In a recent exchange at Zippy Catholic, Alte and Elspeth discussed the controversy over teaching Christian husbands “Game” (emphasis mine):
When my husband “negs” me, or any of the other little pieces I’ve read here and there that are just part of the way he is, it’s fun. Fun should be a part of any healthy marital relationship.
Seriously. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up over there, but a lot of the criticism about husbands using Game seems puritanical, based upon a sort of melancholy. Like, “Oh noes, a married couple is flirting! We must stop this or they might end up having sex for reasons other than the solemn duty of procreation. Doesn’t that wife have a toilet to scrub somewhere?”
There’s a sort of passion and excitement in some of our marriages that we enjoy, and that Game enhances. Sex starts in the kitchen, and all that jazz. Why so dour?
The argument V, is that what you’re describing is not game. That it has always existed in loving marriages just as the neg has have been around since Hobbits tilled the soil of the Shire.
That giving Roissyites credit for something that enhances Christian marriage is just plain wrong, morally. Not only is it incompatible, but it gives them credit for something which they deserve no credit for.
I believe that the concern Elspeth describes is shared by many (but not necessarily all) of those who oppose teaching Christian husbands Game. The problem is, the Roissyites do deserve credit for collating and codifying the concepts we refer to as “Game”, and this is assuming that there was absolutely no new understanding developed by the Roissyites in the process. The Brothers Grimm didn’t write a single new tale, yet they rightly are credited with advancing our knowledge and understanding of folk tales.
This leaves Christians with a dilemma. Some of the knowledge the Roissyites have described as Game could help Christian husbands be more effective when trying to lead their wives, and as both Alte and Elspeth point out if you are doing it right using Game in a marriage is very likely to be fun. However, teaching Game has the problem of giving credit to men whose focus is to enjoy our present culture of sexual immorality. One possible option would be to lie, and claim that not only is the basic knowledge old, but that we haven’t benefited at all from the experiences and efforts of a group of men engaged in a sinful pursuit.
However, while Christians can’t claim credit for collating and codifying the information, we can take credit for creating the conditions required for such an activity to take place. It is no accident that a formalization of the concepts we call Game only occurred recently and wasn’t completed some other time over the last several thousand years. In the past such knowledge wasn’t generally required for the average man, because we were still practicing traditional marriage. In addition, there wasn’t the concentration of experiences with multiple women to make it possible to hypothesize and test the kinds of patterns PUAs have seen.
As Christians we (collectively) can take credit for making all of this happen. Christians have provided the moral cover for both the sexual revolution and the divorce revolution. At the core of the Christian backing of the sexual/divorce revolution is the modern Christian rebellion against biblical headship. A woman who marries as a young virgin is far more likely to be willing to submit to her husband, and (modern) Christian fathers everywhere are terrified of such a prospect. For existing marriages Christians endorse the use of threats of divorce to ensure that a wife feels secure in her position of authority over her husband, and groups like FOTF make it a point to remind divorcing women not to forget to collect their cash and prizes. Likewise the modern Christian rebellion against headship has lead Christians to endorse an entirely new and perverted sexual morality. If you have ever wondered why the Protestant churches in the US have been so quiet on the divorce revolution taking place within their very congregations, or why the RCC responded to the explosion in divorces in the US by firing up the annulment mill, this is why.
So if you fear teaching Game to Christian husbands because Christians can’t take credit for the knowledge you are teaching, rest easy. We can’t take credit for the Roissyites, but we can and must take credit for creating the conditions required for the Roissyites to thrive.
Pointing at Roissy and company’s sin is easy, as it allows us to confront the sin of others without acknowledging and repenting from our own collective culpability. Acknowledging that Christians have collectively displayed shame and hostility for something so beautiful and wise as biblical marriage is much less comfortable. However, we would do well to remember that Roissy wasn’t trusted to share the wisdom and beauty of Christian marriage and sexual morality with the world; Christians were.
Moderator’s note: Since the definition of Game has been a long term derailer of discussions I’m asking commenters to refrain from engaging in yet another debate on the true definition of Game. This doesn’t mean you can’t state your own view so that others can understand how you are using the term. In fact, defining how you use the term if different from others will add clarity to the discussion. For example if you believe Christians shouldn’t use Game, you should clearly define what you include in the category you are prohibiting. This also doesn’t mean you can’t ever discuss the proper definition of the term; if you are interested in this I encourage you to do so, just not here, on this post. If you wish to discuss the definition of Game on my blog, I invite you to do so on the post Cypher’s Problem where discussing the definition of the term has been occurring since August of 2012. If you wish to discuss the definition of the terms used in the definition of Game, Cane Caldo has a post for this here. If you wish to discuss the definition of the terms used in the definition of the terms used in the definition of Game, I’m not aware of a specific post addressing this yet but I have every confidence that someone will create one soon.