Understanding submission

In Donal’s post reality versus reason there is a discussion going on about submission. Part of this post is a comment I made, but I’m making this its own post because it is important to understand the theological concept of submission and its importance.

Mrs. C writes:

The thing that concerns me around these parts is phrases like “willing to practice it” (submission) and “demonstrates submission to her father.” The reason it concerns me is because if she has to “practice” submission or “demonstrate” it, it implies that one is looking for signs of obedience from an otherwise willful child. Submission in marriage to another Christian who holds the same values as you, isn’t like that. You won’t have to manage your wife or request obedience unless you marry unwisely by choosing a shrew. I’m not saying this is you, but I’ve read some supposedly Christian “red-pill’ sites run by men that look like, by what they say, that they might have an underlying domination-submission fetish that they try to give a Christan veneer to so they can convince themselves it’s ok. If you are courting or engaged, that is the time to ask the questions about her values, her views on family life and to see if she can give you basic, decent courtesy that all Christians give to each other. If you are having long talks about the really important things like faith and family life and she believes the same thing you believe and seems really firm and solid in that belief, then you have a keeper. There will be submission because there is agreement. You won’t have to ask for it. This will be the biggest indicator. If a guy’s test for submission is seeing if she gives 100% compliance in things that fall under the 5% small stuff rule, then he doesn’t have a grasp on what true submission is.

Emphasis mine.

Sounds good in theory right? You agree on most things, but don’t sweat the small disagreements even if she doesn’t comply 100% of the time.

I respond with the following comment.

Quite frankly, this tells me you don’t know what “true submission” is.

It’s clear in Ephesians 5 is that marriage — the husband and wife relationship — is analogized to Christ and the Church. Christ should expect 100% compliance from Christians especially in areas where they don’t like it or disagree with it. Don’t like loving your enemies? You do it anyway because it honors God.

Imagine if Christ said, “well, DS, I think you should love your enemies 100% of the time but because you disagree here and don’t want to do it that’s OK.” That is the absurdity of what you’re saying by “If a guy’s test for submission is seeing if she gives 100% compliance in things that fall under the 5% small stuff rule, then he doesn’t have a grasp on what true submission is.”

TRUE submission is only shown in disagreements. Why? Because submission is not about “compliance” or “agreement” but it is about respecting and honoring the decision of the one in the authority or headship position. It’s easy to do something when you want to do it. But it is mighty hard to honor and respect headship and authority when you don’t want to do it.

The reason why people divorce is because they don’t respect and honor God’s laws when they are “unhappy.” I don’t like the government but I honor the laws of the land and respect the president and our leaders. I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to enjoy it. But I do it because God states that in His Word, and I want to honor Him. A Christian unwilling to submit to Christ in *all things* is no Christian. A wife unwilling to submit to her husband in *all things* (even if she doesn’t like it) is in for a very unhappy marriage and likely divorce.

This is why many of the Christian men here RIGHTLY take this view.

Let me drive this point home to any Christian men out there.

Compliance and agreement are a half truth and half lie of submission. Submission is honoring and respecting the decision of those in headship and authority, even when you don’t agree or don’t like it.

Compliance is the half truth of submission. While this is right, it can be done with a poor attitude. You don’t have to like it, but you still honor and respect the decision. However, it’s always better to do the right thing with the wrong attitude, and pray that God change your attitude while you do it.

Agreement is the half lie of submission. I can be submissive to my parents 100% of the time and NEVER agree with any of the decisions that they made. I can obey the laws of the government 100% of the time, and NEVER agree with any decisions they make. Yet, I’m doing the right thing. Agreement is unnecessary for submission.

There are very few Christian women who are going to be willing to submit to their husband in all things. When you are married to a woman who will not submit 100% of the time in all decisions what she is telling you through her actions is this:

She is unwilling to submit to you — a fallible human — in this decision because she is unhappy or emotional. Do you think she is going to be willing to submit to God — who is perfect — and you in honoring her marriage vows when she becomes unhappy at other times in marriage?

Fat chance. Those unwilling to submit to fallible humans in relationships or organizations are not going to submit to a perfect God when they don’t like it. It should not surprise you that the divorce rate if 40-50% among “Christians.”

Rebellion only grows. Feelings trump submission to fallible husbands, and this leads to rebellion bad enough that feelings trump submission to a perfect God.

Malachi 2:16 For [a]I hate [b]divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and [c]him who covers his garment with [d]wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

That is the hard question you need to ask about yourself as a man when deciding to marry a woman. A woman unwilling to submit to a fallible human whether you, her father/family, or the government or other headship or authority structure, shows a lack of honor and disrespect worthy of ejecting her as potential wife material.

Practical advice

Women are not obligated to respect and submit to a man prior to marriage. However, I would very strongly suggest to Christian women who want to be married to consider the implications of not honoring a man’s request or decision prior to marriage: Are you putting your happiness over the relationship? Is it an inconvenience to you or something you disagree with? Is it worth making a fuss over?

In making these types of decisions you are giving him information whether you will be a respectful and submissive wife or not. Do it too many times without a reasonable explanation and you have established a pattern of behavior that will continue when you are married. This will make or break if he is willing to move forward with the relationship.

If he thinks you’re being disrespectful to him then he may eject you as a potential marriage candidate.

Men: it is important to examine a woman’s relationship with her father. Additionally, how she respect other headship or authority structures in church, at her job, or other areas is important is determining is she asserts her own happiness above a relationship.

Like I said earlier, if a woman is unwilling to submit to other fallible human relationships or headship and authority structures, what makes you think she is magically going to start doing that when she marries you?

Other related thoughts

Note that I am not saying men and women should not be reasonable. There are places and times to choose what matters and what doesn’t. I would say to most men that you shouldn’t sweat the small things and be willing to compromise. However, beware the woman who is unwilling to submit to your decision when you make one.

Granted, she may be unhappy with the decision. She may get emotional over the decision. But at the end of the day she should submit to the decision because that is what honors and respects you and God. We are allowed to express our emotions and be unhappy, but that doesn’t excuse us from doing the right thing.

It goes without saying that I am not advocating being domineering. Submission is not being a doormat and not voicing your opinion. Etc. I know I’m probably going to get some troll comments about that given the topic title, haha.

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17 Responses to Understanding submission

  1. donalgraeme says:

    I left a longer comment there that I will move over here with some alterations. Here goes-

    Choosing a wife who shares your values doesn’t guarantee she acts as a Christian wife should (which includes submission). It is a wise idea, of course, but so far as submission is concerned, only means that she is more likely to want to do what you want. It won’t make her more submissive.

    in life there will be things of significance upon which a married couple will disagree. I’m not talking about where to eat, or what movie to watch. I’m talking about taking a new job. Or moving to a new town. Or where/how to educate the children. Matters which are value based, but not religious value based. Matters where two devout Christians might disagree about which course of action is best. This is where submission is critical. It is a rare circumstance, true. Unless life takes a really difficult turn. But it is something to consider.

    On a more practical level I think Respect is more foundational than submission- it is pretty much impossible to have submission without respect. But if you do have respect, and the woman is devout (this is where finding someone of similar beliefs matters), then the submission is likely to come.

    And I am with you DS that agreement is not submission. Doing something because I agree with someone is not the same as doing it because they have the right to make that decision and I must follow it. Its great when I agree, but submission requires that I obey

  2. @ Donal

    Agreed.

    The Scriptures SAY the wife can be submissive even if she doesn’t respect him in 1 Peter 3 and 1 Corinthians 7 — unbelieving husband I would assume most Christian women don’t respect. But I agree that is going to be extremely difficult in that scenario. Any spouse with an unbeliever will have a difficult time, and must rely on the Holy Spirit to enable them to do what is right.

    Respect, like love, is indeed foundational and fosters the headship/submission dynamic. It makes headship and submission easier, but the those involve still have to put forth the effort to walk into them.

    To be honest, I don’t know why the women seem like they are having trouble understand the difference between submission, compliance, and agreement. I would say that it is because women aren’t typically placed in a position of authority of headship so they can’t understand it from that perspective, but both of them have children at the very least so they should be able to understand the authority aspect and how it intertwines with submission.

  3. Red says:

    The natural order is, that the man is over the woman and the woman wants to be with the man, within any marriage. Oxytocin, Garden of Eden, etc. That order exists, whether or not we acknowledge it or want it to be there. In equal duties (as coheirs) a man must practice love toward his wife, and a woman must practice respect toward her husband. It’s not the immediate concern of the man to make sure that his wife respects him of the immediate concern of the woman to make sure that her husband loves her: plank in the eye, etc. However, if it’s a recurring issue, there should probably be a discussion, because these are very important things to each spouse.

    What Red Pill is about is helping men realize that they’re already in a role, and helping them get used to being in that role. A man should know that he’s a man, and when he doesn’t, it’s awkward. He’s still a man, but a sad one. What respect is about is the wife’s equivalent of a loving attitude toward her husband. Whether or not she likes it, he’s in the authority spot. It’s the right attitude of peace and display of affection to go along with it.

    What a man should honor about a woman (in the same way that he honors his parents, after marriage) is her “vessel,” or body. If you hit a woman, for instance, it’s the same shame as hitting a parent (which, we know the OT punishments that go along with that: curses, execution, etc.). In Paul’s time, they would have understood the message about “honor” and weeded that guy right out of their congregation.

  4. Red says:

    When a man commands too much respect out of a woman, he’s trying to be like God, in the same way that a woman will try to command worship through pedestalizing herself.

  5. Looking Glass says:

    I think I’ll let the Lord speak directly to the issue:

    Luke 16:10-18 NASB:

    “10“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

    14Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

    16“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

    18“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”

    These passages aren’t disconnected. They just don’t sit out there, unrelated to each other. Like nearly all things with God, he keeps it pretty simple to follow. It’s not the “big things” that you need to choose to follow, as we all like the “Get out of Hell & Free Stuff” part of the Gospel. It’s the is parts that require actual Faith and cost us that we don’t like.

    What Mrs.C wrote is what you should expect from a Woman: they operate by never making full, straight pronouncements, always leaving an out for their own sin. Because submission, like Faith, is a *choice* that is *made*. It excludes possibilities and will cost you.

    Never forget that. Faith is *choice*, always. In our culture of Unreality, choosing God is the one “true evil”.

  6. Mrs. C says:

    DS- Your point that submission is required whether the wife agrees with the decision or not is a good one and I agree. However, that is completely out of context of what I was talking about in my comment. First of all, my comments were about the relationship outside marriage when a man is discerning marriage. What I was trying to say, in simpler terms, is that before marriage make sure there is agreement, (her heart is aligned with yours, on the big stuff.) Don’t FOCUS on testing petty things. FOCUS on the stuff that matters. The things that, if there is unity in belief, will bring peace to the household.

    You highlighted sentences in my comment that were talking about two different subjects. The big stuff and the small stuff. These are the sentences that go together with my first point.

    ” If you are having long talks about the really important things like faith and family life and she believes the same thing you believe and seems really firm and solid in that belief, then you have a keeper. There will be submission because there is agreement. You won’t have to ask for it. This will be the biggest indicator.”

    My use of the word “agreement” doesn’t mean her agreeing before submission. It means her heart is aligned with yours already and the decisions you make will generally be something she would have thought to do as well.

    The rest of the comment is referring to the small stuff.

    “If a guy’s test for submission is seeing if she gives 100% compliance in things that fall under the 5% small stuff rule, then he doesn’t have a grasp on what true submission is. ”

    If, before marriage, you focus on stupid and petty things like seeing if she will bring you a drink when asked or if you state you’re going to such and such a restaurant, and she requests another then you are going to miss the things that matter.

    I also said in a later comment on the same post at Donal’s
    “I’ve lived it (marriage) for 16 years. Not once did my husband ever have to make a decision about the big stuff that matters that I had to submit to even though I didn’t like it or agree. I’ve always agreed. It’s because our values and vision are so shared. Like I said in my last post “If you marry someone of like mind who shares your faith, your values, and your vision of family life, headship and submission are like a never ending circle (wedding ring, anyone?). It is a seamless giving, receiving and returning of loving actions that make it hard to tell where headship begins and submission ends.

    And the 5% of the little stuff? My husband would never think to make petty things an issue of submission. I mean more to him than that. We defer to each other. Because I love my husband, I know his every quirk and preference, like and dislike. I am always on watch for ways to give him those little things that bring him comfort, that give him a sense of peace or will make him happy. For instance, and even my husband doesn’t know why I do this, but when I’m serving up everyone’s food on their plates for dinner, I plate up his food last and take it to the table. Why? So it’s still hot and hasn’t had the chance to cool down waiting for the other plates to be served. When I load the clean laundry in the basket in the laundry room to take to put away, I always put his things in first. That way if I have more laundry than I can fit in the basket, I will always be sure he has what he needs.

    What makes me sad when I read a lot of the men’s comments here, is that they seem to forget that IF they marry well, they will have their wives hearts in which to entrust their own. I’m sure it’s not meant this way, but the vision that is put forth of marriage by their posts is that it’s oppressive. A battleground of strife and tension, rules and rebellion. It’s all head with no room for the heart.”

    You Christian men seem to be so afraid of words like agreement when it pertains to the wife agreeing with her husband, that it sends all these alarm bells off that by someone simply using the word (especially a woman), that it is somehow going to lessen your authority if your wife actually agrees with your decision. You are too quick to pull the trigger without sitting back and thinking over what someone is saying. You act as if you would rather she not be in agreement and HAVE TO submit anyway so there is sharper contrast between your authority and her submission. It’s like it’s no fun for you if there’s no disagreement to make seem like it’s TRUE SUBMISSION.

  7. @ Mrs. C

    No one is claiming to make “petty things” an issue of submission. The vast majority of men don’t care about petty things. That is a gross mischaracterization of how the majority of men operate.

    The problem that you don’t understand is that “most men” now are too soft, too capitulating, too deferring, and would rather let the wife run their marriage rather than step into the headship role because they fear having a different opinion than their wife. You have the same bias as Elspeth and the other married women around these parts. The oft used phrase “Happy wife, happy life” is a clear indicator of the inverted role swap in most marriages.

    Hardline advice on the difference between agreement and submission is warranted and for good reason.

    You Christian men seem to be so afraid of words like agreement when it pertains to the wife agreeing with her husband, that it sends all these alarm bells off that by someone simply using the word (especially a woman), that it is somehow going to lessen your authority if your wife actually agrees with your decision. You are too quick to pull the trigger without sitting back and thinking over what someone is saying. You act as if you would rather she not be in agreement and HAVE TO submit anyway so there is sharper contrast between your authority and her submission. It’s like it’s no fun for you if there’s no disagreement to make seem like it’s TRUE SUBMISSION.

    False dichotomy. Agreement is good but don’t pretend that it shows what submission is in reality.

    Ideally, a husband and wife should be of one mind, like the body of Christ, such that headship and submission never becomes an issue. Father-Jesus is an example of perfect headship-submission. Because we are humans there will be disagreements. My argument has never been create strife for strife’s sake. That is sinning.

    However, “true submission” is only seen in the areas where you disagree because that’s when the rubber meets the road. Your statement about agreement being more important or a part of submission is false.

    It is the 5% of differences that balloon up into rebellion and make or break a marriage, especially if they are big decisions. That is why it is important for men to find a wife who will 100% of the time submit in these circumstances.

  8. Mrs. C says:

    The thing is I, Elspeth and the other married women around these parts actually live submission where the rubber meets the road. We don’t just speculate and theorize about “if and then” scenarios about marriage, we live it. You have blinders on about many things about married life and yet you think you’ve swallowed some red pill in which you see all. Until you have a real live person in front of you, you will never truly understand the beauty of submission, ESPECIALLY as it’s experienced when you are of one mind and heart about the big stuff. Because of that, it will be your joy to please her with the little stuff and in turn, it will be hers to please you as well.

  9. @ Mrs. C

    The thing is I, Elspeth and the other married women around these parts actually live submission where the rubber meets the road. We don’t just speculate and theorize about “if and then” scenarios about marriage, we live it. You have blinders on about many things about married life and yet you think you’ve swallowed some red pill in which you see all. Until you have a real live person in front of you, you will never truly understand the beauty of submission, ESPECIALLY as it’s experienced when you are of one mind and heart about the big stuff. Because of that, it will be your joy to please her with the little stuff and in turn, it will be hers to please you as well.

    Your argument is false, and an appeal to authority (logical fallacy).

    Married women don’t have a monopoly on understanding what submission is “in real life.” Christians live submission every day to Christ. I fully understand what submission entails and what goes into it because I set aside my own will for His. Likewise, we submit everyday to the the government and any institutional authorities (such as bosses at work).

    The fact that you even brought this up shows that you’re being prideful about it, and you think you know better. I’d recommend repenting of that pride (see: Matthew 18).

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt, though, because I know I come off hardline when discussing theological topics especially on this blog. My personality is different “in real life.”

  10. Elspeth says:

    Since my “bias” was raised, and since I actually know what it is to be a church-infused woman married to an irreligious man (thankfully those days are long behind us), I’ll offer a brief comment.

    Mrs. C is ight that conjecture and Scriptural analysis is one thing. Real marriage is another. And despite my very passionate belief in radical wifely submission, I don’t live it out perfectly. And the times when I went full on Stepford in a concerted effort to live it more perfectly? My husband loathed it. Wanted his wife back,stat.

    Even during the years when we were what is categorized as unequally yoked, we didn’t disagree on anything of importance and he never made any request of me that would be a betrayal of my convictions. Because that’s what love does, it prefers the other. I had a convo (real life) with someone recently and I think it applies here, and it hits at the heart of what Mrs. C is saying. It’s a principle that my blogging friend Velvet dubs “keeping one’s eyes on her own paper.”

    As I was talking to this woman, who has been married longer than I have, and as usual she was fairly well fascinated by how I spoke about a wife’s responsibility to her husband. And this is a devout woman more versed in Scripture than me. Very serious about the Lord. And when I said that my husband as a general rule doesn’t usually cook meals or clean, that our roles are fairly well defined and that I don’t feel slighted by that, and strive to reverence my husband the way 1 Peter 3 admonishes us.

    Her reply was that leaders are supposed to emulate Jesus and lead by serving. That Jesus watched His disciples’ feet. Godly leaders don’t expect to be served. And I asked her a couple of questions:

    “What are ours husbands doing for 40-60 hours a week if not serving us? Making it possible for us to be sitting here having lunch while they eat at a desk? Why is automatically assumed that my husband expects to be served rather than what it is in reality, that I am honored, compelled even, to serve him, not because he demands it, but because it’s what I am supposed to do? Further, it’s not my job to see to it that he is serving me in line with my personal interpretation of loving me like Christ loves the church. I have my hands full trying to live out what is required of me.”

    As I said in the most recent post on my blog, this woman was stunned speechless for a moment. I posit here that while it is certainly wise and of prime importance to choose a bride who shares your values and understanding of her duties as a wife, your primary concern should be to live out faithfully your own duties as a husband. My husband hasn’t ever (not even once that I can recall) used the word “submit” on me. Even on the few occasions when he probably could have stopped me in my tracks with a timely reminder.

    I emphasize submission in the marriage relationship because I am a woman admonishing other Christian women toward the more excellent way, and every once in a while they balk at me. Men harping on a woman about the duty to submit will almost always sound oppressive, even when said man has the best intentions, having dotted all his i’s and crossed all his t’s with respect to the duties of a husband.

    That is due to the fact that marriage relationships are made up of frail human beings, and there is no such thing as a perfect heart void of selfishness, or perfect wifely submission, or perfect husbandry or leadership.

    This why we need forgiveness and grace.

  11. Mrs. C says:

    No, not prideful. Just pointing out experience. Submitting to bosses and governments are one example but marriage is different yet because of the intimacy between the two. Submission to Christ is always first and foremost. Submission in marriage is different from that yet also, because you have two fallible people interacting in a most intimate way. I have a perspective, not a monopoly, of that which is from the inside out. The main point I’m trying to make is that there is joy in marriage, there is laughter, there is marital friendship. It doesn’t always have to be so tense and serious all the time. Your wife is not your enemy. I don’t wake up everyday looking for ways to rebel and my husband doesn’t wake up seeking for evidence of it. We just live life. We seek to do each other good.

    My argument is not false. It’s just not legalistic. It takes into account the personal and intimate.

    I’ve spent too much time on this so I’ll let my point of view rest where it is.

  12. donalgraeme says:

    I suspect that some of what is going on here is the clash between male and female modes of thinking and communication. In that respect I think we are somewhat talking past one another.

  13. Mrs. C says:

    @ Elspeth – You captured so eloquently what I was trying to get across but couldn’t seem to make myself understood.

    @donal – Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I wasn’t disputing the legalities of submission but trying to point out that it’s not so hard edged in daily married life. It’s softer around the edges because of the mutual affection the couple shares.

    This quote speaks to what has been going on here.

    Dr. Alice von Hildebrand quotes St. Edith Stein: “. . . the particular mission of women is to protect, to preserve, to shelter, to guard, to bring warmth in a cold, icy universe. In other words, to be maternal.” It is perhaps for all these reasons that Pope Pius XI wrote: “For if the man is the head[of the family], the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.”

  14. Robin Munn says:

    When I think about issues of authority and submission, I keep coming back to the scene in Prince Caspian where Caspian is asking for people to go on a mission that Trumpkin the dwarf thinks is a fool’s errand. Another dwarf refuses point-blank to go, and Trumpkin exclaims:

    “Thimbles and thunderstorms!” cried Trumpkin in a rage. “Is that how you speak to the King? Send me, Sire, I’ll go.”

    “But I thought you didn’t believe in the Horn, Trumpkin,” said Caspian.

    “No more I do, Your Majesty. But what’s that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You’ve had my advice, and now it’s the time for orders.

    (Emphasis mine)

  15. @ all

    Donal is correct there is significant talking past.

    However, given the current atmosphere the points I am making are still the “most correct” given to the audiences we are writing for.

    For example, take Elspeth’s comment over at FBNF in looking at how young men are these days:

    http://befemininenotfeminist.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/why-chaste-men-are-attractive/comment-page-1/#comment-253

    Couple of thoughts, as I am ready to concede that a lot of young men have their confidence or ability to build any beaten out of them by their parents. One of the things my husband says is that men grow in confidence by doing things (not people) and growing in skill at one thing builds the confidence that you can grow in other things, and it builds from there. When he said that I think I saw the problem a little better because of something that happened right here at our house last week.

    My husband has a friend who needed to do a major repair on his car but it was a two-man job because it required draining and removing the gas tank. They planned for SAM’s friend to come over at 8AM Saturday morning. Then his friend got called in to work and wanted to reschedule the thing for later in the afternoon, which my husband rejected because he wanted to spend his Sat. afternoon with me and the kids, not under the body of his friend’s car. So SAM came up with an alternate plan.

    “Send your son (we’ll call him Jason, he’s 20 years old) over here with the car Saturday morning with the car and he and I can do the job.”

    His friend said, “I don’t think he can handle a job that big. I can barely get him to stay out in the yard with me more than half an hour. He’s not good with stuff like this.”

    To which my husband replies, “I’m available Saturday at 8AM. Send the boy, and I’ll guide him through the job. He can do it, and you need the car fixed by Monday.’

    Reluctantly, SAM’s friend agreed. 8AM Saturday morning, there’s a knock at the door. I open it and there is Jason’s mother, with Jason standing behind her. I am wondering why she came with him because this job was going to take at least three hours, and I had stuff to do besides entertain. She said she could ride with me to run errands but they were nervous about whether their boy could handle the job.

    They come in and before they get started SAM shows the young man a couple of YouTube videos describing what they’d be doing and hands him the Chilton manual for the car. His mother says to me (whispering), “I don’t know that he can make heads or tales of what’s in that book. His father can’t get him to do anything like this.”

    So I told her that I could almost guarantee that he’d do better with my husband than with his father because my husband expects that he can do it with the right help and guidance. He doesn’t see the boy as incapable.

    The boy’s father called at least three times to “check” on him and see how it was going until my husband told him not to call anymore because he was not only slowing them down, but sending the wrong message to his boy.

    It took a little longer than my husband had hoped, but the boy did okay and they got the job done and the car was running fine after they put it back together.

    Just remembering that gives me a little more perspective. The young man is nice enough but none of my girls would ever consider him worth dating. Not because he isn’t good looking and he certainly isn’t nervous around them, having known them his whole life. But he’s been coddled, and has almost zero life skills or masculine presence despite having spent his whole life in church.

    So yeah, I can see how parents have created a serious problem, but none of that changes what women find attractive anymore than a girl who comes from a long line of fatties can change what men find attractive.

    This is the vasty majority of men in today’s society. Do these types of men need to be less hardline or more hardline in what they do and how they interact with women?

    It’s not a hard question, and it’s not a hard answer. Men need to be kicked in the butt to be hardline.

    Men need to first understand foundational concepts on a broad basis. This includes learning Scripture in terms of what it means be hardline, and what it means to be a man. What is acceptable to God and what isn’t. Then you can teach them to individualize how they interact with different people according to their needs.

    The problem with the information that Mrs C and Elspeth are saying is that it is directly individualized information on how to learn about the needs of his wife. However, because feminism, society, and even families do not teach men how to be men anymore this advice is dangerous at best and incorrect at worst. There needs to be a foundation first before specifics regarding personal and intimate can be applied.

    If you try to teach the boy SAM was trying to teach about the personal and intimate in marriage will that help him to become a man? Fat chance. You need to teach him how to be dominant first, and understand his role in marriage in terms of love/submission and respect/headship.

    Alternative analogy — you can’t jump to calculus without learning algebra and geometry first.

  16. jonadabtherechabite says:

    @ Deepstrength you write
    “The problem that you don’t understand is that “most men” now are too soft, too capitulating, too deferring, and would rather let the wife run their marriage rather than step into the headship role because they fear having a different opinion than their wife. ”

    The man-up shaming is somewhat ill founded. When men oppose the rebellion of their wife the results are often catastrophic. He is gambling “winner take all” and the odds are against him. If she does not immediately repent and submit, her rebellion requires escalating measures that are less gentle. When such measures are employed, he is likely to identified as an abuser,:spiritual, verbal or emotional there is a form a abuse that her charge will find eager ears to vilify her husband. The church has demonstrated and eagerness to receive such charges against men. In fact the church will receive nearly any charge; from he will not lead to he is a tyrant, as long as the charge is against the man and not the woman. There are always the threats that she has in her arsenal. Refuse sex and affection and if she still can not get her husband to submit to her she will likely exercise the nuclear option and destroy the family by filling divorce and the church will be there to condemn the “unloving patriarch”. He may find his wages garnished for “child-care” his children removed, his fellowship at church withdrawn, but at least he did what you lament men won’t do and manned up. Without the support of the church, and the clarion call for wives to fear their husbands (eph 5:33), to subject to their husbands in all things (eph 5:24) the call to man up is just a call for men to become become victims of the feminist mutiny. The idea that christian woman will not rebel, accuse, divorce is naive, because they have taught that this is what christian women do.

  17. @ jonadabtherechabite

    I think it really depends on what “type” of wife a man has.

    If she actually is a Christian and willing to follow the Lord then there is a chance of reconciliation. Arguing in any sense of the word is already a losing measure because engaging arguing with women doesn’t work. There has to be a change of subject in order to see a different perspective.

    On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a woman who says she is a Christian but really isn’t then you have the scenario which plays out as you have said. They are looking for any reason to “have it all” including using money, children, and other such things as leverage for divorce.

    In other words, it depends if the women in question actually fear the Lord or not. If they do, there is a chance. If they don’t then there likely is no chance at all.

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