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    Maken’s Plan of Action

    April 25, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]M[/dropcap]aken comes up with a step-by-step plan of action for single women who are single and hating it in chapter 13 {Enlisting Agency} of Getting Serious About Getting Married. But first, she begins the chapter with a defense. She explains why she thinks her plan works:

    I am proposing that limited and guarded access to women produces responsible, wise and efficient decision-making from men, while unlimited and unchecked access produces complacency and generally unwise behavior–exactly where we are today.

    Before I go on, I want to point out that there are other paths to marriage. I already explained that the route I took was more akin to contemporary dating patterns than what Maken is talking about. There is no denying that contemporary dating “works” on some level, because many people still get married through the process. But there is also no denying the statistics, which tell us that the longer the dating process has been entrenched in the culture, the more prevalent is protracted singleness. In other words, the dating model may ensure that some get married, but it does not encourage marriage as much as other models. Because of this, more and more people are finding themselves alone.

    Maken seeks to change the culture, not to give a little list of tricks to “make dating work for you.” Maken also explains how agency worked for her. But to know that story, you will have to read the book! Here are Maken’s instructions for single women, using the order they appear in her book:

    • Move back home. Two things happen when a single woman lives alone: she become unbelievably lonely, and she is completely without male protection. Regardless of what the feminists will have you believe, a woman without male protection is actually quite vulnerable. Maken mentions once in the book that a woman living alone is more likely to be raped, but I am sure there are other vulnerabilities as well. Maken explains that God created people to live a family life. Biblically, there is no gap where the average person lives alone for years on end. There is living in the home as a child, then living in the home as the spouse and {later} parent. People are created to live in families. Families will ease the loneliness and offer protection.
    • Get a male father-figure advocate. Ideally, the single woman would have her own father provide the protection and guidance as she seeks a husband, but Maken acknowledges the broken family structure of today and explains that substitutes can be found within the church if necessary. This “advocate” is not just passively standing by to offer defensive protection when necessary. Rather, the advocate is actively working {with consent of the woman, of course} to pursue marriage on her behalf. Maken explains that some may call this “arranged marriage,” but her experience felt more like a blind date arranged and protected by parents rather than friends. Maken’s guidelines for agents are as follows: find an agent that is strong {he will stand up for you when you feel silly doing it yourself}, use him as a scout {seeking that future husband out}, have him discourage disparity {to keep you from marrying an unfit husband out of loneliness}, and use him to establish that scheduling order we talked about yesterday.
    • Add in agency, if necessary. The father-figure agent may not know any males who would make a fitting husband. Match-makers {yes, they still exist!} and online services can be enlisted to help the process along. People do this, but the difference is that all of this is supervised and guided by the father-figure agent. The agent may even be the one to place the advertisement or screen the prospects, depending on the desires of the woman. In the book, Maken gives a list of ways to “make agency work for you.” These are guidelines that will keep a single woman from wasting valuable time.
    • Have your parents help you. Even if you do not or cannot move home, be honest with your parents. Tell them how they can pray for you. Ask them to sympathize with you, and then seek their assistance. I recently had a friend who married a man from her father’s men’s Bible study! Her father set up a blind date to introduce them. She was unsure about it all in the beginning, but he wooed her heart and they have now been happily married for a month. It is amazing how much a father can help if you let him know you want him to.


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