by Vaughn Ohlman from Perservero News
A friend passed me on a link to an incredibly popular post on marriage… knowing that I write on such things. And I read it, and wanted to cry (It’s Ok. I didn’t actually cry. And it was written by a girl so I’m allowed to be a bit emotional about it, all right? Calm down there in the back!). It was incredibly poignant.
It was a post by an unmarried older woman. An ‘old maid’. A woman who had taken the ‘purity pledge’ and believed for years that ‘true love waits’. And had waited. And been disappointed.
These young ladies breathed in the false fumes of the dating and courtship movement. ‘Just wait’ they were told, ‘and the perfect husband will come along.’ But he never did. Their knight in shining armor never arrived.
I’m sure that most of them are under the impression that the church’s view on this has been the same down all of the generations. That the church has always taught ‘True Love Waits’, even back in the days when it was written in Latin on purity rings: “Verus Amor Manet”.
But it wasn’t. They didn’t. Far from saying ‘True Love Waits’, the church fathers (the protestant ones. Catholicism is another issue.) told the young people to, ummm, marry. And the church and their fathers were supposed to make sure this happened.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that True Love doesn’t wait. True Love can only come from Christ, and can only be exercised in obedience to Christ. And Christ, via Paul, commands True Love to marry. That is, unless it has the gift of celibacy (Hint: If you are writing blog posts about your frustration in not being married, you don’t have the gift of celibacy).
True Love does not wait, it marries. But unfortunately the Church isn’t teaching that. And not only that but it is teaching a very particular kind of ‘waiting’. It is teaching that waiting, in and of itself, is a ‘good thing’. That it is a ‘waiting on the Lord’. And they teach that the waiting serves the purpose of helping the young man or woman grow in Godliness enough so that they qualify to get married. If you aren’t married, they teach, it is because you aren’t Godly enough. If you would only become more Godly, then God would grant you a husband (or wife). 
This leads many women, especially, to begin to follow the path of seeking Godliness, not for its own sake, not for God’s sake, not out of love for Christ… but in order to ‘win’ themselves a husband. They pray, write, and work to make themselves ‘good enough’ for the glorious gift of the perfect husband. The one designed just for them, the one that will meet all of their needs.
(But, of course, one of the most important ways in which they teach each other that they need to be Godly is in ‘learning’ that a husband will not meet all of one’s needs. Indeed that is one of the triggers proposed for a woman becoming good enough for a husband: learning that he will not meet all of her needs. So in order to get the husband which will meet all of her needs she needs to learn that a husband will not meet all of her needs. The pathos in some of these blog posts is just incredible.)
Scripture teaches something which is near to being the opposite of this. While the modern church is teaching our young (wo)men to become perfect in order to get married, Scripture teaches them to get married in order to become perfect. Perfect as in growing in Sanctification. Perfect as in being obedient to God’s commands.
God shows us that an elder of the church learns to be an elder, is proved in his qualification, through the furnace of family life. “If a man know not how to rule his own house,” Paul asks, seemingly sarcastically, “how shall he take care of the church of God?”
Paul desires that the young women, “marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. “ Saying that because of disobedience to this precept, “some are already turned aside after Satan.”
Comments open below
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce