There have been some female comments (well, months ago now) on deciding to be happy, stop being so afraid, husbands neglecting wives, and husbands not helping around the house. All of them dance around the same issue.
As you more fully understand human nature, you should begin to understand that everything expressed is a symptom. After all, remember what Jesus says:
Matthew 15:15 Peter [f]said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 [g]Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is [h]eliminated? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, [i]fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”
There are alway two sides of the same coin in relationships where things go haywire. The heart of one and the heart of another. In marriage, it is the heart of the husband and the heart of the wife.
Happiness and contentment are relative experiences. External emotions are solely cultivated in how we act and in how we respond to others. It is our attitude which filters the so-called positive or negative emotions as good or bad respectively. In other word, it is the glass half full versus the glass half empty. However, these are not the be-all-end-all. I’ve discussed before about anchored emotions and anchored souls in terms of how we are to view our emotions in light of God.
Everything that human eyes see is a symptom of the state of the heart,
I had written parts of this post up a while ago, but the post on TRP about ideology and art brought it up to the forefront again. Essentially, feminism comes up with disturbing art which reveals the state of the underlying heart and attitudes that come with it.
The same is true of almost everything that we see in broader culture. For example, I heard this one a while ago that when you examine it more closely is true. Rap music. It arose out of the black culture in america. When you examine its themes, you can clearly see that rap music combines various themes such as lamentation, heart break, jadedness, and the do-what-you-gotta-do violence mentality that has sprung up from a lack of fatherhood and positive male role models.
Art, at a base level, is expression of the state of the soul.
If you ever wondered why you “like” with certain music, paintings, writing, and other art forms its because we recognize and connect with the expressions of the content therein. Humans were made for connection and relationships which is why God walked in the garden with Adam, and why He said it was not good for Adam to be alone and created Eve.
Thus, when we listen to music that we “like” at the fundamental level there is the implicit acknowledgement this was produced by someone we can relate to. They went through the same experiences, and their experiences stimulated them to authentically recreate them in this art form.
In my opinion, this is also why the Christian music industry suffers compared to the secular one. The secular one is authentic about their human experiences, while the Christian one is rooted in a lot of churchian heresy and inauthenticity.
David’s Psalms are so relatable and hence authentic because he was real with His life. He wrote about not just His good experiences and uplifting nature of His walk with God, but he also wrote about the dark times of his life including his sin.
Likewise, actions that we engage in only reveal what is in our heart. For example, I’ve personally struggled with pornography in the past, and lust is still something I have to fight very hard against. The sex drive itself is good but when not exercised in the proper context it is evil — the proper context being marriage. And exercising what is good in improper contexts is a symptom of a lack of self control and generalized idolatry of elevating selfish desires over God.
In other words, I feel — in this moment — that my soul needs something I can provide to it on this earth that is more important than God. Even simply coming to this realization should help you in your struggle with any sin that you have. It is likewise the understanding of needs versus wants. There are truly no things we need other than God, but elevating wants to needs makes them into idols.
On complementarianism versus egalitarianism
I think I’ve made this point before in some comments, but never written it up formally in a post.
Complementarian is not about “equality.” Obviously, if you are in any way familiar with the manosphere and associated blogs you should already know this firmly. However, what is the true reason?
We know that God is good, and God is the ultimate authority. It also stated in the Scriptures such as Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 to obey earthly authorities without even mentioning the Scriptures on husbands-wives. The fact that egalitarians almost always go straight to the “what if there’s abuse” is the underlying assumption that authority is bad rather than good. If authority is good, then what the Bible says about authority is also good. However, is authority is bad, then they can throw out what the Scriptures say to live in fear of abuse of authority and not love (1 John 4).
Thus, the root issue is almost always that Christians who believe in egalitarianism have had experience(s) in their past where authority was abused. This means that they feel, on a fundamental level, that authority is bad.
When feelings based on previous experiences collide against knowledge — even knowledge of the Word of God — the feelings almost inevitably win in the vast majority of circumstances.
Thus, it is futile to argue with egalitarians unless you examine the root issue. Some will be responsive to it, but others will hate that they’re being “psychoanalyzed.” You can only do what you can and leave the rest up to God, but knowing and shooting for the root of the issue will at least bring it to the forefront in their mind. Maybe God will use someone else later or the Scriptures or prayer or other things to change their mind in the future.
The main thing I want to point out is that if you have ever prayed to see people as God sees them you now have a logical way to implement this in your life. The vast majority of actions and attitudes that you see are only symptoms of the state of the heart. To examine the state of the heart, you have to use backwards induction on the behavior cycle.
Experience -> feelings -> thoughts -> behaviors -> expererience
Starting with experience and working backwards:
- Experience: egalitarian relationships are so much better than headship-submission because I’ll never be able to be abused.
- Behaviors: Only seek out an egalitarian and equal relationships.
- Thoughts: egalitarianism and “equality” as opposed to headship-submission.
- Feelings: have bad feelings about authority
- Experience: had past bad experience(s) with authority figures who abused their power.
As you can see, the underlying issue is not that someone has chosen a Scripturally incorrect view. It is that they have experiences and feelings that have showed them authority is bad because it can be abused, and then it sends them down the path of believing what they have felt and expereinced over the Word of God.
Thus, we could say that effective leadership and/or headship is not about fixing symptoms, it is about examining the roots of the issues and facilitating their removal.
The key question is to keep asking why. Why do they have thoughts that egalitarian relationships are better than complementarian? It’s not about looking for a Scriptural answer: they already disagree with the Scriptures. It’s about looking into their past to see why they are going to affirm feelings and experiences above the Scriptures.
You can see that arguing about logical thoughts about Scripture is fruitless against the emotional outbursts of churchians in my previous post about NYC pastor’s 10 women men should not marry. Feelings and experiences have become their truth. But the true question is why.
Once you can expose the lie, it can be dealt with.