A marriage isn’t a military unit.

Commenter Warthog wrote that I have missed Pastor Doug Wilson’s point when he claimed that a husband is like a captain of a ship, and therefore “the man is completely responsible for all the problems [in the marriage]”:

Not defending Wilson here, but you have failed to comprehend what he meant in the military analogy. There is a difference between being at fault and being responsible. To take the example of a ship captain, the USS Stark was hit by an Iraqi missile in 1986 or so. Due to a mistake by the gunnery sergeant, the Phalanx missile defense system had not been turned back on after the last maintenance. Due to this error, the ship was defenseless against the missile, resulting as I recall in the deaths of about 17 men.

The captain was held responsible, as was the gunnery sergeant. It ended both of their careers. The captain was indeed responsible, even though it was the gunnery sergeant’s fault.  Simply said, when you have command you are responsible for both the good and bad that happens under your command.

In marriage this would mean that if the wife starts misbehaving, the husband is responsible for the marriage, and should take corrective action on the wife. If the misbehavior metastasizes it is usually because it wasn’t nipped in the bud, just like cancer…

However, I did understand Wilson’s point here.  The problem is twofold:

  1. Wilson’s theology of the family as a military unit is deeply flawed.
  2. Wilson himself doesn’t actually believe in this model.

Problem #2 is what I was focused on in .  Wilson is merely using headship as a handy club to beat husbands with.  That club appears in an instant when it is needed, and disappears the moment it is no longer needed.  In Reforming Marriage Wilson writes (emphasis mine):

…men, whether through tyranny or abdication, are responsible for any problems in the home. If Christian men had loved their wives as Christ loved the Church, if they had given direction to their wives, if husbands had accepted their wives’ necessary help with their God-ordained vocation, there never would have been room for any kind of feminist thinking within the Church.

But in the same book Wilson explains that headship doesn’t mean the husband tells the wife what to do (that is after all the house despot’s role).  Husbands aren’t to tell their wives what to do.  They are merely to love and cherish their wives so much the wife will naturally do the right thing:

Not only is he responsible before God to do his job, he is responsible before God to see that she does hers. And of course, this is not done by bossing her around. It is done through nourishing and cherishing her.

Having established that Wilson doesn’t believe this model himself, there is still the question of the bad theology he trotted out in the process of blaming men for women’s sins.  The problem is that not only is there no biblical backing for this theology, there is plenty of Scripture that contradicts it.

As I referenced the other day, the Israelites were ungrateful when God had Moses lead them out of Egypt.  If Wilson and Warthog’s theology is correct, Moses (as the captain of the metaphorical ship) would be to blame for not nipping the issue in the bud.  But God doesn’t blame Moses.  He tells Moses he is going to wipe the unworthy people out and give Moses a more deserving “crew” for his “ship”:

I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

–Numbers 14:12, KJV

Likewise see the story of Job.  Job’s wife urged him to curse god and die when he was suffering.  Yet Job is presented as the most godly man alive in the whole world.  There is incredible hubris in men thinking that the reason their wives are submissive and obedient is that they are better than other men.  Clearly they see themselves as better than Job!

We can see another example of how God views the authority of husbands and fathers in Numbers 30.  There we learn that a man is responsible for his own vows.  A woman is responsible for her own vows too, unless she is under the authority of her husband or father and he nullifies the vow as soon as he first learns of it.  Note that the husband/father isn’t responsible for making sure she doesn’t utter foolish vows.  Nor is he required to nullify the vow once he hears of it.  Where a husband would become culpable is if he failed to nullify the vow once he heard of it and later tried to intervene (Numbers 30:13-15, KJV):

13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.

15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

One Scriptural backing often given for the false marriage is a military unit theology is the qualification for a bishop (elder) in 1 Tim 3:2-5 (KJV):

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

This is the strongest case for the argument.  But if we are to take this passage so far as to declare husbands will be judged as the captain of a ship we have made a grave error.  A naval captain’s mission is different than the mission of a husband and father.  As Wilson and other complementarians repeatedly remind us, a husband can’t make his wife submit.  This is technically true, even though it is being used to create the false impression that husbands don’t have authority.  Yet if you assume that 1 Tim 3 means that Christian husbands are like naval captains, you will find that in your zeal to twist 1 Tim 3:4 into your service you have to disregard 1 Tim 3:3, as Warthog does in a separate comment:

@Dalrock you’ve stated the problem, but not the solution. What sanctions do husbands biblically have when their wives rebel?
When children or slaves rebel, the head of the house clearly has the biblical sanction of the rod. Non-destructive spanking/beating.
Does the patriarch’s power of the rod also apply to his wife?

For if we are foolish enough to look for biblical instruction from the navy, there is plenty to back Warthog’s beat them into submission theology.  See for example Brief History of Punishment by Flogging in the US Navy.

Contrast this with 1 Tim 3:3.  The KJV says the man shall not be a “striker”.  The ESV translates this to “not violent but gentle”:

not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Not only does the marriage as military unit model not fit with Scripture as a whole, it goes against the very passage that would best support it.  For a practical look at this, consider Hmm’s enlightening comment about the history of the movement Pastor Wilson comes out of:

Theonomy went off the rails in the early 90’s, and Wilson began backing off from it, especially the hard patriarchy. This was about the time he started publishing books. As nearly as I can understand, he also began to find truly cruel patriarchal homes among the families of his church, and this has shaped some of his subsequent screeds about wife-beating men and “prairie muffin” women. So when he writes about some men being hard-hearted husbands, he knows whereof he speaks, and it is not a trivial number. In my gentler area of the Midwest, I have seen only a couple such in my twenty years as an elder.

The irony here is that if Hmm is right, Wilson refuses to teach the plain meaning of Scripture on headship and submission because his false teaching that families are a military unit resulted in abuse.  That Wilson himself twisted Scripture in a way that predictably will lead to abuse isn’t a defense of his other twisting of Scripture to deny the authority of husbands.  Take away one false teaching and the other is no longer required.

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This entry was posted in Attacking headship, Disrespecting Respectability, Domestic Violence, Headship, Marriage, Pastor Doug Wilson, Submission, Turning a blind eye, Weak men screwing feminism up. Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to A marriage isn’t a military unit.

  1. Finally we are getting somewhere.
    This is the kernel of truth that most conservative Christian men just keep running into over and over, but struggle to acknowledge for the horror that it is:

    Authority, power and rights must be commensurate with responsibility and accountability.
    Without this balance of authority to responsibility, then you will have dysfunction, breakdown, failure, rebellion and decay.

    In the military. In organizations. In the workplace. In relationships. In marriage.

    If you were promoted to captain and placed in charge of an aircraft carrier with all accountability and responsibility for its crew, associated military functions and overall performance, but you were DENIED commensurate authority, rights, power and privilege to make decisions to affect those required and responsible functions and performance, then as a rational thinking man you would NEVER HAVE ASSUMED COMMAND AND BOARDED THAT VESSEL IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!! And ANYONE with a shred of common sense would understand that response and position.
    But Christian men are dutiful draft animals, going along to get alone, because if they don’t, they’re sinning!!! – ?

    Yes, the husband IS burdened with essentially ALL financial, legal and spiritual responsibility and accountability for his wife, children and family. That is the deal, like it or not. Accepted or not.

    The problem with Doug Wilson, and most of his so called Christian ilk, is that they continue to preach to flocks of impressionable and credulous men and women, that at the same time while assuming this inordinate level of family responsibility and accountability in the eyes of the state and of the church – against, let’s be honest, underwhelming returns – husbands DO NOT HAVE, and SHOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND THAT THEY EVER HAVE, commensurate authority to affect outcomes within that marriage. Wilson expects husbands and fathers to remain deferential, sacrificial and obedient to their wives, who are simply MORE IMPORTANT than they are.

    Wilson presides over a mentality about men, husbands, fathers and marriage that all but ensures dysfunction, failure, rebellion and decay.

    For example, Wilson on Submission and Sacrifice:

    Wives, in the Spirit (full of music, thanksgiving and deference), obey your husband. Honor and respect him. It is striking that when the apostle sets to work in giving direction for all forms of social relations, he starts with the wives. This is not because wives are the worst; I would argue that it is because the wives are the most important. In all social relations, if this stone doesn’t get set properly, nothing else will be straight.

    Husband, in the Spirit (full of music, thanksgiving, and deference), sacrifice yourself for you wife. Give yourself away. Take your models from above you (Christ) and from below you (your own body). This is not to be understood as being willing to sacrifice yourselves some hypothetical day in the far distant future, but rather as laying down your life now.

  2. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    As Wilson and other complementarians repeatedly remind us, a husband can’t make his wife submit. This is technically true, even though it is being used to create the false impression that husbands don’t have authority.

    Here’s the conundrum. The definition of the word “authority” is: the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience (synonyms: power, jurisdiction, command, control, charge, dominance, rule, sovereignty, supremacy).

    If a husband has authority over his wife, how does he enforce her obedience? And if he’s not allowed to enforce her obedience, how, exactly, does he have authority over her?

    Obviously, Warthog’s answer of “beat her into submission” is wrong. But, what’s right?

  3. Oscar says:

    By the way, I have 26 years in the Army (enlisted and officer, active and reserve). I’ve been a platoon leader twice and a commander twice, and in those positions I had both responsibility and authority.

    And I never beat anyone. Hell, I rarely raised my voice, unless we were getting shot at. Why? Because I had authority (i.e., the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience). I knew it, my Soldiers knew it, my superiors knew it, etc.

    Do husbands have authority (i.e., the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience)? If so, how?

  4. white says:

    Even if marriage were a military unit, Warthog is still comparing two completely different things.

    A captain is responsible for a weapon malfunctioning because it is his duty to oversee maintenance, and he is given the authority (necessary tools) to do so. Had the weapon malfunctioned because a seargent rebelled, mutinied or any other insuboordination the captain is not held responsible.

    In other words, with great responsibility comes great power. No power = no responsibility. Common sense everywhere really, but Christians don’t seem to get it.

  5. Robert What? says:

    As others here have already observed, in modern marriage (as in all of modern life so it seems), men have the responsibility but not the authority. This is a really bad combination and would never fly in the military. (Although with our modern feminized military, who knows?) Women, however, demand the authority but do not want any responsibility that goes along with it.

  6. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    Here’s the conundrum. The definition of the word “authority” is: the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience (synonyms: power, jurisdiction, command, control, charge, dominance, rule, sovereignty, supremacy).

    Which book in the Bible are you taking this from?

    And I never beat anyone. Hell, I rarely raised my voice, unless we were getting shot at. Why? Because I had authority (i.e., the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience). I knew it, my Soldiers knew it, my superiors knew it, etc.

    They obeyed not because you had authority, but because:

    1) You had power.
    2) They accepted your authority.

    You are looking at this from the wrong frame. The Bible repeatedly tells us that husbands are the head. It then states that it is the obligation of the wife to submit to the head (accept the husband’s authority). Wilson and other complementarians are turning this upside down, and saying what it really means is that the husband is responsible for seeing to it that the wife accepts his authority. Except of course they don’t mean it. But even if they did mean it they would still be wrong.

    If a husband has authority over his wife, how does he enforce her obedience? And if he’s not allowed to enforce her obedience, how, exactly, does he have authority over her?

    If I can show you that husbands don’t have power, would you then claim that the Bible is wrong in stating that they have authority. Is the husband only the head if he has the ability (power) to make the wife submit?

  7. earl says:

    Do husbands have authority (i.e., the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience)? If so, how?

    Well if you looked at it Biblically you’d see that God gives the husband the authority in marriage.

    But it seems most people think authority means power to lord it over people rather than responsibility for those under your roof.

    Hence women demand the power but not the responsibility.

  8. This is because when it comes to questions (and demands) about authority, rights and privileges versus responsibility and accountability, women are essentially identical to children.
    Just like children, women want (and demand!) inordinate rights, authority and power. But simultaneously and categorically reject all commensurate accountability and responsibility that normally goes part and parcel with such authority and power. To top it off, most women are so solipsistic and indignant about it, they do not even notice this massive moral flaw in their own logic.

    Not in all things certainly, but consistently on this question, women are very much like children.
    If you can simply wrap your mind around this fact, life starts to become infinitely more simple and understandable.

  9. Cane Caldo says:

    Not only does the marriage as military unit model not fit with Scripture as a whole,

    Not to argue, but to make sure we understand one another, we should always have a Christ-centered worldview, right? From that view: Marriage is not about military command, nor vice-versa, as you write. In fact, if Christ is our goal then marriage isn’t only about marriage, nor is military command only about violence, but both tell us something about Christ, His Church, and the world.

    Otherwise, we could do this all day. “The father-son relationship doesn’t fit the marriage model.” True, from a material perspective. Yet we are given, among other verses, 1 Corinthians 11:3

    3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

    From a material actions-in-the-world perspective, these relationships aren’t the same. I do not love Christ like I love my wife and Christ does not relate to God as my wife relates to me; not physically. Yet spiritually it is of the same stuff.

    The problem here isn’t that pastors make comparisons to the military. We can learn from that even as we recognize what is different. The problem is Doug Wilson.

  10. Mr.Woot says:

    [quote]Job’s wife and children are disobedient. [/quote]

    I am curious as to Job’s children. How were they disobedient? Job sacrifices based upon what his children /may/ have done. I am curious as to how this conclusion was made.

  11. Jonathan Castle says:

    You are right to pound the drums on this issue Dalrock. It’s destroying marriages and relationships within and without the church. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that our society hangs in balance.

    No-fault divorce is the main weapon women use to wield headship in the family – by destroying it.

    (Just as abortion asserts their headship over and against God, by destroying what He created.)

    I don’t think you can save marriage in our society without getting rid of no-fault divorce. It made marriage a joke and emasculated men. In fact, we – Christians and other red-pill men – need a different word than ‘marriage’ to discuss it, because I don’t think it pleases God in its current form.

    gynarriage? womarraige? femservancy? emascoupling? (somebody clever, help me out here.)

  12. Dalrock says:

    @Cane Caldo

    The problem here isn’t that pastors make comparisons to the military. We can learn from that even as we recognize what is different.

    Agreed. I don’t think we have nothing to learn from considering such a comparison. But the way that a husband’s authority is described in Scripture is in important ways different from the military model.

    There is something else that I think is related, and I think it is something Oscar was hinting at. If we stop our rebellion and accept that the husband is the head, how would that acceptance influence our legal framework around marriage? This is a good question. But this is running the argument in the opposite direction, starting from the clear meaning of Scripture and determining what practices would be wise to adopt as a result. It is the opposite of looking at human practice and forcing the meaning of Scripture to align with human practice.

  13. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    Which book in the Bible are you taking this from?

    I didn’t. I took it from the English dictionary. We are writing in English, are we not? In English, the word “authority” means the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

    Enforcing obedience means handing out consequences for obedience and disobedience.

    Now, if that’s not what you mean by the English word “authority”, then is there a different English word that actually means what you mean?

    If I can show you that husbands don’t have power, would you then claim that the Bible is wrong in stating that they have authority.

    Does the Bible state that husbands have authority (the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience)?

    Is the husband only the head if he has the ability to make the wife submit?

    Again, the English word “authority” doesn’t mean that one has the “ability to make [those in ones authority] submit”. It does mean that one can enforce obedience by handing out consequences. Regardless of consequences, the subordinate can still choose to disobey. That does happen, even in the military.

    For example, my boss has authority over me, but he can’t make me obey him. He can, however, hand out consequences for obedience and disobedience. Can a husband do that?

  14. white says:

    @Dalrock @Oscar

    De-jure authority (“head”) is not the same as de-facto authority (“power”).

    Because we call ourselves Christians, it is our duty to obey all de-jure authority. And God called husbands the head of the house.

    But Wilson and other Complementarians want to make husbands responsible for the sins of women. For this model to work, husbands will need de-facto authority (“power”) to stop, or even punish their wives’ sins. Of course, Complementarians don’t actually want that.

  15. Wayne says:

    Another great post, Dalrock!
    Oscar asked a very pertinent question.

    ”If a husband has authority over his wife, how does he enforce her obedience? And if he’s not allowed to enforce her obedience, how, exactly, does he have authority over her?”

    Believe it or not, it may be as simple as a verbal request. I’ve been on a study of “discipline in marriage” (not to be confused with the BDSM variety), and I have found that a husband’s verbal demands bear more weight on the marital relationship than what we men have come to expect. Furthermore, a few of my readers have given me some feedback, saying that they tried the techniques described in my posts, and have had some impressive successes. I’ve made a page containing many posts I’ve written on this subject, many of which contain personal case studies and results. You can find it here.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/discipline-marriage/

  16. Oscar says:

    @ earl

    But it seems most people think authority means power to lord it over people rather than responsibility for those under your roof.

    False dichotomy.

    Responsibility and authority are – rightly – two sides of the same coin. They go together, and should never be separated. Giving anyone responsibility over someone, or something, while denying them the authority to fulfill their responsibilities sets them up for failure.

  17. Dalrock says:

    Oscar, see my comment to Cane Caldo above. You are running the logic in the wrong direction.

  18. Oscar says:

    @ Wayne

    Believe it or not, it may be as simple as a verbal request.

    Okay. Let’s suppose a husband tells his wife to do something, and she simply blows him off and doesn’t do it. What then? Does he have the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience (authority)? If so, how? If not, then in what sense does he have authority?

  19. Jonathan Castle says:

    As Jesus is to the Church, is a husband to his wife.

    If an individual within the Church rebels against Jesus and denies His authority, they risk losing their relationship with him. The Church can never have authority over Christ. It’s non-sensical.

    And so if a wife rebels against her husband and denies his authority, does she not ultimately risk losing her relationship to him? Because of the hardship of their hearts, Moses allowed divorce.

    But Jesus…

    “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.

    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”

    Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

    “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

    * * * * So, our ultimate tool of enforcement is not divorce, but perhaps to dissociate from her in some other manner. It also leaves us high and dry without a wife. But those are the risks we take marrying in a fallen world.

  20. Dalrock says:

    @Mr.Woot

    [quote]Job’s wife and children are disobedient. [/quote]

    I am curious as to Job’s children. How were they disobedient? Job sacrifices based upon what his children /may/ have done. I am curious as to how this conclusion was made.

    This is a good point. I’ll make a correction.

  21. feministhater says:

    But this is running the argument in the opposite direction, starting from the clear meaning of Scripture and determining what practices would be wise to adopt as a result. Is the opposite of looking at human practice and forcing the meaning of Scripture to align with human practice.

    I would tend to agree but I have my doubts as to how one would accomplish this. Human practices were interwoven within Scripture so there are always going to be similarities.

    If you have other methods of gaining obedience over rebelliousness with those under your authority without the use of punishment, I would hazard a guess that many would give you their full attention.

  22. Dalrock says:

    @feministhater

    I would tend to agree but I have my doubts as to how one would accomplish this. Human practices were interwoven within Scripture so there are always going to be similarities.

    If you have other methods of gaining obedience over rebelliousness with those under your authority without the use of punishment, I would hazard a guess that many would give you their full attention.

    You are missing the first part, the part you didn’t quote. The husband is the head of the wife. Period. This is true because God declared it (through the apostles) to be. This is true even if the husband has no power whatsoever. It simply is true. Duluth says that it is against the law for a husband to do anything that would exercise power and control over his wife. They think by doing so they can abolish headship. But they can’t, because no matter what they do they can’t abolish what God has spoken to be the truth. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider what kind of legal framework for marriage would be wise given what God has told us. But we need to be careful to run the logic in the right direction.

  23. feministhater says:

    I would be interested if others believe corporal punishment is bad for children?

    For the sake of honesty. I don’t. I believe it to be fit for purpose but not to be abused.

  24. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    Oscar, see my comment to Cane Caldo above. You are running the logic in the wrong direction.

    Hey man, I’m here to learn. I’ll keep reading with an open mind.

  25. feministhater says:

    But we need to be careful to run the logic in the right direction.

    Dalrock…. the only ‘logic’ men care about in this case are…

    What are my options to lead effectively given the current legal and social framework?
    What authority do they have with regard to their wife and children?
    What are his obligations?
    What are her obligations?

    In other words… practicality. It might matter in the grand scheme of things who gave this authority but to the average man out there, it does not.

    Scripture might say a husband is the head. However, if his hands are tied and his mouth gagged, the practicality of his headship is non-existent.

  26. Dalrock says:

    Hey Oscar. My apologies if I came across the wrong way. I have no question you are here to learn. And if you can teach me, even better.

    I’ll take another crack at it. The Bible tells us that the husband is the head. We then took that declaration and translated it to (as best we could in English) authority. So far, so good (within the limitations of language). Then we said, hey look, ship captains have authority too (true). A husband must therefore be just like a ship captain. (false)

    It is the last assumption in the series that is the problem.

  27. Jeff says:

    I could use some advice.

    I have been reading Dalrock for years, but it hasn’t helped my marriage. Dread game worked for about 3 weeks. I actually was filing for divorce. Sick and tired of it.

    I promised myself never to go to counseling again, but a friend of mine (now use to be) is a pastor and welcomed to counsel us. OMG! What a lay down. His wife has been present for the counseling because we have been acquaintances for years.

    He said he agrees that my wife is contentious, but has gotten on to this rant of me being bitter, which I said, ” Hell yeah I’m bitter”. Now they won’t let it go with the bitter thing.

    I HAVE ACTUALLY CONFRONTED HIM ON THIS EXACT ISSUE. WITH ALL THE ABOVE SCRIPTURES PLUS SOME.

    He doesn’t know how to answer any of it. His answer is to love her as God has commanded. Wow! Just like you said above. An example is my son spending frivolously. Just the other day she was concerned he was spending so much money on eating out. I said I agreed and an example of him buying a t-shirt again. He loves t-shirts. He’s in phenomona shape and likes to show his muscles. She lost it on me that it wasn’t the spending on shirts it was eating out!

    WTF? I know it wasn’t about the shirts, I was agreeing and using an example that I have seen that he is spending unnecessarily. She can’t just say, “Yeah.” she has to argue everything. This pastor hasn’t got a clue how to approach this. He tried using an example of wives not having to submit with sinful commands, but couldn’t give a day to day real example of what to do when wives can’t control their tongue.

    I think what the commentor is getting at is that Dalrock cannot come up with how to deal with it either. You are either a tyrant or you abdicate. What does the middle look like?

  28. Jonathan Castle says:

    feministhater. I think you know the answer:

    1) don’t marry and retain as much authority and power in the relationship as you’ll ever have
    2) separation if you’re married (leading to adultery and then divorce)

  29. Jeff says:

    “Dalrock…. the only ‘logic’ men care about in this case are…

    What are my options to lead effectively given the current legal and social framework?
    What authority do they have with regard to their wife and children?
    What are his obligations?
    What are her obligations?

    In other words… practicality. It might matter in the grand scheme of things who gave this authority but to the average man out there, it does not.

    Scripture might say a husband is the head. However, if his hands are tied and his mouth gagged, the practicality of his headship is non-existent.”

    +1

    Reading someone like Dalrock has given me the arguments of what my wife is doing. It has also showed me that I am not the only husband dealing with this and that I am not crazy, but why should I continue to read. It does nothing for me other than raise my blood pressure.

  30. Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock

    But this is running the argument in the opposite direction, starting from the clear meaning of Scripture and determining what practices would be wise to adopt as a result. Is the opposite of looking at human practice and forcing the meaning of Scripture to align with human practice.

    Agreed, but at the same time we literally can’t understand the meaning of Scripture if we don’t understand the human practice first. Language itself is a human practice. Oscar is right to bring up English here. Not because there is something wrong with English, or the translations, but because

    1. We must learn from humans, including families and generals etc. We simply have no choice but to learn from human traditions including languages and offices. Paul does use military language and examples, but he always directs back to Christ; comparing and contrasting human tradition with the Eternal Form of Christ.

    2. We will err in proportion to the degree with which we fail to keep Christ as our model and instead search out definitions while too often excluding how these things relate to Christ. Christ has ZERO to do with Wilson’s advice to shoot the china…or Kathy Keller’s advice to smash it. (It is revealing that Doug Wilson and Kathy Keller have the same instincts on marital relations.) Likewise, our military is a terrible example for anyone in proportion to the degree in which it is not a Christlike organization. A military officer will run into problems if he assumes that family life has no relation to military life. In fact, I bet our military has run into that problem. Likewise agains: Military leaders should absolutely learn from the affairs of father and sons and brothers; not to mention the difference between sons and daughters.

    Is marriage like a military unit? Yes, it is–in Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega. Christ is like a king. Christ is like a general. He is like a husband. He is like a father. He is like a son. In Him are these things reconciled and perfected. If we are like Him, and found in Him, then marriage is a weapon against the powers of sin and death. In Christ marriage IS a military unit. We Christian husbands, are like commanders with troops who know we’re in occupied territory and they have gone native as it suits them, and yet also demand pay as it suits them. Christians in the US military are in a similar predicament, and I cannot imagine that I would encourage any Christian to join them.

    I like this sentence from the OP:

    That Wilson himself twisted Scripture in a way that predictably will lead to abuse isn’t a defense of his other twisting of Scripture to deny the authority of husbands.

    Shame upon Wilson for his failure to keep Christ at the center of his teachings on authority, submission, wives, husbands, and even the military.

  31. TMAC says:

    Actually, the Greek word for “Submission” (used in Eph 5:24) is “Hypotasso” and was indeed a Greek Military term that described (in its original usage) the arrangement of troops under a commander.

    Unfortunately, in a military context, while the Commander IS ultimately responsible, he is also to be obeyed immediately and without question. You don’t whine or contend about orders issued by the CDR – you just do them. Period.

    You never place blame on anyone if you haven’t given them the ability to control and direct what happens before hand. Blame the husband all you want, but if you haven’t instructed the wife to obey him like a troop obeys the CDR, then don’t blame the CDR when things don’t work out either.

  32. Dalrock says:

    @Jeff

    I think what the commentor is getting at is that Dalrock cannot come up with how to deal with it either. You are either a tyrant or you abdicate. What does the middle look like?

    But this isn’t my position. This is the false dichotomy that Wilson is selling. I quote Wilson’s false dichotomy to debunk it. The problem is it is a quagmire designed to trap us in precisely this place. Just like Wilson telling wives they are like escaped slaves.

    I’m not saying the answer to your circumstance is easy. I’ve spent the better part of a decade of blogging calling out that very problem. But in this post I’m trying to make my way through the squid ink.

  33. For example, my boss has authority over me, but he can’t make me obey him. He can, however, hand out consequences for obedience and disobedience. Can a husband do that?

    Unacceptable, disrespectful and insubordinate behavior from mom? In the olden days, dad would swing her over his knee and spank her bottom hard. But lots of gals these days are jaded and saucy from their college days experience, and actually like that stuff a little too much, so uh….

    First, I think the man must have a strong, defatigue-able frame, and be in constant self-improvement and just do it mode.
    Second, assuming this is already the case, then you have the stoic frame to dole out consequences.
    Third, for unacceptable, disrespectful, bitchy and isolent behavior, it’s just like a child. Typically this means gradually withdrawing your time, attention, presence, affection from her. Slow. Most feminine women crave and rely upon attention and validation to even navigate and negotiate through this world. For some guys with strong rame, dialing back their time and attention down from 100 to even 95 – going for a walk, visiting the neighbor, going to the store, heading the gym – the first infraction will jar the shit out of her, and reset her behavior. I know some fellas who calmly but directly express disappointment immediately about such unacceptable behavior just devastate her. So it’s always delicate stuff. Her response depends on your frame level though, I think.
    I could be wrong. Experiment!

  34. Dalrock says:

    Incidentally, regarding the Lone Ranger episode Wilson trotted out as misdirection. When the husband says:

    I’m hungry woman. Rustle me up some grub.

    I would say he is in bounds as a Christian husband. But when he pulls out his gun and says:

    If my supper ain’t on the table in 10 minutes you’re gonna look mighty funny without ears.

    I would say he is out of bounds.

    But again, the point is that Wilson doesn’t believe any of it. It is pure theater, and astonishingly effective. In Wilson’s view the wife is the house despot. The husband isn’t in a position to tell his wife when dinner should be made. Guests don’t do that. As a guest should, the husband wipes his feat and eats what he is served.

  35. Dalrock says:

    Thank you Cane. As far as I can tell we are in full agreement.

  36. feministhater says:

    But in this post I’m trying to make my way through the squid ink.

    Do you have another series in mind with this topic at hand? Sort of a build up to a more thorough conclusion. I would be interested in how you think Scripture handles the authority of the husband and how that should be practiced in the home,

  37. Anonymous Reader says:

    As a guest should, the husband wipes his feat and eats what he is served.

    Humility in a husband clearly is a good thing. Especially with regard to his feat. Doubly so with Festivus in the offing.

  38. Wayne says:

    Oscar,

    “Okay. Let’s suppose a husband tells his wife to do something, and she simply blows him off and doesn’t do it. What then? Does he have the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience (authority)? If so, how? If not, then in what sense does he have authority?”

    In the situation you described, I agree that the husband has little power over his wife. I would guess that she has enjoyed a long leash for a long time, and there is a lot of momentum behind her selfish (and rude) independence. For someone in this situation, I would recommend to start with the Small Things First. Ask her to do things that any normal person would agree to, and explain your thinking, and why it’s important for her to cooperate. If she doesn’t respond, then be patient. Keep asking, keep telling her your mind until she understands where you’re coming from. Over time, you should be able to request more from her, and get a better response. You also need to pray for her to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Be prepared for arguments and other kickbacks, and take them in stride. As Constrained Locus pointed out, always maintain frame. Don’t let her roll you. Stay calm and stick with it. It will take some time to reverse the momentum.

  39. Dalrock says:

    @feministhater

    Do you have another series in mind with this topic at hand? Sort of a build up to a more thorough conclusion. I would be interested in how you think Scripture handles the authority of the husband and how that should be practiced in the home,

    Not in the way I think you are asking. Headship Game comes to mind, as well as what little I’ve written on the topic of dread game*.

    Most of what we have done to attack headship involves actively transferring power to women. I’ve written a good amount about domestic violence laws. The problem with the laws isn’t that they discourage husbands from beating their wives. I don’t think Christian husbands are called to beat their wives into obedience. The problem with the laws is they aren’t about domestic violence at all. They are about giving wives power over their husbands, to the extent that they actually promote wives abusing their husbands.

    The same is true in other areas. No fault divorce wouldn’t have nearly the impact it has if it weren’t backed up by an active enforcement regime that exists primarily to kick men out of their own homes, separate them from their children, and bill men for the pleasure. Stop doing this and men would have far more power in their own homes.

    I would also favor reconsidering what legal rights a husband should have, given that we know the husband is the head. I think a husband should have the opportunity to sign off when his wife submits a prescription for birth control, for example, and I think a case could be made for certain kinds of financial transactions that impact the community property of the marriage.

    I also think the Christian community should honor husbands and support their role as head. This would be a profound reversal for our churches and it would have an enormous impact.

    *Contrary to popular opinion, the dread in dread game isn’t the problem. It is the methods most want to employ to create the dread.

  40. Warthog says:

    Marriage is not a military unit. But marriage is a covenant. And covenant headship comes with both power and responsibility.
    Dalrock seems to be using the word responsibility to mean, the causation of anything that goes wrong in the marriage. That is not responsibility, that is being “at fault”.
    My use of the word responsible in this context means – the duty to clean up the mess, regardless of whether you caused it. Ironically, this is very near Dalrock’s definition of feminism. Women complain about men and demand that they solve their problems.
    Christ was and is the covenant head of the Church, his Bride, so to speak. Christ did not cause the Bride to sin. But he solved the Bride’s problems by laying down his life for her. By doing so, He took responsibility for her.
    His instructions to the Bride are for women to wear head coverings to show their submission to His authority, and to submit to and obey their husbands without complaining. As the Logos he told Moses that Miriam’s own father would spit in her face and send her outside the house for the kind of disrespect that she showed to him, and to God.

  41. Jeff says:

    Dalrock,

    I understand the dichotomy. I have yet once heard a solution from any blogger, book or pastor.

    I haven’t gone to church in 3 years. The very first week back last month was on Cool 3:18-19. Wives have an “out”, but men have to be servant leaders, lol. I laughed after the sermon and this is a friend of mine. Not anymore. Sorry to say, but I cannot associate with a cuck.

    My wife asked why I laughed. I said, “I didn’t hear him say wives need to be servant followers.” Cognitively she understands, but can’t bring herself to act on biblical marriage.

    Reading here and elsewhere has absolutely no effect. Pointing out the dichotomy does nothing for your readers other than preaching to the choir.

    Do you think Doug Wilson or matt Chandler are going to resign? Do think their followers will leave? Think they’ll change their teaching?

    Me neither. So what advice do you have?

    I can point John McArthur’s sermon on mutual submission. That helps as much as pointing out the Federal reserve’s rate policy.

  42. Warthog says:

    Job did not make his wife blaspheme God. But he was responsible to deal with it, because she was his wife. We aren’t told what happened to his wife, but as Job was blessed with a new set of children after his restoration, one does wonder if he got a new wife. Dalrock’s comment is spot on that the fact that a man has a sinful wife does not indicate he is a sinful husband. But he is a husband, and therefore responsible for teaching and disciplining the sinful wife.

  43. dudedont says:

    Woman blows up her marriage, then blows up her wedding dress 200 yards away;

    https://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/national/article221527670.html

  44. Dalrock says:

    @Jeff

    Reading here and elsewhere has absolutely no effect. Pointing out the dichotomy does nothing for your readers other than preaching to the choir.

    Do you think Doug Wilson or matt Chandler are going to resign? Do think their followers will leave? Think they’ll change their teaching?

    Me neither.

    I don’t expect them to change. But outside this blog, or at least the men’s sphere, there is very little understanding of what is really going on. 99.9% of Christians who know who Wilson and Chandler are think Wilson and Chandler are hard core patriarchs. Likewise with Christian movies like Fireproof, Courageous, War Room, Indivisible, etc. If you already got everything we discuss here before you came here, if you learned nothing important in the process, then I would agree that the blog is of no value to you. But I can’t say the same. I’ve learned an enormous amount in the process, and I would offer that many others have too. Digging this stuff out may have been trivial for you, but it hasn’t been for me, nor do I think it has for most of my readers.

    So what advice do you have?

    We are in agreement on the great difficulty of the situation you are in. My best advice is to make sure your head is as clear as possible. Don’t fall for the claim that it is your responsibility when your wife rebels. I can’t tell you that you having a clear head will stop her from rebelling; that is after all the point of this post. You can do everything right, and she will still be tempted to rebel. But I can tell you that it has a surprising amount of power, even if your wife doesn’t admit this openly.

    Obviously you should also be in prayer, but again if prayer were a guarantee against her rebellion then you would in a sense be responsible for her rebellion (which you are not).

    Beyond that, if there is wisdom you can learn from other men here, or solace you can take from other men who have been in exactly your position, then this would be of value too.

  45. Warthog says:

    Perhaps the ultimate sanction the husband holds, or used to hold, was divorce, to cast the rebellious wife out of the house. The laws have taken away the stick, and you can only get so far with carrots, with some women.

  46. Dalrock says:

    @Warthog
    How do you square this:

    Marriage is not a military unit. But marriage is a covenant. And covenant headship comes with both power and responsibility.
    Dalrock seems to be using the word responsibility to mean, the causation of anything that goes wrong in the marriage. That is not responsibility, that is being “at fault”.
    My use of the word responsible in this context means – the duty to clean up the mess, regardless of whether you caused it.

    with this:

    The captain was held responsible, as was the gunnery sergeant. It ended both of their careers.

    You are moving the goalposts. The captain wasn’t merely responsible to clean up the mess. He was fired. If as you claim we should apply this lesson in marriage, then surely the husband should be fired if his wife rebels. Behold no fault divorce.

    Moreover, how do you square “responsible to clean up the mess” with your conjecture that Job was given a new wife:

    Job did not make his wife blaspheme God. But he was responsible to deal with it, because she was his wife. We aren’t told what happened to his wife, but as Job was blessed with a new set of children after his restoration, one does wonder if he got a new wife.

    Likewise, how do you explain God’s proposal to start Moses over with a better people, if God has a rule that leaders always have to clean up the mess?

    I’m not saying leaders don’t ever find themselves having to clean up the mess. They very often do. But as I noted upthread, we should be careful about the direction of our logic.

  47. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    Hey Oscar. My apologies if I came across the wrong way.

    Not at all. This is a point of frustration for me, so my questions may have read more like an interrogation.

  48. earl says:

    False dichotomy.

    Really?

    https://biblehub.com/matthew/20-25.htm

    Some people think authority is about power & titles and not about responsibility. I wasn’t trying to seperate the two…I was pointing out how some people are confused about what authority is about.

  49. RichardP says:

    Some thoughts to keep in mind while consider the various points raised in this thread:

    1. There is no verse in the Bible that says the husband is the head of the house / home. It says only that he is the head of the wife. The problems described in this thread are real. It only makes it that much more difficult to confront those problems when we don’t know what the Bible actually says or does not say.

    2. Consider the wife that Adam’s father created for him. She got him kicked out of the Garden and away from the tree of life. Yet, by all accounts, they still managed to create a life for themselves outside of the Garden, in spite of their imperfections. Why do we expect a wife any better than the one Adam’s father created for him?

    3. God: hmmm. What about this stuff here?
    …..She: my husband made me do it.
    …..God: Oh. Ok. Nevermind. Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter this day into the joy …..of the Lord.

    Does anyone here actually believe that Pastor Wilson believes that Point 3 is the way things will go down? If he truely believes a husband is responsible for his wife’s sins, then he will accept that Point 3 IS the way it will go at the Judgement Seat. I don’t think he believes that.

    4. Broad is the path to destruction. Many will find it. Narrow is the path to eternal life. Few will find it. For the distinction between many and few to be significant, “many” must be more than 50% and “few” must be less than 50%. Significantly so. If the Bible is correct on this many/few thing, that means for every marriage out there, there is a greater than 50-50 chance that one of them will be on that wide road to destruction.

    5. Q: Are those who reject God’s claim on their lives part of the Bride of Christ, the Church? A: No, they are not. God spits those who are lukewarm out of his mouth. Christ is to his bride, the Church (comprised ONLY of those who accept God’s claim on their lives), as husband is to wife. Christ may wait patiently for the unsaved to accept his claim on their lives. But he does not bestow on that hold-out the same favors he bestows on his Bride (only those who accept God’s claim on their life). The concept of a husband “putting away” his wife can be found in the Bible. There would be a reason for that “putting away”. Sort of like God spitting the lukewarm out his mouth, and Christ choosing to not bestow his favor on those who reject his claim on their lives.

    6. God told Eve that Adam would rule over her. She would be part of the estate for which Adam was responsible. As part of his “ruling-over”, Adam would rely on her help (what she was created for) to git er done. See the old-english defintions of “husband”, “husbandman”, “to husband”, etc. for examples of how this “ruling-over” is carried out by one who husbands his resources. The very definition of husbandman, or “to husband”, says one called by that name is one who keeps his resources in good working order. He doesn’t let his land get run down. He doesn’t let his tools get run down. He doesn’t let his helpers get run down (for they will be of no use to him if he works them to death).

    God’s model for Adam and Eve / husband and wife is that he is to rule over her, in the manner of a husband / husbandman (give her work to do that will help maintain the estate). The Bible says nowhere that husbandman can make her do anything.

    There is a distinction between a.) husbandman giving the help work to do, and; b.) the help actually doing the work they’ve been given. I see a lot of discussion about “b.”; not much if any discussion about “a”.

    7. If God’s design, his reason for creating the female, was for her to be a help to her husband(man), is the woman who rejects her husband’s “ruling over” her accepting God’s claim on her life? If the answer is “no”, then consider again whether one who rejects God’s claim on their life is part of Christ’s Bride, the Church. If it is true that such a woman is not regarded as part of the Church, why do we then think that she fits anywhere into the analogy of husband is to wife as Christ is to Church? The favors that Christ bestows on his Bride, the Church, are NOT bestowed on those outside of the Church, those who reject God’s claim on their lives. That is the model for a husband with a wife who rejects Gods claim on her life.

    8. Paul says that God says the following in 1 Corinthians 7:10: A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried …

    That is a very curious thing for God to say if he believes that a husband can make his wife do anything.

    9. Adam and Eve are the role model for husband and wife. The words in the New Testament are a reflection of what God established in the Garden. And nowhere do we find evidence that the husband can, or is even supposed to, make his wife do anything. A husband should rule over her, as defined by God to Eve in the Garden. A husband should rule over her and his children, as defined by those who laid out the roles for those acceptable for leadership in the New Testament church. That is what is expected of him. That is what he will be held accountable for. “Did you explain to her what it was you needed her help with?” “Did you behave as a true husbandman; did you keep your land and your tools and your help in good working order?”

    10. Nowhere does the Bible state that the help will accept your claim on their lives. But it gives good evidence that often they will not (Eve; those God spews out of his mouth, etc.) But, even so, our job is to husband on, be the husbandman of all that God has given us – at least until the state takes it away from us in divorce court.

    What shall we do then? Whatever the guy does in that statment that Paul says was from God … but if she depart … God only says what she is supposed to do (remain unmarried or be reconciled). There are no words provided to tell the abandoned guy what to do.

    The only consolation is that the Bible says our reward is in heaven, not here.

    So fight the good fight. Run a good race. The outcome belongs to God, not us.

  50. Oscar says:

    @ Earl

    Some people think authority is about power & titles and not about responsibility. I wasn’t trying to seperate the two…I was pointing out how some people are confused about what authority is about.

    I’m aware that “some people think authority is about power & titles and not about responsibility”. Those people are wrong, because they’re operating from a false dichotomy.

    Authority and responsibility should always go together.

    A person with authority and no responsibility is a tyrant.

    A person with responsibility and no authority is set up for failure.

    A person with authority and responsibility is set up for success as a leader.

  51. Anonymous Reader says:

    Warthog
    Marriage is not a military unit. But marriage is a covenant. And covenant headship comes with both power and responsibility.

    Yet one side of the marriage covenant is free to tear it all up whenever unhaaaaapiness strikes, and pay no penalty. Funny kind of “covenant”, isn’t it?

    My use of the word responsible in this context means – the duty to clean up the mess, regardless of whether you caused it.

    Suppose that it is your duty to clean up a mess, but you are absolutely prohibited from doing so. Would you still be “responsible” by your own usage? Would “responsible” even have any real meaning at that point?

    Back in 2010 between 60% and 65% of divorces were filed by women in the US. Now in 2018 it appears that the number is 70%. I fully expect by 2022 or sooner 80% of divorces will be filed by women, even as the number of marriages drops.

    Meanwhile TradCons will double down on shaming men and berating husbands, shouting COVENANT! It’s a COVENANT! to a shrinking audience.

  52. Anonymous Reader says:

    Warthog
    Perhaps the ultimate sanction the husband holds, or used to hold, was divorce, to cast the rebellious wife out of the house. The laws have taken away the stick, and you can only get so far with carrots, with some women.

    Tell us something we do not already know, and haven’t been discussing for nearly 10 years.

    Better still, go tell Doug Wilson something he obviously doesn’t actually know at all.

    You’re new around here, aren’t you?

  53. Vandicus says:

    Let’s posit a hypothetical.

    God sends some guy, lets call him JC, down to earth, tells humans well in advance of his coming and that he is to be above all of us. He gives this JC guy headship, in some sort of analog to marriage. JC goes around telling us how to live proper upstanding lives, how to be better human beings. Unfortunately, as human history would bear out, most people don’t listen. Who is ultimately to be held accountable for this? Well absent some godly level of self-sacrifice, it is the disobedient subordinates who will be held accountable. Even if JC were to intercede on their behalf it would not be because they were deserving of it but by his grace.

    Now obviously man is not God so the last part isn’t really applicable(we are not capable of saving people in that fashion). But was JC the head of the church or was he not? Was he no longer the head because the church was and is disobedient? Was he personally responsible, as in, was it his sin when humanity disobeyed, or was it humanity’s sin?

    The husband’s headship comes from God, but humanity disobeys God all the time. Does this mean the headship is a false one?(the answer here should be the same as for JC)

    “In those days, it will no longer be said:

    ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,

    and this has set the children’s teeth on edge.’

    Instead, each will die for his own iniquity. If anyone eats the sour grapes, his own teeth will be set on edge.

    We are individually responsible for our sin(blaming the husband for the wife’s sin is analogous to blaming Christ for humanity’s sin, its a complete misunderstanding of how things work).

    By my figuring Christ is our Lord and Master that we should seek to serve. The analog is that the wife is ordered to treat her husband in the same fashion. The husband’s goal is to act in a fashion appropriate for the role he has been given(wash them in the Word of God etc.).

    If they would not listen to prophets or listen to Christ, who are you that they would listen?

    We can surely try to live uprightly ourselves and try to structure our society in a way that promotes such things(what this constitutes is a worthy topic of discussion but here I think we need to establish how things were set forth by God), but ultimately we are limited in what we can do. At some point a person has to accept that they have only limited, not complete, responsibility for their circumstances. We are neither all-powerful or powerless(internal vs external locus of control).

  54. Anonymous Reader says:

    Warthog
    Job did not make his wife blaspheme God. But he was responsible to deal with it, because she was his wife.

    Just as in the Duluth Wheel the man is always at fault. Even if a wife physically attacks and injures her husband, a by-the-book application of the Duluth Wheel would require him to be arrested, even in the hospital if necessary. Why? Because of the power disparity that a handful of 1970’s-era feminists claimed that existed under “Teh Patriarchy!”, and that will continue to exist until some glorious day of equality dawns.

    Feminists: “It’s always the man’s fault”.
    Warthog: “It’s always the man’s fault responsibility“.

    A difference without a difference. This is one reason why TradCons so often serve as sock puppets for feminists; they both blame men unconditionally for anything bad / sinful.

  55. vandicus says:

    The analog being Christ, is humanity’s sin his responsibility or something he took upon himself by grace?

  56. What strikes me over and over again – with all of this marital submission, leadership and obedience talk, who should be in charge, who is worthy of respect and who faces consequences for insubordination, not harboring sufficient respect for the man – is the wholesale failure of us men to really understand how women actually love us, and not how we think (or how we were conditioned to believe) they SHOULD love us.

    Personally, it was very hard for me to come to terms with this truth. But the truth simply doesn’t care about my masculine sensibilities, how macho I am or am not, etc.. It is the stone cold reality that all men face.

    Husbands love their wives by protecting, cherishing, and serving them. Wives submit to their husbands out of respect, love and service also.

    I always go back to this post from Rollo Tomassi’s blog: Women in Love: https://therationalmale.com/2011/12/27/women-in-love/

    If she’s there, she’s there, if not, oh well. She’s not incapable of love in the way she defines it, she’s incapable of love as you would have it. She doesn’t lack the capacity for connection and emotional investment, she lacks the capacity for the connection you think would ideally suit you.

    Men have been, and should be, the more dominant gender, not because of some imagined divine right or physical prowess, but because on some rudimentary psychological level we ought to realized that a woman’s love is contingent upon our capacity to maintain that love in spite of a woman’s hypergamy. By order of degrees, hypergamy will define who a woman loves and who she will not, depending upon her own opportunities and capacity to attract it.

    Very common for guys see a problem in marriage or an LTR and then try to fix it directly or hang on tightly to authority for the sake of control and respect.
    Insubordination. Disrespectful behavior. Lack of intimacy. Silent treament to punish and control.
    The more you try to assert and grasp authority and insist upon being respected, you end up stoking the very fires of rebellion you are trying to quell.

    These boyish idealizations of love and respect undermine us every damn time.
    We need to learn to let that go and become the adult. Become the father. Become the leader. The robust oak tree.
    Because I think it is her hypergamy – by varying degrees, depending on the woman in question – that is the actual fulcrum point (optimal leverage point) upon which everything else moves.

  57. Pingback: A marriage isn’t a military unit. | Reaction Times

  58. Gary Eden says:

    “force her to obey” is always a distraction. You can’t force anyone to do anything; as the early Christian martyr’s proved with their life. But you can influence. You can set consequences for disobedience.

    Withholding attention and dread game can work to influence a wife. But they are at best, indirect means and at worst, passive aggressive.These are popular in the Red Pill community because they are about the only tools a man has when the wife is firmly in control and he is trying to regain power by stealth. I’m not saying they’re bad or wrong, I’m just pointing out the context of those. That is not the full extent of what a husband can do.

    Ultimately, it’s going to come down to setting consequences for disobedience. That can come in many many different forms. The cold shoulder is exactly that, a consequence of bad behavior.

    This is incredibly unpopular in church circles. But if a man cannot establish consequences for bad behavior he has no real authority in the relationship (de facto).

    The ironic thing is that while the church, society and law will do everything to makes sure you have no de facto power in their effort to cancel God’s de jure establishment of husband as had, they can’t outdo the God’s creation…

    “Your Desire Will Be For Your Husband, And He Will Rule Over You”

    Often all that is required is for you to have the brass balls to just seize control. They’ll squawk and complain and bluff ahead of time but in the end, they want to be ruled. All the bitter feminist talking heads in the world can’t stop a woman who is thrilled to be ruled by her husband. Maybe you’ll have to do it slowly. Certainly you’ll have to do it with understanding. But no one is going to just hand it to you; least of all an American Christian woman.

  59. Wayne says:

    Constrained Locus,

    You have pointed out the crux of the problem encountered in a successful application of the Biblical truths about marriage.

    While doing my study of discipline and marriage, I realized that the Biblically conscripted ontology (i.e. the commandments to love and respect) only works for those who are spiritually regenerated. But for the vast majority of people who are operating in the Flesh, love and respect are yokes that do not fit. Since then, I have been exploring a visceral power based model which would take into consideration the effects of hypergamy. Recently, I found that the Biblical model is a certain type of arrangement which very few people find. My study doesn’t offer us any new solutions as of yet, but it does help us to understand how the ideal archetype is constructed.

    Read more about it here.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/courtship-models/

  60. Once again, it needs to be stated:

    Women think that men must keep their marital covenant is a matter of law. Therefore, she gets all of her benefits because “I’m his WIFE.”

    Women think that they only have to keep their vows and covenant based on how they feel. So any benefits she might give you stem from that.

    So while women are screaming about how they hate double standards,
    she wants you to keep your vows by law and will call the state to ensure that you do.
    UNCONDITIONAL
    She only keeps hers based on her emotions and your performance.
    CONDITIONAL

    This is why you never listen to a male feminist, or male apologist. He has tucked his nuts back up into his stomach, and done the same thing that Adam did: listened to a woman. We’re only here because of Feminism.
    If you notice, what happens every time men listen to women?

    A curse follows.

    That should be the only clue that men need.

  61. Excuse my typo, *as a matter of law.

  62. info says:

    Really the best sanction is selecting the right woman as wife. A headstrong woman will not make a good wife regardless.

  63. info says:

    Example of game and possibly how to treat women:

  64. Gary Eden says:

    [blockquote]Really the best sanction is selecting the right woman as wife. A headstrong woman will not make a good wife regardless.[/blockquote]

    That won’t help you. That’s the usual men blaming tactic, “well you choose the wrong woman” used against men when a wife blows up the marriage.

    Yes, you should look for red flags and avoid damaged women. But all women are affected by the curse, all women are indoctrinated in our culture, all women will test your leadership.There are no perfect women, no women who if picked will guarantee the weapons of the state will not be levied against you.

  65. Spike says:

    Wilson fails to see the blindingly obvious:
    – Women are not men.Men are binary. Women are fluid. If you say to a man, “Do this…” or ”Don’t do this…”, they will look at the reason and accept it. That’s why the Ten Commandments are written the way they are. Not so women. They will rationalize that there are two million shades between ”Do” and ”Don’t”, thus giving them licence to do what they want.

    -Women aren’t adults. If the ”captain of the ship” is responsible for everything that his wife does, including whether she feels happy or not, then we have to conclude she is a passive agent in life. If so, the Saudis are right: Women be confined, escorted, covered, not allowed to drive, shouldn’t be educated and punished severely for the more serious offences as children are.

    -Women are never ”truly happy with a Christian husband”. They will sell their husband down the river, and Christianity with it, in a heartbeat when it suits them to do so. Consider church discipline: Tell a man he is being disciplined for error, and he’ll take it, even when he doesn’t like it. A woman though will run to the Press and yell ”abuse” to the enemies of the Cross of Christ.

    -Spare me the feminism. It is not, nor ever has been, a Christian canon. It is a satanic philosophy tracing it’s roots in Communism and using abortion as a sacrament. It is inherently evil.

  66. Bee says:

    Oscar,

    “Okay. Let’s suppose a husband tells his wife to do something, and she simply blows him off and doesn’t do it. What then? Does he have the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience (authority)? If so, how?”

    Here are two things to consider:

    1. https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/10/03/7-ways-to-discipline-your-wife/

    2. Years back Sunshine Mary told how her husband told her to stop putting the kitchen knives in the dishwasher because the heat and long soaks was ruining the knives. Sunshine Mary continued to put them in the dishwasher because it was easier than washing and drying them by hand. Her husband caught her and disciplined her by ordering her to stop using the dishwasher at all for a season. She had to wash everything by hand. She complied.

    (Some women would not comply and would claim, “abuse”.)

  67. Scott says:

    D-

    What strikes me as so encouraging about the way you and Cane approach this topic is that it follows the same type of reasoning that confessional/canonical faith traditions to arrive at an understanding of true nature of a thing.

    The scripture plus the canons, plus tradition, plus the catechisms, plus…

    …provide us with a way to recognize a thing in its true form

    A marriage, accroding to our faith may indeed look like a military unit in some ways, but it is not, as a point of fact, a military unit

    Or as has been written here and at TWHHAK, the husband is the head of the wife

    He does not behave in a certain way for this to be true. He does not configure his marriage or the way he relates and leads his wife in a way so as to make him the head. For this means, just like Christian feminists and egalitarians argue, that his position in the marriage is entirely dependent on his leading “right.”

    But we do not see this anywhere in the text. The man does not lose his position as head because his leadership style does not suit the needs of the wife, or Oscar, or any one else. Even if his wife walks away, his kids hate him, the church leaders crap on him and leave him for dead in the spiritual wilderness, he is still the head of the family

    When a priest looks to whether or not a thing exists (in this case, the sacraments) there are certain pieces of the formatting that must exist and then it comes into being. Once a marriage exists, it’s outward features are less important then the way God (and church tradition)

    You cannot unconsecrate the host. You cannot un-marry someone. You do not cease being the head of your family because they won’t follow you.

  68. Scott says:

    Correction:

    way God (and church tradition) proscribe it.

  69. Random stranger says:

    It’s pretty easy to understand given the analogy in the bible. If husbands are comparable to Christ and wives are comparable to the Church, when is it ever Christ’s fault for the Church (members) misbehaving? He is responsible for admonishing them, but it is not because of His lack of attention or love that causes people to rebel. They do that all on their own.

  70. @Bee
    Thank you for sharing the link on “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.
    Remarkably similar to tactics to how a father might discipline his insolent, disrespectful teenage daughter. Rescinding privileges, resource$, time, attention and affection.
    Of course, feminist inculcated females in the west would categorize such actions as “abusive”, because reasons.

    Also, the comments in that particular article thread are relevant.
    And some are pure comedy gold.

  71. Gunner Q says:

    Jeff @ 2:02 pm:
    “What are my options to lead effectively given the current legal and social framework?”

    There’s a youTuber you might check out, Misandry Today. He’s a paralegal that got screwed by the System and now fights feminism from the legal perspective. He probably can’t assist you directly but is a place to start looking at legal options. Maybe start here:

    https://www.youtube com/watch?v=Lg7zFfGMVzo

  72. Papa says:

    Thank you for this post and topic.
    I had thought of a lengthy, heartfelt, supportive comment but didn’t go through.
    Instead, my experience can be ummed up by: been there, done that, been through the grinder, have the reminder scars.
    I cringe at the books, counciling, teachers, and “clergy” I’ve experienced and which you present.
    Thank you for your blog and posts.

  73. Dalrock says:

    Welcome Papa. I looked in the spam bin but couldn’t find your missing comment.

  74. 7817 says:

    +1 to constrainedlocus comment. That Rational Male post was hard to take but was really helpful once it began to sink in.

    It’s tough to reconcile human nature when you are raised in church with teaching on how husbands and wives are supposed to treat one another. For those who are naive like I was, it is easy to think those idealized descriptions of married behaviour will be the norm if you marry a christian, after all, they are saved right? If only.

    Maybe sheltering children excessively, especially boys, can be counter productive.

    When it comes to being the head, Heartiste’s advice is about the most practical I’ve found. Anything that doesn’t disagree with morals in those 16 commandments is gold, because a lot of trying to convince your wife of things or arguing with her is just signalling low value behaviour anyway, where just leading regardless of whether she follows is demonstrating high value behaviour.

    Some Christians hate on Game, but where it does not violate Christian morals, it’s great.

  75. Nick Mgtow says:

    I’m a feminist. So why does infertility make me feel like a failure?
    Katy Lindemann

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/02/feminist-infertility-failure-child-mother

  76. feeriker says:

    “I’m a feminist. So why does infertility make me feel like a failure?”
    Katy Lindemann

    You’re not a failure, toots. As a feminist you’re living God’s condemnation of your lifestyle choice by being barren. He decided that He’s not going to condemn any innocent children to being born to a hateful harpy who, if any of the children are born male, would probably be hated and abused by her (emotionally if not physically).

    May your womb cultivate nothing but mold that is as toxic as your soul.

  77. A Portuguese Man says:

    @Oscar

    AFAIK, the clearest definition of authority that I ever came across is the late Zippy’s

    Authority is a moral capacity to oblige a subject to choose this thing rather than that.

    see https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/because-i-said-so-thats-why/

  78. BillyS says:

    Warthog,

    Job’s wife didn’t blaspheme God. She did tell Job to curse God and end his suffering, but I don’t believe it is exactly clear why she did that. It could have been mocking or it could have been a dumb attempt at compassion. She gets no further time as far as I recall and I do not recall God saying anything about her words after that point. (Please tell me which Scripture I am missing if this is wrong.)

  79. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Job’s wife has a much longer speech in the Septuagint bible. Its Job Chapter 2, Verse 9 is very long: https://www.biblestudytools.com/lxx/job/2.html

    9 And when much time had passed, his wife said to him, How long wilt thou hold out, saying, Behold, I wait yet a little while, expecting the hope of my deliverance? for, behold, thy memorial is abolished from the earth, sons and daughters, the pangs and pains of my womb which I bore in vain with sorrows; and thou thyself sittest down to spend the nights in the open air among the corruption of worms, and I am a wanderer and a servant from place to place and house to house, waiting for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from my labours and my pangs which now beset me: but say some word against the Lord, and die.

  80. JRob says:

    OT, James Macdonald has started a series on fathers, Healing Permissive Father Wounds.

    https://jamesmacdonald.com/radio/
    Macht nichts.

  81. Bee says:

    constrainedlocus,

    You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed the comments.

  82. ozanark says:

    I could be wrong, but I think I know the answer to Jeff’s conundrum. Prov. 27:15-16 basically says if a woman is determined to be contentious or rebellious, there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop or hide it, except to endure or suffer her rebellion in the marriage relationship. There’s different ways to endure, so I think “loving” the wife as Christ loved the church needs to be defined by Scripture. For instance, how did Jesus show love to the Pharisees in Matt. 23? Or the rich young ruler in Matt. 19? or Martha in Luke 10? He did not coddle them or keep silent about their errors. Yet He never left his disciples, though many left him (John 6:66).

    Also, since male headship is absolute in marriage, I believe authority is inherent in the concept and this must include power to enforce corrective action. Jesus corrected primarily through teaching, although I think a husband has a greater degree of power through the material things he has under his control. How much power a husband has in this area is going to vary depending on the society he lives in.

  83. @feeriker

    You’re not a failure, toots. As a feminist you’re living God’s condemnation of your lifestyle choice by being barren. He decided that He’s not going to condemn any innocent children to being born to a hateful harpy who, if any of the children are born male, would probably be hated and abused by her (emotionally if not physically).

    God must be busy at the gym, or watching Netflix. Or maybe standing there arms folded, doing nothing. If he is going to intervene in Katy’s case and give her a moldy uterus, why not be so selective and not more thorough?
    Because most male children today are being born to feminist harpy mothers, and 48% of children today are now born out of wedlock. And we already know the outcomes for such children in cohab arrangements.

    I feel better if I imagine Him at the gym. Arms folded just pisses me off.

  84. Heidi says:

    Sometimes I do feel like my husband and I are on a military team, in the sense that the stresses we face we face together. “Us against the world” sounds melodramatic, but one of the great benefits of marriage–and it should be so obvious as not to be stated–is that you “back each other up.” My husband is my leader, and we’re in this together.

  85. OKRickety says:

    Wayne said: “While doing my study of discipline and marriage, I realized that the Biblically conscripted ontology (i.e. the commandments to love and respect) only works for those who are spiritually regenerated. But for the vast majority of people who are operating in the Flesh, love and respect are yokes that do not fit.”

    Indeed, it is one thing to say one is Christian, and quite another to live a Christian life. Marriage is one major area where the truth shows.

    I do have one complaint about your statement, which is your usage of respect instead of submission. While respect is certainly commanded, it is only given once to wives, whereas submission is commanded to wives in several (at least four times) scriptures.

  86. Barnie says:

    Authority is enforced through violence and the threat of violence. If you find yourself in the position where society and your own social conditioning tells you that a husband enforcing his authority through physical force is too taboo to even speak of then you should have some sympathy for Doug Wilson. You enjoy pushing him towards legitimate but socially costly positions.
    It may be a fact that the State monopoly on violence has invaded the marital relationship but it’s not clear from scripture or historical example that that’s the proper state of things.

  87. Dalrock says:

    Wilson’s defenders are terrible at defending him. I am grateful that they are defending him and not me! In the past I’ve been assured that Wilson holds solid biblical views, but when he tries to write his thoughts down disaster ensues. He isn’t trying to make a mess of things, he is merely Mr. Magu on a zany drive whenever he finds himself behind the keyboard. This is a terrible defense of a man who has been publishing books on the topic for decades, not to mention his blog. More recently Warthog assured me that Wilson no longer believes what he wrote in the book he still sells.

    Now Barnie assures me that Wilson secretly wants us to beat our wives, but doesn’t want to say it out loud.

  88. Barnie says:

    I’m not defending Wilson, I’m criticizing you for acting like Wilson. I think the two of you would be in full agreement on the issue.

  89. Barnie says:

    If you don’t think a husband has means to enforce his authority over his wife in a similar manner that he may enforce his authority over his children then you are going to need to cook up “aroma of godliness” and other such magical thinking to explain how you still have an authority structure. Actual current social circumstances may be such that a woman has means to have her husband beaten, jailed or shot with a phone call but I won’t make that situation any better by denying the fundamental truths of human power relations.

  90. David J. says:

    A Facebook friend recently posted this tweet from John Piper: “You must bear the burden of responsibility that your children BE loved, but you dare not bear the burden of guaranteeing that they FEEL loved. In that case you would replace God’s objective command with their subjective response, and make a human the arbiter of obligation.”

    My response to my friend: “This is absolutely correct. Did anyone ask Piper if this is also true of a husband’s obligation to love his wife? I have a feeling a lot of women would agree re children but not agree re themselves, which makes no sense.” He said he didn’t read all the comments, but most of them were in opposition to Piper’s tweet. I would be interested to see how Piper or Wilson or Chandler would apply or avoid applying Piper’s correct description of a parent’s obligation to the obligation of a husband.

  91. Gary Eden says:

    Here is a good discussion of that Piper comment, including a link to the original tweet.

    https://youthworkhacks.com/is-it-your-responsibility-to-make-the-people-you-love-feel-loved/

  92. feeriker says:

    constrainedlocus says:
    November 13, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I agree, it is depressing to think that maybe God has singled Katy out for appropriate punishment while letting millions of other harpies get away with undeserved motherhood. Who knows what God’s reasoning is? Regardless, I’m just glad to see that He’s turned at least one feminist’s womb into a desert.

  93. Oscar says:

    @ Vandicus

    But was JC the head of the church or was he not? Was he no longer the head because the church was and is disobedient? Was he personally responsible, as in, was it his sin when humanity disobeyed, or was it humanity’s sin?

    You’re missing the point, and therefore asking the wrong questions. The question is; does Jesus Christ hand out consequences to the church for obedience and disobedience?

    Does He?

  94. Pingback: Authority and obedience are not necessarily two sides of the same coin | Christianity and masculinity

  95. Wayne says:

    OKRickety,

    “I do have one complaint about your statement, which is your usage of respect instead of submission. While respect is certainly commanded, it is only given once to wives, whereas submission is commanded to wives in several (at least four times) scriptures.

    I understand respect to be the natural and proper response to the display of benevolent power. Submission is the willful decision to cooperate with the requirements of said power. There is an unbalanced attention given to submission vs. respect in scriptural references because respect cannot always be chosen as a response, but submission can. It makes sense to me. I also see that respect and submission go hand-in-hand quite easily.

  96. Hmm says:

    @Dalrock,

    I would not make the connection you do between Wilson’s military metaphors and the wife-beating husbands in his church. Rather, I attribute it to Idaho, being somewhat wild and isolated, attracting men who fancy themselves “rugged individualists”. I think there’s also a connection that is sometimes made by that sort of men between handling children, who often need corporal discipline, and handling a wife, who does (or ought) not.

    To go on with what I started to say a couple of posts ago, one charge that you do not make (but some commenters do) and would never stick anyway is that Wilson thinks that women do not sin. One key thing about us Reformed folks is that we believe in “Total depravity” – not that we are as bad as we could be, but that for all people, sin reaches as deep as we go – there’s no part of us left untouched by it. We also tend to stay away from the wider evangelical culture. In my own church, I could find not one family that had watched “Fireproof” or any similar movie, and everyone I mentioned it to found unbelievable the idea that women were somehow sinless or were God’s voice speaking to the husband. For Wilson, when he teaches what looks like this, it is not that the woman is somehow a righteous voice, but that God uses her sins (and his children’s) to show forth the sins of the husband – mainly his sin of abdication.

    As for the whole idea of young women riding the carousel, that is something that is hardly ever seen in conservative Reformed churches (in my experience). Of course, I am in the Midwest, among the smaller cities. Even though we are near a couple of colleges, those that are attracted to our churches pretty much understand that sexual sin is fairly strongly disciplined, and both men and women approve of the discipline. We have a healthy handful of college and grad students pass through our doors, and we have never even had cause for discipline over sexual matters. Most of them tend to marry fairly young and have families in college or grad school. We are happy to help support such couples in raising their children. We are also a church of large families (4+ children is considered normal). Out of the seventy or so families in and out of our doors over the last 10 years, we have had no divorces (although one couple divorced a couple of years after they left).

    All this to say that the Reformed subculture is rather insular compared to the wider evangelical culture, and the instance of extramarital sex, even among our college students, is vanishingly small. So this may be why Doug Wilson doesn’t call out this problem much – he doesn’t see it.

    There’s more to say, and I will find another appropriate time to write again.

  97. Anonymous Reader says:

    Hmm
    To go on with what I started to say a couple of posts ago, one charge that you do not make (but some commenters do) and would never stick anyway is that Wilson thinks that women do not sin.

    His actions, via his writings, appear to be mute on the topic. That is, if he believes that women do sin in a real and tangible way vs. some vague theoretical sense,I have not seen any evidence of it in any of his essays. On the other hand, it is obvious that he believes men who disagree with him on at least one topic to be wife-beaters because he clearly stated this as the heading of one of his not very old essays.

    Perhaps you could point me to an essay in which Wilson takes women to task for their sins? I cannot seem to find one on my own.

  98. Anonymous Reader says:

    Hmm
    For Wilson, when he teaches what looks like this, it is not that the woman is somehow a righteous voice, but that God uses her sins (and his children’s) to show forth the sins of the husband – mainly his sin of abdication.

    Once again we have the “Wilson says X but what he really means is Y” defense. This is tiresome.

  99. Hmm says:

    @AR: Not much time this morning to peruse the archives, but here’s one where Wilson takes both the man and woman to task for sin:

    https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/tangled-marriages.html

  100. earl says:

    mainly his sin of abdication

    So what’s it called when pastors preach things that encourage wives to willfully undermine his authority (which could certainly lead to abdication)?

  101. Oscar says:

    @ Anonymous Reader

    On the other hand, it is obvious that he believes men who disagree with him on at least one topic to be wife-beaters because he clearly stated this as the heading of one of his not very old essays.

    Actually, he wrote that article in response to commenters on his blog who stated that husbands should use corporal punishment on their wives, not in response to “men who disagree with him on at least on topic”.

  102. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    Actually, he wrote that article in response to commenters on his blog who stated that husbands should use corporal punishment on their wives, not in response to “men who disagree with him on at least on topic”.

    That isn’t true. The post was in response to a range of critics. Pull it up to see.

    Edit: I covered this here.

  103. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    As far as I can tell, the article titled “And Now a Brief Word for the Wife Beaters” was written as a response to those who criticized Pastor Doug for denying a husband’s “right” to hit his wife, and to those who claimed Pastor Doug advocates wife-beating.

    https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/now-brief-word-wife-beaters.html

    From the article:

    Upon returning, I axed one comment for being abusive, and spent some time meditating on how to respond to the suggestion that had broken out in my comment thread that I was something of a closet feminist because of my failure to come right out in support of corporal punishment for wives. In the other peanut gallery, a discussion broke out on Facebook over my statement that submission was an erotic necessity, running along the “shades of 50 shades!” line. Maybe I had come out in favor of corporal kinky punishment for wives. Who’s to say? Reading what somebody actually wrote is so tedious.

    Let me deal with this second misconception first with an appeal to my mentor on this subject.

    But enough with that kind of foolishness. Let us address another kind.

    So now we come to those who say that if a husband doesn’t have the right, nay, sometimes even the responsibility, to exercise corporal punishment on his wife, then one of the tools for ensuring domestic tranquility has been taken away from him. Further, he might argue, anyone who objects to said physical discipline for wives must be one of those newfangled softie men, catechized by all the lies of feminism.

    By the way, I disagree with Pastor Doug. He states…

    The Bible does not teach husbands to enforce the requirement that was given to their wives. Since true submission is a matter of the heart, rendered by grace through faith, a husband does not have the capacity to make this happen. His first task is therefore to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He is to lead by example.

    I say that’s BS. Every single person with authority has the power to enforce obedience – parents, employers, civil authorities, teachers, even pastors. Every single one, with one glaring exception.

    Husbands.

    Why? Furthermore, note that most of those in authority do not use corporal punishment of any kind.

    Pastor Doug goes on.

    At some point in every husband/wife relationship, there will be a clash of wills. When that happens, it is often the case that the husband gets owned and he loses. Let us be blunt, and call it what it is. However, we live in flattering times, and he has been given sufficient cover by the church to retreat demurely into his designated background, and to call what he is doing “servant leadership.”

    That kind of weakness is not what I am commending. It is not how Christ loved the church. But it is a mistake of the highest order to think that the opposite of this kind of cowardly coyness is to stand on the recliner in one’s man cave beating one’s chest. That is not how He loved the church either.

    Okay, so how, exactly does Christ love the Church? Does Christ ever hand out consequences to the Church for obedience and disobedience? Let’s see.

    Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
    ….
    10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
    ….
    14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, [g]which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
    …..
    20 Nevertheless I have [k]a few things against you, because you allow [l]that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, [m]to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to [n]repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of [o]their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches[p] the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

    24 “Now to you I say, [q]and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I [r]will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations
    …..
    Revelation 3:1 “And to the [a]angel of the church in Sardis write,

    ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before [b]God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 [c]You have a few names [d]even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
    ….
    8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, [f]and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept [g]My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
    ….
    15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither [k]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

    Clearly, Jesus does hand out consequences for obedience and disobedience. So, why does everyone refuse to consider that one of the ways in which Jesus loves the Church.

  104. Anonymous Reader says:

    @Hmm

    That article is another one of Wilson’s little “just so” stories. Surprisingly, the advice is actually not bad, but it is exactly the generic “theoretical / abstract women’ sin” that I referenced earlier.

    You’ve confirmed my position. Wilson cannot actually point out distinct sins of women, the way he can with men. This is a major tell that he’s a pedestalizer who does not actually understand women.

    @Oscar
    Yeah, no. Dalrock beat me to it, but here’s some added value.

    In an article subsequent to that one, Wilson actually acknowledged that he’d been accused of “poisoning the well” (a logic term) when he insisted “I did not do that”. The arrogance of this is amusing. A humble man, faced with correspondents stating “You called everyone who disagreed with a wife beater, that’s the Poisoning the Well fallacy!” would more likely reply with something like:

    “I did not intend to do that” or
    “I did not mean to do that” or
    “I was not trying to do that”…
    Etc.
    The fallible, humble man would acknowledge the points of view of others, and reconsider his words.

    Wilson chose none of this. He flatly insisted “I did not do that”, as if he’s infallible, inerrant, and all those who disagree are simply wrong because they are not him. He compounded the fallacy, the hubris, and the LOL factor in five words.

  105. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    As far as I can tell, the article titled “And Now a Brief Word for the Wife Beaters” was written as a response to those who criticized Pastor Doug for denying a husband’s “right” to hit his wife, and to those who claimed Pastor Doug advocates wife-beating.

    Right. But those are two different groups he is rebutting, wife beaters and feminists. It is his general defense of his original post. That he doesn’t acknowledge a conservative disagreement outside of wife beaters is part of the problem. Just like for Wilson there are only two kinds of husbands (castratos and wife beaters), there are only two kinds of critics that he acknowledges there.

  106. Anonymous Reader says:

    I wonder what Doug Wilson would have to say about a married, churchgoing woman with two children who had an abortion without telling her husband. Assuming for the sake of argument that he would agree at the theoretical level that abortion is a sin, at the same time he’s on record as opposing any punishment at all for women who get abortions, so what could he say? Maybe some foggy bromides about “life, but also…” concluding with a heavy, mumbling sigh of some sort.

    Properly written, such an article would have to be a bit more concrete and less handwavingly vague than the usual bromides. This is why I would never expect Doug Wilson to actually write it.

  107. “Take away one error and the other is no longer required,” sounds like an Aristotelian fork, with the right teaching standing between the opposite evils.

    I wouldn’t say Godly marriage was entirely unlike a military unit structure, but D.W. references a naval captain’s role in command of an entire ship (O-6, full-bird rank and office). In my observation of marriage and military structure, the household seems far more small-unit, like an army captain’s company command (O-3 level), or even a lieutenant’s platoon(O-1 or O-2). Still responsibility and hierarchy, but a) the officers and senior NCOs are in the trenches with their troops, and b) their power to discipline and elevate is much less than the brigade commander’s (O-6: a colonel in the Army, AF, or Corps) would ever be.

    Rather, the O-6 is more comparable to the five-church overseer, or Presbytery chairman, etc, to whom the men’s own pastors (Battalion command: an O-5 role) must answer, and whom the common congregants, or the team chiefs in a naval vessel, know primarily as a face and name at the top, whom they rarely interact with at all.

    And again, we must be careful in our metaphors not to apply them beyond their own extents. This is also what D.W. has done with his “ship” analogy, I think.

  108. Gary Eden says:

    Analogies are just that.You can’t take them literally in a pedantic sort of way. The Captain-First Officer analogy became well known, not because it was a literal one to one reflection, but because it was a useful encapsulation of essential truths.

    And it is. The tendency of feminists to pain anything short of complete women rule as her being the lowest of the low, is not reflective of the reality of Biblical teaching.

    The women is to keep (rule) the house. Yet she is also under the command of her husband. That is a complex dynamic which can helpfully be explained by analogy to military structures.

  109. Paul says:

    That moment that reality shatters your make-belief world:

    “I’m a feminist. So why does infertility make me feel like a failure? Katy Lindemann”

  110. Paul says:

    Compare to:

    Mt 7: “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    Lawlessness…

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