Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review: Get Married

A book with a very interesting title entered our home last week. I just had to read it before it went back to the library. The title is simply Get Married: What Women Can Do to Make It Happen. Now, how's that for a thought-provoking title? What interests my children, interests me, so I picked it up for a skim reading.

I was surprised to find Candice Watters isn't your typical make-marriage-your-primary-goal woman. In fact, when her epiphany occurred, she was just starting a graduate program in public policy at Regent University's School of Government in Virginia Beach, Virginia, after having worked on Capitol Hill for two years. She was sitting in class one day under Dr. Hubert Morken, a professor of politics, listening to him articulate all the ways the foundations of our nation's constitution were being eroded.

The author just had to raise her hand: What was the solution?

You can imagine her surprise when he answered, "Get married, have babies, and do government!..."

Thus began the future Mrs. Watters' journey to putting the pursuit of a good and goldy marriage a first priority in her life.

I must say I was impressed with the rationale of this author. She makes the point I've heard several others make that if you want to get married, then act like it. If you do not intend to make a career out of your educational pursuits, then don't build your life around them. Though Candice never goes so far as to discourage higher education, she does deflate the myth that young women must prepare for "Plan B."

Our own daughter has been counseled by well-meaning people that she must go to college in order to prepare for "the worst-case scenario" of marrying a man who will not or cannot provide for her. Yet, there is always the possibility (probability?) she will never marry and cannot think she will depend on her parents who "won't always be around." She must obtain training -- only through taking college classes, of course -- in a lucrative, self-sustaining career.

Candice has a very good answer for this erroneous way of thinking:

Even women who deeply desire marriage find themselves pouring themselves into their life as a single women with little thought or planning for their future as a married one. They're hard at work on their careers and financial goals -- their "Plan B" as many call it -- just in case Plan A [marriage] is delayed or never happens. . . The problem is that Plan A requires moving toward oneness -- interdependence -- with another person in marriage. Plan B finds you becoming increasingly independent so you don't need another person. It's easy to see how actively investing in B could undermine A.

Part of this trend flows from a fear that men aren't trustworthy; that they'll inevitably let women down. . . This expectation often drives women to invest more in Plan B than Plan A. But as a wise friend told me, "When Plan B gets all the attention, it becomes Plan A."

It's what stay-at-home daughters and their parents have been trying to tell the rest of the Christian community all along.

It was also refreshing to hear an accomplished and well-educated young woman speak about the importance of parental and mentor involvement in the courtship process and the role older women in the faith play in good, old-fashioned match making. Her emphasis on community and networking are something all young people who are seeking godly mates should pay attention to.

I highly recommend this book for both parents and young people as an encouragement to follow God's plan for His creation from the very beginning and for His own people in particular.

"Get married, have babies, and do government!" It's the answer for our age and the hope of our future.