Chivalry and biblical marriage can’t coexist.

Swanny River asks:

Can someone explain to me what is meant by a marriage depending upon the free will of the married means? Is an arranged marriage an example of people without free will? Women freely divorce and commit adultery by marrying another, so how is that different than a theory of adultery?

I assume Swanny is referring to the following quote from CS Lewis:

As I have said before, where marriage does not depend upon the free will of the married, any theory which takes love for a noble form of experience must be a theory of adultery.

What Lewis is saying is that when we elevate romantic love to something moral, then marriage can no longer be moral. At that point marriage must bend to romantic love, not the other way around. This is you will notice our current view. It isn’t just about arranged marriage. If a woman marries someone she doesn’t love because she wants something else out of the transaction (power, money, etc), then she must be allowed to exit the marriage at will. And if she marries for love but later falls out of love, she must be allowed to exit the marriage at will. If marriage is seen as something moral, a real, binding commitment, then in order to glorify romantic love you have to glorify adultery. Chivalry and courtly love are the antithesis of biblical marriage. You can’t get around this by trying to bring chivalry/courtly love into marriage, because the logic remains the same. Either marriage has moral meaning, or romantic love has moral meaning; both cannot be the case.

When the puritans incorporated chivalry into marriage they killed biblical marriage. Even Milton understood this, which is why he argued that when the feelings of romantic love were gone a marriage could no longer exist.

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68 Responses to Chivalry and biblical marriage can’t coexist.

  1. Hayeks ghost says:

    Nailed it

  2. Novaseeker says:

    Right, which is why we commonly see in popular culture adulterous relationships being celebrated as good and moral (or “should be moral”). Bridges of Madison County was an early example of this, and there are many others. If romantic love is what makes sex moral, then extra-marital sex in the context of a “loving LTR” is also moral, and this is what 99.9% of American Christians believe de facto, even if they will still pay lip service to saying it’s “technically sinful”.

    This is the current moral mood. Those of us who dissent from it are considered radical fundies, to be honest.

  3. Griffin says:

    As an aside, I find it useful to distinguish between courtly love (the sentiment of romance conquers/covers all) and chivalry ( the knightly codes of conduct). Both of them are flawed or erroneous ideals, but even though they were and are often found together they are distinct and neither requires the other,

  4. DougK says:

    So what do we do with those who might argue that chivalry is just the idea that men should love their wives sacrificially? I understand the philosophical implications to this, but most people use the term chivalry to mean any act of sacrifice that a man might take towards a woman regardless of whether he is married to her or not. Holding doors open for women is chivalry. Letting a woman have the last seat on the bus is chivalry. Helping carry a woman’s groceries to her car. Making sure there are more women’s bathrooms in a stadium during constructions. All sorts of actions could be construed as chivalrous and synonymous with a polite and highly evolved society without it necessarily meaning the idolatry of women or the subordination of commitment in marriage to the emotional whims of either spouse.

    I guess what I am asking is what is the limiting principle here with chivalry? Would it just be better to call that “being polite”? What turns politeness, a good thing, into chivalry, an idolatrous thing?

  5. Pingback: Chivalry and biblical marriage can’t coexist. | @the_arv

  6. Cane Caldo says:

    This is great work. It is also the succinct answer I personally have been looking for all these years.

    Game was intriguing because it is literally the anitithesis of chivalry. I knew that wasn’t the answer, and I could find the faults of Game, but I couldn’t put my finger on the thing itself. My blog posts on Game are testament to that…and to the confusion I caused others who thought I was for Game, but yet denying it. Rather: I was anti-chivalry, but not wise enough to know it. It’s in my posts about Eros, the unfair weights used to measure men against women, and many other of the pieces. I was attacking chivalry, but couldn’t quite see that it was chivalry.

    Some of that was also due to half-ass knowledge on my part. I knew enough to know that the original code upon which courtly love was attached had nothing to do with romantic love. But I wasn’t knowledgeable enough about its development to wisely write about the topic of chivalry. There’s evidence of my folly in my older posts too.

    And now I see that so-called “Married Game” is an attempt at synthesis of the thesis Chivalry (the last several hundred years of Christian marriage) and the antithesis Game. It’s doomed to failure.

    Looking back now at my own life, what I did when I decided to neither produce, nor put up with, anymore nonsense was to reject chivalric notions. I didn’t think of it in those terms though. At the time I prayed angrily and desperately, “Alright God: I’ll do it your way and by the book, Smart Guy! Whatever happens is on you! I’ll be sacrificial and loving no matter what she does, but I will also expect to be obeyed, and I will say so! I will be gentle, but never quit my expectations. I will stop trying to get her agreement, and settle for her obedience, even when she is bitter about it.” Best thing I ever did. God’s way held up even though I sometimes slipped up and tried to change her mind instead of seek her submission (it confuses them, and prompts them to rebel), or failed to remain cheerful when she sometimes chafed.

    I’ve told that story before, but before these last few posts I did not understand that what I threw out of my life was chivalry.

  7. seventiesjason says:

    Just like the words that used and abused: confidence and love

    Love has been turned into an emotion only, and I personally think it’s an action. Confidence means arrogance, pride, putting other people down for your betterment when it plainly means to have faith in abilities, skills, or trust in something.

  8. seventiesjason says:

    Chivalry: The methods of training and standards of behavior for knights in the Middle Ages. The code of chivalry emphasized bravery, military skill, generosity in victory, piety, and courtesy to women.

  9. 7817 says:

    These are devastating, especially to the entire churchian library of books on marriage.

  10. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Jason: Love has been turned into an emotion only, and I personally think it’s an action.

    I hope so. I find it easier to behave morally toward everyone (some of whom I can’t stand), than to feel all warm & fuzzy toward everyone.

  11. American says:

    I would never place myself under this post-Christian, ungodly, alt-left, ultra-feminist body of matrimonial familial law. My fortified castle walls are high and my moat deep. Not going to happen.

  12. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    While surfing Amazon, I stumbled across what might be the silliest feminist thriller series to date. The description of Fall from Valhalla:

    In the months just after the end of WW II, two deadly and cunning women find themselves pitted against each other in a lethal game of cat-and-mouse. One was Nazi Germany’s top spy now working for the United States: her opponent, Soviet Russia’s most feared assassin.

    Really? Nazi Germany’s top spy, and the Soviet Union’s most feared assassin, are both women?

    And apparently, they team up post-WW II and join the CIA. Another book in the series is Hope for Valhalla:

    It is 1946, the American Mafia is successfully setting up shop in Cuba. The newly formed CIA is concerned that the American gangsters are developing close ties with the Soviets, who are slowly increasing their presence on the island. The CIA calls upon two of its agents, Erika Lehmann and Zhanna Rogova. The women are sent to Havana to infiltrate the mob and gather intelligence. The two women successfully insert themselves into the mob’s inner circle, becoming bodyguards for Bugsy Siegel.

    So now these women have become CIA sponsored Mafia bodyguards.

    Kick-ass women have become almost mandatory in every genre. Soon it will be hard to find books with any male heroes or villains. Men will just be wimpy supporting characters for all the bad-ass female cops and detectives, mobsters and spy masters, soldiers and marines.

  13. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Oh, yeah. The Valhalla series is written by a man. Mike Whicker.

  14. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Return to Valhalla reads like satire:

    During the critical, last months of the Second World War, Nazi spy Erika Lehmann returns to Germany seeking revenge after discovering Heinrich Himmler ordered her father’s murder. Return to Valhalla is the story of one woman’s journey of self-discovery through heartbreak, disillusionment, and eventual redemption.

    Only a woman would regard a mission to assassinate HImmler as “a journey of self-discovery.”

    The male author has gotten the female perspective correct. I guess he’s marketing to a female readership. But do many women read World War II thrillers, even if starring a kick-ass woman?

  15. Gary Eden says:

    And now I see that so-called “Married Game” is an attempt at synthesis of the thesis Chivalry (the last several hundred years of Christian marriage) and the antithesis Game. It’s doomed to failure.

    Well when you’re already in a drowning marriage in our society, you don’t turn up your nose to the life raft that comes along. Whatever its faults, ‘married game’ works.

    So your new anti-chivalrous marriage strategy, you’re basically thinking what, arranged marriage?

  16. Gary Eden says:

    Milton didn’t just argue that, he engaged in a campaign to legalize divorce. One earnest enough to get him in some trouble.

  17. Pingback: Chivalry and biblical marriage can’t coexist. | Reaction Times

  18. Paul says:

    Fantastic piece! It exposes the differences in priority: worldly views against biblical view.

    @CC: “I sometimes slipped up and tried to change her mind instead of seek her submission”

    This has been my conclusion upon encountering Red Pill and trying to reconcile with Christianity too: first priority should not be to try to lure your wife into sex; that would still be giving in to the view that a wife determines when to have sex. And I do not even want to talk about the foolish thing to bed random women.

    First thing should be about getting your biblical view straight; you should be willing to obey God whatever the cost, also in marriage. And try to understand His view as best as possible. To be honest, I started out being ashamed of the several passages of scripture that talk about the role of women, being indoctrinated into feminism by popular culture. Once I saw it was required to change my spiritual stance to submit to God’s Wisdom, that was half the battle. Next part is trying to live that out in my marriage.

    Your remark on ‘tried to change her mind’ is indeed still the frame that you NEED her permission, and indeed triggering rebellion. In practice modern wives don’t submit to you if they have not been taught so in their youth. So you need to balance on a thin line how to handle that.

    To bring in some balance, just as the Word of God does: do not forget to love your wife like your own body, as Christ has loved the Church, His body. In that sense you should carefully listen to your wife to understand her needs, but you should not obey her demands. And be aware that you will be held responsible by God by the way you lead her, just as she will be held responsible for the way she submits to you.

  19. Dave says:

    My fortified castle walls are high and my moat deep. Not going to happen.

    These days, these band of heretics make use of choppers and drones though. Even when you mind your own business, they don’t leave you alone. The Christian bakers of Oregon readily come to mind.

  20. Hmm says:

    I remember in high school (1969) our English class read “Camelot” along with Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Tennyson highlighted Guinevere’s betrayal of Arthur as a tragedy; the play and especially the movie “Camelot” highlight it as a necessary and wonderful thing (after all, they loooove each other), and sees the later war and fall of Camelot as a useless tragedy.

    So many of the seeds of the modern glorification of adultery were sown in my generation.

  21. Wraithburn says:

    X can never by Not X

  22. BillyS says:

    So your new anti-chivalrous marriage strategy, you’re basically thinking what, arranged marriage?

    I would favor arranged marriages, especially after seeing the massive failure we have with how they are formed today.

    That would not solve many problems however, since the woman could nuke things at any point. It no longer matters how marriage starts, unfortunately.

    I would note that just forcing proper behavior doesn’t mean things will work out well either. I am now guilty of always cutting my exwife down in her eyes because that was my natural approach to things. It took her quite a while to rebel, but rebel she did. And churchians rushed to support her being free from this horrible guy. No one held her accountable for being a lazy layabout with a husband who did all he could for her. It was all my fault of course. That will remain no matter what.

    Noting the foolishness of basing life on good feelings (romantic love) is worthwhile, but that does not negate the value of trying to generate good feelings when possible. Marriage game can have some merit. Cane will be headed for divorce in a decade or two if he does not realize a role for that. It should not be the only priority, but we live in a society where it has some necessary value. The rare unicorn wife may not need it, but I suspect it has elements even then.

    Read Song of Solomon. Feelings are definitely shown as a good thing there, though they are not the only thing.

  23. JDG says:

    This is the current moral mood. Those of us who dissent from it are considered radical fundies, to be honest.

    That’s okay. We’re also considered racist fascists, sexist misogynists, and homophobic bigots for following Christ rather than political correctness. Wear it as a badge of honor.

  24. JDG says:

    Dalrock great job as usual. This is an excellent summary IMO:
    If a woman marries someone she doesn’t love because she wants something else out of the transaction (power, money, etc), then she must be allowed to exit the marriage at will. And if she marries for love but later falls out of love, she must be allowed to exit the marriage at will.

    I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it verbatim.

  25. JDG says:

    So your new anti-chivalrous marriage strategy, you’re basically thinking what, arranged marriage?

    I can’t speak for Cane, but yeah I’m thinking arranged marriages are better than any alternative I have seen. I also believe a return to biblical patriarchy would do wonders to curve our descent into madness, but that’s not going to happen either.

  26. Gary Eden says:

    Your’re right BillyS. And there is the practical matter of getting a wife. Whatever our view of how things should be, if you want a wife you have to deal with how they are; and that means having to choose from a group of women none of whom were raised with the expectation of arrangement and whose parents would be repulsed by the idea.

    Which is why I wondered if Cane had a different idea in mind.

  27. BillyS says:

    Which is why I wondered if Cane had a different idea in mind.

    He can reply for himself of course, but I bet he only has part of the picture now. Solving the whole problem is almost impossible now, as many here would assert. I still want a solution, but I am not sure it is possible in this environment.

    It is hard to have a righteous life in the midst of such immorality, especially in churches. Relying on someone else (a wife) to stay on the right path is the major flaw. It is possible for an individual to do all the right things and still get run over.

    BTW Cane,

    A husband’s job is to wash his wife’s mind with the Water of the Word. Doesn’t that entail some adjustment to her beliefs?

  28. Dalrock says:

    @Cane Caldo

    And now I see that so-called “Married Game” is an attempt at synthesis of the thesis Chivalry (the last several hundred years of Christian marriage) and the antithesis Game. It’s doomed to failure.

    This surprised me, but perhaps it is a matter of terms. When you say Married Game, are you referring to posture #2 in Hostage Negotiator for Life? Or would you include posture #3 in your definition as well?

  29. Cane Caldo says:

    @Gary Eden

    So your new anti-chivalrous marriage strategy, you’re basically thinking what, arranged marriage?

    I don’t have a new strategy for marriage. I’m just happy to be able to pin-point the error, and name the thing (chivalry) that I defeated. What I have now is a better explanation. Chivalry has nothing to do with whether a marriage is arranged or not. If modern Christians across America embraced arranged marriages, they would still demand that the husband treat his wife chivalrously, as his better.

    If you’ve ever tried to explain “red pill” thinking or Game to men who haven’t read in Men’s Sphere, you understand how hard it is to get them to understand what it is you are going on about; especially from a Christian perspective. That is because the Christian perspective is foolishly chivalrous. Game attacks Chivalry. That is good. It also attacks Biblical Christian marriage, Christian charity, grace, and other virtues. That is bad.

    But now that I see I don’t have to try to be careful about explaining to men, or misleading men about how I view women, marriage, and romantic love. I can skip all the inside-baseball jargon of “The Red Pill” and just attack chivalry directly. Everybody already knows what chivalry is in their own lives. When my friends ask me how Mrs. Caldo and I turned our marriage around, instead of going through a rigamarole of behaviors and caveats I can say, “Everywhere I could be chivalric, I chose not to.”

    @Paul

    To bring in some balance, just as the Word of God does: do not forget to love your wife like your own body, as Christ has loved the Church, His body. In that sense you should carefully listen to your wife to understand her needs, but you should not obey her demands. And be aware that you will be held responsible by God by the way you lead her, just as she will be held responsible for the way she submits to you.

    Yes, this is it. Though I don’t consider this advice to be ballast to balance out the rest: This is the whole thing. This just is what Christian marriage looks like without chivalry.

  30. Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock

    When you say Married Game, are you referring to posture #2 in Hostage Negotiator for Life?

    Yes. I would put in the same posture #2 not just the “master manipulators”, but also any school of thought which emphasized the husband’s attraction or charm as the ruling factor in marriage. Doug Wilson’s advice would fall into this camp as well. He advises something like “Victorian Gentry Game”, as the charming posture which will win over a wife and convince her to release “pleasant aromas”. Postures #1 and #2 aren’t actually that different in my view. They both put the onus on the husband to behave perfectly according to some non-Christian, and non-realistic, script. Two sides of the same coin from my perspective.

    I read your posture #3 as simply “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel”.

  31. Isidore the Farmer says:

    Just posted on the previous post asking you to consider discussing these themes, and this, too, is clarifying. Good work!

  32. Sigma says:

    @American

    From the 48 Laws of Power, Item 18:

    “The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere — everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from — it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people, find allies and mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.”

  33. TMAC says:

    I guess I’m still somewhat of a nube. i would love to see a description of where feeling fit in. I understand that they are not the “validator” of marriage/love. But where do they fit in? What does it look like? I may have abandoned Chivalry (in the “just shut up and take it” sense) but how does all this look for the man who still opens the door, pulls out the chair, opens the jar, etc.. for his wife, daughter, mom, etc…?

    The OP (and comments) are helpful to see what wrong looks like, but what does the correct version look like (with regards to the place for feelings, selflessness, service, sacrifice) for the husband?

  34. Cane Caldo says:

    @Gary Eden & BillyS

    Your’re right BillyS. And there is the practical matter of getting a wife. Whatever our view of how things should be, if you want a wife you have to deal with how they are; and that means having to choose from a group of women none of whom were raised with the expectation of arrangement and whose parents would be repulsed by the idea.

    In the practical matter of getting a wife: I reject the idea that a man should strive for a woman and a woman should settle for a man. That is the chivalric way. Again, I have long argued that women should be the ones to “pick” first, but I didn’t put that idea together with chivalry. I’m against rescuing or convincing women.

    So pick a woman who goes after you. Do not chase a woman. I suggest a man pursues excellence, and see which woman follows him. If she is attractive to him in return, and she doesn’t have overly dangerous baggage, marry her. The rest is details (some are important details) and prudential judgments according to the circumstances.

    As far as the discussion about my thoughts on romantic love: Nowhere have I said or suggested that romance and feelings are anathema or should be wholly rejected. Everything in its place.

  35. Lost Patrol says:

    So pick a woman who goes after you. Do not chase a woman. I suggest a man pursues excellence, and see which woman follows him. If she is attractive to him in return, and she doesn’t have overly dangerous baggage, marry her.

    I was getting lost in the sauce but this is an action item I can understand, and really is the one to take to the bank. This is what I’m trying to convey to my own sons. Chasing after women, or “pursuing” them as it is often styled to make it chivalrous, is a sucker’s bet. Practically every man reading here knows this – now – and likely learned it the hard way too late, or almost too late.

  36. Damn Crackers says:

    Courtly love was explicitly condemned by Jesus in his “commit adultery with her in his heart” warning.

    I’ve always equated romance with the devil. Yet, good luck finding a wife after telling her you want nothing to do with romance.

    @Cane Caldo – Good advice about marrying a woman who follows you. Unfortunately, there are plenty of men who are invisible to all women. No woman will follow “the boring, righteous” man.

  37. American says:

    @Sigma: You’re pulling my post out of context. My metaphor relates to my life-long commitment not to voluntarily place myself under a body of family law that I can avoid which is not the same thing as asserting an isolation from the rest of humanity.

  38. Cane Caldo says:

    @Damn Crackers

    A man doesn’t have to be boring to be righteous. Courage, strength, humor, authority, competence…none of these things are inimical to Christianity.

    Having said that: Your point stands that women today are often unlikely to pick a good man and stick with him. They haven’t been taught to do so, they are not disciplined when they do choose a poor candidate, and they are rescued by idiots after they make bad decisions.

    I suspect this won’t change until younger women have observed

    1) a critical mass of older women who have been shunned by their families and then died off alone.

    2) older women with intact families who honored their vows and so are cared for by their relatives.

    Then the older women will seriously take up again their duty to instruct younger women to love their husbands and children. Women are pragmatic. (That’s why they pursue the Beta Bucks strategy when they intuit the window closing.) Right now they are too insulated from the consequences of their choices so they just encourage each other and younger women to seek pleasure instead of wisdom.

  39. da GBFM zlzoolzlzzlzozlzloozozo says:

    Dear Dalrock,

    Here is an interesting take on Dante echoing your present thesis:

    CHRISTOPHER BENSON https://www.weeklystandard.com/christopher-benson/dante-in-love concludes:
    “The live question for any reader of La Vita Nuova ought to be this: Has Dante argued that erotic love is the royal road to union with God? If Beatrice is a means of coming closer to God, eros redeems the lover. If, however, she’s an end in herself, eros damns the lover because it has become an idol rather than a burnt offering.”

  40. Pingback: The failure of chivalry in Biblical marriage, works and desire, and the failure of game | Christianity and masculinity

  41. Gary Eden says:

    I see what you’re saying now @Cane Caldo. Thats a very useful way of drilling down to the root of the problem. But I don’t think simply being ‘not chivalric’ is enough. That just puts you into the equality camp; which won’t get you Christian marriage either.

    And this:

    It[game] also attacks Biblical Christian marriage, Christian charity, grace, and other virtues.

    just sounds like a mis-characterization based on confounding game with mere PUA. At its heart i view game as simply learned charisma. Women like it, even when they don’t like it.

    So pick a woman who goes after you. Do not chase a woman.

    Well that will certainly leave a lot more women for those who do chase. Many girls simply do not have the personality to go after you; especially the more chaste among them.

  42. Swanny River says:

    Thank you for helping me understand why Lewis’s sentence 83 was impactful. I get most of the larger argument, but didn’t get that sentence. The link to the 2017 post was really helpful too. There were some connections made there, between romantic love and adultery.
    I’m still working on grasping what it means to make romance a moral value though because much of what we call romance seems to me to be a man’s normal reaction to a hot and pleasant woman. So it will be an experience most of us have but Lewis is saying to not make it a noble experience.
    Itwill take time for me to fully put it together, but at least the connections are all there. It is embarassing to not be able to follow an argument, and even though I don’t see it as a race to “get it,” I appreciate your generosity in writing further about it.

  43. Vektor says:

    “Chivalry and biblical marriage can’t coexist.”

    Correct. Romantic love is conditional. Romantic love is the basis of modern marriage. Thus marriage is as transitory as love. Biblical marriage does not exist.

    The real ‘marriage’ is between the government and the man/woman. Do not marry the government.

  44. BillyS says:

    Cane,

    As far as the discussion about my thoughts on romantic love: Nowhere have I said or suggested that romance and feelings are anathema or should be wholly rejected. Everything in its place.

    Your comment about “marriage game” being wrong led to that conclusion. I would certainly agree that the husband should never walk on pins and needles trying to game his wife. Stirring up feelings has value, in the proper context. It sounds like we are in agreement on that.

    Gary,

    Well that will certainly leave a lot more women for those who do chase. Many girls simply do not have the personality to go after you; especially the more chaste among them.

    It is more Indications of Interest (IoI’s) that game talks about. Even the shyest woman should give some of those out. It may take some effort to read them, but that is different than winning a woman over.

    He can also be friendly with many women and see which ones respond favorably and which ones treat him like pond scum. Clearly he should ignore the latter, since they have no attraction.

  45. Novaseeker says:

    Right now they are too insulated from the consequences of their choices so they just encourage each other and younger women to seek pleasure instead of wisdom.

    Indeed, Cane, although this is also based on envy, as in “if I were young today, I’d ride that carousel until I was 35 rather than getting married to a sensible guy at 25, like people were doing ‘in my day'”. They envy the carousel years, greatly, in many cases, and rue that they “missed out”, so they will encourage the younger ones to do what they are envious of themselves.

  46. Cane Caldo says:

    @BillyS

    Yes, I agree with both your responses to me and Gary.

    The fact is: A lot of men and women are just not very good choices of mate in this era. Correcting that is a multi-generational effort. Many will be left out, or destroyed, until then. We must take care and be wise.

    I am married, and to a good wife as well, so it may seem callous or arrogant of me to say that. There’s not much I can do about that perception. I know was both lucky and blessed, and my part was pretty small except to avoid the most obvious pitfalls (and not even all of those) and to keep reminding myself to believe my lying eyes.

  47. Cane Caldo says:

    @Novaseeker

    Good point.

  48. Isidore the Farmer says:

    I know the Lewis quote is from his professional / academic work Allegory of Love, but this is also prompting me to go back and read his popular work The Four Loves. I suspect he touches on some of this, but that it simply went right over my head when I first read it 15 years ago.

    One of the reasons it takes a while to grasp the subject is that we have no framework or language for talking about the concept at this point. Thus, I think it is why all of us are struggling with it a bit (I appreciate Cane’s comments on this thread). It is hard to think about a topic for which we have no clear language or words to categorize it.

    We can discuss what we’re aiming for as a ‘rejection of chivalry’, but there isn’t yet a positive / descriptive framework for what we are after. Typically, we could just say ‘biblical marriage’, however, our cultural view of biblical marriage has been so bastardized by courtly love or chivalry that it isn’t possible for people to separate the two. It is almost as though we need a few new words that basically describe ‘biblical marriage’, but do so in a way that makes it clear chivalry / courtly love is absent from the description.

    This is one of the reasons, I think, it has taken a year to reach an ‘aha’ moment for most of us. And thanks again to Dalrock for being persistent with the topic.

  49. Lost Patrol says:

    @BillyS

    It is more Indications of Interest (IoI’s) that game talks about. Even the shyest woman should give some of those out.

    That is more along the lines of what I was thinking too. Some woman “going after you” may be overstating the case, but that is the concept. (Though there are no doubt some men where it applies as written – MMA fighters, Dalrock readers, and other dangerous or exciting types).

  50. Isidore the Farmer says:

    Another way of saying this is that:

    1.) After 1-2 decades of various bloggers popularizing Game, most people, even outside of the blogosphere have a basic framework in their mind for understanding what Game is. They might not be able to provide a textbook definition, or write a treatise, but they know what it is when they hear the word in popular culture or in conversation. I can note that last night the show The Last Man On Earth referenced Alpha/Beta, and the writers clearly assumed the average viewer would just KNOW what this dichotomy is about.

    2.) For virtually all Christians, Biblical Marriage/Matrimony and Chivalry/CourtlyLove/Romantic Love are now virtually indistinguishable within their heads. They get translated as synonyms. It doesn’t matter that the bible describes something quite different, most people combine these things in their head under the same framework. Of course, Christians should be chivalrous, of course Christian men and women should esteem romantic love, etc.

    3.) Thus, there is literally no separate category in the mind of most people for what Biblical Marriage entails. We can’t say ‘biblical marriage’ or ‘holy matrimony’ and have it bring to mind for people a category of principles and behaviors they instinctively ‘get’ in the same way saying the word ‘game’ now does so for most people in the culture.

    4.) Thus, I suspect the Christian manosphere may have an opportunity for a project of either reclaiming ‘biblical marriage’ or ‘holy matrimony’ (this will be almost impossible) to mean a certain thing apart from chivalry/courtly love/romantic love, or develop an updated framework/language (difficult but not impossible) that will allow people to properly categorize, understand, ‘get’ what biblical marriage is when they hear the new phrase. The simple fact is, our minds need a word (like ‘game’) to help us, over time, to call to mind certain principles and behaviors that categorize a given thing. And we don’t have that at the moment.

    This lack of a word that serves as an umbrella for the positive/descriptive concept of what the Bible actually teaches goes a long way to making discussion of the topic more difficult.

  51. Swanny River says:

    Very strange that the idea of biblical marriage needs to be fought for in church against the wishes and desires of pastors and church leaders.

  52. @ Isidore the Farmer

    We can discuss what we’re aiming for as a ‘rejection of chivalry’, but there isn’t yet a positive / descriptive framework for what we are after. Typically, we could just say ‘biblical marriage’, however, our cultural view of biblical marriage has been so bastardized by courtly love or chivalry that it isn’t possible for people to separate the two. It is almost as though we need a few new words that basically describe ‘biblical marriage’, but do so in a way that makes it clear chivalry / courtly love is absent from the description.

    We already know the term: Patriarchy

    Most Christians are afraid to use it though because they’ll get demonized by the world and other “Christians” due to its negative connotations.

  53. @Dalrock, I would NOT use “Courtly Love” as an encompassment of all “Chivalry,” either in the context of modern marriage or that of medaeval Arthurian mythos. Read Thomas Malory’s “Morte D’Arthur” some time, and Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Parsifal”. There is ALWAYS a conflict between the worldly “Courtly Love” chivalry and the sacred “Grail-Quest” chivalry, and they’re explicitly exclusive. Galahad and (sometimes) Percival are clean and pure knights, fully chivalrous, and fully or nearly chaste. Galahad is Lancelot’s bastard son by Elaine (the Fisher-King’s daughter) in many versions, but he is himself celibate and no less a scion of chivalry for that.

    In the Caxton-text of Malory, at least, the primary rift in Arthur’s court is between these opposing worldviews, and it is often difficult to see which side Malory himself is taking between the two. This conflict is NEVER resolved and is a driving force behind the fall of Camelot. As “Game” is preached and practiced in the world, though, it is far nearer to the “Courtly Love” side of the table: even in apparent dominance, “Game” pursues the unholy Garter, not the holy Grail.

  54. Hose_B says:

    @Swanny River
    Very strange that the idea of biblical marriage needs to be fought for in church against the wishes and desires of pastors and church leaders.

    Not so strange. To acknowledge biblical marriage would be to acknowledge the authority of the husband and denounce the (false) authority of the “church” and the “pastors/church leaders”
    It is prophesied in 2 Timothy 3:1-8 (emphasis mine)
    But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.

  55. Hose_B says:

    I actually think of 2 Timothy every time I hear another “Women’s Christian” conference, bible study, event, worship, etc.

  56. Sharkly says:

    Isidore the Farmer: It is hard to think about a topic for which we have no clear language or words to categorize it. … It is almost as though we need a few new words that basically describe ‘biblical marriage’…

    I like to think there is a Marriage Covenant until death do us part, and that comes with covenantal duties on both sides. The wife is to obey, submit, be in subjection to, reverence, do those things which are well pleasing to, and not defraud her husband, and more. The husband is to love like Christ, honor, purify with the Word of God, lead, Live with according to understanding, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, be intoxicated with her love, and not defraud, and a lot more.
    God gave the husband the harder role. The weaker vessel was assigned the simpler role.
    I think both roles can be summed up with a catch all term like “Marital Duty”, since the roles are assigned by God, they are thus unalienable and due as long as the covenant is in effect, not subject to the whims of political forces, church heresies, or anybody’s emotions, romantic notions, or other silly reasons to cross the all powerful judge of all souls. I think “Marital Duty” is a catch all phrase that doesn’t come loaded with expectations of romance that the Bible never requires.

  57. ZV says:

    Help me out here…

    I grew up Christian and left in my early twenties. I’ve always known that it’s stupid to marry outside of your own faith, so I sought out an agnostic humanist like myself. The problem is that God had other plans, and decided to reel me back to him. This process began late into my engagement. I thought I should have ended it, but I didn’t have the strength.

    Shortly after finalizing the marriage, I knew for sure I was Christian, and she knows for sure she isn’t. I try to bring her along, but we just end up fighting about feminism, trannies, and “it’s okay to be white”.

    We are both in our early thirties (I know…). She is telling me that she doesn’t want children if we aren’t on the same page. I get that, but I also know we don’t have much time left before one of us is infertile (ONE of us…). I feel that one of the highest callings for Christian marriage is to have plenty of Christian babies.

    What do I do?

  58. Mr. Roboto says:

    @Dalrock
    Great post!!!

    @Cane Caldo
    “So pick a woman who goes after you. Do not chase a woman. I suggest a man pursues excellence, and see which woman follows him. If she is attractive to him in return, and she doesn’t have overly dangerous baggage, marry her.”

    This is a great advice, this is the kind of advice I was looking for. Long time ago I asked for advice to my married friends and relatives about how to get a wife and all their advice was based on stupid chivalry notions, I know that their intention was sincere but on some level of conciousness I knew it wouldn´t work by taking as reference their own marriages.

  59. Sharkly says:

    ZV,
    1 Corintians 7:12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

    I would strongly recommend that you not have kids for practical reasons if your wife is not a genuine Christian. Having children in a conflicted and unstable environment will likely only lead to a lot of heartbreak for everyone. Try to evangelize your wife like crazy. She’ll either come around, or be driven off by it. I’ll say a prayer for you. I don’t envy your situation.

  60. MichaelC says:

    What has worked for me, was to marry the girl who loved me, and to make it clear that I could, and would, walk away if I was unsatisfied, and if pushed to that point would do my best to see that she got nothing

  61. Paul says:

    @ZV: “I feel that one of the highest callings for Christian marriage is to have plenty of Christian babies.”

    Christians are nowhere commanded to have plenty of babies, but if you want to, it is your decision. You’re brand of Christianity might encourage/forbid anticonception, that will probably determine a lot. Apparently RCC are OK with natural birth control “Natural Family Planning” (I do not understand why).

  62. Opus says:

    Mixed marriages are in my view not a good idea – whether the parties be of different cultures, religions or what-have-you, life is difficult enough without such encumbrances.

  63. GargoyleVirgin says:

    Hey Dave the Divorce Boy,

    Why are you bragging about the number of women you have dated and seriously dated? What is the difference between these two? Why are you seeking the validation and praises of men just as the Bible speaks against. You brag about it because you know men will pat yo on the back. Based on all your posts, you have the attittude of a PUA just like so many of the so-called “Christian” manosphere today.

  64. Pingback: Christian Game – v5k2c2.com

  65. Pingback: The failure of game redux | Christianity and masculinity

  66. thedeti says:

    This is one of your best posts. Ranks up there with the serial monogamy series and the Sheila Gregoire series.

  67. Pingback: Chivalry, Courtly Love, Romantic Love, and Marriage | Secular Patriarchy

  68. Lori Briggs says:

    I love seeing someone else claiming that the man chasing the woman isn’t the only way to initiate a relationship. Admittedly, I was the one who initiated with my husband. In these days especially when it can be dangerous for a man to pursue a woman without being 100% sure of her mutual interest, it takes a lot of pressure off for the woman to start chasing. That way the man doesn’t have a doubt of her interest. This is exactly how it worked with my husband and me.

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