You’ve asked two doozies; both of which could benefit from a whole column. I may do just that. But in the meantime, here are some things to consider:
Assertion. Women should do what they can to meet marriable men. I’ve talked about it at length in a previous week’s Q&A and the article “Finding a Husband.” The key is to be intentional about looking and meeting.
Where women should not assert is in initiating and pursuing. Like any dance well-executed, one partner leads and the other follows. If you’ve ever tried to dance with a man and you both try to lead, you know how quickly you both stumble. Once you’ve met a man you’d like to date, then it’s time to exercise kindness, put your best foot forward in friendship, pray like crazy and maintain good boundaries.
Now for your second question, why aren’t the men looking? Well, that’s a complicated one. There’s the problem of our culture that glorifies extended adolescence and the “freedom” of being single. Few, if any, examples exist that model healthy, rewarding, godly marriage. Then there’s the lack of encouragement and expectations from friends, parents and even the church to marry well. Most guys simply haven’t been told that marriage is something they should pursue. Finally (keep in mind this is the simplified list), most women in a guy’s universe are content to date recreationally and remain “just friends” indefinitely.
It’s not that men have changed — they’ve always needed incentives to commit to one woman for life — but the standards have been lowered. Until the women in a community (church, university, office, peer group, etc.) band together to raise a new standard of “no intimacy, friendship or otherwise, without the commitment of serious dating toward marriage,” guys will settle for getting their needs met outside of marriage.
The good news is that as single women, there are things you and your friends can do — actions you can take — that may improve your lot. Stop settling for friendships that feel like dating relationships but aren’t. Stop giving away pieces of your heart without being asked. Stop being intimate — physically or emotionally — with men who are not your husband. Start insisting that to gain intimacy, men must act honorably, state their intentions and initiate official relationships with the goal being marriage.
I pray God will encourage you that there is much young women can do to help the situation, and that He will give you the wisdom to do it.
Copyright 2010 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.