Why are women dying to get married and men terrified to commit?

Question

Why are most women I know dying to get married and most men I know terrified of commitment? And I’m talking about Christian men and women. It seems like something has gone haywire here. Which sex is right? Are they both wrong? HELP! And what can we do about it?

Answer

Women tend to be more strongly oriented toward relationships, men toward “doing things.” This difference is more than culture; it’s part of the human design. It’s also why men and women need each other, because our designs are complementary. Because of this difference, however, women tend to be quicker to recognize their need for men than men are to recognize their need for women. Another result of the difference is that although both men and women sin equally, they tend to sin in different ways; while women are more likely to sin in the name of relationship, men are more likely to sin against it.

For example, a woman is more likely to “devour” a dear one’s personality than a man is, but a man is more likely to “use” another’s body than a woman is. In a culture like ours, in which men can get sex without giving anything in return, these tendencies are perversely amplified, and unless Christians consciously resist them, they too fall under the spell. Christian women: Hold out for marriage. Christian men: Get married. For those of you of either sex who are called by God to permanent singleness: Remember that you aren’t uncommitted; you have another and deeper commitment.

Copyright 2000 J. Budziszewski. All rights reserved.

About the Author

J. Budziszewski

Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.