Infinite Blogging

Tales of love, fertility and nourishing food.

A thought. June 19, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annette @ 2:43 am

This might come across more critical than I intend, but only I mean to provoke thought and if possible, solutions.

I’ve been talking with church girls recently, and there seems to be a general consensus of concern among the church girl population regarding church boys.  We want to marry church boys.  If anyone, we’re going to marry church boys.  But, it seems that among the boys there is a strong trend of not having their lives in order, such that we would be interested in marrying them.  This manifests itself in not going to school, or going to school and not doing anything with their degree, or not developing some marketable skill such as a trade.  Without a defined career path or goal, the boy is unattractive as potential marriage material, even if he has otherwise stellar traits.  I think that most of the girls recognize and believe that the husband should be the head of the house, and if possible, the primary financial supporter of the family.  Being able to lead the family in being goal-oriented and motivated also seems to go along with having a career and a life plan.  Without these things…we’re concerned.  We don’t want to marry someone whom we’ll have to nag all the time to go find a job. 

On the flip side of the coin, a large number of girls in the church seem to have their act together.  They’re going to school, finding internships, going to grad school, working in promising jobs.  I don’t mean to sound holier-than-thou.  But consider this: out of all the single young people in the church that I know (and by “single” I mean no ring on their finger :)) I know 8 girls who have pursued, are pursuing, or are planning to pursue graduate degrees.  Of boys I know 3.  A graduate degree is not the be-all, end-all of having a career and being able to support a family, and I don’t mean that everyone should get a graduate degree or that you’re nothing without one, but it is a good indicator that the guy has a plan for his life. 

It just seems that we’re all getting to marriable age, and the girls seem to be pretty well prepared for it, but the boys don’t.  If we all want to marry within the church, this is fairly incompatible.  I wasn’t at the PA camping weekend last weekend, but I heard about it from some who were there.  Apparently Mr. McNair made a statement along the lines of, “So, we keep having all these singles events.  But nothing is happening.  You’re all still single!”  Correct me if I’m reading this all wrong.  If I’m right, though – why is this?  Is it just that boys mature more slowly than girls, and we’re just ahead of the game?  Or do the boys not want to get married?  Is there anything we can do about it?  We’re not marriage-obsessed, but it is something we think about.  We don’t want to end up old maids 🙂  If it comes down to it, I might just have to marry Sophia.

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18 Responses to “A thought.”

  1. igaray Says:

    I always find your blog entries to be quite interesting (with the exception of a few ones that I would call “comic relief” 😉 ) – I am not quite sure how to properly comment on this post. I consider myself to be, to a good degree, properly prepared – I guess even that, though, does not appear to be enough. Perhaps there are deeper issues that need to be examined. I am by no means intimidated by a girl’s high education level – in fact, I welcome it.

  2. igaray Says:

    I hate doing this – adding comments to my own comments….I want to clarify the fact that I wanted to comment on the post but couldn’t quite approach it in generalities. I do not profess to speak for other guys.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hello Infinity.
    What you said in this post was interesting and important. On the LCG Singles site (where I post regularly) http://www.lcog.net/ similar issues have been posted, but no where near as well or as potently as you have expressed here. Could you possibly post your comment there (you would have to register)? Alternately, if you don’t want to post there, if you would allow me to post this as a topic as coming from a young woman in the church, but I would not do so without your permission.
    ESE (Qa)

  4. Infinity Says:

    Hey Ismael, I wouldn’t say you’re unprepared. Some guys are very well prepared – but they seem to be the minority rather than the majority. I was speaking in generalities, but of course there are exceptions.

    ESE – I think I’d like to get some feedback here first. I think it’s somewhat of a touchy subject, so I don’t want to go offending the masses 🙂 If there is positive feedback, I can post it.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    BlueRidgeMountainGirl posted at LCGS:
    Occassionally we all get “bogged down” with being single. Presumably all of us would like to have a mate. And we can all rattle off, “It is not good for man to be alone…”

    But being single is also encouraged in the Bible. As is being content.

    So. What’s good about being single? What attributes of singlehood just can’t be beat?

    This posting garnered 76 responses.

    Example response:
    Being single allows us to give more time and thought to our relationships. We already have so many: parents, brothers, sisters, church family. Some of our relationships still need forgiveness and healing.

    I find that the desire to someday have a mate gives us singles a special influence over one another. Guys want girls’ approval, and girls want guys’ approval. I think it’s a beautiful concept that we can use our influences to build each other up, looking out for each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
    Also, being single, our circle of inflence can include more people.
    _________________

    There are other postings there having to do with singleness, marriage, relationships, etc.
    But when I read your post here, I thought it was the most powerful and challenging post that I had read on this type of discussion. I believe it would be truly beneficial to those who read/post at the LCGS site to consider what you said and how it would pertain to their own lives.

    ESE (Qa)

  6. KiwiGeek Says:

    I think we’re all in favour of you marrying sophia…. *cough*

    Most of your essay thing I agree with. There’s one point that I think is important that you don’t make though – you say guys don’t seem to be motivated and that girls are – okay, that’s probably true. That’s certainly the prevailing attitude in todays society. But boys being lazy certainly isn’t the only reason that people aren’t getting hitched up in the church.

    I know of some very educated females in the church who I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy as a wife simply because of their over all attitude – what I’m trying to say is that education isn’t everying. Girls might be put off by what they perceive as a lack of motivation in guys. Guys are put off by the prevailing holier-than-thou attitude that girls in the church portray.

    Most guys are looking for a wife for themselves and a mother for their future children. If guys need to be preparing themselves to be able to support their wives and families financially, then wives need to be preparing to support their families that way.

    Oh yeah, and I’m married, so I know everything 😉

  7. Infinity Says:

    I agree – I don’t think education is everything (reference: the whole “piece of paper” conversation), either for guys or girls. But it is important, especially now when it’s very difficult to get a good job/career without a degree. I also agree that girls should be working on learning how to be a good wife, mother, home-manager, soccer mom, etc. I think to some extent those are things that are learned as you go, though. And I’ve also seen a small portion of the smarter-than-thou attitude you mentioned, although I don’t think it is very common.

  8. Desiree Says:

    ANNETTE! MY HERO!

    Ah, something I have been thinking about (and talking about) for a very long time. Very long. This very topic has been one of my biggest frustrations with guys in the Church. It’s also been a nice topic of conversation with my father and me.

    I’ve a few responses to some of the comments:

    RE: The post I made on the LCG Singles site– it was in direct response to… umm… some “complaining” about being single that was done on the site. I mainly wanted to encourage people to be content in whatever state they’re in.

    RE: Educated women. I’m sure I could be considered one of these holier-than-thou, educated women. I hate that. I really do. I do not think– and never have thought– that I’m better than anyone due to my education (or due to anything else, for that matter). I have found that the mere fact I am working towards a doctorate immediately puts in the mind of some guys (not all!!), “Oh, she’s one of those career types.” Then, from there it is inferred that I must think I’m better, I must not want to be a mother, I must not know how to submit, etc etc.

    Well, no. I want to be a mother more than anything in the world. And I want to find a man to whom I may submit more than anything in the world. But in the meantime, what am I supposed to do? Live at home and have daddy dearest support me? I’d drive myself (and my father) crazy! I’ve got brains, I’ve got talents, and I need to develop those until such a time that I get married.

    Further, my father has always taught us (his three daughters) that education is extremely important. For women, too. Why? Many reasons: 1. We may not get married. 2. Our husband may die (Then what? Become destitute because we didn’t plan for our future? For possible calamity?) 3. Our husband could turn out to be a scum bag.

    Beyond those reasons, formal education absolutely prepares women for motherhood, wifehood, etc. A lot of school is problem-solving. A lot of school is trying to balance work with school with this assignment and that assignment. I think Annette’s blog exemplifies that. We know how stressful her semesters get. And we also know that she comes through each one with stellar grades. I think that would translate very well into an awesome wife and homemaker. Nothing that could come up in managing a home would be too difficult for her or too stressful. Because she’s already learned how to manage life.

    This is far too long. I should just write a blog post.

  9. Desiree Says:

    One more thing! Sorry!

    I also by no means think that formal education (ie- college, ie- “piece of paper”) is the only means by which a man (or woman) may be successful. I think of two (and more) examples when I think of this situation: Jonathan Bryce & Joshua Penman.

    Jon Bryce is honestly the smartest (young) guy I know (Sorry, JB, but my Dad’s my brians hero). He didn’t go to college, yet he’s TREMENDOUSLY successful! He’s awesome! I wish more guys were like him!

    Josh Penman also didn’t go to college, but he’s certainly taken time to get certifications, etc etc and has become quite successful. He’s been a tremendous asset to the Church! A college degree wouldn’t have changed that. Further, I doubt he’ll ever have any problem providing for Jenny & their (future) family.

    So. The point of this is: I think what Annette (and I would certainly say this) is saying (and she may have said it in her blog…). Anyway… I think what we (single) girls are saying is not that we demand boys in the church get educated. We demand (is demand too strong a word?) that boys in the Church get motivated to DO SOMETHING with their lives. Get some direction, get some motivation. Not everyone needs college– and that’s perfectly fine. But do something, you know? Pick a life path.

    Done. For now.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Five simple words: Get to know older guys. Get out of your own peer group if you have to. In the group of married folks just above yours (25-33), a lot of younger ladies have married guys 2 to 9 years older than them. Sure, there are hurdles there, too. But where you’re wanting guys that are educated, you’ll get not only that, but wisdom that comes with age from a “gentleman” that’s older than you. And remember, it’s not always the guys that go to all the singles activities that are the ones you might want to get to know. The ones that are busy working or getting their education might have the kind of focus you’re looking for. This advice isn’t for everyone, but it worked for a bunch of us (my wife keeps me feeling younger).

    MK

  11. Infinity Says:

    Desiree – Exactly! Do SOMETHING! Anything! Just put your heart into it and be successful!

    MK – A good piece of advice. My sister married a guy 10 years older than her (in age only… :)) and they’re fantastically happy. To some extent the older guys do seem to have their act together more than the younger guys. Maybe it’s just a matter of time? I can vouch for the breath of fresh air that being interested in/dating an older guy can bring. But at the same time, that doesn’t always work out.

  12. Jeff Says:

    Hi there, I had to comment to this.. haha.

    I agree with you that the women in the church seem to have it “more together” than the guys, I’d say the same thing about myself.

    As for reasons, maybe I can help. I think it starts in grade school/highschool. Girls are encouraged more to do well in school, boys.. not so much. Laura Bush is trying to find out why the boys in our nations education system are failing at a higher rate.

    Why you ask? Boys get bored. Personally, I started looseing interist in school around 9th grade. Every year letting it slide more and more. Some classes I stepped it up in in my junior and senior years but over all… I just din’t care.

    8th grade, I made straight a’s except for maybe one class where I got a b or a b+ it was still enough to keep me on the a honor roll without honors classes. I had two classes at my highschool my senior year (I took the college option) if I believe right, I got d’s in both the classes even though i was capeable of getting a’s. Through out my life I’ve been great at math. Getting an a was nothing, then in my junior year I stopped doing my homework, but still pulled off a b and 2 c’s.

    Like it was mentioned, boys don’t seem to have the modivation. They just don’t care.

    The problem stems from society ignoring boys. If you want to get a student grant and your a white male… good luck. And because you didn’t care about your grades in highschool there’s no option for a scholorship.

    I was going to college to become an elcetrician. I ran out of money, couldn’t continue. I possibly could have taken out a school loan, however I know many people who have done so and its messed them up for a long time. one of my freinds, her ex bf has 50k in student debt… I don’t want that.

    You see, there are consequences made early in life that stunt the “growth” of men, in and out of the church.

    So what did I do when I couldn’t afford college? I fiddled my time away trying various things trying to get my feet on the ground, trying to find something where my feet wouldn’t slip out from under me. I found the best way to do this, was seek God. I had to get my relationship right with him (which had been messed partially because of the attitudes that penetrate our society.) I’m still not to the point where I’m anywhere near sucure in my life. And evey year I realize, more and more, I’m nowhere close to being ready to being married.

    Solutions to the Problem: As we know, its easier to solve an issue before it emerges. Thus its just as important to teach our boys at a young age (as it is our girls) the vitrues of hard work, morality, disipline, love, gratitude, ect…

    There are all boy schools that are very effective, they cater to how boys reason and learn. Male and female brains are wired differently, it would make sence that they learn differnetly.

    We have to remember that we have an advirsary that likes to attack us, divide and conquer.

    We do not have the quality of men these days that we did 50 years ago. Myself included. God says int he last days childen will opress their fathers and women will rule over them, what you’re seeing is the fullfillment of that prophecy. Knowing what is happening is half the battle.

    So how do we fix it? First, don’t allow the problem to contine withthe next generation, teach them to be sucessful, and help them. For the guys that are my age, we need to set goals, educate ourselves (this isn’t necessarily through college… remember most of the worlds millionaires were c students.) Most importantly seek God, make Him your buisness partner.(if God is for us, who can be against us?)

    I realize I don’t have all the answers, if I did, I’d have already won the game. Have my own thriving enterprise a nice house and a nice car. The fact is, is that money, assets, connections can all vanish over night. The only things that you will keep, no matter what, is your character and skill set. We have to learn and grow in grace and in knowlegde… the only way to truely do this is through God.

    Sorry this post was so long, suppose I could have put it on my site, but it’ll get more readers here anyway.

  13. Gary Says:

    Good post, Annette..I’ll just add a side-note that I think is relevant, and it’s perked my curiosity and interest.

    A High School degree in previous years was a pretty big thing. That was basically the standard..anything higher than that and you were a gem. Now? It seems that even a Bachelor’s Degree is obsolete and sometimes doesn’t make a difference. That is, higher education is demanded these days. Higher education demands more time, muuuch more money, more effort, and more motivation. We don’t all have the money to afford 6-8 years of college, and some don’t even have it for 4. Sure, you can take out student loans, but like Jeff implied, those pile up quickly.

    But to have a good, stable job, a high education level is a great kickstart for that. But that also means more time in College. It then puts pressure on the women (I think Desiree said it) to be prepared for the possibility of not being married. So, in one aspect, you can’t blame the guys for being intimidated by the vast amount of work ahead of them to be able to support a family. In another aspect, you’re right. The motivation factor also contributes to the majority of men not pursuing a goal or a career path.

  14. Desiree Says:

    “So, in one aspect, you can’t blame the guys for being intimidated by the vast amount of work ahead of them to be able to support a family.”

    Sooo… girls are not intimidated by the same challenge why?

  15. Karl Says:

    Girls aren’t expected to support a family.

  16. Jeff Says:

    And don’t forget the vast support system behind girls that is lacking for guys.

  17. Infinity Says:

    Girls might not be expected to be able to support a family, but it sure looks like they’re doing what they need to do to be *able* to support a family.

    And I wouldn’t say there’s a vast support system backing the girls. Unless you go into engineering, as far as scholarships go, being a smart, white girl doesn’t give you any advantage over being a smart, white guy. If you go into engineering, yeah, you can get support because of gender discrepancies. But any other program…I don’t think there are differences. I graduated 5th in my high school class (average 97%ish) and got nearly jack squat from my university. If there’s a vast support system out there for girls, whether financially or academically, I must have missed it along the way.

    And I really don’t agree that girls are encouraged more to do well in high school than guys are. I never saw this in either of the two high schools I attended (Canada and the US). Motivation, determination, and self-discipline are things you personally control. If they boys are getting bored in school, why shouldn’t the girls be, too? If the boys aren’t being challenged, or aren’t being motivated, why isn’t this affecting the girls as well? I don’t think you can blame this on the educational system. The decision to stay in school, do well in school, be successful academically and in a career, is one you make in your own mind. You have to make your own decisions and be prepared to take responsibility for them.

  18. Jeff Says:

    Oh, I agree people need to take responsibiliy for their actions. I’m not negating this fact. What I am doing, is reveling the reasons behind why guys are floundering.

    Of course you wouldn’t see it, you’re a girl. 😛 Seriously though, if you’re not in a situation it doesn’t come to mind. I know in the program I went to, if you were a girl you’d get free tuition and basically guaranteed a job. This comes from the ‘equality act’ or whatever its called. This basically says that employers have to hire 50% men and 50% women (if they are able to do so.) Well if you have 100 job openings, 50 of which can be filled by men and 50 by women. Well if you have 200 male students and 4 female students (in the specific field) the women are guarnteed to get a job where as the male students have a 1/4 chance of getting employment… based on credentials (but not on an even playing field with women) So you have this problem here, where you could possibly spend 20 – 100 k on schooling not have it completely wasted… where’s the modivation in that?

    I know I personally need to take responsibility, and I am… I’m starting to get my feet on the ground. Hopefully within a couple years I’ll have my own house, but I realize it’s really up to God to plot my course in life, I just have to do my part and do the grunt work.

    But yes there is a mojor difference in support for guys vs. girls, politicians are starting to notice this.

    As far as why guys are getting bored and girls aren’t? Men and women are wierd differnetly. If there was a school that tought young boys and girls to play with barbe dolls, the girls would be all for it, while the boys would proly be ripping the arms off the dolls. Women are socially orientied, thus have better speaking and over all language skills. Men are more orianted toward their spacial abilities, problem solving, and logistics. what you have happening is an influx of support for women to take over these carrers at the expense of men. (There is some crossover as well, people trying to get men to take over jobs that were seen as womens jobs – nursing – but many men are not interisted in these areas.)

    So in essence you have lack of modivation because you have lack of benefit, where as in previous generations you were guaranteed to get a job if you had a college degree.

    For me, I saw it as a waste of time. (I’m not saying its a waste for everyone, just me.) And I really didn’t want to spend four more years in school, especially when i stopped careing about school in highschool. The school system is broken, it’s been proven (more so in inner city areas with a majority of minority students – the teachers are failing to teach their studentsthe basics, reading writing, and math.


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