Husbands win their wives with words

A couple days ago, I wrote about how wives will never win their husbands with words.

Understanding the Greek allows us to see insight into why wives cannot win their husbands with words. Any words come off as preaching or nagging, even when meant as encouragement or in good will. Thus, Paul through the inspiration of God in Scripture tells women that they should win their husbands through 8 different aspects folded into her behavior:

  1. Without a Word (logos)
  2. Submissive (hupotasso)
  3. Chaste (hagnos)
  4. Fear/reverence (phobos/phobeo)
  5. Adornment (Kosmos)
  6. Gentle (praus)
  7. Quiet (hēsuchios)
  8. Right / Good (Agathopoieō)

Now, let’s take a lesson from Ephesians 5 on how husbands are to win their wives.

Ephesians 5 (NASB)

25 Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ also loved (agapaō) the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify (hagiazō) her, having cleansed (katharizō) her by the washing (loutron) of water with the word (rhēma), 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 (agapaō) their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves (agapaō) his own wife loves (agapaō) himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes (ektrephō) and cherishes (thalpō) it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined (proskollaō) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love (agapaō) his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

There’s a whole measure of concepts to unpack in these 9 verses.

Part 1 — Love (agapaō)

25 Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ also loved (agapaō) the church and gave Himself up for her,
[…]
28 So husbands ought also to love (agapaō) their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves (agapaō) his own wife loves (agapaō) himself;
[…]
33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love (agapaō) his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

G25 — ἀγαπάω — agapaō — ag-ap-ah’-o
Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): – (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

I’m sure most Christians have heard about agape love out the wazoo before. However, what most don’t realize is that there’s 3 distinct words for love in the Scriptures.

  1. G25 — Agapao — Generally used a verb to describe action.
  2. G26 — Agape — Generally used as a noun to describe the Love of God or a state of Love.
  3. G27 — Agapetos — beloved (as in Jesus is God’s beloved son, or Christians are the beloved of God)

As you can see in the above verse, the verb form of love is used — agapao. Thus, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church through some type of action.

But what type of action is it? What does this actually mean? Let’s find out in the next parts of the passage.

Part 2 — Sanctify (hagiazō) through Cleansing (katharizō) by Washing (loutron)

25 Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ also loved (agapaō) the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify (hagiazō) her, having cleansed (katharizō) her by the washing (loutron) of water with the word (rhēma), 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.

G37 — ἁγιάζω — hagiazō — hag-ee-ad’-zo
From G40; to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: – hallow, be holy, sanctify.

G2511 — καθαρίζω — katharizō — kath-ar-id’-zo
From G2513; to cleanse (literally or figuratively): – (make) clean (-se), purge, purify.

G3067 — λουτρόν — loutron — loo-tron’
From G3068; a bath, that is, (figuratively) baptism: – washing.

The analogy that Paul gives here is that husbands should love their wives as Christ does the Church to make her holy. This is part of the responsibility of headship — for the husband to submit to God so that God can move through him to sanctify his wife to be more Christ-like. This cleansing is to be performed through washing. The washing is figuratively a baptism.

I discussed Jesus’ baptism in my previous post on The Masculinity of Jesus Part 3 (baptism and temptation).

The actions of the husband are to be a baptism just as the baptism represents the death to self and washing away of sins, and reemerging in the newness of life in Christ. This is made clear in Romans 6:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become [a]united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be [b]in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old [c]self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be [d]done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is [e]freed from sin.

So husbands are to love their wives to make this happen.

But what is the nature of this love?

Part 3 — Word (rhēma)

25 Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ also loved (agapaō) the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify (hagiazō) her, having cleansed (katharizō) her by the washing (loutron) of water with the word (rhēma), 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.

G4487 — ῥῆμα — rhēma — hray’-mah
From G4483; an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically); by implication a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever: – + evil, + nothing, saying, word.

I discussed rhema in 4 past articles including Leave her better than how you found her, and To game or not to game. The relevant passage of what I wrote in to game or not to game is quoted below:

When I was looking at Scriptures there were two things that stood out. The Divine Expression or Jesus and His words which is Logos — John 1:1 in the beginning was the Word (Logos). You can think of Jesus and His fulfillment of the law with his teaching and actions as Logos. The all encompassing Scriptures themselves are referred to by either gramma (G1121 or graphe (G1124) (thanks to mdavid for the clarification). On the other hand, the spoken revelation of the Word is rhema.

Rhema is powerful — as God (Logos) spoke the world into being (Rhema), and man shall not live by bread alone but from every Word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God. This is why it’s important to pray out loud because the spoken Rhema word is powerful. Likewise, to others it gives life and death. The power of the tongue is enormous as it says in James, yet it is easily corrupted. Going back to the passage from Matthew 12 that I referenced earlier: “But I say unto you, That every idle word (Rhema) that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

The goal of the leadership of the man in a Christian marriage is to spur his wife to have a deeper relationship with God. And it is through his Words (rhema) that he must speak life that washes and cleanses her as just as Christ does his Church.

As you can see through the analogy, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church through sanctification and cleansing by washing of the water of the Rhema word. Thus, husbands win their wives through their speech.

Empirically, this agrees with the nature of fitness testing as I discussed in Christian masculinity, mindset, and fitness testing. When a woman fitness tests, she does through speech and she expects an answer. Thus, husbands must counter by understanding the truth. For example, if a wife is seeking validation and compliments, then a husband is not to validate her.

Fitness testing, in particular, comes in two different forms as I explained in Framework for Offense and Defense. A wife or woman will put a husband or man on the defensive with fitness tests.

Defensive (e.g. Fitness tests)

  • (self) She does not respect you — This is where a woman abuses Christian nice guys for their time or accuses you of something. For example, accusations may involve “You look funny/ridiculous”, “Can you do X, Y, Z for me?”, “You’re not the jealous type are you?” etc[1]. Basically, if her behavior is out of line then call her on it.
  • (her) She wants you to respect her — This is where a woman demands you respect her or wants you to validate her. For instance, “Do I look good in this dress?” Did I do a good job or what?” “Did you miss me?”, “You never listen to me”, “You never let me do X while other girlfriends can do it”, etc.[1]

“Passing” these fitness tests is Scriptural by the following passages:

  • Defensive: She does not respect you (or others) — This nebulous as Christian women are not called to respect Christian men that aren’t their husbands. However, often these types of comments denote impropriety on the side of the man (“you’re not jealous are you?”) or are [harshly] judgmental without concern for correction (“why did you do that?”, “why would you wear something like that?”). This violates the Scripture’s clear teachings about edification and peace Rom 8:29, Rom 15,14, 1 Thes 5:11,14, Heb 3:13, 10:24-25, 1 Pet 4:10. See general body responsibilities here for more Scriptures on this. Likewise, Christian men can be abused for their time as I have discussed before because there are situations where men should not be involved with women who are not their wives because it is the woman’s husband’s or woman’s significant other’s responsibility. Additionally, Christian women are not to be teaching men (1 Tim 2:12), though the older women are called to teach the younger (Titus 2:3-5). Men are to teach men (Prov 27:17, Titus 2:6-8).
  • Defensive: She wants you to respect her — The Scriptures state to love your wives (Eph 25-31), be considerate (1 Peter 3:7), do not be harsh (Col 3:19), etc. but not respect wives. Indeed, as we have seen repeatedly respecting wives is not what they need to be loved.

Husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church by quelling her rebellion with spoken word. This is one of the more difficult thing for Christian husbands to learn.

I will discuss this a bit more in the conclusion after we analyze the rest of this passage.

Part 4 — Nourishes (ektrephō) and Cherishes (thalpō)

28 So husbands ought also to love (agapaō) their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves (agapaō) his own wife loves (agapaō) himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes (ektrephō) and cherishes (thalpō) it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.

G1625 — ἐκτρέφω — ektrephō — ek-tref’-o
From G1537 and G5142; to rear up to maturity, that is, (generally) to cherish or train: – bring up, nourish.

G2282 — θάλπω — thalpō — thal’-po
Probably akin to θάλλω thallō (to warm); to brood, that is, (figuratively) to foster: – cherish.

Nourish (ektrepho) is only used in the Scripture in one other passage.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up (ektrephō) in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Likewise, cherish (thalpo) is only used one other time in the Scriptures.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who [d]examines our hearts. 5 For we never came [e]with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— 6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ [f]we might have [g]asserted our authority. 7 But we [h]proved to be [i]gentle [j]among you, as a nursing mother [k]tenderly cares (thalpō) for her own children. 8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own [l]lives, because you had become [m]very dear to us.

In these verses, two interesting parallels are made.

In “game” there is an analogy that men are to set boundaries for woman like a child. Perhaps it is not ironic that a man is to nourish himself (his own body) as he would a child, and that he is to nourish his wife (being that they are one flesh) as if she were a child, and that he is to nourish his children.

This fits the characterization of Christians in the New Testament as children of God. And it is the duty of the headship position in marriage — which falls on the husband — to provide this nourishment to himself, his wife, and his children as if they were all children of God. This duty is immense as Jesus states that it is better for a man to have a millstone hung around his neck and be thrown into the sea than to cause a child to stumble.

In the same way, the tender care of the husband’s own body, as to his wife (one flesh), is again fit to an analogy of a nurse tenderly feeding her children.

This is where I see the fruits of the Spirit externally exemplified to others. In Masculinity, mastery, the internal and the external, I discussed the internal and external characteristics of the fruits of the Spirit:

  • Internal (6) — Joy, Peace, Patience/Longsuffering, Faithfulness, Chastity, Self Control
  • External (6)– Charity/Love, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Modesty

Specifically, the external characteristics are in two different groups:

  • Actions — Charity/Love to others, Generosity to others, and Modesty for others.
  • Performance of actions — Kindness, Goodness, and Gentleness/humility

To nourish and cherish one must do it through charity, generosity, and modesty and in those actions they should be performed with kindness, goodness, and humility.

Part 5 — Joined (proskollaō)

31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined (proskollaō) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love (agapaō) his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

G4347 — προσκολλάω — proskollaō — pros-kol-lay’-o
From G4314 and G2853; to glue to, that is, (figuratively) to adhere: – cleave, join (self).

The Hebrew in Genesis 2 is remarkably consistent with the Greek used here. The understanding of one flesh is that the two are joined or cleaved together.

However, the Hebrew word for joined or cleave actually explains why men are the pursuers whereas women are the pursued in the relationship.

H1692 — dâbaq — daw-bak’
A primitive root; properly to impinge, that is, cling or adhere; figuratively to catch by pursuit: – abide, fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard, after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.

The important point to note in the passage is the joining of the two to one flesh just as Christ is to the Church. This is performed through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and yet also Jesus is there when two are more are gathered in His name.

In Ecclesiates, Solomon unwittingly speaks an analogy to marriage in the chapter on the evils of oppression.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if [c]either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not [d]another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they [e]keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if [f]one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

You can see how this refers directly to marriage. Indeed, a cord of three strands made by the husband, the wife, and Jesus is not easily torn apart.

Conclusion

The major thing that stood out to me in this passage is the Truth of the Scriptures.

Most people know that the preferred communication style of women is through words, while the preferred communcation style of men is through actions.

Ultimately, the Scriptures speak to husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives through the preferred communication style of women — words.

On the other hand, the passage in 1 Peter 3 speak to wives to communicate respect to men through the preferred communication style of men — actions.

Indeed, husbands doing more things for their wives to curry their favor absolutely does not work. This is shown time and time again where a couple goes to counseling and it results in a man helping out more around the house, with the chores, with the kids, and with whatever else. But it does not fix the relationship and sends it onto the course of divorce.

This is why Scripture should never be called outdated, and woe to those Christians that speak those lies (Isaiah 5:20). The Scriptures speak Truths consistent from the creation of the world to this day and into the future until the heavens and earth pass away.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 24:32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, [u]recognize that [v]He is near, right at the [w]door. 34 Truly I say to you, this [x]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Now, this is not to say that men and women are to only speak words and do actions respectively, but it is important part of marriage to communicate to each other in the preferred style of the other spouse.

For men, the conclusion is that they should start to address a wife’s rebellion (which she will show using fitness tests) through speaking the Truth in Love.

The specifics of how a man is address these issues with his words is outlined fairly well in this 4 part series:

  1. The Socialization of men and women
  2. The selfish and unselfish socialization of men
  3. Masculinity is the truth
  4. Masculinity is the truth Part 2

The way to speak the truth in love to women is to communicate indirect truth to her and to never to validate herYou can see how Jesus does this to the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7. Likewise, how Jesus addresses his mother when He stayed behind at thet temple. In the next few posts, I will explore how Jesus addresses His mother again with His interaction with her in the marriage at Cana.

The hard part for Christian husbands to see is the subtle difference between leadership and submission.

If a wife is telling a husband what to do that means she is control the interaction. The correct way to fix this is to set boundaries for her to respect you. Likewise, if a woman is fishing for a compliment, then she is in control of the interaction. This is why you never validate her. If you give in to her and do what she wants, then you are submitting to her whims and not being the head in the relationship. It is proper and godly for a husband to call out this rebellion of the wife with his words — call her out for being rude, or for fishing for compliments, or other unchaste or immoral behavior.

Figuratively, this cleansing (or baptism) through the Spirit working in the husband to call a wife out on behavior is performed in order to expose rebellion or sin and call her to repentance. This is what is meant by masculinity is the truth. The truth must be spoken into a particular situation in order be a revelation of God in her life. When Holy Spirit can speak through the husband, the husband is able to point her to the Way, the Truth, and the Life who is Jesus.

We can see an instance of this rebellion and Adam’s failure to call Eve out from it in Genesis 3 (NASB):

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
[…]
10 [Adam] said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

The sin of Eve was rebellion in action, and it is fitting that how wives return to respect and submission is through behavior in action.

The sin of Adam was failure to call out rebellion, and it is fitting that how husbands return to headship is through their words.

Thus, husbands must be vigilant to the position that God has called him in marriage, and it will draw both the husband and his wife closer to God. Not to mention it will make her more attracted to him as he is able to set proper boundaries and be a man who is respected.

Important note: Women are called to respect their husbands REGARDLESS of if her husband is one who can be respected. The Scriptures call women to respect and submit to the position of headship. Likewise, husbands are called to be loving, considerate, and not be embittered to their wives irrespective of if she is unsubmissive and disrepectful. Even if the husband is a horrible, meanie, nincompoop unbeliever, God may use the respect and submission of the wife to win the husband. Likewise, vice versa the husband to the wife who is not in submission and disrespectful.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Advice to Christian women, Masculinity and women and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Husbands win their wives with words

  1. GK Chesterton says:

    I’m hesitant with your conclusion here. You should not “validate” but you should be truthful even if it is brutal. If she looks good int that dress then the answer is “yes you do”. If she doesn’t, “no you don’t it makes you look fat” is a totally reasonable answer. We aren’t playing a game, we are telling the truth and teaching.

  2. @ GK

    I don’t agree with accepting her plea for validation above. At the very least a reframe is needed, and here is a separate example: “Yes you do, but you couldn’t wait for me to compliment you and instead you had to fish for it?” with a grin.

    There’s actually multiple ways to go about it. I talked about another 3 here pulled one of Cane’ posts.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/methods-of-exchange/

    Validating a wife’s fishing for compliments with just a truthful answer (“yes, you do”) does not address her selfish plea for self-esteem or pride. Of course, if it’s a “negative” truthful answer then it’s fine because you’re not validating her pride or self esteem.

    Obviously, a masculine man should always speak the truth. But what matters in this context is the two fold nature of validation — to see the underlying context (the prideful/self esteem compliment fishing) and THEN addressing it truthfully while calling her out on it.

    Does that make sense?

  3. donalgraeme says:

    To back up what DS said, when a woman fishes for compliments it isn’t about the truth. The answer isn’t important, rather, it is about the man being forced into her frame. Reject her attempt to re-frame, and require her to operate under yours.

    For example, lets take the dress scenario-
    When a wife asks “Does this dress look good on me?”, respond with a wise-crack answer at first. Then, inform her that you will only answer if she asks the right question of you. The right question is: “Does this dress please you?”

  4. The fishing is always a Sin. That’s the key. It’s a subtle, subtle Sin, but it is. Much like gossip and dissensions, it’s insidious and destructive. Even if never actually lifting a finger of action.

    Once you really start noticing them, they can pop up between sentences without a hint of notice by most Women. It’s truly fascinating stuff. But it’s still Sin.

  5. Cane Caldo says:

    The major thing that stood out to me in this passage is the Truth of the Scriptures.

    Most people know that the preferred communication style of women is through words, while the preferred communcation style of men is through actions.

    Ultimately, the Scriptures speak to husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives through the preferred communication style of women — words.

    On the other hand, the passage in 1 Peter 3 speak to wives to communicate respect to men through the preferred communication style of men — actions.

    Hey, that was pretty good!

    @DS, DG & LG

    The fishing is always a Sin. That’s the key. It’s a subtle, subtle Sin, but it is. Much like gossip and dissensions, it’s insidious and destructive. Even if never actually lifting a finger of action.

    This isn’t quite right. It’s more important how she receives your response. The question, “Does this dress look good on me?”, asked of a husband carries the strong implication that she is seeking his approval in particular. Now, if she rejects it, or doesn’t believe him you might have a real spiritual problem on your hands. Otherwise, if she takes her husband’s advice, then she’s in submission. Remember what was just said: Actions are what matter; not the precise wording of her question.

  6. @ Cane

    I see what you are saying.

    How would you suss out the intent behind the actions?

    From the tone of voice, or her follow up answer/actions, or what?

  7. Cane Caldo says:

    @DS

    Tone of her voice is a good one, but real way to know is: Does she do what he says? If he says, “Yes, the dress is pretty.”, does she change out of it or keep it on? If she’s still unsure, does she complain about it all night, or does she keep her reservations to herself?

    Going against his recommendation after she asks (either way she asks) it is the worst of all possibilities, and worth fighting about. If she asks, and then does the opposite, then those are fighting actions to me. It’s a straight-up dis.

  8. @ Cane

    So actions matching the words… which is congruent with all of Christianity. A good way to think about things.

  9. donalgraeme says:

    @ Cane

    I understand what you are saying there. And yes, actions are what matter. It is more of a delayed reactive approach to evaluate follow-up actions, but I can see where it has merit.

  10. Looking Glass says:

    Maybe shorter is just:

    Women are quite capable of asking Honest Questions. What’s the difference between a Fitness Test and an Honest Question? Reaction & follow up.

    Which goes back to reading context & responses. It’s not always a Fitness Test, but the dress bit likely is most of the time.

  11. Cane Caldo says:

    @LG

    Women are quite capable of asking Honest Questions. What’s the difference between a Fitness Test and an Honest Question? Reaction & follow up.

    Which goes back to reading context & responses. It’s not always a Fitness Test, but the dress bit likely is most of the time.

    Yes, and more. Sometimes what starts out as a fitness test the husband can lead a wife to end in an honest question–in submission. He can redirect her. Sometimes this is exhausting.

  12. Keoni Galt says:

    Most people know that the preferred communication style of women is through words, while the preferred communcation style of men is through actions.

    Ultimately, the Scriptures speak to husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives through the preferred communication style of women — words.

    On the other hand, the passage in 1 Peter 3 speak to wives to communicate respect to men through the preferred communication style of men — actions.

    I concur with Cane, that was a very keen observation.

    I see what you are saying.

    How would you suss out the intent behind the actions?

    From the tone of voice, or her follow up answer/actions, or what?

    I’m sorry DS, I mean no disrespect in relating the following… but this reminded me of an old, crude, misogynistic joke: “Q:How long does it take for a real man to give a woman an orgasm? A: Real men don’t care.”

    Intent? If she asks you if she looks fat in her dress, do Men really need to ascertain the intent to determine if it is sinful or not? It is my observation that men who playfully keep there frame in response to such fitness tests, usually results in the man and woman having a moment of light-hearted banter and fun, which increases bonding between the two – provided the man understands what is going on (intuitively or consciously, the results are the same), and he doesn’t go all fearful supplicating in the face of her “test.”

    Are fitness tests evil? In my way of thinking, they are simply invitations by her to flirt/banter and perhaps escalate into another episode of marital relations.

    I’m always amused at the Christian folks around the ‘sphere that are hellbent on denouncing women’s fitness tests as sinful.

  13. @Keoni:

    To paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, all government systems are based off the reality that 2 guys can work together to take the stuff of 1 guy. Which means even when I’m speeding and there’s always a potential ticket, it’s still based off the Bigger Guy (the government) enforcing a set of rules upon me. Doesn’t mean you won’t find me going 60 on a 55 road where the cops normally do 70 on it.

    Fitness Tests are a Sin. It is an intentional deception. Doesn’t mean it lacks massive amounts of utility to Women. It’s Utility and its Sinfulness are not mutually exclusive.

    And the “hellbent” one on this point is probably Me. I can’t see I’ve seen anyone else post/comment that, but if I’ve missed that, then I have. But the point is straight forward: unrebuked Sin destroys relationships (all types) very quickly. A Christian “Nice Guy” will take learning to deal with Fitness Tests a lot more serious when they understand the implications. (I would be remiss to not mention that I am subtly invoking their “training” against Porn. That seems to be the default mental response setting for “Sin” to a lot of them)

    This isn’t to say I’d advocate that they read their Woman the Riot Act. It’s always about Frame Control, until it becomes a constant. (I.e. proper boundaries) I’m a pretty big fan of cocky/funny responses, but it doesn’t mean the issue isn’t serious if never addressed. The “it’s a Sin” issue is just another avenue to bring other Men into the importance of learning how to deal with Fitness Tests.

    There’s also long-range reasons for making sure it’s always involved in the discussion.

  14. @ Keoni

    Rooting out sin is important. Fitness tests are indeed sin although subtle.

    However, I agree with your perspective is the right one to take. Husbands should be interested in teasing/flirting/bantering with their wives in order to win them to Christ rather than viewing it as a hassle and doubling down on bitterness.

    This is one of classic examples where husbands hate both the sin (fitness test) and sinner (wife), rather than rooting out the sin (fitness test) and loving the sinner (speaking truth to the wife through teasing).

  15. Pingback: Lightning Round -2013/03/12 | Free Northerner

  16. Pingback: I’ll pray about it | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  17. Pingback: Husbands and wives summarized | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  18. Pingback: Romance | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  19. Pingback: How to treat rebellious spouses | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hope you don’t mind my comment here. I am posting anonymously for reasons you will see as you read (although I am a fellow blogger and have a screen name). I am trusting that DS will honor this request. Thank you.

    As a married Catholic woman, a homeschooling mother of six children, I can tell you that most of us (homeschooling Catholic moms) feel like failures. I know we worry all the time if we’re doing enough with our children, are we doing OK with this, with that, etc. We look to our husbands for reassurance that we are worthy of anything.

    To inform us that any hint we may make that we would like some reassurance is simply manipulative — even asking, “Do I look nice?” — is a slap in the face.

    We, as women, tend to have a great difficulty communicating things that are really important to us. I know I do. It makes me nervous and it is usually something so important to me that to be treated badly or be rejected would be crushing. It takes me forever. It has been indicated that to give us what we are looking for (reassurance, a compliment) is to give into us, as was said here: “when a woman fishes for compliments it isn’t about the truth. The answer isn’t important, rather, it is about the man being forced into her frame. Reject her attempt to re-frame, and require her to operate under yours.”

    The answer IS important, sorry. It is VERY important. When a husband looks into his wife’s eyes and tells her verbally that she is beautiful and he loves her, it is like handing the moon and the stars to her on a silver platter. And most of us are not manipulative, immodest “sluts” who sleep around — we are married to these men, we have borne (and some of us still bearing) their children, are the sole provider of education to these children, cooking meals, ironing shirts, cleaning bathrooms, hanging up laundry, washing diapers….and we do it over and over and over and over….and you tell me that a wife who is starving for something, anything, ANY indication that she is valued at all for any of this is a sinful manipulator?

    We are all sinners. That is not a debatable point. I have seen several women — and I am one of that number — slip gradually into major depression. An area that is particularly sensitive is an area of cooking, especially if the husband’s mother was an excellent cook. With a lot of small kids and homeschooling, we use our Crock-Pots frequently. Here is scenario: you put a pot roast in first thing in the morning, turn it on “low” and get started with your day (after cooking breakfast and cleaning up and packing a lunch for husband), doing school, making a child write a book report, nursing a baby, trying to potty-train a toddler, and get your preteen through the first murky waters of algebra (fortunately he likes it a lot more than you do, so that’s one battle won.) Add vegetables to the Crock-Pot at noon, hang up a load of laundry, come back in to listen to a first grader’s reading while your toddler colors all over the wall and has an “accident”. Clean up toddler, clean up the wall, husband comes home and doesn’t like the dinner because the meat was overcooked…and he informs you of such. Then he is not happy that the seven year old is still not reading fluently, and informs you of that also.

    There are three possible responses for the wife stuck in this situation:

    1. Hang her head meekly and say she is sorry, that she will do better tomorrow, knowing full well that she CANNOT promise this, but this is what he seems to expect. She can’t predict when Junior will read fluently, all she can promise is that they will keep plugging away. And she relies on the Crock-Pot to get dinner on the table on time, else how will she get the rest of the things done. She gets stressed out and barely sleeps that night.

    2. Get angry and tell him he can jolly well fix his own dinner, that she might not be earning any money, but she is pulling her weight just as much as he is, and he ought to have a little kindness. Tell him to leave her alone.

    3. Ignore him and let it go in one ear and out the other. Shut down emotionally on him (doesn’t mean she doesn’t obey him when he wants his marital rights; she submits obediently, but her heart is in none of it — eventually he can tell and he may or may not wonder why. This ends up being true for response 1 as well.

    If you have another possible response, I’d be happy to hear it.

    Fr. Charles Hugo Doyle, author of “Cana Is Forever”, spoke of it well in this way: “Love frequently and adequately expressed will keep a woman young and give meaning and purpose to her life. Without love of a sufficient degree to fill her heart and warm her soul, a wife becomes disinterested in married life and, like a tender plant, withers and fades.” A further description can be found in Aubrey Andelin’s (husband of Helen Andelin who wrote “Fascinating Womanhood”) in his book “Man of Steel and Velvet” in the second section entitled “The Velvet” and the chapters therein entitled “Understanding Women”, “Gentleness, Tenderness and Affection” and “Attentiveness”.

    We wear out. Trust me. We get tired and worn and start to feel like starving creatures seeking a crumb of affection, approval and love. I had one friend who one day rather ruefully told me that her husband had given her a gift for her birthday, but he had been very critical of her for several months for everything, from homeschooling to the state of the house. She confided that she felt like a dog being tossed a bone. It didn’t mean anything because he had been so critical and exacting on everything in the past.

    Thank you for providing the opportunity to comment, and please take this in the spirit in which it is sent — it is meant kindly, and meant simply to show that there is another side to this coin that I believe should be taken into consideration before you label someone as sinful and manipulative.

  21. @ Anonymous

    I understand what you are saying. Let me try to explain it in a different perspective.

    Communication is such that fishing for compliments comes off as manipulative. That may not be the heart of the wife or even the husband as both sexes can fish for compliments; however, that is the way it comes off. Basically, it matters both from your heart AND what you say.

    So my advice would be to communicate more clearly. For example,

    “I’m feeling ____ because of ____.” I need ____ instead.

    I’m feeling __overwhelmed__ because of the __stress of taking care of the kids and keeping the house clean__. I need _encouragement and help_ instead.

    You can see how this type of higher quality communication is a far cry from something like “do I look nice?”

    Good communication requires the communicator to actually be vulnerable — they’re voicing and expressing their needs and it is possible that the other person could ignore or insult them.

    “Do I look nice?” leaves the need unvoiced and cons the other person into fulfilling said need without giving them a chance to freely express their affection. In other words, there is less free will present with poor communication because you don’t actually know what the other person is asking or needing help with because they don’t tell you.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I see where you’re coming from also, and that is a fair way to put it. I appreciate your acknowledgment of this situation.

  23. Pingback: Correcting performance failure in relationships | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  24. SnapperTrx says:

    Had a discussion with a coworker regarding Eph 5:25-33 and his argument was that verses 26 and 27 are parenthetical statements (due to the semi-colon in the KJV between v.25 and 26) and technically have nothing to do with marriage. His statement was that husbands cannot sanctify their wives, and that applying this concept to marriage is wrong. God is the one who sanctifies and, by stating that husbands should be sanctifying their wives, we are putting ourselves in the place of God. He then states that, because in v.32 Paul says he is speaking of ‘Christ and the church’, that the preceding verses, in fact, have nothing to do with marriage, and shouldn’t be applied toward marriage at all!

    I am a believer that the words of v.26/27 are shown as an example of HOW we are to love our wives, ‘by the washing of water with the word’.

    Obviously by reading this post I see where you stand on the scripture, but what can you comment on this coworkers statements? Thanks.

  25. Looking Glass says:

    @SnapperTrx:

    Ask your co-worker why he wants to remove the entire section from the Bible, as that’s really the only way to respond to them. Because the only way his logic could work is if you also removed v. 22-24.

  26. SnapperTrx says:

    He does not want sections of the bible removed, but believes that by focusing on the scriptures regarding marriage we miss the message about Christ and the church. Though I believe there is a message about Christ and the church in these verses, I cannot comprehend how he does not believe that marriage is the primary subject. It seems very clear to me that the apostle is speaking specifically about marriage and the authority structure thereof (in these verses. Obviously beforehand he is speaking to members of the church in general, and in subsequent verses is speaking other issues), and uses Christ and the church as the example of that authority structure. He agrees that there is a marital authority in the bible, but that if Christians just treated each other as Christians there would be no problems. That’s all fine and good until a decision has to be made. When everyone decides to ‘submit to one another’, nothing gets done! At some point someone has to make a decision and others have to follow. That’s part of a pastors job. That’s part of a government leaders job, and that’s part of a husbands job.

  27. @ SnapperTrx

    The Koine Greek has no punctuation. Nor any spaces between the letters for that matter. He’s wrong on that front.

    Additionally, it is through the husband that the wife can be sanctified. As sanctification is being made holy, there is already precedent for this in 1 Corinthians 7 where a believing wife sanctifies her unbelieving husband.

    Remember that the sanctification is being done by the husband through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, an unbelieving husband can be sanctified by a believing wife through the Holy Spirit. Obviously, this is implied rather than outright stated.

  28. Looking Glass says:

    @Snapper:

    Your coworker is making the, unstated, assumption that Men & Women are the same. Which means he’s specifically rejecting Genesis 5:2, though it tends to be without realizing it. While there’s some truth to the “Christians just treated each other as Christians” thinking, it has to be subsumed to Roles, Positions and Authorities granted by God.

  29. SnapperTrx says:

    Bah, speaking to him is an effort in futility. He insists that by taking the scripture literally that husbands are elevating themselves to be equal to Jesus, and that neither husbands nor wives have a direct impact on the sanctification process, despite scripture saying otherwise. He has accused me of being legalistic and attempting to elevate man into his own personal God, similar to Mormonism. I’m done speaking with him about it. I have known him for a long time and, as he is someone who is quite authoritarian in his own home, I don’t think he comprehends entirely what I am saying because he has always had a firm grip on his wife and children. In the end we agreed that wives should be submitting to their husbands in ‘everything’, provided that ‘everything’ does not include sinful behavior (and I know some people even argue for that).

  30. @ SnapperTrx

    Yeah, if someone isn’t willing to take a look at the material with an open mind then you can’t really do anything anyway.

  31. Pingback: The leadership of a husband | Christianity and masculinity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s