The goal for Christian husbands whose wives deny them should not be sex but their wife’s repentance

The previous post on the importance of God’s mission has some salient points for single and married husbands. 

Very few Christian men lead a missional lifestyle, and I think by and large this is also one of the reasons why they are unattractive to women (aside from things like obesity and other factors). Many non-Christian men have a purpose such as the love of money or power or bedding women or whatever. These purposes are obviously sinful and futile in the end, but they are attractive to women because women are attracted to the traits behind these: driven and ambitious.

It would be wise for any single Christian man to know and pursue their God-given mission even before any women come into his life. This way they cannot be put on a pedestal or idolized from the get go, and it correctly models the example of Christ.

Christian husbands who have not been doing this have a harder time, and that’s why “pulling back” from a wife to focus on doing what God has called us to do is so important. It gives God the opportunity to now use our own life as a living witness for Him whereas before there was a dysfunctional pattern of idolization of her feelings and expectations. This was the sin of Adam; intentionally going along with his wife in the garden instead of following God’s command. So too Christian husbands have the choice. It’s a hard one, especially if there have been dysfunctional patterns for years.

A pure focus on God and His mission as first in your life is the model of both 1 Corinthians 7 and Ephesians 5. This is what it means for even a husband to live as if he had no wife. When this is put into perspective of Christ’s love for the Church, we can see it leads to appropriate modeling (spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally) of that relationship which helps to break any dysfunctional marriage pattern that has started or existed. Yes, it will be difficult, but following God’s Word has always been that way.

In general, we live in a culture where all of the responsibility in a marriage is heaped on the husband whereas the wife is a perpetual victim of her husband “never doing enough” (to make her happy).

Some would question whether wives who continue in sin (especially if they recognize that the Scripture says sexual denial is wrong) are even Christian. All Christians have their “pet sins” or vices or whatever you want to call them. For wives it’s often pride, envy, contentiousness, disrespect, sexual denial, and things like these. If she is fruitful in other areas of her Christian walk, it’s likely that she’s a Christian. Just an immature one in this area (or possibly many areas). If she’s not fruitful and/or growing spiritually, it’s likely that she’s not.

The goal of the importance of God’s mission and acting as the leader in the home is not sex. Yes, you become more attractive so that generally your wife will want to have sex with you over time. Yes, that’s a good thing. But it’s not the end goal. When you start doing God’s mission for you and acting like a leader in the home, THAT is the way you actually help bring a wife to repentance. Yes, she should be mature enough Christian to realize that she is in sin and needs to repent, but that doesn’t always happen because most Christians are not spiritually mature and can recognize their own pet sins in a world that encourages them.

The end goal is not sex but to help a wife repent. That is what it means for a husband to love his wife for the purpose of sanctification as Christ loved the Church sacrificially (Eph 5). The goal is not sex. The goal is the wife’s repentance.

If repentance is not the goal then sex becomes the idol, and this leads down the road to replacing the idolatry of a wife’s feelings for the different idol of being a slave to your own flesh again. If she denies you, you get butt hurt and into a funk. This is only possible if you are placing sex at a place it doesn’t belong (even though you are owed it). This butt hurt always comes off the wrong way, as it shows a wife that she can still manipulate you with her denial. If she can manipulate you, she has power over you and you are implicitly telling her that you are not acting as the leader. You also fear her denial, leading you to make irrational choices that only contribute to hurt when she does this to you. This only leads back into the dysfunctional cycle of sex denial and more butt hurt.

Instead, the goal should be to model how Jesus did with the sinners of His time. How did He do that? He didn’t shun them or get mad at them (and their sin) but hung out with them and influenced them through his words and actions. Yes, sin is offensive to God, but God is not hurt by any man’s sin. He is angry at it, but he is slow to anger because He desires that all would come to repentance. Jesus ministered to them until they got to a point where they were receptive to His ministry: “go and sin no more” or they went and told others about Him because He had such an impact on their life.

When God’s mission becomes the goal in all areas of your life, it imparts the behaviors that break dysfunctional cycles. Making sex as an idol may temporarily help because your attractiveness may improve, but it does not bring a wife to repentance and it is easy to fall back in the same behavioral patterns. Yet if your goal is to bring a wife to repentance, it is clear that helping a non-Christian or immature Christian wife in these particular areas needs patience and time and good modeling from you to break the cycle. You obey God, and God’s way often wins the other’s hearts back (which often includes the sex that you so desired).

Addendum: I can see in the comments that some people are having difficulty with understanding these concepts.

I am not advocating any sort of asceticism or saying that sex is unholy. What I am saying though is that making your wife your ONEitis even in marriage (especially for sex) is going to lead toward a transactional mindset of “tit for tat” dysfunction that occurs when any sort of denial of sex happens. Husbands are creating covert contracts in their mind that if they only do this one thing (e.g. become more attractive, become a better leader, become more muscular, etc)  that their wife will want to have more sex. Yes, that may be true, but it’s incomplete without repentance.

Yes, the husband and wife freely giving sex to each other is part of the repentance process (though usually the end result of it). Focusing primarily on the sex leads to dysfunction, even though that is what a husband is owed (or wife is owed if a husband is denying her). Repentance leads to reconciliation.

The men who are struggling with this in their marriage and walking it out understand perfectly.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 71 Comments

The importance of God’s mission

One of the big issues that Christian men run into when in a relationship or marriage is lack of mission, which often leads to idolization of the wife.

1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

The importance of this passage is that we need to always take a heavenly perspective on things. Paul was indeed referring to the present persecution of the Church in his time, but it also extends out to the Church as a whole over time whether in good or bad times. God’s importance comes first.

What does it mean for a husband to live as if he had no wife? How does this jive with the passage of Ephesians for husbands to love the wife?

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Christ’s example of loving the Church sacrificially for the purpose of sanctification (not feelings!) was putting God’s purpose for His life first. He even wanted the Father to take the cup away from him in the garden. He didn’t fall prey to the prevailing Jewish thought at the time that the Messiah was to be a sociopolitical and military Messiah that saved the Jewish nation, which included His disciples own thoughts about what He would do.

So too any single man or married man should be part of the body of Christ, using His gifts of the Spirit to enrich the body and evangelize and carry out God’s mission here on earth: the Great Commission. No man is an island, and he needs to be plugged into a community of believers. This is one of my huge criticisms of many of the men who stop going to Church. Yes, people at Church can hurt you. Even Christians are fallible human beings that often let their pride get in the way. But that should not stop you from continuing to use your life to minister to others, even in the Church.

As we know, when a girl or the wife becomes the center of attention, the pedestal, she becomes his idol. This is not only idolization, but this leads to destructive actions that cause harm to the marriage. Life starts to become about making her happy or catering to her whims at the expense of everything else. This leads to a dissatisfaction and discontent in the wife which often turns into rebellion and divorce. The cultural and churchian milieu which encourages putting the wife first only causes this snowball to grow larger as there is no force of resistance against it.

Indeed, Jesus models this through leading by example and laying down His life for our own sanctification. Husbands have this call too in marriage: to model Christ’s sacrificial love. A large part of that is not solely teaching and correcting her spiritually (which is what I usually talk about), but also modeling the life of Christ’s ministry through our own gifts of the Spirit, evangelism, and discipleship in the Church.

The pedestal is always filled. Many Christian husbands have it unassumingly on the wife, but in the absence of a wife what is going to fill it? What should fill it? The answer is clear.

Living as if you had no wife means

Very few Christian men lead a missional lifestyle, and I think by and large this is also one of the reasons why they are unattractive to women (aside from things like obesity and other factors). Many non-Christian men have a purpose such as the love of money or power or bedding women or whatever. These purposes are obviously sinful and futile in the end, but they are attractive to women because women are attracted to the traits behind these: driven and ambitious.

It would be wise for any single Christian man to know and pursue their God-given mission even before any women come into his life. This way they cannot be put on a pedestal or idolized from the get go, and it correctly models the example of Christ.

Christian husbands who have not been doing this have a harder time, and that’s why “pulling back” from a wife to focus on doing what God has called us to do is so important. It gives God the opportunity to now use our own life as a living witness for Him whereas before there was a dysfunctional pattern of idolization of her feelings and expectations. This was the sin of Adam; intentionally going along with his wife in the garden instead of following God’s command. So too Christian husbands have the choice. It’s a hard one, especially if there have been dysfunctional patterns for years.

A pure focus on God and His mission as first in your life is the model of both 1 Corinthians 7 and Ephesians 5. This is what it means for even a husband to live as if he had no wife. When this is put into perspective of Christ’s love for the Church, we can see it leads to appropriate modeling (spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally) of that relationship which helps to break any dysfunctional marriage pattern that has started or existed. Yes, it will be difficult, but following God’s Word has always been that way.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 19 Comments

Where have all the good men gone #233548527

Whenever I see these, I always wonder when they’ll eventually stop. This one coming from the wall street journal.

When my daughters were small they had a favorite bit of doggerel that prefigured some early feminist leanings.

“Girls go to college to get more knowledge/Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider,” they would chant at me, and, with more evident passion, at any young males in their vicinity. I’d try to take issue with the grammatical betise in the second line that, I would point out, slightly undermined the premise of the jibe, but it was no good. Girls were smarter than boys and immeasurably superior in just about every other respect.

On that, of course, I have never dared demur.

But as it turns out, and as my girls progress with grace and accomplishment up the gilded escalator of their liberal education, there’s a searing piece of truth in that couplet that points up a deep demographic chasm in this country and in much of the developed world.

Pretty much shows where he’s coming from in the first few paragraphs. Father of (only) daughters and scared they won’t have anyone to be with. Likes to insult men for not stepping up, like the rest of our culture and even Churches.

The approach is from an educational gap standpoint, and I’m omitting the statistics cited in the article because they’ve been around for a while. Close to 55:45ish in college and 60:40 in grad school. Supposedly going to get worse (which they will).

It is estimated that for every three men with bachelor’s degrees in their 20s and 30s, there are now four women. Most studies of human heterosexual attraction suggest both that intellectual capacity and achievement is an important attractor and that people tend to gravitate toward a partner with roughly the same level of attainment.

But every year, the pool of eligible male graduates is getting smaller relative to the number of women. Now of course college isn’t everything, and many women will find a perfect mate who hasn’t been through the four-year playground of parties, sleeping and the occasional lecture. But the reality is that more of them are going to have to if they want a meaningful relationship.

And there’s a larger problem confronting these new cohorts of well-educated women. It’s always been assumed that women are more selective in seeking out a partner of the opposite sex. Men are notoriously undiscriminating; women, obviously more refined and sophisticated, are more choosy. But with data now available from dating apps we are beginning to get a sense of just how big this gap is too.

Bolding mine. Can’t stop throwing the potshots around.

A simple solution would obviously be to drop all of the programs for women’s education attainment and focus them on underachieving men. That’ll never happen though. So the gap will get worse, and women along with men like these will be left crying over it.

The cause and effect is clear, but many men seem to be willfully blind about it. Especially when they have daughters.

The good news for men is that you can easily make yourself stand out by just going to college or graduate school and doing well and transitioning it into a solid job.

Posted in Masculinity and women | Tagged | 52 Comments

Understanding what vetting does and does not do

There’s a “married red pill” post going around about how “vetting doesn’t work and why boundaries are way better” which has some good points though I disagree with a substantial amount.

I’ll quote a few parts of that post. Click if you want to read more.

Vetting is the relationship strategy where a man takes a list of values and qualities he prefers in women and uses it to assess the viability of the woman he is currently dating so that he can know if she is worth committing to over the long term. The quintessential strategy for the type of men who readily identify with being traditional and conservative within a modern and liberal society. Note, these are little ‘l,’ and little ‘c.’ This isn’t about tribal politics, this is about men. The vetting strategy is thrown around as if its the same strategy men have used throughout history, when in reality it’s a horrible mental model; a narrative guys use to provide comfort for the grim reality that relationships all end, and most end well before the man is ready to move on, or his children have had the full biological father experience.

I think this is overestimating the purpose of vetting. I’ve written a lot about vetting before and how it can be used.

Vetting, especially for Christians, is for 3 primary purposes:

  • It seeks to compare past behavior against present behavior to ascertain if someone is actually following Christ or doing it in name only.
  • It also seeks to understand if a woman is a good fit for your mission in following Christ
  • It also can possibly an early indicator about readiness for marriage.

Vetting is sort of like a job interview or background check in a sense (though you do not want to come off like this in person!). Someone following Christ or not following Christ will have certain qualities and values. Likewise, someone who wants a job but has bad past employment history (lack of being able to continually hold a job, lazy, etc.) is a much worse candidate than someone who doesn’t. There are exceptions, but the rules generally hold. That does not automatically make the person with a better employment history a perfect candidate: they could just be good at hiding things and be a terrible employee down the road.

Clearly you want an applicant that fits the job also: if you’re a missionary you want a woman who is on board with going out an evangelizing. If you’re mission is men’s ministry, you need a wife who is on board with you meeting men often during the week and doing life with them in and outside of your house. There are some women who can slip through the cracks, but for the most part this catches the vast majority of lukewarm Christians who attend Church every Sunday and say they are following Christ, but their behavior elsewhere is lacking in obedience to Christ.

To summarize: Generally, you’re able to eliminate the bad candidates straight off the bat. Thus, the goal of vetting for both men and women should be to eliminate the inconspicuous bad candidates before you waste both of your time.

Vetting is a horrible strategy for the following reasons:

  • Men do not know what they want in life. Men have a wonderful ability to rationalize what the world offers, transforming it what men wanted all along. A vetting list is guesswork and post hoc rationalization.
  • Vetting a woman is vetting for values. The question is, whose values? Men today are instilled with feminine values, created by and for women to meet their own needs, not his.
  • Vetting only works if everyone is doing is immunized from everything else.
  • Vetting for values is a narcissistic fantasy, and serve to hide the true nature of women and men in order to live in the narrative it presents. By the time the masks come off it’s too late.
  • Vetting creates an ego investment, where a man ignores anything that is outside of his vetted criteria. If the list is wrong, it’s an attack on a mans ego, and he will fight tooth and nail to protect it.
  • Even if the masks are off, and humans are naked and honest in their interactions (which they aren’t) vetting offers a snapshot into someones values, not a longitudinal assessment. It has the same longevity as an MBTI assessment; it’s astrology for the educated.
  • Vetting is often done to the exclusion of actual relationship strategies. Boundary enforcement is far superior and doesn’t require a lifetime of instilling feminine values in a man in order to understand them.

These might apply to secular, but many don’t really apply much to Christians.

  1. For Christians, God’s mission is everything.
  2. The values and qualities we vet are on God’s marital roles and responsibilities and Christ-like behavior. These don’t change.
  3. One I will agree with
  4. Not really.. if you use it as a tool to expose areas where speech and action don’t match up it’s actually taking off the mask.
  5. If it’s a Biblical list then such a list has no room to be wrong
  6. True, which is why vetting is only a first step.
  7. I disagree. Vetting should be like a first interview or background check that you find out over the first couple weeks to months of knowing someone.

So maybe 2 of the list apply.

Vetting is not mutually exclusive with “relationship strategies” which for Christians should line up with the Bible. It’s pretty easy to see that in many relationships there are many men and husbands that are dating or married to women/wives who do not respect them by their actions (even if they may call themselves Christian) and by extension are not submissive or obedient and are rebelling against God.

If you are dating and a woman is not respecting you then you can call her out and see if she changes. If she doesn’t then it may not be a good idea to remain in a relationship with her since it would only get worse in marriage. If she does, then maybe she is teachable and possibly a good helpmeet for you. If that happens in a marriage, obviously you generally have a lot more to learn about breaking dysfunctional cycles of behavior and learning about becoming a strong masculine Christ-like leader. The process of teaching her that disrespectful behavior is unacceptable starts with small things and gets to the big ones over time: the goal of Christ’s love toward the Church that husbands are to emulate is for the purpose of sanctification.

Overall, vetting is great. But it’s only a first step as you need to actual see if a woman actually on board with taking God’s Word seriously and if she is a good fit for you personally.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 50 Comments

A general response to sin for Christian husbands and wives

I’ve seen a few topics come up on the Christian RP reddit on understanding the Bible on response to sin from a husband or wife.

The Christian husband and wife are each responsible for their Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. If one of them is a Christian and the other is not, 1 Corinthians 7 and 1 Peter 3 apply which is different. Within these there’s 6 different things (3 sets of 2 pairs) of general understanding and responsibility:

  1. A husband is responsible for his own sin.
  2. A wife is responsible for her own sin.
  3. A husband is responsible for influencing his wife
  4. A wife is responsible for influencing her husband
  5. A husband is responsible for how he responds to his wife’s sin
  6. A wife is responsible for how she responds to her husband’s sin

Let’s say a wife cheats (this can also be for the husband just replace the wife with the husband and vice versa).

  • The wife is responsible for her own cheating to God, but
  • a husband may have some culpability in influencing his wife to cheat if for instance he’s harsh with her constantly which can influence her to seek attention of other men or constantly denies her sex or things like these.
  • both the husband and wife are responsible in how they respond to the sin. The husband must call his wife to repent (fire and brimstone or kindly depending on the situation- whichever one helps her repent better), and the wife is responsible for repenting

There’s a lot of personal accountability and responsibility for the husband and wife, even though they are in different roles and positions of authority. The main thing is that they must be within the bounds of the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. To paraphrase: For the husband headship, love, and honoring his wife, and for the wife respect and submission.

For the husband in responding to a wife’s sin it must be done in love and honor while for a wife responding to her husband’s sin it must be done with respect and submission.

One big thing you see in modern “Christianity” is that if a husband sins the wife suddenly “gets out of acting respectful and submitting to him” which is totally contrary to the Scriptures in 1 Peter 3. This is where a lot of the Church caves to culture. On the other hand, the reverse is true such as in the secular RP- the man bears 100% responsibility and the women have very little blame. In the Bible, God holds each person accountable to the role in which He has called them.

 

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 16 Comments

The curses/punishments are disruptions to natural order

I was reviewing Genesis 1-4 over the past few weeks (starting with my read through of the Bible again), and some more interesting topics came up in relation to the temptations and sin of Adam and Eve. I covered some of these in not curses but punishments one and two..

God presents 4 different commands to Adam (and Eve) in the garden.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

  1. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth
  2. Take dominion/subdue the earth and everything in it
  3. Cultivate and keep the garden
  4. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will die

The temptation of Eve by deception and Adam’s disobedience show us a couple things too.

Genesis 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

It’s the half truths that really shine through, IMO.

  1. You won’t die (sorta true. They didn’t “immediately die,” but they ended up with spiritual death and eventually a physical death)
  2. You will be like God, (the true temptation here)
  3. knowing good and evil (true, it is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil after all)

Thus, it is interesting to see the punishments.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

What you see in the punishments are a typical pattern of increase and see how they correlate directly to God’s commands:

  1. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth — Eve has increased pain in childbirthing (she already had some pain, but it is “greatly increased”)
  2. Take dominion/subdue the earth and everything in it — This command is originally fulfilled by Adam in Genesis 2 as he is naming the animals and does not need Eve (though God needs a suitable helper). By being tempted to be like God, Eve is tempted to subvert the natural order which Paul expounds on this in 1 Cor 11 with God > Jesus > man > woman. Eve’s temptation is thus: Woman = God > man. This is feminism 101. Women are “god.”
  3. Cultivate and keep the garden — The ground is cursed so that it bears thistles and thorns which make this command harder.
  4. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will die — An increase in death, Adam and Eve died a spiritual and physical death.

There is also the correlation to “desire” in Genesis 4 where God says to Cain:

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

A wife that knows good (submission) versus a wife that knows evil and tries to usurp or disobey headship from her husband.

In other words, all of the punishments (including Eve’s) are increased temptation to sin which result in an increase in disruption of God’s natural order.

Greatly multiplied childbirthing pain tempts many women away from wanting to have children (which can easily be seen with contraception thereby decoupling sex from procreation — the descent into a hedonist society). Eve is tempted to be like God, and one of those consequences is to be tempted to usurp or disobey her husband’s headship. Adam’s work is made harder, which is why he is tempted to be lazy (big temptation for many men). And obviously death is another natural disorder from God’s creation.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 25 Comments

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.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 28 Comments

“Losing the faith”

Along with Joshua Harris choosing apostasy, AR comments that Marty Sampson (of Hillsong) is leaving the faith.

Marty Sampson wrote many of the worship songs that were played in some of the Churches that I grew up in, so that is definitely sad to hear. His lyrics were theologically sound in most cases.

John Cooper (of the band Skillet) has a widely quoted thing that is going around Christian circles on Facebook that relates to this.

Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once “faces” of the faith are falling away. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I’ll state my conclusion, then I’ll state some rebuttals to statements I’ve read by some of them. Firstly, I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.

My conclusion for the church(all of us Christians): We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or “relevant” people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I’ve been saying for 20 years(and seemed probably quite judgmental to some of my peers) that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. I’m not being rude to my worship leader friends (many who would agree with me) in saying that singers and musicians are good at communicating emotion and feeling. We create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak. However, singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine. Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?

I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, “I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.” I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?

My second thought is, why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying “I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.” So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.

Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.” This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, “How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.” As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

And lastly, and most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their “new insight/new truth” that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say “I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others”. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says “I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need”. Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’ standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that “generosity is good”? How would you know “what is good” without Jesus’s teachings? And will your ideas of what is “good” be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.

It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting “now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!” Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)

Very good insight overall. Emotionalism based on “how you feel in your relationship with God” that is so prevalent in modern Churchianity is not a good way to base your foundation on God.

These people have rose to the positions that they were in on virtue of their God-given talent, but their foundation was shaky. They knew a lot about God, but they didn’t know God. Their talents count carry them to the positions they were in, the popularity, success, and fame, but when push comes to shove with the world it was too easy to be seduced by the world because they did not have a foundation.

They were the seed that fell on the rocky soil.

Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

They sprang up quickly and brightly but withered without a root.

In fact, this is most people in the Church today as Christianity becomes more and more unpopular. This has been the trend in the Church for decades. I’m surprised it has taken this long for more high profile leaders to leave faith to be honest.

 

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 79 Comments

Remember that Gillette commercial…

… that basically categorized all men as perpetuating weird masculine “norms.”

Mixed results.

(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co’s (PG.N) quarterly revenue and adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, sending shares to a record-high even as the world’s No.1 personal goods company took an $8 billion charge on its Gillette shaving business.

P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year, P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.

P&G which owns Gillette lost 8 billion in their business, but their other businesses made up for it by beating their profit expectations.

Turns out tanking one business through boycotts is pretty easy, but making sure a diversified company feel it is pretty hard.

Also, haven’t had much time recently, but should be able to blog more soon.

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Joshua Harris divorces

As you may have heard, Joshua Harris of “I kissed dating goodbye” fame is divorcing his wife. Quote from the Instagram post.

My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the announcement of my divorce. They are expressions of love though they are saddened or even strongly disapprove of the decision.⁣⁣

⁣⁣I am learning that no group has the market cornered on grace. This week I’ve received grace from Christians, atheists, evangelicals, exvangelicals, straight people, LGBTQ people, and everyone in-between. Of course there have also been strong words of rebuke from religious people. While not always pleasant, I know they are seeking to love me. (There have also been spiteful, hateful comments that angered and hurt me.)⁣⁣

⁣⁣ The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.⁣⁣

​Martin Luther said that the entire life of believers should be repentance. There’s beauty in that sentiment regardless of your view of God. I have lived in repentance for the past several years—repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few. But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣

​To my Christians friends, I am grateful for your prayers. Don’t take it personally if I don’t immediately return calls. I can’t join in your mourning. I don’t view this moment negatively. I feel very much alive, and awake, and surprisingly hopeful. I believe with my sister Julian that, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

I am not too surprised here given I briefly looked at his work again a couple years ago when analyzing his book and his own statements about it again. He stepped down as a lead pastor a few years ago if I remember correctly to focus on his own social media company. It seemed to go in a secular direction too.

The writing was probably on the wall then, but it just took the “courage” to “divorce his wife” for it to finally come out.

I think the ironic thing is that his book and the criticism he got from it played at least somewhat of a role in having him departing from the faith. I’ve seen this with some other high profile pastors who seem to lock onto a supposed “right way” to do things and when it turns out to be unwise, bad or harmful advice they often self-flagellate or blame God instead of admitting their error and repenting.  If they get in a cycle of the former, they can go down the road of apostasy.

The most common example that we see is a pastor taking their own advice of “servant leadership” to try work and work and work to placate their wife’s feelings or emotions instead of being the head as God commands… and that can lead them down the road of divorce. Then they wonder where God was when they thought they were doing what God wanted, even though they were only doing their own idea of what God said rather than what He actually commands.

My last post Lysa’s divorce (and thankfully reconciliation) has tons of comments mainly from my criticism of her actions (and his actions too obviously), but this is a man so it’s pretty easy to just agree and blame him.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 56 Comments