*WordPress says they like polls, *WordPress says send a picture. *WordPress says hello. *WordPress says be a pollster and keep on rockin’ girl.
Feminism is the 80′s was different, that is not the poll question.
About ten years ago I attended a meeting of the celebrate recovery group at the church we were part of back then. I was thinking of offering to volunteer, to help someone as it were. What I found was appalling. I found a group of 20 people and maybe two folks with anything close to needing a support group. The rest were, mostly women but some men, on about things, the particulars of which are unimportant. They were simply addicted to recovery. I lack better terminology unfortunately because I certainly have no desire to create another layer in that block of Neapolitan curd.
One of the things that marriage ministries do is herald their successes as proof that they are doing much good. Like a President standing in front of a group of people who, but for the largess of government, would be in dire straights, the pitch is to tell anecdotal stories about the couple who was hopeless and then they were hopeful, all because of the materials from the ministry.
That alone never sat comfortably with me.
Now I see a claim that is even more disturbing, coming from a Family Life article.
Couple after couple told me they had attended the Weekend to Remember five times, seven times, nine times. They are committed to continuing to build a marriage that will last a lifetime.
I can’t help but be reminded of my discovery , back in the 90′s when I was looking at John Wimber’s Vineyard church, of something that Wimber’s wife shared. She told a story about a healing she presided over where a man’s leg was supernaturally grown longer to match the other leg and eliminate a limp. She explained that it first went too long, then too short, and they prayed and fine tuned it and told the guy come back if he needed and adjustment.
What a mockery to what the Bible says about God and healing. Would the same not apply to things like attending conferences and marital healing? Now you can toss in a cruise once a year along with the conferences and man oh man will you have a thriving marriage.
On the plus side its one of the few times Ive seen any mention made of the lasting impact they have on marriages. The examples are usually extremely bad reflections on men, one in that article had the man recently arrested at the wife’s request. The men then set about to change. Maybe they change, maybe they don’t. If you’ve ever heard thera-speak such as that doled out by celebrate recovery groups and AA, one mantra is that if you are in recovery for any reason that involves someone else, like winning back your wife, you will fail. I have no idea the accuracy of that claim but a man attending both the CR and the WTR conference, would he not be getting conflicting advice?
And what of the woman who has fallen out of love, is bored, whatever, and seeks to have God endorse her taking out the trash. Since that is the most common scenario, may we see some examples of that being turned around and having it stick? Or is the price that husband pay a cruise per year and some weekend resort trips for marriage conferences?
One of the cardinal rules Christians refer to is that cohabitation means greater chances for divorce. New research is questioning that. My point is not to endorse cohabitation, rather it is to say that the same blindness that affects the ability of the church to address the reality on the ground about divorce will keep them claiming something about cohabitation that may or may not be true. They marginalize themselves. But it keeps the focus off where they know and we know it needs to eventually go.
Over on the Dying Dogs Porn thread jake907 asks:
I do have a couple of questions though, can you draw a line between being obsessive about sex, and just having a good strong sex drive?
And also, what are some guidelines for dealing with “dry spells”, whether that be an unwilling wife, sickness, pregnancy, or even just a difference in your sex drive versus your wife’s?
Personally, I think that porn bends us up. Look at the YBOP site and they talk about “tastes” developing, whatever weird crap got us hot and bothered via pixels is a distortion I think. So getting off that stuff is going to be a key to getting back to a baseline (our baseline). After that it’s going to come down to how badly we want it and where we prioritize it in relation to our wife. Pregnant I can work with, sick I can work around and “unwilling” is something we need to deal with. I’m not Roman Catholic so I don’t have any problems with letting my wife “help me out”, she needs to see how much drive I have and this is a very direct way of communicating my need.
If our wives are unwilling, or like “Pastor Ed’s” wife, we need to do a better job of communicating our expectations of them, realizing that yes we have a relationship and a responsibility for them to Christ. “No”, isn’t a long term option although it may be necessary to go through some challenging dry spells. I’m not talking about force, I’m talking about Godly moral suasion. We really need to be brave enough to broach the subject and “beard” the hyena. Scripture verses are good.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
And a strong masculine (non-begging) frame. Don’t beg for something that God has given you from the person who covenanted to give it to you freely. That’s just weak. Talk/persuade don’t argue/beg. Just being determined to vocalize it and address it in the clear can have a strangely beneficial affect on our wives.
Not to get to graphic, testosterone makes everyone feel better. If as in the last post our wives get to be the nurse, guess who get’s to be the pharmacist. You can check out other health effects here. Also, I see porn as the problem, not thinking about my wife or having a “friendly” phone call should I find myself or her out of town.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
God bless you in that.
Hey, its fluffy news from yahoo, and the chicks dig the fluffy news from yahoo.,
The average American male is 5’9” and weighs 195lbs. The average American female is 5’4” and weighs 165lbs.
No, I didn’t trace the cord to the wall to check the source for that heavy news. But all my cylinders started firing at the prospect of having that as a fact to carry around in case I need it.
A couple of things….
The average American woman is 5’4″ and weights 164 lbs.
The average American woman is 5’4″ and weights 164 lbs.
*Glutin Free Organic Food Homeopathy Anti-Vaccine Vegan
**Used to be just OFHAVV but rapid growth comes through being more inclusive
My little secret, and why I am posting three times in an evening and badly stepping on my friends new post that went up today and is now below three of mine, is that my wife and two of my kids launched for Texas this afternoon to visit the in-laws. Next week is spring break. The time Im am posting is usually spent with my wife and younger daughter. Alone, under fed and under served, I may as well blog…
Quick segue to the absurd. Back to Family Life, like the uncannily self illustrative comments Jimmy Evans made in the email i parsed below, Rainy has apparently not folded his hand in the game for top use of irony. He tells us that, gasp, nearby his home, gasp, a billboard for Ashley Madison went up.
The battle we fight becomes more intense every day
This is exactly the kind of attack on families plaguing our society today!
If only this irony was really delicious. Sure, I am on board with him in observing that the mere existence of such a business model is offensive. It is facilitative of rendezvous that are sinful and do lasting damage to families even if the marriage survives. I would ask, what of another organization that is facilitative of family breakdown, under the banner of being all about family? I’m not talking about Family life. Their influence is wielded differently than that of the organization I am referring to here. I mean the church.
I have no idea how one would get the numbers, but I submit that a secular marriage where one partner uses Ashley Madison and gets caught has a better statistical chance of lasting than the one where the couple seeks help from their church.
Rainy was not gonna sit still and let that stand, literally.
Doing nothing was NOT an option.
he learned along the way that one should never miss an opportunity. And he didn’t. Look at what will be spawned all because of that billboard
With this in mind, I want to challenge you to help us stand strong for families:
It is depressing that there will be a spike in activism and advocacy about Ashley Madison in many churches now. A new subset of boycotts will be started, and breathless emails and letters will flow. Neighborhoods will have door to door visitors cajoling families to join the fight to protect the families.
And all those single moms living in the homes they ejected dad from will get yet another thing about which to foam at the mouth while they get to vicariously extract another pound of flesh from men. For it is men who drive usage of Ashley Madison.
Family Life has a charter cruise. of course they do. Every 2nd tier radio host has one, Kim Kommando has one, heck even Dave flippin Ramsey has one. I chuckled when one of the first comments after Dalrocks latest post pointed out something he read in Dalrocks linked material, where a couple raved how the resort and all the accoutrements were so perfect the couple had to feel romantic again. Trials? get outta here….
More interesting and disconcerting is that Voddie Baucham is on the cruise, with Kirk Cameron and the gang. Assuming Voddie means the things he says, is he a trojan horse? Does he seek to teach Cameron that Fireproofing a marriage looks nothing like the movie and tell Rainy that, no, he is not the SERVANT
His presence on that ship is warping the vectors of the force. They will be near the Bermuda triangle. Coincidence?
(Please notice my co-blogger’s new piece just below. I don’t like to step on the others and we rarely do, but my posting is so sporadic I need to put one up when the urge strikes)
My eight year old girl just finished basketball season. Surprisingly, only once during the season I saw a player drive elatedly to the wrong end of the court and make a flawless lay up in the wrong goal. Amazed at her good luck, she was, and giving herself credit for the kind of serious moves it takes to reach the basket alone, with no defender in sight. And the crowd was cheering louder than usual, some as if they were screaming something.
Imagine a different scenario. A player breaks away and heads for the wrong goal. When the player arrives he or she finds the key, the baselines, any path to the goal, teeming with people. These people are also there, with basketballs, and they are standing around discussing the excitement of the times they have charged the wrong goal. They are from every generation, men and women, and they are reveling in one anothers regalement. But there are so many people that the original errant player is blocked from the basket more effectively than she would have been if the opposing team had set up before she arrived. How very odd. She hears them talking about how cool it is that she is there to score in that basket, and later realizes that all those folks were thrilled with her chance at scoring incorrectly.
The last time I posted it was about Jimmy Evans and his Marriage Today ministry. Specifically he had written another letter of apology for what the Bible says about marriage. If you trip and fall these days you will land on a letter about or study of Ephesians that pertains to what it is not saying to women, and what it is saying to men.
I reacted with a post, and comments were made that suggest we agree here, he is far out of sync with today’s reality. He is also unable to see that gasoline will not extinguish a flame. Then I get the follow up email. I see a man who, even though his letter was offensive to our beliefs, it still agitated his wife or other women in his circle so much that he had to clear that up post haste**. he writes:
God has designed the perfect marriage to include a sacrificial husband and a submissive wife. Sometimes we joke about these things, but this really is God’s plan for marriage. And I want you to know it’s a perfect plan.
Why? One reason is because conforming to these roles helps release the potential in our spouse. Neither person is taken advantage of, and both sides win. God has designed marriage to be the perfect win-win situation.
Let not hearts be troubled. Surely everyone sees what is prominently written in those paragraphs that is boldly encouraging to men. See it? I’ll lift and paste the hardcore pro-male, pro-balance comment here:
There it is. The fairness we have been seeking. Guys, he did say neither followed by an admonishment that a certain bad thing should befall them. We must be doing some widespread and powerful good to now witness such a tectonic shift in his writing from one week to the next. Take a moment to recover yourselves, dry the eyes from the tears of joy. yes, this is big, but there is still a bunch of water to be carried and to carry it we’ve got to get that bridge over Kwai river finished between shelling raids from the enemy. Now whistle that tune that every man my age had burned into his head by that movie….
Carry on. But….wait, what’s this he goes on to ask?
What if a husband began meeting his wife’s needs with the same attention and care he gives to meeting his own needs? This is what would happen: she would flourish.
I felt my BP go up and my face burn when I read this common framing of the role of men. Men, you spend so much time looking after your own needs that if you’d just give her summa dat, she’d be a’ight. (don’t ask).
We must assume that the intention of the outreach is to hit problems that are prevalent, bang for buck…like that. Think of every couple you have ever known. And yourself of course. Process that statement through your life and the lives of those around you. Honestly, Ive known a couple of guys in my lifetime that were self absorbed. Jimmy’s words could apply to them.
A side observation, one without any compelling evidence to back up my theory, is that the one’s I know/knew are married to self absorbed women and therefore the whole thing actually did that thing we Christians quiver in delight when we
miss apply say….it worked together for good.
However the vast majority of men, especially Christian men, even the worst ones, are not looking after themselves at the wife’s expense. To the contrary men are fitting yes-dear driven things into days already full with work and helping with housework and shuttling kids and all the things dads really do. Evans could care less about that. His statement feeds women’s hamsters engraving lies posing as conventional wisdom even deeper into their minds.
To complete his thought he adds:
A good husband is like a greenhouse. He creates an environment for his wife to be fed and protected, so regardless of what is happening in the outside world, she is secure at home. She is praised and encouraged there.
It struck me for the first time, when I read this, that there seems to be a complicated disconnect built into even the better teaching from Ephesians. The woman will flourish, the man will praise her and protect and encourage her and its all unconditional. The disconnect is complicated because of the things of God being unconditional things. For me to in any way suggest caveats to men’s role would fly in the face of God’s unlimited capacity for good being unconditional among us. Yet I would deign suggest a dreaded “but”.
But…I’m over it. I’m over the wall I had erected based on that supposed contradiction and I will say unequivocally that the things taught under the auspices of Ephesians and men’s roles are so far from what Paul meant and what God inspired they may as well be from some humanist pop psych book. The statements Evans makes hit the sweet spot American evangelical style teaching can burden us all with, that being limitless self effacing and unceasing self lowering are virtues without equals. Oh…forgot……they are virtues FOR MEN.
He almost steps back in the stuff this email had scraped off his shoe from the prior email.
A good wife is like her husband’s cheerleader. In submitting to him, she provides him the honor and respect that he needs.
He knew he could not just leave that there as is. Even the choice of cheerleader generated testosterone/estrogen imbalance among all the women in a 20 mile radius around his church. Because of intuition and stuff. Never fear.
Is it blind praise, though? Not necessarily. Cheerleaders know how to convict failing athletes in a positive way. How many times, when a football team is getting clobbered, do you hear the cheerleaders yelling, perkily, about defense? DEFENSE! DEFENSE! HOLD THAT LINE!
They are saying something negative—you’d better shape up, guys—but in a positive way.
Women, when your husband does things you don’t like, find a way to let him know
He gets to come home safely again. he has told men to encourage their wives. Period. No matter what she has to feel he supports her every move and whim. All positive all day, positive encouraging K-Love….guess the gender breakdown of that Christian radio network.
He must encourage her but she sometime gotta bus’sum dishes. But in a positive prasing kid of way. That’s how i alway6s bust dishes.
The sickness is settled deeply in this one. Maybe there is no more we can do here.
Wait, in a subtle but amazing turnabout, the patient makes a pin point accurate self diagnosis. Someone has convinced me that it is a fever dream, because he doesnt even know how spot on he is, and how relevant to HIM his final comments were.
And the guys will do anything for them. They love the attention, even if it’s telling them to improve something. The praise of a woman puts oxygen in the room for men.
Jimmy, how can you explain the motives of men so well and not realize that you have just described The Lift. And you are a captain of the team called Lift Chasers. You stand under the wrong basket encouraging errant players to score for the opponent. You realize you have the majority duped, and that you are all blocking the shot.
Writing more blatant pandering articles in this context is like you telling the player your group has blocked out that you are adjusting to that reality and will not start training them in 3 pointers.
**He already had some cover from a while ago when he wrote this one. But dear, servant leader, what have you done for her LATELY?
Many police cars have this slogan on the side of them: “To protect and to serve”. The authority of a husband as the head of his home exists for the same two purposes. Righteous authority can only be used in this manner. Any other use of authority is abusive and self-serving.
(Subtitle: A male oriented argument against porn).
I’ve been thinking a lot about “Manning Up” (TM) since dad died. Specifically, what it means to bear the gravitas of a patriarch. His older brother (my Uncle) is still alive, but suddenly I find myself in a family of women along with a brother in law. It’s sinking in. I started letting my beard grow the day after dad’s memorial, his reached nearly to his belly. Call it a symbol of office, mine has almost as much white in it as it does red or brown.
Anyway, it has had me pondering authority in new and significant ways. Call it an understanding of the dignity of the office of patriarch. That’s one of the reasons that I start thinking about pornography, dignity. I’m glad that as I have aged the fires have died down significantly, that is a mercy. Another result of my middle age has been young men approaching me on the subject of porn over the years. My advice has started to crystallize along the following lines:
It turns husbands into thieves and sneaks to meet a need that should be fulfilled in the marriage bed. It gives us an escape hatch where God meant for none to exist. Instead of taking the question of our “burning” (as Paul put it) into the teeth of the feminists, our wives, the church and society we slink off like sick animals to lick our wounds and die in the dark. Meanwhile, not learning to meet the legitimate needs of their husbands wives are in a decaying orbit of solipsism, being told by the enemy that they are to serve themselves first, mocking men and their sexuality as they go.
The problem is largely ours, we stopped rightfully insisting that they do their job, a job that they should desire deeply to do. A job that the Bible specifically instruct spouses to do, that is, not to defraud our spouses. Feminism has made it impolite and impolitic to discuss any of this. The modern feminist dialogue has made male sexuality taboo, an embarrassment and told us we should be ashamed of it, inside or outside of marriage, that we need to hide it. The Bible say that we are one flesh with our wives, so as I see it, if we are in a pressure cooker of sexual temptation guess who is in it with us? They need to know and they need to be charged with the shared burden of dealing with it. We need to own our end of it by seeing our wives as God’s sole provision and help them understand that’s what they are.
Many are naked, exposed by our nature’s and instead of going to the Lord’s provision- our helpmeet, we instead turn to the fig leaf of attempting to deal with this problem in the shadows. The medicine has been making us sick, a lethal morphine drip that anesthetizes the pain of burning when we should screaming for the “nurse”. It enervates us when we should be suiting up and going to war with the those that sent our culture down this path in the first place. If we are burning tell our wives to bring marshmallows, hiding is undignified. We need to stop killing the pain and start using it as motivation to re-enter the fray.
BTW, I also point guys to: http://yourbrainonporn.com/, specifically pointing out the “Coolidge Effect” (named after Calvin himself.)
Whatever place or thing or imaginary world they are keeping music in or on these days, the saying “like a broken record” badly needs to jump forward half a century.
Regardless what device or ethereal space time continuum is holding the music, I thought of it today when I read something from Marriage Builders. But, neet-o, I didn’t just read it and remember an old expression. I made a new (new to me) observation about an old facet of marriage ministries and churches. Part of this is boiler plate sphere. I will announce my new observation from the Rose Garden at 9AM on the 15th. Second thought, I;ll just end this post with it. Only got two rose bushes. Hardly a garden.
In addition to Family Life and FoTF, Jimmy Evans of Marriage Builders occupies some of the free space Yahoo is kind enough to afford me. The first two send daily emails. Evans’ are erratic. You can find today’s emailed article here. Or just read my parsing. I imagine Evans chortling…
If a man knows one scripture in the Bible, he knows the one about submission
Before anyone stops reading, I am not writing about the manner in which these ministries treat what Paul wrote in Ephesians. Like a Chick-Fil-A spicy sandwich, I have, for the time being, had enough of writing about what those ministries teach and why it is wrong. For now. I have to show a small sample of what he says in the article in order to make me big new insight announcement. He goes on.
[Submission] It’s not about domination. It’s not about being mousy or being a doormat. But it is about showing gentleness and a godly spirit instead of aggression or negativity. The Bible says a gentle and quiet spirit is precious and attractive in the sight of God.
A man who sacrifices for his wife and serves her becomes much more attractive to her. God wired women to respond that way. Not based on exterior appearance, but based on how we help around the house or spend time with the kids.
For ten years I have wondered, how can they hold an audience when they say the same things over and again? Not only that, but in a particularly grating manner through inflection and body language, sometimes in simple declarative statements, they act as if they are forging from the rear, on through the front lines, and alone are taking on the enemy to vanquish them. They sound more like the wankers at a TED talk than someone repeating something like a first grader learning the Declaration of Independence.
That repetition always bugged me Expressly for that reason I didn’t dwell on it because who would I dwell on , say, daytime soaps? Same plot, different characters, same hooks, same cliffhangers, and do on.
It hit me then. They know something that I didn’t have in the front of my mind. And sadly while they know it, it doesn’t resonate as a problem.
What they know is that these things, when written, spoken, on videos, whatever are largely not going to the same people over and again. But they make a flawed assumption. They see the new masses intent on learning it and thing they are growing a movement. What they don’t realize is that only when the hole in the bottom of he bucket is small enough to allow less water out than is being poured in, does water accumulate. Same with people in church.
They see the scrubbed face masses every Sunday, and the circle rubbing, and the weepy men at the men’s conference and think wow, what an army. when its just some folks stopping in, maybe for a few years, and they will move on or out or up or something.
They are, by repeating this, making the leak grow. Men in particular will be more inclined, after hearing this message fifty times… each one given as if its cutting edge, they will be scrunching their faces and thinking, am I missing something?
Finally, on the Facebook page you will find this little gem of a hole- in- the-bucket- and-how. its not the content that’s at issue. Its the wording for the link and the tagline , one word in particular. Here is the Facebook page The outreach Im talking about is a couple of pages down on the left side.
The tag line follows, and I wonder how many will catch the word and why its a problem. Ah heck I’ll bold it for ya. Someone comment and tell me what it reminds you of.
Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.
IAL (as I know him) must have written this days ago. I gave him access to write but I have to post them. I need to correct that because I did it when I first started. I knew him and sojourner for a couple years by then from Christian forums.
I am sorry to have left this pending. Its a wonderful testimony to realizing things soon enough to act, and why soon enough can end unexpectedly.
Sorry IAL. Its my pleasure to post this and hope it inspires good.
It’s been a long time since I have written much at all. I feel there is a good reason for this; my opinion shrank in my own estimation. Nothing I have set about to write in the last 6 months seems to carry the weight of what I should have learned. What great insight I should be able to share at the passing of my father. I’ve been left without words. I learned to appreciate dad more fully due to the help of the “manosphere”, guys like Empath and Dalrock helped me to see my dad in a new light. Instead of the frustrated genius working his blue collar job for over 30 years, resenting his family and a son that forced him to grow up sooner than he wanted. I now had a window into that frustration. The lonely disposable life of a guy doing the right thing in the face of near universal hostility/apathy, trying to have people believe that he had his shit together, that he was “okay”. I had started seeing this on my own as I’ve matured, but the process sped up with my friendships and contacts here. Thankfully it happened in time for me to have an evening with my dad.
It was last December and we were finishing up a project I had started with mom. Earlier dad had disciplined my young cousin and it had brought up a lot of my anxiety over my own upbringing. This time though I had a new filter to see through. I sat with him through the night and got to express to him my pride in him, how he had raised me and provided for me, how he allowed himself to be chewed up by the system for us. I got to do it in such a way, because of the blessing of circumstances, that let him know that not only had I forgiven him for the violence of my childhood, but that I was proud of him. All this without exposing his shame. It was a God thing.
Dad died in September in his canoe (helping someone else with their “bucket list”) three months shy of his first pension check. He was the third member of his family to die at that age and he knew it was coming. He didn’t complain, didn’t call me and say that his heart was dying. That he was so tired. The best thing I could say about dad that week from my perspective was: I missed him.
Most of my life I feared him, was terrified of him, was angry at him, was fighting to forgive him. I had spent so much time wishing him dead, trying to put distance between us, needing that space, hoping he would change, that I would heal. In the end God was good enough to turn my heart and now what is left is what should be: I miss him.
I wish I could have honored him more, I’m thankful that I got to honor him as much as I did.