So this column was definitely the digital equivalent of kicking over an anthill.
Times and Seasons solicited responses from a variety of people. A few who prefer to remain off the record noted the following:
(1) The money line is “who doesn’t want children;” she pretty much guaranteed that no one would be interested in a temple marriage with her by taking that position.
(2) As a Church, we pity older single sisters and shame older single men. It is no wonder that the men abandon ship which, of course, only makes the situation worse for the women.
(3) There are some interesting similarities–but also differences–between what we ask of homosexuals and what we ask of single adults.
Two people were willing to share their thoughts at length. Chris J. says this:
Yesterday I celebrated my thirty-second birthday. While friends born in the mid-80’s jokingly remark that any number starting with “3” is a frighteningly large one, I feel like I’m still just getting started, and that my life is still very much in the offing. I’m fulfilled daily by challenging work, energizing hobbies, regular travel, and loving family and friends. But it’s probably clear where this is heading: I’m also single and somewhat adrift in a church—and perhaps more significantly, a culture—that isn’t quite sure what to do with me, and with many others in my shoes.
Not to worry, though; I’ve no plans to rail at the insensitivity of leaders and fellow members, nor to harangue any particular auxiliary, norm, or individual. And while my quandary may not be fully understood and appreciated by many of the Mormon families with whom I interact, I do feel cared for, noticed and relevant in my ward and in the Gospel writ large. One can’t judge the Church too harshly here, after all. It’s not easy for any institution to strike a balance between the unapologetic promulgation of an ideal and the consistent expression of compassion for the misfit. Neither the General Authorities nor the doctrines of the Restoration can counsel and comfort away life’s tendency to make things very messy sometimes. Nor did Heaven ever intend them to.
I write because last week as I grimaced through another long Friday afternoon in the office, my malaise was dispelled by this Modern Love column in The New York Times. Now, it’s become somewhat en vogue to tell a progressive periodical how the über-conservative sexual norms of the Church have frustrated one’s attainment of the Post-modern American Dream. (I get it. I read The New Yorker and listen to This American Life.) But despite the undercurrent of real bitterness that seems common to these stories of liberated angst and sexual rebirth, the challenges they describe are nevertheless real and undeniably daunting.
Yes, much of the article strikes me as little more than a well-crafted, post-hoc justification for a faith lost and a patience exhausted. And one can’t help but wonder how the author concluded that principle couldn’t possibly endure under the weight of her emotional fatigue. But I can still relate to the author’s frustrations on nearly every level. The feeling of displaced youth and arrested development that she describes are all too real in my own experience. I can’t accurately describe the sense that while I’ve accumulated all the trappings of adult life, my physiology (and its attendant psychology) feels stuck in second gear while the engine revs and is threatened by a slowly-emptying gas tank (pardon the analogy). There’s definitely a sense that my chances of being let in on the great secret wither with each passing year, and that my continued ignorance leaves me developmentally out of whack, with repercussions for my relationships of all stripes. It’s more than just being on the outside looking in, though; it’s the persistent feeling of unsettledness that leaves so many personal triumphs and tragedies—and the overall arc of my life—doggedly incomplete. It’s the fear that the longer I go without that ultimate relationship, the less-capable I am of having the faith necessary to trust in and commit to anyone for the long haul. And it’s the failure to make sense of it all that stirs the cauldron of doubt on a regular basis.
But I’m still undaunted. Of course this trial seems unfair much of the time; that’s what makes it a trial. It doesn’t fit with that recurrent testimony of the faithful sister who assures us from the pulpit that she eventually found the man of her dreams because “the Lord keeps His promises.” It may not easily reconcile with that one part of a patriarchal blessing, and it doesn’t dovetail nicely with the frequent Sunday School implication that an eternal relationship and sexual fulfillment are the sine qua non of mortality, and the right and expectation of every faithful Latter-day Saint. But it also doesn’t mean the Law of Chastity isn’t a real law of Heaven, or that there isn’t an explanation for my current state—even if that explanation is “That’s life”, or, in the parlance of my generation (Y), “It sucks to be you.” It is what it is: another of the countless perplexities this life throws at us. It would be the height of pride for me to assume that this trial trumps those of others, or that because I yearn so badly for something promised by Heaven to the faithful, that it must be mine no matter the cost. Or worse yet, to buy into the modern distillation of sex into just another step along the way to adulthood, to be experienced in circumstances of one’s own choosing. No, I’m confident that’s not how it works. I may not understand the mechanics of hardly anything of cosmic significance, but I do know two things: (1) Life is messy and (2) It’s supposed to be. We learn despite—and often because of—the chaos of contradiction, in endurance of the other, and in the agony of delay. We’re here if nothing else, to grow for growth’s sake, with periodic rejoicings and struggles serving as the clinical material that make our progress possible. And that growth, that most-central purpose of my existence, is something well worth fighting for—even if my mind, my body, and my faith must be dragged, kicking, screaming (and sometimes quivering) every step of the way.
LB is a mumblety-something single woman who sent me a series of emails responding to the article. Now, I realize this is long, but I think it is well worth the read. (You need to know that LB may very well be the most Christ-like person I’ve ever met. Remember when I was pregnant and the baby was diagnosed with a severe disability? LB said, “Every Monday [=her day off] is yours.” I will never forget that.) (Note that italics are used for quotations from the article.) LB’s thoughts:
The girl in the article will be easily dismissed by a priesthood leader because he will focus on the what she is planning. Many comments on Zelophed’s Daughter post headed that way with the argument that sexual maturity, at any cost, would yield more satisfaction. So the argument gets dismissed.
Why can’t someone who isn’t headed toward apostasy be published in the NYPost and complain that single populations are getting dismissed and marginalized in a culturally sweeping way. They could never have those marginalizing attitudes at my workplace, it would be called out as discrimination.
Why do my complaints have to be (ever) paired with this? I want to be able to speak up about an issue but not threaten to sit in a planned parenthood waiting room. Part of it is my fault. There isn’t an easy path way to speak.
It’s the same as reverence in Sacrament. Our meeting yesterday was way over the top. Two new single sisters (3 weeks old) both separately complained to me about how we are so disrespectful to Christ in our meetings and they heard we/Mormons don’t worship Christ and now they know why (noise in Sacrament). (Eye opener, huh!)
But I know if they talk to the Bishop, they will be lectured on being more patient and long suffering-everyone has gotten used to the noise levels. WE are literally the frog in the hot water, slowly getting hotter in an effort to include the worst of parenting skills in our community. One sister, a year old convert, ask me yesterday if Mormons just come to church because they are supposed to because she can’t ponder anything over the roar and soon will be doing the same because there won’t be any reason to come to Sacrament because she will have lost it entirely.
Same solution problem – she should be able to go to the Bishopric and offer solutions but likely she will be dismissed almost entirely. They will be more concerned about her testimony than about the noise in the Sacrament.
More to come-
There are two issues here that will yield different conversations as stand alones and a third conversation if conflated.
1) Never married mormons lack a “required to enjoy life in a mortal state” psychosocial maturity that can only occur with a physical experience.
2) Never married mormons are not easily granted a symbolic, social, psychological standing/presence/respect in a mortal community that could make the gospel congretation more like Christ.
3) Never married mormons lack a physical and social experience that will result in stunted maturity in the community at large.
If anything, uncommitted physical experience seems to stunt social and psychological maturity rather than the other way around. I can remind you that if the 1st and 3rd were even close to being correct, that the porn industry would be awash with self-realized, humanitarian, mature human beings.
So I’m not taken with her solution but am caught by her writing style and her keen description of what it’s like socially being a never married single mormon woman.
And though I can take on issue 1 and 3, I’m wayy more interested in issue 2.
(BTW: 2 doesn’t lead to 1/3 but if you are already in 1 or 3, it’s certainly a contributor).
I realize that that the porn industry and what this woman is planning is not synonymous, so that is a, probably unfair, comparison. BUT… her assertion/assumption that the physicality would promote maturity is deeply in question. Even when paired with “love” in a committed relationship sans covenants.
“But what did I know? I was a 35-year-old virgin, preparing for my own “first time,” which, incidentally, didn’t happen until I was well into 36.
I was not frigid, fearful or socially inept. Not overweight or unattractive. Didn’t suffer from halitosis or socialanxiety disorder. I was a practicing Mormon, and Mormons “wait” until marriage. So I had waited, spent the first two decades of my adult life celibate and, for the most part, alone. Because only after the trial of my faith would I be blessed with an eternal marriage, which, I prayed, would also blow my mind in the bedroom. “
1) “First two decades” seems to indicate broadly 20 years. Mathematically speaking, she is 35, which indicates that she didn’t have to wait 20 years unless she started counting when she was 15. Seems to be a dramatic flair, designed to attract an audience that can’t wait through a 90 minute movie to have a relationship consummated.
2) The fearful,socially inept, overweight, unattractive causal theory also muddies these waters tremendously.
1) I know lots of fearful, socially inept, overweight and unattractive women who are married and were so when they got married, so that’s not why people don’t get married. Turns out there’s lots of evidence that I can get married whatever (fill in the blank) I am.
But later she zings it. I-we all- would die to know what “it” is that keeps us from being married and are so anxious for someone to offer up something we could do about it.
The major discouragement in my life comes from not knowing what to do about it. And the recurring and easily socially reinforced fear that it is my fault for being so (whatever) and if I would only change, I could be married. So devastating and so constant.
I have countless experiences where I have a testimony that the Lord answered my prayers and tended my needs individually. I’ve been spiritually guided in locating countless lost car keys, why can’t I find a lost eternal companion. Sooooo painful,
An amputee stops praying to have their arm attached 20 years after the amputation. And there is no stigma attached to one who lives life fully without the arm. You can even celebrate them for being so industrious, positive, and adaptive. Not so with single status.
There is no reverence, celebration or recognition for managing without a spouse and being positive about it. No lessons in the handbooks. I’m never allowed to be proud of what I’ve done (living faithfully alone). No encouragement or support to live within my condition successfully, though many say “be happy where you are planted-but you have to want your arm back”. Sooo painful. Sooo confusing.
3) May just be me, but I don’t think it’s ever dawned on me to pray, at this stage at least, to be mindblown in the bedroom when I’m praying about eternal relationships. That also seems to be a dramatic flair intended to underline the physical issues. But nor do I pray to be mindblown in the bank account or mindblown in the comedy department either. (I would like someone who is gainfully employed and at least mildly humorous). I don’t know if those qualities are equally desirable but I do know that if I had spent the last two decades praying for money in a marriage, I might begin to have some slightly skewed thoughts about finances emerging from my emphasis on its importance.
“It never occurred to me that I would remain unmarried, especially in a system where marriage is not only a commandment, but also one of life’s primary purposes. Turns out, though, that there is no place in that community for a single woman who doesn’t want children.
My only available choice within the church was to wait for my reward in heaven, as Mormon doctrine promises that single members denied marriage, family and sex lives on earth will have them after death. Needless to say, this wasn’t a compelling argument.”
1) It doesn’t occur to any of us that we would remain unmarried. That’s the problem. There’s no preparation, no roadmap, no encouragement. There is no blueprint for remaining single for those of us who do. Why not?
You can adapt the chapel for people with wheelchairs without making everyone an amputee.
2) The compelling arguments remark is lost on me. I might want to be financially rich. I will have more personal funds if I didn’t pay tithing. Not paying tithing only becomes a compelling argument if I focus primarily on more money. If I want to be part of the relief and assistance of the poor, the argument becomes very compelling. It depends on your focus point.
3)Waiting to have family after death – Oh boy, here goes –
I have imaginarily threatened to march down the sacrament isle and tackle the next speaker I hear teaching false context, albeit not false doctrine about how there are some celestially necessary lessons you can’t learn single/childless/families in the (earth bound) church until you get unsingle/with child/with family (here and now). It’s rampant and dangerous for more than just the single members.
While there may be some lessons that we need, there is never only one way to teach. And if there is, the Lord isn’t a proponent of it.
Scriptures tell us that some prophets get burned, some are martyred on a cross, Moroni faces lengthy aloneness. Joseph is reminded that he had the bonds of friends around him. The Lord will teach all of us in different ways.
Imagine Abinadi saying to Alma/Amulek at Adom-ondi-amen “The Lord only values what I know from my earthly experience”. Imagine a conversation about “the best way” to seal your testimony with your blood between Joseph and Abinadi. (which wins the rock, paper, scissors game, fire or bullets?). A few people don’t even die but are translated. The only sure things in life are death and taxes and death is an exception for some. Only one way? Really? Where do we get that stuff?
PS: I want a family here and now, more than you will ever understand. Don’t misunderstand that. I have a testimony of families. I’m practicing “family” life in every way that I can. FHE, genealogy etc…
I just want to celebrate what I know from my experience wanting a family. It’s so valuable. It just doesn’t look anything like changing a thousand diapers or suffering through a labor pain. That doesn’t make it less. Just different.
So does God want me to remain single in this life. Don’t know. Can he teach me what I need to need to know in my single state and prepare me for celestial marriage. YES He Can.
I lack no more than anyone else. Save it be a welcome seat in a chapel rather than a “That’s saved for my children to have more room”.
In other words, what I’m missing most is earthly and mortal, not celestial. Those talks always imply that I’m missing a celestial piece that might be necessary and I’m not. He’s seen to that.
“…because she judged him faithful who had promised” Hebrews 11:11
“Most troubling was the fact that as I grew older I had the distinct sense of remaining a child in a woman’s body; virginity brought with it arrested development on the level of a handicapping condition, like the Russian orphans I’d read about whose lack of physical contact altered their neurobiology and prevented them from forming emotional bonds. Similarly, it felt as if celibacy was stunting my growth; it wasn’t just sex I lacked but relationships with men entirely. Too independent for Mormon men, and too much a virgin for the other set, I felt trapped in adolescence.”
She’s catching two salient issues here for single adults, especially “older” single adults.
1) The church community treats me as though I were not quite an adult yet, even though my personality overall is very un-teenager-ish.
Co-worker noticing my compact purse: I wish my wife would carry a smaller bag, it just looks so efficient.
Me: Smile with the compliment. I do try to be efficient in my daily life.
Stake President noticing my compact purse: That looks just like my grandaughter’s little dress up purse.
Me: Silently repenting before I say something rude out loud because this is not the first time today I’ve been compared to a child.
Me: I just don’t know what to do to increase my chances of getting married.
Co-worker: Have you tried online dating or group speed dating, etc….
Me: I just don’t know what to do to increase my chances of eternal marriage.
Bishop of another ward: I’ll tell you what I tell the 16 year olds…….
PS: 16 yr olds don’t get married and I don’t date anything like a 16 year old. The only commonality we have is that 16+ years ago I was one (a 16 yr old).
2) We aren’t stunted in growth by being single. We are stunted in growth by sin. If I’m single because I sin, I’m stunted. If not, I’m not missing anything the Lord can’t provide for me. We don’t “grow” the same way on earth. There’s no arrested development going on here (except that related to sin). Just different development.
AND-people who are married are just as at risk to being stunted in growth by mis-treating a marriage partner. So both parties are at risk of stunted spiritual growth.
2.a. There are growth opportunities that I can’t have single. Got it. But they aren’t the ones that will stunt me if I’m doing all I can towards the goal. Some travel the path in covered wagons, some travel in handcarts. Same destination. So if you say that those traveling in covered wagons was a more spiritual experience than those pushing the handcart, you might want to examine the premise. I might be learning all I need to know about families right now, even with the temporary lack of the eternal covenant of marriage. All to be given later, as I’m worthy.
2.b. We teach that you can’t “grow” without being married and having children. It’s just not so. But nor is it the case that you will never need it. It just isn’t available right now for some and that doesn’t make my mortal experience any less worthy or worthwhile in His eternal plan for me.
She’s conflated the stunted growth idea with how other people usually respond in general and the teaching that single’s are “stunted” by lack of marriage covenant experience. And then she’s thrown in the sexuality piece and compared it to infants being touched. Poor connection of data points, but she’s captured the pain, oh so well.
“I knew, as an unmarried, 30-something, happy-without-children Mormon woman, how it felt to grow apart from one’s community. I knew what it was to be fundamentally bound to an ill-fitting life, to be the object of pity and judgment, to feel I had no choice but to be the thing that made me “other,” and to be told that if I prayed hard enough, God would bless me.”
This is the kicker. How do you not grow apart? How do you tolerate being ill-fitting in the community that you need? How do you tolerate being the object of pity and judgment so often?
1) Palmyra Sister Missionary greeting – “You aren’t alone are you?”
EACH and every time I entered a missionary site, I got this greeting. I was there for a seminary preparation and several friends had been invited but were unable to afford the trip when I could get time off work. YES, I was there alone and enjoying it very much.
Museum Staff of several area museums in Palymra and Kirtland: That will be $5.00 please. We are glad you came. Enjoy your visit!
Folks – We aren’t helping here. I’ve got hundreds of these.
And before you respond by reminding me that everyone gets occasional comments that sting, yeah, got that. Made them myself, unfortunately.
But I bet I can match your every one with five of my own. Innocently offered, but always unaware of the impact. Constantly, constantly offered.
Imagine having people in the ward mention your spouse every time you introduced yourself, referring to them as “that person”. Not occasionally, but frequently. You would begin to wonder why that remark was made so often. Becoming self-conscious, you might begin to wonder what they saw.
Same way we try to help teens navigate peer pressure from those who don’t keep our standards, singles need help maintaining a sense of community with fellow saints constantly commenting.
Single sister just joined our ward 3 weeks ago. She’s well on her in life and told me the other night that she missed her old church. She said that she just felt so alone in this church and that she stuck out as a single and she didn’t feel that in her old church. (I don’t express my frustration ever to a new convert)
Three weeks, people, three weeks and she’s been hit already with it.
What can we do to express family values by INCLUDING this wonderful, now-Saint, who has joined our ranks and wants to be part and parcel of our return to Christ? She shouldn’t have to experience that. It shouldn’t be part of our ethos. That exclusive nature isn’t necessary in order to emphasize family and does harm to our (all of us) understanding of eternity.
“So why wasn’t I dating Mormon men? In a nutshell, the pool is small, and people marry young, for obvious reasons. The leftovers were left over: closeted gay men, porn-addicted virgins, along with the merely awkward, uncompromising and unlucky.”
1) People think you are being a snob/too picky, when they ask you if you are attending stake dances and you reply with a sigh and a headshake. Pool is very small and dwindles with a per-second, per-second speed, with every year of age. It’s a nice group of saints to go to a fireside with and you get cookies but it’s not a viable marriage environment. You’d have more luck going to a bar and trying to find someone gainfully employed who would convert.
I was stake singles leader in Salt Lake and I saw firsthand that it’s more a group that needs ministering to, than a group that is anywhere near a marriage pool.
Several years ago, a 37+ yr old single female friend converted to the church in another city. Inside her first week as a member, the bishop excitedly told her to attend the singles activity. She being new and obedient, thought it was an assignment to attend. She called me afterwards that night, almost in tears. She said that was the most broken group of people she had ever seen and if she had to go she would but didn’t want to have to attend that group to be faithful.
Stereotyping, maybe a little but it is a common discussion and attitude with singles and if it isn’t reality and the singles are being harsh with each other, we still have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Don’t send me to a half-way house to find a mate. And let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
And yes, happy, proud and privileged to go minister, befriend and work alongside the most broken people Liz has ever seen, but let’s not confuse that inclusion with marriage potential.
And more than well aware that I’m part and parcel of that broken group of people. That’s also very confusing and alienating.
Whatever is going on, contributes to the damage of men especially and there isn’t an easy help up and out of the damage that compounds as a single. We are left alone and adrift (and I’m not talking about sexuality at all).
“Obviously, I was left over, too — I was just never sure what my problem was. Until one man let me know. After overhearing a friend and me comparing our weekend horror-date stories, he walked up to me and asked, “You know what your problem is?”
No, I did not know what my problem was. And I was dying to find out.
“Your problem,” he said, “is you don’t need a man.”
I thought that was a good thing — to be able to take care of oneself.
He asked if I had a job.
“That’s your problem.”
“Men in the church are raised to be providers. We are the breadwinners, the stewards of the household. If you have all the things we’re supposed to provide, we have nothing to give you.”
“What of love?” I asked. “What of intimacy and partnership and making a run at the world together?”
“Nope,” he said. “We’re providers.”
Lots of conversations around this topic – feminine/masculine roles in dating and attraction
Unable to understand much of it in terms of roles, partially because I was not brought up in the church.
A good friend mused outloud over lunch one day
“You know, when Rick and I were married at 19, we had a toaster and a watch between us and the future was open to our imagination, your situation is different. You own property, retirement accounts become at risk, you stand to loose a great deal of your life investment both personally and emotionally if you find someone at your age. You know who you are and who you want to be unlike a 19 year old can even dream about. It’s a whole different process from the ground up.”
Finally, I had freedom to not be the single teenager. It’s different in this universe. Very, very different.
What I need in a marriage now is very different than what I needed in a marriage at 19. Wholly different. And it’s not at all about being set in my ways. It’s about needs and direction and life experience.
And I don’t need a man who thinks he might be good at taking care of a 19 yr old. I don’t need a provider. I need a husband, a partner, a kingdom co-worker.
Is that the problem? Do we stunt/not encourage men’s growth so they don’t see the need for changing their viewpoints and the women just grow up single and then there is no real role congruity, on top of a small choice pool?
Are we trying to court each other like we did when we were 19 and it just isn’t working well?
If the only problem was just the lack of choice, then every single male should easily be married and you would have only single women in church single activities. But the issue is bigger than that and I’m not sure why.
“Perhaps the failure was mine — I’m sure many church members see it that way. I was too weak to endure. They’ll say I should have waited another decade, or spent my whole life alone if that’s what God required.
I’m just unwilling to believe that’s what God wants for anyone, and was unwilling to continue spiraling further into a disconnected life, feeling abandoned, being discounted.”
1) The constant idea that you are a failure as a single is the worst of the worst tools in the devil’s toolbox. We would never do anything to have people with disabilities feel like they couldn’t be saved without mortally using their limbs or cognition abilities here on earth. But we freely remind singles that they are lacking and probably at peril.
2) Unwilling to believe that’s what God wants for anyone? Didn’t read much scripture did you? For being the “Good News”, it carries an awful lot of trial and heartache. People loose family, loose lives, get beheaded, hung upside down and nailed to a cross. In our own moment, people are starving worldwide and dealing with much less than we have been blessed with here on our continent. You have to be willing that He will ask each of us to suffer here in mortality and may ask some to suffer more than others and in vastly different ways. This can’t be the reason for disobedience, ever. It’s not His way.
Spiraling, disconnect, abandonment and discounted can be addressed, but not with her response. The disconnect to the community widened exponentially with her actions so it’s not a solution.
It’s extremely difficult to float the notion that I’m not eternally harmed by not being mortally married the same way it’s difficult to talk about baptism’s for the dead vs. taking the covenants while you are mortal.
We know that those who don’t have the opportunity will be offered full restoration. So why not put it off till then? Math 20:1-16
If everyone gets paid the same, why not show up late in the game?
When we have that answer for baptism’s and marriage covenants, we’ll have something to chew on. Meanwhile, we are all scared the world will have it’s way with us so we preach that if you don’t get baptized/get married while you are alive, you miss something eternal. It’s incentive based religion and we don’t know how else to encourage people not to wait to get married or wait to be baptized.
So we want everyone to be baptized (now) and married (now).
And we have, as a group, far fewer manners with those who have not been now-married.
We blame, assume, attribute motives when we don’t know and subtly ostracize because of our misapplied beliefs.
Here’s the other tension it causes.
I just read the Salon article on Mormon Mommy Blogs setting an appealing example. Great article and discloses the desire in people to follow His plan.
Imagine a plethora of Mormon Single Blogs and Salon liking that genre. Wouldn’t be a good thing necessarily. We’d travel, go to movies, sleep through the night without interruptions of sick family members, and go to the grocery store without screaming children. It’d look great on paper if we wrote well.
Adam fell that man might be and men are that they might have joy, but not if you are single?
So I can’t glory in the blessings I have outloud really without leaving a false impression that that is all there is to joy. And I’ve had more than my share of comments like “Well she (Me) can use any brand of shampoo she wants to because she doesn’t have to buy for the whole family.” “You got to go through airport security alone?, I don’t even want to hear about your trip at all.” etc….
I just feel really stuck sometimes.
But I like my life. It’s full of good friends and great promises.
AND, my life is unimaginably lonely and difficult, and that’s not a well understood situation in my community and that makes it even more alienating.
“We are providers”
Great. Love to hook up with a provider. But not if by “providing” means I can’t be self-sustaining. It’s not the provider part, it’s the negative insistence that I not also be a provider and contributer. And if that messes with roles, either eternal or mortal, then I’m sunk for sure.
Here’s why: . . . in a matter of six months, I’ve accomplished a new roof, a new furnace/ac system and a major car repair hiring, and DIY a dryer, outside faucet, disposal, fire alarm, porch light and kitchen faucet. All on a low budget, high quality, thought out dime. And it’s not the first time I’ve DIY’d life.
So you want to be a provider, come on in, we’ll add a gazebo in the back yard because I can’t do that alone. But don’t insist that I not be able to be self-sufficient or a creative problem solver.
And if that is what is happening, it gets much more pronounced as you get older (past 24 or 25 when things start to demand some self-engineering or many discretionary funds) There is no reasonable way to maintain much degree of helplessness, even if I wanted to.
And how is any of that essentially different than sewing clothes or coming up with baked dishes nightly. It all takes a little creativity and study but not fundamentally different to unscrew several screws on an electrical cord attachment than re-threading a needle on a sewing machine. Placing a grommet is not that much different than a placing a caper in a seafood dish so it tastes extra special. Matching a red electrical cord with a red wire on a ceiling fire alarm just isn’t that hard and may be easier than braiding a small child’s hair when they don’t want to be still.
And I see this hubris as dangerous as people who refuse to marry or have kids because they enjoy money a little too much. You can’t want someone else to be lacking in order to have a role to fill and marry them.
But if it is a cultural misunderstanding that males must be providers to be covenant people, then we better start warning of the dangers.
Well, then. Lots of food for thought.