Do Not Serve Cold

A female reader asks for advice.

There is a situation which has become so serious that a marriage is literally hanging by a thread.  It is a situation close to home, and one which I have been puzzling over for a number of days in hopes that there may be a way to address it.  After discussing it with family members, I thought it would be one which I would like to put forth to you and gentlemen on your blog, should you choose to share it.

This is a situation in which the husband and wife were well-prepared for marriage, so it seemed, and they apparently thought they were also.  Despite baggage on the part of the wife (severely low self-esteem), she was deeply religious, very modest and feminine in dress, did all the right things in preparing for marriage.  The husband was likewise, both of them devout and deeply committed to their Christian faith.

The husband, unknown to the wife, had struggled in the past with alcohol.  He had worked hard to overcome this defect, and thought he had done so.  They married.  They had difficulties from the beginning with certain aspects of their married life, which they partially attributed to the fact that they had had very high standards of chastity as single people, and they struggled with this.  They found they couldn’t talk about it, so they ignored it.

The wife one day found her husband to be drunk, and this shocked her.  She didn’t know what to make of it, so she blamed herself.  Her husband kept assuring her it was not her fault, but she didn’t believe him.  She internalized it and it has taken years for her to change her mindset and allow him to own his responsibility for his use of alcohol.

The wife was home with two small children and pregnant with a third when she received a phone call from a collection agency.  She was in collections for unpaid bills from the birth of their second child.  She told the husband, who said he would take care of it.  The calls continued to come, she continued to refer them to him.  He continued to drink, and finally the wife decided it was time to do something about the problems.  She arranged to pay the creditors, then, in preparation for the birth of the third child, read the medical insurance policy thoroughly, shopped around for a doctor and a hospital that would cost them the minimum out-of-pocket, and after the birth talked to the billing department personally to arrange a payment plan.  Prior to this, she had left everything to her husband, but now she took over.

The couple had debts on several credit cards.  She began writing the checks every month for all the bills, making minimum payments on all the bills, and then paying off a bill here and there with such things as tax refunds, etc.  Over several years, all debt in her husband’s name was paid off.  Meanwhile, she had accrued debt from a failed home business, plus they had made home improvements which she had carried on her credit card.  These bills she found hard to pay off, but she kept working at it.  They did not communicate about these much at all.  The husband continued to drink and he would frequently have a violent temper.  After several scenarios in which he had become very violent, she learned what she had to do in order to stay safe and keep him from exploding.

The husband was a conscientious provider.  Even during the Recession, he was among the lucky ones who was not laid off.  Frequently he worried about this, and this contributed in no small way to his anxiety and temper outbursts, as well as consumption of alcohol.

Occasionally the husband would ask how much debt they had.  On several occasions, the wife would show him the statements, only to have him become irate and blame her for leaching money from him.  Being overly sensitive, she would cry for hours sometimes over harsh words from him and remember it forever.  She finally started lying to him, saying that they were just fine; meanwhile, she would keep paying everything on the sly.

The truth came out when they refinanced their home and the credit report had to be verified.  The husband was enraged over his wife’s deception and became furious with her.  This put the finishing touches on what they have now.  Beginning with a lack of ability to communicate about intimacy, to lack of ability to communicate about various pressures, including children’s education and finances, it has now come to the marriage close to blowing apart.  Both are committed to their marriage vows and would not think of divorcing, but it is obvious that the marriage is holding together solely for the sake of the children.  The husband works copious amounts of overtime, the wife is deathly afraid of him, he spends most of his spare time brooding, surfing the Internet and reading, while she spends most of her spare time crying.

The husband informed her on one occasion that from that point on, he would handle all the bills.  She acquiesced.  It worked for a while, until one day a creditor called to report a missed payment on a bill.  She relayed the message to him, then a few days later she requested that they might purchase pizza for dinner, as she had had a very full day with the homeschooling of their children, and they had to attend church that night.  When they got home, he lectured her about her inability to prepare dinner, followed by a threat to reduce her allowance since she was spending his money on pizza.  Two weeks after that, he became furious with her because she had paid a piano teacher for the previous month’s lessons.  With explosions seeming to happen over and over, she decided she could not emotionally handle the yelling, and took over the bill paying once again, telling him why she was doing it and that she could not handle being yelled at and cursed at, nor did she want to receive phone calls saying that bills were late.

It is heartrending.  Having given you the bare bones of the entire thing, I would like to hear some of the manosphere/red pill take on this.  I realize you only have one side of the story, but the wife’s repeated requests that they get third party help have been refused.  He will not consider counseling with anybody, even though she said that she would be fine with him making the decision without her input so that the person would be somebody “on his side” so to speak.

This man is at the very core a good man.  He continues to be a devout Christian, and is a second-to-none father.  In fact, the wife says that when she is most discouraged with the situation, something will happen with the children that makes her realize what an excellent father they have.  Strict, but fair, he raises his children to settle for nothing less than excellence.  He is known for how well-behaved his children are and how strongly he guides them.  The other fathers all around have far fewer expectations for their children, and it shows.  Yet the marriage is crumbling.

I am assisting this lady inasmuch as I can — I do babysitting for her sometimes, and am the only person she really talks to about this, because we have known each other for years and can relate on certain issues.  If you present this to the general public, please leave all references to any particular person out of it, for obvious reasons.

Observations, takes, advice you could give the wife — all would be welcome.

My impression and general advice is all I can give as I don’t know these people. The reader has provided a lot of details but without being able to see the individual details–or even hear their delivery of them–it is difficult to know how to interpret them and determine the causes.

So, what is my impression? These people are really normal and need to deal with really normal problems. Deal with them they must, though. Frankly: They sound vain and undisciplined…very much like my wife and I can be. A slight by one is quickly greeted by hurt feelings in the other. She wants to be lead under her control, and he wants her to leave him alone and follow him. (stet)

You asked specifically for advice for the wife. Here it is:

  1. Stop crying. Is she in America? No one here but a man in arrears for child support goes to jail for debt. Her husband (according to the missive) is a conscientious provider (even if undisciplined) and will not let them starve or go homeless. Credit is a profoundly corrupting influence, and the loss of it is not worth crying about.
  2. If she must cry (and sometimes we must) then she absolutely should go cry to her husband, or make very sure that he is totally unaware. If she is too ashamed to cry to him directly, then she probably should not do it at all. Under other circumstances Crying within earshot or his knowledge him is a terrible idea, and is essentially passive-aggressive. It destroys trust within him if he is aware of the crying, and it destroys her ability to decide to trust him because she’s telling herself that she cannot; feeling sorry for herself. It sounds as if she has told herself that too many times already.
  3. She should ask him to make a budget for her to manage, and she should swear like a pagan on her favorite granny’s grave that she will hold to it come Hell or high water; that except that he tells her different she will do what he says, and that she will always welcome his guidance in this even if he gets angry. Has he hit her? Words can hurt, but it sounds as if she is too on-guard, and perhaps a bit precious to start with.  I know a lot of conservative/traditional people think that money or finance is the man’s domain, but I believe the responsibility should be held together: He makes it, and says where it is spent, and she takes it, and spends it the way he says…even if every fiber of her being tells her its wrong. Chances are, she’s not anymore right than him and doing it her “right way” only adds rebellion to the mix. Just like he must walk with her through her life, she must walk with him through his. It might be wise for her to never answer a creditor’s call again. No past-due bill is worth an unhappy home.
  4. When, as with the pizza incident, her husband goes on a rant about her shortcomings, she should say nothing except: “I will do what you tell me.” In all likelihood, it’s not about her dinner preparations (as I’m sure she acutely feels), but then the thing to do is push those feelings to the side and take a strong stance on what she knows are her duties; which is to obey her husband. If he is a good man, it will burn him like fire.
  5. She should pray for him, but she should NOT pray for him to improve! She should pray he has a blessed day; for him to have peace at work; that she would be pleasing to him. Women often praise themselves on their ability to intuit problems. She should put that to use here to intuit her husbands concerns, and pray specifically for those concerns to be removed, resolved, or blessed for him.
  6. She should never miss an opportunity to forget that she’s unhappy with him; to kiss him and thank him for providing food and shelter. There was no mention of issues with the hierarchy of the children, but she should make an effort to let him know that he comes before the children. Women can be bad about this, and kind or nice men (not the same thing) won’t know how to address it. It can make them angry though they don’t know why, and then angry at themselves for being angry about it. If he protests, it gives her an opportunity to say, “I like to serve you.” Prepare his plate before the children’s; without his asking bring him coffee at the times he likes coffee; announce the completion of tasks that he gave her; that sort of thing. Employees do this sort of thing for their bosses all the time (kissing notwithstanding). Those employees are favored.
  7. No yelling. Period.

We are told there is wisdom in the counsel of many, so I encourage my readers to offer their suggestions in the comments. Please do be respectful.

A Grace for Men

As I’ve maintained: I write this blog for present and future husbands and fathers. Today that sentiment will become more visible. From now on, comments from women will be deleted. My hope is that this will encourage a more brotherly atmosphere. It is doubted in my mind if there has ever been a time or place where men (even Christian men) could talk frankly–and hear earnestly–in the presence of audible women (even Christian women).

Women will probably still read here. They may continue to “Like” posts. They might be in my “Blogs I Read” list. I like women very much, and enough of them like me, but we are made in such a way that men will always react to a woman’s presence, and while it is easy for me to police that tendency in myself, I know it is not for others. This is a grace to them, for a change.

As this goes forward, I won’t be preemptively adding past female commenters to the “moderated” list. My method will be to unapprove them as I see them, and as I am able to discern the commenter is a woman. Some may dress themselves in men’s names and sneak through, but even as they do so they remove the impact of men reacting to a female presence. It would be a meaningless victory for the pretender. At some point I will add this to the tabbed pages, or the “About” tab.

Donkey Prod: A Program to Help You Take the Next Step

“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

Women love a new lifestyle fad. One after the other books and programs are produced, and one after the other women buy them. They talk about them to each other. They extoll the life-changing greatness of them. They praise them to everyone until the next one comes out. Then the new edition of brain-candy measurements, pledges, and securities are added to the sweet-tooth jumble already in their heads and hearts.

  • P90
  • P90-X
  • P90-XXXtreeeeeeeeeeeeeme
  • Insanity
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Cardio-kickboxing
  • Vegetarian diets
  • Pescetarian diets
  • The South Beach Diet
  • The Paleo diet
  • Organic diets
  • Vegan diets
  • Gluten-free diets
  • Fat detox
  • Cleansings
  • Colon cleansings
  • Impurity purging
  • Closet purging
  • Organization projects

I keep this in mind whenever women comment on my blog because the chances are that I am a passing spiritual fad. Because of this phenomenon, I limit myself to the idea that this is a table that I set for current and future husbands and fathers. Women may eat what falls from here. They may even enjoy it. I hope they do, and words to that effect are most welcome. Some of them come around regularly, and I do my best to accidentally-on-purpose knock some of the good stuff onto the floor.

The trouble starts (and it always does) when some poor beggaress starts criticizing what I’m serving, how I’m serving it, and to whom it is served. “Hey!”, they say, “Yesterday’s food was better. Today I do not like to eat these scraps. This one is too salty! Make me my preferred dish. Where is the sugar? And while I’m giving you a piece of my mind: I don’t like being served on the floor, either! Make room for me at your table!” Which is all wrong; least of which because she is flighty and rude. If she wants food that is served from the table, then her father or husband must come and be seated. She should go and tell him. Then he can serve her food that was not on the floor, and give it to her salted the way she likes.

But her flightiness and rudeness is her authority’s problem; not mine. My problems are:

  1. Her authority ain’t around, wouldn’t like me if he was, and has been serving crap so that she is in the habit of eating without satisfaction. Now she is fat with ignorance, and weighed down by fads.
  2. Either that weight’s got to come off, or I have to prompt some adrenaline for a flight-or-fight response because I have a responsibility to send this donkey back home, undo some baggage, or at least get her moving along with her burden.

I know and appreciate that a lot of women read here; probably more than men. The thing is: I have set this apart for men. If I can help I will give. But if you want to criticize then, lady, I have the program to get that ass moving!

“The Difference between Gold and Pigs”, or “Mennonites in the Mist”

Some people are laboring under the delusion that there exists a continuum upon which modesty slides; that on one end there is attractiveness, and on the other end there is immodesty, and on the other end there is unattractiveness, and on the other end there is gaudiness… If you have figured out that we have too many ends for one continuum, then keep reading this post.

Modesty is first and foremost about holiness. Holiness is about keeping things separate that do not belong together, and keeping things together that do; to set aside for a particular purpose.

Immodesty isn’t about being “too attractive”. Bare breasts aren’t immodest because men find them alluring. Bare breasts are immodest because they don’t belong to anyone but the owner and her husband; who are one flesh. Don’t show what cannot be shared, and what you do show be prepared to lose. Likewise, modesty isn’t about being “not too attractive”. A nude fat guy with seeping wounds all over his body is not modest either; no matter how unattractive he is.

Modesty is on its own continuum, and attractiveness on its. They are separate things, and the second is much more subjective than the first in the eyes of those on this side of the dark glass. The author of Proverbs 11 said it this way:

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Neither diminishes or even modifies the other. Gold is worth its weight whether it adorns a pig or a king, and a pig is an unclean beast no matter how much gold it drags through the mud. It only seems like the pig and the gold are modifying each other if we walk by sight rather than by faith. The faithful one distinguishes (again the idea of setting aside; making discrete) To the pure all things are pure: pigs, breasts, gold…everything. Even Mennonites!

Mom in a Shoe linked to some clothes

2010 sized3

that others[1] labelled “uncool”, “unattractive”, “weird”, and so forth. Whatever else one may say about them: One must admit that Mennonite women dress as their fathers chose, and not as their own natures tempted them. If you cannot say one other good thing about them, then you can say–must say–that they are obedient in their dress, even if nothing else. If modesty is of a kind with set apart, and separate, and pure, and obedient, then the dress of Mennonite women should be seen as–at the very least–women in contrast to the bedazzled pigs of modern society.

Do not put them down. Do not put down the clothing of any modestly dressed women if you want to see more modesty in general. You can encourage, or suggest, or model..but what does it mean to call a woman “uncool” in a world full of pigs? It’s foolishness. Say nothing if you cannot say speak good of good things. From the same Proverb:

With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
    but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
    and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Besides: Look at the picture. Those are four beautiful girls. Appearances can certainly be deceiving[2], but judging by appearances: Any young man would be lucky to gain the favor of those girls’ father, marry one, and then in holiness dress her up for himself however he would like.

[1] These people are mostly young, and had the poor judgment to be born in the modern era just like the rest of us. I don’t blame them for being ignorant, but here it will be challenged. PancakeLoach was one of them, and she’s now engaged in a multi-comment, multi-post rant against me which is totally incoherent. This is what she choose to do when I pointed out that she is among those who are sneering at Mennonites. This has seemed better to her than to say, “My bad”, “point taken”, or something similar.

[2]For all I know they might not be family, and that photo could have been taken right before they modeled bikinis for another company. 

Because He Said So

Despite devilish and divisive opinions to the contrary, there exist persons explicitly ordained and commanded to say what is–and what is not–modest. They are called fathers and husbands. The reason I said “To get out of this trap is going to take generations. I suspect that my daughters may be among the first Yiayias in a long time” is because Yiayia’s don’t occur out of nowhere. Nor do their standards of modesty arise from the ether. They are the product of long and loving toil from their fathers and husbands.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
    the Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
    is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

and

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

The generations before us–since at least and including “The Greatest Generation”–have not only dropped the ball, but tossed it out of the park and declared the whole activity of raising children to be a null and boring and even oppressive pastime. The field itself was let to go wild; so now men like Empath, Dalrock, Oscar–and yes myself–are flat lost in a thorny, rocky, arid wilderness that many pretend is still a fit ballpark. It’s a lie.

What seems so mysterious and subjective to women is not to men. That is because while women are well-positioned to police these matters, they are not the arbiters of them. Husbands and fathers are. What makes Yiayias unseemly to modern people–why they work to make them irrelevant, and corral them into oblivion–is that those women bear the beauty of truth from a lifetime of listening to their husbands and fathers; who they did not rebel against and who they did not divorce as our post-modern women do.

Of those husbands and fathers, not one of them was perfect. It didn’t matter because for the person in the position of submission: Obedience unto a husband and father and unto God will itself prove fruitful. Likewise, imperfection in training a child or washing a wife with the Word does not nullify God’s promise. Steadfast faithfulness with what we have been entrusted will bring forth a harvest.

So, modesty is defined and judged by the fathers and husbands, and policed by older women

But as for you (Titus, the pastor of the church in Crete, a man) , teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Likewise, despite raging controversies over whether Christians ought to date, hook-up, engage in formalized courtship, whathaveyou–the main and Biblical thing is to do is: What your own father and husband approves.  Dating, courtship, “the college experience”…these are all systems that may have been put forth as helpful guidelines, but the moment the father becomes subject to them rather than the systems subject to the fathers, then they become corrals to pen in the shepherds. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Patriarchy scares women. More importantly it incites them to harridan heights under the excuse of fear. But like a man must gird his loins even when fear turns his bowels to water, women are going to have to reach deep down insides themselves and kill that rebellious spirit.

If the Christian’s Men’s Sphere proves anything, it’s that fathers and husbands will have discussions among themselves. They will set the community standards; fluidly and organically, but like concerned family farmers with a vested interest and not as eco-crazed nihilists or money-crazed corpo-rape-tions.  These things can remain subjective and mysterious to women (as their nature adores), but to us they will be toiled over and decided in love. At the same time, we depend most heavily on the support of women to uphold us as we undertake these tasks. It is not good for us to be alone. The blessings of Yiayias are hard to overstate. Just ask those of us fathers and husbands who lack them.

Corralling the Shepherds to Scatter the Sheep

In response to my modesty posts (and to Dalrock’s), there is a consistent refrain that no one gets to set the rules of modesty. Generally it goes thus:

“Modesty is important, and everyone should strive for it..provided that we all understand that modesty cannot be actually be defined or realized. No one gets to set the rules of modesty. Any attempt by an individual to establish what is and what is not modest, is an inherently false attempt. This is because standards of modesty are something that the community establishes…with, again, the important caveat that any such boundaries must be organic, chaotic, and above all unspoken and undecided. Any intentional setting of boundaries–even by the community–immediately disqualifies such boundaries as phony. The worst thing one can do is be deliberate and act as if modesty were real.”

Understand that the opening acceptance of the existence of the thing modesty is meant to sound as if it is a statement in support of it. Rather, it’s establishing the fact of boundaries in general; of which modesty is one sort. Support for boundaries is necessary because the rest of the argument is actually the circumscription to pen in those who would set the boundaries for modesty. The sole purpose of the argument is to hedge the shepherds in and the flocks without.

This argument may be bemoaned, celebrated, or anything in between, but it is so consistent that we must confess it is now the traditional rebuttal to attempts to address immodesty. It is passed from conservative to conservative; most especially by those who call themselves Christian.

It’s a devilishly effective trap that operates in a several ways.The first is that no one is just a shepherd. Everyone beneath God is a sheep to someone, and so out of pride they want those above them to be restrained. They believe that the grass might be greener over there, and they want that option available with minimal fuss.

Secondly, their sheepiness manifests itself as cowardice. Behind the stockade of never shepherding, they can throw up their hands and say, “See? It is out of these! The sheep must, in ignorance, decide for themselves; as we have always done!” Allowing oneself to be hemmed-in is a relief from a fearful thing. To be responsible for someone often enervates and harrows the soul.

Third, shepherds are in favor of boundaries. It’s the nature of their job. Being believers in the goodness of boundaries they desire to not transgress their own boundaries. They are law-abiders who live in a world where the one law they have been told is to not make laws for others. They must be shepherds who must not shepherd.

Then there is the world’s response to us. Dalrock introduced us to Atheno’s (Kraft’s) character Yiayia as a symbol of a female shepherdess. She was created by a an ad agency bolster the Atheno’s brand. Below the linked case study video they write:

We created a story around Yiayia (Greek for grandmother). Specifically, an old-fashioned grandmother who’s not shy about giving her opinion on everything from what’s on TV to who you’ve married, but especially on what you eat. She gets away with it because it comes from love, but it can sometimes be a bit awkward. Yiayia represents old world Greece, Greek values, and most importantly she represents preparing food the right way. And she will intimidate anyone who doesn’t agree with these ways. There is, therefore, no better sign of quality than her approval. This was an idea that captured beloved perceptions of Greek culture but was relatable to everyone.

Yiayia, like plain yogurt, is good for you, but has an odd taste. She was relatable to everyone because we know that grandmothers are supposed to love us, and therefore hold the line because they know better.

The campaign worked. From the case study:

Yiayia launched with a bang: after a critical article in USA Today that got people talking and fans defending, the videos drew 1.6MM views on YiaTube in the first 4 weeks live (this above and beyond what was delivered through television and paid digital media). Within the first week, Yiayia ads mocking Charlie Sheen were produced by a radio DJ in Chicago, and YIayia was mentioned in the Conan monologue.

According to an independent quantitative study done by Ace Metrix for Marketing Daily, the Yiayia spots beat all competitors in effectiveness and overall performance.
But the ultimate proof is in sales results, and a mere 6 weeks into launch, Athenos hummus and Greek Yogurt sales were trending up, significantly more so in markets where Yiayia was on TV.

Despite the success, Kraft could not stand for it. Yiayia was turned into an idiot that could only be rivaled by a sitcom dad on a “family-friendly” station.

If you visit the Athenos YouTube channel, all pro-Yiayia ads are gone, and in their place are eight videos showing what morons are those grandmas; just like all the shepherds. While that message is from the godless world we must recognize that the majority of Christians uphold it just as they do their ambivalence towards the necessity of fathers and husbands leading their families.

To get out of this trap is going to take generations. I suspect that my daughters may be among the first Yiayias in a long time, and they will have a very tough time getting there; as I have had a tough time raising them to be so. We are laughed at and scorned for our choices–my choices–by acquaintances and family. My children believe they are alone in the world, or very near it. Will they stay with me, or will they reject me and choose the false delights of the world? It’s in the Lord’s hands. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, even if that means my house must diminish to the sound of the sneers of others. God please forbid.

Dress and Driscoll

It is often said that pastors fail to speak, or fail to speak enough, on women’s issues such as immodest clothing. This is true, but the reasons offered for why pastors don’t speak on it are, generally not true:

  • The pastors don’t want to interrupt the flow from the purse to the collection plate.

This is repeated by men who don’t go to church, and don’t want to go to church. As such they don’t know who gives, and who doesn’t. A little clear-thinking and honest questioning should lead one to consider these questions: “Who is it that takes church imperatives seriously? Is it women? If it is, then why do we notice so much activity from women that is against the imperatives; such as immodest clothing?” No. It is men–particularly married men–who contribute the bulk of the offering.[1]

  • The pastors don’t want to upset the women because then women will drag their families out of church.

This is also mostly wrong. The truth is that husbands whose wives get upset will drag the family out of church. Sometimes he simply didn’t care to be there anyways; perhaps he was just appeasing the wife, or he somewhat thinks he should attend, but would really rather relax at home. His wife’s offense is enough reason to justify it. But for most husbands, a sermon offensive to modern women’s sensibilities will cause the men to leave the church because they are eager to be offended on behalf of their women; especially their wives. It is a chance to play (what they believe is) the role of “The Man”.

This is counter-intuitive to a lot of the talk in the Men’s Sphere, but it is the absolute truth and it critical to understand. If we’re going to make any headway in leading the correction of problems in each of our own little families and social circles, then this must be recognized. Dalrock’s posts on Mark Driscoll make this plain.

It must be understood that Driscoll railroaded thousands of men for years, and was rewarded for doing so; particularly by the men under him. “Hurts so good!”, as commenter Darwinian Arminian hilariously quipped. While the pile of broken men toppled upon his head as he fell, the real reason for his sacking was his effect on women, and how men responded to that.

If you read the letters and essays of former pastors and parishioners who’d felt his whip, they all reference the breaking point in their support of him as the point at which Driscoll made a wife cry. Journalists who committed themselves to cataloguing Driscoll’s crimes and errors made much of Driscoll being a misogynist even though he slung spittle at men a hundredfold of what went towards women. Yet it was misogyny that ended his career at Mars Hill.[2]

So, why don’t pastors address women’s issues head-on and in a sustained fashion, as they do men?

  • Because women don’t want to hear it.

While men who go to church want to hear how they can be better; women want to be told they are better. There are some proclivities of the female sex involved here, but they are grossly exacerbated by our Feminist, Oprah-fied culture. Any time a pastor spends correcting women will be accompanied by a sense of wasted efforts.

  • Because it is a primary responsibility of a husband and father, and a secondary responsibility of older women.

Any consternation a pastor experiences about whether or not he is passing the buck on women can be ameliorated by the fact that it’s someone else’s job, too. He can tell himself that others are filling in the gaps.[3] This is not so for men. In the church, the only authority over men are pastors and bishops. Some efforts spent on women will be wasted or redundant, but all effort directed at men is profitable; from their perspective.

  • Women routinely (almost automatically!) lie when confronted with unpleasantness about themselves; even the good ones.

There are few things more frustrating to the earnest man than dealing with a flat-out liar whom he is trying to help. A pastor who (for example) says men must be more active gets at least an amen from everyone, even if the follow-up is poor. A pastor who (also for example) says women must be more meek and gentle, gets many understanding nods that he must be talking about someone else, and pensive glares to let him know that her situation is different, you see.

If you add to that the fact that men are ready and waiting to be offended on behalf of their women, then we begin to understand that it takes either a sociopathic, or a supernatural, effort to give a sermon about women dressing immodestly.

[1] Single men give just as faithfully, but they–due to their younger average age and lacking a family-driven impetus to earn more and attend church in the first place–give much less . And, I’m speaking of Protestant churches. Just a glance at the offerings will reveal that American Roman Catholics don’t give as much in comparison to American Protestants. Satirized here as: “If a Catholic couple has $50, they go out to dinner; $20, they go see a movie; $10, they get fast food. But if they have $1, they go to church.”

[2] A dispassionate observer must conclude that in scale of hatred he was a misandrist first, a misanthrope second, and a misogynist last of all…yet it was charges of misogyny they preferred as weapons to attack him, and against which he apologized and defended. No need to defend much against that which no one considers much

[3] This is wrong-headed of him, but today I’m talking about incentives; not what is the exact correct thing to do. 

They Plow with Your Heifer

If anyone doubts that the choice to wear immodest clothing is made knowing they are immodest, then let me put Of Pants and Passions in the light of Sacred Cowgirls, and make my riddle plain.

Cowboy clothes are impractical for everything except being a cowboy, and even that allowance is suspect. A good pair of steel-toed boots or even Keens have more utility. Coveralls provide better hygiene. Nor is there is a need to have a pledge of allegiance and a prayer to open a rodeo. Neither the riders nor the animals gain any skill or rodeoness from them. These body coverings and ceremonious coverings are chosen regardless of their material impracticality because they love them. In the case of cowboy clothes, they love them so much that it is preferred for women to cross-dress and bedazzle their butts, rather than to fail to uphold cowboy culture.

Meanwhile, Christian culture–the aggregate choices of a Christian life– can go to Hell. Because they do not love them. There is a reason that Cowboy Churches seem more cowboy than church; why they fail to produce as many sound, faithful, loving Christians and instead produce shucks-y people who like the idea of country living, low taxes, and sassy, spangled-ass women.

If you are like me and have been seeing and doing things wrong for your whole life, things like this are hard to hear, All the talk of the “utility” of immodest workout clothes, sports uniforms, comfort clothes, etc. is an alluring sidetrack. It appears like a shortcut through the wilderness of moral choices, but it leads to sheol.

Your heart will tell you lies to make sin appear reasonable. Friends and even respected elders will make to you excuses for immodesty. They will gossip about you, talk down to you, call you the American Taliban, project sex-obsession upon you; anything to try to make you feel bad for choosing modesty before trivialities. That’s what uber-efficient work-outs, amateur sports, or a smidgen more comfort in the supermarket are: trivialities. Do not be deceived! You must choose what you love.

To Be Fair…

It must be admitted that not every woman who suits up in yoga pants, tights, leggings, jeggings, pajama-like pants…(Gimme a sec’. I’m out of breath writing out the versions of inappropriate public clothes)…had the intention of men lusting over her body. Yet it cannot be denied that those same women found it acceptable for men to do so. The excuses of comfort, ease, workout needs are irrelevant.

You know what they say about excuses: They are like the only things you can’t see through yoga pants.