Profound wisdom from a mouth in Broken Bow, OK

The recipient gets this post as the reward.

Fox news site ran an article a couple days ago called “Seven Ways to Stay Married”.

I read it expecting the predictable drivel. It was actually even more drivel-esque then the supplicating male stuff we normally read in these types of articles because it is just a statement of some obvious things done in quasi folksy septuagenarian voice. Harmless.

It was almost as if the people interviewed were thinking, “watch this…this person interviewing me is going to treat whatever I say as sage wisdom whether they think it is or not, so I’m going to give them such simplistic things that it will make their faux interest in me even more difficult”

But one guy had to be a formidable alpha personality to have done what he did.

You can read the first six bullets at the linked piece. But number seven :

7. Are we hungry? Here’s one that surprised me. When a couple is having an argument that threatens to become a truly major blow-up, the elders suggest that what you may need is – a sandwich. (emphasis mine)

Go with me briefly on an imaginary trip. We are in a living room in broken Bow Oklahoma where Brittany Bigtata of Fox News is interviewing Floyd Baumgartner and his wife Clydine for this article.

Clydine, the wife, was offering all the responses, just as had occurred with the other couples Brittany had visited. After about an hour it felt like wrap up time. Brittany tapped her papers to square them, made sure she kept her knees together because she holds a 50 cent piece between her knees so old men don’t look up her too-short skirt, and Floyd suddenly animated in his La-Z-boy recliner that was covered in bubble wrap (and it has a remote control caddy and hot/cold beverage holders). his eyes twinkled.

Brittany was pleased. A man was going to speak up. “Do you have something you’d like to add Mr. Baumgartner?” she asked. “Sure, I’m thinking it is important we have a read on whether or not we are hungry, one or both of us.” He continued, “Sometimes hunger makes us irritable”. Floyd Baumgartner, husband of 52 years, father of four, grandfather of 9, and great grandfather of 2, Floyd who worked at a factory that refurbished oil pipeline valves for 45 years, Floyh Baumgartner of the Broken Bow, OK Baumgartners, he had just told Britanny Bigtata to:

Go make me a sammich

Bless you sir.

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78 thoughts on “Profound wisdom from a mouth in Broken Bow, OK

  1. Empath:
    I read the link and I couldn’t notice one word was conspicuously absent from the ‘secrets’. That word is: ‘love’.

    It does seem like that is a scarce concept in most (including Manosphere and Christian circles) things that deal with relationships. But it seems to the missing ingredient that no one ever wants to talk about.

  2. People’s definitions of love is so varied Eric, that you just open a new door to confusion. For example, there are times your definition of love sounds so syrupy, sweet, unrealistic and overly romantic that I wonder if you understand what love “really means. And coming from me, that’s saying something. Trust me on that.

    Besides, love is a given or you wouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.

  3. Elspeth:
    I don’t think divorce statistics bear out that love before marriage should be taken for granted.

    People’s definitions do vary; but not all of them are accurate. The most common one in our culture is that sex=love. Physical attraction may initiate love but it isn’t complete unless there is an emotional/spiritual bond as well. As St. John tells us, Christ was love perfected and our love should strive to follow His example. St. Peter follows that up by demonstrating that marriage is a microcosm of the same relationship; hence though it may sound on the surface to be overly romantic it’s a deeper and more powerful force than most realize.

  4. I don’t disagree that there is a deep spiritualand emotional component to love. But as much as I appreciate the emotions and romantic facets of my marriage, love is ultimately about what we do far more than what we feel. Love doesn’t just feel. It gives. Even when it doesn’t necessarily feel like giving.

    Sometimes it gives something as simple and unprofound as a sandwich.

  5. Elspeth:
    I would turn that around and say actions emanate from the feeling. Actions without love are obligations; feelings without actions are meaningless. The two things are mutually dependent, but the feelings have to generate the actions.

  6. @Elspeth, it remains poignant for me that a woman, of all people!, realizes that right actions should proceed even without the feelz. In a way it gives me hope, but in a way it is extremely disappointing that so many men feel forced to generate the feelz.

  7. The wisdom of the ancients is valuable when it comes to dealing with our emotional love. They recommended that children should be brought up to feel “ordinate loves,” that is that they should be encouraged to feel love for what ought to be loved, and disgust for what ought to provoke disgust. Thus, beauty ought to evoke love, and ugliness ought to evoke disgust. Those emotions should be encouraged, and any contrary ones suppressed. We ought to learn to feel the correct feeling when we see a thing, i.e. we ought to teach our emotions to respond correctly, rather than being ruled by them. Emotions can be a great help to doing the right thing, or a great hindrance.

    C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man deals with this: “The head rules the heart through the chest.” He discusses how patriotic songs, for example, can be a great help to a man who knows he ought to fight for his country. He also points out that doing something kind for someone, simply because it’s the right thing to do, will usually make us feel better toward that person. Thus, carrying out our obligations for our spouse will typically make us feel more loving toward them, as long as they are done without expectation of reward. Feelings of love are a pleasant reward for doing our duty to our spouse; they should never be a precondition. Withholding our duties until we feel like doing them will only make us feel more cold toward the other person.

  8. jf12:
    Right actions do not come without the feelings. Performing a right action without love is simply an obligation. For example, you don’t have to feel any love for a government official to comply with a particular law, even though compliance might be the right thing to do.

    “men are forced to generate the feelings.”

    No they aren’t forced to do anything and they can’t force women to love them.

  9. Eidolon:
    Lewis is wrong about this, as far as marriage goes—though it may apply to dating, &c before marriage when two people are trying to win the other. But after marriage those things should be solidified and love dictating the actions.

  10. I’m curious if anyone has read Lou Priolo’s Complete Husband… He is a nouthetic counselor. I have scoured the internet to find anything discerning him and I can only find good things. I have just finished his book and all I can say is WTF? He actually uses 1 Cor 7:33 to mean that you are to please your wife and NOBODY wants to call him on it? He also sweeps under the rug what your rebellious wife might do and to “not make her feel like she did anything wrong” because it might be too harsh.

    I swallowed too high a dose of redpill this summer and I went through the stages fairly fast. My wife caught on and now thinks I judge everything as feminist etc. I am toning it down, but it’s very difficult. If you were to just hear my words you would assume I am beta, but to read what an Alpha is like I don’t quite fit in that either. Is there such a thing as a lone Alpha wolf?

    I own 3 business, and 2 more on the way.

    I use to do ultramarathons and ironmans, but have enjoyed strength as of late through leangains approach.

    I built a 1 room cabin on property I bought in the middle of no where (my wife is afraid of going there because of how difficult the 4 wheeling is to get there (not accessible in winter unless hike). I built it with logs from the property with a drill and spikes and a sledge hammer, no measuring etc.

    I hunt, fish.

    However…. I go to the church my wife wants, I do not correct my daughter because my wife freaks out if I do, says it’s here job. I take her sh!# more than I should and I loose it a lot when she is critical instead of brushing it off.

  11. Jeff:
    There’s no such thing as men who are wholly Alpha or Beta.

    I don’t know all the details of your situation but my off-the-cuff advice would be: use the same techniques you employed to build successful businesses and other achievements to bring your marriage back under control. I’d go back to Square One and use the same strategies you used to win her in the first place when you were dating.

  12. Eric,

    Problem… We were just friends… I was boinking 3 other girls. My current wife was someone I just ran and hang out with. One night a group of us went to dinner and she drove. She dropped me off at my place and I asked her up and boinked her for the next…. well until now! she was on the carousel.

  13. Right actions do not come without the feelings. Performing a right action without love is simply an obligation

    You sound like a modern woman. Sheesh. If you don’t understand that obligation is on the love spectrum then there is really nothing more for us to discuss. You are feelings driven. There is no better way to find oneself in sin. Since you gave a passing nod to the tenets of Scripture:

    “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?

    I’m not discounting the merits of having emotional connections and warm feeling sin a marriage relationship. I wouldn’t discount the value of physical connection either, which you seem very eager to do for some reason. But feelings do not equal love. Saying so until you’re blue in the face will not make it true.

  14. Typo: Should read “feelings in a marriage relationship”.

    And the Scripture reference was Jeremiah 17:9.

  15. Elspeth:
    Let’s clarify it with some Scripture again, from St. James:

    “But some will say: You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without works and I will show you, by works, my faith…but I would have you know that faith without works is dead.” (St James ii: 18-20).

    The same principle applies to love as with faith:

    “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love one another. He who does not love abides in death…in this we have seen the love of God because He has laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 Ep. St. John iii:14-16)

    This is where I’m coming from: these actions are not ‘obligations’, they are willing actions motivated by love.

  16. Jeff:
    That changes things, yes.

    I don’t know exactly what you should do here, but it looks to me like you have two choices:

    1. If you genuinely love her, follow the advice I gave before—and do it RIGHT this time

    2. Admit that you made a mistake and move on. And then follow the previous advice with a new girl.

  17. This is where I’m coming from: these actions are not ‘obligations’, they are willing actions motivated by love.

    Show me where love is defined as feelings. Love is about far more than feelings. 1 Corinthians gives us very detailed description of what love is. No where does it mention warm fuzzy feelings.

    Discipline, accountability, obligation… all these are part of marital love as well as romance, sex, and affection. You are very one dimensional and the things you leave out are the exact same things our culture has discarded from love and families are being decimated as a result. Not just marriage and sexual relationships, but parents and children, extended family as well. All being destroyed because of a very narrow and selfish definition of love which absolves us of responsibility to all but the things that make us feel good. And that’s really too bad because most always the feelings come as we perform the actions.

    I feel silly arguing this point because I have all the highly extolled warm fuzzy feelings for my own husband and more often than not I am feeling what you define as love. But no one feels that way all the time, and to refuse to do what we are supposed to do (and have vowed to do) because we aren’t feeling it at that moment is wrong. And doing it in spite of all the feelings is the epitome of love, not the opposite. Obligation is a part of love.

  18. Elspeth:
    Things like discipline, accountability, and responsibility towards another person do not create love; love causes those things to exist. Why would anybody assume the roles of husband/wife and subject themselves to the discipline, accountability, and responsibility to another person unless love is a motivating force?

    As for love being defined as feelings: how else can you express it? Faith and Hope are not tangible either, but they exist and we know this through feeling them.

    “These are the exact things that our culture has discarded from love and our families are being decimated as a result.”

    On the contrary, our culture completely believes that love is 100% action and 0% feeling. Our culture tells us that sex equals love. It tells us that marriage is a legal contract. It tells us that love is what one does for us. It tells us that love is simply acting on biological drives, &c.

    What our culture desperately needs is more, not less, feelings of genuine love.

  19. For one thing, we are told what love is: “No greater love has any man that this, that he gave his life for his friends.” It doesn’t say that he felt happy about it; indeed, we know that Jesus wasn’t feeling overjoyed about dying for us. He was willing, though He did not desire it. That is love, that you serve others, whether you feel like it or not.

    For your other comment, “Why would anybody assume the roles of husband/wife…unless love is a motivating force?” What if you want to have sex in a moral manner, and have a companion, and have children? Or maybe your marriage will create peace between warring factions? You would make immoral people out of all those who were part of arranged marriages, even if they discharged their “marriage debt” faithfully, and sanctify people because they felt more emotions.

    Is it immoral to marry for any reason other than having feelings of love for the other person? Of course it is. Marriage is a contract, it’s about carrying out your duties to the other person, whether you feel inclined or not. By being good to each other, caring for each other, when you don’t feel like you want to, you learn to love the other person more. Hopefully you would feel loving feelings eventually, but that would be a blessing from God, not a prerequisite.

    We don’t always feel emotional love for God. Does that mean we shouldn’t seek after Him, try to know Him and be close to Him, if we don’t feel the emotional desire for it? Doing things we don’t feel like doing is obedience, it’s doing the hard work that builds the foundation for real joy. Emotions don’t sanctify acts. That’s the same lie that the culture is always selling — it’s okay to have sex with someone if you feel love for them; it’s wrong to marry if you don’t. In reality it’s the exact opposite. Fornication is wrong no matter how you feel; marriage is moral as long as you carry out your duty to the other person faithfully.

  20. Eidolon:
    Re: the first paragraph; Christ was also God manifest and God cannot go against His own Will. Hence, Christ could not have died unwillingly or in a negative emotional state. The entire 16th and 17th chapters of St. John’s Gospel depicts Christ telling His disciples not to feel sorrow over the impending sacrifice.

    “By being good to each other, caring for each other, when you don’t feel like you want to, makes you love the other person more.”

    I’ve seen absolutely no evidence of this. Extrapolated from the marriage situation: whose feelings of love grow for government or employers because one is obligated to do these things? Love cannot grow out of a sense of obligation. In a religious context, this is exactly what Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing: performing obligations without a motivating spirit.

    “Hopefully you would feel loving feelings eventually, but that would be a blessing from God, not a prerequisite.”

    By this logic, a marriage to anybody, regardless of character or qualification, should be a legitimate marriage. Marriage in hopes that love will grow? That’s the very argument that our pop culture advocates. Much better for both parties that love is a prerequisite.

    “Emotions don’t sanctify acts.”

    They don’t sanctify them—true and also that is also a myth of popular culture; however, emotions do MOTIVATE acts. The Biblical saying ‘By their fruits you shall know them.” stems from that concept. Hence it becomes impossible to carry out marital responsibilities and duties fully and faithfully unless the motivating force is in synch with the objective.

  21. @Elspeth, re: ” And that’s really too bad because most always the feelings come as we perform the actions.”

    Thanks again for keeping up the good fight. Has anyone else read this recipe for feeling love?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html?_r=1

    It’s kind of what marriage encounter groups were always aiming for, but this one has some research backing. “Doctor recommended” maybe instead of “clinical trials”, but still. I confidently predict that if any random couple, at any stage of acquaintance, took and entire evening and followed the 36 discussion in the order printed, most of them would feel in love.

    Probably followed by Same Night Sex-and-or-the-closest-equivalent, so it’s kind of weaponized stuff to be honest.

  22. a major problem with women is they lack the feeling of obligations We should all have obligations why women reject that idea is pretty easy to understand

  23. @jf12
    I read it. It’s a case of what the large print giveth, the small print taketh away. If you read the actual study, they were only trying to create short term feelings of intimacy, and the marriage that happened was the only one out of an initial sample of something like 45 or so pairings (though a number of them were same sex). The researchers were bragging that 70% did something together afterwards, like sit together in class. But most friendships formed were not boyfriend/girlfriend close.
    It was an intriguing paper, and the bibliography sounded like an interesting read too, but this method doesn’t seem to be sufficient to create love.
    Maybe a good start? I certainly wouldn’t want to try it with someone I was unwilling to fall in love with. And that same night sex seems like a very bad idea. (Unless of course we are considering the wedding night of an arranged marriage.)

  24. @Anne, re: “I certainly wouldn’t want to try it with someone I was unwilling to fall in love with.”

    Me too. But I can testify that escalation of intimate talk can lead to falling in love, on my end anyway, very rapidly. Actually it happened every time that way, although I won’t bore with details or numbers (almost still counting on one hand). I perhaps mistakenly thought it was all voice activated, being a lover of women’s voices and correlation seeming to imply causation and all that. Until a few years ago, and there was no voice. Still, though, I am presuming that textual communication activated verbalization subroutines through the synesthesia implicit in reading, as well as evoking (a mild but dangerous pun) already-established neural pathways of love.

  25. E and E (Elspeth Eric)

    Eric your analogy fails . You compare actions based on governmental or employment obligations and the lack of resulting feelings of love, to actions that are also obligations done for a spouse, a child, a friend….and say that because we do not grow emotionally fond of government or bosses and organizations it therefore follows that the expression “feelings follow actions” is negated.

    You then counter claim that love motivates actions. But that is not a “counter”, it is an “also” which is the strength of the truth in the simple advice that feelings follow actions.

    I once did, but now I do not embrace that expression without caveats. It was easy to embrace when I first heard it because it fit into the naïve place I was coming from. Its common that these Christian-ese clichés be rooted in absolutism and nuance be mocked.

    Though the comparison with government obligations fails as an analogy in general, one aspect needs to be isolated and can be made analogous. If one serves their spouse, like changing a babies diaper….that’s a good comparison….not pleasant but no resentment or ill will builds and fond memories are even created….but if one serves a spouse regardless if love is the motive, or is supposedly going to be the result, over time there indeed will be feelings, but they could be resentments, not love. “But what of Mother Theresa? some often say as an example of a human having the capacity to do do do, serve and serve. Great question because she proves my point.

    She was not made more comfortable, not materially rewarded, never assured rest lay just ahead…but she was absolutely certain by day the love and appreciation of the literally hordes of needy she served, by her hands. Their eyes, their tears of gratitude, that’s the catalyst for the love that follows actions.

    In marriage, a man doesn’t expect tears of gratitude, but somewhere between nothing…..just taken for granted….or being nagged and sensing that he is disappointing all the while wondering if you are in bizarro world because he sees himself tireless, providing then assuming huge load of domestic work, and doing with and for kids, etc. and his best case? Nuthin. Worst case….divorce because she is unhappy. Roots of loving feelings are not really finding nutrients in that soil.

    Yes men forge ahead anyway. They get feelings of resentment, but clamp down on them. Its a side effect of the red pill that cynicism take root and that’s not good.

    The article from NYT was good I thought. It was well written I noticed then I see she is a writing teacher. It actually speaks to the feelings and actions issue. As the two mutually focus they grow fast (if short term) feelings. This may especially be true of the woman because I have often asserted that the notion of recreating the spark in marriage finds its flaw right here.

    The woman gets HUGE good feelings from the kind of Q and A in the study mentioned in the article. The man enjoys it too, but not so much that it is literally the glue binding the relationship such that when the exploration phase stops he looses feelings.

    But women do loose feelings , craving that interchange. But the interchange is a pipe dream because the amount of unexplored areas in life for the two of you is nil, and as a percent of your whole life after reaching 40 or 50 plus, its not even relevant anymore because so many big things happened in between. If I’m still going to connect with someone because we discuss my relationship with my mother…..that’s a problem and its silly.

    Yep, Feelings follow actions,,,but which depends on the other spouse over the long term. If pastors said that it also would backfire though because of the way women hear those types of messages only through their myopia. She’d think, cool, whenever I actually do something selfless he dang well needs to let me know it!

  26. In other words. you’re saying we’re both wrong, LOL.

    Well alrighty then. I d agree with this:

    If I’m still going to connect with someone because we discuss my relationship with my mother…..that’s a problem and its silly.

  27. Empath:
    You raise some good points, but in the case of the analogy you mentioned: if a woman marries motivated by love for husband and (future) children, I don’t see how resentment could grow from that kind of soil—even though some of the tasks might be unpleasant. It leads me to this:

    “But which depends on the other spouse over the long term.”

    True: we can’t control what another feels; however the Biblical statement: “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh” seems to indicate a symbiosis which can’t exist outside of mutual (and unconditional) love.

  28. Like almost everything, we have corrupted any symbiosis that could exist. It doesnt matter anymore if you are Christian or not in terms of the symbiosis God made when, very simply, He said it was not good man be alone and made a help meet and companion

  29. Empath:
    Yes, it’s been corrupted by a lot of forces. But that doesn’t mean that Christians shouldn’t strive for it as an ideal.

  30. @empathologism, re: “But women do loose feelings , craving that interchange.”

    Yes. By George, or someone, I do believe I’ve got it now. Men fall in love and stay in love, especially provided steady sex. Wife goggles are very real. Hence, in the still-in-love man’s mind, they still do have the same intimate connection as before, even without steady non-physical interchange, and therefore he doesn’t need constant recharging of the interchange. In contrast, women fall out of love just like they fall out of lust, and then fall back in love with more interchange (and fall out of love again, etc). It’s the symplectic analogue of men’s need for steady sex; in the woman’s world they still do have the same physical connection as before even if they haven’t had sex for a month.

  31. At the risk of sounding solipsistic, what you Empath, and Jf12 are describing is not my experience. Physical affection sans any emotional interchange is enough for me to feel in love. I can look at my husband when we’re riding in the car and the feelings rush in.

  32. re: “I can look at my husband when we’re riding in the car and the feelings rush in.”

    It is because you’re submitted. This is the great emotional benefit of being submitted for women: they can feel the way they’re supposed to.

    We hold hands. Usually when I’m driving. Hardly ever if she’s driving. Although she can text and curl her hair and eat Wendy’s while driving, supposedly she has too hard of a time holding hands and driving. She also worries that holding hands would be distracting to me, so I always have to claim that I would be distracted if I didn’t.

  33. If there was an actual list of formative thoughts that birthed this lil’ bloggie (

    By the way hat word bloggie II encountered before Christmas when I bought one, a bloggie. I was wearing my purple elastic stretch pants, black socks and plastic knock off Birkenstocks, which are not more or less hideous that the real ones, and speaking of motive….that outfit compelled i do Walmart shopping.

    They had bloogies on clearance. Was a 200-300 device and the last of em were $50. Id never heard of them. Little Sony vid and still cams that look like little iphones/smartphones, a bit smaller . They are great gadgets. They failed because the idiots didnt allow memory expansion, no card slot, just the gigs you get

    Ok thats over…

    One reason i started blogging was what jf1 said. I am convinced the closest analog to male sex drive is female empathy drive. Empathy is the reward for those conversations described in the NYT article about the Q and A creating love. Empathy is established when she believes, she hears, or she says “I know exactly how you feel”.

    I have this post brewing seems for months about how Empathy is not just a thing craved, desired with a bottomless appetite, its also the main feature about women that has shepherded in the moral , relational, must all round wonderful awesomeness of women in the church. This empathy thing…its a gift.

    Therefore, lately as I have payed focused attention to my old theory, Ive heard women do a strange thing. If they get into a situation where they are caught doing wrong, or even if its another woman who did wrong. They assuage guilt by expressing furrowed brow concern for something, anything. They “put on the new man” but not THAT new man. The new man here is the merciful caring altruist that is the Christian woman.

    Ive jotted countless notes during the day and evening , I always have paper and pen, with examples.. I see women as truly enveloping themselves in a cloak sewn of the cloth made of sum of all the incidents that afforded them empathetic feelings. This cloak is outstanding at covering sin. This is the ultimate defense. When whatever they have done appears to be bad/wrong/sin that exceeds a certain threshold which decreases the number of sympathizers, don the cloak of empathy.Its like Miss USA in a bikini saying she dreams to end world hunger

    Emapthy craving is as constant as mans sex drive. Women will manipulate circumstances and their environment to position themselves to feel empathy. That’s the origin of gossip.after all.

    Naturally they will grow board with a husband who is failing to gin up new empathy sources. they sure cant sit and ask each other superficial questions that may lead to deep revelations because they all ready know all of that. yet the stupid preachers and counselors keep writing and preaching that you CAN get that spark back.

  34. Empath:
    You raise a lot of good points and I will agree that women have a natural inclination to empathy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but minus the motive force of love, empathy just becomes a meaningless instinctual drive like the female sex-drive on the Carousel is a corruption of what should be a good and positive thing.

    We can see this too in bigger picture in femihags and male feminists like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who spout off continually about empathy and compassion for the ‘community’ but have no scruples about massacring any community that gets in their way. On a smaller scale, wives will behave as you described without love as a motivating force; otherwise their natural empathy would be turned towards their love-objects; i.e. husbands and children; church and family.

    As for the preachers and counselors, instead of blathering about ‘getting the spark back’ they should preach instead that women (and men in many cases) examine their own motives. That would do a lot more good than running into these emotion-less blind alleys; where ‘whiting the sepulchre’ is actually what’s being advocated.

  35. Faith and works go hand in hand, and so do love and actions, and, I believe, respect and actions–right?!

    I’ve been working on my own outward behavior and actions of respect toward my husband while at the same time the inner respect is very, very far from what I would desire it to be and what I know my husband would desire it to be. I have asked on other blogs about whether this matters, whether this is a problem–am I obeying God’s command to respect my husband if in my heart and mind I don’t fully respect him but my actions are respectful? Which one exactly is God talking about anyway? We can obey and treat respectfully a person in authority over us even if inwardly we wouldn’t say, “I respect that man.” Many I’ve read in the Christo-Manosphere have talked with great passion about how respect is earned, whether talking about men respecting other men or telling off a new female commenter for assuming she should be respected the moment she decides to enter a thread. Anyway, this thread has seemed to speak to this same question I’ve had for about a year. I’ve had many affirm that yes, there are two different kinds of respect, the outer and the inner, and only one person (blogger Deep Strength) say I’m just not understanding the Biblical definition of respect and instead focusing on the world’s. This plays right into the “Love: is it outward or inward or both?” discussion taking place here.

    Is love a feeling? Does it come from actions? Is love an action? You can ask the same questions about respect, can you not? I feel a little silly for jumping in like this but would love to hear the further insights of some of you that I do indeed respect (inward; you have “earned” it as I’ve read your blogs and comments.”) I would like to be able to dismiss what Eric is saying as “buying into modern thinking,” because then I could know that hey, even if I don’t “feel” respect for my husband, and have lost so much of what I used to have in terms of inner respect for him, it is ok, and it really doesn’t matter as long as I TREAT him with respect outwardly in my words, deeds, and submission toward him. THAT would be a weight off of me to be sure! But I can’t shake this nagging “feeling” within me that tells me that what I should have is that inner respect for him. I think I can see what exactly Eric is trying to say, especially when he references the Pharisees. And I don’t and I certainly do not know how to muster up that “feeling” of respect that I have come to understand (in my short life and limited experience) must be earned. I could be wrong on that. If I am, will someone please tell me how to get the feelings too? Ha ha ok this is rambling long enough but again…your wisdom and thoughts are read and appreciated.

  36. Obliterated:
    It’s not really ‘modernist’ thought I’m advocating—modern definitions of inward feelings have corrupted what used to be a core belief. The Churchians are going too far to the opposite pole and claiming that only actions matter.

    Here’s a link that you really might find useful, since it’s written for Christian women dealing with the very issues you raise:

    https://wwnh.wordpress.com/

    They talk a lot about the masculine and feminine and how mutual respect factors into it.

  37. @Obliterated, re: “I’ve been working on my own outward behavior and actions of respect toward my husband while at the same time the inner respect is very, very far from what I would desire it to be and what I know my husband would desire it to be.”

    Good, because there are only two ways for you to effectively work to change your inward person.
    1) Repent by admitting your feelings are wrong, and asking God to help you change.
    2) Follow His directions on getting Him inside you.

    re: “And I don’t and I certainly do not know how to muster up that “feeling” of respect that I have come to understand (in my short life and limited experience) must be earned. I could be wrong on that. If I am, will someone please tell me how to get the feelings too?”

    Your husband earned your respect by marrying you. Period. You ought to be crawling to him on your knees tearily begging him to let you please him better, as good practice for God if nothing else, but especially in light of your claim of wanting to change inwardly.

  38. The flaw is more fundamental than “getting the feelings” or not. To flush it out in detail would require tedious Q and A about those judgements you are making of him that cause the blunting of feelings of respect. Make no mistake, that is the problem…..in other words your expectations. Those need to be changed notwithstanding how it affects your ability to respect him.

    We are so far down the drain on these teachings that we have the challenge of an insect caught in a draining bathtub in walking all this back. Even the very best teaching on the subject omits remediation. The teaching cannot take root in the soil that has been carefully tilled. By carefully, I mean the tilling of women’s hearts has been done and is being done with toy implements made of soft plastic. When a stone is encountered the tines bend and allow it to lay undisturbed. But those implements leave a nice pattern on the surface. Like those rakes they use on carpet piling…they are best used after a violent steam pressure bath and vacuum suction to remove crap. But a quick rake and the carpers look mahvelous.

    I may be puking from my own upset stomach only here, but Ive seen it over the years where, during extremely difficult financial struggles my wife would fixate on certain expenses that I suspect made her more nervous than others and I could feel her lack of respect when it would be those (the mortgage) Id have to let slip in favor of something else. Meanwhile I obsessively was working a detailed spread-sheeted plan of ruining my credit while protecting the family from the harshest of potential consequences. It got under her skin that she couldn’t control the problem, and therefore she wanted to control how i handled the problem, but she wanted to control it according to an extremely narrow view of the bigger picture. In the end, we recovered very nicely, never had any foreclosures or bank levies or garnishments and the like, and we paid everyone we owed everything we owed them. I suspect she would not get the 20/20 history view and see how it contrasts to her urgent in the moment feelings that caused her to loose respect.

    Its an example, its meant for its function not its specifics, not to say that YOU are one who would do exactly as she did. But it describes the place where trust in God hence respect of the husband should trump your snap minute to minute, event to event judgement of how he handles things vs how you would. This kind of disrespect has been baked into you from birth, by men and women alike, in the whole go-girl culture that defines life inside and outside the church.

  39. Thank you for your responses. I appreciate them all and will mull them over for certain. I agree that my heart needs to change–reading that, I’m pretty much like, “Duh.” And it IS a miracle, a change of heart, that only God can do. It is one that I am praying for.

    I do have a hard time with throwing out the fact that people in general seem to easily understand the concept that one can earn someone’s respect, and also understand that it is possible to lose others’ respect because of consistent behaviors which do not align with characteristics most find respectable. An personal example from my own life, is my father’s degeneration over the course of my childhood. He had an IQ of 160, was extremely intelligent, and worked in the nuclear power field. He was in high demand job-wise for at least 15 years of his life (before I was born and as I was growing up). Many people respected him, including my own mother, when they were first married. (I don’t even talk to my mother because she is so warped and I completely REJECT her comprehension of the basic meaning of respect now, but I know that she respected him in the beginning–just so ya know) and then when he started to drink excessively, quit his job, and we lost just about everything because of his “giving up,” and she had to try and pick up the pieces, she lost respect for him. I know many people can understand the concept of respecting a boss and then they see consistent lazy or distrustful behavior, and over time, they lose respect for him. I remember the scene in Band of Brothers when one of the men does not salute the one in authority over him (I can’t remember his name in the series, but he was the idiot Ross in “Friends), and the red-head said to him, “You salute the rank, not the man.” It seems very clear and understandable to me that some people inwardly respect others for stupid reasons, or have a lack of respect for people (like in BoB) for reasons that really have to do with their own character. In other situations, I DO think it is possible to lose respect for someone over time because of consistent immoral or bad behavior–in essence, to lose respect for good reasons. It is really hard for me, then, when I read hereabouts, that a wife, if she really is seeking God, should never have any reason to lose respect (inward respect) for her husband. Is this REALLY, objectively true? If so, I hope it is understandable that that is a VERY hard concept to wrap one’s mind around. I am not going to speak of the things I believe my husband has done to lose MY respect–honestly, I think some things are what Empath described up above, and therefore stupid and based on my own character–but other things, I believe, are not.

    What if your husband is a liar? What if your husband is truly lazy and irresponsible? What if your husband lets himself degenerate into a drunken man who lets his family fall apart (trust me when I say I DO NOT think my dad was completely responsible for our family’s woes–I had a better relationship with him than all of my siblings when my mother left him and have suffered her hatred ever since)? Is this really not going to affect a wife’s inward esteem of her man? It shouldn’t? When in real life does this ever apply to real relationships? If this is what God’s word is saying, that a husband earns his wife’s respect by marrying her…isn’t it understandable that that is so completely different from every other relationship on this planet that it is a hard thing for wives to grasp? I didn’t respect my husband for marrying me…that seems kind of backwards, honestly. “You will earn my respect when you put a ring on my finger and make vows to me.” He earned my respect, pre-marriage, by demonstrating an excellent work ethic, a devotion to God, and a desire to live with integrity, to name a few things. I think that (marriage) should earn the outward respect, for certain, but I don’t see how that can refer to earning or keeping the inner respect. In my experience, the inner respect is earned, over time, through consistent moral (or, in our case, Godly) behavior. I see no other way around it. I am rambling again…anyway, I do believe that I have been warped by my generation and culture and that large part of my lack of inner respect is due to my own character. I do not, however, believe that that is the entire picture.

    Is this what God’s word says? If so, where, or in general, can someone list a few stories where the concept of earned respect is completely different from what we see taking place in the world around us? I am not asking for chapter and verse here, but I really would like some help from the Scriptures with wrapping my mind around this. Trust me when I say I am asking these questions HERE for very specific reasons, and because I want godly answers and thoughts to think about. There really are very few places one can ask questions like these and get a godly, thoughtful response.

  40. @Empath, that was a good reminder–the comment you mentioned. I do agree that a woman has a desire to control due to love–but that desire becomes overpowering and therefore, sinful, and can be based on ungodly desires and grow into something very ugly and sinister–which is why we need His word, specifically 1 Peter, to tell us what is the RIGHT thing to do–to relinquish control and “win without a word.” If that was a natural inclination, why would we need to be admonished to do it? Cleary that is in God’s word, IMO, because women’s NATURAL, SINFUL inclination is to with WITH a word. Many words. Often ugly, cynical words. Hence, Proverbs on nagging wives.

  41. @Obliterated, re: “understand that it is possible to lose others’ respect because of consistent behaviors which do not align with characteristics most find respectable”

    Ok, but you introduce the concept of “most”. It turns out “most” women lose respect for their husbands *because* the husbands did the behaviors that “most” people agree ought to be considered repsectable: he was nice.

    re: “I don’t see how that can refer to earning or keeping the inner respect. In my experience, the inner respect is earned, over time, through consistent moral (or, in our case, Godly) behavior.”

    You’ve GOT to see that this is not how it works for “most” women. The more moral and Godly her husband remains, the worse the wife will pick at him to test to see how much he can take. And when he keeps on long-suffering, she comes to despise him.

    re: “can someone list a few stories where the concept of earned respect is completely different”

    Yes. Your concept is completely wrong. Biblically your husband doesn’t have to work to earn your respect or your sex. Period. 1 Peter 3:4-6 says you are supposed to stifle it, yielding to him, putting yourself under him (he is NOT suppused to have to work to put himself over you), obeying him, and behaving in general from the heart as you being the servant to your master. Surely you can force yourself to feel servile. Through abject service.

    Then we can move on to you feeling humbled by him, in awe of him, deathly afraid of him, totally ashamed at not serving him well enough, and the list goes on.

  42. Obliterated:
    “I didn’t respect my husband for marrying me—that seems kind of backwards to me.”

    It IS backwards. The problem is that husbands need to earn respect BEFORE marriage not afterwards. When you say that he earned your respect before marriage, that is the key to solving the problem. Do what you did then—show him the same respect and encourage better behavior.

  43. jf12:
    “The more moral and Godly a man is, the more the wife will pick at him and test him…Surely you can force yourself to be servile. Through abject service…Then we can go on to you feeling humbled by him, in awe of him, deathly afraid of him; totally ashamed of not serving him well enough; &c”

    That advice is just stupid. Men and women are created to be compatible and helpmeets and not one the chattel slave of the other. Where does Christ teach anywhere that respect comes from fear and groveling? Respect doesn’t grow out of fear; it comes from love and is to be given willingly.

  44. I am a big proponent of doing what’s right regardless of how you feel about it. I am also a big proponent of respectful honesty.

    The only thing that Obliterated can do at this point is obey God’s word, pray, fervently, and look intently for the good in her husband. There has to be something there because she married him.

    @Jf12:

    You talk a lot about fear as the antithesis to love as if expectations and accountability are bad things when a husband expresses them even though it is roundly accepted than wives will and should nag their husbands into submission.

    I had such an experience on my blog lately when I mentioned that my husband caught me as I expressed sentiments that showed I was more concerned about other’s thoughts than his. My resident dissenter offered strenuous objection.

    When I offered an example of pointing out to my husband recently that he had gained weight, and his response (“Yeah, you’re right”), I got crickets.

    I am at a total loss as to how and why “niceness” or perpetual pleasing behavior (which is not necessarily the same thing as either “kind” or “good” or “virtuous”) are held up as synonyms of love.

    But that’s just me.

  45. @Elspeth,
    I’m certain I never mentioned the husband’s emotions in my answers to Obliterated. Why would you think I did?

  46. Ok, but you introduce the concept of “most”. It turns out “most” women lose respect for their husbands *because* the husbands did the behaviors that “most” people agree ought to be considered repsectable: he was nice.

    I just disagreed with this, and I think I conflated your comments with Eric’s, erroneously. My mistake.

  47. Re: Who is responsible for R.E.S.P.E.C.T from the wife?

    Eph 5:33 puts it this way: “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

    The wife is supposed to see to it herself. She is not permitted to choose to respect him or not based on his performance.

  48. @jf12:

    You have read enough from me to know that I understand and agree that a wife is to see that she reverences her husband. That it a Scripture command to the wife not contingent on her husband’s behavior.

    That is why I disagreed with you. You claimed wives rebel and disrespect because their husbands are too nice. I say that when we rebel and disrespect it’s because rebellion and disrespect is in our hearts.

  49. @Elspeth, re: “You claimed wives rebel and disrespect because their husbands are too nice. I say that when we rebel and disrespect it’s because rebellion and disrespect is in our hearts.”

    Fine! Then consider us in agreement!!

    My grand synthesis detailed elsewhere traces the female’s natural role in sexual conflict theory to be resisting love (and, in the case of humans maybe most of all, to be submitting to hate). In fact I laid out why the PSALM attraction vectors are, in accord with Ton, merely proxies for violence, evidencing the man’s ability to get away with forcing himself on her.

    That’s why it is so important for a woman to understand that from a supernatural perspective she *must* force herself to submit to, see to it that she behaves utterly in awe of, a “too-loving” man she doesn’t *want* to submit to because she doesn’t fear him. Everything else merely delays hellfire and never achieves salvation.

  50. We were in agreement Jf12, until you implied that tall, handsome, confident men possess a plurality of unrighteous traits as opposed to men less endowed. That is no more true than the false statement that less
    beautiful women are more virtuous than beautiful ones.

    A wife is to reverence her husband regardless, and strong men are capable of love.

  51. He earned my respect, pre-marriage, by demonstrating an excellent work ethic, a devotion to God, and a desire to live with integrity, to name a few things.

    Im not trying to pick on you, obliterated, but this comment is where the problem resides. What IS an “excellent work ethic”? i can point to one person’s work ethic and relate to, value wise to someone else’ work ethic. I can maybe identify an utter lack of work ethic. But I cannot describe an “excellent work ethic”

    What if your idea of it is my idea of workaholism?

    The devotion to God, the desire to live with integrity. these are so subjective as to be , blunt truth, mere representations of some notion youve constructed in your mind…..expectations. And if you are like most women, one day they mean one thing and another day it means another, because these subjective things have two metrics (minimum).

    1. How you FEEL when he is doing something that fits under one of the categories.
    2. How you think others would perceive him, and hence how they would perceive you as his spouse, if they saw/knew how he was doing xyz
    3. How you perceive that other men would handle things under these categories
    4. Whether you have some issue that you are wanting to control (not because of love, Ive not heard that one before) so as to maximize your sense of security in the moment, and that sense is fleeting and changing so fast you cannot examine it in a static state, which increases the feeling of insecurity.

    The devotion to God and integrity have special metrics
    I can assure you and every women who cites integrity (barring some truly overt and known infraction, and repeats same, bold, blatant, tangible, demonstrable lies). that she is equally, perhaps more frequently, prone to dishonesty and deceit. I have several posts on this (hot button for me) topic but cannot link them since Ive never sorted my blog posts. Your comments set my red flags popping on this because Ive heard all of this so many times and following the cord to the wall always leads me to lots of passive aggressive control tension being present.

    the devotion to God is based on shaky ground. How and why would you mention that? (Im not seeking an answer)

    The listing of these subjective things as things that diminish respect is symptomatic of the problems I tried to illustrate with my other response. I do not know you and therefore do not assert that I am correct and that you are flat wrong. But again, the red flags are all upright and waving.

    Even if there are problems in those areas, under the subjective regime by which you weigh them, they simply will not EVER be put to rest. Ever. In fact someone can say those things about every one of us. To dwell there and borrow those feelings as rationale for lowered respect is a baby step toward borrowing them to rationalize a divorce. I am not being hyperbolic.

  52. Uh….it seems like jf12 is trying to get me to see something I ALREADY agree with, and isn’t seeing what I am actually talking about. I am saying there are two different meanings of respect when people talk about it in general: an outward action and an inner high esteem. I wanted to see if not having the feelings to accompany the actions yet obeying IN MY ACTIONS (even if my feelings aren’t where I’d like them to be, because of various things that have happened that I think are a mixture of justifiable reasons and some lack of godly character on my part) would still be obeying the commands in Scripture. I talked at length with my husband last night to see what he thought about some of the responses I got here, and he believes the same as I do that the outward obedience because of our faith in God is enough as long as our desire is for our heart to be also be right–even if while we are obeying, it isn’t.

    Last night during my nightly vigil, (don’t sleep well), the story of King Saul and David came to mind as a Biblical example of what God requires of me. David, I am certain, did NOT have inner respect (from here on out I will refer to it as “high esteem”) for Saul. I can also see how Saul’s men and his own son may have lost their high esteem for their king. David WANTED to kill Saul, but he didn’t because of his faith/trust in God. His OUTWARD action in not slaying Saul was one of respect. So if the Lord saw David’s inner turmoil as well as his respectful actions in spite of the lack of high esteem, and called him a man after God’s heart, I am able to get a clear picture of what God is referring to in Ephesians, 1 Peter, etc.

    Also, ha WHEN did I EVER mention sex here? I didn’t even use FAM as a method of birth control when we first got married and for several years afterward because I so wholeheartedly believe in the Scripture that says “do not deprive one another EXCEPT for a time of prayer…” To me that doesn’t also mean “unless you know you’ll get pregnant and you don’t want to right then,” never knowing how often women or even I would want to withhold for other reasons. EVERYONE ELSE I know has used birth control and been on the 5-year plan before kids. I didn’t want to have kids right away but I did anyway, my conviction was so heavy. Don’t assume that EVERY WOMAN that ends up in these parts is like MOST women. I was asking for specific help, with what I thought were pretty specific questions. Empath and Eric and Elspeth have helped me wrap my mind around the answer to my ACTUAL question pretty well. I never was looking for an out to not treat my husband with respect. Period. 😉

    Tangent, take it or leave it but it came to mind:The book Pride and Prejudice has excellent examples in the 5 daughters of the different kinds of women in our world. Thereare 2 out of the 5 that are completely foolish, selfish, flighty idiots, perhaps to show that more times than not, women will behave in that way. Their mother is the same, and Elizabeth has seen the damage her father’s passiveness has done to both her mother and her sisters. Jane is every man’s dream: beautiful, gentle, thinks the best of others, and always agreeable. Mary is prideful and does right, but out of a sense of moral superiority. Elizabeth is in need of a check on her pride and yet had the ability to see her fault and have a change of heart and sincere repentance tthroughout the course of the story. But she IS capable of being humbled when faced with the truth, though she lets her pride drive her INNER disrespect of Mr. Darcy far too long. Her youngest sisters are NOT capable. They are never humbled and (well, I think Kate kind of was toward the end…)mcontinuemin theirmfoll
    Y even when confronted with the truth. Even after putting their family through terrible consequences (lLydia) of immoral behavior. Anyway, I mention this because the majority of women I encounter in the comments I read here are NOT Kitty and Lydia. Some show up and sound just like Mary. The Janes aren’t here because they are in happy marriages, more than likely. The women I see here most of the time are or have been Elizabeth.

  53. Oh, yeah, the point I was trying to make about sex was that I have NEVER thought it was ok to withhold from my husband for any reason, so we don’t need to go there with me. If this discussion goes further lets just drop that as a problem because it never has been in my marriage, the things I have mentioned elsewhere that have happened were NOT due to withholding or depriving being an issue in our marriage.

  54. @Empath, I just saw your further response and I will respond later to what I see as valid reasons for red flags based on what I said so far. I’ve read a lot of your archives so I see how those things I mentioned might touch a nerve.

    @Elspeth,
    Another verse that comes to mind is that of the master who tells two different servants to go do something–one says he will but then doesn’t, the other doesn’t WANT TO but does it anyway. Thank you for addressing my real questions by affirming that obedience before feelings is what God is more than likely looking for here.

  55. re: “an inner high esteem” + “our desire is for our heart to be also be right”

    What is it that you think you lack in feeling? What is it that you think “inner high esteem” feels like to your heart? The Bible says it is your responsibility to feel reverence (phobeo; Strongs G5399)i.e. to be in terror of him. How exactly are you behaving when you try to cringe and try to wet your pants in abject submission to your husband, your lord and master?

    One thing I can tell you is that if you make him make you feel terror, i.e. Dread, then it makes it essentially impossible for him to love you.

  56. re: beating dead horse etc.

    One tangentially related topic is the Substitutionary Atonement. God demonstrated His hatred of sin, and He thereby makes a compelling case why we should begin to be wise by cringing before Him and wetting our pants. Imagine telling Him “Oh, all right, you big softie I’ll do what you say, but I know you love me, so I’m not really feeling the high esteem here.” Talk about unwise.

  57. Obliterated:
    Forget the kinds of ‘advice’ from Gametards like jf12. He’s basically saying—like a typical male feminist—that submission and respect are signs of weakness. The only way it differs from feminism is that the Gametards claim that female weakness is a good and positive thing.

    Most of Elspeth’s advice is good except: “we rebel and disrespect because rebellion and disrespect is in our hearts.” Wrong: it is NOT natural for women to bond with men and rebel and disrespect him. Submission is the natural thing. And submission does NOT mean what jf12 and the feminists say it does. Submission is feminine strength—and respect follows love, and actions from that.

    Elspeth had the right advice: “pray and look for the good in her husband. There has to be something there because she married him.” Exactly! Better still, after you find the good in your husband again, cultivate it and bring it out even more.

  58. I talked at length with my husband last night to see what he thought about some of the responses I got here, and he believes the same as I do that the outward obedience because of our faith in God is enough as long as our desire is for our heart to be also be right–even if while we are obeying, it isn’t.

    Respect his answer, dear. He is 100% correct. I have never really understood those people who claim that your doing the right thing is less valuable, valid, or authentic if your emotions don’t line up 100%. It’s just crazy, an excuse not to do the right thing.

    I envy those people who feel all the right feelings all the time. I don’t, not even for my own husband whom I adore. And I agree with Empath that we need to check our expectations as well as examining our own actions when passing sentence on our husbands. Paul warns us about this tendency in Romans chapter 2.

  59. re: “It’s just crazy, an excuse not to do the right thing.”

    Always, no other reason. I agree that the husband would prefer her doing right instead of her feeling right if there had to be a choice. But *she* was the one complaining she wasn’t feeling what she wanted to feel.

  60. Eric you and insanitybytes are so deceived, based on her post, that I do not think words can pierce through. Especially in her case and maybe in yours the totality of the lexicon needed to discuss the issue is corrupted, triggers made of words and phrases, and it has built a protective veneer that at least with her, I doubt the most eloquent and strident of us could find even true discourse, let alone leverage.

    She laid Kafka traps throughout. She masterfully sets up self impeachment for the one who deign challenge her view. Its clever, too clever by half when it centers on not “blaming”. The blaming thing is a straw man argument that is also bait, put forth however by setting up your debate opponents Achilles in advance so that when he invokes the terminology of the assertions she sets down she can then accuse him of having fallen into the wrong thinking she has already fr. Its frustrating to read.

    You cant hang game on me Eric. You know that. You’ll have to find some other way to discredit m,y opinion of the camouflaged evangelical feminism in that post.

  61. It sounds like some here may think I’m saying MY definition of respect is that it is always earned, including the behavioral respect. Or that the Biblical definition does NOT refer to the common understanding of the INNER respect, or high esteem, or admiration INSIDE A PERSON’S HEAD AND HEART.
    What I was actually asking is: does the Biblical definition include both of those understandings of respect?
    Answers:
    Jf12: No. It’s just the behavioral, and that is not earned, and if you think less of your husband for anything you need to grovel before him and ask his forgiveness.
    Empath: Yes and No. It depends on whether or not the wife’s standards/expectations are good, godly, Biblical ones, or if they are subjective and based on her feelings at the moment or her own personal opinions/whims.
    Elspeth: Yes, but if a wife’s inner respect has been diminished, she still needs to outwardly treat her husband with reverence and respect and pray for her heart to be changed.
    The point was the INNER vs. the OUTER. I was asking, “Is God talking about BOTH in Ephesians, etc., or OUTWARD?”

    Why am I asking this? Because in the natural, I was saying our husband’s consistent good, moral, godly behavior or bad, immoral, ungodly behavior WILL have an affect on our INNNNNNNNNER OPINNNNION. (I honestly don’t know how to make this more clear). If what you are saying is that a woman’s (let’s just PRETEND for a moment we are talking about a godly woman here, ok? I know they are rarer than white Siberian tigers but this is what I am getting at. Let’s pretend we are talking about April from Peaceful Wife here or something) INNNNNNER respect/esteem/admiration/opinion of her husband should never be diminished in any way due to his bad (like, Bible-bad, not her-opinion-bad) behavior, and if it is then that she is sinning—THAT is the concept I am trying to say I cannot wrap my brain around. In saying this I’m not saying I’m some sort of awesome woman of godly character. But guess what? I WANT to be. So tell me what’s okay for a godly woman or not.

    Eric linked that website What Women Never Hear. One of his recent posts he lists 100 Blessings Men are born with. #27 was “I expect people to earn my respect before I trust them.”
    Well, GOSH! What on earth could he be talking about, earned respect? What IS that? Could he possibly be referring to the INNER thing I am talkin’ about here?

    Listen, I think that if my husband has done something consistently immoral/sinful/ungodly that that SHOULD NOT affect my OUTWARD ACTIONS. So I do not think I get to withhold sex, yell and nag at him, complain, whine, tear him down, not submit to him, not do as he says, defy him, or anything you could grab from April’s list of things that make men feel disrespected. I think if he has done wrong that doesn’t mean that he didn’t EARN, by marrying me, the right to that OUTWARD, behavioral action. If I do those things because he lost some of my INNER esteem by his actions, I am the one in sin. I believe that because when I got married I voluntarily put myself under his authority and within that I think it is expressly clear in the Bible I am not to treat him with disrespect.

    Are you picking up what I’m putting down yet, anyone?

    I was reading last night in 1 Samuel 24, then went on to 25 and read about David and Abigail. I was also remembering his first wife, Michal. It seems there is some dispute as to what Michal’s reaction meant when David danced before the Ark of the Covenant—personally, I think her reaction was wrong. To me, it demonstrates that her character was not right and that she thought less of him for what he did, even though it was for God. I think her lowered respect for David was a result of her own poor character. It looks like Abigail treated her foolish husband with respect (she asked for all guilt to be laid on her if David didn’t accept her offer), but when it came down to it, did she think highly of her husband in her heart and mind? She herself called him a fool. Was she sinful for thinking this about her husband, who the Bible says WAS FOOLISH? “Harsh and badly behaved.” It also seems he was a drunk. I really don’t know for sure if Abigail was actually a disrespectful (in treatment) wife, but it seems pretty clear she did not think her man was “the stuff.” The Bible calls her “discerning.”

    I shared all of this with my husband last night and he seemed frustrated that I am so bent on trying to understand this when to him it is simple. He expects me to treat him well regardless of his behavior. He does not expect me to think highly of him if he continues in sinful behavior.

    @Empath, you said you’d never heard what I was mentioning before. I picked that up from the thread you linked to earlier, spawning off from your post “It Doesn’t Work Both Ways.” In the thread you said at one point: I disagree. A woman loves her children…no…IF a woman loves her children she will want to control them. Its an aside but it begs the question about the mom/daughter duos that act like friends today. Part of love in a woman is a desire to control for what she thinks is best…buried in that may be a self-interest but truly, you cannot say that if a woman truly loves her man she will not want to control him. It’s the opposite. Then if she loves him enough, she will stifle that urge.
    It made sense to me. Perhaps I misunderstood what it was you were getting at.

    Also, I could elaborate further on why (now, hindsight) I had those impressions of my husband, and whether or not I think they were based on godly expectations or my own subjective standards. Yes, he could have been a workaholic in real life, objectively, for example, and I could have admired that anyway because I didn’t have a proper understanding of what God would think was an actual good work ethic. At the time he simply demonstrated a significant lack of laziness. He worked three jobs in the summer, he was an athlete in college, and was consistent in his service (I know many hate that word in reference to men doing anything but bear with me here) to our campus ministry where we met. He went on a 6-month mission trip during the 2 years we dated, and in order to go he needed to raise 10k in support, and he did what needed to be done in order to do so within one week. We were engaged at the end of his time there and were married within 4 months. He had to try very hard to get a job (since we knew we would not be using BC and so were more than likely going to have a kid our first year of marriage) that he felt would support me staying at home (which he wanted me to do and I agreed to do and wanted to d) and be a good fit for starting a family. I do think now that a lot of my judgments were made on appearance and not on the truth (referencing the other things I mentioned). I don’t think it’s possible to find out the reality about every little thing about your spouse until you’re married. I do think expectations are not entirely wrong, but I do not think ALL of our expectations, or even most of them, when the average one of us comes into a marriage, are based on godly standards. To me, a covenant is itself a set of expectations, and I see no way around that. But I believe a woman needs to make sure her expectations are aligned with the word of God and again, not based on her opinions or her feelings. Your example of the financial difficulties you and your family experienced was a great one because, in my mind, I could see that you cared about your family’s finances and it at least seems like you had a plan in mind when you made the decision to not pay bills in the order in which SHE saw fit. That you came out of it on the other side just fine makes it seem even more likely that you were doing what you believed God was leading you to do. But I know many people who will pay a credit card bill on time every time but let other things that are actual needs suffer—so PERHAPS this was her feeling, I don’t know. But it seems as though her reaction wasn’t based on a God-standard but a her-standard.

    I am not a Michal, a Kitty, or a Lydia. I hate Oprah, the Kardashians, I don’t buy US magazine, I don’t watch Eat, Pray, Love or even Mom’s Night Out and think WOW! These are great movies! I don’t read Twilight and go Ohhhh swoon! I do understand that your typical Christian female listens to Focus on the Family radio and thinks it’s awesome. I don’t. I don’t think submission makes me a doormat and I never have. Does any of that help here? I’m not perfect but I’m not THAT. That’s why I am HERE asking this stuff. But I also don’t get how a person of godly character can inside think someone is totally AWESOME who has consistently done things that are expressly SINFUL in God’s word. Like, I mean, actual sins. Not MY OWN DEFINITION of sin. Yeah, I want to feel what I should feel. I guess I’m bad for that. I’m laying down self-impeachment traps or something. Nah, I just want to have the feelings. Because having the feelings makes it easier. I don’t NEED them, I don’t think, based on what I’ve gathered here and from the discussions I have had with my husband. I am going to do what he expects of me. I’m just a typical human being who would like serving God to be easy sometimes. It’s not, and I’m accepting that.

    Anyway, I could go on and on and write more of a book but I don’t have more time than I’ve given to this to try and explain where I’m coming from. We’re moving this week and so yeah. Busy. But I will read responses as I have time and continue reading here and elsewhere and return, most likely, to lurker-land. God’s blessings rest on all of you and thank you for sharing what wisdom or insights you believe you have to offer here to help me.

  62. Obliterated:
    Yes, I do understand where you’re coming from. However, does a wife lose respect for a husband if he is sinning; and is that a sin?

    The problem here is that it is not a black-and-white issue. It depends on the degree of sin. Most sins aren’t mortal sins, and recall that Christ died for us in spite of those Himself because of His Love for us—hence that’s an example for wives to follow. The correct course of action is NOT to lose that inner respect and love that you have (it is still there or else you wouldn’t be asking these questions and trying to resolve the problems lol) and lovingly and gently try and coax your husband back into better behavior.

  63. Empath:
    Of course, I’m not trying to hang Game on you. It’s jf12 who’s here preaching this ‘Dark Triad’ nonsense. I don’t disagree with the points you made in your answer to Obliterated except that it presumed negative intentions. If she were trying to rationalize as you described, she wouldn’t be here asking for advice, she’d do what most pre-divorced; simply think up an excuse and DO it; then give us the reasons/excuses afterwards.

    I didn’t see anything in Insanitybytes article that was Evangelical Feminism at all. What I gathered from this that blame is toxic to a relationship and that Obliterated should stop blaming herself and/or her husband so she can focus on fixing the problem.

  64. @ Obliterated:

    I hear you loud and clear and what I am saying is that there is nothing in Scripture that indicates that your obedience is somehow less obedient because it is not accompanied with the corresponding feelings.

    Is it easier if you’re feeling it? Yes. But the fact that you are crucifying your flesh and acting inspite of the fact that your mind wants to use your husbands short comings as an occasion for righteous rebellion (I crack me up sometimes) is a very godly stand to take.

    My husband does a few things that don’t pass my smell test, to be honest. What keeps me from using those few things as an occasion ro judge him inwardly is a very close examination of and regular confession of my own sins, which are actually quite grievous when I weigh them against Scripture rather than believing my own press or even the compliments of others about what an awesome wife I am.

    For example, I can be extremely haughty and proud in my own estimation when I see how other wives treat their husbands. That’s an abomination to the Lord according to Scripture. I should pray, be saddened, grieve, and thank God for opened eyes and His great mercy. It puts my husbands *stuff*, which I will not outline here in proper perspective. It’s even more pronounced when I remember that he acknowldeges his *stuff* while I hide mine behind a self-righteous venner.

    Understand that I understand what you’re asking. You’re asking if the fact that your inward opinion of your husband fails to match up with your outward displays of respect mean you’re outside of God’s requirments.

    I’m saying the answer to that is an emphatic no..so long as you earnestly pray and desire for God to mold you and form your heart so that your actions and heart are in alignment. But I’m also saying that honest self assessment goes a very, very long way toawrds helping us do that.

    Speck, beam, and all that good stuff. Does what I’m saying make any sense? I think you’re beating yourself up about something that is mostly beyond your control while not acknowledging the things you can do that can help some of it be under your control.

    People like to say that we can’t control how we feel. I used ot believe that, and I still do up to a point. But only up to a point. There are some things we can do about how we feel. Most notably by focusing on what is good rather than what is objectionable.

  65. The other thing I have learned to do is this:

    https://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/yes-keep-score/

    I can easily list without nary a thought no less than 20 true, good and excellent things about my husband for every one thing I would change about it. Hebrews 5;14 talks about how we strengthen ourselves spiritually by reason of use of the Word and training our spiritual senses.

    Well guess waht? I figured out that the same thing goes for almost every other area of life. The more I focused on and took note of what is good and right about my husband, and coupled that with the Scriptural command to submit to him as unto the Lord, then the more I found his stature rise in my mind and heart.

    My answers here are to help you get to where you do have inward feelings of respect for your husband because I truly believe it is possible.

    But no, you’re not in a precarious spiritual position because you’re not there yet. We’re all on a journey.

  66. I can easily list without nary a thought

    Ha! That was awful grammar, but you know what I meant.

    Don’t you laugh at me Empath. I mean it!

  67. I steadfastly maintain that if a wife *really* wants to feel more esteem for her husband then the sure, Biblical, and behavioral method to do so is to humble herself before him, and groveling would be one way. What is it that is in women that makes them refuse to lower themselves?

  68. Biblical, and behavioral method to do so is to humble herself before him, and groveling would be one way.

    I submit that consciousness of one’s own imperfections coupled with esteeming her husband is humbling herself. What man wants his wife groveling before him? Mine doesn’t even want that, and that’s saying something! I’ll leave that at that, LOL.

    What is it that is in women that makes them refuse to lower themselves?

    Define lower. I’m not being facetious here. When my husband has had a particularly long day, I can (without feeling the slightest bit like a maggot) kneel before him and take off his socks and shoes for him. Because I appreciate how hard he works and I want him to feel comfortable.

    You seem to be advocating for the kind of action that the woman with the alabaster box displayed before Christ and while I’m not discounting the parallel analogy, I just can’t imagine any husband desiring that from his wife. Not a Christian husband, because he wants his wife’s deepest worship to be towards Christ, not him.

    Sadly, not many Christian wives are so humble.

  69. E you’ve gone full Yogi Berra with that double negative. But leave it to you to do it so subtly that 90% of readers wouldn’t have noticed unless you decided to out yourself.

  70. Eric you didn’t see the evangelical feminism because it is not discrete. Nor is it subtext. Its there in where a discourse on the matter necessarily has to go. Its there in the manner with which she derives, or rationalizes her opinions.
    If there is discrete evangelical feminism its in the tone and tenor. But that’s not what prompted my comment.
    One guy waded into “balance” in the comments. Balance is a word evangelical feminists (in that case a male one) love to use. In her response to him she tips her hand even more by trying to distance herself from “balance” while being all about “:balance” because balance is a kissing cousin to her take on blaming. It sets the frame of the conversation, when blaming is not the default setting of the majority of men who complain about their wives. IOW, complaining does not equal blaming. When it does, consider where that puts men, and how that dovetails with evangelical feminism. Hers is, in this way, the last possible word. Subject closed….lest you be guilty of that which she calls wrong thinking.

  71. re: “What man wants his wife groveling before him?”

    The husband’s feelings are not the question. The question is why so many Christian women believe that their feelings empower them to adjudge their husbands as unworthy of the women humbling themselves.

  72. jf12 you’ve jumped the shark. Your last comment alone is OK, but in context what you describe here is more like something off kilter with how the relationship should be.
    i am the last person to start playing the silly argument that I see so many women employ where you say what you say, they say BUT “he is to love as Christ the church”….., however I do not eschew that dialog because the woman is wrong in her words, but she is wrong in how she is using them to manipulate her own emotions in order to functionally NOT accept the part that is her divine imperative.
    You are sorta doing to 180 degree opposite of what that hypothetical woman is doing. And its just as messed up.

  73. Empath, it’s ‘discreet’, not ‘discrete’. It’s almost as bad as putting ‘conductive’ in place of ‘conducive’ that I did once.

  74. No exfernal, it’s discrete. I wrote the correctly spelled word with the meaning I intended.

    Discrete: “individually separate and distinct”

    I make homonym mistakes sometimes, but not on the words discrete and discreet

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