What should Christians do in order to reduce fatherlessness, abortion and divorce?

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Can Christian women expect non-Christian men to transform into faithful providers after they are given recreational premarital sex?
Will non-Christians men act like Christians after being given premarital sex?

Last week, I tweeted something that was very popular, although I got some disagreements with it. I tweeted that if we encouraged women to not have sex with men before the men married them, then there would be almost no fatherless children.

Here’s the exact tweet:

Fatherlessness is caused by women’s poor choices about men, sex, and marriage. If women married good men before having sex, there would be almost no fatherlessness. Strange that some “Christians” have sex before marriage, when that is prohibited in the Bible.

Now, the reason I focused on women in this tweet is because many women expect premarital sex to lead to a relationship, and eventually marriage. It is good for them to want a relationship and marriage. But the bad boys that many women tend to prefer aren’t choosing premarital sex in order to get to marriage or children. They have no desire for anything beyond the premarital sex. It seems reasonable to me that if I help women to see their mistaken view, then it prevent a lot of fatherlessness (not to mention abortion and divorce) later on. If women prefer men who commit first instead of those who want commitment-free sex then we will less sex outside marriage, less fatherlessness, less abortion.

I decided to expand on my tweet in this post.

We need to teach young women that premarital sex does not cause men to become faithful husbands

Even women who have recreational sex with a lot of different men have this expectation that it will lead to relationships and eventually a committment, in which the man makes all their dreams come true and does whatever they want to make them feel happy at all times. This isn’t marriage, of course, but it is what they imagine that giving a hot bad boy premarital sex will lead to.

Here is what one 26-year-old writes: (language warning)

Age 19-22 Some boyfriends are somewhere in here. But it was where my body count really took off. If a guy liked me, which I now understand, was simple attraction, I thought sex would seal the deal, and they would get to know me more after, and fall in love with me. Let’s all pause to laugh together at my naivete. I promise you every (almost) guy, I thought I could have a relationship with. It never happened. At best they were regulars. Long-term I had 2 serious boyfriends.

A lot of women choose hot bad boys because the hot bad boys give them feelings “in the moment”, and impress their friends. They think that marriage is supposed to make them happy all the time, and so they want the bad boy to commit. This is why so many young women give the bad boys sex, to make the happy feelings last. And many think that they are on a path to marriage with the hot bad boy if they can keep him around by giving him premarital sex of cohabitation.

But is this what marriage is about – making the woman feeling happy in the long-term? Of course not. Marriage is about self-sacrificial love, self-denial, self-control, faithfulness, and raising children. So, women should be taught to choose men who prepare for actual marriage (men who have chosen chastity, gap-less resume, frugality, mentoring, no drugs or alcohol, apologetics). These traits are directly related to the responsibilities of a husband and father in a marriage (fidelity, love, fatherhood, provider, pastoring, etc. Fathers and pastors should be aware of the research about marriage success, and be able to support their claims with studies, for example the studies showing how women’s number of premarital sex partners affects her contentedness in her marriage, the marriage quality, and the marriage stability.

That’s the point I was trying to make in my tweet, but what I got in response was a bunch of off-topic impractical man-blaming eisegesis that doesn’t solve the actual real-world problem.

Marriage requires self-sacrificial moral behavior

Fathers and pastors need to teach young people how to check a mate for the ability to behave morally, which is a necessary pre-requisite for a marriage commitment. The bare minimum for moral behavior is a theistic worldview. A Designer of the universe. Objective moral laws. An immaterial soul that allows free choices. Accountability when you die. And meaningfulness of moral choices because of that ongoing relationship with the Designer in the afterlife. Moral behavior depends on the existence of God, so the mate-chooser should know evidence for that too, and be able to evaluate the mate on his knowledge. The goal here is to teach young people that they cannot expect non-Christian mates to act like Christian mates. And giving a non-Christian mate premarital sex will infuse them with a Christian worldview that grounds morality. Young people should be taught to prefer mates who have demonstrated the ability to act morally in situations where it goes against their self-interest to be moral. After all, once the mate-chooser chooses a mate, every immoral thing he/she suffers was a result of his/her choice of mate.

The goal is to prevent harm to children

Some Christian women disagree with my goal of stopping fatherlessness and abortion by telling women to make better choices. Instead, they want to support women who use premarital sex to try to land a hot bad boy.  They say that if the woman’s sex-first plan doesn’t work out, that’s not her fault, because all hot bad boys should feel obligated to marry after being given premarital sex. One woman wrote me 2500 words in response to my tweet to tell me (repeatedly, and in great detail) that the Bible is seen as  an authority even by hot non-Christian bad boys. If this is the kind of advice that young women are getting from older women, then it’s no wonder we have a 42% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and 1 million unborn children being killed every year.

But I don’t think that encouraging women to feel good about making feelings-based choices by blaming men will work to reduce fatherlessness. When you’re dealing with hot bad boys, they don’t care about the Bible, and so you can’t try to convince them to do anything that the Bible says. The only solution is for women to pass them by, and invest in men who want to make a commitment first. If women leave the bad boys alone, and concentrate on marriage-minded men, then we won’t have so much fatherlessness or abortion.

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