Reality Versus Reason

[This released sooner than I intended. I hadn’t quite finished editing, so it might still have typos that need fixing, and I might change a few things around yet.]

I.

One of the topics that comes up not infrequently in these parts is how messed up most people’s expectations of marriage are. This seems to be the case whether it is a man or a woman being talked about, although the nature of how the expectation is in error might differ between them. What I want to do with this post is explore how those expectations might be “off”, or whether they are really “off” to begin with. Hopefully this post will serve to bring a little clarity to the matter.

II.

To begin with, I want to quote from a comment that Elspeth left at my blog a few days back:

Most people (men and women) have unrealistic expectations, about themselves, about what they are worth, about what they should be able to have. And those who know they can’t have what they want will go without. Especially men. I’ve heard a couple of young men actually say that.

What I want to focus on with this comment is not its substance, at least, not yet. Rather, I want to focus on two words.

The first word I want to discuss: unrealistic.  Elspeth is not the only one to have used this word when describing marriage expectations. Many commenters and bloggers, male and female alike, have used that word. The problem is that I think it isn’t always used the same way by everyone. I believe that in many instance when people talk about unrealistic expectations, they are adding another word in by implication: unreasonable. What I think is really being claimed is that people have unrealistic and unreasonable expectations. Not all, perhaps, but I suspect it is the case with most. However, I believe it is a mistake to conflate unreasonable and unrealistic together in this manner. They are close in meaning, but not quite the same. To understand why, lets examine what each word means in this context.

Unrealistic would mean that it doesn’t match up to what is likely or possible in the circumstances. Unrealistic expectations, for example, are those expectations which are not founded in reality and will not match up with what comes to pass.

Unreasonable, on the other hand, means that it isn’t appropriate  in the circumstances. Unreasonable expectations, for example are expectations which a reasonable person wouldn’t have in those circumstances- he or she would understand that they are simply not appropriate. The why of the appropriateness is another inquiry.

Now, on the face of it, both are pretty similar, and in most circumstances will be effectively indistinguishable. But with a little more digging the problem surfaces.

Let us now move to the second word: expectations. I think in most instances it is used in accord with the dictionary definition. This is how I believe Elspeth uses it. But sometimes people, in the context of marriage and potential spouses, use it when another word, such as requirement, would be more appropriate. In the marriage context, it could be expressed as “I expect any potential spouse of mine to have [criteria X],” which is just another way of of saying “I require that any potential spouse of mine to meet [criteria X].” When people refer to expectations in this sense and mean requirements, things can start to get muddy. The reason why is because while unrealistic expectations and unreasonable expectations are fairly similar most of the time, if not the same, the same cannot be said of unrealistic requirements and unreasonable requirements. This is because unrealistic requirements are not necessarily unreasonable requirements when it comes to a potential spouse.

In the present environment, many reasonable requirements which someone can have for a potential spouse might be simply unrealistic. Whether it be on matters of chastity, adherence to biblical roles or something else, your requirement might be quite reasonable to have… but there might not be any candidates available who meet that criteria.

It should also be noted that what is reasonable is context specific. It will vary, somewhat, from one person to the next. One’s station in life will matter. But it should be possible for those evaluating someone in that station to agree upon what is reasonable or not, and whether he or she is setting up requirements which match this.

III.

There are a few points I want to make with what I’ve explained so far.

The first is that it behooves us to be as clear and precise as possible when using some of these terms. The substance of our arguments or any points we make can shift dramatically depending on whether we are using a word one way or the other. I started a post containing definitions of words and phrases that I use outside the norm because I want to avoid confusing people. As someone who is rather slapdash with his words, I realize that I am in no position to preach to anyone here, but I do think that it valuable to the overall discussion if we are careful in our word choice.

Second, I want to defend those with reasonable but perhaps unrealistic requirements. I think that everyone, man and woman alike, has the right to set a certain baseline level of what they should be able to require (or expect) from a potential spouse. This is especially the case among Christians, and that context will guide the rest of this. In fact, I would go so far as to say there is a duty to have a certain baseline standard in a spouse, if only for the sake of any children of the marriage. After all, they deserve the best possible mother/father.

Here are some, in my view, reasonable requirements that Christians can have about a potential spouse. It is reasonable for a chaste Christian man to require any potential wife to be chaste (and always have been). It is reasonable for him to require that any potential wife conform to Traditional/Scriptural Christian teaching on the role of husband and wife.  A Christian woman with a clean record can reasonably require that any potential husband not have a criminal record. It is reasonable to require that he be a hard worker and willing to provide for his family. And so on and so forth.

Now, in some circumstances it might not be realistic for a man to require chastity of a potential spouse, because most of the candidates simply won’t be able to meet that requirement. The same might apply to a woman. But that doesn’t change the reasonableness of that requirement. It is the nature of the thing required, and your life history and present station in life, which determines what is reasonable to require of a potential spouse. Keep in mind also that what is reasonable for women might not be reasonable for men, and vice versa.

Of course, the corollary to all of this is that I don’t, and won’t, defend those with unreasonable expectations/requirements. The different posts that I have written which have taken apart various “lists” have been attacks on unreasonable requirements in a future spouse. It is when people  have unreasonable and unrealistic requirements that real problems develop.

Much of the reason why I want to defend reasonable requirements, whether or not they are realistic, is because for a long time many Christians, especially men, had unreasonable requirements. Yet at the same time those requirements were also realistic. Lest you think me crazy or contradicting myself, let me explain. They were unreasonable because they were too accommodating– they accepted spouses whom they should have rejected. There are two potential “fields” of unreasonableness- holding too high a standard, which for the circumstances is folly, and holding too low a standard, which is also folly. And for a long time here in the West too low of a standard was accepted, especially by men. Without any need to meet reasonable requirements, many Christians had no incentive to act reasonably. So they ended up acting unreasonably, and wouldn’t have met the standards of anyone with reasonable requirements/expectations. The end result has been a slow and steady decline in the Church.

Alas, I’m not sure that if Christians start to have reasonable requirements it will turn things around. Incentives do matter, but things have gone so far astray that such steps might not be enough any longer. When many “Christians” act like this, you can get a real feel for the depth of the rot. But it would be nice if it could make a difference. Although the cost will be high, because reasonable standards and requirements will also be unrealistic requirements for many. It would mean that a large number of Christians will not be able to marry in the current environment. That is a lot to ask of many, I know. But ultimately I think it is for everyone’s benefit. Especially since many an observer has remarked that no marriage is far better than a bad marriage. And it isn’t like I’m asking (or suggesting) anyone to do something I wouldn’t- because I’ve made that choice for myself, for better and for worse.

IV.

In summary, there is a difference between unreasonable and unrealistic requirements. The latter is, in my view, defensible if paired with reasonable requirements, but the former is not.

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95 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Courtship, Marriage, Red Pill, The Church

95 responses to “Reality Versus Reason

  1. Mrs. C

    “They are anxious and afraid. Most never grew up even seeing a proper biblical family relationship. Instead, all they ever saw was conflict and rebellion. They saw mothers and wives who disrespected and rebelled against husbands and fathers- often to the point of divorce. They don’t know how to discuss or approach the topic in a healthy manner, because no one ever taught them how. Having seen what the costs of too much compliance with female whims can lead to, many (most?) will often turn too far in the other direction.”

    I understand. I even, at one point, was going to mention something about losing or guarding their heart so much, that they go too far the other way and hurt themselves in the process by maybe weeding out too many potential candidates by misinterpreting something she might say as too feminist when she really just doesn’t define things the same because of male/female difference. Her heart might really be in the right place. I decided against it because it would probably be better received if something like that is said man to man.

    It does make it hard to even discuss these thing or maybe they don’t want women butting in at all.

  2. Pingback: Questions and topics to learn about your prospective spouse | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  3. Mrs. C

    @DS
    “However, I don’t broach such a topic like that. Usually I will start with my role as a husband before even asking about the wife: “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the husband in marriage?” and then follow it up after a discussion with “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the wife in marriage?”

    I actually don’t disagree with you here and wholeheartedly support it when you put it this way. I didn’t mean it can’t be discussed as a general topic and you can learn a lot from that. I had more pictured in my mind a guy sitting down with a girl on a third date and outlining what he would expect from her specifically. Coming at it from a “I would expect this from you” type of discussion rather than a general “Here’s what I think about a husband’s role in marriage, what is yours of the wife’s role?

    In the first instance, it would set off alarm bells in the girl that this guy is a control freak and a potential tyrant in marriage because he is discussing something that is beyond what the relationship is at the moment.

    This is just another instance of male/female thinking. You were thinking more in general and I was thinking more personal.

  4. Mrs. C

    @mdavid “Mrs. C said Women don’t mind submission so much when we can respect the goals and vision he has. That is why I think when you are dating/courting, submission talk should come much later in the relationship.

    you said – I generally agree with most of what you’ve written here Mrs. C, but violently disagree with this one (if it matters, I’m happily married)

    I have clarified further what I meant about delaying submission talk until later in my reply to Deep Strength. I think, but I’m not sure, if this will address your violent disagreement.

    I said -Finding out how closely you are aligned in mission in heart and mind is the important thing because that is the goal.

    you said -And what happens when, after 20 years, somebody changes? Because that will often happen.

    Well, if the wife decides she isn’t on board anymore with the original mission, then assuming she’s still a Christan, and after stating her reasons why to her husband and he decides they are staying on course as originally planned, then she must follow, like it or not. Having unity of mind and heart doesn’t throw submission out the window. The more unity the less there will have to be specific acts of submission but as soon as the unity is breached, the submission still stands.

    If the wife decides she doesn’t want the whole kit and kaboodle including submission, then she is in a state of grave sin as us Catholics would call it.

    On the other hand, if the husband changes the mission because he thinks another direction will be better for the family, the wife is obligated to go along with it. If she’s in agreement, then the goal of submission is met and they are united. If she’s not, then she will be obligated to submit. If one of the changes the husband decides is, for instance, he isn’t buying Christianity anymore and wants to stop the family from going to church, then it’s the wife’s obligation to get the kids ready to go on Sunday morning and go. No submission required.

    In the beginning, before marriage, the man must establish that’s she’s on board with him as the leader.

    you said – For the family to remain a unit, it must have a leader. Unity must be more important than personal desires, and thus there most be a leader who speaks with authority.

    I agree.

    I said – Willingness to submit is a good thing to look out for but it’s not the ultimate prize. The ultimate prize is that intimacy of heart and mind.

    you said -Again, disagree. This ultimate prize of unity of heart and mind can only happen if obedience is a given. The tough times define our love. They define our marriage and family.

    Well, yes, certainly your wife’s love is most on display when she lovingly obeys when she disagrees so in that sense it’s the ultimate proof of her love, I would say, and you would cherish this proof.

    When I say the ultimate prize is unity of heart and mind, it’s true that at that point, there would be no overt act of submission because there is agreement. However, included in that agreement would be the understanding that when the tough times hit, obedience would show true love. To have that, is the best that we can achieve on our own. But since we wouldn’t intentionally create tough times, it’s not something that we can work toward. That is why when they happen, we can see this obedience out of love on display and truly know that the unity is real. Obedience is a gift. It’s not something you can force to be seen just for the sake of receiving it. This is why I wouldn’t really call it a prize. We can’t win it by our efforts. It’s really more a gift we receive

  5. @Deep Strength

    ‘Usually I will start with my role as a husband before even asking about the wife: “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the husband in marriage?” and then follow it up after a discussion with “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the wife in marriage?”’

    These were the exact questions I asked my dating agency to include when they found a match. This is so that it provokes some response (or even thoughts) from my match even before I accept her profile. I’ll examine her response and then decide if I want to meet her. However, the dating agency told me that this was onerous. The consultant told me that being a woman herself, these questions were basically “killjoys”.

    Also, only a couple of women quoted or referenced Scripture verses in response. But I surmise that Google can be a great help sometimes (I’m just being cynical).

    In essence, this filters out women who are more worried about The Wall than preparing herself for marriage (or even thought about her role in a family). By answering those questions, it means that she had some investment (time and effort) already in this and won’t be just looking out to derive fun and a cup of coffee (& cakes) from her date.

  6. mdavid

    Mrs. C, I think we mostly agree. My apologies.

    It’s not something you can force to be seen just for the sake of receiving it. This is why I wouldn’t really call it a prize. We can’t win it by our efforts.

    Slippery here. We can merit it. True love is suffering, as per the Cross. (In a more modern twist, the movie Jerry Maguire did a good job of showing this). And it’s why so many people find the Cross so offensive and only want the Risen Christ; love hurts and nobody wants to believe it. Another movie that shows how true leadership is long-suffering is U-571. Submission? Hell, that’s the easy part.

  7. Novaseeker

    Based on what I wrote above that is why all this intense focus on submission as the goal could turn off even a highly eligible woman who would normally be very in line with what you are seeking. Women don’t mind submission so much when we can respect the goals and vision he has. That is why I think when you are dating/courting, submission talk should come much later in the relationship. Finding out how closely you are aligned in mission in heart and mind is the important thing because that is the goal. Willingness to submit is a good thing to look out for but it’s not the ultimate prize. The ultimate prize is that intimacy of heart and mind.

    I agree completely that this makes everything easier, but finding someone with whom you agree on most things isn’t submission. It’s finding someone who is agreeable, mostly. Submission comes into play when there are disagreements. It’s the tie-breaker. That’s the context in which it takes place in relationships where both are on the same page for 95%.

    My own relationship is much as you describe. We are on the same page about 95% of the time. The other 5% are not much of an issue, because we discuss them and she solicits my POV in that discussion, and then follows it. It isn’t imposed. It is solicited and then followed. That is submission. The 95% where we are aligned isn’t submission, but rather a nice coupling.

  8. @Mrs C

    “…they go too far the other way and hurt themselves in the process by maybe weeding out too many potential candidates by misinterpreting something she might say as too feminist when she really just doesn’t define things the same because of male/female difference.”

    I’d rather weed out a potential candidate by mistake than to be joined to her in a covenant (and swearing before God) for life. That is why, to minimise the misinterpretation, I observe her behaviour, her words and her gestures when I am with her. These little things matter because they may be more genuine than most of her declarations. And the old manosphere adage doesn’t go too wrong — watch what she does and not what she says.

    “… something beyond what the relationship is at the moment.”

    The relationship at the moment is to find out whether or not we are ready for each other in a marriage. It is as productive to talk about our perceptions of a family and how we fit into our roles as our favourite food, movies, colour and hobbies.

    “Obedience is a gift.”

    Obedience from a wife is her expressed committment in a Biblical marriage. Our obedience to Christ (and God) as a disciple (and Church) is not a gift. We’d like to think that it’s a gift, but it really isn’t.

  9. Mrs. C

    @mdavid
    I said – It’s not something you can force to be seen just for the sake of receiving it. This is why I wouldn’t really call it a prize. We can’t win it by our efforts.

    You said – Slippery here. We can merit it. True love is suffering, as per the Cross. (In a more modern twist, the movie Jerry Maguire did a good job of showing this). And it’s why so many people find the Cross so offensive and only want the Risen Christ; love hurts and nobody wants to believe it.

    That is a beautiful point you are making. When the husband, the leader, has an honorable mission in mind for the marriage and household, and holds himself to that higher standard, the ready submission of his wife (in those instances it’s necessary) is one way for her to honor his integrity. In that sense, yes, obedience is merited. My point was only that you can’t intentionally create a condition in which to see obedience towards yourself, so you can receive it. In that sense, there’s no effort or anything we can do on our part to win it. But to merit it… that is most honorable.

  10. Mrs. C

    @novaseeker

    you said – “We are on the same page about 95% of the time. The other 5% are not much of an issue, because we discuss them and she solicits my POV in that discussion, and then follows it. It isn’t imposed. It is solicited and then followed. That is submission. The 95% where we are aligned isn’t submission, but rather a nice coupling.”

    I believe Donal and I addressed this point in the comments of 9:37 and 9:49 on Sept 14. We discussed the difference between acts of submission and goal of submission. Men more easily differentiate the two….Women will use the word submission interchangeably with both as we think of things in terms of relationship. Men are better at separating components of the same thing in separate boxes. One point that wasn’t brought up is that from the wife’s POV, although she is in agreement with him on the 95%, it’s still his mission. He has ownership of it in a sense as the leader. She adopts it as her own because she sees the good in it (agreement) and joins him in it, so in her mind this is a type of sub-mission (being under his mission). The submission in her mind comes from the fact that even if she agrees, she doesn’t own the mission. She puts her life’s work towards supporting his mission and since she can’t make a decision to change it (although she can influence it) at any point, there is a subtle act of submission there even in agreement.

  11. Mrs. C

    @choking
    you said -I’d rather weed out a potential candidate by mistake than to be joined to her in a covenant (and swearing before God) for life. That is why, to minimise the misinterpretation, I observe her behaviour, her words and her gestures when I am with her. These little things matter because they may be more genuine than most of her declarations. And the old manosphere adage doesn’t go too wrong — watch what she does and not what she says.

    I see your point about weeding out a potential candidate by mistake but in this day and age with the pickings so slim…..a delicate balance. Yes, about observation, I was going to mention that somewhere up there. That is so important, of course, in addition to finding out what she thinks. Actions speak louder than words. You need to know what she thinks first and then see if there is integrity between what she says and her actions. Likewise for young women looking for a husband.

    I said – “… something beyond what the relationship is at the moment.”

    You said -The relationship at the moment is to find out whether or not we are ready for each other in a marriage. It is as productive to talk about our perceptions of a family and how we fit into our roles as our favourite food, movies, colour and hobbies.

    Oh yes, your point is exactly my point. Getting to know each other is appropriate early on. Discussing the finer points of submission between the two of you intimately while still in the “getting to know this person”, phase is a little too much. If a guy tries to talk too intimately about this too early, it’s a red flag for her. Just as if a girl is talking about marrying him and they’ve only had a handful of dates. The talk progresses from the general to the intimate with time (maybe over the course of a year) rather than just a few weeks in.

    you said – “Obedience from a wife is her expressed committment in a Biblical marriage. Our obedience to Christ (and God) as a disciple (and Church) is not a gift. We’d like to think that it’s a gift, but it really isn’t.”

    You’re right. Obedience shows her commitment to Biblical marriage. Our obedience to Christ is never a gift. It can’t be. He is the creator and we the created. We will never obtain equality with Him so therefore, obedience is owed on this side of heaven. In heaven, we can’t sin because we are perfected so obedience ends but worship and praise will continue because of His fact of being God. The Alpha and Omega. Our marriage is an image of the relationship to Christ and the Church. An image is not a perfect copy. It can teach us something about our relationship to Christ but it won’t be the same as our relationship to Him because it’s imposable to have that same relationship with a creature. In that sense, your wife’s obedience is a gift to you because it is a relationship between equals. Men and women are equal in dignity before God. Your wife’s obedience towards you is something she owes God but it’s something she gives to you as a gift.

  12. Novaseeker

    And what happens when, after 20 years, somebody changes? Because that will often happen. For the family to remain a unit, it must have a leader. Unity must be more important than personal desires, and thus there most be a leader who speaks with authority. Back in the day, any woman who was turned off by submission or divorce talk I dropped like a hot rock; I’d rather be single. Submission talk (with abortion and birth control talk) are excellent litmus tests on how to pick a wife (or husband). It finds the chaff quickly.

    Again, disagree. This ultimate prize of unity of heart and mind can only happen if obedience is a given. The tough times define our love. They define our marriage and family. No obedience, no love, no intimacy. Without it, it’s a time bomb.

    This is what I think as well.

    I agree with Mrs. C in that it is *easier* if you select someone with whom you already have a great deal of “on the same page” in various ways. I doubt any rational person would disagree with that — who wants to marry someone who is continually on a different page about everything from day one? Being united in most things prior to marriage is what most people seek, and it’s a good idea to do so because it makes being married much easier at the beginning.

    But it isn’t submission. You don’t submit to someone because you are on the same page with them — you simply unite with them because you are on the same page. It’s union of commonality, which is great to have, but it isn’t submission.

    More fundamentally, basing submission on being on the same page makes it very rickety, in practice, because you will not always be on the same page. People change. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes in core areas like worldview, life goals, perspectives and so on. At that point the commonality is lost, the basis for that kind of growing in union is dashed, and there instead is growing apart. It happens, and not uncommonly, in long term relationships and marriages. If one’s idea about submission is that it is based on a deep commonality and being on the same page, when the people find themselves on different pages, the whole thing comes crashing down (and this is *precisely* what happens in *many* Christian marriages). The submission in that case is ultimately conditioned on being on the same page, and when you are no longer on the same page, submitting “feels wrong”. This is exactly what happens in numerous marriages.

    I understand that it is *easier* for a women to submit when she is on the same page with a man and feels an intimate union with him. I think we all understand that (I hope). But that’s a flimsy basis for things, because that intimate union and commonality can and in most cases will change over time, which then puts the whole thing in question. That’s why it can’t be the basis or the foundation — the foundation has to be the principle. In other words, it’s great to have that commonality and intimacy initially and I agree that it should be sought out because it makes things go easier at first — but that can’t be the basis for the marital relationship in principle, because that commonality and intimacy can (and in many cases, will) change over the course of time. And when that happens, if the principle itself is not the foundation, then the practice of submission falls down, because the foundation on which it is based (commonality) is no longer present. And that’s exactly what happens in most marriages which end up in divorce.

    Mrs. C, just a brief bio background, since you seem unfamiliar (most of the manosphere knows it already because I have been around the manosphere since around 2008 or so): Orthodox Christian, divorced, not remarried.

  13. Mrs. C

    @choking.

    Ugh…spelling. …..because it’s imposable…..I meant impossible

  14. @ chokingonredpills

    These were the exact questions I asked my dating agency to include when they found a match. This is so that it provokes some response (or even thoughts) from my match even before I accept her profile. I’ll examine her response and then decide if I want to meet her. However, the dating agency told me that this was onerous. The consultant told me that being a woman herself, these questions were basically “killjoys”.

    Also, only a couple of women quoted or referenced Scripture verses in response. But I surmise that Google can be a great help sometimes (I’m just being cynical).

    You chose wisely in this situation if only a few women were quoting Scripture. Though if it’s more informal such as reading profiles it would probably be better to reword it:

    “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the husband in marriage?”
    to
    “Are there any responsibilities of a husband in marriage?”

    It makes it seem like it could be yes or no and leaves it more open ended. Of course, there is a correct answer.

  15. Mrs. C

    @novaseeker

    “More fundamentally, basing submission on being on the same page makes it very rickety, in practice, because you will not always be on the same page. ”

    Honestly, i agree with not just this little part I copied, but everything you said. I don’t think I ever said being on the same page is the foundation of marriage or that submission was based on being on the same page. Being on the same page is the goal but not the foundation. Submission is supposed to be there to hold everything up when you’re not in agreement. Submission as the supporting foundation is included in “being on the same page” in the sense that it’s understood that it’s the default when disagreement occurs. Submission isn’t the goal, it’s where you start and it is foundational. Even when you reach agreement and are on the same page , submission doesn’t go away. It’s always there. It has to be.

    If it’s the goal then you are essentially stunting the relationship and the intimacy that can be achieved through her actually being able to not just follow orders to carry out your mission, but to adopt your mission as her own. As I said, God doesn’t want our relationship with Him to end at obedience. He really wants our will aligned with His so true intimacy can occur.

  16. @ Mrs C

    I see your point about weeding out a potential candidate by mistake but in this day and age with the pickings so slim…..a delicate balance. Yes, about observation, I was going to mention that somewhere up there. That is so important, of course, in addition to finding out what she thinks. Actions speak louder than words. You need to know what she thinks first and then see if there is integrity between what she says and her actions. Likewise for young women looking for a husband.

    I think you misunderstand us (or at least me).

    We’re obviously looking for a wife, but I’m content if I never find one. In fact, I’d rather weed out harshly to serve God in singleness than live in a mediocre marriage. I’m sure many men in the ‘sphere feel the same way after seeing how society dumps on men.

    That’s why I don’t view the “slim pickings” as a problem with relatively harsh filtering. The onus is on the women to prove their worth.

    Oh yes, your point is exactly my point. Getting to know each other is appropriate early on. Discussing the finer points of submission between the two of you intimately while still in the “getting to know this person”, phase is a little too much. If a guy tries to talk too intimately about this too early, it’s a red flag for her. Just as if a girl is talking about marrying him and they’ve only had a handful of dates. The talk progresses from the general to the intimate with time (maybe over the course of a year) rather than just a few weeks in.

    That timetable is too slow, and I think shows a generational gap in understanding social media and the Internet. I usually talk about more intimate and difficult topics within 2 weeks (importance of sex, frequency, gay marriage, abortion, and the like).

    Bear in mind that communication goes on beyond actual physical dates because of e-mail and other social media. When women are interested they will reply to you at least once a day, if not multiple times a day through social media or e-mail. This speeds up getting to know each other significantly.

    Additionally, topics such as headship/submission, love/respect are Scriptural topics. It’s best to start to a theological discussion and then slowly guide it over to a marriage discussion because it flows well in that regard.

    Of course, we’re getting into the territory here of things women usually don’t understand because they don’t need to learn conversational skills and hooks focused on seamlessly transitioning conversations from broad to personal. For them it usually “just happens.”

  17. Mrs. C

    @DS

    you said – We’re obviously looking for a wife, but I’m content if I never find one. In fact, I’d rather weed out harshly to serve God in singleness than live in a mediocre marriage. I’m sure many men in the ‘sphere feel the same way after seeing how society dumps on men.

    A respectable position to have..

    As for the rest of what you said, well, the realm of the intimate doesn’t include, as least for this woman, conversations over social media. Much time needs to be spent in person to observe that what they say has integrity with what they do. (That’s somewhere in one of the convo’s above.)

    Difficult topics are one thing but telling a girl too early how frequently you want her to have sex with you when you are married…well that’s your call. I just know if it was me or if my daughter’s were dating someone and told me they brought this up, I’d tell them to run or proceed with caution. A man might have the best of intentions for his purposes of weeding out the chaff, but as the woman on the other side, there are other things that can be implied by his bringing it up to early. As I said, it’s your call, of course.

    you said – “Of course, we’re getting into the territory here of things women usually don’t understand because they don’t need to learn conversational skills and hooks focused on seamlessly transitioning conversations from broad to personal. For them it usually “just happens.”

    I get you. Of course there is a certain “art of conversation” that women can learn and work on refining but in general, yes, conversation “just happens’ easier for women.

  18. @ Mrs C.

    Difficult topics are one thing but telling a girl too early how frequently you want her to have sex with you when you are married…well that’s your call. I just know if it was me or if my daughter’s were dating someone and told me they brought this up, I’d tell them to run or proceed with caution. A man might have the best of intentions for his purposes of weeding out the chaff, but as the woman on the other side, there are other things that can be implied by his bringing it up to early. As I said, it’s your call, of course.

    Sex is one of the major reason to even enter into marriage in the first place (Genesis 1 & 2, 1 Corinthians 7) and discussing it would make Christian women tell other Christian women to run for the hills. Statements like this make me roll my eyes and show a lack of understanding. There’s a difference between talking about beliefs and compatibility and a man actually pressuring a woman for sex.

    Additionally, men experience intimacy in marriage through sex. How exact is a woman supposed to meet his needs if you don’t know about them or are incompatible with him?

    It’s important for a woman to understand her compatibility as well. As has been discussed before, the much maligned duty sex is not exactly preferred by most women. Some of us have sex drives where we want it once a day at minimum.

    For all of this talk about understanding compatibility and agreeableness in marriage, you seem to have this double standard about it when actual important topics like sex are brought.

    I get you. Of course there is a certain “art of conversation” that women can learn and work on refining but in general, yes, conversation “just happens’ easier for women.

    Nope. What I meant was getting married just happens for women. Men have to approach and initiate. Men are tasked with carrying on the conversations. Men are tasked with making sure he’s not “moving too fast” or “moving too slow.” Men are tasked with moving the relationship forward, leading, being the head, etc.

    In other words: fish don’t understand how the fisherman operates.

  19. deti

    It’s just faschinating to watch this exchange between DS and Mrs. C.

    Mrs. C, sex is a primary reason a man considers marriage. In the US, having children and a family is the only reason marriage is worth the risks, and most children are conceived the old fashioned way. Shouldn’t a man and woman considering marriage talk about his views, wants, needs and desires vis a vis sex? Shouldn’t he find out her views, needs, wants and desires? How are they going to do that in the context of a Christian relationship unless they discuss it? Do you not consider a man’s sexual wants and needs to be important?

  20. deti

    Sex is really the one and only tangible benefit a man gets from marriage. I know that many say children are a benefit. But in terms of the here and now, children are an immense responsibility and burden. They require simply enormous amounts of time and money to care for, raise, clothe, feed, shelter and educate.

  21. chokingonredpills

    @Mrs C

    Thanks.

    “Discussing the finer points of submission between the two of you intimately while still in the “getting to know this person”, phase is a little too much. If a guy tries to talk too intimately about this too early, it’s a red flag for her. Just as if a girl is talking about marrying him and they’ve only had a handful of dates. The talk progresses from the general to the intimate with time (maybe over the course of a year) rather than just a few weeks in.”

    What you’ve described is our current culture… of dating and courtship. The problem is as Christians, we should follow His Word rather than to pander or bend to the culture of our day. More often than not, Christian parents have dropped the ball when it comes to bringing up their daughters in a manner that would prepare her for marriage. This will mean that she knows what headship is about in a family (modelled by her father) and when she marries, this headship is transferred to her husband. There won’t be a need to have conversations about submission when she meets her prospective husband or suitor.

    But our culture is “broken”. The church no longer teaches husbandry to men, let alone parents. Christian parents have pandered to our culture when it comes to bringing up daughters. So that is why I observe carefully before we get to the conversations and in-depth discussions with the girl.

    In short, she needs to not raise my red flag before I get to discuss the finer points of submission with her.

    “In that sense, your wife’s obedience is a gift to you because it is a relationship between equals. Men and women are equal in dignity before God. Your wife’s obedience towards you is something she owes God but it’s something she gives to you as a gift.”

    Husbands and wives are not equals. Referencing Ephesians 5:22-24, God puts the headship of a family on the husband, not the wife. A wife’s submission is mandatory; it’s not about whether or not she wants to or feels like she wants to.

  22. chokingonredpills

    @Deep Strength

    “You chose wisely in this situation if only a few women were quoting Scripture. Though if it’s more informal such as reading profiles it would probably be better to reword it:

    “What do you think are the roles and responsibility of the husband in marriage?”
    to
    “Are there any responsibilities of a husband in marriage?”

    It makes it seem like it could be yes or no and leaves it more open ended. Of course, there is a correct answer.”

    That’s a good tip! Thanks.

  23. Okay, so let me just say that I if someone does something incorrectly, I usually correct them and give them advice on how they should do it. I didn’t do that in my previous post, so here’s what I should’ve said.

    Difficult topics are one thing but telling a girl too early how frequently you want her to have sex with you when you are married…well that’s your call. I just know if it was me or if my daughter’s were dating someone and told me they brought this up, I’d tell them to run or proceed with caution. A man might have the best of intentions for his purposes of weeding out the chaff, but as the woman on the other side, there are other things that can be implied by his bringing it up to early. As I said, it’s your call, of course.

    A Christian woman should not be thinking “run or proceed with caution.”

    Instead a Christian woman should be thinking if a man brings up sex and frequency of sex:

    Wow, it’s great that this man is concerned about our compatibility in regard to sex in marriage. Sex is an important part of marriage, and if we have mismatched libidos that would definitely cause marital strife. He is thinking about my needs as well as his which is the signal of a man who is will be able to love his wife as Christ loved the Church.

    As you can see, “run or proceed with caution” basically assumes the worst about a man. That he is just looking for sex. What Christian women SHOULD be thinking is positive thoughts about such a Christian man’s leadership. If he has done nothing wrong, there shouldn’t be a reason to think negative thoughts about it.

    Even Christian women do stuff like this all the time. Frankly, it’s quite disheartening to Christian men because initiating relationships are hard as it is without getting the benefit of the doubt.

  24. Mrs. C

    @DS

    “For all of this talk about understanding compatibility and agreeableness in marriage, you seem to have this double standard about it when actual important topics like sex are brought.”

    I’m going to answer your objection to my point in this one last comment but I”m also going to end the conversation on my part here. I’ll tell you why. It’s because I understand how important this topic is to a husband. A husband can be hurt deeply to the core by a wife’s flippant refusal to participate in this part of marriage. With each refusal the wound goes deeper. Because of this, internet conversations about this can turn ugly and I don’t want to start or participate in one.

    You misunderstand what I’m getting at so I’ll try to be more clear. I agree with all your points.100%. What I’m trying to say is that bringing up specifics like how frequently he is going to want to have sex when married TOO EARLY could imply to a woman (by his eagerness or earnestness in getting that point across) that he might lack a certain sensitivity as a husband to her needs in certain situations as well. (For example pregnancy and childbirth.) Now you may be thinking, “Of course, I know that. I’m not a selfish jerk.” But just the bringing up of your particular sex drive TOO EARLY makes it seem as if it’s so important that you couldn’t see past yourself if the situation warranted it. If she barely knows you yet, that is way too much information.

    This topic does needs discussed and it needs discussed before engagement even, I’m just saying there’s an intimacy about this topic that should wait to be brought up until most of the other “getting to know you” topics have been covered, provided those haven’t already weeded her out as a candidate. An early conversation such as “I feel it’s really important for a husband and wife to have compatibility in their sexual relationship. What are your thoughts?” is not the same as “If you and I were to get married, I would want you to have sex every day. What is your sex drive like?” This is what I mean. The second sentence is more personal, too personal, for an early relationship. The first-fair game.

    You said – “What I meant was getting married just happens for women”
    Maybe for women who are focused on the pretty dress and her big party, but for women who know what they are about and are going to make it their life’s work to supporting a man in his mission and vision for marriage and family life, it doesn’t “just happen”. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  25. Mrs. C

    @DS
    “As you can see, “run or proceed with caution” basically assumes the worst about a man. That he is just looking for sex. What Christian women SHOULD be thinking is positive thoughts about such a Christian man’s leadership. If he has done nothing wrong, there shouldn’t be a reason to think negative thoughts about it.”

    Yes, but she doesn’t KNOW you yet. She may know you say you’re a Christian but that doesn’t mean you are without faults. Do you assume that just because a woman says she’s a Christian, that her intentions in everything she does are always pure? When you don’t know someone well, Christan or not, you are always cautious. Being Christian SHOULD imply a certain integrity but these days, not always.

  26. Mrs. C

    @choking -You said – “In short, she needs to not raise my red flag before I get to discuss the finer points of submission with her.”

    Well, of course. It has to go both ways.

    “Husbands and wives are not equals. Referencing Ephesians 5:22-24, God puts the headship of a family on the husband, not the wife. A wife’s submission is mandatory; it’s not about whether or not she wants to or feels like she wants to.”

    Women and men are equal in dignity before God. A man’s headship in marriage doesn’t discredit the fact that she has equal dignity as a unique person made in the image and likeness of God. So therefore, her submission in marriage is not on the same level as the submission she owes to God. God commanded the wife’s submission to her husband and when she is obedient to that she is giving Him what she’s owes to him as her creator. She doesn’t owe submission to her husband in the same manner as he, being also a person created by God, isn’t the one who issued the command. Just because submission is a gift to her husband, it doesn’t imply she can give it or take it away, throughout her marriage. When she stands at the altar and says “I do”, it is a gift that she is giving this man standing before her, that she can never take back. She doesn’t owe it to him. She chose this man to commit her life to and to give her very self to.

  27. Mrs C:

    Thanks.

    A vow, a covenant, made at the altar is not a gift. Her (and their) committment in a marriage is not a gift. Giving herself (including her body) to her husband is not a gift.

    For a man, the vow he makes at the altar is his committment to love her.
    For a woman, the vow she makes at the altar is her committment to submit to his headship.

  28. Mrs. C

    @choking

    you said-“A vow, a covenant, made at the altar is not a gift. Her (and their) committment in a marriage is not a gift. Giving herself (including her body) to her husband is not a gift.”

    A vow is both a commitment and a gift. Just because it’s a commitment doesn’t mean that it is not also a gift. That fact that it is a gift does not lessen the value of the commitment. We could keep going around and around about this but I won’t be able to come to agreement with you about it as my blog is called The Sincere Gift based on the writings of Saint John Paul II who states: “Woman … is a person as much as man is; the person is the sole creature which God wanted for its own sake; the sole creature to be made expressly in the image and likeness of God, who is Love. Precisely for this reason, a person cannot find complete fulfillment except by making a sincere gift of self. To say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist “for” others, to become a gift.

    I also wrote in my last post – “Gaudium et Spes says “ to be a person who fully images forth the Triune God means to be a person who “can only find himself through a sincere gift of self.” Adam was lonely in the garden because there was no other like him to whom He could give his love. By her very being, Eve, as his helpmate, helps him more fully image God. She is the “other” who receives his sincere gift. Likewise, she images God by loving in return. The Divine Life is a mystery of the giving and receiving of love.

  29. Mrs C:

    Thanks again.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here. IMO, what you’ve said adds to my perception that women(in our modern culture) have a big issue with submission, headship and authority. They either don’t understand it or they conflate them with other stuff.

    Before I bow out of this discussion, you may want to check out 1 Samuel 25. It’s a great story about submission.

  30. Mrs. C

    @choking

    you said – “We’ll have to agree to disagree here. IMO, what you’ve said adds to my perception that women(in our modern culture) have a big issue with submission, headship and authority. They either don’t understand it or they conflate them with other stuff.

    Before I bow out of this discussion, you may want to check out 1 Samuel 25. It’s a great story about submission.”

    I’m sorry you feel that what I said adds to your perception of women in our modern culture. But could it be that your perception leaves you closed to what I’m trying to say? I suspect, and I don’t know you so I can only go by our conversation, that you feel that calling your wedding vows a gift or a wife’s submission a gift, means that the person giving it feels that what they are giving is so special so thereby there is an element of pride in the one giving the gift.

    You keep telling me other things submission is or others things a vow is but I haven’t seen an argument that really refutes why it’s not a gift. The Bible says love is patient, love is kind. By saying one doesn’t meant it isn’t any of the others.

    A gift is something you freely and willingly give without expectation of payment.

    When a couple stands at the altar, for the marriage to be valid, they have to be making this vow freely. They have to not be under any undue pressure to be there. They have to be there by choice and not by force. The first element of what a gift is, is there.

    The second element is that a gift is given without expectation of payment. Your argument might be to list all the expected benefits the couple receives such as sex, submission, provision and protection as the payment for the exchange of vows. However, you would be forgetting that although there are benefits they are not guaranteed. The vows say for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health. What if that young groom falls ill from a debilitating disease a year or two into the marriage that renders him unable to work, protect or provide? Does the bride say “Well, I’m no longer receiving payment so I’m out of here. I’m not spending the best years of my life caring for a man who can’t protect and provide. What if the bride is involved in a horrible car accident that renders her paralyzed early in the marriage? Suppose she can no longer “pay the marriage debt” so to speak? Does he up and leave? Deti, up above there in the comments somewhere said, sex for a man is really the only reason for a man to get married, and while I have plenty of arguments against that and won’t get into them, if what he said were true, what would keep him there if this would happen to his bride?

    I want to thank you for pointing me to the scripture of 1 Samuel:25. It is, indeed a good story of submission. One other thing I noticed is that Nabal lost his life and therefore, his wife by his hard heart and bitterness. It’s one thing to be angry at the culture and angry at feminism, it’s another to let it rob you of your heart and turn it to stone. Having a heart doesn’t mean being too soft. In the four archetypes of manhood one of them is the king. On either end of that spectrum is the weakling and the tyrant. I’m not calling you a tyrant and very much doubt you are, but bitterness will render you unable to believe that there is any good out there and that simply wouldn’t be true. Hard to find, yes. But it’s there. Praying and asking God to direct you toward any good women out there, to help you find one for a wife, is not impossible for Him no matter how impossible it may seem to your perception of things. Provided you want one, of course.

    A woman pointing out that marriage vows are a gift does conflate what they are with other stuff, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  31. mdavid

    Mrs C.,

    I wouldn’t call submission nor leadership a gift, because that’s implying the person submitting or leading are not benefiting and doing so out of charity. I would say both parties are acting selfishly, for their own benefit. No, it’s merely horse sense for each party. A man wouldn’t want a wife who viewed submission as a gift, nor a woman a husband who thought leading was a gift. No, they are responsibilities that benefit the family, including themselves.

    An analogy would be fixing my car that I sometimes drive my wife in and claiming that’s a “gift” for her. Baloney. I would fix it for myself anyway.

    Just because they make a vow freely doesn’t mean it’s a gift, either. For example, I join the basketball team “freely” and offer my talents to the team “freely” and am obedient to the coach “freely”. This isn’t a “gift” though; it’s my choice for personal gain. It’s a mutual benefit. Nor is a husband’s leadership, nor wife’s submission, nor a child doing chores a “gift”. They are responsibilities.

    Now, if one is done superbly, above and beyond, now that’s a gift. But how many women these days do so? And how many men? I say at least 10x as many men lead superbly as women follow as well. Look around; that’s what I see, that’s the culture we live in. Men are held accountable, women not.

  32. Mrs. C

    @mdavid

    you said – “I wouldn’t call submission nor leadership a gift, because that’s implying the person submitting or leading are not benefiting and doing so out of charity. I would say both parties are acting selfishly, for their own benefit.”

    I’m sure you don’t mean it this way. However, just reading those two sentences together, is the ugliest description of marriage that I’ve seen in a long time. First, wives are called to submit but husbands are called to love so let’s get straight the relationship between Christ and His Church and husband and wife that is to mirror that. The leadership is born out of the primary duty to love and the leadership is always oriented toward the good of all and not to be self-serving. Submission and leadership in marriage both are born out of love; which reigns over all things both in our Christian walk and in our marriage. You don’t just want to stay in the basement so to speak, you want to get to the penthouse.

    you said – “A man wouldn’t want a wife who viewed submission as a gift, nor a woman a husband who thought leading was a gift. No, they are responsibilities that benefit the family, including themselves.”

    That makes no logical sense whatsoever. I can’t speak for a man and how he wants his wife to view submission but as a wife, if my husband viewed his leadership as a gift of selfless service for his family, I would be honored to submit to that kind of leadership and I would accept it as a gift. It is true that it is a responsibility but it’s a responsibility that you choose out of love. Just like men don’t want duty sex, I certainly wouldn’t want my husband to view his leadership as a dry responsibility he fulfills only out of a sense of duty. As I tried to make clear above in my comment to choking, submission and leadership are responsibilities but they are not ONLY responsibilities. (Love is patient, Love is kind….saying it’s one doesn’t cancel out that it’s also these other things.) This is the same argument choking was making and it doesn’t refute that these things are a gift. It only says what else it is.

    you said- “An analogy would be fixing my car that I sometimes drive my wife in and claiming that’s a “gift” for her. Baloney. I would fix it for myself anyway.”

    So YOUR “car “is YOUR marriage and family, which your wife is just a part of by association and your “fixing it” is your leadership, which you wouldn’t claim as (fixing) leading as a gift for her. You would (fix) lead for yourself primarily because it’s your (car) marriage and family they are for your use.

    Ok, I’m not one to use curse words that often but that is just *ss-backwards. It should be you (fix) lead the (car)marriage and family, so that the family benefits. (I assume you use YOUR car mainly to go to work so it’s really in use to benefit the family not just yourself.)

    The fact that you benefit is not that you do it for yourself. You benefit as a fruit or a by-product of your giving. Your main motivation should not be for your benefit. It should be for theirs. It just so happens that sometimes “when we give, we receive” but that is not WHY we give. We give because we freely choose and don’t expect the other to give to us in return. We may hope to enjoy the benefits of marriage but we don’t give primarily to get them. That is why submission is a gift and your love to your wife is a gift.

    you said- “Just because they make a vow freely doesn’t mean it’s a gift, either. For example, I join the basketball team “freely” and offer my talents to the team “freely” and am obedient to the coach “freely”. This isn’t a “gift” though; it’s my choice for personal gain. It’s a mutual benefit.

    Well, joining a basketball team is hardly on the same level as making an unbreakable vow. But we’ll go with that as a weak analogy. Your point is that when you are standing at the altar your wife’s vows are essentially saying “I freely offer my talents (love, honor, cherish, and obedience) to you. I’m not doing it as a gift to you, it’s my choice for personal gain but don’t worry, we’ll mutually benefit. Are you insane?

    I find that hard to believe because as we did see in the comments above that each of our understandings of submission is mostly the same. I can only conclude that either you are a selfish and self-centered person whose wife I should pity or that there is some stubborn reason born of pride in which you can’t see these things as gift. You don’t love your wife only when she’s submissive. You have to love her whether she is or not. Your wife isn’t only submissive when your loving decisions are agreeable to her, she has to submit even when it’s disagreeable to her. There is no expectation of payment. There is fruit born out of you loving your wife that you benefit from, but you don’t love her primarily to get the fruit for yourself. At least you shouldn’t.

    The only way I can agree with anything you are saying is to agree that marriage vows and submission/love, AS YOU ARE PRESENTING IT, are not gifts. Of course they are not, because they are given primarily to get something for yourself. However, the way you are presenting it, is a gross misunderstanding of your vows and submission and love.

    you said – …. nor a child doing chores a “gift”

    This is the only point I can agree on and since I’ve never said children obeying their parents was a gift, I’m not sure why you would bring this up in context of husband and wife. If I tell my child to do their chores, they will do them either out of anticipation of consequences or maybe because I’ve given them incentive. For example- “We’ll go out for ice cream if you finish your chores.”

    Your wife’s submission is freely given. It is not the same in character as a child to a parent.

    In Casti Cannubii, it says “This subjection, [of wife to husband] however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is customary to not allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs.

    you said – Now, if one is done superbly, above and beyond, now that’s a gift

    I can’t see the logic in this either and it’s not because women can’t be logical so don’t throw that argument back. That’s baloney, as you would say.

    How can it not be a gift when it’s done, but not superbly done, but somehow turn into a gift when it it is? Let’s get out of the way the fact that the only good and perfect gifts come from our Father in heaven. We know that.

    When we stand at the altar and exchange vows, we already know by the light of reason, that what our spouse is promising to give us won’t always be carried out perfectly. We humbly give our promise anyway and they humbly receive it. When we are given a gift, we don’t reject it even when it’s not done superbly, we graciously accept it because we recognize the intent behind the gift. We recognize our spouse’s intent to live up to their promises, even when they grumble, even when they don’t always make the right decision. We don’t say to our spouse, “only when you submit superbly or love superbly”, will I recognize it as a gift. We accept our spouse’s humble carrying-out of their vows to us appreciatively. When it’s superb, that’s grand. When it’s not, it’s still a gift, no matter how humble.

    In a nutshell, my vows and submission, which is a part of my vows, I have freely given to my husband without expectation of benefit and fully knowing that I am promising to lives these out in worse times, sickness, and in poverty just as surely as in better times, in health and in riches. I hope for the benefits and endure when they are not there. I give this promise to be there, no matter what, as a gift from my heart out of love for him. I accept the responsibilities of this gift I’m promising. My husband gives this same gift to me.

  33. DJ

    Mrs. C maybe the guys here are seeing marriage as an exchange of goods and services, and your seeing it as choosing to dedicate your self to anther person and the creation of a family. So you and they can’t possibly agree because marriage means different things to you and them. Just a thought about why your argument wont work.

  34. DJ

    another* excuse the clumsy grammer

  35. Mrs. C

    @DJ

    “Mrs. C maybe the guys here are seeing marriage as an exchange of goods and services, and your seeing it as choosing to dedicate your self to anther person and the creation of a family. So you and they can’t possibly agree because marriage means different things to you and them. Just a thought about why your argument wont work.”

    If that’s the way the guys see marriage here, then that’s prostitution among other things. That’s not Biblical marriage. They shouldn’t spout off about their wives submitting because God says so if they are looking for a civil contract. It’s not that my argument won’t work. It’s because their argument doesn’t work with Biblical marriage. If they see it that way, then they are free to divorce just as their wives are as soon as somebody doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

    You are right. We will never agree that if that is truly how they view marriage. If that’s the case, they should leave the Bible and God out of it.

  36. Mrs. C

    @mdavid and any other guy still reading this

    mdavid said
    “And how many men? I say at least 10x as many men lead superbly as women follow as well. Look around; that’s what I see, that’s the culture we live in. Men are held accountable, women not.”

    How in the world can you expect to lead a Biblical marriage if you don’t know what one is? It’s hard for me to concede that many men lead superbly if they understand Biblical marriage as an exchange of good and services. Maybe your wives won’t follow very well because you’re not truly leading. Your understanding of Biblical marriage is the same as the culture’s understanding. The same culture you whine about.

    I

  37. mdavid

    Mrs. C,

    How in the world can you expect to lead a Biblical marriage if you don’t know what one is?

    Term “biblical marriage” doesn’t mean anything. Your “biblical marriage” and mine are going to be based upon our individual interpretations. I’m merely talking about leadership and obedience, I never brought up biblical anything.

    It’s hard for me to concede that many men lead superbly if they understand Biblical marriage as an exchange of good and services.

    I guess it depends on your version of leadership. I see strong leaders all over male culture, on sports teams, among my friends, but I see very few women embracing obedience with joy. Men are getting it done: they are expected to work, to get up on time, lead, be responsible, and are not given kudos for it. It’s expected, as it should be. Obedience? Pfft. I don’t see it with men nor with women, but men do it better than women. Regarding this mythical “biblical marriage”, see above.

    Maybe your wives won’t follow very well because you’re not truly leading. Your understanding of Biblical marriage is the same as the culture’s understanding. The same culture you whine about.

    LOL. Who ever said my wife doesn’t follow me? Or fully agree with me? If she even hinted at the stuff you are saying here, I would pass out (and swap jobs with her the next day, which I find easier than mine). I do find it amusing that you try to “shame” me personally for a simple cultural analysis, which is blindingly obvious to any fair-minded person. Fact: women have gone feral, and modern culture is dying because of it. This is merely objective reality (examine world TFR’s; the West is extinct). Men? I find them fairly decent by historical standards.

  38. mdavid

    Mrs. C.,

    Here’s another objective look: I know more than a few non-Western women married to men I know, and every one of them is obedient by my standards. They are basically normal women, historically. Women with modern Western sensibilities? Headed for the dustbin of history, not worth marrying nor even discussing. They can’t even replace their own population. Their men may win world wars and build atomic bombs…but they forgot about how dangerous Eve is. Muslims haven’t forgotten, and are taking over Europe with ease by this fact alone.

  39. Mrs. C

    @mdavid
    you said-
    “Term “biblical marriage” doesn’t mean anything. Your “biblical marriage” and mine are going to be based upon our individual interpretations. I’m merely talking about leadership and obedience, I never brought up biblical anything.”

    I believe I read a comment of yours on another post that referred to your being “traditionally religious”. I took that to mean your views on marriage were based on what is taught in the Bible. The topic under discussion was whether marriage vows and submission/leadership in marriage is a gift. When you addressed me, I assumed you were staying on topic and not “merely talking about leadership and obedience.” in a general way. Since you used the terms husband and wife, I was led to this conclusion as well.

    I didn’t refer to the term Biblical marriage until DJ entered the conversation following ours and referred to “these guys’ views on marriage” (choking and yourself; as we are the ones in the conversation), and stated they saw marriage as an exchange of goods and services. I used the term Biblical marriage to differentiate a view of marriage based on the Bible vs. a marriage seen as an exchange of goods and services; which isn’t merely a matter of individual interpretation because it just can’t be found in the Bible. Therefore the term “biblical marriage” does mean something in the context of the conversation. Choking referred to Ephesians 5 and 1 Samuel 25 earlier..

    you said-
    “Nor is a husband’s leadership, nor wife’s submission, nor a child doing chores a “gift”. They are responsibilities.

    Now, if one is done superbly, above and beyond, now that’s a gift. But how many women these days do so? And how many men? I say at least 10x as many men lead superbly as women follow as well. Look around; that’s what I see, that’s the culture we live in. Men are held accountable, women not.

    you also said-
    …..a simple cultural analysis, which is blindingly obvious to any fair-minded person.”

    Well, since the topic was submission and leadership in marriage as gift, you shifted from referring to husband’s leadership/wife’s submission and “gift” right into your “simple cultural analysis” which is off-topic without a missing a beat. Not blindingly obvious.

    I said-
    Maybe your wives won’t follow very well because you’re not truly leading. Your understanding of Biblical marriage is the same as the culture’s understanding. The same culture you whine about.

    you said-
    I do find it amusing that you try to “shame” me personally for a simple cultural analysis, which is blindingly obvious to any fair-minded person.

    Your right. That sentence should say “Maybe wives won’t follow because husband’s are not truly leading.” I wasn’t trying to shame you personally for a simple cultural analysis. As shown above, I believed you were still on topic and if your comment was on topic, I was pointing out to you and “guys” (as in those who profess to follow the Bible in regards to marriage) that they wouldn’t be leading superbly if they viewed marriage (as laid out in the Bible) as an exchange of goods and services.

    Getting back on topic-

    While I agree that leadership and submission are not gifts, but responsibilities, outside marriage, I still stand with the assertion that in marriage they are.

  40. I’ve had a chance to catch up with the comments in this thread. Finally.

    Couple of quick observations-

    1) There still seems to be a fair bit of talking past each other.
    2) Most of the men who have commented appear to be “process-oriented”, while Mrs. C. seems to be “goal-oriented”, when it comes to how to approach the subject of submission.
    3) I do not include myself as among the men DJ mentions as having a purely transactional approach to marriage. While there is certainly a contract component to marriage, it is also a sacrament, and for Christians, marriage is supposed to be more than a mere contract.

  41. Mrs. C

    @donal
    “I do not include myself as among the men DJ mentions as having a purely transactional approach to marriage. While there is certainly a contract component to marriage, it is also a sacrament, and for Christians, marriage is supposed to be more than a mere contract.”

    Yes, that statement about marriage being an exchange of goods and services brought up a little of my “mother’s ire”, which leads me into giving a full-on lecture about the subject. LOL….A habit I’ve picked up in the last 15 years unfortunately.

  42. mdavid

    C, I’ve been on my topic the entire time, which is that women these days are not submissive and that’s a bad thing. You are clearly trying to pick a fight. To clear the air:

    1) I’m traditionally religious (RC), happily married (my wife would think you nuts), have a large family, believe in the bible & know it well (Greek), and know Church history & teaching. Re-read my comments; I’ve said nothing different.

    2) I never said marriage was “purely transactional”. You started that meme. I said their are certain obligations within traditional marriage that must be performed or given, period. By husband, wife, and child, that are “locked in” regardless of one’s feelings of love or generosity or give-giving or whatever. Several of those are obedience and material support.

    3) A gift is something that is given freely, and it means the gift-giver has no obligations to give. Parts of marriage have requirements that must be given regardless of one’s willingness. You can’t call this part a gift once your vows have been said. Obedience (women/children to husband, and husband to Church) and material support (men’s resources to women and children) are some of them. I agree that when given above and beyond the minimum, that’s a gift. Otherwise, they are obligations.

  43. mdavid

    Typo above; “there” not “their”.

  44. Mrs. C

    @mdaivd

    1. I realize you’ve been on your topic but that is not the topic that was being discussed.

    2. Thanks for the bio.

    3. I believe DJ brought up the view, speaking for “these guys”, that marriage was an exchange of goods and services. As regards your point…..regardless of one’s feelings of love or generosity or give-giving or whatever. i agree. I never brought up “feelings”. I believe I brought up the point that you promise to give at the altar, no matter what. At that point, at the altar, is when it’s a gift because until you say “I do”, there is no obligation to do so. You don’t have to be there. Love (not as a feeling but an action), compels you to honor the obligation you promised. Taking on the obligation is a gift.

    4. Thank you for explaining your view. I still stand with my assertion.

  45. mdavid

    C, I agree with your latest comments except for #1 which is trivial anyway.

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