A Validation And A Warning

Vox at Alpha Game tipped me to this article a few days ago. I couldn’t resist addressing it myself. He quoted the money part, and so too will I:

My husband has a life that many people who are “rule-followers,” like me, would envy. When I first met him, it was undeniably a passionate love affair. I’d never dated anyone or known anyone like him before. He took risks, lived all over the world, had many passions and has been a loyal friend. He’s seven years older than I am, and we met at work, where his power and seniority at the office was insanely attractive to me. The year we got married, he wanted to take a risk and go back to graduate school to find his dream job. I trusted his judgment, and between his savings, my new job, and some sacrifices, we comfortably lived while he went through two years of graduate school. My husband now has his dream job. I’m proud of everything he’s accomplished and what we were able to do together to make it happen.

Over the past four years, my career has skyrocketed in ways I never could have dreamed of. I’ve broken through the hypothetical glass ceiling in a male-dominated industry. I am a huge believer in women in the workplace and always will be. If they become the breadwinners in marriage, more power to them.

Now herein lies my problem — I became the breadwinner in an extreme way. I committed to supporting us for two years, but we’re going on four now, and it will likely be five. Our income divide is so extreme that I pay for 90 percent of our living expenses. What I’ve found is I can’t live this girl-power lifestyle that I believe in.

I’m very close to a breaking point, and I never stop thinking about leaving my husband. And no matter what other reasons I come up with, it always leads back to money, power and sexual attraction.

This sordid tale is yet further validation of my LAMPS/PSALM model. In particular we see the role of Money/Status (they are often linked) in affecting sexual attraction. The woman here was drawn to her husband because his M and S values were high, both in general and compared to hers. However, the shift in their job situations has altered the equation dramatically. Now he makes much less than her. And as a result she finds him much less sexually attractive.

Ouch time.

I feel sorry for this guy. He bought into modern egalitarian thinking, and believed that his wife really would be ok with this change in breadwinner status. And he is probably going to lose his marriage as a result.

This brings us to the lesson…

Men: marry down, not up.

Be wary about letting your woman take your place as breadwinner. Perhaps she won’t be as bad as this woman here, but it will not be easy on her. Her nature inclines itself against this model, and you don’t want her to fight that throughout your marriage. Even if it lasts, it is a recipe for misery.

That isn’t to say it cannot be done, but I caution men all the same against it.

There is wrath and impudence and great disgrace
    when a wife supports her husband.

(Sirach 25:22)

Edit 1: This post went live before I had intended. So instead of trying to integrate additional thoughts above, I will make them here instead. This will likely involve several edits over time.

I mention above that men should marry down, not up. That is of course the first step. The second step, just as important, is to stay above her in social rank. That dream job you’ve always wanted? Well, if it lowers you in relation to her… you just might want to give it a pass. Sure she may say she is ok with it, but what her conscious and unconscious minds want can be two entirely different things.

Of course, life has a way of messing with that plan. And if you do find yourself on the down angle, you will have to adapt. Hypergamy is a trait all women share, but some seem to keep that more under control than others. If you do decide to marry in this age (a risky proposition to be sure), keep an eye out for that kind of woman. Again, it isn’t necessarily the end of the world if you find yourself outside breadwinner status. But it does mean you will need to step up the rest of your game in maintaining sexual attraction.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #121

We are now on the second week of Advent. With that in mind, I’ve chosen some passages linked to that theme. I begin with the opening of Matthew’s gospel:

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

(Matthew 1:1)

And by opening, I mean that. Just the first verse. But a huge amount is contained in that single verse. Let us unpack it.

First, we have the name of our savior: Jesus Christ. That is how His name is translated in the Greek. If we were to say His hebrew name, it would be Joshua  the Messiah. Now, that is just His Hebrew name. That doesn’t actually translate what His name actually means.

Joshua is a familiar name to those fluent in the Old Testament. He was the Israelite who took over after Moses, and actually led the People of God into the Promised Land. A translation of Joshua into English would be “God Saves.”

Messiah is another important and old Hebrew word. It means “anointed.” To anoint someone was to mark them with oil as special, as set apart. In the Old Testament we see two different figures who were anointed, the King and the Priest. Some examples of this from scripture:

10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and fetch him; for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

(1 Samuel 10-13)

12 Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, 13 and put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. 14 You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, 15 and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”

(Exodus 40:12-15)

I mention both of these because this separation was not how it was supposed to be. Originally the Patriarch, the head of the family of the People Israel, was both King and Priest. Both roles belonged to him as father. However, with the Exodus the roles are split- the kingship is retained by Judah, but the priesthood went to Aaron’s line, of the House of Levi. In Jesus we see them returned to their proper place together, hand in hand. Just as it was before in his ancestor, Melchizedek.

Then Matthew mentions that He is “the son of David.” This is important because it is a fulfillment of a promise by God to David:

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; 15 but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.’”

(2 Samuel 7:12-16)

It is important to remember that as the first Gospel Matthew was writing to a primarily Jewish audience. By opening with this statement that Jesus was the Son of David, he is informing the reader that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise I just quoted above. Jesus is the Son that was promised to David, the Son whose throne would be established forever.

Then we have the mention that Jesus was the Son of Abraham. Here again Matthew was informing the reader that yet another promise was being fulfilled. This was a promise of God to Abraham:

15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18 and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”

(Genesis 22:15-18)

Jesus was the blessing to all the nations that was promised. And the gates of the enemies were the gates of the Underworld, of Sheol, which Jesus smashed after his Crucifixion. And by possessing them, he freed from the pit those righteous dead which had awaited the Lord’s Day.

Matthew is telling his Jewish readers all of that, and in a single sentence. For those who don’t really know the Old Testament, it seems like a mere prologue. But for those who truly know it, Matthew was actually giving away the whole book there- this book is about The Anointed of God, King and Priest in the order of Melchizedek, God Saves, who established a kingdom and throne forever and thereby blessed all nations and peoples by smashing the gates of Death.

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Lowest Common Denominator

In today’s post I want to examine the subject of who “keeps” a nation’s morality. Given the state of moral decay in the West at the moment, and the overall mess that is the marriage market, I think it a topic worth exploring. Since it is a fairly broad subject, I will give considerable latitude to my readers in their responses. But at the same time I would ask that folks use common sense, and not abuse this privilege.

A number of figures have argued, and argue still, that women are the one’s who set the “moral tone” of a civilization. One such figure was Fulton Sheen, who said in Life is Worth Living:

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.  When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Others, including I think some around the ‘sphere, have argued the opposite. I do not have any quotes to provide at the moment, as I think this position is argued more by the commentariat than by most bloggers. But I know I’ve seen it.

Before I go on, I should clarify something. I am not examining the subject of which sex, male or female, is more “naturally virtuous.” Or which is more naturally civilized, or a greater fit for civilization, or some such. Rather, I am examining which sex sets the bar of morality in a civilization. In math terms, which is the lowest common denominator?

I do not think that Rev. Fulton Sheen was expressing above a belief that women are more naturally virtuous than men. Rather, he was stating that when women in a society are moral, it is likely that the men will be too. Conversely, the implication is that when men in a society are moral, women do not necessarily follow suite. [The argument that the men in a society can only be moral when the women are, and so the reverse stated before isn’t true, is a different argument altogether.]

As I see it, there are four mutually exclusive alternatives here: women set the bar, men set the bar, neither sets the bar (they are both independent of each other) or both set the bar (there is a casual link between the two in terms of moral level). I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on which they think is true.

Also, I think there can be a number of different possible factors which might be responsible for any bar setting that might occur. They are, in no particular order:

  • Inspiration- The moral character of one sex inspires the other to live a more virtuous life (perhaps in order to be “worthy” of them).
  • Reactivity- One sex might be more inclined by nature to mirror the moral character of the other sex (this is more instinctive than a deliberate choice)
  • Responsiveness to Leadership- One sex might be more inclined by nature to respond to moral leaders and their directions on the moral life. [If one sex is less responsive  than the other it is all the more essential that it be trained/raised properly when young.]

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that I could think of in short order.

While I am one who loves intellectual discovery for no other purpose than curiosity, something else is driving me here. If one sex is naturally more influential when it comes to the moral character of a people, than it stands to reason that more care needs to be exerted raising that sex while young. After all, a misallocation of time (that most precious of resources) could have lasting effects on the virtue of a civilization. And even if time is spent, it if is spent poorly it will still have deleterious effects. Perhaps even leading to collapse, in the end.

And with those dark thoughts I invite my readers to step forward and voice their own.

 

 

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #120

Today marks the beginning of the Advent season. In light of that I have been reading over scripture which foretells the coming of the Messiah. I start with the word of the Lord through Nathan the prophet:

Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; 15 but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.’” 17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

(2 Samuel 7:8-17)

There are several things of note in this passage. The first deals with the promise that the people of Israel will not be disturbed. We of course know that much of Israel was later disturbed- whether carried off into Assyria or Babylon many were displaced. The whole region was in fact never truly settled afterwards. There was perhaps a small period during the Maccabean revolt, but that is it.  In fact it is unsettled even to this day.

All of which leads me to two possibilities: that time has not yet come, or that the “place” mentioned here for the people Israel is not the area of land we know as “Israel.” The first would perhaps be the traditional Jewish interpretation. Certainly it would seem to have been the understanding of the Jews during the time of Jesus. However, I think, based especially on what Jesus tells us in the New Testament, that God here was speaking of the age to come. The age when we would see a new heaven and new earth. This the prophet Isaiah speaks centuries later:

17 “For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth;
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice for ever
    in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing,
    and her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
    and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.
20 No more shall there be in it
    an infant that lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the child shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
    or bear children for calamity;[c]
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
    and their children with them.
24 Before they call I will answer,
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,
                says the Lord.”

(Isaiah 65:17-25)

Such a time has not yet come.  It will not come until the end of the age, the Day of Judgement. Isaiah spoke of it, and John the Evangelist was granted a vision of it towards the end of his life:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

(Revelations 21:1-8)

Notice the symmetry there? To both David and John we have reference to a son of God. For that son will inherit, and will be a conqueror, like his father David. Yet he will also be the son of God, and call God (and not simply David) his father. The promise to David is still in awaiting final fulfillment. It is for this day that we, all of us, await. This, ultimately, is the purpose of the Advent season- to prepare us for the coming of the Lord.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all my American readers have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I give thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing thy praise;
I bow down toward thy holy temple
    and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness;
for thou hast exalted above everything
    thy name and thy word.
On the day I called, thou didst answer me,
    my strength of soul thou didst increase.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of thy mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    thou dost preserve my life;
thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and thy right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    thy steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
    Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

(Psalm 138)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord is God!
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him, bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100)

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Set In Stone

I came across this this story recently, and thought that some of my readers might find it fascinating:

The world’s earliest alphabet, inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, was an early form of Hebrew, a controversial new analysis concludes.

Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

“There is a connection between ancient Egyptian texts and preserved alphabets,” Petrovich said.

That’s a highly controversial contention among scholars of the Bible and ancient civilizations. Many argue, despite what’s recounted in the Old Testament, that Israelites did not live in Egypt as long ago as proposed by Petrovich. Biblical dates for the Israelites’ stay in Egypt are unreliable, they say.

You can read the rest at the link.

Something like this could certainly be a publicity stunt. The fact that the archeologist making the claim is writing a book would give that notion some support. At the same time, however, I am also highly suspicious of most modern scholars. I  don’t imagine I am alone in thinking that many of them would go to great lengths to come to a conclusion that just coincidentally argued against biblical timelines.

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Saturday Saints- #120

Our letter for today is the letter “M.” So we have as our saint, Margaret of Hungary:

Saint Margaret, O.P. (January 27, 1242 – January 18, 1271) was a Dominican nun and the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was the younger sister of St. Kinga of Poland (Kunegunda) and the Blessed Yolanda of Poland and, through her father, the niece of the famed Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.

The four-year-old Margaret was entrusted by her parents to the Dominican monastery at Veszprém in 1245. Six years later she was transferred to the Monastery of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on Nyulak Szigete (Rabbit Island) near Buda (today Margaret Island, named after her, and a part of Budapest; the ruins of the monastery can still be seen). She spent the rest of her life there, dedicating herself to religion and opposing all attempts of her father to arrange a political marriage for her with King Ottokar II of Bohemia. She appears to have taken solemn vows when she was eighteen years old. In marked contrast to the customs of her Order, she received the Consecration of Virgins along with some other royals to prevent further attempts on the part of her father to have her vows dispensed by the Pope for marriage.

More can be found out about her and her life at her wiki, located here.

st_margaret_of_hungary

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