Market Analysis: Penny Stocks

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began with my post Market Watch. Today I want to cover a topic which was brought up by Elspeth in a couple of comments. Here is the first:

I’m just done, done, done, with pretending that Christ cannot change people deep down and for real. Suppose Paul had been deemed of no earthly use to the Church because of his previous persecution of it.

Which is followed by this:

None of that changes my original assertion that people can and do have sincere changes of heart, and that any person’s decision to reject a certain group of people as mates is fine but let’s kill the “even real and true Christians are damaged beyond any kind of repair as potential mates”.

The issue here is whether some people are so “damaged” that there is no realistic hope of recovery, and thus, eventual marriageability. In the past the word “ruined” might have been used of such cases- as in, ruined for marriage.

First to define “damage” in this context.  A simple explanation would be strains or burdens on someone’s physical/mental/emotional well-being which impair his or her ability to have a successful/stable marriage. [If someone has thoughts on a better explanation please mention below.] I mention all of these because they can and do all affect one’s capacity to be a good spouse.

It is also worth mentioning that these factors- these burdens- are not necessarily the fault of the person in question. Some are- the products of sin, for example. But others might simply be the product of nature (think certain illnesses) or the willful actions of others (the trauma created by abuse, for example).

The way I see it, what we are talking about here is a spectrum of “damage.” Everyone has at least some damage- small things which would get in the way of their being a good husband or wife. However, there is a spread which takes place. Some people have relatively little damage (a few bad habits), and others have a huge amount of damage (think of some stories from the ‘sphere). Now, somewhere on this spectrum is a point where someone is too damaged to be considered marriageable. That is, they are too burdened, as they are at that time, to make a good spouse. [I suspect this point is not fixed- it is heavily influenced by culture and the overall environment- thoughts for another post.]

Now all of this needs to take into account that where people fall in this spectrum changes over time. Sometimes damage is “healed.” Sometimes it gets worse or new damage takes place. So the real question is whether some damage cannot “heal” or get better.

Well, having thought it over some, I think there are some people who are beyond simply “damaged.” These people are broken. I suspect most of my readers know people like this. People who have experienced terrible trauma and struggle with it daily. They are enduring burdens which go beyond the need for ordinary healing- they need out and out miracles. And not the everyday miracles we often overlook- I mean the the kind which are unmistakable.

Now, these miracles do happen. Perhaps my readers know of some instances, either with people they know or have heard of through the grapevine. But all the same, without such miracles those people would not have improved.  Thankfully they are not common. But they do exist.

At the same time, all of this has gotten me thinking about how exactly people “heal.” And how Christian transformations work. I know they work- I have seen them happen first hand. But I have been wondering about the process. Since Elspeth mentioned St. Paul, I think this seems appropriate to ponder:

I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

Part of me wonders if the transformation is not always about healing. That is, it isn’t about removing the harm or burden. Instead, it is about lending strength to the person in question such that they are able to carry on despite the burden. If so, this is important to understand because there is a marked difference in how they operate.

If the burden is gone, then it should hopefully not come back to haunt someone in the future. But if the burden remains and is covered by grace, then a lapse in faith by the person means that it comes out full force again.

Perhaps my readers have some thoughts on this they would like to share. I am curious to hear what you folks have to say.

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19 Comments

Filed under Alpha Widow, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Sin, Women

19 responses to “Market Analysis: Penny Stocks

  1. Novaseeker

    It’s really all about risk assessment.

    People can and do change, that’s clear, but at the same time their pasts do impact their present. This is the case for everyone, of course, but the risk assessment has to do with what kinds of pasts, despite people’s efforts to change themselves (or openness to being changed by grace) nevertheless make them a poor candidate for a risky proposition like marriage. I isn’t condemning these people to hell, but rather assessing them frankly as worse candidates for marriage than other people who do not share that kind of past behavior.

    In terms of relapsing, I think this is always possible, yet it becomes less likely if more time has passed and less congruent behaviors have solidified and become a kind of stable new normal for the person in question. A recovered alcoholic who has been sober for 20 years is less likely to relapse (but, of course, still can relapse) than someone who has been sober for 12 or 14 months — again it has to do with new habits and ways of being coming into play in a more solid and permanent way in the person’s life. It’s the same for someone recovering from a sexually indulgent lifestyle — if someone has been living chaste for quite a few years after that, they’re less likely to relapse into that lifestyle than someone who has only been chaste for 12-14 months, because the latter’s “new habits” are not nearly as solidified yet.

    The problem in how this intersects with marriage, however, is that typically the people who are entering the marriage market in the mid to late 20s don’t have enough time and habit formation in place *after* they have stepped away from the sexually indulgent lifestyle such that one can be more comfortable that the relapse risk is low, and that someone has really made lasting, fundamental changes that are unlikely to come unwound. There hasn’t been enough time yet for that to happen by the time most people are entering the marriage market in those years. So for people at those ages, it’s more appropriate to be skeptical of the likelihood that they have made lasting changes that reduce the relapse risk substantially, and to consider many, instead, to be only early on the path of establishing a new lifestyle which is stable and permanent, and therefore much more of a wildcard risk when it comes to relapse risk.

  2. What Nova said. But I also want to add a couple of things.

    It’s also about the caliber/quality of partner someone can reasonably hope to attract after being damaged or broken. I’m talking mainly about women here. Most men can still be attracted to women, and can still find attractive women, after trauma, damage, or breaks, and after they’ve been healed.

    Many women, however, cannot seem to do this. From my experience and from experiences of others, most women after a promiscuous lifestyle with very attractive men who wouldn’t commit to them can’t seem to get attracted to the men who are willing to commit to them despite their pasts. They just can’t feel attraction for men willing to commit to them. That’s something women with those pasts need to know and understand about themselves, as well as something men in general need to know and understand about women presenting with those pasts.

    The issues from those pasts, or the issues which caused or are caused by those pasts, can heal, but the lingering aftereffect seems to be that they just can’t gin up attraction for men who will have them. Which suggests to me incomplete healing, or perhaps brokenness only partially covered by grace. This is mostly the women’s fault; but it’s also partially a result of there just not being very many attractive men, and the overall declining of men’s attractiveness over the past few decades.

    “So the real question is whether some damage cannot “heal” or get better.”

    I think that’s true. I think some damage cannot “heal” or get better. But that’s mostly because women choose to stay in their damage and brokenness, and refuse to acknowledge that their pasts have consequences. Spiritually, they’re washed clean (if they truly have accepted Christ), but temporally, their bodies and psyches will always bear the scars of their sins. Conversion does NOT remove temporal consequences. She still has that STD she got. That baby she had out of wedlock still exists. Yet, women still claim entitlement to the very attractive hot man of their dreams, despite their past sins.

    The issue to me is women demanding that they should suffer absolutely no adverse consequences from their pasts, which is totally unreasonable. Men are going to judge them for their pasts, and that cannot be avoided.

  3. All that Christ promises is salvation if you stay faithful to grace. That does not mean that any individual will, or will not, change their behavior or put aside all ramifications from past sins. In fact, usually they don’t.

    I mean, look at St Paul. He went and ended up quietly working for God for years after his revelations, became a chaste religious, and fought spiritual warfare while suffering persecution from those that should have been peers as well as his full out enemies.

    Is that common? No.

    There is a reason that, if you read lives of early Christians, those that lived sinful lives became religious. I can recall none that married. This is, in fact, because they are “ruined” for marriage. They had built up habits and dispositions that are directly contrary to those needed to attain salvation within the family for themselves and those in their care. That is to say nothing of the understanding that early Christians had, and we have lost, that a good confession is only the beginning of moving beyond sins, and that a life of penance is needed to repair a the great spiritual devastation wrought by sin.

    Can it be done in a family setting? Yes. But it takes a great deal of change and work beforehand. It takes a desire to really suffer and suffer well the rest of ones life. I say this from my own experience and observations. These are things a woman cannot, by nature and natural law, do in the same manner as a man where I can say to my wife how a future (and now realized) family will live.

    So yes, people can be ruined. They can be repaired. But “get thee to a nunnery” is a legitimate reasoning, and a cause for mourning at the current state of most religious orders.

    When a woman is ruined for a mere mortal spouse, the soul is called to be more closely espoused to Christ. This is not a sad thing, but in fact is a higher calling. Nor should it be surprising, as even in natural justice a more grave crime calls for greater reparation.

    Again, the saddest thing is the state of things that it is so incredibly difficult for men and women to pursue these vocations and callings. It is not surprising that the woman or man should do so.

  4. The true fact that “Christ can change people deep down and for real” does not imply that we do not have a duty toward Prudence, nor does it imply that God *will* change any particular person in any particular way.
    Though God desires our improvement and growth and healing, we are free to get in the way and mess things up.

  5. I’m offering this based on a minuscule sample size (one male, one female). But for people who had no frame of reference for the idea that premarital sex was a sin, and then learning upon conversion to Christianity, there seemed to be an instant shock of realization followed by a very strong commitment to holding fast to God’s truth from that day forward.

    I have lost touch with the woman but I know that for at least 8 years after her conversion, the change was drastic. She was the walking embodiment of “behold all things have become new”. She was a good wife, too. The guy; he’s done quite fine as well.

    I think people who engage in sins with awareness of the wrongness of their actions have a longer gap to bridge on the road to healing than those who had no such awareness. This is true whatever the sin is.

    When you consider that NO ONE is born a Christian, and very, very few people are being raised in Christia homes or even with any sort of understanding of Christian morals as the ideal, those who convert are far more likely to have an experience similar to the two people I described above than in any other generation. Or perhaps I am too optimistic and have substituted my own presumptions for faith. I don’t know.

    Either way, it’s perfectly acceptable for people to decide that any other person is not worth the risk. None of us is entitled to a spouse. And religious vocation is perfectly honorable and, as Chad said, a high calling.

  6. A few thoughts.

    1. From what I’ve seen, men tend to be able to “compartmentalize” better than women. For example, someone may be a “good Christian” but “bad risk for marriage.” Many Christians I have seen conflate the rejection of someone for their marriage suitability with an indignation as if somehow they’re rejecting them when God wouldn’t.

    This is primarily targeted at men.

    2. Temporal consequences of sin are not removed. This goes along with what deti has said. Overall, sinful behavior tends to leave either physical, emotional, or other “scars” on people. Some may be removed with healing with God, and some may not.

    Most Christians fail to understand why “things in the past” may make someone a risk for marriage that should be considered when evaluating if you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

    3. As Elspeth notes, before/after Christianity is definitely something to look for. As I’ve stated before, I’d rather marry a woman who has had sex with a few men who has shown a consistent pattern of godly growth and good works over the the immodest and unchaste virgin who is a Sunday Christian.

    4. Overall, both men and women have freedom to choose. Those who are too picky may not end up with anyone, while those who are too accepting may end up with someone whose red flags may sink their marriage.

    Each person should know this and be wise and prudent in their own decision making about marriage.

  7. “I have lost touch with the woman but I know that for at least 8 years after her conversion, the change was drastic.”

    I’d wondered who you were thinking about when making those statements. It was clearly not a reasoned position.

  8. anonymous_ng

    I think that yes, some people are so damaged as to be unsuitable as a spouse, however, I think that they are so because of their unwillingness to press in and do the hard work required to change and grow and rebuild themselves into someone that is suitable.

    Is someone who has traded an addiction to cigarettes for an addiction to exercise any better a choice for a spouse? Perhaps. Or, it may be that just because they’ve traded a moderately unacceptable addiction for one that is more socially acceptable, nothing has changed on the inside and whatever is driving that behavior is still in control.

    I know two women who are trim and in shape, but the rest of the women in their immediate families’ are overweight ranging from moderately so to morbidly obese.

    Are either of these women suitable choices? I could argue either way. On the one hand, they have put in the work necessary to defy their genetics and familial upbringing, and seemed likely to continue on that path. Conversely, they could easily find themselves as they get older, or due to an injury, in a downward spiral reverting to their familial mean.

    It seems to me that we cast our nets into such a shallow pond, we’re tempted to grab hold of the first fish to enter the net. However, it takes a lot more effort and energy to cast a wider net.

  9. MK

    Really excellent post and commentary. My thoughts:

    1) One of the surest ways to see if a woman has changed is how she handles her family or friends from her past life.

    2) For women who do convert, there is a very narrow window of time for marriage afterward.

    3) There is a lot of focus on chastity here. This makes sense. But it’s not the only sin that modern females indulge in routinely which may make them unmarriageable. Sexual prudishness. Consumerism. Normative disobedience to men in general. Not being willing to let go of her mother or father. Individualism. Feminism. Media junky. Glutton. For me, any of these is more likely to be traumatic to marriage than (non-excessive) prior sexual indiscretion. And of course as a practical matter many woman simply cannot handle children nor homemaking and a man has to watch for that too.

  10. Some additional quick thoughts.

    First, this wasn’t directed at women. What I discussed applies equally to men.

    Second, a lot of folks focused on Chastity, but as MK notes there are other sins to consider. Lust is only one of 7 deadly sins. Others can be just as problematic for other reasons.

    Finally, this isn’t only about sin. There are other scars we each carry that can affect marriageability, and they might be just as significant.

  11. Samuel Culpepper

    There seems to be alot of focus on the “risks” of marrying unchaste woman , which is to say risk of frivorce. But what about the simple fact that another mans penis and semen has been in her body . . . that’s enough for me not to have anything to do with her! If you don’t have sexual exclusivity, you don’t have a marriage in my view. We weren’t designed to be any other way, so why do we go through all these mental gymnastics to explain or excuse this behavior? Man is simply territorial when it comes to his property and must have exclusivity to truly love a woman.

  12. Crossphased

    This post has an excellent title. Penny stocks describes the situation very well.

  13. @ Crossphased

    Thanks. I try to make them relevant.

  14. Crossphased

    The epiphany phase is being confused with a salvation experience in some cases.

    The sad truth is that repentance and being faithful to God comes with no earthly guarantees of having or obtaining a good spouse, even if the man or woman truly repents.

    Faithfulness can be lonely.

    Paul’s advice to widows is valuable applied to both women and men:
    1 Timothy 5:5,6 “She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.”

  15. MK

    DG: First, this wasn’t directed at women. What I discussed applies equally to men.

    Fair enough:

    1) A fair way to see if a man has changed is how he handles his family or friends from his past life. But many men are independent enough to handle this negotiation, so cold-turkey is not always required.

    2) For men who convert, there is a reasonable window of time for marriage afterward as long as it doesn’t involve emotional intimacy with women.

    3) There is a lot of focus on chastity here. This makes little sense regarding men who can engage in sex with little emotional consequences. But even so, unmarried sex is not the only sin that modern men indulge in. Consumerism. Normative disobedience to authority in general. Arrogance. Not willing to reject the sins of his father and mother. Individualism. Sports junky. Glutton. Lack of fitness. Sloth. And of course as a practical matter many men simply cannot lead and a girl has to watch for that too.

  16. Just to reply to an old comment of Novaseeker:

    I just think it’s very hard for men to understand what it’s like to be contextually unattracted to most of the women around us.

    I don’t think it’s terribly hard to understand, or at least imagine, in the current environment. The epidemic of obesity, alcoholism, drug abuse, mudsharking, narcissism etc. is having a noticeable effect on the female population. A growing segment of women are fat, frumpy, generally in a poor shape, or just basically nasty. They are not a majority, at least not in most social contexts, but they are a growing and sizable segment.

  17. Late to the party here. I see Zippy has made a parallel, in an earlier post, between women having casual flings and men masturbating to porn and using prostitutes. That’s a false parallel. These acts are immoral from a Christian perspective, but they aren’t in parallel. There are many women who masturbate and/or consume porn – that is, porn created for women, like pornographic “romance” novels (50 Shades of Grey etc.), porn featuring homosexual male lovers etc. -, who manipulate friendzoned betas for emotional comfort and resources (which is pretty much the female equivalent to using prostitutes). And in many cases, they do all this without engaging in casual sex. But they are still being immoral in the same way as men who masturbate and visit prostitutes.

  18. Crossphased

    That’s a great insight Höllenhund, and if it’s followed it leads to a realisation of what the market imbalance is, and which sex is more disadvantaged by it (meaning who has more work to do in order to be successful).

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