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.