A Man Drought? A Girl’s Perspective

Young Christian women have been lamenting the perceived man drought that the West is currently facing. Even the ABC has chimed in on the conversation with an article titled Australia’s ‘man drought’ is real — especially if you are a Christian woman looking for love.

Men account for 49.6% of Australia’s population but only 40% of its churches.

And many young Christians in churches don’t have a resilient faith. Research from America shows 63% of young people who grew up in the church will drop out between the ages of 18 and 29.

So it’s no surprise that many of the young men that haven’t yet departed seem to have a dullness or lack of vigour and conviction. Some even appear to be a little too feminised. Christian women want to marry a man that shares their own beliefs and values, but is it really that difficult to find a man of conviction?

I spoke with a 20-year-old young Christian woman to hear her perspective.


What are you looking for in a man?

A Christian man who has similar values.

What are attributes that you like?

Humble, not into porn, strong-minded, principled, masculine and protector and leader. Not ignorant of what is going on in the world culturally and politically. And did I say masculine? I’m an outdoorsy person, so I’d like someone who shares the same interests.

In your circles, at least at church, what are the prospects of finding a man like that?

My chances are low. Because if there was a guy like that, he might have similar values, but not many are interested in what’s happening in the world. I find a lot of guys at church weird and suppressed. Every guy seems to be into porn.

I unpacked some of the issues around porn consumption in my last blog.

How would you define masculine?

Strong protector type guys who take the lead. They have their own opinion and don’t just go along with what everyone else is saying, men who think deeply about issues and stand on what they believe even if it’s unpopular. Courage and bravery are also very masculine. I don’t like men who lie, it’s not manly.

Why do you say ‘suppressed’?

Because they don’t seem to have any spark. I have my suspicions that it’s because they watch porn and are guilty. Some have trouble looking a girl in the eye or just having a general conversation.

What’s your problem with porn? Do others feel the same way as you about it?

I think porn is disgusting and I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch it. Girls I know have varying opinions, but they mostly don’t like it. I have a friend who said that if her boyfriend looked at porn, it was a deal-breaker in the relationship. Since that time she discovered that her Christian boyfriend was watching porn and she has compromised. She had already compromised her values by sleeping with her boyfriend as well. Of my six Christian girlfriends, five are sleeping with their boyfriends. All of their boyfriends watch porn.

Have you been on a date with a Christian guy? If so, how did it go?

I’ve been on few dates with a Christian guy from my church. He was a about five years older, had a solid job and very outdoorsy, so I thought it could work. He was good with conversation but he had no strong ideas of his own. I was surprised at how uninformed he was about current issues. I also didn’t like his compromise on abortion, he used the same old line, ‘A woman’s body, a woman’s choice.’ He could at least have had some thoughts of his own, even if it was opposite to mine, I’d respect that. After being raised in a Christian home and a Christian school, I thought he’d understand and appreciate the high value of life. When I challenged him on it, he didn’t want to defend his position. [Laughing] That was the deal-breaker for me.

What are your thoughts on the feminisation of men? Do you think there is any substance in it?

I don’t think the churches are doing a good job of teaching boys to be men. I think guys are too emotional and easily offended. Outside the church, in mainstream when I was at school [2 years ago] there seemed to be this underlying belief that guys can be girls and girls can be guys, that’s basically what we were taught on the gender spectrum. There was no solid distinction between the sexes.

Why do you think so many young people, guys and girls, leave the church after they finish school?

I don’t know the answer to that. To me church seems boring and irrelevant. I’d like church to have robust discussions and apologetics to help us in today’s world with all of the cultural narratives coming at us and the pressure that we are under.

Are you seeing any trends with young men of your generation?

They’re too affected by how they’ll be perceived by others. They don’t take strong stands on important things.

Finally, some have argued that there’s actually a ‘girl drought’ in the sense that it’s harder for a principled young man to find a like-minded young woman. What are your thoughts on this?

I actually agree with this because girls are easily swayed. From my perspective, girls place a lot of importance on getting and keeping a guy, and for the sake of the relationship they’ll compromise. I’ve seen it so many times.

So there it is, one girl’s perspective whose experience also agrees that we have a ‘man drought’ in our Christian churches. Both in physical numbers and Christian commitment.

Obviously Christian singles will be looking for different qualities in a potential life partner. But basic Christian values and connection to a church family should be foundational attributes.

The church has a task on its hands to be culturally relevant but not compromise, and to raise strong, resilient and godly young men.

John Eldredge in his book Wild At Heart defines the challenge that Christian men are called to:

A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family. He must have a cause to which he is devoted even unto death, for this is written into the fabric of his being.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong!

___

Originally published at Youth For Christ Australia.
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash.

By |2021-04-29T10:22:58+10:00May 7th, 2021|Faith, Gender|9 Comments

About the Author:

Cindy McGarvie is National Director of Youth for Christ Australia. She met her husband, Rod, in the Australian Army, and together they went on to serve as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for twelve years, raising five children on the mission field. Cindy and her husband live in Brisbane, Australia.

9 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Oaten May 12, 2021 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Great to read a very personal Christian perspective on this interview. Well done Cindy

  2. Anthony Silver May 12, 2021 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    So there is a “man” drought?
    What about a woman drought ?
    I grew up in the Salvation Army, and left them in 2008, to join a Pentecostal church.
    Left that church in 2014 to join another Pentecostal church.
    Most women have been/are younger than me.
    In 2022, I will be 40.
    The last time, I had a girlfriend, was in 1998.
    Single women simply don’t talk to me; well, not regularly.
    Whether its because I’m not handsome enough or not masculine enough, I don’t know.
    Or whether women just don’t like my overall appearance, I don’t know for sure.
    Seems to me that the “church” environment, is the one place where singles may have a lot difficulty meeting, and getting together.
    Unless the singles know each other outside of the church environment.
    And there may also be a stigma of singles, in Christianity, where families are prominent.
    That’s my experience and observation.
    Thankyou.

    • John Cleverdon May 15, 2021 at 11:39 am - Reply

      I would agree with the comment about there being a ‘woman drought’, at least at some churches.
      I’m in my 40’s as well, and have been at a Presbyterian Church for more than a decade. The two churches in the parish have a much larger number of single, never-married men (like myself) than single, never-married women.
      It may also depend on the denomination, see: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vo9up3q2fmstga4/AAANS4zxr-fOv4S_T8wqOlqUa?dl=0&preview=2016Census_Religion4+Vic+SSC+XLS_Gender_Chart.pdf for a chart I did back in 2017 based on 2016 Census data for Victoria.
      I also wonder if churches are becoming feminised, then ‘real men’ may avoid them.
      At the same time, one needs to remember that girls / women are definitely not as innocent as may be suggested above. I only need think back to my time at secondary college (and a lesser extent, at uni) where girl’s behaviour was almost as bad as the boys.
      Throw in the quotes such as at: https://warwickmarsh.com/2016/04/02/a-revolutionary-act-2/ and it is also a case of ‘can women be trusted?’ (given so many seem to be man-haters, or at least won’t give men a fair go).
      As I’ve told some of my workmates, “set a high standard for what I look for in a wife and you will find that no women can reach it”. And even ‘Christian’ women can be self-centred.

      • Warwick Marsh May 17, 2021 at 9:55 pm - Reply

        Thanks for your kind words!!!!!! We have problems on both sides (Men & women) but if we solve the man problem we solve the whole problem!!!!!!

      • Mary June 25, 2021 at 4:23 pm - Reply

        I agree with your observations and lament the feminist indoctrination so many receive at school. I think many girls have forgotten or never known what it is to be a woman and truly feminine. Many women don’t realise their strength and attraction to men is in being a lady, not in trying to imitate or be “equal” to a man. We need to rediscover and value again family life and motherhood. I have great empathy for men trying to find a good wife these days.

  3. Stuart Millar May 13, 2021 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Great article Cindy! Am forwarding this to my 14 yo girl and 16 yo boy!

  4. Warwick Marsh May 17, 2021 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Fantastic article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Gerardine May 31, 2021 at 12:03 am - Reply

    John Cleverdon and Anthony Silver, you’re the men. Go and get yourselves wives. It is your duty. Yes, some girls are not as innocent as you may like, or they are picky, men haters, well, you need to keep looking, asking. The girls can’t do that. I know so many very godly unmarried Christian women who are just waiting for a man to take the lead.

  6. Jules June 25, 2021 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Comment on ‘A man drought’
    Generally speaking I think that there is a basic failure in church communities to actually connect with God. Theology has generally become corrupt and the apostolic faith has largely gone, whether in Catholic or non catholic churches. Come back to a connection with God, and the values will follow. When it comes to sex. Lets be consistent and direct. Sex is for marriage and only for marriage. God is not looking for perfection He is looking for purity. Meaning, learn from mistakes confess sins, by accepting they are a sin, go back to Him through prayer scripture and Eucharist, and don’t compromise values. Porn wont even be a temptation if belief in marriage is held in high regard. Boyfriends and girlfriends having sex are not Christian relationships so lets not pretend they are. If God is out of the relationship then sin infiltrates.
    There are consequences for sin. So lets not be in denial.
    Men are men, woman are women. Go back to Genesis and its very loud and clear. Motherhood and fatherhood are paramount. Get rid of men and women and you get rid of the value of motherhood and fatherhood. Take a look at Mary and Joseph and take a leaf out of their book. Its all in Luke and Mathew. Lets go back to old fashioned values, live them and believe them and all will be well.
    Look at pre baby boomer couples. They are a credit to their generation. There is found true love. Chastity was socially accepted before marriage and implicit during marriage, and it does not mean marriages are without hardships or flaws but they are forever. Less emotional baggage and less to deal with. And true friendships were made before relationships were consumated. Women were respected.
    Our society is as anti Christian as ever before so complete counter culturalism is required.
    Find the apostolic faith and everything will work out. We can’t do it without God but with Him miracles will happen.

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