Conservatives still don’t get it or don’t want to

A David Masciotra responds to the “toxic masculinity” article on American Conservative.

I had my eye on the prettiest girl at the party. We’d met a few months earlier in high school biology. When class had let out one day, I’d shouted her name, Lindsey, and said, “Good to meet you. It’s my lucky day, I guess.” She’d turned around as if she was on a runway, and her long, bright, blonde hair flipped, forming a frame around her beautiful face. She’d flashed me a smile. I’d felt volts of electricity charge my body.

Back at the party, as I broke the law by nursing a Miller Lite, I watched with bewilderment and envy as Lindsey flirted with a dork named Steve. All of our conversations before and after class, my attempts at charm and wit, my transparently weak excuses for greeting Lindsey at her locker before first period, had gotten me nowhere. I stepped outside to commit my second crime of the evening.

As I took slow drags off my cigarette, I heard a shout that contained subtle hints of Lindsey’s melodious voice—“Get off me!” Making my way around the house to the backyard, I noticed that the screams were becoming increasingly angry and desperate. A deeper voice issued vague commands—“Come on!” “Stop it!”

Steve had his hands on Lindsey’s hips as he pressed her against the aluminum siding of the split-level home. Without thinking, I threw my smoldering Winston into the grass, dropped my beer, and escalated my illegal activity. I pushed Steve away from Lindsey, and then punched him in the face. The blow knocked him back, but he managed to regain his bearings before falling to the ground. He spat some obscenities at me before walking to his car, which was in severe need of a muffler, and drove away.

A few minutes later, Lindsey gave me a kiss with more power than my right hook.

Between the noble exhibition of strength and the romantic affection from an attractive woman, the party had become a moment of idealized manhood. I felt as if I was Elvis Presley in the films I’d enjoyed watching on Turner Classic Movies every night before I went to bed. It’s abhorrent to view a woman’s pain and potential suffering as an opportunity for male edification, but there are moments when an evil act of victimization requires masculine intervention. Elvis’s characters lived according to that ethic, as did the literary hero whose triumphs I’d read during study hall, Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe.

He starts off with with some cartoonish chivalry. The good man needs to stand up against the bad man, and the good man gets the girl.

There’s nothing wrong with standing up to protect those weaker, but the notion that it actually leads to romance is incorrect on several levels. An unattractive man who protects a woman may only get a “thanks” at most in return. Good and bad are, of course, relative to the notions of manliness that the author is purporting.

Today, in the contemporary context of sexual misconduct, masculine intervention is the subject of fear, ridicule, and diagnostic examination. The deluge of harassment and assault accusations against major political, media, and entertainment figures following the exposure of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual criminal has understandably provoked many writers, especially of feminist ideology, to identify and lament the “crisis of masculinity.”

Slate recently ran an analysis of sexual harassment with the headline “Men Aren’t Monstrous, But Masculinity Can Be,” and a writer for the New York Times explored the “unexamined brutality of the male libido.” Charles Blow, for the same paper, declared, “We have to re-examine our toxic, privileged, encroaching masculinity.”

While it doesn’t hurt to negotiate and navigate the meaning of masculinity, contemptuous generalizations about men are unhealthy and dangerous, because they flirt with prejudice. Even Jessica Valenti, one of the most recognized and committed advocates of feminism, objected to the New York Times’ sloppy headline on the male libido, writing, “Men’s sexuality is not inherently predatory and claiming it is normalizes assault.”

Sweeping indictments of the masculine also deflect attention from one of the most elementary truths to emerge out of the reckoning of sexual predators. The crisis of masculinity is not one of excess, but scarcity.

On the surface, this seems like solid analysis. Yet, we see some of the first cracks in the armor of missing the point completely altogether. Let’s move on to see how it all falls apart.

Rich literary, historical, and cultural traditions depict masculine heroism as protection of the vulnerable and powerless. Stories of military valor, the selfless acts of bravery from firefighters and rescue workers, even the New Testament allegory of Jesus Christ rescuing a prostitute from the mob preparing to stone her, demonstrate that masculinity at its apex is the employment of power, force, and authority for assistance and guardianship of those who, at least temporarily, are unable to save themselves.

The most obvious of masculine virtues inform the presentation of masculine heroism—responsibility, gallantry, and integrity. Ernest Hemingway’s heroes illustrate an impervious stoicism that is easy to parody when coming from writers without his genius, but when done right, it shows the crucial connection between pride and manhood.

None of these qualities—only their polar opposites—are identifiable in the predation of Weinstein, Louis C.K., and their fellow offenders. Their behavior is so thoroughly reprehensible that many have missed its second most prevalent characteristic: it is pathetic.

One of the most baffling oddities to emerge out of these sexual harassment stories is how many men of power enjoy acts of indecent exposure. There is a juvenile “look at me” aspect to surprising a woman with a masturbatory act that, in addition to being odious and repugnant, makes it entirely unmanly. The nearest comparison is not to some high-testosterone lothario, but to an adolescent desperately craving attention through the humiliation of his subjects.

Even the womanizer possesses masculinity that runs in stark contrast with the pitiable onanism of these contemporary harassers. Masculine sexual charisma, whether visible in the charm and seduction techniques of a fictional character like James Bond or a real-life adulterer like Mick Jagger, is desirable because it attracts women and sparks sexual desire, leading to consensual and mutually pleasurable affairs. No normal teenage boy fantasizes about abusing his power to assault women who have no interest in him.

One of Weinstein’s accusers claims that after she rejected his unwanted advances, the film mogul cried, saying, “You rejected me because I’m fat.”

The stories of misconduct making headlines on a daily basis are not the triumphs of masculinity’s winners, but the woes of its losers.

It is clear that the bipartisan parade of groping misogynists lack the most fundamental respect for women, and in their moral failure to view them as human beings, treat them as toys for their own sexual amusement. They also lack the pride that is essential to the maintenance of masculine confidence and bravado.

In the process of harming women, these men have embarrassed themselves. One of the important questions, as always, is why? Why, even if certain men refuse to acknowledge the dignity and autonomy of women, does pride not prevent them from behaving as freaks and fools?

Resolving the sickly lack of masculinity, along with cultivating a culture that has no tolerance for the degradation of women, are the long-term solutions for sexual harassment. In the short term, it appears that many men could use a good punch to the face.

Where does David go wrong? He is, of course, right in classify most forms of masculinity via sexual misconduct or violence today as “juvenile” or “immature.”

There is always a cause for behavior, and conservatives don’t want to look at the cause but only criticize the results. Why? Because then they would have to blame feminism.

To answer David’s questions:

In the process of harming women, these men have embarrassed themselves. One of the important questions, as always, is why? Why, even if certain men refuse to acknowledge the dignity and autonomy of women, does pride not prevent them from behaving as freaks and fools?

Why? Feminism tore down the very system which raised men that wanted to protect women.

  • Husband as authority in marriage
  • Lack of respect for husbands and fathers
  • No fault divorce
  • Mother custody of children
  • Duluth laws

At the hands of feminism, families were ripped apart and destroyed. Boys grew up without fathers. Discipline, honor, and respect were thrown to the wayside. Chivalry was killed. The consequences of this are men that are more violent, sexually aggressive, and lack self control.

Resolving the sickly lack of masculinity, along with cultivating a culture that has no tolerance for the degradation of women, are the long-term solutions for sexual harassment. In the short term, it appears that many men could use a good punch to the face.

The result of not blaming feminism is that you have to blame someone. That someone happens to be men because it “appears that many men could use a good punch to the face.” The old switcheroo. Blame men is always a good answer.

Conservatives don’t want to call feminism bad, even though the feminist rebellion has caused many of the problems that we have today.

Whether it is to cater to female voters or whatever who really knows. But conservatives still don’t get it or they don’t want to.

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Hypergamy is good

Figured it would be good to have a post this topic as I haven’t done one already and Donal’s thread recently brought it up.

Historically, hypergamy — termed in 19th century India — was used to signify marrying up in terms of caste or status. However, colloquially and in social sciences now it means simply marrying up (in whatever capacity).

To put it another way, hypergamy is simply the traits in which women are sexually attracted to men: masculinity, power, status, charisma, looks, money, athleticism, talent, and so on. These are the ways that women will “marry up” because they want to be with a man who is sexually attractive to them.

God created women with a hypergamous instinct and therefore it is good. It is good just as the fact that God created men are attracted to beautiful, young, virgins. This is also the same as the fact that sexual desire is good. This is also the same as the fact that authority is good because of the intention with how God created it, even though fallible humans can use authority selfishly.

The main problem is when hypergamous instincts become an idol. There’s nothing wrong with factoring in sexual attraction in choosing a husband (or vice versa with a wife). However, if it is chosen over good character, strong faith, or other attributes such as roles and responsibilities in marriage or pre-marital sex or other type of sinful activities then it goes off the rails.

Of course, the culture is all about glorifying that which is sinful and evil, so we tend to get the impression that hypergamy is bad. However, it is not in itself bad.

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“Toxic masculinity”

“Tyler” on Slate writes Men Aren’t Monstrous, but Masculinity Can Be. It’s pretty short, so I’ll just go through the whole thing.

While bent over locking up my bike in Chicago a few years ago, I heard the all-too-familiar sound of a wolf whistle. I turned around to get a look at the jerks accosting some woman on the street, only to realize I was the one who was being cat called. A man passing by from behind had seen my long curly hair and tight jeans and mistaken me for a woman. When I turned around to face him, he was shocked and started apologizing profusely. In so many words, he was saying: ”This is an unacceptable way to behave toward a man.” And we both knew, if I were a woman, there would be no apology.

This is the double standard at the heart of masculinity: Men are taught to regularly say and do things to women that they would never say or do to other men, that they would never want men to say or do to them. That is not due to some timeless “male libido” driving their behavior. It’s because masculinity is founded on the myth that men alone are rights-bearing persons and women are subordinate, passive, second-class beings who either need the protection of or deserve to be subjected to men.

The author “claims” that men are taught to “wolf whistle” women.

I seem to recall that back in the day when husbands and fathers were not getting divorced they would teach their kids to be kind and respectable youngsters who treated women in a chivalrous manner.

I wonder why the incidence of wolf whistling has gone up, with the advent of no-fault divorce, almost all mother custody, and fatherlessness.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, however, writer Stephen Marche uses some outdated Freudian ideas about sexuality and gender and the recent explosion of allegations of sexual misconduct to argue that male sexual desire is inherently brutal and oppressive. Thus, there’s no use, as Marche puts it, in “pretending to be something else, some fiction you would prefer to be.” So, feminist ideas are practically useless. The only fruitful thing men can do to respect women as equals is repress their natural urges.

In truth, the very problem with masculinity Marche describes in his op-ed is too much repression: The rules governing masculinity require men to be stoic, to repress virtually all of their emotions (except anger). This leads many men to severely underdevelop their own ability to analyze and communicate about their own feelings. Our culture, not men’s nature, has enforced this emotional repression.

Indeed, every man can think of at least one experience where he was punished for failing—whether intentionally or accidentally—to obey the dictates of these masculine rules. I remember a playground game where my friends and I would re-enact scenes from Disney films. I volunteered myself for the role of Ariel from the Little Mermaid. She was the protagonist and, it seemed to me, the best character to be. My peers bullied and teased me for this failure to obey the rules of compulsory masculinity for weeks afterward, and “Ariel” became a standard go-to insult in arguments.

This policing of masculinity is the reason why the vast majority of fist fights I’ve witnessed between men were preceded by trash talk in which the men called each other “little bitches” or “pussies.” The worst thing a man could be accused of being is feminine, since femininity is, in contrast, just another word for weak, passive, and fit to be dominated by other men. (This kind of masculinity is not just responsible for misogyny then, but for homophobia and transphobia too.)

This is the kind of masculinity that also teaches men they don’t have to ask permission to act on their sexual desires. They’re supposed to take charge and have no reason to respect women’s autonomy. This is what feminists mean when they say sexual harassment and assault are about power, not desire. It’s our culture, not our libidos, that shapes the way men act upon otherwise healthy, run-of-the-mill sexual desires. In itself, there is nothing inherently brutal in a man who is sexually attracted to a woman he works with—no more than there would be if a woman desires a man she works with.

Again, fathers taught boys not to do this; they taught discipline and self control. Emotions were not repressed but controlled, and men act out of honor and dignity.

You tend to see the type of behavior the blogger describes in the most reckless and violent populations, which, not coincidentally is composed by a vast majority of single mothers. It’s scientifically proven, as we’ve discussed time and time again.

But there is a difference between discreetly (or silently) deriving pleasure from someone’s presence, on the one hand, and imposing one’s desires on that person, especially if they’re unreturned or unwanted. The difference here, as the feminist philosopher Sandra Bartky puts it, is the difference between healthy eroticism and rituals rooted in toxic ideas about masculinity.

If a man wants to act on his attraction, or sexual urges? Here, communication, the very thing modern notions of masculinity train us away from, is key. Genuine communication is a two-way street; it presupposes that both participants have an equal right to withdraw from the interaction or decline an offer. Men already understand this to some extent, because this is how men typically behave in interactions with other men.

So, relating to women as equals, as genuine peers, doesn’t necessarily require repressing desire. Instead, it requires coming to terms with the fact that masculinity trains men to have great difficulty recognizing women—or, indeed, anyone that presents as feminine—as persons, as agents, as authoritative and worthy of respect, and then making an effort to see and treat them that way.

In 1945 only 24 percent of Americans thought women should be allowed to hold jobs outside the home. In that same year, 25 percent of Americans thought there were often good reasons to pay men and women different amounts for doing the same kind of work. But by 1993 that number had dropped to 13 percent—and women’s workforce participation rate had doubled.

In 1987, 30 percent of Americans said they agreed that “women should return to their traditional social role of remaining in the home.” In 2012, by contrast, only 18 percent said this. Thus, it’s no surprise that in the past 20 years, the number of dads who stay home with children has dramatically increased and men in general are spending significantly more time parenting their children. Masculinity and femininity are changing quickly, and both men and women are the better for it.

The typical dig at patriarchy.

Instead of calling for repression, we should stop punishing children and adults for failing to obey the unhealthy dictates of masculinity—men need less repression, not more. That this would make for a less violent, sexist (and transphobic) world is reason enough to see it as a worthy goal. But, so, too would it free men from a great deal of anxiety, self-hatred, pain, and loneliness.

A few years before my own experience with a catcall, I saw a young woman walking down a Chicago street with a milkshake in hand. A man watching her pass by shouted, “Titties!” at her. Without skipping a beat, she turned around, threw her milkshake at him, and continued on her way. Those of us on the street chuckled in admiration as the man stood dripping from head to toe with chocolate milkshake.

Was this a man overcome by brutal sexual desires he needed to better repress? I don’t think so. This was a man who needed a wake-up call that the woman he was shouting at was a person, not an object for him to dominate. Maybe the #MeToo moment will be just that for a lot of men, and we should consider ourselves lucky not to get our wake-up call served up so icy cold.

“Tyler” — if he is a man at all — has been brainwashed into believing some false narrative of masculinity.

At the hands of feminism, families were ripped apart and destroyed. Boys grew up without fathers. Discipline, honor, and respect were thrown to the wayside. Chivalry was killed. The consequences of this are men that are more violent, sexually aggressive, and lack self control.

Then you get articles like this. This form of masculinity that is violent, sexually aggressive, and lacking self control is instead blamed on the “vestiges of patriarchy” and that “we haven’t done enough” to eradicate masculinity as a whole. Talk about circular logic.

The very negative consequences that feminism and liberalism have caused are blamed on the very structures that prevented that behavior in the first place.

It’s crazy, and they’re crazy.

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On divorce Part 5

This post is a rerere-consolidation and simplified explanation of the Scriptures on divorce. Previous discussions include several conversations and much of the same material from On divorce and On divorce Part 2 and On divorce Part 3 and On divorce Part 4. Also related: polygyny. This is one of the original research articles that got me started on analyzing the Scriptures on divorce. Read it if you have time.

The Lysa divorce fiasco thread that keeps on giving is why I took a look at this again.

The biggest thing is that people don’t properly understand the background of all of the OT passages on divorce and putting away which set the stage for why Jesus is talking specifically about putting away and not divorce.

This re-re-re-post removes excess verbiage and makes the controversial verse (Matthew 19:9) easier to understand.  To understand it fully, I would suggest re-reading the whole thing as all of the Scripture is tied together or at the very least starting from part 6 to understand the entire background of the Pharisees’ passage.

Table of contents

  1. Deuteronomy 24 — What is legal divorce according to the Scriptures?
  2. Deuteronomy 22 — What constitutes marital fraud?
  3. Jeremiah 3 and Isaiah 50 — The adulterous cases of Israel and Judah
  4. Malachi 2 — the background from the Old Testament to the New Testament
  5. Deuteronomy 24 and Matthew 5 and 19 — The synonymous terms of legal divorce in the OT and NT
  6. Matthew 19:3 — the Pharisees’ multi layered trap
  7. Matthew 19:4-6 — Jesus goes back to the creation
  8. Matthew 19:7 — The Pharisees’ confusion
  9. Matthew 19:8 — Jesus’ response on hardness of heart
  10. Matthew 19:9 — The heavily misinterpreted passage of Scripture
  11. Matthew 19:10-12 — the disciples actually understand the gravity of marriage
  12. Matthew 1:18-19 — the case of Joseph and Mary
  13. Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:13-18 — the unification of Matthew with Mark and Luke
  14. Romans 7 — understanding the context of Jewish divorce
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 — the Lord’s command to husbands and wives
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 — Paul, not the Lord, says to live with unbelieving spouses
  17. Arguments against divorce for adultery
  18. Conclusion

Let’s get started.


1. Deuteronomy 24 — What is legal divorce according to the Scriptures?

Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and give it in her hand, and send (shâlach) her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth (shâlach) her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Legal divorce is composed of two parts in Mosiac law. This will be important later.

  1. Sepher keriythth — Writing and giving the wife a bill of divorcement.
  2. Shalach — Sending her out of the house or away.

2. Deuteronomy 22 — What constitutes marital fraud?

Marital fraud is found in Deuteronomy 22.

Deuteronomy 22:13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: 16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away (shâlach) all his days.

20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

From a historical perspective, very few if any women that were caught in marital fraud were actually stoned. Women caught in marital fraud were simply put away without being legally divorced (put away + writ of divorce) as the couple was not considered legally married.

Distinguishing legal divorce from marital fraud is important because it shows how a woman could be put away (without being legally divorced).

3. Jeremiah 3 and Isaiah 50 — The adulterous cases of Israel and Judah

The Lord is shown to follow the laws he outlined in Deuteronomy 24 for legal divorce in the cases of Israel and Judah.

Jeremiah 3:6 The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away (shâlach), and given her a bill of divorce (sêpher kerı̂ythûth); yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.

Israel was not brought back out of Assyrian captivity. By the time the NT rolls around, they were no longer “Jews” but “Samaritans” because they have been divorced by God and intermixed with the surrounding nations. The Samaritans were despised by the Jews because they were no longer part of the God’s chosen people.

It should be noted that the Lord still wants repentance in Jeremiah 3:14, even though He legally divorced Israel.

On the other hand, the Lord speaking to Judah does not divorce her even though He puts her away.

Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the Lord [to Judah], Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement (sêpher ‘êm kerı̂ythûth), whom I have put away (shâlach)? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away (shâlach). 2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

In the case of Judah, we know that Jesus comes from the lineage of Judah and David. The Lord allows Judah to be put away into captivity for their transgressions. Afterward, He redeems and delivers Judah out of captivity as read in Nehemiah and Ezra and upholds  His covenant with them through the rebuilding of His temple. Then He brings full redemption to them through sending His Son Jesus to die bring forth the New Covenant.

4. Malachi 2 — The background from the Old Testament to the New Testament

Malachi is the last prophet for 400 years before Jesus. Malachi points out Israelite backsliding due to assimilation of the surrounding cultures much like today.

Malachi 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away (shâlach): for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

The passage only talks about putting away and not legal divorce under the Law of Moses. The main background behind this passage is that “divorce” in surrounding cultures was simply putting away (without a writ of divorce). Husbands sent their wives out of the house and that was a divorce. Husbands mimicked the surrounding culture because of two reasons:

  1. Selfish gain. If a wife was legally divorced — put away with a writ of divorce — she would receive back the dowry that the bride’s father paid. However, if she was put away without a writ of divorce she would not receive back the dowry.
  2. Marginalized wives. A legal divorce — put away with a writ of divorce — would allow the divorced wife to remarry. However, if a wife was put away she would still be legally married to her husband, which allowed her unable to remarry without committing adultery.

This is why putting away is termed treacherous by the Lord. This assimilation of the surrounding culture sets the stage for Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees in the New Testament.

5. Deuteronomy 24 and Matthew 5 and 19 — The synonymous terms of legal divorce in the OT and NT

The OT was written in Hebrew and the NT was written primarily in Greek.  There are synonymous terms in the Hebrew and Greek.

Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and give it in her hand, and send (shâlach) her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth (shâlach) her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

  1. Sepher keriythth — Writing and giving the wife a bill of divorcement.
  2. Shalach — Sending her out of the house or away.

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos)? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away (apoluō) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another,commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

G630 — ἀπολύω — apoluō — ap-ol-oo’-o
From G575 and G3089; to free fully, that is, (literally) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexively depart), or (figuratively) let die, pardon, or (specifically) divorce: – (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.

G647 — ἀποστάσιον — apostasion — ap-os-tas’-ee-on
Neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: – (writing of) divorcement.

  1. GREEK Apostasion and HEBREW Sepher keriythth — Writing and giving the wife a bill of divorcement.
  2. GREEK Apoluo and HEBREW Shalach — Sending her out of the house or away.

Note: I crossed out the two instances of “divorce” within Strong’s definition of apoluo because apoluo does not denote a legal divorce according to the Law of Moses. Hence, Jesus would not have used apoluo to mean “divorce” in Matthew because He does not abolish the law but fulfills the law.

6. Matthew 19:3 — the Pharisees’ multi layered trap

Line by line analysis, given our solid background:

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause?

The word “every cause” is another instance of background. The Pharisees, specifically the Hillelites, claimed you could legally divorce for “every cause” due to an interpretation of uncleanness in Deuteronomy 24 meaning any form of displeasure. (The article gets the conclusion wrong, but the background is important). It’s likely that the Pharisees who asked this question to Jesus were Hillelites, which is why they threw in the “every cause” phrase in as well to challenge Jesus further.

Your spider senses should be tingling with the tricky wording of “lawful” with “putting away” (without writ of divorce) and “every cause.”

The trap is that the Pharisees are pitting Roman law versus a specific interpretation of Jewish law. In Roman law you could “divorce” your wife by “putting her away” (apoluo) much like the surrounding culture in Malachi 2. However, Jewish law in Deuteronomy 24 you could divorce your wife by “putting her away” (apoluo or shalach) AND giving her a bill of divorcement (Apostasion or Sepher keriythth).

The trap: If Jesus answers that you can put away a wife without a bill of divorcement the Pharisees can call Jesus a blasphemer as He is not following Jewish law. If Jesus says that you need a bill of divorcement then the Pharisees accuse Jesus to the Romans and say that He is subverting Roman law (like they eventually did before Pontius Pilate).

This is similar to other traps the Pharisees employed such as it being lawful to pay taxes to God or Caesar (Matt 22, Mark 12) which would pit Jewish law against Roman law.

7. Matthew 19:4-6 — Jesus goes back to the creation

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Jesus knows that it’s a no-win question. He sidesteps the Pharisees’ trap by avoiding talking about Roman and Jewish law. Instead, Jesus discusses the creation of man and what God intended. He would know because He was there in the beginning (see: John 1:1-4).

This is Jesus’ answer on divorce: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

No divorce.

8. Matthew 19:7 — The Pharisees’ confusion

Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos)?

The Pharisees see that Jesus has cleverly sidestepped their trap and are confused. If God did not intended for any divorce then why divorce in the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 24 (Putting the wife away AND giving her a bill of divorcement)?

The Pharisees acknowledgement that the Law of Moses declared that a divorce is composed of putting away AND bill of divorcement reveals their trap. The Pharisees knew that a divorce was putting away and a bill of divorcement, but they only tested Jesus on putting away only.

9. Matthew 19:8 — Jesus’ response of hardness of heart

Matthew 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away (apoluō) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Jesus responds that this part of the law was created because human hearts are hard. Jesus doesn’t want “putting away” for any reason: valid divorce which is “putting away + writ of divorce” (e.g. Deut 24) or treacherous “putting away” (e.g. Malachi 2) because of the hardness of hearts.

10. Matthew 19:9 — The heavily misinterpreted passage of Scripture

Jesus answers the original question that the Pharisees posed: “what lawful instances can a man put away?” You can see the mirror of the verses which confirms this:

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause?

[…]

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

We have established that Jesus is answering the Pharisees original question. Next, read the verse without the “exception clause” to understand why it makes sense.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

Simplified:

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, […], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

In plain English:

If you put away your wife and marry another you commit adultery and whoever marries her commits adultery.

The meaning is obvious. If you put away your wife without legally divorcing her — give her a writ of divorcement before sending her away — you’re still married to her. If you’re still married to her, both you and her commit adultery if you marry another.

Now to add in back the exception:

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

What is the only case you can “put away” a “wife” without legal divorce? In the Law of Moses that would be Deuteronomy 22 where the marriage was invalid because of fraud. Since the marriage was invalid because of fraud, you can put her away without giving her a writ of divorce.

Porneia, in this case, refers specifically to invalid marriages because of marital fraud.

There is additional evidence why porneia does not refer to adultery here.

  • First, Jesus specifically says “except it be for fornication (porneia). “Fornication” is any illicit sexual union including incest (1 Cor 5) and adultery. If Jesus was referring specifically to adultery here then “moichao” is a much more accurate term than “porneia.” Moichao is used later in the verse, yet it is not used here. You would have to admit that Jesus doesn’t know to use the term “adultery” if he is permitting divorce.
  • Second, if Jesus was talking specifically about a legitimate divorce for adultery, according to the Law of Moses, He would have said (in reference to Deut 24):

“Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) with a writ of divorce (apostasion) his wife, “except it be for adultery (moichiao),

Instead, He says in reference to Deut 22:

“Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, “except it be for fornication (porneia),

The Greek wording is important because it tells us what passages Jesus is referencing in Mosaic Law. The answer is Deuteronomy 22 and illegitimate marriages as opposed to Deuteronomy 24 and rules on divorce.

  • Third, this also explains exactly happening in Malachi 2 and Roman times. Husbands were defaulting to the culture and putting away their wives without a writ of divorce contrary to the Law of Moses. The wives could not marry again because they were still married to their original husbands. If they did they were committing adultery.
  • Fourth, Jesus continues to avoid the Pharisees’ trap. Remember, “putting away” in Roman culture is synonymous for divorce. Jesus references the only part of the Law where “putting away” is valid, which would not conflict with Roman divorce laws.
  • Fifth, sacraments/covenants like marriage cannot be formed if there is deception by any party. They require that the full Truth is disclosed. This is similar to contract law and why there are annulments for invalid marriages.
  • Sixth, the nail in the coffin. If Jesus was saying you could divorce for adultery, then He would simply be repeating Deuteronomy 24 verbatim as it says a husband could legitimately divorce for adultery. Given the disciples response in the next section, we know that is not what Jesus is saying.

A preponderance of logical evidence backs the “exception clause” referring directly to the Deuteronomy 22. The man could put the wife away (without a writ of divorce) because the marriage was a sham. Thus,

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia) [illicit/fraudulent sexual deception which forms an invalid marriage], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

Therefore, Jesus makes two distinct statements in this entire passage:

On marriage and divorce:

Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

On putting away in regard to fraudulent marriages (referencing Deut 22):

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia) [illicit/fraudulent sexual deception which forms an invalid marriage], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

In conclusion, Jesus says there is no divorce. You can only put away if there is marriage fraud.

For example, in the case of fraud, a wife that lies about her past sexual history can be put away because it’s a fraudulent marriage. Interestingly, though we often negatively critique him, Mark Driscoll experienced this. You can see the devastation, which is why God makes an exception for this.

11. Matthew 19:10-12 — the disciples actually understand the gravity of marriage

Matthew 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

The disciples, despite how they are often mocked at not understanding things, readily understand that Jesus is saying that there is no divorce. The only exception is that you can put away a wife if she fraudulently married by deception.

Additional evidence supports this. As mentioned prior, if Jesus was saying you could divorce for adultery (like in Deut 24), the disciples would not have responded like this.

When Jesus fulfills the Law, it is always vastly more difficult than the former Law. For example, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22) is transformed to “a new command I give to you: that you love one another, just as I have loved you, that you love one another” (John 13, John 15).

The standards of the the New Testament always supersede that of the Old Testament.

No divorce period except for fraudulent marriages is a hard word. A really hard word.

12. Matthew 1:18-19 — the case of Joseph and Mary

Additional evidence is the case where Joseph was going to put Mary away.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus [r]Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [s]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away (apoluō autos) privily.

Joseph engagement and marriage with Mary would have been fraudulent because he was supposed to be marrying a virgin. To him Mary was not a virgin because she was with child. It took an angel of God to convince him otherwise.

13. Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:13-18 — the unification of Matthew with Mark and Luke

 In Mark 10:

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife? tempting him. 3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos). 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery (moichaō) against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away (apoluō) her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery (moichaō).

And also in Luke 16:

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

18 Whosoever putteth away (apoluō) his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery (moichaō): and whosoever marrieth her that is put away (apoluō) from her husband committeth adultery (moichaō).

First, there is no “exception clause” in both Mark and Luke. This would conflict with the passages in Matthew passages if it referred to adultery. As we now know, Mark and Luke do not conflict with Matthew because the “exception clause” refers to fraudulent marriages and not divorce for adultery.

Second, the background behind these passages is that Mark and Luke were mainly written to the Gentiles while Matthew was written to the Hebrews. The reason for this is that “putting away” was “divorce” for the Gentiles. The instruction is that they should not do that at all. As they were not under the Law of Moses, this goes back to Jesus statement of original intention: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” There is no divorce for Gentile believers.

14. Romans 7 — understanding the context of Jewish divorce

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Romans 7 does not speak specifically about whether you can legally divorce or not. Paul is speaking to the scenarios of being unbound by the law (in death) rather than about divorce because He is discussing our salvation and grace versus works. Husbands were allowed to divorce their wives in Deuteronomy 24, but wives were not allowed to divorce their husbands. Hence, when Paul speaks to the scenario of a wife being bound by the law to her husband until he dies as the example because a wife cannot divorce her husband.

15. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 — the Lord’s command to husbands and wives

The Lord speaks through Paul:

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart (chōrizō) from her husband: 11 But and if she depart (chōrizō), let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away (aphiēmi) his wife.

G5563 — χωρίζω — chōrizō — kho-rid’-zo
From G5561; to place room between, that is, part; reflexively to go away: – depart, put asunder, separate.

G863 — ἀφίημι — aphiēmi — af-ee’-ay-mee
From G575 and ἵημι hiēmi (to send; an intensive form of εἶμι eimi (to go)); to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.

G630 — ἀπολύω — apoluō — ap-ol-oo’-o
From G575 and G3089; to free fully, that is, (literally) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexively depart), or (figuratively) let die, pardon, or (specifically) divorce: – (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.

The Lord is speaking to a Roman/Greek population in the Corinthians and not the Jewish people. Hence, the Lord is speaking against the Roman law that “divorce” could be done through “putting away” or simply “departing” in the case of the wife.

Likewise, the Lord follows this up with the only correct path for those separated or divorced: stay single or reconcile. This is a hard word for most Christians because divorce and remarriage to another is not an option.

This agrees with Jesus’ original statements on divorce: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Jesus and the Father are one, and they are in agreement.

16. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 — Paul, not the Lord, says to live with unbelieving spouses

1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put away (aphiēmi autos). 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him (aphiēmi autos). 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart (chōrizō), let him depart (chōrizō). A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

This passage is also used as a so-called exception clause for remarriage. “If I’m not under bondage anymore because my unbelieving wife or husband left me then I can remarry.” That is the “liberal” interpretation of this passage.

If you examine the wording closely, the passage only says that if they depart then you’re not under the bondage of the marriage anymore. It does not necessarily condone remarriage either. You have to make a leap of faith to do that.

Overall, it’s not specifically clear so there is the possible that you are allowed to remarry if an unbelieving spouse leaves.

17. Arguments against divorce for adultery

We’ve examined all of the evidence for the exception clause of putting away to refer to Deuteronomy 22 and marital fraud. Here is the evidence that the exception clause does not refer to divorce for adultery based on the text.

  • Moichao = act of adultery specifically. Jesus doesn’t use that word in the “exception.”
  • Putting away is not divorce according to the Law of Moses, which both Jesus and the Pharisees knew.
  • Disciples response (“it is better not to marry”) indicates that it does not refer to Deut 24 where you can already divorce for adultery.
  • Why would Jesus repeat and agree to what the Pharisees already stated which is the fact that the Law of Moses states you can divorce for adultery.
  • Precedent of Joseph and Mary where “putting away” is the righteous option for marital fraud (not killing her according to Deut 22).
  • Agreement of Mark and Luke. If Jesus made an exception Matthew, then Mark and Luke would not agree with Matthew and the Bible would contradict itself.

Overall, I can’t think of one piece of evidence in combination with looking at both theOld and New Testament that indicates one can divorce for adultery. The only circumstantial evidence that those who support divorce for adultery keep trying to stand on is that “porneia” can refer to adultery in some instances according to Strong’s. Ironically, it is never used to refer to adultery in the NT, especially when there is a more suitable word which is moichao.

There are also no Christian traditions that support divorce for adultery. The only exception is in the past century or so with the rise of feminism.

18. Conclusions

Jesus talks about marriage, divorce, and putting away. Understanding which passages Jesus refers to is critical to unifying all of Scripture on the topic of divorce.

  1. Putting away is NOT divorce in the context of Mosaic Law and in the gospel of Matthew. It is a two part process of putting away and a bill of divorcement. – Deut 22, 24; Mal 2; Jer 3; Isa 50; Matt 5, 19
  2. Putting away is synonymous with divorce for the Gentiles. — Mark 10; Luke 16; 1 Corinthians 7
  3. God and Jesus’ plan for marriage is that “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Gen 2, Matt 19; Mark 10
  4. There is no get-out-of-marriage adultery clause. Who you are married to you should stay married to regardless of any sins they commit. This is a hard word as even the disciples said it was better not to marry. Separation seems to be an option if you can’t live with them. Reconciliation is ideal. – Matt; 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, 1 Cor 7
  5. Under the Law of Moses, a marriage is illegitimate if your wife committed sexual fraud prior to marriage. Example: Claiming she was a virgin when she was not (Deut 22). Hence, you can put her away without divorcing her since it was a sham. – Deut 22, Matthew 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16,
  6. If a spouse leaves stay single or be reconciled. – 1 Cor 7
  7. If an unbelieving spouse leaves you are not under bondage. Note the wording: “10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord … [remain unmarried or reconcile]” versus “12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if [they leave you are not under bondage]. Given the context of the wording about the Lord saying versus Paul saying it would seem that stay unmarried or be reconciled is the ideal. Remarriage may be an option according to liberal interpretation. – 1 Cor 7
  8. Those already remarried in their second and third marriages are NOT to divorce and reconcile with their first spouse if they come to Christ (See: Note 1 for more details). The heretical interpretation is perpetual adultery with the new spouse. In this line of thought, divorce and reconcile and remarry with the first spouse. This view goes against what Deuteronomy 24 says in that if a first husband divorces a wife and another marries her even if she is divorced or her husband dies then she is not to remarry him again otherwise is it an abomination. – Deut 24, Matthew 19

Note 1: Divorce, remarriage, and perpetual adultery:

1. There is perpetual adultery if the participants are made completely aware of the roles and responsibilities and the everlasting nature of marriage. In other words, “sacramental marriage” affirmed by the Church.

2. However, those who were not made aware sinned in their ignorance. Those that don’t undergo the rites of the Church in the marriage ceremonies in both (?) Catholic and Orthodox tradition means that the marriage formed is potentially invalid. Hence, since the marriage wasn’t valid they are free to marry another. A marriage can be affirmed sacramental in which case divorce and remarriage is a sin.

3. This would also go along with the position that those in their 2nd or 3rd marriages and then come to Christ would not have to divorce and go back to their first spouse. They can get their current marriage affirmed by the Church with all of the details of the Covenant.

Final Conclusion

  1. No divorce period. Even for adultery. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Your recourse is separation if you absolutely can’t live with them.
  2. If you are separated, stay single or reconcile. No remarriage.
  3. Stay with an unbeliever if they want to live with you, otherwise you are not under the bonds of marriage. Remarriage is possible with a liberal interpretation of Scripture.
  4. Fraudulent marriages are not marriages.
  5. If you have a “Christian marriage” (or sacramental marriage) — both of you know that marriage is forever on earth and the accompanying roles and responsibilities — then any divorce and remarriage is perpetual adultery.
  6. 2nd or 3rd marriages that come to Christ can be affirmed as Christian marriages. They would not have to go back to their first spouse and are not in perpetual adultery. Prior marriages are effectively “annulled” as you did not understand Christian marriage.

This is why I believe (as a Protestant) that the Catholic and Orthodox methods of sacramental marriage are probably the best method to deal with marriage and divorce in a broken world. Protestant views on marriage are trash, and it is no surprise that they have the highest divorce rates of any denomination of Christianity and divorce rates almost as high as secular culture.

I am 100% confident that God and Jesus said that there is no divorce at all for Christians according to the Scripture based on in-depth study on all of the relevant passages in Hebrew and Greek in accordance with Christian apostolic tradition. Divorce at your own risk to your eternal soul.

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Happy international mens day

Since our culture loves making up days to celebrate, happy international mens day to you all.

Of course, you’ll hear virtually nothing about this celebration — compared to “international womens day” which is widely trumpeted on every media outlet — as no one really cares.

Enjoy it nonetheless!

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Apparently wealthy women are doomed to be miserable

From QZ — A sociologist explains why wealthy women are doomed to be miserable

My recent in-depth interview research on the lifestyles of affluent families in New York City highlights the ways in which wealthy wives are often cast as spoiled dilettantes—notions sometimes even held by their own husbands. The stay-at-home mothers I interviewed were eager to distance themselves from the “ladies who lunch.” These women were mostly in their late 30s or 40s, with children at home. Nearly all were married to men working in finance who brought home $400,000 to $2 million or more in annual income. They had worked in, among other fields, finance, law, fashion, and medicine. And many felt deeply anxious, and guilty, about their socioeconomic status.

 Affluent stay-at-home mothers are a cultural lightning rod for anxieties about wealth and privilege. The point is not that we should feel sorry for women with a personal chef and a house in the Hamptons. Rather, my goal is to illuminate who gets to be both wealthy and morally worthy in our society. In the modern-day US, our concept of meritocracy is inherently gendered. This means that women bear the brunt of negative judgments about wealth—and raises questions about what women “deserve,” and on what basis, that cut across social class.

Affluent stay-at-home mothers are a cultural lightning rod for anxieties about wealth and privilege for two reasons. First, paid work is an increasingly important moral yardstick for wealthy people, including women. With the decline of the quasi-aristocracy of the WASP elite in the latter half of the 20th century, and the rise of finance, tech, and other highly compensated occupations, the upper class is now dominated by the “working wealthy.” Wealth is accepted as legitimate largely by virtue of work—and so figures like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are not begrudged their billions.

Must be so hard to be wealthy as a woman. Gasp.

But “hard work” turns out to mean “paid work”—work that men are more likely than women to keep once they have children. Sociologist Pamela Stone and others have shown that “opting out” is often not really a choice, as high-powered professional jobs are rarely flexible enough to combine with being the primary parent—as women nearly always are across all classes. The women I spoke with also tend to be married to men who earn more, as men often do, given the gender pay gap in high-paying professions. So the woman’s job is the first to go.

Not bringing in money left some of these women feeling vulnerable. A parenting expert told me, of the wealthy stay-at-home moms she worked with, “They feel so guilty that they’re wasting their degrees… They feel so ‘less than.’”

Helen (a pseudonym, like all other names in this piece), who had been an investment banker and had left her career reluctantly, told me, “[I’m] well-educated. I had a career. You know, where is all that now?” She said she sometimes felt like she was “working for” her husband. She added, “There are power dynamics, where he’s the breadwinner now, and I’m really not. And yet, I do so many things for the family that you can’t put a number on it.” Her unpaid labor is hard to measure, and therefore hard to appreciate.

A product of feminism as it drives women to be like men, and it strives to make men and women competitors. Of course, we can’t blame feminism for those woes, but even so women are left feeling unhappy if they’re working or if they’re raising kids.

The point here is not the wealthy stay-at-home mothers are particularly deserving of praise. Instead, what I want to highlight is that the American idea of “meritocracy” both perpetuates and relies on traditional gender roles.

So long as women are expected to serve as the primary caregivers for children, and so long as the gender pay gap persists, women in high-income brackets will continue to be more likely to give up their jobs and stay home. In so doing, the women become targets for cultural disdain—as does the time they spend renovating, shopping, and doing other tasks that are necessary to maintain their families’ lifestyles.

The upshot is that our culture directs doubts about what it means to be a “good” rich person toward women, while making it easy for men with lucrative jobs to feel morally worthy of their wealth. In this way, women carry our cultural, ethical, and psychological baggage around money. Men, on the other hand, travel light.

And of course, at the end, we have the usual potshot at “traditional roles” including the “gender pay gap” as the cause for wealthy womens’ woes while they try to bear the burden of “our cultural, ethical, and psychological baggage around money.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

The article is written in the typical woman’s style of the sin of pride: “bragplaining”

  1. Brag about your wealth, nannies, lifestyle, and perks but simultaneously…
  2. Complain about how you’re so unhappy because you’re not valued the way you think you should be and how the reader/listener should sympathize with your woes.

Key takeaways:

  • Feminism is bad.
  • Hypergamy is never satisfied, no matter how “well” a woman marries
  • Money doesn’t solve problems
  • Caring and comparing what others think about you leads to unhappiness
  • Getting your worth and/or value from money leads to unhappiness
  • 1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money is the root of all evil

Interestingly, the “morals” that are referred to specifically in this article are all about money. To be “morally worthy” or be valued, you have to make the big bucks. What a sad life to live.

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Open rebellion

Some excellent discussion over at Scott’s on the impasse.

Snapper writes about the problem of “open rebellion,” reinforced by the Church:

A woman will use the “settled” tactic if it will gain her points for control or sympathy. Within the church it’s regarded as disrespectful for a woman to say such a thing, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel that way. In the privacy of their own home a woman who feels she settled will absolutely make sure her husband knows this because it gives them the power of control over their husbands through guilt and shame. In private she may let one or more of her friends know her feelings because it will gain her sympathy and affirmation (“We understand you settled, you are worth SO much more than what he is giving you.”).

I recall a conversation between two of my aunts. I was young and overheard my parents talking about it. One of my aunts, married but a few years, complained to the other about how she “settled” for my uncle (my dads brother). She came from an affluent family and my dads family was anything but. My uncle was a good man, Christian, a hard worker, but didn’t make the kind of money she was used to, so she was considering divorce. Unfortunately for her she aired her complaints to the wrong lady, as my other aunt was a strong Christian woman. She called her out and let her have it, reminding her that SHE made the choice to marry her husband, and how, as a Christian woman, she shouldn’t even be entertaining the idea of divorce. She was a feisty woman, and I have no doubt the conversation was probably a lot less cordial than it was made out to be, but to this day the couple in peril remain married, and happy.

A woman who married her beta comfort doesn’t want to see him change into a confident alpha. Not with her, anyway. Sure if he becomes more confident in the workplace or more confident with the waiter at the restaurant, that’s all fine and good: But to stand up against his wife! Let it never be! Sure he can “lead”, so long as his “leading” doesn’t require her to actually submit to him. So long as he doesn’t ask her to do something she really doesn’t want to do, he can lead all he wants! As long as he doesn’t put his foot down everything is a-ok, but, boy-howdy, he’d better not dare tell me “because I said so” or try to make a direct order of something. Once this happens it becomes a problem because it requires her to let go of her power over him, and he cannot be alpha enough for her to allow that to happen.

Again I use my life as a perfect example of this. I had to lay down the law in a situation last week. I had to tell my wife “no” on something and it had to escalate to “because I said your not going to”. I don’t typically have to do this, but in this situation I had to assert my authority to avoid future problems and because she was devoid of all the facts of a situation. That didn’t matter. Suddenly all her Godly obedience and submission goes out the window and it might not be much longer until she is, again, reminding me that OUR marriage was a mistake. That she “settled”. That maybe “God intended for her to marry someone else, but she was young and stupid and maybe she married before she was supposed to”.

I was not her alpha, I was her beta comfort, and she wants me to remain that way, even if it means insulting me and belittling me by telling me that I was a mistake, or reminding me that I am the leftovers. The only defense I have now is to stop caring.

ys also comments:

Your situation puts reality to what I have seen from some I know, that is, one can’t simply “apply” the magic of the manosphere to one’s marriage. Your problem is not that you are “gaming” her wrong, it’s that you started your marriage off on the wrong foot. You have acknowledged this, but it’s a good reminder for men in their 30s or 40s just discovering the manosphere, who were beta comfort: They might change their marriage. They might not. Prayer and wisdom are needed. Totally different than starting off in your 20s. I hope it goes well for you, and I thank you for your real-world example.

To be quite frank this is not strictly true.

There is truth to the notion that starting out on the right foot is much better, although we do not necessarily know that is the case here. Women/wives will often “rewrite history” to fit whatever emotions they are feeling at the moment. She doesn’t love you now? Oh, she never loved you in the first place. In any case, however a husband got into this position is somewhat irrelevant. It is simply the case that he’s facing an open rebellion now, history rewritten or not.

The case of “open rebellion” is almost exactly like the “friend zone.”

It’s all well and good when you agree on things and you get along fine, but God forbid you do something she doesn’t like. Then she’ll start to claim that “you’re not my boss” (when you are) or “stop trying to control me” or “I’ll do what I want” and things like that. She’ll gladly accept your friendship, but if you’re not affirming her actions that are separate from you then you’re going to get an earful.

It is worth noting that sex tends to be wane as a wife loses attraction for her husband for various reasons.

The “friend zone” is something that is quite difficult to escape from. I’ve written on it before though, and it is possible to escape from it. Understanding the friend zone and escaping it. If you are single, there are four different ways that a man escapes the friend zone, but some of them don’t apply if you’re married. Let’s go through them.

First, the girl likes you all along: You’re already attractive enough for her, and she was waiting for you to pull the trigger. This jives with Scott’s experiences. Over the course of said relationship, the woman will often hint that you “finally asked her out” or “it was about time” or “I’m so happy that you eventually asked me out” which means that she was interested in you for a while before you asked her out. The keywords that show you that she was attracted prior are “finally” and “about time” and “eventually” signifying a period of time where she was attracted before you pulled the trigger.

The other way you can figure this by straight up asking her when she was first attracted to you. If she’s in a relationship with you sometimes she tells you straight up: “When I first laid eyes on you I liked you.” Well, for most men that doesn’t usually happen. The vast majority of women are not attracted at first sight as we know from the OKCupid studies women rate 80% of men as below average.

Obviously, this does not apply to married men.

Second, you have to change significantly  (e.g. raise your SMV/sexual attractiveness or become more masculine) in a time gap. This scenario manifests if you don’t see the woman for a while, and you make significant changes to your life such as the example that FBNF discusses. For example, if a woman is a female “6” and you’re a male “5”. However, you start lifting, get your stuff together, have a growth spurt, and whatnot and then you come back as a male “7” or “8” she’ll reevaluate you as a potential interest whereas before you were “just a friend.”

A real world example of this aside from FBNF’s example is that most of the men approaching 30 and into their mid 30s will see women who were formerly not interested in their 20s start to become more interested in them because they become more attractive. Part of this is their own declining attractiveness tied in with men’s increasing attractiveness into their 30s. The woman may have gone from a 7->6 whereas the man goes from a 6->8. Since the man is now a “8” and she is a “6” (or may perceive herself as still a “7”), she is then interested in him.

There are a couple of other scenarios which are much less common. I’ll describe them now.

Third, it is possible to where you’re with her the whole time and she gradually notices you. This is the same thing that happens to wives when a fat husband starts working out, getting his crap together, and whatnot. She sees him becoming more attractive — although she’ll only admit that it makes her “uncomfortable” or “unhappy” that you’re doing it — and makes her mind go at 100 miles per hour trying to figure it out. However, this discomfort makes the man more sexually attractive to her, so the bedroom antics will heat up. This is part of what is encompassed under “dread game” although I would disagree specifically of making it seem like you’re going to leave or cheat.

Alternatively, usually some random event in a woman’s life wakes her up to the fact that you‘re now attractive. For example, a woman’s girlfriends could make a passing comment that “she’s single and how you’re looking like a good catch nowadays.” The woman would then laugh and dismiss what her friend says: “nah, he’s just a friend” or “haha, he’s not really my type.” But it will pique her curiosity, and when she reexamines you and you’re now more attractive than you were in the past. She then comes around and agree with her friend’s assessment that you’re now a catch.

Both 2 and 3 are essentially the same for married men.

It tends to be a long(er) term fix because men’s attraction does not necessarily raise just like that.

  • Becoming significantly more fit and finding a solid style all take time.
  • Grooming and hairstyle are more short term.
  • Becoming increasingly masculine via confidence, independence, and other traits take time as well.
  • Acting more like a leader takes time as well.
  • Learning to be cool under conflict and other pressure situations takes time and discipline.

Overall, typically you have to become at least significantly more attractive and/or manly such that other women will start to notice you and give you attention and/or mentioning it to your wife what a good catch you are.

This does not necessarily solve the problem(s) either. You can be the “best” leader in the world like God and/or Jesus and someone who claims they are a Christian can still choose to go off the reservation and rebel against them. Becoming a strong masculine leader only makes submission easier, but a wife can still choose to rebel regardless. A husband must accept that he does it because he wants to obey God, not because it will make his wife change.

Fourth, it is possible that a girl has put you in the “friend zone” or “undecided” where being undecided on you is not enough information for her to make a decision. Typically, this happens if you’re a strong silent type. Then a major incident wakes her up to the fact that you’re a man.

For example, usually some powerful act of bravery or leadership wakes her up. One such instance would be if someone starts choking and everyone is panicking. But you know what to do. You calmly run over to the situation, and do the heimlich maneuver and the person is fine. Then you take control of the situation and calm everyone down from panicking. You saved a life and exhibited leadership under pressure. A woman is now attracted to you.

Alternatively, a different such situation is a man displaying social dominance. If a girl is giving you crap or gossiping and then you tell her to stop. You two get in an “argument” and then you ream her out until she apologizes. This type of social dominance over other women (or potentially men as well) will make women take interest and be attracted to you. The power of your personality and your status rises to where she is attracted.

Another such example would be you’re in the same church. You’re mere acquaintances. However, a Bible study is being started up soon and you’re picked as a leader. You facilitate an awesome discussion while being charismatic and funny. She becomes interested in you after this. You were merely “meh” before, but you’ve displayed a significant aspect of social charisma that she didn’t know you had before.

These situations tend to be more rare for married men simply because they know you very well.

In general, a male friend to a woman is a friend because he is not attractive. If he were attractive, then she has a stronger compulsion to be more submissive to him. However, she still must choose whether to submit or not to him. If wives are constantly being bombarded to be rebellious, it is also potentially likely that they would continue being rebellious.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

In Snapper’s case, the “Church” “friends” who keep poisoning his wife to be rebellious are a large part of the problem that are literally destroying his marriage.

Oscar comments:

I used to believe the “if you’re attractive to her, she’ll want to submit to you” line, but I’ve observed too many cases of attractive men who take care of themselves physically – who are good providers and good fathers – who are shackled to ungrateful, disrespectful, contentious, rebellious wives who look like beach balls stuffed with lard.

There’s very little a man can do to get his wife to submit to him. Either she obeys God and submits to her husband, or she doesn’t. The best a Christian man can do is avoid marrying a contentious, rebellious woman, because once he’s married to her, he’s stuck dealing with her rebelliousness and contentiousness.

Part of being a good leader via Ephesians 5 is to constantly sanctify the wife with the washing of the water of the word — this is the sacrificial love that Jesus did for us. This is not “capitulating to your wife’s demands” to “make her happy” like a lot of modern Christian preachers claim. It’s actually holding her accountable to her bad behavior, just like Adam did not tell Eve that she shouldn’t have eaten the fruit in the garden (and ate it himself).

A lot of husbands avoid calling out bad behavior because it creates conflict, but this is where leadership is born. Holding both yourself and her to a higher standard when it is difficult is the epitome of good leadership, even when it consistently brings whining and emotional reactions from her. Reigning in your own emotions and reactions is easier said than done, but it is critical for demonstrating that tantrums don’t get results.

For the husband that is in this particular situation, it is often better to lead by example than try to explain and/or argue about why you should take a particular action. This means just doing what you think is best in the situation, especially if she doesn’t want to “be the role of helpmeet.” This will help to start to set the standard subtly that you are a man of action rather than words, which will help to reverse her impression of you as her “friend” and may eventually lead to her to reconsider her open rebellion. Or succinctly: Do rather than say, most of the time.

Anyway, a chunk of similar analysis was in the other thread, but not everyone reads Scott so it’s worth compiling over all. There are other components of leadership that are important as well, but those can be discussed more in other topics.

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The bad about Christian radio

Still here, just writing.

In the meantime, “What’s so bad about Christian radio.” Some good excerpts:

His blog was titled Christian Music Radio Is More Theological Than You Think. I don’t have any doubt that it’s theological. If you’re opening your mouth and talking about God, you are being theological. The problem is, if it’s not grounded in biblical historical orthodoxy, it’s probably pretty bad. I agree with Wax that it’s not fair to say Christian radio has nothing theologically substantive to offer. But I disagree that it’s more than “little.”

Still, I will concede that listening to K-Love is much better for a person’s brain than listening to secular Top 40 or even a country music station. That doesn’t excuse the fact that K-Love would flunk out of any theology course higher than a flannel-board level Sunday school class and needs a major overhaul. More specifically, Christian radio needs reformation. It’s dipped in Osteen, Warren, and Meyer’s theology and savors nothing anywhere as lasting or as flavorful as Piper, MacArthur, or Sproul’s.

Basically, it’s watered down gospel.

Like most radio and television programming, Christian radio caters to a specific demographic, and that demographic is women between the ages of 20 and 50 (give or take). Whether or not Christian radio is doing it on purpose, that demographic is also mostly white.

It gets way more specific than that: this target woman lives in suburbia in a house with a mortgage, drives a mini-van, has three kids, a dog and a cat, a husband who works full-time, she also works but it’s probably part-time, has a household income between $55 and $70K, vacations in July, doesn’t have enough time to read her Bible but she has enough time to journal, loves Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer, and goes to church about 3 times a month. This woman even has a name — Becky.

Some radio stations will put up a mock picture of this woman in the studio, and the DJs are told to look at it and know that’s who they’re talking to. I’ve attended seminars where this was the whole focus of each session: Becky, Becky, Becky. The entire radio station is programmed for her — not her husband and not her kids. Giving glory to God is incidental, or it’s presented like this: “By reaching Becky, you’re giving glory to God.” Becky’s name is mentioned more often at these conferences than God’s name is.

The key is to reach the wife of a family, probably since she’s more likely to turn on the radio to something ‘Christian.’

Why do so many of the songs sound alike?

Because radio is about producing the least number of negatives. Technically a radio station is not actually trying to give you something that you like. They’re trying to give you something you don’t dislike. As long as they can remain as even as possible without too much variation or fluctuation, they’re more likely to keep you on their radio station and not flipping to something else.

When the radio station maintains a continuous blend of sound, it just kind of melts into the background and you become oblivious that you’re still listening to it. You know how when you drive the same route to work every day, sometimes entire stretches of the trip will go by, and you’ll wonder where those miles went? Listening to the radio is kind of like that.

If your listening experience were to change drastically — like a loud up-tempo song were to be followed by a soft, slow song, for example — you come out of your trance, realize that something has changed, and so cognitively you’re more likely to want to change as well and will turn the radio station to something else.

The key is for you to keep it on in the background. Because they’re listener supported.

Why do certain aspects of Christian theology get overlooked?

Again, lyrics aren’t as important as how catchy the song is. Another reason deep songs get hardly any airplay is that they make a person think. Remember, we don’t want a listener to think too much or they might change the station. A thought-provoking song also runs a higher risk of making a person disagree with what the artist is saying. That means, oohh, it might offend someone, and we just can’t have that. The more widely appealing the song lyrics are, the better.

K-Love’s sugar slogan is “Positive, encouraging,” and they try as hard as they can to fulfill that mission statement. My dad started a Christian radio station in the 70s whose slogan was “Making Him Known.” That’s not K-Love’s primary objective. It’s not to preach Christ and share the gospel; it’s just to be positive and encouraging. Their version of God is always positive and encouraging — hence why their DJs avoid references to hell, and would rather talk about the Loch Ness Monster than sin and repentance and how Christ saves us from the wrath of God (John 3:36).

Contemporary Christian radio does not exist to teach. It exists to entertain with Christian-themed content. I’m sure there are people who work at K-Love or the Fish or Way-FM who care about people. But if they were truly genuine, they would know the gospel well and they would share it. They have the perfect opportunity to do it. But they don’t.

I’ve said for years Christian radio doesn’t care about teaching. The response I often heard was, “It’s not the job of Christian radio to teach people. That’s the job of the church!” You’re right, it is the job of the church. It’s also the job of Christian radio. Very plainly, Colossians 3:16 instructs, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

When it comes down to it, the problems in Christian radio are the result of the problems in the church. Why is it that Christian radio eschews sound doctrine and is driven by demographics and marketing strategies? Because many churches are that way. Until the church abandons this approach to ministry and becomes committed to sound doctrine, eating and serving the meat of God’s word, Christian radio will continue to be Little Debbie (Little Becky?) and glass-of-milk theology.

When Rick Warren started Saddleback Church, he said he went door-to-door and asked everyone what they wanted in a church. He didn’t share the gospel with them — he asked them what they wanted their church to be like. Many other churches have followed that course, eating up the strategies of the “Purpose Driven Church.”

This approach to ministry is not “gospel driven,” which focuses entirely on Christ; it’s “Purpose Driven” which focuses entirely on the consumer. Likewise, Christian radio is full of consumer-focused slogans like “Positive, Encouraging” or “Safe for the Whole Family” or “Uplifting, Upbeat, Real.”

Consumer and marketing strategies > gospel.

Anyway, the rest of it is a great analysis of why Christian radio is the way it is. Check it out.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | 27 Comments

The Peter, Titus 2, and marriage connection

Since this was being discussed in Dalrock’s comments.

Peter says he won’t deny Jesus, but Jesus prophesies that he will:

John 13:36 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37 Peter *said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus *answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.

Peter denies Jesus 3 times:

John 18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Post-resurrection Jesus gives the opportunity for Peter to redeem himself from the denials:

John 21:15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you [f]love (agapao) Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [g]love (phileo) You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you [h]love (agapao) Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [i]love (phileo) You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

17 He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you [j]love (phileo) Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you [k]love (phileo) Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I [l]love (phileo) You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.

If you’re familiar with the Greek in the passage, you’ll note that Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agapao) him twice, but Peter can only muster up a phileo or brotherly love/affection response. Jesus, probably with compassion for Peter, finally asks him if he loves (phileo) him.

Although the Scriptures say Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him a third time, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Peter was also grieved because Jesus didn’t expect him to aspire to the higher standard, only knowing what he could do in the moment. Peter wasn’t ready to to have the faith to be crucified for Jesus, even after he saw that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

Next, we find out that Jesus loves the Church as husbands should love their wives. Thus, Christ:Church::husbands:wives.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love (agapao) your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love (agapao) their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.

Finally, we come to Titus 2 which commands wives to love their husbands.

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, 4 so that they may [b]encourage the young women to love (phileo) their husbands, to love (phileo) 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.

However, why aren’t women called to agape love their husbands in marriage while their husbands are to their wives? Why are they only told to have affectionate love, to respect, and to submit?

We’ve gone over the discussion before about if women have the capacity to agape love. In the context of general Christians I think yes. In marriage? Questionable. Although wives say they love their husbands, it’s not the same love as a husband gives a wife.

We can see this as the Scriptures giving some grace to wives, just like Jesus did to Peter in the moment. Holding them to the highest standard, when knowing the nature of women may be too great a burden.

There may also be something special about the headship-submission relationship that requires love to go top-down instead of bottom-up. Obedience, respect, and affection are all attitudes and actions that build off of each other to keep a self reinforcing positive cycle.

In general, I am of the opinion that the “agapao love” that wives show their husbands is respect, submission, and affection. How agapao love looks is different per different relationships. In the marriage relationship, it is the roles and responsibilities that the Scriptures state.

Of course, I could be missing something. Maybe my readers may have some other speculations as to why this is the case.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 39 Comments

All I’ll say about the Las Vegas shooter

While the media and other people bemoan the gun laws or the senseless violence, we know better.

Fatherlessness.

While Stephen Paddock appeared to have no criminal history, his father was a notorious bank robber, Eric Paddock said. Benjamin Hoskins Paddock tried to run down an FBI agent with his car in Las Vegas in 1960 and wound up on the agency’s most wanted list after escaping from a federal prison in Texas in 1968, when Stephen Paddock was a teen.

The oldest of four children, Paddock was 7 when his father was arrested for the robberies. A neighbor, Eva Price, took him swimming while FBI agents searched the family home.

She told the Tucson Citizen at the time: “We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber. I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.”

An FBI poster issued after the escape said Benjamin Hoskins Paddock had been “diagnosed as psychopathic” and should be considered “armed and very dangerous.” He’d been serving a 20-year sentence for a string of bank robberies in Phoenix.

The elder Paddock remained on the lam for nearly a decade, living under an assumed name in Oregon. Investigators found him in 1978 after he attracted publicity for opening the state’s first licensed bingo parlor. He died in 1998.

Imagine a 7 year old boy finding out that his father is a top 10 FBI wanted criminal, then growing up without a father role model (and even if his father hadn’t been arrested what type of influence would that be?).

I suppose we don’t need to go through all of the various statistics again, but here some samples.

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

Just as the black boys and teenagers get sucked into violence and criminal activity without fathers, so too those in white middle and upper class upbringings get sucked into gun violence. It just looks like mass shootings instead of gang violence. Others are suicidal. Still others are rapists. Still others abuse alcohol and drugs.

Lack of identity, lack of role models, lack of community. Just another manifestation of a crumbling system.

It does not bode well that the out of wedlock birth rates have skyrocketed as marriages have imploded over the past few decades. Expect more of the same. The crumbling of the black families only shows us how bad it’s going to get.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 10 Comments