Patriarch or Monk

Looking Glass had a incisive comment that expounds upon the two choices men have in Christianity.

On the approach a Christian Man should take with regards to relationships (as a general point, in case anyone else comes across this), to simplify it a bit, you have two paths: Patriarch or Monk. What has the Lord instructed you in the direction for your life? Whichever it is, that’s the way you go. Learn to do it very well.

Paul expounds on this in 1 Corinthians 7. However, I like the obvious contrast between the two choices as concepts that are rarely used in a good way in our age of “modernity.” Fathers and husbands are held with contempt as Dalrock has noted frequently, and single men who do not marry are despised because they refuse to “man up and marry.”

What are you called to as a Christian man?

Patriarch or Monk?

Could be both if you were divorced or your wife died. For most Christian men, the choice is fairly intuitive. But for some, it needs much prayer and wise counsel.

2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of [f]timidity, but of power and love and [g]discipline.

Either way, we move in the power, love and discipline of the Holy Spirit with our gifts.

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8 Responses to Patriarch or Monk

  1. Pingback: Patriarch or Monk –

  2. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    It seems that one can be a monk for a season and then a patriarch. On the Art of Manliness Blog there was recently a piece on Dick Winters as a monastic warrior. He was a monk during the war, focused, pure and stoic but a family man and a patriarch after the war. It seems to me the real problem is men who pursued one or the other, but can not commit to the pursuit. I.E. men who are married but whose wives are refusing them so even though they have chosen patriarch they are living as monks. The other example is men who choose to live as monks, but the temptations of sex and women are too great and they fornicate. Both represent the challenges of modern masculine life.

  3. Jacob says:

    This post too I can agree with. It speaks of a man’s mission with God not women. That’s where the future lies for Christian men. Their lives may involve a woman but only as a supporting act. We can build something from this.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    I’d been reflecting on one of the many areas the modern Church functionally tries to “hedge” itself with regards to its congregation, lately. The Lord is straight forward on the topics we can understand: you’re either with the Lord or without. There’s no “middle ground”.

    When the Lord asks or commands something of a Christian, we should do it to the best of our ability. (Hard to love the Lord with all of your “strength” when you don’t.) But some of the pathways of life really are very different from each other. And it takes a while to learn to perform the tasks properly. Something wholly lost on the current Church.

  5. donalgraeme says:

    you have two paths: Patriarch or Monk.

    Yes, more or less. The Catholic Church refers to this as the vocation of marriage or the vocation of a religious life. [Note: religion, as a word, has changed in meaning over the years. A long time ago it referred to, more specifically, the acts of faith, rather than faith itself.] Unfortunately the Catholic Church has been mostly content to swim in the current alongside Protestants, and so doesn’t really approach the matter any differently.

  6. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Great topic.

    I can say that I’ve allowed women to get in the way of my WORK (I’m reluctant to say “achievements in the kingdom”) for the Father.

    Over the past couple of years I have been ghosting most of the non-relative or non “nearly” lifelong friends of the female persuasion.

    Talk about burdens being lifted. Who knew how much even my platonic engagements weighted on me. I was being a Father and Counselor and Teacher to so many who offered me little to nothing.

    And while I am social, because I understand the utility of it, I am most certainly in Monk mode.

  7. Pingback: guys and men | Christianity and masculinity

  8. Pingback: Ideas for a treatise on Patriarchal marriage | Christianity and masculinity

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