Matt Walsh recently wrote an article titled: Dear Millennial Men, Don’t Be Afraid of Marriage and Fatherhood, another subtle hit piece designed to shame men into marrying up without regard to the inherent dangers of marrying in this day and age.
I can look at my life up until this point and separate it into two distinct halves: childhood and manhood. Childhood ended and manhood began precisely when I became a husband and then a father.
He attempts to qualify that statement by indicating that it’s not exactly ideal when one doesn’t finally become a man until he marries, and yet the rest of the article derides single men for being cowards, allowing their fear to dictate their lives, the unspoken assertion being that indeed, men really do not become TRUE men until they marry. The message is clear then: you’re only a REAL man when you take on the responsibilities of marriage and raising a family. He makes certain exceptions in an effort to be balanced, but it’s obvious that he believes the vast majority of Christian single men today abstain from marrying for purely selfish, adolescent reasons.
This is so at odds with what the Apostle Paul wrote about singlehood:
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
Paul wasn’t trying to be critical of those who were married, he was instead speaking to the realities that marriage and family can often consume one’s life so entirely that matters of Christianity become secondary. A man’s family comes first before he starts to think about the things of God. It’s interesting that Paul felt this was more of a stumbling block for Christians than that those who remained single would devolve into Peter Pan man-childs. It was Paul’s preference then that people would be more like him in regards to being single, so the distractions of familial responsibilities would not constantly sidetrack them. I believe it’s even possible to turn it into a form of idolatry too, because we all esteem family to be a noble calling, it’s so easy then for that to blind us from recognizing when it in essence becomes idol worship.
This doesn’t fit Matt Walsh’s narrative though, so he completely ignores it, instead focusing on encouraging (read: shaming) men into marrying so they can finally stop shirking their obligations to work, duty and sacrifice. It dovetails with the phenomena I continue to see in today’s churches, where men who have divorced multiple times are still treated with more respect than those who remain single. Divorce is somehow perceived as a lesser sin than a man who looks to avoid leaving behind a trail of ruined marriages and families to begin with. It’s stunning. It all stems from the stereotype that many people continue to perpetuate (whether they admit it or not), that just by virtue of marrying and having kids, this automatically validates them as being selfless, noble creatures willing to sacrifice their lives for The Greater Good, and hence morally superior to those who are single. And yet the Bible (thankfully) continues to dispute this notion. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, marriage or not. I’m glad I serve a God who makes “no respect of persons” then, and does not judge me based on what my marital status is.
Walsh also writes:
We’re men; we’re supposed to be the leaders. We’re supposed to take the reins, not just in our families, but in society as a whole. Sure, feminism has made many in our culture hostile to masculine, assertive men, but that doesn’t mean we should just surrender and take a back seat. In truth, even most of these deluded feminists still fiercely and quietly yearn for a man who will come into their lives and be that protector and leader. These roles are natural and ingrained, fundamentally desirable to almost everyone, and it’s up to us to reassert them. Nobody will do it for us.
What an incredibly dangerous thing to say. Women have free will as well, and to assume one merely needs to be a manly man and they will all fall into line is just horrible. I’ve known men who married hoping their leadership or devout beliefs would by default create a stable marriage and family, instead they wound up divorce-raped and destitute, accused of domestic abuse, relegated to being weekend fathers, and sometimes not even seeing their children again because their ex-wives turned the kids against them. There’s nothing admirable about recklessly endangering one’s self by marrying up whoever comes along and naively believing it will all fall into place just because your intentions are good.
Is it really smart to rush into a marriage with any woman just so Matt Walsh won’t have teh sadz? Wouldn’t it be prudent to marry WISELY instead? Walsh can’t seem to wrap his mind around the possibility that GOOD marital prospects are so rare now that I firmly believe we live in a time when we must draw on God’s divine assistance to help us find a good match. Rather than try to find a match on our own (which can often be wrong because we allow emotions to cloud our judgments, and because we’re only able to form conclusions based on what we can observe), it would seem more sensible to ask God to grant us supernatural wisdom and guidance to navigate this dangerous minefield, so we don’t end up marrying the wrong person and hence destroying our lives as a result.
It’s a shame that Walsh only wants to acknowledge the symptoms rather than the cause of the family breakdown today. Once upon a time we had only the responsibilities of marriage to worry about, but now it has been corrupted by our laws, courts, entertainment and even Christian leaders who continue to launch one-sided attacks on men as the cause all and be all of everything wrong with marriage today. Is it any wonder that so many men are “going Galt” now? Only the Lord Himself can help us navigate this insanity.
So why doesn’t Matt acknowledge the evil times we live in and encourage single men to seek the Lord in prayer instead, so if we’re meant to marry, we can do so wisely and with the peace of knowing we are operating within God’s divine will? Doesn’t one prove their selflessness by putting God ahead of everything else, including marriage? Because ultimately, Walsh is ignorant of the Bible, has demonstrated little concept of who God really is, and has allowed his judgment to be shaped by the culture he lives in.
For those looking for answers, I know this much: Only God knows why we make the decisions we do, why we abstain from marriage (or not), and whether the reasons are altruistic (or not), and only He can reveal what’s truly in our hearts. It only makes sense then to seek Him for all the answers, in all earnestness, to give us wisdom in all things, and more importantly the peace in knowing we are within His will, even when the world tells us we are wrong. He will not leave us rudderless, especially in an evil time where we need His direction now more than ever.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.