Sowing in good soil

Haven’t gone anywhere, just busy. But Dalrock looks to be hanging it up. He has influenced many including myself and he will be missed.

The parable is obviously about the gospel, but there are good other analogous lessons from it.

Matthew 13:3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

One of the things when helping and mentoring men I’ve run into over the years is the soil type. Some men take to godly masculinity and other tough topics (e.g. attraction and marriage in the Bible) much quicker than others. Some will want to debate you or vehemently disagree.

Overall, it’s good to be sowing that seed everywhere, but when going from just chatting and helping to mentoring or discipling you want to focus on the ones in good soil (those who want to learn and grow). I know this is obvious in hindsight or when thinking about it, but it’s easy to get distracted into the similar concepts of wanting the men to change.

We can’t change or influence the soil or get the seed to grow. That’s God’s job. But we can plant and water, and it needs to be done in right amounts. Focus on the fruitful areas, but be ready for God to work on the rocky areas when necessary.

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Faith

I was thinking about the faith of the centurion again.

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” 7 Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

The fundamental part of faith is that it is a belief in authority.

Hebrews 11 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” But what are the assurance of things hope for and conviction of things not seen? That’s faith in God’s authority to do what He said and what He promised.

It’s very easy to get distracted with how much humans are rebellious against God, but faith requires an immense trust in authority that it overrides our inclinations to be rebellious. One who fails to trust in God’s authority and act accordingly is very similar to those who choose to be intentionally rebellious. Eliminating this lukewarm faith is of primary importance.

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Trends in Christianity: the decline in the US

Merry Christmas to everyone!

As the decade comes to a close, Christianity continues to decline in the US according to the polls from Pew.

Apparently, a decade ago, 77-78% claimed to be Christians but now at the end of 2019 only 65% do. The religious unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic, or none) jumped from 16-17% to 26%.

I’m pretty shocked that 65% of people in this country still claim to be Christian. I could be falling for the over-representation of anti-Christian bias in the media, universities, etc, but based on how people live in their everyday life and even the ones in Church I am scratching my head at this number.

What appears to explain it is that there is apparently little change in the attendance of Churches from 2009 to 2019:

  • 46 -> 44% weekly or more
  • 17  -> 18% once or twice a month
  • 19 -> 20% a few times a year
  • 13 – 12% a few times a year
  • 5 -> 6% never

Given the stats, it’s much more likely to say that in 2009, virtually all Christians who attended weekly or more and once a month (46 + 17 = 63%) and most of the few times a year (19%) claimed they are Christian. 63+19 = 82% where 77-78% claimed to be Christian. Now, it seems like only those attend weekly or more (44%) or once and twice a month (18%) are claiming to be Christians. 62% vs 65%.

The people who attended a few times per year stopped claiming they were Christians between 2009 to 2019. This is to be expected as being a Christian becomes a much more negative thing. It’s also a good thing for Christians as now more people who were claiming to be Christian aren’t living how they want and showing a incorrect hypocritical example to the rest of the world. The light shines brighter in the darkness.

In another decade as Christianity becomes much less popular, we might see only the weekly or more (44%) claim they are Christian. I suspect the actual number is much lower as many in the Church use it not for Christ but as a social club or to absolve themselves from living how they want the rest of the week.

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Process oriented, not results oriented

As we have seen before, the Bible is desire oriented and not works oriented. In the failure of Chivalry in Biblical marriage, this was the point on works vs desire.

Works and desire in salvation and also marriage

Going back to a point I made several years ago now is the difference between works/performance and desire. The ideal is to desire God and His commands. Everything flows from this. The grace of God is what sanctifies us, but it changes us so that we desire to do good works.

When we try to “perform” or “work” we inevitably fail. As Christians, we know that works cannot save us: we cannot follow the Law good enough to achieve salvation.

Likewise, the same is with marriage. Working does not work. Biblical marriage is an image of Christ and the Church. The same standards apply to the husband and the wife. It is one of desire and not works.

  • You cannot work hard enough to placate your wife’s emotions (e.g. make her feel more attracted to you).
  • You cannot work hard enough that your wife will be pleased (e.g. do enough chores).
  • You cannot work hard enough that you will ever meet her expectations.

Falling into a pattern of works is falling into the temptation of sin. You are not trying to please her; you are trying to please the black hole that is unrestrained hypergamy. Your works will never be enough.

Part of the reason why works fail is fear. If you are working, there is a chance that you fail. If there is a chance that you fail, you will fear. If you fear man (or woman/wife in this case), you are not leading nor loving according to the Scriptures.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t try to please your wife? Certainly not. But it must come from desire and not working to try to please.

Maturity mode: Process oriented vs results oriented

When we get caught up in the work mentality, we also become very results oriented. We are working to get a specific result. We fall into the pattern of trying to game the system to get that specific result, and it often backfires on us.

God is clear that we are to be process oriented:

1 Corinthians 3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

We are to focus on doing our part to the best of our ability, whether that is planting or watering (placing the necessary conditions around the seed such as evangelizing or ministering or discipling), but it is God in the end that is going to get the result on earth (the seed to grow). We will be rewarded for our labor, but not necessarily here on this earth.

The problem with being results oriented in relationships or marriage is that we often or sometimes focus on the result that we want rather than taking into consideration all of the parties involved. This is true whether in marriage, with family, with friends, with colleagues or others. It’s also much more difficult to be excellent and show God’s love and fruit of the Spirit through our actions if we are too focused on the result rather than the process of building and caring for the relationship with the other person.

I think this is the one thing I have become much more aware of as I minister to other men and my wife. I need to be wholly there in the moment (and prior fulfilling my own walk with God and own needs so they don’t interfere), so I can focus on them to do what God wants me to do in that moment. I am not there to try to change them (results oriented) but instead to influence them in a godly manner through the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (process oriented).

It’s easy to moderately difficult to understand works and desire and have that be a focus in all your relationship. However, taking the next step to become more and fully process oriented rather than results oriented is truly difficult to extremely harder, especially when we deal with the harder situations of life. So many times we just want to change that other person because we have been through that experience or we have the foresight to know it won’t end well, but instead we just need to help them walk through in and influence them toward God.

I’m not fully good at this yet, but this is what I am aiming for in this next season of life.

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Stewardship and excellence

I was pleasantly surprised to hear my pastor preach on this topic.

Basically, as Christians we are followers/slaves of Christ, and we are to do what the Father and Christ have called us to do. Jesus present numerous parables (like the parable of the talents/minas) on how we are to go about His Father’s business. Paul reiterates that with doing all that we do for Christ.

One of his examples was if someone let you stay at their vacation house, you would take good care of it because it’s not really yours. You’d make sure not to trash it or leave it messy, but clean up after yourself. But we let our own homes, jobs, and lives get messy.

He advocated for a well kept home, excellent in the job (even if we have terrible or frustrating bosses), in health (weight loss if obese although not so much emphasis on regular healthy eating and exercises), and things like these.

Obviously, if you want to be married or are married, excellence as the head of the marriage and fulfilling God’s marital roles and responsibilities is another to add to good stewardship. Focus on pleasing God in all that you do by being excellent in all things.

I’ve found it amazing that my mentality has changed significantly by starting to do this when single, and it’s served me well in my marriage so far. Women really do admire excellence, which makes it easier to exert a godly influence on them.

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Revisiting the whole women in leadership positions

Obviously the whole big blow back of John MacArthur and Beth Moore was interesting to say the least. Most of the commentary from my Christian friends on facebook indicated that they were in favor of Beth Moore rather than against it. It’s not surprising given the culture though.

MacArthur goes into it more detail here (h/t info).

In any case, MacArthur talks about specific wording such as shamefulness and its applicability throughout the Scriptures. He doesn’t get into some of the finer details on the differences between words like teach, which I’ll summarize again.

I had a post a few years ago about this about women teaching women in Church and why women are prohibited from certain positions in the Church. I’ve done some further study on this, which is why I want to go deeper into detail about it.

1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

1 Corinthians 14:34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?

These are very specific things that the Scripture is prohibiting which are essentially:

  1. Teaching men (Greek: didasko)
  2. Exercising authority over men
  3. Disruption of Church order

The main point of contention is the word didasko. This Greek work is often used in the New Testament, but the primary example is in Matthew 5 with the Beatitudes. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus “teaches” (didasko) the multitude and what is meant by teaching is going over the Scriptures and interpreting them. The common pattern Jesus uses to do this is: “It was said in times of old” in reference to the Old Testament commands… and then He followed it up with re-interpretation “but I tell you…” which clarifies His position on how we should live.

Thus, we understand that Biblical teaching is probably best defined as “authoritative interpretation of the Scriptures on how to live.”. Preaching the gospel (Greek: logos, euangelion) is different than this. Women do this all throughout the Scripture, including the ones who went to the tomb.

1 Timothy 5:15 provides some context for this:

1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching (logos) and teaching (didasko).

I’ve gone over this extensively in what does it mean to teach?

Most of the counterpoints of this verse go into all the various examples of women in the early Church and in the OT but are actually off topic.

  • “But Deborah was a prophetess judging Israel”… yet she told Barak that God told him to lead Israel. In Hebrews 11, it lists Barak as the leader of Israel and an example of faith (however poor) not Deborah. Women in the NT aren’t forbidden from being prophetesses either.
  • “But the women were the first preachers”… the Bible nowhere says that women are forbidden from preaching the gospel (logos, euangelion). They are forbidden from teaching (Greek: didasko) men.
  • “But Philip had 4 daughters who were prophetesses” and “Acts 2 quotes the prophet Joel 2 that God’s Spirit will be poured out on all flesh and sons and daughters will prophesy”… The early Church did not forbid women from prophesying as there are multiple examples. Prophesying is not the same as leadership positions in the Church either. You can also argue that Joel 2 is speaking about close to the day of judgement and Jesus’ return from the imagery later in the passage.
  • “But Priscilla and Aquilla taught Apollos in Acts 18″… Debatable at best because (1) grounding Apollos in the way of God (e.g. gospel or preaching) is not the same as teaching (didasko), and (2) it was a husband and wife team. It was not solely Priscilla taking him aside and supposedly doing it. Also (3) debatable if this would count as leadership position in the Church too as it’s private.
  • “But Junia was an apostle”… a critical word study at the Greek episemos from that passage means noteworthy or well know among the apostles, not that she was an apostle. Most scholars think she’s a woman now, but a minority think she’s a man. Who knows. Whatever the case, it’s not convincing.
  • “But Titus 2…”

Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good (kalodidasko), 4 so that they may encourage (sophronizo) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

It’s pretty clear that this passage is directed at older women teaching younger women (not men and/or mixed congregations) and it is directed at a specific list of good things which is what follows. I’ve covered why that is in women teaching women. You can’t reinterpret loving husband and children or being sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, or subject to husbands. It’s straight forward: no interpretation needed.

Lest we also know that Titus 1 goes over the qualifications of elders (leadership) in the Church again like 1 Timothy 3 with the qualification of “the husband of one wife.”

  • “But Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another in the fear of Christ”… no, that’s for the general congregation of believers, not the elders/leadership positions. In other passages, it says to submit to any leadership, including the Church. It also says to submit to husbands too, which unifies with 1 Corinthians 11 and 14.
  • “But Galatians 5 we’re all one in Christ and there’s no male or female”… no, that is talking specifically about salvation. It’s not talking about different roles or parts of the body of Christ, some of which appear to be prohibited from women.
  • The only example that is somewhat controversial it seems is Phoebe as a deacon (Greek diakonos). Though the word is contested as it also means “servant” (just a gune also mean woman/wife and aner means man/husband). If you unify it with 1 Timothy 3 covers qualifications for elders and deacons, which contain the phrasing “husband of 1 wife” and “managing their households well.” It’s likely she was serving and noteworthy in some capacity, but probably not in a leadership position.

A few things that I’ve never seen the opposition counter:

  1. The pattern of husband as the head of the wife is present before the fall, after the fall, in the Law of Moses, and in the New Covenant. God wants men to lead families. If this is the case for families, why would it not be for the Church?
  2. The pattern in the the gathering of the peoples starting with Abraham, Moses, and so on down the line of kings. Jesus Himself could’ve broken the mold and chosen women as disciples but did not. It seems Jesus wants men to lead the Church.
  3. As I mentioned in Lessons from Ephesus, Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Revelations all have some commentary to Ephesus. Both Ephesians and 1 and 3 Timothy espouse male headship in the home, and same with 1 and 3 Tim. Revelations commends the Ephesians for holding fast and rooting out bad apostles (and their bad teachings).
  4. The early Church could have included women in leadership but never did either. Not the Church before the Great Schism. Not the Church after the Reformation. Only in the last 50ish years. Orthodoxy and Catholicism still don’t.

Overall, I really don’t see it when one looks at the particular nuances of the Scriptures. Especially in conjunction with the rest of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Lots of Christians like to make up stories about how 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 were “just that Church” (even though it says later that this is “for all the Churches”) or that it was just in those Churches but doesn’t apply today. It’s the old fallacy of cultural relevance.

Changing the course of the day 1 to 2000 year interpretation of the Scriptures from the early Church until now to fit a similar cultural narrative is quite the stretch. Christians are supposed to be set apart from the world, not agree with it.

This is not to say that going to a Church with women pastors/teachers is a bad thing. There have been some cases that I’ve known that men have influenced the Church leadership and board to remove women from these positions over time with godly doctrine and counsel. God can have you at a particular in a season to be a good influence on those who may be in doctrinal error. This is something that needs to be considered prayerfully and aligned in the specific season that you’re in.

This is the same with any other doctrinal errors that may be present such as complementarianism. If you only went to Churches that taught everything right, you probably wouldn’t be gathering with believers much. We must always remember that the work of the Spirit is inside-out transformation. He can use us to influence others toward Truth.

On the other hand, it would probably be unwise to go to Churches with actual heretical beliefs such as those that deny tenets of the Nicene Creed.

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Duty sex is a terrible thing

The Jacob, Rachel, and Leah story is instructive.

Genesis 29:31 Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33 Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

In this case, Jacob is actually banging his wife a lot (well, at least 4 times but probably way more given the statistical amounts of sex needed to conceive). But Leah is unloved because he is just going through the motions with her when his desire is for Rachel.

These days it’s mostly wives giving their husbands duty sex, and it is still a terrible thing. Sadly, I don’t think the husbands and wives that give duty sex know how terrible it truly is for the other spouse.

Such is the problem with only obeying the “letter of the law” like the Pharisees instead of the “Spirit of the law” as new creations in Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I’m a firm preacher against duty sex when I am able to talk with it in person with people in real life. Act like you actually care about your spouse and don’t be ruled by your own feelings.

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A core understanding of game, and its interactions with our purpose and sanctification

Jack posted a really good analysis of his understanding of where “game” may fit into the role of the sanctification of a wife. I highly suggest reading that post before this one as it provides some background on some of my assertions and so you won’t be confused about the topics I’m going to go over.

I want to address this topic from a deductive angle because I think that mainly drives home the points the best.

Attraction

In the last few posts, including the one on creeps and romantics, we understand that the same action by an unattractive man vs an attractive man garner different results.

The creep and romantic dynamic is thus:

  • If an unattractive man gives a woman flowers, he is a creep
  • If an attractive man gives a woman flowers, he is romantic

The same could be understood for jokes:

  • If an unattractive man tells a woman a joke, it has to be really funny to make a woman laugh
  • If an attractive man tells a woman a joke, it only has to be marginally funny (sometimes even not) for a woman to laugh

The underlying theme is that when a man is attractive, that gives him a lot more leeway with women. This is not something that is universal to just attractive men. Both attractive men and women have this social benefit of the doubt as there have been studies done in professional business settings on these particular topics such as getting raises, looked on favorably by superiors, less blame when something goes wrong, and and things like these.

Anti-chivalry and anti-feminism

In Christianity, chivalry, feminism, game, complementarianism, and egalitarianism, we explored the themes of each of these matching up. H/T Dalrock and Cane Caldo for exploring all these themes prior.

  • Christianity is the originator of the headship-submission model
  • Chivalry is the inversion of the this model (knight serves the lady) which has been passed off as Christianity by most Churches nowadays.
  • Complementarianism is essentially chivalry in the Church. Headship in name only but the husband serves the wife.
  • Feminism is a direct rebellion against Christianity.
  • Egalitarianism is overt feminism relationships in the Church.

So we have chivalry = complementarianism (masked inverted marital structure) and feminism = egalitarianism (overt inverted marital structure). This is how Christianity was perverted by the seeping in of different things into the Church:

Christianity
        \/
Chivalry –> Complementarianism (attempt to justify chivalry biblically)
        \/
Feminism –> Egalitarianism (attempt to justify feminism biblically)
        \/
Game (works against chivalry, complementarianism, feminism, and egalitarianism)

Game at it’s core is both anti-chivalry and anti-feminism which is why it works against the Christian variants (complementarianism and egalitarianism) in Christian marriages. Yet it’s only a band-aid on the actual problem as noted in previous posts: it usually covers up sin with a feel-good situation because it does not target sanctification.

Unification of understanding

To circle back, the reason why the PUAs/players shared notes on what worked and what didn’t was because they were men who were traditionally unsuccessful with women. In other words, they were men who were traditionally unattractive. Thus, to succeed with women they needed the social acumen to demonstrate to women that they were attractive and not unattractive.

This is obviously met with varying success: subsequent game worked for some and for others it didn’t which has led to widespread misunderstandings (this is where I can agree with jason that game may often times just not work and part of the reason why I am anti-game).

By unifying these two topics, we can come to the understanding that game at the core is about tearing down an inverted role relationship through social acumen.

Here’s an example. Any man that women consider traditionally unattractive (e.g. 80% of men via the OKCupid sample) are already placed in the friend zone upon meeting and interacting for the first time. Therefore, any girl who categorizes a man like this is assuming that he is just a friend (or beta orbiter). If that “friend” has good enough social acumen or game, he can possibly become more attractive to her that she may consider him for a relationship.

Thus, what is really happening is that perhaps a man has good enough social dominance to flip a woman’s attitude on him from unattractive to attractive. Or from herself controlling the situation (inverted role relationship with her as the leader and him the follower) to him controlling the situation (headship-submission dynamic where he is the leader and she is the follower). Instead of him orbiting her, she orbits him.

The failings of game

There are two core problems with this:

  1. As I’ve stated before, game may turn an inverted relationship to the correct model, but it does not bring about sanctification
  2. If social acumen wavers or fails or if the man’s life does not match up with his social acumen or charisma, the relationship will ultimately fail.

I’ve discussed the first before, so let’s discuss the second in more detail.

The social acumen and charisma of game is mimicking the way in which a natural leader would interact with women. The natural leader has no problem with being attractive, and he knows he is in charge in any relationship. Fundamentally, this is expressed through both attitude (confidence, unflappableness, masculinity, humor, etc.) and action (decisiveness, ambition, leadership, etc.).

Because game only mimics the social dominance of a natural leader, it is bound to fail if that is not reflected in the other parts of a man’s life. This is called “congruence.” If the outward and the inward don’t match up, women get suspicious and ultimately will walk away.

Perhaps the perfect analogy for this is women’s make up. The things women can do with make-up can make any woman extremely attractive now, but most men know that sometimes this is a facade. What is underneath? Does she have natural beauty or is she not that physically beautiful and covering it up? The same is true with game in that sense. Game makes a man look attractive but is the underneath also attractive?

This is the same reason that much of the newer stuff after about 2013 or so has gone the way that both “passive game” (e.g. lifting, style, mission, etc.) and “active game” (e.g. social acumen, charisma, etc.) are required. There must be congruence between who a man is on the inside versus who he is on the outside.

This is also why there is a lot of confusion about what “game” is because some refer to both as game but others refer to just the social techniques. If I had to call it, I’d say the latter is game while the former is being a man, at least as traditionally understood by the PUAs/players.

The gospel and sanctification

The gospel of Jesus is simple: we are sinners in need of a savior. We accept, believe, and confess that Jesus is Lord and repent of our former ways. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives, and our lives undergo a radical transformation from the inside out. We take off the old and put on the new to become more like Jesus, and this is manifest in good works, fruit of the Spirit, generosity, and so forth.

To accurately pinpoint why I think social game is a complete failure is that it attempts to work the system in reverse. It attempts to demonstrate outward change usually without or at least minimal inward change. It’s an attempted shortcut that has the capacity to blow up spectacularly because once the charade is found out the hypocrisy is evident. It’s akin to false bravado.

A husband can agree and amplify his wife all he likes or try to demonstrate confidence and masculinity, but if there is no inward transformation to be and act the head of the marriage as God commands or to lead by example then all there is will be make-up covering up the ugliness of the husband not following God’s commands.

Mission, identity, and purpose flow from God our Creator, and who wants us to obey Him. Out of these fundamental things flow the traits that many so desire. A man/husband who is secure in his identity in Christ, and following God’s mission (e.g. gifts of the Spirit, loving others, his own marital roles and responsibilities) is confident that he is walking rightly with God and that he has nothing to fear from anyone else. If they disagree or rebel, they are not disagreeing with him but God.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve worked through everything, I can say that I am anti-game for a few reasons which I can now accurately discern clearly aside from the initial first point of sanctification.

  • Game (social acumen, various techniques, etc.) does not lead to sanctification. Only focusing on obeying God does, and obeying God’s commands to love your wife for the purpose of sanctification.
  • Game has a noble cause (destroying inverted relationships dynamic which include both complementarianism and egalitarianism), but it attempts to do it in an inverted way itself by trying to talk or mimic a natural leader to success instead of lead by example. If viewed as false bravado or faking it, it may only increases resentment and strengthens the inverted relationship. The noble cause is why many Christians are split into the pro-game and anti-game camps.
  • The purpose of game is to try to change your woman/wife which may or may not work. Yes, it may work in some cases which is one of the reasons for confusion among Christians, and the reason it works is not that social techniques work but because the husband implicitly starts acting as leader again. The goal should be to focus on fulfilling your own Biblical marital roles and responsibilities and allow God to use your transformation to influence your wife.
  • The gospel and its message of inside-out transformation is the true way to be the head and lead by example. Not only will this not viewed as false bravado, but the inside-out change has the advantage of the creep-romantic dynamic. A more attractive husband at the core (not superficially with make-up) has greater influence and benefit of the doubt. The flowers are suddenly not catering to her but romantic to her. The jokes that weren’t funny are now funny. The “game techniques” or social acumen that maybe only worked sometimes or didn’t work before now work. Funny that right. It’s not that “game” helped that much if any, but the underlying dynamic already changed. If the dynamic has already changed, then game is simply superfluous.

A single man is the leader of one. Single men should cultivate an excellent life in his mission for God which includes all facets of his being: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. If a man marries, he becomes a leader of two, and so on with children and extended family.

If someone calls these things “passive game” or “game” then that’s dumb. It’s simply obeying God. Calling it game is just a knockoff of how God wants us to live and buying into some secular misrepresentation of the true meaning of life.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 15 Comments

On creeps and romantics and obedience to God

I don’t think I’ve made a post specifically on this, but I’ve discussed it a bunch in the comments and book. This usually helps a lot of men understand at least some of their marital woes. As we all know, wives can be rebellious even if it was Jesus leading the relationship/marriage.

The creep and romantic dynamic is thus:

  • If an unattractive man gives a woman flowers, he is a creep
  • If an attractive man gives a woman flowers, he is romantic

This also corresponds to marriage in an almost predictable fashion:

  • If an unattractive husband gives his wife flowers, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent.
  • If an attractive husband gives his wife flowers, he is so charming, sweet, and the wife gives him that “I wanna do you” look.

This can be expanded out to several more things that a husband does for her:

  • If a wife complains about laundry and the unattractive husband does it, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent
  • If the wife complains about the dishes or any other housework and the unattractive husband does it, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent
  • The one-up-manship of many things like engagement proposals or expensive dinners or acquiescing to demands.

This is the total futility of trying to love a wife by catering to her feelings. Her feelings are not something that can be bought, negotiated, or otherwise transacted by doing things for her.

It’s really amazing how the exact same action is interpreted in different ways by women and wives. Of course, the same exact scenario in reverse could be true of an overweight woman/wife versus a fit woman/wife wearing lingerie. A husband may get turned off by the former but turned on by the latter.

One of the mods on RPChristians reddit has a good analogy about this: hardware or software issue?

Most of the issues with “hardware” tend to stem from a lack of care or complacency about one’s own life:

  • A man may not be engaged with His mission for God and putting God first
  • He has a lack of care about his own spiritual life and is neglecting God’s marital roles and responsibilities toward her (to be the head and to love her toward sanctification).
  • He may have gone from muscular and fit to overweight or obese during the course of a relationship
  • He may have become a “yes dear” type of man over the course of the marriage
  • He could have gotten lazy over the course of the marriage and given in to lack of discipline over various areas of his life or work

All of these deficits in lack of care or complacency are things that typically make a man less attractive. Instead of embodying the traits that are attractive to women such as being confident, charismatic, masculine, ambitious leader, he is instead into an unconfident, bumbling his words and indecisive, feminized, complacent follower. Instead of being someone she respects, he is acting unrespectable.

A few things of note:

  • Obviously, if none of these or few of these things are true, you could just be dealing with a straight up rebellious wife which is certainly the case when culture and even the Church, friends, and family can sow discord in marriages nowadays.
  • Yes, it’s true that while wives should still respect their husbands when they act unrespectable, it’s true that it makes it significantly more difficult and they often don’t. It’s a stumbling block. Same with a wife that gets obese or constantly disrespects her husband and expects her husband to want to do her a lot. It’s a stumbling block.
  • This is the common is versus ought fallacy from the previous post that many in the Church make: because God wants to us to be godly, they think that godliness must be sexy. It isn’t. Just because we know wives ought to respect their husbands doesn’t mean they do, and it should not prevent a husband from fulfilling his own marital roles and responsibilities and be filled with the fruit of the Spirit in the face of a rebellious wife.

It is only those things done without any transactional mindsets that truly bring about any influence to change things. The focus should always to be on honoring God with what we do and not on trying to buy or alter someone as changing someone invites disaster. A husband that gets caught up in covert contracts (“if I only do this, she’ll come around or give me more sex”) or the mindset of “tit for tat” whether in a good way or bad way will always come to failure.

All this is to say you only have full control over yourself which means you can only wholly change yourself to be more like God. Focus on obeying God because He is the one we answer to in the end. Make sure your life is defined by excellence toward Him and strive for “well done good and faithful servant.” This leads to your own spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental transformation that God can use to influence a rebellious wife. Not because of anything you did or are doing for her but because of who you are becoming in Christ. Out of the heart flows actions that allow transformation and influence.

Attraction, like faith, is not primarily based on any external thing but by the reflection of your identity. If you strive to do everything you do as you do for Christ, that becomes visible externally.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 11 Comments

The goal for Christian husbands whose wives deny them should not be sex but their wife’s repentance

The previous post on the importance of God’s mission has some salient points for single and married husbands. 

Very few Christian men lead a missional lifestyle, and I think by and large this is also one of the reasons why they are unattractive to women (aside from things like obesity and other factors). Many non-Christian men have a purpose such as the love of money or power or bedding women or whatever. These purposes are obviously sinful and futile in the end, but they are attractive to women because women are attracted to the traits behind these: driven and ambitious.

It would be wise for any single Christian man to know and pursue their God-given mission even before any women come into his life. This way they cannot be put on a pedestal or idolized from the get go, and it correctly models the example of Christ.

Christian husbands who have not been doing this have a harder time, and that’s why “pulling back” from a wife to focus on doing what God has called us to do is so important. It gives God the opportunity to now use our own life as a living witness for Him whereas before there was a dysfunctional pattern of idolization of her feelings and expectations. This was the sin of Adam; intentionally going along with his wife in the garden instead of following God’s command. So too Christian husbands have the choice. It’s a hard one, especially if there have been dysfunctional patterns for years.

A pure focus on God and His mission as first in your life is the model of both 1 Corinthians 7 and Ephesians 5. This is what it means for even a husband to live as if he had no wife. When this is put into perspective of Christ’s love for the Church, we can see it leads to appropriate modeling (spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally) of that relationship which helps to break any dysfunctional marriage pattern that has started or existed. Yes, it will be difficult, but following God’s Word has always been that way.

In general, we live in a culture where all of the responsibility in a marriage is heaped on the husband whereas the wife is a perpetual victim of her husband “never doing enough” (to make her happy).

Some would question whether wives who continue in sin (especially if they recognize that the Scripture says sexual denial is wrong) are even Christian. All Christians have their “pet sins” or vices or whatever you want to call them. For wives it’s often pride, envy, contentiousness, disrespect, sexual denial, and things like these. If she is fruitful in other areas of her Christian walk, it’s likely that she’s a Christian. Just an immature one in this area (or possibly many areas). If she’s not fruitful and/or growing spiritually, it’s likely that she’s not.

The goal of the importance of God’s mission and acting as the leader in the home is not sex. Yes, you become more attractive so that generally your wife will want to have sex with you over time. Yes, that’s a good thing. But it’s not the end goal. When you start doing God’s mission for you and acting like a leader in the home, THAT is the way you actually help bring a wife to repentance. Yes, she should be mature enough Christian to realize that she is in sin and needs to repent, but that doesn’t always happen because most Christians are not spiritually mature and can recognize their own pet sins in a world that encourages them.

The end goal is not sex but to help a wife repent. That is what it means for a husband to love his wife for the purpose of sanctification as Christ loved the Church sacrificially (Eph 5). The goal is not sex. The goal is the wife’s repentance.

If repentance is not the goal then sex becomes the idol, and this leads down the road to replacing the idolatry of a wife’s feelings for the different idol of being a slave to your own flesh again. If she denies you, you get butt hurt and into a funk. This is only possible if you are placing sex at a place it doesn’t belong (even though you are owed it). This butt hurt always comes off the wrong way, as it shows a wife that she can still manipulate you with her denial. If she can manipulate you, she has power over you and you are implicitly telling her that you are not acting as the leader. You also fear her denial, leading you to make irrational choices that only contribute to hurt when she does this to you. This only leads back into the dysfunctional cycle of sex denial and more butt hurt.

Instead, the goal should be to model how Jesus did with the sinners of His time. How did He do that? He didn’t shun them or get mad at them (and their sin) but hung out with them and influenced them through his words and actions. Yes, sin is offensive to God, but God is not hurt by any man’s sin. He is angry at it, but he is slow to anger because He desires that all would come to repentance. Jesus ministered to them until they got to a point where they were receptive to His ministry: “go and sin no more” or they went and told others about Him because He had such an impact on their life.

When God’s mission becomes the goal in all areas of your life, it imparts the behaviors that break dysfunctional cycles. Making sex as an idol may temporarily help because your attractiveness may improve, but it does not bring a wife to repentance and it is easy to fall back in the same behavioral patterns. Yet if your goal is to bring a wife to repentance, it is clear that helping a non-Christian or immature Christian wife in these particular areas needs patience and time and good modeling from you to break the cycle. You obey God, and God’s way often wins the other’s hearts back (which often includes the sex that you so desired).

Addendum: I can see in the comments that some people are having difficulty with understanding these concepts.

I am not advocating any sort of asceticism or saying that sex is unholy. What I am saying though is that making your wife your ONEitis even in marriage (especially for sex) is going to lead toward a transactional mindset of “tit for tat” dysfunction that occurs when any sort of denial of sex happens. Husbands are creating covert contracts in their mind that if they only do this one thing (e.g. become more attractive, become a better leader, become more muscular, etc)  that their wife will want to have more sex. Yes, that may be true, but it’s incomplete without repentance.

Yes, the husband and wife freely giving sex to each other is part of the repentance process (though usually the end result of it). Focusing primarily on the sex leads to dysfunction, even though that is what a husband is owed (or wife is owed if a husband is denying her). Repentance leads to reconciliation.

The men who are struggling with this in their marriage and walking it out understand perfectly.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 71 Comments