Where have all the men gone?

November 22, 2010

What does a young lady do that wants to be married but hasn’t been asked? World Magazine reported on one option:
“Growing old in a culture that promotes families and denigrates old maids, a 30-year-old Taiwanese office worker has decided to marry the only person she knows will have her: herself. Chen Wei-yih of Taipei has posed for wedding photographs, rented a reception hall, and plans to have a wedding and reception amongst 30 of her friends, but Chen doesn’t plan on having a groom anywhere near. ‘Age 30 is a prime period for me. My work and experience are in good shape, but I haven’t found a partner, so what can I do?’ Chen asked reporters before noting that she’ll be taking a solo honeymoon to Australia.”
I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t grab me as a great idea. The vows would be weird, to say the least, and the image of this lady feeding herself wedding cake and then smearing it all over her own face, smiling for the photographer, just makes me sad. The vision of her running through the birdseed shower, all alone, just leaves me empty. The thought of her checking into the bridal suite by herself reminds me of the college girls of yesteryear sadly saying they were going to have a “rotic evening.” That’s romantic without the man.
Her inappropriate response notwithstanding, there is a question this story evokes: Where are the men? Why are men waiting, on average, until they are 29 years old to get married? What are they doing besides getting a good education, finding a career that will feed a family, and pursuing a wife? Oh, wait, here they are, I found them.
They are playing video games. They are social networking (not to be confused with face-to-face social interaction). They are watching TV and using TiVo to record the episodes they missed while playing video games. They are playing fantasy football (not to be confused with the real game with real men in the backyard). They are watching videos online. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation study, the average teenager in the U.S. spends more than seven and a half hours a day consuming media. Every day. An author of the study, Victoria Rideout, said, “That’s more than 53 hours a week — more time than grownups spend in a full-time job.” The study also stated, “Only 28 percent of kids cited parental rules on TV watching and only 30 percent were subject to rules on video game use. In addition, only 36 percent of parents limited kids’ computer time.”
Where are the young men who are preparing themselves for the challenges and the joys of marriage and parenthood? They are in your house and in mine. We may not be able to change the culture in the nation, but we certainly have a powerful platform in our own homes. I challenge the dads out there to help your young men put away their toys and pursue manhood. I challenge the young men out there to do what it takes to get yourself in a position to get married. I challenge the young men and women out there to keep yourselves pure, withholding until your wedding day what can only be given once.
Marriage is wonderful when believers enter into that estate to please the Lord and bring him glory. Writing to husbands and wives, Paul said of marriage, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
Pull the plug on the games, men, and pursue something that will last.

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