04 February 2009

Vortex of subgroupery

Totally weird convo here. Seriously, what planet are we living on? (good-natured laugh ha ha ha ha ha!) Anyway, I like TQ's note on the concerns for cultural subgroup over world at large. I've made my way through a lot of subgroups to get to this one, and I don't know that this is one most people would want to dive straight into. There are, or so I've heard, women who never wanted anything other than to get married and have kids. I imagine that would make a lot of things easier as long as you've got a nice cozy subgroup to affirm you about it, and if my daughters are so inclined, I will rejoice for them.

But I would never want my daughters to think there's something wrong with them if they want to go to a school worth their time and money, pursue an interest, develop a professional skill, etc., or that they're just doing those things to kill time until real life starts. As working for a man, not for the Lord, as it were.

I wanted to get married, but surveying my depressing options, I concluded early on that I'd never find somebody who met my extremely stringent requirements and so found other ways to occupy myself. Then I liked those things and giving them up was hard. That's part of the marriage deal for men and women alike. There is life for women before and/or without marriage, and there's no point in failing to enjoy and enrich it by going through it half-heartedly as if it didn't count.

Then there's the problem that prospective husbands these days usually don't go knocking on doors to inspect the embroidery of the young ladies of the house and check their gravy for lumps (girls, I can help with the gravy. Email me). I'm bracing myself for the possibility that my girls may have to leave our town of 950 to meet a nice young confessional Lutheran man with suitable notions of vocation and chastity (his own especially). They might have to go to Indiana! Or, good gracious, Michigan!

Let's also not rule out husbandolatry and childolatry as likely hazards of natural inclination toward hearth and home. Ain't no bosom pure enough sin can't pervert it. Here's a sometimes melancholy Dane to demonstrate. (But don't read it if you're pregnant, nursing, weaning, TTC, menopausal, perimenopausal, having a fat day, or otherwise hormonal. Is that everybody?)

If God grants a woman a husband, may he also grant the her grace to leave behind those things which must be left, to whatever extent they must be left (ditto for the husband). For whatever amount of her life she is without a husband, may she find full contentment in the life and gifts the true Bridegroom has given her, Himself above all.


Monique said...

Rebekah, I love this post.

Hubby and I were actually having this very conversation just a few days ago. You precisely put to words what I was trying to say.

Especially this part:
Let's also not rule out husbandolatry and childolatry as likely hazards of natural inclination toward hearth and home. Ain't no bosom pure enough sin can't pervert it.

I find this so prevalent now that the pendellum is swinging away from the femnist ideology that was so prevalent with our mothers.

Monique said...

Err! I meant to say :

The pendellum is swinging away from the femnist ideology that was so prevalent with our mothers GENERATION.

My dear mother is by no means a feminist.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Well said, Rebekah. Thanks for putting things into perspective so nicely.

There is a special challenge, I think -- as TQ has noted with reference to sub-groups -- that the pendellum, so to speak, is not only swinging to one side or the other, but tends to be all over the map. And that, not only in the culture at large, but within one and the same sinful heart at the same time. In any case, trading one sort of legalism for another is no solution.

The perspective of faith, it seems to me, perceives what it means to be a man or a woman in Christ and His Church. It is that sacred Matrimony which lends its high and holy significance to marriage and childbearing, and at the same time grants comfort and joy to those who are neither married nor given in marriage here on earth; to those who are childless, or bereft of spouse or children. The virgin, the wife and the widow, the barren and the mother of many, all live as fellow members of the one Bride of Christ; so, too, every Christian man, of every age and station in life. That's why marriage and family matter, and why they do not matter absolutely.

Reb. Mary said...

I have so many random and sometimes evil thoughts on this topic that I'm saving them in case that half-drafted post ever comes together >-P

Rebekah said...

Monique--strange which peoples' opinions we decide to care about, no? It's all about milieu.

Father Rick, nice on absolutes. And I suppose you're the only person who could read that story! :D

RM, do it up. I want to read it.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Indeed, such stories are written for fathers, as well. They are more difficult to live than to read. But we are helped in our weakness; and though we do not understand, the meries of the Lord prevail.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Truthquestioner's cultural subgroups point was, indeed, very helpful to the overall perspective of this issue. My comments at the linked discussion concerned the world rather than our own subgroup.

My family is blessed to have a very like-minded "subgroup" of Lutheran friends. We live in a very populated area of the nation, and we are blessed to attend a church where dozens of the finest conservative Lutheran college students attend (from Hillsdale College, the most conservative college in the U.S.). Even if my daughters decide to limit their college experience, they still have LOTS of contact with plenty of prospective young men, at church and elsewhere.

Speaking of subgroups, especially the relative availability of prospective conservative Lutheran spouses, here is an interesting map. And here's another map. But, before you think that these maps tell you where all the conservative Lutherans are, put this all in perspective by looking at this map. Until you look at population density, the other two maps might make states like Nebraska look like the place to find thousands of conservative Lutherans.

Rebekah said...

Last time I checked, IL had the most Lutherans of any state and NE had the most per capita. But having done some driving in NE . . . maybe we should just take a family vacation to Marshall in 15 years and hope for the best. :D

As for the world, we interact with it so rarely that I'm not sure our kids would understand they were getting hassled. :/