In so many of our new dynamic Christian Churches, many of the young (and not so young) men are not marrying. Instead they see their life in utilitarian/individualistic frameworks (success, accumulation of assets, personal growth) and despite its efforts, it appears these churches are not succeeding in shifting them to a more relational framework to balance out their lives (except in utilitarian relationships, which they mistake for a full, well-round relational context. )
I believe what I am seeing within the Christian Church is a new kind of Peter Pan. Not the eternal boy who lives to play, but eternal young man who cannot make the transition to true adulthood; who seems stuck at the transition point of getting ready to be, but never fully becoming, which our utilitarian/existential/self-absorbed culture of the young, upwardly mobile, wanting to be successful, almost men seem to have embraced.
I see these type of young men all around the Christian Churches and the larger the church the more likely I am see them, gathered together in self-reenforcing groups. Interestingly, it appears that dealing with old fashioned sexual sin through marriage (it is better to marry than to burn – Paul) has been the primary thing to move these young men into marriage. But so many them have been able to use our uber forgiving, non-confrontive culture to avoid facing that issue for far too long, if at all.
Do you think this is a valid observation on my part, or am I suffering from from reading too much into the situation? If so, what do you tell the young Christian women who want a husband, but dispair of getting married while these young men are all around them? I believe this is a growing issue in our churches.
Update: This issue is further developed in Agape vs Eros, the next posting.