In the previous (long) post on dread, I outlined several concepts surrounding dread in marriages.
To define dread, it’s generally a disconcerting feeling that results in a woman/wife when her husband becomes more sexually attractive (often interpreted in a bad manner). Thus, when a husband becomes more sexually attractive (to his wife that was previously depriving him) she often has bad or disconcerting feelings because she was denying him and also often seeing other women having sexual attraction for him which can make her jealous.
In many cases, there are times when there are rational fears and irrational fears.
Rational fear — fearing the consequences of when you do evil — is a healthy fear. This is the fear of God that we all have in our hearts. We should fear and tremble when we commit sin because God is Righteous/Just and abhors sin. Rational fear is an encouragement to do what is right, and to avoid doing what is wrong.
Irrational fear — is unhealthy and to be eliminated. This is when you fear/worry about necessities as Jesus talked about with clothes and food or have an irrational fear about what “may” happen to you in marriage. Irrational fear is a discouragement. It is often to avoid doing what is right and to do what is wrong (such as [being afraid to speak] out for your faith [when in a crowd of people]).
In the case of a husband who understands he has shirked his leadership role knowingly or unknowingly, he begins to act as the head and taking responsibility for his own well being in accordance with God’s mission for us.
- Spiritual (getting deeper into the Word, understanding and applying God’s Biblical marital roles and responsibilities, prayer, meditation, fasting, making disciples, evangelizing, using gifts of the Spirit, etc.),
- Physical (working out to build muscle, losing fat, style, grooming, etc.), and
- Emotional/mental (having your mental and emotional state under control and not blurting things out, focused on exuding fruit of the Spirit in any interaction, not DEERing when leading (defend, excuse, explain, rationalize), etc.).
Aside from the most important aspect of obeying God, as a husband focuses on these things one of the biggest side effects we see is that this husband will often become more attractive to women, both his wife and other women. Single men and men in relationships become more attractive to women too.
When this happens, women or wives start to exhibit several rational fears that crop up. For instance,
- There is a rational fear of authority that is rooted in his position as the head. The rational fear of leadership from her husband results in increased sexual desire for him.
- There is another rational fear of breaking trust of the dysfunctional trust relationship. While breaking trust is normally a bad thing, breaking trust in a dysfunctional relationship pattern is a good thing. This naturally results in additional fear as she “feels like she doesn’t know who her husband is anymore.” However, this broken trust must also be rebuild if you want unity in your relationship.
There is also rational fear that often manifests in the form of jealousy as other women tend to find a husband has his stuff together attractive (unlike their own in many cases).
One clear example of this is in the Scriptures where God’s salvation to the Gentiles is to make Israel righteously jealous for Him.
Romans 11:7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.” 9 And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. 10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever.”
11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
Indeed, if other women are attracted to a wife’s husband that is a good thing. If she is taking him for granted, being disrespectful or rebellious, she should be uncomfortable with that because she is doing wrong. These rational fears should be heeded and she should repent and change her behavior.
To be clear, I still personally do not advocate for going out and flirting with other women. But if you’re attractive other women will start to gravitate to you, sometimes even if your wife is there. Whatever is not born of faith is sin (Romans 14), and it’s almost always the case that intentionally flirting with other women when married is not born out of faith but revenge.
I made the connection the other day with the post on Why We Are Here that the reason why I think that even the Christians who know about intersexual dynamics still have a lingering sense of discomfort with dread is that they’re so in-grained with chivalry that it feels bad or evil to make a woman “feel bad.” Per the RPC founder:
“We don’t put on an “RP Lens” to Scriptural interpretation. We take off the “Feminized Lens” that everyone else is wearing, then interpret Scripture without that bias.”
By taking off this feminized/chivalrous lens, we now see that dread / feeling bad is one of the necessary steps to repentance of sinful behavior. We have to recognize that we have done wrong and with that comes feeling bad and guilt. Then we have to give this wrong to Christ to repent and not do it again.
This also scares me because the feminist/chivalrous lens easily flies under the radar to even men who know about intersexual dynamics. It’s also why Dalrock’s observations about chivalry and game’s anti-chivalry effect flew under the radar for so long.
To summarize: If you are focused on God’s mission and obedience to God in all you do, any type of dread or feeling bad that a wife experiences is normal and good because it pushes her away from the comfortable feeling of doing wrong: denying her husband sex. It is the type that is necessary to hopefully help her to repent and change her behavior.