Why men need marriage

Let’s put down the remote, set aside the porno, and see if maybe the Bible has any wisdom on marriage.

She was smart, funny, interesting, successful, attractive, kind, in her 40s, and still single.

After my wife Grace and I spent some time with the woman from our church, we could not fathom why no one had married her.

And, she’s not alone. For the first time in America’s history there are more single adults than married. Statistically, women are more likely than men to attend college, be working a career-track job, and attend church.

What are the guys doing? Often, they’re acting like boys who can shave, getting drunk, watching porn, attending sporting events, and treating responsibility like Superman does green kryptonite.

So, many women are waiting longer to marry. Eventually, some get tired of the fools parade and settle for some guy who is more likely to act like a baby than help raise a baby. These guys make the worst husbands: gambling away the money, out late with the boys a lot, unfaithful, can’t seem to fit a full-time job in around his hobbies, and eventually trading in his 40-year-old wife for two 20-year-old girlfriends.

Seeing this dismal fate and unwilling to settle or suffer, other young women just give up hope and decide it’s better to be single than sorry.

Rather than some public outrage against irresponsible, addictive, selfish boys who can shave, what do we have? Comedies. From inane television shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother” to bromance movies and pull-my-finger comedies from Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg, Zach Galifianakis and the like, we just laugh. Many men are not funny, but they are a joke.

The Atlantic (here and here), The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal have run major stories on the changing landscape of gender in our culture. This shift is the root of many marital problems today. One of the reasons Grace and I wrote Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together was to share God’s plan for men and women in the Bible regarding gender and marriage in hopes of seeing healthy marriages.

I’m a pastor, and I know this will seem crazy, but let’s put down the remote, set aside the porno, and see if maybe the Bible has any wisdom since what we are doing isn’t working.

The biblical basis for marriage starts in Genesis, when it says, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18). Before sin even entered the world and the feces and fan interfaced, and everything was in God’s words “very good” (1:31), one thing was not good — a dude to be alone.

The Bible goes on to say, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Men are like trucks: they drive straighter with a weighted load. Young men are supposed to load themselves up first by being responsible for themselves and not expecting their mom to fill up their sippy cup with beer and push them in a stroller to the unemployment line. Young men who take responsibility for themselves are then ready to marry and take responsibility for the life and joy of their wife. And as they grow in that responsibility, they are then ready to take on the additional responsibility of being a father, invested in and devoted to their child or children.

To be sure, there are some terrible women in the world. But, if you believe the statistics, men have been on the losing end of this cultural “evolution.”

Ladies, are you part of the problem? Are you the mom or girlfriend letting a boy who can shave live at your house, eating your food and mooching off your hard work? Are you enabling some guy who is using you to live foolishly without having to suffer painfully?

Are you the girlfriend who has allowed one of these guys to be with you although there is no clarity regarding what your relationship is or a direction for where it’s going?

And I would ask the men, do you want to leave a good time or a good legacy? Do you want to one day be the dirty old man alone in the strip club on Christmas, or the grandpa who loves his wife and has their children and grandchildren to their home to share in their joy? Do you have a plan to get there, or are you expecting the life fairy to take care of that for you? Would you want your sons to be like you? Would you want your daughters to marry someone like you?

Are you a fool? Was your father a fool? When will the folly stop?

(Read Driscoll’s previous two essays in this series here and here.)

Image courtesy of Lori Photography.

Mark Driscoll
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  • DemocracyIsIntransitive

    More evidence that men are being preyed on by the current legal paradigm. Consider the legal concept of Equiltable Paternity. In cases where a father may question the relatedness of his wives offspring or when a man who knows he’s unrelated to a woman’s child but shows significant patterns of behavior that might be consistent with being a father(basically he provides support for the child, he does something that we would normally be deemed as good) that man can be punished by then being have the estoppel doctrine applied to him, denying him the ability to exit the financial duties to the child.
    Even under conditions where the male is not married or unrelated to the woman. It’s not just dangerous being a man and getting married it’s also dangerous dating a single woman and showing kindness to her kids.
    Why shouldn’t men seek the most transient relationships with woman?

  • aswede1013

    I am 47 and never been marked, not for a lack of trying.when I have asked an American woman out I get, I only like you as a friend, i’m a lesbian, i’m seeing someone, i’m marked and no ring on the finger with that one, how much money do you make!!! And a whole bunch more. I am so SICK AND TIRED of American woman that are so superficial!!!!! They deserve to be alone!!!!!! I make good money but it seams that, that’s all they care about.

  • aswede1013

    “What are the guys doing? Often, they’re acting like boys” who can shave, getting drunk, watching porn, attending sporting events, and treating responsibility like Superman does green kryptonite”

    I am doing non of that with maybe an exception to the porn once in a blue moon since I get a cold shoulder from the American woman, I hate video games I don’t go out drinking every weekend, I do have responsibilitys at home, I have pets to take care of, if I don’t no one will and I do like to go to a Vancouver Canucks game once in a while wo sue me inthe one, and if you do your one of the sue happy Americans that love to bring frivolous law sites in the USA that should be thrown out in the first place and kph tie up the court system in the US.

  • Rumour1

    Marriage is risky for men. Why would a man take the plunge when there is a high risk of divorce, divorce mostly initiated by women, women getting custody of the kids, man strapped with child support even though he would like his kids half time, all state and church supported? Sounds like a great deal. I think I’d rather play video games, drink beer, and self fornicate.

    Isn’t it great how MEN are always the problem?

  • ianironwood

    Are ladies PART of the problem? Ya think?

    Consider this, Pastor: for the last 40 years feminism has made an all-out assault on masculinity, leaving men as a class bruised and bleeding on the side of the road. The reason this woman wasn’t married was because she made a decision to spend her youth pursuing a career and rejecting men instead of understanding and accepting them.

    A man’s natural reaction to rejection is objectification. If you fault the men today as “boys”, it’s only because our society has successfully removed any trace of advantage to being seen as “men”. Men who get married get divorced, they lose their kids, and they get embittered. Young men who are products of this don’t wish to repeat that misery. Therefore they are quite wisely “going their own way”, that is, living in pursuit of their own masculine interests. If that looks too much like an unending childhood to the ladies because these dudes won’t stand still long enough to get married and divorced for them, too bad.

    You castigate porn, but the fact is that porn and casual sex bring some balance back to the current social crisis. Without easy access to sex-through-porn-and-Craigslist, then men MUST play the divorce game with these incipient spinsters. With porn, then they have an alternative to leaving a “legacy” of another generation of divorced men and estranged fathers.

    The fact is, men don’t “need” marriage. YOU “need” marriage, women “need” marriage, but for men in America today it’s a losing proposition, and I urge any young man considering it to become fully-informed about the dangers of hypergamy and divorce. The Manosphere is full of such tales — do your due diligence, fellas.

    Let’s face it, marriage is in the best interest of everyone BUT men. With no real commitment available, of course we’ve become commitment-phobes. With no real achievement available, of course we indulge in electronic entertainments. You place a lot of terms and conditions on our sex lives, of course w

  • mbenedyk

    When there is significant family law reform, there will be more marriage.

    Until then, women are free to propose to men of all stripes, including those who make less money than they do. Truly feminist women should work towards refashioning patriarchal marriage into this new, egalitarian arrangement.

    The woman described in his article is an old-fashioned loser who is refusing to accept the new feminist reality of american marriage.

    “If a young man gets married, starts a family, and spends the rest of his life working at a soul-destroying job, he is held up as an example of virtue and responsibility. The other type of man, living only for himself, working only for himself, doing first one thing and then another simply because he enjoys it and because he has to keep only himself, sleeping where and when he wants, and facing woman when he meets her, on equal terms and not as one of a million slaves, is rejected by society. The free, unshackled man has no place in its midst.”

    Esther Vilar, The Manipulated Man

  • tommythegun

    LOL. This pastor humorously starts this attack on men for not starting families with an anecdote of a 40-something parishoner. Did Reverend Retro not get any health classes at Bible college, such that would’ve taught him that 40-something women are usually for all practical purposes beyond their childbearing years? Or does he expect miracles in the manner of Sarah’s conception of Isaac?

    It was women who priced themselves out of the market and left themselves on the shelf too long to start families. “Smart, funny, interesting, successful” are the things women are attracted to in men. Young and hot is what men want in women. Lock it down and put a ring on it early or not at all, ladies.

  • ccnl1

    From Askmen.com

    The Five Top Reasons Men Get Married:

    No.1 Marriage makes you a better man

    No.2 Married people are happier

    No.3 Marriage means better sex

    No.4 Marriage means more sex

    No.5 Marriage brings financial benefits

  • Railer

    I’ve done my duty. Shared my first wife with half of Pinellas County and got flattened in the subsequent divorce. Wife 2 left because “we weren’t equally yoked to Jesus,” which translated means I’ve found someone better but gotta blame it on Jesus. Got flattened in that divorce too. The problem is the women – they’re never satisfied, never happy, and divorce is a financial lottery tick in Florida, they just can’t wait to see what they can win. I’m done – only a fool would marry today. Just a matter of time ’till she takes it all and moves on to the next victim.

  • Railer

    Let’s see. Married Wife 1, dumped her when I discovered I had been sharing her with half the county. Got flattened in the divorce. Wife 2 was a “good christian girl.” Actually she wasn’t so good and left because “we weren’t equally yoked to Jesus.” Turns out she was hunting too in the holy roller church and Jesus was a good co-conspirator to blame it on. Got flattened in that one too, abetted by her Hypoc(h)ri(s)tian psycho man hating mother. The folly has stopped for me and anyone who will listen. Don’t marry an American woman. They are totally without character and the divorce laws are a guaranteed lottery ticket – for them.

  • roberttavro

    Its absurd to think that the collapse of the marriage rate is all about the men only. What does this author have to say about women who fail to allow their husbands the natural leadership position in the household that the bible clearly states is a requirement of a good marriage. Women have an absolute fit when you begin speaking in those terms, and it seems to me that today’s feminist women only want marriage on their own terms…and so men are having less and less of it as time goes by. But as much as Driscoll and his supporters might want it, you cannot simply shame men into marriage, particularly while saying nothing about the responsibilities of young women, many of whom spending their time pursuing equally frivolous pastimes as some of the men. Frankly this article is ridiculous in its lack of true clarity and balance, but then misandry is all too common today…even in the church apparently.

  • ecojosh1

    There’s no shortage of responsible men; there’s a shortage of women who want responsible men. Any woman who wants a reponsible man can get one easily. All she needs to do is acknowledge his existance and say “yes” when he asks her out. But too many modern women refuse to do this because they think irresponsible men are more exciting. I guarantee Mr Driscoll that his friend said, “Sorry, you’re not my type” to a dozen responsible men in her lifetime.

  • ccnl1

    7 in the Ten Reasons to Get Married from askmen.com:

    Marriage prevents you from dying alone

  • r555

    The problem with articles like this is that they pick on the extremes – a man can be a pious faithful husband, being the perfect drone or some wild jerk or criminal. What about those of us in between? The ones that don’t care about marriage, the ones that don’t want to put themselves in a position where they can lose 50% of their stuff or the ones that don’t want to settle with some frigid church woman or some gold digger? Is this article real or is it some advertisment? And why does a man need marriage? It didn’t say? So why was this thing published? I’m a single guy in my 40s and so far I love it. I like only being responsible for myself. I like having my free time for me to me do what I want. I like not having to compromise most of the time. I like knowing that the money I earn at my white collar job is mine and not “ours”. I like not having to change diapers, or buy clothes and toys that aren’t going to fit or get tossed aside. I like not having to worry about paying for private elementary, middle and high school. My life is my own and I don’t have to do what “society” thinks I should do. I can stay out late. I can sleep in on the weekends or get up and go hiking. I dont have to check with or check in with anyone. And I like having intimate relations with different women. There’s nothing wrong with it. It works for me and I’m not hurting anyone. You like being married – awesome. I don’t want your life, you don’t want mine, fine. Nothing wrong with it. No one is getting hurt – yet you on your high horse, thinking that you’re so holy and so great, fell it’s important to judge people? Just live your life, worry about and take care of your family and stand up against the growing police state that our country is turning into.

  • reyn1

    What a control freak this preacher is! No one needs marraige just like no one needs religion. Both are crutches and I’m not a cripple. It’s all about putting on the yoke of family, like he says, “invested in and devoted to their child or children”. So it’s all about getting you to be a breeder. I’m 59 and single, divorced once at a cost of about $300,000 and that’s with no kids, just California’s divorce laws.

  • vanterminator

    i dont know what kind of loser men you hang out with, but my experience is much more different. women are waiting longer because they are more choosy. great for them, i dont see that as a bad thing. with the high divorce rate, maybe we should all be more choosy.
    church going jesus freaks dont get divorced as much not because they are happier than other couples, but because ‘god’ and their stupid friends/family/community would look down upon them.
    this article is so stupid… the post should go kill its editorial staff for putting this filth up