Monthly Archives: October 2014

Random Musings and Links- #6

It is another one of those posts filled with links and random (and not-so-random) thoughts on my part. Given time restraints, I won’t be able to respond much to comments for the next day or so, but feel free to chime in despite that. I will try and keep things orderly at least.

I’m going to begin by address something that Deti said in my post Meager Options:

In the past, around 60 or so years ago, [what earlier comments said0 describes how it went down. Typically it was the man requesting (P in V) sex after a few months of dating or courtship, and the woman saying “Ok, but marriage first.” And typically he was giving up more and more resources (time, money, etc.) in exchange for more and more “sex” (kissing, making out, petting, oral, but reserving P in V for marriage). (Let’s not kid ourselves – lots of women were doing “everything but” P in V before marriage, for men they were “seriously dating”.)

What Deti is describing is an attitude held by most everyone in the MMP (yes, that’s right, the Marriage Market Place), including most “Christians.” That attitude is one of bending the rules as much as possible to favor one’s interests. The rules are simple: a woman exchanges lifetime sexual access and exclusivity with a man who in turn gives her resources, protection and status (which we might call “commitment”) for life. And the exchange is supposed to be at the same time. But neither men nor women really want that. Men want sexual access (and even better, exclusivity) without having to provide commitment, while women want to receive commitment without having to provide sexual access or in some instance, sexual exclusivity.

This ties in the whole concept of boyfriend/girlfriend. As Dalrock has explained, the terms were invented in order facilitate this bending of the rules. The whole notion of the celibate boyfriend is a means for Christian women who don’t want to provide sexual access to receives the commitment they want from Christian men. Likewise, many Christian men will use their status as boyfriend as a means for sexual gain for themselves. All of which goes to show why devout Christians should reject those ideas and the mindset behind them.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Deep Strength and Ballista have been involved in a spirited debate about headship and authority in marriage. It starts with this post by Ballista and was followed by this post, which Deep Strength responds to here. I don’t exactly agree with either, but I think many of my readers will find them interesting. Here are both sets of posts:

Ballista- Anarchy in the Marriage; Negating Authority in Marriage; Headship in Marriage Implies Authority; Confusing Status with Action- Creating Supplicating Betas

Deep Strength- Headship is not authority in marriage; Headship is not authority in marriage Part 2; Headship is not authority in marriage Part 3

Dalrock explains why women are compelled to take over the Gaming world.

NSR brings the humor. And the beat.

Rollo explains how Yes Means Fear.

As always, Maeve has your baking needs covered. This time, Blueberry Muffins.

Chad discusses Falling on Your Sword.

Dropit delves into the nature of Ambiguity.

Free Northerner hosts a guest post about how men can avoid sex starvation in marriage. He also exposes some of the hypocrisy and ignorance of those decrying the “campus rape epidemic.”

Martel, who is busy writing his book, asks for some help increasing his knowledge of children’s literature and other media directed at them by the popular culture.

Allamagoosa looks at The Time and Place for Hierarchy.

I also want to address this comment left at her blog by someone named Ashley:

I’m in this situation with my significant other. Both of us are in professional school and in our twenties and the way our lives are scheduled, we couldn’t even get married until one of us graduates or after one of us takes our board exams for medical/dental school. But that’s like another 2-8 yrs and we would both be ~30 yrs old. And I want to have children so we’d have very limited time to enjoy each other sexually as a married couple. What is our solution? We don’t really have one. Either we push to get married early on or “foreplay” to relieve sexually tension. I know we aren’t suppose to “foreplay” but its very very unlikely going to lead to sex because besides the whole Christian ideal, an unwanted pregnancy is 100X feared with our schooling.

 First off, “foreplay” is probably not acceptable Christian behavior based on what she is hinting at. The way I look at it, if you aren’t comfortable explaining in graphic detail everything involved to all your friends and family… God probably doesn’t approve (at least, until marriage). This approach is a surefire way to come to sin, and in fact the mindset hints at a sinful attitude already (finding ways to “cheat the system”).
Second, delaying children is not a wise plan. It really isn’t. Mrs. ktc explains why you should Have Children.
Also, she has responded to my post Proposing A Question with her own post, Proposals. This brings me to the topic of marriage proposals on bended knee. I have yet to hear a good reason why men should do them. Mere expectations or custom at this point are not enough. This alone is reason enough for a man not to do it. But even more than that, bending the knee is a sign of supplication and (as those familiar with Game of Thrones will recognize) surrender. For all the talk about how essential it is for a man to start off strong by proposing to a woman, this runs entirely counter to that. Who the woman in question is doesn’t matter- as a custom it just has no merit. I invite my readers who disagree to explain otherwise, of course. But at this point proposing on bent knee is not something I’m ever going to do. And I will tell any woman I court as much. If she cannot accept that, then in my view it demonstrates she wasn’t a good candidate to begin with.
Be Feminine Not Feminist tells women: Don’t rob your children of their Daddy.
At Peaceful Single Girl this post demonstrates the damage caused to children by divorce.
Apparently Sigyn is having some real trouble with depression and could use your prayers.
Stingray explains yet another reason to homeschool.
At the same time, homeschooling isn’t easy, as Elspeth will tell you. Much of the problem is that we aren’t aligned as a community towards supporting homsechooling and mothers who stay at the household. The old support networks are gone, and were an essential part of the process.
Elspeth also discusses the difference between being unmarried and being single. I describe myself as unmarried, not single, and my reasons match up with those expressed at her blog.
Eviscerating the faith through decrying “Paulinity.” I’ve seen some of that applied here in the ‘sphere before. Mostly by men who want to engage in fornication. But I’ve seen a few women argue it as well, often to escape any requirements or duties placed upon them (especially in marriage).
I’ve argued before about the risk associated with women with tattoos, and here is yet more support for my concern.
Update: Red Pill Set Me Free talks about how a woman, any woman, however high-value, can become Ruined.


Filed under Alpha, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Courtship, Desire, Femininity, Feminism, God, LAMPS, Marriage, Masculinity, Men, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sin, The Church, Women

An Update And Something For My Female Readers

A quick update post today. I will upload a links and musings post tomorrow, although I’m not exactly sure when. Also, sometime earlier next week I hope to finally get around to writing a post exploring different theories of attraction which I’ve been meaning to write for a while. If anyone is interested in a guest post, I am usually quite willing to host them. Just contact me through the e-mail I have in my About page.

Also, since I know that a number of my readers and commenters are female (roughly 25% from an old poll), and some of them are Catholic, I wanted to let them know about an opportunity that may interest them. Leane of Finer Femininity is hosting a drawing for a necklace set she created that she will give away to someone who comments on her post. The drawing ends tomorrow, so if you are interested check it out sooner rather than later.

Leave a comment

Filed under Attraction, Red Pill, The Church, Women

Proposing A Question

My post Meager Options generated some lively discussion, and has given me some ideas on follow-up posts. This post was originally going to come first, but in the last day I’ve considered holding it for the end of the week and discussing another matter first. However, I suspect that topic can wait for the time being, and will continue with my plan.

The subject of this post is marriage proposals, specifically how they pertain to Christian women (while non-Christians can add their two cents, I’m focusing on Christian marriage here). [For those interested in the conversation which started this, see this comment by Feather Blade where it started.] There are a couple of sub-issues here that I would like to explore, notably:

  • Is it proper for a woman to propose marriage?
  • Assuming it is proper, should a woman propose marriage?
  • What is the appropriate form for a woman to propose?
  • How does a woman’s proposing marriage fit with the seeking her father’s permission to marry?

I don’t intend to write a whole lot about the topic, at least, not in the initial post. Rather, I hope that my readers will add in their own thoughts and knowledge of the matter (if they have any). I’m aiming for a spirited discussion here, and one that I think is relevant. As I’ve indicated before, the Old Order is Broken. We can’t keep pretending that times haven’t changed. They have, and we as Christians need to reform ourselves and the Church. This will involve determining how exactly we will put the pieces back together once everything falls apart. Exploring the boundaries of marriage/Holy Matrimony is important, as the breakdown of that institution is in large part responsible for the overall decline of the West. [A further explanation is found at the end of this post.]

To briefly address those sub issues:

  • I’ve searched through Scripture, and have found nothing which prohibits women from proposing. Nor are there any express matrimonial proposals from women either that I can find (although I will admit my knowledge there is still weak). I’ve also searched a bit through Sacred Tradition and the writings of the Saints to see if the topic is mentioned. So far I haven’t found anything, but that doesn’t mean its not that. I haven’t spent that much time on it, so I wouldn’t be surprised to have missed something. If any of my readers know of anything, please mention it in the comments below. Given what I do know right now, I don’t think that it is against Christian women to propose marriage.
  • This leads me to whether women should propose.. Having thought on it some, and discussed it with a few others, I’m tempted to say that the answer is no. The argument against it is tied somewhat to scripture but also to natural law, with a dash of pragmatism included. My reasoning is as follows: A Christian man is supposed to be the head of the matrimonial union, providing leadership, vision and guidance. The act of proposing to a woman (that is, to ask her to be his wife) is the first real step in that role. He is offering to be the woman’s head; her acceptance to his proposal moves things forward to a point where it would become a reality. A man should be the leader in this to set the overall tone of the relationship. Something else to consider is that a man can take a woman to wife, but a woman cannot really take a man to husband. Just doesn’t make sense.
  • I’m not really sure how a woman should propose. Certainly going down on one knee and offering a ring seems wrong. But then again, I’m oppose to men doing that too. Perhaps a woman can simply say that if the man courting her were to ask her to marry, she would say yes. That is as good as a marriage proposal in its own way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as overt as a male proposal. Ruth is an example of one method of something that comes close to this, although maybe not the whole way.
  • I suppose that running the marriage proposal by a father doesn’t really change things. If the man accepts, then he could go ask her father for permission. Or perhaps they could go together.

Those are my initial thoughts. Feel free to chime in.

[For those curious why I’m exploring this subject in particular, let me explain in somewhat greater detail. I know personally several women who have been or were in LTRs that were waiting for their boyfriend to propose to them, but he never did. Besides those few, I’ve heard of a fair number more who experienced the same situation. These women, who wanted marriage (or at least claimed to want it), were simply passive and waited for the man to play his part in the performance. Unfortunately for them, that never happened. What makes the story especially sad, frustrating or laughable, depending on who you ask, is that the women involved later complain about the time they wasted on this men who wouldn’t marry them.

Which makes me wonder if it wouldn’t have been better for those women to be more forward in their relationships. If they had proposed, it might have clued them in sooner that marriage wasn’t in the picture with their present boyfriend. Of course, I know that a fair amount of rationalization is going on here, but still, I think this is a far question to explore.]


Filed under Christianity, Courtship, God, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #47

I am reading through the major Prophets in the Old Testament again, and am at the Book of Jeremiah at the moment. The following passage stood out to me when I came across it:

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; 26 yet they did not listen to me, or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

(Jeremiah 7:21-28)

It really is amazing how much effort the Lord expended on behalf of His people. They took every opportunity to turn their backs on Him, and yet He never gave up on them. No matter how horrific their crimes (and they truly were horrendous), He was always willing to save them. It got me to thinking about why God chose the Israelites in the first place. Why them, and not the Gentiles? This reminded me in turn of something that Jesus said  during His Ministry:

21 “Woe to you, Chora′zin! woe to you, Beth-sa′ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Caper′na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

(Matthew 11:21-24)

Perhaps God chose the Israelites because of their stiff neckedness. Maybe the fact that they wouldn’t listen, and wouldn’t obey was part of His plan all along. I am curious if they were chosen as paradigm example of the fallen nature of mankind. Of how we can be guided and taught how to act righteously, and then throw that instruction away at the soonest opportunity. Part of me wonders if His plan all along was to demonstrate His infinite mercy and compassion- to showcase to all of us that no matter how much and how often we fail, no matter the depths that we sink to, He will always be there to carry us back to the fold, so long that in the end we desire to be found. If God has chosen some other people, they would have mended their ways. But He chose those who wouldn’t, so that the full extent of His Grace and mercy could be seen by all.

On a different note, Leane over at Finer Femininity passed on A Beautiful Prayer that I wanted to share with everyone:

“Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore Thee.
Enlighten me, guide me,
strengthen and comfort me.
Tell me what I ought to do and order me to do it.
I promise to submit to anything that Thou requirest from me,
and to accept everything that Thou allowest to happen to me.
Just show me what Thy will is.”

Reading this prayer called to mind this passage by Saint Paul:

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two shall become one.” 17 But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

(1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

It is all too easy for us to forget that as Christians we carry a spark of the Divine within us. As we go about our day, the worries and anxieties of the world threaten to numb us to this truth. We are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and should always act with that in mind. Our lives should be a constant manifestation of the existence of that person of the Trinity. To do otherwise is at the very least to reject the great gift given to us. Even worse, if we aren’t manifesting the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then our fruits must have another source. That source can only be found in darkness. We have a choice- we can be a source of light to the world, or a source of darkness. Which shall we be?


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Do We Need To Set Aside The Word Marriage?

I believe that someone in the ‘sphere has linked to this before, but I don’t think I’ve feature it on my blog so its about time. Monseigneur Charles Pope from the Archdiocese of Washington asks if we should stop using the word “marriage” when referring to sacramental unions. A few snippets:

It is a simple fact that word “marriage” as we have traditionally known it is being redefined in our times. To many in the secular world the word no longer means what it once did and when the Church uses the word marriage we clearly do not mean what the increasing number of states mean.

So the bottom line is that what the secular world means by the word “marriage” is not even close to what the Church means. The secular world excluded every aspect of what the Church means by marriage. Is it time for us to accept this and start using a different word? Perhaps it is, and I would like to propose what I did back in March of 2010, that we return to an older term and hear what you think.

I propose that we should exclusively refer to marriage in the Church as “Holy Matrimony.”

According to this proposal the word marriage would be set aside and replaced by Holy Matrimony. It should be noticed that the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to this Sacrament formally as “The Sacrament of Matrimony.”

You can read the rest here.

I think that there is some strong merit to his proposal. Distinguishing ourselves from the secular individuals around us is important right now. Restoring the full meaning of the Sacrament and what it encompasses should be a vital task of the Church at the moment.


Filed under Christianity, God, Marriage, The Church

Saturday Saints- #39

Today’s saint hails from France, Saint Leodegar:

Leodegar of Poitiers (also known as Leodegarius, Leger or Léger) (c. 615 – October 2, 679) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun who became Saint Leodegarius. He was the son of Saint Sigrada and the brother of Saint Warinus.

Leodegar was an opponent of Ebroin, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Neustria and the leader of the faction of Austrasian nobles in the struggle for hegemony over the waning Merovingian dynasty. His torture and death made him a martyr and saint.

St. Leodegar’s life showcases a lot of the politics that marked France during the Dark Ages. It shows both the wisdom, and the folly, of  involvement of Church leaders in secular politics.

You can find out more about him at his wiki, located here.

1 Comment

Filed under Saturday Saints

Meager Options

As I am somewhat busy at the moment, I’m afraid original posts will have to wait for the time being. In the interim I am going to do what I often do when pressed for time: rip off of major bloggers, in this case Dalrock. In the comments of his post The more meager a woman’s choices, the more attractive she must be, someone by the name of trugingstar left this comment:

I’m going to play the devil’s advocate to the commenters, and say that more older men are cheating and that the dating market is bad for women who want to get married. I’m a 20-something woman. I *ahem* am the first to tell if a marriage is on the rocks, and I’ve made it into kind of a game to guess how I end up a mistress candidate in the fantasies of married fellows (cold? mean? miscarriage? former alpha? just a really guy young?). This happens to my friends often, as well. We have a running joke that the only men interested in us are already married.

I also have only a little bit of time left in the *secular* dating scene to meet a *Christian*, because the Christian dating scene is pure idealism. By secular, I mean not sleeping around, but going on hundreds of first dates that fail the “how often do you go to church?” test.

If you date at a church, you end up with the left-overs, most of the time. Someone my age has a shot with someone in his 30s. The kind of pew-warmer who’s unmarried, unsexed, and in his thirties is often alone for a reason. It’s usually a serious issue. It’s not the same as me going out and sleeping around and meeting a thirty-something that’s sleeping around.

So, why all the cheating? Why all the poor selection? Duh: everyone knows this – uncommitted (by this, I mean “unmarried,” not necessarily ONS) sex outside of the church, marriage (especially male) discouragement within the church, creates no reason for most men to marry. It also creates a surplus of women who are available for extramarital sex.

I’m just going to literally go with the title here; yes, “the more meager a woman’s choices, the more attractive she must be.” I can’t get my equal in attractiveness, virtue, whatever, because the choice selection is meager. BUT. I can get married men. Can’t WAIT for marriage.

There is a lot to dissect and respond to in this comment, and this post will be devoted to just that.

The first thing that I found interesting about this post is it can be interpreted two different ways.  One possible interpretation is that as a woman’s choices (in men) become more meager, the more attractive that she has to be to get a man (or at least attract one worth having). Technically this is true. In a limited market, you need to have more assets on hand to pull off a successful transaction. This applies to both commercial markets and the marriage market. And it is the same for both men and women- In a “buyers” market we need to have more and more to make the sale.

However, what I understand Dalrock to actually say is that the woman he was quoting from was convinced that because she was so attractive there were few good options for men available to her. In essence, because she was so high-value she was “priced out of the market.” This seems to be the very same attitude expressed by the commenter, who apparently started a blog a few days ago. She was convinced that because she was not likely to find “my equal in attractiveness, virtue, whatever”, which I take to mean she felt she couldn’t successfully carry out assortive mating.

Now, the obvious counter to this, which Dalrock hints at, is that women who hold this view are probably greatly over-estimating their actual worth (or SMV/MMV). If they really were as high-value as they thought they were, their choices wouldn’t be so meager. Or maybe they aren’t that meager, but they just don’t see the decent men around them for what they are. Of course the situation is often more complicated than that, but still, it has to be the case for some-most especially the woman Dalrock quotes.

Now I’m going to parse individual thoughts from her comment, starting with this:

more older men are cheating and that the dating market is bad for women who want to get married.

Most of the studies I’ve seen indicate that men are more likely to commit adultery (I despise the word “cheat” in this context) than women, although not necessarily by a huge discrepancy. Now, some men around these parts dispute these numbers, but I don’t. While I think that women often would have an easier time cheating if they wanted to, most don’t want to. They don’t have the same sex drive as men, and many of the men around them wouldn’t be seen as worth breaking their vows with. Also, I suspect that women are more likely to seek a divorce and then sleep with whoever they want, whereas men are less keen on seeking divorce as a means to break their vows.

And yes, the “dating” marking is bad for women who want to get married. That’s only natural, as the dating market was created to push dating instead of marriage. Men and women who are serious about marriage, chaste Christians especially, face a brutal marriage market at the moment.

I’m a 20-something woman. I *ahem* am the first to tell if a marriage is on the rocks, and I’ve made it into kind of a game to guess how I end up a mistress candidate in the fantasies of married fellows (cold? mean? miscarriage? former alpha? just a really guy young?). This happens to my friends often, as well. We have a running joke that the only men interested in us are already married.

Sadly, I can’t really scoff at this, which is something I suspect more than a few manospherians have done. I have gotten more than a few hints or propositions from married women over the years. Some subtle, others not so much (some of the invitations to pull off a “relationship coup” were especially sickening). From my perspective, for a long time, it seemed like the only attention I got from women was from those who were married (with the only exceptions being those who were unacceptable for some other significant reason). It was rather disturbing to me, actually, to think that a number of women I worked with or met somehow saw me as their “rebound” guy.

If you date at a church, you end up with the left-overs, most of the time. Someone my age has a shot with someone in his 30s. The kind of pew-warmer who’s unmarried, unsexed, and in his thirties is often alone for a reason. It’s usually a serious issue.

Can’t you just feel the love folks? The condescension here is sadly typical. I’m sure that more than a few of my male readers can relate their own stories about similar experiences. Understand, ladies, it is attitudes like this which cause a lot of men to drop out of the game entirely.

It’s not the same as me going out and sleeping around and meeting a thirty-something that’s sleeping around.

Assuming I’m reading this right, she is saying that she thinks things, and by things I mean men, are far worse inside the church than out in the SMP. Do some of my female readers understand why this and other statements have many Christian men in the west swearing off marriage, or at least western women?

Why all the poor selection? Duh: everyone knows this – uncommitted (by this, I mean “unmarried,” not necessarily ONS) sex outside of the church, marriage (especially male) discouragement within the church, creates no reason for most men to marry. It also creates a surplus of women who are available for extramarital sex.

All great in theory, and with some factual basis. Certainly the part about marriage discouragement is correct. But it also misses the fact that women aren’t signalling to men that they want to get married (at least until they are older) like they used to. And without that signalling, men aren’t quite so apt to get ready for marriage themselves, either mentally or otherwise. In addition, that “surplus of women who are available for extramarital sex” aren’t an asset to the majority of men who have trouble competing in the present SMP.

And that’s enough for now. Not sure I’ll be able to post again until the end of the week. In the meantime, feel free to add your own thoughts.


Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Courtship, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sin, Temptation, The Church, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #46

Since my last major post was focused on few verses within the Letter to the Ephesians, I think it appropriate that today’s post also focus there. Here is a long admonition by Saint Paul:

17 Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; 18 they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; 19 they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. 20 You did not so learn Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. 22 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

(Ephesians 517-6:10)

Our lives as Christians should be easily distinguishable from those lived by the non-believers around us. If the only difference between us and them is that we spend a bit of time on Sunday at church, we are doing something terribly wrong. Ours is a world of darkness and sin. Those who are of this world demonstrate this every day. If there is no difference between us, if we act nearly alike, then we too are of this world.

As Christians, if we are walking the narrow path we are going to stand out like a sore thumb. Given the plentiful opportunities this world provides for sin, there will be no lack of occasions for us to reject it. And even if we want to hide our resistance to temptation, we won’t always be able to. People will notice. And they will not like it. Our lives, if devoted to holiness, will be a testament to their darkness.

So where am I going with this? Simple. If you are living as a Christian should must, you should constantly experience friction with the world around you. Sometimes this will manifest as terribly outright persecution, and other times it will be as lowly as side-long glances and looks of disapproval. However it comes about, we should rejoice in it; for it is a sign that we are putting off  “our old nature” and building up a new, holy one.


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

Saturday Saints- #38

Once again we find ourselves at the letter K. Today’s saint is Kevin of Glendough:

Saint Cóemgen (modern Irish: Caoimhín), popularly anglicized to Kevin (498 – 3 June 618) is an Irish saint who was known as the founder and first abbot of Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland. His feast day in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches is 3 June.

A few quick facts:

  • He apparently lived to be well over a hundred years old before his death
  • Saint Kevin was reportedly born to a noble family, and a number of his relatives were also clergy
  • During his life he was a devoted ascetic, and spent much time in a cave that later became known as St. Kevin’s bed

You can find out more about Saint Kevin at his wiki, located here.

Saint Kevin


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Where Does Ephesians 5:21 Belong?


In my latest Selected Sunday Scriptures post, commenter A Vistor said this:

If I ever get married, the wife and I are going to have our Gospel reading starting at Ephesians 5:21.

I asked him if he meant Ephesians 5:22 instead, which prompted Mrs. C to ask:

Why would Eph 5:21 not be included in the Gospel reading of husband and wife?

She then linked to this article, containing material written by Pope John Paul II.

Mrs. C’s question is a good one, and covers a subject I’ve been meaning to address for a while. Time limitations will necessarily keep this post shorter than I should look, but I will try and answer her first question, as well as a second about what “mutual subjection” looks like for the Church as a whole.


The short answer to Mrs. C’s question is this: Ephesians 5:21 doesn’t belong with the epistle reading of husband and wife because for most of the Church’s history they were considered two separate subjects (pun intended). By that I mean they were not considered to fit together as part of the same message by St. Paul. [Update: I wasn’t clear here. Sorry about that. I was trying to say that while both are related, they are not tied together as, say, verses 25 and 26. 5:21 is distinct from 5:22 in terms of what St. Paul was teaching overall. They relate, yes, but 5:22-33 encapsulates a specific point that St. Paul was trying to teach. Further edits will be in brackets but without the bold update notice.]

Now, most modern translations will include Eph 5:21 along with 5:22 and the rest of Chapter 5 of Ephesians. However, this is a recent phenomenon. As far as my research has yielded, including 5:21 and 5:22 together is less than a century old. Older translations did not do so. [Update: I was wrong about this. KMan in the comments below indicates that translations linking them go back at least 150 years.] For example, the Douay-Rheims edition of the New Testament (1899) included 5:21 in this section:

15 See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise,

16 But as wise: redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury; but be ye filled with the holy Spirit,

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father:

21 Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ.

(Eph 5:18-21, DR 1899)

Verse 21 is included as part of the previous passage, concerning the church as a whole. It is the closing admonition of St. Paul’s “children of light” message, a reminder to always serve one another.

Looking further back, the Daily Missal of the Catholic Church pre-1962 had proscribed passages for different events, including matrimonial ceremonies. Guess what the epistle passage was? That’s right, Ephesians 5:22-33. Ephesians 5:21 was not included with the verses following it. That was the Missal in use for centuries, perhaps all the way back to the Council of Trent (if someone knows otherwise please clarify that for me).

The recognition that Ephesians 5:21 and 5:22 were separate thoughts goes even further back, however. In fact, it not only predates the split between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but extends all the way to the early Fathers of the Church. Saint John Chrysostom, who became Archbishop of Constantinople in 397 AD and is recognized as a Doctor of the Church, wrote extensive homilies on various books from the Bible. Many of them were preserved and are accessible today. His homilies on the Letter to the Ephesians are among those preserved. These homilies are sequential and touch upon different passages within Ephesians, including Chapter 5.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that St. John Chrysostom addressed 5:21 in a separate homily, which covered Ephesians 5:15-21. Reading through his homily, it seems fairly clear that the Saint regarded Ephesians 5:21 as connected to the verses above it, not to the verses which came after. This is also apparent in the next homily, which covers Ephesians 5:22-33, which he saw as a single message. The saint likes to reference previous applicable passages, but he doesn’t in that homily; Ephesians 5:21 never shows up at all. To St. John Chrysostom, Ephesians 5:21 and 5:22 did not belong together; otherwise said, Ephesians 5:21, while an important teaching, was not one that should be included in St. Paul’s teaching on matrimony.

For those interested, you can find those two homilies here:

Homily 19 on Ephesians (5;21)

Homily 20 on Ephesians (5:22)

They are not easy homilies to read, but well worth it in my opinion. I might showcase some of Homily 20 in future posts, it is that good.

So, taken together, the evidence is clear that Ephesians 5:21 was, for the longest time, recognized as being in a separate passage in Chapter 5 of Ephesians from verse 22. It is only recently that verse 21 has been stuck with verse 22. Now, I don’t know for sure why this was done. But my suspicion is that it wasn’t accidental. If anything, I suspect that the purpose was to weaken 5:22. Maybe not explicitly, but the modern translations which render 5:21 as a separate sentence can only serve to confuse the lay reader about the rest of that chapter.


This brings me to the second question asked by Mrs. C:

I would like to ask you to define what it means in a practical way for the church body as a whole to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

I promised to answer that, and will in this section. Although the truth is that I won’t be the one with the answer. Rather, it will be the aforementioned Doctor of the Church who I will draw from. He addresses 5;21 at the end of his 19th Homily on Ephesians, which I will quote below. Be warned: it is a long, dense paragraph. But if you can get through it you will see how he understood Eph 5:21. Here it is:

Subjecting yourselves one to another, he says, in the fear of Christ. For if you submit yourself for a ruler’s sake, or for money’s sake, or from respectfulness, much more from the fear of Christ. Let there be an interchange of service and submission. For then will there be no such thing as slavish service. Let not one sit down in the rank of a freeman, and the other in the rank of a slave; rather it were better that both masters and slaves be servants to one another—far better to be a slave in this way than free in any other; as will be evident from hence. Suppose the case of a man who should have an hundred slaves, and he should in no way serve them; and suppose again a different case, of an hundred friends, all waiting upon one another. Which will lead the happier life? Which with the greater pleasure, with the more enjoyment? In the one case there is no anger, no provocation, no wrath, nor anything else of the kind whatever; in the other all is fear and apprehension. In the one case too the whole is forced, in the other is of free choice. In the one case they serve one another because they are forced to do so, in the other with mutual gratification. Thus does God will it to be; for this He washed His disciples’ feet. Nay more, if you have a mind to examine the matter nicely, there is indeed on the part of masters a return of service. For what if pride suffer not that return of service to appear? Yet if the slave on the one hand render his bodily service, and thou maintain that body, and supply it with food and clothing and shoes, this is an exchange of service: because unless thou render your service as well, neither will he render his, but will be free, and no law will compel him to do it if he is not supported. If this then is the case with servants, where is the absurdity, if it should also become the case with free men. Subjecting yourselves in the fear, says he, of Christ. How great then the obligation, when we shall also have a reward. But he does not choose to submit himself to you? However do thou submit yourself; not simply yield, but submit yourself. Entertain this feeling towards all, as if all were your masters. For thus shall you soon have all as your slaves, enslaved to you with the most abject slavery. For you will then more surely make them yours, when without receiving anything of theirs, thou of yourself renderest them of your own. This is subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ, in order that we may subdue all the passions, be servants of God, and preserve the love we owe to one another. And then shall we be able also to be counted worthy of the lovingkindness which comes of God, through the grace and mercies of His only-begotten Son, with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and forever and ever. Amen.

As I said, lengthy. The Saint’s interpretation of St. Paul is that we are charged to the service, given freely, of fellow believers whenever and however possible. It is a reminder that we are all co-heirs of eternal life with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


So, in summary, [in an epistle reading] Ephesians 5:21 belongs with the verses above it, as they address how the members of the church are to relate to one another in general. It does not fit deal specifically with marriage, which is the case for Ephesians 5:22-33.  In addition, the context for understanding 5:21 is not [fully] present later in the chapter, but rather earlier. Ephesians 5:21 advises us to live out lives of continuous service to one another, always subjecting/subordinating our needs and desires to those of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is universally applicable to all Christians, man and woman alike, married and unmarried. What Ephesians 5:22-33 articulates is how marriage is a step beyond this requirement, with special obligations and duties of both spouses that go beyond the “mere” subjection/subordination of our interests to our fellow Christians.[Hence, a marriage epistle reading should begin with 5:22, not 5:21. If you want to include 5:21 in the reading you should begin with 5:15 or even earlier.]

At best inclusion of Ephesians 5:21 in the epistle on marriage will only serve to distract or confuse the Scriptural message about marriage. At worst it will serve to undermine the message.

Update: Mrs. C has created her own post in response to this one, which you can find here. Be sure and give it a read.


Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, God, Marriage, The Church