What Is the Meaning Behind the Katherine Philips Poem "A Married State"?

The Katherine Philips poem, "A Married State," tells women that marriage is not an automatic ticket to happiness. The author is telling women that they should not allow their religious beliefs to make them feel as though it is their duty to find a man to marry.

This poem dates back to the 17th century when women would marry, have children and tend to household duties. Philips' suggestion that women not do this was very radical for the time period. She even went as far as to suggest that having children and a husband are a burden to a woman, so if a woman wants to be happy, she should stay single.