18 March 2008

The bacon and who's bringing it home

Concordian Sisters agree that barefoot and pregnant is the way to be, like it or not. Or you don't have to be barefoot, but after putting socks on so many other people, who feels like putting on her own? Our platform is submission to God and our husbands, and specifically to the scriptural mandate to be fruitful and multiply to whatever extent God sees fit. We try, or try to try, to be the women that God and the church say we should be. Take that, feminist professors!

Now. The sine qua non of CSPP is that there is a husband out there bringing home the bacon. And here is where it gets tricky, because people who are young and in love want to get married. Sometimes they're still in college. Sometimes they're looking at another year or two or four of seminary. Students don't make any money. You do the math (don't forget to factor in tuition and insurance).

It used to be that a father would ask a prospective son-in-law how the latter planned to support the former's daughter. Does anyone do this any more? It seems strange to me that a lot of young women are effectively being asked to put their husbands through school--especially the seminary--and no one in the church, even us crazy folks, says boo about it.

As usual, I'm chief of sinners in this department. I got married a week after graduating from college to a guy just starting at the seminary. To make matters worse, I spent his time there vainly pursuing a pointless degree of my own. Obviously there wasn't room for a baby in our lives. Looking back, I'm inclined to ask myself, what business did we have getting married?

Why do I bother thinking about this? Because someday one or more of our little babies are going to be young and in love. What do we tell them? You can't get married until you're done with school, even if you've got six years to go? To engaged people, six months or six weeks is a purgatorial delay. But again, there was a time when a man wouldn't carry anyone across his threshold unless he owned that threshold fair and square and had the wherewithal to hold onto it. Jacob waited seven years and a week. Why do we think it shouldn't be like that for us? This troubles me.


Pr. H. R. said...

Funny you should mention that. Just the other day I was talking to some salt of the earth parishioner type and he was telling me about his son.

Solid kid, early 20's, just finished school and working in the construction biz. Good guy. Ought to be a babe magnet. But he says he doesn't want to get started with all that business until he's settled, debt paid off, house in place, etc., for just the reasons you note.

In short, I think normal people are better at this than ministry types. "Come on, honey, take one for the Ministry" is a very tempting and self-important excuse to send your wife out into Cubicle Purgation every Monday morning. (Confiteor tibi. . . mea culpa, et cetera.) Same with Law school and Doctor types and the chasing of the Shining PhD.

But with the majority of my Bud drinking, Ford-driving, hard-working parishioners: "Now, son, just how are you going to feed my little girl?" is still a very live question.


The Rev. BT Ball said...

Are there issues in the home when husband and wife communicate via blog?

Pr. H. R. said...

We gave up face to face communication for Holy Week.

Sometimes when I'm working from home upstairs the most reliable form of communication is IM.

And hey, weren't you the guy who served as sponsor for a baptism via cell phone?


Reb. Mary said...

I was just thinking back to those days, too, as I flipped thru our dear seminary's alumni mag and saw the pictures of the cute young hardworking studious (indubitably contracepting) couples such as we ourselves used to be. (Pot, kettle, etc.)

I want to be black and white on this issue...it's hard. Better to marry than to burn? But best to demonstrate the ability to be faithful to and with each other by delaying marriage if there's really no room for kids yet?

A hard case where longer-term NFP is permissible? But hard to argue for a hard case if the situation is to a degree self-imposed...

Don't date till you're ready for marriage with all its responsibilities, including providing for potential kids. But...if you go to a Christian, dare we even say synodical, college, for lots of us, that was the best possible place to find a like-minded match (whether we were looking or not!). And most of us graduates from such places weren't financially ready for kids upon graduation--whether there was more school ahead or not. Then what? Biblical precedent or not, long engagements stink, and are fraught with temptations of many kinds.


But it's so true: the ministry types should at least be asking the harder questions that the "salt of the earth" types seem instinctively to know are important.

Reb. Mary said...

"try to try," lrol (laughing ruefully out loud)

Rebekah said...

I'm indebted to Bart Simpson: "I can't promise I'll try. But I'll try to try." LOTS of mileage out of that one . . . .