Nuances of marriage data: it’s really not that hard to get married

From what I’ve seen, there is a lot of taking the fact that women are generally only attracted to the top 20% of men out of context. I also don’t agree with much of the hopelessness discussion from the comments on Jack’s post.

In a vacuum, women may only be attracted to the top 20% of men (specifically visually on OK Cupid). However, it’s not the case that women are only attracted to just these 20% of men. I definitely fall into the bottom 80% for not being conventionally physically attractive, but as we talked about in Meet Cutes – are they common I am attractive in certain niche circumstances like when I’ve been in a teaching or leadership position.

Now if we look at the never married data from reddit and Dalrock we see a few things.

Overall, it used to be in the US, as with most cultures, that 95% of women got married in the past. As the data show, that is trending toward maybe 15-20%. Maybe a bit higher. However, what is also not mentioned is the fact that marriage is being replaced with mainly serial cohabitation for many which is basically the same thing for the non-Christians.

Analysis

Approximately 80-85% of women still make it to marriage. The percentage is slightly less for men since men generally have a better time getting remarried after divorce than women to non-married. So let’s say it’s about 80%.

Of this 80%, approximately 20% of those are sexless marriages and approximately 40% of first marriages end in divorce. It’s hard to say how many of those sexless marriages ultimately end up in divorce, but I’d say it’s probably most of them. Given how pro-feminism the US and rest of the West is growing (pretty much all media, culture, and functional egalitarian and “complementarism” in the Church), I’m actually surprised the 60% of first marriages are permanent which is approximately half of the population: 80% * 60% = 48%.

70% of the population is now overweight or obese, which also means that with 80% of the population getting married maybe about 25% are normal and underweight while 55% are overweight or obese. This would leave approximately 5% of the underweight and normal weight population not getting married, and 15% of the overweight and obese not getting married. This is approximately correct from my obesity analysis.

As Novaseeker frequently says: Just look at the people at Walmart who have gotten married to see that looks don’t really matter much in just getting married. Usually those who are overweight or obese tend to have other things going for them like being funny or charismatic, but even then 55 out of the 70% of the population that is overweight or obese is still getting married which is about a (55/70 = ~68%) or 70% marriage rate. Yes, ~70% of people that are overweight or obese still get married.

This leads to a few conclusions:

  • It’s not that hard to get married: just don’t be in the bottom 20%. It’s pretty easy to get out of the bottom 20% as not being overweight or obese is most of the way there already. If you’re actively working on other physical appearance (being muscular, good diet, grooming, style) and on personality (not being conversationally awkward, learning to be the head, leading conversations, etc.) then you’re definitely not in the bottom 20%.
  • If you want a permanent and non-sexless marriage: just don’t be in the bottom 50%. Half of the battle is learning how to be a good leader since the vast majority of relationships are steeped in feminism and inverted roles already. Most divorces are initiated by wives (losing respect and not wanting to have sex with their husbands). If you keep up a good physical appearance and are actively engaged in your mission for God and strive to obey God’s marriage roles and responsibilities (be the head!) then you’re already there.
  • Yes, maybe you don’t have some meet-cute type of thing where you did nothing and your wife was attracted to you like the top 20%, but you don’t need to have that. No man needs to be in the top 20% to reach the previous bullet point threshold, although it opens up your options more so that you can be more selective in who you marry. Top 20% if a good threshold to aim for though in general.

To elaborate on what being better than 50% is in reality,  the average American man is 5’9″ and 200 lbs which is 29.5 BMI (25-29.9 BMI is overweight and obesity is > 30 BMI). He’s also steeped in culture and likes to make “wife is the boss” and “she’ll get mad if I do that” jokes. You’re telling me that most men can’t be better than that? Yeah, no.

Both women and men continue to fall for the apex fallacy. You don’t need to be top 20% to get married and have a permanent and non-sexless marriage. It’s much easier when you know you only have to be top 50% and even just to get married not the bottom 20%.

The issue for many is the calibration of attractiveness. Many/some men and women don’t want to marry someone who is overweight or obese or has other issues with certain things. This can price them out of the pool of candidates that would go on dates and/or marry them. That is their prerogative though. The more selective you are, the harder it will be to find someone who meets that criteria.

I know we’ve discussed on this blog about all of the different criteria, but at the end of the day it’s just risk profiles. Each man can determine how much risk they want to take on to be married.

If one thinks that they’re too far down the totem pole for whatever reasons and nothing is every going to convince them to marry, or they just don’t want to worry, then do as the Bible says: stay single and serve God wholeheartedly.

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Understanding the right hierarchy for men unsuccessful with women

One of the pitfalls that men who are unsuccessful with women tend to fall for is trying to directly copy the behavior of men are successful with women. While this works some of the time with the behavior, it can fail because of the difference in attractiveness.

A man who is attractive to women gets a larger benefit of the doubt than a man who is unattractive. Though it is also true that many of the behaviors are indeed correct (such as acting in a masculine manner, as a leader, etc.), it’s hard for some men to dissociate the results versus the process that also comes with being attractive themselves.

Ironically, the other effective way at understand correct behavior is to look at the unsuccessful relationships when a man pedestalizes the woman. In these reverse hierarchical relationships, it is the man doing everything he can to be a “helper” to the woman, with the woman being the leader of the relationship. Aside from any unkind or other sinful actions, looking at the behavior of the woman in this situation is exactly how the man should have acted in the relationship.

Relationships generally reflect polarity in this aspect: if the man is masculine he will attract and choose feminine women whereas if the man is feminine he will attract and choose masculine women (and vice versa). Therefore, one can look at this polarity and see the general traits and behaviors that the leader exudes in the relationship and what makes them successful and learn and understand why those are effective.

I think for many men that are unsuccessful with women, looking and aping the men who are successful with relationships can be daunting with mixed results. This is discouraging and can lead down the wrong path. However, for the introspective man, he can examine his own unsuccessful relationships or the unsuccessful relationships of others more easily and impartially and learn and apply those traits more effectively with less pressure. This is necessary sometimes.

In short,

  • Look and learn at the behaviors of men successful with women. Some may not work if you’re not attractive enough
  • Examine your own behaviors that may have been unleader-like, and see how they may have contributed to failure of relationshps
  • Examine others behaviors in relationships, both from the man and woman’s side
  • Examine the relationships with masculine women and feminine men as usually the masculine women will be doing behaviors that can make men more successful with the relationship

It’s interesting because the attitudes of things like outcome independence that attractive women have men throwing themselves at her, that is more or less how most men who want to be successful with women should act.

Men and women are the same in that regard. Men that have women throwing themselves at them and women who have men throwing themselves at them will have common behaviors between them that help maintain success with women. The unfortunate part for attractive women is that they have to break that mindset if they want to have successful relationships and marriage. Many don’t.

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How can a wife encourage (not nag) her husband to lead

This question came up on the reddit, and I don’t think I’ve actually covered a way for wives to do it without nagging. Essentially, Cane’s analogy of learning to “bow lower” is a good one for these types of situations.

You do need to learn how to encourage (not force) him to take the reigns in the relationship if you want to succeed in the long term and not just find someone else to marry.

One way to do this is to always “bow lower” (e.g. submit to his submission) if he brings out his own submissive attitude wants you to make the decision. Example:

“I like it when you take charge and make the decisions”

If he’s really beat down in his decision making, he might say “but I want to know what you think” in which case you should not offer a decision/opinion (because he will pick that one). Instead, go over some pros of one decision and pros of another.

“I like this because [insert opinion] and I like this other because [insert opinion]. They’re both good options to me.”

Then he will have to pick between them making it actually his decision. If you did prefer one over the other but they are both good choices, just bite the bullet.

Then actually follow it up with more encouragement, appreciation, and gratitude showing that you like his decision either way (even if you didn’t like it). Might be awkward at first, but practice it is good.

Notice throughout the wifely parts of the interactions, the wife is not telling her husband what to do (“I like it when you make decisions”). She’s basically putting the ball back in his court by talking about herself and encouraging him at the same time. This is different from focuses on what the husband is not doing which is similar to and often comes off as nagging (“you should make the decisions” which is similar to nagging “you should do this and that”). The “you” is more accusatory and trying to directly influence what the husband is doing and comes off as disrespectful which directly sabotages what the wife wants to do.

Once a man gets some good decisions under his belt, he’s much more likely to start to take hold of it and run with it. Men that are beat down by the society, culture, and even the Church about decision making will be very hesitant and will often think to defer to their woman/wife. They need encouragement to take the baby steps sometimes.

They’re not going to get it anywhere else except from their woman/wives in most cases.

Indeed, for wives or anyone under authority, you need to take the same attitude of what Jesus did when He was praying to the Father: state your options but “not my will but yours be done.” Cane’s analogy was of the servants of old and serving their masters in the Bible: “what can I do that would please my lord?”. Both are the correct respectful attitude.

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Meet cutes – are they common?

I want to circle back to Scott’s video which was posted in the extent of attraction and re-post it here again from my perspective.


So Scott goes through the definition of “meet cute” which is romantic comedies (RomCom) it’s the “cute story of how you two met.” Then he goes on to explain that in most of the cases in his life it was the women that were pursuing him rather than pursuing women and how it has shaped the qualities that made him attractive to women by building on itself.

I can only speak for myself on this topic, but only can recall two single times that this has happened to me in which girls just liked me for me. Once in high school a girl liked me for me (she went out of her way to sit near me in class and talk to me all the time, though nothing came of it cause I was blind to women) and then once in college (a high school girl liked me and made it clearly known but she was too young and overweight so I didn’t like her). And even the later example could be obscured by the fact that girls generally like and/or look up to guys in the next stage of life (e.g. high school girls like college guys, and college girls like men who have graduated and have a job, etc.).

All of the other times that women were attracted to me were because of situations that set me up to succeed. I remember a few girls liked me in high school, but that was because I helped to tutor them. I remember in college the occasional girl liked me because I was one of the better ones at the recreational sports that I was playing. I remember in grad school that some girls liked me because I was one of the more popular TAs (teaching assistants) as I was apparently good at teaching. Each of these situations set me up as a leader/expert for women to look up to, much like the common tropes where women are attracted to men like boss-secretary or doctor-nurse.

I can’t recall any specific instance where I worked the same job or had status as a woman and they liked me. Unlike Scott, I only have perhaps two scenarios where I’m immediately recognized as an attractive man that women look over at and appreciate. I’m not ugly but I’m not handsome either (though my wife thinks I’m handsome, though I’m pretty sure that’s because of the influence of my leadership and her respect for me). I’ve never heard any other girl aside from her call me handsome.

I do not doubt that the majority of men would only have a few of these scenarios in their lifetime if any where a woman immediately recognizes them as attractive and wants to get to know them. Additionally, I don’t think that most have the fatherly/mentor advice or social experience to capitalize on them either.

Based on this experience, most men are generally not considered attractive (as is born out by the OKcupid observations too). Men who desire to marry would be wise to leverage the specific scenarios to bolster their own attractiveness to women that have been mentioned in this post and prior posts (being excellent at hobbies, being a leader in organizations especially in the Church, job, or other areas of life, being an expert at a certain topic or teaching, etc.). Add on a muscular physique and cultivation of masculine traits which increase attractiveness outright, and you have a recipe to where you have increased your odds where some women will find you attractive as opposed to few to none.

Of course, the reason you should be doing the things first and foremost is to please God and serve Him via your mission for God (the reasons are covered in the past post). Being excellent at everything you do is just standard as a Christian. If you aren’t that is a good place to start because if I reflect back and was mediocre at my tutoring, recreations, or TAing then I doubt any girls would have liked me much.

While my wife and I don’t have a meet cute story, it seems we ultimately ended up with one as she does find me handsome now. So it’s not like things can’t change if you are not considered conventionally attractive. Even with many of the arranged marriages, the stories about them seem to indicate that as long as the husband and wife are committed they grow into each other. Husband and wife goggles are definitely a thing.

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Others becoming more mature in Christ and turning to Christ

Couple months late on this, but Roosh unpublished the rest of his books.

In May of last year I unpublished 11 of my books because they were leading men directly to sin. That action was not enough. Today I have unpublished several more books, including my top seller Game, along with numerous articles, videos, podcasts, and forum postings.

The prospect of banning Game last May was too difficult, even though my conscience was bothered by the contents. I wrestled with the issue for a week as I closed out my final days as an expat in Eastern Europe. It made sense to ban all my Bang books, which explicitly instructed men how to have casual sex, and it wasn’t that hard on my wallet since they were older books that had passed their sales peak, but if I were to ban Game as well, my income would be wiped out. I prayed on the issue, asking God to help me make the right decision. Then I received two comments in one day from men stating that Game had helped them with married life. I also did a poll showing not all men were using Game to become accomplished fornicators. My conscience felt more clear; Game could remain.

One month after the tour finished, I bought a used truck and was getting ready to rent a house in the mountains. I wasn’t too worried about money, since Game was still selling well without any active promotion on my part. Then I received a message from a fellow Orthodox Christian that I had met in California saying he had just read Game, and noticed that it contained the same type of sexual content I had aggressively banned on the forum last year. I walked to my bookshelf, pulled out a copy of Game, and randomly flipped through it, expecting an “agnostic” tool, but I could not find a page where sin was not. The book wasn’t agnostic at all—it trained and steered men for the main purpose of achieving bodily pleasure through casual sex. In some ways, it even wired men’s brains to view women as objects to be won purely through knowledge, effort, and physical attractiveness. Even my book Day Bang, which has no sexual content, trained men to see women as objects to be won for pleasurable ends through the mathematics of approaching a lot of women in the hopes of finding one who was horny and loose. When faced with a hard life decision, I would pray for guidance, but this decision was easy: the books had to go.

I’m glad to see that Roosh is actively focused on becoming more like Christ. He’s taking the necessary steps to continue to take off the old self and put on the new self, even though it may be hard on him financially.

Apparently, Victor Pride (of Bold and Determined) has also recently converted as well. I used to read his blog before a few years ago when I removed pretty much all secular content blogs from my reading list since they weren’t helping me become more like Christ.

Let it be known that I, Nickolas, a reformed sinner, and bondservant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have been saved by the blood of our blessed Lord Jesus. Let it be known that I do hereby declare that I will no longer operate in commerce under the nom de guerre Victor Pride. Let it be known that from this date forward I use my Christian name alone. Let it be known that I renounce any article, podcast, or video et al which has blasphemed God. Let it be known that I renounce any such material which does not glorify our Lord and Savior. Let it be known that I do hereby repent all transgressions against God. Let it be known that I, Nickolas, do hereby announce that I am a living sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ and I renounce my own will and declare to do only the perfect will of the Lord. Let it be known that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let it be known, now and forever, that Jesus Christ loves us, died for us, and brought us everlasting life. Written and declared at Asuncion on the twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord two thousand and twenty. Signed in the blood of Jesus Christ.

-Nickolas

It’s very interesting to see how many of the secular manosphere/men’s blogs converting to Christ after finding such a life of sin unfulfilling. Praise God.

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Prioritizing intentions and the process versus results

To summarize the past few posts, a husband is most effective (and godly) when he doesn’t fear his wife. His priority should always be fearing God by trying to do the right thing. A husband that fears his wife (or fears what she might think or fears divorce) will start to change his actions based on what she might think which leads him down the road of capitulation and attempting to make her happy. He becomes a yes dear man, which can often lead to divorce.

One of the classic distinctions is in the intentions and the process. Too often men will think “oh, I gotta start working out because I want to be attractive for my wife” not understanding that while this is true, the very intention of prioritizing what she thinks makes it much easier to fall into the frame of mind to make her happy and change your desires to suit hers. For instance, if she’s not coming around for submission or sex, it can lead men to think that “if only I become more attractive then she’ll come around.”

This is one of the traps of conventional RP thought that often rears it’s ugly head. RP tries to get around this by saying “do it for yourself,” but that only goes so far because most men are never really doing it for themselves. At least initially.

For Christians, our main goal is all about being effective ministers for God. How can we influence those around us toward the gospel? We are supposed to excel in all that we do for Christ. It’s also true that all things being equal, a more conventionally attractive Christian man will have a much easier time to ministry to other believers or unbelievers than those who are not (obese, lazy, don’t care, etc.).

The fact that being physically muscular is attractive to women is a secondary but useful feature. In other words, the goal is to prioritize the process and function (how this affects your mission for God) over the results (more attractive to women).

When we are focused on being more process oriented more than results oriented, the results generally end up coming with tweaks here and there. However, if you’re focused on results, the end result will usually be an pedestalizing/idolatrous tunneling which affects the process negatively. It’s very easily to get embroiled in “what does she think” which subtly and irrevocably changes your behavior to catering to her which sabotages the marriage because then you are not acting as the leader. You are led by her feelings.

Coming back full circle, when sanctification is the process that is focused on I don’t fear my wife’s feelings, divorce, or the state. This leads me to lead, teach, correct, admonish, and rebuke as necessary for sinful behavior. Because I don’t fear her feelings or falling out, she is more drawn to the strong masculine behavior which decreases her unhappiness long term (maybe there is short term happiness from being corrected) which decreases risk of divorce. Eventually, she is the one telling our friends that she doesn’t want equality or feminism or other nonsense but wants to obey God.

It’s interesting how each process seems to be a self-reinforcing cycle of behavior.

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Consequences of actions and their impact on marriage

How much do the physical, emotional, mental, and other consequences of actions affect marriage and sanctification? Obviously, the answer varies depending on the severity of the actions involved: some, to a little, to a lot.

One of the oft quoted statistics on this blog is number of sexual partners before marriage and divorce rate. Women with more sexual partners before marriage have a higher divorce rate than virgins.

A woman who has repented of her past and is a true Christian following God and believes in the permanence of marriage can definitely be in the percentage of women who have had sexual partners before marriage but not divorce.

However, it’s also true that the consequences of her past actions can have repercussions on her future marriage if she is prone to comparing her previous partners to her husband and not fleeing from temptations such as these. The past can bring up barriers and temptations to intimacy and make things more difficult in the future.

The difficulty for a man in this position is assessing this risk. This is also true of a man with prior sin in his life as a woman is assessing him for marriage. Since we can’t view the hearts of the individuals (and individuals are prone to change over time), the only thing we have to look at is current patterns of behavior and how much they align with the gospel and Christian walk.

However, our God is amazing, and I think all early consequences of sin can be overcome if one is dead set on following Christ and taking off all of the old. Paul himself is an excellent example of this: full repentance that leads to him working even harder than many of Jesus’ disciples for the gospel and extreme humility for his role in persecuting other Christians before he was converted.

Paul’s example are the few indicators I would look for if I was going to marry a non-virgin or looked at any other sins in a person’s past for evaluating them for marriage. It’s very difficult to fake true humility and a passion for Christ that leads to large scale evangelism or service to the body of Christ.

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The extent of attraction

There’s been some good discussion over at Jack’s on attraction:

Scott’s video garnered some attention, and there was some concern over the fact that it might only be about 13% of marriages where the woman is ‘madly in love’ with her husband after a determined amount of time.


My perspective

I don’t claim to be an expert on these types of things, but I have worked decently close with the fitness industry in the past. I feel confident in these assertions:

  • The amount of attraction generated from both male and female transformations vastly outweighs the things you can’t change such as your facial genetics. In other words, any obese or overweight woman or man who loses substantial amounts of weight becomes much more attractive and gains substantial attraction interest from the opposite sex.
  • This is multiplied if the fitness or muscularity is significantly increased especially for men. I’ve never seen any man (short or ugly or otherwise) who has gotten to a Greek god level of physique or more have trouble getting at least a few women who are interested in him. Maybe not a lot, but at least a few. This is not that hard for most men with a dedicated fitness program and nutrition for a year. Michelangelo’s David is an example.
  • If there are other issues like poor hygiene, very awkward at conversations, can’t hold a job, or things like that then that can cancel out the interest. This is usually what stunts most men with women. It’s what they do and say, not how they’re looking most of the time.

I stand by my previous assertions in this post on how attraction works. It’s a percentage based probability.

Someone with natural height and good looks will start from a higher percentage. Maybe 6’0″+ and very handsome and natural semi-muscular or husky body may start from a place where 15-20% of women are naturally attracted to them. Someone who starts from somewhere like very skinny or obese, less than normal height, and relatively non-attractive face would be starting from a much lower point like maybe 1-2% or possibly less. Possibly less. Celebrities generally start from a place of 30-40+% of women are naturally attracted to them because of the status, fame, etc even if their looks aren’t that great.

We all know the “marriage market” has broken down substantially at this time. However, if we look over the past societies and marriage statistics, we see that about 95% of both men and women got married in the past. This is fairly consistent across cultures. Some percentage of this was men and women who didn’t want to get married for whatever reason (asexual or wanted to put their career first) and some small percentage was also probably men and women who wanted to get married but didn’t for whatever reason (yes, you can throw very bad personalities, old maids, and ugliness in here I guess?). From this we know that unless you’re in the extreme bottom percentile of men and women, there’s no way you are not attractive to at least some men and women.

Even the obesity marriage rates show this. Obesity, overweight, and underweight all decrease your likelihood to marry, but they don’t make it go to zero. The ratio of underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese is about 8:10:8:6. This means 8 underweight people, 10 healthy weight, 8 overweight, and 6 obese people marry in about those proportions.

14 overweight and obese people marry for every 10 normal weight people. This is shocking to most people who read online blogs too much because they get the impression that “you gotta be in top 20% to even have a chance,” but the reality is that many men and women don’t place supreme importance on looks. However, the main issue the calibration of expectations — the apex fallacy for both sexes. Both men and women that are looking for a spouse above or far above their own attractiveness level are in for a rough ride.

Looks are helpful, even substantially helpful if you hit the Greek god looks break point, but they are far from being something that determines your ability to get married. The only people approaching the bottom 5% are those who have multiple things that are working against them. Even so, there are those like Nick Vujacic (the guy without any limbs) who break the mold for disabilities.

As this applies to marriage…

I think it’s very helpful if you can get a woman that’s head over heels for you, but I doubt most men are able to do it. Even so women’s attraction may be very specific to things like PSALM – power, status, athleticism, looks, and money, but things like status comes in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone can be a pastor or worship band leader, but there are women that are head over heels for men in all different types of sports and hobbies. Heck, there are girls that are Dungeons and Dragon’s groupies. If your hobby is D&D and you’re one of the best at it, find a girl who loves God and D&D. I know some marriages like this.

Of course, head over heels is not what makes a godly marriage, so one must be careful not to elevate this to the pedestal. It’s great if you have it, but it’s not something that is needed for a godly and successful marriage. Most men are unlikely to find a woman who is head over heels and have a high enough sex drive that they want to jump your bones all the time.

In conclusion…

  • Attractiveness is still a probability game. Good looks can give you a natural head start and advantage, but it’s nothing in surmountable for many/most men.
  • You generally have to have multiple things working against you to have a very difficult time generating attraction from at least a few members of the opposite sex.
  • Looks matter, but they also don’t. What probably matters most in terms of getting married is calibrating your own expectations to your own level of attractiveness. Just as most men can be invisible to the American Evangelical Princess, men can fall for the same apex fallacy disregarding women who are interested in him because they don’t meet his attraction standards (usually obesity).
  • If you want to be with someone “more attractive” generally you have to work on your own attractiveness yourself.
  • Avoiding behaviors that decrease attraction are generally the biggest things for most men who are “bad with women” to work on. These both eliminate interest as it is happening and sabotage dates and relationships as well.

All of this matters only a little bit to some for having a godly marriage.

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Fighting against the system

One of the observations I’ve made before is that “bad boys” tend to go against the system and in doing so exude confidence. On the other hand, nice guys go with the system and so to many women don’t stand up for themselves and are boring.

Perhaps ironically I didn’t really connect the dots earlier.

Since Dalrock’s genius discernment that chivalry is indeed anti-Christian, it makes a lot of sense for Christian “nice guys” to start fighting against the chase-the-woman system that is prevalent in the western world. Focus on pleasing God and focus on bucking the system, and you start to build the confidence and values that women are attracted to as a side effect of the process.

The parallel here is that you’re fighting against the world’s value systems for God’s. Once you’ve ingrained this into habits and know how to uphold it in both words and actions then you’re already most of the way there in terms of a strong, godly masculine attitude.

Or in terms of Adam and Eve, we’re fighting against temptation. Adam did not stand up to the temptation of the serpent and his wife coming to him with the fruit and obeyed them rather than God.

I think I’ve told this story before, but I am very anti-vegan. I always wondered why vegan girls were interested in me while growing up. Well, it turns out that when you have a backbone over your own preferences and will stand up and tease a woman (often in a fun  and mercilessly though not harshly) for her choices. While this is simply a personal view, having values that will never change and making a stand and knowing how to communicate them well goes far. Even if they make you or others unhappy, you at least have your character and values at the end of the day especially if they are in alignment with God.

In terms of the married, many in our ‘sphere tend to always bring up that the system is rigged against us. Churchianity, the courts, families, friends, the media, and so on. Personally, I don’t care. So what if it’s rigged, and I ultimately get embroiled in the system and have to fight against it with my life? Isn’t obeying God more important?

I think when you can come to a place of peace about this, it’s much easier to operate as a the head/leader in your marriage and make the unpopular choices that obey God. Indeed, men who have the backbone to stand up will become more enriched as they grow stronger in the faith, while men who consistently cave to it will be reinforcing their own cowardice. This can be a hard cycle to break, but it must start somewhere. It does get easier over time. But you have to make the conscious choice to be ready to put God above the system.

Perhaps this additional view can help the single, in-relationships, and married men start to examine where they can stand firm against the system better.

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Biblically consistent decision making

What trips a lot of husbands up is understanding the general decision making process surrounding marriage.

  1. Obey God. Biblical marital roles and responsibilities fall under this. Headship-submission, love-respect, mutual giving of sex, etc.
  2. Consider yourself and your spouse (e.g. Eph 5 love your wife as your own body) especially in terms of needs. This also falls under #1, but it provides more context for which to make decisions. Many Christians often get this wrong by saying put your wife and kids before yourself. That is not true.
  3. Happiness and other emotions of fleeting effect.

Whether we like it or not, both excellence and attraction do play some role in how both spouses understand all facets of this decision making process. A wife that watches what she eats and keeps herself in shape implicitly shows respect for you as a husband and vice versa for a husband to his wife. It also makes you both happier (and healthier).

As the nature of Christianity is an inside-out transformation that first changes you and then the change in you affects others, it must be said that if there are dysfunctional patterns in the relationship or marriage then the onus must first be on the Christian that notices these to be internally consistent with the faith. This is indeed what Jesus talks about in Matthew 7 on judging (eliminate hypocrisy), so that when you do come to your brother (or wife) and show them their fault with kindness they will be less inclined to point the finger at you and be more willing to obey God. In other words, for husbands this headship personified into leading by example. This doesn’t guarantee change, but it creates the right environment for it.

Therefore, our hierarchy might be expanded to:

  1. Focus on obeying God and doing your own Biblical roles and responsibilities. Bring them up to your spouse, but if they are resistant to change then don’t worry about it and keep doing yours and pray for them.
  2. Consider yourself and your spouse (e.g. Eph 5 love your wife as your own body) especially in terms of needs. Make sure you are meeting them as consistent with loving your wife as yourself which is also consistent with Jesus’ “love one another as I have loved you.”
  3. Consider their happiness and doing things to make them happy, but don’t compromise on #1 and #2 such as sin or behavior that enables.
  4. Once you have established a good pattern of consistent behavior (and hopefully your wife is softening up over time with her attitudes and actions), then start to bring up some faults kindly again in terms of obeying God and bettering the marriage. If they are still resistant to change, keep doing your own responsibility and pray for them.
  5. Search out as many blindspots as you can and work on building godly habits. It is possible that they will never change, but you also want to do as much as you can for God to create good soil that God can use to grow the seeds in their heart.

Part of breaking dysfunctional cycles of behavior is very consistent leading by example to show that God has truly changed you from the inside out. This can be hard when dysfunctional relationships or marriages last for several years or even decades as the wife (or other spouse) tends to think you’re just changing to manipulate them, especially if you were trying to do that before.

The way to combat this is to just not worry about it. It’s nothing you can change yourself so why worry? It’s more than enough to make sure you’re obeying God and focused on doing the right thing even when it’s hard. Trust God to help you do the right thing, and use that to start to plant and grow the seeds.

This is true “outcome independence” much like Jesus continually called the Pharisees to repent and continue to talk to them despite them wanting to kill him. If He didn’t want to minister to them He could have just ignored them or avoided them. And some Pharisees did come around like Nicodemus. Engaging for the sake of God and the gospel, even when you are treated harshly or poorly.

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