfriend; men who are too preoccupied with their careers to think about anyone else from one week to the next; men who are simply too weak, or odd, to have attracted any other woman’s interest
“The sensible, decent, not-bad-looking men a woman rejected at 24 because she wasn’t ready to settle down all seem to have gotten off at other stations. Or, as it may be, a woman might find herself caught in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere or living with a man she doesn’t want to marry.
Whatever her circumstances, the single woman will suddenly feel trapped — trapped by her own past words and actions — at the same moment other desires begin to thrust themselves upon her. So much has been written about a woman’s “biological clock” that it has become a joke of television sitcoms: career women who, without warning, wake up one morning after 30 with alarm bells ringing in their wombs.
The urge for children and everything that goes with them — not just a husband, but also a home and family life — often comes on so gradually that it’s at first easily brushed away. ” What a woman is aware of, at around the age of 26 or 27, is a growing, inchoate dissatisfaction, a yearning for more, even if her life is already quite full.
Her apartment feels too quiet, her work, no matter how exciting or interesting, is less absorbing, and her spare time, unless packed with frenetic activities, almost echoes with loneliness: Think of an endless wintry Sunday afternoon unbroken by the sound of another voice.
She starts noticing the mothers all around her — especially young, attractive mothers — pushing strollers down the street, cooing at their babies in supermarkets, and loading up their shopping carts with enormous quantities of meat, vegetables, cans, jars, boxes of detergent, and packages of diapers, as she purchases a few meager items for her own dinner.
All the horrors she once connected with babies — their noise and messiness, their garish plastic toys, their constant crying and demands that wear down and dull even the most strong-minded of women — are eclipsed by their previously underestimated virtues; their cuteness, their tiny shoes and mittens, their love and wonder, and, perhaps most enviable of all, the change of life they cause, pulling a woman out of herself and distracting her from her own familiar problems.
Alas, it’s usually at precisely this moment — when a single woman looks up from her work and realizes she’s ready to take on family life — that men make themselves most absent. This is when the cruelty of her singleness really sets in, when she becomes aware of the fine print in the unwritten bargain she has cut with the opposite sex. Men will outlast her.
Men, particularly successful men, will be attractive and virile into their 50s. They can start families whenever they feel like it. So long as a woman was willing to play a man’s game at dating — playing the field, holding men to no expectations of permanent commitment — men would be around, they would even live with her!
But the moment she began exuding that desire for something more permanent, they’d vanish. This single woman moderatly aged woman is reduced to performing the romantic equivalent of a dance over hot coals. She must pretend that she is totally unaware of the burning rocks beneath her feet and behave in a way that will convince a man that the one thing she really wants is the furthest thing from her mind.
Whatever she does, though, she cannot be blamed for believing, at this point in her life, that it is men who have benefited most from women’s determination to remain independent. I often think that moderately attractive bachelors in their 30s now possess the sexual power that once belonged only to models and millionaires.
They have their pick of companions and may callously disregard the increasingly desperate 30-ish single women around them or move on when their current love becomes to cloying. As for the single woman over 30, she may be in every other aspect of her life a paragon of female achievement; but in her romantic life, she must force herself to be as eager to please and accommodate male desire as any 1920s cotillion debutante.”
“A woman’s decision to delay marriage and children has other consequences-less obvious than the biological one's and therefore harder to foresee. By spending years and years living entirely for yourself, thinking only about yourself, and having responsibility to no one but yourself, you end up inadvertently extending the introverted existence of a teenager deep into middle age.
The woman who avoids permanent commitment because she fears it will stunt her development as an individual may be surprised to realize in her 30s that having essentially the same life as she did at 18 — the same dating problems, the same solitary habits, the same anxieties about her future, and the same sense that her life has not yet fully begun — is stunting too.
For when a woman postpone's marriage and motherhood, she does not end up thinking about love less as she gets older but more and more, sometimes to the point of obsession. Why am I still alone? she wonders. Why can’t I find someone? What is wrong with me? This may be the joke that history has played upon us — and a nasty one it is.
The disparity in sexual staying power is something feminists rather recklessly overlooked when they urged women to abandon marriage and domesticity in favor of autonomy and self-fulfillment outside the home. The generation of women that embraced the feminist idealization of independence may have caused havoc by walking away from their marriages and families, but they could do so having established in their own minds that these were not the lives they wanted to lead: Those women at least had marriages and families from which to walk away.
The 33-year-old single woman who decides she wants more from life than her career cannot so readily walk into marriage and children; by postponing them, all she has done is to push them ahead to a point in her life when she has less sexual power to attain them.
Instead, she must confront the sad possibility that she might never have what was the birthright of every previous generation of women: children, a family life and a husband who — however dull or oppressive he might have appeared to feminist eyes — at least was there.
As this older single woman’s life stretches out before her, she’ll wonder if she’ll ever meet someone she could plausibly love and who will love her in return or whether she’s condemned to making the rest of her journey on the train alone. She might have to forgo her hope of youthful marriage and the pleasure of starting out fresh in life with a husband at the same stage of the journey as herself.
FEELINGS OF DESPERATION!!!! -- For many women the passage of time brings feelings of desperation, while at the the same time, putting much effort, to not appear desperate. These women may have to consider looking at men who are much older than they are, men on their second and third marriages who arrive with an assortment of heavy baggage and former traveling companions.
These men may already have children and be uninterested in having more, or these women have to patch together a new family out of broken one's. For some who now wnat to have kids, they might have join the other older women in the waiting rooms of fertility clinics. Their hope being that science will provide them with the babies that the pursuit of independence did not.”
In the words of one woman by the name of Sandy , “In the past, I dreamed mainly about things I wanted to accomplish professionally. For most of my adult life, I have made my career my main area of focus. My theme in life has been to get a degree, get a good job, get involved with various relational-ship options, and much later get married.
I am approaching 30 years old. I have been in several relationships, which mainly consisted of going out to social functions and sex.. Recently I have had a growing desire to get married and have a family. and now I dream about being married, a wife and a mom. IF These feelings are very foreign to me. I remember in college when girls would talk about how they wanted to get married, I just didn't't get it and now I totally get it. I now wish I would have focused more on marriage and family.”
Paula England ,For almost a half a century now, social scientists have observed what they call a “retreat from marriage,” The “retreat from marriage” comes from some people marrying later than was common in previous decades, while others never marry. There is little evidence of an increase in the proportion of Americans who decide early in life that they never want to marry. But if marriage is delayed long enough, it may never happen.”.
CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE, TO GO TO PART NINE IN THIS SERIES.