Category Archives: Moral Agency

Market Watch

In my previous post, A Poor Example,  I mentioned a post that Scott and Elspeth wrote about how June Cleaver might be unmarriageable right now. What I want to do with this post is make a series of observations based on what they mentioned in their post, as well as in the comments. I will likely expand on it over time, as I have a chance to re-read the comments. This won’t be an in-depth post, but rather more of a list with perhaps a comment or two of my own.

So here are some of my observations:

  • The Market for devout Christians, men and women alike, is awful. I wrote previously on this topic in my Market Failure series of posts. You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 via the links. As for who has it worse, I think that is mostly an academic exercise. My gut says men more than women, but not by a huge amount.
  •  Geography play a huge role in the difficulties of the marriage market right now. Different geographic locations are more or less favorable to men or women. My suspicion is that where I live the ratio between marriageable men and women heavily tilts to men, and that of course makes the market tougher for men.
  • Demographics also plays a significant role. As various Christian groups have splintered, and there is even more separation in belief within groups, the overall pool of eligible mates has dropped precipitously. So while absolute numbers might be up, the actual pool is perhaps smaller than it has been for perhaps even centuries.
  • Most Christian parents are not raising devout Christian children. Much less marriageable ones.
  • Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.
  • Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

 

Also, the answer to this:

Is it possible that parents of the last several generations, responding to the cultural cues from blue-pill pastors and other sources have raised both sex children to be pretty useless at “traditional” marriage, and therefore a different approach to finding matches for them may be required?

…is yes and yes.

More to come as I think on it.

Update: A few more observations-

  • The market is seriously hampered by the amount of deception going on. The worst lies, from what I have seen, tend to be those that people tell themselves. Self-deception makes hit harder to diagnose problems, among other ills.
  • Introverts and shy people are especially vulnerable in the market right now. Given how few effective venues there are for meeting eligible mates, each one has to count that much more. For introverts, that is much more difficult.
  • I am among the most the most “pro-marriage” of guys in the Christian manosphere. At least as it applies to my own life. Only a couple might be at the same level as me, such as Deep Strength. I don’t know if that was the case originally, but it seems to be the case now. And even despite my subjective “gun-ho” approach I am still very cautious.
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Filed under Courtship, Femininity, Hypergamy, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Moral Agency, Parenting, Red Pill, The Church, Tradition, Women

Tissue-Paper Walls

A few days ago a first time commenter left a comment on an old post of mine, A Must Read Story. There is a small part of her rather longish comment that I want to examine. The key part is in bold:

it’s very difficult to have high self-esteem when you do everything “right” but still have poor luck with the opposite sex, and it creates a very lonely feeling when you follow your values but end up getting victimized for it. Our society is simply set up so that selfish people appear to get ahead–that goes for Chads sleeping with hundreds of women, and the slutty girls having “fun.” Eva is the equivalent of the beta male looking on confused, and just because you can’t imagine a woman sharing that experience with you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In fact, most women are profoundly insecure. The ones who are open about it–like Eva–haven’t learned the lesson that YOU perceive all women to be adept at–hiding their feelings and vulnerabilities.

Most women are profoundly insecure.

That little tidbit is the subject of today’s post. I’ve written on it before, in my post Beta Farming. I explained my reasoning at the time of why women might be insecure. Some of my reasoning:

Much of this insecurity comes from the gap in physical prowess between men and women. We men are much more capable of defending ourselves and imposing our will on our environment than women are- at least at the individual level. But whatever its source, it has a profound effect on female behavior. Women are constantly, and often at an unconscious or subconscious level, trying to alter their environment to make it feel more secure.

Having thought about it more, I can think of additional reasons for female insecurity.  One of them is that women know (mostly at an unconscious level) how vulnerable pregnancy and child-raising makes them. Another is that women, again unconsciously, realize how limited their peak fertility and SMV window is. They worry about optimizing that time, and covering for when they are no longer at their peak. There is plenty of room for speculation there, and my commenters can feel free to contribute.

However, I want talk about how the insecurity should be handled. One of the problems with that insecurity is that ill-intentioned men can exploit it. Often times quite easily. And course, it usually isn’t entirely unwillingly. But exploitable it still remains.

At the same time, I think that this insecurity is something that good men can relieve or buttress. They can, in the right scenario, build up women’s confidence in a positive way. This can help women resist that lure of exploitation or build up a wall against it. Men can supplement the tissue paper or paper mache walls that women may have with walls of stone and gates of iron.

Unfortunately, our society isn’t exactly eager to see this happen. Fatherhood has been trashed, both as a social as well as a legal force. Fathers are essentially powerless to protect their daughters these days, especially when they are older. Likewise, our society does its level best to keep women away from actual good men, who though few in number still exist. Certainly it tries hard to keep women from marrying such men when they are young.

Now, what I am saying gets awfully close to white knighting. I will admit that gives me pause. All the same, I think the argument is potent indeed that strong men are needed to protect women- from themselves. But for that to happen men need actual power to go with that responsibility. Our present cadre of White Knights, especially in Churchian circles, is what you get when you take that power away from men. Men become modern caricatures of Don Quixote, assaulting windmills left and right and ignoring the real threats all around them.

I will leave with two questions I want to pose to my readers.

First, what methods can be used to protect women, assuming the necessary social structure was in place?

Second, if that structure is not in place, how can it be created, or what workarounds can be used if it cannot?

 

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Filed under Alpha Widow, Beta, Civilization, Marriage Market Place, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, Women

Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

The Necessity Of Suffering

I have been meaning to write a follow-up to Ace’s post “To feel the pain that spurs you on” “To feel the pain that spurs you on” for over a week now, but various matters intruded and kept me from it. It intrigued me for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that it explores critical difference in how men and women think- a pet issue of mine.

His post is in many respects a follow up to one he wrote almost a year ago- “That’s why I cut you just to heal you.” That post is one I also responded to, with The Misery Of Too Much Comfort. So in a way, this post is a double follow-up, in that it addresses posts both old and new.

In my old post I offered a theory as to why women these days are so quick to go out and do things that will make them suffer:

Women expect suffering in their life- it is the natural thing. [Think about the vast majority of human history- filled with suffering for pretty much everyone.] When women are too comfortable, when suffering is absent from their life, then it sends a message to their unconscious mind that something is wrong, that what they are living is an unnatural life. That message of unnaturalness will only be repeated over the years as they grow up. They will know, somewhere deep down inside, that something is wrong. Unfortunately, because this is unconscious, they won’t know what it is, exactly, that is wrong.

This will, naturally enough, lead them to feel miserable. The misery is only made worse because they won’t understand it. It will gnaw on their mind incessantly, like an itch you can’t quite reach.

I suspect that part of the reason that women act so crazy in the west today is because of this. Using that itch analogy I just mentioned- women act crazy because they are trying to scratch that itch. Only they don’t quite know how- so they do so in extreme ways. Again, deep down inside they know they should be suffering, so they go out and make themselves suffer (without every truly understanding that is what they are doing).

Ace, in his own far more concise way, offers an alternate explanation:

[W]omen use suffering (subconsciously, at least) to demonstrate resilience.

In fact, more often than not, women’s complaints are (at heart) actually backhanded boasts of how much suffering they can take.

Now, as interesting as these theories are, they aren’t the key matter I want to examine in this post. Instead, I was fascinated by this (in hindsight obvious) point Ace made:

In fairy tales, the most desirable/marriageable women

had terrible & harsh lives [“childhoods”].

This is not a coincidence but a lesson.

This got me thinking about the role that suffering plays in the rearing/raising of children. More specifically, the different roles that it plays for men and women.

You see, I think that enduring a certain amount of suffering is necessary for the healthy growth and maturity of both men and women. However, the way that the suffering should be experienced/handled is different between them.

For men, suffering should be a tool that is used to strengthen them. They should be exposed to trials and challenges and then forced to overcome those challenges. In that overcoming of obstacles they will be forced to break down the old self, the boy, and build up a new self- the man. This process is repeated over and over as a boy grows up into a man. If successful, he comes out as a strong, tested and confident man who can tackles whatever life throws his way.

For women, on the other hand, suffering is a tool that is used to remove weaknesses and flaws. While that might seem similar to what men undergo, it isn’t. They aren’t put through trials and challenges in the same way. The reason why is simple- the goal isn’t to break the girl down and then build her up as a woman. Instead, the goal is to raise her right from the beginning, and over time to wear down any and all negative traits.

Let me try to explain this further with an agricultural analogy-

For both men and women you have a field that represents them and their character. In the beginning it is sown with wheat. As they get older, however, weeds creep up throughout the field. The wheat represents ideal traits, the weeds negative traits.

For women, the way to deal with this problem is to get on your hands and knees and pull up those weeds. Start in one corner and work your way throughout the field. It will likely be necessary to double-back at some point to deal with any new weeds that sprouted in already cleared parts of the field. As a result, this is a long, continuous process that won’t end for a long, long time (until the woman is that wizened grandmother).

For men, the way to deal with this problem is to cordon off parts of the field. Then, once it is in sections, turn to the first one. Tear everything up. Leave that section as a bare field. Then plant and sow new seed. Water it. Let it grow. Remove any weeds that start to sprout. Then move to the next section, and repeat the process. Do this section by section until the whole field has been attended to.

Tying all of this back to the title of the post, I am arguing here (as I have in the past) that suffering is necessary for healthy character development of both men and women. However, the way that suffering should play out is very between between the two sexes. One of the many problems with our present age is that we have forgotten this, and all too often children are raised alike, irrespective of whether they are boys and girls. And of course, all too often their lives contain far too much comfort, and far too little suffering.

This theory has been bouncing around in my head for almost two weeks now, and I am curious what my readers think about it. Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below. Tell me where I am right, where I am wrong, and where else you think all of this can go.

 

 

 

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Filed under Blue Pill, Fitness Test, Men, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, Uncategorized

Lowest Common Denominator

In today’s post I want to examine the subject of who “keeps” a nation’s morality. Given the state of moral decay in the West at the moment, and the overall mess that is the marriage market, I think it a topic worth exploring. Since it is a fairly broad subject, I will give considerable latitude to my readers in their responses. But at the same time I would ask that folks use common sense, and not abuse this privilege.

A number of figures have argued, and argue still, that women are the one’s who set the “moral tone” of a civilization. One such figure was Fulton Sheen, who said in Life is Worth Living:

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.  When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Others, including I think some around the ‘sphere, have argued the opposite. I do not have any quotes to provide at the moment, as I think this position is argued more by the commentariat than by most bloggers. But I know I’ve seen it.

Before I go on, I should clarify something. I am not examining the subject of which sex, male or female, is more “naturally virtuous.” Or which is more naturally civilized, or a greater fit for civilization, or some such. Rather, I am examining which sex sets the bar of morality in a civilization. In math terms, which is the lowest common denominator?

I do not think that Rev. Fulton Sheen was expressing above a belief that women are more naturally virtuous than men. Rather, he was stating that when women in a society are moral, it is likely that the men will be too. Conversely, the implication is that when men in a society are moral, women do not necessarily follow suite. [The argument that the men in a society can only be moral when the women are, and so the reverse stated before isn’t true, is a different argument altogether.]

As I see it, there are four mutually exclusive alternatives here: women set the bar, men set the bar, neither sets the bar (they are both independent of each other) or both set the bar (there is a casual link between the two in terms of moral level). I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on which they think is true.

Also, I think there can be a number of different possible factors which might be responsible for any bar setting that might occur. They are, in no particular order:

  • Inspiration- The moral character of one sex inspires the other to live a more virtuous life (perhaps in order to be “worthy” of them).
  • Reactivity- One sex might be more inclined by nature to mirror the moral character of the other sex (this is more instinctive than a deliberate choice)
  • Responsiveness to Leadership- One sex might be more inclined by nature to respond to moral leaders and their directions on the moral life. [If one sex is less responsive  than the other it is all the more essential that it be trained/raised properly when young.]

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that I could think of in short order.

While I am one who loves intellectual discovery for no other purpose than curiosity, something else is driving me here. If one sex is naturally more influential when it comes to the moral character of a people, than it stands to reason that more care needs to be exerted raising that sex while young. After all, a misallocation of time (that most precious of resources) could have lasting effects on the virtue of a civilization. And even if time is spent, it if is spent poorly it will still have deleterious effects. Perhaps even leading to collapse, in the end.

And with those dark thoughts I invite my readers to step forward and voice their own.

 

 

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Filed under Blue Pill, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sexual Market Place, Sin, Temptation, Women

Avoiding Sacrifice

Deep Strength has a new post up wherein he argues that Women hate suffering:

I was trying to think of ways to make the this post into something elaborate, but the title really just explains itself. Women hate suffering, and by extension women don’t handle suffering well.

Examples:

  • Divorce rate is 70% women initiated. Because women are unhappy.

  • Husbands persist through contentious and shrewish wives in marriage taking on more responsibilities (e.g. choreplay, childcare), while women can’t handle being unhappy.

  • Pastors and wives with unbelieving husbands will go out of their way to make up stuff like “intelligent submission” so they don’t have to submit. Then the sad part is when “intelligent submission” is defended instead of admitting it is being used to rebel against husbands and against the Scriptures.

  • Christian men and husbands would rather cave to women when they are unhappy rather than to tell them it is a normal part of the Christian walk. “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2:Timothy 3:12. Suffering is normal for Christians. We do a lot of things in this life that we don’t want to because they should be done.

  • Women are coddled by society, praised and pushed for college and credentialism. Men are put down and no on cares about them. When women fail they are helped as much as possible, especially by white knights. When men fail no one really cares that they are suffering except perhaps their parents.

I agree with a lot of what Deep Strength has to say in his post. Women are indeed coddled- more than men, anyways. There are plenty of women who aren’t coddled out there, of course. Men cave all-the-time (hence “mancaves”). And so on and so forth.

At the same time, I think he is a bit off when he says that women hate suffering. In fact I have written a post on this subject before. A few snippets from that post:

You see, healthy women “like” suffering.

I put quotations around like because it is not a conscious desire, but an unconscious one. Something deep down inside them recognizes that a certain amount of suffering is to be expected, is natural even. As Ace alludes to, this draws from Genesis[.]

Women expect suffering in their life- it is the natural thing. [Think about the vast majority of human history- filled with suffering for pretty much everyone.] When women are too comfortable, when suffering is absent from their life, then it sends a message to their unconscious mind that something is wrong, that what they are living is an unnatural life. That message of unnaturalness will only be repeated over the years as they grow up. They will know, somewhere deep down inside, that something is wrong. Unfortunately, because this is unconscious, they won’t know what it is, exactly, that is wrong.

This will, naturally enough, lead them to feel miserable. The misery is only made worse because they won’t understand it. It will gnaw on their mind incessantly, like an itch you can’t quite reach.

I suspect that part of the reason that women act so crazy in the west today is because of this. Using that itch analogy I just mentioned- women act crazy because they are trying to scratch that itch. Only they don’t quite know how- so they do so in extreme ways. Again, deep down inside they know they should be suffering, so they go out and make themselves suffer (without every truly understanding that is what they are doing).

I think a better word, one that fits what Deep Strength is driving towards, is sacrifice. Women hate sacrifice. They don’t want to have to sacrifice anything to get what they want. A few examples:

  • They say they want a family, but they don’t want to sacrifice their youth, and an education and/or career, to get one.
  • They don’t want to sacrifice their comfort and easy lifestyle for the pain and burden of children, so they opt for birth control and abortion.
  • They don’t want to have to sacrifice their happiness (and time, etc.) for a man whom they find unattractive, and so they opt for divorce.

And so on and so forth.

Later in his post Deep Strength says this:

Christian wives hate suffering and putting their own will aside to display Christ-like behavior. They would rather manipulate the situation around them to be better by their own volition than try it God’s way.

Again, putting aside their own will is a sacrifice. And one they don’t want to have to make. Further, it is one they all too often refuse to make.

Of course, that isn’t really any different from men. Men don’t want to have to sacrifice either. That is just general human nature. The thing is, this is where Deep Strength’s statements about coddling are important.

Women are, on average, far more coddled than men in today’s society. It is far more common for men to be taught and told that they will have to sacrifice to achieve what they want in life, than it is for women. And even then, for women, the scale of the sacrifice they are told to expect is likely to be less.

What does this means? It means that women are less inclined to sacrifice in general. When they must sacrifice, they are inclined to sacrifice less. And of course, they try and shift as much of that burden of sacrifice onto men as they can get away with.

The solution requires confronting this problem head on. Women, of all ages, need to be reminded that we all must sacrifice. Especially as Christians. Our faith is one of self-sacrifice. Without a willingness to sacrifice, well, our Lord and Savior explained what would happen:

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

(Matthew 13:18-23)

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Starting With The Right Question

I want to begin this post with a little bit of scripture:

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

(Luke 10:25-37)

Here we have the classic parable of the good Samaritan. I’m sure most of my readers are quite familiar with it. My purpose in mentioning this parable is to examine the lawyer.

You see, the lawyer asks two questions. The first one is good, and I think, honest. The second question is an entirely different matter, however.

When the lawyer asked Jesus “who is my neighbor?”, what do we think his purpose was?

Was the lawyer trying to ensure that he lived out God’s law to the fullest? Did he ask the question ensure he didn’t miss anyone?

Of course not. Scripture tells us that he was looking to justify himself. The lawyer wasn’t asking Jesus that question in order to get what I suppose you could call an “expansive” answer. Rather, the lawyer was trying to use whatever criteria that Jesus mentioned in order to limit those whom he would treat as a neighbor. He didn’t want lots of neighbors, he wanted as few of them as possible. Hence the question.

His goal was to restrict the amount of love he had to show his fellow man. In other words, the lawyer wanted to be miserly with love. And he was counting on Jesus to help him out with this (boy was he in for a surprise).

In short, the lawyer’s heart wasn’t in the right place from the very beginning. And so his question was wrong from the very beginning. A better question, rather than “And who is my neighbor?”, would have been “How can I live out the law to the fullest?” Such a question comes from a heart that is aligned to God.

Whenever we ask a question which concerns living out our faith, we always need to ask it when our heart is in the right place. If God is not first and foremost there- if serving and loving him totally is not our aim and purpose- then our endeavor is corrupt from the start. Whatever comes of it will invariably be twisted in some way.

I mention all of this because Deep Strength has a couple of recent posts concerning submission in marriage: The problems with intelligent submission being the first, and Wifely submission is easy being the second. Both of these posts draw as their origin a simple enough question: “When should I obey my husband?”

It is my belief that this particular question, just like the question of the lawyer, comes from the wrong place in the heart (perhaps intentionally, perhaps unintentionally) . Its purpose is not “How can I live out the law to the fullest?” Rather, the purpose is to limit obedience, to limit that which must be rendered to another. Much in the same way that the lawyer wanted to limit how much love he had to render to his fellow man.

A better question, one arising from a heart aligned with God, would be more along these lines: “Which action now available to me would be most pleasing to God?” Otherwise stated, “What action would be most loving?”

 

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