One of the hazards that happen if you hang around this part of the interwebz is that you get really cynical and misanthropic. I look at what is going on and despair when I should not.
Consider for a second the pick up scene. Son one talked to me (when he was 15 at the time) about classmates going down to the student bars and trying to pull girls. He considered them stupid, and putting themselves at risk. (Well there was a context, One of the 17 year old prefects had just hung himself after he was told to provide for his pregnant girlfriend. Last year’s tragedy at school). And there are plenty of young people who are trying to live Godly and circmuspect lives. I’m not of their generation, but I know them through my kids. As Kathy noted:
I am not a young single woman but I know of quite a few. My own nearly sixteen year old daughter has lovely friends. Really nice girls… I have spoken at length with many of them..
And yes the young women that I associate with here in Oz are not mercenary types. I did not say that they do not exist.( Both mercenary men and women DO exist.) Just that I do not encounter them.
My husband has older brothers whose daughters are married. All nice women who married nice blokes.
Much has to do with upbringing. I have always said this.
In the older age group, there are plenty of women who are trying to make the best of it around their families and trying to live godly lives (something we all fail at, in some times, and succeed at, in others). Magistra describes this beautifully
I no longer have the husband but I’m still home-centered until the boys are grown up and gone. I didn’t have any idea what a sinner I was until I married and, especially, had children. I still am confronted with my sinfulness as I am lazy, impatient, unloving, selfish, etc. with my children every single day. I am also daily thankful beyond words for the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the gospel.
The traditional model IS the best and I agree with Alcest that the modern crop of singles who think only of themselves cheapens the idea of the single life. The apostle Paul had good things to say about that vocation and if I am to remain single the rest of my life, I can already see several areas of ministry in which I can participate once my children are grown. What a privilege that would be!
I am testimony that being a SAHM is no proof against divorce but I also have watched the Lord take care of me and my children through various avenues so that I can still follow the vocation He gave me when I first married and bore my children. He is faithful even when husbands and wives are not.
This is the hardest job I’ve ever had (my part-time job is a breeze in comparision) but it is also the most satisfying in many ways. I wouldn’t trade it for the world or a boatload of money.
Now, I have met some people like Magistra. Most of these women are not interested in any romance at present. They have their hands full: with kids, with jobs, with life. Raising kids, particularly small kids, solo is hard.
What we tend to forget is that the hard things make us grow. They make us mentally, physically and spiritually fit. If we want to climb hills, we have to train for it. If we want to be Godly, we have to train at it. And marriage is one of God’s training places. At times all this is messy. Saint Velvet commented on the same thread. (SAHM is an Americanism — “Stay at home mother”)
It’s an interesting study in bigotry to be a sahm who was formerly “career” – add to it a weird family dynamic that essentially declares you a traitor to the sisterhood and a burden to your poor old husband (I love how people assume they know anything about our finances) and you’ve got yourself a tragedy fit for the stage.
… Feminism has compartmentalized the efforts in order to minimize them – there is no “all in” – you’re either a wife or a mother or a homemaker or a business person/employee – few women see themselves in the traditional role Alte describes, they sort of live a la carte existences, call it multi-tasking, and then wonder why they’re so strung out. There’s no flow, and the purpose of WHY we do these things has been relegated to the merely utilitarian. “I shouldn’t have to clean the toilet/mop the floor/carry out the compost because I’m too fabulously educated/beautiful/successful” is just a strange mindset. There is the wonderful list of all the things a man should be able to do, in a generalist spirit, but most women seem to refuse this sort of integrated notion.
Can you tell this is spring cleaning week and I feel the need to validate my existence?
One of the things about American secular life is the emphasis on having it all and doing it all is conflated with presenteeism. You have to be present — at work, in sports, in the culture (attending the opera and art museums) and also keep the home to a Martha Stewart standard while looking like someone who can prowl down a catwalk.
The idea of seaons in a life is lost. The idea of a couple working together to make things flow is lost. And the fact that growth is hard, and childish things have to be given up… is lost. Our children have judged the current secular world as full of fools. Have we?