Stunning News

If you had asked me which group–men versus women–had, in percentage terms, more virgins among their college ranks, I would have answered, without hesitation, that the women do. My reason: societal expectations. Men are, more or less, EXPECTED to acquire notches on their belts; male sexual experience is REWARDED by women; women, in turn, are EXPECTED not to “put out”, as loose sexual mores are DISCOURAGED by men.

So color me SHOCKED to learn that, not only are the women–as a group–more promiscuous than men, they are so by a significant margin (virginity rate on campuses is 43% for the men, compared to to 37% for the women).

Now don’t get me wrong: I had dropped any pedestals on which I had placed women many years ago. That is not to say that I look at women with low regard, but rather that I don’t look at them as any better–or worse–than the men. Over the years, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the Total in Total Depravity.

At the same time, the trend in female promiscuity should be very troubling. This is because–like it or not–promiscuity adversely impacts the quality of men that a woman can attract. Even in a society awash in feminism, female promiscuity is still not looked upon as a good thing by men who are seeking a gal to marry. While the Alpha Males will gladly take such women home for a roll in the hay, they won’t consider a long-term relationship–let alone marriage–with such a one.

But I’ll bet you the women aren’t learning these things at home or at school or at college.

Oh, and please don’t start ranting here about double-standards, because–while you will have a point–it is a moot point.

There are two ways to look at the world: there is the world as we want it to be, and there’s the world as it is. We can bloviate all day about what we want the world to look like and what is fair and what is not, but–IF YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED, YOU’D BETTER BE READY TO DEAL WITH THE WORLD AS IT IS!!!

It’s not that I don’t care–in fact, I do–but, if you are going to make equitable, high-percentage decisions TODAY about your best chances of a positive future TOMORROW, YOU MUST DEAL WITH YOUR PRESENT REALITY!!!

If you don’t like it, then fine. But consider yourself warned.

In the Church, men catch no small amount of flak–Headship Theology anyone?–over promiscuity. In addition to their own vices–which include pornography–the men get blamed for every vice and crisis of the women, including their eating disorders, their promiscuity, and their singleness. Heck, the men end up getting blamed for the divorce culture, even though women file two thirds–or more–of the divorces.

It is long past time to deal with sins fairly and equitably, and that requires destroying the pedestal on which Christians have–as a group–placed women.

That also requires getting into the ugly mess that is singleness, and dealing–head-on–with the subcultures that singles are finding themselves navigating, and confronting that with the Gospel.

Looking at what Susan Walsh calls the “sexual marketplace”, men and women have a situation that, in secular terms, ranges from bad to downright ugly.

This is a golden opportunity for the Church to offer a more equitable alternative to singles. To date, singles are not seeing it.

To All the Feminists, A Time to Reconsider: My Answer to Kate Bolick

I don’t know Kate Bolick, nor does she know me. I am neither her friend nor her enemy. Her article in the November 2011 edition of The Atlantic“All The Single Ladies”–has created quite a stir.

I used her case as a means to communicate to younger women the hard realities of time; Rachel Motte has provided a “Traditional values have been great for me, so na na na boo boo!!” response to Bolick.

On one hand, I must commend Bolick: she has taken remarkable care of herself. From a sheer standpoint of attractiveness, she is very impressive for someone just shy of 40. On the other hand, if she longs for marriage, she is in a very ominous position, and her feminist leanings have contributed to her situation.

Bolick begins her piece by saying (emphasis mine),

Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the “romantic market” in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options: increasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing). But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal.

Kate, with all due respect, this sounds like a classic case of sour grapes on your end. Traditional marriage is in no danger; however, unless you strongly reconsider where you stand on this, your ability to experience it may be in jeopardy. Moreover, you need to own some of the responsibility for your not being married.

When you say:

Ten years later, I occasionally ask myself the same question. Today I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a “good enough” mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck. A decade ago, luck didn’t even cross my mind. I’d been in love before, and I’d be in love again. This wasn’t hubris so much as naïveté; I’d had serious, long-term boyfriends since my freshman year of high school, and simply couldn’t envision my life any differently.

Well, there was a lot I didn’t know 10 years ago. The decision to end a stable relationship for abstract rather than concrete reasons (“something was missing”), I see now, is in keeping with a post-Boomer ideology that values emotional fulfillment above all else. And the elevation of independence over coupling (“I wasn’t ready to settle down”) is a second-wave feminist idea I’d acquired from my mother, who had embraced it, in part, I suspect, to correct for her own choices.

you are showing the whole world that your feminism led you to embrace some very low-percentage courses of action that only served to damage your marriageability.

As a result, while you are very attractive on the outside, the men will see you as a very high-risk candidate for marriage. As a result, while you never lack of offers for sex, your marital prospects will continue to wane.

I say this not to beat you up, but rather to point you to the hard realities so you can reconsider your paths.

The feminism you have embraced has done for you what it did for Gloria Steinem. Don’t forget: she would end up marrying, albeit late in life. She would end up seeking fertility treatments, to no avail. She told you, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle!” Well…she was that fish who needed a bicycle. You bought into a lie that she didn’t even really believe.

We took for granted that we’d spend our 20s finding ourselves, whatever that meant, and save marriage for after we’d finished graduate school and launched our careers, which of course would happen at the magical age of 30.

Unfortunately, what you WEREN’T told: at age 30, your fertility clock is in the 2-minute-warning. If you wait that long to “settle down”, most of the high-quality men will be taken. And, by that time, your fertility is on the downslope.

What you also weren’t told: having that many boyfriends–and I’m presuming, sexual relationships–has a tendency to damage your marriageability. One does not have to be a Christian conservative to understand that reality.

So yes, Kate, here is what I am saying: without even considering what you were doing, EVERYTHING YOU DID FROM GRADE SCHOOL ON UP ONLY SERVED TO WORK AGAINST YOUR MARRIAGEABILITY!

At 39, most of the good men in your age bracket are already married. Most of the men who are marriageable are not going to be high on the social ladder. Most of the bachelors who will take interest, will not be interested in marriage.

Oh, and you can thank your feminism for that hookup culture that has muddied the waters for you. When Gloria Steinem sold feminism to the men, she told them, “You’ll screw more and enjoy it more!” The men–as a group–punched that ticket. Now, gals like you are proverbially damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Kate, I realize you aren’t a Christian. I also realize that the paths you have embraced–while lofty-sounding–have been quite hostile to the Christian faith as well as any religious framework that explicitly does not harbor a place for feminism.

At the same time, feminism has been a large part of the reason for your current situation. You bought into lies that the feminist leaders didn’t even buy. You are now stuck with a hostile sexual marketplace the responsibility for the existence of which is almost squarely on the feminists.

Are you ready to reconsider your feminism?

I have no desire to celebrate your pain. In fact, as someone who married later in life, I empathize with it, although my journey in singleness had different causes than yours.

While my first concern for you is theological, I also hope that–in the process–you will find a good man and discover how great life can be without feminism.

(Dis)Contentment

There’s this thing that permeates through humanity called discontent. We all face it in some way or another. The Bible tells us contentment in learned. I’ve been reading through the book of Numbers, and I’m astonished, again, at how fickle the people of Israel. God performed huge miracles, and the next day they were questioning Him, whining, complaining, never satisfied; never happy; never content.

I think discontentment is revealed in different ways. In women, our discontentment rears its ugly head in relationships with men in ways that are particularly destructive.

I have often believed our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses. The (general) strengths of women are that we are flexible with our husbands, with transitions in the family, with children, with life. We can often adapt quickly and enable our children to do so, too. We usually have 360 eyes going most all the time, and we’re thinking on multiple levels, digesting multiple topics, all at the same time. We have wide peripheral vision, enabling us to nurture our families and protect them, at the same time. Over history, our men have often been in positions that required them to travel or be away from home for periods of time – hunting, fighting, working to support their family. Women need to be able to be second to their husband’s when they are home, and to be able to step up and lead when they are not. Women also need each other and draw much strength from other women. These are good, great strengths! They are also our downfall.

We are likely to look around too much, comparing our lives with those of others. This is always problematic because our perception of another’s reality is 99% of the time distorted. We get bored easily, which causes us to whine and complain. When we whine and complain to our husbands, they (rightly so) become unhappy with us because they work hard to provide for us and protect us. When we whine and complain indiscriminately to other women, we demean our husband’s and families, causing them to look very ugly. When we think we don’t need our husband’s and can do it all on our own without them, disaster looms to blow up our homes.

As much as it is important for women to realize and know that men are sexual beings, and that this is good, men need to realize and know that women are, by default of how we’re made, more susceptible to becoming discontent in the routines of life. Add to that the weekly, fluctuating hormones of our cycles, and it’s like carrying a lighted match around all the time.

Women need to learn to lean on and into God continuously. We need to learn to choose wise friends and to be extremely careful in whom we confide. We need to learn to develop tunnel vision when appropriate – to keep looking straight ahead toward Jesus Christ, not allowing our eyes to wander when we’re unfocused. We need to check our words and attitudes and feelings with God, first, before blurting out whatever’s on our mind at that moment.

And men need to know that we’re gonna mess up from time-to-time and not to take it personally. My new husband is great about this, for which I am eternally grateful. He knows that some days I’m on a roller coaster, but he also knows I always level out. He does not do things that encourage the roller coaster, rather he has found ways that guide me to that place of calm.

Women want a man who will never notice another beautiful woman in the world. That is not reality. Men want a woman who will never be discontent with them. That, too, is not reality. What is reality are men choosing to love their wives and say no to the rest of the beautiful women in the world … and women choosing to bring their emotions back into check and under control and saying no to all the propaganda that says she can have it all and do what she wants when she wants.

Walsh to Women: Avoid Promiscuous Men

Susan Walsh has many posts that everyone–men and women, of all religious or non-religious persuasions–should read. Especially those who are wishing to date and/or pursue marriage. Her latest one regarding the “sexual double-standard” is one of those must-reads.

When we’re speaking of the double-standard, it sort of goes like this:

(a) Women–as a group–tend to prefer men with sexual experience;
(b) Men–as a group–tend to prefer women with little or no experience.

That’s not news; nor is it restricted to secular venues.

OTOH, while women generally prefer men with experience, Walsh points out that this “experience” can lead to future “marital disruption”. This is because of the way men and women experience sex.

While it is a known fact that a woman who has prior sexual partners before marriage runs a greater risk of divorce; what often gets overlooked is the fact that male promiscuity can also contribute to the problem.

Walsh cites studies that indicate, “men with high numbers of sex partners, but not men with low numbers of partners, experienced a decrease in their partner’s physical and sexual attractiveness following first-time sexual intercourse. In contrast, women, more than men, experienced increases in feelings of love and commitment following first-time sex.”

Walsh then paraphrases (emphasis mine):

In other words, a manwhore will like you less after having sex with you, while a less sexually experienced man will like you more.

This has clear implications for women: there is indeed a boomerang effect in male promiscuity. Preselection is not endlessly beneficial as an indicator of mating fitness. We know that male promiscuity is a risk factor for divorce, but it also means that a man with a high number of past sexual partners begins to tire of you immediately after having sex with you.

While women often prefer men who have sexual options, and consequently some sexual experience, they would do well do avoid promiscuous men.

This is a serious red flag for women who, as a group, desire a man who “has experience”. That is worldly wisdom which has an analogy in the job market.

I’ve often pointed out, for example, that the best time to find a job is when you have one. This is because, if you are employed, the prospective employers figure that you must be a decent employee. In that position, you can command a higher wage because you have the trump card of saying no. Quite simply, your value is higher and you have more “options”.

It’s the same way with men and women. I’ve had single women treat me more amiably–in at least one case HITTING ON ME–now that I am married, whereas the same women were cold towards me during my single days.

At the same time, that dynamic is a huge deceiver for both employers and women: for employers, an unemployed person may be there due to circumstances beyond his control and may otherwise be a fine prospect; for women, the “experienced” man may be a total prick who will lead you to a train wreck if you marry him whereas the inexperienced man may be a diamond in the rough.

As a side note, I was totally unaware that the virginity rate for men in college–43%–was higher than that of women (37%). That was a “Holy crap!” moment on my end.

Aunt Haley vs. Nathan Zacharias: My $0.02

Having read both Nathan Zacharias’ blog about his one-year anniversary, and Haley’s assessment of it, here are my first thoughts:

(1) Zacharias is engaging in one-sided self-effacement. It came off as pedestaling to me, but then again, he may be doing this out of deference to his wife and perhaps his wife does the same thing with respect to him. But I sure hope he’s not thinking in terms of “She’s so much better than I am.”

If he acts that out, then he could be setting himself up for disaster. Husbands and wives need to have the temerity to provide and receive both positive and negative feedback. And because we’re all sinners, that includes her, too.

As someone who recently celebrated my second anniversary, I often say that she’s better than I deserve and she often says that I’m better than she deserves. And guess what? We are both correct! As singles, we had good lives: we had jobs, we had circles of friends, we had interests, we had a lot of involvement with our respective churches. But we each decided that we would be better off together than as singles.

(2) Haley is onto something when Zacharias says (emphasis mine), “Sarah and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary. She’s stuck with me 367 days, and that’s a miracle. No, seriously, it is.” Maybe it is a miracle, but–goodness–if the basic act of staying with one’s spouse is “miraculous”, then it is a pretty sad statement about marriage as a whole. Either that, or we throw the word “miracle” around way too much. Or both.

(3) Haley is nitpicking a bit much in some areas.

Zacharias says the following:

No longer can I focus on just caring for my needs. No longer can I get by with looking at a situation by how I see it.

Haley responds:

[AH: Syntax doctor says what?]

When you’re single, you pretty much play by your own rules. You can go out any time you want, do whatever activities or hobbies you want, pick and choose events based on your schedule. I had the financial wherewithal to do a myriad of things without thinking of their implications when I was single.

Now that I am married, it’s like being in one of those sack races: we each have to consider each other when we make decisions. And, as with anything else, whenever you have more than yourself involved in a situation, you are wise to consider the ramifications on them before embarking on certain paths.

On this count, Zacharias is correct.

Instead, I look at it through her eyes, too. That means I see myself from her perspective. And I have to say, the view isn’t always pretty. That means I see myself from her perspective. And I have to say, the view isn’t always pretty.

I long to serve Sarah in any way, but that doesn’t mean that my selfishness doesn’t rear its ugly head often. There are plenty of times when I have to tell Sarah I’m sorry for something I did or didn’t do.

The ring on my finger and the vow in my heart sheds light on my negative traits often. And so when I tell people I don’t deserve Sarah, I’m not joking.

One thing I’ve opined about here–and at Boundless–is that being married will expose your sin in a way that does not as easily happen in singleness. It works for her; it works for him. There are times where my sin gets exposed; there are times where her sin gets exposed. It’s not so much a case of “it’s great to have a wife who holds me accountable” as much as “it’s great to be married and we each get humbled at times.”

Why Sarah chose me, I’ll never know. And as a I told someone close to me the other day, I deserve Sarah even less now than I did a year ago. But she loves me anyway.

Well, I know why MrsLarijani chose me: she decided that she would be better with me than without me. (I had arrived at the same conclusion about myself.) I’d like to think that–through sanctification–we are more worthy of each other now than we were two years ago. It will probably take another 70 years before we fully deserve each other–we’ll both be centenarians then–but hey, we’re in it for the long haul.

And yes, like Zacharias, I feel naked without my ring. I won’t say that life without the ring was “bare”, as much as I’d say that to revert to that life would be bare. Personally, I think Zacharias was thinking along those lines.

Now, when Haley says the following:

I know that it’s popular in evangelical circles to speak of everything in terms of being “sacrificial.” Sacrificial love, sacrificial serving, no one deserves anything, we’re all sanctified losers, boo hoo hoo, etc. But this just isn’t a healthy attitude to have in a functional, earth-bound relationship. Of course no one “deserves” anything; that’s a given. Humility and tolerance are important in a marriage for sure. But acting like those traits in a spouse are miraculous is a problem. Not all that long ago, those were expected in a marriage. That these are no longer givens but miracles just speaks to how weak marriage has become in America and in the American church.

I must agree on the premise that we throw around the word “miracle” way too much. People ascribe Tim Tebow’s NFL exploits as “miraculous”. Maybe they are; maybe they aren’t. Is he outperforming his apparent skills? On some levels yes. Would I call it an interruption of the natural order? No.

Would I call the way MrsLarijani and I got married a miracle? Yes. I say that in terms of the way it came down, and the timing that certain events came to pass.

Would I call the fact that we are happily-married after two years a miracle? That depends on how you define “miracle”. I guess one can say that everything from common grace to God’s work of sanctification are in fact “miracles”, I think the word gets muddied when we throw it around in those terms.

When we start taking the expectations that Christian ought to have–such as keeping marital vows–and call their execution “miraculous”, then we’re in territory that the Apostle Paul didn’t even venture into. Is that an overuse of the word “miracle”? Is it merely a statement about the sorry state of marriage even in Christian circles? Is it both?

If it is reflective of the sorry state of marriage, then the question is one of why should anyone get married? Perhaps the disciples were correct when, after Jesus admonished them about divorce and remarriage, they exclaimed, “”If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

Honestly, Zacharias came across as prostrating. At the same time, Haley needs to cut him a little bit of slack here.

I hope he has a more Biblically realistic view of his wife–he married a sinner, too, but I didn’t find anything about that in his reflection.

Still, there are areas–that Haley interprets as pedestaling–that are merely articulations of what happens in marriages. And it goes both ways.

Vox Exposes “Conservative” Hypocrisy

RINO has this to say, writing to Vox Day:

A lot of conservatives stay home if Ron Paul wins as well, I’m not sure why no one here understands that.

Oh trust me, I understand that. But more on what I think in a second. But here is Vox’s response:

Fascinating. If true, this clearly shows that a lot of conservatives must be lying about how defeating Obama is so very important to them. Now, I understand why a Ron Paul supporter doesn’t care if either Obama or Romney are in office, since both men will continue the foreign interventions, the bank bailouts, the debt-spending, and Obamacare.

But this raises the significant question of why a conservative supporting Romney would prefer Obama to Paul. What is the vital issue that separates Paul from Obama in Obama’s favor in the eyes of these “conservatives”?

Vox is right, but I would go one step further. This would tell me that many conservatives are–irrationally–more afraid of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than they are of a second term of Barack Hussein Obama.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one running of the national debt at a rate that will lead to our demise.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one forcing us to provide welfare services–including health care–to illegal immigrants.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one who takes a third of my paycheck every two weeks, then spends even more, then tells everyone else how compassionate HE is.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one who is undermining homeschoolers and those who seek to raise their kids with minimal State interference.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one who is using warrantless wiretaps to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one seeking to empower labor unions and make it harder for Americans to find work at prevailing wages.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one seeking to empower the government to infringe on the property rights of Americans.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one raiding the pensions, savings, and IRA accounts of Americans via disastrous monetary policy.

Ahmadinejad is a nutjob, but he isn’t the one standing in the way of our path toward less dependance on foreign oil.

Tebow Delivers One More Time

Yesterday’s Steelers-Broncos game was unbelievable.

Tebow had been worse than mediocre in his last three starts, and–going against the hardcore Pittsburgh defense–the prognosis did not look particularly encouraging. While the Steelers were without some key players, it’s not like Tebow had been lighting up the world of late. There had even been some reports that the Broncos were looking to yank Tebow in favor of Brady Quinn if he started out too badly.

At the end of Q1, the Steelers were up 6-0. This was shaping up to be another long day for the Broncos.

Then, out of nowhere, Tebow proceeded to light up the Steelers. Two excellent passes, 80 yards, and a touchdown.

Then, on his next drive, he did it again. A really nice bomb to set up his own touchdown run. At halftime, the Broncos led 20-6.

The second half did not go so well for the Broncos. A fumble, a very bad call that led to a Steelers touchdown, a blown pass on 3rd and 8.

But the Broncos defense stopped Big Ben when they needed to. Two sacks kept them out of field goal range and sent the game into overtime.

Then, Tebow did what he does best in overtime.

Now, Tebow and the Broncos have to go to New England to face the Patriots. This is a team that beat the Broncos a few weeks ago, and they will be heavy favorites against a Denver team that is obviously outgunned and whose defense has yet to find a way to stop a high-caliber passing game. Tebow must find a way to control the football and keep their defense well-rested. This will be a monumental order.

But I didn’t think the Broncos has much of a chance against the Steelers. The Steelers know how to win, they have a QB that has delivered two Super Bowl rings, and–injuries or not–have a stellar defense. But the Broncos found a way to score against them, make the stops when they needed to, and deliver the big play on offense.

They’ll need to do it again on the road. I’m betting it will end there, as the Patriots are just too strong.

But–then again–as the saying goes, “that’s why they play the game.”