Men try to out work their suffering

As the mirror of the previous day post women hate sacrifice when it involves suffering, here is the version for men.

Men heap more sin and suffering on themselves by not confronting bad behavior from their wives. They think they can out-work their suffering (e.g. chore play, child care, more responsibilities, etc.). Let’s expand on this.

In light of the views of the necropolis (formerly “churchianity”), many Christians have been deceived into believing that a lack of godliness of the man causes most if not all of the problems in marriage and everywhere. This ranges from:

  • the “lack of leadership” of the husband (e.g. any sin of a wife is caused by bad leadership of the husband — if only a husband were more godly).
  • the “lack of sexual desire” of the wife toward the husband (e.g. godliness is attractive — if only a husband were more godly).
  • the “lack of time” for the wife and husband, especially for sex (e.g. husbands need to help out the wife more — if only a husband were more godly).
  • the “lack of respect” and “lack of submission” for the husband (e.g. literally if only a husband were more godly I could respect and submit to him)
  • the “lack of responsibility” of the husband (e.g. Fireproof and Courageous and the War Room — husbands are abandoning their wife and children to culture)
  • the “lack of [godly] men” in the Church (e.g. where have all the good men gone?)

Sound familiar?

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if [a]anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.

I’ve talked about this before, but one another’s burdens is “baros” which means something that one person can’t handle whereas bearing his own load is “phortion” which essentially means portion.

If a burden is actually too much for another Christian (usually due to extreme extenuating circumstances like death, accidents, and so on), then we’re supposed to help out other Christians. On the other hand, we each have a phortion or portion of responsibility in life to bear.

In most cases, Christian husbands are indeed trying to lead and doing what they can for the marriage to succeed, but an unreasonable “baros” is heaped on the husband instead of understanding that some of the responsibility within the marriage is the wife’s. The examples above only prove the point. Wives are supposed to be a helpmeet to the husband and instead victimize themselves into being an additional burden.

The sin and suffering of men is that they often don’t call out such bad behavior but instead try to out work their suffering. However, works literally do not work. Just as we are not justified by God through good works, husbands can never “work” their way to grace, attractiveness, sex, and respect, in the eyes of their wives.

Trying to out work suffering is fool’s gold. Standing firm on the Scriptures and calling out bad behaviors so as to identify and help his wife cleanse such behaviors is the real gold. This is the nature of leadership and respect, but is is difficult especially when there is contentiousness and rebellion.

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12 Responses to Men try to out work their suffering

  1. There is a difference now — a stark one, even — when I think about the things I could do as a single man and the things I have to do now as a husband.

    I have to think about moving a preloved frosted glass table (for our study) that will be a work table for the wife, from the previous owner’s home to ours (which has been newly refurbished). I have to think about solving the problem of a space to put her shampoo, body shower foam, conditioner and facial wash in the cramped shower area while taking into consideration her fear that whatever container we buy from IKEA to hold them may just fall and hit her leg. The lights at the vanity table are of the wrong color and I have to communicate this (and all other feedback) to our interior designer/project manager. This will continue when we move in, because there will be tons of stuff I have to take care of as we get used to our own home.

    If I were single? I have to deal with things that affect me only — if things don’t work too well, I could still live with it or adapt — but now, I have to find ways to solve my wife’s problem. If it doesn’t get solved or a certain solution is not something she wants, I have to deal with the emotional fallout.

    Sadly, I’ve come to the point now when…. If a young man were to ask for my advice about marriage, I would lay down all the cards on the table for him — that marriage is extremely far from a fairy tale ending. There are no “happy ever afters” without an incessant barrage of self-sacrifice and neverending responsibilities.

  2. feeriker says:

    Trying to out work suffering is fool’s gold. Standing firm on the Scriptures and calling out bad behaviors so as to identify and help his wife cleanse such behaviors is the real gold. This is the nature of leadership and respect, but is is difficult especially when there is contentiousness and rebellion.

    And it is quadruply difficult, or borderline impossible, when the church, the body that is supposed to be a refuge and a relief for those seeking the truth and the light, allies itself with rebellious wives and makes the husbands’ “baros” even more unbearable.

  3. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    @DS – you are spot on!

    Wives are supposed to be a helpmeet to the husband and instead victimize themselves into being an additional burden….The sin and suffering of men is that they often don’t call out such bad behavior but instead try to out work their suffering.

    The matter is compounded when 1) a wife’s claim of victimization is validated by the church and 2) a husband’s calling it out is proclaimed as unloving, abuse and a sin 3) Husbands are exhorted to just take of their cross daily and die a slow death for their wife as if that is what Eph 5:25 teaches. A typical teaching on the matter is that Husbands are not to admonish or exhort their wives for sanctification, that is unloving according to the requirements 1 Cor 13, they are to lay down their lives by sacrificing their authority, time, efforts, sexuality, masculinity, pleasures and life to keep their wife happy and feeling un-victimized!

    The church is one the one hand stoking the fires of wifely resentment, fear and contempt, while on the other hand engaging in patricide. The reasons for this are that because men have rebellious wives it is obviously proof that husbands are evil patriarchs or incompetent buffoons or uncaring selfish narcissists, or spiritually immature, or sexually addicted maniacs, insecure power hungry slave masters (pick one or any combination it doesn’t matter they all work) who have made their saintly wives resentful and discontent by their sins. Women = good & men = bad in 5000 technicolor hues.

    After all the good book says that girls are sugar and spice and everything nice and that boys screw that up. The modern meta-narrative it is Adam that caused Eve to sin by not being a good husband. If Adam had been a good husband we would be living in paradise with perfect equality between the sexes; with superior women in charge of course- to keep men from messing it up.

  4. shredifier says:

    The comments here are pure gold
    My only regret is that I could have found this site years ago…..it would have saved me years of an unhappy marriage where an apostate church that we attended believed the narrative that men are bad and women are good and continually enabled my ex wife’s sick twisted evil behavior whilst exhorting me to “love” my wife and tolerate her faults

  5. Pingback: Selected Sunday Scriptures- #116 | Donal Graeme

  6. Ame says:

    This is excellent and very well articulated. It is something that as a woman I have encountered, too. One example – when engaged to my husband, a woman in the church asked me, “Is he a godly man?” I just looked at her like she was nuts (well, she was) and said, “He loves Jesus” … because her definition of a *godly* man and God’s are not the same. However, I’ve not been able to articulate this before as you have here.

    – – – – –

    I do have a question. I cautiously ask knowing this is a place for men.

    Is it difficult for men to discern between reasonable and unreasonable burdens and portions in a marriage? Or is the challenge something else? Are men typically able to look at the situation and discern between reasonable and unreasonable whether or not they act upon it?

    I only know from the pov as a woman and a mother – discerning reasonable and unreasonable burdens and portions with my children. I know there are times when I’ve had to pick my battles with my kids … but I would think that it would be different for a husband dealing with his wife in that, with regards to children, I’m dealing with brain development, maturity, ability, etc. A wife is a fully grown adult with a fully developed brain and therefore can be expected to act with full maturity.

    Does this make any sense? If I have overstepped my boundaries as a woman here, please feel free to delete my comment.

  7. Looking Glass says:

    @Ame:

    You’ve acted uprightly enough around here to know the question is honest. But it’s also the wrong question.

    For a Man, everything is a Cost vs Benefit analysis. Life is hard. Life for a Man is really hard. Life for a Man in the modern economies is vastly more emotional stressful than at any time in the past. It’s hard and most Women are net-negatives to a Man’s life.

    What you ask is trivial for any Man that’s of “sound mind”, and even ones that aren’t. It’s only a question of how much bitching is she going to do if you tell her. This is part of the reason the guys that know how to handle Women are at such a massive advantage in our current culture. Women will do literally anything for a Man that they’re infatuated with, but they’ll treat a Man that they aren’t with utter contempt.

    For the modern Man, he’s actually utterly blackmailed by society. Twice as bad for the married Christian Man. He has no support from his “Church”, as they’ll automatically side with his Wife if there’s any disagreement. And, if that doesn’t get her what she wants, she can just flash the Divorce Card and he’ll almost always break under the pressure.

    There’s also the issue of the way Women operate. If you give them an inch, they’ll assume they’ve always had that inch and that inch is carved in stone for eternity. Thus, if a Man then attempts to change the situation, the Woman will act like he’s threatened her very understanding of the world. This is part of the reason that most Kindness from a Man is ruthlessly punished by most Women, as they know they can abuse that kindness even further. At least at the instinctual level, which is where nearly all Women exist at all times. (Women are quite capable of basic & advanced Logic; few ever use it for more than a few minutes.)

    This is also why the lie of “Men = Women with different plumbing” is so damaging. An emotionally mature Man is at a place that no Woman can ever reach. It’s just not possible (see Genesis for why). This doesn’t make Women incomplete. It’s just the nature of the differences of the Creation & the Curses. But when a Man believes the lie, he’ll treat his Women in the same manner he would treat another Man in the situation.

    This leads to the trap that DS is talking about. I call it “God Harder”, but it’s a version of “working your way to Heaven”. It’s a deep trap for a Man. (See, again, Genesis.) Because Men will notice when other Men put in serious work on a project. (It’s a necessary part of a functional hierarchy.) So if a Man just “Gods Harder” for his Wife, obviously she’ll “love” him and everything will be great! Right? No, wrong. When you reject what the Lord has told us about the way things work, you end up without the Lord and without even the functional understanding the world can provide. So it’s better for a Man to suffer in silence than to, normally, put up much of a fight with his Wife.

    The reality is that 90% of the issue when dealing with a Woman is her emotions, not the “issue” at hand. Thus a Man that doesn’t understand the issue that actually needs to be addressed is simply heaping more scorn & suffering upon his head. And then he wonders “what did I do wrong? I did what everyone told me!”. (It’s how a lot of us ended up in these parts: we did everything “correctly”, it clearly didn’t work, so we went looking for actual answers. Lo & behold, we were being taught by fools, so only foolish results would come out.)

  8. Elspeth says:

    Men heap more sin and suffering on themselves by not confronting bad behavior from their wives. They think they can out-work their suffering (e.g. chore play, child care, more responsibilities, etc.).

    The generalization that Christian men (on the main) refuse to correct their wives, or try and *work out* their suffering through appeasement is not something I have witnessed on the main. In fact, I have mostly witnessed -and lived- quite the opposite. This isn’t to say I haven’t witnessed it. I have, but I have witnessed it more as I have encountered UMC Christian homeschool families where the husband’s interpretation of servant leadership is a lot more softly defined. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but it’s certainly not universal among Christian men.

  9. @ Ame

    LG does a good job of explaining it.

    I think in practice it has to do with a lot of variables:

    1. Did a man have a father to teach him about women? (can also be mentors or other father figures too)
    2. Did a man’s father teaching him correctly about women? (can also be mentors or other father figures too)
    3. What is the theology AND practice of the Church that the man is attending?
    4. Does a man understand leadership and how a woman’s emotions and actions can be weaponized against him (overt, covert, or unknowingly)?
    5. Does a man really know what the Scriptures are and can pick out when he’s going off track?

    I’m sure there are others, but all of them play a role into if a man can recognize what are his responsibilities and what are those of his wife.

    The problem is that both the culture and the Church are often against teaching proper responsibilities, as has been noted on this blog and others many times. This makes families and Churches that aren’t overtly going against the culture few(er), which means not many men are being taught well.

  10. @ Elspeth

    The generalization that Christian men (on the main) refuse to correct their wives, or try and *work out* their suffering through appeasement is not something I have witnessed on the main. In fact, I have mostly witnessed -and lived- quite the opposite. This isn’t to say I haven’t witnessed it. I have, but I have witnessed it more as I have encountered UMC Christian homeschool families where the husband’s interpretation of servant leadership is a lot more softly defined. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but it’s certainly not universal among Christian men.

    It’s not necessarily that Christian men do not try to correct their wives. At least some husbands do by correctly noting the Scriptural commands on things like withholding sex, lack of obedience, and whatnot. Many of the commenters here, Donal’s, and Dalrock’s are in marriages with issues like this where they have tried to lead and their Churches and wives have told them it’s their fault.

    What I mean by the OP is that the result ends up being the same if they were deceived. Whether they were deceived into trying to out work their suffering or if they were persuaded into it by their Church and/or wives makes very little difference. They’re on the wrong course.

    The main problem is the response of women and Churches to Scriptural truths, which tend to cull a man into passivity in terms of leadership and encourage trying to “be more godly” = do more work and responsibility to solve the problem. Especially when you get heretical theology like I mentioned in the OP.

    From what I’ve seen the problems seem to increase in Churches in three main factors:

    1. Leadership of the pastor (a good leader sets good direction — e.g. Baucham — a bad one is the blind leading the blind and they both fall into a pit).
    2. Size of the Church (smaller tend to be better… perhaps because of more tight knit family and community. Also, because straight shooting the Scripture and its commands doesn’t gain many Church members because being a “true” Christian is hard).
    3. Higher socioeconomic status (e.g. don’t need God if money solves problems. When you don’t need God you pick and choose what Scriptures are applicable or twist them to your own needs).

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