Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Myth of the Egalitarian Marriage

My wife and I are equals. We share in all the decision making. Neither of us is the leader of the other.
The egalitarian view sounds so lovely. Two people living together in harmony. Neither having more authority in the relationship than the other and neither having more responsibility in the relationship than the other. Unfortunately, it's merely a utopian vision, because when a crisis occurs (when the metaphorical shit hits the fan) the egalitarian model breaks down.

Consider this scenario:

A married couple along with their two children are driving home from a weekend trip. As they round the corner their home comes into view. There are firetrucks and flashing lights. They simultaneously realize that their house has burned to the ground. One spouse emotionally melts down; turns to the other spouse; and with tears in their eyes and panic in their voice screams: “Oh my God! What are we going to do? Tell me, what are we going to do?”

Which spouse had the emotional meltdown?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Men, You Are the Prize

This is a letter I composed for a friend who's dealings with women over the years has caused him little but grief. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.


I've heard once again hat you've had problems with a woman. I can relate to that. Recently, I've come to realize something:
In any relationship between a man and a woman, the woman is not the prize—the man is the prize.

Friday, December 13, 2013

When Pastors Lie

58% of evangelical leaders say tithing is not required of Christians.
That was the result of a survey done by the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) of their members1 (members here refers to the leaders of the various churches that belong to the NAE—the pastors who actually run the church). When was the last time you heard an evangelical church preach that tithing wasn't required? I can't think of a single instance. Every sermon I've heard on tithing has maintained that not only is tithing required, but to not tithe was the same as robbing God—a literal sin. The conclusion is obvious:

Jesus Said Follow Me

There are a plethora of phrases people use to describe their relationship with God: I am saved; I've given my soul to Christ; I love Jesus; I am a bride of Christ; I have placed my faith in Christ; I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; or I'm born again.

I would like to suggest a simpler one; one found repeatedly in the Bible; one Jesus himself used:

     I follow Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Women Who Live Life in Reverse

When considering a woman as a wife, it's vital to understand how she views the various stages in her life and how she thinks they will play out over time, because her choices will affect how your life will play out also.

The modern feminist plan for how these years should be structured goes something like this:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Christmas Carol on Marriage

There is a lot of hand wringing (particularly in Christian circles) over why young men today aren't marrying. The answer can be found in the classic A Christmas Carol, which contains a clear example of why men used to marry.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Wife from Proverbs 5

When the wife from Proverbs is discussed, the one from Proverbs 31 jumps to everyone's mind. But, I want to talk about another wife—the wife from Proverbs 5.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jesus Was Dangerous

Jesus wasn't crucified because he was a nice guy. He was crucified because the powers that be were afraid of him. He challenged them. He called them out and called them names. He refused to play along with their rules. He could not be controlled.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Miscarriage Rates (NMAWOT)

When people discuss the difficulties of women over 30 having a child, the focus is always on fertility rates—how easy (or hard) it is for a woman to actually get pregnant. That's only part of the story. You also have to consider the ability of a woman to carry the child to term. The chart below shows the miscarriage rates for women by age1.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gentle, Not Meek

Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:5 AV)
Christian men are taught not only to be meek, but that it is a sin to act otherwise. The problem is the modern definition of meek. Look up meek in a recent dictionary, and this is what you find:
Easily imposed on; submissive in disposition or nature; spineless or spiritless; compliant; tame; humble and not likely to complain, argue, or react strongly; deficient in spirit and courage; an obsolete word for gentle.
Notice the last definition: “an obsolete word for gentle.” The 1828 version of Webster's dictionary defines meek in this way:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Your Gifts Were Given to You, Not Your Pastor

Years ago our church choir had a guest soloist—a member of the church who normally didn't sing. He had a fantastic singing voice. When he was done the music leader said: “wasn't Dave great; can you believe he's been hiding his gift under a basket instead being part of the choir?” It was an obvious attempt to shame Dave into joining the choir.

God has given us all certain gifts—gifts to be used for the glory of God. Rather than talk about the nature of those gifts, I'd like to talk about a concept that appears along side them in the Bible: the body of Christ.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Marriage is Optional for Christians

There is tremendous pressure on Christian males to marry. Some suggest Christian men have an obligation to marry, and that those who don't are falling short of God's plan. Widespread in Christian culture is a feeling that there is something wrong with a man that doesn't marry, as is evidenced by this quote from a book endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention leadership:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Never Marry a Woman Over 30

I am not opposed to marriage, but I can see that the institution of marriage is in dire trouble. When something that starts with a promise of “till death do us part” ends in divorce over 50% of the time, it's broken. One of the reasons is the feminist meme that goes something like this:
Blah blah blah, and when I reach 30 blah blah blah.
There are a thousand variations on this meme, but they all have one thing in common: the belief that a woman can have it all. That prior to 30 she can live her life one way and pursue one set of goals, and that when she reaches 30 she can make a sudden turn and pursue an entirely different set of goals. The most common variant of this meme is this:
I'll go to college and get an education; I'll have a career and move up the corporate ladder; I'll explore my sexuality, and when I reach 30 I'll get married; I'll have a wonderful husband; I'll have children; I'll be a phenomenal mom and my life will be fantastic.
She can have it all, if she follows the plan. Unfortunately, the plan rarely works out. The plan is why 40% of female college graduates won't marry before they reach 40. The plan is why the divorce rate in America is over 50%. The plan is why marriage in America today is a disaster.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Game is Not a Four Letter Word For Christians

A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Rome.
In the film Ben-Hur, Pontius Pilate gives this advice to an angry Judah Ben-Hur who, after climbing from slavery to the top of the Roman social order, has decided to turn his back on everything that is Rome. He returns a signet ring to Pilate (signifying his giving up his Roman citizenship), and declares his disgust for Rome and anything associated with it. It's a powerful scene. Pilate comes across as little more than an amoral pragmatist; Judah Ben-Hur seems courageous and principled.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ephesians 5:21 is Not a Good Place to Start

One of the phrases I keep running into is "Ephesians 5:21 is a good place to start." Usually followed by a quote of the section.

Ephesians 5:21-33
21 subjecting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect. 28 Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly; 30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. 31 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.”? 32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly. 33 Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
But, 5:21 isn't a good place to start. It's like starting with the last line in the movie "Casablanca" ("Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.") and ignoring the 90 minutes of dialog that came before it. You can't understand the last line, unless you understand what went before it. And, you can't understand 5:21 without knowing what went before it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the Beginning...

Last year, in the middle of an argument, my wife blurted "why can't you be more of a man?" She retracted it immediately, but the damage was done. We've never been a couple for name calling, and my wife has never said anything to me simply to be cruel or vindictive. This was an unvarnished truth; an opinion my wife was thinking that slipped out of her mouth before she could catch it. I wasn't sure what my wife's definition of a man was (she refused to give me any details other than "I shouldn't have said that"). Whatever the definition, I fell short.