Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tuesday Tips #3

The guest post series by Michael K continues. Fitness is the theme for today:

 

 Tuesday Tip #3: Work Out Daily At Home.

…no wealth better than health of bodyphysical training is of some value…

There is nothing groundbreaking about this tip. It’s old news. I include it only because I wish someone had shown me years ago a practical, low-cost workout that delivers results.

Keeping fit is not the meaning of life. But good health is essential to maximize achievement and leisure, the basis of culture. Thus, in our sedentary culture, a daily exercise routine is vital.

Method and Equipment:

  1.  Work out on a hard floor (basement or garage) 60 min a day, 6 days a week (minus holidays).
  2.  Use adjustable dumbells (e.g. SelectTech, $300+), pull-up/push-up bars ($60), yoga mat ($40).
  3. Alternate (muscle confusion) intense (timed) workouts; heavy weights, low reps.
  4. Minimal clothing under full-spectrum + UV bulbs (<$30).
  5. Wear heart monitor (<$30) to ensure intensity on all exercises.

Exercises:

1) Weight lifting, Pull-ups, Push-ups (60 min): 3x a week (rotate order biweekly).

2) Yoga (35 min), Kenpo (10 min), Abs (15 min): 2x a week.

3) Plyo (45 min), Abs (15 min): 1x a week.

This workout hits every main muscle group weekly: chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms, and core. Performed intensely, it’s also a solid daily cardio workout. After a $500 investment, it’s free.

We do this exercise first thing every morning. It’s routine as meals. Sick or injured? Just show up and sit it out. Remarkably, I can’t remember the last time anyone missed a workout. It’s literally been years. Repetitive yoga has even healed every prior injury, now making this cause of absence moot.

Many people make the perfect the enemy of the good. Yes, there are superior workouts (especially if you want to get jacked). Squats and deadlift are lacking here (though two 65# dumbells get close). Bench press is superior to push-up bars (but not overly so). And more time is always superior.

But: can you maintain an elite, costly, time-consuming workout year after year? Along with a full, varied life that may include marriage, new children, moves, illnesses, and the injuries? My goal was to find that “golden mean” considering it all: time, travel, cost, ease, family, lifestyle, and long-term results.

After nearly a decade of trialing, I think I’m close. Each year we’re stronger and feel younger than the last. Over these years I’ve watched workout fads come and go (along with their adherents’ passion and weight). And winced at their never-ending struggle to “get back” to the gym each new year.

An intense, one-hour daily workout at home is absolutely doable. Year after year. Roll out of bed at 5:00, finish workout at 6:00. One hour. 6 days a week. Zero recurring cost. Zero travel. And everyone is fit, if not shredded. What’s not to like? Forget months. Forget years. Think decades.

Recommended Reading:

Get Serious (Osborn)

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Low Profile

This week is proving to be especially busy for me, so I am going to lay low for a while. I have a guest post coming tomorrow, and of course folks are invited to continue to comment on existing posts. Just don’t expect to see much of me for a week or so.

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Reference: Women, Not Men, Are Driving The Delay In Christian Marriage

[This is a reference post, made to be linked to in the future by myself, or anyone else who finds it helpful and convenient. It may be updated over time to include both past and future conduct.]

There is a significant delay right now in the age of first marriage in the US. We are well outside the historical norm, with women now at marrying at roughly 27 and men at 29. As many have pointed out, including myself, this is a disaster with many repercussions. Among them are a huge increase in sexual immorality, an increase in divorce and a drop in the birthrate.

Possible solutions for this problem are outside the context of this post. Instead, the focus is on why this problem developed. Some have accused men of driving the delay in marriage. An example of this can be found in one of Dalrock’s posts, Clearing the Christian marriage-market.  Dalrock correctly points out to one “Pastor Wilson” that it is not men (or at least, not primarily men) who are responsible for this. Rather, it is women who are driving the delay in marriage in the US right now. To quote from that post:

He overlooks the fact that women are very open about their desire to ride the carousel for as long as possible before marriage.  He also clearly doesn’t understand the realities of the sexual marketplace (SMP) and marriage marketplace (MMP).  Young women are the rockstars of the SMP, while young men are near the bottom.  Since young women have the power, they set the terms.  And what women want* is years, if not a decade or more, of sex with a small subset of the most attractive men before settling for a boring loyal dude.  It makes no sense that men would prefer to marry just when their SMP stock is on the rise, and just when the SMP stock of their soon to be bride is rapidly declining.

Now, women need not desire to participate in the carousel, or at least not participate (although they may want to) to delay marriage. They might simply use their twenties for other endeavors. For example, there is the phenomenon of “Good Christian Girls” going on extended mission trips or ministries or the like. Adding up, they can do these for years, and in the process, delay marriage.

If it were men delaying marriage, and not women, then we would see a greater divergence between the median age of men and first marriage, and the median age of women at first marriage. But there is no such divergence. The gap between the two has remained relatively constant over the course of decades. Given that men prefer young women over older women, all else being equal, and given that women prefer men a few years older than themselves, we can determine that this delay is largely attributable to women.

Update 1:

As a matter of clarification, I am speaking about the micro level here. It is individual women choosing to delay marriage, en masse, which is driving this delay. This is not to say that men are not involved in this process. A fair number of men are delaying marriage too- some because they are told to, and others because they don’t need marriage to get their share of female companionship. In addition, fathers play a huge role in this delay of marriage. Many of them are essentially teaching their daughters to act like sons, and encouraging them towards a life path that necessitates marriage. So men are not blameless here.

At the same time, if one wants to fix this problem, and it is a problem, the primary focus needs to be on changing female behavior. Of course, that necessitates that fathers stop giving bad advice to their daughters. But the focus is on female behavior all the same, although covering the penumbra of factors which influence it.

Furthermore, I am not interested in a blame game. Rather, the goal is to identify a problem, and its source.

[ My readers are of course encouraged to offer their own thoughts as well, and any data they have to support it.]

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A Fixer-Upper

My previous post discussed why men weren’t obligated to “buy damaged goods.” This post extends that discussion a bit, towards something related yet different. [I should also mention that this post is open to both men and women.] My general argument can be stated as this:

Don’t marry someone with the intention of making them a better person so that they end marriageable.

Otherwise stated:

Neither men nor women should ever marry someone who isn’t marriageable at the time of the wedding, in the hopes that the spouse can be “fixed” and turned into a good spouse.

In other words, don’t marry a “fixer-upper.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that people don’t have flaws that can’t be fixed. Far from it- we are all damaged to some degree or another. But there is damaged, and there is damaged. Some people, for whatever reason, are simply not fit for marriage at a given time. Perhaps they can be in the future. But that is the future, not now.

Whether you are a man or a woman, you shouldn’t marry a fixer-upper- someone who needs some serious work before they are fit for marriage. Especially don’t marry them with the goal of making them fit for marriage. That is not your job (and frankly, it shouldn’t be). To tie in with my last post, it isn’t your obligation to make an honest man or woman out of someone. That is between them and God.

The way I see it, and I might have borrowed this from some commenter in the past, but when you marry someone you should assume you are marrying them at their best, and they won’t get better from there. So if you wouldn’t want to be married to someone as they are when they marry you, don’t marry that person. [Confusing, I know.]

I invite my readers/commenters to leave their own thoughts on the subject.

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Masculine Monday- #7

*Men Only*

If you are a young man in the West right now, I don’t envy you. The culture is at best apathetic to your existence, and at worst downright hostile. And if you are a young man who wants to marry in this day and age, well then… you are truly up #$^ creek without a paddle. Lets cut to the chase here. Young women these days are, for the most part, awful.

Their attitudes? Unbearable.

Their behavior? Often unmentionable.

Their desire for marriage? Low.

Their capacity to honor their word? Most non-existent.

And on and on.

Good women who want to marry are few and far between, and their aren’t nearly enough of them to go around. This means that many young men who want to marry will have to choose one of these two options:

  1. Refuse to marry because no worthy women are available
  2. Lower their standards in order to marry

This is a difficult choice to make, and nothing I can say will make it any less difficult. I sympathize with those going through this. How could I not, as I am going through it myself? As a matter of recommendation I would suggest the first course of action, but I won’t belittle a man who chooses the second.

At the same time, a man who makes that decision shouldn’t ever feel pressured into doing it. Which brings me to the point of this post:

Men, you are never obligated to buy damaged goods.

No matter what someone tells you, no matter how much they encourage or pressure or cajole you, you do not have a duty to make a woman “honest” by marrying her.

It is not now, and it never will be, your job to rescue a woman from her past mistakes.

When you marry someone you are basically intertwining them with pretty much every thread of your life. The consequences can’t be overstated. So you owe it to yourself, not to mention the people who rely on you, to marry well.

If you choose to lower your standards on your own, that’s fine. But don’t let anyone tell you that you have to do it. Or that you are a wicked person if you don’t. This goes especially for Christian men.

Don’t let Churchian leaders try and guilt you into marrying a low value. They don’t have your best interests at heart. They either are beholden to women and serve them, not God, or they merely see you as a janitor whose job is to clean up the trash. If they make you feel unwelcome if you resist, then find a new church.

Don’t let people use words like charity or forgiveness to try and trip you up. Remember, marriage is about building a relationship with another person and God, about bringing children into the world and raising them right, and it is about you and your wife getting to heaven. Marrying poorly will help you in none of these.

So refuse to be steamrolled into marrying poorly. Marriage affects everything about you, including your soul. Marry wisely, and marry under your own direction, not that of others.

19 My child, keep sound the bloom of your youth,
    and do not give your strength to strangers.
20 Seek a fertile field within the whole plain,
    and sow it with your own seed, trusting in your fine stock.
21 So your offspring will prosper,
    and, having confidence in their good descent, will grow great.
22 A prostitute is regarded as spittle,
    and a married woman as a tower of death to her lovers.
23 A godless wife is given as a portion to a lawless man,
    but a pious wife is given to the man who fears the Lord.
24 A shameless woman constantly acts disgracefully,
    but a modest daughter will even be embarrassed before her husband.
25 A headstrong wife is regarded as a dog,
    but one who has a sense of shame will fear the Lord.
26 A wife honoring her husband will seem wise to all,
    but if she dishonors him in her pride she will be known to all as ungodly.
    Happy is the husband of a good wife;
    for the number of his years will be doubled.
27 A loud-voiced and garrulous wife is like a trumpet sounding the charge,
    and every person like this lives in the anarchy of war.

(Sirach 26:19-27)

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Saturday Saints- #111

This time around we return to the letter D. Therefore our saint for today is Saint Dunstan:

Dunstan (Latin: Dunstanus; 909 – 19 May 988 AD) was an Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury, later canonised as a saint. His work restored monastic life in England and reformed the English Church. His 11th-century biographer, Osbern, himself an artist and scribe, states that Dunstan was skilled in “making a picture and forming letters”, as were other clergy of his age who reached senior rank.

Dunstan served as an important minister of state to several English kings. He was the most popular saint in England for nearly two centuries, having gained fame for the many stories of his greatness, not least among which were those concerning his famed cunning in defeating the devil.

More can be found out about him at his wiki, located here.

saint_dunstan

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Tradition Thursday- #54

A few weeks back commenter Ioannes Barbarus was curious why John Chrysostom was so adamant that husbands cannot beat their wives:

In more than one place, but especially in his homily on 1 Cor 11, St. Chrysostom denies that men may beat their wives. The vigor of his denunciation bothers me. Oddly, it’s to him I look for support for the very reason I disagree: that women are best treated somewhat like children, as he says in his homily on Ephesians 5. Can you, DG, or anyone else, shed some light on this topic?

Before I write a post addressing that question, I would like to include some of the Doctor of the Church’s discussion on the subject. Here is part of his 26th Homily on First Corinthians:

8. Let not then the wife tarry for the virtue of the husband and then show her own, for this is nothing great; nor, on the other hand, the husband, for the obedience of the wife and then exercise self-command; for neither would this any more be his own well-doing; but let each, as I said, furnish his own share first. For if to the Gentiles smiting us on the right, we must turn the other cheek; much more ought one to bear with harsh behavior in a husband.

And I say not this for a wife to be beaten; far from it: for this is the extremest affront, not to her that is beaten, but to him who beats. But even if by some misfortune thou have such a yokefellow allotted you, take it not ill, O woman, considering the reward which is laid up for such things and their praise too in this present life. And to you husbands also this I say: make it a rule that there can be no such offense as to bring you under the necessity of striking a wife. And why say I a wife? Since not even upon his handmaiden could a free man endure to inflict blows and lay violent hands. But if the shame be great for a man to beat a maidservant, much more to stretch forth the right hand against her that is free. And this one might see even from heathen legislatures who no longer compel her that has been so treated to live with him that beat her, as being unworthy of her fellowship. For surely it comes of extreme lawlessness when your partner of life, she who in the most intimate relations and in the highest degree, is united with you; when she, like a base slave, is dishonored by you. Wherefore also such a man, if indeed one must call him a man and not rather a wild beast, I should say, was like a parricide and a murderer of his mother. For if for a wife’s sake we were commanded to leave even father and mother, not wronging them but fulfilling a divine law; and a law so grateful to our parents themselves that even they, the very persons whom we are leaving, are thankful, and bring it about with great eagerness; what but extreme frenzy can it be to insult her for whose sake God bade us leave even our parents?

But we may well ask, Is it only madness? There is the shame too: I would fain know who can endure it. And what description can set it before us; when shrieks and wailings are borne along the alleys, and there is a running to the house of him that is so disgracing himself, both of the neighbors and the passers by, as though some wild beast were ravaging within? Better were it that the earth should gape asunder for one so frantic, than that he should be seen at all in the forum after it.

But the woman is insolent, says he. Consider nevertheless that she is a woman, the weaker vessel, whereas you are a man. For therefore were thou ordained to be ruler; and were assigned to her in place of a head, that you might bear with the weakness of her that is set under you. Make then your rule glorious. And glorious it will be when the subject of it meets with no dishonor from you. And as the monarch will appear so much the more dignified, as he manifests more dignity in the officer under him; but if he dishonor and depreciate the greatness of that rank, he is indirectly cutting off no small portion of his own glory likewise: so also thou dishonor her who governs next to yourself, wilt in no common degree mar the honor of your governance.

Considering therefore all these things, command yourself: and withal think also of that evening on which the father having called you, delivered you his daughter as a kind of deposit, and having separated her from all, from her mother, from himself, from the family, entrusted her entire guardianship to your right hand. Consider that (under God) through her you have children and hast become a father, and be thou also on that account gentle towards her.

Do you see not the husbandmen, how the earth which has once received the seed, they tend with all various methods of culture, though it have ten thousand disadvantages; e.g., though it be an unkindly soil or bear ill weeds, or though it be vexed with excessive rain through the nature of its situation? This also do thou. For thus shall you be first to enjoy both the fruit and the calm. Since your wife is to you both a harbor, and a potent healing charm to rejoice your heart. Well then: if you shall free your harbor from winds and waves, you shall enjoy much tranquility on your return from the market-place: but if you fill it with clamor and tumult, thou dost but prepare for yourself a more grievous shipwreck.  In order then to prevent this, let what I advise be done: When any thing uncomfortable happens in the household, if she be in the wrong console her and do not aggravate the discomfort. For even if you should lose all, nothing is more grievous than to have a wife without good-will sharing your abode. And whatever offense you can mention, you will tell me of nothing so very painful as being at strife with her. So that if it were only for such reasons as these, let her love be more precious than all things. For if one another’s burdens are to be borne, much more our own wife’s.

Though she be poor do not upbraid her: though she be foolish, do not trample on her, but train her rather: because she is a member of you, and you have become one flesh.  But she is trifling and drunken and passionate. You ought then to grieve over these things, not to be angry; and to beseech God, and exhort her and give her advice, and do every thing to remove the evil. But if you strike her thou dost aggravate the disease: for fierceness is removed by moderation, not by rival fierceness. With these things bear in mind also the reward from God: that when it is permitted you to cut her off, and you do not so for the fear of God, but bearest with so great defects, fearing the law appointed in such matters which forbids to put away a wife whatsoever disease she may have: you shall receive an unspeakable reward. Yea, and before the reward you shall be a very great gainer, both rendering her more obedient and becoming yourself more gentle thereby. It is said, for instance, that one of the heathen philosophers , who had a bad wife, a trifler and a brawler, when asked, Why, having such an one, he endured her; made reply, That he might have in his house a school and training-place of philosophy. For I shall be to all the rest meeker, says he, being here disciplined every day. Did you utter a great shout? Why, I at this moment am greatly mourning, when heathens prove better lovers of wisdom than we; we who are commanded to imitate angels, nay rather who are commanded to follow God Himself in respect of gentleness.

But to proceed: it is said that for this reason the philosopher having a bad wife, cast her not out; and some say that this very thing was the reason of his marrying her. But I, because many men have dispositions not exactly reasonable, advise that at first they do all they can, and be careful that they take a suitable partner and one full of all virtue. Should it happen, however, that they miss their end, and she whom they have brought into the house prove no good or tolerable bride, then I would have them at any rate try to be like this philosopher, and train her in every way, and consider nothing more important than this. Since neither will a merchant, until he have made a compact with his partner capable of procuring peace, launch the vessel into the deep, nor apply himself to the rest of the transaction. And let us then use every effort that she who is partner with us in the business of life and in this our vessel, may be kept in all peace within. For thus shall our other affairs too be all in calm, and with tranquility shall we run our course through the ocean of the present life. Compared with this, let house, and slaves, and money, and lands, and the business itself of the state, be less in our account. And let it be more valuable than all in our eyes that she who with us sits at the oars should not be in mutiny and disunion with us. For so shall our other matters proceed with a favoring tide, and in spiritual things also we shall find ourselves much the freer from hindrance, drawing this yoke with one accord; and having done all things well, we shall obtain the blessings laid up in store; unto which may we all attain, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.

(Source)

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