“Maturity” is a blind spot for pride

Wayne had a good post yesterday on “Ladies Should Respect the Man and Love the Boy”:

I asked her why she didn’t love him very much. She had one main complaint about her boyfriend. She said,

“Sometimes he acts so immature, like a little boy!

She found this trait to be so ridiculous and annoying, and she talked at some length about how much trouble it is for her to deal with this trait, and the disappointment she feels as a consequence.

After she said this, I recognized that this is a complaint that most women commonly impute on men – that all men have a ‘stupid, selfish little boy’ hiding inside them. Women usually label this incorrectly as ‘immaturity’. It is a misnomer because they are not referring to genuine immaturity, in which a man refuses to get a job and take responsibility for his life, or when he avoids dealing with his problems and blames other people instead, etc. No, they are referring to the way females regard the emotional nature of fully mature men to be as idyllic boys.

In general, this is actually a good trait to have to be a good father. Interacting and playing with kids requires a certain amount of ability to set aside the seriousness of life and just enjoy being silly or crazy.

Also, Michal thought David was being “immature” (or her words: “undignified”) when he was dancing as the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. Look at how that turned out for her.

The issue is not maturity though. A woman’s preconceived notions of what they think is “mature” or not is their will manifesting as pride: they think they know what is better than the man they are with and are setting themselves up as the judge of that.

This reminds me of one of the big blind spots in marriage counseling. My Church was recently going over Emerson Eggerich’s book Love and Respect on marriage (which is used for marriage counseling in a lot of cases). One of the big things he talks about is “who goes first.”

It is much easier to sit back and say, “Well Emerson, I would be more loving if my wife was more respectful!” Or, “Why should I show my husband respect when he is treating me in an unloving way?”

Of course it is easier to be obedient to God in our marriage when our husband or wife is also being obedient. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

So who goes first?

My answer: the mature one.

How do you know if you are the mature one? Let me put it this way. I can tell you if you are the immature one.

The immature person uses this information not to change themselves, but to try to change their spouse. Their whole mindset is to get their spouse to be more loving or respectful rather than trying to be more loving or respectful themselves. They do not believe that they have the power to influence their spouse, but instead see their spouse as having all the power to influence them. Therefore they must change their spouse in order to be happy.

The immature person lacks obedience to God’s commands. Instead their mission is to get their spouse to obey God’s command toward them. Bottom line, the Lord will not honor that and a spouse is not going to respond to that any more than if the roles were reversed.

The mature person, on the other hand, will do their part to improve the marriage, even if it means putting their own feelings aside. They will choose obedience to God’s commands over their own feelings and over their circumstances. That’s because they understand the nature of God: He is a good God, whose commands are given to help us, not to harm us.

(Eggerich’s emphasis on bolding)

While the content is generally good because it is based on the Bible, using “maturity” as the catalyst actually sets up some blind spots for pride.

For instance, it would be more accurate to use Scripture as a catalyst:

  • Take the plank out of your own eye first, so you don’t come off as a hypocrite.

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  • Humility is required to go first.

The goal is to grow more Christ-like, so the one who can lay down their pride and humble themselves should be the one to go first.

A spouse thinking that they are the “mature one” because they are going first is still going to have issues with pride in the long run, especially if things don’t go their way. If they go first and their “maturity” isn’t working, it’s going to cause more anger than if they were told that they need to fix their own issues first and humble themselves. Likewise, the pride of being mature also inhibits true surrender to the Spirit to work through you.

This is very similar to the subtle rebellion in marriage where a wife “lets her husband lead” rather than “follows his lead.”

Advertisements
Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 6 Comments

Southern baptists call off the culture war and…

From here. I thought it was good at first:

Southern Baptists Call Off the Culture War

America’s largest Protestant group moves to cut ties with the Republican Party and reengage with mainstream culture.

Removing political ties is generally a good thing for Christians. Both parties have massive amounts of sinful behavior, so it’s a good idea not to get caught up in “supporting” one of them.

But then I saw this:

To enact this change, young Baptists nominated 45-year-old pastor J.D. Greear from North Carolina to be president of the denomination. In a campaign video, Greear called for “a new culture and a new posture in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Refusing to cede power without a fight, fundamentalist Baptists nominated Ken Hemphill as an opposition candidate. But Greear won with nearly 70 percent of the vote, becoming the youngest SBC president in 37 years.

Greear has promised to lead the denomination down a different path, which, he has said, must include efforts both to repent of a “failure to listen to and honor women and racial minorities” and “to include them in proportionate measures in top leadership roles.” If the meeting in Dallas is any indication, his vision is resonating with a large number of the next wave of Baptist leaders.

So SBC has fallen to the culture over the Scripture. I’d avoid them.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | 20 Comments

A wife’s physical attractiveness predicts her husband’s and her marital satisfaction

We already knew that husbands prefer wife’s physical attractiveness and derive satisfaction in it. The interesting part of this study is that a wife’s physical attractiveness also affects her marital satisfaction.

For several decades, researchers across numerous disciplines have assumed that partner physical attractiveness should play a stronger role in shaping men’s romantic relationships than it plays in shaping women’s romantic relationships (e.g., Buss, 1989; Buss & Kenrick, 1998; Feingold, 1990, 1992; Grammer et al., 2007; Greenlees & McGrew, 1994; Sprecher et al., 1994). …

Results were consistent with evolutionary perspectives. Whereas husbands were more satisfied at the beginning of the marriage and remained that way over the first four years of marriage to the extent that they had a more attractive wife, wives were no more or less satisfied initially or over time to the extent that they had a more attractive husband. Most importantly, the significant effect of wives’ attractiveness on husbands’ satisfaction was significantly stronger than the non-significant effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wives’ satisfaction, indicating that partner physical attractiveness played a larger role in predicting husbands’ marital satisfaction than it did in predicting wives’ marital satisfaction.

In other words, contrary to the conclusion that people do not know something as fundamental about themselves as what they want in a partner, the sex-differentiated preference for an attractive partner that men and women have stated in a robust literature spanning more than 20 years (e.g., Buss, 1989; Buss & Barnes, 1986; Eastwick & Finkel, 2008; Eastwick et al., 2011; Furnham, 2009; Howard et al., 1987; Hudson & Henze, 1969; Li et al., 2002; Li & Kenrick, 2006; Sprecher, 1989) affects their long-term relationships after all.

Men and women are different, and these differences have far reaching effects on relationships.

The authors propose two potential reasons why this may be the case:

Notably, wives in the current studies remained more satisfied over the first four years of marriage to the extent that they themselves were more attractive. One possible explanation for this finding is that more attractive women are healthier and more resistant to illness (Hume & Montgomerie, 2001) and thus less prone to additional stressors that may negatively influence satisfaction over time (Burman & Margolin, 1992; Neff & Karney, 2004, 2007). Another possible explanation is that because husbands of more attractive women are more satisfied initially and stay more satisfied over time, they may treat those attractive wives better and thus those attractive women may be happier over time (see McNulty, Neff, & Karney, 2008). Future research may benefit by better understanding why attractive wives remain more satisfied with their relationship over time.

The two are:

  • Staying physically attractive has health benefits (presumably over being overweight or obese) which is true.
  • Husbands with more physically attractive wives treat them better (which is generally objectively true).

In reference to the second one, both men and women treat those they find attractive better than those they find unattractive. This is a bias that spans across all of culture not just in relationships. Men and women who are attractive find that others are more willing to treat them politely and gratefully, are more willing to do things for them, and are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt in both public and private. First impressions are strong.

We could go back to the Scripture that ‘man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart’ which acknowledges that humans tend to have biases for appearances. Everyone knows this is true, and it is true that we should seek to eliminate this bias from our thinking. But we are still human and we do this unconsciously much of the time.

Wives should be advised to make this bias work for them rather than against them to stay physically attractive for the health benefits and benefits for her husband and herself. Husbands should be wise in choosing a wife that will want to put effort into maintaining her physical appearance.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 5 Comments

Obesity and marriage rates and spinsterhood predictions

I was looking over doom and gloom and the amount of attractive Christian virgins and I got a bit sidetracked onto the quantification of obesity and its effect on marriage rates for obese persons.

One woman did her thesis and found:

The results for marriage are more interesting. The effects of normal and obesity are consistent across models; the hazard for normal and obese people to marry is about 76% and 64%, respectively, as likely as that for overweight people. In the final model, the hazards (70% and 60%, respectively) for normal and obese people to marry are even lower than the first model, holding all other variables in constant.

The book obesity among poor americans found that:

  • 10 extra lbs decreased “ever dating” by 10%
  • One study showed obese persons 67% persons likely to marry than normal weight
  • Another study showed overweight persons 80% likely to marry than normal weight (and their spouse earns 25% less.. which like means they’re “marrying down”)
  • Another study showed obese persons 65.1% like to marry than normal weight

A Swedish cohort from men born in 1951 to 1961 showed in marriage at age 40:

  • 16% less likely for underweight than normal weight
  • 17% less likely for overweight than normal weight
  • 51% less likely for obese than normal weight

A French cohort showed that obese persons were 29% less likely to have a sexual partner within 12 months as normal weight women.

Side note: interestingly, the Swedish cohort also confirms core hypergamy:

  • More men were married the higher the education: high > medium > low
  • More men were married the higher status job: white collar > farmer > blue collar > other
  • More men were married the higher the intellectual performance: high > medium > low
  • More men were married the higher the muscle strength: high quintile > mediate to high quintile > mediate quintile > mediate to low quintile > low quintile
  • Parental education and socioeconomic factors also had some roles as did lack of psychiatric disorders.

Women want to marry up. Surprise.

In summary, a general estimation if you’re obese you’re likely to have approximately  a 30-50% less likely chance to marry, and if you’re overweight or underweight you likely have approximately a 10-30% less likely chance to marry. If there was 10 normal weight people, then approximately about 6 obese people, 8 underweight, and 8 overweight people would marry.

Based on the NIDDK table, more men are overweight but more weight are obese or extreme obese: Estimated (Age-Adjusted) Percentage of US Adults with Overweight and Obesity by Sex,  2013–2014  NHANES Data

All (Men and Women) Men Women
Overweight or Obesity 70.2 73.7 66.9
Overweight 32.5 38.7 26.5
Obesity (including extreme obesity) 37.7 35 40.4
Extreme obesity 7.7 5.5 9.9

According to Dalrock’s never married charts from the Census:

10% has been the general trend for never marrieds approximately, but the rates are going up quickly. So most of those normal weight, overweight, or obese women still got married through the early 2000s and 2010s.

From the previous doom and gloom we have these statistics on both overweight and obese.

  • 58.5 of women 20-39 years old are overweight or obese in 2011-2012 in the US.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1832542

  • NIDDK (National institute for diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases) states that 33% of teens are overweight or obese. 67% of teens are not overweight or obese.
  • The obesity rate of girls 2-5 years old is 13.5 and girls 6-11 is 16.3 and girls 12-19 is 20.9.

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx

  • CDC data brief estimates women 20-39 were approximately 36.5% obese.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db288.htm

Therefore, in the 20-39 age group for women:

  1. 41.5% of women were either underweight or normal weight
  2. 22% of women were overweight
  3. 36.5% of women were obese

Interestingly, the prevalence of overweight men and women from the NIDDK link shows that it has stayed roughly the same over time. We’re just substituting men and women of normal weight for obese weight. (It actually probably does not happen like that and some of the normal weight men and women are becoming overweight and some of the overweight men and women are becoming obese… but it’s interesting that it happens in similar numbers.)

Estimating 18-29 year old obesity rates

So starting college (18 years old) approximately:

  • 58% of women are normal or underweight
  • 22% of women are overweight
  • 20% of women are obese

Let us assume a best case scenario where obesity rates max out after a woman hits 30 because the metabolism slows down, they get married, and so on. Women aged 40–59 have a 44.7% obesity rate. Since women 20-39 have a 36.5 obesity rate, that means there is an 8.2% spread. 36.2-8.2 spread is 28% obesity rate approximate best case estimate for women 20-29. This gives us for the women in the 20-29 range:

  • 50% of women were either underweight or normal weight
  • 22% of women were overweight
  • 28%% of women were obese

Therefore, my estimate in the last doom and gloom was dead on. In any range 20-29 year old women population, approximately 5 women are normal or underweight, 2 are overweight, and 3 are obese.

The obesity rate likely goes something like this for each age group though:

  1. 12-18 year olds — 20%
  2. 18-24 year olds — 24%
  3. 25-29 year olds — 29%
  4. 30-34 year olds — 36%
  5. 35-39 year olds — 44%

Much larger increases for the latter groups.

Normal weight versus overweight versus obese rates of marriage

Average age of marriage for women is now approximately 27 years old in the US.

Approximately,

  • 5 women underweight or normal weight, 2 overweight, and 3 obese.
  • Using the adjusted data percentage to marry we have: 10 normal weight people for 6 obese people for 8 underweight for 8 overweight people would marry.
  • It’s also worth noting that the “underweight” population for women is negligible around 2-3% of the total population.

To make this easier, let’s use it out of 100 people.

  • 50 women normal weight, 20 overweight, 30 obese.

If the proportions were equal then 25 normal people marry, 10 overweight, 15 obese marry marry.  However, we have different odds ratios. I’m not quite sure how to apply the odds ratios onto the populational statistics exactly. It probably works out to something like 30 normal people marry, 9 overweight people marry, and 11 obese people marry leaving approximately 20 normal weight, 11 overweight, and 19 obese people unmarried (if I applied the 80% and 60% to overweight and obese correctly).

In other words, approximately:

  • 30/50 or 60% normal weight women marry by 27
  • 9/20 or 45% overweight women marry by 27
  • 11/30 or 37% obese women marry by 27

If these ratios persist until all never marrieds (adjusting the ratios up for obesity as women get older), then we will have:

  • 38/40 or 95% normal weight women marry by 40
  • 16/20 or 80% overweight women marry by 40
  • 30/40 or 75% obese women marry by 40

Basically, the more obese you are the much more likely it is that you won’t marry if you’re a woman. Almost all normal weight women will get married except for a few outliers. Even most overweight and obese women will get married, but if you’re overweight and obese it’s highly likely that you may get left out.

  • 2/16 or about 12.5% of the never married will be about normal weight
  • 4/16 or 25% of the never married will be overweight
  • 10/16 or about 67.5% of the never married women will be obese

Basically, if you’re a woman and you want to be married you still have a high chance. Most women still get married even if they are overweight or obese, but the prospects are definitely lower. But if you are one of the “spinsters” who are getting up there in age and not married, there is a high percentage chance that you are obese.

The fear, of course, is that if the never married rates keep rising to the 25-30% range which has been estimated for some. A brief estimate in that scenario may be somewhere in the range of:

  • 36/40 or 90% normal weight women marry by 40
  • 14/20 or 70% overweight women marry by 40
  • 20/40 or 50% obese women marry by 40

What woman wants to take a 50/50 chance that she won’t be married? Same as the man who doesn’t want to take a 50/50 chance that he will be divorced probably. Not many.

On a semi related note about spinster-ism, Amal Clooney thought she would be one once she got to 35 without getting married.

“I met George when I was 35 and starting to become quite resigned to the idea that I was going to be a spinster,” she said.”Then we met, started hiding out in my London flat and very soon it felt like no matter what happened I would never want to be with anyone else. I couldn’t sleep when we were apart, and I’m told I would display a particular grin and head tilt when reading his text messages or the letters that he would hide in my bag.

I suppose the irony is that she sorta got her “fairy tale ending” according to most, but she is extremely grateful which shows that their marriage will likely last:

“Five years later, none of that has changed,” she continued. “He is the person who has my complete admiration, and also the person whose smile makes me melt every time. My love, what I have found with you is the great love that I always hoped existed. And seeing you with our children, Ella and Alexander, is the greatest joy in my life. You fill our home with laughter and happiness  and that’s even before the children have worked out that ‘Dada’ is actually Batman.”

I wouldn’t count on that if you’re a single woman who is overweight or obese though. Make changes to your lifestyle with nutrition and exercise.

Note: Most of the percentiles are estimates unless someone has the way to do the math for the odds ratios on the population statistics.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Supreme Court’s bind

As many of you may know, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Masterpiece yesterday. Full ruling here. The scope was extremely minor, which pretty much means it was a mistrial.

The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.

The ‘mistrial’ happened because:

  1. Colorado tried to retroactively apply law to the baker. When these events occurred gay marriage was still illegal.
  2. Colorado affirmed 3 bakeries decision to not create cakes with anti-gay messages based on moral argument, but openly acted hostile and dismissive to Masterpiece based on moral argument.
  3. Masterpiece accommodated all customers regardless of race, sexual orientation, and so on given they could purchase any stock creations for any purpose including gay weddings and offered to bake cakes for any other purpose such as graduations, birthdays, and so on. The only thing he did not want to do was bake a cake affirming gay weddings.

By making this a ‘mistrial, the Supreme Court wanted to kick the can down the road for a bit because the topic is complex.

If they had overall ruled against, then the government would be a respecter of religions (e.g. not Christianity or any other religion where gay marriage is prohibited) which is against the first amendment. If they rule for, then it opens a whole can of worms where people can just claim a particular religious belief and deny service to anyone.

Both of these rulings would be harmful to Christians due to the fact that either Christianity is discriminated against or it comes off as Christianity is discriminating against people. That said, Christians will always be discriminated against as Jesus said the world would hate us, so I’m not particular concerned either way.

Gorsuch’s argument might be the way they figure it out:

Next, take the undisputed facts of Mr. Phillips’s case.Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins approached Mr. Phillips about creating a cake to celebrate their wedding. App.168. Mr. Phillips explained that he could not prepare a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding consistent with his religious faith. Id., at 168–169. But Mr. Phillips offered to make other baked goods for the couple, including cakes celebrating other occasions. Ibid. Later, Mr. Phillips testified without contradiction that he would have refused to create a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage for any customer, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Id.,at 166–167 (“I will not design and create wedding cakes for a same-sex wedding regardless of the sexual orientation of the customer”). And the record reveals that Mr.Phillips apparently refused just such a request from Mr.Craig’s mother. Id., at 38–40, 169. (Any suggestion that Mr. Phillips was willing to make a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage for a heterosexual customer or was not willing to sell other products to a homosexual customer, then, would simply mistake the undisputed factual record.See post, at 4, n. 2 (GINSBURG, J., dissenting); ante, at 2–3,and n. (KAGAN, J., concurring)). Nonetheless, the Commission held that Mr. Phillips’s conduct violated the Colorado public accommodations law. App. to Pet. for Cert.56a–58a.

The facts show that the two cases share all legally salient features. In both cases, the effect on the customer was the same: bakers refused service to persons who bore a statutorily protected trait (religious faith or sexual orientation). But in both cases the bakers refused service intending only to honor a personal conviction. To be sure, the bakers knew their conduct promised the effect of leaving a customer in a protected class unserved. But there’s no indication the bakers actually intended to refuse service because of a customer’s protected characteristic. We know this because all of the bakers explained without contradiction that they would not sell the requested cakes to anyone, while they would sell other cakes to members of the protected class (as well as to anyone else). So, for example, the bakers in the first case would have refused to sell a cake denigrating same-sex marriage to an atheist customer, just as the baker in the second case would have refused to sell a cake celebrating same-sex marriage to a heterosexual customer. And the bakers in the first case were generally happy to sell to persons of faith, just as the baker in the second case was generally happy to sell to gay persons. In both cases, it was the kind of cake, not the kind of customer, that mattered to the bakers.

We shall see.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 2 Comments

The cultural blinders of authority

I’ve written on this before, but I want to go through a more logical progression.

Authority in the Scriptures is a position that is given by God.

  • Father-Son
  • Christ-Church
  • Husband-wife
  • Parents-Children
  • Government-subjects

All cultures value the ‘power’ of authority over the ‘responsibility’ of authority. As Jesus said:

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [n]life a ransom for many.”

Jesus is not denigrating authority or canceling it:” “It is not this way among you” indicates that authority will still be present and active. Rather, the responsibility of authority should not be disconnected from it, AND it should be approached with humility.

Authority was given to Love. God is authority, and God is love. God used His authority to send Jesus to die on a cross, assuming full responsibility for our sin, so that we have the opportunity to be accept, believe, confess, and repent to be reconciled to the Father.

Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “[k]Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

God’s authority was used to Love us, and Jesus being in full subjection to God’s authority willingly submitted himself to die for us.

To go on to marriage:

  • Feminists accept authority but invert sex roles.
  • Conservatives try to hold on to what what liberals said before their new statement, whatever that is.
  • Egalitarians reject authority in word and deed, consequently in the vacuum of authority they accept feminism.
  • Complementarians accept authority in word but reject authority in deed. The husband is a neutered figurehead.

There are several cultural blinders on authority, which many Christians can fall prey to.

  • Power is lauded as the most important part of authority and not the responsibility. This goes back to Jesus’ statement that the Gentiles lord their authority over them.
  • Those with “authority” or “power” are seen as “better” than those without. If you suggest a husband has authority in marriage, Christians who are uncomfortable with authority will always jump to the argument that “men and women are equal.” A God given position of authority does not mean that one is “better” — all sin and fall short of the glory of God and all of us need a Savior.
  • The creation of the impression that any authority held by men is bad. “The Patriarchy” is reviled. Real and made up abuses of authority are commonly used as examples of how the structure itself is bad not the abuses.
  • Authority and power are fine in the hands of women but not in the hands of men, despite when women abuse authority. This can also be seen in the justice system where men who commit abuses of authority tend to get longer and harsher sentences than women for the same crimes.
  • Responsibility is always tasked to the men/husbands, without authority or power. In other words, men usually get most if not all of the blame when something goes wrong, even if they didn’t have any power to get results.

I’m sure there’s more, but these are the ones that stick out. The first two are extremely important because they show that most people still have a “gentile mindset” toward authority instead of understanding what the Bible says about it.

The responsibility cannot be dissected from the power of authority and having authority does not make one better than another.

The rest are obvious biases.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 14 Comments

Patterson counseled rightly and apologized wrongly

Dalrock mentions the full transcript of the Patterson story here, though mentions some concerns. This post is assuming his story is truthful.

I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.”

And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”

And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back, first time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God can forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today. And it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis.

And remember, when nobody else can help, God can. And in the meantime, you have to do what you can at home to be submissive in every way that you can and to elevate him.

The crux of the issue is not “abuse” but a worldly way of thinking over Christ-like.

The Scripture mentions several times that attitude that Christians should have when they are unjustly suffering. Christ suffered an unjust death on cross for us.

Phil 2:3 Do nothing [c]from [d]selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, 7 but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross.

1 Peter councils servants and wives to respectfully submit under unjust masters or unbelieving husbands:

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are [t]unreasonable. 19 For this finds [u]favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds [v]favor with God.

21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 [w]and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself [x]bore our sins in His body on the [y]cross, so that we might die to [z]sin and live to righteousness; for by His [aa]wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and [ab]Guardian of your souls.

1 Pet 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear.

There are also several more examples throughout the Scripture such as Esther who was under the threat of death multiple times:

  • Edict to kill the Jews, which they didn’t know she was one but could have found out and she would be killed
  • She was not allowed to walk into the king’s presence unless summoned

She chose to pray and fast along with her people and trust that God would act in her hopeless situation, and God came through just like He did for this wife who was being beaten.


Patterson counseled rightly according to the Scriptures and the wife was able to have the faith in God to follow the Scriptures and God came through. The lesser alternative in 1 Cor 7 was to separate (not divorce, not remarry).

The most you could accuse Patterson of is a bit of poor wording of his story making it seem like he was “ok” with the abuse, even though he wasn’t and not discussing the alternative which is separation. Neither of these are errors but slightly lack wisdom. However, after he apologized wrongly to feminists instead of sticking with the Scripture over their false accusations, that’s on his head.

Ultimately, the issue is not “are you scared for your life” but “can God use me in this situation.” This shows the faith or lack thereof of Christians in Scripture’s counsel and the power of God to turn the situation around. No one should be abused, but that doesn’t mean staying in an abusive situation is not the right course of action for a Christian.

To those Christians who supported the “MeToo” or have been abused before, this is an area where you can grow in faith by admitting that Patterson chose to counsel the better way and the wife chose to trust God fully in her situation. Or you can continue to be immature in your faith and admit your fear is bigger than God’s ability to use the situation for good. God came through for this wife and turned her situation around. It’s up to you, but obviously I hope you take the former.

We each have our own choices to make as Christians, and the goal is to be able to grow more Christ-like, which may mean suffering and persecution. If I had to make the choice to profess Christ and die or deny Christ and live, I don’t know which choice I would make now, but I hope that God would give me the faith in that situation to profess Christ. However, I want my faith to grow to the point where there is no question that I will profess Christ and don’t fear death because that is how God can use my life in any situation whether abuse, torture, or the like. I am getting there slowly but surely. I hope it does not come to that, but I want to be prepared just like Paul suffered many times through stonings, whippings, shipwrecks, beatings, and so on.

And yes, I would council a husband that is being physically and emotionally abused and possible under the threat of death by his wife to stay and try to win her to Christ. I fully expect that most husbands would take the separation route too, but it does display a lack of faith. Even if he were to die, it is not necessarily in vain; God uses deaths all the time to win souls to himself in the case of missionaries.

We don’t know how God uses each situation, but He always honors our faith in Him. See: Hebrews 11.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 26 Comments

The Sirach on women

As a Christian who has read some of the apocrypha and also some of the books that were struck from the “Protestant Bible,” I am honestly confused why some of these books were removed.  I’ve speculated before that Protestant is probably the ‘less mature’ faith in that it has fewer real Christians than Catholic and Orthodox. That can be read about in Nothing new under the sun Christian denominations.

Anyway, that’s neither here or there. The purpose of the post is the Sirach on women.

Sirach 9:1 Don’t be jealous of the wife you love. You will only be teaching her how to do you harm. 2 Do not surrender your dignity to any woman. 3 Keep away from other men’s wives[a] or they will trap you. 4 Don’t keep company with female musicians; they will trick you. 5 Don’t look too intently at a virgin, or you may find yourself forced to pay a bride price. 6 Don’t give yourself to prostitutes, or you may lose everything you own. 7 So don’t go looking about in the streets or wandering around in the run-down parts of town. 8 When you see a good-looking woman, look the other way; don’t let your mind dwell on the beauty of any woman who is not your wife. Many men have been led astray by a woman’s beauty. It kindles passion as if it were fire. 9 Don’t sit down to eat with another man’s wife or join her for a drink. You may give in to the temptation of her charms and be destroyed by your passion.

Lots of good stuff here for both single and married men on temptations to avoid.

Sirach 23:16 There are any number of ways to sin and bring down the Lord’s anger, but sexual passion is a hot, blazing fire that cannot be put out at will; it can only burn itself out. A man who lives for nothing but sexual enjoyment will keep on until that fire destroys him. 17 To such a man all women are desirable, and he can never get enough as long as he lives.

18 The man who is unfaithful to his wife thinks to himself, No one will ever know. It’s dark in here, and no one sees me. I have nothing to worry about. As for the Most High, he won’t even notice. 19 This man is only afraid of other people. He doesn’t realize that the eyes of the Lord are 10,000 times brighter than the sun, that he sees everything we do, even when we try to hide it. 20 He knew everything before he created the world, as well as after. 21 That sinful man will be caught when he least expects it, and punished publicly.

22 The same is true of a woman who is unfaithful to her husband and presents him with a child by another man. 23 In the first place, she has broken the Law of the Most High. In the second place, she has wronged her husband. And in the third place, she has made a whore of herself by committing adultery and bearing the child of a man not her husband. 24-25 The children will suffer for her sin. They will not be able to find a place in society or establish families. She herself will be brought before the assembly 26 and permanently disgraced. There will be a curse on her memory. After she is gone, 27 everyone will realize that nothing is better than fearing the Lord, nothing is sweeter than keeping his commands.

The first part goes well with 1 Corinthians 7.

Also, don’t be unfaithful and be wary of unfaithful women with the capacity to cuck you.

Sirach 25:13 No wound is as serious as wounded love. No troubles are as serious as the troubles that women cause. 14 No sufferings are worse than the sufferings caused by people who hate you. No revenge is worse than revenge taken by an enemy. 15 No poison is deadlier than the poison of a snake, and no anger is deadlier than the anger of a woman.[e]

16 I would rather live in the same house with a lion or a dragon than with a bad wife. 17 When a wife is in a bad mood, her expression changes until she looks like an angry bear. 18 Her husband has to go and eat with the neighbors, where he can’t hold back his bitter sighs.

19 Compared with the troubles caused by a woman, any other trouble looks small. May such women suffer the fate of sinners!

20 A quiet man living with a nagging wife is like an old man climbing up a sandy hill.

21 Never lose your head over a woman’s beauty, and don’t try to win a woman because she is wealthy.[f] 22 When a man is supported by his wife, there is sure to be anger, arrogance, and humiliation. 23 A bad wife will make her husband gloomy and depressed, and break his heart. Show me a timid man who can never make up his mind, and I will show you a wife who doesn’t make her husband happy. 24 Sin began with a woman, and we must all die because of her. 25 Don’t let a bad wife have her way, any more than you would allow water to leak from your cistern. 26 If she won’t do as you tell her, divorce her.

Sounds a lot like Proverbs in this section, except more direct advice.

Sirach 36: 21 A woman has to take any man as a husband, but a man must choose his wife carefully. 22 A woman’s beauty makes a man happy; there is no fairer sight for the human eye to see. 23 If the woman is kind and gentle in her speech, her husband is the most fortunate of men. 24 When a man marries, he gets the finest thing he will ever have—a wife to help and encourage him.

25 If property is not fenced in, thieves will wander in and help themselves. And if a man has no wife, he is a sighing wanderer; 26 people have no more trust in a homeless person who sleeps in a different place every night than they have in a wandering thief who goes from town to town.

Advice on choosing a wife. Surprise: beauty is included.

Sirach 42:9 Although he will not let his daughter know it, a father will lie awake at night worrying about her. If she is young, he worries that she might not get married. If she is already married, he worries about her happiness. 10 If she is a virgin, he worries that she might be seduced and become pregnant while living in his house. If she is married, he worries that she might be unfaithful, or that she might not be able to have children.

11 Keep a close watch over your daughter if she is determined to have her own way. If you don’t, she may make a fool of you in front of your enemies. You will be a constant joke to everyone in town, a public disgrace. Make sure that her room has no windows or any place where she can look out to the entrance of the house.[a] 12 Don’t let her show off her beauty in front of men, or spend her time talking with the women.[b] 13 Women hurt other women just as moths damage clothing.

14 A man’s wickedness is better than a woman’s goodness; women bring shame and disgrace.

The worries of a father. Verse 14 is harsh harsh though.

Anyway, there’s wisdom like this and other topics in the whole book.

Protestants should take heed even though it’s not in the Bible, and Catholic and Orthodox should pay close attention too.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 29 Comments

Book updates and potential release dates

Here’s some updates on the book. The table of contents so far. Chapters 1-8 are done, and I’m working on increasing the amount of content in Chapters 9-11 at the moment.

  • I’d like some overall feedback on the structure, and if you think I missed any topics if you have any to add.
  • Also, if you have any suggestions for titles that is appreciated.

The goal is to get out a book that appeals to the broader Christian men community that you could just give single or Christian men in any random Church that you visited. For single Christian man to understanding the process selecting a virtuous wife. For the married Christian man, especially those in troubled marriages, to understand how to lead effectively and spur a wife to sanctification and away from rebellion.


Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. What is this book? (Theological exposition of marriage + life applications)
  2. Who is it for? (Young Christian men?)
  3. Why was it written? (Combat false teaching and cultural narratives?)
  4. Guide to the document

Section 1: Bible and Culture

Chapter 1: Bible and Culture

  1. Why the Bible is in conflict with culture
  2. Why the Bible is authoritative, including for us today

Section 2: The Bible on Marriage

Chapter 2: The Creation Order

  1. Creation of man and women, their roles
  2. The Fall shows the difference between man and woman
  3. Headship exists prior to the Fall
  4. The implications of God’s judgment post-Fall
  5. How the church has compromised on the Bible to accommodate culture

Chapter 3: Marriage is Optional

  1. Marriage is optional per the Bible
  2. Marriage is the norm and the alternative is celibacy
  3. Chastity until marriage – God’s way is the best way
  4. Avoiding the pitfalls of pre-marital sexual temptations

Chapter 4: New Testament Teachings on Marriage (Roles/Responsibilities)

  1. Teachings on men/husbands
  2. Teachings on women/wives
  3. The nature of authority

Section 3: Marriage and Culture

Chapter 5: Differences Between Men and Women

Chapter 6: Shifts in Marriage and Society

  1. The success of patriarchal cultures (need more examples)
  2. Feminism and women in the workforce
  3. How men have responded to feminism and changing culture
  4. Negative indicators in America today (divorce rate, out of wedlock births, opioids, never married women, etc.)

Chapter 7: Social Scripts

Section 3: Practical Wisdom for Men

Chapter 11: The Role of Attraction

  1. The bible on attraction
  2. The failure of chivalry
  3. Works and desire
  4. What men and women find attractive
  5. The rise of obesity
  6. The example of attractive jerks versus unattractive nice guys
  7. Attraction is a prerequisite for romance

Chapter 12: The Scriptures, mentality and practical life skills for men

  1. Identity in Christ
  2. What Does It Mean to Be a Man?
  3. Jesus says “Follow Me”
  4. God and Jesus lead perfectly but…
  5. Suffering is normal
  6. Attitudes and actions
  7. Growing as a godly leader
  8. 5 Step process for growing in maturity

Chapter 13: Finding and choosing a wife

  1. Masculine immaturity is placing responsibilities before roles
  2. Understanding leadership
  3. Moneyball for marriage: statistics on divorce
  4. Questions to ask prospective wife
  5. Timeline for a wife

Chapter 14: Leading a marriage

  1. Discerning martial problems
  2. Godly versus successful and holiness versus happiness
  3. The case study of unhappiness
  4. Emotions
  5. Leading amidst hostility and conflict

The goal is to potentially have this out by summer or fall.

Additionally, the estimate to have the book edited and formatted professionally is going to be approximately $2000-4000 most likely. Maybe less if we can have some people with professional editing experience.

I’ve had some people offer to donate to get it off the ground. If you wanted to help donate to the cause I was trying to figure out a way to donate anonymously. I did some searching and found this app which has potentially anonymous donations.

https://cash.app/

If anyone else potentially knows of a way we can do that then reply in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll probably set up an account with them.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 9 Comments

Don’t deny duty sex

I’m sure most people have seen the NYT article about the woman who went around sleeping with married men.

One of the questions that has come up is what to do about duty sex. What if a wife is “not in the mood.” Should a husband still take that sex or just not refuse it. After all, a wife who isn’t enthusiastic about the sex is a bummer.

Should I accept duty sex or should I deny duty sex? This is a false dilemma that husbands easily fall prey to a lot.

Wives may not “feel” like having sex at the time (e.g. you’re supposedly getting “duty sex”), but once you actually start having sex they usually “get in the mood.”

One of the main pitfalls that husbands fall into with “duty sex” is that they have a bad attitude toward it, which the wife picks up and mirrors because she didn’t want to have it in the first place. If you’re having fun and enjoying the sex, it’s usually contagious. Not everything needs to be so serious all the time. Have fun, slap her butt, tickle her, or whatever. It’s usually not that hard pull a wife out of her crabby attitude if you know her well (which you should as her husband).

It’s never wrong to do the right thing, which is having sex in marriage. Don’t deny duty sex. There’s no need to play hard ball with your wife when you can show her that even if she doesn’t feel like it, it will end up fun.

Obviously, if she’s having attraction issues due to a husband’s weight gain or lack of masculinity then work on those things as well in the meantime.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 45 Comments