August 6, 2004
James Bond epitomizes the modern manly hero, all about love and nothing about marrying. Big screen or small screen, Hollywood romance bypasses the altar and goes straight for the bedroom.
This is hardly new. Since the dawn of human history, the foot-loose and fancy-free male has always been a part of the landscape. What has changed in today’s world is his apparent total lack of interest in “settling down” in front of the homestead hearth with wife and children…a family.
Bond is not alone in his quest for independence. Everything in America seeks to convince us that marriage is an anachronism, like scuffed shoes thrown in the back of the closet waiting to be tossed out with the next spring cleaning. Why would any young person, especially a young man, want to get married, we ask ourselves.
A recent study has tackled that very question. And it has given us both surprising and encouraging information about the marriage goals of the modern male. Its conclusion? “Most men are ‘the marrying kind.’”
The study underwritten by the National Marriage Project looked at men ages 25 to 34 who were married or who planned to get married. What were they looking for in marriage? Why did they get married? Did they find what they were looking for? Were they happy?
Yes, the study reports, they are happy. “The overwhelming majority of married men (94 percent) say that they are happier being married than being single.”
As we might expect, the men say that marriage has helped them become more financially stable. But they also have a lesson or two to teach Bond. Because in spite of Bond’s on-screen dalliances for sexual pleasure, seventy-three percent of the married men in the study said that “their sex life is better since getting married.”
In general, life improves for men when they marry, setting them on the road to healthier and more productive lives. Marriage is a “transformative event.”
Men benefit from marriage, and so do the rest of us. We benefit from men who set aside risk-taking lives to adopt higher levels of accountability, sacrifice, and commitment toward their wives…and toward their children.
Marriage is good for men. Indeed, marriage is good for everyone. Married men who commit to loving and supporting the mothers of their children form a foundation for the future health and happiness of the next generation.
Thankfully, the “Marrying Kind of Men” are at the forefront of efforts to define and defend marriage. Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage, experienced firsthand the hardship of living without his father. Daniels’s mother, abandoned by her husband, was unable to leave crime-ridden Harlem, where she and Matt were both violently attacked in separate incidents.
Today Daniels leads a broad coalition that works on a wide range of legislative initiatives to give public support to marriages. The Alliance for Marriage supports efforts to eliminate penalties for welfare recipients who marry, reduce what is often called the “marriage tax'” and make the workplace marriage-friendly.
The work to defend marriage today is no less of a fight to save the world than James Bond’s 1962 mission to save the world from Dr. No. Daniels and the many other men leading the charge are the real heroes who outpace 007 in courage, character, and vision.
If the world is truly going to survive, it will depend on the faithfulness of these men and those who cheer them on. We owe our future to the men who sacrifice it all…
…who put it all on the line,
…who are content with the thrills and chills,
…of being husbands and fathers,
…The Marrying Kind.
Last Week’s Question:
Q: Did Bond ever marry?
A: James Bond marries La Contessa Tracy de Vincenzo in the movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But the marriage was short. Tracy was killed by a drive-by shooting on their wedding day. Her character was portrayed by Diana Rigg.
- Wedding Date: January 1, 1962 at 10:30 a.m.
- Wedding Location: British Consul General’s drawing room.
- Planned Honeymoon: Kitzbühel in Austria.