Selected Sunday Scriptures- #83

A common theme will be quickly noted in the following passages. I’ve  highlighted most, if not all of them, before, and for good reason. They are all of great value. I will explain why I chose them again at the end of the post.

10 When he entered Media and already was approaching Ecbatana, 11 Raphael said to the young man, “Brother Tobias.” “Here I am,” he answered. Then Raphael said to him, “We must stay this night in the home of Raguel. He is your relative, and he has a daughter named Sarah. 12 He has no male heir and no daughter except Sarah only, and you, as next of kin to her, have before all other men a hereditary claim on her. Also it is right for you to inherit her father’s possessions. Moreover, the girl is sensible, brave, and very beautiful, and her father is a good man.”

(Tobit 6:10-12)

The wise woman builds her house,
    but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

(Proverbs 14:1)

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

(Proverbs 31:26)

Do not deprive yourself of a wise and good wife,
    for her charm is worth more than gold.

(Sirach 7:19)

23 A friend or companion is always welcome,
    but a sensible wife is better than either.

(Sirach 40:23)

I had the occasion recently to run across a woman I hadn’t seen in quite a while. She wasn’t really a friend, more of an acquaintance.  The last I had seen of her, she had been quite taken with a man who I knew was trouble. He was a former “bad boy” who had supposedly turned his life around. Only I didn’t believe that he had. I had tried to explain this to her, but to no avail. As many of you would guess, she made excuses about his behavior. She refused to accept that my read of him was accurate. There was no reasoning with her.

And that is where the selection of today’s verses comes in. Wisdom, or sensibility, is one of the most valuable traits a woman can have. In fact I would go so far as to say it is essential. This young woman lacked sense. I don’t know how else to describe it. She wasn’t at all wise. Devout Pious? Most certainly. Haven’t met many women who [seemed to take]/took their faith more seriously. But she wasn’t sensible and it showed. She was good looking, unusually feminine for a western woman, and devout pious. But without wisdom she was doomed to make a mess of her life.

And that is exactly what she did. Just as I had predicted, the man she had been interested in had used her and hurt her. She was a mess, and on a lot of different levels. The word “Alpha Widow” comes to mind. Sadly, she was finally starting to get some sense, as she was able to realize just how messed up she was. But at the same time she couldn’t admit that she was responsible for her troubles. Even though I and some of her friends and family had pointed out exactly what would happen, she still refused to acknowledge that this could have been avoided. “It could happen to anyone” was her line.

All of this goes to show the value of sense in a woman. Devotion is a wonderful thing, but a woman without wisdom will most assuredly tear down her house. I’ve seen it before, and sadly I suspect I will see it again. So my advice to men: look for a sensible woman. From my experience, it is easier for a sensible woman to grow in faith, than it is for a devout woman to grow sense. Something to keep in mind.

[Update: See the comments below for more- I played somewhat fast and loose with what I said in the post.]

 

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67 Comments

Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

67 responses to “Selected Sunday Scriptures- #83

  1. Maea

    mdavid, I have never heard of a Catholic who regarded NFP as anything less than licit. The only people I’ve heard saying that are sedes.

    How are people expected to have this “natural understanding” you keep speaking of? Is this learned through osmosis, or Scripture? What I don’t understand is how it’s bad to have a fiance citing encyclicals when they are Catholic teaching. Most married Catholics have no knowledge of the Church’s teachings.

    The foundation of the Church is rooted in the Bible. I get the impression you believe there’s something magical involved in understanding, and anyone who studies encyclicals or the Bible is off base. Perhaps that’s what occurs in your religious enclave of a community, but it’s not how the real world works. And it certainly doesn’t work that way for converts and reverts to the faith.

  2. And by logical extension, since women don’t owe men obedience prior to marriage, men don’t own women leadership prior to marriage. So there’s no reason they should initiate contact with women, organize dates and transportation, pay for coffee or whatever, offer them any kind of protection, or anything else. And, as per IB, while men in marriage do owe their wives something, wives don’t owe their husbands anything, any more than unmarried women owe anything to men they aren’t married to. It’s the husband’s job to create a satisfactory environment and extract obedience as best he can from women while women fight tooth and nail to withold it. This is the plan: for men all the obligations, none of the rights; for women all the rights, none of the obligations. Why men are critical of this feminist ridiculousness should be apparent to every rational being. Feminists are intrinsically disrespectful of men.

  3. Maea

    I’m not sure what’s so difficult to understand about the difference between nonmarital relationship, and a marriage. Yes, dating and engagement are preparation for marriage, but they are not marriage.

    God has already outlined what a marriage is. I have YET to see anyone provide actual evidence to suggest unmarried women owe obedience outside of marriage to a man other than their father. Demonstrate respect? Yes. Demonstrate trust in a man’s ability to lead? Yes. But a woman makes a promise on her wedding day to love, honor and obey in marriage. You all are making it as if I said a woman should be dismissive and never show any love, loyalty, kindness or respect to a man she may marry. Never said that. I know this seems like feminist propaganda to you all, but the Bible and the Church make it clear.

    And speaking of fathers, if you’re all so pro-traditional family why would it ever be acceptable for a father to hand off authority over his daughter to a man who hasn’t become her husband? If you want to find a woman who “rejoices in obedience,” she doesn’t consider her boyfriend to be above her father. She obeys the male headship she’s subject to. “Honor thy mother and father.” One of the 10 commandments.

    Furthermore, if a man and a woman hadn’t discussed or demonstrated what these things are before marriage, that’s a different problem in itself.

  4. Men make their vows on the wedding day, as well. So they can have no responsibility or right to lead prior to the marriage. You must support arranged marriages where the father of the bride sets everything up, I guess.

    “Demonstrate trust in a man’s ability to lead? Yes.” Demonstrated trust is another way of saying obedience.

  5. Maea

    No. Obedience is submission. A husband has the right to the final say, aka “veto.” A boyfriend does not get to veto (a father or male head does).

    An unmarried woman’s responsibility before marriage is to discern whether or not she could submit if she and the boyfriend were to be married (even if the decisions would never effect her). An unmarried man’s responsibility is to discern her attitude and how she regards him with decisions. Does she act dismissive, have an attitude, or tells him he’s wrong? Or does she discuss them with him instead to understand, and respect his decisions? If the couple discusses engagement and the man expresses his expectations about married life and children, does the woman refuse to consider his requests? Or does she respond by letting him know if they married, that’s what she’d do? If she’s unsure, is she willing to discuss it and acquiesce as best as she can? Or does she do the opposite by telling him off and “how dare he”?

    I get that you want “proof.” There are plenty of ways to get the proof without expecting a woman or a man give another what belongs to their future husband or wife. Just because people are already doing that with their bodies, cohabitation, etc. doesn’t mean we go along with the bandwagon, Christian-style.

  6. Feminine But Not Feminist

    Here’s my two cents on the latest comments.

    While a woman doesn’t technically “owe” obedience, submission, reverence, etc. to any man she isn’t married to (apart from her father, as stated), she can be sensible and demonstrate to a man (that she would want to marry) that she would treat him in those ways after marrying (when she does in fact owe it to him) by choosing to follow his lead in appropriate ways, etc. Meaning she can choose to defer to his plans, suggestions, etc. The fact that she doesn’t (yet) owe it to him at that point would (or at least, should) speak very well for her in the man’s eyes.

    The same for a man.

    While a man doesn’t technically “owe” protection, provision, love, etc. to any woman he isn’t married to, he can be sensible and demonstrate to a woman (that he would want to marry) that he would treat her in those ways after marrying (when he does in fact owe it to her) by choosing to lead her in appropriate ways, etc. Meaning he can choose to take the initiative, etc. The fact that he doesn’t (yet) owe it to her at that point would (or at least, should) speak very well for him in the woman’s eyes.

    In other words, neither a man nor a woman owe those things to those they aren’t married to. But if either wishes to marry a good and sensible person, then it would be in their best interest to make sure to demonstrate what kind of spouse they would be if chosen. Not owed, but smart to give (again, in appropriate ways).

  7. I lead early and often in the relationship through Bible study, spiritual discussions, decision making, dates, or whatever. The decisions may get progressively larger as the relationship develops.

    If a woman isn’t willing to follow my lead at any point in time then she’s simply not relationship material.

    It’s not like Christian men are telling Christian women to submit their finances or sex. It’s small things such as laying aside and following his lead in the relationship in various facets that show him that she is ready to submit as a wife.

    Funny enough, it’s always women (aside from the random FBNF type) who talk about how women don’t have to submit to a man before marriage. Well, if she doesn’t do that she’s not going to show him she’s wife material, and if she’s not wife material she’s not going to represent herself well as a good wife candidate. Some men may tolerate that but to their own peril.

  8. mdavid

    Maea, mdavid, I have never heard of a Catholic who regarded NFP as anything less than licit. The only people I’ve heard saying that are sedes.

    Oh, I get you. I didn’t know that about sedes.

    My view is the view of the Church (and one that I didn’t have to get from reading HV) that NPF while licit is only meant for “serious” reasons. So no spouse of mine is likely to ever need NFP and would be deeply sad if forced to.

    How are people expected to have this “natural understanding” you keep speaking of? Is this learned through osmosis, or Scripture?

    Millions of women in Africa don’t seem to have a problem. It’s only feral rich white girls who seem to lack this “natural understanding”. I guess the richest girls in the history of humanity have so many “serious” reasons to not have kids. But Amish women (whose lives are so easy I guess) lack all these “serious reasons”. Snort.

    The foundation of the Church is rooted in the Bible.

    No, the foundation of the bible is rooted in, written by, and selected by, the Church. If the bible is so obvious to interpret, then how come basically zero “bible alone” types ban birth control anymore? And can remain unified? Clearly, the bible is not an obvious document.

    No, give me a poor, humble, illiterate peasant girl over all the arrogant modern chicks flipping their bibles and encyclicals around. So yes, I expect wife to just “get it”. Or no ring; too risky. Just as she expects husband to just “get it” regarding headship or he better find some lesser girl. If men want quality, they better be quality. If men want humility, they better lead. If men want obedience from wife, they better be obedient to natural law. And Church.

  9. mdavid

    IB, I really would prefer not to agree with mdavid

    This warms my heart. I’m weepy.

  10. M.

    Don’t get married! I can’t reiterate this enough for any unmarried men reading this. The older you get, the more unclouded your mind becomes until one day you’re heartily thankful that you were able to break the line and get away, so to speak. Getting married is like playing Russian roulette with three of the six chambers loaded. Not a good idea.

  11. Maea

    she can be sensible and demonstrate to a man (that she would want to marry) that she would treat him in those ways after marrying (when she does in fact owe it to him) by choosing to follow his lead in appropriate ways, etc. Meaning she can choose to defer to his plans, suggestions, etc. The fact that she doesn’t (yet) owe it to him at that point would (or at least, should) speak very well for her in the man’s eyes.

    This is what I’ve already said, FBNF. But somehow when I said it was it construed as feminist propoganda.

    Millions of women in Africa don’t seem to have a problem. It’s only feral rich white girls who seem to lack this “natural understanding”. I guess the richest girls in the history of humanity have so many “serious” reasons to not have kids. But Amish women (whose lives are so easy I guess) lack all these “serious reasons”. Snort.

    Keep snorting away because the reason why the African women have no problem with it is due to–tada!–culture and you have already said it yourself.

    Perhaps I need to make this plain as day. I was living with my parents when I became engaged. My dad had the final say over me, and he knew it would be that way until he walked me down the aisle to my now-husband. There were a couple of times where his authority was demonstrated over me, and he got to veto a couple of decisions my husband made. THIS is not what most Western women experience.

    But they are expected to just know how to be like the African women, how? You haven’t answered that question other than by stating “just get it.” Good luck with that strategy. It appears to be yielding great results based on what we’ve seen. I sincerely doubt women who are free agents are going to be able to understand what headship is, and then obey in a dating relationship? The only women who are going to “get it” are the ones who are part of similar subcultures and they aren’t just women their fathers are willing to hand over quickly. I hope the unmarried men are aware of that.

    Clearly, the bible is not an obvious document.

    Yet, it’s parsing to refer to them with encyclicals, because the Church knows the Bible isn’t an obvious document.

    If men want quality, they better be quality. If men want humility, they better lead. If men want obedience from wife, they better be obedient to natural law. And Church.

    There’s nothing to disagree with there.

    Some of you keep conflating how a person would demonstrate what kind of spouse they’d be with actual submission and obedience. It’s been made clear why that’s a problem.

  12. mdavid

    Maea, we don’t disagree I think. Only I don’t have any problem figuring out what women are humble (catnip) or spotting the ugliness of the modern independent woman (openly offensive to sexuality).

    I don’t get the whole “under authority” angst thing regarding father or boyfriend. If daughter/girl wants to go off and do her own thing, hey, have fun. It’s a free country, She just shouldn’t expect to attract a worthy mate. Quality traditional men wiling to marry, lead, and husband a family are in critical short supply today. It ain’t 1950. Were I a woman in her early 20s right now I would be scared sh*tless and working every angle I had. But that’s just me.

  13. You both are saying that demonstrating trust in his decisions, respecting his decisions, following his lead in appropriate ways, deferring to his decisions is the wise thing to do, IF he makes you feel like it, which is exactly the same thing IB says about husbands and wives. I’m saying the wise thing is a responsibility. It’s part of the female role and it’s a necessary part of a functional dating culture. The fact that even traditional girls think it’s optional is probably part of why we don’t have a very functional dating culture. It’s unreliable and turns men into dancing monkeys. It’s feminist-inspired because it’s saying essentially that women have no obligations; but merely choose to give what they feel like based on the satisfactory/unsatisfactory performance of the man, while his performance or leadership effort is presumed, a given. It’s his job. (for men all the obligations, none of the rights; for women all the rights, none of the obligations). This is why there are “man up” speeches and sentiments everywhere including in the traditional realm, which are largely ignored because many men aren’t interested in being dancing monkeys. I think she does have responsibilities, and she owes him obedience/submissiveness/demonstrated trust as it pertains to a girlfriend/date. And he does have veto power as well as positive decision-making power as it pertains to a boyfriend/date.

  14. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ DS

    (aside from the random FBNF type)

    lol, I didn’t know I was a type! 😛

    @ Maea

    This is what I’ve already said, FBNF. But somehow when I said it was it construed as feminist propoganda.

    I think that’s because of the way in which your arguments have been presented. You might not have meant it this way, but your arguments are coming across like “women don’t have to do this, and you men shouldn’t expect it!” If you’ve been trying to make the same point I did, it got lost in the rest of it. I didn’t pick up on it, and it seems like others might not have picked up on it either based on the responses you’ve gotten.

  15. mdavid

    Pat, I’m saying the wise thing is a responsibility

    I’m saying it’s all about family. The modern chick planning 2 or less kids can afford to be irresponsible; she’s chosen extinction. Run. But girls who want to be a great-grandmother of 20? Responsibility (and obedience) come natural.

  16. I’m talking in a meta sense, not only about how to navigate the situation as is. I’m not too worried, personally, about proof or identifying submissive women.

  17. Maea

    @mdavid

    Maea, we don’t disagree I think. Only I don’t have any problem figuring out what women are humble (catnip) or spotting the ugliness of the modern independent woman (openly offensive to sexuality).

    We don’t disagree.

    I don’t get the whole “under authority” angst thing regarding father or boyfriend.

    Here’s the deal– I was reared in a very patriarchal and traditional culture, much more than traditional subcultures of the US. I was reared to learn the father’s say is final. Even if his unmarried daughter(s) have a boyfriend or fiance. The veto trump power stays with the male head until marriage. For a daughter to submit to man other than him before marriage (going over his head) would be a lot of trouble. I’ve seen it happen with my relatives.

    @FBNF

    Yeah I figured that happened.

    @Patrick

    I think she does have responsibilities

    Yes, and responsibilities can differ from submission.

    Look, I for one don’t find semantics gymnastics fun, so we will just have to agree to disagree on how we’re defining what these things mean. I’ve said this before, but I can only speak from the perspective of a married woman. It’s very black and white to me because marriage came with the freedoms and responsibilities I didn’t have before.

    I am not a supporter of the hell bent feminist mindset that men should never ever get anything, nor should a woman ever treat them well before marriage, especially if they are honorable men. What I don’t like is the insinuation that’s what I advocate. I could have presented my responses better, but I absolutely do not condone any feminist-inspired drivel.

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