God’s Biblical marital roles and responsibilities are the bare minimum and why past America had such an appeal

One of the things that is interesting to me that I’ve been mulling over more recently (again) is the fact that most things in the Scriptures are the bare minimum.

For marriage, God commands the husband to be the head and love his wife while He commands the wife to submit and respect and be affectionate with her husband. He commands both of them to have sex with each other. If they separate, they must stay single or reconcile.

One of the things that I think exemplifies “perfection” in marriage is similar in nature to God’s provision:

Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God already knows our needs and will provide for them (our needs and not our wants). We just need to have faith and follow Him.

The anomalous post a few weeks ago showed that it’s not normal for any culture to follow God. Nova made some good points that our culture prior mimicked that to some extent, but ultimately diverted fast and hard once norms fell apart.

I generally agree, and this is where I think a great deal of the nostalgia for the US prior to, say, 1965, or August 1920 or what have you is misplaced.

What we had prior to the social revolution that began in the 1960s was a society that was “Christian” on its surface, but really only on its surface. There was a convergence of its own between the kind of values that fostered middle class life and Christian values, construed broadly, when relating to sexuality and marital and family life. That is, there was a broad overlap between the two, such that following Christian teaching about sex, marriage and family life not only didn’t interfere with the middle class life script — it actually “rhymed” with it, such that it did not really impede the middle class life script. So people followed along, and it was easy enough for them to seem Christian due to their following those customs, even if they didn’t have a deep faith, and were following them because they were also the social values and customs of the rising middle class, and everyone, at the time, who was “getting ahead” was following them as well and leading successful lives. So there was a meshing there that took place that blurred exactly how Christian and faithful people were.

My own take is that they were not, in fact, very faithful, because the same people, once conditions changed quickly, pretty much abandoned, en masse, the Christian teachings in these areas for the new middle class life script, with only a small minority sticking to the “old rules”. We know what led to the middle class script being changed — everything from cheap and legal birth control and abortion, to an economy that moved from industry to service (and then now to “knowledge”), to feminism as a social and political ideology whose strength itself was fed by these technological and economic changes. In the space of a generation, middle class parents shifted dramatically when it came to their daughters … MRS degree was out, career path for its own sake was in. That script, which became solidified in the culture in the 1980s and 90s, does not call for marriage until after the education/early career phase has been secured … an age which started in the mid 20s area and which has advanced higher every year. This, of course, implies that almost all of these will be fornicating along the way … and all the more as the average age of first marriage increases. There was, and likely always will be, a small group that refuses to do so – the faithful group — but it’s tiny even in Christian communities. It’s just taken as a given by middle class and upper middle Christians that their children are likely going to be fornicating, and this is tolerated because it is felt to be a necessary risk in order to facilitate the important middle class life script. It also leads to much more egalitarian marriages, because the changes in the economy meant that in many areas living without two incomes, unless one of them was sky high, was increasingly difficult, and involved the sacrifice of not living a middle class life — which was an unwanted sacrifice because, again, the whole point of the middle class life script is to live a middle class life to begin with! Of course egalitarian marriages aren’t what the Church had taught since time immemorial, either, but that, too, had to bend before the more important middle class life script, such that men and women were formed to fall into both fornication and later in life more egalitarian marriages due to the life script, and everyone just adapted.

I think one of the interesting things is that there was some “beauty” in how Western Civilization followed in these norms at the time. For instance, a lot of men have a very romanticized view of the 1950s in America was a man/husband has a hard day at work and comes home to his wife and kids and hot meal on the table.

This is a classic. Why is that a classic? It shows that his family, particularly his wife, was anticipating his needs after a long hard day at work. It’s a beautiful example yet one which those who hate God (feminists and their ilk) seek to ruin. They can’t stomach the underlying assumptions from the wife: anticipating a husband’s need, showing him respect, being kind, giving and generous with her time. God forbid she shows that she actually likes her husband or being a housewife (or other things of that nature).

It is a good example of understanding why many men wish to go back to such a time (even though 1950s America wasn’t anymore “Christian” than America is today). A wife and family that actually cared and respected them. This is not to say it cannot happen today either, but it is vastly more difficult to raise a family fighting against secular and even conservative or Church currents that may push against it.

In conclusion, first work on Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. They are the bare minimum. Then seek to go above and beyond by trying to anticipate your wife’s or your husband’s needs.

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28 Responses to God’s Biblical marital roles and responsibilities are the bare minimum and why past America had such an appeal

  1. SnapperTrx says:

    I think a big factor in the appeal of “those days”, despite your claim that “America wasn’t any more ‘Christian’ than America is today’, is SHAME was still a thing in society back then. Now I can’t say I disagree with you on your assertion, but certainly societal shame over old maids, loose women, divorcees and bastard children played a large role in why many people were “christian” at the time. Once the stigmas started to be removed from the previous list then people found more interest in them. I mean, its not like loose women is a new thing, right? Been around since the beginning of time! However in most societies such women were shunned and frowned upon, despite the absence of God. This kept such activities in check, whereas now they are celebrated and running rampant!

    I’ve actually been thinking about writing a post on shame for the past week that was inspired by another post on another blog, but several other blogs have had posts that seem to all tie into shame and I think Ill work on getting that post done this weekend.

  2. @ Snapper

    I think a big factor in the appeal of “those days”, despite your claim that “America wasn’t any more ‘Christian’ than America is today’, is SHAME was still a thing in society back then. Now I can’t say I disagree with you on your assertion, but certainly societal shame over old maids, loose women, divorcees and bastard children played a large role in why many people were “christian” at the time.

    Definitely agree that is one of the bigger factors of why women have been going wild in their sin nature.

    Women tend to go with the flow (AKA ‘the herd mentality’) and when there is no shame or boundaries against something they tend to be the first to jump on the sin or poor decision bandwagon.

    In fact, I don’t think I added that to the demise of marriage post. I will add that now:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/the-demise-of-marriage-cause-and-effect/

  3. Pingback: The Demise of Marriage: Cause and Effect | Christianity and masculinity

  4. Derek Ramsey says:

    “One of the things that is interesting to me that I’ve been mulling over more recently (again) is the fact that most things in the Scriptures are the bare minimum.”

    I’ve been mulling over something similar. Someone, I don’t know who, recently pointed out something about Jesus’ teaching in Matthew that I had not previously considered.

    Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him if no-fault divorce was fine. Jesus replied that God made the marital bond to last forever and no divorce could change that. The Pharisees were confused. If marriage is permanent, why did the Law allow divorce? Jesus said that they were weak and couldn’t follow God’s plan, so they were allowed to divorce. But Jesus was not done. Even in that case, the bare minimum standard should have been to to only divorce under the gravest of circumstances. To do otherwise would be adultery.

    Marriage, with allowance for divorce due to the gravest sexual transgressions (Deut. 24:1), was the bare minimum standard. But the real standard is no divorce at all. We see that in bottom-line conclusion in Mark 10 or Luke 16. Those who read Matthew 19 as if it says “divorce is a grave evil, except it’s perfectly fine if the spouse was unfaithful” are completely missing the point and should probably just read Mark or Luke. There is no “exception”, that’s just the difference between the bare minimum and the real expected standard.

  5. lastmod says:

    America’s early post war past had an appeal because someone could actually get a decent job, own a home, live in relatively safety without mayhem or other unpleasantness, work and retire with an okay pension, and actually have a quality of life in retirement. most men could find someone to marry, and have stability in that marriage…..then along came that “devout christian” ronald reagan in california and kicked the door open to no-fault divorce nationwide. you have husband and wife both working full-time, and can barely pay rent, let alone own a home in many parts of the usa. christians will tell us that is their own fault, they should have become engineers and investment bankers or started a ‘ministry’

    as in divorce…so if christian a man marries a woman who has been divorced. he’s now going to hell because he married and adultress. what about before she was saved? what about him….what if she brought him to the lord? exceptions? what if she lives a pure life afterward and never marries…..and made mistakes when she was younger…..

    people liked Americas past because people still knew how to dress, our products were good and most people actually had a chance t better themselves.

  6. Derek Ramsey says:

    “as in divorce…so if christian a man marries a woman who has been divorced. he’s now going to hell because he married and adultress…”

    This is an insightful question. Let’s go back to the OT. God allowed the people to divorce when their wives were unfaithful. Why would he allow this if his standard is no divorce? I believe the answer is that God is not a tyrant and loves us enough to give us free will. If we truly cannot handle following the ideal plan, he’s not unreasonable or lacks compassion: he’s merciful. Mercy is the opposite of “…going to hell…”

    As I said above, the people who divorce flippantly are the ones who are strongly condemned. The question of remarriage is a doctrinal issue that I’d rather debate now. It’s not really the point.

  7. Derek Ramsey says:

    Correction: I’d rather NOT debate now.

  8. theasdgamer says:

    Unfortunately, many young men don’t want to work, and, instead, expect a woman to both work and do housekeeping and rearing the kids. They are immature and lazy and good for nothing. I know several like this.

  9. @theasdgamer

    Of course many young men don’t want to work; few people truly WANT to work, that’s why it’s called “work” and not “play” or something. Yet men worked anyway, because historically, hard work was how men attained some level of material comfort, social status and respect from his community, and the means to attract a woman to marry and have children with. Those incentives are vanishing, and men are rationally adjusting their behavior based on their circumstances and preferences.

    Furthermore, as work itself has evolved from an agricultural/industrial/manual labor nature to a service/knowledge based nature, and women have joined the labor force as a result of this softening, work itself is increasingly seen as “something women do,” and just like attending university has become, men aren’t that interested in women’s activities.

  10. Don Quixote says:

    lastmod says:
    August 16, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    as in divorce…so if christian a man marries a woman who has been divorced. he’s now going to hell because he married and adultress. what about before she was saved? what about him….what if she brought him to the lord? exceptions? what if she lives a pure life afterward and never marries…..and made mistakes when she was younger…..

    Please consider the following quote from Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
    The Greek word for ‘whosoever’ in the above text is the same Greek word ‘whosoever’ found in John 3:16. It has the same meaning.

  11. lastmod says:

    don’t care about Greek. I have met a gajillion divorced chirstians who remarried. plenty of of out of wedlock chritsian births, and plenty of now confused and blended familes……….are these people going to hell? did they commit adultry? why did a church / pastor / priest marry them? can jesus forgive them because they didn’t “understand” greek and what “whosoever” meant in one verse versus another verse which has nothing to do with marriage (John 3:16)

  12. lastmod says:

    lol…..asd. They are women “they can’t help it” and “they have this evil nature” that can only be corrected with rock-solid frame, game and even then…..if you decode ONE thing incorrectly, she’s gonna divorce you, sh*t test you day and night, and bring all the “weak” beta orbiters in and make the man’s life hell.

    I am being sarcastic.

    I feel zero sympathy or empathy for women who shack up with, make babies with and marry men who “don’t want to work” because obviously at one point that man obviously had amazing, rock solid frame and game to GET this woman to do all these things for him. He obvioulsy gave her the *tingles* at one point. She can divorce this guy, call him a bum, demand blood from a stone for alimony and child support……and the real cream on the cake

    I heard non-stop in the church about how “I should be a real man, learn some game, get frame and marry this woman” nevermind she demands and expects a Armani styled man for a Walmart price. I have to go to the gym…..bench a trillion pounds, dress well, be taller than average, not Asian…..becuase looks “don’t matter to women…at all!!!!” I then am told by church authorties to “leave women alone” and “let jesus speak to mine and a womans heart, because he has this amazing, great awesome plan for my life….and he wants me to be happy”. A few months later men are told to “stop being beta/ wusses / spineless / be a real mighty man of god and ask all these amazing women out!!!!!”

    Wash. Rinse. Repete.

    I can accept a woman who made a “mistake” I was a fool’s fool at nineteen and twenty, unlike the rest of you who knew everything at the age 12.

    More and more men will leave christianity when they realize there is nothing of a future for them in church concerning women. I have mentioned the blurred (80 /20) thing, and have been shot down for “dare” saying such a thing, but other commeters say it “and its accepted” (depends on who is saying it). Men are confused. Looks don’t matter. They do. They don’t. Not as much. Be a man. Be like jesus. Be confident. Lead a bible study. You have to be ready to lead. Nothing is guaranteed. christianity is suffereing.

    hence no appeal.

    I am not thinking, nor have I ever thought god was santa claus……with that said, 20% get, the rest have to watch and be happy for them, or they are bitter, angry christians….and were never saved to begin with.

    “Just study hard. Be gifted. know what you want to be when you grow up at age 15, be alpha……how hard is that? You’re just not trying. You’re trying too hard. God has a plan. You have to find God’s plan for your life. Yeah, its okay to better yourself, but God doesn’t promise you anything. Why are you upset. Did you see how god rewarded Job? Stay pure, but if you don’t ‘god forgives and never, never do that again! Just pray. Volunteer. Go overseas as a mission…forget those poor mouth breathers arcross the tracks….we in the church want pictures on how you preached the gospel to brown and black people god loves but not as much as us here in our church.”

    Most men work. hard. Even in an office job. Being a man now somehow means lifting ten tons in the 120 degree heat and getting some honest wage. Most of us work. The ones who don’t or refuse to “work” are not in church and they don’t seem one bit worried. They have frame, they got a woman to do everything for them. This will soon be emulated in the sphere

  13. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    I was a kid in the fifties. I can remember being sad when my mother told me that Nikita Khrushchev couldn’t take any of the rides at Disneyland for fear of people doing crazy things. While my Dad went to work and paid for everything, it was my mother who fell apart at the seams buying into female resentment. Conclusion: the men held up their end. It was the women who threw away their end. Trying to fix this mess by appealing to men is not going to be very effective.

  14. Don Quixote says:

    lastmod says:

    August 17, 2019 at 8:41 am
    don’t care about Greek. I have met a gajillion divorced chirstians who remarried. plenty of of out of wedlock chritsian births, and plenty of now confused and blended familes……….are these people going to hell? did they commit adultry?

    Yes they committed adultery, and as long as they stay in an adulterous marriage they stay in adultery.

    ….are these people going to hell?

    Short answer; yes.
    Long answer; the rules are different for men than women.

    why did a church / pastor / priest marry them? can jesus forgive them because they didn’t “understand” greek and what “whosoever” meant in one verse versus another verse which has nothing to do with marriage (John 3:16)

    The clerics that facilitate these adulterous marriages should know better. Even a cursory study of the New Testament doctrine on divorce and remarriage shows it is forbidden. You might find the following site helpful:
    http://oncemarried.net

  15. Paul says:

    @Jason

    If you read a faithful translation, you will encounter 1 Cor 7

    “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

    Seems pretty clear to me: no divorce, no remarriage allowed.

    As for the link to ‘once married’ material; it fails to mention Luther’s rather crazy theology on divorce and remarriage. Luther thought that if a wife refuses her man sex, it was OK to have sex with the maid.

  16. lastmod says:

    And Cathoics pray to Mary, Orthodox bow to painted pictures and “pray, read liturgical-holy texts” to them. It comes down to that this all really is made up

  17. theasdgamer says:

    “As for the link to ‘once married’ material; it fails to mention Luther’s rather crazy theology on divorce and remarriage.”

    Yeah, Luther followed the crazy theology of the church fathers on sex by married men…Martin, you silly boy…

    ” The ones who don’t or refuse to “work” are not in church and they don’t seem one bit worried. They have frame, they got a woman to do everything for them.”

    My son in law has zero game, is homeless, jobless, refuses to make a real effort to get a job, lives in his vehicle, doesn’t contribute to supporting his daughter, etc. A trad con vagrant. He expects me to talk with him. lol

  18. theasdgamer says:

    “I heard non-stop in the church about how “I should be a real man, learn some game, get frame “

    What church do you attend? I haven’t heard anything like this ever in my several decades as a Christian.

  19. Paul says:

    @Jason It comes down to that this all really is made up

    Didn’t I tell you to use your brain and look at the proof? (E.g. go read https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings)

    Several undisputed facts by secular scholars (i.e. NOT made up):

    * the universe had a beginning and came out of nothing
    * Jesus was a real person, not a myth or fabrication, who lived about 2000 years ago in Israel
    * Jesus performed acts that, to the people who witnessed them, believed them and described them to be miracles.
    * Jesus was executed by public crucifixion by the Roman authorities.
    * Jesus’ burial tomb was found empty the following Sunday morning, first by women (a significant detail due to women’s social status at the time).
    * Hundreds of people had clear experiences of seeing who they believed to be Jesus, in bodily form, after His tomb was found empty.
    * The Christian faith spread rapidly following these events due to the sincere belief that Jesus had risen from the dead as an interpretation of what believers had witnessed.
    * Paul, a documented persecutor of Christians, converted after seeing what he interpreted to be the risen Jesus.

    And don’t get carried away by focusing on the details; the Apostle’s Creed is almost universally agreed upon by Christians from all kinds of denominations:

    1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
    2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
    3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
    4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
    5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
    6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
    7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
    8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
    9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
    10. The forgiveness of sins:
    1l. The resurrection of the body:
    12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

    (“holy catholic” is not equal to Roman Catholic)

  20. Bruce says:

    RE divorce and remarriage: The early Church fathers were pretty much unanimous. Grammatically, the exception clause was applied to the divorce (separation) not remarriage. A man could (some said “should”) divorce an adulterous wife, but he was not free to remarry.
    Take up your cross, participate in Christ’s divinity through suffering in obedience to him, etc.

  21. Bruce says:

    Which harmonizes with the earlier verse in Matthew where Christ says the husband participates in the wife’s adultery by putting her away (unless she is guilty of adultery).

  22. Daniel says:

    This talk about “going to hell” is pretty concerning. Those of you who claim to be Christians ought to know better. We will not be given the gift of eternal life (and avoid the eternal penalty) because we never committed any sexual sins of a certain magnitude. We will be saved if we repent to God and place our trust in Christ crucified. David committed murder and adultery, and he was forgiven, though he did suffer serious consequences.

    On the other hand, there will be those who life outwardly moral lives, and never commit any great sexually immoral sins, who do not know Christ, and will be destroyed.

  23. Bruce says:

    Those who are in adulterous relationships, are aware of it and continue in it commit a grave sin with full consent of their freewill and are in danger of hellfire (God will decide who will go to hell). Repentance always involves penance, the resolve to correct wrongs – not just some abstract “I’m sorry.”
    “Christians” isn’t limited to Calvinist protestants.

  24. Bruce says:

    Or Lutheran. Arminian soteriology is different, I suppose.

  25. SnapperTrx says:

    This is true. Jesus tells them that it was MOSES that permitted them to divorce, because of the hardness of their hearts, “…but from the beginning it was not so.” He then proceeds to tell them as you said, that “…Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” This was so significant that the disciples basically said: “Woah, man! If that’s the case then it would be better that a guy not even get married!”

    The real standard is “no divorce”, and now that we no longer live under the laws of Moses then a “writ of divorcement” is no longer valid. Otherwise Paul wouldn’t have said that the only option for a woman who separates from her husband is either to live a chaste life or return to her husband.

  26. Derek Ramsey says:

    @SnapperTrx

    “Jesus tells them that it was MOSES that permitted them to divorce”

    “Moses” is a plainly a figure of speech for the [Mosaic] Law. The legalists who try to differentiate between Moses and the Law—as if one is a optional and the other is a requirement—are incorrect. Read it as if it says “God permitted them to divorce” (as I do) or else give up the pretense that the Law describes God’s moral stances (as dictated to Moses).

    God is allowed to make allowances since he makes the rules. He’s even allowed to change the rules and make new covenants (this is in keeping with his unchanging nature). This doesn’t really change your point about “no divorce”, which is correct.

  27. ray says:

    I was alive in the Fifties and can assure you that Novaseeker is wrong. America in 1955 was FAR more a Christian nation than now. It was Christian not at the elite level, but at the popular level of the working and middle classes. Our towns in the Fifties largely were run by Christian (often Catholic) men, not by the Federal Government and not by the Sisterhood, which is the case now. Dads led families, and sons — NOT daughters — had priority for educations and careers.

    There was REAL and WIDESPREAD appreciation for the Bible in Fifties America, and for its teachings. Yes, globalism and even feminism already were far advanced, even in the Fifties. But they had not yet taken over, especially in the small and mid-size working-class towns. Christianity then was much more real, alive, and commonly practiced than today . . . or really, any time after about 1980, when the Globo-Feminist Agenda already was clearly America’s decided future.

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