Wednesday, December 4, 2013

10 Commandments for Husbands (?)

We received a publication paid for by a local church today for the first time. I paged through it and came upon a section titled 10 Commandments for Husbands. I've looked over the rest of the publication and can not seem to find the 10 Commandments for Wives. I went online to read their archives, perhaps the 10 Commandments for Wives was in a previous edition. I tease, I wasn't expecting to find it, nor did I.

So here they are, the 10 Commandments for Husbands:
1. Remember that thy wife is thy partner and not thy property.
2. Do not expect thy wife to be wife and wage earner at the same time.
3. Think not that thy business is none of thy wife's business.
4. Thou shalt hold thy wife's love by the same means that thou won it.
5. Thou shalt make the building of thy home thy first business.
6. Thou shalt cooperate with thy wife in establishing family discipline.
7. Thou shalt enter into thy house with cheerfulness.
8. Thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife to thy face and get away with it; neither thy father, nor thy mother, nor thy brethren, nor thy sisters, nor thy children.
9. Thou shalt be in subjection to Christ in all things so thy wife may find joy in being in subjection to you.
10. Thou shalt keep thy marriage vows with all diligence as a sacred covenant between thee, thy wife, and God.
"Husbands, love your wives." Ephesians 5:25
What do you think?

I'll only comment on the 9th commandment for now:

Thou shalt be in subjection to Christ in all things so thy wife may find joy in being in subjection to you.

While it is good that a husband be in subjection to Christ in all things, this statement is unbiblical and manipulative.

There is no need for a wife to be motivated to submit to her husband by her husband. In fact, it is essential that the only motivation be a desire to be obedient to God. In obedience and faithfulness, there will be joy.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
 And one of my most favorite verses in the Bible:
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ - Matthew 25:23
You might be thinking, but SD, I thought you enjoyed being in submission to your husband. And, indeed, I do...but not because of him. The decision to turn away from rebellion has nothing to do with can't. Since it has nothing to do with him, and there is nothing he can do to earn or lose my submission, it is ludicrous to suggest that he should do something so that I may find joy in submitting to him.

I find joy in submitting to him - period - end of sentence.

There is no "...because he does X, Y, or Z," including "...because he submits to Christ in all things."

The joy is the fruit of the Spirit. The joy is in walking in obedience to God. The joy is in turning away from rebellion. 

Now I said I'd only comment on the 9th commandment but reading it over again, something must be said about the 3rd:
Think not that thy business is none of thy wife's business.
In light of what I said above, the extent to which our Husband's submission to Christ is our business as wives, is in what we pray for. I pray for my husband a lot. It is a broad prayer that covers "whatever it is he needs to be strengthened in." I do not, however, find it any of my business what he prays for. I am not equipped to be his confidant in spiritual matters, nor his guide or teacher. He does not share with me the intimate details of his walk with Christ. In that I can say, assuredly, that his business is none of my business. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Act like a man

When we hear of a woman acting like a man, we generally picture a woman denying feminine characteristics and attempting and failing to replicate masculine characteristics that she shouldn't attempt. Vox's post at Alpha Game, Life isn't personal coupled with what I've already written in Turning the other cheek has prompted me to explore further how we, as women, can act like a man when it comes to honor, for this is a virtue that is innate within masculine men and found rarely in women though it is a virtue that should be possessed or at a minimum, replicated. How can we train out of ourselves the natural inclination to take things so personally and how can we train ourselves to respond honorably to having been wronged or behave honorably when we wrong others accidentally or out of ignorance?

Markku left this comment on a previous post on Alpha Game that further highlights our challenge:
My working theory (of women in general) is that they are by nature so insecure that whatever activity they are doing at the moment becomes the feather that breaks the camel's back - the ONE failure that would supposedly make everyone think that the weight of evidence is now that she is a failure as a human being.

Now, obviously a SUCCESS in it doesn't give them credit for one free failure in the future; next time it's again that one final feather. Because it is an emotional judgement, not a rational one. 
 Why are we so naturally insecure?

I've been struggling with a situation that happened over six months ago. It was an inappropriate and rude comment said about RLB, in our home, to our children. His response to it has been very different than mine. He saw it as an excellent learning opportunity for our children. He doesn't want to have to correct all of the wrongs in the world for them. He wants them to learn how to deal with these things by drawing on biblical truth. He felt no need to address what was said with our children or confront the individual.

I, however, have had an excruciatingly hard time letting it go.  I've had a revelation about how I must view it and I've realized I've been wrong in how I was talking about it and how I was dealing with it. And in realizing I've been wrong, and learning from it, there is a secondary issue I've been having which is what Markku had to say: this failure indicates "the weight of evidence is now that she is a failure as a human being."

I write primarily on wifely submission and the headship of husbands in marriage. When I realize I have failed at something I regularly write about and give advice about, that failure can be overwhelming. For the men: if you believe women judge others harshly, you should see what we do to our own selves in our heads.

Now, no worries, I indeed know I'm not a failure. But my brain certainly took me through that thought process for a very brief time. Which left me to again contemplate, "what is this all about?" 

RLB's reaction to the situation above illustrates a man who responds honorably to those who wrong him and his calm temperament indicates a low time preference. He is a very patient man who knows that these things all work themselves out long term. I on the other hand am prone to a high time preference and fear.

The fear, I've identified, was the chance of our children believing the words said to them. I know, if RLB had no fear of this, why should I, right? Because I wasn't properly in submission to him, nor was I honoring his headship in this situation.

I was also extremely humbled by my own daughter during one of our discussions about the situation. I asked her what her response would be should something like this happen to her. What a blessing to hear her say, "It wouldn't be up to me." RLB was right to not intervene at the time and I was wrong to let it upset me and take it personally. Though I failed in my heart on how I handled it (I did follow RLB's lead at the time and did not confront the person or say anything about it), my daughter has been paying attention and the lesson she learned was to follow her husband's lead in these situations.

I am blessed to know several women who are excellent at turning the other cheek, behaving honorably, and responding honorably when they have been wronged. One thing I've noticed they have in common is submission. That and I compare their best to my worst and probably don't know the whole story.

The revelation I had came after reading again what commenter, Res Ipsa, said to me:
A women has only two people that she is to serve, 1. her God 2. her husband. Incidentally God has proclaimed that she is to serve her husband and has made her choices clearer by doing so. Never get distracted by that. God has given you a husband, please him and God is pleased with you. Your service to your mate IS service to your God. Believing anything else is believing a lie.
I have said very similar words as these. Yet I did not apply these words to the situation I was struggling with. It was only after I prayed about the situation and in seeking the answer read these words again. (Thank you, Res, by the way).

For my situation, it has been revealed, that it does not matter what this person thinks, and in reality, it can not matter what my children think if I am to serve my husband, concern myself with pleasing him alone and know that this is how I please God.

Could it be that women can overcome their insecurity, train themselves to behave and think honorably, and develop a low time preference by properly submitting themselves to their husbands in all things?

I will be keeping this at the forefront of my mind and contemplate it the next time I am tempted to take something personally. In this I will act like a man and I will do so by submitting to my husband. As Vox said in his post:
To take everything personally, from a sporting defeat to a minor accident, is to be fundamentally unmasculine. The fact that the interests of others often run contrary to our own does not mean that they have anything to do with us personally. Don't be afraid to apologize or to accept apologies. Learn to leave the spirit of opposition on the playing field and save your wrath for the wicked, for those whose enmity is specific and personal and temporally unlimited.
It is so easy for me to know that submission to my husband is the right thing, it is written as such. What continues to be fascinating is in having the why answered for me in every day, real life examples. It should continue to humble us, ladies, how very well God knows us and gave us specific instructions, as wives, so that we may overcome any negative natural inclinations we have and live a life that pleases Him.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A non-MGTOW Thanksgiving

We've been at a distance from our families for several years over the holidays. I've done what I can to keep with the traditions I grew up with regards to the food that we eat. My daughter's Celiac Disease has caused me to modify the recipes, passed down for generations, so that they are free of gluten and something she can enjoy. A few years ago I learned how to make gluten free lefse, a Norwegian flat bread. Last night I prepared our lefse with tears in my eyes.

This past year the woman in my family who always prepared the lefse, died. She was my Father's sister, an Aunt who I loved dearly. As I mixed the potatoes and flour I saw her beautiful, smiling face and heard her endearing voice, "good girl" - she said that a lot.

I really miss her.

It isn't just for the food she made, or the afghans, mittens, and scarves that she knitted. It was the love she shared for us, my sister and I, having watched us grow up, the children of divorce - and all that that entails.

I've written previously about my parents' divorce, how it affected me and how I became a statistic growing up. My last post, however, made me really reflect on the love and support I had during that time. I have the advantage of being able to look back now and see the outpouring of love from my family. When my father was dealing with his darkest days, my Aunt was there, loving on us.

He'd bring us to her home when he had his week of custody with us over the holidays. A time when he was lost and most vulnerable. She pampered us with love and affection and tended his wounds the best she could - they'd drink beer and play Cribbage well into the night. She was always an encourager to us, and so proud of all of our accomplishments.

I'll be honest with you, one of the biggest challenges I have with the Christian MGTOW (men going their own way) movement is that in essence it says to me: "You are not worth it." Which necessarily means my children aren't worth it. Call it solipsism, I won't deny it. I know my father dealt with a lot of pain in his life with his divorce. I know he had to call on his family to help him through it.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to my Dad. He endured that which men fear, and I am so grateful. And I give thanks to his sister, my treasured Aunt who loved him through it, whose heart broke for him, my Mother, and for us, their children. She remained a rock through it all and never gave up on loving us.

In Loving Memory of my dear Aunt Loretta. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MGTOW - It's for the (non)Children

I continue to get emails and messages from Christian men concerning my opinion of Christian MGTOWs. Most still believe I wrote the previous posts about MGTOWs. I didn't, RLB did, but I understand the confusion. It doesn't much matter, I agree with him on everything he's written about it. In one recent email, a married, Christian, father of two sons explains his support of MGTOW based on what he's witnessed happen to his brother. That's understandable. What alarmed me was him saying if he had learned what he has earlier, he would not have gotten married. I presume this to mean he would not have had his two sons either. Does the fear of going through the pain of losing one's children warrant the response of not having children at all?
 ...the one thing that women seem to completely ignore when discussing MGTOWs concerns is: LOSING ONES CHILDREN. And yet to most men, this is the only REAL ISSUE!
I'm married, and have two sons, and my marriage is pretty darn good.  But I must tell you honestly, I feel somewhat like a guy who just rode a bicycle across a busy four lane highway while wearing a blindfold. I look back now, take the blindfold off, and think "holy ****, I'm really lucky I didn't get smashed to chopmeat with that stupid thing I just did!"
  I love my wife and kids, but If I had the knowledge of the nasty side of female nature, and how it is for all practical purposes ENCOURAGED by family courts, I am sorry to say I would NOT have gotten married. And I cannot in good conscience allow my sons to entertain any illusions that marriage as it currently exists, is anything other than playing Russian roulette with 3 bullets in a six-shot revolver.
Many messages I get ask me why I even care about the issue. The extent to which I care about the issue is I do not approve of MGTOWs proselytizing against marriage on my blog (or any blog that is written for the audience of Christian married women - for those not my own, allowing this behavior is at the discretion of the blog owner, as is their allowing my opinion on it). Also, for my son, it is not a lifestyle I support. I know, for him, 1 Corinthians 7:9 applies:
 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
I also know he looks forward to having children.
 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. -
Psalm 127:3-5
I've been asked to try to see the rationale in the decision for men to GTOW and not have children because of the risk of losing those children. Here is where I need help. I am not a mathematician, nor a statistician; however, looking at the risk based on numbers, I know the man who emailed me is wrong with his "playing Russian roulette with 3 bullets in a six-shot revolver" statement. The risk is not 50%.

So what is it?

What is the likelihood  of experiencing the loss of his children if  he is a Christian man, has children with his wife, does not initiate divorce, and is not unfaithful? These parameters, of course, being things a man can control. The numbers I've come up with are between 10% and 20%. Eight out of ten Christian men who marry Christian women, have children with them, do not initiate divorce themselves and are faithful will not face the devastation of losing their children.

My opinion is the Christian MGTOW movement is fear driven and therefore not rational in and of itself for Bible believing Christians. I am also of the opinion that the actual risks have been blown out of proportion as an emotional response to the devastation some men have experienced. Something that may be understandable, but simply is not rational.

Rules for commenting:
- you are a Christian
- you stick to the topic - to explore the actual risk of a man, using the parameters above, having his children taken from him.
- this is not a post about women or your opinions of them. This is about children, the men who want to have children but find it rational to not get married and have children due to the risk of losing those children. The risk I've assessed as 2 out of 10 and am interested in reading any other hard statistics available.
- Keep in mind I find not having children for fear of losing those children about as ridiculous as the woman who aborts her child because she fears the baby will die of hunger.

Edit - No anonymous comments

Monday, November 25, 2013

Seek wisdom in silence

Wife: "Why can't you be more like that woman's husband?"
 Husband: "Honey, it's simple, I'm not married to that woman." 
It's a cutting example but is an excellent response to the ugliness of a wife who is immersed in the sin of coveting. I've deserved to hear that response many times in the last 18 years. RLB can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember having ever said those exact words. I've thought them, I've harbored the selfish feelings that go with them, and I'm confident there were times my attitude and behavior put them on display.

Knowing these thoughts were wrong, my brain, instead of seeking Truth and wisdom, sought justification. There is no shortage of friends, family, public speakers, writers, or pastors who would provide the exact justification I sought. There are passages in the Bible, if isolated, that will provide the justification as well. 

The more I'd give voice to my woes, the more justified, discontented, and ugly I became. One of the trickiest deceptions women engage in is gossiping in disguise. From the outward appearance, it looks as though she's seeking advice. If one were to peel back the layers of it all, the advice she needs most is to learn how to seek wisdom in silence and not give voice to anything that may be perceived as disrespect toward her husband. I've often heard the enemy can not read a woman's mind, but with the way she blathers on, he doesn't need to. 
In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence; the second, listening; the third, remembering; the fourth, practicing; the fifth, teaching others. ~ Solomon Ibn Gabirol
I received an email the other day from a woman I respect. I don't know her personally, nor do I know much more about her than what you'll know reading this. What this email reveals is that she is very committed to seeking Truth and wisdom. She refers to comments I made on Sunshine Mary's essay, In Defense of Duty Sex. She did not participate in the discussion, in fact two weeks passed after the discussion before I received her email. 
I wanted to thank you for writing what you did. I have a similar situation, where my husband has little interest in sex (despite the fact that he’s very attracted to me and I am fully submitted to him in day-to-day life) and it has caused me enormous emotional distress over the years. I dealt with it by avoiding thinking about it (not hard, since we have an amazing, fun life together), or occasionally trying to do something about it. Obviously, this was something wrong with him, and I’m entitled to sex from him as my spouse, so my grief was entirely justified…

And then a few weeks ago, not long after I started to pray to God to reveal my sins to me, I saw it clearly - not only am I not justified in my attitude, but it is straight-up sinful. I thought it was my attachment to sex that was the core of my sin, but your comment really illuminated it. I’m covetous. I’m covetous of the sex that other married women have and I don’t, and I’m covetous of behaviours in my husband that are not (now or maybe ever) in his nature.

Though I respect my husband and submit to him in all aspects of regular life, when it comes to sex Satan has dug himself a nice little pit in my heart and I fall into it every single time I tread that ground. It’s like I’m me, and my husband is the man I love and admire and respect, and then suddenly I’m down the hole and the world is upside down. But after reading your comment I realized that though sex is where that pit is, it is nonetheless a basic fault in me that causes me to fall into it every time. I hadn’t considered myself a covetous person because I don’t covet material things, but maybe that’s why Satan was able to establish himself so easily where he did - I thought I had no reason to examine myself for covetousness.

Anyway, I went and prayed to God about it - that he might help me drive Satan out, fill up that pit, and accept my husband exactly the way he is.
What a fantastic testimony of a woman who is doing exactly what she needs to do to root out the sin in her life. She prayed about it, asked that it be revealed to her, sought wisdom, remained silent and contemplative, received revelation, and prayed for help.

 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. - 1 Timothy 2:11

It is important that we, as friends and confidants of married women, do not feed the beast that is disrespect and the plea for justification of sin. In that same thread, I made this comment:
There is nothing uglier than a woman who judges her husband and is covetous. We do a disservice to the marriage covenant when we agree with a woman on why her husband is unworthy of her respect – God does not tell us wives to respect our husbands when conditions are perfect to do so, in fact the mystery is revealed when we respect our husbands despite their worthiness. Well meaning Christians judge this and pity the woman who does it – God doesn’t… he blesses it.
To which Dalrock responded: 
This is huge, and I would say one of the great failures of our age. Christian men and women both are failing greatly here. As I’ve written before, what takes courage, obedience, and faith is to witness a failing Christian husband and remember that the Bible is clear that husbands are the head of the household, and wives are called to submit to their husbands even if the husband is not leading her as Christ leads the Church. So the question becomes, are his flaws so great that you are ready to destroy that family, to take that woman’s husband away? Are you confident enough in your judgment to know that God would want this family destroyed? If not, when the dust settles and the gossipers disperse he is still her husband. But now on top of his imperfections as a man his position as husband has been gravely undermined as well. The wife doesn’t have a better husband, she has a worse one. A more perfect husband could most likely overcome this, but it is the husband’s very lack of perfection which is used to excuse undermining his position in the first place.
This is so important for those who give advice. A marriage is not helped by telling a wife what her husband is doing wrong. Neither can a wife help her situation by seeking this information from others. In the blog world, there is an anonymity that seems to make it acceptable for a wife to reveal disrespect towards her husband. However:

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,
Him I will not endure. -
Psalm 101:5

These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren. -
Proverbs 6:16-19

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Even if some do not obey the Word...

Hat tip to commenter, Obliterated on SSM's blog, for finding this gem: Why I Submit to My Wife (It Honors God).

From this post:
Before Paul gets into the controversial passage of wives submitting to husbands, he first teaches mutual submission– something I’ve discovered to not only be the Godly way to do marriage, but also the most practical way to do marriage. My marriage works because my wife is my equal– we’re in this together and we’re doing this together. I’m not her head anymore than she is my feet… we’re two whole people just doing our best to walk in the same direction together. This means that sometimes she defers to my leadership in a certain area, sometimes I defer to her leadership in a certain area, but whatever we do, we do together as equals.
 The "controversial passage" he's speaking of is this: 
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. - Ephesians 5:22-24
So, some of what Paul had to say is applicable. The rest...well, you know, it's Paul - the babbling fool who couldn't possibly have meant what he said one sentence later...

This all comes from Benjamin L. Corey. He's an author, speaker, minister, and writer. He's into a new kind of Christianity. He's a Neo-Anabaptist.

How does he perform these mental gymnastics? In the comments he reveals it. A line from the Clinton playbook: "It depends on what the definition of is, is."
It depends what you mean by "head". I was being provocative with that term. If "head" means that I am the decision maker and what I say goes, well, I don't want to be her "head"-- I'm already a parent [...]A lot could depend on how one plays with words.
 What did Paul mean by "head" - or rather kephale?
  1. the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.
  2. metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent
    1. of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife
    2. of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church
    3. of things: the corner stone                                    
Between the elipses above Mr. Corey says the following: 
However, I suppose one could argue that I am the "head" but that I have decided as a leadership style to mutually share all power and authority with my wife. 
His wife is called to submit to him.

This is a prelude to another post I have coming, so hang tight.

Meanwhile, regardless of what you think of Mr. Corey, regardless of how he is openly abdicating what he has been called, by God, to do, Peter is abundantly clear:
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives - 1 Peter 3:1

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Turning the other cheek

An incident occurred in our home tonight: our youngest daughter threw a paper airplane at our son and it pegged him square in the eye. She didn't mean to cause him harm (it was a paper airplane he had made that he had been throwing around previously). Yet, how annoying is that? To be sitting contently and have a paper airplane stab you in the eye? He reacted, as most of us would have, with a bit of "what the ****", and then he threw her iPod, that was right next to him, at her feet. She apologized for hitting him in the eye and attempted to explain she wasn't trying to do that but her words were drowned out by his expressions of disgust.

We, RLB and I, were beckoned to the scene of the incident and were requested to mediate the situation.

She's twelve and had already become visibly emotional. Tears were streaming down her face and she was looking at her brother with disdain. In her view, she had apologized for her actions and instead of having that apology greeted with forgiveness, it was met with cuss words and an overt act of retaliation.

What to do, what to do.

So we separated them. RLB went with our son to discuss things and I stayed with our daughter, who looked like her head was about to spin.

I told her she needed to go and pray. She responded with "but, he did....blah blah blah." I said, "Yes, but God is more interested in you asking him how to forgive than He is in who was right."

She slowed down a bit from that. So I proceeded to ask her if she remembers the Bible verse about turning the other cheek. I told her to go pray and ask God to help her forgive her brother and to show her how she can respond differently to being accused and also to show her where she may have been wrong. I asked her to take note if the Holy Spirit urges her to ask for forgiveness for her wrong doing and to be wise enough to go ahead and do so. I told her she will be very blessed if she follows the Holy Spirit's prodding. We talked about the natural inclination to rebel against this prodding and who that comes from.

Meanwhile, RLB discussed with our son the whole speck in your brother's eye/plank in your own deal. It was a very short conversation. Our son got it immediately.

We, RLB and I, met up later to discuss all that had occurred.

It is fascinating to see, as parents, the vast differences between young men and young women. A young man can hear the speck/plank analogy and just get it. It's stems from honor. It makes sense.

A young woman, on the other hand, will not get it with that same speck/plank analogy. For her, it is a conversation that involves her perspective and a drawn picture of the difference between rebellion and God. Honor is lost on her. She literally needed me to tell her that should she not do what the Holy Spirit prods her to do, she is willfully choosing Satan's path of rebellion.

I had to tell her that should she pray and feel an urge to ask for forgiveness she must obey that and do so. To not do so is rebellion. Though she may feel she is right, it is not in being right that she will be blessed, it is in calmly turning the other cheek, with a pure heart, that holds no ill will.

For women, it is so important we learn how to calm ourselves.

The only way I know to do this successfully is with prayer.  I also know that I am guilty of resisting praying that prayer. That resistance is soon met with the Truth - that it is rebellion. I pray this for you, ladies: that you will know that every prayer you resist praying is a path toward rebellion. That rebellion is the prodding of the enemy. You have the ability to turn it around. Choose to pray. Choose to accept a calm heart. Choose to turn the other cheek.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who could He choose?

Our inside line backer/running back/wild cat quarterback for our high school football team quit the team five weeks in. He quit because he got flagged for something and became emotional because he was not defended by the coach. He had the best potential of the team – a team who last year signed three D1 scholarships. The team is headed to the playoffs and it looks good for them. There will be college recruiters present from here on out. It is very likely that this kid would have gotten a scholarship, he’s better than two out of the three that got D1′s last year.

This kid will never know what could have been – because he quit. He loves the game…but could not overcome some of the aspects of the game – being betrayed (in his mind) by the coach.

As a D1 recruiter, who could you choose? The guy who had potential but quit? No, you can’t choose him, you don’t even know he exists. You will have to choose a guy who stayed in the game.
Funny how life is.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Do you need her help?

When considering what causes women to be attracted to a man and subsequently keeps her attracted to that man, I've been giving a lot of thought to the idea that money, in and of itself, has little to do with it.
 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. - Genesis 2:18
 A helper.

We were created to be helpers. It makes sense that if we are with a man who has no need for our help, we would not continue to find that man attractive, as is illustrated here by commenter, Bodycrimes:
 One of my friends broke up her relationship because he had TOO much money. She said the day she knew it wasn't going to work was the rainy day they spent together looking at the classifieds for a house to buy and develop, just because they were bored. She said her idea of a marriage was that it represented a future the couple could work on together - saving up for their first home, saving up for their first trip together, getting excited about planning their future life together. She said none of this was going to be possible with someone who had so much money he could buy a house on a whim, plus she would always be just the pretty handbag on his arm. So she went and found someone else.
When I think back over the years we've been married and ask what it was that has kept me so darned attracted to my husband I can see that a big part of it was because he's needed a lot of help. I tease. What it actually was is how he expresses his need for my help.

Right from the beginning, when we were dating he wanted my help. He needed my help scoring for his dart team, then he needed my help to be a sub for that team. He needed my help doing his laundry. He needed my help by switching cars with him because he was behind on payments on his sports car and didn't want it to get repossessed. He needed my help when he went hunting, to drive deer.

The way he asks tells me is in an upbeat, manner: "Hey, I need you to..." **

I don't know if he's done this intentionally, certainly there were times he didn't actually need anyone's help, but he's always kept me swept up in being part of his team, helping him with what he was doing.

Recently I advised a deploying Soldier who asked how to keep a brand new long distance relationship going while he was away. I told him to keep telling her you need her help. Even if he could get the things he needed where he was going, to tell her to send him various things; food, movies, books etc. RLB did that while he was deployed; "Hey, I need you to send me..."

With every job RLB has had, he's told me he needed my help with something. He has managed to keep me busy helping him for over nineteen years. His need for my help has always extended beyond the household work I do into his realm of work, entertainment, hobbies etc. Since I've been a mother, he's never wanted my help in the literal exchange of my hours for dollars by working a job. That is a personal preference of his, that he exchange his time for money. I've offered several times and while he's appreciated my willingness, he's never found it something that would be helpful to him. Instead, he has told me how he needs my help in ways that support his work that provides income.

For a man to need help from his wife, he necessarily needs to be doing something. He has a mission. It really doesn't matter to us women what that mission is, when a husband tells his wife he needs her help in that mission, he is fulfilling one of her most basic needs - the ability to do that which she was created to do. She then will get under his mission...submission. I'm not saying my experience will be the same with all women, but I do know that for me, this has kept me desiring him and highly attracted to him.

**This might be the most important part of maintaining high attraction - assertiveness. I never got the impression I was being asked something I could (or wanted to) say "no" to, it wasn't a question, it was a statement, "I need you to..." There was nothing to debate, nothing to rebel against, it was a matter of fact. What happened in my brain was he needs me.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is provision something we selected for?

What were women, who are in successful, long lasting marriages, attracted to in their husbands? 

If you can think back to what attracted you to him, was his provision something that you were attracted to? If so, is his provision still an indicator of your attraction to him? When the amount of money he makes declines, does your attraction to him decline? When the amount of money he makes increases, does your attraction to him increase?

Blogger, Donalgraeme has asked for more of my thoughts on this subject.  His post, The 5 Vectors of Female Attraction lists Money as one of those 5 vectors:
Money: This attribute includes both the amount of resources that a man can call upon in the present, as well as what he might be able to make or create in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean just money; real property and other assets can be included as well. I view this as the second weakest attribute in terms of importance.
Relevance: This attribute is tied primarily to the provision impulse, and is probably the strongest indicator of a man’s ability to provide. It is the most “Beta” of the attributes here, but is also an Alpha attribute as well. From an evolutionary perspective, this is a fairly straightforward analysis. A man with resources is a man who can provide for a woman and her children during even harsh times. Also, in the past a man with a lot of resources available was someone who was probably quite good at providing, and thus probably athletic and high-status as well. So in this sense Money could serve as a proxy for other attributes.  From a biblical perspective things become a little more difficult to explain. In more than one section of the Bible money is considered a source of sin and/or something to be avoided, although it is never rejected in full. Perhaps one way of looking at it is that a man with money is a man blessed by God, and someone who finds favor in His eyes.
As I've considered this, I have thought back to what it was that I personally selected for and provision was not part of it. In fact, over the course of having known RLB for nineteen years, the amount of money he has made has not influenced my attraction to him, and it certainly had no bearing on my initial attraction to him.

Even when I think that perhaps part of my attraction to him was his potential to provide, it still doesn't hold. If that were the case, then one could only conclude I'd have lost attraction to him when he became injured and potentially permanently disabled. Which has just not happened.

Eight years ago, when he told me he was going to enlist in the Army, we had to fill out a financial waiver application because of our family size and the amount of money he'd be making as a Private First Class. While he was gone away at boot camp, I managed our finances without a thought of reduced attraction to him. Considering prior to this he was making four times what he made initially in the Army, there's no way I can associate attraction to him with his income. And, let me tell you, that first sight of him at his Basic Training graduation...yeah, no attraction lost. Quite the opposite actually!

Like most couples who have been married for any length of time, we have had several ups and downs financially. I have always viewed the down times as time to partner up and work together. I've viewed stretching dollars as a challenge I was eager to take on. "We were poor but we were happy" is a common expression by long time married couples. I know many wives who view the financially trying times of their marriages as times where their priorities came into focus, they remember them fondly.

RLB might argue this with me when he thinks back to when our son was an infant. He was working two jobs and still only making $8000/year. I was postpartum and bitchy and fretting over money. I needed diapers and formula and didn't have enough money to get them. My frustration was with the situation, it was not with him. If he reflects back, he'll remember he was getting more sex during that time than any 25-year-old broke dude could imagine. And let's just be honest, exhausted new moms who cry over everything are not prone to put out much unless they're very attracted to their husbands. (RLB's response to my money issues was to walk five miles in a snow storm to donate plasma. He returned, dropped the money in my lap and told me to shut up. Really, is there a question what I was attracted to? It had nothing to do with money.)

Are there women who are attracted to money? Of course. Are there women who have been married for fifteen plus years who hold money as one of the attraction triggers towards their husbands? This is probably unlikely. Most marriages that survive more than fifteen years have endured financial hard times. When money is foundational in a marriage, that marriage is as stable as a house built on sand.

Edit: I think it's important to establish what "attracted to" means within the context of a marriage. I'm hesitant to simply confine it to the number of times a wife has sex with her husband. I've known women who have sex with their husbands twice a week like clockwork because it is the terms they've established. While this may be healthy, it does not necessarily indicate her attraction level to him (and in one person's case in particular, it most definitely did not - she was not attracted to her husband much at all). We ladies know what it means to be attracted to our husbands, we want them. We want to be sexual with them, intimate with them, spend time with them, dote on them, serve them, make them happy, we enjoy seeing them happy and satisfied.

Living in the eye of the storm.

It's an interesting concept. Imagine trying to understand what direction to go while the hurricane passes over you. Now, imagine the only security is in the eye of the storm. There is no safety outside of the eye. The hurricane encompasses the entire planet except for the eye. How do you make decisions?

That is the way I view living life. The understanding of what to do in the eye is the Holy Spirit's guidance. There isn't a single meteorologist that will tell you with 100% accuracy where a hurricane will move. That is what the Holy Spirit can do. That is why legalism based Judaism and Christianity fail. The mystery is the Holy Spirit. The Living Word. Faith.

I am leaving the Army and entering a different phase of life. Chaos ensues. Home sales, moving issues, children issues, back surgery issues, where SD works out issues... The list is long and varied. The consistent part in this is my prayer life. I can't stop. I continue to be blessed as a result of it.

I decided where we would move based on the needs of our family long term versus short term. These issues included tribal, religious, and moral similarities. My ability to make money was secondary. Now, as we move forward to where I decided we would live, I find great opportunity financially. The prayer life I had leading to this decision was the important part here. At a different time in life, I was led a completely different direction. That is why the Holy Spirit is so important. It guides you based on where you are in life. If your prayer life sucks, your decisions suck. Get good at praying. Don't pray out of obligation; pray for revelation.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hi, my name is RLB and I hate people.

Being an introvert presents difficulties. I am one. I don't like people. I don't like crowds. I don't like going out. I have a very difficult time getting past meeting people. My son is similar. We aren't alone. I'm really good once people get to know me. I have a depth that people like long term. I am not warm and fuzzy. I'm not a sweet, cuddly guy. I piss people off on a regular basis, especially people that I work for. OTOH, those people I work for see my production and love me for it. They just hate my convictions.

Introverts, like myself, need to realize that everyone isn't out to get them. It is very difficult to conceptualize that for an introvert. We anticipate mean, hateful interaction. This expectation isn't because of experience. Experience presents a healthy dose of affirmation. It is the possibility of one negative encounter that makes us hesitate and decide it isn't worth the risk.

I had a great talk with Jr tonight about this. It is the habit of doing the uncomfortable that makes it possible to succeed in life. That applies regardless of being an introvert or extrovert. The introvert has to make an effort to interact with people. It hurts. Extroverts don't understand how difficult this is because it comes natural to them. It's the same in the real world or the internet world. I have very little interest in communicating with people outside of my family. However, as SD pointed out to me, there are those that would appreciate my insights. I will commit to share more for those similar to me and Jr. It might require a question from others, but I will do what I can on my end.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaching our children to pray

We watched a pretty scary movie with our daughters tonight called The Call. It's a bit like Silence of the Lambs and Psycho. A lot of conversation followed which is the norm around here, especially after scary movies.

Someday, my dear Carlotta and I will talk more about our experiences growing up with the influence of "that which is possible but not wise." Needless to say, I could never be an atheist. I was well aware of demons and evil long before I committed my life to following Jesus Christ. I was a "kind of" Christian. I prayed every night because that's what you're supposed to do. But I hadn't read my Bible since my Sunday School and Catechism days. I was a horrible sinner, arrogant in my heathen ways. Scary things seemed to follow me. And why wouldn't they? I was such a willing vessel.

RLB didn't believe a bit of it until he started witnessing crazy things as well. After we committed our lives to Jesus Christ and returned to the Word, we started a tradition for every home we'd move into. As soon as we took occupancy, we'd pray over the home. We'd demand all evil to leave and would pray for protection over the home.

This post isn't about telling ghost stories though. It's about prayer.

We talked with our daughters about evil. That evil has no friends. I relayed to them a story about a boy I went to middle school with. I remember he'd read black magic books and would talk about the freakiest things. It was no surprise when I learned he murdered his father a few years later. Evil has no friends. He lives in prison now.

So we told the girls about the depths. And then we backed up and talked about where it all starts. Things are happening fast around here now. Our house has been on the market for a week and we've been told an offer will be coming in within the next couple of days. And though our children are very excited about moving back home after this Army experience, there will be a lot of changes coming their way. There will be a lot of goodbyes to say. There will be a lot of uncertainty.

It is not uncommon for children, not to mention pubescent teens to allow their emotions to affect their attitudes. When their life seems upside down, it is very easy for them to be whisked away into a pity party, verbalizing discontent, fear and anxiety. Though they share an excitement to return to our home state, the reality of leaving the home they've known for so long can be overwhelming. 

I talked with the girls about guarding against this. This is where it starts. They will choose to go down the road of discontent, fear, anxiety, vulnerability, and despair, or they will choose to pray.  I saw tears well up in my older daughter's eyes. There was a reason we were having this conversation, right now. I used this time to go into some very specific examples, drawing from my teenage years.

"When you start to think things like:  'why me,' 'it's not fair,' 'why do I have to go through this?' 'I deserve...,' 'I wish my life was like so-and-so's,' need to stop and pray. Ask God to take this from you. Don't hold on to it. Don't allow it to fester and grow. Pray for peace and contentment. Begin the habit, begin the commitment of going to God first before you trust negative emotions. Allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart, your attitude, your words, your countenance."

"Evil takes hold on the simplest of things. Guard yourself from evil. Demand it be gone from you. Pray for protection. God is always good."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Make sure he is a highly sexed man

What do women want?


Yep, it's true.

Few women understand just how much she can contribute herself. 

If you are a married woman, I challenge you to read this, in its entirety and absorb all that it is saying:
The Mystery of Sex Transmutation - from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Some excerpts:
-The emotion of sex has back of it the possibility of three constructive potentialities, they are:--
The perpetuation of mankind.
The maintenance of health, (as a therapeutic agency, it has no equal).
The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation.
-Scientific research has disclosed these significant facts:
The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures; men who have learned the art of sex transmutation.
The men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman.
-The human mind responds to stimuli, through which it may be "keyed up" to high rates of vibration, known as enthusiasm, creative imagination, intense desire, etc. The stimuli to which the mind responds most freely are:--
The desire for sex expression
A burning desire for fame, power, or financial gain, MONEY
Friendship between either those of the same sex, or those of the opposite sex.
A Master Mind alliance based upon the harmony of two or more people who ally themselves for spiritual or temporal advancement.
Mutual suffering, such as that experienced by people who are persecuted.
Narcotics and alcohol.
The desire for sex expression comes at the head of the list of stimuli, which most effectively "step-up" the vibrations of the mind and start the "wheels" of physical action. Eight of these stimuli are natural and constructive. Two are destructive. The list is here presented for the purpose of enabling you to make a comparative study of the major sources of mind stimulation. From this study, it will be readily seen that the emotion of sex is, by great odds, the most intense and powerful of all mind stimuli.
-When brain action has been stimulated, through one or more of the ten mind stimulants, it has the effect of lifting the individual far above the horizon of ordinary thought, and permits him to envision distance, scope, and quality of THOUGHTS not available on the lower plane, such as that occupied while one is engaged in the solution of the problems of business and professional routine.
When lifted to this higher level of thought, through any form of mind stimulation, an individual occupies, relatively, the same position as one who has ascended in an airplane to a height from which he may see over and beyond the horizon line which limits his vision, while on the ground. Moreover, while on this higher level of thought, the individual is not hampered or bound by any of the stimuli which circumscribe and limit his vision while wrestling with the problems of gaining the three basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. He is in a world of thought in which the ORDINARY, work-a-day thoughts have been as effectively removed as are the hills and valleys and other limitations of physical vision, when he rises in an airplane.
-The pages of history are filled with the records of great leaders whose achievements may be traced directly to the influence of women who aroused the creative faculties of their minds, through the stimulation of sex desire. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of these. When inspired by his first wife, Josephine, he was irresistible and invincible. When his "better judgment" or reasoning faculty prompted him to put Josephine aside, he began to decline. His defeat and St. Helena were not far distant.
If good taste would permit, we might easily mention scores of men, well known to the American people, who climbed to great heights of achievement under the stimulating influence of their wives, only to drop back to destruction AFTER money and power went to their heads, and they put aside the old wife for a new one. Napoleon was not the only man to discover that sex influence, from the right source, is more powerful than any substitute of expediency, which may be created by mere reason.
-A teacher, who has trained and directed the efforts of more than 30,000 sales people, made the astounding discovery that highly sexed men are the most efficient salesmen. The explanation is, that the factor of personality known as "personal magnetism" is nothing more nor less than sex energy. Highly sexed people always have a plentiful supply of magnetism. Through cultivation and understanding, this vital force may be drawn upon and used to great advantage in the relationships between people. This energy may be communicated to others through the following media:
The hand-shake. The touch of the hand indicates, instantly, the presence of magnetism, or the lack of it.
The tone of voice. Magnetism, or sex energy, is the factor with which the voice may be colored, or made musical and charming.
Posture and carriage of the body. Highly sexed people move briskly, and with grace and ease.
The vibrations of thought. Highly sexed people mix the emotion of sex with their thoughts, or may do so at will, and in that way, may influence those around them.
Body adornment. People who are highly sexed are usually very careful about their personal appearance. They usually select clothing of a style becoming to their personality, physique, complexion, etc.
-The entire subject of sex is one with which the majority of people appear to be unpardonably ignorant. The urge of sex has been grossly misunderstood, slandered, and burlesqued by the ignorant and the evil minded, for so long that the very word sex is seldom used in polite society. Men and women who are known to be blessed--yes, BLESSED--with highly sexed natures, are usually looked upon as being people who will bear watching. Instead of being called blessed, they are usually called cursed.
-The emotion of love brings out, and develops, the artistic and the aesthetic nature of man. It leaves its impress upon one's very soul, even after the fire has been subdued by time and circumstance.
Memories of love never pass. They linger, guide, and influence long after the source of stimulation has faded. There is nothing new in this. Every person, who has been moved by GENUINE LOVE, knows that it leaves enduring traces upon the human heart. The effect of love endures, because love is spiritual in nature. The man who cannot be stimulated to great heights of achievement by love,
is hopeless--he is dead, though he may seem to live.
-When the emotion of romance is added to those of love and sex, the obstructions between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence are removed. Then a genius has been born!
What a different story is this, than those usually associated with the emotion of sex. Here is an interpretation of the emotion which lifts it out of the commonplace, and makes of it potter's clay in the hands of God, from which He fashions all that is beautiful and inspiring. It is an interpretation which would, when properly understood, bring harmony out of the chaos which exists in too many marriages. The disharmonies often expressed in the form of nagging, may usually be traced to lack of knowledge on the subject of sex. Where love, romance and the proper understanding of the emotion and function of sex abide, there is no disharmony between married people.
Fortunate is the husband whose wife understands the true relationship between the emotions of love, sex, and romance. When motivated by this holy triumvirate, no form of labor is burdensome, because even the most lowly form of effort takes on the nature of a labor of love.
It is a very old saying that "a man's wife may either make him or break him," but the reason is not always understood. The "making" and "breaking" is the result of the wife's understanding, or
lack of understanding of the emotions of love, sex, and romance.
Despite the fact that men are polygamous, by the very nature of their biological inheritance, it is true that no woman has as great an influence on a man as his wife, unless he is married to a woman totally unsuited to his nature. If a woman permits her husband to lose interest in her, and become more interested in other women, it is usually because of her ignorance, or indifference toward the subjects of sex, love, and romance. This statement presupposes, of course, that genuine love once existed between a man and his wife. The facts are equally applicable to a man who permits his wife's interest in him to die.
Married people often bicker over a multitude of trivialities. If these are analyzed accurately, the real cause of the trouble will often be found to be indifference, or ignorance on these subjects.
-The woman who understands man's nature and tactfully caters to it, need have no fear of competition from other women. Men may be "giants" with indomitable will-power when dealing with other men, but they are easily managed by the women of their choice.
Most men will not admit that they are easily influenced by the women they prefer, because it is in the nature of the male to want to be recognized as the stronger of the species. Moreover, the intelligent woman recognizes this "manly trait" and very wisely makes no issue of it.
I first read this when I was 21. It has stayed with me this whole time. For those of you who know me personally, you know I've always advised you to make sure your husband is a well sexed man.  As RLB will testify, so much of his ability to think is because he does not need to concern himself with sexual release. And think he does. The fruits of his labor (thinking) have always been evident in our lives. I promise you, ladies, I continue to see fruition of these great truths that Napoleon Hill wrote about in 1937.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When a feminist's choice looks eerily similar to biblical marriage

Sunshine Mary's blog has been drawing quite a lot of attention from feminists lately. It's a beautiful thing. One comment in particular struck me. This woman sounds so very much like a lot of women who are being nudged toward Truth. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to request some prayers for her. You can find her comment in full here

I responded with the following break down of how I read her confession:

I am not a Christian and I am a feminist so the religious points that have been made are largely lost on me. That being said I would like to tell you a little of my story.
largely – but not completely. And here I am reading a Christian woman’s blog and compelled to confess. My solipsism gets the best of my feminist intentions. I want to be accepted by your herd, SSM. After all, what’s about to follow would cause all kinds of hand waving and shrieking by the feminist herd.
I was raised by my mother to be a feminist and without the expectation that I would marry. Imagine my surprise when I fell in love and got married. I swore that my marriage would not change me but, it did.
I have an out, just in case I’m wrong, my mother did this to me. The natural order of things happened. Don’t tell the feminists, but men do have a measure of power that changes even the most ardent Strong Independent Woman (TM).
My husband became the center of my life. It was not something he asked of me, nor was it a condition of our marriage, it just happened.
He was different than any of you misogynists. And this was my choice. The women here didn’t choose like I did, way.
I already considered him the love of my life and my best friend, that is why I decided to marry. I did not think our relationship would get better with time but, it did. When my friends, both male and female, expressed displeasure with his ‘influence’ over me, I pointed out that my relationship was my choice and if they didn’t like it, our friendship could end. The vast majority chose to do just that. It was honestly a relief, I was tired of their criticism of my husband’s behavior and our marriage.
While I might not be aware of it, I am realizing the lie of feminism. How come loving my husband and submitting to him isn’t one of the available choices w/in feminist circles. Isn’t my happiness important? This made me happy. I lost friends because of my choice. And I am so very close to the understanding you ladies have come to, when God says “Let no man put asunder,” something happens within a woman – she defends her husband when he gets attacked, it’s a mystery…could God be real?
I was happily married for 5 years until my husband’s death. I never cheated on him. I never contemplated divorce (I am not sure what frivorce means, frivolous divorce?) I preferred to work from home (long story).
Something deep within me, that I can’t explain, wonders if he has everlasting life. Can someone here please show me the way I can see him again? Is there hope?
I also preferred my husband to deal with the outside world while I dealt with the day to day within our home. I was still a feminist, albeit one that had made a very different choice than most.
Though the natural order of things works this is different than you non feminist women who are keepers of the home. I don’t know how it’s different, but it is! Don’t forget, I am a feminist!
Yes I did have partners before him. How many is none of your business. I can say with all honestly that he was ‘it’ for me. Once we were together, he was the only man I wanted and in many ways the only man I could even see.
In truth, none of what I’m saying is your business and I presume too much when I think you care about my story, but you are the only ones who will understand. And, you’re Christian, you’re supposed to care…right? I know I betray my feminist sisters when I keep hidden my sexual experience, I’m supposed to shout it from the roof tops as a Strong Independent Woman (TM), but something within me knows this brings shame to my husband (God rest his soul). Something within me knows it was sin. Something is urging me to repent of that sin so that I may receive God’s grace. Who is it again? That man who takes the burden of my sin?
So, yeah, it is possible. In fact, it is still a problem. I have tried dating since his passing and it has been a disaster. I am just not interested.
Again, it is a mystery. If life were only about the days we live in flesh form, what is this haunting? If there is no God, no Jesus Christ, no Holy Spirit, what could possibly be keeping me bonded to my husband? Don’t tell me it’s Truth, in my world what I choose to be truth is truth. What’s that? Truth is like gravity? And I might be….wrong.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Megyn Kelly is a feminist.

As long as Megyn Kelly and Sarah Palin are the heroes of the Republicans, conservatives lose. These women have nothing in common with Christian values. The issues they raise compared to Bible believing Christians are stark and divisive. They don't care for their children. They shop their children out to someone less qualified to raise them. In one instance a nanny; in the other a father/daughter/mother.

There is nothing redeeming about a mother rejecting her primary God given duty. It is the exact same as a man rejecting his God given duty to provide. They deserve zero approval. They are the very reason conservatives find themselves in logical stalemates. Intelligent women need to birth and raise children while supporting their husbands. They need to educate those children and raise them to guide society towards God and His will. When they fail to do that, our society collapses.

There is no such thing as equality. God spoke it thus as He kicked them out of Eden. This is not news to a Christian. The foundation of a community starts at the family level and these women are disgusting in that regard.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I've got nothing for him

Recently I have developed a new conviction. It's been tried and tested through the metric I use. It's open for debate, however it's going to take a pretty solid, rational appeal for me to question it again.

A married Christian woman has nothing to offer and nothing to be gained from an association with a single man unless he is someone her husband respects and/or is mentoring.

This conviction began stirring within me while reading Sunshine Mary's blog. I commented a bit eluding to it there. But most of this has come from a real life situation.  

We've I've been friends with a young man for several years now. I met him through mutual friends (two couples). One of the couples was close with his parents. I learned quite a bit about his life story and entertained the friendship out of a motherly role.

We've had him at our home several times. Each time he was respectful and carried on with RLB about sports, politics, and Army life. We no longer live in the same area so most of my contact with him has been through Facebook.

This young man struggles with his faith. He was raised much like I was but questioned and left the church and renounced his salvation after what he said was a realization that the existence of God could not be proven. He's told me that he is comfortable with his rejection of a belief in God yet at every opportunity he would challenge something I would post related to Christianity. RLB would engage him and debate, discuss etc. However the non stop bombardment of my posts got to be too much.

He wasn't hearing RLB, that was clear. So I asked him to read one of Vox Day's books, The Irrational Atheist (RLB had previously suggested it to him). He said he'd read it but first relayed his doubts regarding the book and expressed a typical ad hominem.

Over the course of interacting with this man, it became clear there was nothing I could say or do to affect his faith. We've discussed it all. And I've surrendered to being utterly inept at The Great Commission with regards to this man. And it's not just that. There's nothing I could say or do that would affect his opinion of what is or is not moral.

The comment on SSM's blog that I linked to above had the same results...nothing. The man I was speaking to said he had slept on what I said, had no revelation regarding it and came away feeling even more hopeless. That's the last thing I wanted to have happen.

It all makes perfect sense. There is nothing biblical about a woman teaching a man.

The evidence suggests that 1) what a man could learn from a woman, he should be learning from another man 2) much of what I'd been spending my time doing was what Matthew 7:6 warns of: casting pearls before swine 3) in some instances the very opposite of what I hoped for happened.

It really has nothing to do with the woman either. Her presentation matters little, neither does her sincerity or charity. I've read countless examples of a variety of women, with different temperaments and tone, speaking/writing to single men with no evident impact.

There's more to this that I'm developing an awareness of but don't quite know how to express.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also write about what went on with me. Every debate we'd engage in had to be slow and deliberate on my part. I had to conscientiously overcome my own solipsism and knee jerk defensiveness each and every time before I would respond.

I write this for your amusement and to confess that though a woman might appear stone cold logical, don't be fooled, it does not come naturally to us, at least not to me anyway.

There were times that my thoughts would read like the following: "I Can Not believe he is defending the murder of infants in the womb, he knows how much we, as a family, have grieved this issue. I have three children reading this! Is he really so daft that he can not conceive of how offensive he is?"

"How dare he say, on my personal FB page, that the Bible is bullshit! He can't possibly value me as a friend and willingly offend me so personally. He knows my faith, he knows my relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ, is the most important aspect of my life. What is wrong with him?"

You get the idea.

As I said above there is an exception to this. When a woman's husband respects or is mentoring the single man, she can be of tremendous value. It is not about her alone, however. It is the respect the single man has for her husband that allows him to consider her words. When RLB says to one of his single friends, "ask SD to tell you about ____," it is the regard he has for RLB that allows him to hear what I have to say. It's a very different dynamic. From what I have learned, it's the only dynamic that makes a relationship between a single man and a married, Christian woman acceptable. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Keep calm and pray on

The news came in that we had been patiently waiting for. Life had been on hold during the wait. We had our routine and I was gradually getting accomplished the to do list I always have in my mind. However, as it is common with military families, we are not living in our forever home, we've always known this was temporary. The time has come for us to move.

It is so exciting to contemplate living in the state we desire to live, on a property that we've longed for, and in a home that I can make my own. It will be a big change from my current mindset with regards to our house. Most every decision we've made here we've had the eventual sale of the house in mind. For example, we've held off purchasing our forever furniture because of the impending move to ensure what we buy doesn't get damaged or not fit with our forever home. We won't have to do that anymore.

So life is good, right? This is what we've been waiting for. It's time to celebrate and rejoice! The longing I've had for years is about to be fulfilled!

And I proceeded into a frenzy of: "I have to do this, and this, and this, and there's no time for this anymore, and what about this and I need to remember to do this and...lists people, we need to make lists, and..." You get the idea.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cool Hand Luke sits across from me with a peculiar expression that reads: "Woman... now why have you gone and lost your mind?"

Simple, there's just so much to do. We won't move until we sell the house so I have to do everything to make it perfect so that it will sell as fast as possible. Because, you know, I'm in control of such things.

Granted, there is a lot involved in selling a home, buying a home in a different state and moving, but as so often is the case, I really needed the correction he proceeded to give me.

"There is only one of two ways this is going to happen, it is either you acting like an overwhelmed hysterical lunatic, or you calmly doing what you can do and praying about the rest."

Oh yeah...that's right, there's God.

In the middle of our discussion, it felt as if a huge weight was lifted right off of me. Followed by a sense of shame that it took a good talking to from him in order for me to remember the most important thing I'd been forgetting.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sometimes the grass is greener.

Most of us have heard the proverbial warning about thinking that the grass is greener somewhere else. The idea behind the wisdom is that we carry our problems with us and it only seems that we would be better off somewhere else. This is indeed good advice to the adventurous youth that are obsessed with change for its own sake.

On the other hand, sometimes the grass really is greener because it rains more there. We have experienced this exact issue while trying to grow a garden in Oklahoma. That is a reality that we must consider when making major decisions in life. Depending on what your goals in life are can determine where you live. It can also determine where you work or who you marry.

Your decision on where to raise your family is an important one. If you are honest with yourself and pray about it, you will get the answer you need. Sometimes that answer will go against the "grass is always greener" warning. It might be a generational issue, however, the warning against going somewhere new was almost law-like in its declaration. We need to deny this cultural push in order to set our children up for the success that we want for them.

Some cities are better to raise your children in than others. Don't lie to yourself about the cultural relativism and chance results of the happily-ever-after-princess story. Put your children in the best possible culture for you to have the in-laws and grand babies you want. Be honest about your goals and about how to best imprint the cultural mores you desire in your family. Then, find the greener grass.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What have you lost?

In a recent Facebook exchange, I said the following regarding how I respond when I am proven wrong or ignorant: 
However, the last four years I have found A LOT I have been wrong about. I am the first to admit that I am indelicate about it. For you it must be a forgivable offense, you continue to engage with me. Many others don't.
The man with whom I was having the discussion then said this: 
In much the same way friends have left you for your ways, I too have lost people I thought were closer to me. (emphasis mine)
What is important to know here is that this is an unmarried man who has renounced his faith in God and has stated he is happy living a faithless life. While reading what he had said and noticing he used the word lost, I found I had a pity for him. A sadness that encompasses and goes beyond the sadness I feel when someone denies God's existence. It was an awareness that the human beings in his life and their closeness to him serve, ultimately, as his purpose in life. He does not know living as Christians do: for God's purpose.

Individuals like this must live with either extreme loneliness or they must be willing to conform to a specific and subjective ideal in order to maintain closeness with other individuals who hold those ideals. In other words, moral relativism. 

I have pondered whether or not I should feel bad when people I encounter in life make a decision to stop engaging with me be it in discussions and debates or just social contact. Most often it happens when I have displayed an immutable belief or conviction. I don't have the answers to everything in life, by a long shot, however, there are many foundational moral beliefs I possess that cannot be changed. Outside of the obvious, belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, is; biblical marriage, a belief that all abortion is murder, and that which God calls sin is, indeed, sin, to name a few. 

Now, I'll admit, as a woman, there is a brief sting of having been cast aside from a herd, whatever that herd might be. However there is nothing within me that maintains I have lost someone. What quickly comes over me is an assuredness that though I may never see the fruits of having displayed a conviction, I have done my part, for Him, and that was what was required of me. 

When I have found myself to be wrong, I accept where I have been wrong and move on. I have learned to be generous with apologies and requests for forgiveness. I have also learned there are people who do not accept apologies nor are they willing to forgive. This doesn't cause me but a moment of discomfort either. Again, my focus is God's purpose. I have learned the errors of my ways and would like to move on. The flip side of this is that I tend to be more than generous with forgiveness for those who seek it from me (to RLB's chagrin). 

I am blessed to be married, in a covenant with a man who is willing to forgive me, willing to instruct and teach me, and patient with my indelicacies. (I use the word indelicacies because the word tactlessness has been overused by others in describing me.) His opinion of me is the only one I entertain and obeying God has become the primary focus of my life. 

And, as is true with other groups of individuals, I lack empathy for the atheist/agnostic who suffers the loss of relationship with human beings. Pity and sadness. That's all I've got. 

Christian women, do you concern yourselves with the collective morality of the herd? Do you fear being ostracized because of your convictions? Do you remain silent when you have Truth to bestow? For those of you who mourn the loss of friendships, lost because of your faith and moral convictions might I remind you of Romans 8:31-39:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”    
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You have not lost a thing when you have lost the association of someone who opposes your Christian convictions. Be encouraged.