Abigail’s daughters.

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

— 1 Pet 3:1-6,  NIV

As he promised in August, Pastor Doug Wilson has revisited the subject of submission in his recent post Miserable Wives*. Much of the post is good, and Wilson does say that (some) wives should submit to their husbands.  Yet there is a common pattern with Wilson where he seems to think that in order to teach something good, he must simultaneously teach something false so he doesn’t seem extreme in his adherence to Scripture.  Sadly, Wilson follows this same pattern in this recent post.  He awkwardly breaks from the subject at hand and assures us that if the husband a jerk, a wife’s godly responsibility is to oppose him and “bring things to a head” (emphasis mine):

Now before getting into what we see, I wanted qualify something first. I want you to know and understand that nothing said here would apply to a woman who was married to a genuine tyrant. I have often wished that more women would be willing to be Abigails in dealing with their Nabals, and those situations are scarcely rare. I know that there are marriages where the husbands are thugs and bullies, and that their wives need to learn how to bring things to a head. I know of such situations at first hand. When that happens, and it happens too often, I am firmly in the corner of the wife who is the victim. Many women need to learn to be an Abigail.

Wilson is teaching the opposite of what the Apostle Peter taught in 1 Peter 3:1-6.  In the process he has substituted Abigail for Peter’s example of Sarah.  Sarah as you will recall submitted to Abraham even when Abraham foolishly instructed her to say he was her brother and not her husband.  Sarah complied, and but for the intervention of God this would have caused Sarah to have been raped!  Sarah is the example Peter gave for Christian women to follow, to submit to their own husband even if he does not believe/obey the word**.  If they do this, they will please God and be Sarah’s daughters.

Peter’s instruction to wives with sinning husbands is a hard teaching for us to accept.  However, note that modern Christians are quite enthusiastic about this teaching once they apply it to the husband instead of the wife.  Modern Christians love the passage if they can do some cross-dressing;  it is only in the original form that they can’t stomach it.

Not only is Sarah (and not Abigail) the woman Scripture tells us Christian wives should emulate, Wilson is badly misrepresenting Abigail.  In 1 Sam 25 Abigail does not take action to “bring things to a head”.  In fact, her aim is to do the opposite.  Abigail intercepts David on his way to kill her husband Nabal and pleads with David not to do so.  Things were about to “come to a head”, and Abigail interceded just in time to prevent this from happening.  Moreover, when Abigail returns home and her husband is drunk, she delays telling him what she has done to avoid provoking him in his drunken state.

It is true that Abigail tells David that her husband is a worthless fellow and a fool, but Abigail knows that David is God’s anointed and that Nabal had deeply offended this man in whom God has favor.  Abigail is saying this in an effort to stop David from killing him:

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal[c] is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince[d] over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

 

*HT Hmm

**See Cane Caldo’s You Bowed Up When You Should Have Bowed Down for a discussion of the application of this when a husband instructs his wife to do evil.

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Posted in Pastor Doug Wilson, Servant Leader, Submission | 211 Comments

She wants 2.3 more years of sex with other men before she settles for you.

As I wrote in A very long season, feminists don’t want to waste a day more of their youth and fertility on their husbands than absolutely necessary. As if to prove this very point, 30 year old Mona Chalabi writes in the NY Times* I Want My 2.3 Bonus Years:

If I could prolong my time as a young adult by, say, 2.3 years, here is a list of things I would like to do:

• Go to more parties. Preferably wild parties that I can think about, years later, at mild parties.

• Get fit (i.e., get at least one ab before I die). This, I’m told, is easier to achieve when you’re young.

• Have more romantic partners. Preferably ones with abs.

• Get a bit higher up the career ladder a bit earlier on. That would probably boost my earnings, giving me more financial security. I could use that money to go to more parties, get a membership to a fancy gym and maybe even meet a romantic partner on the ab machines.

To drive the message home, the image at the top of the article is a cartoon of a resentful Chalabi giving her future husband the side eye for her lost years of sampling penises!

On the bright side men, Chalabi appears to still be available, and she is frantically making a lifetime’s worth of happy memories with other men as you read this.  Give her say 2.3 more years (give or take a penis or three), and you could be the lucky man paying the bills and getting the side eye!

On a related note, I did a Google search trying to find the previous post where I wrote about women not wanting waste their youth and fertility on their husbands.  Google not only helped me find my own post, it suggested a number of related searches by Chalabi’s peers:

wasteyouth

See Also:

*HT Just Sharing.

Posted in Cracks in the narrative, Miserliness, New York Times, Satire, Ugly Feminists, You can't make this stuff up | 92 Comments

She’s got balls.

Via Drudge, a tragic story from the local CBS station in Chicago: Family Attacked By Teens Who Cut In Line At Six Flags “Fright Fest”

The melee started about 8:45 p.m., when a group of young people cut in front of a 50-year-old woman in line with her 51-year-old husband and 12-year-old son in the park’s Southwest Territory, near the Raging Bull and Giant Drop rides, Smith said.

The woman asked the group to stop using foul language in front of her son…

The thugs retaliated not against her, but her son.  Her husband was then obliged to get involved to protect their son, and this lead to all three of them getting a serious beat down:

…one of the teens “sucker-punched” the boy, Smith said.

The boy’s father stepped in, as did his mother, but the group overpowered them, continuing to kick, punch and stomp them as they went down to the ground, Smith said.

Almost certainly the wife thought she was protecting her son when she provoked the beat down, and she probably also thought she was doing the job her husband was failing to do.

The scenario above is strikingly similar to one I read about on a gun forum a number of years ago.  In the gun forum scenario three families were walking back to their cars on a dark street and a group of thugs was walking behind them talking loudly and cursing amongst themselves. A woman in the group turned to the thugs and told them to stop cursing and learn some manners, since there were women and children (the gun owner’s son) present.  I described the gun forum scenario in 2011 in my post Chivalry and protecting the weak*.  In that post I pointed out that the woman who told the thugs to stop cursing was not protecting the group, but putting the group in danger.  This observation provoked an outraged emotional response from a woman in the comment section:

The example the man used of punks cursing and using foul derogatory language around his family and him doing nothing was appalling. I mean if you are at a little wayne concert okay (no business bringing kids there). However if you are at a family friendly event you should expect your family to be treated with a certain level of respect. I call it a manitude. You should be able to exude enough manliness to make other men back down, especially if they know they are in the wrong. If you won’t protect your own family from punks what good are you? And it’s wrong to blame the woman for wanting to be able to walk back to her car IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, and not have her kids ears assaulted.

In both scenarios a group of thugs was cursing around a family, and a woman in the family group decided to put the thugs in their place since (to her mind) the men were failing to protect the group.  Luckily in the gun forum scenario I shared in 2011 it didn’t escalate into violence.

This is an area where feminism, conservatism, and chivalry mix to create a prescription for disaster.  Feminism tells women they are just as tough as men, and conservatives tell women they are kick ass gals who show more balls than men.  Lastly chivalry promises that men will step in and solve the problem if a kick ass gal miscalculates how a group of thugs will respond to her tough talk.  Most of the time the men are able to keep the kick ass gal’s actions from creating a catastrophe, but as the Chicago scenario demonstrates this isn’t guaranteed.

*See also my follow up post at the time, Lets you and him fight

Posted in Chivalry, Guns, Manliness, Moxie, Traditional Conservatives | 203 Comments

Let them become elite.

The New York Times has made a stir with How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?

Marriage, which used to be the default way to form a family in the United States, regardless of income or education, has become yet another part of American life reserved for those who are most privileged.

After blaming a lack of good paying jobs for working class men*, the Times then offers a second solution.  Those who are not privileged should simply become privileged, so that the new form of marriage designed for and by the privileged will work as well for them as it works for our elite.  The non privileged need to learn to become privileged by relying on birth control, abortion, delayed marriage, high levels of education, and high incomes:

People with college degrees seem to operate with more of a long-term perspective, social scientists say. They are more likely to take on family responsibilities slowly, and they often benefit from parental resources to do so — like help paying for education, birth control or rent to live on their own. In turn, the young adults prioritize waiting to have children until they are more able to give their children similar opportunities.

“The cultural reinforcement, people relying on contraception and abortion, reinforces a norm, that you don’t have the kid with the wrong guy,” Ms. Carbone said.

The Times closes the article with a quote from W. Bradford Wilcox explaining his “success sequence” thesis:

Mr. Wilcox suggests a bigger emphasis in high schools and pop culture on what’s known as the success sequence: degree, job, marriage, baby. “The idea is that if people follow that sequence, their odds of landing in poverty are much lower,” he said.

Wilcox has been selling his “success sequence” thesis for many years.  From the 2010 State of Our Unions report:

…highly educated Americans (and their children) adhere devoutly to a “success sequence” norm that puts education, work, marriage, and childbearing in sequence, one after another, in ways that maximize their odds of making good on the American Dream and obtaining a successful family life.

The callous elitism on display here is astounding.  Both the Times (on the left) and Wilcox (on the right) are observing that the new family model is creating massive human misery, and both respond by asking why the peasants don’t simply eat cake.

This is a problem Herrnstein and Murray described in detail in their much maligned book The Bell Curve.  In Chapter 8 (Family Matters), they explain that the reason college graduates and the UMC have lower divorce rates is because these things correlate positively with IQ, not because high socioeconomic status (SES) and higher education themselves reduce divorce rates.  In fact, both of these factors increases divorce rates once IQ is controlled for (emphasis mine):

The consistent finding, represented fairly by the figure, was that higher IQ was still associated with a lower probability of divorce after extracting the effects of other variables, and parental SES had a significant positive relationship to divorce–that is, IQ being equal, children of higher-status families were more likely to get divorced than children of lower-status families.

It is clear to all researchers who examine the data that higher education is associated with lower levels of divorce.  This was certainly true of the NLSY, where the college sample (persons with a bachelor’s degree, no more and no less) had a divorce rate in the first five years of marriage that was less than half that of the high school sample:  7 percent compared to 19 percent.  But this raw outcome is deceptive.  Holding some critical other things equal–IQ, socioeconomic status, age, and date of marriage–the divorce rate for the high school graduates in the first five years of marriage was lower than for college graduates. 

In their closing chapter, A Place for Everyone, Herrnstein and Murray explain the reason thinking honestly about IQ is so important.  If we are honest about IQ, we can be compassionate towards those who aren’t on the right hand side of the bell curve:

Our central concern since we began writing this book is how people might live together harmoniously despite fundamental individual differences. The answer lies outside economics.

The initial purpose of this chapter is to present for your consideration another way of thinking about equality and inequality. It represents an older intellectual tradition than social democracy or even socialism. In our view, it is also a wiser tradition, more attuned to the way in which individuals go about living satisfying lives and to the ways in which societies thrive.

They argue that public policy is currently being made by the elite, for the elite, without regard for the needs of everyone else:

SIMPLIFYING RULES

The thesis of this section may be summarized quickly.  As of the end of the twentieth century, the United States is run by rules that are congenial to people with high IQs and that make life more difficult to everyone else.  This is true in the areas of criminal justice, marriage and divorce, welfare and tax policy, and business law, among others…

The systems have been created, bit by bit, over decades, by people who think that complicated, sophisticated operationalizations of fairness, justice, and right and wrong are ethically superior to simple, black-and-white versions.

The new elite focused systems of course include the new model of the family.  Herrnstein and Murray take it as a given that our new view of sexual morality can’t, and shouldn’t, be changed.  This leaves the legal definition of the family.  Their proposal is to jettison the family structure that we have used to replace marriage (the child support model):

Repeatedly, the prerogatives and responsibilities that used to be limited to marriage have spilled over into nonmarital relationships, whether it is the rights and responsibilities of an unmarried father, medial coverage for same sex partners, or palimony cases.  Once the law says, “Well, in a legal sense, living together is the same,” what is the point of getting married?

For most people, there are still answers to that question. Even given the diminished legal stature of marriage, marriage continues to have unique value. But to see those values takes forethought about the long term differences between living together and being married, sensitivity to many intangibles, and an appreciation of second-hand and third-hand consequences. As Chapter 8’s evidence about marriage rates implies, people low on the intelligence distribution are less likely to think through those issues than others.

Our policy prescription in this instance is to return marriage to its formerly unique legal status.  If you are married, you take on obligations.  If you are not married, you don’t.  In particular, we urge that marriage once again become the sole legal institution through which rights and responsibilities regarding children are exercised.  If you are an unmarried mother, you have no legal basis for demanding that the father of the child provide support.  If you are an unmarried father, you have no legal standing regarding the child–not even a right to see the child, let alone any basis honored by society for claiming he or she is “yours” or that you are a “father.”

The reality is that to our elites on both the right and the left, such a proposal is unthinkable.  Both would rather have millions of innocent children suffer than switch to a model that is not optimized specifically for the elites.  At some point down the road, the profound economic cost of this new family model will eventually make at least some of our elites more open to reconsidering this.  But for now, expect to see ever louder calls from the elites on the left and the right for weak men to stop screwing feminism up, and for non elites to simply become elites so our dysfunctional family system won’t be so obviously dysfunctional.

See Also:  Will Wilcox and the men of National Review respect you in the morning?

*While it is true that men without good earnings are far less likely to marry, it is also true that weakening marriage as an institution greatly reduces men’s incentives to have high earnings.  This isn’t a problem of uni-directional causation, but a vicious cycle.

Posted in Child Support, Marriage, Replacing Marriage, Traditional Conservatives, W. Bradford Wilcox, Weak men screwing feminism up | 203 Comments

Why the blind spot matters.

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

–Gen 3:17

Commenter Robert very politely disagreed* with my previous post on Pastor Tim Bayly:

I do not know much about this guy, but I’ve clicked on a few links from this post. Links that are supposed to be the evidence against this guy that he is sometimes not excellent…like what can wives do for unemotionally available guys. I won’t quote but in the two paragraphs it says she should submit to him, be sweet to him, pray for him and make sure she and their children honor him. Remind me again why this guy is having a post written about him and this is the evidence against him?

We all have blindspots. This guy, myself and Dalrock also. I think you are looking for a fight, or at least undercutting a brother, in this case Dalrock from someone who is friendly to our cause and is inline with God’s Word.

Novaseeker replied*:

I doubt you will find too many even here who disagree with the idea that there are many men who are also failing in their husbandly responsibilities. We all know cases of that, we are also not blind to them, either.

The jarring thing, however, is that the churches almost uniformly focus on these (and boy, do they) but almost never address what is happening on the other side of the sexual aisle. This is the overwhelming trend in the churches, and it is so ever-present that it can be hard even to notice it precisely because it is the default setting. There are many reasons for this, and Dalrock has discussed most of them on this blog at length. But the reason why he focuses as he does is because this is simply underfocused on the churches, and this blog is a kind of corrective to that overwhelmingly common tendency.

Novaseeker is right, but there is more that I would add.  The problem isn’t merely that men’s sins are obsessed over while women’s sins are ignored.  This would be bad enough, as it would only permit men the opportunity to repent while depriving women of the same.  The much larger problem is that the mis characterization of feminist rebellion prevents both men and women from acknowledging what is really happening, and therefore prevents the opportunity of repentance for both sexes.

The general pattern of men’s and women’s sins goes back to Genesis, where Eve was easily primed to believe that something great was being unfairly withheld from her, and Adam chose to take the easy path and go along with her instead of putting his foot down.

This pattern is exactly what we see played out today.  Women are filled with a spirit of resentment and rebellion (feminism), and men don’t address the issue because calling out women on their sins is extremely difficult and feels terrible.  Instead, we find a way to call out another man, because that is easy and feels heroic.  This pattern is so common we don’t even notice it, but perhaps the most ridiculous example is the complementarian response to women demanding to serve in combat.  Instead of pointing out that women are rebelling and engaging in a form of cross-dressing, complementarians pretend that what is really happening is cowardly men are forcing innocent women into combat.  As absurd as the claim is, it is widely popular because it avoids what is unpleasant and difficult, and elects instead to do what is easy and feels good.  Note that both sexes are sinning in this dynamic;  women are rebelling, and cowardly men are doing whatever it takes to avoid what would be the loving response.

Understanding this is critical if we hope to stop making the same mistake over and over again.  For men, the problem is not that we are calling out their sins, but we are carefully avoiding calling out the sin enabling the recurring pattern.

For another example, this time I’ll share a post written by someone other than Pastor Bayly.  This is a guest post by Pastor David Wegener on Bayly’s blog, and like Bayly’s writing, most of it is outstanding.  The post is titled PCA debate over woman deacons: It’s about rebellion–not exegesis… and includes gems like:

Does anyone really think this issue is about what Scripture actually says? Would that it were true. Why is it that men all over the PCA are bringing up this topic at this particular moment in history? Might it have something to do with the air we breathe every day?

And:

Our pastors preach through books like Ephesians and Colossians and sweat bullets as they approach Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18. And if they do preach on the topic, they talk mostly about what submission does not mean. So the final result is, “wives, be nice to your husbands.”

Afterwards, when they greet the congregation, their mouth shows the same expression as a dog cowed into submission by the pack’s alpha dog. The non-verbal communication is obvious.

I highly reccomend reading the whole post.  I’ve only included a few snippets for brevity, but the post is brilliant until Pastor Wegener gets to his diagnosis of the root of the rebellion:

But the roots of this rebellion are not in exegesis, and so we must not fight this battle only on that level. The roots lie in our sin. We don’t love our wives and sometimes they become a seething cauldron of bitterness. We love pornography or commit adultery and so we refuse to call our wives to submit (in any area of their lives). Guilt over our compromised state eviscerates our authority. Fathers sexually molest their daughters and bring rebellion into the church for generations to come. Fathers hold their darling on their lap and tell her how she can become president someday. Mothers push their daughters to get the education she’ll need so that she can earn a good living after her husband divorces her and leaves her with three children. Single women, whose fathers and mothers have failed to teach feminine deference, whine about lacking a voice in the church.

Notice that every time a woman sins in the quote above, a man made her do it.  Wives rebel because their husbands don’t love them.  Women rebel in church because their fathers sexually molested them.  Mothers push their daughters to be career women because her future husband will abandon her and her children.  Also note that it is true that men can sin in all of the ways Wegener blames for feminist rebellion.  Yet this technical truth is used to sell the lie that women aren’t capable of sinning all on their own.  Pastor Wegener rightly points out that we need to understand the roots of the rebellion if we are to address the problem, but then goes on to obscure those very roots.

This is something much worse than obsessing over men’s sins and minimizing or denying women’s sins.  It is refusing to address the prevailing sins of men and women.

*These are only small excerpts. See the comment thread for the full exchange.

Posted in Pastor Tim Bayly, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye | 316 Comments