Incentives

Recently, I’ve been rethinking much of masculinity in terms of roles and responsibilities after the previous post. Dalrock’s recent posts on respect and who cares are important to understand what motivates men.

As it stands, the majority of men would rather feel unloved than disrespected.

Emerson Eggerichs, best-selling author of Love and Respect*, asserts: “Women need love. Men need respect. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.”** The foundation for his platinum-level former book-of-the-year is a theorized gender difference he identified by posing this question:

If you were forced to choose one of the following, which would you prefer to endure…to be left alone and unloved in the world, or to feel inadequate and disrespected by  everyone?

In his original sample of 400 males, 74% said that if they were forced to choose, they would prefer feeling alone and unloved rather than feeling disrespected and inadequate (p.49). He collected data on a female sample and found that a comparable majority would rather feel disrespected and inadequate than alone and unloved. Based on this data, Eggerichs concluded that a wife “needs love just as she needs air to breathe” and a husband “needs respect just as he needs air to breathe” (p. 37).

I think anyone familiar with the commands of Scripture and be willing to soul search themselves would come to the same conclusion. The currency that is valuable to men is respect while conversely the currency that is valuable to women is love.

This is precisely why the commands of Scriptures to husbands and wives are unconditional. Namely, the husband is to provide love to the wife and the wife is to provide respect to the husband regardless of how they feel even if they are mistreated as stated in Ephesian 5 and 1 Peter 3. The unconditional command reverses potential negative behavioral cycles that may develop. This helps bind the marriage together, and it will help each spouse to work through any conflict that may arise because they are still getting nurtured by the other. This is exactly in the same vein as unconditional sex within marriage as stated in 1 Corinthians 7.

Because of free will, the natural desires of men and women can be warped. Men can be taught and choose to act as if they are women, and women can be taught and choose to act if they are men. Likewise, choosing to act against your nature will indeed change your nature.

To test my theory that respect is equally critical for many women as for many men, I set out to profile the marriages of some of the smartest women I have known and their equally capable friends (The Lifestyle Poll). The first phase of data collection for The Lifestyle Poll was based heavily on a Harvard college graduate sample.

In this group of 300 women, 75% reported that they would rather feel alone and unloved than disrespected and inadequate.In other words, within this group of highly educated, accomplished women, the tendency to favor respect over love was equivalent in degree to the preference expressed among males that was used to launch a best-selling book predicated on what now seems to be an inaccurate assumption of a consistent gender difference.

Thus, it should be no surprise that a woman who was taught since childhood to demand respect, to aim to be respected, and to be ambitious and career oriented would want to be respected rather than loved. Likewise, it should be no surprise that a man who was taught since childhood to be loved, to aim to find a woman who loves him for who he is, and to treat women with love as he would want to be treated with love instead of respect.

This is the common delusion of our perverted society that ends up promoting dysfunctional relationships where there is explicit role reversal. The wife ends up acting as the head of marriage and loving the husband while the husband ends up respecting the wife and submitting to her.

Dalrock correctly identifies respect as one of the incentives from marriage. Although I’m sure he knows the others he didn’t discuss them. Other incentives are based in the roles and not the responsibilities of marriage:

  • Respect
  • To be the head of his own household
  • Sex
  • To father children (be fruitful and multiply)

The reason why the incentives are based in roles is because roles define the position. Responsibilities are added to ensure that the role is fulfilled properly as to the Lord. Fulfilling responsibilities when there is no role is the path to be ineffective and delusional as a man who tries to back a woman into a relationship by sending her gifts, complimenting her, and acting as her boyfriend when he is simply a friend to her.

This is why men that rise to responsibilities without a role are unattractive to women. You can’t “earn” your way into a relationship. The role needs to come first, and the role is established prior to any responsibilities being fulfilled.

Generally speaking, if you want to ensure that men want to BE men and BE married then Biblical incentives must be strongly pushed so that men will want to be married.

  • What man wants to be in a marriage where he is disrespected by his wife, children, the Church, and culture?
  • What man wants to be in a marriage where he is not the head of his household and submissive to his wife?
  • What man wants to be in a marriage where he is denied sex?
  • What man wants to be in a marriage where children are a curse rather than a blessing?

Although culture continually disrespects husbands, it is exceedingly sad and disappointing that wives, children, and the Church continually disrespect husbands. Then the Church wonders where all of the men are and why marriage rates have plummeted. Right where you left them with destroying the Scriptural incentives for marriage.

If the Church and Christian women want to “solve” the marriage crisis then they first must understand that men will generally only want to be married because of the particular incentives of roles in marriage. This is why a single, chaste, respectful Christian woman who is kind and feminine is so appealing to men. It’s an attractive prospect because she exhibits the qualities of a strong Scriptural marriage.

Conclusion

  • Incentives drive behavior.
  • The incentives of marriage are primarily based in the roles of marriage as opposed to the responsibilities.
  • If the Church and Christians want men to BE men and BE married then they must understand that the the particular roles of men are the incentives for the marriage and stop undermining headship, respect, sex, and children.
  • Men that rise to responsibilities without roles are unattractive to women because the commands that underlie the marriage relationship are unconditional not conditional. Responsibility without roles is trying to earn the role through works.
  • Single men that wish to be married should strive for the roles and not the responsibilities. Striving for headship/leadership and being respectable is attractive and leads toward the roles within marriage.
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30 Responses to Incentives

  1. Pingback: Incentives – Manosphere.com

  2. I think I am tracking with you and agree that role determines appropriate responsibility. Could you explain the incentives derived from the role of the wife.

  3. @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    Biblically,

    1. Provision and sex — Exodus 12:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.
    2. Protection under the umbrella of authority. Numbers 30 for example.
    3. Headship in terms acting as a follow (e.g. helpmeet). You could call this “purpose.”
    4. Children

    Extra-Biblically,

    5. Married women have status over unmarried women

    The Biblical ones are enough incentives to most women into marriage for the benefit of protection, provision, sex, and children. Underneath headship/submission and being a helpmeet is obviously a detriment in today’s culture; however, instead of this being normal and good it is perverted and shamed.

    The problem is that many of these things can be fulfilled without marriage now which gives rise to the single mom and/or the ejection of the father from a marriage.

  4. The problem is that many of these things can be fulfilled without marriage now…

    Exactly! That is the legacy of feminism, the destruction of the women’s role and the loss of incentives for her to be faithful to a family.

  5. Jacob says:

    Thanks for this post – it seems to describe the fundamental problem with the inverted marriage relationships today. It may be helpful to dig a bit deeper into the reasons for the inversion. While it’s easy to lump these all together and simply blame rebellious influences like feminism, which may confuse people since tjise influences can mean different things to different people, I think the reasons are more basic and mechanical.

    If we look more closely at love, knowing what we know about the effects of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone concentrations, it becomes fairly obvious that men and women understand ‘love’ differently. Women seem to need more to love their husband during the fertile part of their monthly cycle, but more to feel loved at other times.

    When we say that “women need love”, are we saying that they need to FEEL loved, or that they need to BE loved, or that they need to love, or that they need to feel that others are loved by them? All of these may be true, and all of them may be the four pillars of the Disney version of ‘true’ love, but which of these is something the husband himself can provide? Only the second of these is covered in Scripture as the husband’s responsibility, yet I suspect the rebellious wife is expecting from him one or more of the other three as well then concluding from their absence that he’s failing to lead her as God intends. This is obviously going to confuse matters for her husband.

    From the husband’s point of view, he may view love as a guarding, a looking to the horizon, a serving, a covering, a ‘having her back’ kind of love, all of which are elements of being loved by a husband. But they may not give the wife the tingles she craves or the things she needs to feel happy, which may include those other aspects of love. In other words, the ‘love’ a woman wants is different to the love she needs, and different again to the love a Christian husband is called to provide.

    I would suggest that the inversion of
    roles in those dysfunctional marriages occurs because the wife is seeking aspects of love from the husband that he is not equipped to provide, and when she doesn’t get it, rather than turn to God for those things she assumes her husband is not fulfilling his role and therefore needs replacing.

    Perhaps role inversion is not so much about failing manhood (as is often the complaint of wives who won’t submit) but understanding how ‘love’ may mean something different to husband and wife at any given time, and that it may change under the influence of hormones and personal experience. Clearly, as you say, the biblical model is there to protect the marriage as husbands and wives help each other learn to depend more on God than each other for the things they need.

  6. donalgraeme says:

    Good post DS. Looks like we were thinking the same things while reading Dal’s most recent posts. Let me offer something else as well:

    An alternative to an “incentive” model is to instead look of marriage as something God intended, with a particular “way” it was supposed to be. Human beings were created with an appropriate model of marriage in mind, in order to fulfill Gen 1:28. Modern models of marriage discourage men because they are unnatural. They are far afield from what God intended, and this offends the natural law- the echo of the divine law within each of us. Since it offends the natural law within us, we shy away from it due to it being unnatural. In other words, because it is against the proper other of things, part of us is repelled by it. The key to getting Christian men to become more “marriage” minded is by restoring marriage to what God intended.

    That is a rough idea that has been bouncing in my head some time. Still need to work out the kinks.

  7. @ Donal

    Yeah, I was more focused on identifying the incentives of natural law.

    The post on natural law itself could be stand alone or tie in.

  8. @ Jacob

    Thanks for this post – it seems to describe the fundamental problem with the inverted marriage relationships today. It may be helpful to dig a bit deeper into the reasons for the inversion. While it’s easy to lump these all together and simply blame rebellious influences like feminism, which may confuse people since tjise influences can mean different things to different people, I think the reasons are more basic and mechanical.

    Well, the main driving force is feminism, egalitarianism, and the warped version of ‘Christian’ complementarism. The vast majority of people, even Christians, do not want to accept the Scriptural truth that there is a hierarchy in marriage even though it is fully acceptable to be in a hierarchy at work, in the Church, in sports, or other activities. Aside from the influences I mentioned prior I would say it’s a pride issue and self esteem issue rolled up in an inferiority complex.

    When we say that “women need love”, are we saying that they need to FEEL loved, or that they need to BE loved, or that they need to love, or that they need to feel that others are loved by them? All of these may be true, and all of them may be the four pillars of the Disney version of ‘true’ love, but which of these is something the husband himself can provide? Only the second of these is covered in Scripture as the husband’s responsibility, yet I suspect the rebellious wife is expecting from him one or more of the other three as well then concluding from their absence that he’s failing to lead her as God intends. This is obviously going to confuse matters for her husband.

    Love, at least agape, is encompassing. The analogy that Paul gives as the standard of “Loving your wife as Christ loved the Church” is that a man is ought to love his wife as himself. This given as the example, and it is repeated 3 times.

    25 Husbands, (initial) love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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 (1) love their own wives as their own bodies. (2) He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes 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 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 (3) love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

    It’s a selfish love in the context that you make decisions in the best interest of you both. You do not place her above yourself by putting her on a pedestal. You are the head and pull her up to your level, just as Jesus no longer calls us slaves but friends. Of course, this love is in expectation of obedience.

    John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

    From the husband’s point of view, he may view love as a guarding, a looking to the horizon, a serving, a covering, a ‘having her back’ kind of love, all of which are elements of being loved by a husband. But they may not give the wife the tingles she craves or the things she needs to feel happy, which may include those other aspects of love. In other words, the ‘love’ a woman wants is different to the love she needs, and different again to the love a Christian husband is called to provide.

    Now, in terms of women “feeling loved” that is built into the command, but it is actions rather than feelings.

    Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

    Certainly, it is the case where you can act on her behalf to nourish and cherish her and she doesn’t realize it or throws it back in your face. Now, I would say you should communicate where you have been doing this, but if she continues to ignore or disrespect what you have done then you should treat it as her problem and not yours.

    I would suggest that the inversion of roles in those dysfunctional marriages occurs because the wife is seeking aspects of love from the husband that he is not equipped to provide, and when she doesn’t get it, rather than turn to God for those things she assumes her husband is not fulfilling his role and therefore needs replacing.

    I definitely believe this is part of it in many cases. I made it a point to tell my girlfriend that her relationship with God through reading the Scriptures, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines are her priority even over me. The “hole” deep down in our hearts that only God can fill is to be filled by God alone. Not me or anything else in the world. The roles and responsibilities of the husband are a large part, but they are not all encompassing.

    However, although confusion and sex differences in interpretation may play a part in role inversion, I believe that the majority of the issue(s) stem from ignorance, incorrect teaching, and ingrained negative habits. For example, a woman that is taught to demand and receive respect is going to seek that in her relationships to her detriment. So much of the Christian walk is focused on spiritual discipline: the taking off the old and putting on the new through dispelling ignorance, incorrect teaching, and learning how to break bad habits and form good ones.

  9. “If the Church and Christians want men to BE men and BE married then they must understand that the the particular roles of men are the incentives for the marriage and stop undermining headship, respect, sex, and children.”

    Well, this will likely go over like a ton of bricks, but it is men themselves through their very own behavior who have undermined headship and respect. In order to be respected, men must provide something worthy of respect. I am sorry, but reading Dalrock and some of the others presents a type of man I would have absolutely no desire to respect and marry. They are nothing but endless pride, hatred, and a never ending sense of entitlement.

    As to incentives, in a Christian context, we are to emulate the love of Christ, not to enter into our marriages demanding “incentives.”

    “What man wants to be in a marriage where he is disrespected by his wife, children, the Church, and culture?”

    Probably the precise same number of women who do not wish to be in a marriage with an alcoholic or a porn addict, or someone who has multiple affairs or who doesn’t listen to their wife or provide any emotional support. But you know what? In a Christian context marriage is for better or worse, in sickness and in health. Also, when one is truly in Christ, one is not seeking the approval of the world, the respect of the culture, the church. People seem to have forgotten, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

    As gently as I can possibly say it, to present Christian headship as something you dole out based on nothing more than incentives and a desire for respect, isn’t headship at all. That’s actually arrogance and pride.

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  11. @ insanitybytes22

    As to incentives, in a Christian context, we are to emulate the love of Christ, not to enter into our marriages demanding “incentives.”

    This post is about analyzing incentives which drive men to marry. Not men demanding incentives. It’s not personal.

    As gently as I can possibly say it, to present Christian headship as something you dole out based on nothing more than incentives and a desire for respect, isn’t headship at all. That’s actually arrogance and pride.

    Love and respect and headship and submission are to be unconditional as God commands. However, that’s not what we’re talking about here.

    The institution of marriage, prior to marriage, needs to be attractive to both sexes to have them come together to agree in the covenant [marriage].

    These examples, among others, are why things tend to “go over like a ton of bricks.” Misinterpretation, off topic, and show no empathy or charity for men.

  12. “This post is about analyzing incentives which drive men to marry. Not men demanding incentives. It’s not personal.”

    Well, with more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, taking a deeper look at the problem of expectations and “incentives for marriage” would be wise.

    “The institution of marriage, prior to marriage, needs to be attractive to both sexes to have them come together to agree in the covenant [marriage]. ”

    Okay, well, “I just married her because I wanted to be able to demand constant respect, have unlimited sexual access, and possess children,” is a crappy incentive for marriage. That will lead to nothing but disappointment and a wife who does not feel loved or respected. In fact, just reading those words already stirs up feelings of contempt within me. What is the leading cause of divorce? Contempt and the poor people haven’t even gotten married yet…..

    “Misinterpretation, off topic, and show no empathy or charity for men….”

    That is complete projection. I have a great love and empathy for men. Men acting like total nitwits, not so much.

  13. @ insanitybytes22

    Okay, well, “I just married her because I wanted to be able to demand constant respect, have unlimited sexual access, and possess children,” is a crappy incentive for marriage. That will lead to nothing but disappointment and a wife who does not feel loved or respected. In fact, just reading those words already stirs up feelings of contempt within me. What is the leading cause of divorce? Contempt and the poor people haven’t even gotten married yet…..

    1. Again, the misinterpretation of demanding.

    2. Things that are meant for marriage are good. Sex is good, children are good. It’s good for men to want these things in marriage, yet you portray that as “crappy” and are “contemptuous” of men having such benefits and incentives to marry.

    3. To reiterate how absurd #2 is, women wanting to marry to have children is a crappy and contemptuous…. said no one ever.

    4. The only reason give in the NT to marry is by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 namely ‘it is better to marry than to burn.’ Sex and children are a major reason to marry.

    I allow everyone to comment if they comment in good faith. You are abusing that good faith by assuming evil of motives and of discussion.

    This is your only warning.

  14. “You are abusing that good faith by assuming evil of motives and of discussion. This is your only warning.”

    If you cannot even speak to me, a happily married mother and grandma, without resorting to threats of discipline, then all is not well within your own soul.

    I got married to serve Jesus Christ, to be personally pleasing to Him, to grow in faith and represent His relationship with the church. That is why we get married, not for incentives, fear of burning, sex, or children. If you are going to address incentives for marriage in a Christian context, than you should at least mention that perhaps it is not all about what people plan to get out of marriage, but rather what they give and Who they actually serve.

  15. If you think that me telling you the rules of the blog is threatening then that’s your prerogative. However, the “about” section expresses this rule clearly.

    I got married to serve Jesus Christ, to be personally pleasing to Him, to grow in faith and represent His relationship with the church. That is why we get married, not for incentives, fear of burning, sex, or children. If you are going to address incentives for marriage in a Christian context, than you should at least mention that perhaps it is not all about what people plan to get out of marriage, but rather what they give and Who they actually serve.

    If you have said this prior then we could have reasonably discussed these things because there are some good points there. Something along the lines of “I think a focus on incentives is looking at the wrong area as we are on these areas as Christians” would be vastly more effective.

    However, questioning the state of my soul and thus character after I warned you that you should comment in good faith crosses the line.

    Goodbye.

    P.S. If you truly want to reach people as you say you do then you should rethink your communication style. For example, assuming malicious motives and showing respect rather than an adversarial attitude would go a long way.

  16. Looking Glass says:

    IB22 is a warped Woman who’s faith is deluded and warped. Having seen her enough, she quite clearly believes in a God of her own design that lines up with the Bible when useful.

  17. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Awesome stuff here!

    What a man IS define what he DOES.

    All of this ties in superbly to your previous stuff about how Christian men are abused by performing duties that are outside of our roles.

    As far as IB22 is concerned, something is troubling that sister. Why on earth women like her have such a beef with devout men living up to our Godly roles and responsibilities is bizarre. Its almost as if men fixing the broken paradigm will result in women suffering; as if they aren’t already on the path to eternal suffering.

    While kicking against the pricks is an ever losing battle, it seems that Insanitybytes22 is hardly in the relenting frame of mind. Sheesh, “happily married grandma”, you need to chill.

  18. donalgraeme says:

    I didn’t want to enter the spat, but there is something Pedat said I want to respond to:

    Why on earth women like her have such a beef with devout men living up to our Godly roles and responsibilities is bizarre. Its almost as if men fixing the broken paradigm will result in women suffering; as if they aren’t already on the path to eternal suffering.

    There is a strong mentality among some that life is a zero sum game. And by some I mean many, if not most. [I should note, in some areas this is true, but not with life in general.] They honestly believe that to elevate one, is to necessarily lower another. We can see this most especially in the family. To defend the authority of the husband is seen in their eyes as to degrade or denigrate the wife. It is an extremely unhealthy belief, and one that must be confronted.

  19. Coastal says:

    I know she’s gone, but something she said caught my eye:

    I got married to serve Jesus Christ, to be personally pleasing to Him, to grow in faith and represent His relationship with the church. That is why we get married, not for incentives, fear of burning, sex, or children. If you are going to address incentives for marriage in a Christian context, than you should at least mention that perhaps it is not all about what people plan to get out of marriage, but rather what they give and Who they actually serve.

    I’ve noticed this quite a bit with people that I deal with in church, both men and women; there’s this mentality that getting married to fulfill certain desires is wrong. Insanitybytes’ answer sounds really “spiritual” and “deep” at first glance, but it’s far from the biblical truth and frankly filled with fluff. Getting married to serve Jesus Christ? That’s something you should be doing regardless of your marital status. More and more I see how staying close to the Word of God on matters like these allow you to see through responses like that.

  20. An observer says:

    In order to be respected, men must provide something worthy of respect.

    Conditional approval, meaning most men won’t ever meet the sky-high standards. Fairly normal for hyperactive hypergamy.

    there’s this mentality that getting married to fulfill certain desires is wrong….[her] answer sounds really “spiritual” and “deep” at first glance, but it’s far from the biblical truth and frankly filled with fluff….

    A woman would never confess to marrying because she wants mere financial and emotional support. Spiritualities the trade supposedly enhances her moral superiority and herd status.

    To defend the authority of the husband is seen in their eyes as to degrade or denigrate the wife. It is an extremely unhealthy belief, and one that must be confronted.

    Male authority has been de legitimised, as ibs comment illustrates, since she won’t confess to marrying for degrading reasons of convenience.

    The false notion of equality also hinders a better conceptualisation of sex roles, since contemporary cultures paints women equally and more capable as men in all fields.

    Which is all fine and good until the first jar won’t open.

  21. feeriker says:

    Getting married to serve Jesus Christ? That’s something you should be doing regardless of your marital status. More and more I see how staying close to the Word of God on matters like these allow you to see through responses like that.

    It appears that either IB22 has never heard of the Epistles of Paul, or, equally likely, she has torn them out of her Bible in disgust and tossed them down the memory hole. She’s almost certainly not fond of most of what Jesus had to say either. The Old Testament profits? Feggedaboutem.

  22. Looking Glass says:

    @feeriker:

    Sadly, having seen here around enough, she’ll claim she’s the most submissive wife in the world. At least in the veiled way Women love to hide their arrogance.

  23. feeriker says:

    Sadly, having seen here around enough, she’ll claim she’s the most submissive wife in the world. At least in the veiled way Women love to hide their arrogance.

    True to her usual form, she came here hoping to disprove DS’s points, but instead simply helped prove them just by being IB22.

    Just as an aside, I’m mildly curious to know if there are any remaining blogs in the ‘sphere from which she has not been banned.

  24. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    When DS said she’s not arguing in good faith, he was being very kind. She’s gone from being a concern troll to an outright harridan and troublemaker.

    If she doesn’t like what the men are talking about when she walks the room, she needs to turn around and get the fuck out, in Jesus’ name, since He is the only reason she even got married – to a man.

    That might help her with her angst.

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