Candice Watters, Marriage, and Food

Candice Watters wrote an article recently that I read with great interest, for it gives us a look into the mindset of folks who will support Albert Mohler’s views on marriage. It is amazing to me how blinding this position is that most people cannot even understand the basic criticisms of their position, and proceed to deal with a criticism that is not even a criticism, and then present a behavior that is exactly what we are criticising, and yet, completely miss what we are criticising.

The case in point is the opening line of this article. It reads:

A common argument against my understanding of marriage runs something like this:

The hope of marriage is great, but it’s not something you should think about much or it will take away from your relationship with God. It will become its own god, reinforced by any number of chick flicks, romance novels, TV shows and movies. Besides, since when is marriage the road to wholeness or fulfillment? God should be our priority and our heart’s desire. Our ultimate goal shouldn’t be marriage but God’s will.

Now, notice what the quote doesn’t say. It doesn’t say anything about wanting to get married. It also doesn’t say anything about taking action in order to get married. However, notice how Candice interprets this:

But the objection goes even deeper than that. Doesn’t actively looking for someone to marry keep us from focusing on God? Isn’t faith in God’s ability to bring our mate to us enough? Doesn’t looking for a mate tell God that we don’t trust Him to provide for us?

Now, I just need to ask a simple question. Where, in the preceeding summary did any of this come from. She says that the objection goes “deeper.” It simply does not. There is nothing wrong with anyone actively looking for someone to marry, and it was just simply was not part of the summary paragraph.

However, what is worse is the attitude that is given later, for it expresses the very attitude I have said is the heart of the idolatry of this position:

Our desire for marriage is similar to our need for food. It’s part of our design. Obsessing is never a good thing in relationships or food. But saying you’ll never eat again can lead to anorexia and saying you’ll never think about marriage (and by default, potential marriage partners) can lead to irresistible temptation.

There you go. Marriage is like food. We need it every bit as much as we need food. Now, what I want to know is, how is that not “obsessing” about marriage? I mean, what would happen if someone wanted a new television, and they said, “I need that new television like I need food?” We would all say that they are obsessed about getting their new television. About the only argument she could make for saying that marriage “is part of our design” is from Genesis 2:18, but even that doesn’t work.

The point is that this is a whole lot more than being intentional and setting goals. If that were all Candice were presenting, I don’t think anyone would care. The idea of marriage as a need like food I think is what is fueling a whole lot of this “delay of marriage” as a sin stuff. Now, I will admit, Candice Watters is not near as bad in her behavior as Debbie Maken. However, when you view something to be as essential as food, nothing is going to be below you getting it, including the shaming of men, and the hatred of any man who does not give you what you want. Remember last year at about the same time I reviewed her book how Candice Watters erupted with Maken-esque language towards a poster named Craig M. To these folks, when a men do not pursue women, apparently, it is as if they are starving them.

I came across this interesting passage when I took a class on Exegesis of Genesis. It was amazing how this whole “delay of marriage” is a sin nonsense, and all of the nasty language seems to be very similar to the sin that happened to Lot and his daughters. Here is the story:

Genesis 19:30-36 Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. 32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father [NASB].

Notice how desperate these women were to get married and have kids. However, in this case, their desparation led them to, not just add all kinds of commands that are not found in God’s word, but to do something even more detestible…commit incest with their father. That is why I am concerned about this whole attitude of marriage being like food. Aside from the fact that it is totally unbiblical, it is also dangerious, in that people will do all kinds of wrong things to get something that is essential to their design. Now, it most certainly doesn’t make it right, even if one does it over food. God has told us to trust him in all instances, and, even if he wants to take us in death by starvation, he knows what is best for us. It is at those times when tests of faith are difficult.

However, we are not done with the strangeness. Candice next says:

Christian marriage doesn’t usurp our union with Christ, it enhances it. I need God more than I did before I was married. The struggle of living with another human day-in and day-out deepens my need for God. And it’s only when I try to get all my needs met in my husband that I’m truly disappointed.

First of all, one might ask how it is that the struggle of living with another human being day-in and day-out deepens her need for God, but the struggle of wanting to be married, and yet, having nothing in sight did not deepen her desire for God. And where in the world is she getting the idea that she needs God now more than she did when she was single? Again, we are getting a picture of the thinking of these women who promote this perspective when they were single. You need to understand that Candice has been heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism. For example, in this article, she quotes from Francis de Sales, who has often been called the patron saint of anti-Calvinism. This greatly effects her reasoning. As a Calvinist, I believe that, not only does a single person need God just as much as a married person, but both single people and married people need God so that we can even have our next breath. In other words, the very next breath you take will be only because God grants it. That is something that someone so deeply steeped in Roman Catholic thinking on this subject is going to have difficulty understanding. It is not that we need God for our every day struggles [which, incedentally, both married people and single people have], but we need God for our very existence so that we will be having those struggles in the first place! For a person to say that they need God more in marriage does not show the extremely deep level to which we are dependent upon God.

However, I would also point out the man centered nature of all of this. To raise something like marriage to the level of food is to make something that you want the center of your existence. It is, in essence, to make yourself in your own image. That is what has always struck me as extremely man-centered about this position. When we start thinking of ourselves in terms of our own wants and desires, that is when we start having these problems. That is why I say that this position is idolatry, because it talks about us being created in the image of our own desires, rather than in the image of God, and that is what those who promote this whole position have done.

Now, I am not saying anything new here. I have said these things many times before. The problem is that Candice continues to misunderstand her critics. Also, worse than that, in the context of knocking down a straw man argument that has nothing to do with what we said, she then proceeds to do exactly what we have criticized her for! Again, I don’t know whether it is an unwillingness to see, or what it is. However, this article is a perfect example of the inconsistency in the thinking of these folks.

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One Response to “Candice Watters, Marriage, and Food”

  1. ladyelaine80 Says:

    Thank you. As a single Christian woman, I am absolutely amazed at the level of mischaracterization of those who disagree with her. I, for one, do NOT want to force, guilt, coerce, or manipulate someone into a relationship with me. Furthermore, if one looks as Christian marriage as an “enhancer”, then that’s tantamount to arguing that Christ is not enough(when SCRIPTURES clearly dictate otherwise).

    What’s funny is that this type of thinking feeds into Christians engaging in “missionary dating” and spouse hunting in college because they are so blindly focused on marriage that they chuck all common sense out the window. Sometimes I wonder if Candice is projecting her own personal experiences and then promoting it as the sound counsel for singles.

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