Monthly Archives: June 2014

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #30

Today’s post will have several passages with a consistent theme. The first passage, a long one,  comes from the Book of Genesis:

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. 10 Now when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son; and she ran and told her father.

13 When Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. 18 Jacob loved Rachel; and he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to wife. 29 (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

(Genesis 29:9-30)

Our second passage is from the Book of Numbers:

And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph is right. This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zeloph′ehad, ‘Let them marry whom they think best; only, they shall marry within the family of the tribe of their father. The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another; for every one of the people of Israel shall cleave to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another; for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall cleave to its own inheritance.’”

(Numbers 36:5-9)

The next passage comes from the Book of Sirach:

23 Do you have children? Discipline them,
    and make them obedient from their youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their chastity,
    and do not show yourself too indulgent with them.
25 Give a daughter in marriage, and you complete a great task;
    but give her to a sensible man.

(Sirach 7:23-25)

I should note that in the above passage, verse 23 reads in some authorities as sons, not children, and says “choose wives for them while they are young.” Then we move to another passage from Sirach:

19 My child, keep sound the bloom of your youth,
    and do not give your strength to strangers.
20 Seek a fertile field within the whole plain,
    and sow it with your own seed, trusting in your fine stock.
21 So your offspring will prosper,
    and, having confidence in their good descent, will grow great.

(Sirach 26:19-21)

Now we move to the New Testament, specifically the First Letter to the Corinthians:

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 7:39)

As you might have noticed, they all bear a common theme: the matter of determining when and who to marry. These passages are just a sample of the passages and verses in Scripture which address the matter. I chose them because I think they provide a good sample of what Scripture has to say on the subject. What they make clear is the following:

  • In some circumstances parents chose whom their daughters, and their sons, would marry
  • In some circumstances men could choose whom they would marry
  • In some circumstances women could choose whom they would marry

Taken together, these passages explain that men and women, and parents, can be involved in the choice of spouses. With all of this in mind, I would go further and say that both children and parents should be involved in the process of spouse selection. Unfortunately, nearly all Christian parents today have abdicated this important role. In fact many go so far as to sabotage, through various means, their children when it comes to marriage. Not all mean to do ill, but that doesn’t change the fact that many Christian youth suffer unnecessarily, and risk their souls, because their parents aren’t as involved as they should be.

Consequently, I am a major supporter of The Courtship Pledge, run by Scott and Mychael. Scott has asked me to write guest posts there, and I hope to the have first (which will be cross-posted here) up by the end of the week. It will expand on the line of thought started with this post.


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Saturday Saints- #22

Today’s Saint is St. Ulrich of Augsburg:

Saint Ulrich of Augsburg (c. 890 – 4 July 973), sometimes spelled Uodalric or Odalrici, was Bishop of Augsburg and a leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.

The full wiki on him can be found here. A couple of facts that I found interesting about St. Ulrich:

  • He was the first Saint to be officially canonized by the Church
  • As Bishop of Augsburg, he reformed schools and churches, and built new ones, in addition to monasteries
  • While serving as Bishop he helped to bring peace between Emperor Otto I and his son Liudolf when the latter rebelled
  • When the Maygars attacked Germany Ulrich acted as a general to help defend Augsburg; his actions were essential to protecting the city from being sacked when it was later beseiged
  • He was known to have the highest moral character, and at least one letter was forged under his name to take advantage of that fact

St. Ulrich of Augsburg



Filed under Saturday Saints

Making It Worth The Investment

TempestTcup, who helps run the Red Pill Women Reddit, posted a comment some woman left there not too long ago. It is short, but I will post only the central paragraph:

I am a very lazy person, and that makes it hard for me when it comes to most things feminine, because being traditionally feminine requires so much effort: I don’t cook anything from a recipe, I never bake, I don’t wear make-up, I don’t decorate, I don’t knit or sew or do crafts, I put minimal effort into my outfits, and I dislike shopping with a passion. However, I don’t really have any traditionally masculine interests, either – I can’t be bothered about sports, I don’t play videogames, I don’t read comic books, I don’t hunt/shoot etc etc.
I am interested in some of these things, I have a passing knowledge of many of them, but I don’t really care very much. Because of this I sometimes find it hard to converse with women on either end of the spectrum (and with men, sometimes) because I am rarely passionate about the things they are passionate about.

This doesn’t exactly paint a flattering picture of this (young?) woman now, does it? But her response is only the catalyst here. What interested me more than her indulgence of the sin of sloth were a couple of the comments made in response to the post. Commenter Cadders left this:

Ummm…..craving leadership…..male leadership perhaps?

Tempest followed up with a comment of her own:

True, but what male leader wants to put up with someone that catatonic? I bet it’d take a crowbar to wrench her out of her chair

And here Tempest gets to something very, very important. Few, if any, men would be interested in trying to lead that woman to a better state of life. It would be a major investment of time, and probably money. And for what gain? What kind of personality do you think that this woman possesses? I imagine it isn’t particularly endearing. What we are talking about here is a total make-over for this woman- nothing else will do.  Essentially, she has to become someone else entirely for any man worth his salt to want to be with her for the long term.

I’ve covered the subject of “training” a woman to be wife material before, in my post Some Assembly Required. In it I discussed what I could, and could not “train” in a woman to make her wife material. I also explained that I would, in fact, be willing to do that kind of “training”, and invest in a woman who shows potential. The thing is, I’m only going to invest in a woman if she makes it relatively easy and inviting for me to do so. [Edit: And I would only do so in areas where I am really just helping her change herself- like losing weight, for example] Dalrock’s metaphor of the Two Beaches is appropriate here, I think. A woman who makes it easy for me to “train” her, who doesn’t put up obstacles and fights me along the way? I’m willing to chance that. But a woman who turns this from a chore into a battle? Pass. [Edit: Not only would I not want to endure that kind of battle, but it would show she is beyond my ability to help/influence anyways.]

I mention all of this because the comment that Tempest highlighted reminded me of a young woman I  worked with a few months back. For a while I considered whether I could, and should, “train” her towards being wife material.  I knew she and I shared some similar views on life, and that she was a Christian.  She did give off some Christo-Feminist warning signs, however, and that gave me pause. On the other hand I thought I  could probably correct her in a relatively short time frame, and if that didn’t work out then I could always leave before having invested too much time and effort. I also had reason to believe she was a virgin. Of course, much of the reason for that is that she was quite overweight. Enough so to easily push her out of the acceptable category, at least as she was. What she had going for her was the fact that she still had something of a pretty face, which hinted at good genes. I suspected she would actually be quite attractive if she lose the excess weight.

Given all of this, I was tempted to “train” her up. I didn’t though, because she presented me with (to keep the previous metaphor going) an Omaha Beach like environment. Her personality was atrocious. She was extraordinarily difficult to work with, as she was flighty and controlling at the same time. She couldn’t take orders or follow them, and yet couldn’t lead at the same time. All in all, she thoroughly disabused me of the notion of trying to “train” her to be wife material. [Edit: Not only did I not want to “train” her, I knew that I couldn’t.]

As Tempest alluded to before, I didn’t [Edit: and don’t] want to put up with someone like her. There were simply too many barriers in my ways to make it worthwhile. “Training” her was a long-term project that I rationally concluded was a bad bet- I had no assurance of success, while at the same time I was assured of a high cost. A woman has to want to change, and be willing to change, in order for a man, or me at least, to consider “training” her to be wife material. That young woman showed neither inclination. In short, she didn’t make it worth the investment.


Filed under Femininity, Feminism, Fitness Test, Marriage, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Women

Random Musings- #1

This brief post is a short collection of some random thoughts that I’ve had lately. Reader input is encouraged.


One thing that I have noticed in myself is a tendency to favor “balance” in certain situations.  One of the more common ones is when I am writing something critical of women- I instinctively think of something to include which is critical of men in order to balance it out. Having noticed this tendency, I am doing my best to quash it, but it has proven remarkably difficult to suppress. Still, the fact that I know its a problem is probably the biggest step in its correction, because most men don’t even realize that they have this problem.

This leads to an interesting point- are most Churchian leaders aware of this particular flaw? I believe it qualifies as a flaw because it often serves to detract or undermine any point they are making. Such leaders are quite prone to this; they will criticize men whenever they criticize women, and they will praise women whenever they praise men. My belief is that some of them know full well what they are doing- they are protecting their interests by not angering the most vocal and involved members of their “flock.” Others, however, I think are so deluded and conditioned that they don’t realize what they are doing. Whether it is a desire to be fair or non-judgmental or whatever, they have made it a habit to seek “balance” whenever women are concerned.

Anyone else have this tendency?

[This segment was motivated by this post by Cail Corishev.]

Being a King

For some time I have been trying to perfect the following phrase:

I will treat you like a Queen… so long as you recognize that I am your King.

It is a pet project of mine- a ready-made quip when dealing with a woman I’m investigating for marriage potential who shows signs of being a “princess.”  The idea being that I would ask her if she would expect to be treated like a queen when we marry. If she says yes, I would mention this. It could also apply if her parents said something similar as well.

So far it doesn’t seem quite perfect, but I haven’t been able to tweak it to that Goldilocks level of “just right.” Perhaps some of my readers would feel like adding their thoughts.

Removing the Mask

Rollo’s most recent post, Controlling Interests, got me thinking about two different things. The first is how brazen many women now are when it comes to living their lives they way they want to. And the second is how a fight is likely brewing between the female “haves” and “have-nots”.

The basic strategy which many (most?) women employ right now, which is regularly known as AF/BB (see Rollo’s post for more), is one that requires two distinct elements to pull off: deceit and desperation. Many, if not most, men would not be content to marry a woman whom they realize is choosing to marry them solely as a meal ticket, and effectively a sperm donor as well. It should surprise no one that men don’t like to be used in that way, and will balk at it if they realize that is what is happening. Hence the importance of hiding what is going on from them.

On the other hand, this repulsion at being used is mitigated/countered by a sense of desperation in many men in the West. Owing to the nature of the SMP, they have limited options when it comes to female companionship. Naturally, this makes them desperate, and they are willing to take on women they wouldn’t otherwise if it gets them at least some measure of opportunity with them.

What seems to be happening is that many women are now certain that male desperation in the future will be greater than any sense of male self-respect, and so they can do whatever they want and not have to hide it. Part of me wonders if women see the ability to be open about their intentions/strategy as a status symbol- a woman who can act that way is a woman of value, and therefore a woman to be envied. The problem with this strategy, though, is that it relies on male desperation not having any limits. I suspect this to be a grave mistake. This is because the average quality of women in the West has been dropping fast, perhaps even faster than male desperation has been rising. If that is the case, we will soon reach a point where most men will simply not accept the (Western) women who are available, no matter how desperate they might have become.

All of this plays into part of this subject- the looming fight between women. Women at the margins of “value” will start to feel the pinch first. The “where have all the good men gone?” articles out there seem to indicate that this has already begun. It will only increase in tempo over time as more and more women drop below the acceptable rate for most men. Combine this with many men being burned or realizing what a danger most Western women are, and you get a huge disparity in outcome between the female “haves” and “have-nots”.

What I am uncertain of, and curious about, is what shape this fight will take. Women are already starting to question the dominant paradigm in numerous ways, one example being the delaying of childbirth. Perhaps a similar reaction will take place, where women attack their brazen sisters from the margins, discouraging them from “painting women in a bad light”, or some such. Or they could always latch onto the tried-and-true method of “fixing” the problem by attacking men as insecure pigs.

So, what do my readers think of this matter? Will women “price themselves out of the market” faster than male desperation can compensate for? And how will women on the margins react to more and more men becoming aware of the con that is being pulled on them?



Filed under Courtship, Feminism, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #29

I was busier than normal this past week, and so had less time to attend to reading Scripture than I would have liked. Only two passages for this, neither of them lengthy. The first is from the Book of Sirach:

14 He who fears the Lord will accept his discipline,
    and those who rise early to seek him will find favor.
15 He who seeks the law will be filled with it,
    but the hypocrite will stumble at it.
16 Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments,
    and like a light they will kindle righteous deeds.
17 A sinful man will shun reproof,
    and will find a decision according to his liking.

18 A man of judgment will not overlook an idea,
    and an insolent and proud man will not cower in fear.
19 Do nothing without deliberation;
    and when you have acted, do not regret it.

(Sirach 32:14-19)

There are several gems of wisdom here that I found important. While straightforward, the first verse is difficult to accept. None of us likes to be disciplined (at least, I don’t- I suppose others could). Indeed, we often go to great lengths to avoid punishment. I suspect that the acceptance of discipline, of both acknowledging wrong and acquiescing to measures meant to correct it, is necessary to keep the faith. Without that acceptance, we will never really understand that actions have consequences, an understanding without which we can never appreciate the sacrifice of the Cross.

Verse 17 also spoke to me. In fact, it reminded me of those who “Church Shop.” If they are in a church that doesn’t suit their fancy because it happens to tell them that their ways, then they will go elsewhere. Eventually they will find a “church” which gives them a decisions to their liking.

The last verse is especially important- vacillation is a sign of weakness and is something we must earnestly avoid. Once we have made our choice, we need to stick with it. This ties in perfectly with the second passage today, which is from a book I haven’t covered before, Revelations:

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

(Revelations 3:15-16)

As Christians, we cannot be lukewarm. We cannot stand on the sidelines in this world. Neutrality is not an option as a Christian, we must choose to act, and to act decisively. Sometimes that can be pretty difficult, as it isn’t always clear what the right option is. Sometimes it seems like we don’t have a choice. But we do- they may be unpleasant choices, but they are there for us to make. And verse 16 from Sirach above reminds us that those who truly fear the Lord will make righteous judgments- we will be able to tell light from darkness if we give ourselves completely over to God.

As an aside… NO Masses do not have to be awful. I have been to some that were actually quite lovely. But good grief, the bad ones are downright appalling. Even the worst Latin Mass I’ve attended was better than that travesty. The Latin might have been bad, but at least it wasn’t being screeched at you from the “choir.”



Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Saturday Saints- #21

Today’s Saint is one who suffered greatly for his piety and his firm adherence to the faith, Theodore the Studite:

Theodore the Studite (also known as Theodorus Studita, St. Theodore of Stoudios, and St. Theodore of Studium; 759–826) was a Byzantine Greek monk and abbot of the Stoudios monastery in Constantinople. Theodore’s letter, containing suggested monastery reform rules, is the first recorded stand against slavery. He played a major role in the revivals both of Byzantine monasticism and of classical literary genres in Byzantium. He is known as a zealous opponent of iconoclasm, one of several conflicts that set him at odds with both emperor and patriarch.

(The full wiki article on him can be found here)

I first found out about Saint Theodore when I was looking at his contemporary Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople. What impressed me about Saint Theodore, and soured me to Tarasios, was the Moechian controversy and how each man responded to it. For those unfamiliar to that bit of history (like I was), here is what happened: The Eastern Emperor, Constantine VI, decided to divorce his wife (and send her off to a convent) and marry his mistress, who happened to be his wife’s lady-in-waiting. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Tarasios, didn’t speak up against this adulterous union. Theodore, on the other hand, did. Theodore demanded the excommunication of the priest who officiated the “wedding”, along with those who received communion from him (which would have included the emperor). After declining an offer from Constantine to make peace (which didn’t include Constantine repenting of his sin), Theodore was seized by imperial troops, flogged and banished.

Reading about that time made me realize how much we need spiritual leaders like Theodore in the Church right now. For Catholics, someone of that stature is needed to decry the abuse of annulments, which have basically become divorces in the Catholic Church. And Protestants could surely use someone willing to call out abuses of their own standards of marriage and divorce. Here is a question that I think we all should ask: how many Christian leaders do you know in the West who would be willing to face torture and banishment for speaking out against the rampant adultery and desecration of marriage that occurs daily?

The number, whatever it is, is not enough.

Saint Theodore the Studite


Filed under Saturday Saints

Drowned, Not Submerged, By The Law

To all of those who still think that Family Law in America has any traces of justice left in it, read this. Read the whole thing.

As far as I can gleam from the article, the father in question has defied no court orders. Nor did he fail to meet some prearranged deadline or statutory requirement. He merely didn’t do something the judge feels would have been convenient. And that is enough for him to potentially (probably?) lose his daughter.

As for the judge, she ought to keep in mind the words of the prophet Isaiah:

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
    and the writers who keep writing oppression

(Isaiah 10:1)



Filed under Red Pill, Sin

The Differences Between “Classical” and “Traditional” Christian Marriage

Prompted by my post What We Mean By Marriage, several of my readers have asked what the differences were/are between “Classical” and “Traditional” marriage. This post aims to help my readers understand the differences between the two. I should mention, before I go any further, that the terms “Classical” and “Traditional” Christian marriage are my own. They are not drawn from any other source, merely the names I have assigned to the respective notions of marriage as I understand them. So it is doubtful that they will match up with anything you have seen elsewhere in the ‘sphere or on the ‘net.

To begin with I am going to recap the main features of both “versions” of marriage. Keep in mind that these are the religious definitions/understandings of marriage, not the way that the State understood marriage. Lets start with “Classical” Christian marriage:

  • A holy union between a man and a woman which is joined together by God, bound by him and their oaths
  • The purpose of marriage is to serve God, avoid sexual immorality and to raise Godly Children
  • A clear hierarchy in the marriage structure: husband->wife->children
  • Binding for Life- the marriage lasted until one party died, with only rare exceptions
  • Spouses may not deny each other their conjugal rights
  • Contraception was a defilement of the marriage bed
  • Clearly defined roles for husband and wife- both worked, although often in different capacities

Now we move on to “Traditional” Christian marriage:

  • A holy union between a man and a woman which is joined together by God, bound by their oaths to each other
  • The purpose of marriage is to raise Godly children, as well as to civilize men and allow women to achieve their dreams of motherhood
  • Recognition of the marital hierarchy, but often accompanied by exemptions and caveats
  • Binding for Life- marriage is still supposed to be for life, but there are more “outs” available now
  • Spouses are not supposed to deny each other their conjugal rights, but there are exceptions/exemptions
  • Contraception is generally a bad thing, but sometimes may be necessary
  • Clearly defined roles for husband and wife- the husband works and provides, and the wife raises the children and keeps the home.

Before I talk about the differences, lets cover what they have in common. The first bullet point, while worded differently, is essentially the same between them. Both have the understanding that marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman that is joined together by God, and bound by their vows. Both also generally hold to the same idea that marriage is binding for life. Traditional marriage has more “outs” available- as divorce generally wasn’t available at all under Classical marriage. But otherwise they both had the same concept of marriage being for life.

Both have fairly similar views when it comes to denial of conjugal rights and contraception. Traditional marriage tends to be more “forgiving” of contraception, or at least attempts to try and limit the number of children (through whatever means were available). As for conjugal rights, again, they were not supposed to be denied. Perhaps the biggest change is that such matters were considered inappropriate topics of debate/conversation. As such, they were mostly swept under the rug.

This brings us to the differences. There are three areas where they diverge: the purpose of marriage, the nature of the marital hierarchy, and the roles of husband and wife. I will cover them in order.


Here is a restatement of both of their views on the purpose of marriage:

  • Classical Marriage: to serve God, avoid sexual immorality and to raise Godly Children
  • Traditional Marriage: to raise Godly children, as well as to civilize men and allow women to achieve their dreams of motherhood

They both mention raising Godly children, as that component of marriage didn’t really change between the two iterations. So it will be skipped over for now.

As you can see, Traditional marriage doesn’t mention serving God and avoiding sexual immorality. I didn’t include them principally because those two components of classical marriage had dwindled in importance by the time traditional marriage showed up. It isn’t so much that they aren’t present, but rather that they were considered less important than the new components found in traditional marriage. Serving God, which I think under classical marriage was much more overt, is under traditional marriage more of an implied thing. Everyone sort of assumes it, but it doesn’t have the prominence it did before. Also, controlling sexuality and avoiding sexual immorality has receded as well. Sometimes it is mentioned and discussed, but more often than not it is skipped over. This is in part because discussions of sexuality tend to be considered “inappropriate” in many circumstances, and just aren’t talked about. And when sex is talked about, it is almost always in the context of lust and sinfulness, and not so much about how sexuality is a good thing in marriage. Actually, as I think on it, I might want to re-word classical marriage’s wording from “avoid sexual immorality” to something more positive, such as “provide a healthy, ordered and moral outlet for human sexuality.”

This brings us to the new components of traditional marriage, “civilizing men” and “allowing women to achieve their dreams of motherhood.” Both of these components are ones that I believe are “baked in” to the common understanding of what “traditional” marriage is. By that I mean that people just instinctively believe them to be true. They may not be “official” teaching, but they might as well be.

When it comes to men, marriage is perceived to “civilize” them, mostly by forcing them “to be responsible” by starting a family and supporting it. While it is true that marriage imposes a considerable amount of responsibility on men, the notion that it civilizes them is absurd and has no basis in Scripture (or Catholic/Orthodox Tradition). In my view this component acts in many ways to infantilize men (or at least portrays them that way), because it impliedly argues that a man needs a woman in his life in order to keep him in line, i.e., civilized. It is inherently misandristic [by the way, what does it say about the world when WordPress recognizes Melisandra as a word, but not misandry?]. I would in fact argue that this component of traditional marriage is one of the first manifestations of feminism within Christianity [feminism being far older in origin than many suspect, but that is a topic for a later post].

Now to women. It seems to me that in “traditional” marriage there is a belief that women are entitled to marry so that they can have children- basically that marriage allows them to fulfill their “higher calling” as mothers. What concerns me about this perspective is the implication that women are “owed” marriage and “owed” children, when in fact marriage is a calling from God (what we Catholics call a Vocation), and children are a blessing from God (not something we are owed). Again, it seems to have this vibe of “female primacy” within it that looks an awful like the Feminine Imperative at work.

Summed up, and put crudely, traditional marriage contains the implicit understanding that marriage makes men less bad and women more good.


The marital hierarchy in classical and traditional marriage is very similar, at least on paper. Both recognize wifely submission and headship by the husband. One minor difference is that traditional marriage is less likely to recognize that God is the true head of the marriage, such that you get God -> Husband -> Wife -> Children in order of authority (something I should have included in my description of classical marriage).

What I think is the real difference here is the belief that the husband should not be involved in some spheres of influence or authority. This is heavily influenced by the understanding of the roles of husband and wife in traditional marriage, which I will talk about in greater depth in the next section. Under traditional marriage the basic idea is that since women (wives in this specific instance) are better at certain things than men are, they should be given free reign to carry out those activities. In other words, while men are still technically the “head” of the marriage, they have limited to no authority over certainly “wifely duties.” Child-rearing is the most obvious example of this- wives need to be the ones to primarily raise children, especially young ones, because they are so much better at it and husband just need to accept that this isn’t something they can question. There are other fields within the marriage that are treated the same way. Essentially, the authority of the husband is curtailed “for the good of everyone” in certain areas, because the wife is better suited to handle them.

This is a usurpation of the authority of the husband, all dressed up in language that makes it seem like it is beneficial for the marriage. Given this early chink in the armor of submission, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that “mutual submission” worked its way into the mainstream of Christian thought.


Lastly, we come to the roles of husband and wife within marriage. Here is what I wrote before:

  • Classical Marriage: Clearly defined roles for husband and wife- both worked, although often in different capacities
  • Traditional Marriage: Clearly defined roles for husband and wife- the husband works and provides, and the wife raises the children and keeps the home.

The real change between the classical and traditional marriage understanding of the role of the spouses in the household is found in the role of the wife. Under both the role of the husband is essentially the same, as the husband protected the family and worked to provide for it.  On the other hand the perceived role of the wife made a dramatic, although difficult to notice, shift during the transition between the two.

The home was/is the primary locus of the wife’s activity under both classical and traditional marriage. Yet what they did, what they were supposed to do, and what they were expected to do is not the same. The best way that I can explain it is that under classical marriage there were/are “Work at Home Moms”, while under traditional marriage there were/are “Stay at Home Moms.” Under classical Christian marriages wives were expected to be economically productive, just as men were. Proverbs 31 is an excellent example of this, for it lauds a wife who brings profit to her household. Anna, the wife of Tobit in the Book of Tobit, did “women’s work” to provide for her family .They might not be expected to, or capable of, providing for a household like the husband (and in fact couldn’t/can’t for some pretty obvious reasons), but wives/mothers still provided for the family. Of course, they still reared children and maintained the home, but that was all part of their general duties towards the household. However, under traditional Christian marriage the wife is often not seen as being required to economically support the family any longer. She fulfills her duties merely by raising the children and “keeping” the home. I suspect that upper-middle class and upper class attitudes were in large part responsible for this. Because of their relative affluence, wives no longer had to work to support the family, and keeping them at home became a status symbol.


Over time this altered the perception of what women were required to do in marriage. My suspicion is that early forms of feminism encouraged this change in perception, as it effectively reduced the burden on women and put more of it on men. It represented another shift in how a Christian marriage was supposed to be.

Again, these distinctions between “classical” and “traditional” Christian marriage are mostly in how people understand marriage, not in how those “versions” look when applied. It is based on perceptions and assumptions of everything that Christian marriage entails. There are many reasons why a wife might not be able to economically support the family in some way, but that is different from her believing that she doesn’t have to support (or bring benefit to) the family if it was viable for her to do so.

That brings this post to its conclusion. I hope that I answered most of the questions about the differences between  “classical” and “traditional” Christian marriage that my readers had. If not, ask away in the comments, and I will try and answer as best as I may.


Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Feminism, God, Marriage, Men, The Church, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #28

Today is Father’s Day in the United States, and so in honor of that I decided to focus on this passage from the Book of Sirach:

Listen to me your father, O children;
    and act accordingly, that you may be kept in safety.
For the Lord honored the father above the children,
    and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
    and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children,
    and when he prays he will be heard.
Whoever glorifies his father will have long life,
    and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother;
    he will serve his parents as his masters.
Honor your father by word and deed,
    that a blessing from him may come upon you.
For a father’s blessing strengthens the houses of the children,
    but a mother’s curse uproots their foundations.

10 Do not glorify yourself by dishonoring your father,
    for your father’s dishonor is no glory to you.
11 For a man’s glory comes from honoring his father,
    and it is a disgrace for children not to respect their mother.
12 O son, help your father in his old age,
    and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
13 even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance;
    in all your strength do not despise him.
14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
    and against your sins it will be credited to you;
15 in the day of your affliction it will be remembered in your favor;
    as frost in fair weather, your sins will melt away.
16 Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer,
    and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord.

(Sirach 3:1-16)

Saint Paul builds upon this in his Letter to the Ephesians:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”

(Ephesians 6:1-3)

There really isn’t much room for commentary here. Scripture is clear that we are to honor our parents, and although the holiday is a secular one (that largely exists to sell cards), that doesn’t mean we cannot use it a reminder to honor our fathers. This is so whether they live or not- for even if they have gone to sleep we still can honor their memory through our lives, as how we live reflects on them.

[Incidentally, I think that they handled this well at Mass. Father’s Day wasn’t mentioned until the end, and when it was, it was treated both respectfully and briefly. Just the way it should be.]


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Saturday Saints- #20

We have now come to the letter S for our saints, and so today’s saint is Saint Sabbas the Sanctified:

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (439–532), a Cappadocian-Greek monk, priest and saint, lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint’s name is derived from Aramaic סַבָּא (sabba’) meaning “old man”.

When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of Bishop Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, and from there to the monastery of Saint Euthymius the Great. But Euthymius sent Sabbas to Abba Theoctistus, the head of a nearby monastery with a strict cenobitic rule. Sabbas lived in obedience at this monastery until the age of thirty.

…Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed him archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palaestina Prima in 494. Sabbas composed the first monastic rule of church services, the so-called Jerusalem Typikon, for guidance of all the Byzantine monasteries. He died in the year 532. His feast day is on December 5.

For those interested in learning more about Saint Sabbas, the full wiki contains more about his life. While a life as a monk is not something I am called to as a vocation, I have a lot of respect for those who pursue it. The dedication and discipline involved are incredible, and I admire the fullness of faith and commitment to God that someone like Sabbas exerted throughout his long, pious life.

St. Sabbas

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