The most eligible Christian bachelor

In one of my previous posts, a female commenter linked this post as a “good example” of what a single Christian man is like.

Now, I’m not going to go through and list all of the points. There are some good points though such as avoid TV (though it’s used to create a tenuous conclusion on “beauty standards”), treating others how you want to be treated (paraphrased), recognizing culture influences what we see. However, most of the points seem to be muddled in some version of what it means to be a single Christian… not a single Christian interested in marriage. In fact, most of the articles I’ve read recently are of this nature.

In my opinion, this is another take on the feminization of men in the Church. As I pointed out from Thoughts on a clear vision for authentic manhood, there is a tendency to tilt away from the value of the masculine which values achievement, goal setting, and the like. However, the command to men given in Genesis 1 and 2 is to take dominion over the earth and work [the ground]. The common theme that often comes up is shift away from masculine values to feminine values.

Additionally, although it is not explicitly stated there is the air of false humility in terms of beauty. This is another one of the traps that I’ve explained before which is very common among Christians to believe that going after beauty or valuing beauty is somehow evil because the “inside matters and not the outside.” This is simply another form of gnosticism that rejects the flesh as if it were evil.

I think the main thing men need to be taught is to simply embrace their nature first. You don’t need permission to be a man. Likewise, we don’t need permission to understand that men thrive under competition, goal setting, achievement, and other object oriented tasks. Embrace striving to become a godly masculine man. Embrace the process of finding a wife. Embrace being the head of the relationship with your woman following your lead. Your woman doesn’t “let” you do anything. If you have your own goals that you want to set or your own process it’s not bad unless it’s directly specific sin.

It’s not evil or bad to desire these things yet often we think that it is. We have so much freedom in Christ, yet so many people often tell us that our masculine nature or the things that come out of our masculine nature are evil simply because it doesn’t align with their beliefs or their version of feminized Christianity.

As I described in Lens of Bias, women often have the most to “criticize” about men and how we carry things out. I discussed the problematic nature of biasing in the article. However, let me discuss a more important point here. In the particular article everything was characterized as things that are bad:

Despite the generally hilarious claims of the manosphere’s Christian rump to be interested in traditional sex roles and traditional understandings of marriage and authority, they ignore the obvious traditions when those traditions mean some woman somewhere might have actual social status and a respected position in her community beyond being a wife or a mother.  They write endless screeds on marriage readiness as a sort of role playing game where it’s just a matter of hitting some benchmarks with “the current girl” enough times and you’ll get to the final boss fight (wedding ceremony) of Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife.  Or they write about finding a wife as though it’s about sifting through character traits like a basket of costumes, wearing only the ones “women care about the most”.

I freely admit that I’m looking for a woman who I am very physically attracted to. That’s important to me. But guess what? If you want a purest of the pure godly submissive hard body wife then go search for one. That’s what I looked for, and that’s what I found.

Are my desires ungodly? No? Then why are my desires being caricatured as being evil by a supposedly Christian women? I’ve also received criticism before that looking for a wife should be about finding someone to love or someone to make you happy. While those things are fine they are not Scriptural or even the be-all end-all of finding a wife.

Part of learning to be a man is that everyone wants to advise you. Everyone seems to like giving advice, and everyone believes their advice is right. Women, in particular, like impressing their advice on you like it is the gospel. Be careful what advice you take if any.

Here is the simple fact of the matter. It’s up to you to steward your life to accomplish the goals and dreams that have been put in your heart [by God]. You can get wise counsel. You can get foolish counsel. But at the end of the day everything that you do is your responsibility. A wife and family is just one facet of how masculinity is walked out in life. Women want MEN. God created it that way.

The “most eligible Christian bachelor” is a godly and mature masculine man knows what he believes both in Christ and in his desires and preferences. Shaming him doesn’t affect him in the slightest. He knows what he wants and is confident and diligent to work for it. He is a leader, and he understands that conflict is an opportunity to test his mettle to make righteous decisions. [Insert other manly traits/actions here].

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15 Responses to The most eligible Christian bachelor

  1. Jacob says:

    I think you’re both a bit wrong-headed about this. There’s no such thing as “the most eligible Christian bachelor”, if we look at it from these worldly perspectives. The very idea elevates marriage higher than the Bible does, and, in presuming masculinity is relevant to eligibility, elevates female hypergamy to a sacred object. The truth is that society’s current view of marriage, especially to a woman who hasn’t recognised that her hypergamous desires and instincts are idolatry and repented of her sin, is a serious conflict of interest for the Christian man.

    Any competent man who loves Christ truly and wants to draw closer to Him should not seek to be married. Christian marriage is at best a distraction to the faithful. The Apostle Paul frames marriage as a last resort – he teaches that it is better not to be married but if the alternative is to burn with sexual passion it is better to be married than to burn. There are no other Christian eligibility criteria.

    This suggests that none of those traits you and the other guy have listed are relevant – the most eligible Christian bachelor” is the one who struggles most with sexual sin. The rest of us, even the effeminate indeteminate ineffectual men who struggle with pornography are still eligible.

  2. @ Jacob

    Couple of things.

    There’s no such thing as “the most eligible Christian bachelor”

    I agree in the sense that it’s a corny play on words. In reality, no one is ready for marriage.

    However, I believe having a strong sense of masculinity prepares you for marriage in the context of knowing your role and responsibilities in marriage. That’s the main point I’m trying to make here.

    I’m not trying to offer some pseudo-worldly perspective that elevates marriage higher than the Scriptures.

    Any competent man who loves Christ truly and wants to draw closer to Him should not seek to be married. Christian marriage is at best a distraction to the faithful. The Apostle Paul frames marriage as a last resort – he teaches that it is better not to be married but if the alternative is to burn with sexual passion it is better to be married than to burn. There are no other Christian eligibility criteria.

    Disagreed on this. The context of verse 8-9 needs to be paired with verse 7.

    7 [c]Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. 8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    Basically, Paul in 1 Cor 7 speaks multiple times differentiating his opinion from the Lord’s (v10 versus v7, v12, v25).

    Paul believes that if you are able to abstain from marriage has he is that it’s good. As he says later, such a person can be concerned purely about the things of the Lord as opposed to those who are married who are concerned about their spouse.

    However, the gift given to steward in singleness versus those in marriage are neither “better” than another but different just as the talents we steward are different.

    Indeed, is a husband and wife in marriage who represents Christ and the Church “worse” than a single person who can devote all their time to the Lord? No, they’re simply different earthly callings or perhaps you could say ministries.

    Paul’s statement here in v7-9 is basically disseminating wisdom about whether one should stay single or be married. If you burn you should get married. If you don’t then you should stay single because that’s good. Indeed, Paul in v25-35 lays out various facts that those who marry will have their concern divided and have greater difficulty but that is also not a value judgment against being married.

    However, saying that it is good to not marry is not saying that it is “not good” to marry. As we know God created man and woman in Genesis 1-2 and brought them together to be married. All of His creation was very good.

  3. Jacob says:

    DS, thanks for the thoughtful response. I can’t see the disagreement though. I wrote nothing about marriage being “not good” or marriage being worse than being single. Creation is good, to be sure, but then God using our sin to His good ends doesn’t mean the institutions He provides to help us avoid burning in sin are good creations in and of themselves.

    The key word in my earlier comment was “seek”. Paul teaches that marriage is a distraction to the faithful, so it seems unwise to me that we should seek marriage. I was basically echoing Paul’s words that it’s better to abstain if one can. I wouldn’t use the negative “worse” to indicate the alternative, but your use of it does beg the question – if Paul is saying it’s “better” not to marry, then doesn’t that mean he thinks marriage is worse than abstinence?

  4. @ Jacob

    Based on the wording of v25-35 it seems to be that Paul is saying that one road is more difficult — not really better or worse. He advises taking the less difficult road if possible.

    He also later says in 1 Tim 4 that forbidding to marry is indeed against the faith.

    Overall, in the context of the post topic the point I was trying to get across is: if you are a eligible Christian bachelor [who wants to be married] then strive to become masculine, know your roles and responsibilities, and confidently seek a godly wife.

  5. Cane Caldo says:

    The context is set at the beginning of the chapter:

    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

    The basic expectation is marriage for nearly all people, because we are nearly all tempted to sexual immorality. DS, you are correct that Paul is gives a dispensation for singleness under the rule of marriage.

  6. Looking Glass says:

    You can still expect 90% of the population to marry (or there about, given life expectancy of the region). So it’s simply a two step process. Your first question has to be “do I need a wife?”. The second step is either “yes” or “no” and you simply pattern what it is you need to do after that. The Roman Catholic Priesthood and the Monasteries haven’t been at a loss from Men joining until most of the institutions went goddess worshiping. Remember that bit.

    @Jacob:

    “Any competent man who loves Christ truly and wants to draw closer to Him should not seek to be married.” That’s just wrong. You’re one step from 1 Timothy 4:3 with that thinking. But the most concerning phrase you typed was “[t]he rest of us, even the effeminate indeteminate ineffectual men who struggle with pornography are still eligible.”

    Stop with either the self-loathing or the sympathy begging. Developing yourself in Christ is functionally the same whether a Man needs to take a Wife or not.

  7. SnapperTrx says:

    I read a post from a Christian blogger, whom I somewhat respect (not sure how much after this) in which, in his discussion over sexual orientation and Christians, stated that HIS orientation (hetero) is just as bad as the alternative (homo) because men are attracted to women who are ‘off-limits’, therefore both are sinful. I take that to mean that, because men find other women attractive and are TEMPTED to look at them, a normal, healthy male is default bad. How can masculinity be restored to the church when the very men who should be working to restore it are terrified of it? If no one stands up, then everyone loses, the current group of men and the next generation.

  8. @ SnapperTrx

    Yeah, it does seem dim. The only thing you can really do is lead by example to be honest. I’ve been able to talk to more men about Biblical roles and responsibilities and relationships because I have such a ordered and good relationship with my girl.

    It would be interesting to see what “Scriptures” he is using to support that view. Obviously, there are none. I would suspect it’s not just a poor interpretation of attraction and lust but also of a lack of understanding of the flesh itself.

  9. Looking Glass says:

    @DS:

    Snapper would need to link so we had a better idea, but my first instinct would be the other writer was trying to find a way to not be expelled from his social group. He’s using a classic dodge for “we’re all the same, really” when God is utterly specific that we are not the same in this physical world. (The next is a completely different subject.) The first whiff would be “I’m a *good* Christian, see!” preening.

    @Snapper:

    While the rot is deep, it’s not as hard to correct as people think. Mostly as this qualifies as a “God” thing. Never underestimate what he can do.

  10. Looking Glass says:

    To clear up my point to DS a little bit, I mean the description sounds like a Christian preening to not be ejected from his non-Christian social group. He’s trying to construct a way to say “I’m not one of THOSE Christians”.

  11. Sean says:

    Personally, I think you both missed the boat on Paul’s statement.

    He’s referring to the widowed both male and female. Saul before his conversion was a member of the Sanhedrin. One had to be married, IIRC, to be. Context is key here: widows are the women he’s speaking to not single women. Why would he equate single men to widows?

  12. @ Sean

    He’s referring to the widowed both male and female. Saul before his conversion was a member of the Sanhedrin. One had to be married, IIRC, to be. Context is key here: widows are the women he’s speaking to not single women. Why would he equate single men to widows?

    He’s speaking to a lot of different groups in 1 Corinthians 7. He mentions men and women, married and [separated], and virgins and widows.

  13. Jacob says:

    @ Looking Glass

    Please put your weapons away. I read your comments all over the place and know what you’re capable of. You should know better than to attempt unclarified rebuke, especially in the limited space time of the blogosphere.

    Let me clarify:

    ““Any competent man who loves Christ truly and wants to draw closer to Him should not seek to be married.” That’s just wrong.”

    No it’s not. It’s important to seek the right thing. Marriage is not the sacred object, although it’s certainly not meant to be forbidden. It can be a blessing if it honours God. But it can also be a curse if it becomes an idol, which is very often the case in Christendom today. You are correct, men should seek proximity with Christ with or without marriage. Holding Christ as the sacred object worth seeking doesn’t mean marriage is forbidden.

    “the most concerning phrase you typed was “[t]he rest of us, even the effeminate indeteminate ineffectual men who struggle with pornography are still eligible.””

    I phrased that incorrectly. My point was to challenge the premise that there is such a thing as “the most eligible Christian bachelor”. Any man who is burning with sexual temptation is biblically eligible for marriage, although women should think carefully about marrying anyone who is effeminate, indeterminate or ineffectual. Self-loathing? Sympathy-begging? Piffle.

  14. Looking Glass says:

    @Jacob:

    Ah, I kind of like that my reputation proceeds me. Or I should be concerned I spend too much time on comments sections. I’ll hold my appraisal of that thought until later.

    On the latter part, I re-read the last piece of your first comment again. And I see why I tee’d off on it. You definitely missed a few phrases, as your further comments are demonstrating. (Something I do far too much, myself) So you ran into me going “correction” mode. It’s a good thing to correct another Christian Man if he’s stuck in either of the things I listed, which is why it was my primary response. We run into it far too much and it’s evil to encourage those traits in a Man. Since that seems to not be the case, we’ll just let that pass as a misunderstanding.

    On the topic at hand, I see where you’re coming from (and I can gather some of terrible side of it that you’ve seen), but your first comment also said “[a]ny competent man who loves Christ truly and wants to draw closer to Him should not seek to be married.” You’re setting up a situation where, rather than putting marriage (and the desire for marriage) in its proper context, I could say that you believe it’s “more holy” to be unmarried. “More Blessed” could be accurate, but even Paul discusses that he wishes we all could be blessed in the way he is. That’s the crux of the issue we’re in disagreement with.

    But I am quite in agreement that there’s a lot of idolatry about marriage. (A little hard not to happen, given our culture.) But, in most cases, “reverse & extending” from something the culture does that is evil will lead you into a bad place in your theology. If not outright heresy. Yes, it would be “better” if a Man (or Woman) didn’t need to marry. But God has not blessed all in such a way, so those on either side should not act like they are more holy than the rest. Your first priority, always, is to the Lord. He will lead you where he desires that you go. Whether you listen & follow is wholly upon you.

  15. Jacob says:

    @ Looking Glass

    It’s important to take comments in their whole context, rather than pick out phrases if an idea seems objectionable. Thanks for looking a bit further.

    If we read all of Paul’s principles of marriage from 1 Cor 7:1-8 in context, it is clear that Paul believes singleness is the better option. Marriage is put forward as an option “because sexual immorality is so common” (v2). While it’d be a stretch to claim singleness is “more holy” than marriage, Paul makes it clear which one is better for a Christian man. He says it’s better to seek (and seek is the key word here) to journey along the “better” path of avoiding relations with women altogether (v1). We should be thankful that God has provided marriage if we can’t control ourselves, but if we seek to be married thinking it’s holy for any other reason then we’re adding something to Scripture. To my mind, then, if a Christian man seeks to be married for any other reason than because he is burning with sexual temptation he is seeking the wrong thing. This disagreement, if that’s what it is, seems to be over which part of this Bible passage is the more definitive – vv1-2, or v7.

    You sit a bit close to the judgment seat with that warning about heresy, although every warning is worth considering. You also seem to have fashioned some sort of ‘holier-than-thou’ inference (or perhaps tone) in relation to marrieds where none exists.

    On the matter of allowing worldly influences to shape one’s Christian response (not theology!), I submit that this is precisely the point of Paul’s writing in 1 Cor. We’re not told what “the matter you [the Corinthian Christians] were asking about” (1 Cor 7:1) is, but it’s clearly something that arose from the worldly influences around the then international and very worldly trading hub of Corinth. If Paul’s letters teach us anything, it must surely be that the Christian faith is not merely conservative but also an active and variable response according to the fluctuating idolatries of the contemporary world. ‘Living in the world but not of it’ demands a contemporary application of conservative theology, protective of the faithful but accessible to the lost.

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