We need to be done with dating, and return to courtship, parental consent, and some degree of arranged marriage.

Let’s pick one of your forefathers who lived sometime between 50,000BC and 1,700AD. At random we’ll pick Throck, who lived between that river over there and this mountain over here sometime around 13,650BC. Great[x625]-Granddaddy Throck had a daughter, your Great[x624]-Grandmother Maralay, whom he knew was his daughter because she was born to his woman Mara whom he had guarded jealously ever since he had carried her to his hut more winters ago than he can remember.

Throck loved his daughter dearly as fathers usually do, and he was loved by her in return as good fathers usually are. In time Maralay began to fill out as girls will, and being that she was the spitting image of Mara, she began to attract the attention of men generally. Before long those men, both suitable and not-so-suitable, began sniffing around Throck’s hut.

Is it true that men will want to lay with Maralay? Generally speaking, yes. Is it true that Maralay likes the attention of men and might be seduced into laying with one of them? Again, yes. Wisdom and youth are not often companions. Will wicked men take Maralay by force if they can? Sadly, yes. If Maralay should unite with a man, might she become pregnant? The possibility certainly exist.

Should Maralay have a child, will Throck love the child? In all probability, yes. Granddaddies usually love their grandbabies.

If Maralay cannot provide for the child, will Throck and Mara? Again, grandparents usually will, as many a grandparent today can testify.  

All of this is human nature 101.

Could Maralay becoming pregnant be a problem for Throck? Yes, because then he would have another mouth to feed and another helpless being to protect. The fact is that however many generations it’s been since Adam and Eve sat around their first dung fire outside the garden of Eden, or since man-thing first climbed out of the trees, our ancestors have made a precarious living on this planet. Want and insecurity has been the rule, not the exception. 

This is the reality for Throck, as it was for his ancestors and would be for his descendants right on up to the modern era, our unprecedented prosperity today notwithstanding.

So what is he to do to avoid this problem? Well, first of all, Maralay’s desire for a man and men’s desire for her, as well as Throck’s desire for a posterity, are all perfectly natural imperatives. But Throck’s self-interest is also perfectly natural, and if he doesn’t see to it, he will be left holding the bag. So what does Throck do?  He does what fathers have always done.

With threats, and a club if necessary, he keeps the wolves at bay. With exhortations, threats, and a switch if necessary, he keeps Maralay’s primordial instincts in check. He then waits for the key reality to play to his advantage, namely, that men still want Maralay and will pull a freight train to have her. Or fight a woolly mammoth rather. And if blocked by Throck’s club and Maralay’s sense of propriety (we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt), they will seek terms.  

So here comes your future Great[x624]-Granddaddy Crot to pay a visit to Throck, who sits outside his hut with his club laid across his lap. Crot and Maralay have been exchanging looks and crossing paths an awful lot lately. Mara is onto them though and has alerted Throck.  

Crot lays a nice pelt at Throck’s feet as a sign of his respect and request to parlay. ‘Mr Throck,’ he says, ‘I’ve got to have her. What’s it gonna take?’ Now Throck knows Crot and that he comes from a good family where the women are sweet and the men brave, and he would not object to having him as a son-in-law.  

‘Crot,’ says Throck, ‘you’re a good boy and Maralay fancies you. If you will vow before your family and mine and the whole tribe that you will lie dead before permitting harm to come to her or y’all’s young’uns, and that you will provide what they need, and that you and your kinsmen will come to the aid of me and mine, and make our fight your fight, then I’ll give you Maralay and you can carry her to your hut.’

Crot, who was prepared to give the last twenty years of his life, runs off to give his kinsmen the terms, who accept them readily, all agreeing that Maralay is a good girl and well worth having in the family.

This is natural marriage. Not just a hook-up between a man and a woman, but a solemn union of families to the benefit of all.  And where this paradigm does not prevail, family disintegrates. And when family disintegrates, society disintegrates. As we see here in America today. And dating is at the root of the problem.

Dating is a modern institution without historic precedent that, like its parent feminism, has been a disaster for our culture and should be rejected root and branch. It inevitably leads to promiscuity that debases women, leaving them jaded and scarred, for despite what feminists would have us believe, a woman is indeed an emotional being whose natural inclination is to form a powerful bond with the man with whom she lays. Promiscuity stretches and erodes this ability.

Secondly, the inevitable promiscuity of dating has resulted in extraordinarily high rates of illegitimacy (to say nothing of abortion) with its attendant social dysfunctions and costs.

Thirdly, dating is play-marriage. All the fun but none of the responsibility. The problem is that the habit of going together and breaking up doesn’t end at marriage. ‘Breaking up’ has become, in effect, divorce practice.

We should return to the timeless and natural paradigm of courtship, parental consent, and arranged marriages and to the Christian precept that marriage is sanctified before God and not to be broken by man.

M.C. Atkins

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