‘Tis a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife with a sweet right hook.
… a new view of marriage emerged from the eighteenth and nineteenth century Enlightenment. Older cultures taught their members to find meaning in duty, by embracing their assigned social roles and carrying them out faithfully. During the Enlightenment, things began to shift. The meaning of life came to be seen as the fruit of the freedom of the individual to choose the life that most fulfills him or her personally. Instead of finding meaning through self-denial, through giving up one’s freedoms, and binding oneself to the duties of marriage and family, marriage was redefined as finding emotional and sexual fulfillment and self-actualization. (Keller, The Meaning of Marriage)
As if our culture needed further pretext for thumbing its collosal snoot at marriage, Elite Daily‘s Paul Hudson has written a piece entitled “5 Good Reasons to Wait Until You’re 30 to Get Married“.
The good reasons given are (predictably) nothing of the kind. Were there any honesty in the world of titling, it would have been called 5 Good Reasons Why Our Generation is Relationally Screwed, with a disclaimer about the dangers of reading sans tequila.
As with so many flaccid pomo write-ups on life, the universe, and everything, it’s difficult to justify a lengthy retort. Life is short, pearls rare, swine swinish. Hudson’s article – a triumph of crib-level narcissism if ever there was one – is so bad, so really, truly, and awfully bad, that the thought of picking it apart is tiring to consider. When the author begins by declaring that he’s “not entirely convinced there is a reason to ever get married”, you know it’s all downhill on greased rollerblades from there.
So how about that one reason not to read Paul Hudson’s five? Simple: each and every word reeks of selfishness. His advice is only conducive to the propagation of navel-gazing immaturity, and we have more than enough of that already.
Just think about it. We’re dealing with a culture that exalts the Self above all else, to nauseating extremes. This is why we give thumbs up to crushing an unborn child’s skull if you, as its mother, just don’t want it. This is why Mr. Paul Hudson can write about marriage like it’s a ball-and-chain to be avoided as long as possible, if not altogether. We’re smitten with ourselves, and God forbid the appearance of any rival suitor.
In which Matt Walsh tells single guys to man up and drop the pansy vocabulary:
It went from courting, to dating, to hanging out. Sometimes even hanging out reeks of too much commitment, in which case ‘talking’ can be used. And if talking sounds too serious, maybe we’ll start hearing ‘vicinitizing.’ That’s a word I just made up, and it means that you and your female friend are often in the same vicinity, but it doesn’t get all intense by insinuating that you’re actually in that general location together on purpose.
When did men become so afraid to make a commitment, to take the lead, to say what they want, to make long term plans, to set goals, to pursue, to talk about the future?
We are devolving into primates, losing the ability to even discuss our own behavior using words and sentences. The average single American man is now relegated to grunts and shrugs and ‘whatevers’ and ‘you knows’ when pressed to have a conversation about his dating habits. Or his vicinity habits. Or his whatever habits, because whatever, you know?
‘Hanging out’ is how we describe what we do with our buddies. Is that what you want? Do you want that beautiful woman to be your buddy? Or would you ideally prefer it if you could distinguish between your relationship with her and your relationship with your friend Steve?
Yeah. Preach it, brother.
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Conspiracy theories. Templars. A map. And a literary joke gone very, very wrong. If an uber-bizarre, intellectually sophisticated version of National Treasure sounds like your thing, you may want to give Eco’s book a try.
The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett
A beautiful, Word-saturated collection of Puritan prayers that should be on every Christian’s shelf. “Oh God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.”
My Life for Yours by Douglas Wilson
A walk through the Christian home. Allie and I are reading through this together and appreciating it immensely.
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
“There are some telltale signs that would be good for every member of the household to be aware of.
Bitterness always has a sharp memory for all the details. And this is because bitterness has good study habits: review, review, review.
It’s also true that bitterness frequently resorts to anonymous critiques or attacks. Bitter words are frequently unsigned. This is obviously more difficult to accomplish inside a home, but sin can be pretty creative.
Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. (Ps. 64:2-4)
Another good indicator is the practice of conducting imaginary conversations in the mind. ‘Then I says to him, says I…” And of course, during these imaginary conversations, the brunt of this brilliant repartee is never capable of coming back with anything intelligible at all.
Bitterness also starts to invert the moral order of things.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. (Is. 5:20)
A bitter person frequently starts to approve what they would have never approved at an earlier time in their life. When a Christian finds himself justifying what he would never have approved in other circumstances, he is probably bitter.
As we saw earlier in the passage from Hebrews 12, bitterness is like a root. It grows. It gathers nutrients everywhere it can. Soon the person’s heart and mouth are full of it – ‘Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’ (Rom. 3:14). What happens when the jar of your life is jostled? What comes out? If bitterness splashes on to everyone, this simply tells us what the jar was already full of.”
– Douglas Wilson, My Life for Yours (pp. 44-45)