Recently I came across an incident I knew how to respond to, but I couldn’t articulate it well in the moment. So that got me to thinking about the spiritual implications of such a matter.
In Christian nice guys are abused I discussed the nature of requests to the nice guy and how the nice guy feels and thinks like he is obligated both spiritually and lovingly obligated to help out other women or men with the tasks they desire of him.
When we examine a moment such as a woman telling you to do a task we have entered into an interaction where there is an imposed demand on another human being. Imposing a demand on another human being is inherently limiting to free will, which is basis of the fundamental nature of Christianity. The fundamental nature of Christianity is loving God and loving others and the unity that springs forth; however, there can be no unity without free will which is the decisions to walk into that unity.
Normally, I’m more than happy and willing to serve others in their needs, especially when they are having difficulty with things. However, when someone else imposes a need on me it rubs me the wrong way. Before this encounter I had, I had previously thought that even though it rubbed me the wrong way that it was only my human fallibility of not wanting to love others. However, that was incorrect.
It SHOULD rub you the wrong way. The need or burden is being imposed without consent. This is a disregard of free will, and the action you take if you agree with it is not of love but of obligation. Even if the obligation is good, it’s an obligation and not love. There is nothing wrong with performing obligations because you want to, but you need to understand that they’re obligations and not love.
God brought to mind Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, and you can see a similar instance of what is happening here with imposing what we perceive to be “good things” on other people.
Matthew 16:21 From that time [r]Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “[s]God forbid it, Lord! This shall never [t]happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on [u]God’s interests, but man’s.”
Peter thinks that “this isn’t the way it should be” and that Jesus “should do this instead.”
It’s funny that when you understand this concept, it necessitates that the Christian walk must be out of desire to have a relationship with God. When you eliminate forcing others to do what is good, it MUST come from their heart to want to do good and follow God.
This is not only a problem for women to men in this day and age, but it is also a problem from men to men, women to women, and men to women.
One of the biggest things that falls into this category is the concept of duty sex either for the wife to the husband or the husband to the wife. Telling a spouse to have more sex with you is literally going to rub them the wrong way and kill their desire to actually have sex just as if an obligation was placed on you to help set something up at the church without your consent. I think in the past on this blog I’ve been siding more along the lines of legalism rather than desire to please God.
At the core of these concepts is that all we can really do is ask nicely and not put an obligation on others to obey the word of God. As we know, the only person we can control is ourselves, and it is out of our desire and love for God that He can use that to inspire others to change.
It’s very easy to miss this important concept because personal stewardship isn’t taught as much anymore, and we’re taught to be selfish by society. We have our own demands and priviledges without any responsibility, and it is others’ responsibility to meet those demands. Getting out of that thinking is extremely difficult, and God has shown me that even having been in the manosphere for a while I still have missed some parts of this as you have seen in this post.
Going back to the example of the obligation placed on me instead of saying no, declining, or going along with it my plan is to using it as a teaching moment on the interaction between love and free will.